Sony’s product innovations inspired by customer needs

The company added a new compact hybrid-ready HDV camcorder to its portfolio, the HVR-Z5E

Sony held a press conference at its IBC stand to showcase its latest product offerings, most of which were shown at NAB in the spring but are now shipping. The company now offers a complete 1080p production chain and a new 3Gb/s migration kit for HDC-1500 systems camera users.

The company added a new compact hybrid-ready HDV camcorder to its portfolio, the HVR-Z5E, which borrows from the existing HVR-Z1E and DSR-PD170P camcorders to offer excellent low light performance, a new 20X “G” lens and hybrid workflow with the optional HVR-MRC1K solid-state memory recorder. The lightweight unit can be mounted on an HDV camcorder and provide users with a hybrid recording system that can record to both CompactFlash solid-state memory and tape simultaneously. A single 16GB CF card can record about 72 minutes of HD at 25Mb/s material.

Sony also introduced the PMW-EX3, part of the XDCAM EX family and one of the only semi-shoulder style interchangeable lens solid-state camcorders.

The capabilities of the HDCAM SR format have been expanded for post production by adding new features to the SRW-5800 HDCAM SR VTR for DI workflow. These include 1080 50p/60p, RGB 444 HQ Mode, Dual Stream (3D) Mode and Double Speed Transfer Mode for 2X high-speed ingest to NLE. The new HKSR-5804 network interface card was also announced, which allows users to transfer DPX files to and from the SR format, and also to store uncompressed files from HD to 4K (4096 x 3112).

Broadcasters such as the BBC are now using HDCAM SR quality for their mainstream programming. At IBC Sony launched an affordable version, the new SRW-5100 player-only product. The company also unveiled the latest product in the XDCAM HD family, the new HDW-650P camcorder.

In the area of monitoring, the company has expanded its range of TRIMASTER monitors with a new QFHD 56in monitor (3840 x 2160 resolution) and added the BVM-L170, a 17in master monitor and the PVM-L2300, a 23in broadcast monitor.

Sony has added support for the 23.9p fps format to the XDCAM HD422 product line. An upgrade kit (V1.2 firmware) for existing users of the PDW-700 and PDW-HD1500 camcorders will be available in June 2009. The new firmware adds new frame rates, more filmic hyperGamma and SD recording options to support DVCAM and IMX.

Celebrating its fifth consecutive year of growth at IBC 2008, Sony said its European systems integration business has grown by more than 40 percent in the last 12 months. Sony’s Professional Services team has designed and implemented equipment and systems for a variety of broadcast customers, including BskyB. Sony will serve as the lead systems integrator for BskyB’s new media centre in the UK.

Other systems integration projects the team has won in the last year include building 15 new HD OB vehicles, relocating Sky Italia’s entire broadcast facilities, and integrating its SONAPS networked news production platform into France’s Canal+, Italy’s RAI and Spain’s Telecinco.