NAB OUTLOOK: NEWS PRODUCTION

New Tech Promises Improved Efficiency

Vendors of news production systems, editors, switchers, graphics and lighting will be showing new or upgraded products at the NAB -- all with the promise that they will allow broadcasters to produce news more efficiently and distribute it more widely. Here are some of the latest developments from Avid, Grass Valley, Chryon, Sony, Panasonic, Ross Video, EVS, Litepanels and Videssence.

Broadcasters looking for tools to produce news more efficiently and distribute it more widely will have lots to look at the NAB.

The tools take many forms — news production systems, editors, switchers, graphics generators, monitors and lighting — and come from the likes of Avid, Grass Valley, Chryon, Sony, Panasonic, Ross Video, EVS, Litepanels and Videssence.

At NAB, Avid will be showing upgrade to its Newscutter, Media Composer and Symphony editing systems. The Newscutter and Media Composer systems now offer support for AJA lo Express inputs and outputs—providing increased options between accelerated Avid hardware and cost-effective third party solutions.

Avid will also debut its low-cost NewsVision end-to-end digital news production system at NAB. Beginning at $136,000, the turnkey system should enable broadcasters to increase the quality and speed of their HD file-based productions.

The enterprise-class news production solution lowers the barrier of entry for broadcasters who are faced with converting from SD to HD and meeting increased demand for the continuous capture, creation and distribution of content across multiple platforms.

In addition, the NewsVision solution offers a scalable, open architecture that allows users to maximize existing newsroom technology investments in a tightly-integrated workflow and easily scale up to meet changing conditions.

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Avid says NewsVision sets a new standard for price-performance in a complete news system by combining a set of integrated ingest, editing, storage, production and playout capabilities with a solid technical support, training and professional services package.

Grass Valley’s EDIUS 6 and entry-level EDIUS Neo 3 nonlinear editing (NLE) software have been optimized for the new Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor. The software will allow “faster than real-time” encoding of full HD H.264 videos on a broad range of laptop and desktop PCs.

Users to export to Blu-ray, or to the AVCHD format, faster than real-time directly from the EDIUS timeline.

“Working closely with Intel, we have fine-tuned EDIUS systems to deliver the best and fastest post-production solutions to the market,” says Jeff Rosica, Grass Valley’s EVP. “With H.264 and AVCHD becoming a key format for distribution, providing a faster solution is exactly what video editors need.”

Chyron will highlight its AXIS graphics platform, a cloud-based service designed for the broadcaster. The company said AXIS simplifies, streamlines and facilitates the graphics creation workload across many users in a broadcast operation—from reporters to production assistants to news producers.

AXIS services include high-resolution maps, 3D charts, financial quotes and a virtually unlimited set of tools for topical news graphics creation. Each service is designed for ease of use and maximum workflow efficiency.

AXIS provides broadcast production staffers with pre-built templates that they can leverage to quickly create graphics for multiple outlets, including websites, mobile devices and print publications.

Chyron will also demo its Quintette newsroom graphics production and playback platform. Offering graphic asset management, the system allows users to control four channels of animated graphics.

Producers and journalists can create, order and add graphics to their stories within or outside of the news environment. Maintaining complete control over content, news directors and production personnel can very quickly take graphics-rich stories to air.

Ross Video will release a new version of software for all members of its CrossOver switcher family. The version 4.0 software, which is free to all owners, will add animated graphic transitions, and introduces automated content preparation for the web along with enhanced character generator timing controls and GlobalView personality settings.

Joining the Ross line is the new CrossOver Solo, a compact single MLE production switcher for small operations. Standard features include 12 HD/SD Inputs, internal MultiViewer, two channels of 2D DVE, synchronization, up/down conversion, and four internal channels of Media Store for instant stills, keys and media wipes. CrossOver Solo is priced at $9,995.

Ross will also introduce XPression Prime, a new low-cost version of its XPression Studio character generator. It offers a streamlined feature set designed to fit into tight budgets. In addition, Ross is showing the XPression VS—virtual set technology—which is powered by a high-quality vector chroma keyer. It will be demonstrated with a live green screen presentation in the Ross booth.

