Thomson K2 server blazes new HD trail with Pathfire
Thomson and Pathfire are tightening their bond, allowing TV stations and networks to increase the high-definition (HD) content management capability of the Grass Valley K2 Media Server platform from Thomson. The new K2 “Capture Service” software application enables the fast and easy handling of HD programs as digital files and eliminates the need for any third-party intermediate solutions that can slow the file-handling process considerably—in many cases to much slower-than-real time—saving organizations significant time and money.
Available immediately, the K2 Capture Service option is the result of a close collaboration between Thomson and Pathfire engineers and requires a simple software upgrade to existing K2 systems. In addition, the Capture Service option will also support SD and HD material transfer from the DG FastChannel Spotbox to K2. No additional hardware is needed.
The new K2 Capture Service feature was recently field-tested by Tribune Broadcasting with nationally syndicated content. During the week of September 6, Tribune went to air at their WGN, KTLA, WXIN, WPIX, WGNO, KHCW, KDAF, KTXL, WPHL WDCW, KRCW, WSFL, and KCPQ locations from a series of remotely located K2 servers, successfully using the new Capture Service feature to distribute the program as a series of HD files faster than the program has ever been distributed before.
“Our recent trial of the new K2 Capture Service option proved its value, as it enabled us to ingest and stitch HD Pathfire content rapidly and cost-effectively for play back and delivery to our station group,” said Ira Goldstone Chief Technology Officer at Tribune. “This type of fast and highly automatic file conversion is sorely needed and critical to our success going forward.”
With this new Capture Service capability, Grass Valley K2 users now have a highly efficient file transfer method that allows HD content to be uploaded to a K2 server timeline nearly instantaneously (5-10X faster than real time), without the need for external transcoding or file conversion. By comparison, existing file-transcoding techniques require the need for a separate server for HD transcoding and current speeds are on-average 2X slower than real time (making it nearly 10X slower than the new Capture Service option). With significant amounts of content needing to be uploaded every day, it could easily take operations departments longer than a single eight hour shift to upload and QC less than three hours of material.
“Pathfire has always strived to develop solutions that save customers time and money while streamlining their workflows,” said Michael Connell, Broadcast Product Manager at Pathfire. “This new Capture Service interface to the Grass Valley K2 server platform does exactly that and more. We’re pleased to be working with Thomson to add new capability to the K2 Media Server platform.”
The Capture Service option is available immediately from Thomson, and is priced at $5,000.