US Food and Drug Administration Completes HD Upgrade

Federal agency updates to state-of-the-art gear.
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An FDA technician at the controls of the agency's Grass Valley Karrera switcher

Hillsboro, Ore. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a major U.S. government agency responsible for advancing public health, recently rounded out a three-year high definition (HD) upgrade with a new 3 M/E Karrera Video Production Center switcher with K-Frame, as well as a Concerto routing switcher from from Grass Valley. With the help of broadcast supplier Digital Video Group, the FDA completed the upgrade over the 2013 winter holidays and its Gaithersburg, Md., studio is now fully HD operational.

“Given the wide body of work we generate, upgrading our facility to HD was necessary in order to provide our internal and external clients with high-quality programs,” said Chad Heupel, director of communication media for the FDA. “Our audiences are used to seeing HD programming at home, so it’s come to be expected in every viewing experience.”

“It was an effortless choice to select Grass Valley because, given the dwindling resources of the federal government, everyone is forced to do more with less,” Heupel said. “Grass Valley solutions are a huge proponent of efficiency, which is right in line with our needs.”

The move from SD to HD is of huge importance to the FDA, as the migration will enhance the wide variety of programming it produces for internal use, as well as other federal government agencies through Inter-Agency agreements. Productions include the FDA’s Center for Tobacco webcasts, as well as programs for the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition that educate FDA inspectors, food manufacturers, and consumers on food safety. The FDA also produces programming for the U.S. Army, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA).

The Karrera Video Production Center, now available with K-Frame, delivers a modular approach to production switchers. It encompasses an intuitive control panel, a touchscreen side-panel interface and delivers full 3G 1080p50/60 HD support, while drawing less power than other switchers in the market. Together, with the Concerto routing switcher, the Karrera gives the FDA considerably more production flexibility and power to meet the needs of its various internal and external production clients.

“The Food and Drug Administration's consumer and regulatory mission necessitates the right technologies are in place, allowing the agency to deliver the absolute best content to its clients and the public,” said Andy Jackson, senior vice president for North America at Grass Valley. “We designed the Karrera with advanced features at a mid-market price, so agencies of all sizes — especially those that often work with limited staffing such as the FDA — can take advantage of its array of features and stay within their budget.”