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Grass Valley Deploys Shared Storage Network at MCS in Germany

MCS produces news broadcasts, quiz shows, magazine format shows, and smaller-scale entertainment programs.

Media & Communication Systems GmbH Sachsen Anhalt (MCS), a broadcast company for the MDR in Germany, has deployed a multi-channel, shared storage area network (SAN) based on Grass Valley™ K2 Summit™ media servers at MCS’ Magdeburg broadcast center. The tapeless SAN, which went on air this month, is being used as a centralized repository for audio and video clips used for postproduction activities, as well as for distributing content directly to air.

The new Grass Valley K2 Summit SAN allows MCS, to streamline the handling of standard- and high-definition content as digital files by requiring only a single copy of each file regardless of how many people need to work on that file. Files are ingested once, stored, and made available to producers and editors working on the network –and when programs are finished they are played out via an automation system.

One of the key benefits is that the four-channel K2 Summit media servers natively support AVC-Intra 50 and 100 Mb/s compressed files, which make up the majority of MCS’ new tapeless workflow.

“We’re very pleased because Grass Valley’s engineers were able to design and help us implement a system that will improve operations across all of our many production divisions,” said Dieter Sommerfeld, Managing Director, MCS. “It also allows us to create content and get it to air faster than we ever could before. This helps us stay competitive and realize a fast return on our investment.”

The Grass Valley K2 Summit is the only server that supports end-to-end SD/HD workflows in DVCPRO, MPEG-2, and AVC-Intra formats. The system features HD super slow-motion capability, bi-directional operation, and, at only 2 RU, space efficiency. It also has unique features, such as extremely fast record-to-playout performance, that make it ideal for sports, news, live, and live-to-tape applications.


“Thanks to an on-going technology development partnership with Panasonic, Grass Valley now offers the industry’s most stable end-to-end AVC-Intra workflow to help streamline a variety of content creation processes,” said Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President of Grass Valley. “MCS is the latest major media organization to recognize the cost and workflow efficiencies that can be realized with a shared storage K2 Summit environment. Our goal is to develop the right tools and offer the best value for our customers. MCS’ innovative implementation of the K2 Summit server is another example of that.”

To support this K2 Summit SAN deployment, Grass Valley has also coupled its offer with a long term five-year Service Level Agreement providing a hotline during business hours, as well as fast delivery of spare parts thanks to the Grass Valley Distribution Center located in Weiterstadt, Germany, close to the customer site. This commitment was definitely key for MCS to ensure its SAN optimal operating conditions. In addition, Grass Valley support engineers will provide on-site support on customer’s request.

In addition to providing valuable consulting advice on planning and deployment at the start of the project, Grass Valley also provided training services to the MCS staff on the new SAN system once it was operational. MCS also uses Grass Valley LDK Series cameras in its studios.


The K2 Summit media server architecture is compatible with the entire K2 family of software applications, control protocols, and formats for file-based environments, and can be used in any broadcast facility under automation control or with its internal playlist capability. It includes redundant hot-swappable power supplies and redundant Ethernet ports, as well as an embedded OS that runs off of a CompactFlash drive for fast and reliable operation. Leveraging Grass Valley’s Emmy® Award-winning core video technology, each server channel is built around a high-performance RISC processor, an embedded real-time operating system, and performs video/audio processing in the robust and secure manner needed for a 24/7, frame-accurate environment.

About MCS

MCS Sachsen-Anhalt is one of three production companies of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR). MDR has its headquarters in Leipzig, and regional studios in Dresden, Erfurt and of course, Magdeburg . All of them are Grass Valley customers. Erfurt is also equipped with K2 Summit since last summer. Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) is the public broadcaster (for the German States of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt and a member of the German ARD. MDR broadcasts its own television channel to the three states and serves and contributes to the first German TV channel (Das Erste). It also broadcasts various radio channels, some done in collaboration with other broadcasters, and others completely independently.



About Grass Valley

With a rich history serving the broadcast and professional video industries, the Grass Valley name is synonymous with innovation, leadership, and performance. With a full range of products and services supporting many of the world's most high-profile television events, Grass Valley offers the most comprehensive portfolio of flexible and cost-effective digital technologies and systems available. Customers deploying Grass Valley solutions include most of the world's leading broadcast and teleproduction facilities, independent video professionals, as well as emerging content creators and distributors providing broadband, telecommunications, and transmission services. When you’re watching news, sports, or entertainment programming, whether on a TV, the Web, or a mobile phone, you’re watching Grass Valley at work.Grass Valley industry-leading customer service teams are available around the clock to rapidly diagnose and resolve technical problems, as well as proactively plan for future support.


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