Somu Patil, General Manager, South Asia & ASEAN region, Grass Valley
Grass Valley, a Belden brand, offers a complete portfolio of solutions for live production, news, playout and infrastructure networking. With a particular focus on the emerging areas of 4K UHD and migration to IP workflows, Grass Valley helps its customers understand the challenges and opportunities that are driving today’s market.
AtBroadcastAsia, the company focused on IP solutions based on open standards with format-flexible production that allows broadcasters to work efficiently with any format at any time with workflow tools that solve the growing VOD and OTT content preparation challenges.
GrassValley showcased its glass-to-glass IP solution, which helps broadcasters add IP while maintaining SDI capabilities across the entirebroadcast workflow – with the GV Node real-time IP processing and edge routing platform, and GV Convergent IP router control and configuration system, plus the new Densité IPG-3901 SDI/IP gateway with TICO 4K 1-wireoption. Also on display was the new GV Korona K-Frame S-series Video Production Center that is perfect for mobile environments or anywhere where space is limited, and iTX On-Demand, a new and innovative VOD solution that automates the VOD process and dramatically reduces preparation time.
Grass Valley works closely with broadcast and media customers of every size - all over the world - meeting their needs for acquisition, production and playout, with the infrastructure tools to tie these applications together. We leverage unparalleled breadth of expertise and experience to deliver the industry's widest array of broadcast solutions that help our customers stay efficient and tell better stories.
For the Indian market, the key to our success is providing solutions based on the customer's requirements today with room to grow in the future, as needed. Right now, most broadcasters' objectives are to make content available for viewers anywhere, at any time, on a variety of platforms.
We have been quite aggressive in providing workflow management and playout solutions, and the market last year was extremely good for us in terms of sales.
Our star product for the Indian market is the iTX Integrated Playout Platform. iTX offers outstanding IP/SDI format flexibility and scalability for future-readiness, along with end-to-end workflow tools for greater process automation and lower OpEx.
The system's outstanding playout capabilities are combined with a proven track record, with more than 17.5 million hours of broadcast television delivered by iTX each year. These channels range from national broadcasters and global brands to local stations, and they carry some of the biggest live events on television. With iTX, broadcasters are assured that commercial revenues are protected, while the costs of operation are minimized.
We continue to innovate with iTX, adding more features based on customer feedback and aligning our strategy with market requirements; this is perhaps the primary reason for our success.
On your addressable market size in India
We are seeing continuous growth in the market - having strengthened our presence in India, over the last two years, with year-over-year growth.
On your major customers
In the live production segment, we recently supplied HD and 4K camera technology to a leading cricket sporting event. We have had success in the infrastructure segment and as such, have a good share of the market. India has always been a price-sensitive market and Grass Valley has always been able to cater to this need with packaged solutions that meet market requirements.
Grass Valley has been the chosen partner for many of the largest DTH satellite operators. With continuous innovations in media delivery, our offerings have evolved to provide satellite operators the tools to incorporate larger channel lineups, interactive services, HD programming, and introduction of hybrid multiplatform delivery.
The Indian broadcast industry performed well last year. With more than 200 channels on the iTX platform right now, DTH players like Videocon d2h and Tata Sky are deploying iTX for their DTH services. iTX is fulfilling Videocon's need for 24 additional SD and four HD channels and Tata Sky's 42 channels. Basically, iTX provides broadcasters a platform that fits their strategy today with the added option of managing VOD with iTX On-Demand.
Content consumption is increasingly spread across a variety of delivery platforms and DTH operators are addressing this challenge of having to deliver over multiple networks. Grass Valley's iControl headend offers the ability to meet these challenges with a cost-effective, bandwidth-efficient solution that enables new business opportunities.
On your plans for 2016-17
In India, we have gone past the build-up stage and now expect firm orders. We have successful reference sites that have been operating for the last couple of years. These success stories will start giving us results, bringing interest from all broadcasters. Going forward, we are extremely positive.
On your short- and long-term strategic initiatives for India
Simply navigating change no longer works. We keep broadcasters future-ready by offering solutions that are modular and scalable, ensuring that change will become opportunity.
Looking at IP, content distribution is happening over mobile and other devices. It is not the traditional broadcast that is based on the simple usage of a router or other traditional methods. There is involvement of high-end technology. Grass Valley offers IP connectivity across our product portfolio including routers, switchers, and cameras - all IP ready. Broadcasters will be gradually able to upgrade themselves.
With the introduction of GV Node, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) IP switches can be used in broadcast and media facilities with the assurance that these switches offer transparent broadcast-centric operation and processing. GV Node is the first true, real-time IP processing and edge routing platform designed to handle deterministic vertically accurate switching within IP. It supports SMPTE ST 2022-6 IP inputs and outputs, as well as TICO visually lossless compression for live and stored 4K applications, and is the first component of Grass Valley's groundbreaking Broadcast Data Center.
India is a price-sensitive market. Sales are demand-driven rather than technology-driven. For example, we did the first 4K broadcast in the Cricket World Cup in Australia, but in India at the Indian Premiere League, there was no demand for 4K. India is a developing country and the mindset will change gradually. Rest assured Grass Valley is here to help our customers today and with the future challenges in times to come.
Sustainable success requires formulating, organizing, and implementing long-term plans. Grass Valley has a clear vision of where it is headed, offers best-in-class solutions, and knows how to guide each customer to achieve success, today and in the future.