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Plan to watch the Olympics?

Western Nevada County is so much more than small-town life amid the pines.

Every time you turn on your TV, you’re probably watching something that’s being broadcast with the help of equipment made here.

Including this year’s Olympic Games.



Thomson Grass Valley Group, a high-tech company located in Nevada City since 1959, makes top-of-the-line video equipment, switches and routers used by some of the biggest broadcast media corporations in the world.

To promote greater visibility in the community and inform local residents about their cutting-edge products, Thomson Grass Valley Group executives invited members of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, Nevada City Council and community leaders to their Providence Mine Road office.




“We wanted to expose members of the community to some of the tech products made in this area and to expose Thomson to the community,” said Dave Perillo, general manager of Thomson Grass Valley Group. “Thomson is the world’s leading provider of solutions for studios, broadcasters and network operations.”

Presidential inaugurations

Thomson’s wide range of clients include media giants Sony, Time Warner and Dreamworks; telecom titans AT&T and Verizon; broadcasters HBO, Fox, BBC Worldwide, ABC and CBS; and distributors Costco and Best Buy, Parillo added.

“We have a massive amount of gear that will help broadcast the Olympics this year,” Perillo said. “We have shipped an extensive amount of equipment to our customer base in China and other parts of the world for the Olympics.”

Many top broadcasters use video production trucks such as the $10-million model owned by Game Creek Video, a New Hampshire-based company.

Inside, it looks akin to a spaceship, with a maze of small television screens and rows of yellow and orange switches.

Much of the high-definition equipment is made by Thomson Grass Valley, Perillo said. Other local companies also made gear that was onboard.

The truck has been used to broadcast presidential inaugurations, pop concerts and numerous national sporting events across the nation, said Paul Bonar, vice president for engineering with Game Creek Video.

“I’ve seen a few versions of these trucks in the 30 years I’ve been in the broadcast business,” said Ray Baldock, chief technology officer with Thomson Grass Valley Group.

Baldock grinned broadly as he worked the controls. “This is a great example of how an HD-TV truck should be put together.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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