North Carolina’s WWAY-TV Picks Vizrt’s TV in a Box Solutions, Virtual Trackless Studio

WWAY-TV, the local ABC station in Wilmington, North Carolina has chosen Vizrt, a leading provider of content production tools for the digital media industry, to develop a trackless virtual studio to enhance its live programming. WWAY-TV has replaced its hard set, ageing control room and standalone cameras with robotic cameras, Viz Virtual Studio and Vizrt’s TV in a box solution to provide complete graphics-led newscasts controlled by just one operator.

VizThe new on-air look has already proved successful, helping WWAY-TV to attract new audiences and improve viewer ratings.

“The solution had to be cost-effective first, and secondly reliable,” said Billy Stratton, WWAY TV3 chief engineer. “We now have a system that’s easy to use and also totally flexible enough to allow us to present different looks for our shows in ways we never could before with a hard set.”

The installation at WWAY-TV includes two 3D graphics rendering and video playout platforms (Viz Engine), an easy to use GUI (Viz Trio) and highly flexible “trackless” virtual set software (Viz Virtual Studio) all supplied and implemented by Vizrt. The Viz Trio software is used in tandem with Viz Engine to play out all graphics and clips to air and as the automation dashboard.

The new studio includes four fixed Panasonic pan/tilt/zoom cameras and a green-screen backdrop upon which three basic “looks” are inserted into the main program output (for news, sports and weather). The Vizrt technology also allows live video to be inserted into virtual background monitors on set.

“WWAY is using Viz Trio as their switcher and automation system combined,” said David Jorba, executive vice president of operations at Vizrt Americas. “We’re providing broadcasters with the option to eliminate all of their legacy gear and replace it with a new way of thinking about how news production and broadcast is accomplished. It’s all done through a single interface, instead of several different pieces of equipment, saving a great deal of money. It results in an extremely easy workflow that can be created and edited throughout the production process right up to playout.”

WWAY’s system has been running so successfully that its sister station, WXXV-TV, (a Fox affiliate in Gulfport, Mississippi) has also installed a similar system to streamline its news production processes. The improved on-air look of both stations has already attracted viewer attention and improved ratings. Morris Network (the owner of the stations) is now looking to replicate the model at some of its other television stations located throughout the states of Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

First Speakers Announces for Vizrt Days 2014
Vizrt Days brings together broadcasters from around the world to share the latest news and innovations in the industry. The first day of Vizrt Days will have several keynotes and panels as well as seminars through out the day. The second day will feature specialty seminars and workshops. See last year’s program.

We are pleased to announce the first set of confirmed speakers.

Keynotes:

  • Jonathan Kemp, Design Director, CNN: CNN’s route to elections – new studio, challenges and choices
  • Ali Husseini, Head of Standards & Compliance, Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera worldwide graphics workflow integration for enhanced production efficiency
  • Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO, Vizrt: Changing the model of live production – Making speed, quality & low cost a reality for any platform

Speakers and panel members:

  • Greg Estes, GM, Media and Entertainment Industry, NVIDIA
  • Bill Stratton, Chief Engineer, WWAY, Morris Broadcast Group
  • Martin Stanford, News Presenter, Sky News
  • Miljenko Logozar, Network Director of Broadcast, Al Jazeera
  • Alessandro Reitano, Director Sports Production, Sky Deutschland

Program details and information about our panel debates, workshops and more to be announced. Sign up to Vizrt Days 2014.