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WealthTV captures lifestyles of the rich, famous in 3-D

Luxury lifestyle and entertainment cable TV network WealthTV is using Panasonic HD 3-D camcorders to develop content for its current 3-D VOD service and future plans for proprietary 3-D broadcasts in 2011. WealthTV's 3-D VOD program is already available nationwide to Verizon FiOS TV customers who have a 3-D TV set, 3-D glasses and an HD set-top box.

Having recently purchased six AG-3DA1 camcorders, WealthTV's crews have been shooting at exotic destinations in Cannes, Monaco, Ibiza, South Beach and San Simeon, CA. Segments include travelogues in the network's “Takeoff” and “WOW!” series; exotic car programming on its "Wealth on Wheels" series; haute couture under its "What to Wear" umbrella; and nature programming.

To manage the logistics of shooting on different continents, the fledgling network has retained a number of outside production companies that are also shooting with Panasonic 3DA1 camcorders. These include Randall Dark Productions (Austin, TX) and Corkscrew Media (Calgary, Alberta).

Robert Herring, WealthTV’s founder and CEO, said the 3DA1 is the primary camera for all 3-D production, and producers sometimes have eight or more 3DA1s in the field simultaneously.

“We value the Panasonic camcorder for its small size and simplicity of operation,” Herring said. “The 3DA1 is more reliable than beam-splitter rigs, and it carries a very affordable price tag.”

Herring said that WealthTV has 10 3-D-capable edit bays at its 40,000sq-ft facility in San Diego and plans to expand as needed. The network is using the Dashwood Cinema Solutions' Stereo3D Toolbox and CineForm's Neo3D editorial tools.

Charles Herring, WealthTV’s president, said the network needed an economical solution for 3-D production to bring 3-D programming to a mass cable audience.

The AG-3DA1 is a fully integrated, HD 3-D camcorder that records up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in Panasonic's AVCHD PH mode. It weighs less than 6.6lbs and comes equipped with dual lenses and two 1920 x 1080 2.07-megapixel, three-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) as well as 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD. The camcorder also provides a number of professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (v1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes.