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Grass Valley cements leadership through collaboration as the industry transitions to a software-defined future

At IBC 2019, Grass Valley will renew its deep commitment to providing leadership to the industry, leveraging its long history of strength and stability to drive innovations through collaboration. Visitors to the Grass Valley booth will see a number of new product launches and enhancements, along with live demonstrations of its applications-based solutions. In addition, Grass Valley will highlight collaborations with industry partners that deliver benefits to both the industry and its customers through the GV Technology Alliance (GVTA). With a raft of customer announcements and product launches planned, Grass Valley will also cement its position as an industry front-runner across areas such as IP workflows and remote / at-home production. 

“Grass Valley is the industry leader in helping customers leverage IP and 4K UHD solutions as they increase their capability to deliver captivating content on any device. Greater workflow flexibility and efficiency is now more critical for broadcasters and production companies than ever before and we have responded by reducing reliance on proprietary hardware and delivering advanced software platforms that are easily and quickly deployed,” says Tim Shoulders, president of Grass Valley. “Advancements like this are made possible by the deep relationships we have with our customers as we work closely together to ensure the right solutions are being developed to solve the right problems.”

One such relationship results in an exciting live OB demonstration on the Grass Valley stand. GV and NEP UK are joining forces to demonstrate NEP’s Ceres truck, the benchmark all-IP OB truck in which the core IP processing is handled by Grass Valley solutions. Show attendees will learn how Ceres leverages Grass Valley’s open IP systems to deliver the high levels of scalability and flexibility that are critical to today’s live production environments.

Making its IBC debut, the GV Technology Alliance (GVTA) is a new programme in which technology and solutions providers partner with Grass Valley to create integrated solutions that extend the Grass Valley portfolio. An area of the Grass Valley booth will be dedicated to several GVTA partners showing a wide range of systems and solutions that result from integrations with Grass Valley workflow components. The GVTA showcase will underline how the programme delivers improved purchasing confidence and selection; a simplified procurement process; and reduced deployment risk for customers.

“We believe we’re in an ideal situation to provide the leadership our industry needs right now,” Shoulders continued. “We’ve emerged from our years of inorganic growth activity in a position of strength and our primary focus is on innovating for, and with, our customers and partners to bring the future forward.”

The full details of these announcements will be revealed at Grass Valley’s press conference on Thursday, September 12 at the Hotel Novotel, Amsterdam RAI.

Inaugural Rise Awards announces shortlist

Rise, the award-winning advocate group for gender diversity within the broadcast manufacturing and services sector, has revealed the shortlist for its first ever Rise Awards.

The judges saw a stellar selection of global nominations from women in a variety of roles across the industry in several categories including: Business, Engineer, Marketer/PR, Rising Star, Sales, Technical Operations, and Woman of the Year.

Rise founder, Sadie Groom, said: “We received so many amazing nominations for talented women across the broadcast and media industry that is was hard to narrow them down to the final shortlist. We’re thankful for everyone who submitted an entry on the inspiring women in their workplaces and extend a big congratulations to all those shortlisted.”

Rise director, Carrie Wootten, added: “Our judging panels which included men and women from across the global broadcast industry had a hard job deciding on the shortlist and winners due to the caliber of entries which is a testament to the female talent we have in our sectors. We’re looking forward to celebrating their achievements at the awards ceremony during IBC2019.”

