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Grass Valley Preps for a Multiplatform World

Grass Valley will debut new features to the GV Stratus nonlinear media production tool, including new workflow engines that automatically manage the import and export of content and metadata.

SAN FRANCISCO—As Grass Valley pinpointed its message for NAB2014, the focus became clear. “We are increasingly focusing on bringing multiplatform distribution to our whole production workflow,” said Matt Allard, vice president of marketing operations at Grass Valley. “That’s what we’ve experienced with all our customers, big and small. They need to expand and have a mobile presence, an Internet presence.”

But how to do that while considering the costs? “You can’t really afford to have three sets of tools—one for mobile, one for broadcast, one for the Web—with three different types of staff, especially as those emerging platforms don’t have the same revenue potential today that a TV presence has,” Allard said. “How do we help those customers ease into that?”

Grass Valley is prepared to answer those questions with a suite of production tools that touch on editing, ingest, logging, content management and newsroom production.

Topping that list are new features to the GV Stratus nonlinear media production tool, including new workflow engines that automatically manage the import and export of content and metadata. Stratus also includes new remote connections for editing, news production and distribution capabilities for targeted content. A philosophy of “create once and publish anywhere” led to two-way integration between the Stratus and the Ignite Konnect Automated Production System, allowing for media to be output to on-air broadcasts or social media interaction.

“Obviously when you’re dealing with multiple platforms, you’re dealing with lots of technical challenges in terms of formats,” Allard said. “What relative metadata needs to be inserted and preserved though the workflow [in order to manage] what needs to happen downstream?”

One ongoing example of that challenge is content insertion replacement. Users need to understand copyright rights associated with different types of media as they’re pushed down the line. “[A broadcaster] may need to change the promotions, or change the commercial content; they may need to take something that’s international and make it regional,” Allard said. “Here again, by being able to put in an automated process, we can set up rules to tell users what to do.”

Grass Valley is also hearing the industry’s call for Ultra HD options, and will come to NAB with solutions designed to take advantage of those higher-resolution requirements. The company will show off the K2 Summit 3G production client and K2 Dyno S replay system, which are UHD/4K compliant and can support multiple frame rates including super slow-motion and ultra-high frame rate acquisition and replay. The company will also show the latest features to the Edius 7 multiformat nonlinear editing software, which can handle both 4K and 8K content.

“A lot of 4K and UltraHD are partial work flows at this point,” Allard said. “But what does it mean to the customer who decides they want to do a complete high-res production? We’re going to talk to customers about how we can do this in the perspective of acquisition, production, recording, playback and replays, and from an infrastructure perspective; how you can do an end-to-end live production in higher resolutions.”

Grass Valley is also addressing the needs of specific markets with solutions like the addition of sports telestration technology into its replay gear. Earlier this year the company announced its K2 Dyno S replay controller would be integrated with tOG-Sports telestration software to allow replay operators to set up split screens, spot zoom and on-screen illustrations via the K2 Dyno S touchscreen interface. “With the new optional tOG-Sports capabilities, the K2 Dyno S…allows operators to manage effects right on the touchscreen as opposed to having to move from computer to replay system,” said Mike Cronk, senior vice president of marketing for Grass Valley.

The company will also be pushing its customers to look at different ways of accomplishing their daily tasks.

“A lot of people who have been in this industry a long time are used to working with technology in a certain way—a dedicated device here, a push button there,” Allard said. But what’s the next logical evolutionary step when it comes to technology?

“Now it’s about creating a user interface that fits: multipurpose displays, OLED programmable displays, touchscreens,” he said. “Rather than giving customers a tool and the interface, instead we’ve turned the corner on that, and were giving them tools that also offer the ability to custom create on their own.”

Grass Valley will be in booth SL206 in the South Hall.