TV 2 Norway launches new virtual set for 2016 European Football Tournament with Dot Connector and Vizrt

Advanced virtual set and automation technology from Vizrt helps transform a small studio into a highly flexible production environment.

When TV 2, the largest commercial television station in Norway, decided to upgrade its set for covering the 2016 European Football Tournament, it had one major problem - space. The area they were working with was only 5.9 meters x 5.9m sq. with a small 3.4m sq. walking blue screen area. This was far too small to build a new hard set with any type of dimension and creativity

Anders Tomren, CEO and Concept Designer at Electric Friends, was brought in to do early conceptual design on a new set. Though his work, the idea of building a virtual set that thinks like a physical set was born. This meant that every part of the virtual set had to have a function that was grounded in the real world.

Dot Connector, based in Taiwan, was hired by TV 2 to take this idea of physical set functionality and design a virtual set that would look captivating on air while also providing the flexibility to accommodate the various shows on the TV 2 schedule. Having faced similar challenges with other clients, the team at Dot Connector envisioned a virtual set with real-time 3D graphics and lots of automation capability using technology from Vizrt, the leading provider of story production tools for the digital media industry.

"We began this project by asking ourselves, how can we create a beautiful set with a lot of functionality in this small physical space?" said Kenneth Tsai, Dot Connector ceo. “Our company had done similar things before, but TV 2’s existing studio was a real challenge we were ready to face.”

Specifically he chose Vizrt’s Viz Virtual Studio software controlled by a Viz Mosart automation system. Viz Mosart allows a single operator to handle complex productions that would normally require a team of operators. This allows staff to concentrate on other tasks, improving overall efficiency. The workflow leverages TV 2’s existing newsroom system and the Viz Pilot template-based graphics plugin to create the rundown and push from Viz Mosart automation system to control the set. This allows program directors to pre-program their rundown before the show airs.

"It is always a fun experience to work with Dot connector," said TV 2’s Eivind Netland, head of design for news and sports. "Kenneth Tsai and his team worked closely with our internal staff to deliver a stunning 2016 European Football Tournament virtual set. The new sports set has very dynamic functionalities and great templated capabilities to fit into our Viz Mosart workflow. They made the virtual set not just a virtual set, but an instrument that our producer could use to perform the show."

The new sports set includes 23 different graphic looks in one user-friendly template (created with Viz Artist software), plus two magic glass windows on set that can transition to six different locations within the small space. TV 2’s directors now use those displays to add creative shot blocking to their shows that they could never perform before.

The virtual set itself receives commands from the control room automation system and transforms the floor and back window with stunning 3D images, generated with Viz Engine, Vizrt’s real-time graphics engine and compositor. TV 2’s studio now also displays new real-time shadow maps, a novel feature of Viz Engine that enables the crew to display realistic shadows cast on the virtual set floor for the on-air presenters.

"Vizrt’s technology provides a very efficient way to use dynamic texture to create clean and amazing-looking virtual set designs," Tsai added. "With Viz Artist, even the smallest stage area can be turned into an impressive studio. That’s what we did here."

To further enhance its look and capabilities, the new studio is now equipped with an advanced robotic camera system from Electric Friends. There’s also a social media component as TV 2 likes to incorporate live Facebook messages and tweets into the live broadcast.

About Vizrt

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.

Press Contacts

Chris Black Global Evangelist CBlack|V:ZR7
This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to the business, financial condition and results of operations of Vizrt and its affiliates. These statements are based on the current expectations and beliefs of Vizrt's management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or performance of the company to differ materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties relate to changes in technology and market requirements, the company's concentration on one industry, decline in demand for the company’s products and those of its affiliates, inability to timely develop and introduce new technologies, products and applications, and loss of market share and pressure on pricing resulting from competition, which could cause the actual results or performance of the company to differ materially from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Vizrt undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.