The AG-HPG20 is a P2 portable recorder that records HD images with an AVC-Intra codec. It features a rugged body, two P2 card slots, a 3.5” LCD monitor and HD/SD multi-format recording. Its HD/SD SDI interface enables versatile line recording, and a USB 2.0 interface makes it easy to backup data onto an external hard-disk drive. A new HDD Preview* function also lets you preview P2 content stored on a hard-disk drive. These and other features allow the AG-HPG20 to handle a wide range of applications, including HD field recording; high-quality, large-screen playback, and easy file transfers to a hard-disk drive or PC-based nonlinear editor. * HDD Preview uses a lower frame rate to refresh the display.
New AVC-Intra Circuit Raises Image Quality and Lowers Power Consumption The AVC-Intra codec in the AG-HPG20 provides high-quality HD recording with full 1920 x 1080/10-bit 4:2:2 sampling. This new AVC-Intra circuit also lowers power consumption at the same time.
P2 Portability Enhances Field Mobility The solid-state memory card offers unparalleled reliability. Designed for professional applications, the P2 card combines inherent toughness with a large capacity and fast data transfers. The advanced file-based IT function further speeds up acquisition.
HD/SD SDI Input for Line Recording The AG-HPG20 can be used both with a P2 camera and with a wide range of cameras/camcorders, including conventional tape-based models. Synchro backup enables Rec Start/Stop operation in sync with the Camcorder.
Easy File Previewing from an External HDD The AG-HPG20 has a USB 2.0 interface and a new HDD Preview function that simplifies the playback* of P2 motion images from files copied to an external hard-disk drive.
*HDD Preview uses a lower frame rate to refresh the display.
Advanced Recording and Playback Functions from the
High-Quality AVC-Intra Codec and P2 Card
Sample Images of Intraframe Preduction
Left: Original image Center: Intra-frame predictive image Right: Difference image obtained from subtracting the intra-frame predictive image from the original image. This shows the high accuracy of intra prediction.
Incorporating a New AVC-Intra Codec Circuit
The AG-HPG20 comes with a newly developed AVC-Intra codec board that greatly lowers power consumption. AVC-Intra is a new codec that further advances HD production. It complies with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 international standard based on advanced image compression technology, and offers both superb image quality and highly efficient compression. It uses an intra-frame compression system to bring important advantages to professional editing. The AG-HPG20 can record in AVC-Intra 100 for maximum picture quality or in AVC-Intra 50, which has a lower compression rate, for versatile operation. It also supports DVCPRO HD codec recording.
• AVC-Intra 100: With the same bit rate as DVCPRO HD, this mode supports full 10-bit recordings with 1920 x 1080 pixels. It enables the AG-HPG20 to capture master-quality video for high-end video production.
• AVC-Intra 50: This mode delivers video quality very similar to DVCPRO HD, yet is able to do so at bit rates usually associated with standard definition (e.g., DVCPRO 50). AVC-Intra 50’s lower bit rate doubles the recording time per P2 card over DVCPRO HD and lowers storage requirements for editing.
HD/SD Multi-Format Recording
The AG-HPG20 supports HD/SD multi-formats and multi-codec recording. See the table below.
*The AG-HPG20 plays back in 24p, 25p and 30p. It also plays P2 content in over 60i/50i, over 60p/50p, pN (native) and pA (advanced). For details, see the specifications at the end of the brochure.
Down-Conversion/Up-Conversion/Cross-Conversion Output During playback, the AG-HPG20 can down-convert HD to SD and output it, letting you view HD content on an SD monitor. The image aspect can be selected from squeeze, letterbox and side cut. The AG-HPG20 can also up-convert SD to HD, and cross-convert between 720 and 1080.
High-Quality 16-Bit, 48-kHz, 8-Channel Digital Audio The AG-HPG20 is SDI embedded audio ready, and records and plays up to 8 channels of 16-bit digital audio with SDI input.
The P2 Card: Reliable, Reusable and with Extended Recording Time The P2 card offers a large capacity of 64 GB*1 in a small, lightweight package. Its rugged design withstands even harsh professional use. It is highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, dust, impact and vibrations, and is free of the problems that are common in tapes, such as condensation, head clogging and dropouts. The P2 card promises solid reliability and excellent mobility under the often difficult conditions of field recording. Because data is automatically recorded in blank card spaces, there is no need for cueing and the risk of accidentally overwriting valuable data is eliminated. The newly released, low-cost E series*2 (AJ-P2E016XG/ AJ-P2E032XG/AJ-P2E064XG) provides a new level of lower cost recording capability for those customers with budgetary concerns.
