Sony Demonstrates New XDcam HD Workflow Enhancements

At NAB 2011, Sony introduced a range of new technologies and prototype concepts to enhance the XDCAM HD® workflow.

A new version of the XDCAM Professional Disc will be a quad (four) layer version with a 128GB capacity. The new disc is ideal for long-form recording and archiving, and users can store more than four hours of XDCAM HD422 50Mbps content.

Sony also highlighted its next generation of drive technology – the PDW-U2. The drive uses a dual optic head system (with 330Mbps read speed), and supports the new quad layer 128GB optical disc. The drive is backwards-compatible with the 23GB and 50GB versions of the XDCAM system’s Professional Disc media. Sony is also releasing new XDCAM drive software for the PDW-U2.


Sony demonstrated workflow solutions that take advantage of each type of XDCAM tapeless media – the optical Professional Disc and the solid-state SxS memory card. The XDCAM Station hybrid media recorder “XDS” series will feature internal hard-disc or solid state drive storage, a Professional Disc drive, SxS memory card slots and a VTR-like control panel.

The XDCAM Station will be the core of XDCAM workflows in networked environments. Beyond providing an effective bridge solution between XDCAM optical media and SxS memory card media, it also enables multi-task and multi-access capabilities and offers enhanced functionality and performance to users. Several versions will be available: XDS-PD2000 (internal storage: 0.5 TB SSD, SxS and Professional Disc); XDS-PD1000 (internal storage: 1 TB HDD, SxS and Professional Disc); and the XDS-1000 (internal storage: 1 TB HDD, SxS only). The PDW-U2 and XDS series can also be used for high-speed file back-up.


Sony’s XDCAM “Juke” Library, model XDJ-1000, is a compact automated XDCAM Professional Disc library, designed to enhance an XDCAM workflow by allowing for more efficient disc ingest, interchange and archiving. It has 30 slots (128GB/Quad Layer Discs/120 Hours at 50Mb/s), and supports XDCAM MXF and Data files, and uses a simple FTP and web browser interface via Gigabit Ethernet. Other convenient functions include remote browsing and maintenance, as well as disc formatting and duplication functionality.

Sony unveiled a new version (V1.5) of its powerful archiving system called XDCAM Archive. This is an integrated media content management system designed for file-based and baseband media workflows. It features a web-based GUI for easy access and management, and allows users to easily capture, store, manage, exchange and share content, as well as browse on-line and off-line material.

Sony’s XMPilot is an XDCAM metadata workflow technology, and at NAB, the technology is being demonstrated with enhanced functionality. XMPilot technology is now integrated with compatible Sony XDCAM camcorders, allowing users to input metadata directly into the camcorder at the start of the content creation workflow. Users can also install a Wi-Fi adapter that connects mobile devices and XDCAM camcorders, enabling users to generate and update metadata on-site. This metadata can be embedded as electronic data into an archive file, to further enhance an organisation’s workflow efficiency.

Finally, Sony showed a prototype triple-layer version of the XDCAM Professional Disc media, with a re-writable up to 100GB capacity.




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