Sony affirms their commitment to the South African market

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Rob Sherman on the Sony stand at Mediatech (Photo by Nicole Barnes)

In January 2015, the Sony Corporation announced that they would be closing down their local South Africa offices, opting for a distributor-based business model to service the South African market moving forward.

In an interview at Mediatech Africa 2017, managing director of Sony Middle East and Africa (MEA) Rob Sherman, explained the company’s decision to shut down its local office, stating that: “The consumer division – which is by far the larger business – felt that the market in the region was shrinking to a point where the cost of running a full-scale local operation could no longer be justified.”

Sherman opines that while he feels that the company’s decision was the correct move under the circumstances, the manner in which it was communicated created uncertainty regarding Sony Professional’s continued presence and availability in South Africa, which is a perception that he wishes to challenge moving forward.

“The South African market has always been important to Sony Professional because it is one of the more developed markets in the African region – particularly in the broadcast and AV areas,” Sharman states. As such, while the consumer division has committed themselves to a solely distributor-based business model that is centrally managed from Dubai, Sony Professional has retained certain key personnel in the country to provide customers with on-going support and customer care. “Sony Professional has not left the country,” Sherman emphatically states.

The MCX-500 multi-camera live producer 

Sony Professional decided to use Mediatech Africa 2017 to showcase the MCX-500 multi-camera live producer. The MCX-500 is an affordable, uniquely user-friendly and flexible production switcher that makes it simple for a single operator or small team to produce a broadcast quality live event. Multiple video inputs include professional 3G-SDI, HDMI, Composite Video, as well as dedicated DSK, which means that you can mix and match kit as needed for each production. The MCX-500 is ideal for a wide range of live and recorded applications from music concerts, private functions, educational seminars, corporate presentations, and at houses of worship.

The MCX-500 multi-camera live producer has all the specifications necessary to enable a professional producer to achieve optimal results, however, in the interests of servicing the end user, Sony has developed a mobile application, launched at Mediatech Africa 2017 as a world-first, which makes the technology accessible to a novice user. “With a 30-second demonstration of the application, you can turn anybody into a switcher expert” Sherman explains.

The nett result is that a user – be it a small to medium enterprise, a large corporation, religious organisation or institution of learning – can produce multi-camera productions that can be streamed live, recorded and or distributed, without needing to hire a professional crew.

“Moving forward, Sony South Africa will be a different company, one that will focus on services and that will be a part of the market rather than just being a supplier to the market.” Sherman concludes.

By Nicole Barnes

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