With the purchase of the Dutch firm PubliTronic, Grass Valley introduces the K2 Edge master control solution and jumps into the burgeoning channel-in-a-box market.
Grass Valley Buying IT-Based Playout Maker
Grass Valley is acquiring PubliTronic, a manufacturer of IP-based playout platforms (channel-in-a-box) for the broadcast industry, Grass Valley announced this afternoon.The price was not disclosed.
PubliTronic is a Dutch company founded in 1997 by Harold Vermeulen, who will now report to Grass Valley’s Charlie Dunn, EVP of products.
PubliTronic’s Nexus products will be rebranded and merged into Grass Valley’s K2 product family as K2 Edge servers. This 1U Linux-based playout system, popularly known as channel in a box, will be available in three versions, from simple to high-end graphics applications needs. All are capable of both SD and HD playout options, live input and extensive graphic layering as well as multi-codec support.
“The acquisition of PubliTronic will offer immediate benefits to our customers with the introduction of the K2 Edge server,” said Dunn. “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.”
Grass Valley said that integrated playout solutions have been adopted by about 5% of the market and represent “one of the fastest growing segments in broadcasting, [and is] expected to increase significantly over the next three years.”
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 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 Vermeulen, who now becomes VP, Grass Valley media playout solutions. “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.”
The K2 Edge integrated playout solution offers a wide range of options including full redundancy, with a fully integrated channel starting at $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.