Grass Valley And Sundance Digital Combine for Affordable Broadcast Automation

Thanks to a new marketing relationship, the Grass Valley K2 Media Server from Thomson is now being bundled with FastBreak NXT XPress automation software from Sundance Digital, a leading provider of broadcast automation software, to offer customers unprecedented levels of performance at a highly affordable price.

Sundance Digital is now offering its FastBreak NXT XPress solution at a starting price of under $30,000 to work in tandem with the new Grass Valley K2 Media Server. FastBreak NXT XPress is the 4th generation of Sundance Digital's popular control package for basic commercial insertion and program play-to-air. XPress combines powerful SQL database functionality with tight control of the K2 Media Server to provide an extremely powerful, yet easy to operate, entry-level system.

A typical FastBreak NXT XPress system consists of a Media Prep Station to manage communication with the traffic department and to load content into the Grass Valley K2 server. It works alongside one or more Air Control Stations to manage actual on-air playback. Each Air Control Station may be configured to handle up to four primary server outputs (playlists), plus a simultaneous back-up ("protect") decoder for each playlist. Events may be initiated by a GPI or the Master Control operator (manual trigger), by time-of-day (clock trigger) or upon completion of the preceding element (follow event).

XPress also controls switchers and routers for basic source selections, e.g., video server to the studio or a network feed. Media Prep Stations may be added to facilitate the recording of long and short-form content, or to dub material into the K2 from several locations within a facility. Resources permitting, multiple instances of the Media Prep application can run simultaneously on one workstation.

The new Grass Valley K2 Media Server, with its advanced client-server architecture, can be configured with from 2 to over 100 channels. This includes both SD and HD or a mixture of the two formats. An entry-level 4-channel SD K2 video server together with FastBreak XPress offers a powerful automation solution for less than $70,000.