Grass Valley Karrera Switcher Brings High-End Features to Mid-Market

Grass Valley has unveiled the Karrera, a new vision mixer/production switcher designed to meet mid-market needs with two frame sizes (4 RU and 8 RU) with frame configurations from one to 4.5 M/Es. Either frame can be combined with a choice of two or three M/E control panels as well as a one M/E soft-panel GUI. Karrera is a fully digital 10-bit 4:2:2 video switcher with up to 96 inputs and 48 outputs.

“The Karrera brings a new level of performance to more productions with innovative features and all the signal processing capability you would expect from the global leader in video production switchers,” says Scott Murray, Senior Vice President of Live Production Solutions at Grass Valley. “With Karrera, we’re enabling customers to take advantage of all of the powerful ‘high-end’ features that Grass Valley has become famous for, at a price point that makes them available to a much wider audience. We expect Karrera to be the latest in Grass Valley’s long line of successful production switchers.”

In addition to the hardware possibilities, Karrera can be expanded with a variety of software options to create the system configuration that is customized for a specific application. Karrera also features Grass Valley’s DoubleTake split M/E mode, which effectively increases the maximum number of M/Es (including an optional half-M/E) to a total of up to 10 channels. Included with the DoubleTake option is FlexiKey programmable clean feed, allowing assignment of keyers to any of four outputs per M/E in any combination, in any order.

It features HD/SD SDI signal support with (optional) up/down/cross converters on selected inputs and outputs, and six keyers in every full M/E—four full-function keyers plus two linear/ luminance keyers. Each full-function keyer has two pages (frames) of video and key storage to free up Image Store outputs and reduce the number of external graphics sources.

A newly designed control panel makes operators more efficient by accentuating the most-used functions while providing quick access to more in-depth features through an instinctive menu structure and panel shift levels. The panel incorporates bright OLED displays for source and function names, and all buttons have RGB LEDs that dynamically change for color-coding functions and source grouping.

“Since its introduction, we’ve called our Kayenne Video Production Center ‘the world’s most powerful switcher,’ and that’s still true today,” adds Murray. “But our new Karrera Video Production Center is absolutely ‘the world’s second most powerful production switcher’.”

The new switcher also features up to four internal DPMs (iDPMs) per M/E for a total of 16 DPMs, which float to any full-function keyer in the switcher. Kurl and Spektra are standard on all DPMs.  In addition, Karrera supports four independent channels of eDPM with independent timelines and primary and secondary combiner outputs, available in the 8 RU frame.

And by making use of the Ignite Konnect Live Control Room Automation System, users can seamlessly interface the two production solutions and cost-effectively transition to live production automation and benefit from the Ignite system’s many technical and resource-saving advantages.

With the latest version of Ignite Konnect software and hardware, professionals can use the new Grass Valley Karrera switcher panel to automate their daily newscasts, as well as scripted and unscripted studio productions. This new integration also includes the ability to directly link the Ignite software to a newsroom computer system (NRCS), giving the entire news staff more control and capabilities, as well as improved audio mixing features.

“Our plan for Karrera was to always make sure that it could immediately be used as either a standalone system or as part of the Ignite automation system with enhanced NRCS support,” says Murray. “Now, whether a user has a Karrera, Kalypso, or Kayenne switcher, all can work seamlessly as part of the Ignite automation system, thereby allowing an owner to gain more value.”

Also new for Ignite, Grass Valley will be showing ActiveX control and a new MOS gateway and management server for interfacing to iNews and ENPS newsroom computer systems. This new capability helps non-technical staff and those new to the Ignite interface to get up to speed quickly via a simple drag-and-drop architecture. Operators familiar to the standard Ignite system will still be able to run the system the way they always have.

The Media Object Portal (MOP)-based, MOS–compliant server provides a bridge between the Ignite system and the NRCS, while allowing users to set filters to automatically block unwanted content from the show rundown.

The new Ignite Konnect for the Karrera Video Production Center will be available to order in September, with first shipments planned to begin in December, at a starting list price of $52,495, which includes the new Katalyst automation panel.

Ignite Konnect for the Kalypso and Kayenne Video Production Centers is available now.