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NAB Show: Grass Valley Talks SAM Acquisition, Future Trends

LAS VEGAS—The 2018 NAB Show marks the first major outing for a new business entity—whose expanded product range makes it one of the largest suppliers of media equipment in the industry.

In February, Grass Valley’s parent company Belden acquired Snell Advanced Media for a little more than $94 million. Although the terms of the deal beyond the purchase price were not disclosed, the company plans to use the NAB Show to give attendees a look at its combined product lines and renewed focus.

[Read: Belden/Grass Valley Acquires Snell Advanced Media


“We’re creating a business of scale,” said Neil Maycock, vice president of global marketing for Grass Valley. “There’s a lot of volatility and uncertainty in the market. This is our first major outing for our combined business, and we’re really keen to show the market what the acquisition of SAM means for Grass Valley.”

Maycock stressed that the acquisition demonstrates Grass Valley’s commitment to an industry that is uncertain and in flux. The acquisition will help customers navigate available technology options with fewer concerns around interoperability and deployment complexity, he said.

SAM technology will be integrated into Grass Valley, and eventually all products will carry the Grass Valley name. Yet there’s not nearly so much overlap as people might believe, Maycock said.

“When you look at combined portfolio — cameras, live production, networking infrastructure, news and content — the breadth of portfolio is strong now,” he said. “They’re very much complementary.”

[Read: Timothy Shoulders In As New Grass Valley President]

At the NAB Show, the combined company plans to showcase technologies (in one booth) from both the Grass Valley and SAM lineups in specific areas including live production, news, content delivery and networking. The booth will include a dedicated camera stage and an area in which attendees can take self-guided virtual tours of technology topics.

Specifically, Grass Valley plans to show off a new release of GV STRATUS 6, the company’s

video production and content management system that features a COTS-based engine, social media management capabilities, XRE transcoder and a social media uploader designed to simplify the process of adding streams into news productions. Grass Valley will also show off the GV K-Frame X, a new processing engine that supports SDI, IP or hybrid SDI/IP configurations.

Maycock expects to see a number of trends solidify at the show, including larger-scale adoption of IP-based infrastructure, a continual migration of hardware products into software virtualized platforms, and ongoing deployment of HDR and 4K technologies. SAM in particular had first-hand experience in IP deployment after working with the Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), which in 2017 went live with an end-to-end IP infrastructure at RTL Group’s new Luxembourg headquarters, RTL City. According to SAM, BCE wanted the new infrastructure to be both future-proof and able to adapt to new workflow challenges.

The company also clarified that it will not be announcing any additional acquisitions. “While there has been some speculation about further consolidation in the market, it is not currently a focus for Grass Valley,” said Grass Valley President Tim Shoulders when the acquisition announcement was made.

Grass Valley will be in booth SL1805.

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.