Video Review of Panasonic HPX-301 Wednesday 9am

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Sorry due to last minute tweaks the 301 review still needs to upload to Exposure Room and that process cuts me from the internet so I will leave this till about 12.30am. It will be available tomorrow morning at 9am (Wednesday).

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HDMI 1.4 with new features

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SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 27, 2009 – HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface® (HDMI®) specification, today announced the features that will be incorporated in the upcoming HDMI 1.4 specification. This latest version of the HDMI specification will, among other advancements, offer networking capabilities with Ethernet connectivity and will add an Audio Return Channel to enable upstream audio connections via the HDMI cable. The HDMI specification 1.4 will be available for download on the HDMI LLC website no later than June 30, 2009.

The HDMI 1.4 specification will offer the following enhanced functionalities:

* HDMI Ethernet Channel

The HDMI 1.4 specification will add a data channel to the HDMI cable and will enable high-speed bi-directional communication. Connected devices that include this feature will be able to send and receive data via 100 Mb/sec Ethernet, making them instantly ready for any IP-based application.

The HDMI Ethernet Channel will allow an Internet-enabled HDMI device to share its Internet connection with other HDMI devices without the need for a separate Ethernet cable. The new feature will also provide the connection platform to allow HDMI-enabled devices to share content between devices.

* Audio Return Channel

The new specification will add an Audio Return Channel that will reduce the number of cables required to deliver audio upstream for processing and playback. In cases where HDTVs are directly receiving audio and video content, this new Audio Return Channel allows the HDTV to send the audio stream to the A/V receiver over the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for an extra cable.

* 3D Over HDMI

The 1.4 version of the specification will define common 3D formats and resolutions for HDMI-enabled devices. The specification will standardize the input/output portion of the home 3D system and will specify up to dual-stream 1080p resolution.

* 4K x 2K Resolution Support

The new specification will enable HDMI devices to support high-definition (HD) resolutions four times beyond the resolution of 1080p. Support for 4K x 2K will allow the HDMI interface to transmit content at the same resolution as many digital theaters. Formats supported include:

3840×2160 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz       4096×2160 24Hz

* Expanded Support For Color Spaces

HDMI technology now supports color spaces designed specifically for digital still cameras. By supporting sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601, HDMI-enabled display devices will be capable of reproducing more accurate life-like colors when connected to a digital still camera.

* Micro HDMI Connector

The Micro HDMI Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin connector that supports up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices. This new connector is approximately 50% smaller than the size of the existing HDMI Mini Connector.

* Automotive Connection System

The Automotive Connection System is a cabling specification designed to be used as the basis for in-vehicle HD content distribution. The HDMI 1.4 specification will provide a solution designed to meet the rigors and environmental issues commonly found in automobiles, such as heat, vibration and noise. Using the Automotive Connection System, automobile manufactures will now have a viable solution for distributing HD content within the car.

“The HDMI specification continues to add functionality as the consumer electronics and PC industries build products that enhance the consumer’s HD experience,” said Steve Venuti, president of HDMI Licensing, LLC. “The 1.4 specification will support some of the most exciting and powerful near-term innovations such as Ethernet connectivity and 3D formats. Additionally we are going to broaden our solution by providing a smaller connector for portable devices and a connection system specified for automobiles, as we see both more and different devices adopting the HDMI technology.“

Consumers will also see new HDMI cables introduced to the market. In order to take advantage of the HDMI Ethernet Channel, consumers will need to purchase either a Standard HDMI cable with Ethernet, or a High Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet. Consumers connecting an external device to an in-vehicle HDMI-enabled HD system will need the new Automotive HDMI cable. Consumers can expect to see new HDMI 1.4 cables introduced to the market when new HDMI 1.4 devices are available.

Consumers will have a choice of the following HDMI cables:

* Standard HDMI Cable – supports data rates up to 1080i/60;
* High Speed HDMI Cable – supports data rates beyond 1080p, including Deep Color and all 3D formats of the   new 1.4 specification;
* Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet – includes Ethernet connectivity;
* High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet – includes Ethernet connectivity;
* Automotive HDMI Cable – allows the connection of external HDMI-enabled devices to an in-vehicle HDMI     device.