The shortlist for the 2019 Rise Awards, in association with Avid, is as follows:

Business (sponsored by Adobe)

  • Marina Kalkanis, CEO and Co-Founder, M2A Media
  • Monique Ellis, Chief Operations Officer, Massive
  • Natascha Cadle, Creative Director and Co-Founder, ENVY

Engineer (sponsored by Clear-Com)

  • Carys Hughes, Design Engineer, Sky UK
  • Gemma Ebbs, Systems Development Lead, BT Media and Broadcast
  • Stefania Popescu, Systems Engineer, Sky UK

Marketer/PR

  • Allison Duval, Group Marketing Manager, Procam Projects
  • Felicity Webster, Marketing Manager, BT Media and Broadcast
  • Lucy Speed, Marketing & Communication Manager, Middle East & Africa, Discovery

Rising Star (sponsored by Avid Customer Association)

  • Lauren Ward, R&D Engineer, BBC R&D
  • Rhianna Steele, Media Manager, IMG Media
  • Shannon Albrink, Junior Editor, Therapy Studios

Sales (sponsored by disguise)

  • Charlotte Latham, Sales and Operations Manager, CueScript
  • Laura Kirkland, Sales Director, EMEA Strategic Accounts, Grass Valley
  • Nicki Fisher, Sales Director, EMEA, Clear-Com

Technical Operations (sponsored by Sundog Media Tools)

  • Emma Johnson, Head of MCR, West Digital Post Production
  • Julie Ritson, Picture Correspondent, BBC News
  • Lorraine Panman, Portfolio Project Manager, Massive

The winners, including the Woman of the Year, (sponsored by Grass Valley), will be announced at IBC2019 in Amsterdam on 14 September.

The awards ceremony is sponsored by IBC2019 and the drinks reception will be sponsored by Ross Video. Details on entry to the event will be published shortly.

For more information about Rise and the Awards, please visit here:

https://risewib.com/awards-shortlist/

Grass Valley and CenturyLink demonstrate remote production capabilities over 100G high-speed link

Grass Valley has validated its position as a frontrunner in the industry transition to IP with another breakthrough in remote IP video production. The company joined forces with technology company CenturyLink to successfully run an ultra-high bandwidth test directly from cameras at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida to a remote production location in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Using CenturyLink’s 100 Gbps high-speed Vyvx network and Grass Valley’s DirectIP feature, the test demonstrates that uncompressed multi-camera signals can be delivered to and controlled from a remote production facility, eliminating the need for large production crews and complex outside broadcast (OB) set-ups on location.

During the test, multiple Grass Valley LDX 86N cameras were deployed in Miami running at high-speed  – 10 Gbps each – demonstrating a robust IP workflow between cameras, switchers and XCU Universe XF base stations, even with high bandwidth usage. Using Grass Valley’s unique DirectIP configuration, uncompressed signals were transmitted via CenturyLink’s 100 Gbps Vyvx network to base stations and operational control panels (OCPs) located in a remote production facility in Tulsa.

“With Grass Valley’s DirectIP, we have demonstrated how our Vyvx network can enable broadcasters in the US and select global locations to achieve the advantages of remote production to produce large scale live events,” said Bill Wohnoutka, vice president internet and content delivery services, CenturyLink. “CenturyLink is known for its expansive global network and we continue to make significant investments to scale our Vyvx network to enable production workflow transformation across the majority of professional and select college sports venues in the U.S, along with some of most widely used international venues.”

The DirectIP configuration on the Grass Valley cameras delivers a robust and reliable way to handle signal distribution at higher bandwidths. It is easy to set up and maintain via a centralized control room to ensure the highest performance levels. DirectIP allows the remote site to integrate seamlessly with the production, regardless of the distance.

“Recent projects, such as the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, have cemented the role of IP-based remote/at-home production as a field-proven way to meet the growing demand for captivating viewing experiences,” said Mark Hilton, vice president of live production, Grass Valley. “As the only camera manufacturer that delivers all-IP communication between a camera head and its base station, we enable our customers to push the boundaries of what is possible, allowing them to focus on high impact tasks that create truly compelling viewing experiences without the need for unwieldy infrastructures and workflows. We are very proud to have joined forces with CenturyLink to bring this model to customers in the US, giving them the ability to eliminate the need for compression equipment or trucks at the live venue.”

CenturyLink and Grass Valley will be undertaking additional tests in the coming months. These will further demonstrate that even the largest productions can be supported with a remote/at-home model, delivering valuable cost savings and cutting down set-up times.

