China’s SBS Empowers News Production With Advanced Graphics and Studio Automation Technology From Vizrt

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When Suzhou Broadcasting System (SBS) moved to a new site in 2016, it also migrated its broadcast operations from SD to HD in the new building. The goal was to improve its on-air look and enhance the viewer experience with extensive use of virtual sets, augmented reality, 3D graphics and three new news studios, which are controlled by a Viz Mosart integrated studio automation system from Vizrt.

Today, nearly two years later, SBS is careering some of the most compelling graphical elements anywhere on television to support its global news reporting.

All video, audio, lighting and other HD production equipment are controlled by a single person that operates each news studio using a tightly integrated graphics user interface that brings all of the facility’s operations and individual equipment and systems under their individual control.

Virtual sets with AR graphics allow on-air presenters to tell their stories in the most comprehensive way. This increases viewers’ understanding of the subject matter and leads to repeat viewership.

While maximizing the potential of all of its programs, the Viz Mosart deployed at SBS (the first such system installed in China) helps simplify all of the technical operations required to create the highest quality images, improving time to air for its news stories and reducing on-air mistakes and operational costs.

For news broadcasters like SBS, Viz Mosart puts the story in the center of the production, removing technical complexity with a simple user interface, designed to give all necessary information to the director while giving full flexibility to operate both planned and breaking news scenarios.

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Other Vizrt graphics systems used by SBS graphics teams include Viz Trio, a character generation system, Viz Engine, a real-time compositing server and Viz Virtual Studio, which is used to generate the 3D and AR graphics in tandem with virtual backgrounds. All of the systems are fully compatible and controlled by Viz Mosart.

Operators in the control room benefit from a real-time view of all upcoming events through a tight integration with SBS’ internal newsroom computer system.Supporting SBS’ fast paced news production workflows, Viz Mosart boasts a variety of flexible ways to modify and edit the news story rundown list. 

The pre-planned order can be changed at a moment’s notice, even while a program is on air.  The system allows SBS technical staff to make changes and deletions to modules inside the storyline by inserting or cancelling various modules (stories) with a simple mouse click at any time. 

For example, it can change CAM1 into CAM2 temporarily, while all graphics sets associated with a story remain unchanged. Virtual sets can also be changed quickly to change the mood of a late-breaking story being presented.

The system is so sophisticated that even while all of these changes are happening behind the scenes, viewers never notice any unnatural disruption to their programs on air. And if one studio should go down, another can be called up in its place to continue broadcasting without interruption.

The SBS team now has a series of standard procedures in place that take advantage of Viz Mosart’s capabilities to produce and operate a live news broadcast, quickly, safely and efficiently. 

The result has brought SBS’ visual expression and program presentation to a whole new level.