Panasonic 7″ Windows Toughpad

Panasonic LogoPanasonic’s Toughbooks are legendary for their ruggedness and are used by armed forces world-over. Panasonic have now turned their attention to tablets with a line of Toughpads and on show here is a new 7″ Windows 8.1 tablet. Panasonic’s Toughpad Product Manager Dan Diliberti takes Todd and Don through it.

Running the latest Intel Core i5, the FZ-M1 is currently the only 7″ Windows 8.1 tablet on the market. As you’ll see from the video, there’s a dockable keyboard and there is also a pile of expansion options including desktop dock, bar code scanners and smart card readers.

Devices like the FZ-M1 don’t come cheap, with a base price of US$2099, but if it’s the kind of device you need, it’s worth every penny.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Panasonic introduces three wall-mounted home theaters at CES

panasonic-SC-HTB880Panasonic debuted a number of new products at CES, ranging from tablets to home-ware for your kitchen, and also new home theater gear. Perhaps the latter is one of the most interesting of the launches.

The company is showing off three wall-mountable home theater systems. The SC-HTB880, SC-HTB580 and SC-HTB8 are all expected to hit retail later in 2014.

“The SC-HTB880, SC-HTB580 and SC-HTB8 Home Theater Systems feature speaker units with a triangular cross section to achieve a slim body size, and incorporate a Delta Form Design to deliver dynamic sound. The top panel of each model’s main unit is inclined to provide extra space inside for the installation of large speaker units. The Delta Form Design provides a stylish appearance to match and enhance room interiors, while its hybrid hardware design achieves superb sound quality”, the company announces.

The high-end SC-HTB880 model is capable on handling 4K video and the main unit houses the front, center and surround speakers; combined with the wireless subwoofer, this model’s sound system delivers 5.1-channel dynamic surround sound.

All models combine “Panasonic’s sound-enhancing technologies, cutting-edge network technologies and stylish designs to achieve versatile sound systems, creating true-to-life ambience from content such as movies, TV programs or music to make users feel as if they were actually in the movie scene”. Exact release dates were not announced, nor were prices.

Get Ready for HDMI 2.0

20130903222147[1]

The folks at HDMI Licensing leaked released what will be known as the HDMI 2.0 specification just prior to their official announcement at IFA. Actually, AVForums reader Vism found this in Google cache.

The new HDMI specification looks to be able to handle 4K displays and above. Panasonic – who hasn’t come out with a 4K TV – will be debuting their new line at IFA.

HDMI 1.4 (current version) only supports 4K content at 30 fps. HDMI 2.0 looks to allow 60 fps, which will be great for UHD movies and more.

Panasonic is keeping the wraps on their 4K WT600 TV until keynote time. One things for sure – HDMI 1 cables are going to get a lot cheaper now…

Panasonic Goes Big At NAB 2012

The New AG-HPX600 - Image Courtesy Panasonic

It’s been a big couple of days for Panasonic at the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas – announcing a slew of new products and strategic partnerships that boost the broadcasting chops of this tech giant.

Leading the Panasonic pack of announcements is the new AG-HPX600 P2 HD camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording and boasting the lowest weight of a shoulder-mount unit.

“With its ultra-light weight and low power consumption, the HPX600 is the first shoulder mount that’s easy on the shoulder while being super-efficient on battery usage,” said Joseph Facchini, Vice President, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “With its innovative design and selectable options, the HPX600 is upgradable to new technology such as wireless remote from a smart phone and much more.”

Weighing in at less than 7 pounds with noticeably low power usage, the HPX600 uses a newly-developed 2/3 type MOS sensor to produce HD and SD images. This future-proof camera aims to provide inventive functionality and improved workflows, with options such as wireless metadata input, proxy recording, and variable frame rates (available Fall 2012), and subsequently AVC-ULTRA recording.

According to Panasonic, the AG-HPX600 will be available in the Fall with a starting price around $16,000 for the body alone.

New Cards; Projectors; and Partners

In addition to the light-weight AG-HPX600, Panasonic also unveiled a new series of 64GB and 32GB microP2 cards – designed for high-speed transfers, reliability, and the writing assurance of all P2 frame rates, formats and codecs. Panasonic also announced the microP2 Card Adaptor, both slated for availability next Spring.

