Thomson Launches New HD-File Based Distribution Service

Thomson has teamed up with Pathfire and DG FastChannel to develop a new distribution service that delivers HD files in faster-than-real time.

The new K2 “Capture Service” is a software upgrade for the Grass Valley K2 servers, and was developed in close collaboration with Pathfire, whose Digital Media Gateway is one of the most popular distribution platforms in the broadcast industry. The Capture Service option will also support SD/HD material from DG FastChannel Spotbox to K2, (DG FastChannel acquired Pathfire earlier this year).

Thomson said the new option gives K2 users the ability to upload HD files nearly instantaneously (5-10x faster than real time) without the need for external transcoding or file conversion. Current HD file transfer solutions on the market require separate HD transcoding that can slow down the process to an average 2x slower than real time, according to the company.

The K2 Capture Service was recently field-tested by Tribune Broadcasting with nationally syndicated content. During the first week of September, Tribune went to air with their WGN, KTLA, WXIN, WPIX, WGNO, KHCW, KDAF, KTXL, WPHL, WDCW, KRCW, WSFL and KCPQ locations from a series of remotely located K2 servers and were able to use the service to distribute programming as a series of HD files faster than had ever been distributed before, according to Thomson.

“Our recent trial of the new K2 Capture Service option proved its value, as it enabled us to ingest and stitch HD Pathfire content rapidly and cost-effectively for playback and delivery to our station group,” said Ira Goldstone, chief technology officer for Tribune. “This type of fast and highly automatic file conversion is sorely needed and critical to our success going forward.”

Capture Service is immediately available from Thomson for $5,000.