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NAB 2013: Grass Valley Rethinks Live Production

The broadcast equipment manufacturer’s NAB lineup will include a new live production switcher and an addition to its LDX camera line.

Broadcast equipment manufacturer Grass Valley will feature GV Director, a new live production switcher; and LDX Flex, a new upgradeable HD camera as part of its lineup for next month’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

GV Director—what the company describes as an “integrated nonlinear live production center”—is aimed at creating a simple way to produce and deliver live content across multiple distribution platforms. It’s designed for uses from fixed venues and production studios to trucks, for live productions including sports, reality programs or special events such as the Academy Awards. Grass Valley said that in developing this technology, it “borrowed some of the concepts of nonlinear editing environments and brought them into the live production workspace.”

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“Our proposition is nonlinear production,” Graham Sharp, senior vp and chief marketing officer for Grass Valley, said of the company's overall strategy. “[That means] moving the way postproduction went, the way news went, into the live production environment—producing multiple feeds for different platforms at the same time and keeping within budgets. Technology is making nonlinear production more efficient, including delivering to multiple screens and multiple platforms. I can imagine that the company that gets this right first will see similar growth that Avid did [with nonlinear editing].

“[Live production] workflows haven’t changed for 30 years,” he added. “It needs a transformation and that means there is huge potential growth.”

GV Director supports elements of live production including effects, graphics and overlays; produced clips and stills; live inputs; and transitions. It also includes audio mixing capabilities to handle embedded digital audio and external analog audio. It starts at $35,000 for an eight inputs four outputs system and it is expected to ship at the end of June.

Also at NAB, Grass Valley will feature a new addition to its LDX series of upgradable cameras.

The LDX Flex studio camera system is an entry-level model aimed at news, corporate, educational, studio, and small mobile truck environments. It can be upgraded to include features of other cameras in the LDX range.

“By offering a single format entry point … our customers can buy what they need when they need it,” Sharp explained. “Making cameras software upgradable provides lots of future flexibility in the product for both us and our customers.”

Featured products in Grass Valley’s NAB exhibition will also include a new XCU WorldCam exchangeable camera control unit and the latest version of software for its GV Stratus.