Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Sony today announced a new 4K SxS memory player, the PMW-PZ1, a high quality and cost-effective playback solution for 4K shooting and post-production applications. The PMW-PZ1 features multi-format playback capability for 4K (24p to 60p) and HD video, supporting a variety of formats including XAVC Intra & Long, MPEG HD422 and MPEG HD, covering professional to consumer range of uses.

The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with an SxS card slot, a HDMI output, 3G/HD-SDI outputs (x4), an audio output, LCD colour monitor and more. This combination of versatile interfaces enables the seamless playback, copying and monitoring of 4K and HD video across a diverse range of applications, not only for video production but also for the development of 4K equipment, 4K video walls at events, exhibitions, museums and more.

During field or location shoots, 4K images captured on cameras such as Sony’s PMW-F55 can be immediately checked on the PMW-PZ1, or output to a professional monitor or consumer TV via HDMI. At event venues, 4K video can be output to digital signage or projectors. It can also be used to copy data in SxS media directly to an external storage without employing any other devices.

“Despite the rapid growth of 4K shooting and editing, the playback of 4K video clips generally still requires costly high-powered computers or servers operated by users from technical backgrounds,” said Lucie Wendremaire, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “The PMW-PZ1 addresses the market need for an affordable, simple-to-use and compact 4K playback solution. It is compatible with a variety of formats, possesses a host of practical inputs/outputs for easy connections, and offers an intuitive interface readily operated by all users.”

The PMW-PZ1 has a number of key features that make it an ideal choice for those looking for a reliable 4K/HD memory player:

Multi-format capability in 4K and HD

The PMW-PZ1 has a highly flexible multi-format playback capability for 4K and HD. It can playback a variety of formats including XAVC Intra, XAVC Long, XAVC S-Long(*1), MPEG HD422(*1) and MPEG HD(*1).

(*1) Requires firmware upgrade (planned for autumn 2015).

Simple copy and backup process

The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with a USB interface designed for connection to an external USB storage device. This enables users to copy data in SxS media directly to external storage without the need for other devices. The PMW-PZ1 creates a copy log(*2) (csv format) in the external USB storage device which helps users to easily check the file names of copied files. For greater accuracy in the copy process, users can activate a verify function before copying to avoid any copy errors.

(*2) Requires firmware upgrade (planned for autumn 2015).

Versatile interfaces

Connectivity and inter-operability with other devices are vital for any memory player to enable quick and easy operation. The PMW-PZ1 meets this need with a host of versatile input and output interfaces, including a HDMI port and four 3G/HD-SDI outputs. Through the HDMI port, the PMW-PZ1 can be connected to professional monitors and projectors, or even consumer TVs, for the most flexible operation under various production circumstances. An independent audio output is also available on the player. The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with two USB interfaces – one for connection to external USB storage, and the other to a mouse device for the user to control the PMW-PZ1. Not only does this enable data to be copied, but also allows the user to play stored clip data from the external USB storage device.

The PMW-PZ1 will be available from June 2015 onwards.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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