Grass Valley Makes 4K a Reality for Mobile Production Companies
“Audiences expect more today in their viewing experiences, and one way broadcasters are delivering is by providing 4K content,” noted Neerav Shah, senior vice president of strategic marketing, Grass Valley. “4K provides a number of important advantages for broadcasters, including the ability to capture better quality for real-time delivery today or on-demand delivery at any time in the future. It is also a key differentiator as content becomes the main focus for our customers.”
Many different kinds of operations and professionals are using integrated 4K solutions from Grass Valley to lead the way in the production and delivery of 4K content.
Lyon Video, a long-time customer of Grass Valley, provides mobile television production facilities and event crewing for a wide variety of sports and event clients. Recently, Lyon Video was chosen by the COPA America organizer to provide host broadcasting and international rights holder services, including 4K content, which was fed to a number of rights holder networks and stations for use in their own coverage. The company used a Grass Valley 4K Live Production solution that included LDX Series cameras, Kayenne switchers, K2 Dyno replay and K2 Summit servers for the project.
“More and more clients will be looking for 4K content, especially in the sports and entertainment areas where differentiation is key,” said Chad Snyder, chief operating officer, Lyon Video. “4K enables a better viewing experience in the right circumstances, and we are always ready to increase our capabilities as we need to. We are in a real transition period in the industry, which means we often need to provide multiple formats of HD for multiple clients, and now even 4K at the same time.”
If there is a major sporting event happening in the United States, chances are Game Creek Video is getting it on the air. With a fleet of three dozen modern, fully equipped broadcast trucks and a dedicated team of more than 150 professionals deployed across the country, Game Creek Video has been relying for years on what the company calls the “gold standard” of switchers—Kayenne K-Frame switchers from Grass Valley—in all of its trucks for HD or 4K productions. The company has a dozen 4K ready units and is providing 4K feeds for all 26 MLB Network Showcase games this season and provided 4K coverage of the U.S. Open Golf Championship for Fox.
“We’ve always worked closely with our manufacturers and we have found that Grass Valley truly cares about our business,” said Garrett Sullivan, vice president of business development for Game Creek Video. “As we have led our industry into 4K, we’ve done so with the confidence that the equipment we use will provide us with the best possible results for our clients.”
Dome Productions in Canada is in the midst of a significant 4K launch, with several mobile units already hitting the road this year. The company uses its 4K technology, which includes the Grass Valley Kayenne K-Frame switcher and K2 Dyno Replay system, to deliver 4K content for select high-profile sporting events, including NHL programming and Toronto Blue Jays home games. The quantity of 4K programming is increasing, and the company expects to deliver much more of it in the coming months.
“Moving from HD to 4K places a lot of demands on the equipment,” noted Mike Johnson, director of engineering, Dome Productions. “We’ve had great experience so far with the Kayenne switcher, and our production people love the functionality and ease of use. As we ramp up our 4K capabilities, Grass Valley has been extremely helpful in making sure that things run as smoothly as possible. This is going to be a game changer for us, and our customers are very happy with the results.”
Denver-based Mobile TV Group (MTVG) has successfully produced a number of events in 4K/UHD with its new 53-foot 39 Flex double-expando mobile production truck. Built around a 4K-capable Kayenne K-Frame switcher (192 inputs/96 outputs HD, 48 inputs/24 outputs 4K) with 7 M/Es, MTVG’s 39 Flex was deployed for CBS and DirecTV to deliver live 4K/UHD coverage from the Masters tournament of all four rounds from Amen Corner (holes 11, 12 and 13) and Baltusrol Golf Club’s signature par-three hole 4 during the PGA Championship and various other 4K events.
“The key for us was to equip the truck with the right solutions to handle the growing 4K demand and ensure we are ready for HDR when that time comes,” noted Phil Garvin, general manager and founder of MTVG. “The Kayenne switcher is the best and most powerful switcher on the market, and its ability to easily handle 4K makes it the best investment for us today.”
According to Grass Valley’s Shah, “4K is clearly the future. Not everyone will be ready at the same time, but when they are ready, we have the end-to-end integrated solutions that will help them deliver outstanding 4K content with the highest possible efficiency.”
About Grass Valley
Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, keeps broadcasters, content owners and service providers Future-Ready as they navigate the changing landscape of television. With the most comprehensive collection of workflow solutions in the industry, Grass Valley delivers end-to-end television production and content distribution workflows, combined with expert consultation and insight that lead to sustainable success. Grass Valley, headquartered in Montreal, is part of St. Louis-based Belden Inc. Belden delivers a comprehensive product portfolio designed to meet the mission-critical network infrastructure needs of industrial, enterprise and broadcast markets. With innovative solutions targeted at reliable and secure transmission of rapidly growing amounts of data, audio and video needed for today's applications, Belden is at the center of the global transformation to a connected world.