Skip the expensive PTZ controller, just get the switcher. The new 10-channel SDI/NDI switcher has full Panasonic PTZ camera controls plus all of the features you would expect from an all-in-one live production appliance.
In the past, video switchers mostly did one thing – they switched video. Nowadays, however there are many full-featured live video production switchers on the market, making it pretty difficult to stand out from the pack based on feature-set alone. For less than $10,000, you can purchase a single system that will do it all – recording, streaming, titling, audio mixing and more – from a variety of manufacturers. Panasonic’s latest switcher falls into that category, along with production systems such as the NewTek TriCaster Mini Advanced, Ross Carbonite Black Solo, Broadcast Pix BP Switch RX, and the Telestream Wirecast Gear, among others.
So what sets the Panasonic AV-HLC100 apart in such a crowded field? Let’s find out…
On-Board Panasonic PTZ Controller
While many similar live production appliances have PTZ camera controls built in, none of them are manufactured by Panasonic. Ostensibly, this means that you get better integration with the camera than you would with a third-party controller. When you consider the fact that Panasonic’s entry-level standalone PTZ controller costs almost $2,000, having all full-fledged Panasoinc PTZ controller on board seems to add a lot of value to this switching system. The on-board PTZ controller allows you to control basic functions of the camera, such as pan, tilt, zoom, focus, iris, and white balance. Additionally, you can store and recall up to 100 camera presets, and the rest of the camera’s settings are accessible via the camera’s on-screen menu.
Integrated Control Panel
Another aspect of the Panasonic HLC100 is that it includes an integrated physical control panel. Aside from the Ross Carbonite Black Solo All-In-One, none of the most popular competing live production appliances includes the control panel, making the Panasonic AV-HLC100 an even better value, provided you require or would like a physical control surface with a T-bar and other hard buttons.
Eight NDI Inputs
For those who having been keeping up with the latest broadcast video technology, NDI stands for “Network Device Interface” and is basically a transport protocol that allows for multiple streams of compressed, high-quality video to be transported over a gigabit (or faster) IP network with minimal latency. The only drawback to NDI is its level of implementation; a lot of video switching systems don’t support it yet. The AV-HLC100 supports up to 8 NDI inputs, which allows you to connect Panasonic NDI-enabled PTZ cameras with a single cable (provided you are using a PoE+ network switch to provide power to the cameras) carrying power, camera control, and video.
Additionally, the HLC100 has 4 3G-SDI inputs, with one of them being a dual input that can also take HDMI, for input from a computer presentation.
Skype TX Remote Presenter Input
Another interesting feature on the Panasonic AV-HLC100 is the ability to incorporate a Skype TX source, making for easy integration of remote correspondents, on-location interviews, and presentations.
Some of the other features of the AV-HLC100 are commonly found on other live production systems:
- Portable form factor for on-location productions.
- Ultra-configurable graphical user interface with multiviewer and more.
- One-touch live video streaming to Facebook, YouTube, and other common CDNs.
- Integrated titler, keyer, PiP, transitions, clip and still image storage/player.
- Integrated audio mixer
- One-touch on-board video recording
- Support of a variety of video framerates, up to 1080p at 59.94 frames per second
- integrated LCD menu display
- Tally light so that talent is aware of which camera is live