Panasonic held a press conference for the media to discuss its plans for the Inter BEE 2007

2007.11.22 UP

On October 31, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) held a press conference for the media to discuss its plans for the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE 2007). Based on the theme of “Sharing the Passion—Bringing the Emotion of HD to the World,” Panasonic is promoting innovation in the high-definition (HD) workflow by bringing together IT technology and low-cost HD systems such as packaged systems.

The world’s first AVCHD-format shoulder-mount memory-card video camcorder AG-HMC75 debuted as a tapeless solution that forms the core of the IT workflow. With the increased demands for HD video production, Panasonic created a new series of products with the goal of lowering production costs. “AVCHD is the favorite in the post-DV era,” says System AV Business Unit manager Masaya Shimozuru of Panasonic AVC Networks. The company aims to target sales in the education and bridal markets, and for small-scale productions.

Using the soon-to-be-released 16 GB SDHC card (Panasonic SD cards 4 GB or higher in capacity come in SDHC format), the camcorder will be capable of an extended HD recording time of 360 minutes (when recording in extended recording mode). The camera features a quarter-inch format 3-CCD progressive scan system and has a professional XLR connector and sound volume switch. It also features an accessory shoe for accommodating an external microphone or battery light. The camera will go on sale in April 2008 for under $2,500 in North America. The price in Japan has not yet been determined.

From the P2HD Series of tapeless solutions designed for broadcasting, Panasonic is demonstrating workflow models such as the new P2 camcorder AJ-HPX300G, which has Panasonic’s AVC-intra codec for high resolution and high-efficiency compression. Models with DVCPRO HD and LCD monitors are also being unveiled.

As for camera systems, Panasonic announced the AK-HC3500 (to be released in December) as a multimedia format digital camera with a new functional design. The camera has a 2/3-inch, 2.20-megapixel 3-CCD system that, in combination with spatial pixel shift, enables high sensitivity and high-resolution shooting with little moiré. Panasonic also unveiled multipurpose and other cameras.

On October 12, Panasonic also announced the AV-HS400 live multifunction multiformat switcher (to be released in December for 1,417,500 yen) as part of its effort to offer high performance in small sizes. A manager in Panasonic System Solutions Broadband Group says, “To expand our base of HD production customers, we are proposing our low-cost HD packages to cable TV and small production companies, as well as to universities.”

P2 Series: Used by 610 Companies Worldwide

Panasonic revealed that, as of the end of August, there were 610 companies worldwide using the P2 Series broadcasting semiconductor memory system, and the aggregate number of product shipments had exceeded 60,000. In the USA., Fox has purchased large numbers of the P2HD model with support for HD video, and in the Republic of Korea,