Grass Valley, previously known as Grass Valley Group, is a privately held company based in California, USA. Grass Valley produces technology for the video and broadcast industry. On January 29, 2009, Thomson announced its intention to sell the Grass Valley business unit. On July 26, 2010, Technicolor (formerly Thomson) received a binding offer from the private equity firm Francisco Partners to purchase the Grass Valley business unit, not including the head-end and transmission businesses. After Francisco Partners completed the acquisition from Technicolor SA at the end of 2010, Grass Valley resumed doing business as a fully independent company again on January 1, 2011. The company is now called Grass Valley Sarl, headquartered in Luxembourg, legally known in the United States as Grass Valley USA, LLC.
- Broadcast products
- See also
- Further reading
- External links
Grass Valley 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. Then Tektronix sold its 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. By 2008, the once-profitable Grass Valley division was operating at a net loss of over $100 million per year, and 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 on January 1, 2011.
With the acquisition of the video product line from Tektronix, Grass Valley branded the former Tektronix Profile as a Grass Valley product. This was one of the first video disk server products on the market in the mid 1990s, marketed under the "Profile" brand and given the name "PDR" (Professional Disk Recorder). Based on Microsoft Windows NT and Wind River Systems VxWorks along with standard PC and custom video hardware, these machines were an instant hit, providing up to four video input/outputs in a box about the size of a Betacam video recorder.
Grass Valley now offers a number of video server products. The previous Profile family, the PVS3000 and PVS3500, which supported high definition and standard definition video, is now being replaced by the K2 Media Server and Media Client system, which Grass Valley launched in 2005. Alongside the Profile and K2 products, Grass Valley also offers "iVDR" products, such as the M-Series, which are intended as full-featured replacements for analog video tape recorder (VTR) systems.
As well as video disk systems, Grass Valley markets switchers and effects systems, such as the Kayenne and Karrera Video Production Centers, and video routers. Grass Valley was recognized by Frost & Sullivan with the 2011 Global Market Leadership of the Year Award in video switchers. Grass Valley also manufactures video cameras, such as the LDK 8000 and LDK 8300.
Grass Valley also produces digital audio routing systems, such as the APEX line.
Thomson's Film Division, located in Weiterstadt including the product line of Spirit DataCine, Bones Work station and LUTher 3D Color Space converter, was sold to Parter Capital Group. The sale was made public on September 9, 2008 and completed on December 1, 2008. The new headquarters is in Weiterstadt. Parter Capital Group will continue to have world wide offices to support products from Weiterstadt, Germany The new name of the company is Digital Film Technology.
Grass Valley has engineering centres throughout the world, concentrating on specific products or product groups:
- Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France
- Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
- Jacksonville, Florida, United States (permanent office now closed, some personnel relocated to Nevada City)
- Woburn, Massachusetts, United States
- Beaverton, Oregon, United States
- Nevada City, California, United States (previous headquarters, near the original home of Grass Valley, California)
- Breda, Netherlands
- Weiterstadt, Germany
- Kobe, Japan
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Homebush West, Sydney, Australia
- Notting Hill, Melbourne, Australia
- Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand (Permanent office now closed, most responsibilities shifted to the Australian offices)
↑ Thomson History Timeline: 1990-2003, Retrieved on 2009-08-23
↑ http://www.videography.com/articles/article_16060.shtml Videography, Thomson Sells Thomson Grass Valley Digital Film Transfer Equipment Business Published in 2008
↑ http://www.parter-capital.de/en/index.php Parter Capital Group web site
- 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.
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