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HD is key to Sony’s success

At NAB, Sony showed a full array of high-definition products and systems that help streamline the production process and address the growing demand for native HD content. At its annual NAB press event, Sony executives said that HD would transform every aspect of the communications and entertainment industries.

Sony's HDCAM camcorder HDW-730S

For Sony, this means supplying products for the high-end, with its HDCAM SR and HDCAM native 1080i gear as well as the emerging HDV market. In a separate demo suite off the exhibit floor the company showed a prototype 1080/60p camera for high-quality sports production (which can also be used to produce shows in 720p and also for HD slo-motion). The company showed a prototype small-format HDV camcorder in its NAB booth.

Sony said its HDCAM gear will be used by NBC at the Summer Olympic Games and by Cox Cable for its Cox SportsNet channel to cover the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.

At NAB Sony introduced a new line of HDCAM equipment called the HDCAM S series, which includes a new camera and VTR.

In the area of the new XDCAM product family of professional optical media standard-definition equipment, Sony said more than 1500 units have been shipped to customers and dealers around the world, with 500 in the U.S. Customers such as CNN, NBC, WFLD-TV and WLS-TV, and rental houses Bexel and Wexler Video, have all embraced the new XDCAM gear. It was also stated that NBC will use the XDCAM camera on a trial basis at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

Sony said that 42 of the 44 television shows produced in Hollywood were being shot on HDCAM equipment. Peter Schindler, co-executive Producer of “Joan of Arc, ” one of the shows shot on HDCAM, said the format has saved them at least $35,000 per episode when compared with film production. He said digital production was the way of the future.

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