Susan Ashworth / 10.09.2012 09:17AM
Using Graphics to Retool, Remaster the Newsroom
Advances allow small market stations to achieve big market look
it’s to revamp a tired look or prep a station for the national
election this fall, broadcast stations are taking a new look at the process of
building up their newsroom graphics.
A number of key solutions on the market are promising to help more stations
create such looks, like Avid, for example, whose Avid Motion Graphics solution
handles character generation and full 3D animations. Or Harris, whose Inscriber
line of solutions is being used to help broadcasters differentiate its brand.
That was just the goal for the CTV network, which saw that its channel
– the Broadcast News Network – had a captive market in
Canada for financial news. But first: retool the look of the channel.
To do so, the Canadian broadcaster integrated a news graphics production
environment from Orad, a combination that includes the HDVG+ render platform
and 3DPlay channel branding solution. By installing the solution, the network
has built a lineup of channels with new branding capabilities, a data-driven
graphics workflow and a real-time financial datastream.
Broadcast News Network deployed Orad’s HDVG+ render platform and
3DPlay channel branding solution to build a lineup of channels with new
branding capabilities, a data-driven graphics workflow and a real-time
One of the goals was to be able to more efficiently broadcast a variety of
unwieldy financial streams—such as live data streams from indices
like NASDAQ and S&P 500—as well as weather and traffic
reports. And all needed to be tied together in a succinctly delivered, smartly
“One of the benefits was that we were able to help them consolidate
multiple platforms down into one, allowing them to take data from many data
sources and manage those streams through one box,” said Shaun Dail,
vice president of sales and marketing for Orad in North America.
Two pieces comprise the new news graphics workflow: the Orad HDVG+ rendering
platform, a native 64-bit rendering platform that provides computing power to
the 3DPlay channel branding solution. The other, 3DPlay, is facilitating
multiple tickers, promos and squeeze backs.
“I think the biggest benefit is their new look and the new ability to
handle multiple video streams,” Dail said.
“There’s also the speed of the data: stock market data can
be turned around very quickly.”
The new setup replaces a non-integrated graphics and storage system, leading to
more efficient and accurate handling of graphics and data streams. The system
also allows for specific data to be updated in real time on independent
intervals, including a headline and Twitter bar, two stock ticker crawls
dedicated to international finance data, a date and time bar, weather crawl,
real-time trading data bar, and a promo window for live streaming or upcoming
A few hundred miles south, the goal was the same: prep and retool a news
graphic presentation, and do so in preparation for the Super Tuesday elections.
That was the goal for station WRCB in Chattanooga, Tenn., primarily when it
came to their news graphics offerings. “On election night when it
mattered, it performed perfectly,” said Derrall Stalvey, news
director at WRCB of the Chyron Channel Box, a channel branding and graphics
solution. “For [its first time], it went off without a
Channel Box features a 2D/3D rendering engine, the ability to create automated promos
and credit squeezes, and the ability to be monitored and controlled remotely.
WRCB used the system to deliver up-to-the-minute breaking news, headlines and
Chyron's Channel Box channel branding and graphics solution, WRCB was able to
achieve a Top-10 market graphics look.
That’s not to say that the newsroom graphics solution—like
many on the market— was a simple plug-and-play solution that was
simply plugged into a network’s existing infrastructure. “I
wouldn’t call it an easy system to learn, as training is absolutely
necessary so you have the aptitude to get it,” Stalvey said.
“You can’t just pull it out of the box and go.
“But it has endless potential if you invest time in the
training,” he said. “When you invest the time, it pays
The benefit has been that the new solution has allowed WRCB to stand out
visually. “No one else [in the market] visually can
compete,” Stalvey said. “We’re market 86, so we
don’t look like a top-10 market. But this product made our election
coverage look as good as the [big networks]. There was no drop-off in polish or
“In fact, when we did the local results [from the election coverage],
we had to make sure that viewers knew they were still looking at local
news,” he said.
The station has built it into its newsroom strategy, and while they
aren’t currently using it for sports graphics, they plan to add data
feeds for weather and local headline news down the road, Stalvey said.
“Phase one was getting the election on the air; two and three will be
incorporating it into our everyday workflow,” he said.
“It’s given us a new level of professionalism,”
he said. “If you’re in a medium or small market,
[it has the capability of helping you] look like the major markets.”