Does one size fits all


Economic realities are driving most technical industries toward considering solutions that combine what began as stand-alone, discrete devices into single, multifunction systems. In the broadcast and multimedia production arenas, character generators (CGs) are among the discrete systems now being offered in multifunction platforms.
The assumption is, of course, that in buying just one system, the purchaser reduces initial financial outlay while gaining broader functionality. What’s more, logic suggests that in employing just one integrated system, the company can employ fewer operators. Are these assumptions correct? After all, reducing operational costs while enhancing brand recognition to generate revenue is what the modern CG is all about.
Intuitively, this all-eggs-in-one-basket approach seems to make complete sense as a cost-saving technique. However, what many broadcasters and other organizations are finding, is that the purpose-built CG systems provide higher levels of reliability, functionality, and ease of use that are difficult to achieve in multifunction solutions, because those solutions are tasked with serving a variety of workflow roles.
In trying to be all production things to all production environments, some combined solutions can fail to do any particular thing well. When, for example, a single system is required to provide robust CG functionality while also serving as a vision mixer, multi-channel video server, audio mixer, and camera control system, its operation becomes much more complex. With so many features and applications incorporated into one interface, even the simplest tasks can become operationally overwhelming.
Today’s generation of broadcasters and video professionals have grown up working with a computer and mouse, and in approaching video production, they expect to be able to sit down at a system and get to work right away – without needing to pore over a pile of manuals or sit and view multiple, mind-numbing on-line tutorials - just to make their multi-function behemoth behave properly in a simple online environment.
Because CG system developers straddle two worlds, bringing together computer-based graphic arts and the technical aspects of working with live video for real time play to air, CG systems must offer simple user interfaces and straightforward functionality to facilitate the creation and manipulation of electronic graphics. These systems must then allow flawless playout of complicated graphic effects required for modern on-air broadcast quality CG graphics.
There are still places in larger productions that require personnel with highly specialized and expensive CG operational skills — with years of hands-on experience. But, the majority of most productions rely on staff, students, and volunteers who must be familiar with the CG system and get up to speed quickly. Stand-alone CG systems make this possible, and in many cases the tools they provide can allow users to create graphical overlays and other CG-based enhancements to the video project without the need for the complications and cost of video switchers or OB vans.
In more complex broadcast operations, the stand-alone CG can integrate with automation and other systems, in turn enabling greater efficiencies, and reducing the manual intervention required to create and output reliable and real time broadcast graphics. For example, template based sports scoreboard graphics can create real time lower third game scores, stats, and frame accurate shot clock information automatically. These are duties the modern purpose-built CG can easily deliver at an incredibly affordable price point.
Because these are dedicated systems that can integrate and operate smoothly in tandem with other key systems, stand-alone CG systems offer a higher standard of performance that can’t be compromised by other broadcast operations. While simultaneous stresses from multiple processes in a combined solution can cause slow-downs or system crashes that threaten an entire production, a dedicated CG system, some with the added safety of mechanical bypass relays, offer stability, limited risk and peace of mind to the final on-air product.
The independent operation of stand-alone CG systems is valuable also within the educational environment, where the use of discrete devices gives students the best opportunity to learn specific production skills. Equipped with a practical understanding of how to use CG technology effectively, those students can then enter the working world in a production facility and be prepared to work either with a discrete system or to make sense of and take better advantage of a combined solution.
Those companies, organizations, and institutions that really take a hard look at how they are spending money will realize that the best investment is one that delivers the required features, functionality, performance, and associated benefits at a reasonable price point. Typically, 80 percent of a product’s cost can be attributed to the last 20 percent of its functionality – the bells and whistles that may or may not be actually used over the product’s lifetime. It very well may be that the promise of a “one size fits all” or a “station in a box”, may in fact turn out to be a box full of empty promises and false economy.
Following the same “80/20” rule, true value can be realized through implementation of purpose-built CG systems that focus on providing the necessary 80 percent of the functionality, and on doing that 80 percent very well. This approach to product development has brought to market a range of high-value CG systems that offer powerful features suited to the majority of video production applications.
Used independently or as part of much larger installations, today’s stand-alone CG systems make it easier and more cost-effective than ever for users across the broadcast, sports, military, government, education, and house of worship markets to create more dynamic, engaging, cost effective, and revenue enhancing video productions.

