Telestream GraphicsFactory passes sports test

One of the hot topics at the NAB convention later this month will be transcoding of content for multiple distribution pipes easily and efficiently. Telestream, maker of the FlipFactory transcoding system, will introduce its latest product to meet transcoding needs: GraphicsFactory.

The company says GraphicsFactory is a revolutionary new software solution that automates graphics assembly in file-based workflows. It lets users build a graphic once and apply it to many paltforms, making it easier for distributors to personalize media, add promos, and brand content.

With GraphicsFactory, an editor builds a graphics template once, and then hands it off to an assistant who applies simple metadata to tailor the template for each video asset. Graphics and source video files are then submitted to GraphicsFactory for automatic processing, transcoding to required formats, and delivery to distribution servers.

Layered graphics templates can include text, images and drop shadows, along with fade-ins/fade-outs and QuickTime movies that start and stop on a timeline. Since GraphicsFactory is built on top of Telestream’s world-class transcode engine, the output can be flipped into virtually any file format to meet a range of distribution needs.

The HorseTV Channel, a 24/7 network providing content focused on equestrian sports and lifestyles, was an early GraphicsFactory beta user. Patrick Osterman, SVP Broadcast Operations at The HorseTV Channel, says the system lets HorseTV uplink content for distribution to cable operators and satellite providers and enables strategic plans to expand to IPTV and mobile devices this year.
“We need to tailor and customize a lot of our content for each of these markets,” he says. “We use GraphicsFactory to assemble our graphical elements, including bugs, banners, snipes and QuickTime overlays. And because pulling, processing, and delivering digital files to various distribution points are completely automated, providing incredible workflow efficiency.”

Another sports content provider, World Wrestling Entertainment, also served as a beta tester. Marty Ludwin, senior director of engineering at World Wrestling Entertainment, says the need to insert or overlay graphics during the automated FlipFactory transcode process was a real need. “With GraphicsFactory, production for customized markets and insertion of time-specific promotions can be moved away from traditional editing tools to enable greater operational efficiency.”

GraphicsFactory also offers an XML interface that enables fully automated integration of metadata into the graphics assembly workflow. In these instances, an editor creates a graphics template and then drives the graphics production process using metadata supplied from external systems.

GraphicsFactory is offered as a standalone product or as an upgrade to existing FlipFactory systems and it runs on standard Windows 2003 or XP Pro servers. It is slated for release this June.