Grass Valley President Alain Andreoli sees Stratus ideally placed as the media workflow application framework for nonlinear production.
Grass Valley Stratus
Grass Valley has its own workflow platform — Stratus.
“It's an SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). You can move file across and enterprise locally of globally, and it uses open API,” Andreoli explains. “It gives a backbone to start building an integrated nonlinear production chain. You become your own private cloud.”
The product is proving popular.
"We will reach 200 installations of Stratus in the next three to six months,” Andreoli said.
Andreoli would like to see more standard interfaces to support interoperability and give broadcasters the ability to change services without being locked via a custom interface to one vendor. He is a great believer in a few vendors taking things forward, rather than “committees of users sitting round deciding standards.”
Andreoli would like to see more cooperation between vendors to provide broadcasts with end-to-end integrated systems that are more open, more standardized. The broadcast community is developing an SOA as part of the joint AMWA/EBU FIMS (Framework for Interoperable Media Services) project.
Asked to compare Stratus with FIMS, Andreoli said, “Stratus is built on the same SOA and principles as FIMS, but Stratus is ahead in the game. We have already defined about 20 services. I have no doubt that we will eventually become compatible and take advantage of the momentum behind FIMS, but we are ahead of FIMS. We welcome the initiative of FIMS. We think it makes sense, and the more momentum it gets, the better for the industry.”
Andreoli continued to explain how some large networks have built huge systems that have become obsolete within five years or so. To extend them or add facilities has proved difficult, and the best option has been to start again with a new architecture and new system. Andreoli calls for a more standardized and more agile approach so that broadcasters can respond quickly to challenges of new entrants providing content to viewers. The SOA is such an architecture that allows for easier change to services. Other industry verticals have already adopted the SOA, but broadcasters are finally catching up.
Grass Valley has remained one of the strongest brands in broadcast technology. One can think of companies like RCA and Ampex, once leading brands in this industry, but now gone. Grass Valley is taking a different approach in leading innovation in new ways to run technology platforms for broadcast — one good example being the Stratus media workflow application framework for nonlinear production. It doesn’t pay to stand still, for broadcasters or technology suppliers.
Andreoli has a strong vision for the future of Grass Valley and for broadcast engineering in general. The current changes are much more disruptive of the evolution from monochrome to color, from standard to high definition. Those changes took place without any serious disruption to the business of television. The next round of change will be different.