Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share
18/01/2016

M6 Graphically Illustrates Orad's Versatility

News Image
Combining various solutions allows the broadcaster to cut costs and achieve important flexibility.

Major French broadcaster, M6, a subsidiary of the RTL group, has introduced an upgrade to its graphics output using the latest Orad workflow solutions, not part of the Avid Studio Suite. Based in Paris, M6 operates several television channels as well as other media-related operations.

"We've been using a wide range of solutions from Orad for about 12 years," states Mathias Bejanin, technical director of the M6 Group. "Orad is used for our graphics – dynamic graphics – across all 12 channels of the M6 group. This works well, because our playout system is an environment in which the channels use, more or less, the same technical solutions. For studio production, we recently employed Orad PowerWall, and also constructed a virtual studio. In our latest move, we upgraded our news graphics workflow with the full Orad solution."

Mathias goes on to explain that the group was the first user of PowerWall, the turnkey system for video walls based on Orad's HDVG platform, which provides up to 16K resolution output from a single box. This unit outputs eight genlocked 3G or 16 HD SDI signals that can be tiled across the video wall according to the size and shape required. Multiple output options allow the HDVG to closely match the resolution and aspect ratio of the video wall. The resolution can range from 3840x1080 in the 2x1 setup, 7680x2160 in the 4x2 setup, and a staggering 15360x2160 in the 8x2 arrangement, all from a single HDVG.

"We were looking to build a new studio that would enable us to change sets very quickly from one production to another. The goal was to produce two, three, even four different daily shows from the same studio, but all with a different look. Technically, we decided to use an LED video wall, which would be big enough to cover the space in the sets. Of course, we were looking for solutions to feed that video wall with graphic elements."

Since M6 already worked with Orad in other parts of its operation, its products came under careful consideration. Although PowerWall was still in development at the time M6 was looking to make the leap, Orad prepared a demonstration in Paris to show M6 the innovative solution it was offering. "We were told that with this one machine – just one machine – we would be able to generate multiple outputs, rendering the same scene."

So confident was M6 in Orad's expertise that Mathias and his team decided to go for the project before seeing the actual solution. "It was a challenge for Orad – the fact that we ordered the product before it was launched – but it proved to be a genuine accomplishment."

That success meant that a dramatic change in the workflow for studio bookings was achieved. Previously, set alterations would have been an overnight task, but now M6 crews had the flexibility to achieve the changes in less than an hour. "With this remarkable solution we were able to produce what we intended right from the beginning: up to four shows with different sets in the same day in just one studio."

The next step in the project came when M6 launched a new evening news show. "For this program, we had to build some dynamic graphics with the right plug-in in Avid iNEWS. This would enable us to type in graphics and have the dynamic results display directly on the video wall. In fact, the system turned out to be an excellent dynamic graphics machine that was used for titles and many vibrant elements for a news show."

Virtual idea becomes reality
When M6 decided to build a second studio, Orad was again the preferred solution provider. However, because space was limited and there was no room for a physical video wall, Orad was asked to supply a virtual set-up.

"There were two reasons for the choice. First, because the rendering power of Orad solution is very high, we could produce a virtual studio, which was sufficiently real in appearance to be consistent to what we were doing in the other studio. And second, with the Orad solution in both studios, we could have exactly the same workflow with the Avid iNEWS plug-in. It means we can exchange productions from one environment to the other – and this provides a fantastic back up capability."

For M6, this flexibility has optimized its return on investment because the initial studio can be used more than once a day, while the virtual reality arrangement not only provides a safety net, but also the ability to power both workflows at the same time.

With its outstanding relationship, it was not surprising that the broadcaster turned to Orad for a redesign of the complete graphics solution for news.

"Our goal in this latest upgrade was to modernize the workflow, allowing a more dynamic use of graphics," states Michel Nougué, M6 group artistic director. "Orad's newest solutions were the natural choice. The power combined with flexibility allows us to be even more creative."

The new Orad installation is based on a non-destructive graphics workflow in which multiple graphical elements can be animated on playout, varying and enhancing the visual and informational broadcast. Unlike the previous workflow, which would have burned graphics into the media, the new Orad solution does not require time-consuming rendering of graphics. And because the graphics are not burned into the stories, native clean material is sent to archive – providing M6 with the ability to reuse content quickly.

