The Apple-supported H.264 open standard video codec got a shot in the arm on Sunday as Panasonic announced support for the codec in its high definition products beginning in 2007.
“This [H.264] is a substantial advancement over current MPEG-2 codecs being used today,” said John Baisley, president of Panasonic North America, during the presentation.
Baisley went on to compliment H.264 because it allows companies to shoot HD with better quality than the standard definition being used today, but using the same amount of space to store the media.
This is one of the features of H.264 that Apple has touted as a key component of the codec, allowing media producers to move to future technologies without going through lengthy upgrade processes to accommodate things like HD.
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, Frank Casanova, Apple’s director of QuickTime product marketing, said that Apple predicts cable television networks will be using H.264 because of its high quality video at low data rates.
Casanova explained that a lot of cable systems promoting MPEG-2 are at capacity. They don’t have any more bandwidth over the coax to push any new programming. With the advent of HD, that’s a real problem for them because HD is so much bigger than standard signals.
“H.264 is so efficient cable companies can actually add HD programming and not disrupt their standard definition cable offerings,” Casanova said. “That’s what is so remarkable about H.264.”
Apple said in a slide at the presentation that would are working closely with Panasonic on tapeless workflows.
“Apple and Panasonic have changed the economics of professional HD production with many industry firsts, such as a FireWire enabled HD VTR and native support for both real-time DVCPRO HD and P2 in Final Cut Pro. We’re thrilled to be working with Panasonic to usher in the next generation of tapeless workflows with support for H.264 media in a future release of Final Cut Studio.”