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Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University builds new production studios

Pennsylvania's Lincoln University, the nation's first historically Black University, has during its 156-year history educated a remarkable number of luminaries, a short list of whom includes Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall,

Lincoln U., with a current enrollment of approximately 2,000 students, has as its stated mission to "provide the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based core curriculum to meet the needs of students living in a highly technological and global society. A striking realization of that goal is the instruction afforded the institution's Mass Communications students in two new video studios designed and implemented by systems integrator Visual Sound, Inc. (Broomall, PA) with four Panasonic native 1080i AK-HC3500 2/3" 2.2M 3-CCD HD cameras, AV-HS450N and AV-HS400A multi-format HD/SD live switchers, four AJ-HPM110 P2 Mobile HD recorder/players and four AJ-HPG20 P2 Portable recorders, along with requisite accessories and lenses.


"Dr. Ivory Nelson (the university's president) was committed to creating production studios where students could work with equipment on a par with that used by leading-edge television stations," said Jim Ritz, Visual Sound's Chief Engineer on the project. "Lincoln U. is within an hour of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Wilmington, and its video suites would be the envy of broadcasters in any of those cities and beyond."


The campus' Ware Center for the Fine Arts, which showcases the work of the university's music, visual arts and theater students, has a 135-seat auditorium that is equipped with three AG-HPX500 P2 HD camcorders in studio configuration, plus two AK-HC1500G cameras with two AW-PH405 pan tilts and an AW-RP400 controller, along with an HS400A HD/SD switcher in the control room.  The Ware Center system also includes three AJ-HPM110 P2 Mobile HD recorder/players. 


"Dr. Nelson envisions a national reputation for our mass communications discipline, and wants our students to be able to develop the latest practical skills as well as amass academic knowledge," said Ashley Sims, Media Director for Lincoln U.'s Media Center, located in the Student Union Building. "The upgrades in the Ware Center turn that space in a laboratory for our broadcast students as well."


Sims explained that production studios A and B, located in the Media Center, are each equipped with two HC3500 studio cameras. (The HC3500, Panasonic's most advanced studio camera, incorporates exclusive image processing and color reproduction functions for the highest quality in 1080/59.94i and 1080/50i image acquisition.)


All the cameras are outfitted with studio lenses, AK-HVF931A color viewfinders and HD-SDI cards for 1080i output. The studios are used for classroom studies and productions, and to produce content for the university's closed circuit television network. Studio A contains an interview set, and is also used for weather reports and green screen work. Studio B is a conventional news set. Most material is pre-recorded for later airing on the campus network.


Each studio is assigned two HPG20 P2 Portables used as dedicated recorders for the HC3500 cameras and two HPM110 P2 Mobiles. In each space, one P2 Mobile is used to record the output of the switcher with effects; the second P2 Mobile is used to record a clean feed from the switcher for subsequent post-production.


The studios share a control room, with the HS400A assigned to Studio A and HS450N assigned to Studio B. The control room is essentially split down the middle, providing common assets but complete autonomy to the studios as well.


"The studios can operate as discrete production spaces, or we can combine the recording assets of both rooms under the control of the HS450N switcher," Sims noted.

The production studios have been up and running since the beginning of the year, whereas the installation of Panasonic gear in the Ware Center was completed prior to the start of the 2009-2010 school year. There, HPX500 P2 HD camcorders are utilized to record theatrical and musical performances by students and guest artists, panel debates and other campus presentations. The material is alternatively broadcast on the campus TV network, stored in the university archives, and made available to alumni on DVD.

The HPX500s are used with studio-style lenses, AK-HVF931A color viewfinders and AJ-RC10G remote control units. Sims has personal experience with the Ware Center set-up, having begun to shoot a documentary about Lincoln alumni there. "The HPX500 image quality is excellent, and it's very easy for our students to shoot and learn on the camcorders," she said.


"The Panasonic equipment throughout the campus is already meeting our objectives of being eminently ‘teachable' and easy to grasp," Sims continued. "The career preparation for our broadcast students is invaluable and, courtesy of their work with the Panasonic gear, they will have reels of the highest quality to show prospective employers."


Sims added that the production studios will also be deployed for university business, to shoot commercials, PSAs and recruitment videos, for example. She said that university alumni will likewise have access to the studios for business use.


