NAB 2016: Sony Unveils New 4K, HDR Solutions; Joins AIMS

Las Vegas — Deon LeCointe, senior manager of sports and IP solutions for Sony Electronics, had plenty of 4K, high dynamic range (HDR) and IP news from the company to share April 17 to kick off the NAB Show.

But during a press conference, he seemed less excited about how Sony’s 4K and HDR solutions are being used by broadcasters and filmmakers, and more excited about how they’re being used in places you might not guess.

“4K is gaining ground everywhere you would expect, but also not where you’d expect,” he said during the company’s press event. At the mega-sized Mosaic church in Los Angeles, all of Sony’s production technologies, from 4K cameras to IP solutions, are used, allowing for the type of high-quality live productions you’d expect out of a network or studio. “They’re changing how 4K can redefine a group’s message,” LeCointe said.

It was just one of several highlights the consumer electronics giant noted during its event, covering everything from new cameras, to new standards initiatives.

On the cameras and recorders front, Sony announced a new 4K- and HDR-capable HDC-4800 camera system, one geared toward sports and live event production. Sony also showed off its latest XDCAM shoulder-mount camcorder, the PXW-Z450, which is capable of 4K video.

For HDR, Sony introduced the BVM-X300, the company’s first ever 4K OLED reference monitor, meant for 4K and HDR grading, and the PVM-X550 a 55-inch OLED panel. In the IP area Sony announced updates to its live IP-based production system, adding a new suite of network media interface solutions, allowing for low-cost broadcaster delivery of live 4K content.

“As demand grows for 4K and HDR content, production teams and their clients need more tools for evaluating video,” said Gary Mandle, senior product manager for Sony Electronics.

Sony also introduced its new network production system Media Backbone Hive, which has an “internet first” approach to news and sports delivery. “Media Backbone Hive is a technology enabler for the broadcast industry. It uses internet technologies, like hyper convergent nodes, to deliver efficient operations and the opportunity for a significant reduction in the total cost of ownership,” said Ali Etezadi-Amoli, director of product marketing for Sony Electronics.

Sony also announced it has joined the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), the group of broadcast industry suppliers promoting interoperability and open standards for the broadcast industry’s transition to IP. Sony and technology company Grass Valley (a founding member of AIMS) will partner on developing interoperability between the companies’ respective IP-based solutions and devices.

“We are extremely pleased to work with [Sony] towards a standards-based approach to IP while improving interoperability between Grass Valley AIMS based systems and Sony NMI based systems,” said Michael Cronk, SVP of strategic marketing of Grass Valley. “The industry has spoken. They want true ISO standards that will stand the test of time and ensure broad interoperability.  Grass Valley is thrilled to work with Sony towards this goal.”