Grass Valley says Infinity tapeless camcorder to hit streets in second quarter

By Ken Kerschbaumer

It was IBC 2005 when Grass Valley took the wraps off of the Infinity camcorder, a new concept in ENG gear that promised to offer users the widest variety of recording format options and also the ability to record on either solid-state FLASH cards or drive-based iOmega REVPro drives.

Original hopes to ship product sometime last year have shifted into the second quarter of this year as the company grapples with the challenge of delivering a first-generation product that delivers fully on its promises and then some.

“We’re later than we want to be with delivery of Infinity and yes, we’re not happy,” says Jeff Rosica, Grass Valley senior vice president, marketing and technology. “The reality is it is taking time to get it right. And while the delay in delivery is disappointing to us and our customers we’ll be making enhancements to the camcorder that were not in the original version.”

The camcorder right now is in a Beta field trial with top customers and partners like Avid whose editing systems will support REV PRO media natively.

John Naylor, Grass Valley director of the Infinity program says the eventual product will deliver on the promise of recording costs that break down to $1.90 per Gigabyte for the REV PRO drives and providing a self-paced transition from SD to HD.

“Right now we’re improving the cooling system and reducing power consumption,” he says. “For example, we’re moving to a cooling system that is more in line with what you would find in laptops, where liquid-filled heat pipes help carry out heat. It’s a more effective cooling system.”

Final evaluation units will be on hand at NAB and 100 will be into the field at roughly the same time for demonstrations and evaluations. And the original $26,600 price with viewfinder holds.

“Our customers says they’re willing to wait because they honestly like our approach and they believe in what we’re doing,” says Naylor.

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