Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions

Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions came to NAB with 15 new products, highlighted by the introduction of the Grass Valley M-Series intelligent video digital recorder (iVDR). It’s being billed as a VTR replacement product that offers the benefits of a server.

With a digital design and a touch-screen interface that mimics that of a VTR, the M-Series iVDR offers two I/O channels for simultaneous playout and recording, robust network support and clip editing, all within a single device.

With a digital design and a touch-screen interface that mimics a VTR, the M-Series iVDR offers two I/O channels, simultaneous playout and recording, robust network support, clip editing and trimming, playlist creation, and the ability to exchange materials with a variety of applications using industry-standard protocols.

At the company’s Pre-NAB press conference it was announced that independent station group Media General Broadcast Group and the NASA contractor Crewe Technologies have already expressed support for the iVDR concept. Media General has ordered dozens of M-Series iVDR units for at least 10 of its 26 broadcast properties over the next 12 months.

Thomson also showed a new KayakDD 1 M/E production switcher, a new Profile server, the PVS 3000 (that handles both HD and SD files in the same frame), a series of low-cost modular products, the Apex high-density audio router, and a new production storage architecture called Cohera.

Thomson Broadcast (under the Grass Valley brand name) also demonstrated a new Ethernet-based camera control system that can control up to 99 cameras using standard IP networking for live and taped productions. The C2IP system includes a small operational control panel (OCP400) and a larger master control panel (MCP 400) as well as a new base station network module.

From the OCP400 an operator can adjust fine skin detail and other camera settings from a remote location, while the MCP 400 can automatically interpret and log all camera parameters on the fly. The settings can be saved on standard USB storage media for later use.

Also at the Thomson booth was a new high-quality, standard-definition, dockable IT CCD chip camera, the LDK 200 ITW, that provides a range of features 12-bit A-to-D conversion, very low smear of 140 dB and high sensitivity. It includes switchable aspect ratio and 22-bit DSP capability. It was shown docked to a DVCPRO 50 deck.

The Grass Valley Viper FilmStream camera got a lot of attention, due to its uncompressed 4:4:4 capture capability and the various new recoding options being demonstrated in the booth. A “portable” digital disk recorder (made by Japanese company Keisoku) was displayed. It includes dual-transport coaxial cables and the ability to record one hour of uncompressed FilmStream data.

The recorder's VTR-like functions can be controlled through the Viper camera body, providing an integrated system approach. Also being shown was a Flash memory RAM recorder (made by BayTech Cinema) mounted on the top of the Viper that’s currently capable of storing one minute of FilmStream data, but this capacity will increase with time. A variety of RAM recorder mounting options will be available soon. Also on display was a new optical eyepiece for Viper that allows users to see exactly what the camera is seeing.

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