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Grass Valley Announces Infinity Digital Media Camcorder

New camcorder offers support for multiple formats, compression schemes, and removable media (September 12, 2005)

Debuting a revolutionary new technology at IBC2005, Thomson recently debuted the Grass Valley brand Infinity Digital Media Camcorder, an IT-centric product that will transform and revolutionize ENG and EFP workflows. The next-generation acquisition system offers HD and SD agility, a choice of compression formats, support for multiple types of removable media, and integration readiness into an IT-centric workflow.

Utilizing Grass Valleys Emmy award-winning camera engineering expertise, the Infinity Digital Media Camcorder is designed from the ground up to make the most of contemporary IT technology. It features selectable standard- and high-definition (SD and HD) video formats (1080i50/60, 720p50/60, 625i50, and 525i60), and 14-bit digital signal processing. Users can encode video as DV25 (compatible with DVCam and DVCPRO), MPEG-2 for SD or HD, or the powerful JPEG 2000 intraframe compression scheme.

The Infinity Digital Media Camcorder also features USB and FireWire ports to connect standard IT peripherals and a Gigabit Ethernet port allowing file transfers into a storage and post-production network while the camera is recording. To meet the needs of broadcasters migrating from a videocentric to IT-centric infrastructures, the camera also has SDI, HD-SDI, and composite analog I/O.

For recording, the camcorder supports Iomega REV PRO disks, and CompactFlash media. The REV PRO disk, the professional extension to Iomegas proven REV format, was developed in conjunction with Grass Valley to deliver professional video performance on consumer-level hardware and media. A single REV PRO disk can store more than two hours of SD or about 45 minutes of high-quality HD video. The camera also features slots for Professional Grade Compact Flash cards. Importantly, both REV disks and Compact Flash cards are standard items widely available worldwide in IT industry channels, not closed formats with consequent high prices.

?Broadcasters want the simplicity of IT infrastructures, sharing content as files around storage networks, and they want the cost benefits of moving away from incompatible and proprietary recording formats and storage media, said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. ?What we are delivering with the Infinity Series and with this camcorder in particular, is all of those benefits without compromising the high reliability broadcasters demand, and the uncompromised image quality for which Grass Valley products are renowned.

Pricing and Availability
The starting price for the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder is 20,000 Euros or US dollars; it is scheduled to be available in Q1 2006.

About the Grass Valley Infinity Series
The Infinity Series is a complete family of products from Grass Valley designed around standard IT platforms and components to deliver a better workflow for broadcasters. Grass Valley also launched at IBC 2005 the Infinity Digital Media Recorder, a VTR-like device capable of reading, writing, and networking content on standard Rev, REV PRO and Compact Flash media. Other products will be added to the Infinity Series in the coming months.

About REV and Grass Valley REV PRO
The REV drive from Iomega delivers large-capacity storage, high bandwidth, and sustained data rates, primarily for desktop systems. Grass Valley has worked with Iomega to develop the REV PRO, an extension of the format to deliver the ruggedness and reliability required for professional use in applications such as a camcorder.

The Grass Valley REV PRO format is unique in that it incorporates the disk and motor in a sealed pack, with the heads and all associated electronics in the drive. This makes the exchangeable packs very cost effective (pricing for the REV PRO media in 10-packs is under 70 Euros or US dollars per disk) while maintaining very high data rates. REV PRO media offers sustained video rates of 110 Mb/s, allowing an Infinity Digital Media Camcorder to shoot and record, and at the same time be delivering either the same or different content by file transfer.

REV and REV PRO disks can be taken direct from the Infinity Camcorder and loaded into an inexpensive REV drive connected to, for example, a Mac or PC-based nonlinear editor. The content on the REV PRO drive will appear as another drive or bin in the editor.

About JPEG 2000
JPEG 2000 is an open standard compression scheme. It uses wavelet compression to eliminate the ?blocking artifacts visible in earlier JPEG and MPEG systems. As an intraframe compression scheme it eliminates the compromises necessary in Long GOP MPEG streams where editing can show differences in compression quality. JPEG 2000 compression is supported by the whole of the Infinity Series line, and workflows based around JPEG 2000 will demonstrate improved image quality and greater productivity.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides service, equipment and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients content creators, content distributors and users of its technology realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group intends to become the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands.

For more information:

Thomson's Systems and Equipment division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, all major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Grass Valley brand-name for the delivery of analog and digital entertainment. The division also includes Thomson's Access Platforms and Gateways Business, which develops technologies and products for broadband and telecommunication networks to deliver digital entertainment and data to consumers and businesses.

For information about Grass Valley products from Thomson please visit


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Related Keywords:Grass Valley, Infinity Digital Media Camcorder, camcorder, removable media, ENG, EFP, JPEG 2000, Iomega, REV PRO, CompactFlash, storage, Thomson,

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