NAB 2011: Panasonic ups commitment to 3D

Panasonic AG-3DA1

Panasonic's groundbreaking AG-3DA1 3D camcorder

Panasonic is promising the usual surprises once the NAB show floor opens, but it has laid out developments that lower the cost of 3D production and build on the company’s momentum with the AG-3DA1 3D camcorder.

There will be three key introductions: a low-cost solid-state P2 deck, a new 9in monitor that can be used for 3D alignment and monitoring, and a 3D input card for the AV-HS450 16-input production switcher.

Bob Harris, VP of business development for Panasonic Solutions, says the €5000 solid-state P2 deck, the AG-HPD24, provides an affordable, high-quality 3D recording format since two decks can be synched together. The deck also has 10-bit, 4:2:2 master-quality video and allows users to play back and review P2 cards on its 3.5-in., 16:9 LCD screen and is only a half-rack wide and weighs 5.5 lb. Two units can be synchronized for master-quality, full-resolution isolated left/right-channel 3D recording, from either cameras mounted on a 3D rig (such as Panasonic’s AK-HC1800 multipurpose cameras) or its AG-3DA1 integrated dual-lens 3D camcorder. Two HPD24s can be synchronized for full HD-SDI 3D or 3D HDMI playback.

The HPD24’s SuperSpeed USB 3.0 host interface also permits transfer rates up to 4.8 Gbps, allowing users to transfer content to low-cost hard-disk drives or solid-state drives for a fast, safe deliverable to clients.

“It’s part of our commitment to end-to-end 3D solutions,” says Harris.

Another part of the commitment is the new BT-LH910 9in LCD monitor that can display multiple SD/HD formats and can be used to check convergence, color, focus and zoom, and luminance of 3D video. It also has HDMI and 3G-SDI connections.

“We decided to refresh the BT-LH900 with 3D capability and best-in-class 1280×768 XGA pixel resolution,” says Harris.

The BT-LH910 incorporates a 2x SDI IN overlay and side-by-side display to provide a 2D view of various 3D checks: composition, convergence, color and luminance, focus and zoom position, parallax. Panasonic says the “3D assist” function is ideal for production crews that require 3D review in the field, such as when using a 3D rig system.

The BT-LH910 will be available in April priced at €3000.

And those looking to round out their 3D-production capabilities can check out the AV-HS450 production switcher with 16 inputs. A new 3D SDI output card allows 3D dissolves and effects, and, although the board will be priced at $5,900, Harris says that those who purchase the switcher by the end of March will receive the 3D board for free.

“Stereoscopic chroma-key compositing,” he says, “can also be smoothly achieved on location in real time.”

For Panasonic, the latest steps are in keeping with efforts like the 3D innovations center in Los Angeles.

“It take time for formats to get adopted,” Harris says of the current state of 3D in the consumer market. “But it took 10 years for HD to get to 1 million sets in homes. There is momentum, and we are at the forefront of 3D.”

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