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 Format Wars 2008 Title

 

Since 2002, the purpose of this article series has been to show our newsletter subscribers the trends of our Macie Video Service client base. At the end of each year, we review our invoices to document the repairs on the different format camcorders and decks, new camera set-ups (which indicate what new camcorders our clients are purchasing), and pre-purchase check-ups, (which indicates the number of our clients who are buying pre-owned camcorders). With close to 2,700 clients, we have a pretty good cross section of the broadcast industry.

As for service and maintenance, the Betacam format has slipped to 30% of our total service - down from 40% in 2007, and 48% in 2006. Service for DVCPRO HD is up 50%, HDCAM up 3%, HDV up 103%, and DVCAM down 19%. Videotape is still going strong as an acquisition format!

Our client’s new purchases have been only HD models, and these have increased 27% over last year. Panasonic camcorders accounted for 49% of sale volume - down from 65% in 2007, and 90% in 2006. Their most popular Panasonic camera, by 83% was the HDX900, with the remainder being P2 full size camcorders. Sony sales have increased 24% over last year. The XDCAM HD models accounted for 58%, offset by the HDW-900R HDCAM tape model. Over the last few months we have been mostly getting the long awaited PDW700, 2/3 inch XDCAM HD camcorders used by one of the networks.

One commercial network has settled with the standard definition XDCAM as an interim camcorder, one is beginning to use the Sony PDW700, while the third has settled on the Sony HDW-900R tape version for HD acquisition. Some network programming is being shot with the Panasonic Varicam and HDX-900 as well. The P2 camcorders are being used more in facilities, like TV stations, and those that recycle P2 cards from the field to video servers.

While new camcorder sales are up, it seems that used camera sales are down about 50% from 2007. Our indicator for used sales has been the number of pre-sale check-ups we perform each year. The majority of these were with pre-owned HD units, mostly Varicams and HDX900s.

As I mentioned in last year’s Format Wars, we are continuing, and actually expanding our on-location video operation services. We now have become permanent video engineers on a number of national network shows. I have enjoyed working with a number of our regular camcorder service clients on some really big productions. Our expertise in camera set-ups and matching has been a benefit to our clients and ourselves as well. Contact us if this service could be of interest to you.

I want to thank you, our loyal client base for your support, and because of the sluggish economy, we are offering a 20% discount on our hourly service rate and camera set-ups for the month of January and February. Just trying to do our part to help get us all through this tough economic period.

May God richly bless you with good health and prosperity in 2009.

Take care,
Roger 

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