Grass Valley strengthens remote production expertise with new appointment

Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, has strengthened its remote production strategy, a key growth area for the company, with the appointment of Larissa Goerner as director of advanced live solutions. Based in Breda, Goerner will leverage her past experience of working with a number of major broadcast vendors to further cement Grass Valley as the industry frontrunner in remote/at-home production.

Prior to her appointment at Grass Valley, Goerner was part of the CTO team and strategic product manager with media solutions provider Net Insight. She has held several broadcast vendor roles in R&D, marketing, product management and business development, and has regularly contributed to and spoken at a multitude of industry events. As a freelancer she built up an impressive first-hand knowledge base in live production, including experience in premium events such as the Olympics. Additionally, Goerner has been an active member of the Board of Directors of Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), and holds MBA and EE degrees from the University of Applied Sciences, Munich.

Goerner will join Mark Hilton, vice president of live production products, Grass Valley, as a senior member of the team. Hilton commented: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Larissa on board. She is a well-known expert in our business and her addition to the Grass Valley team is a real win for us and our customers. Her extensive experience in the industry will bring valuable insight to the ongoing development of our products and solutions.”

Grass Valley delivers ultimate editing functionality with latest version of EDIUS

Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, recently launched the newest version of EDIUS, its versatile and fast nonlinear editing software. With consumer demand for more content on a greater number of devices, broadcasters are under increased pressure to reach ever-widening audiences on tighter budgets. This is why the need for efficient, flexible workflows that are both scalable and future-proof is critical; EDIUS 9.4 fulfills these needs by providing users with faster functionality and more creative features.

The latest update includes:

  • Updated ProRes support: EDIUS now supports ProRes export from timeline, together with support for ProRes RAW decoding. ProRes export also supports smart rendering that means quick turnaround for ProRes native editing workflows.
  • New Closed Caption (scc/mcc) file import/export/burn: Closed caption files can now be imported to the timeline separately, applied to the project, and together with the CEA-708/608 caption data can be also exported as scc/mcc files, or burned in to the video as open captions.
  • Simple HDR/SDR conversion: New settings in the Primary Color Correction filter now allows easier conversion between HDR/SDR, with automatic gain and tone mapping applied to files for improving image quality.
  • Improved Multicam workflow: With the updated workflow in 9.4, users can easily select multi angle files and quickly switch to multicam mode.

Katsushi Takeuchi, Vice President & General Manager of Editing Systems, Grass Valley said: “EDIUS is the editor of choice for major broadcast stations around the world, for its fast edit turnarounds and support for latest video formats. EDIUS has accumulated more than a decade of development work, with its optimised video processing engine and original video codecs. It has also kept up with the latest PC technology including support for the latest CPUs and graphics capabilities improving speed and add support for new functionalities.”

EDIUS 9 users benefit from the EDIUS 9.4 update free of charge as part of the regular product enhancement programme; released on May 8 2019.

 

The Weather Channel forecasts an IP and 4K future with Grass Valley cameras

The Weather Channel has selected Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, to upgrade its full roster of studio cameras with IP and 4K UHD solutions. The broadcaster will deploy 18 Grass Valley LDX 86NSeries cameras along with the newly launched Creative Grading control panel.

“Migrating to both IP and 4K UHD is at the forefront of our strategy, and any camera investment we make now has to be future proofed to support our plans. While great pictures are important, an advanced feature set and seamless integration with our IP and SDSDI routing system are crucial factors. Grass Valley was able to meet all of our criteria, making it the obvious choice for this project,” said Michael Smereski, vice president of broadcast engineering at The Weather Channel.

The LDX 86camera was selected following rigorous side-by-side testing of all the major camera vendors. The testing underlined Grass Valley’s ability to handle complex technical integration and deliver advanced control capabilities while capturing stunning images.

