Panasonic Launches New HD Production Monitor

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Panasonic is launching a new BT-LH2500 LCD HD production monitor that offers 1920x1200 resolution and very high quality color for a relatively modest price, said Steve Golub, product line business manager at Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems.

Companies faced with the prospect of replacing aging or broken CRT monitors in the current tough economic climates should find the LH2500 monitor, which is priced at $5,995 with a stand, a particularly appealing option, according to Golub.

"We've had some meetings with production houses comparing it to very expensive monitors in the $25,000 range and a lot of people were just blown away by the color," Golub said. "They said they could buy five of them for the price of one expensive monitor."

The monitor offers a wider color range that exceeds the NTSC standard -- something that even very expensive CRT monitors couldn't do in the past -- and has six settings for SMPTE, EBU, ITU-R, BT.709, Adobe 2.2, Adobe 1.8 and D-Cinema. Golub cites its excellent rendering of reds, greens and gold as being particularly noticeable.
The image processing engine has a 3-D look-up table that calibrates it to reproduce content in whatever standard the user selects.

In terms of resolution, the LCD has 1920 by 1200 pixels for the whole panel and 1920 by 1080 for the picture, making it ideal for the high-definition production environment, Golub said.

Because of its excellent color and resolution, Golub believes Panasonic will be able to expand sales beyond their traditional professional video and broadcast clients into the print, advertising and digital graphics sectors.
The monitor, which has an aluminum alloy back panel, is also more compact and lighter than the previous BT -- LH2600W model. "It is 11% less wide than the last model, 8% less high, takes up 19% less space, and is one third lighter," he said, "In fact it is smaller in width than the 24-inch Sony monitor by about 3 millimeters even though the BT-LH2550 is 25.5 inches."

The monitor has built-in software so it can be calibrated by color analyzers without using a PC. It handles a variety of inputs and has a variety of other features, including a Cine-gamma Film-Rec compensation function for use with the new AJ-HPX3700 and AJ-HPX2700 PS HD VariCam camcorders and AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema Camera.

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