Ryerson University Invests in Panasonic HD Equipment – The Largest Educational HD Acquisition in Canada
May 2, 2002

by -- Broadcaster Magazine

MISSISSAUGA, ON (May 2, 2002) – Recognizing the future of High Definition production, Ryerson University has extended its decade-long partnership with Panasonic Canada Inc., with the acquisition of Panasonic HD cameras and DVCPRO HD VTR’s to be used in Ryerson’s broadcast and image arts programs. This is the largest single acquisition of HD equipment for educational purposes in Canada to date.

Ryerson, whose graduates include some of Canada’s leading broadcasters and filmmakers, has acquired seven AJ-HDC20A Panasonic 1080i HD cameras and is currently examining its non-linear and on-line editing needs for the new equipment. Ryerson has had a long-term commitment to digital production, especially DVCPRO, and has been an educational partner with Panasonic since in 1992.

“This is a major commitment on our part to ensure our students are fully prepared to work in the HD format,” said Brad Fortner, Program Director of Operations and Technology for the Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University in Toronto. “We will place three cameras in our School of Radio and Television Arts and three in our School of Image Arts which houses Canada’s largest program in Motion Picture production. The remaining camera will be used in the Rogers Communications Centre for research purposes.”

Through the Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson is involved in researching interactive TV and conducting tests in conjunction with Toronto’s digital test transmitter. Fortner says the Panasonic HD camera will be used, among other things, to shoot original content to be broadcast on the transmitter that is HDTV ready.

“Using HD cameras is a great, economical way to replace the equivalent of high-level film equipment,” says Brian Damude, Chair, School of Image Arts (Film, Photography & New Media) at Ryerson. “More production is going HD and this gives our students the opportunity to produce visually compelling stories, particularly documentaries, in this format.”

Those sentiments are shared by Jon Keeble, Professor, School of Radio & Television Arts: “It’s very exciting to be able to teach the unique production qualities of HD. It’s a whole new way of shooting and storytelling,” he says. “The pictures are just so crisp – tack sharp. Students in the fourth and final year will now have the chance to put together a long-form HD production.”

“We are proud to continue our long standing partnership with Ryerson as they utilize this HDTV technology in their facility,” said Gordon Stephen, Sales Support Manager, Broadcast and Security Systems Division, Panasonic Canada. “The cameras are relatively easy to use. Our DVCPRO HD equipment is based on the popular DV tape format. Our DVCPRO HD VCRs can up convert DV, DVCPRO, and DVCPRO 50 tapes to HDTV. This allows Ryerson to up-convert and incorporate their existing DVCPRO footage into HDTV programs.”

The AJ-HDC20A camcorder offers high mobility, high-definition field acquisition. The 10-bit digital signal processing camcorder offers 46-minute recording in 1080i, two channels of 16-bit/48KHz digital audio, low power consumption of about 30 watts, uses standard 2/3-inch bayonet lenses, and comes equipped with an HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) output for full-color live and tape playback, and a PCMCIA memory
card for storing camera setups. The AJHDC20A provides a wide range of field production functions including Super Gain to boost gain by a full +36dB for high-quality shooting in dim lighting, customized set-up buttons, and an electronic shutter (1/30 –1/2000 sec.) featuring Synchro Scan to reduce flicker when shooting CRT displays.

Panasonic Canada Inc. (PCI) is a division of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI) of Japan, one of the world’s largest producers of electronics and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Panasonic’s home page is www.panasonic.ca.

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