Technology Vision
Expert. IT Freedom. Expand Creativity.
Grass Valley on a Mission to Expand Creativity

Looking into the crystal ball for the rest of 2013 and beyond, we see broadcasters and media companies around the world continuing an industry-wide migration to file-based and Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructures, with manufacturers supporting that initiative with an increasing amount of software and networked platforms that allow users to work collaboratively and a lot more efficiently. The coming months will be filled with significant innovations at Grass Valley and a focus on connected workflow optimization.

The advantage of software is that it allows us to get closer to realizing what the creatives want to do. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about for a technology vendor. The closer you are to hardware, the farther you are from the creative process.

When we speak to customers about their creative goals, we can show them how we can help do the same current work with less physical technology in front of them. They immediately become interested. Who wouldn't? As a company, Grass Valley is working hard to enable creativity so the tools do not define the task, but the other way around. That's how we'll keep our customers and help them migrate to the next best thing that allows them to increase their productivity and realize their business and creative objectives.

Getting there in the next few years is a challenge that Grass Valley has taken on with enthusiasm and an understanding that budgets are limited, so the digital workflow transition might happen slower than some might expect. This is especially true in emerging countries like China and South America, where many broadcast and production facilities are just now being converted from standard definition to high definition.

There's still a lot of opportunity to move customers through the digital transition as painlessly as possible. Our goal for 2013 is to accelerate that transition as much as we can by making it affordable and future proof.

To this end, several Grass Valley R&D teams are focused on adding new levels of capability, in the form of software applications, across Grass Valley's live production solutions and networked nonlinear editing platforms.

We've reached a point where the costs are right and the performance is there, so you can use off-the-shelf hardware and take application-specific software to do most of the things that we used to do in custom hardware and proprietary gateware. However, there is a limit to this.

here will always be a need for specialized hardware in some parts of a facility and the live production chain—where FPGA chips and real-time processing cannot be substituted. But the amount of dedicated hardware required is getting less and less all the time. That's good news for our customers.

Yet software can't do it all.

There will always be something that creatives want to do that we can't accomplish fast enough on the CPU/GPU combination. However, as CPUs and GPUs get faster, it creates room for us to move today's requirements to software and perform more advanced processing in hardware. We think there will be a continual movement of function to the CPU/GPU combination platform.

For Grass Valley, software-based products are faster to bring to market and can be enhanced with new versions on a continual basis, all to the benefit of the customer. Once a product line has been established in software, it's also more cost-effective in the long run.

In our goal of getting closer to realizing what creatives want to do, Grass Valley has already started to move from using only traditional tools to a combination of traditional tools and software interfaces that control those tools. What we're working on now at Grass Valley are product lines that don't require huge infrastructure commitments. Our customers say they want technology whereby the infrastructure—having to deploy multiple servers, for example—does not get in the way, but is actually an enabler to do a specific task they are trying to accomplish.

We are focused on bringing the same flexibility that virtualization has brought to the IT world. We refer to it as an "abstracted infrastructure," whereby the user does not care where their video server, or router, or video switcher is located, as long as they have access to, and can manipulate the content.

If you are able to run that function anywhere in your network you now have an enormous amount of flexibility. The infrastructure [physical systems] shouldn't be the thing that is stopping you from doing the work you need to get done.

IT Brings New Freedom

In 2013 Grass Valley is bringing this IT-centric concept to its current portfolio of solutions, at every level, from cameras to switchers to servers to edit systems and signal management and distribution. This includes the ability to send back to the camera what the camera is sending in to us. We can use fiber and IP networks to locate cameras remotely. This approach will allow creative to have an evolving vision of what they would like to see – and have us as viewers see – and realize it just moments after. We also see, over time, OB (Outside Broadcast) vans being built smaller, to accommodate smaller spaces and more limited budgets. This means a production company could send a smaller truck on site but have many of the production tools located remotely, yet accessible and controlled from inside the truck.

This mobility is critical to providing creatives with new ways to accomplish the same thing they have been doing for many years.

The company's new LDX Series™ cameras are designed to accommodate continual software upgrades. The company is preparing to launch a new service that will see Grass Valley license specific capabilities on a basis of user need: per feature, timed, or pool of cameras. This central service would allow a customer to turn on a feature for a specific event while in the field, and then turn it off when finished.

This is very powerful and is all made possible by Grass Valley's new focus on a software-centric model.

There's a new feature button on the LDX cameras called "PickMe" that allows a camera operator to tell the director that they have a shot that is important. The feature allows the camera operator to tag their shot so that the director is alerted in the production truck, but the tagging metadata can also stay with the recorded content after the event is over. The camera operator can also mark clips that can be sent directly to the Internet to give viewers at home an alternate view of the action (or a different take on a news story). Again, it expands the creativity of the operator. That's never been possible before.

We're designing the next generation of systems for mobile production, based on where we see the industry going. With distributed, nonlinear production, people working on a particular project don't have to all be in the same place. In another five years, when cloud computing becomes truly useful for our industry, this will be the common way to do remote production. It makes both practical and business sense to do it.

