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CIA Issues Positive Report on Panasonic

Panasonic’s AV-HS450N HD live switcher
ATLANTA
Corporate Image Associates (CIA), is a national video services company and has been serving as a resource for corporate event producers since 1997. We have established a reputation for providing both cutting-edge video equipment and experienced on-site engineers for large and small corporate events for our client base.

We needed a high-definition production switcher to round out our capabilities and early this year purchased a Panasonic AV-HS450N HD/SD live switcher.

LARGE FEATURE SET

We were fortunate that our need for an HD switcher coincided with the availability of the HS450N, as it packs a big punch at a significantly lower cost than that of comparable switchers. It has become a key player in our video flypack system. The new switcher features 16 SD- or HD- SDI inputs, a built-in, dual-screen multivewer, multiple keyers, four aux busses, dual picture-in-picture capability, shot memory and 3D effects for both background and key inputs.

The HS450N has been seamlessly integrated with our multi-camera HD production package and has been a critical element in the success of large-scale staging projects for such clients as Home Depot, Best Buy and Subaru. Most of our assignments are multifaceted, often incorporating theatrical or entertainment components and require feeds to several destinations, which can range from projection screens to recording a line cut to disk or tape. With four HD-SDI/SD outputs and two scalable DVI outputs as standard, the HS450N affords versatile outputting that more than meets our requirements.

Initially, we took a serious look at the HS450N because of the brand recognition and Panasonic’s reputation for reliable gear. The demo was impressive, and we liked the switcher’s compact form factor, light weight, multiformat capability and ease of setup.

The multiviewer is a real asset too, with lots of layout options and an easy and sensible setup. Up to 16 images can viewed on a single screen, and a total of 20 can be configured for display on two screens. This eliminates the need for multiple HD source, preview, aux, and key monitors, providing a significant savings in cost and space, and also contributes to a flexible production workflow.

OPERATORS HAPPY WITH NEW SWITCHER

Our operators report that the HS450N’s control panel is well laid out, and the menu structure is good. There’s a good button “feel” and response, and they appreciate the fact that aux 1 is dissolvable. The keyers look good, and the outputs are clean.

We’re realizing a big return on our investment in the Panasonic switcher. In contrast to big, expensive broadcast-oriented models, this one is the ideal size for our environment. We feel we have the best of both worlds with the HS450N, as it has more than enough input/output structure and also incorporates options such as a full HD-DVI dual-input board that allows easy integration of 1920x1080 graphics or video into the live production workflow. Like any trusty tool box, the switcher has a lot of tools in it, some we’ve yet to deploy, but which we take comfort in knowing are there.

Wayne Moore has specialized in video staging for the past 25 years, and has also worked as an A/V engineer, video projectionist and project manager. He may be contacted atwayne@ciaevents.com.

For additional information, contact Panasonic at 201-348-5300 or visitwww.panasonic.com/broadcast.