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Grass Valley Introduces New Infinity Digital Media Recorder

Advanced storage and playback system supports multiple formats and removable media (September 12, 2005)

Thomson recently debuted the new Grass Valley brand Infinity Digital Media Recorder, a key member of the Grass Valley Infinity Series, a revolutionary product line that designed to bring standard IT media and connectivity to professional applications.

The Infinity Digital Media Recorder works like a tape machine but accepts IT-based removable media instead of videotape or other expensive proprietary formats. The result is a system which has familiar VTR controls but offers instant random access to any content. The recorder features built-in support for Compact Flash media; the Iomega REV PRO removable hard disk-based drive; and REV PRO media, the professional extension to the REV format developed by Iomega in conjunction with Grass Valley. All files written to either REV PRO or Compact Flash media are wrapped in the open MXF format.

Like its partner product, the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder, the Infinity Digital Media Recorder is a highly agile system, designed to give users freedom of choice in content and how it is handled. It features selectable video formats between 1080i50/60, 720p50/60, 625i50, and 525i60. Video can be encoded as DV25 (compatible with DVCam and DVCPRO), or the powerful JPEG 2000 intraframe compression scheme, and MPEG-2 for SD or HD in a future implementation. A single REV PRO disk can hold the equivalent of about 45 minutes of high-quality HD or more than two hours of SD video.

The Infinity workflow is focused on helping broadcasters with moving from video-centric schemes to those using the best of available IT technologies to provide speed and flexibility. In addition to SDI, HD-SDI, and analog composite video, and analog and AES/EBU audio, the recorder supports USB, FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. External local storage devices, such as additional REV PRO or standard hard drives can be connected to USB and FireWire ports. The Gigabit Ethernet support allows the recorder to be networked for rapid file transfers.

The Infinity Digital Media Recorder can be directly attached to a nonlinear editor or act as a node on a SAN-based system. In addition to front-panel controls, it can be remotely operated over a LAN or even using Wi-Fi (part of a future implementation). Variable speed slow motion playback processing (-1x to +3x) is supported, and an HD monitor can be directly attached via a digital output port.

“Broadcasters and their systems architects should not be constrained by what product works with which format, or workflow glitches such as limits on random access and file transfer speeds,” said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson. “What we have set out to do with the Infinity Series workflow is give our customers the choice to do whatever they want to do with their products, a price that is lower than today’s expectations, using off-the-shelf media and not proprietary systems.”

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Grass Valley G-Deck starts at $10,000 US; it is scheduled to be available in Q2 2006.

About the Grass Valley Infinity Workflow
Infinity is a complete family of products from Grass Valley designed around the use of standard IT platforms and components to deliver a better workflow for broadcasters. Also launched at IBC2005 is the Infinity Digital Media Camcorder, also capable of reading, writing and networking content on standard REV, REV PRO and Compact Flash media. Other products will be added to the Infinity workflow in the coming months.

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

The REV PRO format is unique in incorporating the disk and motor in a rugged cartridge, with the heads and all associated electronics in the drive. This makes the exchangeable cartridges very cost effective (pricing for REV PRO media in 10-packs is just under 75 Euros or US dollars per disk) while maintaining very high data rates. REV PRO offers sustained video rates of 110Mb/s, allowing an Infinity Camcorder to shoot and record, and at the same time to deliver 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 JPEG2000
JPEG2000 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 up differences in compression quality. JPEG2000 compression is supported by the whole of the Infinity range, and workflows based around JPEG2000 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 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, Thomson, Infinity Digital Media Recorder, Iomega REV PRO, Compact Flash, Iomega, MXF, DV25, JPEG 2000,

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