Ikegami, Toshiba collaborate on HD

Ikegami Tsushinki Co., Ltd and Toshiba Corporation will collaborate globally in the development, manufacture, sales, and marketing of a new-generation system of video production and editing products. The new-concept system is expected to meet strong industry demand as broadcasters and video professionals make the transition to fully digital high-definition broadcasting.

Under an agreement signed today in Tokyo, the two companies will collaborate in developing the components of an advanced tapeless video production and editing system, including a professional-use camera and video recorder, utilizing the robust versatility of Flash memory as the main storage medium. The new system will support all aspects of video production, from news acquisition through to archiving, and Ikegami and Toshiba will jointly promote the concept to the industry before its targeted commercialization in April 2008.

Ikegami and Toshiba also said that they will announce more details of the specific products to be developed under their agreement at NAB 2007, the broadcasting industry trade show that will be held in Las Vegas, April 16-19, 2007.

Background to Collaboration
With the global penetration of digital high-definition broadcasting and the increasing popularity of large flat-panel TVs, industry demand is growing for advanced video production and editing systems that support high-definition imaging and offer superior networking capabilities.

Today, typical video production and editing systems are either videotape-based linear systems or non-linear systems that can save images to hard disk drives or other non-tape media and interface with network servers. As the number of TV channels continues to increase, and as broadcasting systems go digital, video production professionals require highly capable, fully integrated solutions that seamlessly connect all parts of the video production workflow, from news acquisition in the field through to editing, sharing and archiving.

The advanced system that Ikegami and Toshiba are developing is designed expressly to meet all these requirements. By creating a totally tapeless networked production environment, the companies will support enhanced levels of productivity and innovation. The new system will speed up workflow throughput and win savings in time and cost.

Reasons for Adopting Flash Memory
Broadcasters and video professionals have increasing expectations of tapeless digital media—such as hard disk drives, optical disc drives, or Flash memory—that support direct, non-linear editing and that offers high-level interoperability with networks and computers. Such systems also achieve improved performance, higher capacity, and lower costs. Ikegami and Toshiba have together identified Flash memory as delivering the best overall solution for their new-generation system.

Flash memory offers distinct advantages over optical disc-based media and other solutions: It has no moving parts, it is resilient to wide temperature fluctuations, and it is highly impact- and vibration-resistant. It also offers high-level operating reliability, even in the often hostile environments where professionals have to acquire video. As Flash memory increases in density, its fields of application are expanding beyond consumer applications, such as memory cards for mobile phones and digital cameras, to professional-use video systems for broadcasters.

Blending Ikegami and Toshiba’s Strengths to Propose a New Concept
Ikegami Tsushinki Co., Ltd. is a pioneer and recognized leader in tapeless recording that achieves high level interoperability with non-linear editing systems. In 1995, the company introduced the “Editcam,” the industry’s first camcorder to use a hard disk as the recording medium. In 2006, the company launched EditcamHD (the HDN-X10 camcorder) as a tapeless, high-definition video camera. Through its tapeless video cameras, Ikegami is a strong supporter of tapeless networked solutions that streamline workflow from news acquisition to play-out and archiving.

Toshiba Corporation has led technological advances in the broadcasting industry with wide-ranging systems, including master facilities for terrestrial digital broadcasting systems and transmitters. In 1996, Toshiba shipped the world’s first broadcast video server with Flash memory, “VIDEOS,” a fast, highly reliable, maintenance-free solution that many Japanese broadcasters have adopted for their CM (Commercial) Bank and VAF (Video Audio Filing) systems. Toshiba is now taking full advantage of Flash memory’s rising capacities and lower costs to extend the “VIDEOS” line-up to include play-out servers and program player servers. The company is also proposing “Workflow Innovation,” the concept for a next-generation broadcast system with “VIDEOS” as the core component in the server and network system.

The collaboration between Ikegami and Toshiba blends each company’s expertise to achieve new levels of workflow innovation to seamlessly connect all parts of the video production workflow, and to deliver enhanced levels of productivity to broadcasters and video professionals.