IBC 2016: ChyronHego embraces virtual studios with Hybrid acquisition; new graphics tools front and center
ChyronHego opened its IBC 2016 efforts with the finalization of its acquisition of Hybrid, a leading manufacturer of virtual-reality and robotics solutions for the digital-media and broadcast industries. Based in Paris, Hybrid offers a comprehensive line of advanced tracking and trackless virtual-studio and robotic camera-head technologies. According to ChyronHego President/CEO Johan Apel, the technologies offered by Hybrid will fill a long-time gap in ChyronHego’s product portfolio.
“ChyronHego’s acquisition of Hybrid is exciting news for both of our companies,” he says, “and it comes at a pivotal time in the industry as broadcasters increasingly embrace all-IP, software-based workflows. We are continuing to expand our company’s vision to provide the premier software suite for live, end-to-end video-content creation, and Hybrid fills an important role in that strategy. Now we’ll be able to offer our customers best-of-breed technologies for building extremely compelling, visually striking, and realistic virtual sets. Plus, with Hybrid’s state-of-the-art instrumented camera heads, we’ll be able to offer a truly complete solution that is also applicable in sports.”
Hybrid’s virtual-studio tracking solutions provide real-time, precise camera motion within 2D or 3D computer-generated backgrounds. From handheld-camera movements to pan-tilt-zoom focus, Hybrid deploys an open and scalable solution for tracking virtual reality, whether using Hybrid’s precise motion-tracking robotic-camera support or interfacing with third-party tracking systems. Hybrid also offers a trackless virtual-set system that uses fixed-camera signals on a green screen to enable virtual camera motions, such as virtual roll, pan, traveling, and crane movements. In addition, Hybrid provides an augmented-reality solution that enables broadcasters to enrich their presentations with 3D objects and animations that track perfectly with the motion of the camera.
“Joining the ChyronHego team is a tremendous step forward for our company and our customers,” says Hybrid CEO Olivier Cohen. “Hybrid and ChyronHego share a mission to develop solutions that allow the digital-media market to produce value-added content with a consistent integrated workflow. Hybrid’s solutions are a perfect fit with ChyronHego’s CAMIO Universe ecosystem of integrated, software-based tools to support producer-driven content creation.”
Apel says the acquisition of Hybrid complements the acquisition of Click Effects two months ago. Click Effects built its reputation as a high-quality and widely deployed in-venue graphics system. “Click Effects is another piece of the software puzzle: in-stadium video experiences are exploding, and Click Effects is the leader in that segment and has a fantastic software suite of content management.”
He also expects the combined technical assets of Click Effects and ChyronHego to offer new services for venues later this year. “Click Effects already has an amazing offering for stadiums, and we’re focusing on this part of the market. And, later this year, we expect to have some nice bundles for the stadium side of the business.”
In terms of product news, CAMIO Universe will make its European debut at IBC 2016. The CAMIO Universe is a comprehensive software-based newsroom production ecosystem that empowers producers and journalists to create compelling news stories and deliver them rapidly to air.
CAMIO not only controls ChyronHego’s industry-leading Lyric graphics-creation environment but also offers powerful template-based tools within a significantly expanded production ecosystem, including the company’s Hybrid virtual-graphics solution, the Metacast weather-graphics solution, the PowerClips multiformat production clip server, the GS2 Multi-Touch touchscreen-generation platform, and the VidiGo Live Compositor video-switching solution. CAMIO gives producers, journalists, and video editors instant desktop access to all of these tools.
And for live sports broadcasting, ChyronHego is showcasing a full 4K production workflow based on the industry-leading Paint telestration and analysis solution, the award-winning Virtual Placement family of products, and LyricX graphics engine.
In addition, ChyronHego introduced Live Arena for end-to-end sports-arena productions. Running on standard hardware, this all-software solution integrates the Live Compositor, ChyronHego’s Lyric graphics, SHOUT social-media editor, and Hybrid robotic-camera-head control system.
The company’s entire line of broadcast solutions now supports NewTek’s Network Device Interface (NDI) protocol, an open technology for live-production video workflows over Ethernet networks. NDI enables multiple video-compatible products to communicate, deliver, and receive broadcast-quality video over standard Ethernet. The protocol offers extreme encoding efficiency and the performance needed to handle large numbers of high-quality, low-latency, and frame-accurate video streams.
ChyronHego and NewTek have been working closely together since 2012, when ChyronHego integrated its industry-standard Lyric graphics software with NewTek’s TriCaster system using an early version of what is now NDI. NewTek has since evolved NDI into a royalty-free standard to be used by any broadcast operation to connect video technologies over Ethernet.
“Software-driven IP workflows are quickly becoming ubiquitous in video production,” notes Michael Kornet, EVP, business development, NewTek. “NDI-enabled devices and applications, such as ChyronHego’s entire line of products, exponentially increase the video sources available for live production, creating efficiencies and opportunities for customers that did not previously exist. NDI is the most widely adopted IP technology on the market, epitomized by the millions of customers with access to it today.”
Says Sören Kjellin, chief technology officer, ChyronHego, “As the broadcast and media industries continue to migrate to all-IP, software-centric operations, NDI is a very important initiative. NDI is the first open-technology and video-transport solution aiming to combine the needs of professional broadcast with the capabilities of off-the-shelf IT technologies. In essence, NDI makes it possible to run an entire video operation off a standard IP network infrastructure, which allows for significant production creativity as well as economies of scale.”
With support for NDI across the entire ChyronHego product line, the popular suite of video products — Lyric, Live Compositor, Prime, Paint, Virtual Placement — is able to see and access content from all other devices, allowing more sources than ever to be used in customers’ live-production workflows.
“As NDI is an enabler for virtualization of hardware, comprehensive NDI support is a natural step in ChyronHego’s CAMIO Universe, an end-to-end software ecosystem that shifts the focus to producers and content, from proprietary networks and specialized hardware,” Kjellin says. “NDI might not be the one-and-only silver bullet, but its simplicity is truly disruptive. By tearing down the wall between the broadcast operation and the much bigger world of IT, NDI leverages technologies that have evolved over several decades, and the standard is field-proven for broadcast across thousands of productions.”