Panasonic and Apple today announced the world’s first implementation of FireWire with 100 Mbps DV-HD (the native video compression of Panasonic DVCPRO HD recording systems), a move that significantly reduces the cost of creating and distributing HD projects.

Panasonic and Apple have conspired to bring HD over FireWire capabilities to desktop and mobile editing with Panasonic’s new AJ-HD1200A, the first HD production VTR to offer a FireWire interface. It's built to work with Final Cut Pro HD.

Panasonic Broadcast president John Baisley said: “The implementation of Panasonic’s VariCam-native DV-HD codec in Final Cut Pro HD will revolutionize high definition production as users know it.

"It permits content creators to embrace the film-like qualities of our Emmy award-winning VariCam acquisition system, on their desktop, at a cost level that permits the migration of HD throughout the entire creative process.”

Apple’s vice president of applications marketing Rob Schoeben remarked: “Apple has worked with Panasonic over the past three years to bring FireWire technology to their DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD tape decks. Now, we’re bringing real-time, native DVCPRO HD editing to Power Macs and PowerBooks at a breakthrough price.”

The news means users of Panasonic video cameras can transfer footage over FireWire directly into Final Cut Pro HD with no loss of quality. The footage can be edited straight away – ideal for roving news reporters on assignment, for example. The data is held at original resolution on the Mac's hard drive.

Final Cut Pro HD users can also automatically extract 3:2 pulldown from any 24fps HD VariCam footage, saving an additional 60 per cent in disk storage space, thus providing a highly-streamlined 24fps native HD ingest and editing process. At that point, users can edit camera-original quality HD content on their desktop.

Stuart English, vice president of marketing, Panasonic Broadcast, said: “With high definition now available on the desktop with Power Mac G5 and the AJ-HD1200A, the investment necessary for HD editing is dramatically reduced. For example, the hardware and software needed to equip a full-function HD-editing suite with over 100 hours of 24fps HD on-line storage is less than $50,000.”

During their three year partnership, Panasonic and Apple have introduced solutions that allow for the direct digital transfer of native 25Mbps DV 4:1:1 (DV and DVCPRO), 50Mbps DV 4:2:2 (DVCPRO50) and now at 100Mbps DV-HD (DVCPRO HD) via FireWire into Final Cut Pro based non-linear editing systems.

During NAB 2002, the two companies announced that Final Cut Pro would support Panasonic’s AG-DVX100 24P mini-DV camcorder. They announced support of DVCPRO50 full studio-quality video based on 50Mbps DV 4:2:2 compression over FireWire at NAB 2003.