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Grass Valley Announces Agreement with Iomega at infoComm

New Grass Valley Turbo iDDR To Integrate Iomega REV Removable-Storage Technologies (June 07, 2005)

In a move that overcomes the limitations of tape and todays removable storage solutions and makes standards-based, affordable storage media and workflows broadly accessible to the professional video and audio industry, Thomson today announced an OEM and joint technology development agreement between its Grass Valley business and storage media leader Iomega.

Under the agreement, Grass Valley will integrate Iomega REV removable disk technology into a number of products starting with the Grass Valley Pro Line of Professional audio/video (ProAV) products. The first of these to feature Iomega REV built-in drives is the Grass Valley Turbo iDDR, which was announced in May and has already received dozens of orders. Iomega and Grass Valley will also work to develop REV technologies for a broader set of professional applications.

Iomega has widespread market acceptance of their removable storage solutions. REV storage solutions represent the next evolution for Iomega with their high-density, removable storage media and more than 500,000 REV disks and 100,000 drives sold since the product was introduced last year. Coupled with their entire removable storage portfolio, the company has an overall installed base of more than 350 million disks and 55 million drives, and long-standing OEM relationships with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell relating to its drive technologies. There are an estimated 20,000 resellers, systems integrators and retail outlets worldwide with access to Iomega products, with 3,000 dedicated REV resellers alone in the United States.

Iomega REV technology, which includes standards-based removable disk media and drives, combines the best advantages of tape media and hard-drive systems for a superior solution ideally suited for professional video and audio users. With removable media available for less than $60 (49 Euros) and capable of holding more than two hours of 25 Mb/s SD or HD video, the combination of REV technology and Grass Valley products will open up many unique, powerful applications within the broadcast and ProAV markets.  

?The Turbo iDDR is the first of many applications of Iomega REV technology within the Grass Valley product line. The IT-based REV drives and disk media are ideal for digitally-based workflows and applications and enable our customers to ride much better price/performance curves than current tape-alternative approaches, said Marc Valentin, president of Thomsons Grass Valley business. ?We look forward to working with Iomega in developing REV technologies for an even broader set of applications.

"Iomegas REV technology, which provides removable, durable, high capacity storage and fast data throughput, coupled with Grass Valleys market and development expertise has the potential to create a new standard in the professional audio and video market based on a cost effective, off-the-shelf and open technology platform, said Werner Heid, President and CEO, Iomega Corporation. ?We are very excited about working with Grass Valley to demonstrate the superior capabilities of our REV technology."

Limitations of tape and current storage media create opportunity
Todays announcement comes amid the dissatisfaction in both broadcast and ProAV markets with both traditional tape-based media and recently announced tape alternatives. Tape, for example, has always been dogged by slow access time, serial/linear record and playback processes, and limited usage life due to degradation and environmental concerns such as humidity.

Over the past two years, proprietary optical disk and solid-state solutions have been offered up as alternatives to tape for professional applications ?but both have limitations that create bottlenecks in many workflows. Todays implementations of professional optical disk technology offers relatively slow seek times, only linear record and playback, proprietary format approach, and the need for expensive drives for playback or ingest. And while optical drives support random-access capabilities, they are not truly non-linear and cannot read and write simultaneously without expensive technical approaches. By contrast, current professional implementations of solid-state memory technology do offer several benefits in certain workflow environments, but their storage capacities are currently limited and the cost of media is extremely high, while hard disk drives suffer from portability constraints, limitations in archival usage and relatively high costs.

REV media ideally suited for demands of video professionals
Iomega REV technologies uniquely combine the best advantages of video tape media and hard disk drives and are ideally suited for the professional video and audio industry. The combination of Grass Valley products and the open, standards-based REV products will accelerate the shift from the proprietary approaches of tape-based solutions and restrictive solid-state or optical disk solutions to open, networked, cost-effective, and high-performance digital workflows.

REV drives and disks offer standards-based, high-capacity, inexpensive, durable, and readily available media that provides true nonlinear random access. With data rates up to 200 megabits per second, they support faster-than-real-time import and export directly from the media of content and high-speed data transfers over common network connections. The REV drive and removable disk media are also robust and extremely durable; its long-term archival capability is estimated at more than 30 years.

Pricing/Availability
Pricing for the REV drive starts at US $379.99. Pricing for the REV media is US $59.99. Both are immediately available from Iomega-certified resellers, retailers, and catalogs. The Turbo iDDR featuring Iomega REV built-in will be available at the end of June 2005 via a network of Grass Valley resellers, consultants, and systems integrators at 8,695 (US $10,995).

About the REV Drive, Media
Engineered for much greater durability than tape, solid-state or optical disk media, the REV architecture places only the magnetic media and motor within the removable cartridge, leaving all the sensitive drive heads and electronics in the drive itself. This unique approach also keeps media costs down.   Truly random access and non-linear, the REV disk features 35 Gigabytes of storage. It performs up to 8 times faster than comparable tape-based systems and up to five times faster than DVD.

About the Turbo iDDR
Designed specifically for event, corporate, institutional, and worship production, the Turbo iDDR can hold 10 to 40 hours of storage, perform the work of up to three VTRs, and can capture and deliver complex content in multiple formats? including compressed high-definition (HD) video.

The Turbo iDDR with Iomega REV built-in offers a removable media device with high-speed and large storage capacity at an affordable price. This allows Turbo customers to further streamline their content transfer workflows by eliminating video tape for archiving and distributing file-based content.


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Related Keywords:removable storage, infoComm, storage media, professional video, audio, Thomson, OEM, Grass Valley, Iomega

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