Grass Valley Leads the Market with Demonstration of High Dynamic Range Technology

High Dynamic Range (HDR) capture, an expansion of the ratio between the lightest and darkest parts of the video image, is viewed by broadcasters as the next big improvement in the viewing experience for the next generation of broadcast formats. Today, the dynamic range of television images is much lower than what the naked eye experiences in the real world, but new technology is beginning to address those limitations. Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, is taking a lead in this area and recently worked with the European Broadcast Union (EBU) to capture HDR footage during a live event for the first time.

Grass-Valley_SVGE-IMNA specially prepared Grass Valley LDX Series camera was employed at the recent European Athletics championship in Zurich to capture HDR output in 1080p/50 in parallel with regular processed video output in 1080i/50. The Grass Valley Xensium-FT is the only imager to offer this level of dynamic range in a regular 2/3″ broadcast camera for live applications. Both signals were recorded live onto a Grass Valley K2 Summit 3G media server for further tests and were used in HDR demo reels shown at the EBU stand and the Dolby stand at IBC 2014.

“With all the talk about UHD and 4K, there are a number of questions about how to best deliver the stunning images viewers are looking for,” noted Yvonne Thomas of the EBU. “Grass Valley’s ability to capture HDR content with its existing camera is a very exciting development. We believe that HDR is a critical part of the movement toward enhanced video broadcast, and will be a technology area that receives a lot of attention in the coming months.”

In conjunction with solutions that deliver higher resolution, higher frame rates, and an extended color gamut, HDR is a significant factor in the next generation of broadcast formats. Viewers expect ongoing improvements in image quality that make content look as realistic and vibrant as possible. Grass Valley is committed to helping its customers deliver on that promise with solutions that are future-ready and positioned to take advantage of the latest technologies.

“Our test with the EBU showed that we have the ability today to provide HDR video in live applications thanks to our innovative imaging technology,” said Marcel Koutstaal, vice president, camera systems, Grass Valley. “Through this process, we learned a lot and will be making improvements based on the results. We are the only supplier that can offer a regular 2/3″ broadcast camera which supports live HDR operation. More tests are on the horizon, but this is clearly an area where we show that the pixel count alone is not the only factor that defines an improved viewer experience.”

LANG AG Enters the German Broadcast Rental Market with Grass Valley LDX Cameras
A leading wholesaler in Europe for rental and sales of video and broadcast technology, LANG AG is expanding its broadcast equipment for the rental market with a suite of camera solutions from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand. Included in the suite are three LDX Première advanced imaging cameras, three XCU WorldCams and one LDX HiSpeed (LDX HS) 3X super-slow-motion camera along with the companion XCU XtremeSpeed XF Fiber base station.

This is the first purchase of Grass Valley cameras by LANG AG, a significant player in the staging and event market. The company cited superior image quality, the transmission and base station concept (cradle), and the economical e-License model that allows owners to temporarily upgrade the cameras with more features as the major reasons for choosing Grass Valley solutions.

“We carefully evaluated all the options in the market, and found that the Grass Valley cameras met our needs perfectly,” said Hubertus Beckmann, technical director of LANG AG. “The advanced technology, proven performance, and ability to upgrade as needed were important factors and make this investment ideal for our supplementation of broadcast equipment in the competitive rental market.” LANG AG has already purchased several e-Licenses to temporarily upgrade their LDX HS camera to the newest LDX XtremeSpeed 6X ultra-slow-motion camera.

The LDX Première camera delivers uncompromised performance in standard multiformat 1080i and 720p acquisition and is fully compatible with Grass Valley’s line of 3G transmission solutions that support all HD formats (720p, 1080i and 1080p). The LDX HS camera supports 1080i and 720p with 150 and 179.82 triple-speed frame rates. It is the only super-slow-motion camera system available which offers an upgrade path to a fully featured LDX XtremeSpeed (LDX XS) ultra-slow-motion camera system with up to 6X-speed operation.

The XCU base stations give LANG AG full 3G transmission connectivity for both triax and fiber. The unique XCU cradles are premounted and prewired in the rack, making a secure mechanical and electrical connection. They can easily slide in and out whenever needed and are transferrable between OB vans, studios or any location. And for high-speed transmission, Grass Valley developed the XCU XtremeSpeed XF Fiber, which is a future-ready transmission system that effortlessly manages the large bandwidth required by LDX HS and XS cameras.

“More and more customers are choosing Grass Valley for their video and broadcast needs,” noted Said Bacho, senior vice president, EMEA, Grass Valley. “Our entire portfolio helps users stay future-ready by integrating the latest technologies and making upgrades extremely easy. LANG AG is building its business on a very powerful platform.”