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BBC Factual selects DVCPRO HD

22 March 2007

The Panasonic range of DVCPRO HD Camcorders and VTRs has been selected by the BBC for the production of all high definition programmes commissioned by the Factual Studios. Starting next month, all BBC Factual programmes in HD will use the AJ-HDX900 DVCPRO HD camcorder as the standard acquisition product, writes Andy Stout.

The BBC Factual Studios-approved products also include the Panasonic Varicam and the Panasonic AJ-HD1400/1200/1700 VTRs. Recorded footage will be edited using Apple Final Cut Pro HD non-linear editing systems. This NLE system allows programmes to be directly edited in its native DVCPRO HD format via Firewire, streamlining the production process and minimising any quality loss.

“We’ve developed a High Definition migration strategy for all programmes produced by BBC Factual Studios. This move is driven by commissioner’s likely requirements, with projected high-profile productions, as well as the need to create and build a library of HD stock footage,” commented John Attard, head of technology, BBC Factual Studios.

By the end of 2010, all BBC Factual Studios programmes will aim to be shot tapelessly in HD using the Panasonic P2 system. What’s more, the migration from DVCPRO HD tape to P2 for HD is seamless as the picture compression remains constant, and eventually it will simply be the media and workflow that changes to the best effect.

BBC Factual Studios is one of the biggest departments at the BBC and covers a wide range of programming including education and documentary strands. Excited by the landmark decision, Ian Lowe, general manager, UK Broadcast Sales at Panasonic added: “We are delighted that such an influential global organisation such as the BBC has chosen the Panasonic DVCPRO HD format as the system of choice. I believe that this decision lays the groundwork for a strong and healthy future for HD and Panasonic at the BBC.”

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