Grass Valley (company)
|Industry||ICT - Broadcast and Media segment|
|Founded||April 7, 1959|
|Headquarters||Hillsboro, Oregon, USA|
|Key people||Tim Thorsteinson (President & CEO), Said Bacho (SVP, President Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region), Rafael Castillo (SVP, Latin America and Caribbean Region), Mitch Yantis (SVP, Global Operations & Quality), Andy Jackson (SVP, North America Region), Marcel Koutstaal (SVP & GM, Imaging Product Group), Karen Niparko (SVP, Human Resources), Bruno Pillet (SVP, Global Services), Stephen Wong (SVP, President Asia Pacific Region), Lisa Prentice (CFO)|
|Products||Cameras, Production Switchers, Routing Switchers, Media Servers, Media Storage, Editing Systems, Digital Workflow, Replay, Integrated Playout)|
|Revenue||Around half a billion dollars, 75% outside of the USA|
|Employees||1440, 60% outside of the USA|
Grass Valley is an American privately held company based in Hillsboro, Oregon. It was previously known as Grass Valley Group and founded in Grass Valley, California. It develops and produces technology and services for the video and broadcast industry, with a broad offering of "glass to glass" solutions for live video production, news and playout. It operates with direct sales and services operations around the world, and spends more than 15% of its revenue in R&D (half of its employees are development and service engineers).
Grass Valley Group was founded as a tiny research and development company in 1959 by Dr. Donald Hare in the small town of Grass Valley, California, in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada range. Hare chose Grass Valley after learning about it from his friend, Charles Litton, Sr. In 1964, Grass Valley demonstrated its first video product, a Video Distribution Amplifier in a hotel room at the National Association of Broadcasters convention. By 1968, the Grass Valley Group had introduced its first vision mixer, the flagship product that helped build the company's reputation.
The company merged with Tektronix in 1974, and was very successful for the next fifteen years. When Tektronix divested its printing, video and networking divisions it sold the video business to a private investor, Terry Gooding of San Diego, California, who reincorporated it under the name Grass Valley Group, Inc. The sale closed on September 24, 1999.
In 2002, the French electronics giant Thomson Multimedia, now known as Technicolor SA, acquired Grass Valley Group. After coming under the ownership of Thomson, Grass Valley Group was forced to merge its product line with the existing professional and broadcast products of its new parent company, with mixed results.
After the financial crisis of 2008, Thomson defaulted on its financial covenants and was forced by its creditors to divest it's Grass Valley business, PRN and other manufacturing entities. On January 29, 2009, Thomson announced that they were putting the Grass Valley division up for sale.
In 2010, the Grass Valley business unit, not including the head-end and transmission businesses, was acquired by private equity firm Francisco Partners and resumed operating as an independent company with offices in San Francisco, California on January 1, 2011. The company announced in August 2013 it would move its headquarters to Hillsboro, Oregon, later that year to an existing office.
Products & Technologies
The company offers six families of products: cameras, production switchers, routing switchers, media servers and storage (including replay), editing systems, and integrated playout. The company primarily serves three market segments: live production (live studio and outside broadcast production), news (news production), and playout (content management, playout, and publishing).
Proprietary technologies, and those found within Grass Valley solutions include:
Xensium—The next-generation Xensium-FT imagers, as used in the LDX range of cameras, are a new generation of camera imagers which combine all the advantages from CMOS imaging technology such as high sensitivity in all video modes, high dynamic range, and low power consumption. They also include global shutter behavior which was before only possible with CCD imagers.
LDX—The LDX range consists of four system cameras (LDX Series) and three smaller compact cameras (LDX Compact series) for POV and space limited installations. The LDX Series consists of LDX Flex (single-format 1080i or 720p), LDX Première (dual-format 1080i and 720p), LDX Elite (triple-format 1080i, 720p, and 1080PsF) and LDX WorldCam (quad-format 1080i, 720p, 1080PsF, and 1080p). The LDX Compact Series cameras consist of Première, Elite, and WorldCam models with format support exactly the same as the LDX Series.
