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Thomson Expands Popular Grass Valley Kayak HD High-Definition Video Switcher Line (30/1/2005)

KayakDD SD Switcher Now in 600 Installations Across Multiple Applications

Building on the tremendous market enthusiasm across broadcast and professional audio visual markets for its Grass Valley(tm) KayakDD(tm) switcher line, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) today announced the Grass Valley(tm) brand Kayak HD(tm) 2 M/E switcher for high-definition (HD) production.

A complement to the existing Kayak HD 1 M/E video production switcher, the 2 M/E Kayak HD system is designed for live production, small corporate studios and editing applications. It's sure to build on the popularity of the KayakDD standard-definition switcher, of which more than 600 are installed worldwide-with more than 125 in China alone. Many of these switchers have been installed at universities, public high schools, government agencies, sports arenas, and religious production facilities.

This popularity is emblematic of Thomson's success in making its premium line of Grass Valley-brand digital production equipment for broadcasters accessible to video professionals in adjacent markets which are starting to make a substantial investment in digital production facilities.

"By continuing to expand the Grass Valley Kayak HD switcher line, Thomson recognizes the need for affordable multi-layered HD production tools in both the traditional broadcast as well as the professional and institutional markets," said Marc Valentin, executive vice president of Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions.

Kayak HD 2 M/E: native HD production in a robust signal-processing frame

At 4 rack units (RU) high, the Kayak HD 2 M/E switcher is highly portable. Supporting 1080i and 720p HD production with a robust signal-processing frame that offers up to 48 inputs, four high-quality keyers per M/E, and up to 24 outputs, the system is also SD/HD switchable, supporting both SDI 525 (NTSC) and 625 (PAL) SD formats as well. It features an internal six-channel RAM recorder that records and plays out hundreds of uncompressed clips and stills. This field-tested RAM recorder can also be used as a high-quality frame synchronizer.

The Kayak HD 2 M/E switcher also includes the same familiar control panel and interface that Thomson customers routinely rely on for multi-camera productions, making installation and training fast and easy.

Like the 1 M/E version, the Kayak HD 2 M/E switcher includes a number of options such as chromakey, RGB color correction, and four internal Digital Picture Manipulators (iDPMs) per M/E for sophisticated digital video effects. It also supports a large number of popular server, router, and audio control protocols.

The new Kayak HD 2 M/E system also provides complete machine control, full networking capability to allow combined control among multiple panels and frames, and an integrated touch-screen display.

To help maximize productivity, all Grass Valley switchers support the Grass Valley NetCentral(tm) application for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)-based facility and device monitoring.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for the Grass Valley 2 M/E Kayak HD system starts at 76,000. It is scheduled to be available in the summer of 2005.

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