View Full Version : New codec for P2

Steve Mullen
April 23rd, 2006, 07:05 PM
Panasonic at NAB today announced they would have an codec that compressed DV, DVCPRO, DVCRP50 plus DVCPRO HD -- PLUS -- H.264 AVC.

This development, when combined with next year's 16GB P2 card, should provide over 8X more storage than a 4GB card. (Incidentally, they note a 4GB card is now selling for about $570.)

They didn't provide details today other than it offered 2X more storage -- which mean it should be running at 50Mbps. One assumes at 50Mbps, it will be 4:2:2. I also am not sure if it is an I-frame only version -- given how hard they slammed MPEG-2.

The codec will appear in the next generation of 1Mpixel 2/3-inch camcorders. These will ship in Jan. 2007. What's not clear if the advanced codec will be in the first models or not available until July 2007. I'm sorry, they mentioned July, but it wasn't clear which year and what was July.

Barry Green
April 24th, 2006, 01:50 AM
I would expect it to be I-frame-only. Professional formats are typically I-frame-only; Sony's MPEG-IMX is I-frame-only, and Sony's HDCAM-SR is I-frame-only, and Panasonic's made a big push for frame-independence, so I would expect it's only I-frame. I'll try to find out tomorrow.

H.264 is very interesting indeed, and at 50 megabits should match DVCPRO-HD at 100 megabits, so yeah, doubling the footage runtime without changing anything else. Nice move. Last year they teased an HD-D5 version, but I guess this replaces that.

Steve Roark
April 24th, 2006, 03:27 AM
Nice option, but I'm more impressed with the implications of Panasonic stepping outside its own propietary formats. Seems like a camera with 100 megabits of bandwidth and solid state recording would have a lot of potential for keeping up with whatever codec you wanted to throw at it. Imagine being able to upgrade your camera as easily as you upgrade your software...

In the not too distant future:

Gear: HVX200p w/holographic codec v.2.7, Apple MegaBlock Pro with Windows HAL, 2 TB RAM, 13 button mouse, etc....

Guy Bruner
April 24th, 2006, 05:45 AM
It's I-frame. That's what the Intra stands for in the label they coined for it. Oh, and they are going to call it P2HD.

Joshua Provost
April 24th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Awesome development, the benefits of the latest H.264 without the drawbacks of long-GOP. This is exciting, I hope it filters down to the low-end. Maybe we can get a decent amount of intra-frame HD video on convenient tapes after all.

Peter Jefferson
April 24th, 2006, 05:36 PM
hmm.. does this mean that maybe we'l see the HVX200b running a H.264 codec... now THAT would absolutely rock!!!!!!

here come the longform shoots on P2!!! hehehehe
seriosuly though, i dont see why we COULDNT have the codec on a HVX type unit.. considering that at least half of the DVX sales went to event videographers (here in aus anyway)

only time will tell...

Greg Boston
April 24th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Yep, about the only thing stopping H.264 from being an acquisition codec at this moment is lack of hardware encoding but that is all changing before your very eyes. Just as MPEG2 went from software to hardware rendering on PC graphics cards, the same trend is starting again with H.264.


Steve Mullen
April 24th, 2006, 09:29 PM
hmm.. does this mean that maybe we'l see the HVX200b running a H.264 codec... now THAT would absolutely rock!!!!!!

By the spring of 2007 there certainly "could" be a next gen. of the HVX200. However, the dual encoder has to have a low enough cost and low-enough power consumption. The next gen. could also have 1280x720 pixel CCDs with V & H pixel-shift for 1080.

Sony seems to expect a next gen Z1 (IBC 2006?) that will have 1440x1080 CCDs. And, the new JVC's arrive in the fall of 2006. Which means 2007 will be the year when all the companies will have almost all the issues worked out and HD will stop being "exotic."

Heath McKnight
April 24th, 2006, 10:44 PM
This is interesting, to say the least.


Jemore Santos
April 24th, 2006, 11:42 PM
The new members of the P2 HD family include the 2/3 AJ-HPC2000 shoulder-mount camcorder, available in the first quarter of 2007 at $27,000, the AJ-HPS1500 studio recorder available in January 2007 at $19,950, the AJ-HPM100 mobile recorder available in November 2006 at $12,000, and the AJ-PCD20 drive available in July at $1,980

Im assuming these will support the new codec, so the first product will be available after July. I cant tell you where I got this because I might get grilled.

Dan Euritt
April 25th, 2006, 11:55 AM
$12k for a "mobile recorder" vs. the $2k AJ-PCD20 "drive"... it'll be interesting to see what the latter is.

panasonic needed a scalable recording codec, and h.264 is a good solution for that... i wonder if they will implement the full h.264 feature set... this is big news no matter how you cut it!

Barry Green
April 26th, 2006, 12:43 AM
I think the "drive" is a new two-slot USB card reader, a smaller version of their 5-card reader.

Lawrence Bansbach
April 26th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Sony seems to expect a next gen Z1 (IBC 2006?) that will have 1440x1080 CCDs.Any chance that it will sport 24p or at least a CF24 that really is 24 fps?

Leonard Levy
April 26th, 2006, 01:13 PM
Will this make our current investments obsolete or is there any chance that software updates would work?