Denmark’s TV 2 Fyn expands its on-air production with Viz Mosart (A JLCooper product)

Posted on 11.10.16 at 03:01

TV 2 Fyn’s Viz Mosart installation shows how broadcasters of all sizes benefit from control room automation.

For many years a lot of large broadcasters and content distributors have used automation as a way to reduce operational costs and launch new channels with minimal investment. For smaller stations, however, the cost and workflow efficiencies can be just as significant in order to look like larger broadcasters on air. This includes moving robotic cameras, and using a large number of graphics and live sources.

TV 2 Fyn is a publicly owned television station in Denmark based in Odense, the country’s third largest city, which began broadcasting on 1 October 1988. Until recently, the channel was rebroadcasting syndicated programming as well as news and talk shows in SD as it did not have the resources to compete with larger broadcasters.

Michael Jensen

Michael Jensen, head of production at TV2 Fyn

Recently, Michael Jensen, head of production at TV2 Fyn, and his team decided to upgrade the station’s facilities and make it more competitive by fully automating its control room and two production studios. The move wasn’t about saving money (a scenario often cited as a benefit of automation), it was to improve the on-air look of TV2 Fyn and shift the roles of its staff to be more creative by producing programs with repurposed content and unique production values. They also wanted to present viewers with more content, both on linear television and online. A side benefit of the process has been a lot less technical errors during production and viewers have taken notice.

Improving productivity

“We always want to improve our workflow, and the whole idea is to bring more material in and use as few [staff] as possible in the production,” says Jensen, adding that they installed a Viz Mosart system from Vizrt in two studios at the end of 2014 and were on air in January of this year. There are two robotically driven high-definition cameras in one studio, and six in the other; all under the control of the Viz Mosart system. There’s also a Studer stereo mixing console to handle incoming and outgoing audio feeds for both studios, and an aging broadcast graphics system that will soon be replaced with a Vizrt template-based production solution.

The Viz Mosart system is so intuitive that once installed, Jensen says the staff were trained within a matter of days, with much of the automation processes picked up within a few hours. It’s made the channel more productive which, according to Jensen, means a tremendous return on investment (ROI) for the broadcaster.

“What we are producing today couldn’t be done without Viz Mosart,” he said. “Before we produced 4-5 news shows every day. Now we produce the same, plus a six-hour news channel as well. It’s easy to learn, with even non-technical people understanding how to use the automation system very quickly.”

In addition to helping them reduce technical errors and streamline workflows to get news stories to air faster, the automation system has also led to “more editorial thinking instead of technical thinking,” says Jensen.

Staying competitive

TV 2 Fyn control room

TV 2 Fyn’s director is able to control the entire broadcast from a single position.

“All TV stations are being forced to produce more and more content, but their budgets and staff are not getting bigger,” said Per Kristian Orset, business development manager for automation at Vizrt. “Through automation they can create a rundown in the last minutes before the newscast. The stories can be dragged into the rundown. In addition, the story script will contain all technical information about clip, camera, audio and graphics. Those can be executed through a simplified interface on the Viz Mosart system. The commands and stories can be updated seconds before going to air.”

The automation system’s technology is a perfect complement to Vizrt’s other production solutions (such as the Viz Engine video and graphics compositing engine and Viz Pilot, template-based graphics tool) and it has been optimized to exert direct control over each individual piece to make them all work together as a cohesive whole.

Producers now have the ability to edit video, create graphics and essentially build an entire broadcast all from within their newsroom control system (NRCS) or from rundown creation systems like Vizrt’s Showmaker. In the control room, a fully automated Viz Mosart production environment enables control of all these devices from a pre-defined rundown that can be recalled manually or under full automation—while operated by a single person.

When many of the traditional production processes are automated, all the tasks involved with producing and presenting a live broadcast can be centralized. In addition, all devices (e.g., robotic cameras, audio mixing) can be operated manually as well, if required, so complete control is never lost.

A system built for today

The platform was designed by a team of broadcast industry professionals, consisting of producers, directors and editors, who all brought a deep understanding of the operational and financial requirements of live news, sports, weather, talk show and bulletin production. The system significantly reduces production costs, resulting in a fast ROI; both key issues when addressing the economic realities that call for continuous improvement of workflow processes.

