A new beginning for Grass Valley

September 17, 2010

During its annual press conference at the IBC2010 Show in Amsterdam, Jeff Rosica, senior vice president of Grass Valley, declared that, with its impending sale to Francisco Partners, “this is a new decade for Grass Valley, a new beginning.”

Rosica said that the staff was “reinvigorated by its new opportunities” to grow stronger and increase global market share as an organization independent from Thomson and its Technicolor subsidiary. Its new IBC message: “innovation, performance and passion.”

He also announced that despite months of uncertainly while the sale was being privately negotiated, new customer wins continued uninterrupted. In fact, thanks to a significant amount of new sales of the Kayenne Video Production Center, one or two LDK 8300 Super SloMo camera systems and at least one K2 Dyno HD Replay System (more than 150 units have been shipped in less than a year), Grass Valley has become one of the clear leaders in providing technology for live HD production.

Indeed, remote mobile production was among the biggest revenue generators for Grass Valley in the past year, and its editing and signal processing products were the fastest growing segments within the company.

To prove to the market that Grass Valley is here to stay, Ray Baldock, vice president for strategic marketing at Grass Valley, outlined a number of new product introductions at the IBC2010 Show, including new products in the areas of cameras (a color viewfinder), editing (EDIUS version 6.0), a tight integration between Grass Valley cameras, servers and production switchers (Fusion), servers (K2 Dyno Replay System), content repurposing and multiplatform distribution (MediaFUSE FX) and signal processing (new ADVC G-Series converters) to streamline the editing process.

Baldock cautioned against getting too hyped up about 3-D TV, because it still is in its early stages of development.

“We believe the real return on investment for our customers remains with products for the HD and 3Gb/s formats,” he said. “For a great many of our content distribution customers, protecting their brand and extending their reach to the Web and to mobile must still be a first priority if they are going to protect their revenue stream and audience share. 3-D is an exciting technology, but the challenges we face producing and monetizing 3-D are nothing at all like the transition that is frankly still underway all around the world from SD to HD.”

Baldock added that the company’s switchers have been used for a number of 3-D TV trial broadcasts of sports events around the world.

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