News Production & Post

Sky News Arabia centralises Vizrt graphics

25 June 2012
Sky News Arabia centralises Vizrt graphics

Sky News Arabia launched in May using a sophisticated Vizrt system to deliver its live news graphics. Vizrt is the sole news graphics provider for the Abu Dhabi-based channel. This is a departure from the news graphics workflow used by Sky News in the UK, which uses both Vizrt and another provider. The channel has a variety of uses for realtime 3D graphics, such as the ‘screen furniture’ of multiple tickers, side panels, maps and breaking news alerts. In addition, full-frame 3D animations are included in news stories, and maps and background story graphics are displayed on a large video wall in the studio. The Viz World map server allows news producers to generate animated 3D maps, providing useful geographical context for news stories. Roland West, creative head for Sky News Arabia, explained the choice of Vizrt’s graphics system: "When we set out to create Sky News Arabia, the key requirements to delivering a successful graphics package were quality of finish, ease of use, unity of platform and a breadth of graphic presentation. “Having built on the knowledge shared by Sky News UK and Vizrt through a collaborative relationship, we have successfully launched the channel on a graphics system capable of achieving the quality and speed that Sky News demands." Rex Jenkins, MD for Vizrt UK added: “Sky News Arabia’s requirements presented us with a genuine challenge. The workflow is extremely streamlined. It relies a great deal on graphics automation of sophisticated templates that are populated by news producers. The emphasis is very clearly on speed and getting breaking news on air with the minimum of delay. I feel sure this is a key factor that will set Sky News Arabia apart from its rivals. Good integration between all aspects of the Vizrt graphics system was fundamental to a smooth and fast workflow, which meant that sticking with one system throughout was absolutely the right decision.” Oliver Pitkin, project manager for Sky News Arabia added: “This was always going to be a challenging project – particularly in integrating a well-proven Sky News UK ethos and workflow into a Middle Eastern context and broadcasting everything in Arabic. We pre-built the entire technical infrastructure in a warehouse provided by TSL in the UK and then shipped it to Abu Dhabi. We have had terrific support from Vizrt at every stage of the process. We continue to receive support and advice from Vizrt locally and we expect our well-integrated Vizrt core to become the backbone of the Middle East’s leading channel for breaking news.


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