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March 2013

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Bits & Pieces Grass Valley intros 'integrated production center' N EW YORK — Not long ago, Grass Valley's new CEO/president Tim Thorsteinson met with the press, here, marking his return to the company after leaving in 2003. He went on to hold executive roles at Leitch, Thompson and Harris. "I love this business," he says of the broadcast industry. "It's undergoing a big change, and Grass Valley is positioned to make a difference," he adds, pointing to the live sports and events segment. That said, Thorsteinson cautioned that 2013 will be a difficult year industry wide. "We are going to lead with products — switchers, routers and news systems — [but] it will be a challenge to be profitable." Grass Valley (, he says, will have a renewed focus as a products company, one that can benefit from common hardware platforms that are augmented with their own specialized software. Software licenses, he adds, will be an important part of the company's revenue stream. But, he says, they still sell big iron: "This is us innovating in a space we are already in." Chief marketing officer Graham Sharp took time to preview some of the products Grass Valley will be showing at NAB in Las Vegas next month. A major announcements is a new $35K switching system, called GV Director (pictured), that's designed to put control into the hands of creatives producing live events, such as awards, specials, sports match-ups and musical performances. "Live is where you get more money for your content, more audience participation, more and richer content," he says. The product is the first new switcher from Grass Valley in a long time, and a rare release at that price point. The solution is smaller and lighter than traditional switchers (they estimate one-fifth as heavy), making it suitable for mobile units as well as fixed installations. Sharp described GV Director as an "integrated production center," with video processing, graphics and storage functionality. It will allow users to simultaneously create streams for Web and mobile channels, in addition to the television broadcast. GV Director features a new touch-screen interface that will be easy to learn. Additionally, Grass Valley will offer software that can run on a laptop, which producers can use to configure their program in advance. The system was already tested during a MotoGP broadcast in Spain. Grass Valley, which launched the LDX line at IBC last year, follows with LDX Flex, a new concept that will allow users to purchase licenses for the formats they require based on the production's needs. Require HD for one job and 4K for another? LDX Flex can be configured through software for your specific need. Grass Valley's Stratus is a third component in its multiplatform distribution chain. It's a solution for moving media around and will offer integration via an SDK for storage makers that want to become a part of the live production workflow. Also, expect Grass Valley to introduce storage products to compete with the Isilons and NetApps of the world. By Marc Loftus The Rock's 'Got Milk' S ANTA MONICA — Editor Adam Pertofsky of Rock Paper Scissors ( cut the Got Milk spot featuring wrestler/action hero Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson that aired during the Super Bowl and beyond. Conceived by ad agency Deutsch NY, the commercial features Johnson on a quest to replace his empty milk container, ignoring all sorts of crime and chaos, including bank robberies, escaped zoo animals and even a kitten in need of rescuing from a tree. Pertofsky cut the spot using Adobe Premiere Pro, switching from Apple's Final Cut Pro. Premiere's close integration with After Effects and Photoshop helped him complete the project on time. He was also impressed with the efficiency of Adobe's Mercury playback engine, which provided fluid playback of multiple layers of HD footage when combined with Nvidia's GPU. Compositing for the final conforming was handled by The Mill NY. 4 Post • March 2013 Post0313_004,6, 8-BitsRAV3.indd 4 Venture 3D expands biz to Asia with new film L OS ANGELES — Venture 3D (www., known for its conversion work on Titanic 3D and The Chronicle's of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has been calling on the Signiant Media Shuttle hybrid SaaS file transfer solution to facilitate collaboration with partners in Hong Kong, Beijing and Seoul for the upcoming feature film Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. The film was directed by Stephen Chow of Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle fame. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. Venture 3D is required to move 200300GB files to multiple entities across Asia in a single transfer. As such, the company required a solution that would give their global partners access to large files without the administrative constraints of FTP. In addition, Venture 3D needed control over who is accessing clients' high-value-assets, for how long, and to set limits on their permission to files. "Using Media Shuttle, we are able to go outside of our circle of local partners to expand our business in Asia, while making the workflow process extremely easy for our clients," explains Todd Cogan, SVP, operations, Venture 3D. "Solutions we have used in the past made content delivery laborious and cost intensive, but with Media Shuttle we are able to move content efficiently and affordably." 3/1/13 2:26 PM

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