Originally featured on
Apr 19

Written by:
4/19/2009 9:40 AM  RssIcon

For the press, the show starts two days early on Saturday. We have back-to-back press conferences over the weekend – one PowerPoint after another. Saturday opened with Grass Valley (not Thomson). Just as I had got used to calling the switcher and camera manufacturer Thomson instead of Grass, it’s all change again. Of course this is all about the impending sale, announced by parent company Thomson back in January. Company spokesman Jeff Rosica would not be led on progress on the sale, only to say “we have received a number of serious enquiries”. The feeling is that an announcement could be close.

As for products, Grass announced a new 1.5Gb/s switcher, the Kayenne. They stated that they believe that there is not yet sufficient demand for a 3Gb/s product. The switcher is impressive, in versions from 1 ½ up to 4 ½ M/Es, with the fully loaded product sporting 30 keyers and 20 channels of DVE.

Another new product is the LDK3000 studio camera, based on the Xensium CMOS imager of the Infinity camcorder. It will sell for 30% less than the CCD-based LDK8000.

Next we were bussed to Omneon, for an introduction from the new CEO Suresh Vasudevan. After a presentation on the financials, where we learnt that they have revenue per employee of $400k, we heard about the near-term focus to grow share in the production and content repurposing segments.

The new MediaDeck GX channel playout system is the fruition of a partnership with Pixel Power, to put graphics and keying into a playout server. This leaves the broadcaster free to use their favored automation, and the product will be shown on the Crispin, NVerzion, Pebble beach and Sundance booths.

Second announcement was that Omneon is selling the Castify business to Aspera to focus on servers and media storage products. They will instead partner with Aspera on content delivery between media storage systems.

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