*1: Total card capacity includes space for data management, such as system data; therefore, actual usable area is less than the capacity indicated on the card.
*2: When using the P2 card E Series, software updates are necessary for certain P2 devices.
Advanced Recording Functions Employing Two Card Slots
In addition to continuous, double-card recording, the AG-HPG20 enables some useful recording functions that are possible only with memory cards.
• Hot-swap rec: Thanks to the two card slots, you can hot-swap P2 cards for continuous non-stop recording. With multiple cards you can record for hours without interruption.
• Loop rec: This function continuously records video data onto available memory card areas. When the card becomes full, older data is deleted to free up the recording area, resulting in loss-less, endless recording. When used with cameras for time-sensitive information gathering like weather and news reporting, the loop rec function holds the latest video data for a predetermined time period.
• UMID recording: UMID data input from a camera can be recorded and played.
Clip Copying and Editing
P2 records a scene as a clip (file). To play back or delete a clip, or to check and edit its metadata (file information) or add or delete a shot marker, just select the clip from the thumbnail display on the built-in 3.5" LCD monitor. The AG-HPG20 also provides a number of functions that are convenient in the field, including:
• Clip Copy: The two card slots let you copy clips from one P2 card to another. You can copy only the usable scenes to use the card's capacity more effectively.
• Thumbnail Image Change: By default, the first image in a clip is used as the thumbnail. At a desired location within a clip, you can change the thumbnail to a different image.
• Clip Metadata Edit: A clip's metadata can contain such information as the camera operator's name, reporter's name and shooting location. The AG-HPG20 lets you check this information and edit the text.
• Text Memo: When recording or previewing a clip, you can attach a memo (similar to a bookmark) at a desired location (up to 100 locations on a frame basis). Later you can display or delete a memo, or add a new one. The simplified editing function lets you copy a segment between memos and create a new clip. Text information can be added to a memo using the AG-HPG20 or a PC* (with P2 Viewer installed).
• Shot Marker: During or after recording, you can mark each clip with OK, NG or another designation.
* Read "Notes Regarding the Handling of P2 Files Using a PC".
Versatile Playback Functions Meet Diverse Needs • Format Auto Playback: This automatically detects the video format and codec for each video clip when starting playback and signal output.
• Variable Speed Playback: For slow-motion and double-speed playback.
• Resume Playback: If you press the Stop key during playback, the AG-HPG20 temporarily "bookmarks" the stop position until another operation is performed. When you press the Play key, playback resumes at the bookmarked position.
* The bookmark memory is reset when the power is turned off. The Resume Playback function is factory-set to OFF.
• Single-Clip Playback: This convenient function plays back one video clip with a one-touch operation.
• Repeat Playback: For presentations and demonstrations, use AG-HPG20 (P2 Portable) for repeated playback of a selected clip or multiple clips.* Playback is seamless, with no need for rewinding or cueing. There is no wear or image deterioration even after extended, continuous playback.
*The clips must be in the same format.
Intra-Frame (I-Frame Only) Compression Superiority Motion-image compression can be divided roughly into two methods: I-Frame Only compression, which completes all processing within each frame, and Long GOP compression, which processes across multiple frames. AVC-Intra and DVCPRO HD use I-Frame Only compression, while HDV and XDCAM HD uses Long GOP compression.
The MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard encompasses both methods.
When the images of adjacent frames are similar, Long GOP compression achieves an advantageously low bit rate. However, this trait is not often seen in broadcasts like, fast-action sports, and music videos with rapid moves and electronic displays. Also, because processing is performed frame-by-frame in I-Frame Only, new-generation multi-core CPUs offer high-speed parallel processing. This makes I-Frame Only compression more suitable for nonlinear editing than Long GOP, for which parallel processing is difficult due to its inter-frame dependence.
With its I-Frame Only compression, AVC-Intra produces remarkably stable images that are unaffected by adjacent frames, and meets professional needs in virtually all situations and workflows.
Twice the Compression Efficiency of MPEG-2 By selecting the most effective compression techniques from among those in compliance with the H.264 standard, AVC-Intra has doubled the compression ratio of MPEG-2, even with I-Frame Only compression. Its intra-frame predictive and context-adaptive entropy coding are particularly effective methods for boosting compression efficiency.