The HDMI standard continues to grow in the marketplace with now over 850 adopters worldwide. The growing adoption of the HDMI specification by both consumer electronics and PC manufacturers further strengthens its position as the worldwide standard for high-definition digital connectivity. According to market research firm In-Stat, over 394 million HDMI-enabled devices are expected to ship in 2009, with an installed base of 1 billion devices. By the end of 2009 100% of digital televisions are expected to have at least one HDMI input.

The HDMI specification 1.4 will be available for download at http://www.hdmi.org no later than June 30, 2009.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Sony EX-1, EX-3 a word of warning

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ex3-side11I still do not know what the answer is to this problem but I would like to share a word of warning…I was filming yesterday and choose to film in SP 1080i mode as I had a 12 hour day. Now as we all know we do not film 12 hours of material in a 12 hour day but those precious 22 extra minutes per 16Gig card can be useful.

Now why did I choose 1080i and not 720p well firstly there is a lot of action footage and the final production ends up on SD DVD and watched mainly in the UK. A rule of thumb for filming in HD is as follows…

1. End result = DVD = interlace

2. End result = web = progressive

So I stupidly choose SP mode instead of HQ mode to “save on card space”. My 16G cards being SDHC Transend cards for archive purposes as this job will not be completed till sometime in July. So you start to see the picture…I was saving card space when I had at least three 16G SDHC cards with me and even at full HD would not fill 3 cards. 

So as they say in the good old Indiana Jones films “You choose badly”…why. I have an Apple Mac Pro with an AJA io HD box so I can afford to start with the best setting and down convert later if needed. 

To get to the point I was reviewing some of yesterdays shots and it came to the canoe section when I noticed square pixel boxing all over the water shots to be fair this will not be seen by the time it gets to an SD DVD but it’s there all the same. I have not experienced this before but I also have a nagging doubt that it may also be the cards fault as well.

In my own Sherlock fashon I took things back to basics and tried to re-create the problem without success…I filmed a sink of water at 1440 and 1920 but both looked fine although the 1920 was crisper looking as you would expect, but no blocking.

Fortunately 99% of the footage is fine and it spans 2h 24m using 3 cards I had forgot I had used 20mins of one of the cards last week. So my advice is as follows…

1. Only choose HQ mode for filming with the EX1, EX3

2. Web based productions look better shot with 720P 50

3. TV and DVD based productions look better with motion shot on 1920 x 1080i 50

4. If like me you need archive where the SxS card becomes a pain only use Transend Class 6 SDHC or Panasonic Class 10 SDHC cards.

My conclusions…

I doubt if this was card problems as the rest of the footage is fine and the SDHC card is only a problem if you are using over cranking as they do not work in this mode. You do not get a choice of HQ and SD for the sake of it…HQ gives you the best quality so don’t compromise for the sake of a £40 SDHC card !

UPDATE…It’s not a card problem it’s the technology, seemingly moving water is very hard for digital to understand and compresses it into wee square boxes, you only see this effect when you have moving water. I filmed further test footage this morning and it did not matter a hoot wether it was on HQ or SQ mode and I also filmed onto Sony SxS and SDHC both the same quality…though the HQ pictures were much punchier.

I have to admit I have not filmed a lot of water shots with this camera so I was caught out when I suddenly saw the square boxes in the moving water but as I can do nothing about it I will avoid filming water sports in the future. The best part about video is that you never stop learning.

