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WDBJ-TV Converts News Operations To Digital Production With Grass Valley Aurora Systems From Thomson


WDBJ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Va., is the latest local station to convert its entire digital news production operations to a comprehensive Grass Valley™ shared-storage system from Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) for its daily newscasts. This major commitment includes multiple K2™ Media Server and Client Systems, Aurora™ Ingest, Browse, Edit, and Playout workstations, NetCentral™ monitoring software, and extensive on-site training from Grass Valley engineers.

The station purchased the system from Digital Video Group, Inc., the local Grass Valley dealer who they worked with on the system design and the layout. Digital Video Group will also be involved in the systems implementation.

Once implementation is completed within the next few months, the station’s news department will bring stories to air faster and easier by leveraging the Grass Valley client/server architecture that supports IT-centric, file-based playout and distribution workflows, simplifies installation and operation, and provides new levels of network control.

“The new Aurora Suite is ideally suited to station News departments like ours at WDBJ, which require unlimited access to metadata and the sharing of material and extremely fast project turnaround times,” said Carl Guffey, Director of Operations and Engineering for WDBJ. “We chose Grass Valley because of the way the systems work together seamlessly and the superior customer support we know we can count on.”

“We’re seeing an increase in the number of stations cost-effectively converting their news production operations to digital with the Grass valley Aurora suite of tools,” said Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President, Broadcast & Professional Solutions for the Grass Valley business within Thomson. “Like many in the industry, WDBJ recognizes the benefits of moving to digital, including the flexibility, power and time-to-air savings it brings.”

All of the Grass Valley Aurora Suite applications take full advantage of the features and functionality of the Grass Valley K2 Media Server storage architecture as individual systems can be scaled up as necessary. The various workstations located throughout the WDBJ newsroom are linked to a Grass Valley Open Storage Area Network (SAN) environment based around the Grass Valley K2 Media Server. This infrastructure offers virtually unlimited production bandwidth and the ability for multiple users to access the same files simultaneously. It also allows editors to begin working on the Aurora Edit system—the industry’s fastest news NLE—as footage is being digitized into the system, getting finished segments to air quicker.

About Grass Valley Products

Core applications of the Grass Valley Aurora Suite include: Aurora Ingest, Aurora Edit, Aurora Browse, and Aurora Playout. All of these applications are tied together via Grass Valley’s MediaFrame™ metadata architecture, which links all of the functionality and metadata of each application under a task-specific GUI that provides users of each application with the ability to access the other tools in the suite from the same desktop.

The Grass Valley K2 Media Server and Media Client system are designed specifically for the sharing and reuse of digital media assets. The Grass Valley K2 system is available in two standard forms: an SD-only system that supports four bi-directional channels at up to 50 Mb/s, and a two-channel version that can be configured for HD and SD and has the option of adding two more input or output channels. AES and embedded audio is included, and the unit is capable of passing through Dolby E and AC3 files.

The highly customizable Grass Valley NetCentral software for SNMP-based remote monitoring is a powerful stand-alone application for centrally and proactively checking the status of equipment--no matter where those devices are located. It enables users to specify schematics, overlay alarm information, and view configuration and status details in a myriad of ways. This increased visibility to equipment and system status can boost uptime and streamline maintenance and management costs.


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