Skip to main content

Grass Valley Launches K2 Server

At IBC2005, Grass Valley will launch its newest broadcast server line, the K2 media server and media client system.

Designed specifically for the emerging IT-centric environment in broadcast, K2 supports file-based playout and distribution workflows, simplifies installation and operation and provides new levels of network controls, at nearly half the cost of other servers on the broadcast market, according to Grass Valley.

The debut of K2 marks one of Grass Valley's most significant server launches since it introduced the Profile server line more than a decade ago. Profile is the most popular server on the broadcast market today. K2 doesn't replace Profile, however, according to Mike Cronk, vice president/general manager, servers and digital news production for Grass Valley.

K2 is "part of the Profile family," Cronk said. "We've taken advantage of the knowledge we've gained over the years, so in a sense, [K2] is 'Profile on steroids.'"

"From a capability standpoint, this does what a Profile does, but we've been able to cut the price to make it more affordable and scalable. We do see people in time wanting to migrate to this."

Among K2's core technologies is the efficient iSCSI (Internet SCSI) networking protocol that delivers high throughput and SAN performance over standard Ethernet connections. K2 uses a Gigabit Ethernet backbone, eliminating the need for Fibre Channel and the overhead of its associated operational software, however, in very large installations, K2 can still leverage Fibre Channel. K2 also features on-board FTP support and common Internet File System (CIFS), as well as simple to use wizard screens that reduce training time. K2 is designed to operate over a network via a remote workstation with customized security.

Automation support for K2 is provided by Crispin, Encoda, Florical, Harris, Omnibus and Sundance. Redundancy support is customizable and includes the mixing and matching of iSCSI and Fibre Channel failover devices and of shared and distributed storage--as well as the availability of redundant RAID controllers and power supplies. K2 is scalable from a standalone system to shared storage systems supporting more than 100 channels and supports SD and HD content on the same timeline. It also supports MXF, MPEG-2 in I-frame or long GOP, as well as MXF and GXF streams over IP.

A K2 system starts at under $35,000 and will be available in Q4.