Grass Valley Group Announces New Class of Production Switcher: Zodiak

System Offers Unrivaled Combination of Production Power and Affordability

For Sports Arena, Mobile, Mid- and Small-Market Broadcast Applications



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Grass Valley Group

    NEVADA CITY, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Bringing advanced, affordable
 production technology to one of the broadest segments of the digital market,
 the Grass Valley Group today announced the Grass Valley(TM) Zodiak(TM)
 switcher.  With an unrivaled combination of production power and
 affordability, it offers users in sports arena, post-production, mobile, and
 mid- and small-market broadcast facilities a cost-effective way to replace
 their aging analog switchers -- or to build new digital production operations
 from scratch.
     Today's announcement is a component of the Grass Valley Group's overall
 digital media production offering.  To be showcased at NAB 2001 in Las Vegas
 (Booth L10409), this offering is a deliverable of the company's Media Without
 Bounds(TM) initiative for enabling Digicasters to get any content, any time,
 any place and addresses the need to bring flexible, powerful, and future-proof
 digital production technologies to everything from national broadcast centers
 to mobile units.
     "For anyone thinking about going digital, the Zodiak system will raise
 their expectations," said Tim Thorsteinson, president of the Grass Valley
 Group.  "No other product -- and no other company -- can touch this
 combination of price and performance."
     Several trends have converged to create strong opportunity for the Zodiak
 system:  the anticipated digital conversion of most small- and mid-market
 broadcast stations in the United States; the demand for mid-sized switchers in
 mobile applications, such as production trucks in the U.S. and OB vans
 overseas; digital upgrades to on-line post production suites; and the desire
 of venues like sports arenas to add greater production value to live events.
 The switcher's combination of production power and affordability makes it a
 perfect fit for these markets.
     The Zodiak production switcher is also emblematic of the Grass Valley
 Group's broadmarket strategy.  By leveraging intelligent software, smart
 mechanical design, and commodity components, the company is delivering new
 levels of price performance across its product lines.  For example, its
 recently announced Concerto(TM) Series, Tempo(TM) Series, and Bravo(TM) Series
 compact routing systems are designed to serve a variety of applications,
 including multi-screen presentations, video and audio over broadband networks,
 and traditional broadcast-related uses.
 
     Intuitive, Powerful 2.5-, 3 M/E Systems Smooth Digital Transition
     The Zodiak switcher includes 2.5- and 3 mix/effects (M/E) configurations
 that feature a familiar Grass Valley interface, low power consumption, and a
 seven rack-unit (RU) frame size.
     To provide a wealth of production power, a Zodiak switcher supports up to
 four keys per full M/E such as graphics or logos over a background video --
 and a utility bus per full M/E for such functions as external masks,
 video-in-wipe-border operations, or wipe transitions shaped by video.  Each of
 these keyers has an integrated channel of digital video effects.  Each full
 M/E also has a complex wipe generator for transitions and a simple pattern
 generator for each keyer, and is supported by the Grass Valley E-MEM(TM)
 effects memory system.  And all keyer and background busses feature
 source-specific YUV color correction and other video processing, including
 optional RGB color correction for all M/E keyers.
     The Zodiak line also features a basic programmable clean feed system for
 serving multiple audiences with the same program feed.  Users can assign up to
 three simple downstream keys for two feeds of the same program with different
 keyer combinations.  This capability makes it easy to support simple
 bi-lingual programming or the sending of one feed with two separate station
 identifiers.  The automatic key substitution of Zodiak ensures the brand
 integrity of both streams.
     With a plug-and-play design, the Zodiak switcher can ease the transition
 from analog to digital.  In fact, its control panel drops into the console
 cutout for the popular Grass Valley Model 250, Model 3000-2, and
 Model 4000-2B switchers -- and its familiar Grass Valley interface streamlines
 user training.  It also includes key start-up services in its purchase price
 and additional, discounted service options at the time of purchase to make the
 transition that much easier.
     What's more, the Zodiak switcher may be upgraded to take advantage of
 emerging high-definition (HD) production requirements now being considered for
 many digicasting facilities.  The Zodiak system is an excellent solution for
 standard-definition facilities today and offers an HD path when or if the need
 arises.
     For high availability, the Zodiak switcher features a fully passive
 backplane, redundant power supplies, and hot swappable modules for easy
 serviceability.  A common control panel makes upgrading from a 2.5- to 3 M/E
 systems smooth.
 
     Pricing And Availability
     Pricing for the Zodiak switcher begins at $115,000.  Availability is
 scheduled for later this year.
 
     About The Grass Valley Group
     The Grass Valley Group knows more about high-quality video than anybody
 else -- especially as video goes digital.  The Internet.  Digital cinema.
 Data-enhanced broadcasting.  Interactive television.  It's a world of
 Digicasting -- one that demands Media Without Bounds solutions.  Whether
 online or on the air, the Emmy(R) award-winning Grass Valley Group, a
 privately held digital media leader, has the hardware, software, and new media
 technologies to get content wherever it needs to go.
     For the latest Grass Valley Group product information visit
 www.grassvalleygroup.com.
 
     CONTACT:  Denise Williams of Grass Valley Group, 503-526-8160, or
 denise.r.williams@grassvalleygroup.com; or Bill Nichols of The WhiteOaks
 Consultancy, 44-1252-727-313, or billn@whiteoaks.co.uk, for Grass Valley
 Group.
 
