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Inside Look at Sony's NAB 2024 Booth and What Advances To Expect in Cameras, Switchers, the Cloud, and More

10/04/2024

Inside Look at Sony's NAB 2024 Booth and What Advances To Expect in Cameras, Switchers, the Cloud, and More Camera networking, high-frame-rate Hawkeye, virtual production are among the highlights By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 - 10:00 am

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We had a chance to chat with members of the Sony Broadcast team ahead of NAB 2024, where they will once again have a massive booth. Here are some of the highlights of the many innovations and advances to be on display.

Several products will be making their NAB Show debut, most notably the HDC-5500V camera with 4K@4X capabilities and the variable ND filter (also available as an option); the HDC-3500V 4K/HDR with 4X slo-mo; the HKCU-UHF50 4K@4X processor board; the HDVF-EL780/760/740 viewfinders; the HXCU-FZ90 CCU; the BRC-AM7 PTZ 4K 60p AI auto-tracking remote camera; and the Alpha camera lineup.

Rob Willox, director, live solutions, Sony Electronics, notes the growing acceptance of the HDC-5500, the growing popularity of the variable neutral-density filter, and the brand-new BRC-AM7, which has built-in AI auto tracking as well as focal-plane phase-detection AF to track objects properly. A 1-in. CMOS chip captures 5K images that are oversampled to deliver great 4K and HD images. And a 20X optical zoom offers up to 960 mm.

It's our BRC equivalent to the FR7, he says. And, between the FR7 and BRC-AM7, there are a couple of really good weapons for sports that can be done remotely or with AI framing.

Willox also thinks the HXC-FZ90 will prove attractive for those priced out of 4K acquisition. It's a 4K camera that is more for the college and even high school market. It's a single-chip 4K camera but with really good picture quality and it's priced very well.

The CNA-2 camera control has web RCP for virtual control of up to 12 cameras.

Also look for the CNA-2 camera network adapter, which allows monitoring, control logging, and remote control of the entire camera systems.

During COVID, Willox says, we learned the limitations of the CNA-1, and we've made improvements in terms of camera networking and some of the peripherals that we can put on it. It can now offer web RCP for virtual control of up to 12 cameras, and more improvements are on the way, including web control for multicamera applications and the ability to integrate multi-facilities as one system virtually for networked live workflows.

El-Deane Naude, senior production information manager, imaging solutions, Sony Electronics, cites other imaging advances to look for. Global shutter on the Alpha A9 III camera, he says, will make a difference not only for photographers but also sports high-speed shooting.

Sony's PDF-P1 is a new option for transmitting content out of cameras and phones.

The new PDF-P1 portable data transmitter, he adds, is designed to transfer photos and videos over HDMI, USB-C, or LAN, whether they are pre-captured or a live stream. It's also being launched with the Sony XDCAM Pocket app, which will allow a user to record video from a phone and send the content directly to a Sony C3 portal. It's very affordable at $1,100, has an incredible antenna system, and has a robust design compared with other Wi-Fi or 5G transmitting devices. Integrated cooling allows it to operate for a long time, and it has two USB ports so one can be used for power delivery and the other for data transfer. There is also another add-on, the RPU7 encoder, that can get the latency down to a millisecond.

Networked Live According to Deon LeCointe, director, networked solutions, Sony Electronics, the booth will highlight three key pillars of deployments: network and resource orchestration, media transport across LAN/WAN/5G/cloud with high video quality and low latency, and hybrid processing and operations (unified cloud and on-premises processing as well as distributable and stackable processors and cloud-agnostic processes).

Content producers and media organizations are looking to leverage all of their resources, whether people or products, in different places across the country or across the globe, he says. In sports, REMI has significantly evolved from five years ago to what today are fully distributed workflows where resources can be located anywhere and content can be produced at any scale. At NAB, we're going to focus on how we leverage these technologies to drive the applications.

After several proofs-of-concept, Sony will demonstrate high-frame-rate applications for Hawkeye replay, including slo-mo replay by combining the Hawkeye server with the NXL-ME 80 HEVC ultra-low-latency encoder/decoder. The latter can now support up to eight channels in both HD or UHD video as well as 16 channels of audio per video stream sent through the system.

Nevion VideoIPath will have a big role across the entire booth, but especially in managing the live application side. Part of the beauty of the acquisition of Nevion by Sony, says LeCointe, is that we're able to combine our expertise with Nevion's expertise. VideoIPath is not only a broadcast-control solution; it's also a network-orchestration solution operating across multiple environments, including SDI, IP, 5G, and cloud. And it's orchestrating all of it into an interface that a broadcast engineer can understand so they can deploy different environments.

The Sony MLS-X1 switcher is now available in either an SDI or an IP version.

Noting the MLS-X1 scalable live-production switcher, LeCointe says new options make a difference, most notably in SDI offerings. We now have 12G and 3G SDI boards available. When we introduced the MLS-X1, it was IP only, but we're happy to add SDI boards to the lineup for those who want SDI.

Also new in the U.S. this year is the M2L-X, a software-based live-produc
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/04/10/inside-look-at-sonys-nab-booth-...
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