Monthly Archives: May 2010

Vizrt Included in NRK Production of Eurovision Song Contest Finale

Bergen, Norway, May 27, 2010 Vizrt Ltd. (Oslo Main List: VIZ)

Considered the world’s largest non-sport television production, the Eurovision Song Contest Finale is being broadcast live from the Telenor Arena, in Oslo, Norway during several dates in late May. Started in 1956, the contest has since grown to include two live semi-finals, which are held on the 25th and the 27th of May. NRK, the national public broadcaster of Norway (the winning country in 2009), is the host broadcaster this year. The final broadcast consists of entries from 25 countries. The host nation is pre-qualified for the final, along with the UK, Spain, France and Germany, and the 20 qualifiers from the two Semi-Finals, leading up to the Grand Finale held on May 29th.

NRK is responsible for the production and works with the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and the other participating broadcasters. NRK has brought together a team of companies, including Vizrt, with the expertise required to create this complex production. “NRK chose Vizrt because of the company’s longstanding excellence in animated television graphics,” said Peter Svaar, head of press for NRK. “We’re excited about this partnership for the Eurovision Song Contest, Europe’s favorite TV show.”

For several years, Viz Engine, a real-time graphics rendering engine, has been used for the Eurovision Song Contest voting system. Controlled by client applications developed by Arttek, Vizrt systems create the graphics. “The Viz Engine renderer is well suited to display the voting sequence given to the EBU live from the 39 participating countries,” said Trond Solem, Vizrt’s technical integration manger. “Arttek compiles the data and makes the graphics move based upon results of the live voting.”

This year Viz Engine and Viz Virtual Studio are being used to create special graphics that introduce each participating country. NRK wanted to use virtual “postcards” that serve as greetings from the country viewers would see next on the broadcast. Each country’s postcards are created from animated light spheres that appear as real objects in the arena. This requires the ability to look at each of the country’s postcards from different directions, depending on the camera being used.

“To that end, NRK employs Viz Virtual Studio technology to track the position of its cameras and render the postcards in real-time,” said Ran Yakir, Vizrt’s head of research and development in Israel. “We’ve adapted our RealFX particle system to import the postcard animations and render them in real-time using tens of thousands of particles, each particle appearing as a light-emitting sphere. The fact that the animations will be played live in a real environment means we have to fine-tune the lighting and color parameters to match those of the arena exactly.”

Finally, NRK will also use Viz Engine with the Viz Trio character generator to create the lower-thirds and bugs. A graphic from a Vizrt system will be on-air continuously throughout the show.

The production is the result of a combined effort between the following Norwegian companies: NRK; Vizrt; the design house, Gosu Design; production company Motion Blur; 3D graphic and special effects production company, Gimpville; and remote-controlled camera equipment from the Swedish firm, Visual Act.

About Vizrt:

Vizrt creates leading-edge content production tools for the digital media industry – from award-winning 3D graphics & maps through integrated video workflow solutions and online publishing tools.

We propose a new vision for content creation, management and delivery with an end-to-end solution from conception to multi-format distribution. Through constant innovation and a good measure of fun, we create software and services that push creative boundaries and develop new ways of telling stories.

Vizrt’s product suite is used by the world’s leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, Sky, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, TV Today, CCTV, NHK, The Globe and Mail, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions, including both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, utilize Vizrt solutions.

Vizrt is a public company traded on the Oslo Main List: VIZ, ISIN: IL0010838154.

Press contacts:

Martin Burkhalter
CEO
+41 22 365 75 01
mburkhalter@vizrt.com

Ofra Brown
CFO
+47 5351 8040
ofra@vizrt.com

SCHWARZ Financial Communication
Frank Schwarz
+49 611 1745 398 11
schwarz@schwarzfinancial.com

Editor’s Note: Any photographs accompanying this announcement may or may not be directly associated with the project or sale described above.

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HITACHI KOKUSAI TO DEMO RANGE OF TECHNOLOGIES AT UPCOMING INFOCOMM SHOW

WOODBURY, New York, May 24, 2010 – Hitachi Kokusai Electronic America, Ltd., a leading provider of affordable, high performance cameras, will exhibit several broadcast and professional camera products at this year’s Infocomm in Las Vegas, along with the Hitachi Digital Media Division (Infocomm Booth Number C5056.) Exhibits at the show run from June 9th to 11th.

“Infocomm is the most forward-looking Pro AV industry event in the world,” said Sean Moran, Hitachi Kokusai Electric America National Sales Manager. “The Infocomm Show awards Hitachi the chance to exhibit presentation and display products as well as state-of-the-art, broadcast camera packages to the many Pro AV professionals in attendance. Hitachi not only offers high-end production HDTV cameras, but also cost-effective models commonly found in security, institutional, medical, industrial, and government industries. We continue to develop technologies embraced by the professional video market.”


