Sony Promotes The Cloud To Streamline News Production

At the 2019 NAB Show, Sony is promoting a world where ENG crews in the field operate as an extension of the newsroom with its Ci and XDCAM Air cloud-based content acquisition and processing platforms. That means news directors can look into and retrieve video files as they are being acquired, with the ability to get news on-air (and online) faster than ever before.

At the show Sony will demonstrate 65 new features for the Ci platform.

Sony’s Ci, which leverages an AWS cloud infrastructure, supports the entire media lifecycle—from acquisition and creation through distribution and archive—providing benefits for a wide range of media organizations. Whether a broadcaster, production company or content owner, Sony said Ci seamlessly connects teams and streamlines workflows.

At its pre-NAB press conference, Sony’s John Studdert, Vice President, Media Segment at Sony Electronics Imaging Products & Solutions for the Americas, said the company has had a record year in revenue for its Ci platform, with over 10 million files and 3 PB of content uploaded; 4 PB of content downloaded; 1.5 million MediaBoxes (a part of the Ci platform that lets users control who, when and how much access people have to content).

Cloud-supported news production and SaaS subscriptions are the new model at Sony as the industry continues to consolidate and stations groups demand better ways to acquire and share content across local markets.

“The application solutions we are selling today will power new workflows within existing stations while building the foundation for the broadcaster groups transformation,” Studdert said.

With Ci MediaLog in the cloud, content can be search and transferred via wireless transmission directly out of the camera, using time-based metadata to streamline the process.

With Ci MediaLog in the cloud, content can be search and transferred via wireless transmission directly out of the camera, using time-based metadata to streamline the process.

For news broadcasters, Ci is a live contribution, streaming and clipping platform, providing the ability to capture and watch live streams anywhere. Users can also log images as they are captured (using Sony’s Ci MediaLog software) and clip segments in real time for faster social media turnaround.

With Ci MediaLog in the cloud, content can be search and transferred via wireless transmission directly out of the camera, using time-based metadata to streamline the process.

Other new features to be shown at NAB include integrated artificial intelligence algorithms that help automate manual tasks, eliminate costly manual logging and transcription processes and enhance discoverability and search ability. Using Object recognition, facial detection and speech-to-text technology, video transcriptions can be made available instantly for archiving and content repurposing.

As part of the Ci ecosystems, a new Sony MediaBox will be shown, which is an online repository for acquired content that has been completely redesigned to maximize speed and efficiency while providing new access control options. Users can also select and send folders (and all subfolders) related to a breaking news event in the same way that files are shared in a MediaBox.

The Ci platform works in tandem with Sony’s XDCAM air products, which allow a secure, seamless wireless workflow from shooting to studio. It serves as a bridge between field-based camcorders and the news studio infrastructure, facilitating the seamless exchange of live video, media files and project metadata. Users can build stories fast, with direct access from the studio to files on camcorders or smartphones out in the field. XDCAM air can be employed as a standalone system or it cane be integrated with studio-based workflows to save time.

XDCAM air automatically uploads proxy footage to the cloud from multiple camera operators in the field, so editing can start immediately. Uploaded content can be accessed securely from any location. News teams can even start logging clips while shooting’s still going on, saving even more time when a story is breaking.

Today’s reporters are being encouraged to acquire news whenever and wherever it happens, even using their cellphones. Sony has developed a mobile app called XDCAM Pocket that turns any phone into a cloud-ready XDCAM camcorder. With it users can stream content shot with smartphones back to base, using QoS technology for better-looking pictures and fewer dropouts over cellular LTE networks.

In addition, XDCAM air sends story information and planning metadata from a newsroom computer system straight to compatible Sony cameras out in the field. After shooting, everything’s ingested automatically to the station’s media asset management (MAM) system.

Sony now offers a wide range of wireless-ready camcorders that are fully compatible with XDCAM Air.

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