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Thomson Promotes ‘Broadercasting’

The TV in the living room is just a small part of the overall picture for Thomson.

The company positions itself as a supplier of everything in the video production chain — from acquisition to play-out —to help its customers create content in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

“It’s not enough to just migrate to HD,” said Jacques Dunogué, senior executive vice president of the systems division at Thomson. “Broadcasters need to tap into new revenues beyond HD and Thomson is leading the drive for production efficiency in the U.S.”

The company touts its philosophy for extending these capabilities beyond television as “broadercasting.”

As part of this initiative, at the NAB Show this year, Thomson is launching MediaFUSE, a set of automated tools that allows users of the company’s Ignite production system to simultaneously produce Web, mobile, IPTV and broadcast content in real time for live and on-demand applications. MediaFUSE is being demonstrated in the Thomson booth, where it is integrated with technology from WorldNow, a company specializing in technologies for the Web and digital delivery.

On the mobile television front, Dunogué announced that Thomson participated in the recent Las Vegas independent viability demonstrations of the ATSC mobile TV standards currently under consideration.

He noted that Thomson mobile TV solutions are now in commercial deployment in 11 of the 14 countries using DVB-H, including in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Advanced Video Coding (AVC) is also front and center in this year’s booth, with company officials announcing that the 1000th ViBE SD/HD MPEG-4 encoder has been shipped. AVC transcoding with reframing technology along with an advanced AVC professional decoder, among other initiatives, also play an important part in the advanced research demonstrations at its booth.

Thomson is unveiling a major upgrade to its Aurora production system. Jeff Rosica, senior vice president of Thomson’s Broadcast & Professional Solutions business unit, termed Version 6.5 the “largest release we’ve done for Aurora.”

The upgrade incorporates MediaFrame multilayered software architecture, which provides a searchable database and Managed Device Interface (MDI) tools for communication throughout the production workflow — including with servers and storage arrays — to determine what is immediately available to the editor. MDIs can also be extended to third-party archive systems.


Thomson Grass Valley switchers will be demonstrated with new upgrades this year. The new Kayak HD enhancements allow technical directors and vision mixers to handle more sources of different formats in a live production switcher, as well as being able to record and playback embedded audio with video from the switcher’s built-in RAMRecorder.

For broadcasters transitioning to HD news, Rosica was enthusiastic about the number of stations launching new HD efforts. “Nowhere is this more obvious than in the U.S., where we’re now seeing almost every week another new broadcaster is moving to HD,” he said. One recent convert is WTTW, the Chicago PBS station, which is purchasing more than $1 million in Grass Valley gear, including K2 servers and Aurora HD editing systems. Similarly, KHQ, the NBC affiliate in Spokane, Wash., will soon begin producing and airing local news in HD, using Thomson Grass Valley news production equipment.

Rosica wrapped up the Sunday press conference by announcing new developments for Infinity digital media, including the launch of the DMC 1000/20, a high performance camcorder for ENG and EFP applications that uses REV PRO XP and ER media. The new REV PRO disks expand storage capacity to 40 GB and 65 GB. REV PRO XP is optimized for high performance, while the REV PRO ER focuses on capacity. ©2008 NAB