Panasonic PTZ Cameras Capture "The Glass House"

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Remote Panasonic AW-HE120 HD pan-tilt-zoom cameras strategically placed throughout the set of The Glass House are capturing the every move of the inhabitants vying for audience approval in the new unscripted show airing Mondays at 10 P.M. ET on the ABC Television Network.

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The series, which premiered June 18, features 14 contestants living and competing for $250,000 in a totally wired, state-of-the-art house. Through online and social networks, viewers are encouraged to support and follow the contestants they like and those they don’t. Viewer votes help determine which contestants are sent home and also which eliminated players will earn the chance to return to The Glass House to compete each week.

The AW-HE120 features a fast 20X zoom lens and a three 2.2 megapixel U.L.T. MOS imagers supporting Full HD video capture.

Bexel Broadcast Services (Burbank, CA) is supplying 21 AW-HE120s for the production. The Panasonic remote HD cameras were specified by Broadcast Engineering Consultants’ Jerry Kaman. Bexel also supplied four Panasonic AW-RP50 remote camera controllers in addition to the HE120s. All the cameras are controlled over a closed network, with each RP50 assigned to control five cameras. The primary reason the HE120s were chosen for The Glass House was the cameras’ networking capability, with picture quality a close second.

“I staged a competitive evaluation with two other manufacturers’ PTZs, and the Panasonic cameras excelled in terms of image production and overall performance," said Kaman. “Specifically, the HE120 is format flexible and also shoots 720p — most of its competitors don’t — and The Glass House is a 720p show. Also, the HE120 is fast, one and a half stops faster than the competition, which means we were able to lower the overall light level of the production.”

“Above all, we were interested in the HE120’s IP control, which is simply lacking in the competition; network switches have greatly simplified wiring schemes on the show,” he added.

Kaman said the production is shooting 720P/59.94, and encoding to OP-1a MXF files. Cinedecks are handling the encoding, and files are written directly to SAN and Avid ISIS. All ingest control is facilitated via Pronology Digital Asset Management.

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