Post-NAB Coverage — Sony Sees HD Everywhere

Pointing to strong sales in arts and entertainment venues, sporting events, concerts and movie theaters, Sony said that its high-definition technology is steaming ahead worldwide.

“HD technology is taking hold in every aspect of video production, and not just for traditional broadcast applications,” said Alec Shapiro, senior vice president of Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division, speaking at Sony’s Sunday press conference.


In a late breaking news announcement, Shapiro said Sony HD technology will power ESPN’s new 4-million-square-foot Los Angeles multiformat studio production facility. Sony is supplying three MVS-8000G production switchers, 10 HDC-1500 studio cameras, more than 400 Sony LUMA professional LCD monitors and three BVM-L230 LCD critical video evaluation monitors.

XDCAM professional disc sales remain strong, with Shapiro touting 31,000 XDCAM high and standard-definition systems sold since the format’s introduction four years ago. Two new additions to the XDCAM line this year is the PDW-700 2/3-inch CCD camcorder, featuring 50 Mbps 4:2:2 optical disc recording, and the companion PDW-HD1500 recording/playback deck.

One customer on hand to talk about the digital transition was WRAL-TV of Raleigh, N.C., which purchased more than 30 PDW-700 cameras and several PDW-HD1500 decks for ENG and news operations.

“We figured out early on that while pictures have to be good, and they are,” said Peter Sockett, the station’s director of engineering, “it really came down to the workflow of the XDCAM format. Basically it allows for all the benefits of the nonlinear workflow, as well as the advantages of the legacy format of tape.”

Other broadcasters committing to XDCAM HD 4:2:2 include CBS Network, Cablevision, Gannett, Belo and Tribune Broadcasting groups.

Shapiro also introduced the company’s second professional level solid-state camcorder, the PMW-EX3.

The new camcorder brings the advantages of a detachable lens, gen-lock and time code, as well as a remote control for use in a studio configuration. A companion PMW-EX30 is Sony’s first solid-state memory player.

Shapiro was helped in the EX3 announcement by Miss Universe, Riyo Mori, who paraded the camcorder through the assembled press. Just last week the Miss USA Pageant was produced in Las Vegas using Sony equipment.

Another new camera on display at the Sony booth is the F35 digital cinematography camera, built in the same form-factor as the F23 shown last year, but with a single 35mm CCD imager set at the film plane to permit the use of traditional 35mm film lenses.

A new option for the MVS-8000 multiformat switchers will allow them to be integrated with newscast automation systems such as the Avid iNews or Associated Press ENPS. And a new software upgrade (version 7.20) for the MVS-8000G and MVE-8000A models will allow them to support full 1080p/60 and 1080p/50 production with dual-link input/output, dual M/E link and dual DME CH link capability (with an optional software license).

Shapiro also announced new models for its LUMA line of LCD monitors — a 17-inch and 42-inch model — as well as a 42-inch LCD addition to the BVM L Series of critical evaluation monitors. And the company is unveiling its first color professional camera viewfinder based on Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. ©2008 NAB