CES 2011: Panasonic Boosts 3D Efforts with Switcher, Camera Enhancements

Panasonic Solutions Company further expanded it’s battalion of cost-effective 3D production tools with the introduction of the AV-HS04M7D 3D SDI output board and new software as well as the addition of 1080/24p recording to the AK-HC1800 camera.

AV-HS450N HD/SD Switcher Goes 3D

The AV-HS04M7D 3D SDI output board and new software transform Panasonic’s AV-HS450N HD/SD multi-format switcher into a live 3D stereoscopic switcher. With the addition of an HD/SD switcher with 3D stereoscopic production capabilities to its growing line of professional 3D products, Panasonic now offers a multi-camera 3D acquisition/switching with effects/recording system for under $100,000.  A typical system might consist of the HS450N switcher, two AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D camcorders, a BT-3DL2550 25” 3D LCD monitor, and the AJ-HPM200 P2 Mobile recorder/player, which can record 3D on a single P2 card. This 3D production system is on display in the Panasonic booth here at CES.

Current HS450N users will be able to easily upgrade to 3D production by installing the new 3D board in their units and loading the included software via the switcher’s SD Card slot. An upgraded HS450N will operate in either 3D or 2D modes (supporting HD signals only in 3D) and will easily support up to eight pairs of inputs in 3D, making it ideal for multi-camera 3D shoots.

With the upgraded HS450N, simultaneous stereoscopic video transitions are enabled using crosspoint buttons. Cut, dissolve, wipe, and other effects become available as simultaneous transitions for use in sports recording, music videos, commercial production, event recording, and other 3D projects. Vertical/horizontal reversing and position correction are possible for all 16 channels of HD-SDI standard inputs. Steroscopic Chroma Key compositing can be accomplished on location in real time with the embedded Primatte Chroma Key software. The upgraded switcher provides selectable 3D output modes, including Left, Right, Mix, Side-by-Side, and Line-by-Line. In addition the switcher can simulate 3D camera optical axis shift to facilitate fine adjustments.

The HS450N is an expandable high-performance switcher offering 16 SD/HD-SDI standard inputs with a unique built-in, dual-screen MultiViewer, multiple keyers, four aux busses, two Picture-in-Pictures (PiP) and SDKs – all for about half the price of comparable switcher systems. The switcher’s built-in, dual-output MultiViewer allows users to see up to 20 images on two high-resolution displays. With 16 built-in frame-synchronizers, four built-in up-converters, multi-axis color correction, four SD/HD-SDI outputs and two scalable DVI outputs all as standard, the HS450 offers a powerful modular platform with expandable capabilities.

The AV-HS04M7D 3D board and software will be available in February 2011, at a suggested list price of $5,900. The AV-HS450N is currently available at a suggested list price of $26,265.00.  End user orders for the HS450N/M7D package placed between Jan. 1, 2011 and Feb. 28, 2011 may receive the M7D board at no cost.

The AK-HC1800 Gets a Leg Up with 1080/24p Recording

Panasonic has also added 1080/24p recording to AK-HC1800 camera. At the CES show, the company is demonstrating two HC1800 cameras delivering 1080/24p in a 3D rig supplied by Bexel.

The HC1800 delivers the high-quality HD video available in a compact, multipurpose camera and has been deployed in applications ranging from broadcast studios, sports and entertainment venues, and houses of worship. With its new capabilities, the 2/3″ 2.2-megapixel 3-CCD camera will deliver high resolution HD output in 1080/59.94i, 1080/24ps, and 1080/23.94psf. Incorporating an advanced single-channel transfer system and spatial offset processing features that reduce aliasing and provide finer resolution, the camera has an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio of 60dB and a high sensitivity of F10 (at 2000 lx).

The HC1800 features a 14-bit A/D converter with a 38-bit digital signal processor (DSP) for pristine high resolution images and a 12-axis color correction circuit that allows for fine adjustments of hue and saturation. It offers several picture enhancing functions including CineGamma curve to produce images that match the look of film and Panasonic’s exclusive Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function to improve results when shooting scenes with widely varying degrees of illumination.

The 3.3-pound camera unit comes equipped with a standard HD SDI output for flexible operation in remote studio production, sports and tower camera applications. It also features genlock, a mini 15-pin connector for power and control, tally function, iris and zoom/focus controls, motor driven optical filters (Clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND, 1/64ND), DC 12V operation and a low power consumption of 17 watts.

The AK-HC1800 with 1080/24p output will be available in Spring 2011 at a suggested list price of $29,900.