“The new Creative Grading control system is something we are very excited about; it allows us to integrate a minimal amount of camera control into the control rooms so small adjustments can be easily made during periods when the studio is not fully staffed,” Smereski continued. “Additionally, the Grass Valley cameras provide native Mo-Sys support, which is central to the immersive reality (IR) and augmented reality (AR) elements that we have within our programming.”

“The Weather Channel is a longstanding Grass Valley customer and we are proud that our solutions have been chosen by them once again,” said Jan-Pieter van Welsem, vice president sales, Americas, Grass Valley. “This deployment allows them to leverage our clear upgrade path to IP and 4K UHD as they meet viewers’ demands for new service formats and higher resolution content.”

Grass Valley opens up powerful content management capability to smaller media operations

Grass Valley debuted GV STRATUS One on its NAB Show 2019 booth, delivering unmatched content management capability in a compact 2 RU footprint. GV STRATUS One deploys in a matter of hours and empowers a resource constrained operational staff to handle every aspect of the media workflow, from the moment content is captured to final delivery via any platform – all from a single unit.

GV STRATUS One combines the next generation technology of GV STRATUS software with applications from GVRE transcoding, GV I/O servers, and EDIUS editing into a comprehensive, all-in-one platform. The solution streamlines collaborative workflows to expand content creation without adding headcount, allowing content to move quickly and efficiently through the content workflow process. GV STRATUS One manages ingest, playout, recording, transcoding, asset management and supports streaming to the web client. Content can also be edited through the high-resolution EDIUS editor with multiple licenses for proxy editing and HTML5 streaming. This combination of functionalities in an integrated platform simplifies purchase and deployment and reduces costs, making it an ideal solution for small broadcast operations, regional and satellite stations, venues and house of worship environments.

Pete Semerak, vice president of production, Grass Valley, said: “GV STRATUS One opens up high-end production opportunities to smaller broadcast environments, making it easier to manage multiple distribution channels from a single box. This solution reduces the complexity with affordable turnkey simplicity that empowers smaller production operations to meet the demand for first class content.”

An integrated hardware-software solution, GV STRATUS One delivers 300 hours of usable storage at 100Mbps, eliminating the need for additional equipment. The solution is powered with a range of time-saving collaborative features, including:

  • Automated Rules Engine: simplifies the organisation and delivery of content.
  • Growing File Workflows: allows media to be edited during ingesting for rapid deployment, enhanced collaboration.
  • Social Media & CMS Management.

Delivering even greater creative freedom, this versatile solution overcomes resource constraints to allow production staff to get content to viewers quickly.

Grass Valley demonstrates powerful content and media solutions at CABSAT 2019

Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, will be at CABSAT 2019 (12–14 March) to showcase a wide range of products and solutions, leveraging the best innovation and expertise to give customers the ultimate selection and service.

Featured solutions will include:

IP:

IQUCP Universal Compute Processor: The high-speed IP I/O with optional functionality at 4K UHD/3G/HD/SD rates that can be re-programmed as required. IQUCP allows users to deploy a single, high-density hardware unit that supports up to 16X 3G SDI BNC I/O ports, of which four can be 12 Gb/s direct ports. It can be reprogrammed for alternative use, requiring only a software change to reconfigure the system and eliminating the need for new hardware.

MV-820-IP multiviewer: The only product on the market that delivers 48 IP inputs and 12 IP outputs in a 2 RU chassis. This high density I/O makes it ideal for a range of IP monitoring applications.

Grass Valley IP control and monitoring: Delivers comprehensive configuration, control and monitoring of any media installation. The system can be customized to provide a high degree of automation and seamlessly integrates with other Grass Valley solutions, as well as associated third-party devices.

News:

GV STRATUS video production and content management: Offering a suite of tools with access from anywhere on any supported device, capturing content from a wide range of sources. GV STRATUS also places a premium on user generated content, integrating with popular social media and CMS platforms to manage, track and analyze the performance of social channels from within the application.

