Grass Valley Eyes Competitors

When it comes to driving the global TV-production market with the right product introduction, there is little doubt that Thomson, particularly its Grass Valley division, is at the top of that game.

Headed up by President Marc Valentin, the company continues to look for ways to expand its product offerings—particularly since rival Avid acquired Pinnacle Systems.

Valentin and Jeff Rosica, Grass Valley VP, worldwide strategic marketing and business development, spoke with B&C’s Ken Kerschbaumer about Grass Valley’s changing role.

When Avid acquired Pinnacle Systems, some network executives told me that Avid is now clearly defined as the content-creation–tool maker, while Grass Valley is focused on content distribution and infrastructure. Would you agree?

Rosica: I do think that, from a post-production standpoint, Avid is very large, while we’re in certain segments of that market. But we’re a leader in the production market, the leader in the infrastructure market, and the leader in the playout and distribution market.

Valentin: And let’s not forget the news market. It’s very important for us. We’re in the whole news workflow from beginning to end.

What do you think of the new 1080/60p cameras that Sony rolled out at NAB?

Rosica: I think the number-one question to ask is, are they doing it because the customers need it or to solve a problem against a competitor? 1080p/60 is something you can’t run down existing wires.

With respect to other HD production gear, what do you think of Panasonic’s P2 and Sony’s XDCAM formats?

Rosica: We believe the days of proprietary, closed approaches to formats are over and a truly open framework in that environment is what is needed. And that could be open media, codecs. We think it’s time to put the choice into the hands of the user, rather than having manufacturers dictate things.