NAB: Sony Highlights 4K Advances

Also Unveils New Archiving Solution, Cameras, OLED Monitors

As expected Sony spent much of its annual NAB press conference discussing some major advances in 4K production and workflows as part of its push to complete an ecosystem for 4K content.

But the company also announced a number of significant broadcast deployments and a number of new cameras, monitors and other more traditional broadcast equipment.

These included the unveiling of two new shoulder-mount cameras, the PMW-400 and HDC-2570, new OLED monitors and a new Optical Disk Archiving (ODA) solution.

As previously reported, The Golf Channel will be first deployment of the ODA system with represents quite a break from the LTO tapes many archives currently use.

For the new Optical Disk Archiving solution, Sony announced a partnership with Dalet’s media asset management systems that will closely tie the widely used MAM system in with its archiving offerings.

Separately, Front Porch Digital, a provider of cloud-based content storage management systems, announced that it will integrate Sony's new Optical Disc Archive products into its DIVArchive system as an alternate means of storage for both DIVArchive and LYNXSM cloud-based disaster recovery and media asset storage service.

Sony also announced some significant deployments of its Media Backbone production system at Gray Television, which is ongoing, and The Weather Channel, which will occur over the next year.

In an interview, Alec Shapiro, president of Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions of America division, noted that “I think that Sony is uniquely positioned to provide what we call lens to the living room for 4K. We have highest performing cameras with the F65 which was used in a number of upcoming films and the newer F5 and F55 cameras which are becoming quite popular for TV series and commercial production.”

Shapiro noted that over 2,000 units of the F5 and F55 had been sold since they became available in February of this year.

During the press conference, Sony showed clips of some upcoming theatrical films that used its F65 4K camera and brought Phil Squyres, senior vice president of technical operations at Sony Pictures Television, up on the stage to discuss how its 4K cameras were being used in the production of upcoming network TV and cable programming.

Squyres noted that they were producing two series in 4K, including the upcoming Showtime drama, “Masters of Sex,” and that they had shot or were preparing to shoot three pilots in 4K.

“We haven’t had any real issues with production or workflow and are hoping to shoot more in the future,” Squyres said.

President and COO of Sony ElectronicsPhil Molyneux also took the stage to show off some lower prices for 4K consumer equipment.

He noted that their new 55- inch 4K TV would be priced at $4,999 and the 65-inch as $6,999, much less than the $24,999 price tag announced for its 84-inch 4K set last fall. “The two new sets extend 4K into prices that are more within reach,” he said.

Molyneux also noted that its 4K movie download service announced at CES would bow later this year but provided no further details.