Thomson adds facial recognition to Ignite system

The Thomson Grass Valley Ignite SD and HD integrated production systems will receive a number of enhancements at NAB designed to streamline the production process to make live sportscasts and other types of video productions faster and error free.
Among the features is
autoCORRECT, new facial tracking
technology for the Ignite’s SDC/HDC robotic camera systems that allows for
unmanned, automatic tracking of anchors and other on-air talent in a
studio environment. The autoCORRECT technology automatically makes
adjustments to pan, tilt, and zoom functions on the SDC/HDC robotic
cameras in order to keep the talent properly framed within the shot.

This functionality will be
available as a hardware and software option for the Thomson Grass
Valley Ignite SDC and HDC robotic cameras, operating in tandem with the
Thomson Grass Valley JSC-2300 SHOT Director joystick controller, and
also with an Ignite Control Room Automation System (although not
required). Once set up to track one or more faces, the cameras will
smoothly make subtle adjustments to keep the talent in the ideally
positioned frame, to accommodate for chair movement and other common
live broadcast occurrences. AutoCORRECT works with “offsets” and
“tracking zones” from center frame to accommodate on-camera shots,
shoulder box shots, and other shots where tracking, graphics, and keys
are used.

The new Thomson Grass Valley Ignite IQ software adds more automation capabilities to speed up the process of entering production data, and managing resources. Also to be introduced at NAB 2008 are several digital audio options, sophisticated facial tracking technology for the Ignite System’s complementary robotic camera systems, and the ability for existing Thomson Grass Valley Kayak switcher users to take advantage of the Ignite’s automated production capabilities in a new version called Ignite Lite.

The Thomson Grass Valley Ignite system has helped improve the quality of programming while reducing operational costs at more than 75 stations across North America, Australia, and Europe.

“Thomson continues to improve upon what has been a very popular integrated systems approach to broadcast and professional production,” said Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President of Thomson’s Broadcast & Professional Solutions business unit. “The new Ignite IQ software, along with a host of other enhancements to this unique automated production system, is another example of listening to our customers’ needs and delivering the right tools at the right price and at the right time.”

Using the system’s Transition Macro Element (TME) technology—which establishes news segments and transitions as “events” on an event timeline—all segments of a live newscast can be pre-programmed and previewed prior to a show going to air.

With the new Ignite IQ option, operators now have the choice to create either fixed properties within the TME or create a base TME template that includes variables, which can be entered when the TME is added to a story in the newsroom computer system rundown.

Ignite IQ provides additional automation enhancements such as auto-channel assignment for video playout servers.

New at NAB 2008, the Thomson Grass Valley Ignite system will offer additional audio configuration choices, as an alternative to the current Klotz Digital hardware and software audio frame. The Ignite can be configured with either the existing Klotz Digital interface, or the new Ignite external audio interface to control the Yamaha LS9-16 or LS9-32 digital audio consoles (Yamaha hardware purchased separately). Customers can also purchase the Ignite system with no audio interface for applications where they might want to automate most of the production control room, but plan to operate audio manually.

The Ignite external audio interface is a software option to control the Yamaha LS9-16 or LS9-32. Ignite can control the mixing of up to 64 mono inputs, up to 48 mono outputs (including 12 foldback outputs for mix-minus and four auxiliary outputs), and control channel equalization, dynamics, and delay.

For Thomson customers that have already purchased a Kayak digital video production switcher, but want to add the production efficiencies of Ignite, Thomson now offers Ignite Lite systems. Ignite Lite has all the hardware and software components of an Ignite system, but does not include the Kayak frame. Ignite Lite systems can be configured with either Klotz audio (hardware and software), or Ignite external audio interface (the software-only Ignite interface to a Yamaha LS9-16 or LS9-32), or with no audio interface. Ignite Lite systems are currently available.

Product Availability

The Ignite no audio option will be available in Q1 2008. The Ignite IQ option is priced at $49,000 and Ignite external audio interface is priced at $11,000; both will be available in Q3-2008. The SDC/HDC AutoCORRECT option will be available in Q4-2008.

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