“While many newscasts today are striving to add more graphics, titles, unique camera moves and effects into a broadcast to set them apart from the competition, Viz Mosart does all of the heavy lifting for them. It requires just a few keystrokes to make complex things happen on screen,” says Jensen.

As more and more stations compete for fewer and fewer sets of eyes and as they try to outdo each other with more graphics, maps, etc., an automation system like Viz Mosart is ideally suited to help broadcasters like TV 2 Fyn meet the demands of today’s multiplatform distribution landscape.

“For us, installing the Viz Mosart system is about having the ability to be more creative with our shows, and looking good on air. It’s really helped us in both areas,” concludes Jensen.

 

tv2-fyn-workflow-diagram

Australia’s National Rugby League – NRL Bunker relies on MCS3 (YouTube Video)

Posted on 11.10.16 at 02:48

 

Check Out Our New Mari Video – Just Released!

Posted on 27.07.16 at 06:40

Be4Post Builds New DIT Station Solutions Around Sonnet xMac Pro Server for Full Range of TV and Film Productions

Posted on 11.07.16 at 00:33

New DIT Station Solutions Around Sonnet xMac Pro Server 

IRVINE, CA—March 3, 2016—Sonnet Technologies today announced that Be4Post, a French provider of high-performance mobile stations for film and television production, has chosen Sonnet’s xMac™ Pro Server to drive its all-new digital imaging technician (DIT) stations. The xMac Pro Server provides a secure, 4U rackmount enclosure for a Mac Pro® computer and Thunderbolt™ 2-to-PCI Express® (PCIe®) Card expansion for both Be4Post DIT station models – the X4-Wheel and the D4-Wheel.

“We are committed users of Sonnet solutions; in fact, the Sonnet Echo Express III Thunderbolt expansion chassis has performed reliably and well for us on complex shoots and in harsh weather conditions. Therefore, we knew very early in the design of our new DIT stations that we wanted to build them around the xMac Pro Server,” said Matthieu Straub, head of technology at Be4Post. “The xMac Pro Server provides an essential connectivity link between the Mac Pro and the peripheral solutions in the DIT stations, enabling us to deploy light and powerful tools that can evolve without compromise.”

Be4Post specializes in high-performance mobile stations for dailies prep, live color grading, data management, and DIT servicing on productions ranging from low-budget, single-camera shoots to high-end blockbusters in all digital formats. The company’s new mobile DIT stations offer on-set color grading from live camera feeds, secure back-up, transcoding, and real-time RAW playback to support dailies prep, quality control, and other production requirements. Both the X4-Wheels and the D4-Wheels are built around the Sonnet xMac Pro Server, which securely mounts a 12-core Mac Pro cylinder and connects built-in PCIe 2.0 slots via Thunderbolt 2 to support a Red® Rocket-X video playback and transcoding card, a Sonnet Tempo 4-port eSATA host controller card, and a SAS 4 RAID controller card.

“Be4Post’s new DIT stations are perfect applications for our xMac Pro Server because they address on-location media productions’ increased requirements for powerful, portable, IT-integrated motion image processing solutions,” said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. “Already Be4Post clients from many types of productions have given a thumbs-up to the new DIT stations, providing directors of photography robust authoring tools and complete control over their images in a production chain. Sonnet and Be4Post share the philosophy that technology should not be a hindrance, but should empower artists whose only limit is their imagination.”

More information on Sonnet and its product family is available at www.sonnettech.com.

Renowned Visual Arts University Relies on Sonnet to Support New Mac Pro®-Based Virtual Environment

Posted on 08.07.16 at 00:36

Sonnet RackMac™ Pro Rackmount Enclosure and Twin 10G 10 Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter Securely Hold Mac Pro® Cylinders and Connect Them to 10Gb Network

IRVINE, CA—March 15, 2016—The Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), a top-ranked visual communication, art, and design university in Switzerland, has installed Sonnet’s RackMac™ Pro rackmount enclosures and Twin 10G Dual-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt™ 2 adapters to support its new Mac Pro®-based virtual environment.

