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03.16.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Panasonic Varicam delivers 720p HD acquisition for ‘American Idol’ season four


"American Idol" is capturing all its feature electronic news packages in HD with Panasonic VariCam HD Cinema cameras.
For its fourth season, FOX’s “American Idol” has a new video format: 720p high definition. “American Idol” is capturing all its feature electronic news packages in HD with Panasonic VariCam HD Cinema cameras.

The Varicam cameras followed the show’s judges, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul as well as host, Ryan Seacrest, around the United States in search of this year’s winner.

The cameras were used for the large-scale auditions where more than 300 contestants per site tried out outside the audition room. During the next round of competition hometown packages were shot using the cameras as contenders emerge.

Camera operators shoot straight 16:9, 720p 59.94 (FOX Television's HD standard). This season, the production chose to add off-speed effects in post, not yet using VariCam's variable-frame rate capabilities. Editing is done at Chainsaw in Santa Monica, CA, where the off-line is done on the Avid Media Composer and the on-line is done with the Avid DS.

For more information, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

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