The Hitachi Infocomm booth will exhibit a range of products, from cameras that address high-end production to video-conferencing and other lower-cost models. One of the products to be shown is the first HDTV model camera in Hitachi’s Z Series product line – the Z-HD5000/ CU-HF500 HDTV studio and EFP camera with digital CCU. Targeting a diverse customer base—spanning TV stations, educational institutions, corporations, religious and cable facilities—the Z-HD5000 is a two-piece dockable camera offering the versatility and flexibility necessary for multi-purpose applications including studio, field, and mobile video production. The camera can be docked to an optical fiber, triax, or RF wireless adapter, or a P2 HD recorder for standalone recording.

Also on display will be the SK-HD1000 state-of-the-art, multi-standard, multi-format studio and field HDTV production camera. The SK-HD1000 is a lightweight, two-piece dockable camera that offers maximum reconfiguration ability. The SK-HD1000 has three, 2/3-inch progressive scan 2.2 million pixel CCDs – with a high dynamic range. These allow the camera to produce an image with 1100 TVL resolution, with a SNR of 60db, at F11@2000 Lux. The camera provides both 60/50 Hz for NTSC and PAL applications.

Hitachi will also exhibit two point-of-view (POV) cameras at their Infocomm booth — the DK-H100 and DK-Z50. Recently introduced, the POV cameras share physical design, chassis, lenses and accessories. Both have 2/3-inch IT CCDs, switchable 59.95/50Hz operation, simultaneous SMPTE-292M 1920 x 1080i, SMPTE-259M SD-SDI and analog HD outputs, TCP/IP network control and motorized, five-position filter wheel. The DK-H100 and DK-Z50 POV cameras also share variable shutter to 1/10, 000s, 14-bit ADC, 38-bit DSP, full integration/compatibility with existing SK-HD1000/Z-HD5000 control panels and a new control teaming mode that improves matched camera characteristics, performance, and controls for 3-D production rig applications. The distinguishing factor for the two cameras is the sensors they use. The DK-H100 has 2.3 million-pixel IT-CCDs employed in the SK-HD1000, while the DK-Z50 utilizes the same sensor as the Z-HD500 HDTV camera.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totaled 8,968 billion yen ($96.4 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd., 150 Crossways Park Drive, Woodbury, NY 11797, U.S.A.
Tel: (516) 921-7200; Fax: (516) 496-3718; website: http://www.hitachikokusai.us

Broadcast Pix To Demonstrate Granite HD Video Production System at InfoComm 2010

(Billerica, Massachusetts) May 20, 2010. Broadcast Pix™ will showcase three new products at InfoComm 2010 in Las Vegas, Nev., June 9-11 (Booth N2662). Granite™, the company’s new flagship product line, is an HD, 1080p-ready live video production system. The iPixPanel application allows an Apple iPad to control any Broadcast Pix video production system, while Slate Portable provides the productivity of a control room in a briefcase-sized package.

“Our new products at InfoComm provide solutions for AV professionals who need to create compelling live video cost effectively,” said Ken Swanton, Broadcast Pix President. “Granite is a true milestone – an HD video production system that easily combines video and files and to create compelling live video. Slate Portable brings the power of a Broadcast Pix system to field productions in a rugged, transportable package. And iPixPanel turns an iPad into a fully functional wireless control panel.”


Granite

Granite combines a new 1080p-ready HD Granite switcher with an HD Granite server running the company’s innovative Fluent™ workflow software, enabling users to create engaging live HD video at a price point unmatched in the industry today. It excels in live event production, as it has very low overall constant system delay of just 33ms, including format and aspect conversion, picture-in-picture, and graphics.

The Granite Switcher provides simultaneous multi-definition SDI I/O for 1080i, 720p, and SD sources – and is upgradable to 1080p. It offers 11 HD/SD-SDI video inputs (expandable to 22), plus the equivalent of 14 more inputs, including a clip channel (with key), two animation channels (with key), and four graphic channels (with key).

The companion Granite Server completes the system by running Fluent workflow software, which provides up to 120 hours of clip store, a graphics system with a new Inscriber CG, a multi-view that displays video and file sources, watch-folders that streamline file import from editing systems, and macros for file-based effects. The server also offers optional software to control other studio devices, including audio mixers, robotic camera control systems from Panasonic, Sony, Telemetrics, and Hitachi, streaming appliances from ViewCast, and video servers from Harris, 360 Systems, and Omneon.

Available in three models — the 1 M/E Granite 100 and 1000 and the 2 M/E Granite 5000 – the new product line provides an easy upgrade path between models. Customers can also upgrade to Granite from current Broadcast Pix Slate™ hybrid HD/SD/analog systems, which use the same control panels and Fluent workflow software.

