Thomson Multimedia acquisition of Grass Valley Group took a step towards completion when Department of Justice approved it. Additional steps remain before deal closing, but sources say it should be completed within 30 days.
The fifth edition of the TV Operator's Certification Handbook, written by Fred Baumgartner and Doug Garlinger, is available from the Society of Broadcast Engineers. According to SBE, the latest edition updates technology and broadcast practices, including centralcasting and information on the Children's Television Act. Readers passing a written test are designated an SBE Certified Television Operator (CTO).
Living Faith Ministries broadcast stations will install the SignaCast DTV compliance system offered by integration company SignaSys. The system includes an Acrodyne Quantum transmitter, Miranda analog-to-digital conversion and HD routing equipment, and a Tandberg encoder. WLFG(TV) Grundy, Va., will be the first station to install the SignaCast "Lite" version, which also carries closed-captioning information, PSIP and Emergency Alert System messages.
WFAA-TV Dallas has purchased a Quantel Clipbox Studio to be used alongside its Quantel Henry and Hal graphics equipment. The Clipbox system will give the station more flexibility in its newscasts, according to Post Facility Manager Don Hazen, by allowing faster response to on-air needs. The station will also be able to build unlimited stacks of clips to roll during a newscast.
A LiveWave PRO robotic camera-control system has been installed in Manhattan by NBC to get pictures of Ground Zero for both NBC and MSNBC newscasts. The camera, located in a nearby building, will also serve the needs of a pool service comprising other TV news organizations, including CNN. The system controls a Panasonic AW-E600 camera with a Fujinon 20x zoom lens with a 2x extender in a Panasonic PH-600 housing. Producers at MSNBC's facility in Secaucus, N.J., control the camera from desktop computers, and engineers at MSNBC can also handle additional camera functions like presets and white-balance levels.
CinemaNow signed a deal with MGM Home Entertainment to offer MGM movie content to CinemaNow Internet VOD customers in both streaming and downloadable formats. The goal of the tests is to get an understanding of consumer behavior. Movies available include What's the Worst That Could Happen?
and The Man in the Iron Mask. The test includes the use of different price points.