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NFL standardizes on Betacam SX for video operations

The National Football League has reached an agreement with Sony Electronics that will see the league's 32 teams all standardize its video operations on Sony's Betacam SX half-inch digital format until the year 2011. For the past ten years the NFL has used Sony’s analog Betacam SP format.

The Betacam SX gear adopted by the NFL includes the DNV-5 recorder/player; DNW-9WS camcorder; DNW-A25 laptop editor/recorder and DNW-A225 portable editing system.

The deal, which runs through 2010, will result in approximately $700,000 worth of gear per team being installed by the end of the 2004 season, according to Sony. Sony said it has no current sponsorship agreements with the NFL.

Pat Whittingham, president of Sony Electronics' Business Solutions and Systems Company, said that by standardizing on the Betacam SX format, the league would improve the image quality of its current video productions while also streamlining its workflow process. And because all of Sony’s tape formats are based on the half-inch MPEG2 4:2:2 digital compression scheme, the ability to playback legacy Betacam SP analog tapes is assured.

The NFL teams would use Betacam SX camcorders and videotape recorders to record practices and games for training and competitive analysis, scouting and exchanging game tapes with other teams. Betacam SX component digital cassettes offer longer recording times than on the same tape-length analog cassette, according to the company.

The NFL’s standardization policy ensures compatibility among the other teams, and allows continued access to analog Betacam tapes that might come from colleges and scouts.

The Betacam SX gear adopted by the NFL includes the DNV-5 recorder/player; DNW-9WS camcorder (offering digital recording in the 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios); DNW-A25 laptop editor/recorder; DNW-A225 portable editing system (featuring two integrated DNW-A25 SX VTRs); DNW-A28 front-loading compact editing recorder; DNW-A65 studio deck (with variable-speed playback); and DNW-A75 studio editing VTR.

Also included in the deal is numerous Sony J-series feeder/viewers that permit full playback compatibility with other Sony half-inch formats, such as Betacam, Betacam SP and Digital Betacam, in addition to Betacam SX and MPEG IMX.

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