ChyronHego rocked the NAB Show 2019 with a whole new approach to Virtual Sets, and a revolutionary use of a telestrator not just as a second screen, but as a second primary sports entertainment channel.
ChyronHego had some “Fresh” ideas for visitors to their sprawling exhibit at the NAB Show 2019, as Marco Lopez, CEO of ChyronHego Canada detailed for me during our 1:1 interview in a relatively quiet corner of their display.
Actually, as he quickly explained, “That is a play on the name of our new 4K graphics rendering system, ChyronHego Fresh, which integrates Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) with our own augmented reality (AR) and virtual set (VS) software.”
Jay Ankeney from The Broadcast Bridge interviewing Marco Lopez, CEO, ChyronHego
One breakthrough concept behind Fresh is that it includes its own primitive library with 3D graphic objects, including text, that have already been fully integrated into the UE4 environment. That way producers can add them to a production or display without having to re-render them for the gaming engine.
“Our area of focus for this is the stadium and in-venue market, like the massive re-fresh we are doing at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas where the Dallas Cowboys play,” Lopez told me. ”We’ve released here at the show the new version 3.5 of our Click Effects PRIME which is the integrated graphics toolset that drives the whole in-stadium visual display spectacular.”
Click Effects PRIME can send stadium-based AV presentations to any canvas size with any number of outputs
Since ChyronHego has a 50-60% penetration in the large sports venue market, its influence is significant. And, as Lopez explained to me, they will be flexing that influence with the revolution toward IP technology.
“IP lets us leverage native GPU connectivity, as opposed to the legacy SDI technology that hampers the ability to increase channel density,” he said. “Our push is for more pixels coming from ChyronHego driven by GPU processing.”
One immediate benefit for fans in the seats will be that they will be able to enjoy the same kind of graphics home viewers can see.
With the new displays, fans at the AT&T stadium will see enhanced images just like home TV watchers are accustomed to.
“For decades, home fans have seen features like the first down line, the number of yards to the first down, elaborate replays, and now people in the seats will be able to see that on the stadium’s central display too.”
But what really grabbed my attention is the new way they will be using their telestration tool Paint, now in version 7.5.
Paint 7.5 could change the way we expect to receive the most interesting visuals of a sports experience
“Not only can this screen be used to highlight individual players and isolate great plays, but all of this can also be instantly published to social media,” Lopez told me. “The fact is that over 50% of the John Madden-style telestrations never make it into the on-air broadcast because the live director doesn’t have time for all of them. The same is true for many of the instant replays. But now, the studio operator can push these out to the social media channel, so people in the stadium and at home will be able to actually see more than those who only view the game on their home TV.”
The impact of this takes a second to digest. It means that the telestrator is becoming not just a sidekick to the main broadcast, but a unique source of sports entertainment in itself that is giving you additional information to the prime broadcast.
Of course, Lopez wanted to go back to ChyronHego Fresh before we wrapped up.
“This system lets us combine a photorealistic virtual set, live pop-ups that the anchors can address, and as you would expect, the lower third graphics that broadcasting pros have come to call ‘Chyrons’,” he said. “I encourage people who are not necessarily from our industry to realize that graphics are key to branding. And branding is essential to letting viewers know from whom the content material originated. Now that we have so many more distribution destinations, from cell phones to home theater, it is crucial that people know where the product is coming from. That is why the graphics component of digital content is so important.”
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