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Game changer, once again: Sony lineup 2019 "Go Make Tomorrow"

Sony Professional Solutions Europe held in mid November a "Technology Day" both in Milan, and Rome in order to present the latest technologies and experiment all the latest solutions proposed in their lineup.

Among the main topics, Nicolas Moreau, Live Media Solution Marketing Manager, explained Sony point of view in respect of the solutions available for web based cloud content production, the production workflow in 4K HDR and IP-Live techniques for tv production.


In Moreau's introductory words: "Today's general attitudes for Sony tend to propose a whole set of solutions for producing and managing and editing and also distributing contents on any platform.
The common idea is to simplify, streamline, accelerate the production process without moving expensive equipments, optimizing and allocating only the necessary resources in every way and in every occasion."
Sony Professional Solutions Europe division also created a hands-on adjacent demo room in which Benito Mari, Sales Manager Italy and others from Sony Italian staff showed the HDC-3500, new generation of studio HD/4K HDR cameras and the new Grade 1 technology applied to the BVM-HX310 monitor.
Also on demo the new camcorder handycam PXW-Z90 and PXW-Z280 connected in streaming with XDCAM AIR and Virtual Production solution.

Sony is especially known for cameras (and all the production chain, obviously) but now the business tends also to offer specific sets of solutions like XDCAM AIR that is born specifically for the news and shows, native in the cloud and live production; it is meant both for the linear tv but primarily for internet audience. XDCAM AIR deals with the whole segment from handling tv ENG shooting on Cloud to broadcast distribution, and with anyone can record media and upload some proxy stream to the newsroom in order to accelerate the overall workflow.

Media Backbone Navigator X is a content and workflow management software solution for off-line production integration with metadata and fast deployment of stories content based on flexibility and scalability, not to miss any deadlines.
Based on an open source platform it is meant to keep the costs low and facilitate off-line work. It manages the assets and the library to find very easily and very quickly the content you are looking for, with metadata, and allows to insert a lot of personal metadata.

Virtual Production is a on-demand virtual cloud production service meant as a complete toolset for multi platform professional simultaneous streaming wherever needed. It is low cost, high quality live production streaming, in real time. It is the response to the difficult and expensive typical external broadcast facilities needed in grand events which involve the use of big vehicles and large troupes and equipments.
It is based on a scalable "pay as you" use incremental subscription and the images from up to 6 cameras or camcorders can be orchestrated and streamed first to the web virtual video mixer and second straight to Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, any CDN, live or recorded.
Basically you login to the service, configure the live streams QoS, RTP or RTMP, and select the outputs.
After the increase of mobile devices video consumption around 30% and more every year, any media producer can now be connected to the action with this solution. So definitely this could be interesting for any minor company and certainly not only broadcasters.
With mobile 4G connectivity increase and the remote production on the way, all kinds of events are interested and not only the big ones.
This solution is providing high quality, instant, immersive live broadcast from anywhere to any platform.
The business model for Sony is a pay as you use and stream subscription, so it is a cost effective useful also for multi location live streaming.
The images plus audio are transmitted live in the cloud and a virtual switcher hosted there manages everything simultaneously to create a single stream which is immediately available on different platforms, as long as there is an internet connection.
It is meant for highly interactive, very basic production, but very high quality. Also a clip player, some basic graphics, and some transitions, are provided in the system.
Output at HD 720 or 1080i on a 10MB stream is guaranteed and using Sony cameras or some adaptors the QoS is guaranteed even in the case of bandwidth drop.
You can also define the members of the control staff and assign roles, separately i.e. one operator for the video and one for the audio, wherever necessary.

Another key technology for Sony is Media Backbone Hive a very comprehensive platform, a master software system working in the cloud orchestrating everything to manage the content with also publishing capabilities. This aims for big content producer companies like Reuters or Associated Press who produce a lot of automated news with multiple distribution platforms, on social media or websites or on linear tv.
It manages acquisition, ingest, edition, and can work with any NRCS newsroom system. Practically is is capable of handling the same kind of info or news stories delivering them towards different distribution channels on several languages (I.e. Vatican tv now handles 16 languages) on the internet, including newspapers and broadcast traditional channels.

The Optical Disk Archive is a specific archiving system for files which has a huge number of benefits over the traditional archiving systems of the IT world.
Though slightly higher cost, on bigger scale and longer lifespan it guarantees definitely higher advantages. It is no mystery very huge companies are archiving on optical systems, jumping completely all tape generations. Sony declares a guaranteed data conservation for 100 years, like no one other system on earth, and it includes an automated MAM management.
It is a wide range system sold in several areas among which military, tv, musical, and radio stations, because it can't be attacked by ransomeware and offers blinded assets.

Sony also highlighted the state of the art for some sister companies like Hawk-Eye, a service famous for goal line technology, assisted referee and ball tracking which is very simple to use, and deployed for various sports like, for example, tennis (i.e. Roland Garros on the 2 main courts).
Another sister company is MemNom dedicated to archiving and digitalizing any kind of contents, films on every digital format, creating metadata, restoring historical contents, and more.
Ve.Nue is a company involved in the distribution of contents on digital platforms like Google and Amazon or Playstation networks. In just one hour they can subtitle the program in 20 languages and push it on over 20 platforms in the world. So for example all the new episodes in a series can populate world wide websites and be distributed very easily with this solution.
All solutions seen are cloud based and another one from a company called "Ci" is a start free or monthly subscription service to access platform on the style of a big Google Drive with some specific AV media functionalities. Originally derived from Sony pictures it was meant for reviewing the daily rushes and the files for a collaborative work and it also includes some basic editing or trimming tools and it is handy for moving contents from cloud to cloud without downloading and uploading anything.
Crispin is another sister company in the USA; a software automation company offering several advantages in any workflow and tv production for repetitive programming, and automatizing the process of distribution of programs.
PulseLive is a company dealing with web service content generation and distribution useful especially for broadcasters and sports leagues or community of fans. Pulselive generates websites and social networks contents where spectators can find live streams, results, interviews and a lot more.

Besides at the Milan event Sony delivered several other news, among which the IP live roadmap and state of the art through Resources Orchestration, the Automated Production, the advancements in Production Servers, the 4K Upgrade Program, and the Virtual Production. All these topics definitely require an in depth further story.
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