Vizrt Brings Journalists Separated By Countries Together Into Same Studio

Vizrt, a global provider of software-defined visual storytelling tools for media content creators, offered the world what it called the “first glimpse of science fiction-turned-real in what could become the future of remote live interviews.”

Using IP and the built-in Fusion renderer in the just-announced Viz Engine 4.1, two individuals located in separate countries appear to be in the same room having a conversation in a live, one-on-one TV talk show format on Vizr.TV.

Vizrt launched VizrTV as a “digital-first” online platform using Vizrt tools to provide broadcast customers insight into the latest company offerings in lieu of canceled industry tradeshows. Social distancing mandates not only moved the timeline of VizrTV production up by several months but added the extra challenge of having to produce from multiple locations remotely — and even from home, a similar challenge faced by many Vizrt customers.

Using just-released technology, host Chris Black appears seated in a lounge next to guest Gerhard Lang, Vizrt Group CTO, conducting a one-on-one interview. However, Chris was in the Vizrt Global Headquarters in Bergen, Norway, while Gerhard was in the Vizrt office in Vomp, Austria. A virtual set provides a common background behind both individuals.

“The ability of Viz Engine 4.1 to key two or more independent streams at the same time while rendering and compositing everything together is the real magic here,” says Gerhard Lang, CTO for the Vizrt Group. “Getting good quality video from Chris’s location with very little latency to the Viz Engine 4.1 in Austria via public Internet was crucial for the keying quality and natural dialogues.”

Two Matrox Monarch Edge devices were used to send and receive SRT streams from Norway to Austria. Using Viz Engine 4.1, only two frames of latency for audio and video, in and out, in both SDI and IP mode are introduced into the stream. The low latency provided Black in Norway the final composition in an IP stream for his reference monitors and for the final live production. Viz Vectar was added for cuts between clips and live, but also to send the live stream to Vimeo, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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“The end goal should always be that the technology is an enabler, not a distraction. So while we can do amazing graphics, it’s more important that we can bring two people together in a nearly seamless way so they can have a natural conversation in real time, despite the distances involved,” Black says.


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