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Telestream breaks into sports graphics arena

12 April 2007

Eurosport International has installed two Telestream GraphicsFactory enterprise applications at its On Air Design production department in Paris to cost-effectively brand and repurpose its promotional programmes and trailers for multichannel distribution. With its broad reach across Europe – and with dedicated channels addressing different regions – Eurosport International is now able to automate the customisation of its content using GraphicsFactory to provide multiple language tracks and graphic overlays, writes Sharon Lock.

“As we shifted our business to a file-based workflow, GraphicsFactory provided huge efficiencies. The process of assembling the graphics content and different language audio tracks into our promo packages became fully automated,” said Marc Amiot, head of IT at Eurosport International. “GraphicsFactory has enabled the production team at Eurosport to move away from what was once a very labour intensive and time-consuming tape-based process, to something that is more fluid and streamlined. This enables our editors to work on sound, vision and effects while the graphics assembly is fully automated and takes place outside the realms of the edit suites. This provides substantial workflow efficiencies as well as a reduction in our operating costs.”

GraphicsFactory automates graphics assembly in file-based workflows. A build once, apply-to-many model offers a faster, more efficient means to personalise media, add promos, brand and localise media for a variety of high-volume distribution requirements. Layered graphics templates can include text, images, drop shadows and audio overlays, 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 FlipFactory transcode engine, the output can be flipped into virtually any file format to meet a range of distribution needs.

“In addition to its graphics automation needs, Eurosport had a specific need to use multiple file formats both within its production facility in Paris and for playout purposes,” said David Heppe, Telestream President and COO. “GraphicsFactory supports a vast array of professional file formats. It can automatically pull original source files from the video archive, perform the graphics overlay and transcode directly to the destination formats.”

As part of Eurosport’s new workflow, the company utilises Telestream’s FlipFactory software development kit (SDK) to integrate with its own, in-house-designed production workflow management software application, Suivi des Workflow Online de Production (SWOP). This software is driven by data entry technicians and follows every technical step involved in the promo production.

At Eurosport the promo production process starts with the video treatment (de-rush, editing and graphic enhancement such as colour treatment), while at the same time, the voice overs are recorded and mixed. SWOP allows Eurosport to follow and manage the production of up to 10 versions each of more than 200 promos per week. When the production of the promo reaches the final stage, a SWOP software plug-in automatically reacts to intelligently trigger GraphicsFactory into action. In this way GraphicsFactory works as a service under the SWOP software control. After being checked editorially and technically, the promo spots are automatically transferred into the on-air video servers for playout.

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