Grass Valley Tapped for BBC's Tapeless Trials

"Starwinder," BBC Technology Group's project to move to tapeless HD production by 2010, has chosen the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder and related products from Thomson to test out. Grass Valley is one of two manufacturers undergoing intensive trials over the next year in the initial phase of the Starwinder project, which sees tapeless acquisition systems to determine the corporation's future policies.

Grass Valley's Infinity line of products capture all common SD and HD standards even on the same recording medium, and support both today's widely recognized recording formats (including the DV and MPEG-2 families), as well as JPEG2000.

The Infinity camcorder offers a range of recording systems based on commodity IT technology. The REV PRO disk is based on the Iomega REV 35GB removable hard disk system, and is built into every Infinity camcorder, as are slots for professional-grade CompactFlash cards. Infinity also carries USB and FireWire (IEEE 1394) interfaces to connect to other external recording devices, and gigabit Ethernet network ports to directly connect the camera to a networked storage system.

"We designed the Infinity camcorder as a completely new approach to ENG and EFP acquisition, one which gave all the choices back to the user," said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. "In a single unit -- and even on a single shoot -- it supports the transition to HD, and allows the user to select not just the compression scheme but the recording medium itself to match the requirements of each individual task."