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Sony Takes the HD Highway to NAB 2005 (22/2/2005)

Exhibits and Demonstrations to Focus on Continued Convergence of A/V and IT Worlds; Providing Upgrade Paths to HD While Supporting Current SD Infrastructures

The "HD Highway" will run through Sony's booth at NAB 2005. Planned exhibits and demonstrations will focus on current and future high definition (HD) products and technologies, and the roads customers can take to migrate from their standard definition infrastructures to HD-based operations.

"Much more than just our tagline for the show, the 'HD Highway' clearly communicates a commitment to our customers," said Alec Shapiro, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Production Systems Division. "We believe Sony can provide the right roadmap for them from no matter where they are starting. We're committed to helping customers maximize the SD investments they've made in Sony products and systems while providing them with a choice of directions they can take into the HD future.

"We've revamped existing Sony SD and HD lines with new products featuring 24P production capability and built-in up-converters," he added. "Whether you are a user of Sony's DVCAM(tm), XDCAM(tm), MPEG IMX(r), Digital Betacam(r) or HDCAM(r) products, Sony can offer a cost effective road to take towards an HD future without compromising current SD or HD investments."

As the theme suggests, there will be no shortage of high-definition products on display from Sony. These include the recently introduced HDV workflow system for video production professionals, including the HVR-Z1U camcorder and HVR-M10U VTR. These products began shipping to resellers in February, and Sony expects to deliver 6,000 units of HDV products in the U.S. before the opening of NAB in mid-April.

Also on display will be a technology demonstration of a high-definition version of Sony's XDCAM(tm) Professional Disc(tm) system. Since NAB 2004, XDCAM optical disc products and systems have been embraced by television networks, production companies and rental houses. In fact, more than 5,000 units have been delivered worldwide.

Sony will also display enhanced versions of its HD VTRs, including the HDW-S280 with new 24P capability, an upgrade that creates a lower cost of entry into HDCAM 24P production, in response to the growing demand for 24P-capable VTRs at every level of the production chain.

Building on the success of its SRW-5000 HDCAM SR VTR, Sony is introducing the SRW-5500, which is switchable between Sony's HDCAM and HDCAM SR record formats and can simultaneously provide HD and SD output, as well as Digital Betacam playback.

In the Sony exhibit, visitors can also view applications of Sony products that extend beyond traditional broadcast markets: Sony LUMA LCD monitors that bring HD viewing capabilities into medical operating rooms; 1080/60P multi-format cameras that promise to revolutionize HD coverage of live events; Sony H.264 products that define a higher level of videoconferencing; Sony MPEG4 security cameras that extend customers' ability to protect premises; and digital signage networks that offer new levels of IP-based communications and control.

Sony is also introducing the HDC-X310 multi-purpose HD camera. This new camera adds an optical fiber interface that allows cable runs to be increased more than 10 times to a maximum of 3,300 feet, for applications including high-definition point-of-view (POV) acquisition in stadiums, conference rooms, houses of worship, or schools.

While HD is clearly on customers' minds, Sony remains strongly committed to those who have significant SD investments and seek a cost-effective migration path to HD. Sony is rolling out four new SD camcorders that can extend current infrastructures while providing new levels of image quality, functionality and ergonomics.

The DSR-400 and the DSR-450WS (wide-screen) models expand Sony's line of DVCAM professional camcorders. Both are based on 2/3-inch Power HAD(tm) EX CCDs, and the DSR-450WS is a wide-screen model that can capture images in 60i as well as 24PsF, 25PsF (PAL models) and 30PsF.

Continuing the 24P imaging capability across all SD formats, the new MSW-970 MPEG IMX camcorder and the DVW-970 Digital Betacam camcorder complete the SD 24P line up. The new models are based on a common platform, bringing 14-bit A/D and high-end image quality and production flexibility to their respective camcorder families.

"These new features and enhancements to our widely used acquisition and storage solutions, including 24P options and i.LINK(r) connectivity, reaffirm our commitment to our customer bases," said Shapiro. "While we're clearly developing products for the future, no other company in the industry supports its legacy systems the way Sony does. There are many lanes on Sony's HD Highway. Our goal is to support our customers at any speeds they choose to travel."

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