Sony scales things down for clients

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 November, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 November, 1997, 12:00am


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The rapid development of broadcast technologies during the last 10 years has changed the average television or radio studio beyond recognition.

Products on display at Asia Broadcast 97 give a glimpse of the state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment on offer from the world's leading manufacturers, including virtual studio sets, cyberpresenters and scaled-down broadcast stations.

One product generating a significant pre-show interest is Sony's new multi-channel digital transmission system - the first end-to-end broadcast system from a single manufacturer.

Sony will use the show for the first Asian demonstration of the new system, which incorporates many products already on the market, such as hard disk servers, playback, master switcher control and MPEG2 compression systems.

Sony has been able to capitalise on the booming satellite broadcasting industry in Asia, making systems for multichannel satellite broadcasters such as Star TV and HBO Asia.

Craig Norris, of Sony Broadcast Products, said the product had been designed as a result of the feedback Sony had received from users of its existing components of the system.

'From the experience of those customers, we have been able to put together a total system. They want to have a small, low-cost, automated television station system,' he said.

'Whereas before they [clients] would have needed many rooms and people to run the operation, we have got the whole thing down to a few square metres of floor space and it can run without people sometimes.' Mr Norris said Asia had become a hot spot for multichannel digital broadcasting, partly because of the expansion of the region's available satellite transmission capability.

Another big presentation at expo will be Orad's new virtual set system.

CYBERSET E produces virtual sets giving a real-time rendering of a virtual environment in which presenters can be situated.

The technology is often used in live news, sports studios and live magazine-style programmes where the presenter is placed in a 3D virtual setting.

While the CYBERSET E is an entry-level product, it is fully upgradeable to the high- end CYBERSET O - Orad's existing virtual set system.

CYBERSET O allows a remotely located television guest to join the studio without the need of a video window.

The remotely located guest is incorporated into the virtual studio via a live video feed to create a believable effect.

It also incorporates an automatic feedback/marking system to guide the presenter through the virtual set where live actors can interact with animated virtual characters.