Vizrt technology streamlines production of the Washington Post’s online video
The Washington Post uses Viz Trio, Vizrt’s playlist-driven graphics and video playout system to control live graphics during the U.S. election and presidential inauguration.
One of the most respected newspapers in the world, the Washington Post, maintains a website that includes live and pre-recorded video to support its online news stories. These short videos–about 60 of which are produced daily—have been shown to increase reader retention and boost traffic on the Washingtonpost.com site.
“Washington Post Video is available on all Washington Post sites along with mobile and tablet apps, FireTV, Roku and Apple TV. So it’s clear that video is what our readers want and what we’re prepared to give them,” said Micah Gelman, director of editorial video at The Washington Post.
Gelman, who is responsible for driving the production and distribution of PostTV’s original videos, oversees editing and curation of partner videos. “Our goal is to always think creatively and connect viewers with The Post’s strong video journalism.”
Producing the U.S. Elections
These proven Vizrt tools came in handy during coverage of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections and also for the subsequent Inauguration of the country’s 45th president on January 20, 2017.
“We started using Vizrt in 2015 as we anticipated ramping up the amount of live production we do,” Gelman said. “We produced an 8 ½ hour show on election night with incoming election data, animated maps and tables. We also produced a nine-hour commercial-free program for Inauguration Day from our rooftop studios and eight remotes across Washington, D.C.”
The Washington Post team also worked with Polygon Labs to design and animate their election graphics coverage. The New York-based creative lab developed the Post’s data integration with live data (real-time voter results) from the Associated Press. The data was converted into easy-to-understand infographics and charts to enhance the ‘Election 2016’ graphics packages and overall coverage.
Live IP-based production
This tightly integrated package of Vizrt IP-based production software also includes the required Viz Engine rendering software running on a standard off-the-shelf HP PC, which minimizes costs while providing a dual channel HD SDI video output for producing split screens and other on-screen effects.
“Vizrt is a great tool that allows us to greatly expand our live production capabilities,” Gelman said. “We don't use it for direct playout of clips today, but plan to soon. We are also planning to expand our system to take over more newsroom functions [such as cuts-only editing and script-to-graphics synchronization] in the future.”
Ultimately, Gelman says introducing Vizrt technology has enabled the Washington Post Video team to do more with live graphics, achieve tighter data integration and improve the control room workflow. All this has translated into faster turnaround times for its video clips, more possibilities for creativity and lots of room to grow.
“We like technology that helps us do our job better and more efficiently and that’s what we get with Vizrt,” said Gelman. “It’s all about giving viewers the right content in a timely manner and in a form they can easily understand. That’s what keeps them watching.”
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.