Top Resources for Panasonic P2 Information

Here’s a rough assemblage of the primary research resources I could locate regarding Panasonic P2. As this is all still relatively fresh ground, there is as yet not a whole lot of comprehensive P2 information to be found out there just yet. But certainly this situation will change soon, and when it does, I’ll update this page. For now, though, what follows are the most important locations on the web for learning about P2 and how its position develops within the video market.

Official Panasonic P2 Sites

Panasonic’s “Def Perception” Weblog
Although it appears to be somebody’s personal blog, “Def Perception” is in fact a corporate marketing effort “which provides Panasonic a forum to express its views and share its opinions on new technologies, products, features, and activities, as well as answer questions in a meaningful way.” Subscribe today to receive updates!
Panasonic AG-HVX200 Camcorder Product Page
The official home of this revolutionary DVCPro HD P2 camcorder.
Panasonic Professional Video Products Broadcast Applications
The online base of operations for Panasonic in North America.
DVCPro P2 Series
This Panasonic site has been the home of the P2 Series throughout 2004; I’m hoping they’ll update it soon. So far this site covers only their standard-definition P2 equipment range.
Broadcast and Professional AV Global Web Site
The online base of operations for Panasonic in Japan.
DVCPro P2 Series Global
This site seems to be a copy of the North American standard definition P2 equipment pages, or maybe it’s the other way around; however, the content is nearly the same. I’m hoping this site will likewise be updated soon.

Online Message Boards for P2 Discussion

While I’m going to recommend our own online P2 discussion group first, I’ve also included two other very active sites for even more interaction with other P2 researchers, users and enthusiasts. There primary reason for pointing you to another site away from our own message boards is that our own community at P2 Info Net has a strict real-names-only policy which isn’t right for everyone. I realize that some folks aren’t comfortable with the concept of signing their name to what they write (this is the internet, after all). So for those who wish to remain anonymous, I’m providing a couple of other alternatives where you can get your message out and be heard.

Of course, there are no links back from these other sites, so their links will open in a new window, which should make it easier to explore different places at once.

P2 Info Net — Part of the DV Info Net Community
Our own message boards are unlike any other discussion groups in the video market in that our community members know each other by their real names. This real-names-only policy was voted in by our membership base quite some time ago and it insures a very significant difference from other video-related message boards; namely that everybody is friendly, courteous, and respectful to each other. It’s kind of like walking around a virtual trade show floor while wearing a nametag. This policy provides a certain degree of ownership for our members, plus the obvious fact that online discussions tend to be serious, professional, and useful when one is signing their name to what they’re writing. Speaking of names, I should mention that Jan Crittenden Livingston, Panasonic’s ProLine product manager, is an active, participating member in our P2 discussion area.
DVX User HVX200 Forum
Jarred Land’s DVX User community just might be the fastest growing site on the web that’s related to digital video. In a very short time, DVX User has assembled a very large number of highly enthusiastic and deeply dedicated members. They all post a staggering amount of messages back and forth, which used to be related to the Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder but has now branched out to encompass a variety of topics, including, of course, the new AG-HVX200 camcorder and P2 workflow in general.
Creative Cow Panasonic P2 Camcorders
Name any kind of software or hardware that’s related to media content creation, and you’ll find a dedicated online community for it at Creative Cow, brought to you by the prolific Ron and Kathlyn Lindeboom, who have been in the business of developing online user communities for quite awhile. Each area of the wide-ranging Creative Cow is populated with knowledgeable folks discussing the tools of their trade; their Panasonic P2 community is no exception.

