LAS VEGAS—At Sony’s annual pre-NAB Show press briefing last month, Alec Shapiro, president of Sony Professional Solutions of America noted that the company was returning with its theme of “Beyond Definition.” Emphasis will be placed upon 4K workflow technologies, including shooting, editing and storage; new 4K and HD camera systems; bringing 4K and HDR production into the mainstream; IP-networked-based transfer and wireless streaming technologies and finally, protecting customer investments through new camera and technology upgrades.
To this last point, Sony Cine Alta Product Manager Peter Crithary stated that there will be no replacement cameras for the CineAlta product line of F5, F55 and F65 as well as the recent XDCAM lines of the FS5 and FS7. Firmware v8 for the F5/55 will add value to these cameras through a new XAVC Class 480 codec, with higher data rates and better peak S/N ratios. Sony previously announced a new RAW recorder for these cameras, the AXS-R7 with dual slot recording and 120fps 4K RAW acquisition. Pricing has not been announced for the recorder.
Most notably, Shapiro announced an organizational change for PSA with marketing divisions for production, broadcast and sports. This will enable Sony to focus on remaining a “boutique operation,” in the words of John Studdert, vice president of sales and marketing at Sony Electronics.
CBS and DirecTV partnered to broadcast this year’s Masters in 4K based on Sony’s HDC-4300 camera paired with the HDCU- 4300 Camera Contro Unit.FOCUS ON BROADCAST
The largest focus of product introductions will be on broadcast at this year’s show. CBS and DirecTV partnered to broadcast The Masters in 4K based on Sony’s HDC-4300 camera paired with the HDCU-4300 Camera Control Unit. The CCU ships in basic HD configuration and is upgradeable to 4K as well as IP.
Live streaming is another ENG area in which Sony will concentrate on with the introduction of the Network RX Station PWX-100RX1. With the incentive of being “first on air,” the system can receive up to 30 streams and requires only one LTE/Wi- Fi dongle to stream without reoccurring charges or subscription fees. The unit also allows remote camera control, GPS embedding in metadata, streaming as low as 500 Kbps up to 5 Mbps and the ability to save these streams as .MP4 files.
Already introduced but highly touted is the PXW-Z150, the company’s smallest 4K form factor camera, featuring 4K on-board recording standard, 48x zoom and wireless workflow (FTP, streaming and remote control). It is currently shipping.
With workflows rapidly moving to IP, Sony will show enhancements to its IP Live Production System. Supported already by approximately 45 companies, IP-based AV routers and switches integrate with the IP Live System Manager to consolidate material from cameras, graphic systems, etc., and output to multiviewers, switchers, video servers or IP-SDI converters for decks.
HAWK-EYE FOR SPORTS
Sony recently acquired Hawk-Eye Innovations, which was founded in Europe in 2001 as a broadcast enhancement tool for tennis and cricket productions. It is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony and is installed in more than 450 stadiums worldwide. Its SMART Replay allows multiple camera angles to be viewed by anyone from managers to coaches to team doctors with all feeds recorded in time synchronization. The SMART Production service allows player tracking with an IT-based software platform, virtual signage and golf course shading/ball tracking.
Sony executives and marketing managers are confident that their product lineup will continue to provide outstanding results in their targeted areas of broadcast, production and sports, all supported by cloud- and IP-based technologies.
Sony is in its usual spot at the back of the Central Hall.