TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL’S BROADCAST JOURNALISM PROGRAM, BASED ON PANASONIC AVCCAM ACQUISITION, GENERATES CONTENT FOR TEXARKANA CABLE SUPPLIER’S EDUCATIONAL AND GOVERNMENT CHANNELS

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Texas High School Shoots with Panasonic AG-HMC150s for Texarkana Cable Supplier

SECAUCUS, NJ (December 17, 2009) – Texas High School (Texarkana, TX) has debuted a new state-of-the-art performance space, the Sullivan Performing Arts Center and John Thomas Theatre, which features three Panasonic AG-HPX300 P2 HD camcorders outfitted for studio use, an AV-HS400A HD/SD switcher and two PT-DW10000U 10000 lumen 1080p DLP projectors. In addition to Jazz Band, drama and choir performances, the new theatre will present the multifaceted work of many of the high school’s 220 broadcast journalist students, who shoot their projects on Panasonic AG-HMC150 professional handheld AVCCAM camcorders.

The broadcast program, named TigerVision in honor of the school mascot, began in 1989 as an elective class for students to learn video production. At the time, the students worked with second-hand video gear. Since then, TigerVision has grown into a highly-supported, award-winning program whose output airs on four channels, including three CableOne (the local cable supplier) channels and one on-campus closed-circuit channel. TigerVision students compete annually on a national level through organizations such as STN-Student Television Network, Channel One News and many others.

“Thanks to our Board of Trustees and Superintendent James Henry Russell, over the past 20 years, as TigerVision has expanded in terms of enrollment and curriculum, we’ve been able to ride the technology curve as well,� said Charles Aldridge, faculty director of the program. “When our students leave us, they are absolutely prepared to further their broadcast education, and we want them to be working on ‘real-world’ gear here. The HDV camcorders weren’t measuring up in terms of professional controls, especially audio, and we wanted to go tapeless.�

“Based on our years of positive experience with Panasonic cameras, we checked out the AVCCAM models,� Aldridge continued. “The HMC150 delivers most of the controls you’d find on a full-scale ENG camera, including the two XLR audio inputs, which gets us away from consumer-level audio. The camcorder is tapeless, lightweight, cost-effective and uses widely available, low-cost SD media. We promptly purchased an additional four HMC150s, and once the kids got their hands on them, they never touched the tape cameras again!�

Texas High School students can begin studying broadcast journalism as early as eighth grade (TigerVision Junior). Upperclassmen (10th grade and above) take “Basics of Shooting� and “Learning to Shoot ENG� classes that rely on the HMC150s for instruction. Content creation is largely the purview of 11th and 12th graders, and ranges from the “Eye of the Tiger� magazine-style show to locker-room coverage to stories about civic events to producing the Miss Texas High School. Stories can air on multiple channels, including the school’s closed-circuit network, and CableOne’s educational (TEACH Texarkana) and government access channels. TigerVision also produces a bulletin board channel for CableOne.

“CableOne has been instrumental in TigerVision’s growth,� said Aldridge, “even to the extent of hooking up a fiber optic connection between us and their head-end.�

Aldridge, his assistant and students typically shoot in the in the HMC150’s highest-quality PH (average 21 Mbps/max. 24 Mbps) or HA (17Mbps) modes at 1080/60i. TigerVision operates an Apple Lab with 10 MacBook Pros that run Final Cut Studio 3. “FCP v.7 fully supports AVCHD editing, and the students were up and running on it within a day. Posting AVCHD has streamlined our logging procedures, how we choose our shots and compile a story,� Aldridge said.

HMC150-shot material never sees tape. After the edit, it is sent as a single file to an Apple-based server that can feed Harris InfoCaster Players™, content play-out devices that synchronize and deliver content from multiple sources to multiple remote displays, in this case to the CableOne channels (including the player for the government access channel that resides at Texarkana’s City Hall) and TigerVision’s own campus channel.

