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Grass Valley: Future ready for 4K

Easier migration to Ultra HD and 4K is one of the themes of IBC. Arri is showing it for documentaries with its Amira upgrade, and Grass Valley is doing it for live production with its 4K strategy.
Customers want to buy equipment that meets today’s needs, but is also future-ready through “low cost upgrades,” said Mike Cronk, senior vice president of strategic marketing, Grass Valley. It can take its broadcast products and, “either with an upgrade or reconfiguration of the product, get to 4K.”

It is offering a full line of 4K/UHD-capable switchers, multiviewers, editing, routing and replay equipment, but the migration starts with acquisition. It introduced native B4-mount 4K box cameras at NAB, however customers wanted more flexibility, so it is now showing a technology preview of a new 4K system camera for studio, OB or shoulder-mounted use, which should ship by the end of the year.

Because it takes B4-mount lenses, and has three 2/3-inch sensors, users can zoom in just as much as with an HD camera, don’t lose sensitivity (as cameras that need a PL-to-B4 converter do), “and it has the depth of field you need to track a player across a field and keep them in focus.” Cronk also promised “better colour resolution than a lot of the 4K cameras out there.”

The cameras will also integrate with current camera control systems, via fibre. “In a mobile environment it looks and feels like every other camera,” he said. “This is the breakthrough that will allow broadcasters, get more standard with Ultra HD equipment.”