| Subcribe via RSS

Ross Video Keeps Sports Venues in Its Sights With Switcher Upgrades, Inception Live

April 13th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Karen Hogan

For the second year, Ross Video made waves on Sunday night with its opening NAB 2015 keynote and several new-product announcements, including several geared to sports venues. Ross, which is celebrating 23 straight years of company growth, kicked off the keynote with a look at what distinguishes the company: its balance of left-brain engineers and right-brain creatives.

Ross Video CEO David Ross gave the company’s second-annual NAB Show keynote address on Sunday night.

Ross Video CEO David Ross gave the company’s second-annual NAB Show keynote address on Sunday night.

“When you have the technology in a company making the creative side possible, you get some really great output because you have that feeding into the creative,” says Ross Video CEO David Ross. “The creatives, of course, are never happy. Those guys are on the hot seat, they have to be pushing the envelope, and they will always ask for more than we have, which pushes back into technology and creates a better product. I think that’s one of the reasons why, when you put the whole brain together, you end up with what I think is something that makes Ross Video very special in the industry.”

Ross Video’s creative portfolio has expanded in recent years, but it remains firmly committed to its core business: production switchers. After last year’s launch of Acuity — now an integral part of the Buffalo Bills’ and Arizona Cardinals’ game-day productions — Ross Video released Version 3 software for the switcher, upgrading the Acuity to 4M/E and four keyers per M/E for full 4K production. Where Acuity could previously handle 4K, Version 3 enables 4K production without any loss in keyers or processing power.

Retaining the design aesthetic of Acuity, Ross Video unveiled Carbonite Black, the latest addition to its best-selling family of production switchers. Carbonite Black brings expanded I/O and M/E count to the Carbonite series, with a new control panel, 3M/E, 36 inputs, and 22 outputs, plus the features found in other Carbonite models: MiniMEs, multiscreen, 3G, and 4K format support.

 The latest addition to Ross’s Carbonite switcher series, Carbonite Black

The latest addition to Ross’s Carbonite switcher series, Carbonite Black

“When we launched Carbonite just a few years ago, it revolutionized the industry for midsize production switchers,” says Ross. “There’s this really important space between the existing Carbonite and Acuity that I think the industry’s been waiting for. Carbonite Black is a stunning new addition to the Carbonite family. What’s really cool about it is that it’s a Carbonite that looks like an Acuity.”

In addition to production-switcher upgrades, Ross Video enhanced its creative portfolio geared toward its sports-stadium customers. Inception Live — a live-production planning, scripting, and social-media tool ¾ will facilitate communications and simplify social-media workflows. With Inception Live, sports venues can give real-time updates to scripts and rundowns, streamline asset-management workflows, use instant messaging, and, most important, enable staff to go off-script when necessary.

“They’re doing today what we used to do before the automated newsroom,” says Ross of current videoboard-control rooms. “They’re running around with Excel spreadsheets, with Microsoft Word documents, with paper scripts. And, if you want to make a change, good luck, because chaos is going to ensue: you’ve got to tell a lot of people that you’re going off-script. But television is all about unplanned changes, going off-script and responding immediately to whatever is happening.”

Ross Mobile Productions’ fifth openTruck unit, FIN5, on exhibit

Ross Mobile Productions’ fifth openTruck unit, FIN5, on exhibit

Ross Video has also added new functions and capabilities to its XPression line of graphics systems, increasingly popular in venue control rooms because of their simplicity of operation and ability to handle large amounts of data. The company has introduced the XPression Clips production clip server that features a record capability. Built on the XPression graphics platform, XPression Clips is a dedicated clip server with the ability to be upgraded to full CG functionality with a software license.

“The cool thing about XPression Clips is, it can run on the same server as the Xpression graphics,” says Steve Romain, director, global sports marketing and business development, “which saves space, saves money, it’s green, and it’s powerful.”

Since the acquisition of Mobile Content Providers in October 2013, Ross Video has expanded to five Ross Mobile Productions trucks and will produce more than 400 events this year for ESPN, NBC Sports, SEC Network, AEC Network, and Sports Illustrated.