Sony Professional reduces in-house integration, focuses on third party collaborations
By: Kevin Hilton, European Correspondent
Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 6:11 pm

Sony Professional Solutions Europe in the UK has reorganised its systems integration (SI) operations, which had in recent years been responsible for producing a number of HD, 3D and 4K outside broadcast vehicles used in sports coverage. The company says it has reviewed its work in this field and will now rely more on collaborations with third party integrators but will not clarify to what extent the in-house department had been scaled back.

A high profile product of Sony’s SI activities in terms of designing and installing equipment in trucks was Telegenic T25, the 4K-ready unit was used during the Confederations Cup in Brazil to produce test Ultra HD pictures. Despite such prestige contracts rumours arose towards the end of last year that Sony was shutting down its SI division in the UK.

This speculation was given credence when Malcolm Robinson, the then-business unit head for live production solutions at Sony PSE, left to join integration firm Broadcast Networks. Now director of media and broadcast solutions at Broadcast Networks, Robinson has been joined by five former Sony SI staff: solutions architect Peter Timmons, proposal bid manager Francis Lea, broadcast engineer Ben Curtis and senior 3D design engineers Nick Petty and Philip Walters.

In a statement responding to SVG Europe’s requests for clarification of the situation, Adam Fry, deputy vice president of Sony Professional Europe, said: “Sony reviews its strategy and routes to market on an ongoing basis. Following a recent review and the development of successful third party collaborations, the decision was taken to increase these partnerships within the high-end technical systems integration projects and subsequently the organisation adapted to reflect this.

“Our work through these partnerships continues to focus on HD outside broadcast, as well as working towards a 4kKfuture, including 4K over IP. In addition, Sony continues to offer industry-leading technical expertise and excellence in systems integration, with notable achievements including 4K filming of the Confederations Cup in the summer of 2013 and continues to enhance its focus in IT workflow solutions.

“As an illustration of these recent changes, Sony’s recent work with a systems integration partner would be the project completed with CRV Sistemi in Italy, where we delivered AV and lighting company DiBi Technology’s first OB truck. Collaborating from the outset, Sony and CRV Sistemi worked together on everything from financing to installing the technology. The truck itself was designed by Sony’s Professional Services team, in conjunction with CRV Sistemi.”

Sony would not comment further when asked about the size of the in-house systems integration department following the review or the circumstances under which SI staff had left the company.

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