Monthly Archives: June 2010

Portugal’s Impresa Group Chooses Vizrt’s Online Suite

Norway, June 22, 2010 Vizrt Ltd. (Oslo Main List: VIZ)

Vizrt, a leading provider of content production tools for the digital media industry, announced today that the company has been chosen by IMPRESA Group, Portugal’s largest media group, to supply an Online Suite for its Multimedia Strategy.

Impresa has chosen a number of Vizrt applications that cover all aspects of today’s content management workflow, including several Escenic, MAM and Adactus products.

Francisco Maria Balsemão, Vice President and CTO at Impresa, stated, “We decided to invest in our ability to manage and deliver content on a variety of platforms in order to improve our presence and to enable us to access multiple revenue streams. At the same time, we needed to make our workflow as efficient as possible, which led to our choosing Vizrt due to the high level of integration and efficiencies that in our view no other company on the market can deliver to this extent. The fact that Vizrt Web Content Management solution is specifically tailored for our industry has had a major impact in our decision.”

Martin Burkhalter, CEO for Vizrt, stated, “We are very proud to have won the Impresa deal, especially as it is witness to Vizrt’s vision and strategy to support clients in an integrated way in their production, management, delivery and distribution of digital media content. This contract includes a variety of Vizrt’s offerings from our product lines such as Online, Media Asset Management and Mobile Streaming (Adactus), In our opinion, this deal is a great showcase of where we see the industry headed.”

Alexandra Solheim, Sales Manager Online Products, Vizrt, explained, “Impresa has chosen a unique state of the art converged Multimedia Newsroom. Where competitors simply combine print and web, Impresa uses Vizrt’s Online Suite to merge newsrooms operations for print, web, mobile and broadcast. Now content can be cross published through Escenic Content Studio with simple drag and drop operations”.

Products included in the deal are the Escenic Content Engine for content management, Escenic Mobile Solution for cross platform publication, Escenic Community Engine which allows for easy community building, Adactus Mobilize Transcoding platform for ingest, transcoding and publishing, Viz Video Hub as a media asset management system, as well as the Escenic Widget Template Framework to efficiently implement websites.

About Impresa:
Impresa Group is Portugal’s largest media group and has a turnover of 253.3 million Euros in 2009. The activity is divided into three business areas; SIC, IMPRESA Publishing and IMPRESA Digital, with interests which cover a FTA television, cable channels, the newspaper Expresso, an extensive portfolio of magazines, various Internet properties as well as interests in the distribution and events production.

About Vizrt:

Vizrt provides real-time 3D graphics and asset management tools for the broadcast industry – from award-winning animations & maps to online publishing tools.

Vizrt’s products are used by the world’s leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, the BBC, BSkyB, ITN, Tele5, laSexta, ETB, TV3, Antena3 and FC Barcelona, The Globe and Mail, Times Online, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions such as the Stock Exchanges in New York and London use Vizrt systems.

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

Press contacts:
Martin Burkhalter
CEO
+41 22 365 7501
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

City of Lakeville, Minnesota Streamlines Workflow with Broadcast Pix Slate 1000

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ today announced that the City of Lakeville, Minn., is using the Broadcast Pix Slate™ 1000 integrated production system to produce live video telecasts of its City Council and Planning Commission meetings, as well as in-house presentations, town forums, and community-related interview shows. The meetings are broadcast live and frequently repeated on the city’s government access cable channel through Charter Communications. Meetings and other programs are also available on demand on the city’s Web site, http://www.lakeville.mn.gov.

Lakeville video production specialists Tim Klausler (left) and Jim Schiffman show off the city’s new Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 integrated production system, which is used to produce live video coverage of official meetings and more.


The installation in February 2010 followed two years of intensive planning, budgeting, and competitive bid reviews. Purchased through Alpha Video in Edina, Minn., the Slate 1000 resides in a control room adjacent to Council Chambers at City Hall in Lakeville. “When I first saw the Slate 1000 switcher two years ago at NAB, I knew it was perfect for our setup and budget,” said Tim Klausler, video production specialist for the city.