Intra-frame predictive coding (intra prediction) This process generates predictive images based on adjacent blocks of 8 x 8 pixels. Selecting the most suitable predictive mode from among nine luminance signal modes (see illustration) and four color signal modes, it generates accurate predictive images. The residual data (obtained by subtracting a predictive image from the original input image) is recorded together with the predictive image. Because the prediction accuracy is high, there’s minimal residual data, and thus high compression is achieved. This process is conducted within the frame, so prediction accuracy remains high even with fast-motion images.
Context-adaptive entropy coding The entropy coding process used in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 utilizes CAVLC (Context Adaptive VLC) and CABAC (Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding), both of which are context adaptive. MPEG-2 uses a fixed table when performing the VLC coding, with the result that compression efficiency is low with some types of images. In context-adaptive coding, on the other hand, operation varies with different kinds of images and high compression efficiency is maintained at all times.
Nimble, Easy Operation and a Wealth of Interfaces for Active Field Recording
User Buttons and User File The three User buttons on the AG-HPG20 are set with the System Format (User 1), Exit (User 2) and Alt (User 3) functions by default. These User buttons can also be assigned other functions by the user. Up to four User files containing button settings can be stored in an SD/SDHC card.
Assignable Functions Functions that are assignable include input select, system format select, Rec format SD, Rec format HD, Shot mark, Text memo, LCD backlight, OSD output select, Audio output signal select, Card slot select, LCD reverse display, WFM/VECTOR display, One clip playback
Waveform, Vector and 4:3 Marker The AG-HPG20 has waveform and vectorscope display functions of the captured video signal on the LCD monitor. With HD video, a 4:3 marker can be displayed on the LCD monitor.
Play Back Variable Frame-Rate Sources
The AG-HPG20 supports the variable frame-rate recording widely used in creative video production. Use AG-HPG20 (P2 Portable) for on-the-spot previewing of slow-motion and other special effects recorded in 720pN (native) mode with a P2 HD Camcorder.
*The AG-HPG20 itself is not capable of native mode recording. It performs pull-down conversion for playback.
Small, Lightweight and Fully Mobile The AG-HPG20 (P2 Portable) main unit weighs just 1.1 kilograms (2.5 lbs) and is small enough to use with one hand. Thanks to its rugged construction, it's tough enough to withstand rigorous field use. A powerful 5400-mAh battery pack mounts to the main unit's back. The AG-HPG20 can also use the AG-HVX200 series’s battery, or plug it into an ordinary AC outlet using the adaptor provided.
HD/SD SDI Input/Output Terminals for Line Recording The AG-HPG20 comes with HD/SD SDI input and output terminals as standard equipment. This supports high-quality line recording using signals from a video camera or switcher. When connected to a Camcorder, the AG-HPG20 syncs Rec Start/Stop with the camera trigger.
Preview of External HDD Content
The new HDD Preview function on the AG-HPG20 plays back P2 files from an external hard-disk drive connected via USB 2.0 (Host) for on-screen visual checks. This adds extra convenience to data backup operations.
*HDD Preview uses a lower frame rate to refresh the display.
USB 2.0 Host/Device Interfaces
The USB 2.0 interface includes both host and device modes, for flexible interfacing with an external hard-disk drive and nonlinear editor.
• HOST mode lets you copy files between a P2 card and a hard-disk drive and make backup copies of video clips. USB bus power (5 V, 0.5 A) is provided to power the external drive. It is also possible to rename the drive.
• DEVICE mode lets you upload and download files, just as you would with a P2 drive.
IEEE 1394 Interface The IEEE 1394 interface can be used for a variety of purposes, such as streaming output (DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO, DV) to a nonlinear editor, backup recording for a Panasonic camcorder, and copying data from a DVCPRO HD VTR to a P2 card.
The AG-HPG20 has composite video output and audio output (CH1/CH2 pin jacks).
•Line Recording: The HD/SD SDI input terminal allows AVC-Intra recording from a wide range of sources, including existing tape-based Camcorders. Use the IEEE 1394 interface for connecting Panasonic DVCPRO equipment. *The IEEE 1394 input/ouput terminals do not support the AVC-Intra 100 or AVC-Intra 50 codec.
•Playback, Preview and Output: The AG-HPG20 provides easy, convenient video viewing. It can play video files stored on a P2 card or in an external hard-disk drive. Because the AG-HPG20 offers high picture and sound quality and includes a Repeat function, it can also be used for applications such as exhibitions and showrooms.