Switchers:

Kula Production Switcher: Designed for the professional broadcast and AV markets, Kula offers a powerful feature set in a compact system for easy installation and operation. Available in several models: as a 1, 2 or 3 M/E switcher, with the capability of operating in SD, HD, 3G/1080p and 4K UHD, as well as a dedicated 1 M/E 12G-SDI or IP version.

GV Korona K-Frame V-series: This system is designed for small to mid-range broadcast and media applications, where compromising on performance is not an option. GV Korona K-Frame V-series is available in three system packages, with 1, 2 or 3 M/Es and a complement of licenses, providing exceptional value and incredible power.

Cameras:

LDX 86N RF head: The only wireless, shoulder-mounted 4K UHD RF head in the industry. It provides the freedom to get the shots you need while offering a single solution for transmitting HD, 4K UHD and HiSpeed HD over the same link — even simultaneously transmitting high-speed phases (up to 3X 1080p) with a separate 3G video channel.

The LDX 82 Series: Consists of four models offering varying levels of operational flexibility to match every production need, with the ability to upgrade as production and business needs change. This includes extended color gamut supporting ITU-R BT.2020 and HDR operation with full 15 F-stops or >800% of regular cameras.

The LDX C86N WorldCam: offers all the production formats of the LDX 86NWorldCam (HD/PsF/3G) plus a seamless upgrade path via GV-eLicense to native 4K (LDX C86N 4K). With the addition of BT.2020 wide color gamut support and optional HDR support, this versatile camera provides an outstanding solution for all HD/3G applications.

Replay: 

LiveTouch replay and highlights: A complete replay and slow-motion system for studio and sports applications. It’s fast and easy to use, yet offers sophisticated highlight capabilities including integrated editing as standard. LiveTouch systems can scale to meet HD, 3G and 4K UHD productions of any size.

 

HDR holds the key to better images

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: Consumers have long judged video content by the visible quality of the image they see on a screen. With newer high-resolution formats now available on standard consumer-grade devices, viewers have naturally developed a hunger for first-class quality, which explains why they have such high expectations for better and better images.

Over the years, we’ve witnessed the shift from black-and-white to colour, from SD to HD, from analogue to digital, and now we are seeing simultaneous interest in both 4K UHD and HDR. Looking for a superior viewing experience, consumers are investing in new displays that can support these latest formats. Initial reactions to 4K UHD and HDR content indicate that consumers are impressed with the noticeable difference they see in the quality of programming; the colours pop and the details stand out more in a wider variety of scenes. This demand on the part of consumers – and the advertisers trying to reach them – is pushing content producers to adopt 4K UHD and HDR technologies.

4K UHD increases the number of pixels, resulting in a larger field of view for long shots or increased detail in close-ups. However, while consumers undoubtedly enjoy a much richer viewing experience in 4K UHD, the additional resolution alone is not enough – particularly when you consider the screen size that most of them are accessing content on. More pixels in an image requires a much larger screen at the same viewing distance to see a noticeable difference in the content. This is where HDR comes in.

HDR is generally recognised as the next big thing in content delivery, delivering an immediate – and perceivable – benefit to the consumer. Thanks to its contrast ratio, which is closer to the conditions found in real life, HDR allows image reproduction that is much closer to reality.

Consumer trends indicate that HDR is a good bet for content producers. Shipments of HDR TV sets are forecast to surpass HD units by 2020 and reach 245 million units in 2022, representing a market that will be worth around 36.82 billion by that same year. By combining 4K UHD and HDR, broadcasters can deliver the best images possible in the industry today that create truly immersive and lifelike experiences for viewers.

HDR also benefits content creators in that the format enables more dependable results under difficult shooting conditions. Its wide contrast range is better able to capture much more detail in the brighter areas of the picture in environments with irregular lighting or partial shade, found at many outside broadcast productions.