Redefining the way we do Television with Nonlinear Production

Then there's the GV STRATUS® Nonlinear Media Production Tools that acts like a workflow manager and provides a common interface for creative people that don't want to be encumbered by technology. This platform is helping to change the way people think about nonlinear production by facilitating the idea that content can be developed and distributed by multiple people simultaneously working from different locations. This allows collaborative teams to create all kinds of content for different distribution platforms.

In the old days, linear production required a single person to custom edit everything. That was time-consuming and resource-intensive. Now content is stored digitally and made available to many people on a network. They can collaborate on that same file and be much more productive. There really are no limits as to how a program or single piece of content is put together or distributed.

In the past 50 years, Grass Valley has developed and marketed a wide variety of new technologies, but television programs are still generally made in the same way they always have been. What we're talking about today at Grass Valley is changing the way TV is made. This goes back to what we call the "new era of nonlinear production." Today's professionals are coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just traditional broadcast, so the tools they require have to be flexible"

Making a (Connected) Difference

In 2013, Grass Valley will continue to develop the same robust, reliable systems that the industry has come to depend on but we're also trying to shift mindsets away from what has always been done.

We want people to envision a future where they have more freedom and can launch new services and more channels quickly and cost-effectively. We'll still make great production switchers and routers and the rest, but these traditional tools will be tightly integrated with newer software tools that bring more capability in the same or even smaller amount of space. It has taken (and will continue to involve) a lot of research and development investment on Grass Valley's part to make this system-wide, product re-tooling move, but we know it's worth it to preserve our customers' future.

The whole idea of this new path that we are on is that we need to connect the newer things we're developing to our existing systems. You can buy a basic-level Kayenne® Video Production Center switcher today, for example, and then add new features and capabilities in software to enhance that product and preserve your investment. It's really about giving customers more for their money and allowing them to decide when to upgrade. That's how you stay competitive as a technology vendor.

White Papers

Timing is Everything in Packet Video White Paper

Video production relies on precise timing. Every pixel has to align, and packet video is no exception. Clearly defining the issue is crucial to determine the best approach to timing. Even with SDI video, line buffers are commonly used in video processing equipment. The delay is short, about 15 microseconds, and inexpensive with today's technology. As 4K UHDTV increases in resolution and frame rate, the line time will decrease. An 8K picture at 120 Hz will require just under 2 microseconds. And a pixel time is 250 picoseconds, which is vastly less than transit time for video signals, whether packet based or baseband. No matter how you measure it, the timing resolution required to produce video is much less than the transit time to move it around the facility. Buffers of some type will almost always be necessary.

Posted Oct 31 2014 (GVB-1-0476A-EN-WP) File Size: 754.6 KB

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Ethernet Technology Trends White Paper

If we're going to base our broadcast industry assumptions (and hopes) on what the Ethernet can deliver in terms of connectivity, transport and the IP technology that runs on it, we need to examine where it's heading. Can it cope? Will it cope? Let's find out by understanding some fundamental truths of current and forecast trends for the Ethernet and the traffic lanes it provides for data signals.

Posted Oct 31 2014 (GVB-1-0475A-EN-WP) File Size: 565.8 KB

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Truck Challenge White Paper

The purpose of this study was to measure the technological challenges of mobile TV production. Why measure problems? The reason is simple. If we can better understand the problems that most frequently occur during a mobile production, we will be better able to anticipate those challenges and counter them. Or, as the father of modern management, Peter Drucker, once said, "That which gets measured, improves."

The study targeted high-end sports production professionals involved in mobile production. Our goal was to aggregate the experience of hundreds of people who work in, or manage, mobile productions, and arrive at a universal truth about which operational areas are most challenging. We interviewed industry experts from mobile production companies both large and small, and surveyed professionals at broadcast and cable networks, as well as mobile production companies.

Posted Oct 31 2014 (GVB-1-0327A-EN-WP) File Size: 1.2 MB

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The Spring of the IP Technology Transition for Broadcast Television Production White Paper

We all know that Ethernet and IP underpin the Internet and form one of the most disruptive technologies in the history of mankind. Insatiable consumer demand for content continues to fuel the development of ever faster networks like hydrogen fusion fuels the sun. As it stands today, the bandwidth required for data networking equals — and in many cases exceeds — the bandwidth requirements for full bandwidth, real-time video.

Posted Oct 31 2014 (GVB-1-0271A-EN-WP) File Size: 2.6 MB

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Switching and Routing Signals in the IP Transition White Paper

Video signals need bridges to get, well, to the other side. However, what constitutes the "other side" is becoming increasingly ambiguous. Hence, a video bridge essentially needs to be directionally all-encompassing, meaning that it is capable of allowing a signal to enter, traverse and exit at any point — or points — required.

Posted Oct 31 2014 (GVB-1-0269A-EN-WP) File Size: 877.8 KB

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Grass Valley Does IP

IP signal transport is coming to broadcast and media infrastructures. This whitepaper examines Grass Valley's role in this transition, how to smoothly bridge-transition to IP and how the strength of Grass Valley and its parent company Belden can provide a level of trust and confidence as you prepare for your IP future.

