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19/09/2006

Grass Valley rakes in profits for its HD products

Thomson has revealed how major news operations are now turning to its Grass Valley business for support in HD news, announcing nearly 12 million euros in recent order for its HD news products.
New orders for Grass Valley's HD news solutions included installations in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East, such as in the USA for CBS Network owned & operated stations KCBS (Los Angeles) and KYW (Philadelphia), CBS affiliate station KLAS (Las Vegas), ABC affiliate KMGH (Denver); in the Middle East for Al-Jazeera International (Doha, Qatar and London); and, in Europe for VTM (Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij, Brussels). This includes a significant commitment to the Grass Valley Aurora HD suite, which features what Thomson claim is the industry's fastest quick-turn editor.
Marc Valentin, President of the Grass Valley business within Thomson, said: "The combination of high-quality content that our broadcast customers produce and superior HD picture quality and enhanced sound are unbeatable in the ratings race.
"HD news is a rapidly growing segment of overall HD market momentum globally. Grass Valley has a very high marketshare, approximately 80 per cent in this area. And, we will continue to lengthen our lead as we are the only company to offer both an automated production system, a full suite of nonlinear editing tools, and a news playout solution - all of which enable broadcasters to move to HD affordably and, simultaneously, speed up and automate their workflows."
Competitive news content is one of the most significant drivers in both ratings and advertising revenue for broadcasters. The appearance of news content in HD compared to standard definition (SD) is markedly better, offering viewers more detail and a sense of more immediacy to what's being covered. A US news outlet has noted that its newscast has consistently ranked number one in its market since it started the HD newscasts.
Producing HD news and automating and speeding those workflows - requires specific equipment, including camcorders and media recorders, cameras, quickturn and craft nonlinear editing systems, servers and storage systems, as well as integrated control and production systems - all of which Grass Valley offers in SD and HD versions.
Providing the industry's first and most complete link between the control room and the newsroom, Grass Valley's innovative, single-operator HD Ignite integrated production systems also have seen considerable growth. Orders have been received for these systems, which were introduced earlier this year. Recent Ignite HD orders include those from the ABC Stations Group (KABC, KGO in San Franciso, and WTVD in Chicago); COX (WSB in Atlanta, KTVU in San Francisco, WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina, and WHIO in Dayton, Ohio), and Southern Broadcasting (WTXL in Tallahassee, Florida).
To date, the impact of HD has been most clearly seen in the value of consumers' viewing experiences in watching sports and drama productions. In 2006, early adopters in the broadcast news segment are beginning their transition to HD to continue to increase viewership.
Nearly a third of the worldwide market for SD digital news production already has standardized on Grass Valley software and platforms. Currently, hundreds of sites worldwide use Grass Valley technology, from major networks with huge systems for 24/7 news operations and hundreds of users to standalone editors in small- and mid-sized local and regional news operations.
(DS/SP)
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