 

 

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Smooth Radio Glasgow

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Smooth Radio Glasgow By Philip Johnston
View in HD  Download 360p Version  Visit Philip Johnston’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

I needed shots for my review of the Panasonic HPX-301 so I rang my friend Jenny to see if I could film her doing her Sunday afternoon show. Jenny was happy to help out…to put you in the picture Jenny and I worked with each other about 25 years ago in a cable television station called Clyde Cable Vision.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

EDIUS Neo software bundled with selected AVCCAM camcorders

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ediusneo2_promo_prPanasonic bundles EDIUS Neo 2 software with selected AVCCAM tapeless camcorders

Wiesbaden, Germany, 28 May, 2009: Panasonic Broadcast and IT Systems (PBITS) Europe is now including Grass Valley’s new EDIUS Neo 2 editing software for free, with purchases of its AG-HMC71EU and AG-HMC151EU AVCCAM tapeless camcorders using the slogan “Professional editing at a glance – just solid state!”.

The bundle is applicable to all units purchased and registered on Panasonic’s website from April 1st 2009 until March 1st 2010. Users will receive a product ID enabling them to install the Edius Neo 2 software after registering at Panasonic’s dedicated website. 

For full offer details and terms and conditions users have to go to: http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com/en/news/Edius_Promo.php

Nela Pertl, Market Intelligence Manager at Panasonic PBITS said: “Panasonic is always looking at ways to make professional video production more cost effective, without sacrificing on quality and functionality. The EDIUS Neo 2 editing suite is a versatile software package that provides the perfect complement to these highly reliable and efficient camcorders. We’re confident that this latest offer will be of significant interest to a wide range of video professionals looking for a top quality HD recording and editing solution.”

“The Grass Valley EDIUS Neo 2 software bundled with these Panasonic AVCCAM cameras ensures that users will not only be able to acquire high-quality, high definition footage, but can edit that footage creatively as well, even when shot in PH mode,” said Mark Narveson, Director of International Product Marketing, Desktop & Enterprise Solutions for Grass Valley.

Grass Valley’s EDIUS Neo 2 editing suite provides multi-format video editing capabilities, up to 24mbps, and in full HD resolution. It supports native editing of various formats including AVCHD, HDV, DV, Windows Media and QuickTime and provides a realtime workflow that support mixing of all formats within the same timeline.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

A note for new product press releases

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warned

If you want exposure on my web blog please supply a picture of the item you are writing about. I will not print any press releases unless accompanied by at least one decent resolution picture of your product.

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Canon 5D Mark II new firmware in June

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For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

IDX CW-5HD Cam-Wave System $5995

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Any DP who has had clients or producers looking over his shoulder as he shoots, can readily appreciate being able to have them monitor the shoot unobtrusively and wirelessly. Until recently, that was difficult enough to do in SD, let alone in HD. However, thanks to some new wireless standards, MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology and OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) data modulation, that is precisely what IDX’s Cam-Wave HDwireless video system is designed to do. 

Cam-Wave HD (or CW-5HD for short) uses the same core components as a wireless audio system, a transmitter and a receiver, to operate in license-free spectrum. However, the configuration is a bit different with the transmitter linked to a camera and the receiver typically connected to a monitor, or possibly to a video recorder. CW-5HD is a completely uncompressed wireless system that supports both SD and HD SDI video, as well as two channels of SDI-embedded audio. Moreover, it supports multiple streams of video, and can handle multiple formats, including 1080i/23.98Psf. Its signal latency is rated at less than 1 ms, or, effectively, no noticeable latency. 

CW-5HD uses IEEE 802.11 standards for wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communications in the 5GHz and 2.4GHz public spectrum bands, developed by the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN standards committee. However, it uses the latest versions of that standard to achieve the high date rates needed for multiple streams of HD video. This maximum raw data rate supported is 54 Mbps.

The system also uses the proposed 802.11n standard, which adds MIMO OFDM and other new features for a maximum raw data rate of 300 Mbps. Moreover, it achieves a minimum effective operating range of up to 150′, line-of-sight.

ch5hdThe transmitter and receiver are both fairly lightweight, less than 2 lb. each. The transmitter mounts to the camera via a standard V-lock, or Anton/Bauer mount, and includes an identical mount for the respective battery, which powers both transmitter and camera. The same is true for the receiver, which has the same form factor and looks quite similar to some IDX chargers. Each unit draws only 12 watts when operational.

