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Sony’s 4K Live Production Solution Delivers Sports the Way It Was Meant to Be Seen

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September 13, 2013 6:51:14 PM PDT September 13, 2013 6:51:14 PM PDTth, September 13, 2013 6:51:14 PM PDT
Sony is taking its “beyond definition” theme to a new level through the unveiling of an array of solutions and services at the 2013 International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), with a new 4K Live Production Solution as a highlight. 4K Live Production is now being made more accessible to professionals. Not limited to just 4K cameras, Sony has also developed key products, systems and workflow for 4K, from shooting to viewing, to enable a full 4K Live Production Solution. The 4K live camera system employs the PMW-F55, with other major developments of Sony’s new 4K Live Production Solution including a Multi-Port AV Storage Unit capable of 4K and high definition (HD) recording through the very efficient workflow of the XAVC video format, and a multi-format switcher capable of real-time 4K signal processing. When 30-inch 4K LCD monitors and 4K SXRD projectors are added, Sony can provide all the components necessary for building a 4K live production solution. This new system not only provides 4K resolution quality, it also brings new capabilities to HD production. The use of a 4K live camera system allows for slow motion HD replay at up to 240 fps. Newly developed 4K Stitching Software that co-ordinates two 4K cameras to cover an entire playing field, allows for the dynamic extraction of HD images from any part of the field. By using Telestrator Software along with 4K Stitching Software, various graphics and players’ data* can be added to the HD cut-out. Sony is also offering migration advice to help customers move into live 4K production, including upgrades of existing HD equipment and the use of components from other manufacturers. “4K video production is making impressive inroads globally across a growing number of platforms, ranging from movies to television programming, commercial production, documentary making, large screen display and more,” said Nick Buchner, Senior Product Manager for Content Creation, Sony Australia and New Zealand. “Countries around the world are already taking steps towards making 4K broadcasting a reality. As a pioneer in 4K, Sony will continue the development of new technologies which deliver spectacular viewing experiences with 4K quality to audiences everywhere.” Sony successfully conducted 4K live production trials in a joint project with FIFA TV at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 in Brazil in June, with the support of lenses from FUJIFILM Corporation (Japan), a prototype 4K to HD down-converter and a video routing system from Miranda Technologies, and the world’s first purpose-built 4K OB vehicle from Telegenic (UK), co-developed with Sony Professional Europe. New Product: 4K Live Camera System Sony’s PMW-F55 incorporates a Super 35mm 4K CMOS image sensor. The camera delivers multiple shooting options for HD/2K/QFHD/4K with superb dynamic range, ultra wide colour gamut and pristine image quality. Its modular design allows for a wide range of configurations to meet a large variety of user needs. With its powerful feature set, the PMW-F55 is the centrepiece of Sony’s newly developed 4K live camera system. To build the system, the camera adapter CA-4000 is attached onto the PMW-F55, and then connected to the baseband processor unit BPU-4000 and the current camera control unit HDCU-2000 via SMPTE optical fibre cable. This setup enables fine real-time adjustment of the camera’s 4K images, together with intercom, return video and camera control. The CA-4000 includes all the functionalities required for live production, including tally and a viewfinder interface. In addition, Sony’s newly developed LA-FZB2 lens mount adapter enables use of existing B4 mount HD zoom lenses on the PMW-F55, where they can be used to shoot 4K video. As a result of these features, the PMW-F55 4K live camera system is ideal not only for pure 4K production, but also for working with and extending the capability of existing HD systems, and for the conversion of standard HD systems into 4K in the near future.

