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Sony Unveils XAVC 4K Video Recording Format

Sony Corporation announced its new XAVC 4K video recording format, which employs MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 level 5.2 compression.

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Unedited press release follows:

Sony introduces new XAVC recording format to accelerate 4K development in the professional and consumer markets

License program for the format will begin

Sony has today launched the new XAVC recording format that will be at the heart of its new industry leading 4K products. Sony’s XAVC provides a dedicated 4K format that will encourage the adoption of 4K beyond feature films, in genres such as TV Dramas, Entertainment shows, Documentaries and Commercials.

“The new XAVC format underlines Sony’s commitment to bringing high quality content to the consumer market”, said Takao Yoshikawa, Senior General Manager of Content Creation Solutions Business Division, Professional Solutions Group, Sony Corporation. “The quality of HDTV program originated in 4K is simply stunning and will allow both broadcaster and production communities to build right now a future proof catalogue of high-end content.”

As well as the widespread applications for the professional HDTV market, Sony has developed the XAVC format to enable the expansion of 4K content into the consumer market. XAVC has been designed to provide a future proof codec that can meet the shifting requirements of the fast developing 4K content production and HD120P high frame rate shooting.

Sony’s XAVC format employs MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 level 5.2, the highest picture resolution and frame rate video compression codec based on the industry standards. XAVC enables a very wide range of operational possibilities for content production, notably: From Proxy to 4K pixel resolutions, intra frame and long GOP schemes, and 1080 50P/60P infrastructure capability.

Built with the principles of workflow efficiency, evolution and optimised image quality at its heart, Sony’s XAVC can support the following content formats:

• 4K (4096 x 2160 and 3840 x 2160), HD and proxy resolution
• MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression
• 12, 10 and 8 bit colour depth
• Up to 60fps
• MXF wrapping format can be used
• 4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:2:0 colour sampling

Note: Each manufacturer will decide which profile and operating point of XAVC they will implement in their products.

XAVC has been developed as an open format, providing a license program for other manufacturers in the broadcast and production industry to develop their own high quality and high frame rate products. The following fourteen leading manufacturers’ products plan on their support for Sony XAVC format and workflow:

• Non Linear Editors : Adobe® CS6 with Rovi Total Code Plug-in installed, Avid, Final Cut Pro X,
Grass Valley, Quantel, Rovi, and Sony Vegas Pro 12
• On-set dailies : Assimilate, Codex, Colorfront, FilmLight, MTI Film, and YoYotta
• Colour Grading : Assimilate, FilmLight, and Quantel
• Software codec : Rovi MainConcept SDK
• Codec board : Matrox

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