Cox Media Group Standardizing Broadcast Eng Operations on Next-Generation Panasonic AVC-Ultra Camcorders
Cox Media Group (CMG), a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, has initiated a group-wide upgrade of electronic newsgathering utilizing three of Panasonic’s latest AVC-ULTRA camcorder models, the AJ-PX5000G 2/3” P2 HD shoulder-mount, the AJ-PX800 2/3” P2 HD shoulder-mount and the 1/3” AJ-PX270 P2 HD handheld.
CMG’s operations encompass 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, including WSB-TV (Atlanta, GA), WFXT-TV (Boston, MA), WFTV-TV (Orlando, FL), KIRO-TV (Seattle-Tacoma, WA), WPXI (Pittsburgh, PA), WFOX-TV and WJAX-TV (Jacksonville, FL), WSOC-TV (Charlotte, NC), WHIO-TV (Dayton, OH), KOKI-TV (Tulsa, OK) and WHBQ-TV (Memphis, TN).
All these stations have long used prior-generation P2 HD camcorders for news. The new camcorders are being implemented throughout the group on a timetable extending from 1Q 2015 through 1Q 2016, with WPXI, WFXT and WSOC having already taken delivery of dozens of PX5000Gs. Ultimately, Cox Media will standardize on AVC-LongG25 acquisition, which provides 10 bit 4:2:2 quality at bit rates of approximately 25 Mbps and facilitates delivery of on-air content direct from the shooting location.
Also, the stations can access the camcorders’ high-resolution AVC-Proxy recording, which encodes in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats and enables fast, efficient offline editing at bit rates from 6 megabits down to 800 kilobits per second.
“Among all the camera offerings we considered, Panasonic had the best products and services to move us into the future, notably the AVC-ULTRA codec with its exceptional image quality,” said Dave Siegler, CMG’s Vice President of Technical Operations.”Panasonic continues to innovate: the wireless capability of these next-generation camcorders, for instance, was crucial to our decision.”
“Since we have been using P2 gear for many years, we have strong confidence in the quality and durability of the products and the support provided by Panasonic,” he added.
The latest series of Panasonic’s P2 HD camcorders with built-in wireless/wired streaming capabilities, the AJ-PX270, AJ-PX800 and AJ-PX5000G, are all AVC-ULTRA capable, with the same recording formats, codec and file structure. When used in modern field production--whether fast -breaking news or scheduled interviews-- the tool kits provided are similar , with the camcorders differing only in the lens / imager format and pricing. In many cases a mixture of cameras can used by various crews with, for example, the PX270 utilized for lightweight, handheld use by VJs, the PX800 a more traditional yet affordable 2/3” camera and the flagship PX5000G used by news photographers where the reach of a 2/3” camera and lens is required.
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Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps. Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading online source for savings. The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television
stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV
viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, visit www.coxmediagroup.com.
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