Both Klausler and fellow Lakeville video production specialist Jim Schiffman operate the Slate 1000. Because the system includes Fluent™ workflow software, which includes clip store, graphics, macros, and an Inscriber CG, either one can each produce programming by themselves.

“The Slate’s ability to allow a single operator to handle an entire production from start to end was extremely attractive to us,” added Klausler. “The Slate 1000 replaced an older Ross analog switcher, a Compix character generator, several analog CRT monitors, and a rack full of small LCD monitors. As a result, the Slate switcher greatly streamlined our production workflow very cost effectively, while saving us valuable control room space.”

Leveraging the built-in Fluent Multi-View, Klausler and Schiffman display their program, preview, and input sources on a single 30-inch Dell LCD monitor screen. “Since Jim and I share operation of the Slate, we appreciate how easy it is to setup the Slate system for the needs of different productions,” Klausler explained. “When we switch between memorized user and production settings, the system instantly recalls our individual preferences and instantly configures itself according to the way we want to work, such as the monitor layout and graphics templates.”

During City Council and Planning Commission meetings, the Slate 1000 accepts HD-SDI signals from four Panasonic AW-HE100 robotic HD cameras integrated with pan/tilt/zoom operation that are mounted on the ceiling, as well as signals from computers, projectors, and a WolfVision document camera at the podium. Using the Slate’s Fluent workflow tools, native files cut on either of two Apple Final Cut Pro editing systems can be fed directly into the Slate work environment for use during the production.

While meetings are produced in HD, they are currently broadcast on cable in SD. “When the time comes that we can air the meeting videos in high-def, we’ll be ready to take advantage of that opportunity,” Klausler said. “Since we depend on city revenues to fund our major video equipment purchases, we are very pleased with the ‘bang for the buck’ the Slate 1000 gives us, including HD.”

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 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.

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Hitachi and Tekskil Provide Full HD Robotics System to WEEK-DT

Peoria, IL – Tekskil Industries and Hitachi Kokusai have teamed up to give Central Illinois television station, WEEK-DT, a winning combination for their new robotic camera systems.

Many broadcast studios are realizing the benefits of prompter-mounted Robotic Camera systems. By staging Hitachi’s HV-HD30 camera, Tekskil’s 15R-DBC prompter and Eagle’s PT-250 Pan & Tilt, WEEK has a full HDTV robotics system with excellent performance at modest expenditure. Fred Roe, Chief Engineer of WEEK, says “We had a limited budget and the combination of Hitachi and Tekskil products met our performance criteria and came in under budget.”

The HV-HD30 offers HITACHI customers the latest high-performance HDTV imaging camera at an unprecedented price level. Advancements in Digital Signal Processing and CMOS imaging sensors permit the introduction of this new level of picture quality and electronic stability at a reduced cost. It employs three HDTV, 1/3-inch format, 1.3-megapixel CMOS sensors that achieve high picture quality on the par with the highest performance CCDs currently on the market. Its multi-format capability provides both 1080i and 720p HDTV signals that are SMPTE292M-compliant. The camera operating parameters and video adjustments can be performed remotely utilizing the Eagles Control Panel. The PT-250 pan-tilt head is a heavy-duty, easy to use unit – it’s size and power make it a good choice for smooth on-air moves. The head has excellent motion characteristics, with a range of motion of 355° in pan and 180° in tilt. One touch saving of up to 64 different preset combinations of position and lens settings can be memorized by the head. All are stored in nonvolatile memory inside each head, and can easily be recalled at any time.

