07.03.2003 12:00 AM
Grass Valley Previews New Products for IBC
Declaring its commitment to helping broadcasters thrive in a multiformat world, Grass Valley, Thomson's broadcast division, announced several new products that will debut at IBC2003 in September.

The new products, which include several new cameras and routers are part of Grass Valley's new efforts at expanding its product line into smaller facilities, sports arenas and the growing market for mobile production trucks. At a pre-IBC press conference in London, Thomson Broadcast president Marc Valentin noted the company's expanding presence in mobile production.

"Grass Valley is emerging almost as the de facto standard in mobile digital production," Valentin said.

U.K.-based Visions, the country's largest independent OB facility and one of the fastest growing mobile production companies in Europe is one of Grass Valley's biggest customers for mobile production, using close to 100 GVG cameras in its 15-truck fleet.

Visions provides coverage of a number of European sporting events for the U.S. market, including the French Open and Wimbledon for ESPN and NBC. The company's newest HD production truck, HD-1, which was introduced in late 2002, will provide NBC's HD coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, according to Martin Anderson, Visions Division Managing Director.

The multiformat HD-1 was designed, in part, for the growing market for HD sports and entertainment production in the U.S., Anderson said. "We have to keep serving the North American market and anticipate their needs."

Among the new product introductions expected at IBC are several new cameras in Grass Valley's LDK series, including the industry's first 14-bit digital SD-format camera. The LDK 500's advanced digital processing offers new features not found on 12-bit cameras, including a freeze frame option that allows engineers to set camera parameters such as skin tone and synchronized multiple cameras, without on-air talent having to be present. It also allows users to add software plug in features including a multi-matrix color corrector that allows users to adjust a single color in the frame without affecting the others. The 4:3/16:9 switchable camera is compatible with Grass Valley's Digital Wireless Camera system as well as the C2IP camera control system.

Also being introduced is the LDK 300, a lower cost model that features two new digital signal processors that offer high sensitivity to allow users to shoot in a variety of low-light and high-contrast environments. The LDK 300 targets small and medium market broadcasters as well as sports arenas and production trucks.

The LDK 300 and 500 replace Grass Valley's LDK 100 and 200 cameras.

Also new from Grass Valley is a 2 M/E version of its KayakDD vision mixer, an expanded version of the 1 M/E KayakDD system that Thomson introduced at NAB2003. A new line of small utility routers for broadcasters will also be shown at IBC. Initially introduced in a 16x4 matrix, the Acapella router line feature a compact design and need minimal configuration.

A new router control system-Prelude--will also launch at the show. Prelude offers direct control of the Aria and Concerto Series routing switchers via Grass Valley Encore Ethernet control panels-without the requirement of a separate controller.

IBC will also feature the European debut of several products Grass Valley introduced at NAB, including the iVDR, NewsEdit nonlinear editor and the Newton Ethernet-based modular control system.

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