“After we squeezed all the useful life out of our Apple® Xserve® machines, we began migrating our virtualized workflow to a server platform based on Mac Pro cylinders. The next step was to find a solution for rackmounting and connecting them to our Cisco Nexus 10Gb network infrastructure,” said David Tschudi, information services manager at ECAL. “Although the Mac Pro looks cool, the cylinder shape doesn’t exactly lend itself to rackmounting. Sonnet Technologies offered the ideal solution. In fact, the migration has been so successful that we’re now looking at replacing our HP virtual servers with the Mac Pro configuration, supported by the Sonnet gear.”

ECAL purchased four new Mac Pro 6.1 cylinders and is using the Sonnet RackMac Pro, in tandem with the Sonnet Twin 10G adapters, to support the infrastructure. The duo version of the RackMac Pro lets ECAL securely mount two Mac Pros horizontally in a compact 4U enclosure. Mounted inside the RackMac Pro is a Twin 10G Thunderbolt adapter for each computer, providing lightning-fast connectivity to ECAL’s 10Gb network. ECAL is planning to completely phase out its six Xserve servers and start using the other two Mac Pros in the RackMac Pro/Twin 10G configuration.

ECAL had long been operating in a virtualized environment under VMware’s vSphere®, which until recently managed ECAL’s cluster of six Apple Xserve enterprise servers running an OS X® virtual machine server. ECAL also runs a cluster of four HP servers managed by Windows Server® VM. Thanks to the Sonnet support platform, not only was vSphere’s ESXi hypervisor easy to install on the new Mac Pros, but the configuration of the servers offered savings by requiring only four VMware licenses (compared with the 12 licenses of the previous Xserve cluster). ECAL can run Linux, Windows®, or OS X virtual machines all on one vSphere ESXi cluster and can take advantage of the Mac Pro’s superior 128GB of virtualized RAM.

“ECAL has a rich heritage going all the way back to 1821 and is one of the top art and design universities in the world. Naturally, the school supports its students with the most advanced technology available, and we’re honored to be a part of the system that helps these students reach their full potential,” said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. “Now, with a professional, high-performance platform that properly rackmounts two Mac Pros in a 4U rack space and extends 10Gb Ethernet connectivity,  ECAL is able to reap maximum efficiencies and benefits from its new Mac Pro-based virtual environment.”

More information on Sonnet and its product family is available at www.sonnettech.com.

Just released – our latest video looking into The Foundry’s ‘CARA VR™ for NUKE’

Posted on 07.07.16 at 01:00

Read more »

Check out our latest video – Take a look into The Foundry’s ‘Katana’

Posted on 08.06.16 at 05:55

The Foundry’s ‘Katana’ – a heavy weight lighting and look development tool designed to enable a small team of lighters to tackle vast numbers of complex shots for feature film, vfx or animation.

With the upcoming port to Windows in mid 2016, there has been much interest in learning more about Katana and this video is intended to shed light on this powerful tool and to provide an understanding of its use in production.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about what Katana can do for your lighting and lookdev pipeline.”

 

CHECK OUT THE NEW FEATURES YOU MISSED AT THE INTRAWARE NUKE 10 TUTORIAL SEMINAR

Posted on 14.03.16 at 04:50

The Foundry launches MODO 10 Series to enhance creative exploration process

Posted on 14.03.16 at 01:36

The Foundry launches MODO 10 Series to enhance creative exploration process

MODO 10 Series—creativity starts here


London, March 7, 2016 — Leading creative software developer The Foundry has announced the launch of the MODO 10 Series. Built on a next-generation 3D modeling, texturing and rendering platform that enables creatives to iterate freely in order to realize the full potential of their ideas, MODO 10 Series is poised to deliver valuable new feature sets in a series of three installments for a single price.

Designed to be the starting point for creative exploration, the MODO 10 Series delivers powerful toolsets that enable artists and designers to create high-quality content for games, virtual reality, product design, creative media, and film and video projects. Starting with the launch of the MODO 10.0v1 installment, the series addresses the challenges users are facing in today’s fast-paced production environments, and prepares them to face the dynamically changing requirements of the future.

