JCN uses the AJ-HPX2100 and AG-HPX175 for field recording.
Japan Cablenet Limited (JCN), a major CATV multiple system operator, has introduced the P2 HD Series into its 17 group stations and three production bases in the greater Tokyo region. The move converts the group stations' community channels to HD and prepares JCN for HD community broadcasting, which is scheduled to commence in April 2011.
Headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JCN operates a CATV network comprising 17 stations centering around Tokyo and production bases in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Chiba. The company introduced P2 HD into production operations in phases over the past few years. This year all JCN stations began using P2 HD, and all studios and sub-studios are slated to gain HD capability in December. The AJ-HPM200 Memory Card Recorder/Player (P2 mobile) will also be put into use at all sub-studios. When the HD conversion is completed, JCN will have HD production systems in place at all of its facilities.
The editing room at JCN's Chiba station is equipped with three nonlinear editing systems.
An AJ-HPS1500 P2 Deck is used to transfer program materials.
P2 Initially Used to Transfer Program Materials.
JCN jointly purchases equipment with its group stations in order to help individual stations reduce purchasing costs (taking advantage of economies of scale) and to save them time. Using the same equipment at all group stations also ensures smoother operation when staff members are transferred to other stations or one station provides emergency assistance to another.
JCN first began using P2 equipment in 2004, when the number of its group stations grew to 11. At that point the company decided to purchase the just-released tapeless SD-type P2 Series for use in transferring program materials. As part of its switch to P2, the company equipped each of its stations with P2 Memory Card Recorders (P2 decks).
Stations began exchanging broadcasting materials in the form of P2 files over IP networks – the industry's first such application of P2 files.
JCN's Kyoji Endo, a group manager in the Community Content Operation Department in charge of equipment procurement, recalls the process of deciding to adopt P2.
"Back in those days, " he says, " our stations used a number of different formats, including analog tape. We really valued the fact that any VTR format could be converted to P2 without restriction. We also were thinking about a unified field recording format for the future – and we figured tape would become obsolete. When we learned about P2, we realized it could be the core format for field recording, in addition to its advantages in exchanging program materials."
Benefits in speed, image quality and running costs
Today, each JCN station is equipped with a P2 system consisting of two AJ-HPX2100 P2 HD Camera Recorders (P2 cam) and two AG-HPX175 P2 Camera Recorders (P2 handheld). Each is also equipped with two or three Thomson Canopus turnkey editing systems. The SD-type P2 Decks originally installed at the stations have been upgraded to AJ-HPS1500 P2 HD units.
Mr. Endo described what adopting P2 HD equipment has brought about. "The P2 not only improves work efficiency," he says, "it also reduces running costs, thanks to its use of memory cards. In terms of image quality, we tested other codecs and felt that P2 HD was superior. We also find that P2 works smoothly with editing systems. Direct edit and background copy functions eliminate wait time in editing – which is especially valuable in news production, where speed is essential."
JCN plans to open a broadcasting center in Toyosu, Tokyo, in fiscal 2010. While the company currently uses P2 HD equipment for SD video production, it will use the equipment for HD program production once the new center opens. In line with this, JCN is considering using the AVC-Intra codec for sending data from stations to the center, taking advantage of AVC-Intra's superior image quality and high transfer rates.
Number of P2 products delivered to the JCN Group (including the current fiscal year)
P2 SD Recorder (AJ-SPD850)
P2 HD Recorder (AJ-HPS1500)
P2 HD Handheld Camera Recorder (AG-HVX200)
P2 HD Handheld Camera Recorder (AG-HVX205A*1)
HD Camera Recorder (AG-HPX175*2)
Camera Recorder (AJ-HPX2100)
P2 Drive (AJ-PCD20)
P2 Drive (AJ-PCD35)
P2 HD Portable Recorder (AJ-HPM200)
(scheduled for delivered after December)
*1: AG-HVX205A is Japanese model of AG-HVX200A series.
*2: AG-HPX175 is Japanese model of AG-HPX170 series.
* The Users Reports provided aboveis correct as of the time of publication. Note that information such as company and organization names may no longer be correct.