NAB 2017

NAB 2017: Grass Valley Brings HDR to HD Camera; Enhances IP, Production Switcher Lineup

New products offer up plenty for those who are comfortable working in HD and a roadmap for those looking to the future

Grass Valley promises to have some additional new product surprises at the NAB show next week but late last week it offered up some more details concerning its latest developments in cameras, production switchers, and the Broadcast Data Center concept.

At its core the BDC is a COTS IP switching fabric that attaches edge devices via the company’s GV Node version 2.0. Using Cisco Nexus 9200 and 9300 switches, Grass Valley offers a bundled product offering featuring commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Cisco Switches, licenses for non-blocking media support and joint service offerings. These bundles integrate with all of Grass Valley’s IP-enabled products, accelerating installation and setup and ensuring compatibility with all of Grass Valley’s IP Broadcast Data Center solutions.

Grass Valley’s Node 2.0 is the building block for the Broadcast Data Center concept.

“We have a strong relationship with Cisco and are taking their IP blueprint and matching it up with ours,” says Mark Hilton, Grass Valley, VP, Live business unit. “We are embracing data center advantages of COTS solutions and by synchronizing our road map we can have a true partnership and joint development in areas like control. And by bundling it we take the mystery and confusion out of it so customers have all the pieces they need.”

Hilton says that SMPTE 2110 will enable video, audio, and metadata to be routed independently, removing the need for audio to be embedded and de-embedded with the video signal.

“It gives a lot more flexibility for routing signals through the fabric and mimics other IT datacenter topologies. And that offers scalable, flexible design possibilities.”

Grass Valley will also be introducing a new camera system at NAB, the LDX 82 series. Dave Cohen, Grass Valley, senior director of marketing communications, says that the new camera is a top-of-the-line camera for HD applications that also need HDR and wide color gamut support.

Grass Valley’s LDX-83 is designed for those who will be working in HD but want to have next-generation features like HDR.

“It also supports all existing infrastructures and with an e-licensing scheme functionality can be added or eliminated on a short- or long-term basis using the same camera head.”

Supporting the HD market is good news for remote production service providers or rental companies that have clients in countries that are not making the move to 4K.

“This is important to a segment of our customers and it’s appropriate to have in our portfolio,” says Cohen. “The transition from SD to HD worldwide took a number of years and the transition to 4K worldwide will take just as long.”

The Right Switch

Grass Valley also discussed the K-Frame V-series, an addition to the K-Frame family of production switchers. At only 3RU, this new frame is a complement to the GV Korona switcher panel and fits in locations with limited space but requires no compromises on enterprise features. It can be used with any Grass Valley switcher panel and broadcasters can run multiple panels and programs off the same frame at the same time.

The Grass Valley Korona K-Frame is designed for those producing smaller events but are unwilling to compromise the quality of the production.

“Broadcast production has moved out of the studio to capture events where they are happening in real-time, but when it came to compact switchers, broadcasters were forced to choose: affordable, small or powerful. Never all three, until now,” says Neerav Shah, senior vice president of strategic marketing, Grass Valley. “The K-Frame V-series platform, when paired with the GV Korona switcher, offers a never-before-seen combination of power, flexibility and scalability, fitting well in locations where space is limited and providing the legendary Grass Valley high-end performance at an affordable price.”

On their own, the GV Korona 1 and 2 stripe panels support 15 and 20 assignable buttons, respectively, on each stripe (or M/E row), and have a built-in multi touch menu system, as well an innovative touchscreen in the transition area. When paired together, the K-Frame V-series and GV Korona switcher make a powerful duo. The V-series frame is modular for easy field reconfiguration and serviceability – a true convenience not offered in competitively priced switchers. The modularity also makes for an easy upgrade to an all IP or mixed SDI and IP environment in the future. The 36×18 matrix supports SD, HD and 4K UHD in quad split and 2SI modes and can handle up to three licensed M/Es and two additional video processing engines (VPEs) for added keying and mixing power.

“What’s also important is that as it moves up to 4K the V Series will not lose any functionality and that is something that is unique among small, high-performance production switchers,” says Cohen. “And users can upgrade and expand as their needs change.”

Because it is a full-fledged member of the K-Frame family, V-series can be used with any GV K-Frame switcher panel, including Karrera and Kayenne. Additionally, shows created in any K-Frame switcher can be saved and shared among other switchers, including the new V-series. This convenience can be leveraged by customers who may already own a Kayenne or Karrera switcher and would like to share the “look” they’ve created in a different application.

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