Thomson Expands Product Line to Address New Markets

At its NAB preview event this week, Thomson Grass Valley outlined an aggressive growth strategy that targets new markets such as Pro-AV and expanding its presence in IP.

Declaring the worldwide economy "relatively stable" compared to a year ago, Thomson Broadcast & Market Solutions President Marc Valentin told reporters that the company aims to be a world leader in IP devices and solutions and that the key to the company's research and development is investments in its "transversal technology," i.e. compression. New compression technologies will help spur growth in electronic content such as digital cinema, VOD and IP.

"New distribution channels will significantly contribute to [our] growth over the next five years," he said. The company has also created a new division to develop technology targeting the telco market as well. "We are poised to become a leader in telco headend solutions," he said.

For the broadcast market, however, Thomson focused on several new products and solutions, many of them revolving around its new "dMAX" initiative, which brings asset management, facility management and monitoring (including systems integration and support services) under one umbrella.

Under dMAX, Thomson is adding two new software packages for its Grass Valley C2MD program: Net Central 4.1 facility monitoring software and an expanded Grass Valley XMS 3500 network management system. The company will also expand the market for its software-based workflow management applications to target smaller broadcasters, production studios and post-production facilities, tying together Thomson Grass Valley's servers, ingest tools and editing and facility-monitoring systems as well as create a new Grass Valley OnCall service level agreement, which features expanded tech support and parts replacement and will be available on a one-year subscription basis.

Two new cameras will also be introduced at Thomson Grass Valley's NAB booth: the LDK 4000, a 720p camera designed for small-to-medium sized digital production studios and media creation companies; and the LDK 400, a lower priced 14-bit camera compatible with Triax, Digital Wireless and DigiLink.

A new Digital Triax and Digi-Link will also launch at the show. Replacing the Grass Valley TTV 1707 system, the Digital Triax system is compatible with the 12-bit LDK 300, the 14-bit LDK 500 and the new LDK 400. A new compact digital adapter for the Grass Valley Digi-Link also supports the 300, 400 and 500 series of cameras and targets studio applications with an installed base of multi-core cables, but can also be deployed for remote applications, using a dual-coax cabling infrastructure.

The first new product as a result of Thomson Grass Valley's purchase of ParkerVision will debut at the show. The scalable Ignite Integrated Production System integrates the Grass Valley "CameraMan", LDK 300 cameras, GVG KayakDD switcher, Grass Valley Concerto routing switcher, analog and digital audio mixing/processing and Thomson's advance automation control software. Ignite also works with the Grass Valley NewsEdit production suite, GVG Profile servers and the M-Series iVDRs. It also includes a "WebSTATION" feature for live or on-demand Web viewing.

Ignite also integrates with the new Grass Valley Aurora suite that includes automated ingest, NLE and playlist management features and supports formats from MPEG-1 to WM9 for low resolution proxy as well as SD and HD video.

Venom, a new flash-based storage system for the Viper Filmstream camera system will debut at the booth. Mounting directly onto the camera and described as a massive "memory stick" for Viper, the 100 GB Venom Flashpak holds 10 minutes of uncompressed output or 18 minutes of HD material.