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Sony plots 4K, IP roadmap with Euro debut of HDC-4300 camera, expanded IP Live Production System

September 11th, 2015 By Jason Dachman

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.


Katsunori Yamanouchi, Vice President of Sony Professional Solutions Europe at the company’s IBC press conference

In addition, the company debuted the new 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's HDC-4300

Sony’s HDC-4300

Sony announced the HDC-4300, featuring three 2/3-inch 4K image sensors and optional licensing for 4K capture or up to 8x super-slow-mo, will have an available software upgrade v.1.1 due in October to enable 4K/100p shooting and S-Log 3 output. In addition, Sony highlighted significant role HDC-4300’s played at the 4K production of the UEFA Champions League Final in Berlin in June with a demo reel at its booth.

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-4300’s at the 2015 British Grand Prix MotoGP is on display at the booth on Sony’s BVM-X300 OLED Trimaster EL Monitor.

Sony's HDC-4300 in action at MotoGP

Sony’s HDC-4300 in action at MotoGP

“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 deliver y 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 by unveiling three new additions to its IP Live Production System, which is now supported by 36 manufacturers in the industry. On hand at Sony’s booth are the XVS-8000 4K/IP Live Switcher (the world’s first, accordingly to Sony), the BPU-4500 4K/IP base band processor unit, and the PWS-4500 a 4K/IP multiport AV server.

TV Globo CTO Raymundo Barros

TV Globo CTO Raymundo Barros

Brazil’s TV Globo has chosen Sony as their IP migration partner, as TV Globo recently signed a contract with Sony to develop the world’s first purpose-built 4K/IP Outside Broadcasting truck that will be available in 2016 in advance of the Rio Olympics. TV Globo CTO Raymundo Barros was on hand at Sony’s presser 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,” said Barros “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

Sony's new PXW-FS5

Sony’s new PXW-FS5

A brand new compact pro camcorder unveiled at IBC, the PXW-FS5, is equipped with the same sensor as PXW-FS7 and essentially servers as a smaller version of the FS7, intended for unscripted TV/documentaries. The FS5 is built around a 4K Super35mm EXMOR sensor with 12 million pixels and features on-board XAVC-L recording (QFHD 8-bit, 420, up to 30fps continuous or HD 10-bit 422 up to 60fps continuous & 120, 240, 480, 960 fps buffered). The 0.8KG magnesium frame & body is ideal for on-the-go-shooting. The camera will be available in November in two models: the 4K XDCAM Super 35mm Compact Camcorder without lens for $6,699.00 (suggested list) or the with lens for $7,299.00.

Also new at the showis the HXC-P70 HD multi-purpose 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 2/3-inch Exmor 3-chip CMOS sensor, while direct optical fiber connectivity can enable operation at a distance of 500m from the camera’s control unit HXCU-FB70 with required power supply. In the case of connection with single-mode fiber cables (SMF), operation can extend up to 10km with local power supply

Odds and Ends

Other significant announcements and product releases at IBC for Sony include:

  • Two new HD viewfinders equipped with Full-HD 0.7” OLED panels – the HDVF-EL20 (standard model) and HDVF-EL30 (premium model with QHD <960×540> 3.5” 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 Vice President, Technology and Operations from Turner Broadcasting System Europe, was on hand as Sony’s presser to address how the broadcaster has implemented Sony’s Media Backbone Conductor as part of its 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 of this year, the combination of Memnon’s archiving services and technologies with the on-going development of Sony’s Optical Disc Archive line-up and Media Lifecycle Services are creating 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 Wi-Fi 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 a new 1.1 upgrade enabling streaming to MP4 files that can be stored to network storage and 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, making it ideal 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.