Panasonic Solutions Company today highlighted several significant announcements that will foster the next wave of professional 3D production. With the availability of the highly-anticipated AG-3DA1 fully-integrated Full HD professional 3D camcorder and 25” 3D production monitor, and a new multi-year partnership with Bexel, Panasonic is making affordable 3D production tools more accessible to a broad range of professional content producers.
The company also pointed to the imminent availability of 85”, 103” and 152”—the world’s biggest—large format Full HD 3D plasma displays.
“Panasonic’s new suite of professional 3D products is a linchpin of the company’s end-to-end 3D strategy, and will provide wide-ranging, cost-effective opportunities for 3D content creators,” said Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic Solutions Company. “In addition to Panasonic-developed technology, the Bexel relationship is further evidence of Panasonic’s commitment to providing platforms for our customers to develop and improve 3D production techniques as consumer and business demand for an immersive viewing experience increases.”
Accessible, Affordable Professional 3D Camera and Production Equipment
The AG-3DA1, which began shipping last week, is the world's first professional, fully-integrated Full HD 3D camcorder recording to SD card media. The AG-3DA1 has the potential to democratize 3D production by giving professional videographers a more affordable, flexible, reliable and easy-to-use tool for capturing immersive content.
At less than 6.6 pounds, the AG-3DA1 is equipped with dual lenses and two full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD. It can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in Panasonic's professional AVCHD PH mode, and offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes. The AG-3DA1 has a suggested list price of $21,000.00.
Also shipping now, the new BT-3DL2550 3D LCD Monitor, with professional features such as dual HD-SDI and DVI interfaces and multiple display options, is a powerful 3D production tool, whether working with the 3DA1 camcorder or with 3D rigs. The BT-3DL2550 displays high-quality, flicker-free 3D content, and offers a full 1920 x 1200 display, exceptional color performance and a ruggedized frame. Additionally, this display supports high-quality 2D performance.
The BT-3DL2550 delivers three stereo (3D) display options, including Simultaneous (dual SDI), Line-by-Line, and Side-by-Side, and the same exceptional-quality color reproduction as Panasonic’s popular BT-LH2550 LCD production monitor. The monitor displays 3D content using an Xpol® polarizing filter, so content can be viewed with Panasonic’s BT-PGL10G 3D Polarized (passive) Glasses.
Its size and weight make it portable for any 2D or 3D production, with versatile tools to simplify 3D rig production and save costs, since no separate stereo processor is required. These tools include side-by-side viewing for color matching, Flip and HIT (Horizontal Image Translation). The BT-3DL2550 has a suggested list price of $9,900, which includes two BT-PGL10G 3D Polarized Glasses.
Filling out Panasonic’s suite of 3D production gear, the AG-HMX100, the industry’s first affordable live switcher for 3D event production, will ship later this month. The multi-format HMX100 is an all-in-one unit with video switching, audio mixing, and frame synchronization, designed to support multiple camera workflows, from production, to corporate A/V projects, to wedding and live events. The HMX100 has a suggested list price of $5,800.
Field-tested 3D Technology from Panasonic
Panasonic technology has already been successfully field tested by industry professionals. There have been several high-profile productions utilizing pre-production models of the AG-3DA1 and BT-3DL2550 in the months leading up to the products’ availability:
- Veteran cinematographer Randall Dark shot a travel documentary series, 3 Cities in 3D, which will air on Wealth TV in 3D this fall.
- AIX Media Group shot the first 3D music albums comprising six discrete 3D DVDs that feature such top musical talent as Grammy-winning pop artist Rita Coolidge and multi-platinum country artist Mark Chesnutt.
- Prominent event videographers Bruno White Entertainment and Lafayette Hill Studios shot wedding videos at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort and in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Wedding trailers were screened at last week’s Wedding and Event Video Expo.
- Chicago-based director Fred Blurton shot a music video with bluegrass musician Brian Hilligoss as well as demo stand-ups with investigative journalist Bill Kurtis.
Panasonic Partners with Bexel to Promote Cost-Effective 3D Content Creation
Announced earlier today, Panasonic’s partnership with Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, is designed to provide a highly flexible mobile facility for the production of full HD 3D programming in support of Direct TV and other leading 3D content providers.
Through their joint partnership, Bexel will have six 3D camera rigs, four from 3Ality Digital and two from Parallax3, all equipped with the Panasonic AK-HC1500 1080i/720p HD multi-purpose cameras. These rigs will be able to be paired with many of Bexel’s flypack systems, enabling customers to shoot multi-camera productions in 3D. Bexel is also outfitting its 53-foot edit trailer, BBS1, as a mid-sized 3D production environment for those producers who need a workspace or a viewing area for their 3D production. The trailer will incorporate additional Panasonic professional 3D products, including AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D camcorders and advanced 25” BT-3DLH2500 production monitors. Beginning this month, Bexel will offer the truck and its services on a rental basis.
“Our partnership with Panasonic will provide our customers with an array of cost-effective 3D tools,” says Jerry Gepner, chief executive officer, Vitec Services Division and president of Bexel. “For 3D to truly reach its potential, production companies have to start employing it across a wide range of content, not just major events. Until now, operating costs and scalability were two of the factors preventing that from becoming a reality.”
Full Suite of Large Format Full HD 3D Plasma Displays, Including World’s Largest
Panasonic recently introduced the highly anticipated Panasonic TH-152UX1 152-inch, 4K x 2K (4096 x 2160) resolution Full HD 3D plasma display, the world’s largest1. Equivalent to nine 50-inch screens, this stunning 17:9 display will immerse spectators in life-like, three-dimensional images and can illustrate even oversized products with life-size views. The company has also announced the TH-103VX200U and TH-85VX200U, 3D versions of its premium 103-inch and 85-inch plasma displays. These products will ship in December 2010, at suggested list prices of $65,000 and $45,000, respectively. The TH-152UX1 is targeted to be available in January 2011.
Ideal for a broad spectrum of cutting-edge applications, the three new Full HD 3D large-format plasmas are designed for utilization in corporate environments, in commercial applications, healthcare, in home theatres and screening rooms, for digital signage in public facilities, in education and in entertainment staging.