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Sony Pictures Television Upgrades With XPRI NLE

Benefits from increased editing flexibility and speed (January 28, 2005)

Sony Pictures Television recently purchased three XPRI non-linear editing systems from Sony Electronics for use on "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy."

The XPRI system has been used on both shows since the start of this season, moving the programs "into the non-linear editing world," according to Phil Squyres, senior vice president of technical operations at Sony Pictures Television.

"Since these are both game shows, we typically don't do an offline cut," Squyres said. "We've always edited the shows linearly, so we were looking for a non-linear solution that would give us online quality with all of the inherent flexibility. Another benefit of the XPRI editor is its faster-than-real-time ingest from the Sony XDCAM Professional Disc system, which we are now using on `Wheel.'"

The three XPRI systems are mostly used on "Wheel of Fortune." One system is used primarily for ingest and output, a second for doing "show cuts" or cuts to time, and the third system is used for finishing work on "Wheel." All three are attached to XPRI Net, which is Sony's shared storage solution in a SAN configuration that is fully RAID protected without the need for costly mirroring. XPRI Net offers multiple seats of unrestricted project, sequence, and clip media sharing in full online resolution for the HDCAM and MPEG IMX native formats as well as uncompressed HD and SD.

"After the show has been cut to time, we go back in and do additional trims and add graphics and other similar elements," Squyres said.

For this season, the XPRI system is only being used on "Jeopardy" for materials that are pre-produced and rolled into the shows, such as clues and other ancillary elements. Final editing for "Jeopardy" is still being done on a Sony BVE-9100 linear editing system, with plans to move to the XPRI system for next season.

According to Squyres, "Wheel of Fortune" was chosen first for full conversion to non-linear editing because "Wheel of Fortune" director Mark Corwin was quick to recognize that a non-linear approach to finishing "Wheel" would allow him increased flexibility to handle that show's more challenging post-production aspects and his need to do a greater number of timeline adjustments.

"It's a more complex show to assemble," Squyres said. "Part of that is due to the nature of the gameplay itself where there is a lot more going on between each spin of the wheel. This creates the need for more cuts but it also provides opportunities for more creative editing since there are typically a lot of small pull-ups throughout the show. Plus, there are layers of graphics and games within the game that have to be inserted, such as the Jackpot rounds."

"Wheel" also awards various prizes, such as cruises, cars, and cash jackpots which can pop up throughout the program, and this insert material often has to be adjusted or finessed into the final show, along with transitional effects and more graphics.

"Non-linear editing helps a lot with these issues," Squyres said. "Because the XPRI is an online non-linear editor, `Wheel' is finished when all pieces are completed."

In comparison to "Wheel," Squyres noted, "Jeopardy" is more of a "straight ahead" quiz show with sequential answers and questions.

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:XPRI, Sony Pictures Television, NLE, editing, Sony Electronics, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, non-linear, Phil Squyres, ingest, XDCAM Professional Disc, XPRI Net, storage, RAID, SAN, HDCAM, MPEG IMX, BVE-9100, Mark Corwin,


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