Creating Video in a Digital World

As the professional-broadcast industry readies itself for the technology transformation brought about by the rapid growth of digital-media distribution, the need for a single, high-resolution digital master format is becoming essential. In an effort to fill this need, Sony Electronics, in collaboration with LaserPacific Media Corporation, has unveiled the 24 Frame Progressive (24p) High Definition Post Production System.

According to Sony, the importance of the 24p post-production system is that it facilitates the creation of a single, high-quality program master, from which any of the ATSC DTV formats can be accommodated. The system can handle frame-based (progressive) images at the native film frame rate. The infrastructure will be fully switchable between 24p, 60i, and 50i for DTV in the international community.

"With Sony's 24p system, it is now possible to create a single archival master from which all ATSC standards can be derived," says Michael Vitelli, executive vice president of Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Company. "Simply put, this is the first format ever created specifically to suit the needs of DTV, DVD, the Internet, and all other electronic and digital distribution media."

According to Vitelli, "The key to our 24p high-definition system is that whether the material is acquired through telecine transfer or shot with our 24p camcorder, the HD master produced can be easily converted to any number of progressive or interlaced transmission formats, including 1080i, 720p, 480i, or 480p. This saves post facilities and networks from the necessity of investing in multiple post-production systems to satisfy different format demands." LaserPacific, known in the industry for post-production processes and technology, will incorporate the 24p system for episode and movie programming in time for this fall's television season.

"The industry has long recognized the need for a digital production standard to complement the new ATSC broadcast standards," says Emory Cohen, president of LaserPacific Media. "I believe 24p not only fills that need, but it also reduces economic barriers to HDTV program production. Sony has shown us that, despite their size, they can react quickly and responsively to the needs of their customers."