Mountain West Digital Network Invests in Panasonic AG-HPX600 P2 HD Shoulder-Mount Camera

The Mountain West Digital Network has invested in the Panasonic AG-HPX600 P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder as its primary acquisition camera, with back-up provided by a pair of AG-HPX250 P2 HD handhelds.

PanasonicLogoDuring the 2013-2014 academic year, the MWC will grow to 12 constituents, with Utah State and San Jose State joining the Air Force Academy, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai‘i (football only), Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Wyoming. Having made the decision to contemporize its athletics web site with a “flood” of internet and social media videos, the conference hired award-winning sports broadcaster Jesse Kurtz as Executive Producer of its newly-formed Digital Network, and outfitted him with an HPX600 for wide-ranging production assignments. Panasonic’s latest P2 HD camcorder, the 6.2 pound HPX600 features native 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording and its future-proof options include an upgrade to AVC-ULTRA recording.

Having spent more than 15 years as a reporter and sports anchor for local CBS affiliate KKTV, Kurtz is experienced in shooting and editing video, as well as anchoring and sideline reporting, all assets that come into play on his various assignments throughout the conference. Recent major events at which the HPX600 was utilized as the “A” camera include the MWC’s Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, held in San Antonio, TX in February; and the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship, held in Las Vegas, NV in March. Live streams of every swimming/diving final could be seen on line at, and all 16 basketball games were likewise streamed live.

After games, Kurtz would supervise editing and posting highlights packages for web consumption, both on You Tube and the conference web site, as well as post-game interviews with coaches and athletes. Beyond these marquee events, Kurtz routinely shoots interviews and games across the conference’s 18 sports, often working solo. Also, he provides 30- and 60-second highlight spots to local news stations. As the school year winds down, he has made plans to conduct interviews with conference alumni in the NBA and MLB, and at NFL training camps.

Having worked with P2 HD camcorders at KKTV, Kurtz was familiar with a solid-state work flow, and easily migrated to operating the HPX600. “The HPX600 is truly top-of-line, with tremendous picture quality, remarkable in its clarity when tracking sports action,” said Kurtz. “The four-channel digital audio is terrific: during the basketball tournament, I was able to record the natural sound of the crowds using the front ports, while capturing multiple radio calls on the third and fourth inputs.”

“The Gigabit Ethernet connection is crucial for our live streaming work,” he added. “I like the fact that the color viewfinder is switchable to black-and-white. The camcorder’s digital display is different from those of earlier P2 cameras, but once I mastered it I came to appreciate its user-friendliness and easy accessibility to the camera’s extensive functionality.”

Kurtz said he has outfitted the interchangeable-lens HPX600 with a Fujinon telephoto lens with doubler; he typically shoots 1080/29.97 (“good for TV”), and edits on Avid Media Composer 6.5.

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