NAB 2016

NAB 2016: Grass Valley Launches Native 4K Camera, Compact Switcher; Ramps Up IP-Migration Efforts

Grass Valley kicked off the NAB Show at its annual Sunday press conference by announcing a new line of native 4K cameras — the LDX 86N series — and a new compact, affordable switcher — GV Korona. However, Grass Valley’s news at NAB 2016 goes well beyond its long-established camera and switcher businesses: the company is highlighting the latest developments in its Glass-to-Glass IP strategy (including the Broadcast Data Center solution), has announced the new iTX On-Demand OTT VOD automation platform, and has even partnered with cyber-security provider Tripwire to create a new blueprint for secure playout. Throw in announcements regarding the company’s role in NBC Olympics’ production at the upcoming Rio Games and a pair of new IP-focused partnerships with Sony and Cisco, and NAB 2016 is shaping up to be quite a newsworthy show for Grass Valley.

LDX 86N Camera Series Offer Up Native 4K
Built using Grass Valley’s newest UHD ⅔-in. imagers, the LDX 86N Series provides native 4K resolution in true 16:9 aspect ratio, using lenses intended for broadcast with no cropping or zooming effects. The cameras use three next-generation native 4K XensiumHAWK CMOS imagers that support full native 3840×2160 4K resolution and offer a pixel technology called DPMUltra (dynamic pixel management). With DPMUltra, the camera also provides native 1920×1080 HD acquisition inside the imager without the intrinsic downsides of 4K acquisition, such as rolling shutter and decreased sensitivity. The new LDX 86N system cameras work with the XCU XF fiber base stations and XF transmission adapters.

Grass Valley President Marco Lopez at the company's NAB press conference on Sunday.

Grass Valley President Marco Lopez at the company’s NAB press conference on Sunday.

“[The LDX 86N series] is the best camera now on the market yielding incredible flexibility and utilization with our e-licensing options,” said Marco Lopez, president, Grass Valley. “Customers have all the freedom to choose between either higher native resolution like 4K or higher sensitivity when lighting conditions are unpredictable — all while using the same camera family. Our approach is unique in the industry. It is a perfect complement to the already powerful LDX 86 Universe family of cameras, giving broadcasters the perfect solution for any camera position in any production environment.”

Any camera in the range can be upgraded easily to the next level of functionality, all the way up to the LDX 86N Universe, through the popular GV-eLicense program.

“This represents an exciting and innovative response to the market demand that we’ve been receiving from our customers that are looking for more-compact ways of building smaller trucks or smaller studios,” said Lopez, “while still packing all the great functionality customers have come to know from the Grass Valley line of production switchers.”

The new GV Korona K-Frame S-series supports multiple HD formats and can easily be upgraded to 3G/4K with a software license. The GV Korona 2 stripe panel supports 20 assignable buttons on each M/E row as well as an innovative touchscreen in the transition area. GV Korona also boasts the largest I/O matrix for a small switcher frame (80×48), with optional IP SMPTE ST 2022-6 I/O. The surface features a built-in touchscreen interface and a menu integrated into the panel and uses the same OLED and color technologies as the larger Grass Valley panels.

Whether for a small truck or studio, a flypack, or as a back-bench control surface in a larger truck, users can mix and match any Grass Valley switcher panel with any Grass Valley switcher frame for cost-effective repurposing. In addition, shows previously built on Kayenne or Karrera switchers are compatible and can be imported easily into a GV Korona switcher.

Grass Valley Back at the Olympics IBC With NBC in Rio
Grass Valley also took the opportunity to announce it will once again provide extensive infrastructure solutions for NBC Olympics’ production of the Rio Games this summer. Grass Valley has been supplying the infrastructure solutions to NBC Olympics since 2006 and will once again play a major role in the Peacock’s infrastructure at the International Broadcast Center in Rio.

Among the Grass Valley technology that will be in use by NBC in Rio: the SME-1901 streaming encoder, iControl customized end-to-end facility-monitoring and -control system, Densité remote-control panel for Densité cards, three NVISION 8500 HYBRID routers, NVISION Compact CQX router, LUMO Series high-density fiber converter, and 34 Kaleido-IP multiviewers. In addition, Grass Valley will provide NBC Olympics with infrastructure at remote venues in Rio. Three NVISION 8500 HYBRID routers and Kaleido multiviewers will be deployed anywhere a flypack is needed.

