Published on Tuesday, 08 April 2014


Grass Valley Puts GV STRATUS Playout in the Cloud

V STRATUS Playout is a cloud-enabled Software as a Service playout system, combining cloud computing with the performance and stability of a solid-state playout server on a card, for regionalized and network centre-based playout. According to Grass Valley, users can install a single, solid-state card, establish an Internet connection and begin playing out a new channel very rapidly. The aim is to avoid the traditional processes of new channel preparation and playout and reduce the need for ancillary support devices. Because the card is in effect the playout channel, users do not need to rely as heavily on expensive, central infrastructure devices that may compromise their ability to expand.

The SSP-3801 solid-state playout module for the company’s Densité modular platform enables broadcasters to take advantage of the flexibility of acloud-enabled system. The compact card has relatively low power requirements and is installed at the edge of the network. It is able to produce frame accurate playback, display still and animated logos and high quality pre-rendered graphics and may be configured over most networks.

GV STRATUS Playout was designed as an automated playout software service handling playlist preparation, distribution, control and monitoring of playout devices in the cloud. The broadcaster retains control of the location and movement of their broadcast media. Ingest, content preparation and asset management, remain on premises.

Aimed at the range of national broadcasters, specialty channel providers and playout service providers, GV STRATUS Playout uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud ‘platform as a service’, hosted in Microsoft Data Centres. For redundancy, GV STRATUS Playout metadata is stored three times in each data centre and then replicated in real-time replication between data centres.

The new SSP-3801 uses solid state high-grade media storage and integrates with GV STRATUS Playout using secure web service protocols. The card runs as a stand-alone with an embedded Linux OS and can be installed anywhere, even adjacent to the headend to which it may be feeding content. The card is also resilient to network outages. In the event of lost connectivity when, for example, a day’s worth of playlists and content are already loaded, the card will continue playing. Status messages or playlist changes that occurred during the break will be automatically updated once connection is re-established.


Further to playout, GV STRATUS Playout is means of regionalizing content. Broadcasters are increasingly looking to reach regional, local and even hyperlocal audiences with their channels, changing not just commercials but promotions and long form programming to cover blackouts or to provide more compelling programming. The barrier in terms of cost has been dependence on and long term commitment to satellite bandwidth and complex playout systems, which GV STRATUS Playout aims to overcome.

GV STRATUS is the basis of Grass Valley’s integrated systems, which manage the media lifecycle from ingest to playout by merging it into a single workflow. The platform’s simplified aproach is intended to put diverse content destinations - broadcast, web, mobile applications or Video-On-Demand - within reach of broadcasters. The new GV STRATUS Playout solution is the subject of live theatre presentations and demonstrations at NAB Show 2014.

K2 Dyno DynoZoom & AJA TruScale

Grass Valley has also formed a new development partnership with AJA Video Systems. AJA’s Corvid Ultra and TruScale scaling hardware will be integrated into the Grass Valley K2 Dyno Replay System and Summit 3G broadcast replay server to drive real-time pan and zoom from UltraHD/4K to HD.

By combining the AJA TruScale scaling hardware with the new DynoZoom function in K2 Dyno, customers can extend replay functionality for viewers. DynoZoom is integrated directly on the Dyno controller, making it a fast, intuitive implementation.


Grass Valley says that many of their sports replay customers are adopting UltraHD/4K as a standard acquisition format due to the impact the higher resolution pictures have on delivering a story. Grass Valley’s Director of Servers and Storage Products, Adolfo Rodriguez, said, “Many of those customers already have the K2 Dyno Replay System integrated into their facilities. By working with AJA, we are able to bring those customers a turnkey solution and elegant software interface with DynoZoom for HD Region of Interest selection from UltraHD/4K images in real-time.”

At NAB, Grass Valley is adding new UltraHD/4K Pan and Zoom support to their K2 Dyno Replay System, consisting of the K2 Dyno S Replay Controller and either a K2 Summit 3G media server or K2 Solo 3G portable media server. The system is UltraHD/4K -compliant and can now support multiple frame rates including super slow-motion and ultra-high frame rate acquisition and replay supported by AJA’s Corvid Ultra with TruScale hardware. Grass Valley and AJA worked together to jointly engineer a software interface to drive real-time scaling and HD extraction for both real time delivery and replay requirements.

Corvid Ultra is part of AJA’s of video and audio I/O products for Developer Partners supporting high-bandwidth, high frame rate workflows. Corvid Ultra supports 2K and 4K as well as scaling capabilities for resolutions up to true 4K. Supporting high frame rates - 48p, 50p and 60p - 4K workflows and onboard debayering, Corvid Ultra has the TruScale arbitrary scaling engine used for up or down scaling of rasters from web video up to 4K. TruScale is keyframeable and works in real-time, allowing motion video to be resized while maintaining image quality.