Vizrt builds the model for future media productions with Expressen TV
How does a traditional publication such as a newspaper adapt their content for the growing use of online video for news consumption? Find out how one of Sweden’s major news outlets added the latest graphics and video technology to their workflow to create a high-quality online live-video production.
Today’s news landscape
Expressen TV platform.
The quality and quantity of the content it was already producing had to be bolstered to provide the levels increasingly expected by audiences. Expressen decided to build a traditional broadcast production infrastructure that let them produce higher quality content in the most creative and engaging way possible.
Finding the right solution
“Implementing 3D graphics is important to producing high quality video content. What we needed was a system that produces graphics that look good on multiple platforms. Our audiences watch content on smartphones, on social media and also on the Apple TV or Samsung TV app. So whether it’s on a 5 inch screen or a 55 inch TV, the videos – and virtual studios - from Expressen need to look as good as possible.”
Building a custom infrastructure
As it was building its solution virtually from scratch, Expressen had the chance to take advantage of the latest compact, easily manageable systems – unlike some of the legacy systems that still exist in some broadcast newsrooms. One of the key elements of this was the graphics Expressen wanted to be able to produce in its content. High quality graphic overlays were required as were more complex graphic elements like weather presentations, virtual studios and real-time 3D maps.
Having this functionality within its production workflow would allow Expressen to create consistent branding throughout its value-rich content. As a new venture this brand consistent was incredibly important so to achieve this Expressen TV employed a number of Vizrt solutions.
Vizrt Social TV solution allows Expressen TV to curate content from multiple social media platforms as well as manage social media interactions in a broadcast feed. Because it centralises content management, Vizrt’s Social TV solution lets Expressen TV distribute consistent content to any online platform.
To design graphics, Expressen TV installed Viz Artist, Vizrt’s real-time modelling and animation tool. Graphics designed in Viz Artist can be used to create templates in Expressen’s Viz Trio and can then be used across the entire workflow. This means Expressen TV’s producers can quickly make changes to the graphics at any point in the workflow by simply updating its template.
Viz Weather is another Vizrt solution that utilises Viz Trio’s templates. At Expressen TV, graphics and animations are automatically triggered for inclusion in weather reports while the workflow’s Viz World application lets creative teams design their own maps. This means they can integrate visually-rich content with online or external data to produce their weather updates. These maps are then sent to - and played out in the control room.
Viz Virtual Studio. Used for the design of complex 3D virtual sets and immersive graphics, Viz Virtual Studio gives Expressen TV’s producers unlimited capabilities in adding production value to their content.
All of these graphics solutions have been implemented into this workflow to allow producers to tell stories in a visually-rich way that keeps audiences engaged.
Controlling the news
Expressen TV’s control room is based on Vizrt’s Viz Opus solution and provides a newscast automation system, real-time graphics, and video playout from a single application. With capacity for eight HD SDI inputs and two IP stream inputs, Expressen TV’s control room was quick to install and its operation is simple for engineers.
Vizrt’s Showmaker has also been integrated into the control room system, which lets Expressen TV easily script its live shows and content packages. The tool allows journalists to plan out and prepare stories, programme automation commands and add both video and graphics to an automated programme playlist.
Publishing traditional content online
Once this traditional process of content creation has been completed, the online management and distribution of content presents very different challenges to the traditional broadcast.
To meet this challenge, the Expressen TV infrastructure features a Viz One MAM system and Coder, Vizrt’s transcoding tool. Operators can use the MAM to quickly break up stories into individual clips and automatically create multiple versions of content packages for Expressen TV’s online publication.
Benefits of a Vizrt workflow
By adopting a workflow made up of so many Vizrt solutions, Expressen TV has a workflow which is fast, efficient and allows for broadcast-quality content to be distributed online.
The simple operation and the automation capability of Vizrt’s solutions at Expressen TV was another key component needed by the production teams. “These tools are so user friendly that we are able to create a production with minimal staff that can be online in minutes after a news event happens,” continues Mattsson. “In implementing this workflow, our entire news operation has just stepped up. We commonly produce two live feeds at once but our system has the capacity to output up to six live streams simultaneously. Although we’ve got this workflow we have to remember we’re a news organisation, we go where the story is, we don’t limit ourselves to the planned 16 hours of live content a day.
The automation in particular is a big time and resource saver for Expressen. Being able to produce and then automatically encode multiple versions of the same story for all their different platforms significantly reduces the time needed by Expressen TV production crews to get stories ready for multiplatform delivery.
“We have over 31 different social media accounts because we know it’s so important - we have to offer quality video to enhance our audience’s experience on each of these,” continued Mattsson.
“Since relaunching Expressen TV with our bolstered workflow, in less than one year we’ve seen a massive increase in reach. We’ve even been visited by broadcasters who have been very impressed with our technical infrastructure and the content we produce.”
This installation at Expressen TV is representative of the future of online broadcasting. Internet-based platforms will need to keep up with audience expectation as they become increasingly aware of looking for the highest-quality content available. “The workflow employed by Expressen TV represents what we see as the model for future media production. Every news and entertainment company needs to think about how to best get their media to their customers, no matter where they are,” said Petter Ole Jakobsen, Vizrt’s cto. “With this live and multiplatform workflow, Expressen TV is opening the doors for allowing their high quality content to be viewed immediately.”
Download the Expressen TV case study.
Vizrt provides real-time 3D graphics, studio automation, sports analysis and asset management tools for the media and entertainment industry. This includes interactive and virtual solutions, animations, maps, weather, video editing, compositing, and playout tools. Vizrt has customers in more than 100 countries worldwide including CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, BSkyB, Al Jazeera, NDR, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, TV Today, CCTV, NHK and the list keeps growing. Vizrt has nearly 600 employees and operates in 40 offices worldwide. Vizrt is a privately owned company by Nordic Capital Fund VIII.