Sony Unveils HDCAM And HDCAM SR Switchable VTR With Simultaneous HD And SD Output Capability

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Sony is expanding its CineAlta™ family of high-end content creation products with the introduction of the SRW-5500 videotape recorder. Switchable between Sony’s HDCAM® and HDCAM SR® record formats, the new VTR provides an ideal solution for broadcast and production professionals needing multi-format recording flexibility in one unit, and can be used for play-to-air or server ingest operations.

SRW-5500 videotape recorder
With its ability to simultaneously provide HD and SD output, as well as Digital Betacam® playout, the SRW-5500 further supports Sony’s commitment to customers who still have investments in SD technology but also want an effective migration path to HD.

The SRW-5500 can record and playback HDCAM and HDCAM SR tapes at 24PsF, 25PsF and 30PsF, as well as 1080/60i, 1080/50i and 720/60P (the HDCAM SR format can record/playback at 720/60P while the HDCAM format can record at 1080i and provide format conversion to playback at 720/60P).

“The HDCAM and HDCAM SR formats have become quickly accepted for TV and motion picture production, as well as for high-end post production and computer graphics,” said Tom Mykietyn, general manager for display and storage products in Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Production Systems Division. “This VTR’s dual-format functionality is well suited for OB trucks, where space is always at a premium and the ability of any product to handle several formats is very desirable.”

The same three option boards that work with Sony’s SRW-5000 deck can be used in the SRW-5500: the HKSR-5001 format converter board, the HKSR-5002 Digital Betacam processor board and the HKSR-5003 RGB processor board.

The SRW-5500 offers all of the same design characteristics of its successful predecessor. The unit captures content to tape at 440 Mbps at 10-bit depth, (log or linear) using the advanced MPEG 4 Studio Profile compression scheme, which enables virtually loss-less recording. The VTR also records 12 channels of 24-bit uncompressed audio, and features metadata handling, dynamic tracking playback, pre-read, and confidence playback and recording.

These standard features along with the additional capabilities offered by the HKSR option set successfully deliver state-of-the-art digital record technology to broadcasting, feature film post production, mastering and archiving, and high end composite effects, with a degree of quality and flexibility never before realized in a single machine.

Complementing the HDCAM SR format’s cameras, VTRs and accessories is Sony’s full line of BCT-SR Series HDCAM SR digital videocassettes. These cassettes use Sony’s most advanced metal tape technology, applying new ultrafine high performance particles 50 percent smaller than those used in HDCAM tape. The result is +6 to +7 dB higher output than HDCAM tape.