UK’s Sky News Expands Relationship with Vizrt
Sky News has expanded its use of Vizrt’s Viz Content Pilot to create real-time, data-driven graphics for its “Business Bulletins,” presented at regular intervals throughout the 24-hour news day.
While Sky News has been using Viz Content Pilot template-based graphics and video management system and the Viz Artist design workstation to create full-frame graphics and 3D animations for some time, in May 2012 the network began using Content Pilot and Artist to embellish its Business Bulletins with full-screen graphics, side panels (for HD viewers), lower third supers and scrolling tickers that contain financial data updated in real-time.
“The design focus at Sky News is to provide our viewers with a wealth of timely information in an attractive, structured and understandable format,” said Brent Jones, head of 3D/VFX for Sky News in Isleworth, Middlesex, UK. Considered one of the world’s premiere breaking news networks, Sky News delivers international news to roughly 103 million homes in 115 countries worldwide.
Viz Content Pilot automatically requests specific data sets and then puts that data into designated fields within the templates. The templates can even update while they’re live on air.
“Content Pilot is a straight-forward addition to our broadcast infrastructure,” Jones continued. “Its flexibility allows us to create a fully bespoke template system based on the requirements of our business team. The team can now respond to breaking news and illustrate financial stories as they happen—confident we’re always showing viewers the most up-to-date information.”
At Sky News, Viz Content Pilot is part of an integrated graphics workflow that was first installed in 2006 including: Viz Artist, Viz Weather for live weather presentations, and Viz World to create interactive, 3D animated maps for broadcast and static 2D maps for its online and iPad news services. Viz Content Pilot was chosen because of its ability to integrate with the other Vizrt systems, including the Viz Engine realtime HD/SD rendering engines, and the ability to provide a fully customized producer interface.
“Increased investment in Viz Content Pilot and newsroom integration has enabled us to provide our entire business news team with user-friendly interfaces,” said Jones. “From the comfort of their own desks, our producers and journalists can quickly and easily create, modify, and then save their graphics directly into the rundown.
“The ability for several producers to access the templates simultaneously and the removal of the commissioning process has greatly improved the efficiency and delivery of our live graphics as well as our updates.”
An in-house design team at Sky News creates all the graphics designs, develops control interfaces, and integrates the graphics systems.
“We’re delighted that this prestigious international news network has placed its confidence in our live, template-based graphics workflow,” said Petter Ole Jakobsen, chief technical officer for Vizrt. “Viz Content Pilot saves broadcasters the time and expense of continually redesigning live graphics for air. Sky News takes great pride in its on-air branding and regularly refreshes its graphics workflow to offer the most appealing and current on-air presentations possible. We look forward to furthering our relationship with Sky News and supporting their efforts.”