Press release from Sony Australia

Sony Australia has completed the roll out of a multi-million dollar deal with the Seven Network for the supply of Sony XDCAM cameras for the network’s electronic news gathering (ENG) operations across Australia.

The Seven partnership with Sony is part of a replacement program that encompasses all ENG cameras for the network. The deal includes a total of 60+ PDW-700 XDCAM HD422 disc camcorders, two PMW-500 XDCAM HD422 memory camcorders for the network’s LA bureau, and a large quantity of supporting PDW-F1600 decks, PDW-U1 drives and PDW-HR1 field stations.

The new XDCAM camera systems will allow speedy transfer of footage from remote news locations back to the station – enabling high quality news coverage to get to air in less time.

“In an extremely competitive news environment, TV crews on the ground need to get video feeds of high quality back to their stations almost immediately for transmission to viewers,” said John Albiston, Technical Services Manager, Melbourne, Seven Network (Operations) Limited.

“Flexibility of the XDCAM professional disc was a primary consideration regarding workflow and integration into our existing plant. The ability of the Sony system, in conjunction with third parties, to automatically extract rushes and FTP them back to base was considered key in this fast-paced news environment,” he stressed.

Rushes are imported to Final Cut Pro in the field and FTP’d to the local station via 3G. In addition, 2.5GHz analogue and digital links are also used for real-time contribution. Discs transported back to base undergo baseband ingest to Quantel server platforms. This will migrate to file-based ingest once the Quantel systems are upgraded.

Albiston said the ease-of-use, robustness and operational flexibility were all primary considerations in investing into the Sony XDCAM cameras and associated systems.

Garry Rhodin, General Manager, Business Solutions Division, Sony Australia and New Zealand, said, “This partnership represents a significant milestone in the changing face of newsgathering and broadcasting in Australia. We see Seven as a pioneering network, constantly at the forefront using technologies to deliver a superior service to its audiences.

“With this deal, Sony will hold around 80 percent of the market share for ENG with all cities and virtually all regional commercial networks in Australia now using XDCAM for their newsgathering,” Rhodin continued.

The new Sony camera systems have been rolled out to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane newsrooms. Both Sydney and the Seven Queensland regional markets already use XDCAM.

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