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Exhibitor Viewpoint — Marco Lopez, President, Grass Valley, a Belden Brand

Q. What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2015 NAB Show?

A. This year’s NAB Show promises to be exciting, and I expect there will be a lot of discussion around two primary areas. The first and largest topic of focus will be the impending migration to IP. With the increase in real-time and on-demand multiplatform delivery and high-quality live programming, broadcasters are taking a hard look at IP-based workflows and infrastructures to handle changing bandwidth, scalability and flexibility requirements. In simple terms, IP technology for broadcasters is about integrating the two largest open standards in the world, Ethernet and Internet Protocol, into an environment that desperately needs more speed and more capacity.

The second area of interest we’ll see at the show is around the latest 4K/UHD technologies, including cameras. Broadcasters are constantly looking to improve the quality of their viewers’ experience to stay competitive — and adding 4K content is the next frontier, which places a priority on getting 4K cameras and other 4K-capable workflow tools out into the field. 4K is being driven by the consumer market and all players involved in the broadcast chain will have to find their way to this new format.

Q. What will be your most important product news?

A. Grass Valley has been working hard on its IP and 4K workflow technologies, and will be highlighting both at the NAB Show. For visitors interested in IP, our Pegasus SDN (Software Defined Networks)-based control application is the key to a familiar, broadcast-centric control environment that enables a hybrid (SDI mixed with IP) workflow and infrastructure that builds a bridge to an all-IP future. It’s important to remember that to enable smooth IP configurations, components in the workflow need to be built on open standards and prepared to interact well with technologies from multiple suppliers. IP is a gradual transition — a migration. So, protecting existing workflow and capital equipment is essential for many because the cost of new equipment and changes in workflows may be prohibitive. In addition, Grass Valley will be launching its Glass-to-Glass IP production workflow. This clearly defined road to IP includes some strategic reasoning behind the appropriate route to take through this migration as well as a host of new IP-enabled solutions.

Visitors interested in 4K will see our comprehensive line of 4K-capable products as well as our brand new LDX 4K camera. Previewed last year, the camera is designed specifically for sports and live production content. It’s unique among 4K cameras in that it captures any type of live action with unrivaled quality levels by delivering outstanding high sensitivity and dynamic range, without forcing customers to change their existing workflows. Users can easily integrate this camera into the same workflows they use for HD.

Q. How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?

A. Our IP solution is unique in several ways. First and foremost, unlike many IP options coming to market, ours supports the use of common, third-party IT routers and switches, but is controlled by familiar broadcast-centric interfaces. That open approach is critical in minimizing disruption for broadcasters and allowing them to leverage existing investments during the migration. And second, our parent company Belden has a long history of transitioning other industries to IP-based infrastructures. Belden has supported several IP migrations in other industries and has more than 40 years’ experience in this area. We leverage that expertise to help broadcasters realize the same benefits that companies operating networks in the enterprise and industrial industries have enjoyed for years via support from Belden.

Similarly, our 4K camera technology is unique in a number of ways. Based on standard 2/3-inch lenses and a new high-bandwidth digital fiber transmission solution to capture live events without the compromises associated with digital cinema optics, our LDX 4K camera is developed specifically for sports and large-event live productions. Furthermore, it’s the industry's first 4K/UHD camera solution on the market with native B4 lens support.

Q. What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?

A. The NAB Show is a great platform for seeing and talking about the next significant breakthroughs in the industry. It offers outstanding networking opportunities and is an indicator for what we as an industry will be focused on in the coming year. But even more important for me is the opportunity to connect with customers face to face and hear directly from them what excites them or what keeps them up at night. I see it as our responsibility to provide them with the tools to both capitalize on the opportunities and overcome the obstacles. There is an infectious energy at the show that makes it a must-attend event every year.