Grass Valley introduces wireless control panel for HD cameras

Grass Valley has unveiled a new wireless control panel that runs on most PDAs or smart cell phones and controls the company's new Infinity Digital Media Camcorder's functions from as far away as 65ft.

In addition to camera functionality controls, such as zoom, pan, gain and other functions, the new LCP400 local control panel also gives operators access to metadata. It replicates the side control panel on the camcorder, giving access to all the menus and settings, and allowing changes even during shooting. Extremely low latency in the wireless connection makes it practical even for critical adjustments such as audio levels.

And, because the Infinity camcorder records video files on standard data storage media, these files can include user information about the shot. The LCP400 gives the user a simple, intuitive way of entering and accessing that metadata at any time, even when the camcorder itself is switched off. As soon as the camera is back online, the camera and PDA automatically synchronize.

The LCP400 local control panel is a software application installed on a PDA or smart phone, which runs Windows Mobile 5 — or Windows Mobile 6 when that becomes available. It communicates with the Infinity camcorder wirelessly, via the Bluetooth protocol using a USB dongle in the camera. It also has Wi-Fi capabilities.

For ENG, the LCP400 could also be synchronized with the newsroom computer system and updated using cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. Assignments can be loaded in advance, and details of interviews and shot lists can be recorded on the LCP400 at any time, wrapped as metadata and also transmitted to the newsroom so that program editors and directors have full details on the content even before it arrives.

The LCP400 software application will be available with production deliveries of the Infinity digital media camcorder, slated for this summer.

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