Vizrt has signed a four-year framework agreement with the BBC for live rendered complex 3D graphics systems. The deal provides an easy purchasing facility for any division or subsidiary of the BBC to purchase Vizrt graphics software at special rates, though what those rates are is undisclosed.
Vizrt confidently expects that the BBC's networked news programmes and the larger national and regional stations will be among the first to take advantage of the new agreement. Vizrt's package for the BBC includes its Viz|Content Pilot template graphics, which will be integrated with a networked ENPS newsroom system. In addition, Vizrt subsidiary Curious World Maps will provide a close integration with the template graphics system to enable journalists to select local, regional or national maps to incorporate in the news graphics template. Vizrt's realtime 3D caption generator, Viz|Trio is also included, as is the Viz|Trio NLE plug-in for editing platforms such as Avid and Quantel.
Vizrt's Account Manager, Scott Barber, firmly placed the deal in the context of the move towards tapeless news systems. "This agreement is highly significant," he commented, "both as an immediate graphics enhancement for the national and regional news programmes around the country, but also as the start of a new workflow, with journalists taking responsibility for both the editorial and graphics content of a news story. This is the trend around the world and it is very successful. Journalists feel a greater sense of complete ownership for their news items and designers can devote their talents to the creation of unique news graphics."
Other areas of the BBC can also take advantage of the special terms of the framework agreement. Once a core Vizrt system has been installed, the system can be extended easily through the addition of add-on modules and specialised plug-ins, such as the new Vizrt software for SMS tickers and viewer voting which the company is launching at NAB. Other add-ons can include financial data feeds, virtual studios and weather forecasting, as well as new media applications such as 3G delivery and streamed content for the internet.
Vizrt has also inked a $600,000 deal with CBS News to replace its existing graphics hardware platforms in New York City with Vizrt graphics software running on PCs. CBS News added four additional systems in the deal and acquired its first six Viz|Trio CG systems into the bargain. The systems are used for daily CBS News programmes and special events broadcast from CBS headquarters.