The John Thomas Theatre’s premiere event this evening will be an “Orange Carpet Affair� (orange is a school color) with 1000 invited guests. Music, Band, theatre and broadcast students will present vignettes of their work in a program produced by Aldridge and TigerVision to air live on CableOne’s TEACH channel.

In the theatre, the HPX300s will be placed on rolling tripods and equipped with VariZoom lens controls. Footage will be fed via an SDI line to the HS400A switcher in the production booth, then output to the two DW10000U HD projectors (one on either side of the stage). Material will also be recorded to an AJA Ki Pro digital disk recorder. The program will output live via an SDI signal over fiber to the TigerVision production studio, where in turn the coverage can be sent live via the InfoCaster Players to CableOne or the closed-circuit network. It is only when the signal leaves the building for CableOne that it needs to be down-converted to SD.

Aldridge said he will put a Mac Pro equipped with a Blackmagic Design HD Extreme HDMI card in the theatre’s tech room so quick HD edits can be performed, with an HD package then exported to the DLP projectors and/or to the Ki Pro HD recorder for archiving.

“We’ve been testing out the HPX300s in our studios prior to the theatre’s opening, and will continue to use the camcorders in many other areas when they’re not assigned to the theatre,� Aldridge said. “The image quality is phenomenal.�

“Over the years, my experience with Panasonic gear is that there’s never any compromise on quality, but there’s still a better price,� he added. “So when the fit is right, I go with Panasonic.�

The Panasonic professional video equipment was purchased from VideoTex Systems, Dallas, TX.

For more information about Texas High School’s TigerVision program, visit www.tigervision.org.

About the AG-HMC150

Based on the proven design and advanced functionality of the highly popular DVX100, the HMC150 professional handheld AVCCAM camcorder provides professionals and enthusiasts alike the flexibility of high-quality 1080/720 AVCHD recording at bit rates up to 24Mbps and a simple, solid-state SD memory card workflow. AVCHD, the industry’s new MPEG-4 / AVC Hi Profile compression format, provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency with improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression used in HDV formats. The handheld incorporates three 1/3-inch progressive CCD imagers to produce stunning 1920 x 1080 resolution picture quality. It is equipped with a high-performance 28 mm (35mm equivalent) wide-angle Leica Dicomar™ 13x zoom lens and 24- and 30-frame progressive capture in a full range of HD formats, making it well suited for all types of projects. For more information on the HMC150, visit www.panasonic.com/AVCCAM.

About the AG-HPX300

Incorporating a low profile shoulder-mounted design, the AG-HPX300 incorporates advanced 1/3� 2.2-megapixel 3-MOS imagers to acquire full native resolution HD images. These advanced 3-MOS imagers provide exceptional image quality while minimizing any noise or sacrificing dynamic range. A new 20-bit digital signal processor (DSP) enhances the HPX300’s image performance. Delivering the quality of AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50, the HPX300 also records independent frame images in 100Mbps DVCPRO HD and in standard definition in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. The HPX300 offers the security of a five-year warranty program (one year + four additional years with registration), ultimate quality and flexibility in an affordable ($10,700 SLP), full-size HD camcorder. For more information about the HPX300, visit www.panasonic.com/P2HD.

About the AV-HS400A

The enhanced AV-HS400A offers an array of powerful features including a built-in MultiViewer image preview, full 10-bit HD processing, expandable HD/SD architecture, more than 40 digital effects and picture-in-picture (PIP) capabilities. As a compact, all-in-one mixer system, the HS400A easily integrates into existing HD/SD workflows, flawlessly mixing HD and SD video sources using a wide range of optional I/O boards. Its modular architecture comes standard with four HD/SD-SDI inputs and four HD/SDI outputs and can be expanded to support up to 8 inputs and 8 outputs with optional I/O boards. For more information, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

About Panasonic Broadcast

Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

# # #
Editorial Contacts:
Stacy Moore Pat Lamb
(201) 392-4458 (518) 692-8150
moorest@us.panasonic.com patalamb@aol.com

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