Consumers today have a full plate of options when it comes to consuming multimedia content. You can view a blockbuster movie at the local multiplex, on a large-screen TV, streaming on a computer or even on an iPod or cell phone. And the number of options for consuming content is only going to increase.
Contingent upon this knowledge, it is very important for content owners to ensure that their media is produced and stored at the highest quality possible, because nobody wants those multi-compression artifacts to get in the way of a good time at the movies. Sony, with its new line of professional SRW/2 HDCAM-SR VTR’s and playback decks, is set on helping you achieve that goal of "highest-quality media" as efficiently as possible.
Videotape is not dead
Sony has introduced four models, including three videocassette recorder decks—the SRW-5000/2, the SRW-5500/2 and the SRW-5800/2—and one playback deck, the SRW-5100/2. Don’t let the sticker price of these units shock you. Video tapes are still the most reliable and cost effective long term storage solution for digital media. Using the new HDCAM-SR format, these rugged decks feature full 1080 recording and playback at all the standard progressive and interlaced rates (50i/60i and 24p through 50p/60p). The /2 line of VTRs adds 4:4:4 RGB SQ 10-bit recording and playback with very mild compression. Using this mode enables 880 Mbps, 1080 recording with a compression rate of 2:1. The older SRW models required the additional HKSR-5003 board to get this feature, but now, it’s built right into the unit.
There is also a 4:2:2/1080/60p and 50p mode, 720p recording, playback as well as 720p/1080i and 720p/480i bidirectional conversion options are also available. These bad boys also offer up to 12 channels of 24-bit audio at 48 kHz (or up to 96 kHz with the SRW-5800 / 5100) and each channel is independently editable. They have internal format converters to down-convert footage into SDTV from 1080 and 720 and with additional plug-in boards, you can get a whole slew of capabilities, including 2-3 pull-down, 1080 to 720 and 720 to 1080 conversion, and 4:2:2 to 4:4:4 and 4:4:4 to 4:2:2 conversion.
A cool feature of these decks (except for the 5100, which does not have this feature) is the playback head that follows right behind the recording head, so you can monitor exactly what is being captured on the tape as it’s being captured, which can save a lot of time, compared to rewinding and watching the tapes for verification.
The SRW-5800 can record and play back, and and the SRW-5100 can play back in 2K (2048 x 1080, 2048 x 1556) mode in real time. With an optional HKSR-5001 board, footage can be downsized for viewing on traditional monitors. The 5800 / 5100 models also allow for double speed material transfer with dual link HD-SDI or 3G-SDI interface, so you can transfer your footage to other decks or servers in half the time of other units.
These units have internal memory to save up to eight groups of parameters, so you can have all your favorite settings within reach. If eight isn’t enough, you can also save your settings onto Memory Stick media.
These decks offer a variety of interfaces, with multiple inputs and outputs, so you shouldn’t have any problems connecting your gear.
If you’ll be upgrading from older HDCAM or even DIGI-BETACAM systems, not to worry, these decks all have the option of legacy playback of the older formats, and the SRW-5500/2 is fully backwards compatible with HDCAM.
3D Video Production
For those of you looking to hop on the 3D production trend, the HDCAM-SR SRW-5800/2 has single-tape Dual Stream recording enabled. That means it can record the images of two cameras simultaneously with in-sync audio and time code. Or if 3D isn’t your thing, this feature gives you the ability to record two scenes simultaneously.
If producing content of the highest quality is important to you, you can't go wrong with any of the SRW/2 decks.
Click here for a chart to help differentiate between the four decks.
More about the Sony SRW-5000/2 HDCAM-SR Recorder
The Sony SRW-5000/2 HDCAM-SR Recorder is a full-bandwidth HDCAM-SR studio VTR. The deck is used in conjunction with Sony's top-quality CineAlta line of cameras, to deliver the pinnacle in high-definition program ingest and transfer. The HDCAM-SR format has been widely accepted by top professionals as the HD format of choice due to Sony's commitment to providing the highest quality solutions for the most demanding cinematographers and HD broadcasters.
The SRW-5000/2 is capable of recording and playback of HDCAM-SR, and playback of HDCAM. Additionally, the /2 upgrade adds 444 RGB SQ recording and playback, which means the HKSR-5003 board is no longer necessary. This--combined with legacy playback of Digital BETA (using the optional HKSR-5002 board) and a host of other pro features--makes the SRW-5000/2 the ideal solution for top-end HDTV, broadcast, commercial, and digital cinema production.
- HDCAM-SR Format
The SRW-5000/2 player adopts the HDCAM-SR format and plays back 1920 x 1080 resolution high-definition signals using the MPEG-4 Studio Profile compression scheme with a very mild compression ratio of 2.7:1 (4:2:2), 4:1 (4:4:4 SQ) or 2:1 (4:4:4 HQ) and 10-bit color depth. It enables both full-bandwidth 4:4:4 RGB and high-quality 4:2:2 Y/Cb/Cr playback, delivering optimal picture performance to suit many different production requirements.
