Sony Plots 4K, IP roadmap with Euro debut of HDC-4300 camera, expanded IP Live Production System
Sony kicked off the IBC Show Friday morning in Amsterdam by reaffirming its commitment to 4K and IP-based production for live sports with a parade of announcements related to its HDC-4300 4K/super-slo-mo/HD camera, which is making its European debut after its launch at NAB 2015, and its IP Live Production System.
In addition, the company introduced the PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super35 handheld camcorder and highlighted the role its technology has played in TV Globo’s upcoming 4K/IP OB truck in Brazil, the UEFA Champions League Final 4K production, and 4K HDR footage captured live at the 2015 British Grand Prix MotoGP.
The Sony HDC-4300 Hits Europe With Plenty of 4K, HDR Sports Content
Sony announced that the HDC-4300, featuring three ⅔-in. 4K image sensors and optional licensing for 4K capture or up to 8X super-slo-mo, will get a software upgrade. Available in October, v.1.1 will enable 4K/100p shooting and S-Log 3 output. In addition, a demo reel at the company’s booth highlights the significant role the HDC-4300 played in the 4K production of the UEFA Champions League Final in Berlin in June.
Sony also pledged its commitment to incorporate High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities into more of its production equipment and highlighted the benefits of an end-to-end HDR production workflow from acquisition to living-room display. 4K HDR footage captured live by Dorna Sports with HDC-4300s at the 2015 British Grand Prix MotoGP is on display at the booth on Sony’s BVM-X300 OLED Trimaster EL monitor.
“The images produced by Sony 4K production tools are about so much more than resolution,” Michael Harrit, marketing director, Sony Europe, said at the press conference. “It’s about continuing to improve every aspect of what our eyes can see. We have built HDR into leading production tools to create an HDR end-to-end production workflow from acquisition to delivery to the living room.”
IP Live Production and a 4K/IP Truck on the Way
The move to IP-based workflows for live production looks to be the overwhelming theme of the show this year, and Sony has reacted accordingly, unveiling three additions to its IP Live Production System, which is now supported by 36 manufacturers. On exhibit at Sony’s booth are the XVS-8000 4K/IP live switcher (the world’s first, accordingly to the company), the BPU-4500 4K/IP baseband processor unit, and the PWS-4500 4K/IP multiport AV server.
Brazil’s TV Globo has chosen Sony as its IP-migration partner, recently signing a contract under which Sony will develop the world’s first purpose-built 4K/IP OB truck, which will be available next year in advance of the 2016 Rio Olympics. TV Globo CTO Raymundo Barros was on hand at Sony’s press conference to make the announcement.
“This new OB truck will be a key component of TV Globo’s production plans for the upcoming big sporting events happening in Brazil from 2016 onwards,” he said. “Sony has always been a reliable partner for TV Globo, so having Sony as a strategic partner in this project gives us confidence that it will be delivered successfully. What’s more, Sony’s vision around 4K/IP live technology is very well-aligned with our own. The 4K/IP product line-up just announced by Sony is perfectly suited for this 4K/IP OB truck project.”
The PXW-FS5 Camcorder: The New Kid on the Block
A brand-new compact pro camcorder unveiled at IBC, the PXW-FS5, is equipped with the same sensor as the PXW-FS7 and essentially serves as a smaller version intended for unscripted TV/documentaries. The FS5 is built around a 4K Super 35mm Exmor sensor with 12 million pixels and features on-board XAVC-L recording (QFHD 8-bit, 420, up to 30 fps continuous or HD 10-bit 422 up to 60 fps continuous and 120, 240, 480, 960 fps buffered). The 0.8 kg magnesium frame and body suit it for on-the-go shooting. The camera will be available in November in two models: the 4K XDCAM Super 35mm compact camcorder without lens priced at $6,699, with lens at $7,299.
Also new at the show is the HXC-P70 HD multipurpose camera, which features a number of remote-control functions well-suited to remote-production requirements, such as ceiling cameras at sports stadiums and weather cameras with water-protected housing. The HXC-P70 features a ⅔-in. Exmor 3-chip CMOS sensor, and direct optical-fiber connectivity can enable operation at a distance of 500 m from the HXCU-FB70 camera-control unit with required power supply. In the case of connection with single-mode fiber cables (SMF), operation can extend up to 10 km with local power supply
Odds and Ends
Other significant announcements and product releases at IBC for Sony include the following:
- Two new HD viewfinders equipped with Full HD 0.7-in. OLED panels —the HDVF-EL20 (standard model) and HDVF-EL30 (premium model with QHD [960×540] 3.5-in. sub LCD) — are being presented for the first time, providing faster pixel response times and twice the brightness of the current DVF-EL100.
- Steve Fish, regional VP, technology operations, Turner Broadcasting System Europe, discussed how the broadcaster has implemented Sony’s Media Backbone Conductor as part of the broadcaster’s new, fully file-based European Media Hub.
- Announced last month, Sony is demonstrating Media Navigator, its affordable, scalable, and flexible asset-management solution.
- Following its acquisition in July, Memnon’s archiving services and technologies are combining with the on-going development of Sony’s Optical Disc Archive line-up and Media Lifecycle Services to create new opportunities for advanced media-asset–management and –digitisation solutions.
- Sony’s Managed Services businesses are on display at the booth, including Hawk-Eye, Memnon, and Pulse Innovations.
- The DWX-N Series launches with a new version of the Wireless Studio system-control software and three new models: the DWR-R02DN receiver, the DWT-B01N bodypack transmitter, and the DWN-02N handheld transmitter.
- Sony is optimising 4G/LTE and WiFi networks to directly transfer AV data wirelessly from its cameras. For example, the wireless-streaming benefits of the PWS-100RX1 are set to be extended with an upgrade to version 1.1, enabling streaming to MPEG-4 files that can be stored to network storage, along with new GPS functionality as an enhancement of the metadata created.
- The Full HD SRG-360SHE supports Power over Ethernet (PoE+) installation and robotic control over IP, suiting it for remote mounting where flexibility is at a premium, such as within ceilings and narrow spaces.
- Professional 4K recording and high-speed on-location data transfer: new ultra-fast portable HDD RAID drives and 256GB SxS PRO+ card.