For-A’s versatile new SmartStudio on-air graphics system provides real-time character generation, clip recording, and picture-in-picture in one unit, writes David Fox. It is suitable for use in live event production, studio production or webcasting.
It is powered by the For-A developed MBP-1244 Video Platform, which delivers 4:4:4:4 RGB signal processing and enhanced PC-based, real-time graphics. The video I/O board supports one HD-SDI (1080i) or SD camera and three additional video sources.
An optional MBP-12CK chromakey board adds a high-quality chroma key with a simple user interface and turns SmartStudio into a virtual studio system, complete with edge colour replacement, filtering and other functions to reduce noise. There are also four outputs, including a streaming output for easy Internet distribution. It can be operated with any For-A switcher.
“With SmartStudio, operators can switch, play clips, add graphics and even use it as a virtual studio system with the optional chroma key. It’s an ideal solution for small studios, schools, and webcasters,” claimed Hiro Tanoue, For-A’s General Manager, Americas/Europe Group, Overseas Sales and Marketing Division.
Its template-based CG, built around the Brainstorm interface, can key graphics over background video internally or output key and fill signals for an external mix. 3D templates can be created with Brainstorm eStudio, while 2D templates can be created using Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft PowerPoint.
There is also a built-in map data converter that allows still or animated maps to be used as templates, which can be enhanced with text or objects. Its clip player enables playback of multiple files in full HD, and playlists can be created easily and stored for future use.
It also includes a software plug-in that allows it to be used as a CG wipe and picture-in-picture wipe generator. This also enables switchers to be controlled from SmartStudio templates. For-A MXF clip servers and baseband converters can be controlled via SmartStudio templates as well, with their outputs used as picture-in-picture inputs on SmartStudio.