Grass Valley has been recognized with 33 Emmy® statues and two Citations conferred by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and the Television Academy (ATAS-Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for technology achievements that have advanced the state of the art in television. We were bestowed one Academy Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars®) Board of Governors, as well as a host of other honors and awards.
On October 28, 2015, at the 67th Emmy Engineering Awards, the Television Academy (ATAS) awarded Grass Valley USA, LLC the Philo T. Farnsworth Award. This award honors an agency, company or institution whose contributions over time have significantly impacted television technology and engineering.
Grass Valley was honored for its five-decade history of providing the tools to create signal infrastructure as the television industry grew; for its years of leadership in video routing, switching and manipulation; and for its industry-changing, pioneering strides in digital-image processing and effects.
Transmission and Distribution
- 1999-2000 Preprocessing of baseband video for digital compressed transmission systems to deliver pictures with maximum subject quality and minimum bit rates — Snell & Wilcox (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1992-93 In Plant Digital Serial Interconnection Technology for Television - Tektronix (GVG), Sony, Thomson CSF and SMPTE
The standard that defines how we get digital signals around a TV plant and ensure that equipment for different vendors will interoperate using a baseband connection.
- 2012 Pioneering Development of Event Driven Control Room Automation Systems for Production of Live Television Shows, which Encompasses Full Control of Robotic Cameras, Audio, Graphics and Video Sources — ParkerVision (acquired by Grass Valley in 2004)
- The Ignite system, based on technology originally developed by ParkerVision (then called the PVTV NEWS system), helped revolutionize television news production by allowing a single operator to run an entire newscast. The first live public broadcast using the PVTV NEWS production automation system was produced by News 12 The Bronx, in New York City on June 22, 1998. After acquisition by Grass Valley in 2004, the second-generation system, under the name Ignite, included an integrated Grass Valley switcher and robotic cameras that helped local stations create more news programs, improved consistency and quality of the on air presentation, all while reducing technical errors.
- 2017 Viper FilmStream Digital Camera System — Awarded to Thomson Grass Valley accepted by Grass Valley Canada
- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars®) Board of Governors has voted to bestow a Technical Achievement Award to Thomson Grass Valley for the design and engineering of the pioneering Viper FilmStream digital camera system.
- The Viper camera enabled frame-based logarithmic encoding, which provided uncompressed camera output suitable for importing into existing digital intermediate workflows.
- The Viper Filmstream Camera is still referenced as an icon at the start of the digital transition of cinematography. Also seen as the start of RAW video capture and it already had its FilmStream curve to support above 709 dynamic range. It was introduced in 2002. It was also known as the LDK 7500 Digital Camera. Viper ushered in the age of digital cinematography.
- With three 9.2 million pixel Frame Transfer CCDs capturing 1920x1080 resolution, the Viper FilmStream camera system delivers an RGB 4:4:4 10-bit log output—uncompromised by electronic camera signal processing—to a field recorder. There is no color subsampling, color-space conversion, irreversible video manipulation, or compression. In short, nothing is done to the image: what the lens sees is what the Viper FilmStream camera delivers. Every pixel is there in full resolution.
- Camera head: 3 x 2/3" HD-DPM 9.2 million pixel CCDs with no vertical smear; effective pixels 1920 x 4320; aspect ratio 16:9 (1.77:1) in 1080 and 720 line modes, or 2.37:1 in 1080p mode. FilmStream or 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB.
- 2014 LDK 6000, DPM CCD Multi-format HDTV Camera System – Awarded to Phillips accepted by Grass Valley (acquired Phillips camera division in 2001)
- Honored for its unique ability to capture multiple video formats and frame rates without physically changing the image sensor. First introduced at the NAB Show in 2000 by Philips, which was subsequently acquired by Grass Valley.
- The Philips LDK6000 HD Camera System, first demonstrated in 2000, uses their patented DPM (Dynamic Pixel Management) imager technology, enabling the camera to capture multiple video formats and frame rates without physically changing the image sensor.
- The DPM sensor, a full frame transfer (FT) 2/3" type CCD imager, combines 9.2 million sub pixels (1920x4320) to capture 1920x1080, 1280x720, 720x576, or 720x480 pixel images in 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios as well as 2.37:1 (Cinemascope).
- The DPM sensor, coupled with a mechanical blade shutter, eliminates the vertical artifacts and distortions exhibited by an Interline Transfer (IT) CCD type sensor.
