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In Focus - Broadcasting & Cable

In Focus

Sony touts HD products alongside XDCAM
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Less Is More

Sony is an equal-opportunity seller. True, it's proud of its latest gear—XDCAM—but it's still pitching its other product lines at NAB: more HD and an entry-level multi-format switcher.

Alec Shapiro, Sony Broadcast and Production Systems Division senior vice president, marketing, says the new systems and the other products in Sony's arsenal, particularly the soon-to-ship XDCAM format, enhance Sony's efforts in metadata. Not to mention the boon to workflow innovation. And it's just in time, according to Sony BPSD President John Scarcella: "We're seeing long-delayed projects [by broadcasters] getting the green light. And HD is finally here."

One new product of special interest to sportscasters is a $20,000 compact HD point-of-view camera. The camera weighs less than 3 pounds and has three half-inch 1.5 million-pixel CCDs. An optical-fiber interface allows cable runs up to 1,500 feet.

Also new for HD are the SRW-1 HDCAM SR portable VTR and the SRPC-1 HD digital processor. Scarcella says 43 of the 44 TV series being shot in HD use CineAlta gear, so the potential market is bigger than one would expect.

The two products are companion pieces to the HDC-F950 camera system. According to Robert Willox, Sony BPSD general manager of the content creation group, they serve an important function: providing field shoots with the same high-quality image-recording capabilities found on the set.

The processor can handle HD and SD signals, 12 channels of digital audio, and four channels of analog audio. Features include insertion of 2/3 pulldown, downconversion, and RGB-to-component color space conversion. As for the VTR, it can record two full-bandwidth 4:2:2 HD signals simultaneously onto 1/2-inch tape, an enabling technology for 3D acquisition and two-camera productions.

For those that don't have the luxury of Hollywood-type budgets, Sony is rolling out an HD product that will make the smallest facility happy: the MVS-2000 entry-level multi-format switcher designed to compete with products like the Thomson Grass Valley Kalypso switcher. It can handle HD or SD and is available in 1- or 1.5-mix-effect configurations. The three-rack-unit-high system is available with three control panels, two with 12 buttons and a third with 20. Options include a two-channel DME that provides effects and RGB color correction. Look for the switcher to hit U.S. shores in June with a $42,000 starting price.

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