Optional AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) Codec Reduces Data Requirements for Full Quality HD
15,000 P2 Units Delivered to 300 Broadcasters Worldwide
LAS VEGAS (April 23, 2006) – Here at NAB, Panasonic announced significant sales growth for its DVCPRO P2 solid-state memory recording system over the past year with worldwide adoption by more than 300 broadcasters and sales of more than 15,000 units. Panasonic also unveiled the broader expansion of P2 into high definition products with a new P2 HD line to bring the wide-reaching benefits of reliable solid-state acquisition and full production quality HD to broadcasters and video professionals.

Panasonic also announced it will offer dual codec capability including an optional AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) codec in addition to their widely supported DVCPRO HD codec. The AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) codec offers significantly better compression efficiency than older MPEG-2 codecs and can provide high quality for news at half the bandwidth compared to DVCPRO HD. This bandwidth savings, without the compromises of long GOP compression, will offer advantages in storage and distribution as well as twice the recording time on a P2 card. The optional AVC-Intra (H.264 compliant) support for the new P2 HD products will be available in April 2007.

The new P2 HD family of products offer P2’s solid-state memory recording without the moving parts of other tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. This insures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock and vibration. These new P2 HD products offer a significant reduction in maintenance costs, longer useful product life, and immediate access to recorded video (no need to digitize) and metadata. And by utilizing a standard PCMCIA interface and computer file structure, P2 HD acquisition fits easily into any standard IT infrastructure.

P2 HD products offer production quality, 100Mbps DVCPRO HD with independent intra-frame encoding, 4:2:2 color sampling, and less compression, making HD content easier and faster to edit and more able to stand up to image compositing versus long GOP MPEG-2 systems. In addition, they are backwards compatible with existing DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV-based facilities. The new, multi-format P2 HD products are distinguished by their ability to record in 720p, 1080i or 480i, which addresses the requirements of diverse HD broadcast applications.

“Our new P2 HD products deliver the highest operational reliability and full production quality and expand the flexibility and versatility of HD in the field for broadcasters and video professionals,” said Robert Harris, Vice President of Marketing, Panasonic Broadcast. “These P2 HD products will build on the solid growth of P2 DVCPRO, which has been adopted by more than 100 U.S. TV stations and other well-known broadcasters worldwide.”

The new members of the P2 HD family include the 2/3” AJ-HPC2000 shoulder-mount camcorder, AJ-HPS1500 studio recorder, the AJ-HPM100 mobile recorder and the AJ-PCD20 drive. In addition, the revolutionary AG-HVX200, a hand-held DVCPRO HD P2 camcorder, is currently available, and it provides video professionals a powerful and versatile yet highly affordable professional HD camcorder.

P2 HD 2/3” Camcorder Offers the Highest Quality, Versatility, and Reliability

The highly-sensitive AJ-HPC2000 is equipped with an HD progressive 2/3” 3-CCD system and 14-bit A/D processing and records in 720p, 1080i or 480i, offering exceptional dynamic range and low light recording. The 2/3” CCD imager allows the use of widely-available professional quality lenses and accessories. The camcorder offers the high sensitivity of F10 at 2000 lux, and can capture images at a minimum illumination of 0.032 lux (at+62dB).

The AJ-HPC2000 features five P2 card slots and each P2 card is hot swappable for continuous recording. With five 8 GB cards, the camcorder can record up to 40 minutes of full HD quality video and significantly more in SD modes. Other recording features include loop record and pre-record (up to seven seconds in DVCPRO HD). An additional card slot is provided for optional accessories such as a Proxy Video Encoder. An SD card slot is also included for recording and replicating setup information useful in multi-camera productions.

The camcorder offers immediate playback from the thumbnail clips displayed on the built-in color LCD monitor, with the option of adding a shot marker to each clip. Extensive signal connectivity and control capability comes standard with the camera, including IEEE 1394 (AVC), and USB 2.0 interfaces, HD/SD-SDI, genlock, time code and composite video. Four channels of uncompressed audio are supported with XLRs, stereo front mic, and Unislot wireless mic connections.

The AJ-HPC2000 will be available first quarter 2007 at a suggested list price of $27,000.

P2 HD ”Station” Recorder Provides the Bridge for HD and SD Production Environments

Panasonic’s AJ-HPS1500 P2 HD “Station” recorder/player offers to bridge customers between the standard and high definition production environments. The high-performance DVCPRO HD P2 studio recorder is perfectly suited as an ingest station, up/down conversion station or a transfer station at a broadcast or production facility, because it offers the ultimate in versatility with G-bit Ethernet, IEEE-1394a (AVC) and USB2.0 standard interfaces as well as HD-SDI and SD-SDI input/outputs. It is also works seamlessly in tape-based systems comprised of DVCPRO HD VTRs for transferring, editing, or play-out.

