Grass Valley is introducing a new, tightly integrated modular software platform that supports every part of the content creation and distribution lifecycle through a common graphical user interface. The new Grass Valley STRATUS media workflow application suite leverages a uniquely designed, highly scalable service oriented architecture (SOA) to help all types of program producers and providers streamline their workflows. STRATUS allows producers and managers to make specific tasks fast and easy to perform by virtually any pre-authorized member of their staff.
Building on 15 years of experience in file-based workflows, the new Grass Valley STRATUS platform is designed to ingest, manage, edit, and playout assets stored on Grass Valley K2 Summit or K2 Solo servers, or a Grass Valley K2 storage area network (SAN). Grass Valley will make most of its existing file-based production software tools available immediately for the Windows OS-based platform and continue to add new features (and a Macintosh client) to the STRATUS platform as time goes on.

For customers, this means they can grow their individualized STRATUS platform and add new functionality, as their business requires, without the need for expensive hardware boxes or complicated, costly, and time-consuming system upgrades-as all software is pushed from servers to PC clients. STRATUS can be easily deployed alongside an enterprise asset management system or as a replacement for it.

“Most vendors provide a single application designed for a single user performing a specific task, without any other capabilities available to them,” said Charlie Dunn, Senior Vice President of Editing, Servers, and Storage for Grass Valley. “STRATUS is a common, intuitive framework that can be used by everyone within a media company and allows one person to do many tasks from their own desktop. The flexibility built into this architecture allows a wide variety of users across multiple sites to take advantage of a cohesive software platform that will continue to evolve and add even more functionality over time.”

Unlike a typical collaborative workflow solution, the Grass Valley STRATUS architecture provides individual tools to perform various job-specific tasks while at the same time helping management to better organize its staff by providing secure access to their content in a variety of IT-centric ways. It also allows staff member to reconfigure and build their own workspace, no matter what job they are doing at that time. They can also save those personalized attributes so that when they come back to their job-no matter where they are logging in from-they will see their screen set-up with the tools they have requested. Due to a series of Web-enabled tools, users can also access the platform over the Internet and take advantage of “cloud-type” remote access capabilities.

Media for a particular TV drama, news program, or other project is saved within a specific folder that can be accessed and worked on by anyone with the proper authorization. So a journalist at a TV station would have access to the media clips as well as a series of software tools to preview and edit that clip and then send it to the playout server directly. This saves time and effort while enabling an “administrator” to organize staff members and allow them to perform tasks they typically would not-due to logistics, availability, or other operational reasons.

Multiple users on a network can also make notes on specific clips and have those notes reside with that clip wherever it goes within an organization.

STRATUS initially will track assets stored on a K2 media server but Grass Valley plans to add a number of third-party plug-ins, devices, and assets that can be tracked and integrated into the STRATUS platform. It will be instantly compatible, via plug-ins, with all newsroom computer systems and many asset management software platforms.

Pricing and Availability

The first Windows version of the new Grass Valley STRATUS will be demonstrated at the NAB Show and be commercially available in June 2011. Pricing is dependent upon system configuration.