Panasonic has introduced the AJ-HD1200A DVCPRO HD AC/DC-powered, multi-purpose VTR, the first recorder to offer an IEEE 1394 interface operating at 100Mbps data rate with DV High Definition video streams. The AJ-HD1200A is a key component in the company’s collaboration with Apple to bring real-time professional quality, native HD editing to Power Mac and PowerBook customers, at a fraction of the cost of other systems. The AJ-HD1200A can work in 1080/50i via IEEE1394 interface.
This compact, versatile VTR plays all standard definition DVCPRO formats (PAL and NTSC), as well as DVCPROHD and can downconvert HD recorded cassettes for HD/SD simulcast or standard definition monitoring. With the AJ-HD1200A, 720p material shot with Panasonic's AJ-HDC27FE Varicam camera and DVCPROHD 1080i material can be transferred via the VTR’s IEEE 1394 interface directly to the hard disk drive of an Apple Power Mac G5 or PowerBook G4 equipped with Final Cut Pro HD. Editing of VariCam footage is at the camera original quality, because the IEEE 1394 interface transfers the native digital HD files originally recorded by VariCam without any additional video compression steps.

The AJ-HD1200A teamed with a Power Mac G5 or PowerBook G4 and Final Cut Pro HD will deliver unmatched capabilities and price points to High Definition. This technical collaboration will be a catalyst to rapidly expanding HD usage in field production, post-production and even in distribution.

The AJ-HD1200A can record up to 92 minutes of HD footage on a single, compact _" cassette. The VTR can play the entire family of DVCPRO tapes—DVCPROHD and HD-LP, DVCPRO P, DVCPRO50 and standard DVCPRO, as well as DV and DVCAM™ tapes. Its universal design also allows playback of both NTSC (480i) and PAL (576i) sources.

In addition to 1080/60i and 1080/50i, the AJ-HD1200A supports variable frame rates over 720/60p recordings acquired withVaricam. When playing back content shot at 24fps on the Varicam, the VTR can convert the output to 1080/24p in real time with a simultaneous downconvert to 525 line NTSC. When material is shot at 25fps on the VariCam, the AJ-HD1200A can convert that content to 1080/50i or a simultaneous downconvert to 625 PAL.

With its built-in HD/SD converter, the AJ-HD1200A can downconvert video from a pre-recorded HD tape to SD and then output it as SD composite video, or SDI (with an optional AJ-YA120AG board). This downconversion makes for easy viewing of HD images on a monitor. HD and SD signals can also be output for simultaneous transmission. The AJ-HD1200A can also change the image’s aspect ratio, with a selection of widescreen, squeeze or side cut conversion modes.

Its optional AJ-YA120AG HD-SDI in/out and SD-SDI out board enables the VTR to provide HD recording (1080/60i, 1080/50i or 720/60p) from an HD-SDI input. It can provide HD-SDI and SD-SDI output (downconverted or SD playback). The unit also incorporates an HD format converter that allows conversion on playback between 1080i and 720p output in either direction.

Only _ rack-width wide and weighing just over 8kgs, the AJ-HD1200A is the smallest broadcast grade HD recorder and a space-saver on the desktop or in production vehicles. A convenient handle makes for easy carrying. Operation is either AC or DC (12V).

Other key features include: eight channels of 16 bit/48-Khz digital audio allowing multilingual, or stereo plus discreet 5.1 channel surround sound recordings; four-channel analogue audio in/out (channels 3 and 4 can be switched for L/R monitor output use); built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader and time code in/out; auto rewind, auto repeat and memory stop functions; auto back function for seamless recording; record inhibit switch; tape/EE output selection; and headphone output with volume control. An optional AJ-A95 remote control that permits shuttle search up to 50 times is also available.

The AJ-HD1200A is already available.