The transmitter includes a five-position frequency selector dial with channels 1-4 and auto select, plus a uni/multi-channel option switch. There is also a high/ low power mode switch, plus an LED status indicator. On the opposite side of the transmitter is an HD-SDI input and an HD-SDI output, plus a standard four-pin 12v DC power plug. The receiver has the same form factor and uni/multi-channel switch, but no channel selector. It senses whatever signal is sent. It features two HD SDI output connections. Both units are finished in slate black and trimmed with IDX’s signature shades of violet and blue.

The Cam-Wave HD system arrived in an official IDX kit carrying bag with lots of side pockets for batteries and cables, and a sturdy strap. Inside was a complete package for operating the system with any HD SDI camera or camcorder. The system also includes the TX CW-5HD transmitter, the RX CW-5HD receiver, BNC cables, several 55w Endura 7 batteries, dual-channel IDX charger, plus a 7″ Nebtek 70 HDS monitor in a sturdy dual-handle frame for easy handholding. The kit also included an IDX 14.4 power adaptor with a V-lock mount for use with a Canon XL series camcorder. This enabled a Canon XL H1 camcorder to be used for this evaluation. The CW-5HD set can also be used with any pro camcorders equipped with HD SDI.

After connecting the transmitter to the camcorder and the receiver to the Nebtek monitor, I fired everything up only to get a “no-signal” error display in the monitor. After several attempts at troubleshooting, I called in for technical support. This confirmed that all of the settings on the transmitter were correct and also for the receiver. I finally got wise and decided to swap out the Nebtek monitor for a multistandard 8″ unit I had. Sure enough, as soon as I made the substitution I got a good HD signal. Problem solved.

No further adjustment was necessary, as the HD signal transmission was flawless and quite impressive. I could now ready to test the system’s performance.

My first test was fairly basic, and done inside my home. I turned the camcorder on and framed a scene at the very front end of the house. I then took the monitor and receiver to the far end, about 75′ away with three sturdy walls in between. Even though there was some distortion and signal breakup while I was walking, the signal was crisp and rock steady once I stopped. This continued as I stepped outside and traveled another 20′ or so. Again there was some minor breakup while I was moving, and which vanished when I stopped. However, as soon as I descended a stairway that put me some was 5′ or 6′ below my “line-of-sight” to the camcorder, the signal broke up and then vanished altogether. Apparently, the issue was not distance between transmitter and receiver, but rather dropping below the signal path.

Next, I took the monitor and receiver for a walk down the driveway, after moving the camcorder and transmitter within a line-of-sight down the driveway through a glass-paneled storm door. As I continued down the driveway some young evergreen trees and a pickup truck got in the signal path, but did not critically impede the HD signal. In fact, I managed to walk at least 150′ before I lost the signal. However, there was some breakup and signal deterioration just past the halfway mark. On my next attempt I moved the transmitter slightly to improve the line-of-sight, while following the same route down the driveway. This extended the CW-5HD’s range by another 20′ to 30′.

Then, I brought the camcorder and transmitter unit outside and placed them about 5′ above ground, and in line with the driveway. Again I made the walk down the driveway with the receiver and monitor in hand. This time I was able to make 170′ before the digital dropouts really increased. However, the signal remained usable, especially when I paused and aimed the monitor/receiver directly at the transmitter. I finally lost the HD signal at about 240′, some 90′ past the unit’s stated maximum range of 150′ line-of-sight.

As encouraging as the 240′ distance was, I couldn’t help but wonder if it could be improved if all obstacles were removed from the signal path. To test this, I mounted the camcorder and Cam-Wave transmitter on a tripod at the sidewalk end of the driveway and began pacing down the sidewalk with the receiver and monitor. The signal remained strong and clear again for at least 240′, but got a bit noisy after that. The dropouts abated if I paused momentarily. I finally stopped at nearly 300′ from the transmitter, to see if I could still receive a completely clean image at that distance. To my surprise, about 90 percent of the dropouts did clear up, leaving a slightly noisy, but very viewable image. I resumed walking slowly and noticed that the dropouts began to reappear incrementally beyond 310′. Still, the system kept a picture of sorts up all the way out to about 340′.

