Croatian success for Grass Valley

Croatia: Working closely with local systems integrator Kapetanovic Sistemi, Grass Valley has supplied engineering support and equipment to improve operations at the Zagreb high-definition production and playout facility of Croatia’s Arena TV network and Croatia’s first HD OB truck, owned and operated by production company Croatel.

The close partnership between Kapetanovic Sistemi from Zagreb, Croatia and Grass Valley’s Systems Group located in Weiterstadt, Germany, has resulted in the installation of the first Grass Valley K2 Summit server storage area network (SAN) in the Balkans. The kit is currently on-air and is tightly integrated with a Pebble Beach Neptune automation system, which closely controls the Grass Valley K2 servers, which in turn automatically manage the entire file ingest and distribution process.

“We needed to put together a server playout platform that was completely reliable and would not make us have to compromise in any way,” said Tonko Barac, Managing Director of Croatel. “Therefore, we chose Grass Valley to build out this piece of the puzzle because they had a field tested server platform that was cost-effective for us to implement and allowed me to focus on other parts of our facility. We’ve always had a good experience with Grass Valley technology and now that we are on the air, the 24/7 reliability continues to impress us.”

Indeed, Croatel’s TV Arena Zagreb facility was designed from the ground up with Grass Valley HD technologies in mind and additionally includes a K2 Summit production client, and EDIUS HD editing workstations, to support four sports channels, each of which is broadcasted in HD and also downconverted to a standard-definition digital format for wider viewing. The channels, which were launched on January 1 of this year, each include a variety of live sports telecasts—including the UEFA Champions League, Spanish Primera football league, Italian Series A football, NFL, NHL, CEV volleyball, and the EHF handball championship.

At the same time while starting TV Arena Zagreb facility, Croatel has also completed Croatian’s first HD OB truck, a Mercedes Axor, built around 11 LDK 8000 Elite cameras, 1 LDK 8300 Live Super SloMo HD camera, a Kayak-HD production switcher, and a K2 Dyno Replay System all closely following high-quality UEFA standards (see for the full story).

“This latest installation represents a true collaborative effort that involved multiple staffs from different countries coming together to make it all a success,” said Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President at Grass Valley. “It was very exciting for all involved, as we worked together with Croatel to make its Zagreb facility and its OB truck one of the most sophisticated in the world. In fact, these were two of the very first HD projects in Croatia, using Grass Valley technologies and Kapetanovic Sistemi’s engineering expertise to ensure completion of the projects.”


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