Other P2 Resources from Panasonic

Panasonic AG-HVX200 Camcorder Brochure
Download a copy of the official product brochure for the Panasonic AG-HVX200 DVCPro HD / P2 camcorder. There should be a substantial amount of product info in this brochure beginning the week of 18 April, when the camera is announced at the NAB2005 tradeshow.
P2 Viewer Application for PC
Panasonic offers a P2 Viewer Application for PC which enables P2 content viewing, allows copying to a hard disk and supports metadata, voice memos, and text memos on any PC.
DVCPro P2 Flash Demo
This is a pretty cool Flash presentation which covers the earlier standard-definition P2 gear from 2004. Definitely check it out; it’s a great way to learn about P2 visually.
DVCPro P2 Series Brochure (pre-NAB2005)
James Wickizer, National Marketing Manager for Panasonic, was gracious enough to put together this hefty 26-page PDF for P2 Info Net which covers the entire range of standard-definition P2 gear. Even though there isn’t any high-definition coverage, this is still well worth going through for a better understanding of the P2 concept.
DVCPRO P2 Series in Athens
Downloadable video clips in either Windows Media .WMV format or QuickTime .MOV format will show you how the AJ-SPX800 P2 camcorders covered the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Official Panasonic P2 Support Desk (Global)
Although it looks a little rough around the edges, this Panasonic P2 support site from Japan includes a glossary, a FAQ covering P2 standard-definition equipment, downloadable firware upgrades, and an e-Learning center (which is subscription based, but you can check out a free online preview). It’s another way to learn more about P2.

The Panasonic P2 Magazine

Each issue of this 16-page magazine published by Panasonic’s marketing department includes sections entitled The World Talks About P2, P2 Review: Workflow Innovation, P2 Partners, and P2 Global Support. The first three issues are from 2004 and do not include content regarding DVCPro HD.

Click the images of the magazine covers below to download their online PDF versions.
click to download this PDF of Vol. 1, No. 1click to download this PDFof Vol. 1, No. 2click to download this PDF of Vol. 1, No. 3

Information about the MXF File Format

The Material Exchange Format (White Paper)
Bruce Devlin of Snell & Wilcox presented the technical brief (known in the industry as a White Paper) in Sydney, Australia back in 2002. This is a comprehensive, in-depth explanation of the MXF file format, and it’s an excellent place to start if you’re interested in learning more about what exactly goes into an MXF file… operational patterns, primary packages, metadata and more… plus, Bruce explains how MXF has the potential to improve your workflow. Highly recommended!
Material Exchange Format (MXF) Description
From the Lbrary of Congress; a handy descriptive chart about MXF.
OpenCube – MXF Format Technologies
They offer an SDK (software developer’s kit) which is P2 compatible.
MXF Implementers Group
The MXF Implementers Working Group was created to provide guidance on MXF implementation and to identify new areas where MXF standards are required. Lots of interesting research here.

Other Important P2 Articles (off-site)

Panasonic P2 Overview from DVX User
Jarred Land, owner of the mighty DVX User web community, has put together a clear and concise overview of P2. In one easy to read article, Jarred clearly spells out what P2 is all about. Start with his page and then venture on into DVX User’s sprawling online metropolis of message board discussions and other articles.
HD For Indies
Mike Curtis of Austin, Texas maintains a very active and frequently updated personal Blog covering a range of topics discussing affordable high-definition video solutions for independant filmmakers. Of course, there’s already an abundance of material here, with more entries added all the time. Mike offers plenty of well-written material; there’s a lot of great research that you can read about, and it’s worth keeping a close eye on his site.

These are the top P2 resources you can’t afford to miss. I visit all of these as often as I can! Other major internet stopping points are coming soon…

Thrown together by Chris Hurd

Please direct questions to the P2 Info Net Community Forums.


About The Author

After completing my degree in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas, I managed a video production studio "back in the tape days" while waiting for the digital video revolution to arrive and for the internet to become mainstream. Things started to get interesting in November of 1997 when I launched The XL1 Watchdog, my first web site dedicated to digital video technology. In January of 2001, that site morphed into DV Info Net — the Digital Video Information Network. More than fifteen years later, the longevity of DV Info Net is exceeded now only by its popularity and reputation as one of the leading technology information resources in the broadcast and professional video markets.

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