For more info on Grass Valley’s NBC Olympics infrastructure in Rio, CLICK HERE.

Follow the ‘Glass-to-Glass IP’ Road
Grass Valley also continues to evolve its Glass-to-Glass IP strategy with the unveiling of the Broadcast Data Center and the two products at its core: GV Node and the GV Convergent IP router control and configuration system

“IT and IP infrastructures have been proven … it’s a scalable and proven IP architecture,” said Lopez. “However, these IP platforms lack some very specific IP functionality that is critical to our broadcast customers. This is where Grass Valley brings tremendous value. Grass Valley has taken advantage of [the benefits of] IT data centers that are now so reliable and applied them to a broadcast-centric [model] called the Broadcast Data Center.”

The GV Convergent IP router-control and -configuration system transparently manages facility routing as the industry migrates from SDI to IP infrastructures, maintaining familiar control interfaces as well as introducing intuitive new GUIs for configuration, management, and control through software-defined networking (SDN).

GV Node is a true real-time IP processing and routing platform, offering multipurpose IP processing, IP aggregation, and vertically accurate switching capability for live applications. When GV Node is combined with common off-the-shelf (COTS) IP switches, extremely large-capacity routing systems can be created with thousands of input and output channels.

Partnering Up on IP: Sony Joins AIMS, Cisco Signs MOU
Also on the IP front, Grass Valley announced a pair of IP-focused partnerships with Sony and Cisco.

Grass Valley will team with Sony to develop industry-wide IP interoperability based on the two companies’ IP-based solutions and devices. As a result of the agreement, Sony will become a full member of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). Grass Valley plans to implement an IP-to-IP gateway card compatible with its innovative GV Node real-time IP processing and edge routing platform. This card will ensure compatibility between Sony’s Networked Media Interface (NMI) and Low Latency Video Codec (LLVC) technologies and systems based on standards supported by the AIMS roadmap.

In addition, Grass Valley has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cisco to develop IP workflow solutions for broadcast. According to Grass Valley, the MOU creates an environment for widespread collaboration between the two companies, covering IP networking, virtualized computation, and security solutions. In terms of immediate plans, the companies are teaming up to develop a solution leveraging Grass Valley’s Broadcast Data Center architecture with Cisco Media Blueprint solutions comprising IP-based, virtualized, and media-aware network infrastructure and applications based on open IP standards.

Odds and Ends: OTT, Cyber-Security, and More
Grass Valley had plenty more to announce on Sunday. Here’s a look at what else will be talked about at the company’s booth this week:

  • iTX On-Demand is a new VOD/ OTT product. As part of the iTX integrated playout solution, it automates the VOD process, reducing preparation time for live productions by enabling VOD processing of growing files.
  • Addressed cyber-security, Grass Valley has teamed up with fellow Belden Brand Tripwire to create a new blueprint for secure playout. The blueprint comprises a three-step principle: secure the network, secure the servers, secure dedicated broadcast equipment. Grass Valley is applying this blueprint to its iTX integrated playout platform first.
  • The new Focus 75 Live entry-level 720p/1080i switchable HD system camera features three fully digital Xensium-FT CMOS imagers with global shutter operation and a high level of image performance for applications that require less flexibility, as well as a standard B4 ⅔-in. lens mount to accommodate existing HD lenses.
  • A free software upgrade enables up to 4M/E for 4K production on any Kayenne K-Frame or Karrera K-Frame S-series Video Production Center switcher licensed for 1080p 3G/HD.
  • The K2 Dyno Replay System offers enhanced EVS file sharing and increased transfer speeds and support for XML data, folder restoration, and automated transfers of tagged clips to a targeted location.
  • EDIUS 8.2 nonlinear editing software offers new creative options for professional and newsroom editing with motion tracking, primary color correction, RAW decode, draft preview (Workgroup only) and GV browser updates.