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Panasonic Unveils Pre-NAB Product Plans

Panasonic Solutions Company unveiled a slew of new products at its annual pre-NAB press conference today, with a particular focus on hardware and software designed to improve workflow and reduce costs for its broadcast clients.

The announcements included news that the cost of 64GB P2 cards would drop by more than 30% and the launch of a wireless module to transfer content from cameras to PC, iPads and other devices.

The company also discussed its plans to release AVCCAM Importer software to streamline workflow and speed up editing; a low-cost archiving software solution for P2 content; a new P2 drive that offers the faster transfer speeds of USB 3.0; a new BT-LH910 3D monitor; and the AG-HPD24 P2 portable deck with native 24P recording capabilities.

During the announcements, Panasonic executives noted they had been an early pioneer in solid state storage, a move that the industry has since embraced but also acknowledged that the customers had been asking for lower cost storage.

In response, the company has lowered the cost of its 64GB P2 cards to $695, more than a 30% reduction, and it also reduced the cost of its 34GB card to $480 and the 16GB selling to $380.

Products designed to improve workflow and reduce the cost of production were another major theme in its pre-NAB product announcements.

Panasonic's new AVCCAM Importer software provides a QuickTime plug-in that eliminates the need to convert AVCHD ".mts" files to ProRES422 files before editing in Final Cut Pro.

In another time-saving development, its new AJ-PCD30 three slot card drive comes with a USB 3.0 connection, which allows content to be offloaded from P2 cards must faster at up to 4.8Gbps. The card drive also offloads AVC-Intra 100 footage at more than 15 times real time and can transfer data from up to three P2 cards simultaneously.

The AJ-PCD30 will be available in the summer for a suggested price of $2,225.

The company also introduced a wireless system, the AJ-WM30 Wireless Module, and AJ-SFU3100 software that is designed to allow producers to edit content much faster and to easily transfer content from the camera to a variety of devices, including PCs, iPads and iPhones.

To address a growing need for lower cost archiving solutions, Panasonic also introduce new archiving software that archives material on LTO tapes. The AJ-SF100 Linear Open-Tape (LTO) Archive software will be priced at $5,000 when it becomes available in May and the AJ-SF110 Video Ingest software for the system will come with a suggest cost of $2,500.

Company executives also reiterated their plans to help clients reduce the cost of 3D productions and their support for the technology.

New 3D capable gear include a new AG-HPD24 portable solid state deck, which can handle both 2D and 3D content, and a new BT-LH910 9 inch LCD monitor that weighs only 3.7 pounds, light enough to be mounted on a 3D rig.