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16/05/2011

HotCam Reports Boost In Alternative Formats Due To HDCAM SR Tape Shortage

Leading broadcast equipment rental company HotCam has added extra Panasonic HDX900 camera packages to its inventory after reporting a surge in demand for alternative cameras and formats in the wake of the worldwide Sony HDCAM SR tape shortage.
HotCam said that rental figures last month in their London and New York facilities showed that television producers were examining a range of alternative cameras and recording formats to HDCAM SRm particularly ones that have guaranteed levels of recording stock.
The company said that the popular choices were units from Panasonic and Canon, as well as Sony equipment that uses the disc-based HD recording format XDCAM.
HotCam Managing Director Trevor Hotz revealed that, in particular, a significant inventory of Panasonic HDX900s was proving very popular, leading to the fresh investment.
He said: "Producers are worried about missing deadlines due to a shortage of tape stock and are now looking at alternatives. To a certain extent it's directing the market and the upshot is that it is re-vitalising older stock which hasn't been as popular of late, like the HDX900s."
The Panasonic AJ-HDX900 is a 2/3" DVCPRO HD camcorder that records 100Mbps HD images in any of 11 video formats.
Introduced to the market in 2006, it has 1080i, 720p, 24p and 25p capabilities and is considered highly suitable for long-term HD programming across entertainment, reality, sport, events and documentaries.
Sony was forced to cease production of its SR tapes, following March's tsunami in Japan, which seriously damaged the company's Technology Centre in Sendai, where the tapes were made. This led to a worldwide tape shortage with leftover stock being made available on an allocation-only basis with broadcasters and large facilities companies getting preference for stock.
HDCAM SR is the preferred delivery format for BBC, ITV and Sky in the UK and CBS, NBC/Bravo and Fox in the US. It is also used by a large number of producers around the world as their preferred acquisitions format.
(KMcA)
VMI.TV Ltd

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