Say Hello to Panasonic's 24P AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD Camcorder
... and "Toodle-oo" to MPEG-2?
To underscore the point, Panasonic displayed examples of footage compressed over multiple generations using both MPEG-2 and AVC-I side by side on a large flat panel. The results portrayed MPEG-2 artifacting in a poor light indeed. (Still, it's unclear what direct implications the relative shoddy appearance of footage that's been compressed over five generations might have on working shooters.)
Interestingly, Panasonic executives did not take the opportunity to directly slag the rival codec, which is used in Sony's similarly tapeless XDCAM line-up, which records images to optical discs. Instead, that task fell to an actress on-stage during the presentation, playing a dingy but bubbly blonde newscaster who declared, loudly, "It's toodle-oo to MPEG-2!"
(For its own part, Sony has stressed the maturity of MPEG-2 solutions over their more cutting-edge H.264 counterparts.)
The AVC-I introduction comes at a time when broadcasters are considering upgrading their newsgathering systems. Cox Broadcasting, for example, now plans to convert news operations at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, and WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, to P2 starting in January.
Also on offer from Panasonic is the new AJ-HPM100 P2 HD mobile recorder, with its six P2 card slots, which is now shipping at a suggested list price of $12,000. Next July, an AVC-Intra board will be available as an option.