New XPression workflow tools will also debut. The new XPression Remote Sequencer controls multiple XPression systems from a single location to make it simple to control a large number of channels in a live environment. XPression Project Server provides a collaborative creation environment for project sharing and media distribution.

In the non-linear world, XPression’s NLE plug-in allows editors to use the same graphics in editorial that are used in the control room. And XPression’s expanded MOS workflow now includes support for OctopusNewsroom systems in addition to the current Avid iNews and AP ENPS support.

Both the NLE and MOS plug-ins are powered by the new XPression Offline Engine—a headless graphic engine providing high-quality previews and rendered graphics without the more expensive hardware.

EVS will introduce Xedio Flash, an all-in-one newsroom system primarily for stations in small and medium markets.

Based on EVS’s Xedio technology, the entire system fits into a single rack and includes two encoders for ingest, ENG file import facilities, five Xedio CleanEdit advanced timeline editor licenses, 18TB central storage with media management and two Xedio players for instant playout without rendering. The basic configuration is scalable for additional capacity.

Xedio Flash’s open architecture guarantees integration with craft editors such as Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro as well as with any existing NRCS systems. Format-agnostic, it works with multi-format Long GOP (including XDCAM, MPEG-2) and I-Frame (including Avid DNxHD, DVCPR50 or HD) SD/HD operations.

Sony will introduce the first two models of its high-end OLED reference monitor. The new BVM-E Series will come in 25- and 17-inch sizes. Sony said the new monitors incorporate groundbreaking processing and imaging capabilities designed to offer a replacement for CRTs in critical evaluation applications.

According to Sony, these are the first monitors to deliver full HD resolution OLED panels with 10-bit drivers. The OLED processor is designed to bring out the full performance of a master monitor, producing deep blacks with high dynamic range, blur-free motion, wide color gamut and accurate picture reproduction. No prices have been announced.

Panasonic has introduced the BT-LH910, a new nine-inch LCD monitor for field and studio applications. Features include a new high brightness, high contrast IPS panel that affords the best picture quality in its class; newly-developed 3D assist functions; and interfaces including HDMI and 3G-SDI. It can be utilized on-camera as an electronic viewfinder.

The BT-LH910 offers production-level critical viewing with 1280 x 768 WXGA pixel resolution—the highest in the nine-inch LCD monitor category. The monitor’s high brightness (350cd /m²), high contrast (1000:1) and horizontally-aligned IPS panel has 176 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angles. It exhibits minimal changes in brightness and color due to the viewing angle. Price is $3,500.

In lighting for news production, Litepanels will show its new SolaENG LED Fresnel fixture for ENG video cameras. Offering beam control of 10 to 70 degrees, the daylight-balanced Solas provide the controllability and single-shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light.

Employing a three-inch lens, the fixture draws only 30 watts of power yet produces light output equivalent to a 250 watt tungsten. It features instant dimming from 100% to zero with no noticeable color shift.

The SolaENG provides manual focus and dimming control via camera lens style ergonomic controls. Output is flicker free, and remains consistent even as the battery voltage goes down. Solas draw 90% less power than conventional tungsten lights, with little heat generation.

Designed for both on-camera and off-camera mounting, the SolaENG is only four inches by four inches by five inches and weighs 10 ounces. It runs on 10-20 volts DC sources such as camera batteries.

For web broadcasts in television newsrooms, Videssence has introduced portable LED See-Me Lites that sit on a desktop next to personal computers. These lights were designed to produce soft, comfortable, non-glaring totally indirect lighting for web casts. The design provides vertical illumination to faces without blinding the presenter.

An additional benefit of the indirect optics is that it provides a uniform spread of light and minimizes the contrast between the light from the fixture and the computer screen. These are the first fixtures designed to professionally control the lighting of web presenters from desktop computers.

The energy efficient LED fixtures are supplied with a plug-in class 2 driver for universal voltage (100 to 240) that plugs into a standard AC outlet. Each four-watt LED fixture provides 3000K color temperature utilizing the Sylvania HF2 Narrow Stick.

Fixtures are post-painted with a durable TGIC polyester powder coat textured finish. The units are supplied standard in a protected box allowing for easy transportation to different locations.


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