Grass Valley partners with IMG and Telstra

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Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, has underscored its position as a leading player in content and media technology with a breakthrough in remote IP video production. The company has announced the successful execution of a remote link from cameras based in Telstra’s Tokyo office with an XCU base station in IMG Studios’ London headquarters, using Grass Valley’s DirectIP connectivity solution to deliver uncompressed, ultra-low latency video over a distance of 20,000 kilometers.

Grass Valley is the only vendor that enables IP communication directly between cameras and XCU. This Tokyo-to-London link, on a Telstra next generation Optical Transport Network (OTN) based Ethernet service between Japan and London, marks the longest, true remote IP production connection to date.

“This trial is a real breakthrough that has put us in a strong position to extend our remote production capabilities, as demonstrated with the ATP500 series, to events in Asia such as the Rugby World Cup,” said Tim De Marco, head of engineering, live galleries and studios at IMG Studios. “Only needing to bring cameras on-site with us and being able to keep the majority of the heavy lifting in London means we can dramatically improve the economics of world feed production. We also now have a clear, tangible idea of how DirectIP enables effective remote production with greater flexibility and lower cost, while maintaining high broadcast quality. This is a valuable market differentiation for us that we can apply to future live productions.”

The trial demonstrates a robust IP workflow between camera, IP switches and XCU that supports HD, 3G, UHD and SlowMotion feeds over large distances, proving the ability of the DirectIP system to handle uncompressed signal distribution. Signals were transmitted via Telstra’s high speed fiber link using the DirectIP configuration from two Grass Valley LDX 86N cameras in Tokyo to an XCU Universe UXF base station, with OCP control panels, in London. The workflow delivers easy set up and maintenance through a centralized control room to ensure the highest performance levels. One of the benefits of DirectIP is that signal availability is not affected, including intercom and return video, allowing the remote site to integrate seamlessly with the production, regardless of the distance.

Trevor Boal, head of Telstra broadcast services said: “This trial confirms that resolution and speed are not a barrier to remote production. Getting signals from one side of the world to the other with low latency and assured quality over the Telstra network is now a reality. The transmission of remote signals via the Telstra network over such long distances between Grass Valley’s cameras and the production centre is a real gamechanger that will enable productions and workflows that were not previously possible.”

“IP-based remote production is a great way to address the cost pressures of live productions as they strive to meet the growing demand for first class content and immersive viewing experiences,” said Mark Hilton, vice president of live production, Grass Valley. “This unique real-life field test strongly underscores the unmatched capability of Grass Valley’s DirectIP workflow. As the only camera manufacturer that delivers all-IP communication between a camera head and its base station, our customers can achieve enormous savings on time, budget and resources by only sending camera heads to on-site production venues. This model maximizes equipment usage at their production facilities for a higher return on investment while still supporting high end productions — it really is a major win for them and with that, a win for the whole industry.”


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