Sony to Introduce Optical Disc Camera System

At NAB2003, Sony Broadcast Professional plans to introduce its first non-tape-based professional video cameras for the ENG market, using an optical disc system that promises to be one of the linchpins of the company's new IT-based network that has been under development for the past several years.

The optical system records both the high-resolution original and a lower-resolution but frame-accurate version called a proxy video and audio. From the camcorder, or a battery-operated mobile deck, newsgathering teams will be able to transfer the proxy information to laptop editors or back to the studio at up to 30 times faster-than-real-time saving precious minutes over the current "bulk feed" approach, according to Sony.

The camcorders could help bring about the long-promised disc-based recording capabilities that professional videographers have dreamed about for years. The cameras will offer the choice of recording video with the DVCAM codec at 25 Mbps or the MPEG IMX codec at 30, 40 or 50 Mbps. Optical decks will accept both formats and offer analog A/V, digital A/V and compatibility with i.LINK (IEEE 1394) and Ethernet interfaces.

"Our optical disc system will offer an entirely new paradigm in field acquisition and editing, in moving material at high-speed from the field to the television station to facilitate editing, and by introducing significant new efficiencies to a station's overall workflow," said Steve Jacobs, senior vice president of the broadcast and professional systems division of Sony Electronics' Business Solutions and Systems Co. "Using the optical camcorder itself, customers will be able to mark their good shots, identify them from a picture-stamp storyboard displayed on the camcorder's LCD monitor and play them back seamlessly."