Grass Valley Kayenne Production Switcher Heats Up NAB

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Grass Valley Group’s next-generation production-switcher line, Kayenne, is heating up the NAB show floor and promises to deliver more power than ever to sports-broadcasting technical directors who find themselves juggling more video sources and devices every year.

“Kayenne gives the TD the chance to never say no to a request [from a director] for how the show should look,” says Grass Valley Group Product Manager Greg Huttie. “It has the modularity, flexibility, and future-proofing to make the TD’s job easier for prepping and carrying out a show.”

Among the many hardware and software innovations, Kayenne provides six keyers per M/E, 20 channels of DPM, including a four-channel eDPM with two combiner outputs, Source Rules that associate keys with a source, a Device Control Module with jog wheel interacting with its Q-MEM cue library, and Define E-MEM providing finer control of E-MEM effects.

David Casper, Grass Valley product manager for Kayenne, says features like OLED lighting for source displays gives the switcher a bright, crisp look and RGB buttons throughout the panel mean that the user can assign different colors to cameras, graphics devices, or replay devices. “The viewing angles are also improved with banked widescreen menus,” he says. “Also, the touchscreen works from the bottom up for better navigation.”

“Kayenne is the next phase of evolution in the Grass Valley switcher product line, representing a family of products for worldwide customer applications that will appeal to users familiar with Grass Valley switchers now in the field,” says Jeff Rosica, SVP of Grass Valley. “While the Kalypso and Kayak HD switchers will continue to be available for those that need them, the new Kayenne continues our legacy of innovation by being both best-in-breed and the most cost-effective in its category.”

With up to 96 inputs and 48 outputs in a single frame, the Kayenne Video Production Center frames range from 1.5 to 4.5 M/E, with the 4.5 option an industry first. A half M/E with six linear/luminance keyers is standard in every model.

The move to six keys per M/E is a 50% gain versus the Grass Valley Kalypso switcher. Each full M/E has four full-function keyers (including optional chroma keys, preset patterns, masks, wipes, borders, etc.) plus two linear/luminance keyers. Each full-function keyer also provides two video/key pages (frames) of storage for non-animated bugs without consuming Image Store outputs.

Among the new features are hot-swappable panel modules that can be removed and replaced quickly, without impacting on-air production. The panel’s ergonomic design provides instant access to the many new features. All of the buttons on the panel are RGB buttons so that color designates M/E, key, source, and function. Also, two rows of configurable OLED source-name displays per M/E stripe provide increased legibility.

“Technical directors who are familiar with Kalypso will be able to punch a show as if it is a Kalypso,” says Huttie. “Kayenne requires hardly any training as we only need to help the TD unlock some of the hidden features that will make it easier for them to produce thanks to a menu system that can split out favorite configurations.

Kayenne internally converts up to 16 inputs and 8 outputs without tying up M/E resources through the use of the MatchDef and SetDef options. SetDef does not consume any M/E resources and both HD and SD outputs can be produced. Combining conversion with the FlexiKey and DoubleTake options provides a solution for multiple feeds of different formats that could include different graphics or backgrounds for each converted output.

As for price, expect Kayenne to be about the same as a Kayak XL switcher and slightly less than Kalypso. It will be available in May.

“It’s all about making a switcher that causes less headaches and does not constrain the production,” says Casper. “The TD will be able to pull off exactly what the director and producer are asking for.”