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Engineering Service, Inc.   »  News 

Panasonic is basically redesigning how video production is done. Rather than limit keyers, MEs, and outputs, Kairos is just pure processing power. So it can handle however many layers, inputs and outputs as the GPU and CPU can take. The world of video is changing. In many ways things are becoming simpler, as they become more complicated. If you were to take all the knowledge of video: speeds, frame rates, connectors, resolutions and put it in a blender to make a smoothie, you would have the Panasonic Kairos.

First things first, it’s pronounced Kairos… rhymes with hair-loss. According to Wikipedia “Kairos is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action.” I’ll say this for Panasonic, they got that one right. In a time when there are more resolutions and inputs types than a person can shake a stick at, Panasonic simply says “None of that matters.”

Normally in a first impression article, this is the area where speeds and feeds would preside. For some, this is the boring part of the article, for others it’s the most important. However, this time there won’t be technical specs here because, simply put, there aren’t any. The architecture is completely open. Panasonic looked at every piece of video gear ever released and realized that the video world was very much in the “if you give a mouse a cookie” mentality. Release a switcher with 3 MEs, video professionals will want 4, and if you give them 4 keyers, they will want 5. To combat this, Panasonic is basically redesigning how video production is done. Rather than limit keyers, MEs, and outputs, Kairos is just pure processing power. So it can handle however many layers, inputs and outputs as the GPU and CPU can take. Split it up however you like, use it however you need. Leaving us to assume, when you need more processing power, you can probably just add it. Panasonic is calling it “Photoshop for live video.”

So the obvious question now is: how does that work? Well Kairos is a software-based platform, and is relying to CPU and GPU for everything. Since Kairos is software, its resolution and format agnostic, because it’s going to handle video more like data. So if you want HDMI, SDI, or NDI, no problem. It can handle that. Typically one of the issues with software vs. hardware is the latency, traditionally hardware tends to be faster. Panasonic has addressed this, according to the specs, Kairos has 1 frame of latency. It apparently doesn’t matter if it’s 1 input passing through or 1 input with 10 keys on it, the latency remains unchanged. Many hardware based platforms on the market right now are not that fast.

Hardware interfaces are one of the more limiting things about video production. Mainly because, at the end of the day, you can only put so many buttons in so much space. However for Kairos the GUI is totally customizable, making it much like the rest of the system, a blank canvas that can be whatever you need it to be. Customize the layout in a way that makes sense for your specific use case.

Because of the flexibility and scalability, this product really could be a game changer. In a time when much of the cutting edge of the video industry is looking to Internet Protocol (IP) along comes Kairos to say “SDI and IP at the same time? No problem!” If nothing else, this maybe a great gateway product that stands in the gap between the traditional SDI infrastructure and the future IP-based infrastructure. Kairos may be positioned at the perfect place and time to be THE transition product.


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