Forward Motion

Thomson to show off cutting-edge wares at IBC

What divides European and U.S. broadcasters isn't language, but standards. Broadcast standards. With TV producers on both sides of the Atlantic moving towards HDTV, though, the divide is closing. The result? U.S. broadcasters will be able to import and export content without expensive standards conversion.

Plus, they'll have more reason to attend Europe's largest television-technology conference: the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) held Sept. 9-14 in Amsterdam. IBC is a terrific opportunity to see fully operational versions of equipment that is only announced or shown as a prototype at the NAB show.

Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions, for example, will showcase a working version of its new LDK 6200 slow-motion HDTV camera system for IBC attendees. But booth visitors will get a chance to investigate new newsroom technologies, infrastructure and routing gear, and next-generation product offerings that can shape a facility's future.

One such offering is the Video Broadband Evolution (or ViBE) encoder. The growth of broadband services worldwide is placing pressure on media organizations to offer services that use the latest technology to deliver stronger video-streaming performance. The ViBE encoder uses MPEG-4 AVC Part 10 encoding to match those needs.

Implementation of an MPEG-4 board provides 30% more capacity, according to Jean-Marc Hoffer, product line vice president for Thomson Grass Valley. "The user will be able to add the board next to the MPEG-2," he adds.

Also new from Thomson will be a demonstration of its product synergy with Apple's Final Cut Pro nonlinear editing system. The goal is to give NewsEdit customers a complementary editing package for their craft or long-form editing demands. Hoffer says a software plug-in being developed will allow for edit decisions on one platform to be incorporated into the other.

Another key exhibit: a new ingest station that makes it easier to get tape-based stories onto Grass Valley servers. Up to six channels of video and audio will be automatically placed into the server. Thomson is also taking steps towards additional support of tapeless formats, such as Sony's XDCAM optical-disc system and Panasonic's P2 solid-state recording system.

The company plans to support both, says Jan Eveleens, Thomson general manager, cameras. From the camera side, Thomson favors solid-state rather than optical disc. "We believe that solid-state is the technology of the future," he says. "Look at where still imaging has been going. The consumer-market camcorders are starting to use solid state. It's where the industry is moving."