In Broadcast - November 2015 - 72


72

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 5 - Issue 11 | November 2015

InFocus

Dramatic Graphics
When television graphics first burst on to and then out of TV screens in the 1980s, they were
both a revelation and a novelty, writes Contributing Editor Kevin Hilton...

I

n the years since the first early
graphics systems began to appear,
not only has the technology been
refined and new techniques - including
virtual reality and 3D images -
developed, but broadcasters have
learned how to incorporate it subtly
into on-air presentation.
More powerful processing is now
bringing greater possibilities and the
main developers are embracing this,
while at the same time contemplating
what continuing changes in the
broadcast market, including Ultra
HDTV, 4K and HDR (high dynamic
range) enhanced images, means for
graphics design.
James Gilbert, Chief Executive of
Pixel Power, manufacturer of the Pixel
Factory system, comments that while
there are specific considerations, many
questions go across the board in terms
of TV production. "The issues around
graphics are the same as in every
area of the content delivery world," he
says. "There is increasing diversity of
channels and delivery to the viewers.
That's putting pressures on costs and
it all applies to graphics as part of the
chain."
Pixel Power develops graphics for
both master control applications,
such as interstitials and branding,
and studio use, with its systems used
for news, sports results and shopping
channels. Gilbert observes that while
hardware costs are coming down,
software continues to be expensive,
mainly due to a skills shortage. "Those

two balance things out," he says. "The
real issue is what to do and how. It's
something that applies to OTT and
video on-demand as much as linear."
The shift to high-definition over the
last five years has given broadcasters
more options, with increased space
on screen to fill up. "With the move to
HD there is the temptation to put more
on the screen," Gilbert explains. "It is
possible to make graphics smaller in
relation to the picture but for them
to still be legible. The key is not only
in terms of screen area or content in
a screen but also the timeline of the
graphics. This includes 'what's coming
next' messages over the end titles of
a programme or during a commercial,
as well as live ads, which are being
used by Sky, BT Sport and Channel 4 to
keep a connection with the programme
during a commercial."
Gilbert adds that a major expense
in designing and running broadcast
and post-production facilities today is
integrating the various components
and elements.
Avid Technology has addressed this
partly through its Avid Everywhere
concept but also in buying graphics
and virtual reality (VR) pioneer
Orad earlier this year. Ofir Benovici,
previously Vice President of Marketing
for Orad and now Senior Director of
Broadcast Products at Avid, says the
acquisition can be seen in the context
of production chains and generating
graphics in relation to other processes.
"The answer in many ways is
workflow and how to generate
graphics in context," he comments.
The area where we are seeing a lot of
workflow integration between different
devices in particular is CG workflow.
TV3 virtual set

Avid Orad TV3 TN Migdia
augmented reality

Studio with a ChyronHego video wall
A virtual set from ChyronHego

There is now more integration with
the newsroom system and the nonliner editor, all coming under media
asset management [MAM] software.
This means Orad is being integrated
into the Avid workflow, connecting to
iNews, Media Composer, Interplay and
ISIS storage."
Networking and interoperability are
increasingly major considerations in
the building of a broadcast or postproduction facility, which, Benovici
says, is making engineers and their
bosses look beyond purely technical
points: "With improvements in
computing power we are not getting
questions about how many polygons
our system can render in real-time.
The questions now are more about
how graphics can be integrated to
this or that device. It is a shift from
performance to workflow."
Driving Graphics
Jesper Gawell, Chief Marketing
Officer at ChyronHego, acknowledges
this change in emphasis but adds that
the material driving the graphics is
also vitally important. "It's all about
making sure our customers have
the tools to easily create graphics
connected to virtually any source,
from real-time financial data, live
sports statistics, weather information
and social media," he says. "We
want to make it all accessible to our
customers, allowing them to focus
more on selecting the right [and]
relevant information at the right time,
not struggle with data integrations."
While agreeing that workflow tools
play a role in getting graphics on
screen, Petter Ole Jakobsen, Chief
Technology Officer of Vizrt, says

there are still practical considerations
in terms of technology: "There are
technical implications surrounding
the system needed to process that in
real-time, so the way it is designed has
to be considered. And there'll always
be a debate on how many graphics
there should be in live broadcasts,
for football games and other events.
People want to get more live, relevant
content on air and a lot of information
can be fitted in but we don't want to
overload people."
Jakobsen says that during the
early days of the transition from
SD to HD, what was on screen was
similar to before but, "because [the
broadcasters] had more real estate,
it started filling up." Vizrt was formed
by the merger of two pioneers of
VR, Peak Software Technologies and
RT-SET, which began working on
the technology during the 1990s. In
some respects VR is still regarded
as a high-end form of graphics for
large-scale events, such as election
coverage, or major productions.
Recently augmented reality (AR) has
become popular for more day-to-day
broadcasts, combining existing sets
with overlaid graphics.
Virtual Appeal
Tony Page, Head of Onstage
(Broadcast) with sports graphics
specialist Deltatre, comments that
there have been improvements in both
VR and AR technology that make them
more appealing.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - November 2015

In This Issue
In Broadcast - November 2015 - Intro
In Broadcast - November 2015 - Cover1
In Broadcast - November 2015 - Cover2
In Broadcast - November 2015 - In This Issue
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 4
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 5
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 6
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 7
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 8
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 9
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 10
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 11
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 12
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 13
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 14
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 15
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 16
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 17
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 18
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 19
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 20
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 21
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 22
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 23
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 24
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 25
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 26
In Broadcast - November 2015 - 27
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In Broadcast - November 2015 - 33
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In Broadcast - November 2015 - Cover4
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S1
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S2
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S3
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S4
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S5
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S6
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S7
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In Broadcast - November 2015 - S9
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S10
In Broadcast - November 2015 - S11
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In Broadcast - November 2015 - S13
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