Tags: compix media | cg | character generator | vision mixer | multi-channel video server | audio mixer | cg graphics | graphics | iss041 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • LiveCG Broadcast and LiveMedia Server from 3D Storm at BVE 2018

    LiveCG Broadcast and LiveMedia Server from 3D Storm at BVE 2018

  • 3D Storm discuss IP and NDI for Live Media Server and Live CG Broadcast at NAB 2018

    3D Storm discuss IP and NDI for Live Media Server and Live CG Broadcast at NAB 2018

  • 3D Storm at IBC 2015

    3D Storm at IBC 2015

  • Brainstorm Multimedia at IBC 2015

    Brainstorm Multimedia at IBC 2015

  • Softron Media at IBC 2013

    Softron Media at IBC 2013

  • TSL Systems at NAB 2013

    TSL Systems at NAB 2013

  • Ross Video at BVE 2014

    Ross Video at BVE 2014

  • Ross Video Acuity at IBC 2014

    Ross Video Acuity at IBC 2014

  • Cinegy at NAB 2014

    Cinegy at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Ross Video at BVE 2012

    Ross Video at BVE 2012

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

    Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

  • Audio Developments at BVE North 2011

    Audio Developments at BVE North 2011

  • Metacast Weather Graphics from ChyronHego at NAB 2017

    Metacast Weather Graphics from ChyronHego at NAB 2017

  • Stardom product range - Polar Graphics at NAB 2016

    Stardom product range - Polar Graphics at NAB 2016

  • Matrox Graphics at IBC 2012 Part Three

    Matrox Graphics at IBC 2012 Part Three

  • Matrox Graphics at IBC 2012 Part Two

    Matrox Graphics at IBC 2012 Part Two

  • Matrox Graphics at IBC 2012 Part One

    Matrox Graphics at IBC 2012 Part One

  • Paint from ChyronHego at NAB 2018

    Paint from ChyronHego at NAB 2018

  • Virtual 1st from ChyronHego at NAB 2017

    Virtual 1st from ChyronHego at NAB 2017

  • ChyronHego Lyric64 at IBC 2015

    ChyronHego Lyric64 at IBC 2015

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2014

    Pixel Power at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego PowerClips at NAB 2014

    ChyronHego PowerClips at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego at NAB 2014

    ChyronHego at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm with Aston demonstration at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm with Aston demonstration at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm at IBC 2013

  • Matrox Maevex at IBC 2013

    Matrox Maevex at IBC 2013

  • Matrox Avio at IBC 2013

    Matrox Avio at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm Multimedia: Aston3D at NAB 2013

    Brainstorm Multimedia: Aston3D at NAB 2013

  • Dalet at NAB 2013

    Dalet at NAB 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2013

    Pixel Power at NAB 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2012

    Pixel Power at NAB 2012

  • Brainstorm at NAB 2012

    Brainstorm at NAB 2012

  • Chyron at NAB 2012

    Chyron at NAB 2012

  • Orad at NAB 2012

    Orad at NAB 2012

  • VIZRT at BVE 2012

    VIZRT at BVE 2012

  • Chyron at BVE 2012

    Chyron at BVE 2012

  • PlayBox Technology at BVE North 2011

    PlayBox Technology at BVE North 2011

  • Elemental Technologies at IBC2011

    Elemental Technologies at IBC2011

  • Brainstorm at IBC2011

    Brainstorm at IBC2011

  • Avid at IBC2011

    Avid at IBC2011

  • Chyron at IBC2011

    Chyron at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Reviewing the Presonus 1640 - June 26th 2012

    Reviewing the Presonus 1640 - June 26th 2012


Articles
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Future proofing post production storage
Josh Goldenhar Advancements in NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), the storage protocol designed for flash, are revolutionising data storage. According to G2M Research, the NVMe market will grow to $60 billion by 2021, with 70 percent of all-flash arrays being based on the protocol by 2020. NVMe, acting like steroids for flash-based storage infrastructures, dynamically and dramatically accelerates data delivery.
Tags: iss135 | nvme | sas | sata | it | storage | post production | Josh Goldenhar
Contributing Author Josh Goldenhar Click to read or download PDF
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
Grading BBC Sounds
Simone Grattarola

The BBC has launched its new personalised music, radio and podcast app with a campaign that follows one listener’s journey from meeting Kylie Minogue in a lift to Idris Elba on a bus. 

BBC Sounds offers a single home for the BBC’s thousands of hours of audio content, including live and on-demand shows and special music mixes curated by artists.

BBC Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative division, took the brief to agency Riff Raff Films and Megaforce directing duo of Charles Brisgand and Raphaël Rodriguez who in turn brought on board regular collaborators Time Based Arts.

Tags: iss135 | bbc | grading | bbc sounds | davinici | resolve | blackmagic | editing | Simone Grattarola
Contributing Author Simone Grattarola Click to read or download PDF