Consistency, Accuracy, Productivity: how to use Vizrt automation like the French

See how the channel’s small staff became more productive and the channel’s improved on-air look is resonating better than ever with viewers.

5 Feb 2020

It worked so well that we began using it three times a day, every day.

Charles LesolilHead of Broadcast Engineering at INFOSPOSRT+

INFOSPORT+ is a 24/7 sports and news channel based in Issy-les-Moulineaux, the southwestern suburban area of Paris, France, lying on the left bank of the river Seine.
The channel was determined to address on-going inconsistencies and errors affecting their 5:00 p.m. national live sports news update program, particularly in the 10 to 15-minute sports highlight packages that needed to be created and delivered every day with a staff of three. 

To combat these problems, Charles Lesolil, Head of Broadcast Engineering at INFOSPORT+, made the decision to empower his small staff with a Viz Opus automation system, designed for small to mid-sized production environments, as a test for its 5:00 p.m. live sports show. 

“What we did first was to try create a very simple show out of the Viz Opus system and build a workflow. From an [Avid] iNews rundown, we managed graphics, video clips, two camera feeds, two external feeds and the presenter’s microphone,” Lesolil said. “It worked so well that we began using it three times a day, every day.”

Today, when we have a new project or show, we build it around these Vizrt automation tools, not in the traditional way, and it has changed everything for the better.

Charles LesolilHead of Broadcast Engineering at INFOSPOSRT+

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The Viz Opus system became so well liked by the in-house staff that they soon began calling it the “exceptional live recording system.” 

Things went so well, in fact, that over the next few months management decided to expand its operations and install a larger and more fully featured Vizrt production studio automation system called Viz Mosart. Viz Opus utilizes the Viz Mosart control interface, but while Viz Opus is a full enclosed system, Viz Mosart gives maximum automation control over all systems in the live production environment. 

Viz Mosart helped further simplify operations and soon the team was producing their highest ever on-air quality programs. Lesolil said that due to the Vizrt automation system’s success, the channel has lowered its operational costs and the technical and creative teams have benefitted from reduced on-air errors and great consistency across all of its programming. 

A new, larger INFOSPORT+ control room was created to accommodate the Viz Mosart control panel, where they also integrated a Viz Multiplay system—a simple touchscreen interface for managing graphics, images and video on every screen in the studio. Viz Mosart also controls the Viz Multiplay sources, distributing the right signals to the correct screen on cue.

With this new efficiency in-house, INFOSPORT+ now broadcasts a new 15-minute live show every quarter of an hour between 6:00 a.m. and midnight (and longer when news is needed), presenting a variety of sports news, as well as two rugby and football talk shows. Combining Vizrt’s studio automation workflow with a Viz Engine graphics engine and video playback server, the Viz Opus and Viz Mosart automation systems have improved every aspect of INFOSPORT+’s program production. The implementation has gone so well that the channel’s small staff is now more productive than ever, and the channel’s improved on-air look is resonating better than ever with viewers.

Lesolil said that while the new upgrade has been a challenge, it was worth the effort to see the kind of programs they can now produce very quickly. 

“We had to change everything,” he said. “The tools editors would use, the sets, the control room, the transmission area. But the only thing we couldn’t change was the economics of the channel. Automation is becoming the normal way to build a gallery. Today, when we have a new project or show, we build it around these Vizrt automation tools, not in the traditional way, and it has changed everything for the better.”

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