Moving P2 Proxy Video to Mobile Has Potential for Sports

By Andrew Lippe
Director/cinematographer Suny Behar and Panasonic Broadcast released a white paper detailing the process of moving proxy video to mobile devices, particularly Apple iPods and iPhones. The paper, called “Proxy Video: From A to iPod,” is a step-by-step guide in how to create proxy video, a lower resolution of the HD video captured on the P2 card. Proxy video requires no transcoding and can be immediately viewed on a multitude of Apple devices. Although the white paper is aimed at moving movie dailies to iPods and iPhones, the process can be applicable to sports.
Says Steve Cooperman, Panasonic P2 product line business manager, “Proxy may not apply to sports on a day-to-day basis, but I think there are advantages in using proxy video in long-form–type sports programming.” With sports, he notes, a tremendous amount of content is archived for the long term, and low-resolution video facilitates that.
Behar will discuss training and the benefits of P2 file-based workflow at next week’s HD Expo. In the white paper, he says that proving copies of footage delivered to the necessary people, or “portable” dailies, are still a necessity in the industry. Proxy video creates a simultaneous off-line version of HD video that is extremely lightweight and ready for immediate viewing.
Panasonic’s higher-end P2 HD cameras and P2 HD VariCams contain a slot for a proxy card. Its function “is to simultaneously encode the video and audio that is being shot by the camera into a lightweight MPEG-4 format video [that includes audio and real-time metadata, such as time-code data] onto a P2 card and an SD memory card,” Behar says in the white paper. Putting that SD card into a laptop allows the MPEG-4 video to be viewed. The MPEG-4 footage does not contain a time-code track, but the footage captured can be edited.
Proxy video is encoded and can be transferred at three user-selectable bitrate settings: 192 kbps, 768 kbps, and 1.5 Mbps. Says Cooperman, “It is a super-inexpensive way to view frame-accurate dailies.”

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