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NAB Perspectives: Dr. Stadler on the Power of Viz, the Future of Graphics

April 15th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Ken Kerschbaumer

The Vizrt booth at NAB 2015 continues to be a hotbed of activity and not just for the company itself. Partners like Reality Check and others are on hand with next-generation developments like enhanced graphics templates and tools and much more. Dr. Stephan Würmlin Stadler, EVP of sports, Vizrt, is also on hand, making sure clients, customers, and partners get the most out of the Vizrt Engine platform. He shared some of his insights with SVG.

What trends seem to be hot topics among your customers?
Most of the talk is about where we stand with regards to 4K, and, for us, 4K is not a limiting factor as we are already there because the Viz Engine is 4K-capable. And we can deliver 4K at some of our control applications, like Libero. So, if someone wants to go ahead and do 4K, we’re ready.

How about 4K virtual sets?
The Viz Engine drives everything, so it can do a virtual studio in 4K the same way it can do a scorebug. That’s the nice thing about the Viz Engine platform approach.

Graphics for the second screen was a big trend for a couple of years, but it seems to have become less of a topic of discussion here.
The biggest challenge with the second screen is what do fans really want. For us, the question of the second screen gets back to improving the experience for the first screen and what viewers will want to do with graphics in the next five years. Right now, there is just one feed, and it has all the same stats, but fans will want to have a button on the remote control so they can customize their graphics.

What are the big themes for Vizrt at NAB 2015?
Our theme is smart workflows. We want to have the best and easiest workflows and have interoperability between the different products as well as third parties. For example, integration with the Evertz DreamCatcher is a nice addition for analysis as it allows for the push and pull of files directly into our system, like with EVS and the Grass Valley K2 server.

That video integration allows us to finish videos with virtual graphics and push the clip back out or play it through the Viz Engine. It’s not just a graphics engine anymore: the Opus control room can tie into video switching, and then there is Mozart automation for video playout and audio mixing. The Viz Engine is capable of running a control room in a box as it composites video and graphics nicely with the fastest possible access.

What’s going on in live virtual graphics?
We have a nice integration with Deltatre that drives all the graphics for Champions League with the Viz Arena tracking system. You can also set rules for the Deltatre data center that stores live stats as they come in. So, for example, you can set a notification alert if, say, a football player has three receptions. It’s an editorial tool to keep track of storylines. The journalist just has to push the touchscreen, and the integrated solution brings the clips on-air.