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Sony Delivers More Than 400 XDCAM Units in U.S.

Latest system includes enhancements and new capabilities (September 07, 2004)

Since April, Sony has delivered more than 400 units of its XDCAM Professional Disc system to U.S. customers in the broadcast, production and rental markets.

"Customers across a diverse range of applications are experiencing just how revolutionary the XDCAM Professional Disc technology truly is," said Theresa Alesso, general manager of optical and network systems for the Broadcast and Production Systems Division of Sony Electronics. "Broadcast and production professionals can not only realize significant reductions in operating costs, but the XDCAM system also offers new ways to shoot, edit and distribute footage that were previously unimaginable."

CBS News and the family of 16 CBS owned-and-operated stations are converting to XDCAM systems for their ENG operations, and King World Productions has also adopted XDCAM as the EFP standard for its "Inside Edition" program. NBC News recently used the XDCAM system for the network's coverage of the Summer Games in Athens.

With its dual DVCAM/MPEG IMX capabilities, the XDCAM system has also been embraced as an ideal format for reality TV production. Two new shows airing this fall?Fox's "The Next Great Champ" and TBS' "The Mansion"?were shot with XDCAM technology, and several more productions are in the works. In September, Sony will also be providing a workflow update to current XDCAM units already in the field, as well as incorporating an array of enhancements to all new products. These include:

An optional 24PsF card, which enables the system's camcorders to switch instantly from interlace to 24P - an important advantage for any producer who wants to approach the look of motion picture film.

An optional Ethernet adaptor, which makes any XDCAM camcorder to plug directly into a 100-Base T network and log or edit directly from the camcorder. This feature marks the first time Sony has offered Ethernet capability on a camcorder.

i.LINK (FAM) File Access Mode, which allows an XDCAM camcorder or deck to appear as a drive under Microsoft Windows Explorer or an NLE's file browser. The NLE can select the camcorder or deck as a removable media drive and access the files on the XDCAM disc directly.

Essence Marks, so the operator can either manually or automatically mark a particular clip as a "good shot." The camcorder can also be configured to automatically insert other essence marks when any of the following events occur while shooting filter wheel changes, shutter speed changes, scene changes, and others. The operator can then use the deck to sort shots and display the corresponding thumbnails by essence mark type.

Thumbnail Scene selection and search in the camcorder and decks helps easily find desired clips and only play out clips selected by the operator. The operator can easily do sequential cuts editing within the product and play back the edited program. Make immediate decisions about keeping/discarding a take while shooting.

Picture Cache, so while in Standby Mode, the camcorder will continuously record 10 seconds of video, audio and metadata in memory. When the "Rec" button is pushed, these previous 10 seconds and all associated data will be automatically recorded onto the Professional Disc media and the camcorder will continue recording in real time.

The XDCAM family includes the PDW-510 DVCAM and the PDW-530 MPEG IMX/DVCAM optical disc camcorders, the PDW-1500 optical disc compact deck, and the PDW-V1 optical disc mobile deck. Sony will also introduce the PDW-D1 external drive, which eliminates the need for a deck when transferring files to the professional disc, in early 2005. The system uses blue-laser Sony Professional Disc optical media, which can store 23.3 GB of content on one disc.

Sony's Professional Disc media offers unique benefits in terms of random access in the field or during post, and multi-format flexibility?DVCAM or MPEG IMX?without changing media. The 12cm (5-inch) single-sided, rewritable disc offers portability and is protected in a durable cartridge resistant to dust, shock and environmental conditions. Reusable for as many as 10,000 erase/read/write cycles, Sony's Professional Disc offers an estimated 50 years or more of archival life according to Sony's accelerated testing.

As of September, Sony has shipped 2,000 XDCAM units to customers worldwide in the broadcast, rental and production industries. Customers include King World Productions, leading video rental houses Bexel, Wexler and VER, and production companies like Communications Four and State of Mind Productions. The system was recently used by NBC News for the network's coverage of the Summer Games in Athens. Other XDCAM broadcast customers include Fisher Broadcasting; WLS-TV, an ABC owned station in Chicago; and KPRC-TV, a Post-Newsweek station in Houston.

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:Sony, XDCAM, XDCAM Professional Disc, Theresa Alesso, CBS News, King World Productions, NBC News, ENG, DVCAM, MPEG IMX, Fox, TBS, 24PsF, i.LINK, PDW-510 DVCAM, PDW-530 MPEG IMX/DVCAM, PDW-1500, PDW-V1, PDW-D1,


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