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FFV and GV plan tapeless SX retrofit

27 April 2007

Fast Forward Video (FFV) is planning a collaboration with Grass Valley to develop a retrofit kit for Sony Betacam SX camcorders. The kit, based on the GV REV PRO-SX drive, will not only update the cameras to tapeless production but provide them with HD capability as well, writes Andy Stout.

For tape-based users making the conversion to a file-based infrastructure, the Grass Valley REV PRO-SX drive provides a cost-effective solution and extends the operational life of their camcorders. The retrofit kit’s built-in REV PRO drive replaces the existing Sony proprietary MPEG-based tape elements of the camcorder while converting the signal to digital directly from the CCD image sensor to deliver excellent image quality. Thus the REV PRO-SX essentially converts the tape-based camcorder into an almost all-digital, file-based camcorder, supporting tapeless news and production workflows. The device will also scale images to HD, allowing users to continue using their SD camcorders with the added benefit of built-in HD upscaling and recording.

The REV PRO-SX, with HD, will list for $8,995 plus installation and will begin shipping to authorised service centres in Q3.

“We are very pleased to work with Grass Valley in bringing this innovative and cost-effective tapeless, file-based solution to our customers,” said Scott Keating, vice president of sales and marketing for FFV. “The retrofit will allow customers with older SX tape-based camcorders to upgrade to what is basically full digital operation with HD capabilities, all without the cost of replacing their current camcorders.”

This collaborative development effort between FFV and Grass Valley is part of the Grass Valley Open Alliance Partner (OAP) Program and the Grass Valley REV PRO Certification Program. The REV PRO Certification Program includes companies like FFV, which have announced support for the IT-centric removable media and more open and flexible approaches to newsgathering and field production using the Grass Valley Infinity series of products. The retrofit kit is the first of several planned DVRs by FFV supporting Grass Valley REV PRO media.

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