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Grass Valley Launches the Infinity Series

New line of IT-based acquisition, recording, and storage devices (September 12, 2005)

Declaring an end to dictated formats and closed solutions that cause workflow inefficiencies and frustrate broadcasters and videographers, Thomson just announced the Infinity Series, a new line of next-generation acquisition, recording and storage devices that give broadcasters and videographers the power of choice – in recording media, formats, compression codecs, and connectivity.

Ideal in any broadcast or professional application – newsgathering, documentaries, magazine shows, independent videography, field production, and more, the Infinity Series is a revolutionary approach to electronic news gathering (ENG) and electronic field production (EFP) digital workflows. It includes a digital media camcorder, a digital media recorder, and a new line of media and peripheral devices that bring cost-effective, non-linear solutions to recording and storage.

Taking open, IT-based approaches further than any other, the Infinity Series uses IT-based recording media, IT connectivity, and next-generation compression. The Infinity Digital Media Camcorder and the Infinity Digital Media Recorder provide for plug-and-play addition into existing networks given its ability to connect to external storage devices or PCs via USB or FireWire or to networks via Gigabit Ethernet.

Moreover, the Infinity Series uses low-cost, IT-based disk drives and IT-based storage solutions-- including removable hard disk-based Iomega REV products as well as Pro-grade CompactFlash -- instead of forcing videographers, journalists and editors to abide by dictated, proprietary media that are difficult to access in the field and more expensive to use.

“With the Infinity Series, there are no rules and no limits – we give customers their choice in formats, media, compression, and workflows. And, we make the power of choice a reality by doing all of this at substantially lower costs,” said Marc Valentin, president of the Grass Valley business within Thomson.” The Infinity Series is more than just state-of-the-art products. Grass Valley has taken a monumental leap forward in redefining our role as a technology provider and our responsibility to our customers”.

The Future of Acquisition and Recording: Infinity Digital Media Camcorder
The Infinity camcorder signifies a revolutionary step in ENG and EFP acquisition, combining the best of Grass Valley’s multiple Emmy award winning camera engineering with leading IT recording and connectivity technologies.

Featuring 14-bit digital imaging for crystal-clear quality with advanced video processing for image control and in-camera digital effects filers, this feature-rich camcorder brings unprecedented power and flexibility to any ENG or EFP workflow.

It is the first camcorder to use off-the-shelf Iomega REV or REV PRO removable disks and professional-grade CompactFlash solid-state memory as recording and playback media. This level of choice to open media provides video professionals tremendous workflow efficiencies, such as nonlinear random access to video files, simultaneous playback while recording, and long-term archival storage.

Ideal for multi-format acquisition as well as migration from SD to HD, the Infinity camcorder provides a choice of video formats and standards selectable within the camera: 525i60, 625i50, 1080i50, 1080i60, 720p50, or 720p60. SD formats are selectable in either 16:9, 4:3 or letterbox aspect ratios. Infinity camcorders also provide a wide choice of compression schemes as well as assignable compression via the camera’s user interface. It is configured as a professional-grade, multi-format 2/3-inch, three-imager SD/HD camcorder.

A Revolutionary Step Forward in Players and Recording Technology
A revolutionary step forward in players and recording technology, the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Recorder (DMR) uses IT-based media and connectivity technology. The Infinity Digital Media recorder works like a tape machine, but accepts removable media instead. This low-cost VTR replacement can be used anywhere a traditional VTR is used: as a field recorder, preview station, playout machine, or for ingesting material into editing environments.

Just like the camcorder, the Infinity Digital Media Recorder offers both SD and HD, choice of compression, and connectivity options. It uses off-the-shelf Iomega REV or REV PRO removable disks and professional-grade CompactFlash solid-state memory as recording and playback media. The REV or CompactFlash media can be used to replace videotape in the field, in preview rooms, in edit bays, in control rooms – anywhere VTRs are used. In addition, the DMR can be connected directly to a nonlinear editing workstation or, for greater accessibility; it can be attached to a file server for immediate enterprise-wide use.

Finally, with multi-stream capabilities, the DMR can transfer SD video data while another source is being recorded.

Removable Hard Disk-Based Media Offer an Unprecedented Price/Performance Ratio
The extremely durable REV removable disks provide the portability and cost-effectiveness of videotape with the availability, speed, flexibility and ease of use of true nonlinear media such as hard disks. The compact REV disks store 35 GB, enough to record more than two hours of SD or 45 minutes of HD video.

Professional grade CompactFlash media memory is a readily-available solid-state technology that delivers the high level of performance needed for demanding professional applications. Small, lightweight, and extremely durable, the CompactFlash cards hold up to 8 GB of memory today, sufficient for both SD and HD recording.

Announced today and jointly developed by Grass Valley and Iomega, Grass Valley REV PRO Digital Media Drive and REV PRO removable media offer an unprecedented price/performance ratio for video recording, playback and storage. Based on Iomega REV removable storage systems, REV PRO drives and disks are specifically engineered for video professionals.

REV PRO uses standard laptop hard drive components but is engineered to provide the added benefits of removability, portability and archivability. For the video professional, REV PRO offers many advantages over standard REV, including enhanced bandwidth capacity (110 Mb/s real time record/playback for throughput for HD video up to 100 MB/s) along with the needed overhead support for audio, timecode, and metadata tracks. It also offers simultaneous record/playback capability and faster rendering speeds for non-linear editing systems. On-board applications include reverse, stop and forward, and browsing, logging and trimming.

Variety Rules: Choice of Compression Codecs
The Infinity Series offers broadcasters or videographers a choice of standard and high definition video formats, as well as a wide range of options in compression. For SD, Infinity includes the DV codec for DVCAM and DVCPRO. For both HD and SD, MPEG-2 compression is available with support for I-frame and Long GOP.

As an additional choice of compression, the next-generation JPEG2000 codec is also included. JPEG 2000 offers special advantages over other compression codes: it offers higher-quality compression with better efficiency, delivers superb images without blocking artifacts at low bit rates, and, with its unique scalability, allows broadcasters ultimate flexibility by enabling them to encode a master file and then decode different resolutions as necessary.

JPEG20000 delivers 10-bit 4:2:2 resolution images, is frame accurate, and synchronizes better with digital audio than other approaches, making it ideal for SD or HD post-production editing or compositing work.

Pricing for the Infinity Camcorder starts at under 20,000 Euros or US dollars. Preorders will be taken by Grass Valley during IBC. It is scheduled to be available in early 2006.

Pricing for the Infinity Digital Media Recorder starts at under 10,000 Euros or US dollars. Preorders will be taken by Grass Valley during IBC. It is scheduled to be available in early 2006.

Pricing for the Grass Valley REVPro drive is under 500 Euros or US dollars. It is expected that orders can be taken and products delivered in the fourth quarter of 2005. REVPro media in 10-packs is priced at under 70 Euros or US dollars per disk.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, 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 Series, acquisition, recording, storage, videographers, ENG, EFP, camcorder, Iomega, CompactFlash, REV PRO, DMR, REV PRO Digital Media Drive, JPEG2000,

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