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Grass Valley Expands Kayak Video Production Switcher Line

New Kayak HD models and HD-upgradeable Kayak SD announced (January 30, 2006)

With the broadest line of video production switchers in the industry, the Grass Valley business within Thomson continues to expand its family of Grass Valley Kayak HD switchers to meet a variety of multi-format standard- and high-definition (SD and HD) production requirements. It also announced a new Kayak SD switcher that can be easily upgraded to multi-format SD/HD production with a simple software upgrade. The new switchers are targeted at broadcasters and production professionals preparing for their HD future as they continue to work with SD technologies today.

Also announced today was a MatchDef option that provides a series of internal high-quality video input scalars. This capability allows users to work in today’s transitional world of mixed formats while creating a consistent look for their productions. The MatchDef option gives Kayak HD and Kayak SD operators the ability to seamlessly insert SD sources into an HD production, HD sources into an SD production, and/or to cross-match dissimilar HD formats into either an HD or an SD project.

The Kayak switcher family has already been warmly received by a wide variety of customers and market segments. In December, Grass Valley shipped 18 Kayak HD switchers during its first month of availability to customers in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. This shipment follows the resounding success of the SD KayakDD switcher, which has been installed at more than 1,000 facilities worldwide.

The highly flexible Kayak HD line announced today now includes seven different models, from 1 to 3 Mix/Effects (M/E) in a compact or mid-sized footprint, as well as many options to expand its capabilities beyond simple video switching.

Today’s announcement supports Thomson’s Two Year Plan, which includes an overall strategy to help its global media and entertainment customer base acquire, create, edit, and manipulate, aggregate, repurpose, and package their high-value content. More specifically, the Kayak switcher family is part of Grass Valley’s strategy to deliver leading, flexible HD and multi-format solutions to its global customer base.

MatchDef Processing Brings True Format Flexibility
The MatchDef option features dual video source scalars that can up-, down-, and cross-scale different formats of incoming digital video signals. This capability allows users to save money and space normally devoted to external format converters—and makes a Kayak switcher capable of handling productions using video sources of various formats. With the MatchDef option, adding powerful new functionality such as multi-format production capability does not sacrifice the use of critical production elements, such as a keyer, as is the case with conventional digital video switchers on the market.

Unlike other switchers, the combination of a Kayak HD system and MatchDef technology lets users work with re-scaled signals anywhere within the switcher and send them to any program, mix/effects, or auxiliary output.

For example, using the MatchDef option, an operator can cross-scale from 720p sources to 1080i, while simultaneously up-scaling SD sources into the 1080i production. Combine this ability with a generous I/O expansion in both the compact and mid-sized Kayak HD frames as well as programmable/mappable outputs and the Kayak family of multi-format digital production switchers is well suited for any type of SD or HD production.

A Kayak HD For Every Project
Kayak HD digital video production switchers offer 10-bit video processing and are switchable between HD (1080i and 720p) and SD (525-line NTSC and 625-line PAL) formats.

The expanded Kayak HD switcher family is available in two frame sizes, a compact 4 RU version (1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 M/Es), for small-to-medium mobile vehicles, news production and production studios with limited space; and in an 8 RU frame (2, 2.5 and 3 M/Es) that offers the power of additional mix effects and additional I/O expansion. Both versions offer advanced video source scaling capability and leverage many of the same power and features of higher-end Grass Valley models, such as the Kalypso Video Production Center and Zodiak and XtenDD production switchers.

Introducing Kayak SD
For organizations that want to create SD content today and HD in the future, Grass Valley announced a new HD-ready Kayak SD switcher that features all of the power of a Kayak HD system, and can be made HD-capable via an easy software upgrade.

Grass Valley also announced it has begun shipping a series of control panels of various sizes to complement the new Kayak HD switchers.

Pricing for the upgradeable Kayak SD switcher starts at $49,000 (€41,160); it is scheduled to be available in May, 2006.Pricing for the multi-format Kayak HD switcher line starts at $64,000 (€53,760) All 4 RU models are now shipping; 8 RU models are scheduled to be available in May.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems 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 is 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, Kayak, Production Switcher, Kayak HD, Kayak SD, Thomson, MatchDef, scalars

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