All graphics, including lower thirds, titles and OTS, can be added via Avid Newscutter or iNEWS using the Orad Maestro plug-in. Graphical elements appear within the iNEWS Command automation playlist, allowing M6 to play the graphics overlay in real time. The new workflow brings a level of flexibility by allowing graphics elements such as names, locations, news titles, and so on, to interact on playout, each taking into account the relevant position of the other.

Gregory Vital, M6 engineering project manager, provides additional insight. "We've found the Orad application is so user-friendly, that we have not needed to provide specific training for our editors. And thanks to Orad's agility, we are gaining significant time and flexibility in our production. Today, a simple typo can be corrected on the fly, whereas previously the piece had to be re-edited."

With graphics no longer requiring pre-production, M6 developed a secondary playout channel for review and approval of on-air graphics. Powered by the same Orad graphics systems and running in parallel, M6 is able to achieve full editorial validation and control just moments before the actual broadcast.

The new Orad installation provides enriched graphics for the M6 PowerWall, as well as the second studio using the virtual set configuration. It connects the overall look and feel of M6 TV with a workflow that is better suited to meet the various technical and operational production challenges.

Michel Nougué continues: "We switched from our previous graphics supplier to Orad, not only because we had an extremely high level of confidence in the system, but also because the workflow was simple, allowing us to operate in a cost-effective and manpower-efficient manner."

He adds: "I like the way Orad works. Their people come to me and ask what kind of new solution I would like to have. That approach builds strong relationships and a deep trust in the products."

Michel believes that Orad sees the user experience as being more important for them than the technology. "We are very close to the technical people, but it is the end result that's important."

Across the group
Appreciating the relationship between M6 and Orad, Mathias Bejanin reveals that other areas of the RTL group are now adopting similar solutions within their operations. "Although all the companies are autonomous, we keep each other informed of what we're doing. Within the RTL group, the choice of Orad has been shared by some of my colleagues. This is important as we are able to share our experience and learn from each other."

He concludes: "I think we have pretty much the whole catalogue for Orad solutions here, and it's been a really good experience. But what is truly important is the relationship we have with Orad. I think it's central for us, as a customer, to be able to speak to various people at different levels in the company. And once we have the systems installed, the other vital considerations are support and upgrades. Orad's local support is very good, very present, and very knowledgeable. So, we have a good experience on that part, too. All in all, we receive the level of competence that we expect from a provider."

Image: M6 upgraded its graphics output using Orad.

www.avid.com

(JP/LM)
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

More Content Management Stories

23/08/2017
Cloud And AI To Scare The Industry At IBC Again
Everyone knows about penetration by IT technologies in the sphere of broadcast engineering. Although the IT and engineering campuses are still poles a
23/08/2017
Workflows Need To Change To Unlock The Benefits of IP
The primary advantage of an IP-based system is the convergence of multiple signal formats onto a comprehensive, distributed IP switch fabric that seam
28/07/2017
PlayBox Technology Announces Neo TS IP Stream Time Delay
PlayBox Technology has announced a major new addition to its modular Neo broadcast playout system. Scheduled for launch at IBC2017 in September, Neo T
16/06/2017
Video Over IP: Bright New Future Or Pandora's Box?
Broadcast television is all about timing, says Kevin Salvidge. Terrestrial and satellite programmes still have to be played out on schedule even thoug
14/06/2017
The Importance Of Waveform Monitoring In HDR Production
Regardless of whether they are working with HD or 4K, one of the dawning realities to many embarking on their first HDR production is the need for app
23/05/2017
BHS Expands Infrastructure With PlayBox Technology
BHS Telecom has expanded its broadcast playout infrastructure to a total of 100 PlayBox Technology AirBox Neo systems. Located across the service prov
03/05/2017
No Need To Box Yourself In
Channel-in-a-Box has, in effect, been a fairly nebulous concept since shortly after the term was coined, by whom, I do not know, says Jan Weigner, CTO
21/04/2017
PlayBox Technology To Demonstrate Broadcasting In The Cloud
At NAB 2017, PlayBox Technology will demonstrate the capabilities of CloudAir rapid-implementation broadcasting in the cloud. Van Duke, US Director of
28/03/2017
Veset To Feature At NAB Show 2017
Veset will feature its cloud playout solution – Veset Nimbus – at NAB Show 2017, Booth N5931. Nimbus utilises Amazon Web Service's S3 and EC2 as its p
16/03/2016
The Evolution Of Channel In A Box Technology
The transition to IP is three years out: George Jarrett looks at the future for play out as software defined networks point us towards an OPEX world,