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Ross Hits 40th in Stride

Version 6.1 of Ross Video’s free DashBoard facility control software now includes PanelBuilder, which allows users to build purpose-built custom panels and automated workflows.

IROQUOIS, ONTARIO—Ross is not the company it used to be. That’s a fact that has guided this Canadian-based firm mightily over the last four decades.

“We have a philosophy inside Ross that ‘everything must touch at the edges,’ in other words, how does [new technology] fit in with everything else that we’re doing, and what are the kinds of things that customers are asking for,” said Jeff Moore, chief marketing officer at Ross.

As the company prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, it continues to evolve again, by making the edges touch in areas one might not expect: Robotics. Graphics. Newsroom production. OB vans.

This year Ross will roll in new mobile trucks as part of the new Ross Mobile Production division. Outfitted with Ross technology such as Carbonite production switchers and XPression graphics gear, the OT1 compact production vehicle is being built around Ross’ openTruck platform, and has been used to cover tennis, college football and equestrian events.

Remaining dedicated to its roots as a developer of production switchers, the company will show new solutions this year, with eight demo stations scheduled to be set up in the Ross booth. At the center will be a station surrounded by a Christie video wall, where Ross will demonstrate how its equipment can control a sports broadcast or stage production, according to Moore. The company will also show off new features to Carbonite as well as a new 24-button Carbonite C2S panel, designed for productions where a TD prefers to switch the show directly from a memory keypad.

This will also mark the NAB debut of the Vision Tritium large production switcher, a 3 MLE modular production switcher with 48 x 32 multidefinition I/O, six 3D DVEs and 16 keyers. The switcher will be paired with a modular 3 MLE panel that features PanelGlow RGB buttons and a touchscreen menu system.

Control solutions from Ross will include the OverDrive automated production control system as well as DashBoard facility control software.

A solution that’s debuting this year—PanelBuilder—is an example of Ross giving customers the ability to build their own customized solutions by dragging and dropping buttons on a touchscreen. The system is being used by the Rhode Island state legislature during broadcasts of the state’s Senate meetings. “We’ve got a picture of the Senate and all the seats arranged with buttons and photos, with it all on a touchscreen user interface,” Moore said. Click on a photo, and a pre-set graphic pops on screen. “This is the kind of thing that used to require a lot of custom programming,” Moore said. “Instead of having a sea of buttons, you get a user interface that is very specific to your application.”

Another new product introduction for the NAB Show will be Inception News, a newsroom computer system that blends the needs of traditional broadcast production with Web and social media publication. The solution can handle outbound publication as well as inbound searching and harvesting of social media.

Rounding out Ross’ offerings: graphics, robotics and infrastructure gear. Attendees will see updates to the XPression 3D HD character generator and motion graphics system, updates to the Furio RC rail-based remote control camera system, and new routing gear in the form of the new NK-144 router that can be used to combine facility routing with production switching and multiviewing.

Ross was making headlines right up to the top of the show, by announcing its acquisition of the La Crosse, Wisc.-based firm Automated Data Systems, which a manufactures the newsroom production solutions EZ News newsroom editorial software and EZ Prompt teleprompting software.

“This is a path forward for Inception,” Moore said. “[Automated Data Systems] has a very large base of users, and we felt it was a win/win scenario where we could grow our user base for Inception, give their customers a path forward, and also gain a foothold with Inception with the educational market.”

After 40 years, what sets the company apart is the breadth of services Ross provides, Moore said. “And not just the breadth of equipment, but making [the technology work] for our clients. A big part of what customers expect from us is for us to help them get the most out this equipment.”

Ross Video will be in booth N3806 in the North Hall.

Susan Ashworth

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.