First Impression: Sony AWS750 Anycast Touch Live Content Producer
Sony's new all-in-one portable live production unit could be ideal for portable churches, and any church doing live broadcast and webcasting.
Sony recently invited CPM to the launch of its new Anycast Touch Live Content Producer, an all-in-one live production system. After taking a close look and even getting some hands-on time running the unit, I agree with Sony’s belief that it could be an ideal fit for certain house-of-worship applications.The new unit, model AWS750, is an evolution of Sony’s Anycast AWS-G500, which was introduced back in 2004. By adding high-definition touchscreen interfaces, that replace the original’s dedicated sliders, switches, and encoders, Sony has created a very intuitive and easy-to-use, portable unit for A/V control for live broadcast or webcast applications. The new model builds upon the original system with a user-friendly, portable, flexible, and scalable solution that can produce full HD (1,920x1,080) content with 10-bit processing to produce clear, highly detailed pictures either in SD, HD, or a mix of the two.Looking—and sized—much like a laptop computer, the Anycast Touch unit combines the multiple tools of a live production system into a single unit. It is a video switcher, audio mixer, special effects and character generator, video recorder, image still store, clip player, remote camera controller, real-time streaming encoder, and scale converter. By going with the Anycast Touch system, users can eliminate additional hardware that is typically required for professional live streaming such as encoders, video recorders, audio mixers, titlers, and remote camera controllers. In addition to being a great portable solution, the Anycast Touch could easily be used in a permanent installation.I was invited along with a number of other A/V press to attend a demonstration at Sony’s New Jersey headquarters. After a brief run through of the Anycast Touch along with Sony’s new NXL-IP55 IP Live Production Unit, which transmits up to four genlocked HD video streams on a LAN, we headed over to a nearby minor league baseball game for live event demonstration. At the ballpark, the Sony team had set up a system with the Anycast Touch and used the Sony NXL-IP55 as an IP transmission device, to tie into two PTZ cameras and the stadium’s camera feed. Rather than a simple demonstration, Sony handed over the controls to us. As press we aren’t exactly everyone’s first choice as A/V production crew, yet each of us in no time at all was seated at the Anycast Touch unit and controlling the cameras, cuts, etc for an inning. It was immediately apparent that the unit is easy to operate and we were quickly able to control the system with little help from the Sony techs. Churches with small tech staffs, and those that rely on volunteers will appreciate the amazingly short learning curve and the fairly immediate ability to be hands-on and live in mere moments after set-up. Considering its size, capabilities and price, it’s clear that the new Sony Anycast Touch is a very strong A/V production solution well worth serious consideration.