In a series of product announcements, the Grass Valley Group has continued its drive to provide newsrooms worldwide fast production workflows, unprecedented media access, and the most flexible transition to digital. In addition to detailing its new Vibrint™ Digital News Production Workgroup system and a new version of the Profile® XP Media Platform designed expressly for production, the company provided a technology preview of a highly efficient archive retrieval system using partial file restore, and its new Grass Valley™ Media Area Network™ real-time, shared-storage option. All products will be demonstrated at NAB in April (Booth L10409/P).
“Our news solution is a direct response to news directors and producers who think digitally enabled efficiencies are great, but not at the risk of impeding the creation of high-quality news products,” said Tim Thorsteinson, president of the Grass Valley Group. “The announcements we’re making today and over the next few months will provide professionals working in fast-paced news environments a reliable, step-wise transition to digital, the ability to create high-quality products through faster workflows, and the resources to send them over alternative distribution media such as the Web.”
Addressing the entire news production flow, the Grass Valley Group offers a comprehensive set of applications, and the most far-reaching integration with all major newsroom computing systems, such as those of AP/ENPS and Avid’s iNews.
The company’s offerings are based upon a new platform technology that features the new Vibrint system and the PVS1100 Profile XP Media Platform for production; together, the products provide flexible, end-to-end support of both DVCPRO- and MPEG-based news production environments. The new platform technology also features the Grass Valley MAN real-time shared storage option for the Profile XP Media Platform, and the industry’s most advanced archive technology—the Profile Network Archive partial file restore software. Finally, the entire system is compliant with the Grass Valley Group’s ContentShare™ software platform for media asset management, allowing for tight integration with third-party systems such as VNI News Tracker (which both the NBC News Channel and ABC’s News One have selected for on-demand news delivery) and Avid’s iNews Media Browse.
With leaders in the world’s top television markets now using its news products, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco in the United States, as well as in Europe and the Pacific, the Grass Valley Group’s news products are starting to make a dent in the estimated 97% of newsrooms yet to make the transition to digital.
VIBRINT LINE ADDS DV, DVCPRO SUPPORT AT SPEEDS UP TO 50 Mbps
The vanguard of the Grass Valley Group’s family of integrated software and hardware products for news is the company’s Vibrint Digital News Production Workgroup, which addresses the entire news production process, from the capture, rapid assembly, and editing of material to on-air playback of news stories.
Getting breaking news to air faster at less cost than traditional tape-based production gear, the Vibrint line of powerful, PC-based software solutions for digital news production includes Vibrint FeedClip™, an interactive feed capture system; Vibrint NewsEdit™, a nonlinear editing system; and, Vibrint NewsQ™, a low-cost, manual playback application.
Today’s announcement of a new Vibrint system broadens the capabilities of the Vibrint line to include a full set of real-time effects. As well, it will provide native MPEG, DV, and DVCPRO, support and data throughput rates of up to 50 mbps. The new system will also increase the number of available audio channels from two to four, double the number of mix channels to eight, and boost the number of output channels from two to six. Additionally, the new system will enable editors to swap audio clips between tracks and exercise greater control over audio levels and input audio sources.
Pricing for Vibrint Systems starts at less than $20,000 (U.S. only).
REALTIME MAN EXTENDS REACH OF GRASS VALLEY NEWS APPLICATIONS
Further extending the reach of the Grass Valley Group’s news production applications is the Grass Valley MAN real-time shared-storage option for the Emmy® award-winning Profile XP Media Platform. (See “Grass Valley Group Offers Industry’s First No-Compromise Shared Storage Solution,” February 13, 2001).
Unlike other shared-storage offerings, the Grass Valley MAN option offers a no-compromises answer to shared storage: it simultaneously provides access to tools, such as editors, which reside on standard Windows NT-based networks and broadcast-quality video record and playout from highly reliable Profile systems.
TECHNOLOGY PREVIEW: PARTIAL FILE RESTORE
Providing newsrooms the easiest and most far-flung access to media assets is critical to delivering on more efficient workflows. Unfortunately, most conventional digital archive solutions require editors to plod through hours of material just to locate the clips they require for their finished pieces.
In response, the Grass Valley Group today previewed a new technology that will dramatically speed the time required to retrieve video from digital archives. The Grass Valley Group’s partial file restore software option for its Profile Network Archive (PNA) system will enable editors to specify a time code range on a tape and immediately find and access the materials that they need.
The PNA system provides a high-speed link between multiple, networked Profile XP Media Platform devices and a facility’s tape libraries. The PNA uses EMC Corporation’s advanced management software, the Avalon Archive Manager, to provide system control and to enable third-party applications to archive and restore material from any Profile system on a Fibre Channel network. Supporting a wide array of industry-standard tape libraries, the PNA further extends an organisation’s asset reach through its embedded support for the ContentShare platform for media asset management.
NEW PROFILE SYSTEM OFFERS DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 SUPPORT
The latest addition to the Profile XP Media Platform line, the PVS1100, is designed for the daily demands of news and sports production. The system features support for DVCPRO DVCPRO50, and I-Frame MPEG formats, a bi-directional codec for on-the-fly channel configuration changes, and unparalleled smooth slow-motion technology.
In addition to DVCPRO, DVCPRO50, and I-Frame formats, the PVS1100 features built-in SDTI support, enabling it to accept compressed VTR video at up to four times real-time speed. It also offers in-system support for future mix/effects capabilities. Able to tap a full range of software from 50 Profile XP Media Platform application developers, the PVS1100 also supports the Grass Valley Group’s NetCentral™ software for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)-based remote monitoring; the company’s InSync™ automatic mirroring software; and its ContentShare platform for media asset management.
The Profile line has more broadcast content stored on it and more units installed than any other server. It is also the industry’s most open platform, supporting both the high-quality standards required for broadcast television and low-resolution required for the Internet, as well as MPEG, DVCPRO, HD, and MPEG Transport Streams (MTS) formats.
Pricing for the PVS1100 begins at $40,000 (U.S. only) with availability scheduled for June of 2001. Kits for upgrading PVS1000 to PVS1100 systems will be available in the same time frame.
NEWSROOM COMPUTER SYSTEMS INTEGRATION
Extending the reach of the Grass Valley Group’s comprehensive applications and platforms into the increasingly automated news production environment, the Grass Valley Group plans to
demonstrate integration with major newsroom computing systems at NAB in April. Integration will be demonstrated with iNews, AP/ENPS, and A.N.N. Systems.
The Grass Valley Group’s entire news offering is compliant with the ContentShare platform for media asset management, allowing for tight integration with third-party applications. Using ContentShare, only one interface is necessary to provide transparent Internet or intranet access to applications. Avid’s iNews Media Browse, for example, uses the ContentShare platform to enable its Media Browse 2000 product to manage assets across platforms.
The ContentShare platform will also enable users of VNI’s NewsTracker and the Profile XP Media Platform to avoid dubbing content to tape before editing. Instead, editors can move materials from the NewsTracker server directly into a Profile XP Media Platform system as well as a Vibrint system. The interface will simplify newsroom operations, allow multiple users to use the same media and, most importantly, improve time to air.
ContentShare technologies hold the key to easily linking video with its related text, audio, and graphics assets. Built with Internet-standard technologies, the ContentShare platform uses the Java development language for platform independence and the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) standards for describing and formatting data.