Sony Showcases 4K Camera Systems, a Wide Range of Tech Developments
Sony (Booth C11001) is highlighting its latest developments in 4K and featuring its newest 4K/HD camera systems and IP-network–based transfer technologies. The company is also showing its full range of professional 4K cameras: the F65, F55, and F5; the PXW-FS7, NEX-FS700, PXW-Z100 4K camcorders; and newly announced 4K option for PXW-X70. Sony’s 4K professional lineup also includes 4K-ready production switchers, 4K/HD servers, the new PMW-PZ1 4K memory player and BVM-X300, 4K OLED master monitor.
HDC-4300 4K/HD Camera System
Sony HDC series cameras are used in the U.S. to capture over 80% of all primetime live entertainment and professional sports events. The next generation of HDC series camera technology solves many challenges faced by broadcasters, especially when shooting in 4K with large-sensor cameras: using high-magnification wide-zoom-range lenses while maintaining an adequate depth of field to show all the action.
The HDC-4300 bridges the gap between high-frame-rate and traditional studio camera. It combines the familiar HDC series workflow with: three specially developed ⅔-in. 4K sensors, B4 lens support, up to 8X super-slow motion; and 4K/HD flexibility.
At NAB 2015, Sony announced support from industry leaders in the sports and entertainment world who have already made a substantial commitment to this new camera, including Bexel, Game Creek Video, NEP, CBS Sports, CBS Television City, ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports.
BVM-X300 4K OLED Monitor/High Dynamic Range
Sony’s new BVM-X300 30-in., 4K, OLED master monitor is available now. As the flagship Trimaster EL professional monitor, the BVM-X300 is suited for a wide range of applications, such as color grading and quality control in the 4K production workflow. Its leading features include unparalleled black performance, accurate color reproduction, quick pixel response, and industry-leading wide viewing angles. In addition, the BVM-X300 supports several high-dynamic-range modes and has a wide color gamut.
The monitor marries seamlessly with Sony’s professional cameras, rapidly offering viewing at full range without changes or conversions, and solves some of the top concerns associated with pairing monitors and high-dynamic-range (HDR) cameras. This is due to a complete redesign of the OLED panel, which lets the monitor display images at extreme brightness levels while keeping blacks where they should be.
The BVM-X300 accounts for some of the most advanced monitor technologies, such as 4K, which is rapidly becoming an industry standard. The master monitor showcases true 4K (4096×2160 pixels) — the standard for cinema — while still supporting UHD’s 3840×2160 pixel matrix, so scaling is not required to show either format. As this becomes more prominent in the capturing process, it has become an essential feature in master monitors.
The BVM-X300 offers a contrast range that is larger than any other available display technology and a signal process that is optimized for extreme EOTF accuracy. In addition, the monitor’s new panel design displays images far brighter than the previous models and allows the monitor to display HDR content. This gives users the ability to view the entire range of an image accurately and clearly in an HDR mode. Overall, the HDR showcases more detail in the highlights and shadow areas than previous Trimaster EL models.
The master monitor also expands the range of colors that can be displayed, for a wider color gamut and better color uniformity. So much so, that DCI P3 primaries are spot on, and the native gamut of the monitor exceeds previous designs so much that almost all of the ITU-R BT2020 color gamut can be displayed. This is the first 4K monitor to do this.
Catalyst Edit/Catalyst Prepare
The new Catalyst Edit supports multiple formats, including 4K, RAW, and XAVC. Video creators can use the already available Catalyst Prepare clip-management software to carry out easy editing and color adjustment, and can then drag-and-drop the results into Catalyst Edit for more-serious editing. This non-linear editing solution delivers intuitive easy-to-use operation and quick video production on both Mac and Windows operating systems. Catalyst Edit is provided within the Catalyst Production Suite, a media-preparation and non-linear–editing–software package combined with Catalyst Prepare.