- Due to the LDK 6000 camera system's use of existing triax cable to interconnect the camera with the base station, it quickly became a popular choice for remote sports and entertainment television productions including the Olympics® (2004) and Super Bowl® (2005), as well as live entertainment shows such as the Academy Awards® (2003-2006).
- NOTE: For the 2014 Awards, the Television Academy (Academy of Television Arts and Sciences ¬ ATAS) and its New York-based sister organization, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), have joined together to present the Engineering Emmy Awards from both organizations in a joint January 8, 2015 ceremony, during the CES conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
- 2009-10 HD super motion systems for acquisition, recording and playback for broadcast entertainment and sports productions – Grass Valley, EVS, NAC Image Technology, Sony and Vision Research
- Grass Valley continued to advance the state of the art moving SSM technology from standard to high definition and supporting both 720p and 1080i. Along with the introduction of HD, improvements to anti-flicker algorithms to operate at the pixel level permitted the use of SSM in mixed lighting conditions as well as under a wide variety of new artificial lighting systems operating at various frequencies. This enabled SSM systems to be used in an expanded range of applications including studio and live indoor events.
- 2002-03 Development and Application of Sub-Pixel Imaging Devices For Television Cameras – Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions (Grass Valley business unit)
- Imagers were previously made to correspond to the line scanning format of the Television systems. As television coverage involved more and more international coverage, cameras had to work in different formats which meant that different cameras had to be procured for shoots in different regions. This was expensive for manufacturers and inflexible for users. Philips developed the HD-DPM CCD image sensor (Dynamic Pixel Management) that used smaller light-sensitive sites and bundled them up in different combinations to address different line scanning formats.
- 1993-94 Controlled Edge Enhancement Utilizing Skin Hue Keying – BTS and Ikegami
- Provides the ability to adjust detail enhancement but only within a selected skin tone hue. Hailed by aging news readers for its ability to remove their wrinkles.
- 1992-93 Prism Technology for Color Television Cameras – Philips
- An award recognizing improvements using advanced dichroic coatings on prisms used for color separation in television cameras.
- 1991-92 Triax Camera Cable Technology – Philips and CBS Labs
- Until the development of Triax, camera cables were ¾ to an inch thick, very heavy and extremely expensive. Also they could not be used at long distances. (limit of around 500 ft) Triax changes all that with a small diameter cable, 3/8" thick, that could be used at distances of thousands of feet. It simplified set up at sporting events and is in widespread use worldwide.
- 1966-67 Plumbicon Tube – N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken
- A substantial improvement then current pickup tubes the Plumbicon featured greatly improved resolution, had low lag and much better signal to noise. Plumbicons became the staple of high end color cameras until replaced by CCDs, though even today they remain a used in medical applications.
Editing and Graphics
- 1987-88 3D Computer Graphics Technology and development of the FGS 4000 computer animation system – BTS Broadcast Television Systems Inc.
New technology to animate computer graphics for television – commonplace today but groundbreaking in the eighties.
- 1986-87 In recognition of their engineering contributions in the development of the technology for the conversion of video tape of original Black and White images into color. – Dubner, (acquired by Grass Valley Group in 1984), Color Systems and Colorization Inc.
Original developments of colorization of movies. Dubner has a very good scene change algorithm that was used in the process.
- 1985-86 For outstanding achievement in painting and graphics generation for the Quantel paint-box systems — Quantel Ltd. (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1985-86 For their outstanding achievement in digital video mixing, processing and compositing technology for the Quantel Harry — Quantel Ltd. (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1982 Development of the electronic character and background generator — Dubner Computer Systems (acquired by Grass Valley Group in 1984) and ABC (ATAS). Another product that became the "Hoover" of the broadcast industry – a brand name that came to symbolize a product category. It provided the original captions that we see everywhere on television. Represented a shift away from caption scanning cameras to electronically generated graphics.
- 1999-2000 Video format up/down image a conversion with color space, film, television and audio compensation — Snell & Wilcox (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1996-97 Pioneering Development of Real-Time Hardware for Motion Estimation — Snell & Wilcox (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1995-96 Pioneering Efforts for Rounding Techniques for Multiple Generation Image Manipulation for Minimal Visibility of Truncation Errors – Grass Valley Group, Quantel and BBC. Dynamic Rounding is a technique that is used to maintain high quality when processing images such as we do for digital effects. In this process one cannot avoid truncating the word length of pixels – normally simple truncation creates a contouring effect with steps in the resulting image instead of the smooth transition one sees in reality. Instead, Dynamic Rounding uses the lower order bits to control, via a randomizer, the dither of the LSB of the truncated result. This effectively removes any artifacts that would otherwise be visible. Dynamic rounding is non-cumulative on any number of passes and produces statistically correct results.