Slate Portable

Slate Portable provides all the power and reliability of a Slate video production system in a compact, cost effective, all-in-one unit. The system includes an HD/SD production switcher, multi-view monitoring, five channels of graphics, an Inscriber CG, Fluent workflow software, two channels of clip store with up to 200 hours of clips, and format and aspect conversion for 1080i, 720p, SD, and analog.

Built for easy transport, Slate Portable has a carrying handle on top, and comes in a padded carrying case with wheels. It features rugged aluminum construction, measures just 17x14x12 inches (44x35x25 cm), and weighs 45 pounds (20 kg). The cover folds down to reveal the built-in monitor, keyboard, and touch-pad.


iPixPanel

With its classic switcher layout, the iPixPanel can control every aspect of a video production from an iPad, including switching cameras, adding graphics and clips, controlling robotic cameras, and creating special effects like an interview with dual picture-in-picture. The control panel includes auto transition and cut buttons, plus eight-input program and preview busses with shift for 16 inputs, device controls for the graphics system and clips store, and PixButtons that identify sources and file names. It is ideal for entry-level Broadcast Pix systems, such as the Slate and Granite 100, but also works on larger Slate systems, where a traditional control panel and multiple iPads can be used by a large team.

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Granite native HD and Slate hybrid HD/SD/analog systems create compelling live video. They run unique Fluent file-based workflow software that streamlines production and improves functionality. With its integrated switcher, multi-view, CG, clip and graphic stores, and aspect and format conversion, Granite and Slate are a fraction of the cost of a legacy control room to buy, staff and operate. They are future-proof, as they can upgrade to 3Gbps 1080p. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in more than 70 countries. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Slate and Fluent are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA. Apple, iPad, iPhone, and iPod are trademarks of Apple, Inc.

South African Broadcasting Corp. Purchases 10 Broadcast Pix Slate Systems for World Cup Coverage

Billerica, Massachusetts (May 17, 2010) Broadcast Pix™ today announced that the South African Broadcasting Corp. (SABC), the official broadcaster of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, has purchased 10 Slate™ 1000 live video production systems for use during the international sports event. The tournament, which begins June 11 and features 32 teams from countries around the world, is expected to draw substantial crowds beyond ticketed spectators, and the Slate systems will be used to provide coverage for public viewing areas near each venue.

Matches will be played in 10 stadiums in nine South African cities, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. While the venues vary in capacity – the smallest, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, holds more than 43,000 spectators, while the largest, Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, has more than 88,000 seats – organizers anticipate massive turnouts from passionate fans throughout the tournament. As a result, FIFA has authorized the development of “fan parks.” Based on the concept pioneered at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, fan parks will be positioned near each stadium to provide live video coverage of the action on large screens for overflow crowds.

Johannesburg-based dealer and integrator Questek Advanced Technologies sold the Slate 1000 systems to the SABC. Justin Thathiah, Questek sales executive, said the SABC chose the 1 M/E Slate 1000 because of its integrated Fluent™ production tools, including clip and graphics stores, multi-view, and Inscriber CG. The integrated production system also provides multi-definition production, with support for 1080i, 720p, and SD sources. “It gave them a lot of functionality all in one,” he added.

According to Thathiah, the fan parks will display the broadcast feeds of the matches. Each venue will have a handful of dedicated cameras that will be used to entertain the crowd outside of live match coverage times. The Slate 1000 will be used to switch the video and add clips and graphics. Following the World Cup, Thathiah said the SABC will use the Slate systems for regional programming throughout the nine provinces in South Africa.

About Questek: Questek Advanced Technologies are specialists in the integration, design and installation of innovative state-of-the-art audio visual solutions as well as a leading supplier of broadcast solutions to the broadcast and post production. Utilizing convergence of voice, data and visual technologies, Questek creates the platform to manage and visually present knowledge in increasingly innovative ways.

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Granite native HD and Slate hybrid HD/SD/analog systems create compelling live video. They run unique Fluent file-based workflow software that streamlines production and improves functionality. With its integrated switcher, multi-view, CG, clip and graphic stores, and aspect and format conversion, Granite and Slate are a fraction of the cost of a legacy control room to buy, staff and operate. They are future-proof, as they can upgrade to 3Gbps 1080p. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in more than 70 countries. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Granite, Slate, Fluent and iPixPanel are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

Broadcast Pix iPixPanel for Apple iPad Available for Download from App Store

(Billerica, Massachusetts) May 13, 2010. Broadcast Pix™ today announced iPixPanel, its new software application that allows an Apple iPad to control any of its video production systems, is now available for download from Apple’s App Store.

Broadcast Pix has a smaller iPhone app, iPixPad, that has been used by production teams to help produce many live shows, including the webcasts of the red carpet shows for several prominent awards shows. However, the new iPad is large enough to hold all of the controls of a complete live video production studio, so it can be the primary point of control.

