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KFDM Picks Sonys XDCAM Professional Disc System

Optical technology extends capabilities for in-house production team (November 05, 2004)

Sonys XDCAM Professional Disc System is helping KFDM Productions solidify its competitive edge locally and expand its client base nationally.

KFDM Productions, a unit of KFDM-TV, a Freedom Communications station, has a commanding share of short-form local and regional video production in east Texas, as well as a growing base of clients nationwide. The KFDM Productions team also has expertise in producing long-form industrial videos for a range of corporate clients. As the units volume has grown, the challenge for the five-person group has been finding ways to work smarter without compromising quality.

Since moving to the Sony XDCAM system in June, Jeff Laird, assistant chief engineer at KFDM-TV, has seen XDCAMs inherent advantages at every turn.

?Our producers used to juggle piles of tapes in the field and now they just need a few XDCAM discs, he said. ?They dont have to lug around all the tapes to dig through just to find the good clips. They just hold onto the ?keepers.

Clients, too, appreciate the ease of random access that comes with using the optical media technology.

?They can review a shot instantly and then quickly return to record mode, Laird said. ?Theres no hassle afterward searching for the end of the tape or worries about recording over anything.

KFDM Productions combination of Sonys PDW-530 XDCAM camcorders and PDW-1500 decks has created new opportunities for servicing clients. With the ability to offer a choice of video formats?DVCAM (85 min.) or MPEG IMX (45 min.) while using the same camcorder and media, producers are able to closely tailor their work to a clients needs instead of just offering a ?one size fits all solution.

In addition to these gains, Laird appreciates the advantages that XDCAM equipment creates back in the shop. The XDCAM systems optical design eliminates the ongoing demands of maintaining, repairing and replacing tape heads. The XDCAM Professional Disc PFD-23 media also represents an excellent archival format that is not subject to the same degradation and storage issues of tape stock, with a minimum of 1,000 read/write cycles and up to 10,000 read/write cycles possible in ideal conditions. The single-sided, 12 cm (5-inch) Sony Professional Disc media also offers increased portability and the discs are packaged in a durable cartridge resistant to dust, shock and environmental conditions.

Laird and the KFDM production team were also pleasantly surprised at how easy the migration to tapeless production has been.

?At first, I thought that moving forward with a fundamental improvement in technology like XDCAM might take a lot of work, so I was amazed that all it took to leave our legacy Betacam SP setup was a simple switchover, he said. "Our crew simply picked up the new XDCAM cameras and decks and hit the street faster and better at getting the job done with virtually no learning curve to climb over.

In fact, the only real challenge Laird anticipates is holding off the news operations excitement over when they will go from tape to tapeless with the XDCAM system. He says that from where he sits, the transition to an all-digital XDCAM newsroom is only a matter of time both at KFDM-TV and across the industry.

For more detailed product information visit To find the nearest Sony authorized dealer or service location call 1-800-686-SONY.


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Related Keywords:KFDM-TV, Sony, XDCAM Professional Disc System, XDCAM, KFDM Productions, Freedom Communications, PDW-530 XDCAM, PDW-1500, DVCAM, MPEG IMX, camcorder, PFD-23, Sony Professional Disc, tapeless,


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