Panasonic Makes 3D Push With Bexel


Panasonic, which is sponsoring the 3D broadcast of the 2010 U.S. Open tennis tournament that is being produced by CBS and carried exclusively in the U.S. by DirecTV, has teamed with rental firm Bexel to increase the available pool of 3D equipment.Bexel

Under the multi-year partnership, which was announced at a press event at the U.S. Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. where Panasonic, DirecTV and CBS executives discussed the upcoming U.S. Open 3D broadcasts, Bexel will now have six 3D camera rigs equipped with Panasonic cameras for rent.

Four of the systems will be 3Ality Digital models, while the other two will be Parallax3 Renegade models. All are equipped with Panasonic AK-HC1500G 1080i/720p box-type HD cameras. At the U.S. Open event Panasonic and Bexel execs unveiled a 3Ality beamsplitter rig outfitted with the Panasonic cameras.

Bexel will also be supplying Panasonic's new AG-3DA1 integrated 3D camcorder, either on a stand-alone basis or to complement the multi-camera systems. Panasonic began shipping the $21,000 camcorder last week and so far has delivered 50 units to a variety of customers including networks, rental firms and independent producers, said Panasonic vice president of marketing Bob Harris.

CBS, which will be using six 3D rigs from PACE to capture the live action on Center Court at Arthur Ashe Stadium, plans to use the Panasonic camcorder to shoot footage of crowds on the Concourse at the Tennis Center and capture player interviews and commentators to round out its 3D coverage, said Ken Aagaard, EVP of engineering, operations and production for CBS Sports.

Panasonic was demonstrating footage from the AG-3DA1 camcorder, as well as 3D video captured by its new $1399 consumer 3D camcorder, the HDC-SDT750, at the "Panasonic 3D Full HD Experience" on the ground floor of Louis Armstrong Stadium, which is equipped with a bevy of 3D plasma displays.

The company also announced that it will create a "3D Innovation Center" this fall at its U.S. headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., where it will work with networks and other outside partners to promote the technology

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