Grass Valley: Combining Heritage with R&D
COW Library : NAB Show : Debra Kaufman : Grass Valley: Combining Heritage with R&D
Grass Valley is one of the handful of companies that have been in the video/broadcast space for decades, tracking the evolution from analog to digital. Although this company--named for its location in Grass Valley, CA, in the heart of gold country--has had its share of ups and downs, the message at NAB 2011 was: we're here, we're still relevant and we've got a lot of new products to prove it.
"The company has a strong heritage," said a Grass Valley spokeswoman. "We have a lot of technology and a loyal customer base, and we're transforming this into products and solutions with more software and services." That vow includes a commitment to invest at least 15 percent into R&D.
Big news at NAB 2011 was the launch of STRATUS, an application layer to manage content across the enterprise or, as Grass Valley puts it, "a tightly integrated modular software platform that supports every part of the content creation and distribution lifecycle through a common graphical user interface." The STRATUS ingests, manages, edits and plays out assets stored on the Grass Valley K2 Summit or K2 Solo servers, or a Grass Valley K2 SAN. Although the product is immediately available for the Windows platform, the company plans to add a Macintosh client in the future.
Grass Valley Stratus - click above for larger image
STRATUS provides individual tools for specific jobs and helps users build/reconfigure--and save--their own workspaces, while the content is organized in "a variety of IT-centric ways." Once saved, the user can retrieve their personally configured workspace from wherever they log in. Media for each project is saved within a folder, enabling anyone with authorization to access it. Multiple users on a network can also make and leave notes attached to a specific clip. Grass Valley also plans to add third-party plug-ins, devices and assets that can be tracked and integrated into STRATUS, which will be available in June.
"It's a tool for creative workflows," said the GV spokeswoman. "We allow a unique workflow tool from ingest through the editing process. It's a service-oriented architecture."
Other Grass Valley announcements include the new, cost-effective K2 Summit Production Client, which makes working with proxies more affordable to more people, in particular production studios and smaller broadcasters. With the release of version 8.0, the Summit Production Client and K2 server enable simultaneous high- and low-resolution clip generation directly on the server during ingest and recording, along with the ability to stream those files as they are being ingested.
Grass Valley Encore/Prelude - click above for larger image
Also new is a third-generation camera transmission system, capable of carrying uncompromised 3 Gb/s signals over both triax and fiber. The user now has choice of transmission cable to carry 1080i, 720p or 1080p50/60 video, while being prepared for multiplexed pairs of 720p or 1080i HD signals for stereoscopic 3D applications. 3G Transmission also extends the range of triax coverage by 25 percent.
Grass Valley 3G Triax - click above for larger image
Grass Valley also debuted enhancements to the Jupiter and Encore Router Control Systems, enhancing flexibility, improving processing and getting rid of downtime when making configuration changes. Grass Valley Jupiter Controller (model JUP-CM-4400) for use with the Jupiter AccuSwitch software and a new software upgrade (v1.81) for the Encore router control system are designed to control the entire line of Grass Valley Trinix NXT, Concerto Series, Apex, and Acappella routing switchers including support for the new Trinix NXT Multiviewer, Fiber I/O and Asymmetric Frame options.
Finally, at NAB 2011, Grass Valley announced a partnership with Irdeto to create a fully integrated, camera-to-screen, live and on-demand, multi-distribution solution. The goal is to make owners of live and pre-recorded content able to more easily and efficiently manage and distribute content to any Internet-connected device.