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Grass Valley Marks Infinity's NAB LAUNCH

by Tom Butts~ April 24, 2006


Grass Valley is celebrating the launch of its Infinity line of tapeless IT-based professional production gear in a big way at NAB2006.

Introduced last fall, Grass Valley is touting Infinity as the broadcast industry's first "truly open" production platform, with multiple compression and media options.

"Infinity is IT-immersive, combining all the benefits of the video world with the benefits of the IT world," said Jeff Rosica, vice president of worldwide strategic marketing and business development for Grass Valley.

The recording media for the Infinity line is based on Iomega's REV-based storage media and SanDisk's professional-grade CompactFlash. Media also can be recorded on USB and FireWire external storage devices or to network storage via Gigabit Ethernet. The product line includes the Infinity Digital Media Camcorder and the Infinity Digital Media Recorder, as well as a line of professional-grade REV disks (REV PRO) designed for Infinity.

Infinity compression formats include JPEG 2000, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, and for both HD and SD, MPEG-2 compression is available with support for I-frame and long GOP. The 2/3-inch, 3-CCD camcorder can record in 525i60, 625i50, 1080i50, 1080i60, 720p50 or 720p60. The media player is a compact field recorder that can be connected directly to an NLE workstation or to a file server for immediate use. The 35 GB REV PRO disks hold more than two hours of SD and up to 45 minutes of HD video.

SanDisk has developed the professional-grade Extreme III CompactFlash memory cards, which will be used for Infinity. Current professional-grade CompactFlash cards on the market hold 8 GB, with 16 GB capacities expected to arrive.

Grass Valley also announced that Avid, Apple, HP, Cineform, Main Concept, MOG Solutions and Telestream have joined its new Open Alliance Partner initiative, designed to promote interoperability with Infinity. In addition, REV PRO drives are now a standard feature on all turnkey Grass Valley NewsEdit and EDIUS NLE systems.


With mobile video and IPTV technology expected to be a big attraction on the NAB2006 show floor this year, Grass Valley executives promoted the company's position as a leader in IP-based platforms. The company's acquisition of Thales Broadcast and Multimedia in 2005 is expected to play a big part in Grass Valley's future IP strategy.

Grass Valley President Marc Valentin urged broadcasters to take advantage of their unique position as providers of valuable local news and sports content and adapt that capability for the small screen.

Grass Valley also is unveiling its next-generation silicon at the show. Three years in development, the Grass Valley Advanced Compression Processor targets MPEG-4 compression, delivering HD image quality at bandwidths as low as 4 Mbps. The chip will first be deployed in the Grass Valley ViBE HD MPEG-4 encoder, but the company expects to eventually use the ACP across its range of encoders, signal processing and storage products.


Grass Valley also is demonstrating new software for its EDIUS NLE system, which it acquired when it bought Canopus in 2005. Version 4.0 for EDIUS Pro includes a new multicam feature, with support for up to eight cameras and provides real-time monitor preview, as well as a master channel preview that displays all eight camera angles.

EDIUS Pro 4.0 also includes support for Windows Media and includes EDIUS Speed Encoder for HDV as well as enhanced trimming functionality. The company will demonstrate EDIUS integration with the Grass Valley K2 Media Server and Client system at its booth.

On the post side, four new modules - Bones Dustbusting, for automated dirt and scratch removal, Bones On Location for on-set color management, Bones Advanced CCR for resolution-independent color correction and Bones Virtual Telecine for control of disk-based storage - will be demonstrated in the booth.

In addition, the company announced that Bones is now compatible with the SGI CXFS file system.

© 2006 NAB