Posted Oct 29 2014 (GVB-1-0464A-EN-WP) File Size: 1003.2 KB

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LDX Series Cameras with Xensium-FT Imagers: A Superior Replacement for CCD Technology White Paper

While CCD technology was the best choice for imagers in broadcast applications for many years, the latest generation of CMOS imagers now offers a range of advantages over CCD. This includes better sensitivity in progressive video modes today, and the potential for higher resolution, extended dynamic range and higher frame rates in the future. CMOS is setting the new standard for high-end broadcast applications.

Posted Oct 29 2014 (GVB-1-0164A-EN-WP) File Size: 1.1 MB

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Taking Control of Replay White Paper

Live event production requires a sophisticated replay system that can fully leverage today's file-based infrastructures to deliver more than just "record and play." Replay systems should take full advantage of IT-centric open systems, being able to run on stand-alone servers or complex SAN systems with advanced metadata capabilities, while also being easy to use by operators.

Posted Oct 24 2014 (GVB-1-0085B-EN-WP) File Size: 1.6 MB

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STRATUS: The Next Step in Collaborative Workflows White Paper

Posted Sep 29 2014 (GVB-1-0050A-EN-WP) File Size: 978.3 KB

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The Benefits of HQX White Paper

This paper discusses the Intermediate Codec solutions available from several vendors which are then compared in terms of picture quality, flexibility and suitability for use with graphics as well as video. In like-for-like tests, the Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, HQX Intermediate Codec offers comparable picture quality and is shown to have superior multigenerational performance. When combined with frame rate and resolution flexibility, plus built-in alpha channel support, this paper supports the conclusion that HQX is the best choice for creative editing.

Posted Sep 26 2014 (GVB-1-0027A-EN-WP) File Size: 1.1 MB

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AVC-Intra for HD Editing and Production White Paper

Posted Sep 19 2014 (GVB-1-0111A-EN-WP) File Size: 1.2 MB

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3D Television White Paper

Posted Sep 19 2014 (GVB-1-0094A-EN-WP) File Size: 2.1 MB

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New Trends and Implementations in Imaging Technology for the Future of Live Production White Paper

Xensium-FT Imagers, Third-Generation Transmission Solutions, and LDX Series Camera Systems

With ever-increasing momentum, image acquisition for broadcast must adapt to new requirements for supporting signal formats. These include having to support live event progressive formats, increasing number of cameras, and increasing distances between cameras and control points.

Delivering exceptional image acquisition solutions, Grass Valley offers Xensium-FT imagers with the only lossless 1080p imaging that maintains full sensitivity. Grass Valley 3G Transmission systems are the most flexible and future-proof transmission solutions available that also offer direct integration with third-party long distance transmission systems.

Posted Sep 17 2014 (GVB-1-0166A-EN-WP) File Size: 2.4 MB

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GV STRATUS and DIVArchive Archiving Workflows Application Note

An important part of the digital media production lifecycle is the ability to archive high-resolution assets in a permanent archive system. This mandates that workflow orchestration platforms are seamlessly extended with content archiving capabilities. The openness of the GV STRATUS application facilitates a choice of integration with mainstream archiving solutions, including the DIVArchive (Front Porch Digital) platform, offering a robust toolset and efficient archiving workflows.

A result of long-standing collaboration between Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, and Front Porch Digital, the unified GV STRATUS/K2 and DIVArchive platforms offer a complete toolset to efficiently archive and restore content between Grass Valley K2 storage and archive systems managed via Front Porch Digital DIVArchive. This application note provides a user perspective on how to employ the combined GV STRATUS/K2 and DIVArchive archiving workflows.

Posted Sep 17 2014 (GVB-1-0041A-EN-AN) File Size: 1.2 MB

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AnySpeed K2 Dyno White Paper

Replay is quickly becoming the most important tool in a live sporting event. Producers require every possible advantage to tell the best stories and keep viewers engaged. Historically, the industry has faced many challenges in embracing high frame-rate camera systems until Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, introduced the LDX XtremeSpeed (XS) 6X super slowmotion camera and its counterpart, the K2 Dyno Replay System with the K2 Dyno S Replay Controller.

K2 Dyno's AnySpeed takes high-speed recording and playout to the next level with control previously unavailable in any system, enabling the full use of the dynamic range of playback speeds. The AnySpeed algorithm is now included in all 6x SSM K2 Dyno S software releases.

Posted Sep 13 2014 (GVB-1-0074A-EN-WP) File Size: 1.2 MB

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Comparing Single-Speed and Dual-Speed Acquisition for Slow-Motion Replays Versus Triple-Speed Super Slow-Motion

Triple-speed super slow-motion acquisition delivers a completely different level of performance for slow-motion replays when compared to single-speed and dual-speed acquisition. The various approaches address different production requirements, and in many cases a combination of them are used during the same production. This document looks at the differences between the different types of slowmotion acquisition methods.

Posted Oct 22 2013 (CAM-5092M) File Size: 994.0 KB

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