Other new products announced at NAB this week by Panasonic:

  • the PT-DZ21 3-chip DLP projector series – the world’s smallest and lightest 20,000 lumen projectors;
  • the expansion LCD production monitors with the BT-LH2170 21.5” and BT-LH1850 18.5” models; and,
  • upgrades to  the AG-AF100 Large Sensor HD Cinema camera; the AG-HPX250  P2 HD and AG-AC160/AC130 AVCCAM HD handheld camcorders; as well as to the AJ-HPM200 and AJ-HPD2500 solid-state recorders.

Panasonic also announced a few new partnerships that has the industry buzzing:

  • Panasonic and Dejero Labs will offer the Dejero LIVE+ NewsBook – a cellular uplink solution for remote production and electronic news-gathering operations.
  • Panasonic and Aframe will create the Panasonic Production Network (PPN), a cloud video production network that allows professionals to rapidly upload and view their high-quality video from dedicated cloud servers.
  • Panasonic and LiveU announced a new collaboration to deliver an integrated camcorder and live video uplink solution, utilizing the new LU40i video uplink device and the new AJ-HPX600 P2 camcorder with planned wireless integration features. Geek News Central covered that announcement earlier this week.

For more information about Panasonic’s NAB announcements, visit www.panasonic.com/nab.

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Panasonic and LiveU Announce Further Collaboration

LiveUIn today’s connected world where many people and organization want to stream their video live. One of the problems that must be dealt with is trying to watch how the transmission is running plus maintaining the quality of the streaming video, while still shooting the video. This requires at least two people, something that small operations cannot afford. This is the problem that LiveU and Panasonic is trying to solve with the announcement to cooperate on using LU40I video uplink and the AJ-HPX600 P2 camcorder. The LU40I video uplink will integrate with the camcorder’s interface. It will give the camera operator a real-time look at the transmission and video quality. The camera operator can manage video uplink while continuing to shoot. Allowing a one man crew to transmit high quality live videos over the Internet.

Michael Bergeron, Business Development Manager for Panasonic System Communications Company of North America (PSCNA) “When the operation of the LU40i is integrated with the camera, the complete system provides a high-quality video feed with the easiest remote operation yet.”

This is a continuation of the cooperation between LiveU and Panasonic which began at IBC in Amsterdam last September. Where they agreed to collaborate on HD 3D live mobile broadcast over cellular networks.

Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO, said, “We’re thrilled that Panasonic, a world-leading camera developer and manufacturer, has partnered with LiveU to develop this next-generation camera uplink solution using our cellular-based technology. We are confident that ‘live cameras’ symbolize the future for broadcasting and online media, and will open up new market segments for live video transmission around the world.”

Further details are expected when the AJ-HPXL600 launches.

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Panasonic Expands 3D Camera Line with Lumix FZ150, HDC-Z10000

Panasonic 3D cameras

Panasonic 3D cameras

Last Friday, Panasonic introduced the LUMIX FZ150 Digital camera. It is part of their 3D camera line as a digital point-and-shoot. With a 24x Optical zoom and 25mm Ultra Wide-Amgle Leica lens, the 12.1 megapixel MOS sensor camera can also shoot HD video (1920 x 1080 60p).

“Panasonic continues to strive to meet the photography demands of its consumers by providing unique features and advanced technology in all our LUMIX digital cameras,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Their adding to the line of Pro handheld cameras, too. A prototype of a future Lumix  camera (yet to be named) was displayed at IFA 2011. The video camera can shoot in 2D and 3D, and has two – 4x optical zoom lenses. Video is recorded in the AVCHD format.

Panasonic also announced their HDC-Z10000 camera, another 2D/3D camcorder with low-light and macro shooting ability. You will be able to record close in low light, thanks to the f/1.5 lens and focus as close at 17.8 inches. The Z10000 has a 10x zoom for 3D and 12x for 2D. It contains a dual 3MOS sensor  (each with 6.57 MP resolution).

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3D TV Specs Not Compatible

I read this article over at Home Cinema Choice and despaired.  Despite being based on the same technology,  the 3D specs used by Samsung and Panasonic aren’t compatible….unless you wear them upside down.

What were they thinking?  And why couldn’t someone have simply picked up the phone and said, “Hey guys, what way round are you doing your 3D glasses?”

This could be as big as Blu-ray v HD-DVD all over again, with Sony going for one eye and Toshiba going for the other.  Not.

I’d be wary of any new technology until they have time to sort the bugs out, but frankly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.