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Panasonic and Apple team to enable HD over FireWire production

Panasonic and Apple Computer announced what they’re calling “the world's first implementation of IEEE 1394 FireWire with 100 Mb/s HD” (the native video compression of Panasonic's DVCPRO HD recording systems). Panasonic’s VariCam native DV-HD codec is now included in Final Cut Pro HD, a move that could significantly reduce the cost of post production with the camcorder. The idea is to provide a full set of capabilities and dramatically lower price points to HD post production and content distribution.

The two companies are providing this capability with Panasonic's new AJ-HD1200A, the first HD production VTR to offer a FireWire interface, and Apple's newly introduced Final Cut Pro HD professional video editing software, enabling the editing of HD resolution images on the desktop, as well as on a laptop (such as Apple’s PowerBooks and Panasonic’s Toughbooks).

Panasonic also announced the availability of its DVCPRO P2 series equipment, which initially includes a camera, VTR and five-slot P2 card reader. CBS, FOX, Time Warner Cable’s NY1 all-news cable channel, Scripps Howard, Media general and the Sinclair broadcast Group - all current DVCPRO tape customers -have expressed interest in moving to the solid-state recording platform by 2005. NY1 is spending $1.5 million on new P2 series equipment.

The P2 camera system will also be used at the upcoming 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. At the company’s annual NAB press conference, Panasonic Broadcast President John Baisley said the company reported double-digit growth in its latest fiscal year, across every product category Panasonic offers to the broadcast and professional production industry.

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