The Tekskil robotic solution features a supercharged LCD for maximum contrast and resolution and can be comfortably viewed from 20+ feet away, even under bright studio lights. Tekskil’s ultralight 15R integrates perfectly with the latest generation of smaller cameras and pan & tilt heads – no more issues with overloading or balancing the pan/tilt unit. The purpose-built robotic prompter system is comprised of light, strong aluminum components, micro-truss supports and an exclusive Dynamic Balance Cradle. The DBC enables precise, rapid alignment of the camera & prompter payload with the pan/tilt’s axis of rotation. Stable at any angle, even upside down, the dynamic balancing cradle provides a system that does not require any conterweights. Improper balance is the number one source of customer complaints; stressed pan/tilt units generate vibration and noise, and ultimately diminished stepper motor life. This also eliminates camera ‘lurching’ and unnecessary strain on the pan/tilt motors and bearings. Installation is a snap, no more frustration with trial and error balancing. Fred Roe said “The 15R with its Dynamic Balancing Cradle was extremely easy to setup and I am impressed with the quality of construction.”

For more information, contact:
Sean Moran
National Sales Manager
Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd.
150 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797
Phone: (516) 921-7200 ext. 431

Howard Rothstein
US National Sales and Marketing
Tekskil Industries, Inc.
805 Greenvine Trace
Roswell, GA 30076
Phone: (770) 518-0844

Broadcast Pix Powers ‘American Idol’ Contestant Hometown Live Event

Village of Mount Prospect Uses Its New Slate 1000 for Finale Viewing Party

(Billerica, Massachusetts) June 7, 2010. Usually, the Television Services Department of the Village of Mount Prospect, Ill. (MPTV), uses its Broadcast Pix™ Slate 1000 video production system to produce live coverage of village board meetings and other local programming. But on May 26, 2010, the system became the cornerstone of a live American Idol finale viewing party on the Village Green outside Village Hall, where an estimated 5,000 people came to watch hometown hero Lee DeWyze win the competition.

The Village of Mount Prospect built a temporary control room based around its Broadcast Pix Slate 1000 video production system to produce a live event for the American Idol finale. An estimated 5,000 people attended the event.


According to Howard Kleinstein, cable production coordinator, Mount Prospect rented a 9×12-foot Jumbotron so the crowd could watch the live finale. For two hours prior to the broadcast, MPTV showcased footage from past show performances, as well as footage from DeWyze’s homecoming parade from earlier in the month, using the Slate’s Fluent Clip Store and a DVD player.

During the American Idol finale, the MPTV team displayed the show feed on the large screen, mixed with live images from its two Sony DSR-400 ENG camcorders on location. When the broadcast went to commercial, Kleinstein used Fluent Clips and Fluent Graphics to display video PSAs about MPTV programming, as well as graphics promoting local sponsors and coming events.

In an effort to minimize cable runs for the viewing party – the control room has no windows and is located on the third floor of Village Hall adjacent to the Village Board Room (similar to council chambers) – Kleinstein created a temporary control room on the main floor of the facility. The Slate 1000 was moved to a folding table and cables were run to the Village Green through an open window. A small LCD screen running Fluent Multi-View served as the program, preview, and source monitors.

Originally, Kleinstein thought he would be using the Comcast cable feed to screen the finale for the crowd. However, about an hour before pre-show programming was scheduled to begin, he was given an HD-SDI network feed from a satellite truck that was on location for the network. Kleinstein was able to convert the HD-SDI signal to composite, letterbox it for the 4:3 Jumbotron, and seamlessly combine his different sources (with different aspect ratios). “Without our Broadcast Pix, that would have thrown me for a loop,” he said.

Regular MPTV programming is produced and distributed locally in SD on Comcast and WOW! cable systems, as well as streamed live and on demand on the village’s Web site. Kleinstein hopes to upgrade the MPTV operation to HD in a few years. The Slate 1000, which replaced an old Trinity system from Play, Inc., was purchased from Roscor in Mount Prospect and installed by Television Services Department staff in March.

