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Grass Valley T2 iDDR Tutorial

Paul Schmutzler introduces the Grass Valley T2 iDDR and how it can easily integrate into your house of worship video workflow. Combining the versatility of a ton of I/O ports and file format support, along with the security of an embedded OS and user-friendly hardware controls, the Grass Valley T2 provides you with a recipe for success.

Tutorial: How to Use the Grass Valley T2 iDDR in Your Worship Video Workflow

Combining the versatility of a ton of I/O ports and file format support, along with the security of an embedded OS and user-friendly hardware controls, the Grass Valley T2 provides you with a recipe for success.

In this tutorial, I’ll introduce you to the Grass Valley T2 iDDR and how it can easily integrate into your house of worship video workflow.

T2 iDDR Panels and I/O

The T2 from Grass Valley is a complete self-contained A/V playout appliance designed to be rackmounted. On the front (Figure 1, below), you will find a 7” LCD touchscreen, USB ports, 1/4” headphone jack and hardware shuttle controls, just like a traditional VTR.

Figure 1. The front panel of the T2 iDDR. Click the image to see it at full size.

Having a familiar interface likes this helps if your house of worship uses inexperienced volunteers. The rear of the unit (Figure 2, below) houses a litany of ports and connections. Analog audio can be sent and received with XLR, while digital audio can be accessed with AES/EBU. DNC/SDI connections and DVII are available for video signals.

Figure 2. The rear panel. Click the image to see it at full size.

There are two ports for ethernet, allowing the operator to transfer files to and from the T2 over the network, or FTP  (Figure 3, below).

Figure 3. Ethernet ports. Click the image to see it at full size.

Workflow Issues the T2 Solves

Sure, you could use the PC as a makeshift playout server, but the T2’s value really shines in two key areas, versatility and security. How often does something like this happen at your church:

“Hey, are you the AV guy tonight?”
“Yeah.”
“Can you show my video in the service?”
“Sure can, what do you got?”
“It’s a YouTube video my cousin made for me.”
“Okay, let’s see what you have. I’m sorry, we are all Mac, we can only use H.264 or QuickTime videos.”
“Oh, okay. I guess I’ll just use my backup then. Thanks.”

With the T2’s extensive file format support, that same interaction could look more like this.

“Hey, are you the AV guy tonight?”
“Yeah.”
“Can you show my video tonight at the service?”
“Yeah, I’ll take care of it.”

The T2 supports a wide variety of modern and legacy codecs and file formats (Figure 4, below)  in standard and HD, eliminating a pain point like this. That is just one aspect of the T2’s versatility.

Figure 4. The T2 supports a wide array of codecs and file formats. Click the image to see it at full size.

Security

Now let’s look at security. Have you ever come into the booth before a service and found files saved to the desktop or video games installed on the PC? The T2 features an embedded version of Windows that can’t be automatically updated by Microsoft and won’t allow users to install anything undesirable (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. The T2 features an embedded version of Windows so you can avoid using a cluttered, multi-purpose, non-secure PC for live video. Click the image to see it at full size.

T2 Storage Options

Combining the versatility of a ton of I/O ports and file format support, along with the security of an embedded OS and user-friendly hardware controls, the Grass Valley T2 provides you with a recipe for success. The Grass Valley T2 was recently updated and reintroduced as the series 2 models with better and faster storage options. The T2 recorders are available in three versions, but the only difference between them is the storage (Figure 6, below).

Figure 6. Current T2 configuration options. Click the image to see it at full size.

T2 Express includes two 500GB hard drives and a RAID 0 configuration, perfect for most production environments with up to 14 hours of recording time. The T2 Pro includes four 500GB hard drives and a RAID 10 configuration that has the same recording time but adds raid redundancy to protect your data against hardware failure.

T2 Elite includes two 1TB SSD drives in RAID 0, recommended for any applications that would benefit from SSD drives and requires twice the storage with up to 28 hours of recording. The T2s from Grass Valley are all available from this tutorial’s sponsor, videoguys.com, starting at just under $13,000.


Grass Valley T2 Series 2 iDDR Intelligent Digital Disk Recorder/Player

Grass Valley designed the compact 3-channel (1-record/2-playback) T2 intelligent digital disk recorder (iDDR)  to be flexible, cost-effective and high-performing with three levels of storage configurations — Express, Pro and Elite.


 

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Grass Valley T2 EXPRESS Series 2 Recorder/Player with 2x 500GB HDD RAID-0

$12,980.00

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Grass Valley T2 Pro Series 2 Recorder/Player with 4x 500GB HDD RAID-10

$15,980.00

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Grass Valley T2 Elite Series 2 Recorder/Player with 2x 1TB SSD RAID-0

$19,980.00

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By Courtney Wach, December 27, 2016