“At The Foundry we listen closely to artists and designers to understand what they need in order to be more productive, more creative and more effective. With MODO 10 Series we’re introducing artist-friendly tools that streamline and automate complex tasks, leaving artists and designers free to explore their creativity,”
Andy Whitmore, chief product officer at The Foundry

“We’re talking about a toolset that paves the way for maximum creativity in the content creation process, enabling the development of addictive real-time experiences, innovative product designs, compelling images for advertising, and engaging film and video content.”

MODO 10.0v1 opens new doors for creating real-time content for games or for other immersive experiences like virtual reality. Among the highlights, artists can author in MODO and be confident that their assets will look virtually the same in Unity or Unreal Engine; get realistic detail into their real-time assets more easily through a streamlined, repeatable texture baking workflow; and enjoy new ways to export to popular engines featuring simple, automated steps that minimize the need to recreate work, saving time and reducing the potential for errors.

MODO 10.0v1 will be available in the second quarter of 2016 and will be followed by the releases of MODO 10.1 and MODO 10.2.

MODO 10 Series launch

ToolsOnAir Chooses Sonnet xMac™ Pro Server for live:cut Multicamera Production Solution

Posted on 13.03.16 at 05:52

ToolsOnAir Chooses Sonnet xMac™ Pro Server for live:cut Multicamera Production Solution

Austrian Teleshopping Broadcaster MediaShop Leverages live:cut and xMac™ Pro Server for Streamlined Production of High-Quality Teleshopping Videos

IRVINE, Calif. — Feb. 3, 2016 —  Sonnet Technologies today announced that ToolsOnAir has adopted Sonnet’s xMac™ Pro Server, a Thunderbolt™ 2-to-PCI Express® (PCIe®) expansion system and 4U rackmount enclosure for a Mac Pro® computer, as a key component in its ToolsOnAir  live:cut solution for multicamera production. ToolsOnAir customer MediaShop, a major Austrian teleshopping broadcaster, has deployed live:cut equipped with an xMac Pro Server to streamline its broadcast operations in 12 European countries, reaching 100 million potential customers daily.

“MediaShop is one of the most successful direct-response TV operators in the German-speaking world, and its selection of ToolsOnAir live:cut with the xMac Pro Server is yet another strong validation point for our technology,” said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. “By providing users the ability to securely rackmount a Mac Pro and then give it PCIe expansion and even storage expandability, our xMac Pro Server is a powerful addition to any broadcast production workflow and an ideal complement to ToolsOnAir live:cut.”

In a multicamera broadcast operation, the ToolsOnAir live: cut software centralizes ingest, metadata, live logging, media management, and workflow automation within a single, intuitive interface that can accommodate 16 channels of multicamera ingest. At the heart of MediaShop’s turnkey live:cut solution is an xMac Pro Server, which securely mounts a 12-core Mac Pro computer horizontally inside a specially designed modular enclosure. Through its built-in PCIe 2.0 slots, the xMac Pro Server connects the computer to two Blackmagic Design DeckLink Quad cards via Thunderbolt 2. The overall live:cut solution provides MediaShop with the ability to ingest feeds from five cameras, controlling a Blackmagic Design ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K card that serves as the main switcher. live:cut creates a real-time vision mixer’s edit decision list, which is instantly processed into a multicamera timeline in the customer’s NLE of choice. At MediaShop, final editing is done with Adobe Premiere CC. 

“By leveraging the Sonnet xMac Pro Server, ToolsOnAir live:cut has given us a stable turnkey solution for centralized production of our teleshopping videos — with everything from ingest to the final product happening on a single Mac Pro,” said Richard Barnhouse, production manager, MediaShop. “The ability to predefine a whole production and then automate track-laying of the audio and video signals makes live:cut a tremendous time-saver. In fact, by eliminating many time-consuming processes, live:cut has enabled us to save about three days on every video we produce.” 

More information on Sonnet and its product family is available at  www.sonnettech.com