As part of a project to upgrade its studio facilities, UK news provider ITN is installing a new Grass Valley XtenDD 3 M/E production switcher. The new switcher replaces a long-serving Grass Valley 4000 switcher and will primarily be used for the programmes ITN produces for Channel 4, but the extended facilities will also be used on major events such as election coverage.
As a long-term Grass Valley customer, ITN is a sophisticated user of the automation and macro functions on production switchers, writing its own software to provide control of multi-layered effects and transitions even under the pressure of live news broadcasting. This allows ITN to produce extended news programmes — such as the 55 minute main evening broadcast for Channel 4 — with very high production values. The new XtenDD production switcher at ITN is fully loaded with multiple chromakeyers and wipe generators which can be flexibly allocated to any part of the 3 M/E switcher. Also included is the additional effects processor which provides up to four channels of 3D DVE effects.
As part of the same project an existing XtenDD switcher at ITN has been upgraded to provide exactly the same functionality as the new unit.