- 1993-94 Technology for the Removal of Temporal Artifacts Caused by Film Originated (3/2 Pulldown) 525 Material to 625 — Snell and Wilcox (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1991-92 Motion Vector Compensated Standards Conversion — Vistek Electronics Ltd & Digital Visions Sweden (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018). — See also 1987-88. Conversion from one TV format to another is very difficult especially when there is a change in frame rates as there is between Europe (50Hz) and the US (60Hz). Motion compensation provides smoother motion in the converted video after conversion. Similar technology is used in MPEG to compress pictures temporally (over time). (Also with Thomson CFS, so counted as one in Headend Business Sold.)
- 1991 Digital Picture Processor Switcher (Kadenza) – Grass Valley Group, Inc. (ATAS Citation)
Recognizes the introduction of the very successful Grass Valley Kadenza™ dedicated to high quality image compositing performed in real time. Products prior to this required waiting for the images to render.
- 1990-91 Multi-Layer Real Time Component Video Compositing Technology – Grass Valley Group and Abekas
Another first making it possible to combine layers of pictures to make it appear as if everything in the picture was shot in one scene.
- 1989-90 For the Development of E-MEM / Effects Memory Systems for the Storage and Recall Technology in Large production Switchers – Grass Valley Group. Made it easy to store and recall very complex effects in a production switcher making it possible to integrate complex effects within a production in real time.
- 1992-93 In Plant Digital Serial Interconnection Technology for Television - Tektronix (GVG), Sony, Thomson CSF and SMPTE. The standard that defines how we get digital signals around a TV plant and ensure that equipment for different vendors will interoperate using a baseband connection.
- 2011 Pioneering Development and Deployment of Active Format Description Technology and System – Miranda Technologies, ATSC, SMPTE, DTG - Digital TV Group, DVB, NBC Universal, Ericsson and CEA)
Active Format Description (AFD) was developed to simplify and automate aspect ratio conversion of 16:9 and 4:3 programming to ensure optimal on-air presentation. It avoids the need for complex co-ordination of broadcast automation and traffic systems to manage the aspect ratio of programs. AFD has now been adopted and standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
- 2007-08 Development and Standardization of File Formats for Audio and Video – Grass Valley (for GXF), SMPTE (for MXF)
When networking was added to disk recorders in 1997, there were no standards that allowed reliable exchange of AV content files between video servers. Grass Valley was the first to develop a standard suitable for the broadcast industry addressing this need. We registered the formats as a RDD allowing any vendors to adopts and implement the format to exchange content between devices from different manufacturers.
- 2002-03 Technology to Simultaneously Encode Multiple Video Qualities and the Corresponding Metadata to Enable Real-Time Conformance and / or Play Out of the Higher Quality Video (Nominally Broadcast) Based on the Decisions Made Using the Lower Quality Proxies – Philips/Thomson, and Montage/Pinnacle. Made it possible to browse content at a desktop PC and for decisions to be made based on that content and applied to the high resolution original files. We know this as browsing low res proxies. First implemented in News applications.
- 2000-01 Pioneering Developments in Shared video-data storage systems for use in television video servers – Thomson/ Philips, Leitch/ASC and Pinnacle
The first shared video data storage system providing a reliable data to stream data to multiple clients attached to the storage array. (Profile was eliminated from this award on a technicality because we did not market our first product as a server even though it incorporated similar technology inside the box)
- 1997-98 Development and Implementation of Digital uncompressed Tapeless Recording and Playback Technology for Television Broadcast and Post Production Operations — Quantel Ltd. (acquired as part of Snell Advanced Media-SAM by Belden and merged into Grass Valley in 2018).
- 1996 Professional Disk Recorder (Profile) – Tektronix, Inc. (ATAS)
The Profile video disk recorder is recognized as the first successful product making it possible to record and play at the same time and to allow multiple users to access the same content seconds after recording. A huge advance compared to videotape where tapes had to be copied to accomplish the same thing. The Profile defined a new category of product and was almost synonymous with the video server category.
Note: This award was bestowed on and claimed by Tektronix.
Emmy® is a registered trademark of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is also used by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Emmy Awards recognize excellence within various areas of television and emerging media. Unless otherwise indicated award are from NATAS.
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