Live from NAB: Grass Valley Aims at Streamlining Delivery

With its eye focused on improving the quality of HD content deliver, Grass Valley welcomed the media for a pre-NAB press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon.

The company debuted its new fiber-to-triax converter while also unveiling notable upgrades including a updated version of its Stratus Media Workflow Application Framework software, a revamped K2 Summit Media Server platform, a new 6.5 version of its EDIUS nonlinear software, and additional features to its Trinix NXT Multiviewer for SD, HD and 3G.

Grass Valley president CEO Alain Andreoli opened the session by laying out the company’s plan to redirect its aim from a hardware company to a software oriented solutions provider.

New 3G Fiber-to-Triax Converter Brings HD Anywhere

Klaus Weber, director of product marketing cameras at Grass Velley, Germany discusses the company's new fiber-to-triax converter LDK4427.

Adding to the capabilities of its 3G Camera Transmission system – which was introduced at NAB a year ago – Grass rolled out the LDK 4427 3G Fiber Camera to 3G Triax Converter on Saturday. The device allows users producing programs in resolutions up to 1080p50/60 to send their signals across any type of cable infrastructure. The LDK 4427 performs a 1-to-1 conversion of a 3G fiber camera signal to a 3G triax signal. Ancillary data – such as return video, control, and intercom – are also converted on a 1-to-1 basis, with full access to all transmission diagnostics at any time.

The product is exceptionally helpful for mobile companies that have to deal with various types of wiring in different sports venues across the country.

“Even though they are based in Amsterdam, I told them this is the best Swiss Army Knife I ever could have asked for,” cracked Robert Lyon, producer and director of Lyon Video, whose trucks exclusively use Grass Valley cameras.

Upgrades and Updates
Grass continues to add new features and functionality to its STRATUS software architecture framework, which also debuted a last year’s NAB.

In the weeks leading up to the show, the company debut new software modules for STRATUS, including tight integration with the Grass Valley K2 Dyno Replay System. With this integration, metadata created with the K2 Dyno Replay Controller and stored on the K2 SAN will be immediately available to all other replay operators and all STRATUS users working on the same STRATUS-enabled network.This metadata integration will also be bi-directional, with playlist clips created and saved within STRATUS instantly available for playback on the K2 Dyno Replay System.

On Saturday, Grass also demonstrated the latest version of EDIUS – EDIUS v.6.5 – with a 3D editing workflow and native support for raw footage captured with digital cinematography cameras from RED Digital.

The company also added additional functionality to its Trinix™ NXT Multiviewer for SD, HD, and 3G.  They showed its high-quality multiviewer integrated into its Trinix NXT routers, eliminating the need for additional cabling and other hardware—leading to a more reliable multiviewer. The multiviewer option supports infrastructures up to 3 Gb/s while providing up to eight HD-SDI multiviewer monitor outputs per card—including the ability to monitor audio for each source.

“Even with all of its new features, the Trinix NXT Multiviewer optimizes space by eliminating secondary, external components and connections,” said Karl Schubert, Senior Vice President of the Video Products Group for Grass Valley. “The Trinix NXT Multiviewer is ideally suited to monitoring within all types of broadcast control rooms, live production and distribution facilities, and especially mobile trucks. Customers continue to commit their infrastructures to Trinix because the platform continues to grow and expand with their needs.”

New MIRA Mobile Truck Goes Grass
MIRA Mobile Television is currently building a new multi-format HD mobile production truck—its 7th such unit—and is equipping it with a full complement of live production equipment from Grass Valley. Grass Valley was selected for this project for its ability to deliver technology that is both cost-effective and flexible enough to address any production situation

“This is a business where you never want to say ‘no’ to a client, no matter what the specifications, so flexibility and reliability were critical to the design and implementation of this new truck,” said Bill Duncan, Director of Engineering, MIRA Mobile Television. “We are acutely aware of what the Grass Valley equipment can do for us, and what we can do with it, so we are confident this purchase will have a solid return on investment.”

The new “M12HD” 53-foot expando truck will feature a new Grass Valley Kayenne HD Video Production Center switcher (4.5 M/E channels) and 12 LDK 8000 Elite HD cameras configured with the 3G Transmission system and the unique LDK 4420 3G Twin Base Stations, which all provide the multi-format support to help MIRA Mobile Television crews produce all types of HD projects with the same Grass Valley equipment.