It’s not just in the context of 4K UHD that HDR can make a difference. HDR is fully format independent and does not need any specialised viewing conditions – such as the minimum screen size and proper viewing distances required for 4K UHD – to show its advantages. The ability to produce HDR content in HD removes the significant bandwidth requirements needed for HDR in 4K UHD and can be more quickly deployed. For many broadcasters, adding HDR to 1080p HD footage is an attractive, cost-effective strategy. From a viewer perspective, there is still a stunning improvement in image quality, and disruption to existing workflows is minimal.

Bringing HDR into the workflow

For broadcasters and content creators, embracing an HDR workflow process raises a number of questions and poses some challenges. Most notable is the need for a parallel SDR/HDR production workflow – one where the signal can be adapted with up/down mapping as required to mix and match incoming content formats and output signals, without sacrificing any quality. For example, operators may need to integrate existing SDR content into new HDR productions or may need to send HDR content to SDR multiviewing screens in a studio. Many broadcasters reserve HDR for their premium channels but don’t want the expense of a separate production chain for generally broadcast SDR assets. In any case, the producer’s intent for each individual signal must be maintained.

One of the big hurdles to widespread deployment – as it always is with any new technology – is standards. ITU-R, the radiocommunication sector of the international telecommunication union, have specified in their Recommendation ITU-R BT.2100 “Image parameter values for high dynamic range television for use in production and international programme exchange” two different standards for HDR – Hybrid-Log Gamma (HLG) and Perceptual Quantisation (PQ) or Dolby Vision.

Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, offers a portfolio of HDR-enabled Live production solutions that includes cameras, production switchers, servers, routers, up/down mapping cards and multiviewers. To provide the best possible picture quality, either HD or 4K UHD images are captured and used across the production chain in their native PQ or HLG format. That content is simultaneously delivered in HD or 4K UHD, SDR or HDR through a best-in-class down-scaling/down-mapping conversion at the end of the production chain. Using not only the most, but also the best pixels throughout the production and a single conversion ensures the best quality picture possible. An added benefit for many content producers who must rapidly adapt to new production environments at each event, Grass Valley supports all of those formats from the same hardware, preserving the producer’s investment and skill sets from program to program.

An upward trend ahead

Looking forward, we are expecting a rise in 4K UHD and HDR uptake across sports and entertainment production. In recent months, we have seen significant investment coming from broadcasters as well as production companies, outside broadcasting and rental houses globally – and we expect this trend to continue in the months ahead.

Written by Chris Merrill (director of Product Marketing) and Klaus Weber (principal, Camera Solutions and Technology) at Grass Valley

Mediability announces strategic partnership with Grass Valley

Mediability has announced that a Diamond Partner agreement with Grass Valley has been signed for Mediabiliy’s Nordics operations. The agreement secures Mediability’s customers, across the Nordics, access to the full products portfolio of Grass Valley, including the former Snell Advanced Media (SAM) product lines.

With the long term relationship with SAM, the Mediability team have built key competence on SAM’s playout and production solutions, that are now integrated into the Grass Valley product offering. The partnership with Grass Valley opens new possibilities for our customers to explore the Grass Valley market leading content and media technology solutions.

“Our long term relationship with SAM has been a driving factor in Mediabiity’s success in the Nordics and we are very happy to secure our position with Grass Valley, as their selected partner in the Nordics, says Håvard Myklebust, CEO, Mediability Group. “We can now offer the best of breed products and solutions to our customers for live production, news, playout, and networking, in collaboration with one of the media industry most renowned vendor.”

“We at Grass Valley are proud to have a partner such as Mediability with such technical capability and professionalism in customer service. In a time of industry flux and technology transition, where our customers are looking for a trusted advisor, SAM’s long-term partnership with Mediability in the Nordics has showed us that they are there to help guide their customers through their decision process. We look forward to a great future working with Mediability and our Nordic customers,” says Greg de Bressac, head of Global Channel Sales – Grass Valley.

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