- Legacy Playback Capability
In addition to the HDCAM-SR format, the SRW-5000/2 can play back HDCAM and, using the optional HKSR-5002 board, Digital Betacam format tapes for more flexible operation.
- Internal Format Conversion
The SRW-5000/2 is optionally equipped with a powerful internal format converter that enables many different types of conversion such as 3:2 pulldown, upconversion, downconversion, cross-conversion and color-space conversion. This powerful optional HKSR-5001 format converter board makes the SRW-5000/2 very versatile in post-production.
- Easy Management of Setup/System Menus
The SRW-5000/2 offers a highly effective way to manage its System Menu. Up to eight groups of parameters in the System Menu and Setup Menu can be individually saved as bank memory onto the internal memory of the VTR. They can also be saved onto Memory Stick media, enabling them to be copied onto other SRW-5500 VTRs for quick and consistent setup of multiple VTRs.
Furthermore, equipped with an Ethernet interface, the SRW-5000 allows operators to remotely view the setup parameters saved in the VTR's memory bank, and to select a bank they want to use through a PC.
- Frame-accurate Insert/Assemble Editing
The SRW-5000/2 is capable of insert or assemble editing with frame accuracy. Each video and audio channel is independently editable, and users can execute precise editing on HDCAM-SR tapes in machine-to-machine or A/B roll configurations.
- Dual-sync Operation
A unique feature of the SRW-5000/2 allows users to seamlessly integrate the VTR into a 59.94 editing environment. In doing so, users can directly perform insert editing--from a 23.98PsF master tape to either a 1080/59.94i or a 525/59.94i recording--without having to first dub the master to 59.94 format.
- Audio Output Channel Selection
The SRW-5000/2 is equipped with a unique internal audio-output router, which enables flexible audio-output channel routing without the use of an external audio-routing device. Any of the tape's available channels can be assigned to the embedded HD-SDI (Ch 1-12) and SDI (Ch 1-8) audio-output channels. This feature provides the flexibility needed when recording audio to different tape formats.
- High-Speed Color Picture Search
The SRW-5000/2 provides recognizable color pictures in Shuttle mode at speeds of up to 42 times normal playback for the HDCAM-SR format, and at speeds of up to 50 times normal playback for the HDCAM and Digital BETACAM formats.
- Long Recording Time on a Single Cassette
Utilizing the technologically advanced HDCAM-SR format's high-density recording capability and compression technology, the SRW-5000/2 is capable of recording up to 155 minutes at 1080/24PsF and up to 124 minutes at 1080/59.94i or 720/59.94p on a single L-sized cassette. S-sized cassettes can also be used, offering up to 50 minutes of recorded material at 1080/24PsF and up to 40 minutes at 1080/59.94i or 720/59.94p.
- Confidence Playback
Separate dedicated playback heads immediately follow the recording heads so that actual audio and video recorded to tape can be monitored while recording. Confidence playback can be used to verify the quality of a recording without interrupting production.
- Pre-read Editing
The SRW-5000/2 is equipped with advanced playback heads that allow pre-read editing, enabling functions such as titling and voice-over with a single VTR.
- Noiseless Picture Playback
The SRW-5000/2 comes with a Dynamic Tracking playback capability that provides high-quality pictures in a range of -1 to +2 times normal playback speed during the playback of HDCAM-SR tapes.
- Dynamic Motion Control (DMC) Playback
The SRW-5000/2 also provides a DMC playback capability, memorizing tape-speed trajectory over the dynamic tracking speed range (-1 to +2 times normal speed).
- Digital Jog Sound
In Jog mode, all 12 audio digital channels of the HDCAM-SR format or all four channels of the HDCAM format can be reproduced with a responsiveness and sound quality reminiscent of analog audio. This feature is essential to quickly and precisely establish an editing point while monitoring digital audio signals that remain synchronized with the pictures.
- Off-speed Playback Capability
In order to play back material at different speeds for applications such as slow-motion or fast-motion, the SRW-5000/2 is equipped with a built-in off-speed playback capability.
- Selectable Picture Modes
Three modes of operation--SQUEEZE, LETTER BOX, and EDGE CROP--are available to provide the correct presentation for each application type.
- Playback of Tapes Recorded by SRW-1
The SRW-5000/2 VTR is capable of playing back tapes recorded by the SRW-1 recorder in several unique modes: channel A or B; 1080/4:2:2/60p; or Select FPS mode.
- User-friendly Controls
The front control panel of the SRW-5000/2 is extremely user friendly, with a design and functionality inherited from the widely used HDW-F500. In addition, the control panel has a large 6.4" type LCD display that provides comprehensive information, including color thumbnails for quick location of parameters, which is used in combination with eight menu buttons placed along the side of the display.
- Easy Maintenance
Drum maintenance is always a concern for VTR users. So, just like the majority of VTRs from Sony, the SRW-5000/2 drum assembly has been designed with an auto-adjustment function that simplifies and reduces maintenance time.
Audio output channel routing, can route audio to any HD-SDI or SDI output
Off-speed playback capabiity
Built-in Tele-file read/write capability
Newly designed DT-Head
New tape formula