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The new Nipros fiber optic adapter turns Sony's XDCAM-EX III into a studio camera system.LAS VEGAS
Sony Broadcast is heading to Las Vegas with new and enhanced products that emphasize the industry's continued move to improved workflows and the ubiquity of HD.

The company is promoting its "HD For All" theme, with approximately 30 new or enhanced products representing differing price points with an eye to spreading hi-def material to new markets.

"HD has had phenomenal consumer penetration into the home, so TV stations and broadcast groups need to move to HD," said Alec Shapiro, senior vice president for Sony Broadcast. "The education, houses of worship and sports [markets] are all moving to HD."

In addition—and concurrent with HD—Sony will also concentrate on new developments in news production, 3D and workflows at this year's show.

Sony is targeting HD news in a big way this year with the announcement from Avid that it's launching a new HD news production system with native support for Sony's XDCAM HD tapeless acquisition platform. Customers will no longer be required to wrap media into another format to bring XDCAM footage in and out of Avid's NewsCutter system, saving time and storage space.

"We've been working [with Avid] for a long time and we're very excited about Avid's new release," Shapiro said.

XDCAM AND HDV

Sony's XDCAM-HD and XDCAM-EX product lines will be the main focal points of the booth. HDV, as well, continues to be a top seller for the company and the booth will boast new products in that line as well.

The new HVR-Z5U HDV camcorder offers 24p recording and other professional features for under $5,000. An optional HVR-MRC1K CompactFlash adapter allows for tapeless acquisition, eliminating the need for cables and automatically synchs with the recording action of the camcorder. The recording unit can be directly attached to the new HVR-Z5U camera, as well as to Sony's HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U models. It will also work with other HDV camcorders using a supplied i.LINK (IEEE 1394) cable and shoe adapter.

For XDCAM EX, a new Nipros optical fiber studio adapter fully integrates the camera for studio use, delivering an HD studio camera package fully integrated with a viewfinder for under $30,000, according to Shapiro. A new ENG/EFP field recorder for XDCAM HD will also debut at Sony's booth. The PDW-HR1 also supports Sony legacy formats including MPEG IMX, DVCAM and 4:2:0 HD 24p content.

Sony is also adding to its line of Trimaster LCD monitors, including the BVM-L170, Sony's second LCD master monitor for critical evaluation, and the BVM-L2300, a 23-inch broadcast-grade monitor. Both incorporate a 10-bit 120Hz LCD panel.

New automation software for Sony's MVS switchers will allow users to control additional equipment within a facility. In addition, new MVS switchers, targeting both up- and down-markets will debut, along with enhancements to make the switchers more 3D friendly.

NEW LOCATION

Perhaps the biggest change for the company is the relocation of its 26,000-square-foot booth—the show's largest—to the back of the Central Hall of the LVCC, in the same location as the company's CES booth.

Shapiro acknowledged that economic realities will affect who and how many broadcasters will attend the show this year. Sony—which usually sends approximately 1000 people to the show will reduce their attendance by about 20 percent, in line with Shapiro's estimations that show attendance will be down by the same percent. But this doesn't alter the show's importance.

"The NAB Show is still by far the most important show for Sony and the most important show for the industry," Shapiro said.

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.