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Panasonic announce new high speed network workflow for broadcasters

AMSTERDAM. (12th September 2014) – Panasonic is testing a news gathering network workflow for broadcasters that transmits video footage and shoot data from remote field locations to the newsroom, and enables cameras to be controlled from a network environment.

Testing began last month with Independent Television News (ITN), a major UK broadcaster, and will continue to be carried out on a rolling basis with the company’s broadcast partners in countries around the world.

"Not so long ago, the fastest way to send the news from reporters in the field to the newsroom was by carrier pigeon," said Andre Meterian, Director of Broadcast for Panasonic. "Today Panasonic, with the new technologies it has developed over many years as a camera manufacturer, is revolutionising the news production process, providing the kind of speed that will make it seem a newsroom has accompanied reporters into the field. The company’s workflow will intimately connect the places where news is gathered to the newsrooms where it is broadcast."

"The cameras out in the field will include high-end ENG camera recorders such as AJ-PX5000 and AJ-PX800. Both offer enhanced network functions and high picture quality at a low cost, through the use of the AVC-ULTRA codec and new dual codec recording. Also the P2HD Series, including the handheld camera recorder AJ-PX270, which condenses the functions and operability of a shoulder-mount camera into a compact and lightweight body - radically updating electronic news gathering and opening up high-speed network-based workflows."

Cameras in the field are connected with the newsroom through mobile networks and the cloud, making it possible to instantly produce news out of events as they occur. With distribution formats for video content diversifying and opportunities for utilising raw news resources increasing, everything from the gathering of news footage to distribution is achieved at low costs over short timeframes with reduced manpower, which will help customers bolster earnings potential and create new business opportunities.

The new workflow is capable of transferring video footage as it is being recorded using AVC-ULTRA coding and camera networking technologies that have been developed by Panasonic over many years. Video footage is compressed at high resolutions to make it compatible with proxy file transfer and live streaming utilising 3G/4G or IP networks. The broadcaster is able to manage and control cameras in the field via the cloud, which makes it possible to produce live news without the use of broadcast trucks and satellite networks. Raw news editing and other processes are performed on the high-function cloud environment to improve the efficiency of news production workflows; for example, by automating the sending and receiving process for raw news based on settings data.

A reference exhibit will be held at IBC2014, from Friday 12 September to Tuesday 16, September at the Amsterdam RAI Centre in the Netherlands.

Workflow Features

Transmits via mobile networks for freedom from site restrictions
The new workflow utilises mobile networks to free transmission from the use of broadcast trucks and satellite networks. The broadcaster is also free to choose between live streaming and proxy file transfer as the method of transmission, making raw news gathering richer and fresher than it has ever been at low operating costs. Video footage uses low bit rate, high picture quality AVC-ULTRA coding (AVC-LongG/AVC-Proxy) developed by Panasonic, which features strong compatibility with mobile networks.

Makes maximum use of mobile networks for live streaming
With live streaming, mobile network conditions, which are constantly changing, are grasped at high speeds and high levels of precision with a proprietary Panasonic technology for estimating wireless bandwidths. Precise control of video bit rates in line with 3G/4G network conditions through coordination with the high speed rate control algorithms of the AVC-ULTRA coding engine makes it possible to stream with higher picture quality and less delay on the same network. Of course if packet loss and other transmission errors do occur, they are recovered with error correction and packet resend control functions.

Simultaneous shooting and production
"Highlight Editing" can be performed by accessing the cloud environment and selecting only needed portions of the proxy footage. The users can operate the server from anywhere, whether in a newsroom or out in the field. And when video with high picture quality is required, the P2 camera receives editing information from the newsroom and automatically transmits high resolution video only for those portions that are needed.

Helps build new, efficient workflows using metadata
Cameras are pre-assigned IDs and metadata is sent from the newsroom to the camera recorders in the field. Meta data can be automatically recorded with footage shot by camera operators in the field, and the data can then be used in the editing process to dramatically raise the search ability of the raw footage and shorten the time required for archiving and targeting secondary uses.