Two unique broadcast camera technologies are used in the LDX range. The first is a GV e-Licensing program enabling the camera to be upgraded to the next camera in the range (with additional features as well), either on a 7-day basis or with a perpetual license. The second feature is the ability for the WorldCam models to acquire in 1080p mode without any additional lighting from 1080i or 720p HD modes.
XCU—The eXtensible Control Unit dockable base station is a revolutionary concept in camera transmission. XCU is made out of two distinct units: the base station and a fixed cradle. The cradle can be mounted and wired into equipment racks, and the base station can be docked into different cradles as needed. All specific settings needed for the production environment are memorized in an EEPROM inside the cradle and will automatically configure the base station when it’s powered on. This makes moving base stations between OB trucks and studios fairly simple.
GV Director—Designed for creatives and not technicians, GV Director is an integrated nonlinear production platform that combines the functionality of a switcher, video server, graphics generator, and multiviewer in a simple, powerful, and creative workspace.
CommandCenter— A new approach to future-proofed broadcast system control in one application, providing a graphical presentation of broadcast infrastructure devices, applications, and workflows. it is a scalable broadcast system control solution with an elegant approach to managing tasks within any mid-range to highly complex broadcast infrastructure. CommandCenter offers simple and easy access to configure, control, and diagnose broadcast systems, tasks, and workflows. It is also an excellent complement to enhancing Prelude, Encore, and Jupiter routing control solutions. The customizable graphical user interfaces presents broadcast system workflows, and efficiently manages loop-in-path signal management devices and other operational workflow tasks like multi-layer tally and mnemonic management.
GV Stratus—Grass Valley's architecture for managing video file-based workflows is called GV Stratus, an open SOA software suite that manages video content from glass (camera) to glass (television or IP connected device). Interacting with K2 media servers and storage, GV Stratus provides a unified, expandable foundation for new applications and workflows. The tools within the GV Stratus application framework can be adopted in an almost infinite number of combinations, meaning GV Stratus can be tailored to studio production, play-to-air, news, and many other broadcast and video production environments. Operationally, GV Stratus opens up a new user experience paradigm, with the potential to break down the traditional silos of users, technologies, and tasks. Individual users can tailor their GV Stratus desktop environment according to the task at hand. At the workgroup level, GV Stratus enables collaborative workflows where everyone has access to every clip on the network with the tools required to manage the content. In this way, GV Stratus allows the media enterprise to optimize workflows by consolidating roles for efficiencies, while at the same enabling a team and cross-organizational collaboration.
Grass Valley has sales, services and engineering centres throughout the world, grouped in four regions, and led by a regional SVP: North America (Andy Jackson), LATAM (Rafael Castillo) EMEA (Said Bacho) and APAC (Stephen Wong)
Americas: San Francisco (HQ), Portland, Nevada City, Miami, São Paulo, Burbank, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Salt Lake City.
EMEA: London (HQ), Breda/Apeldoorn, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Brussells, Stockholm, Dubai, Moscow, Istanbul.
APAC: Singapore (HQ), Tokyo, Kobe, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Delhi, Sydney, Melbourne.
Competitors also in the half a billion scale are Sony, Avid, Harris; together with Grass Valley representing around 40% of the supply side of the market. A myriad of smaller niche vendors also compete as the market, which remains very fragmented awaiting a logical wave of consolidations as the industry fast transforms itself from aerial broadcast to video over IP.
- by James E. O'Neal (November 15, 2006). "Grass Valley: From the Movies to the Movies". tvtechnology.com. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
- GVG History Timeline: 1959-2009 Retrieved 2014-03-10
- "Thomson to Sell Grass Valley". TV Technology. january 29, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "Francisco Partners Completes Acquisition of Grass Valley". tvtechnology.com. January 3, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- Rogoway, Mike (August 29, 2013). "Grass Valley, a video technology company with roots at Tektronix, moves HQ from San Francisco to Hillsboro". The Oregonian. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- 2002. "Share the News Three New Systems from Grass Valley Group Are Intended to Facilitate Work Flow". Broadcasting & Cable. 132: 35.
- 2001. "Equipment Purchase — French Manufacturer Thomson Multimedia Acquires Grass Valley Group". Broadcasting & Cable. 131: 12.