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Cox Channel 4/407 expands HD push

Cox Communications is making a major push to expand its HD channel’s full conversion to HD production with the a significant purchase of equipment to produce pre-recorded magazine and sports shows for San Diego cable channel 4/704.

The HD equipment, which includes four Panasonic AJ-HDX400 1080i DVCPRO HD camcorders and five Panasonic AJ-HD1200A IEEE 1394-capable DVCPRO HD VTRs, will be used to produce:

  • “San Diego Insider,” the region's only news magazine show;
  • “Forefront,” a field-produced in-depth interview show with prominent San Diegans;
  • “One on One with Jane Mitchell,” a monthly profile of a Padres or Chargers player;
  • “Padres Magazine,” bi-weekly recaps of the best features from the pre-game show;
  • “Chargers Preview.”

In 2004, Cox Communications purchased Panasonic's AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera, AJ-HD1700 DVCPRO HD decks and an AJ-UFC1800 Universal Format Converter. The channel will turn over its existing DVCPRO50 gear to Cox Media's commercial division for spot production. According to Cox production manager Richard Taylor, the channel's photographers will use the VariCam (720p) and AJ-HDX400 (1080i) cameras interchangeably, but will reserve the VariCam for shoots calling for motion effects. Channel 4/704 has five editing rooms and five logging stations. Its six HD decks (five AJ-HD1200As, one AJ-HD1700) will be rack-mounted in a tape area and controlled by a router. Taylor explained that the AJ-HD1200As will each be dedicated to one of the editing rooms for Mac-based HD desktop editing with Apple Computer’s Final Cut Pro HD, and will be routable for other uses. Taylor noted that the Universal Format Converter will be used to upconvert and reformat standard-definition material for HD editing, as well as to create SD copies for customers and clients. Completion of the full HD Ch.704 operation is targeted for next month.

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