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Sony’s 4K focus for NAB

17 March 2011
Sony's 4K focus for NAB

Sony is focusing on high-end digital imaging at NAB, including the rumoured and long-awaited debut of a 4K camera. Further supporting its 4K workflow, Sony will announce details of availability and pricing for its SR Memory pack, writes Adrian Pennington.

“Our attention to higher-resolution and higher quality premium images will link Sony’s 4K story with technologies across our range,” explained Olivier Bovis (pictured), Sony Europe’s general manager for content creation.

The ‘4K story’ could be enhanced to spectacular effect if Sony wheels out a 4K capable camera. Long anticipated to be in the works, the prototype may be revealed in Las Vegas sporting a 8K, 20.4-megapixel single CMOS sensor with a PL lens mount outputting 16-bit RAW.

Speaking to TVBEurope at Sony’s Broadcast and Professional Solutions headquarters in Tokyo two years ago, the worldwide head of the division, Dr. Kyung-soo Ahn, confirmed that a 4K system was of high importance to Sony “but we will not introduce a 4K camera for another year or more,” he said. “The reason is not because we cannot, but because unless you have a proper backbone infrastructure you cannot produce 4K images.”

At the time Sony was developing post-production tools to visualise and manipulate 4K images based on its Cell high performance microprocessor.

That infrastructure finally appears to be falling into place. Sony’s 4K workflow unveiled a year ago is intended to link hardware, software and files throughout the production process, from pre-viz to shooting and on through post and preservation.

A core component of this is Ellcami, a resolution-independent multi-format input, transcoding and output system, also built on the Cell.

Further supporting its 4K workflow, Sony will announce details of availability and pricing for its SR Memory pack. This solid state recording format will deliver transfer rates over 5Gbp/s and a storage capacity of up to 1TB. That is enough to support very native acquisition of resolutions up to 4K.

Sony will also highlight a full range of stereo acquisition systems, storage and workflow, as well as its technical expertise.

“This links right through to the projection side where stereographic content can be shown to its maximum effect at cinemas fitted with our 4K projector,” said Bovis.

UK cinema chain Vue recently inked a deal to install Sony 4K projectors across its 68 cinemas and 657 screens, making it the largest cinema circuit equipped with Sony 4K in Europe.

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