The iPixPanel app recreates an entire Broadcast Pix control panel on the iPad. There are controls to preview cameras, add graphics, and take the compositions to air. It can create high-end effects like picture-in-picture boxes of three people for an interview show. Plus it can add clips and logos to the production and even control robotic cameras. The innovative iPixPanel app was honored with one of the Best of Show Vidy Awards from Videography magazine last month at the 2010 NAB Show in Las Vegas, NV.

The iPixPanel app is available for download for $199.99 at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipixpanel/id370845719?mt=8. Customers can also download the free iPixPad app for the iPhone or iPod touch, which replicates a portion of the iPixPanel app.

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Slate and Granite systems create compelling live video, and they run unique Fluent software that provides a file-based workflow that streamlines production and improves functionality. With their integrated switcher, multi-view, graphics system, clip stores, and aspect and format conversion, there is a fraction of the cost of conventional solutions to buy, staff and operate. Broadcast Pix is based in Massachusetts, with distributors worldwide. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, cable, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in over 70 countries. For more information, go to www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Slate and Fluent are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA. Apple, iPad, iPhone, and iPod are trademarks of Apple, Inc.

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Minnesota’s Eagan High School Uses the Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 Integrated Live Production Systems to Teach Video Production

Billerica, Massachusetts (May 4, 2010) Broadcast Pix™ today announced that Eagan High School in Eagan, Minn., is using the Broadcast Pix Slate™ 1000 live video production system as the cornerstone of its HD production curriculum. In the school’s video production control suite, adjacent to its dedicated television studio, the Slate 1000 is employed daily to teach production skills and support many academic programs through the use of video.

“Our goal is to mirror broadcast industry standards and workflows,” said Paul Saxton, video specialist at Eagan High School. “We also want our students to become very media savvy adults, with an understanding of how to communicate using video as well as how the medium is being used to communicate with them.”

Saxton was shopping at NAB last year to replace the school’s GlobalStreams GlobeCaster system and advance to multi-format HD production. The Slate 1000, which was purchased from Alpha Video in Edina, Minn., arrived last fall.

Students at Eagan High School are using a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 live video production system to produce a weekly news show.

 

“We couldn’t beat the price performance,” said Saxton. “Everything is in one box—the Inscriber CG, transitional DVE effects, monitoring, user-friendly interface, and the ability to handle a wide range of input/output formats in a tapeless workflow. I was particularly impressed with the Fluent workflow because our students can create video packages in one of the six editing suites, drop them into the Slate’s ‘inbox,’ and bring those packages to air just by hitting a button.”

Eagan High School’s signature weekly news show, Eagan AM, can be seen at www.rschooltoday.com/eaganhs/eaganam. Produced entirely by students, the 12-minute live show is designed to have students write, shoot and produce stories. “We have the students cover timely news and sports pieces, ranging from national headlines to local stories and events at the high school,” Saxton said.

Students produce field reports, edit news packages on Final Cut Pro, deliver the news with live graphics, and perform tasks ranging from news anchor to technical director. They even produce live interviews with newsworthy figures, such as recent Eagan High School alumni Laura Osnes, South Pacific Broadway star, and Natalie Darwitz, U.S. Hockey Silver and Bronze Olympic medalist. “One of our most exciting live interviews was with a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq,” Saxton said. “Using a satellite feed, we were able to have an honest and frank conversation with him. You could’ve heard a pin drop in the school.”

Principal Polly Reikowski is a strong supporter of the video program, but students help contribute to equipment purchases as well. “When we want to buy a new piece of equipment, we need to raise the money for it through creating business partnerships, shooting dance studios, anything we can think of,” Saxton said. “It can take years to save up.”

Eagan High School’s video facilities rival that of many small to mid-market broadcast stations. Besides the Slate 1000, the school has three Panasonic AG-HPX500 P2 HD camcorders and several Canon AH X1 HDV camcorders, plus prompters, IFB system and AJA KONA HD-SDI capture card. An extensive network runs throughout the facility, with camera hook-ups in the school gym, theater, and commons so students can run live video back to the Slate 1000.

“We’re teaching our students top-flight HDTV skills using broadcast quality equipment,” said Saxton. “And if they choose to go into broadcasting, they’re very well prepared.”

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Slate systems create compelling live video, and they run unique Fluent software that provides a file-based workflow that streamlines production and improves functionality. With its integrated switcher, multi-view, CG, clip and graphic stores, and aspect and format conversion, Slate is a fraction of the cost of a control room to buy, staff and operate. Slate is future-proof, as it is upgradeable to 3G 1080p. Broadcast Pix is based in Massachusetts, with distributors worldwide. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, podcast, cable, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in over 70 countries. For more information, go to http://www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Slate and Fluent are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA. Apple, iPad, iPhone, and iPod are trademarks of Apple, Inc.