To see if these results were valid, I did one more test in an area with a completely clear line-of-sight. This time I backed away from the transmitter starting at around 240′ and backing away while facing the transmitter. I stopped just before the 300′ mark to see if the slowly increasing digital breakup would subside. This time I was able to maintain a viewable HD image until the system crashed just past 360′. This confirmed that, although there’s no guarantee, it could be possible to use CW-5HD to monitor a camera’s activity, from the length of a football field, at least under ideal conditions. 

It’s worth noting that I did not have an opportunity to check the HD signals on a waveform monitor to determine at what point they were and were not technically valid. A brief discussion with IDX experts suggested that when the equipment is used within the stated range of 100′ with obstacles, and 150′ without obstacles, proper signals are available for critical applications. The IDX sources cautioned that the Cam-Wave HD package is not designed for transmitting a “legally” recordable HD signal, but that it is often used for that purpose.

IDX’s Cam-Wave offers a simple, effective way to monitor, transmit or record HD and SD camera images remotely and wirelessly. It leaves the cameraperson unimpeded by entangling cables. By combining new WLAN standards, data modulation and recent advances in antenna technology, Cam-Wave is able to achieve data rates greater than 1.243 Gbps, without compression. This enables the wireless transmission of a sharp, high-definition video signal with embedded SDI audio, with very minimal latency. 
Transmission distances are impressive and the system supports multiple SD and HD video formats including 1080i/23.98Psf.

The CW-5HD’s uses could include remote news, field production video assist, telemedicine applications, video relay in large theaters, arenas, sports stadiums, training facilities and other such venues. It could also be used with special effects cameras or lipstick cameras for transmitting signals to a remotely located recorder for risky special effects locations/applications or for surveillance purposes. 

REPORT BY Carl Mrozek (www.dv.com)

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Sony UWP-V Diversity Radio Mic mini REVIEW

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sony-uwp-v167bThis compact, true diversity system is an outstanding value at £489 for the Bodypack Lavalier packages. The UWP-V Series replaces the UWP-C Series, with enhancements that include: a rugged, all-metal chassis and Mic/Line switchable input at the transmitter. PLL-synthesized tuning, space-diversity reception, and all the professional wireless features that made the UWP-C series a popular choice. 

The camera-mountable URX-P2 receiver features swivel antennas and space-diversity technology which stabilizes reception and minimizes RF interference by selecting the strongest incoming signal. It features a convenient auto channel scanning function that automatically detects unoccupied channels, allowing operators easily to select the most appropriate channel to use. A stereo mini-jack output with monitor volume control is featured and both stereo, mini and XLR cables are provided. An LCD display provides channel & frequency information, battery life, RF-input level, audio-output status and accumulated operating time. The receiver operates on two “AA” batteries for up to 8 hours. The URX-P2s compact design and included shoe-mount adapter allows for easy mounting to most camcorders.

The improved UTX-P1 plug-in and UTX-B2 bodypack transmitters feature comprehensive LCD displays and a Mic/Line-level switch for standard wired microphones line-level sources. Selectable output power provides a choice between 5mW output, which is suitable for simultaneous multi-channel operation or 30mW output for long distance transmission. The 5mW output mode also helps conserve battery life. Like the URX-P2 receiver, the transmitters feature 188 selectable UHF frequencies and operate for up to 8 hours on two “AA” alkaline batteries.

This was my first break from Sehnheizer radio mics, what attracted me to this system was the diversity receiver and the 3.5 jack monitor socket, this allows you to stick your headphones on and check the radio mic without having to switch on your camcorder. It is also a lot quieter than the  G2 Sehnheizer radio mic therefore it is used 99% of the time in my kit. The addition of diversity makes this almost a flawless radio system certainly for work of up to 25 meters. I also find the 2 “AA” batteries last a fair bit longer than the equivalent Sehnheizer 9V battery set-up and the battery indicator is a great feature.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Larry’s Tip of the Day 9

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