The Weather Channel goes live with new cameras

The Weather Channel videographers and their cameras are exposed to perhaps some of the harshest weather conditions imaginable.

But despite the extremes, The Weather Channel’s new Panasonic AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 camcorders have performed without problems, according to Nathan Smith, vice president of broadcast operations for the network.

Currently, The Weather Channel uses six HVX200s for live coverage and field production, including shows such as “Storm Stories,” “Forecast Earth” and “Evening Edition.”

A number of factors lead to the adoption of the HVX200s, including easy interfacing with Apple Final Cut Pro editing systems, maneuverability, variable frame rate capability and a path to HD acquisition.

While The Weather Channel’s videographers shoot predominantly in DVCPRO50 standard definition, the network is embarking on plans to move to high definition. It will begin gathering content for its “Storm Stories” and “Forecast Earth” series in HD to build an archive of material for eventual migration to the format.

The HVX200 uniquely combines multiple high-definition and standard-definition formats, multiple recording modes and variable frames rates and P2 solid-state memory recording in a rugged, compact design. This DVCPRO HD P2 camcorder offers contribution-quality acquisition with independent intra-frame encoding and 4:2:2 color sampling.

The Weather Channel has outfitted the HVX200 for live applications to give them the look and feel of traditional shoulder-mounted cameras. For example, The Weather Channel is using BEC Group's brackets and mic/IFB mounting gear, Anton/Bauer's STATIS shoulder-mount power support system and QR DVX power tap and Camplex Camera Adapters that allow the cameras to plug into the network’s satellite trucks.

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