As production expands new technologies are needed to support changing workflows and delivery requirements. Professionals now have to create content for Ultra HD and 4K, and they need to handle higher frame rates and higher bit depths while maintaining efficient and cost-effective file sizes and higher dynamic range. They also need a format that balances picture quality and bitrates for longer shooting times, lower storage costs, and faster backup and ingest times.
Sony products have used XAVC for several years, and it’s the only format that is natively supported in a UHD/60p workflow from acquisition to playout. XAVC is the complement to Sony’s established codec options and also works seamlessly with the encoding architecture of Sony hardware to bring out the best of XAVC and enable the most efficient file sizes at very high image quality.
The XDCAM series has become a broadcast standard, with more than 400,000 units delivered worldwide. New at NAB 2015 is the PXW-X320 XDCAM shoulder-mount camcorder. It combines three ½-in.-type sensors, support for MPEG and XAVC, and wireless streaming and file transfer.
Sony’s PWS-100RX1 Network RX System
This system links camcorders and live video streams sent over WiFi, 4G/LTE, or wired connections. It can control camcorder connections, transmission bitrates, latency settings, and more. Sony’s Quality of Service (QoS) technology maintains A/V transmission integrity and brings packet loss down to near zero to prevent audio disruption or to prevent images from freezing or breaking-up.
Sony is highlighting IP interoperability in many different ways, through new technologies and new alliances. IP interoperability will be highlighted as part of the company’s continuing collaboration to integrate the Evertz Software Defined Video Network (SDVN) solution with Sony’s IP Live Production System with Networked Media Interface (NMI).
Sony’s IP Live Production System is now supported by 30 industry-leading companies.
The company is also unveiling the world’s first 4K-ready, IP-based live-production switcher system. The new 4K live switcher, which is still under development, allows users to select which type of terminal — IP or SDI — to place into each of the unit’s I/O slots. This flexibility will allow broadcasters to configure their equipment for IP only, SDI only, or IP/SDI hybrid. It will also allow broadcasters to continue using their existing SDI assets while gradually migrating to IP.
Sony’s Networked Media Interface packetizes and transmits HD and 4K video, audio, and metadata in real time over standard network infrastructures. Sony IP technologies use a low-latency video codec (LLVC) to support the compression required for 4K/60p transmission over 10 Gbps Ethernet.
Sony and WGBH: Public-Media Management
Sony Electronics and flagship PBS station WGBH are launching Public Media Management (PMM), a first-of-its kind centralized media-management and content-distribution service, giving public-TV stations new tools to engage with their communities now and into the future. The new cloud-based service went live on April 1, following a year-long pilot program between the two organizations.
The PMM service uses the latest cloud computing and network services and a range of Sony technologies: Media Backbone Enterprise Management System, Ci Cloud and Optical Disc Archive.
PMM orchestrates the entire content-management and -distribution processes for a public broadcaster’s programs — from transcoding, ingest, and quality assurance to content distribution from the cloud to the station’s master control. The station retains control over vital daily operations, such as scheduling, branding, and local-programming decisions.
PMM replaces the stations’ existing master control with new technology for a low monthly fee, alleviating capital-expenditure burdens for public-broadcasting stations struggling with limited resources. The PMM’s monthly fee includes labor, service contracts, and software updates, further reducing expenses for the station.
The increasing use of second and third screens creates more opportunities for user-generated content, from broadcast TV to sports venues to mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones. A new agreement with Burst lets broadcast, sports, and production organizations seamlessly integrate real-time UGC video without disrupting current workflows. As part of this referral agreement, customers using Sony’s broadcast and production systems can leverage the Burst video platform, creating a low-cost way to generate exciting, interactive video content.
Sony-YouTube 4K Channel
Sony is announcing the launch of its 4K You Tube channel. The company has been working with You Tube, providing training and access to 4K pro technologies for creators at YouTube’s new Manhattan studios and its Los Angeles facility. Heading Sony’s YouTube efforts in L.A. and New York and managing the new channel is Sony’s Brett Erlich, an experienced digital content producer.