Rustic Kitchen Combines Panasonic AW-HE100 Pan/Tilt/Zoom Cameras and AV-HS400A Live Switcher for Production of Lively Cooking Shows

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Panasonic HD Cameras and Switchers Add Spice to State-of-the-Art, In-Restaurant Broadcast Television Kitchen Studio

Last Updated: December 16, 2008 11:53 pm GMT
(Secaucus, New Jersey--December 16, 2008) Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar recently invested in Panasonic AW-HE100 integrated pan-tilt-zoom cameras, AG-HVX200 P2 HD camcorders and AV-HS400 multi-format video switchers to serve up its weekly live cooking shows in high definition.

Opened in Boston’s Historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace in 2001, the classic Italian bistro Rustic Kitchen quickly gained notoriety for its distinctive atmosphere and award-winning blend of daily fresh cuisine and signature hand-made pasta.

In the fall of 2006, Rustic Kitchen relocated to a new and much larger location in Boston’s historic Theatre District - where it launched its unique state-of-the-art, television broadcast studio kitchen. It also has locations in Hingham, MA at the Derby Street Shoppes, and earlier this year, opened at the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs, in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Jim Cafarelli and his wife Kathy are the owners, with Tom Holloway as partner and executive chef.

Cafarelli developed this unique broadcast television kitchen studio as part of the newly opened Boston restaurant, and co-created and launched a live evening cooking show called "In the Kitchen" with host Alissa Bigelow. Together they have produced over 250 live cooking shows, which have become one of the most coveted tickets in town. Jim and Alissa are in the process of producing a televised version of “In the Kitchen" with Alissa Bigelow.

Now, the Boston and Mohegan Sun locations each have broadcast-ready studios that offer a variety of live daily cooking shows, morning cooking classes and a weekly live evening cooking show. The Boston studio is equipped with a mounted HE100 integrated pan-tilt camera, and a mounted HVX200 P2 HD camcorder with an AV-HS400 switcher; and AW-RP655 multi-function control system. The larger, newer restaurant at Mohegan Sun has two additional mounted HE100 cameras.

“We’re doing something unique in the industry,” said Cafarelli. “We’ve developed a live cooking show where diners can purchase tickets for a freshly prepared, wine-paired meal with a host in a lively entertaining environment. Crowd participation is encouraged, so diners can interact directly with the host/chef and ask questions during the show.”

Cafarelli had many years of experience in live music show production, but harbored a passion for food and restaurants; he saw the Rustic Kitchen studio concept as an opportunity to combine dining, entertainment and live television production.

“I worked with Technician/Engineer and longtime friend Scott Ferriero of Boston Light Source to identify cutting edge lighting and camera technology for the set,” said Cafarelli. “We needed multiple cameras to create a triangular perspective that would capture the host, reactions from the audience, as well as close-up shots of the food prepared on the cook-top. After researching various pan/tilt systems, we decided that Panasonic’s HE100 fit the bill.”

“What we liked most about the HE100 was its smooth movement,” Cafarelli remarked. “The camera quickly pans to various positions without jerking, unlike other cameras we tested. And you could preset multiple positions in the camera, so you can get the shot you need with just the touch of a button.”

“The HVX200 provides the ‘static’ shot during the show,” said Cafarelli, “but we can also de-mount it and use it, with our solid-state 16GB P2 cards, to shoot sequences in the restaurant or in town as additional footage for the show. The camera is very flexible and blends in perfectly with video from the HE100.”

Once guests are seated, a large blinking on-air sign (added for dramatic effect) indicates the start of the show. One production assistant runs the entire production from a small control room using the AV-HS400 live switcher and controllers for the HE100. During the cooking demonstrations, the PA maneuvers the camera to capture various points of views.

“The HS400 switcher gives us the ability to run a professional, broadcast quality production in our little studio,” said Cafarelli. “It provides seamless switching and is very user friendly. We don’t need trained production assistants with broadcast backgrounds to run it. Our PA, who is an intelligent, computer-savvy student, runs the entire production with the switcher system.

“With multiple formats and built-in multi-viewer, the HS400 offers a wide range of flexible features: we can do picture-in-picture, we can easily feed in photos, ingredient shots, logos (of various formats) using the switcher’s SD card slot, and much more. We’re only limited by our imagination.”

“Cooking with Kate,” with host Kate Gabriele, the show shot at the Mohegan Sun location, is broadcast on monitors in the restaurant and the casino.

“In the Kitchen” with Alissa Bigelow airs as a guest segment on “TV Diner with Bill Costa” on Boston’s local NECN news station available on Comcast and on LodgeNet in local area hotel rooms. Cafarelli and Bigelow recently worked with DP Mike Huss and Deran Sarafian (director and co-executive producer of House) as executive producer, to create three episodes of “In the Kitchen” with Alissa Bigelow, which are currently being pitched to several major networks.

For more information about Rustic Kitchen, visit www.rustickitchen.biz.

About the AW-HE100
The AW-HE100 integrated pan-tilt camera combines outstanding image quality, super smooth pan/tilt/zoom operation and flexible system configuration. Perfect for an array of applications ranging from high-resolution distance learning and videoconferencing, to broadcast and event staging, the HE100 camera supports 1080i, 720p and 480i formats and can simultaneously output both HD and SD signals. Three progressive 1/3” IT CCDs, a 14-bit A/D converter, and a 19-bit digital signal processor allow the camera to produce incredibly clean, high-resolution images in a wide range of lighting conditions and environments. The AW-HE100 comes standard with a variety of outputs including HD/SD analog component and composite video, and can easily be integrated with Panasonic’s AK-HC1500 convertible HD camera and SD convertible cameras and is compatible with a wide range of professional RS-422 control systems including Panasonic’s pan-tilt controllers. For more information on the HE100, visit www.pansonic.com/broadcast.

About the AG-HVX200A
The 1/3” 3-CCD AG-HVX200A P2 HD/DV handheld camcorder features improved progressive 3-CCD imagers, a DSP that increases sensitivity while lowering noise and smear, and a new 13X zoom lens. The ultra-versatile HVX200A records in 1080i and 720p in production-proven 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD quality, with the ability to capture images in 21 record modes. The DVCPRO HD format offers users cost-effective, intra-frame compression, where each frame stands on its own for editing, and its full 4:2:2 color sampling allows the image to hold up under color correction. The camera records video on a P2 card as IT-friendly MXF files in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; in 50Mbps DVCPRO50 and in 25Mbps DVCPRO or DV. The HVX200A can capture fast or slow action in 720p at various frame rates: the shooting frame rate in 720p native mode can be set for any of 11 steps between 12fps and 60fps including 24fps and 30fps. For more information on the HVX200A, visit www.panasonic.com/P2HD.

About the AV-HS400
Designed for use in studio or mobile production systems worldwide, the all-in-one HS400 supports these HD and SD formats -- 1080/59.94i, 1080/50i, 720/59.94p, 720/50p, 480/59.94i, and 576/50i; and accepts optional boards for up-conversion of standard definition and DVI signals to high definition. Full ten-bit HD processing is used throughout the HS400 to provide the highest quality ever available in a single chasis switcher. For enhanced creativity, the HS400 features 3D effects including page turn, an independent aux bus, PIP, DSK, and a high-quality chroma key that provides clean, production-quality composite images for professional applications such as green screen, news, and weather. The compact includes four standard HD/SD-SDI inputs and four standard HD/SD-SDI outputs. The switcher may be expanded to support up to eight inputs and eight outputs using optional I/O boards. For more information about the AV-HS400 system, please visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the North American headquarters of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Japan, and the hub of its U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

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