Digital Studio reviews the key on-air graphics solutions available today.
WASP3D, a major workflow-based interactive 3D broadcast graphics solution, has increasingly gained popularity among Middle East television broadcasters and was recently deployed by Kuwait TV and Lebanon’s Future TV to cover the elections in their respective countries.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable features of the 2009 edition of WASP3D is WASPi Mimosa, a touch-screen based application that gives the anchor/presenter extreme flexibility and total control over the graphics system. Instead of using a mouse, the presenter can use his hands to point, click and create an interaction on the screen. Besides being anchor driven and offering non-linear interactive presentation a touch screen; inbuilt 3D animation and design effects such as refraction, real-time reflection, bump maps, x-ray textures, real-time cloth are noteworthy features. WASP3D 2009 also comes with a special UBT (Unified Basic Templating) feature that largely helps in speeding up the workflow by allowing graphic artists to create the design interface in the Drone Designer module. The solution supports both High Definition and Standard Definition video formats.
In short, WASP3D provides a more intuitive surface for interactive use and provides a rich and engaging solution for viewers.
Besides KTV and Future TV, WASP3D has also found favour with Ten Sports (Taj Television), Al Rai, Al Watan, Press TV, Al Baghdadiya, Al Quds, Duniya TV and ARY Network among others.
Chyron’s HyperX3 is a powerful and cost-effective real-time 2D/3D character generator and graphics platform. Driven by Chyron’s Lyric PRO 7 advanced 3D creation and playback application, it includes an advanced feature set of software for easily creating 3D pie charts, bar charts and financial line charts. HyperX3 has power to spare to playout some of the most complicated graphics used in production today. Now, two channels of real-time HD graphics can be played out together, including full frame Quicktime and avi files, further improving ROI and greatly enhancing production flexibility.
Three HyperX3 systems were recently installed to handle the graphics requirements of the world’s largest video board plus close to 3000 LCDs throughout American football’s new Dallas Cowboys stadium complex in Arlington, Texas.
Viz Content Pilot 5.3
The newest version of Vizrt’s Viz Content Pilot 5.3 template-based graphics solution comes with significantly expanded features to facilitate the creation of on-air and online graphics in the newsroom.
Three new features from Viz Content Pilot 5.3 are noteworthy. A new unified search feature allows users to search, edit and use images, videos and audio clips from both Viz Object Store and Viz Video Hub. The search results can be edited and added to graphic templates for on-air playout or online publication.
This feature bridges the gap between traditional graphic workflows and video workflows. Viz Content Pilot 5.3 also comes fully integrated with the Escenic Content Studio 5 online and mobile publishing platform. Graphic elements can be published seamlessly to the web, either as on-demand images or as fully animated, interactive animations. The online editorial staff can share the same graphic templates as the on-air newsroom staff or use web-specific ones.
Developed specifically for online publishing workflows, Viz Content Pilot 5.3 features a Vizky-powered preview as an alternative option to the Viz Engine–powered desktop preview. The embedded Vizky preview allows journalists to preview their graphics in real-time as they fill-in the templates and, it allows them to test and experience all of the graphics’ interactive capabilities.
Saudi TV’s Al Ikhbariya News is currently undertaking a major Vizrt install at its facility.
Monarch Innovative Technologies
Monarch DScript 3D offers a feature rich design system for creation of 3D graphics and animation made exclusively for the broadcast industry. It is a CG Live on-air graphics system that is powerful yet cost effective and comes with a host of new features for the CG platform. It provides a complete graphics solution including a character generator, sequencer and key frame animation editor, subtitler with multiple layer compositing and playout capabilities. Based on GPU processing architecture and DirectX 3D technology, it provides powerful 3D real-time rendering performance.
Monarch claims that integrating seamless presentations and graphics for entertaining yet informative programming is very easy.
DScript 3D is available in SD and HD variants.
Main features include an exclusive main and look-ahead preview channel, multiple-layer compositing and playout, dynamic 3D animation, automatic real-time information updates and powerful text effects.
Pixel Power’s BrandMaster combines master control switching with channel branding to raise graphics quality while lowering playout cost. By combining a complete master control switcher with broadcast graphics for channel branding, the playout chain is significantly simplified with graphics able to be injected directly at the point of transmission. With all functionality contained in a single device, the need for additional equipment is eradicated, power consumption is reduced and, therefore, costs are lowered.
Available in three versions – BrandMaster, BrandMaster Clips and BrandMaster 3D (all of which support SD and HD) – single channel to complex multichannel playout can be managed allowing broadcasters to create precisely the identity they require for each channel. Control is provided by soft panels with optional touch screen, multi-colour LCD button panels or a dedicated hardware panel.
BrandMaster uses an upstream router for cross-point switching and can work with local master control routers or busses on the main station router via serial or TCP/IP Ethernet. Further easing integration, all versions are also plug-and-play compatible with all leading automation systems.
Graphics content is managed remotely using the Pixel Power Management Console (PPMC) or Pixel Promo.