KVBC Las Vegas Is First U.S. Customer for Thomson Infinity Camera

NBC Affiliate Orders 18 Units for HD News Production

Thomson Grass Valley snagged the first domestic customer for its long-awaited Infinity tapeless camcorder, announcing a deal with KVBC Las Vegas.

Infinity DMC 1000

The NBC affiliate and Sunbelt Communications-owned station is buying 18 Infinity DMC 1000 units to support HD news production. The Infinity cameras, which record onto Iomega REV PRO removable disks, will be used as part of a complete file-based production work flow that includes Thomson USB REV PRO disk drives and Edius nonlinear editing workstations.

The KVBC deal is significant for Thomson Grass Valley, which first introduced Infinity at the IBC show in September 2005 but has delayed the product’s release several times as it refined the camera’s imaging sensor and cooling system.

After extensive beta-testing through 2007, the company won Infinity orders from international customers such as Middle Eastern broadcaster Abu Dhabi Media and began shipping product last fall. But it still had not announced any U.S. customers for the Infinity camcorder, which Thomson billed as an IT-friendly alternative to more proprietary camera formats from Sony and Panasonic.

KVBC began broadcasting its local news in HD last August and currently offers six hours of live news coverage each weekday plus five hours each weekend for a total of 35 hours of HD news each week.

“The Infinity was the perfect choice to bring HD acquisition into the field for News 3,” said Richard Gacovino, chief operations photographer for KVBC, in a statement. “It’s easy to operate, makes fantastic pictures and brings an entirely new level of efficiency to our ENG [electronic newsgathering] work flow.”