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Old January 31st, 2009, 03:01 PM   #1
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Thomson looking to shed Grass Valley

TVB | Thomson Cuts Grass
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 11:53 AM   #2
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I wonder what "Grass Valley" means these days.

I worked for Grass from 1987 through 1996, when they were owned by Tektronix. We made switchers, real-time effects hardware, routers and modular products. The company was sold to a private investor, who did turnarounds. Thomson then bought it, and then branded their cameras with the Grass Valley label. They also acquired a news editing product line, and gave it the Grass brand.

I assume that Grass Valley means the global operations and all Grass branded products.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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Makes me wonder what's going to happen to Canopus...?
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Doesn't look like the Viper will get updated anytime soon.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #5
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Let's buy it!

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Makes me wonder what's going to happen to Canopus...?
Let's see... It's up for sale for 2 billion dollars.

DVinfo has over 24.000 members. Say 4.000 of us are insolvent; those 20.000 of you guys who make a million or more per yer by shooting/editing video - put down $10K each and buy the Grass. Rebrand Canopus to Dvinfous.

Seriously though, I wouldn't be concerned. On the eve of this fully digital age, a valuable asset like Canopus can't just dissapear like that.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #6
 
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Canopus has a reputation for some of the best image processing programmers in the country. I doubt they will go without a sponsor. The question becomes, will their future sponsor treat them with respect, or will they pull a "Sony", like Sony did to Vegas?

Admittedly, Grass Valley has some of the worst customer support in existence, on a par with Sony. In this arena, it can only get better with whomever buys them.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #7
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Good point - that's about the only danger I see as well, to be bought by a competitor and melted into their own product. Ouch, I don't want that to happen!

At this point Sony is busy with managing huge monetary losses. Apple and Avid probably don't see a competitor in GV. Maybe Adobe? I pray not...

Or maybe I'm wrong - the consolidation would possibly result in a product even better than Edius? Not sure about the Viper though... that camera needs to go on!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #8
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I am with Bill.

Canopus has a good product line and a great reputation.

My biggest fear is somebody buys them just to eliminate their competition and put them on the shelf rather than continue their product line.

The original owners would not have fallen into that trap but the original owners are not in the mix anymore.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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Admittedly, Grass Valley has some of the worst customer support in existence, on a par with Sony.
Really? If so, that's really sad to hear.

When I worked there (1987-1996) our customer service was ranked among the very best, according to surveys and direct customer comments. That led to a solid brand name, which is why Thomson put the Grass label on their cameras, rather than putting Thomson labels on the GVG switchers.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #10
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Hmmmm, let's go inside and see what they have to say....
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Old February 10th, 2009, 09:54 PM   #11
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No front door!

Hmmm, knock on a few. Here's a CSR area, I think...

"Sorry sir, no tours or public info. Glad you like our products though."

Let's hope they come through well though. Located in one of the prettiest settings in the U.S.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 12:41 AM   #12
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Phil,

I think I know that rock. Is it the one at the entrance to the Nevada City site? It used to have the old GVG "bug" logo.

The story went that it cost well over $10k to move that rock there. We employees were not pleased at the time. If it didn't help us make better products, what was the point? :)
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #13
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Good call Jon! That's the rock!

My parents live about 15 miles from there, so I thought I'd check the place out. Once I found the location I encountered "the rock", which left such an impression, I had my photo taken with it!

The rest of the story is true as well. Saw some nice folks, and what a beautiful setting, but that's about all the further I got.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #14
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I can't complain about GV support. Not on Edius but on NewsEdit and an M-Series video server. They got us going again...
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Old February 11th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #15
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...Saw some nice folks, and what a beautiful setting, but that's about all the further I got.
Assuming no huge changes, there are two buildings, each two stories. When I was there, engineering and marketing were upstairs in the first building. Manufacturing was downstairs. Next door was manufacturing engineering, customer service, and more manufacturing.

The original site is on Bitney Springs Road, on the way from Grass Valley to Rough and Ready (where the men are rough, and the women...) Doc Hare, who started the company in the late '50s had purchased part of that property, and wanted more. The story is that he went to the bars and told everybody that he was going to build the largest chicken factory in the state - I hope you don't mind the smell. That depressed land prices nearby, and then he bought a total spread of 300 acres.

Roads were narrow and wound a tight path to avoid cutting down trees.

Doc Hare's old house on the top of the hill later became the training facility. His inlaws lived in the cottage down below. My wife an I lived there for a few weeks when relocating.

In the late '80s there was a large fire in the area. I think about 150 homes were lost. Firefighters gave up on saving Doc Hare's house and retreated down the hill. When they returned, the fire burned right up to the building, but it remained intact. Sadly, however, the cottage was lost. Everyone figures that Doc Hare's ghost protected the building. I guess his inlaws were out of town...

There were many great stories at "the group." For instance, when they needed a handle for their first product with a joystick, somebody found that they could paint a baby rattle handle black, and the result was just what they wanted. For the next weeks, engineers bought every baby rattle they could find from Grass Valley to Sacramento.

Those were the days...
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