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Grass Valley enhances live production

The latest version of Grass Valley’s Stratus promises to further simplify complex workflows in the production and delivery of content. The company has also announced contract wins for its new LDX cameras and its Edius editing software.

The latest version of Grass Valley’s Stratus promises to further simplify complex workflows in the production and delivery of content. The company has also announced contract wins for its new LDX cameras and its Edius editing software. The new release of GV Stratus is claimed to deliver “greater workforce efficiency by enabling users to accomplish tasks in parallel while working in a collaborative manner.” More than 1,500 seats of the Stratus non-linear production system have been sold worldwide, and the new version includes new tools to increase workflow efficiency through automated, rules-based file operations, and improves proxy editing workflows with the introduction of the Edius XS non-linear low resolution proxy editor. Edius XS includes most of the effects capability of the full resolution Edius editor, making it ideal for newsroom desktop editing while also offering production workflows that previously required more expensive full resolution editors. Based on a unique combination of a service oriented architecture (SOA) and an easy to use Grass Valley-designed GUI (graphical user interface), The GV Stratus application framework is based on a service oriented architecture and easy-to-user graphical user interface, and allows broadcasters to move to nonlinear production, where production and distribution operations merge onto a single collaborative platform. “Since its introduction, GV Stratus has changed the way that news, sports, and entertainment programming is produced and distributed,” claimed Graham Sharp, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Grass Valley. “With GV Stratus, the work defines the tools, not the other way around. Live and studio entertainment, news, and playout users configure their desktops with the exact tools required by each individual person’s needs based on the project workflow and the tasks assigned. This saves money and increases task efficiency by avoiding big, monolithic applications.” In addition to the new software, significant additional features are in beta testing at key customer sites. These will further expand the scope of integrated, non-linear production workflows with enhanced web publishing features to enable content to be segmented, enriched with metadata, and automatically pushed to the web and mobile devices, as well as the ability for multiple GV Stratus sites to connect to each other to browse content and manage transfers. Three-in-one OB The Mobile TV Group has selected Grass Valley to supply cameras and switcher for its first triple-feed mobile production truck. To be built by sister company Colorado Studios, 33HDX will feature 11 of the new LDX Première dual-format HD cameras and an 8M/E Kayenne Video Production Centre switcher with three control surfaces: a four-stripe Kayenne control panel, a two-stripe Kayenne control panel, and a 1M/E KSP soft-panel. A triple-feed truck can produce three distinct productions from a single event. The main feed will be produced from the usual 100-display production area in 33HDX, the secondary feed will come from a three-bench production room in VMU33, and a third feed will come from the traditional dual-feed room of 33HDX. A triple-feed truck can also accommodate Spanish language feeds and pre/postgame shows. Combined, 33HDX and VMU33—which are completely integrated with video, audio, and intercom— will have three production areas, three integrated audio rooms, and two networked replay areas. “33HDX will have a lot of firsts for Mobile TV Group to better serve our customers,” said Philip Garvin, General Manager for Mobile TV Group. “The 11 LDX Première cameras will be the first of the LDX Series cameras in our fleet and we can’t wait to start using these advanced cameras. Teamed with the Grass Valley Kayenne with K-Frame, we’ll also have our first triple-feed truck. Until the Kayenne with K-Frame, a triple-feed truck wasn’t practical because it needs more than two control panels. We need at least three control panels and enough mix-effects buses so that all three feeds have the M/E power they need to do a quality show. Grass Valley made the triple-feed 33HDX and VMU33 possible.” One of the primary benefits of Mobile TV Group’s triple-feed system is that it requires a shorter set-up time as venue video and audio sources need only to be connected to one truck (33HDX), rather than two or three. Distribution to VMU33 will be through dedicated trunk lines. The resources of a single production switcher, routing switcher, and intercom system are shared. “A few years ago, the production power of an 8M/E switcher was unheard of, but Kayenne makes up to 9M/Es possible, with multiple suites. This brings an entire new way of thinking about how live programming is produced,” said Tim Thorsteinson, President and CEO of Grass Valley. 33HDX and VMU33 are expected to hit the road in May, working initially for Fox Sports. NLE upgrade Raycom Media, one of the largest broadcasters in the US, has selected Grass Valley’s Edius Pro 6.5 as its main nonlinear editing system for its news operation, and will integrate it with the Bitcentral media content management and Panasonic P2 media formats used at the stations it owns and manages. It will install more than 900 seats in 52 stations serving 36 markets throughout the country. Its main considerations for selecting Edius Pro 6.5 were: the software’s loudness metering; its ability to handle closed captioning; the USB dongle-free software licensing; and the ability to deploy the software across the entire organisation, including desktops and laptop field editors. “All of our stations have been using Edius 5.5 for a while and love it,” explained David Folsom, Vice President and CTO for Raycom Media. “The release of Edius Pro 6.5 gave us the perfect opportunity to not only standardize our NLE systems across our organization, but to also address specific production needs. The fact that we have the same editing ability in all of our stations and our journalists’ laptops makes our workflows much more efficient.” Edius is software-upgradable between versions (Neo, Express, Pro, and Elite), so that users can select the functionality and performance they require. – David