IBC 2018: Grass Valley enhances customer options with Marquis Medway certification, Dell EMC Isilon agreement, and ExciteM collaboration

Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, (stand #9.A01) announced that its LiveTouch sports replay and highlights solution and FileFlow file exchange system are now certified with Marquis Broadcast’s Medway media and metadata automation solution. Also, with a new OEM agreement between Dell EMC and Grass Valley, broadcasters can deploy market-leading Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers and Dell EMC Isilon storage solutions as part of a new family of bundled offerings. Lastly, Grass Valley announced a strategic collaboration with software development firm ExciteM, which creates world-class viewer and audience engagement tools for television, social media, and mobile environments. 

Grass Valley’s LiveTouch and FileFlow certified with Marquis Medway
As consumer demand for more and higher quality content increases, it is critical for broadcasters to capture, produce, and deliver this to audiences anytime and anywhere. For sports, this means more live replays from more angles, as well as new services such as live streaming and VR. Adding to the already high-pressure live sports production environment, operators now have to handle a higher number of feeds, which could lead to delays if the right tools and technologies aren’t in place.

Medway optimizes integration between LiveTouch and third-party production and editing tools – including Avid Media Composer, NEXIS, and Interplay PAM – allowing production teams to maintain existing workflows, while leveraging Grass Valley’s powerful, ultrafast replay and highlights capability.

As the number one player in content and media technology, Grass Valley’s live production solutions, including LiveTouch, have been key components for coverage of some of the world’s major sporting events this year. This certification with Medway opens up the possibility of incorporating Grass Valley’s powerful live replay and highlights capability into any existing production workflow. 

“Our customers want the option to leverage the powerful, ultra-fast performance that LiveTouch delivers, while maintaining their existing production workflows and integrations,” says Matthew Zajicek, director of replay, Grass Valley. “By expanding the LiveTouch ecostructure, we enable them to do this without compromising on the speed that content is turned around. We looked around the market at the available technologies to meet this important need, and Medway proved to be an incredibly good fit.Our work with Marquis ensures there is no additional complexity for customers looking to integrate LiveTouch into their existing workflows; Medway does everything for them.”  

Cross-platform editing can now be done while incoming live feeds are being ingested, allowing replay and highlights packages from LiveTouch to be delivered even faster. Medway’s bi-directional sequence level integration means files are ‘discreet’, enabling edit decision lists (EDLs) to be changed up or downstream of the third-party integration with seamless export of files between platforms. Medway automatically transcodes and re-wraps files with no delays for smooth file transfers between third-party platforms. Metadata is also critical to delivering the best angles of key moments quickly. Working in combination, FileFlow and Medway streamline metadata management, delivering seamless real time metadata integration to meet even the most demanding live production requirements.

Chris Steele, Marquis Broadcast managing director, comments: “We are really pleased to see how easily the platforms integrated and the resulting performance they deliver. This integration was made easier by the fact that Marquis and Grass Valley understand each other’s files and the level of similarity and standardization between our approaches. It opens up a large off-the-shelf library of integration choices for LiveTouch and Medway customers across a host of sports and live applications.”

The certified integration is now available on general release. A simple upgrade enables existing LiveTouch, FileFlow and Medway customers to seamlessly retro-fit the new capability into their current systems. HDR support will be added in the coming months.

Grass Valley Streamlines the Customer Experience with Solutions Built on Powerful Computing Infrastructure
The agreement supports Grass Valley’s product transformation from purpose-built hardware to common off the shelf (COTS) in server, storage, and network product offerings. Leveraging the world-class technology and strong market presence of Dell EMC in the enterprise segment, the agreement provides complete technology solutions that are certified by Grass Valley, and provide seamless support from trusted providers.

“This is great news for our broadcast customers, all of whom are looking for the best commercial hardware solutions to power their production environments and would benefit from having one supplier provide service and support for the entire system,” says Sydney Lovely, senior vice president, products and technology, Grass Valley. “Under this agreement, they will get the best of both companies while simplifying the purchasing and support processes.”

Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers feature future-ready technology and exceptional performance in tower, rack or modular configurations. Available as all-flash, hybrid or archive NAS platforms, Dell EMC Isilon scale-out network-attached storage systems are designed for demanding enterprise file workloads. Both product families are ideally suited to the demands of today’s broadcast production professionals.

“We have a lot of equipment already deployed in the broadcast market, and now this agreement extends our reach and enhances the customer experience by eliminating the need to source servers and storage separately,” adds Thomas Burns, Media & Entertainment CTO, Dell EMC. “This is not our first time collaborating with Grass Valley, in fact, it is a natural extension of our work together over the years. Many customers work with both of us already, so this expanded agreement is good news for them.”

Grass Valley and ExciteM take Live Audience Engagement to the Next Level
Visitors to the Grass Valley booth at IBC will see the unique application of ExciteM’s Cloud Control Room integrated into the GV STRATUS HTML5 interface as an app called “GV STRATUS Control Room”. This cloud-based solution revolutionizes the collection and distribution of live feeds for instant posting and broadcast — publishing natively to Facebook Live and enabling customized live graphics, real-time statistics, and bi-directional comments. This dynamic integration will also highlight the launch of ExciteM Mobile Live, which captures live footage, giving users the ability to edit and combine with GV STRATUS I/O. ExciteM Mobile Live allows broadcasters to “go live” from any location using the GV STRATUS live streaming app, giving news operations more power to integrate live content from citizen journalists.

“Live audience engagement has the power to transform how consumers respond to content. We are thrilled to partner with Grass Valley and reap the rewards of its vast experience and stature to integrate our tools directly into the production process. This collaboration is a market validation of our efforts to be a leading provider of interactive polling software and cloud-based live studio technology,” says Belal Hummadi, CEO at ExciteM.

Additionally, ExciteM’s Live Polling functionality has been integrated into Grass Valley’s Ignite Automated Production Control solution for even more engagement. Customers will be able to integrate polling information with their existing Grass Valley graphics tools, easily run online and live polling campaigns, and integrate results with their live content using instant on-air feedback.

“These applications enhance the creativity of our news and live production solutions, and provide front-line tools that enable nearly unlimited live content options received from anywhere and distributed to anywhere,” says Pete Semerak, vice president of News at Grass Valley. “Broadcasters and media companies can leverage this opportunity by creating two-way audience engagement, enabling them to maximise the value of their content. Our collaboration with ExciteM is a real win for Grass Valley and for our customers.”

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