Japanese giants Ikegami and Toshiba have stolen an NAB march on their rivals by announcing ahead of the Las Vegas show that they are entering into a global collaboration in the development, manufacture and sales and marketing of a new-generation system of video production and editing. Under an agreement signed in Tokyo this week, the two companies will collaborate in developing the components of an advanced tapeless video production and editing system, including a professional-use camera and video recorder, using flash memory as the main storage medium, writes Fergal Ringrose.
The new system will support all aspects of video production, from news acquisition through to archiving, and Ikegami and Toshiba will jointly promote the concept to the industry before its targeted commercialisation in April 2008. Ikegami and Toshiba also said that they will announce more details of the specific products to be developed under their agreement at NAB.
Today, typical video production and editing systems are either videotape-based linear systems or nonlinear systems that can save images to hard disc drives or other non-tape media and interface with network servers. As the number of TV channels continues to increase, and as broadcasting systems go digital, video production professionals require fully integrated solutions that connect all parts of the video production workflow, from news acquisition in the field through to editing, sharing and archiving.
The advanced system that Ikegami and Toshiba are developing is designed expressly to meet all these requirements. By creating a totally tapeless, networked production environment, the companies will support enhanced levels of productivity and innovation. The new system will speed up workflow throughput and win savings in time and cost, according to the two companies.
Flash memory offers distinct advantages over optical disc-based and other solutions: it has no moving parts, is resilient to wide temperature fluctuations, and is highly impact- and vibration-resistant. It also offers high level operating reliability, even in the often hostile environments where professionals have to acquire video. As flash memory increases in density, its fields of application are expanding beyond consumer applications, such as memory cards for mobile phones and digital cameras, to professional-use video systems for broadcasters.
In 1995, Ikegami introduced Editcam, the industry's first camcorder to use a hard disk as the recording medium. And in 2006 the company launched Editcam HD (HDN-X10) as a tapeless, high-definition video camera. Through its tapeless video cameras, Ikegami is a strong supporter of tapeless, networked solutions that streamline workflow from news acquisition to play-outs and archiving.