Cook Children's Medical

State-of-the-Art Broadcast Studio is Equipped with P2 HD Camcorders

When country music superstar Garth Brooks walked into the new Child Life Zone at Cook Children's Medical Center (Fort Worth, TX), he exclaimed, "I had to be 50 and have a record deal before I got something like this," at the sight of the professional broadcast and recording studio. The $1.5 million studio, originating up to three live shows a day that are broadcast 24/7 on a closed circuit channel throughout the 456-room facility, is outfitted with several Panasonic P2 HD camcorders—two AG-HPX370s, an AG-HPX250 and AG-HVX200A—an AW-HE50S remote HD camera, and several remote and shading controllers.

Cook Children's is a nationally recognized Pediatric Medical Center and the flagship location of a health care system that covers 47% of the state of Texas. The Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation and the Troy Aikman Foundation combined their efforts to donate the Child Life Zone (CLZ), which includes a teen room with video games and a pool table, theater, library, kitchen and craft center, as well as the broadcast/recording studio. CLZ-TV went on the air last November, and is now broadcasting 24 hours a day, with daily live shows that patients and their families can call in to and be part of, right from their hospital room.

Other programming includes morning shows, "MK in the Morning" and "Karma Korner"; a cooking show; and "Short Sport Report," hosted by a longtime patient who loves the Texas Rangers. Beyond entertainment, patients are welcome to come into the studio and learn the rudimentary production skills to create music videos and other personal content.

"CLZ-TV distracts the children from their illness, treatment and pain," said Shawn Griffith, Broadcast Studio Producer. "Working and playing in the Zone affords the kids control and skills—and it gives them hope."

Griffith, with an extensive background in filmmaking and production, was committed to professional production values. "We're competing with iCarly and SpongeBob," he said. "We use virtual sets and stage multi-camera shoots."

Griffith explained that for studio-originated programming he typically utilizes the HPX250 handheld for the wide shot, the HPX370 shoulder-mounts for opposing/crossing single shots and the HVX200A handheld high and wide on a jib arm. The HE50S faces back on Griffith, who doubles as back-up talent to the shows' hosts. A 1080/60i signal is output to a high-volume network-attached storage device, and packages are recorded in-camera to P2 media. Griffith edits variously on Avid, Final Cut and Adobe Premiere NLE systems.

"Earlier in my career, I'd worked with P2 gear and the P2 workflow, and I like the high quality and efficiency," Griffith said. "The camcorders are great for field production, and we've done several events outside the hospital that we pipe into the building. The gear is reliable and rugged, an important asset when you've got kids playing with it."

Griffith said his one year goal for CLZ-TV is to broadcast to Cook Children's more than 60 buildings across the state. "Ultimately, we'd like to share our content with other children's hospitals around the country," he said. "I really believe the Zone experience has been transformative for patients: I see therapists and parents schedule treatment around the shows and their kids' studio sessions. Perhaps most movingly, we've had children create videos that families have gone on to use in memorial services as part of a final tribute."

Sample CLZ-TV programming at www.youtube.com/childlifezone. For more information about Cook Children's, visit www.cookchildrens.org.

About the AG-HPX370
The AG-HPX370 is an affordable second-generation, interchangeable lens camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2, independent-frame full 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording. The HPX370 incorporates newly-developed 1/3", full-HD 2.2 megapixel U.L.T. (Ultra Luminance Technology) 3-MOS imagers and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to acquire native 1920 x 1080 resolution images. Rivaling the image quality and sensitivity of ½" imagers, the new U.L.T. sensor results in marked improvements in sensitivity, measured at F10. The same levels of sensitivity and image production that characterize the interlace mode are now possible in progressive mode courtesy of Progressive Advanced Processing (P.A.P.), a 3D adaptive processing technology.

About the AG-HPX250
The AG-HPX250 is Panasonic's first P2 HD handheld camcorder with master-quality 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra 100 recording. This lightweight, ergonomic-designed camcorder incorporates high-sensitivity 1/3", full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS imagers and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to capture stunning high resolution images. The HPX250 includes professional features, like genlock, timecode, HD-SDI and HDMI input/outputs for multi-camera operation and monitoring, as well as a color viewfinder. The powerful hand-held is equipped with a 22x wide zoom (28mm to 616mm) HD lens with 3 independent adjustable rings (Zoom/Focus/Iris).
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