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High Definition becomes even more affordable as Sony HD family expands (23/9/2004)
Sony High Definition : Tailored To Specific Production Needs
At Sony we know that every professional broadcaster and programme-maker has their own highly personal production agenda, creative preferences and budgetary constraints. That's why we've created an integrated family of Sony High Definition formats to suit the needs of any project.
Sony offers three High Definition format options, HDV, HDCAM and HDCAM SR, all delivering a balanced blend of features and performance that's tailored to a wide range of real-world production needs and budgets.
All Sony High Definition formats can capture images at full 1080 line resolution and are therefore ideally matched to the vast majority of worldwide High Definition transmission standards. This means that High Definition images can be viewed on the growing choice of HD?compatible television receivers and displays, readily downconverted for Standard Definition (SD) transmission or re-purposed to suit virtually any global distribution requirement... from DVD to e-cinema.
New Additions To The HD Family
At IBC this year, Sony is demonstrating how the HDCAM family of High Definition production tools can significantly enhance the commercial appeal, global distribution options and shelf-life of television programmes.
Complementing the Sony range of HD-capable switchers, monitors and the XPRI Non Linear Editing system, the competitively priced new HDW-730S camcorder has proved an instant hit with broadcasters looking to invest in HDCAM acquisition at a price that's lower than Digital Betacam. In addition, at IBC 2004, Sony will announce the introduction of the HDW-D2000 VTR to add to the cost effective HDCAM lineup.
Sony is also demonstrating the capabilities of HDV, a new format that records HD signals onto current DV tape media to offer a highly affordable entry point to the benefits of High Definition production. Providing an ideal migration path from DVCAM for videographers, corporate programme makers and other professional users, HDV allows access to high definition at a similar price level to DVCAM.
HDW-730S HDCAM Camcorder
Sony has already attracted European orders worth more than Û1 million for the HDW?730S, the latest HDCAM camcorder to make High Definition acquisition even more accessible to mainstream broadcasters, programme makers and rental facilities. Priced below equivalent Digital Betacam camcorders, the HDW-730S provides access to High Definition for European customers working within Standard Definition TV production budgets.
The HDW-730S is capable of shooting in either 1080/50i or 1080/60i interlaced modes. This removes the need to hold separate camcorders for European (50i) and American (60i) projects. The camcorder's 3-CCD sensor delivers superb imaging performance, with an optional Slow Shutter board which further extends its suitability for shooting in the most challenging low-light conditions.
An optional Picture Cache board reduces the risk of missed scenes, while the camcorder offers the added convenience of on-board Memory Stick storage and recall of camera set-up parameters - an obvious benefit to busy camera crews and rental operations.
New HDW-D2000 HDCAM Studio VTR
The world-wide launch of the HDW-730S at NAB generated significant European demand for a lower cost HDCAM studio VTR with the ability to replay Digital Betacam and MPEG IMX cassettes. To meet these demands, Sony is introducing the new HDW-D2000 at IBC.
The latest addition to the HDCAM line up, the HDW-D2000 is an HDCAM recorder/player, which can record and playback 1080 HD pictures in both 50i and 60i mode. It can also replay MPEG IMX and Digital Betacam tapes, and can upconvert the material to HD.
A built-in downconverter allows HDCAM material to be replayed and output from the HDW-D2000 in Standard Definition for subsequent post production in an existing Standard Definition edit suite. Shooting HDCAM and downconverting in this way provides a superior picture quality compared with pictures originally shot in Standard Definition, while taking advantage of the cost advantages of post production in SD.
To complete a comprehensive feature set, the HDW-D2000 can also replay HDCAM material shot in 24P, 25P and 30P modes.
HDV: The Affordable Entry Point To The World Of High Definition
HDV is a new entry-level High Definition format targeted at cost-conscious programme makers seeking a migration path to the benefits of High Definition at a similar price to the current DVCAM range. Using current DV cassette media to capture images at 1080 line resolution, HDV offers significantly improved picture quality compared with DVCAM. Emphasising the format's suitability for entry level HD migration, Sony professional HDV camcorders and VTRs will feature HD/SD switchable operation plus on-board downconversion to output SD as well as HD signals. Offering simple connectivity with i.LINK based editing infrastructures, the format is rapidly gaining support from leading NLE and software developers including Adobe, Apple, Avid, Canopus, Pinnacle, Sobey, Sony Pictures Digital Networks and Ulead. Furthermore, its easy to incorporate HDV material into the HDCAM world via an external converter, available from suppliers such as Miranda.
A Choice Of Migration Options
"There's no debate about the sheer quality and fresh creative options that High Definition delivers", comments Peter Sykes, Product Manager, Content Creation Products, Sony Europe. "What we're seeing now is a steady migration to HD ahead of new European mainstream transmissions starting as early as next year. As incredible market reaction to the new HDW-730S camcorder demonstrates, the price and accessibility of Sony High Definition means that broadcasters can get on board with HD and future proof their content without significantly increasing their capital expenditure or programme budgets.
"Sony's aim is make High Definition as accessible as possible with the line-up now including the HDW-730S, the HDW-D2000 and the new HDV range, yet we've maintained the full 1080 line resolution in our entire range of HD production tools. This means that programme makers have a format choice without compromising true High Definition quality."
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