 

SOURCE Grass Valley Group
    NEVADA CITY, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Bringing advanced, affordable
 production technology to one of the broadest segments of the digital market,
 the Grass Valley Group today announced the Grass Valley(TM) Zodiak(TM)
 switcher.  With an unrivaled combination of production power and
 affordability, it offers users in sports arena, post-production, mobile, and
 mid- and small-market broadcast facilities a cost-effective way to replace
 their aging analog switchers -- or to build new digital production operations
 from scratch.
     Today's announcement is a component of the Grass Valley Group's overall
 digital media production offering.  To be showcased at NAB 2001 in Las Vegas
 (Booth L10409), this offering is a deliverable of the company's Media Without
 Bounds(TM) initiative for enabling Digicasters to get any content, any time,
 any place and addresses the need to bring flexible, powerful, and future-proof
 digital production technologies to everything from national broadcast centers
 to mobile units.
     "For anyone thinking about going digital, the Zodiak system will raise
 their expectations," said Tim Thorsteinson, president of the Grass Valley
 Group.  "No other product -- and no other company -- can touch this
 combination of price and performance."
     Several trends have converged to create strong opportunity for the Zodiak
 system:  the anticipated digital conversion of most small- and mid-market
 broadcast stations in the United States; the demand for mid-sized switchers in
 mobile applications, such as production trucks in the U.S. and OB vans
 overseas; digital upgrades to on-line post production suites; and the desire
 of venues like sports arenas to add greater production value to live events.
 The switcher's combination of production power and affordability makes it a
 perfect fit for these markets.
     The Zodiak production switcher is also emblematic of the Grass Valley
 Group's broadmarket strategy.  By leveraging intelligent software, smart
 mechanical design, and commodity components, the company is delivering new
 levels of price performance across its product lines.  For example, its
 recently announced Concerto(TM) Series, Tempo(TM) Series, and Bravo(TM) Series
 compact routing systems are designed to serve a variety of applications,
 including multi-screen presentations, video and audio over broadband networks,
 and traditional broadcast-related uses.
 
     Intuitive, Powerful 2.5-, 3 M/E Systems Smooth Digital Transition
     The Zodiak switcher includes 2.5- and 3 mix/effects (M/E) configurations
 that feature a familiar Grass Valley interface, low power consumption, and a
 seven rack-unit (RU) frame size.
     To provide a wealth of production power, a Zodiak switcher supports up to
 four keys per full M/E such as graphics or logos over a background video --
 and a utility bus per full M/E for such functions as external masks,
 video-in-wipe-border operations, or wipe transitions shaped by video.  Each of
 these keyers has an integrated channel of digital video effects.  Each full
 M/E also has a complex wipe generator for transitions and a simple pattern
 generator for each keyer, and is supported by the Grass Valley E-MEM(TM)
 effects memory system.  And all keyer and background busses feature
 source-specific YUV color correction and other video processing, including
 optional RGB color correction for all M/E keyers.
     The Zodiak line also features a basic programmable clean feed system for
 serving multiple audiences with the same program feed.  Users can assign up to
 three simple downstream keys for two feeds of the same program with different
 keyer combinations.  This capability makes it easy to support simple
 bi-lingual programming or the sending of one feed with two separate station
 identifiers.  The automatic key substitution of Zodiak ensures the brand
 integrity of both streams.
     With a plug-and-play design, the Zodiak switcher can ease the transition
 from analog to digital.  In fact, its control panel drops into the console
 cutout for the popular Grass Valley Model 250, Model 3000-2, and
 Model 4000-2B switchers -- and its familiar Grass Valley interface streamlines
 user training.  It also includes key start-up services in its purchase price
 and additional, discounted service options at the time of purchase to make the
 transition that much easier.
     What's more, the Zodiak switcher may be upgraded to take advantage of
 emerging high-definition (HD) production requirements now being considered for
 many digicasting facilities.  The Zodiak system is an excellent solution for
 standard-definition facilities today and offers an HD path when or if the need
 arises.
     For high availability, the Zodiak switcher features a fully passive
 backplane, redundant power supplies, and hot swappable modules for easy
 serviceability.  A common control panel makes upgrading from a 2.5- to 3 M/E
 systems smooth.
 
     Pricing And Availability
     Pricing for the Zodiak switcher begins at $115,000.  Availability is
 scheduled for later this year.
 
     About The Grass Valley Group
     The Grass Valley Group knows more about high-quality video than anybody
 else -- especially as video goes digital.  The Internet.  Digital cinema.
 Data-enhanced broadcasting.  Interactive television.  It's a world of
 Digicasting -- one that demands Media Without Bounds solutions.  Whether
 online or on the air, the Emmy(R) award-winning Grass Valley Group, a
 privately held digital media leader, has the hardware, software, and new media
 technologies to get content wherever it needs to go.
     For the latest Grass Valley Group product information visit
 www.grassvalleygroup.com.
 
     CONTACT:  Denise Williams of Grass Valley Group, 503-526-8160, or
 denise.r.williams@grassvalleygroup.com; or Bill Nichols of The WhiteOaks
 Consultancy, 44-1252-727-313, or billn@whiteoaks.co.uk, for Grass Valley
 Group.
 
 SOURCE  Grass Valley Group