“We wanted something that was robust enough to be able to do CG work and clips and stills,” he said. “Broadcast Pix was able to do all those things – and be upgraded to HD without getting a whole new box.”

Kleinstein said the American Idol finale viewing party was a very positive way to showcase their village on national television. “The response was extraordinary. People were very happy with it,” he added. “The Broadcast Pix system worked flawlessly. We had no technical difficulties, and even the production team from Hollywood was impressed.”

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 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.

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Broadcast Pix Granite HD Video Production System To Be Featured at BroadcastAsia 2010, KOBA 2010

Regional Partners Will Also Showcase Slate Portable, iPixPanel App for Apple iPad

(Billerica, Massachusetts) June 1, 2010. Regional partners will showcase three new Broadcast Pix™ products at BroadcastAsia 2010 at the Singapore Expo in Singapore, 15-18 June. Systems integrator Gencom Technology Limited (Booth #7N3-01) will showcase Granite™, the new flagship line of live HD video production systems. Media Architects Pte. Ltd. (Booth 8E3-06) will highlight Slate Portable, which provides the productivity of a control room in a briefcase-sized package, and the iPixPanel application, which allows an Apple iPad to control any Broadcast Pix video production system.

iPixPanel and the new Granite system will also be featured at KOBA 2010, an international broadcast equipment show at the COEX Convention and Exhibit Center in Seoul, South Korea, 15-18 June, by Sion Media Co., Ltd. (Booth 3263).

“Broadcast Pix systems are perfect for the diverse Asian markets, with needs that range from analog to hybrid to full HD broadcast systems,” said Dennis Breckenridge, Broadcast Pix Director of Sales, Asia Pacific Region. “With our office in Singapore, sales and support activities are managed locally, so our users can feel confident we are here to meet their production needs and help our customers create compelling content cost effectively.”

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 http://www.broadcastpix.com, or call the Singapore office at +65 8499 3337 or +65 6733 3804 or e-mail dbreck@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.

GOLF CHANNEL SIMPLIFIES PAL SIGNAL CONVERSION WITH FOR-A FRC-7000

Fort Lee, N.J., June 1, 2010 – Golf Channel recently acquired two FOR-A FRC-7000 HD Frame Rate Converters for its facility in Orlando, Fla. The two units will be used to convert all of its PAL production feeds from Europe and Asia.

“Previously, our frame rate conversion was done by a third party. We decided to streamline the process and perform in-house frame rate conversion of PAL signals,” said Ken Botelho, Golf Channel senior director of engineering. “Now that we control the quality of that signal in-house, it saves time – and that saves money.”

Golf Channel is an international programming network serving more than 120 million homes with four different discreet output paths: SD and HD domestically, SD to Asia and the Pacific Rim, and a world feed that’s coming soon.

Not only does the FRC-7000 improve Golf Channel’s picture quality, it is the standards converter needed to receive the PAL signal from Europe directly via satellite. “The two units have definitely exceeded our expectations in terms of the integrity of our signal,” said Botelho. The two FRC-7000 units serve as the “traffic cop” for signals entering its facility from Europe. They interface with the master control and then converted footage can be routed to the server or record decks.

“We find the FRC-7000 is very easy to operate and control,” said Botelho. “Our operators appreciate that the unit has plenty of ‘handles’ on it. The ability to manipulate the audio and video is a very handy feature when you’re taking in satellite feeds. Once we configured it for our system, the FRC-7000 has pretty much been a ‘set it and forget it’ part of our workflow.”

About FOR-A
FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 201-944-1120 visit our web site at http://www.for-a.com.

FOR-A is the official spelling of FOR-A Company Limited. In print, please use all capital letters when referring to the name of FOR-A.

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FOR-A CORPORATION OF AMERICA, Fort Lee Executive Park, 2 Executive Drive, Suite #670, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024 Phone: 201-944-1120, Fax 201-944-1132
Web site: http://www.for-a.com