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RAI commits to XDCAM as foundation of three-year transition to HD

Italian public broadcaster Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) has made a major commitment to Sony’s XDCAM HD technology as part of its plan to transition its broadcast infrastructure to HD over the next three years.

The deal will see 180 PDW-700 camcorders and 180 PDW-HD1500 decks used across RAI’s entire range of operations from newsgathering to entertainment programming and documentaries. The XDCAM tapeless technology will help RAI manage its legacy SD operations and move to HD transmission over the next three years.

According to Andrea Lorusso Caputi, director of RAI’s production TV department, the agreement to acquire XDCAM HD technology is “the first pillar” in the broadcaster’s plan to migrate to HD. Because existing VTRS can be easily swapped out for the XDCAM format systems, the addition of the Sony technology will allow the broadcaster to maintain its current workflow. Additionally, the XDCAM systems offer the advantages of tapeless operation and IT interconnectivity, which makes it simple to transfer data files into nonlinear editing systems, he said.

The commitment to the MPEG HD422 50Mb/s XDCAM systems represented a “significant investment decision” made only after an intensive trial of the technology during “the world’s two largest sporting events” this summer, said Ubaldo Toni, head of RAI’s production TV department engineering group.

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