Grass Valley Infinity Helps Indiana’s WFYI Produce Local Programming in High-Quality HD

Every day, PBS member station WFYI in Indianapolis, Indiana is using the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder (DMC) in a variety of ways to produce several local programs that it broadcasts on its HD channel along with the national PBS HD program feed. Thanks in part to its new 2/3-inch Xensium CMOS image sensor camcorder, the station’s HD on-air look rivals that of larger market stations with bigger budgets.

Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting Inc, licensee for WFYI, has been passing through national HD programming for the past five years, but was not doing any local HD origination until it acquired the Infinity DMC this year. The camcorder has become a favorite with the production staff as it easily supports WFYI’s file-based production and post production workflows with the ability to record at 100 mb/s and the flexibility of using different media, such as CompactFlash, which is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of media.

The Infinity DMC is used primarily in the field capturing both SD and HD images to produce several programs, such as one of the station’s most popular shows – “Across Indiana”— which highlights various towns in the state. Footage is acquired on Grass Valley REV PRO media, and then ingested into a Grass Valley EDIUS nonlinear editing system for HD editing.

“Our camera operators really enjoy the Infinity because it’s easy to use and produces fantastic pictures in both SD and HD,” says Nate Pass, chief engineer at WFYI. “I like it because it’s a very robust camera and stands up to daily production very well. I have not had a single maintenance issue with the Infinity since we began using it.”

WFYI moved into its new, all-digital headquarters in downtown Indianapolis in the fall of 2008 and is now broadcasting four digital channels – with one in the 1080i HD format. To support all of these channels and more, the station is using dual Grass Valley Maestro™ master control panels (one for redundancy), a Trinix digital video router (populated with both HD and SD sources), a 256×256 Concerto Series router for AES audio, an Encore Control System, and four K2 media servers. The station continues to use its Grass Valley 4000-3 digital switcher, which it brought over during its move into the new building and has been operational for more than 10 years.

“The Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder is the perfect tool for stations like WFYI, because it allows them to shoot different programs at different resolutions with the same camera and get high-quality results every time,” says Jeff Rosica, senior vice president of Grass Valley. “Customers are asking for flexible production technologies that bring high-value, and a fast return on investment and that’s exactly what Grass Valley continues to deliver.”

The Grass Valley Infinity series of products — which include the DMC and its companion Digital Media Recorder (DMR) — support the digital production migration by enabling broadcasters and production professionals to capture, transport, and share content within a file-based workflow using IT industry standard media such as REV PRO and CompactFlash. Once projects have been completed, the media can be shared, archived, used to ingest final content to playout servers, and re-used for acquisition.

The latest version of the Infinity camcorder, the DMC 1000/20, uses the new XP and ER versions of REV PRO media. The Grass Valley REV PRO media adds extra capacity (from 35 GB to 40 GB for XP and 65 GB for ER) to an already generous data storage format. REV PRO XP is tuned for high performance and ultra-fast ingest, while REV PRO ER focuses on capacity.

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