NAB 2011

Sony Intros 3D Cam, Details Tape Shortage

Earthquake damage to the plant that makes HDCAM tape has stopped production until summer. The company has developed a new 3D camera that will be used to shoot the finals of this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships.

At its NAB press conference promoting new products it will be introducing at the show, Sony Electronics first started with some more sober news: It won’t begin production of SR videotape again until early summer.

That was the word from Alex Shapiro, SVP, Sony Professional Solutions of America, who said the company “will manage needs” to provide existing tape so as to keep supply “as close to normal as possible.”

Sony’s plant that provides tape for its HDCAM-SR was heavily damaged in the Japan earthquake in March causing something of a worldwide shortage even as much of the tech world is moving away from tape to digital recording.

Before the presentation Sunday, Shapiro introduced several Japan-based executives attending the convention. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t seem very noteworthy but given the tragedy, the audience gave the men a warm greeting.

Several other tech companies have been asked by reporters if the earthquake will create manufacturing shortages for them. Mostly, it appears, the answer is no.

Otherwise, Sony made news with its introduction of a new 3D camera and Shapiro said the finals of this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships will be shot in 3D by Sony and screened live in theaters.


Sony touted other deals it with Major League Baseball teams, including the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, to equip their sports complexes with the state-of-the-art HD cameras.

Sony is also teaming with Belo Corp. to rollout its XDNEWS production system to some of that chain’s stations, starting with flagship WFAA Dallas. And Gray Television is using  Sony’s HDXchange content management system at its KXII Sherman, Texas, and will put it into some of its other stations.

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