"The fact that Lincoln can combine all of its recording capabilities is our value-added contribution," said Visual Sound's Ritz. "The university is wired with two-way fiber optics, and capable of tapping disparate assets to cover larger, campus-wide activities. The large control room in the production studios can draw HD video from the Ware Center, even from the university's boardroom, and ultimately will be able to rout video from the campus' International Cultural Center and athletic stadium, both of which are scheduled for AV upgrades."


"We made every effort to future-proof the Lincoln installation, and Panasonic made that easy for us," Ritz added.


For more information about Lincoln University, visit


About Visual Sound, Inc.
Visual Sound is a leading Audio Visual systems integrator, service provider and reseller of professional/broadcast audio, video and AV presentation technology.  Visual Sound is a certified WBE that is centrally located in Broomall, Pennsylvania with regional offices in Allentown, Harrisburg and Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, visit



About the AK-HC3500


The high performance HC3500 camera delivers exceptional image quality with a high-resolution native imager for studio or electronic field production. The HC3500 features three 2/3" 2.2-megapixal IT-CCDs with an advanced single-channel transfer system, 14-bit A/D converter, an advanced 38-bit digital signal processor LSI and spatial offset processing for exceptional sensitivity, resolution (1100 horizontal lines), as well as reduced aliasing. For more information, visit


About the AV-HS450N and AV-HS400A

The cost-effective AV-HS450N HD/SD video switcher provides high-level HD production power and ease of use. The switcher features a built-in dual Multi-Viewer that displays up to 20 different images on two monitors (up to 16 on one screen), eliminating the need for numerous HD monitors. The HS450N comes standard with 16 HD/SD-SDI inputs (four with switchable upconversion, and eight with six-axis color correction), four HD/SD-SDI outputs and two scalable DVI-D outputs.

Designed for use in studio or mobile production systems worldwide, the all-in-one HS400 supports 1080/720/480/576 formats with full ten-bit processing, and accepts optional boards for up-conversion of standard definition and DVI signals to high definition. The compact switcher includes four standard HD/SD-SDI inputs and four standard HD/SD-SDI outputs, and may be expanded to support up to eight inputs and eight outputs using optional I/O boards. For more information about Panasonic's switcher systems, please visit


About the AG-HPX500


The AG-HPX500 teams the full production-quality of 2/3" 3-CCDs, DVCPRO HD, 4:2:2 sampling and independent frame encoding with the versatility of interchangeable lenses and the creativity of variable frame rates. Offering the highly popular features of the incredibly successful AG-HVX200 P2 HD hand-held camcorder but with many new enhancements, the 8.2-pound HPX500 features progressive 2/3" 3-CCDs that provide a larger light receiving area resulting in increased resolution and sensitivity, superb low-light performance and wide dynamic range. The HPX500 records in 32 high definition and standard definition formats, For more information on the HPX500, visit


About the AJ-HPM110

The portable P2 Mobile solid-state recorder/player is ideal for use in the field, in mobile vehicles or in the studio. It offers master quality recording and playback in a wide range of high definition formats, including 1080p (native), 1080i and 720p, and in standard definition. The ultra-reliable AJ-HPM110 records in independent-frame DVCPRO HD/50/25 and DV formats as well as master-quality, full-raster 1920 x 1080 AVC-Intra (with optional board), and is designed to work with virtually any professional camera system, from tape-based digital cameras to high-end cinema cameras with 1080/24PsF output (in full-raster 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720). For more information about Panasonic's P2 Mobile products, visit


About the AJ-HPG20

The powerful, 2.5-pound AG-HPG20 P2 Portable brings easy playback, recording and file copying of 10-bit, 4:2:2 content to field and studio work With professional inputs/outputs (IEEE 1394, USB 2.0 and HD-SDI) and AVC-Intra support, the P2 Portable serves as a low-cost, master-quality deck for fast, file-based recording in high quality production workflows. The unit's HD/SD-SDI input terminal gives the flexibility of HD or SD line recording from a wide range of video sources, bridging content to and from older tape-based systems and new HD-SDI infrastructures. For more information about the AJ-HPG20 and other P2 workflow tools, visit

About Panasonic Broadcast


Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems.  Panasonic Broadcast is a Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE Symbol: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations.  For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit






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