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27/07/2005

Grass Valley Kalypso selected for HD space shuttle coverage

Soaring to new production heights, the Grass Valley Kalypso HD vision mixer from Thomson was used earlier this week by the US-based 24-hour high-definition (HD) network HDNet to assist in capturing breathtaking HD images of the Space Shuttle Discovery's historic return to flight.
The NASA STS-114 mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was broadcast live exclusively to cable and satellite TV subscribers of HDNet.
In covering this once-in-a-lifetime live television event, HDNet installed the Kalypso vision mixer, which handles SD and HD digital production, inside NASA's TV production control room. The Kalypso HD system served as the central hub, through which all of the live 1080i HD format video signals passed. Ten HD cameras strategically located throughout the NASA Space Center, as well several NASA cameras, were seamlessly mixed with multi-channel audio sources into one cohesive production.
HDNet’s live coverage included behind-the-scenes, pre-launch activities with the seven-member Discovery crew, the countdown, and the live, multi-camera switched-feed launch. The coverage will conclude with the Shuttle’s landing in approximately 12 days.
“Grass Valley technology has helped bring some of the worlds’ most important historical events to viewers’ living rooms and NASA’s Return to Flight is the latest example,” said Marc Valentin, President of the Grass Valley business unit within Thomson. “We are proud to be supporting this major television event and greatly value our relationship with HDNet.”
“For this very significant HD broadcast, it was important that we chose a production vision mixer that was flexible, reliable, and familiar,” said Philip Garvin, co-founder and General Manager of HDNet. “We wouldn’t trust just any vision mixer for a project of this magnitude, so when the time came to select a broadcast-quality HD system that could handle the job, the Kalypso HD was our first choice.”
To capture all of the excitement during the production, HD cameras equipped with a high-powered Canon DIGI SUPER 86 TELExs lens (and intercut with the Grass Valley Kalypso HD vision mixer), followed the Shuttle Discovery at least 176,000 feet, or 33 miles into the earth's atmosphere.
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