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Celine Dion Dawns 'A New Day. . .' With Sony's High Definition System at New Las Vegas Venue; HDCAM Makes for Triumphant Spectacle at 'The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace'.

NAB, Booth #SU-4015 -- Sony recording artist Celine Dion's long-awaited return to live performance follows three years of planning and construction on the new $95 million, 4,100 seat Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

High-definition cameras, switchers, videotape recorders (VTRs), tape, hard-disk devices and PlasmaPro(TM) monitors from Sony share the technical spotlight, underscoring the growing embrace of HD technology for live performances.

"Like Celine Dion onstage, our high-definition equipment is the star of the show backstage," said Larry Thorpe, senior vice president of content creation systems for Sony Electronics' Business Solutions and Systems Company. "This showcase of her talent, combined with high-definition technology, represents the pinnacle of live HD production."

HD Technology Unites Artist, Audience

Celine Dion's stunning environment was designed to create an intimate space in which no seat is farther than 120 feet from the stage. But through the extensive use of high-definition technology, the audience is brought even closer to the singer and her entourage of 60 musicians, dancers and performers.

Though the Colosseum is large enough to accommodate her fan following while maintaining close contact, the high-definition visuals, merged with powerful computer graphics, bring it closer still.

The high-definition production system delivers clarity, contrast and richness so images remain robust when projected on a stage-wide 110-by-34-foot Mitsubishi screen.

"It's a wonderful example of the type of event for which HD was created," Thorpe said.

Achieving a powerful visual experience begins with the high-quality HD image capture, which is made possible by a pair of Sony HDC-950 multi-format, multi-frame rate portable studio/electronic field production (EFP) cameras.

"Sony's high definition production equipment delivers a striking realism that allows Celine Dion to connect with her audience and at the same time take her live performance to another level," said Rich Stout, video director for CDA Productions. "At the Colosseum, the HD technology is an essential part of the artist's palette for painting a unique and powerful visual experience."

The cameras are built into the theater's side balconies with monitors mounted onto sidecarts. The HDC-950 cameras' three 2/3" HD FIT CCDs produce stunning images courtesy of all digital processing and a 12-bit A/D converter. The camera allows imaging in 24/25/30 frame progressive and 50/60 interlace to offer a custom look to the pre-produced images that enhance the concert experience.

Sony's MVS-8000 switcher is at the nerve center for creating the visual experience of the concert. The switcher, equipped with two mix effects banks, is itself a versatile and talented performer that offers a deep palette of digital effects, while remaining operator friendly. It is being used to do live switching of the HD cameras and CG graphics, which contribute greatly to the overall production.

The HDW-2000 HDCAM(R) studio editing recorders utilize the switcher's time line memory to automate the sequence of events and play out the high resolution video.

Backstage, a pair of 50-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally) PFM-50C1 PlasmaPro flat panel plasma displays are used to preview and to monitor the action.

For content creators, Sony's high-definition capabilities help usher in "A New Day ... " for a live stage production that Thorpe said "affords new opportunities previously impossible."

He also said that Sony's high definition equipment provides superb imaging and manipulation capabilities as rich as the creative imaginations of the artists using it. Indeed Thorpe expects that the signature experience created for The Colosseum will inspire others to build on what may become a new genre in theatrical performance.

Added CDA's Stout: "While high definition multi-format production continues to grow in its primary markets of broadcast and movie production, it is gratifying to see how the aesthetic potential for the medium continues to unfold."

CONTACT: Matt Hutchison, +1-201-930-6367, or, or Robert Christie, +1-201-930-6342, or, both of Sony Electronics

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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 6, 2003
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