Broadcast equipment hire and HD facility On Sight has placed the first order in the UK for the new Sony XDCam HD PDW-700 camcorder.

The decision was made in response to a recent clamour from television production companies wanting to upgrade XDCam projects to HD. On Sight is currently negotiating the number of units it will buy.

On Sight client services manager Andy Shelley said: “We've had lots of calls from clients needing to upgrade to meet the demands of HD commissions from broadcasters. It's very important for us to be at the forefront of new technology and the PDW-700 really opens the door to tapeless HD.”

The PDW-700 records HD images at up to 50Mb/s onto 50GB Dual Layer Professional Discs. It has three 2/3-inch progressive CCD sensors each with full 1920 x 1080 resolution.

It also features 14 bit A/D conversion, 4:2:2 sampling and recording, and advanced digital signal processing. The PDW-700 will also record in both 1080 and 720-line formats.

The PDW-700 has been designed to increase the appeal of XDCcam HD for applications such as news, TV drama, documentary and entertainment programmes.

It retails at around the£20,000 mark.

On Sight anticipates that it will take delivery of the new camcorder in April.