Sony Intros HD Super Slo-Mo

High definition content creators looking for more options for slow-motion playback will have a new one later this summer when Sony Broadcast and Production Systems rolls out the HDC-3300, an HD Super Slo-Mo system that records 180 frames per second in HD.

A prototype version of the new system was put to use during ABC’s Super Bowl telecast and Sony says it’s hopeful that the system (which costs approximately $270,000) will be in production in time for the 2006 NFL season. Rob Willox, director of content creation marketing for Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems division, says the company is also working hard to have a few units available for the World Cup soccer tournament that will be held in Germany this June. The event is already shaping up to be an HD watershed in Europe.

The system uses three 2/3-inch high-speed progressive CCDs to record images at 1920x1080 interlace lines or 1280x720 progressive lines at either 180 or 150 frames per second. Normal frame rates for HD (or SD) material is only 60 frames per second so by tripling the amount of frames recorded and playing them out at 60 frames per second the images are in slow motion. To date HD slow-motion options have been limited to 120 frames per second.

Those extra frames also demand extra transmission bandwidth so the images can be sent from the camera to the instant replay recording device (in this case an EVS server system). Willox says Sony is using a 10 Gbps fiber link to send the data.