The multi-format, multi-codec P2 Station records in 1080i and 720p in DVCPRO HD, and in 50Mbps DVCPRO50, 25Mbps DVCPRO and 25Mbps DV. An optional upconverter and downconverter enables conversion between standard and high definition formats. The AJ-HPS1500’s front panel offers easy operation with its VTR-like controls, Jog/Shuttle dial, video encoder adjustment control, Graphic User Interface (GUI), and playlist making, editing and copying. The front panel’s 3.5” color LCD simplifies browsing and selection of clips, and reduces the requirement for an external field monitor.

Standard A/V outputs/inputs on the AJ-HPS1500 include: analog component, composite and reference video, digital audio (AES/EBU Ch1 – Ch8), analog audio inputs (XLR, Ch1 – Ch2), monitor out, and time code in/output. Remote control can be accomplished via RS-422A, RS-232C and GPI.

The AJ-HPS1500 will be available in January at a suggested list price of $19,950.

Mobile P2 HD Recorder Brings Powerful Capabilities into the Field

The AJ-HPM100 is a mobile P2 solid-state memory card recorder designed to substantially enhance DVCPRO HD field production capabilities. This highly portable and lightweight recorder/player is ideal for numerous field applications including playlist editing, transferring and copying P2 content, backup recording for live broadcasts, and playback for transmission via satellite back to the broadcast facility.

The AJ-HPM100 is fully equipped for field work with a 9” widescreen LCD monitor, a six-slot P2 drive, an SD card slot, a jog/shuttle dial, P2 deck-like playlist editing functions, stereo speakers and AC/DC operation. The easily-transportable unit records in 1080i and 720p in DVCPRO HD and in 50Mbps DVCPRO50, 25Mpbs DVCPRO and 25Mbps DV. It can upconvert and downconvert playback between standard and high definition formats

The AJ-HPM100 has IEEE 1394 (AVC) and USB 2.0 (host/Device) interfaces, RS-422 for remote control, timecode in/out, and an array of input/outputs including switchable HD/SD SDIs, analog in/out, composite in/out, HD component output and four-channel analog audio in/out (XLR, ch1 to 4). Simplified Audio Split and Voice Over functions are standard.

The AJ-HPM100 will be available in November at a suggested list price of $12,000

New P2 Drive Offers Enhanced Capacity and High-Speed Data Transfer via USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394b

The AJ-PCD20 internal/external drive is designed for high-speed file transfer of DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50 DVCPRO video into nonlinear editing systems and servers. A user can mount five 8 GB P2 cards (containing up to 160 minutes of recordings in DVCPRO, 80 minutes in DVCPRO50 and 40 minutes in DVCPRO HD) at the same time and have access to the contents on all five cards for continuous editing of recorded clips in sequence. With the AJ-PCD20, digitizing is eliminated, so that material can be accessed almost instantaneously.

As an internal drive, the AJ-PCD20 installs in a standard PC type 5.25” bay drive enclosure, and through its high-speed USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394b interfaces, connects to the host computer, and through that computer to a television station’s local area network (LAN). For in-the-field use, the AJ-PCD20 serves as a stand-alone external drive and teams with a notebook PC or Mac PowerBook for editing and playback. The drive offers
Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS X compatibility.

The AJ-PCD20 card drive will be available in July at a suggested list price of $1,980.

Panasonic Partners Expand, Displaying an Array of P2-compatible Systems at NAB

Panasonic also announced that Matrox and Bit Central are the newest companies to join the P2 Partners Program, which strives to assure the seamless integration of P2 with the Industry’s leading products and systems. In addition to Matrox and Bit Central, the P2 supporters include Avid, Apple, Canopus, Dalet, Dayang, Dicas, EVS, Focus Enhancements, Grass Valley, Harris/Leitch, Microsoft, MOG Solutions, Omneon, OpenCube, Telestream, Quantel and SGI. Panasonic and its P2 partner companies are displaying a multitude of available P2-compatible products and systems in the Panasonic booth as well as in many of the Partner’s NAB exhibits. In addition, Panasonic announced that Imagine Products and DVFilm have each developed software products that enhance the interoperability and seamless workflow of P2, and that the Quantum SDLT archiving solution, and holographic storage hardware from InPhase Technology will be in the Panasonic booth as well.

“Panasonic and our P2 supporters continue to work in close collaboration to assure compatibility and expand the integration of P2 in our partners’ most advanced systems,” said Harris.

About Panasonic Broadcast

Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the North American headquarters of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Japan, and the hub of its U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access the company’s web site at