NAB Show - Sony: 25 New HD Products

Sony (Asia; UK) will bring a wide array of new HD products to NAB, addressing the broadcast news and field production markets, digital cinematography, and production.

The Sony theme for the show, announced at a pre-NAB press conference, mirrors the company's HDNA consumer electronics campaign begun last November.

"We have a legacy in HD that is unparalleled as a company in the industry," said Alec Shapiro, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Production Systems Division. "HDNA this year is spreading HD beyond the broadcast market … the company will have solutions that cost anywhere from US$3,000 to US$300,000."

31,000 XCAMS

Sony's XDCAM optical disc camcorders and recorders are a reflection of that high-definition legacy today, with more than 31,000 units sold worldwide.

Two new additions to the XDCAM line will be introduced at the NAB Show: the PDW-700 camcorder and HD1500 recording deck.

Both support Sony's dual-layer 50 GB optical discs and add the benefits of 50 Mbps 4:2:2 optical disc recording. They provide multiformat (1080i/720p) recording flexibility, and HD/SD conversion and cross-conversion during playback between 1080i and 720p.

The PDW-700 camcorder is the first in the XDCAM line to utilize 2/3-inch CCD imagers, providing a resolution of 1920x1080 effective pixels.

The HD1500 is a half-rack recording deck that supports a range of interfaces, including HD-SDI, SD-SDI, i.LINK (IEEE-1394) and Ethernet. It sports a VTR-like jog/shuttle control. Both camcorder and recording deck are expected to be shipping as of the NAB Show.

Another Sony product that has gone racing ahead since its introduction a year ago is the PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX solid-state memory camera, which records to the company's SxS PRO Memory Card. Shapiro reported Sony has sold thousands of the XDCAM EX camcorder, and that a new 32 GB memory card will soon be available, doubling the previous recording capacity of the camera from 140 minutes to 280 minutes at 25 Mbps video. (The PMW-EX1 has bays to hold two cards.)

For the HDV market, Sony will feature the HVR-Z7U (handheld) and HVR-S270U (shoulder-mount) camcorders, along with HVR-M35U playback and recording deck. The shoulder-mount HVR-S270U camcorder provides for interchangeable lenses and the ability to handle full-sized DV tapes.

For the motion picture industry, Sony will introduce the F35 digital cinematography camera, which utilizes a single 35mm-size CCD imager to allow users to mount lenses originally designed for 35mm film cameras. Like the 2/3-inch imager F23 camera premiered last year, the F35 has the look and feel of a film camera rather than an ENG camcorder. The F35 is expected to ship late in 2008.

Sony will have new introductions in both its professional and mastering LCD monitors. For critical evaluation monitoring, Sony will present a 42-inch BVM-L420, designed for use in high-end post production, telecine, colour grading and digital intermediate work. As a result of customer feedback, the company has engineered better contrast and more accurate black details into the new monitor. New LED backlight technology removes motion blur while maintaining consistent black levels.

Expanding its Luma line of professional LCD models are new 17- and 42-inch models. Both feature Sony's ChromaTru colour processing and accept multiple sources, including video and PC formats.

—Craig Johnston