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Grass Valley Announces Turbo iDDR Disk Recorder

Supports playout, recording, content management, and HD at unprecedented price (May 17, 2005)

Making the recording, playout, and management of professional audio/video (ProAV) content easy, affordable, and integrated, Thomson today announced the Grass Valley brand Turbo iDDR (intelligent digital disk recorder).

Designed specifically for event, corporate, institutional, and worship production, the Turbo iDDR leverages the digital storage, networking, and clip-creation capabilities of the Emmy award-winning Grass Valley Profile line of video servers. Grass Valley has won multiple awards for its server line, as well as VTR replacement technologies, including two recent market leadership awards from the U.S.-based industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

Starting at an unprecedented 7,995€ ($9,995 USD), and smaller than a typical broadcast tape deck at 3 RU high, 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. Users can control all its features via a touch-screen interface or with a keyboard, monitor and mouse. They can also operate and monitor the iDDR using popular control systems such as those from AMX and Crestron.

“The Turbo iDDR delivers remarkable workflow benefits for professional presentations, allowing materials in multiple formats to be held in a single device, ready to be played out at a moment’s notice,” said Gary Kayye of Kayye Consulting, Inc.

The Turbo iDDR is part of the Grass Valley ProLine, a series of products to be unveiled over the next several months and that will provide a complete acquisition-to-production workflow for ProAV applications.

Targeting 13.6€ Billion ProAV Market by Exploiting Server Expertise, Digital Dividend
The Turbo iDDR reflects the commitment made by Thomson to expand the addressable market for its digital production products and technologies. Based on third-party and internal analyses, Thomson believes that the overall ProAV market represents a 13.6€ billion and double-digit annual growth opportunity for its Grass Valley business activity over the next five years. The VTR market value alone was approximately 1.15€ billion in 2004 with a 2001-2004 compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent, according to public research from SCRI and internal data analysis extrapolated from multiple internal sources.

In creating the Turbo iDDR line, Grass Valley has coupled its market-leading expertise in disk-based workflows and video servers for broadcasting and with the “digital dividend” inherent in off-the-shelf IT technologies to deliver a high-performance, ready-to-use, and aggressively priced ProAV product.

“We believe that IT-based devices, such as the Turbo iDDR and the innovative acquisition and production products we’ll bring to the market later this year, will bring significant workflow efficiencies and open up even more creative freedom for customers,” said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson.

Easily Integrated Into Today’s ProAV Workflows
The Turbo iDDR is perfect for today’s ProAV workflows. In university and corporate campuses, houses of worship, and commercial installations it forms the heart of a tape-free presentation and media-delivery network. For mobile productions, it is similarly flexible: production personnel can load playback content during pre-production then carry it to a venue or transfer material to the iDDR using various transportable media devices. And in media centers, users can easily integrate the Turbo system with nonlinear editors and off-the-shelf network-attached storage (NAS) systems using economical high-speed networking.

The iDDR is also well-designed for the dynamic nature of ProAV applications. Users can react to changes in an event’s structure as they happen, playing video clips as soon as the speaker calls for them, or recording while playing to capture an entire event and/or repeat key messages during a presentation.

With import and export capabilities, the Turbo iDDR supports Macintosh and PC-based content, including QuickTime files; Windows Media Video files, including WMV HD; and MPEG-2 and many still graphic formats. It also offers standard connectivity technologies, including DVI outputs and Gigabit Ethernet topologies.

The Turbo iDDR leverages computer/video-centric components such as IEEE 1394 FireWire based camcorders, VTRs, and disk drives and conventional removable media such as CD-ROM and DVD drives, USB memory sticks, and external USB devices. It also supports HD video via file transfers—including HDV via FireWire (IEEE 1394)—as well as SD video, and the ability to play SD and HD material seamlessly on the same channel. It provides output channel visual consistency via selectable aspect-ratio conversion and scaling technology.

Pricing for the Turbo iDDR starts at 7,995€ (US $9,995). It is scheduled to be available worldwide in early summer, via a network of Grass Valley resellers, consultants, and systems integrators.

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 Broadband Access Products 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, Turbo iDDR, playout, recording, ProAV, intelligent digital disk recorder, digital storage, Profile, VTR replacement, AMX, Crestron, ProLine, NAS, Thomson,

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