Sony expands HDR production capabilities for professional products

Sony has expanded the capabilities of many of its professional products in order to meet the growing requirements for HDR content across all production genres. The new enhancements deliver HD HDR Live broadcasting and Instant HDR workflow in products ranging from live camera systems, servers, monitors and camcorders, via updates to software or firmware.

High Dynamic Range adds increased realism to moving images and creates a significantly more immersive viewing experience. Broadcasters, live event producers and online content creators all have specific HDR production requirements, and the expansion of Sony HDR production capabilities, this offers a wide range of benefits.

Sony already offers a full range of 4K HDR production systems for movies and TV drama and for live broadcasting where Sony has  established its SR Live for HDR workflow, a powerful system for the efficient and simultaneous production of 4K HDR and HD SDR.

In July 2016, the International Telecommunication Union published the ITU-R HDR-TV Recommendation, BT.2100-0. This standard presents two options for producing HDR images – Perceptual Quantization (PQ) and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) – and opens the way towards wider adoption of HDR broadcasting.

At the same time, many customer are also looking to produce High Definition (HD) content in HDR, especially where migration from HD to 4K Ultra HD may still need some time.

Responding to this need, Sony is now providing a HD HDR capable solution for broadcasters in a number of areas:

SR Live for HDR can support HD HDR- based simultaneous production of HD HDR and HD SDR in the same method as for 4K HDR. In the SR Live for HDR workflow, the camera’s output signal is converted into [S-Log3, BT.2020, HD HDR] as an intermediate format for production processes.

Once the image has been produced, the Sony HDRC-4000, HDR production converter unit is required to convert it to an appropriate HDR-capable transmission format, such as standardised HLG or PQ. The HDRC-4000 utilises original algorithms, including built-in AIR Matching (AIR refers to Artistic Intent Rendering), to accurately reproduce the image quality and colour determined during S-Log3 production — regardless of the transmission format used.

The “SR Live for HDR” production environment can include a multiplicity of subject types, devices, formats, and vendors. The system is capable of delivering extremely high-quality content as images are produced using the S-Log3 format and converted into the desired format for distribution or broadcast.

Acquisition: The following system cameras will all support S-Log3 and BT.2020 for SR Live for HDR and will add HD HDR capability via a firmware upgrade: HDC-4800, HDC-4300 and HDC-P43.

For the HDC-2500, an HKCU-2040, 4K HDR processor board provides both a 4K and HD HDR capability from its image sensor.

The PWS-4500 4K live server supports HD S-Log3, HD HLG and 4K/HD PQ with a software update to v2.3.

Monitoring: The BVM-E171 HD OLED master monitor will support HDR through a new HDR monitoring license, BVML-HE171. The license gives users an option for implementing HDR according to their production needs and budget. Sony BVM-X300 and PVM-X550 are already HDR-ready for any resolution up to 4K, and the addition of HDR to the BVM-E171 brings HD HDR monitoring capabilities to new users including OB vehicles where space is limited.

Instant HDR workflow

As the expanding need for HDR content continues, internet video platforms and professionals producing corporate or event content are paying more attention to the added value of HDR. They need to deliver content quickly, without compromising on imaging expression and quality of content.  To meet this demand, Sony now offers HDR capability on the entry level handheld XDCAM camcorders, PXW-FS5 and PXW-Z150. Both feature HLG recording for easy file-based workflows, whilst achieving the image quality of HDR. This simple workflow enables the shooting, editing and viewing of HDR content in HLG, without the need for additional colour grading.

Camcorders: The Sony PXW-FS5 and PXW-Z150 will receive the additional HDR capabilities via a software update. For the FS5, HLG will be supported, in addition to S-Log3. The HLG mode can be set-up quickly through the option of the newly added picture profile. HLG mode will also be supported in the PXW-Z150.

Viewing Tool: Catalyst Browse – Sony’s viewing and logging tool offering streamlined media management will now also support HLG, allowing viewers to view HDR content easily.

Sony continues to enhance its HDR product and solution offering for all types of production through innovative ideas and technology and with deep industry expertise.

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