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Grass Valley Announces New K2 Edge Automated, Multichannel, Integrated Playout Solution

Grass Valley announces new K2 Edge integrated playout solution
Software-Centric, Multi-Platform Playout Solutions—Based on the Technology Platforms Developed by PubliTronic—Cornerstone of Expansion Strategy for the Playout Market Segment

Grass Valley™, the premier video technology solutions company, today announced an extension of the K2 media server family with K2 Edge™, the centerpiece of Grass Valley’s overall integrated playout solution. Housed in a compact 1 RU chassis, K2 Edge is a robust and proven Linux-based system with a purpose-built, high availability architecture for mission-critical 24/7 playout applications.

The K2 Edge range is available in three levels of capability: K2 Edge Express, for entry level channels with minimal graphics needs; K2 Edge Pro, for main-line channels with more sophisticated graphics such as picture-in-picture; and K2 Edge Elite systems, which offer switching for up to four HD sources and multichannel 2D and 3D graphics complete with DVE moves including credit squeeze. Customers can easily migrate, via a software license, to any of the levels of capability within the K2 Edge range. Each K2 Edge system includes two features originally developed by PubliTronic, the Grass Valley K2 TX/MAM™ asset management system, with a central database and Grass Valley Cobalt™ playout automation software. The K2 TX/MAM server uses a web-based GUI to control all assets including video clips, audio clips, captioning, metadata, and graphic elements. The Cobalt playout automation system manages all on-air events, and for increased reliability, runs completely independent from the database.

As an innovative approach to creating the on-air look of a channel, Grass Valley Channel Composer™ is available as a software option that manages the import and animation of 2D and 3D graphics, creates animations, and links graphics templates to data sources for real time on-air presentation. A powerful, fully integrated channel graphics composition and management tool, Channel Composer runs on Windows and Mac platforms and is integrated with the K2 TX/MAM server where templated graphics and a data stream can be defined and then referenced together as “live” elements in the on-air playlist.

“The acquisition of PubliTronic will offer immediate benefits to our customers with the introduction of the K2 Edge server,” said Charlie Dunn, Executive Vice President, Products and General Manager, Editing, Servers & Storage Product Group for Grass Valley. “While our K2 media server family is the first choice for live production, news, and traditional play-to-air, K2 Edge adds automated, multichannel, integrated playout to the best server offerings in the industry.”

The Grass Valley K2 Edge multichannel, integrated, automated playout system is based on the technology platforms developed by PubliTronic (see: “Grass Valley Extends Leadership in IT-based Playout Solutions with Acquisition of Integrated Playout Solutions Provider PubliTronic,” October 12, 2011).

As part of the K2 media server family, K2 Edge will be focused on integrated playout where all the needed functions—media playout, channel graphics, asset management, and automation—are included in one tightly integrated system. K2 Summit™ Transmission clients and servers will continue to provide the basis for content ingest, preparation, and archiving, as well as playout for customers using a traditional approach for managing their playout. K2 Summit and K2 Solo™ will continue as production servers for live events (including slow-motion), news, and entertainment programming.

“The K2 Edge server gives Grass Valley an immediate market leading position in the integrated playout segment,” said Harold Vermeulen, Vice President, Media Playout Solutions, Grass Valley and Founder and former Managing Director of PubliTronic. “With its purpose-built and mission critical architecture, service providers and broadcasters of all sizes will immediately be able to benefit from the cost savings and operations benefits of the K2 Edge multichannel, integrated, automated playout solution.”

“The integrated playout market is not just about adding a PC to an existing automation system for clip playout,” said Dunn. “To address our customer’s needs, we wanted to take a more integrated approach, especially in the area of on-air channel design with the management of all on-screen elements. That’s what we liked about PubliTronic—their system was integrated and built from the ground up, not some ‘lite’ version cut out of a high-end playout system. With K2 Edge, our customers will see immediate benefits, both on-air and on the bottom line.”

Pricing and Availability
The K2 Edge integrated playout solution offers a wide range of options including full redundancy, with a fully integrated channel starting at US$25,000. K2 Edge delivery is expected to begin in November. Deployment solutions include a range of Grass Valley services including interfacing the system to any traffic or business system, training, and post-sale services to ensure the system is maintained in peak condition over its life.