Sony Adds New Features To HDV Videotape Recorders


Last Updated: April 15, 2008 6:06 pm GMT
(Las Vegas NAB--April 15, 2008) Sony’s top-end HDV™ videotape recorder, model HVR-1500A, now includes HD-SDI input capabilities, broadening the deck’s potential applications to a wider range of production environments. In addition, the enhanced HVR-M15AU and HVR-M25AU models now support native progressive recording, keeping pace with Sony’s newest HDV camcorders.

“These decks can now function in a range of HD applications,” said Bob Ott, vice president of professional and optical products for Sony Electronics. “For example, serving as a ‘bridge’ between HDV and higher-end workflows such as the HDCAM® format, as a feeder deck, linking your acquisition source – HDV or DVCAM – and your HDCAM deck or NLE system. They’re also the perfect complements to our HDV line of camcorders.”

With HD-SDI inputs, the HVR-1500A model can be used as an HD recording deck for cameras with HD-SDI outputs, such as Sony’s HDV, XDCAM EX™ and BRC models. It can also work with live production tools such as the Sony Anycast Station™ system.

Other uses can include dubbing from HDCAM decks for off-line production, such as viewing or distributing content on lower-cost HD media, or for baseband, real-time writing back from an HD NLE system.

The deck can also function in letterbox mode during down-conversion.

It is NTSC/PAL switchable, and supports HDV1080/50i and 1080/59.94i. The deck records HDV, DVCAM™, and DV, while playing back HDV, DVCAM, DV, and DVCPRO™ 25.

The deck has HD-SDI output, SDI and AES/EBU input and output through optional boards, RS422A nine-pin control, and a six-pin i.LINK® interface. HDV tape can be directly converted for compatibility with HDCAM products without the need for external processing.

Option boards available for the deck include the HVBK-1505 analog input board and the HVBK-1520 format converter board.

The models HVR-M25AU and HVR-M15AU are successor models of the HVR-M25U and HVR-M15U. New features include record and playback of native 1080/24p, 1080/30p and 1080/25p as well as 1080i. Both offer DVCAM and DV SP recording and playback capability to provide users with an easy migration from standard- to high-definition production. Both are compatible with mini-size DV cassettes as well as standard-size cassettes that allow more than four hours of HDV recording. In addition, both decks have a down-conversion function from HD to SD and are switchable between 60 and 50 Hz (NTSC/PAL) to provide full flexibility depending on production needs.

Other shared features of the two decks include the ability to copy external timecode through the “HDV/DV in TC” feature and a range of connectivity options, including the i.LINK (IEEE-1394) digital interface, component output, S-Video I/O, composite I/O, and analog audio I/O.

Both decks provide status check of external connected devices, such as the HVR-DR60 and HVR-MRC1 units through an i.LINK connection. A new Remote Commander® unit also offers the additional functions.

The HVR-M25AU deck adds a ClearPhoto LCD Plus™ 2.7-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally) 16:9 panel for increased user convenience and an HDMI output for connections to consumer television sets.

The model’s Edge Crop adjustment helps operators adjust edge crop areas manually while down-converting in this mode. Duplicate Plus is a dubbing function that duplicates work tapes with the same time-code that the original tape contains through the i.LINK connection.

It also has a Custom Repeat feature and 1080/60i to 720/60P conversion capabilities (through the analog component and HDMI outputs only).

The HVR-M15AU model is compact, with a small footprint that allows it to be unobtrusively added to existing work environments. Uniquely, it can be placed either horizontally or vertically.

All three new models complement the standard size version of Sony's DigitalMaster™ professional videotape, which the company recommends for professional HDV applications. The standard size tape offers up to 276 minutes of HDV recording time.

DigitalMaster is Sony's highest-quality line of 6mm DV videotape. With its dual-active magnetic layers, DigitalMaster tape features a greater carrier-to-noise ratio (CNR). This equates to higher sensitivity, higher output and lower noise. The result is a more robust tape with significantly lower dropouts and errors, compared to consumer DV tape.
The HVR-1500A VTR is expected to be available this summer, at a suggested list price of $8,290.

The HVR-M25AU and HVR-M15AU models are expected to be available in July at suggested list prices of $4,300 and $2,480.

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