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NAB: Panasonic Partners for Cloud Production Service

Complete Coverage: 2012 NAB Show

Panasonic announced a number of new cameras, including its lightest weight P2 camera ever, and some notable partnerships to streamline production process and ENG at its annual NAB press conference.

In one partnership, Panasonic is teaming up with Aframe to create the Panasonic Production Network (PPN). The new cloud video production network will allows professionals to rapidly upload and view their high-quality video from dedicated cloud servers, making it much easier to manage production processes.

As previously reported, Aframe's cloud video production solutions have been providing services to the BBC, MTV, and production firms in Europe and the U.S. since 2009. In early April, Aframe, which is headquartered in London, established operations in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

As part of the agreement with Panasonic, the companies plan to launch upload centers for the PPN in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Boston and Dallas that will link to Aframe's cloud video production servers in the U.S.

Panasonic anticipates that its first upload center will be operational in May of this year.

"Aframe delivers an answer to an issue most of our customers face: how to transmit and archive media," said Michael Bergeron, business development manager at Panasonic Systems Communications Company of North America (PSCNA) in a statement. "Our alliance with Aframe delivers a further improvement to Panasonic's well-established, popular file-based workflows, and provides our customers with a complete solution without requiring IT hardware."

Separately, Panasonic and LiveU, which provide solutions for bringing video back from the field over cellular networks, said they would work together to an integrated camcorder and live video uplink solution, utilizing the LU40i video uplink device and the new AJ-HPX600 P2 camcorder with planned wireless integration features.

The move would further streamline ENG. By having the LU40i will be linked via the camera interface, camera operators can monitor the LiveU's transmission status and video transmission quality. That means a one-person remote crew can continue to shoot while managing the video uplink.

 "We want to deliver solutions for our broadcast customers that evolve with the pace of new technology, and the upgradeable HPX600 camcorder platform gives us the flexibility to do that," Bergeron noted. "When the operation of the LU40i is integrated with the camera, the complete system provides a high-quality video feed with the easiest remote operation yet."

The new AG-HPX600 is itself notable as the latest addition to the P2 HD camcorder line. Although it offers 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording, it weights only seven pounds, making it the lightest of any P2 shoulder-mount unit.

Also in response to demands for lower-priced storage media, Panasonic announced a new series of memory cards. The microP2 card, which has an SD card form factor, is expected to ship in 2013 along with a microP2 Card Adaptor so that the new 64GB and 32GB microP2 cards will operate in current P2 hardware.

During the press conference John Baisley, executive VP of Panasonic System Communications Company of North America (PSCNA) noted that more than 250,000 P2 cameras had shipped since their introduction.

In a third partnership to streamline ENG, Panasonic and Dejero announced plans to offer the Dejero LIVE+ NewsBook, a complete cellular uplink solution for remote production and ENG.

Dejero has created a version of its LIVE+ 20/20 Transmitter that enables the Panasonic Toughbook 53 semi-rugged notebook computer to transmit live video, edited packages, or media files over public broadband networks. This will not only allow a live input from a camera, but will also enhance the ability to stream an edited package back to a station in real time, the companies argued.

Panasonic also announced a number of other newer cameras and products, including the AG-AC160A and AG-AC130A, which are upgraded versions of its newest professional AVCCAM HD camcorders.