PMW-F55 4K Live Camera System

High-frame-rate HD capturing for impressive slow-motion imagesThe 4K live camera system also provides added value to HD production. Sony’s PMW-F55 incorporates a Super 35mm 4K CMOS image sensor, enabling capture with four times the resolution of HD. Utilising this in HD shooting, users can achieve extremely high-speed capture at a maximum of 200 fps/240 fps**. Users can record 200 fps/240 fps images captured by the 4K Live Camera System to the PWS-4400 Multi Port AV Storage Unit, which can replay the video at 4X slow motion (50 fps/60 fps). This capability allows for powerful highlighting of selected sports action, greatly enhancing any sports broadcast. New Product: 4K Stitching Software PWA-4KS 4K Stitching Software composes an 8K x 2K-wide view of an entire field of coverage, such as a football pitch, shot by two 4K cameras. It allows for a window cut-out extraction of up to two HD views in any area of the complete composed view. By shooting the complete field of coverage, there’s no chance of missing a single moment of the action anywhere in the game

PWA-4KS 4K Stitching Software (output image)

New Product: Telestrator Software By using the PWA-TS1 Telestrator Software along with the 4K Stitching Software, users can add various graphics and player information to the HD cut-out views (for example, a player’s name, score, tracking information, and more). This capability can significantly raise the entertainment value of a live sports broadcast.

PWA-TS1 Telestrator Software (output image)

Note: Player data supplied by Sports VU System of STATS LLC (USA)

New Product: Multi Port AV Storage Unit The PWS-4400 Multi Port AV Storage Unit is suitable for both 4K and HD productions. The unit records 4K and HD video utilising as many as four 4K channels, through the very efficient XAVC video format. In a 4K workflow, the unit generates a 4K XAVC file that can be handled easily in non-linear editing (NLE) systems. A smooth and intuitive user interface is provided by the control software with touch panel operation and an attached controller. 4K and HD video clips can be transferred interactively to and from external recording media through media operation software. The unit is also capable of replaying up to 200 fps/240 fps HD slow-motion playback (4X slow motion when using 50 fps/60 fps), ideal for analysing important plays. The 2TB internal storage is installed as standard and can be optionally expanded up to 8TB.

PWS-4400 Multi Port AV Storage Unit Note: design is not final.

4K-Capable Multi-format Switchers New 4K upgrade software (BZS-7570X and BZS-8570X) can add real-time 4K processing capability to Sony’s existing MVS-8000X and MVS-7000X multi format production switchers. A future version available via an upgrade will allow these switchers to add effects directly to live 4K video. Available effects include superimposed text, clip transitions (CG wipes) using externally supplied dynamic clips, keying and zooming, moving, and tilting of composites. Customers can also use Sony’s new MKS-8460X format converter board to up-convert HD video to 4K. Used in conjunction with Sony’s original database-driven super-resolution technology – which is capable of converting HD images into extremely clean and realistic 4K – this equipment enables users to generate 4K video and integrate existing HD cameras or legacy sources and to up-convert HD graphics into 4K. This option allows customers to retain their existing assets while moving into true 4K production.

MVS-8000X Multi-format Switcher

30-inch 4K LCD Professional Monitor Live 4K production requires high-resolution monitoring of camera focus and image detail. Sony’s 30-inch PVM-X300 4K LCD professional monitor delivers highly effective on-site monitoring. This professional model features a wide viewing angle, true 4K resolution, and high-quality image reproduction.

PVM-X300 30-inch 4K LCD Professional Monitor

The following new products will be available from December 2013:
  • CA-4000 Camera System Adaptor
  • BPU-4000 Baseband Processor Unit
  • LA-FZB2 Lens Mount Adaptor
  • PWA-4KS 4K Stitching Software
  • PWA-TS1 Telestrator Software
  • PWS-4400 Multi Port AV Storage Unit
  • BZS-7570X, BZS-8570X 4K Upgrade Software
  • MKS-8460X Format Converter
* Player data supplied by Sports VU System of STATS LLC (USA).** PMW-F55/F5 firmware version 2.0 enabling 200fps/240fps high speed capture will be available at the end of September 2013. 200fps/240fps images captured by the PMW-F55 can then be recorded to the AXSM™ Access Memory System (AXS memory card and AXS-R5 RAW recorder).