Thomson's 2005 Toolbox

The xDAM initiative is only one part of Thomson Grass Valley’s new-product portfolio to be introduced at NAB in April. Here is a quick look at other products, the first in our series of pre-NAB reports.


Most broadcast stations and networks have a preferred HD format, either 1080i or 720p. For those that need only one format, the Grass Valley LDK 4000 is a lower-cost alternative to the LDK 6000 mk II WorldCam camera, which provides format flexibility. “It’s tailored to those who don’t need flexibility, like smaller studios,” says Jan Eveleens, Thomson Grass Valley business unit manager. Pricing is $101,000 for camera head, base station, HD triax adapter, and 2- or 5-inch viewfinder.

For those in the market for a standard-definition camera, the LDK 400 ITW camera is a new option. The dockable unit has 14-bit processing, placing it between the 12-bit LDK 300 and 16-bit LDK 500. Prices start at $45,000 with triax adapter and 1.5-inch viewfinder. Both will be available in April.

Production Switchers

The Grass Valley brand has always been a leader in switcher innovation. This year, Thomson will roll out a $99,000 HD production switcher with two mix effects. The Kayak HD system gives users more flexibility, thanks to the second mix effect, and comes with 48 inputs and 24 outputs. It’s switchable between HD formats and will be available later this summer.

Integrated Production

Thomson acquired Parkervision’s broadcast-related product line last year. At NAB, the fruits of the deal will be on display. Ignite is Thomson’s line of integrated production systems that make it possible for one operator to control a wide number of devices and processes related to control-room playback. It’s still focused heavily on news applications, but Thomson is delivering much more flexibility than Parkervision did. It has a scaleable matrix structure; a facility can have a system that is a perfect fit. The technologies at its core include a KayakDD digital video production switcher, Concerto routing switcher and Ignite automation application software. Ignite with one mix effect is $121,000 and is expected to be available in June.

Thomson also offers cameras for the system, including LDK 300 and the CameraMan, a small robotic camera controlled by another Grass Valley product: ShotDirector. It can control up to 16 CameraMan cameras. “It’s great for a large newsroom that might have different CameraMan systems located with different reporters,” says Alex Holt, director of the IPS division and Ignite product management.