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WALA-TV Adopts XDCAM HD for Tapeless ENG

WALA-TV, a Fox affiliate in Mobile, Ala., recently rolled out Sony’s XDCAM HD professional disc system to streamline its electronic newsgathering process and move the station to a tape-free environment.

The Sony optical disc system is in use throughout the station’s field and studio operations.

Roland Fields, chief engineer at WALA said the Sony system gives the station a strong HD foundation for the future. While WALA currently broadcasts in standard definition, having an HD archive will be useful when HD broadcasting starts and the station needs to insert archived file footage, which will already be in HD.

“Having a completely digital workflow, from end to end, is a tremendous benefit,” he said. “When the discs come back from the field, we can get that footage directly into our NLEs—already digitized—and start editing. Then, we just put that disc on a shelf, and it’s there as a durable, long-term archive option.”

In the field, the ENG crews have been impressed by the system’s cache recording feature, its in-camera editing capabilities and the ability to review footage as thumbnails on the camcorder’s LCD screen.