Sony Promotes HDR Ecosystem

Higher image quality IP, cloud part of NAB Show strategy
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LAS VEGAS —While Sony has always been famous for its expertise in imaging technology, the company is also known for its focus on the entire production workflow; hence the addition of the word “Go” to its recurring “Beyond Definition” NAB Show theme this year.

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Katsunori Yamanouchi, president of Sony Professional Solutions America
Photo by Ned Soltz “We strive to drive our business in two aspects in particular,” said Katsunori Yamanouchi, the new president of Sony Professional Solutions America, at a NAB preview press conference last month. “One is content value, but at the same time there is another angle, workflow efficiency. By providing [these two aspects], we strive to position ourselves as not just a simple supplier but as a trusted business partner.”

HDR FOR ALL
With more content providers moving to 4K, the addition of high dynamic range and wide color gamut is becoming increasingly important to Sony’s customers, even those in the lower end wedding and corporate markets, who are thinking of adding HDR to HD workflows. This is a concept that Rob Willox, director of marketing for Sony PSA, referred to as “Instant HDR.”

“There’s a huge amount of business at the bottom of the pyramid,” he said, using reality TV as an example. “There can be 30, 40 cameras involved in that. To make them all expensive HDR cameras is a non-starter.”

For high-end markets, including live sports, the path to HDR is also becoming more apparent, according to John Studdert, vice president, media and sports for Sony PSA.

“For two years now, we’ve been doing proofs of concept with every single sports network in the industry, both in the U.S. and Canada, to work through how to do a 4K HDR and an HD HDR production,” he said. “I’m happy to say that all the kinks have been worked out. It is ready now.”

To make the conversion to HDR possible for the various markets, Sony has developed the concept of “SR Live” (Scene Referred Live Workflow), which encompasses the company’s line of cameras, conversion gear and monitoring equipment. SR Live now supports simultaneous production of HD HDR and HD SDR, similar to 4K HDR.

Sony has also added firmware updates to reflect these upgrades to its HDC-4800, HDC-4300 and HDC-P43 system cameras. A software update (v2.3) to its PWS- 4500, 4K live server now offers support for HD S-Log3, HD HLG (hybrid log gamma) and 4K/HD PQ and the company’s BVM-E171 HD OLED master monitor will support HDR through a new monitoring license. Firmware updates to several entry-level XDCAM camcorders—including the PXW-FS5 and PXW-Z150—now offer support for HLG recording and an update to the FS5 also offers support for HLG in addition to S-Log3.

FOUR PILLARS
But HDR is just one part of what Sony PSA Marketing Manager Alex Rossi refers to as the company’s “four pillar strategy,” which, in addition to HDR, covers media solutions (cloud), image capture and IP. A large portion of the company’s NAB Show booth will be dedicated to its “IP Live” solutions, which this year will include a production data center that will serve as the “IP nerve center” for the booth. The company will also feature a 32-foot canvas wall that has been showcased at Infocomm and other trade shows.

Also new is the Sony Pro USA Mobile App that will allow customers to view new products and solutions via their mobile devices and eventually information about firmware updates. “Customers will be able to share social media, easy access for contacting Sony and it will be available in April for Android and iOS,” Rossi said.

Sony will be in booth C11001.