JPL Creates HD Multi-Cam Production Sytem with Panasonic Camcorders, Switcher

JPL has implemented a portable, HD multi-camera production system comprised of four AG-HPX370 P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorders and the AV-HS450N multi-format switcher from Panasonic. The equipment is being used both in studio configuration and as a field flypack to support JPL’s work for clients including The Hershey Company, Giant Food Stores, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and Metro Bank.

“This system offers new opportunities for events to be presented, captured and broadcast in high definition,” says Paul Grosso, JPL’s VP, media production. “Business and political events, college graduations and corporate meetings can all benefit from this technology.”

“Combined with high-resolution projectors, multiple screens and concert-level sound and lighting, the Panasonic system allows JPL to deliver a clearer, more immersive experience to our clients and boost the ‘wow’ factor for their audiences,” Grosso added.

JPL has produced a number of multi-camera projects, including the Bucknell University graduation, Giant Food Stores corporate meetings, Pennsylvania Newsmakers weekly TV show, BAE Systems studio shoots and field production, and Hershey’s annual stockholders’ meeting. JPL also used the Panasonic multi-cam system to produce a gubernatorial candidate forum for the Pennsylvania Chamber that appeared on abc27 and PCN-TV.

For the past several years, JPL has produced events with Panasonic digital and HD camcorders. Most recently, JPL has used a number of P2 HD models, the AG-HPX500 shoulder-mounts and AG-HVX200A handhelds.

“The HPX370s afforded us an easy migration within the P2 family of products, and the camcorders are equally at home in the studio or at off-site events,” says Grosso. ”What’s more, the HPX370 is capable of master-quality HD production, with 10-bit, 4:2:2, full 1920 x 1080-resolution recording.”

Grosso said that the gubernatorial forum was a typical JPL assignment, with three HPX370s capturing in HD and also projecting IMAG out through the HS450N switcher; several local affiliates were likewise able to take a direct feed of the event from the switcher’s output.

“The HPX370 is highly user-friendly, and we’re very happy with the image quality” Gross says. “Our DPs really like the camcorders, and say that their menu-structure and controls give them all the options they need to work efficiently. When we use the HPX370s with the HPX500, it’s a seamless match. We’ve achieved full HD production quality at the fraction of the cost of going with a different format.”

“The HS450N is great in a mobile environment, and competes with switchers three to four times its price,” Grosso continued. “It’s expandable, we can feed any format in and out, and can customize all 16 standard SD/HD-SDI inputs. Overall, the Panasonic system can be easily rolled into studios—our own or others–and can handle an on-site event of any size with a high degree of flexibility. It’s given us affordable, film-style EFP resources while working in the P2 format that we’re so familiar with.”