ARGENT automates efficiently
Le Groupe TVA, a privately run French broadcaster in Canada, recently launched a 24-hour channel, ARGENT, which delivers financial news in French. With the costs involved in designing a new facility and supporting a startup channel, it was important that the station be able to operate on minimal resources. Because its programming would focus solely on financial news, ARGENT had to capture an audience large enough to sustain itself in such a limited market. Finding creative ways to cost-effectively produce eye-catching, timely programming was a key part in the design of the facility.
While ARGENT’s engineering team had a good deal of flexibility in setting up the facility, there were a few guidelines. Because Le Groupe TVA’s other stations already relied on Avid editing and newsroom systems, it was imperative that the new facility be compatible with these technologies. And because staff would be held to a minimum, all of the equipment installed in the new facility needed to be user-friendly. Finally, because graphics are a key element to illustrating financial news, the new facility needed to be able to support a heavy load of tickers and graphics production and playout.
ARGENT chose Applied Electronics to assist with the design of the new facility. A variety of equipment was selected to handle the development and playout of news, including Grass Valley’s audio/video routing switchers, an Ikegami HC-250 camera, a Miranda Oxtel-series Imagestore and an Avid NewsCutter editing system. VertigoXmedia’s Xmedia Suite and VertigoXG graphics systems fully automate the generation and play out of graphics.
The integration of the new technology, as well as links to live data sources from Bloomberg and Reuters, allows ARGENT to automatically populate and play out full-screen financial boards, charts, crawls and L-bars, in addition to news and two stock tickers. This amount of live data on-air would not be possible without a templated approach to graphics. The financial boards and charts are used in conjunction with produced shows, such as business and market discussions, consumer financial reports and stock market analysis. The integrated technologies have made it easy for the facility to quickly create the large number of charts and graphics required to support such a wide variety of programming.
In addition, the Xmedia Suite allows journalists, anchors, line-up editors and producers to create a chart or graphic without a graphic artist. This has been key to the facility’s success because it operates with only five technicians and 11 editorial department staff members.
Since launching in February of 2005, ARGENT has already captured the same monthly reach that established Quebec business magazines enjoy.