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Australian Election Coverage Goes Virtual at Nine Network

Bergen, Norway, Vizrt Ltd. (Oslo Main List: VIZ)

In a first for Australian election coverage, the country’s Nine Network used virtual studio technology to enhance its 2010 Federal election coverage.

The in-studio Panel of Presenters at the Tally Centre in Canberra was complimented with additional reporting from a virtual environment at the network’s Sydney studios. From Sydney, Ch9’s political correspondent, Michael Usher, presented an array of live, data-driven graphics from a virtual Parliament house.

Mark Calvert, Head of Network News, The Nine Network explained, “We’re absolutely delighted with our Vizrt virtual studio system. For a modest investment, we took our election coverage to a whole new level. It gave our viewers the most informative and entertaining election coverage of any network in the country, and the feedback has been fantastic. Now we’re looking forward to using our Vizrt equipment for more Channel 9 programming.?

The Vizrt virtual studio system included Viz Virtual Studio control and a Viz Engine rendering outfitted PC, coupled with a Shotoku Mini-Jib VR crane. The system used a standard Nine Network in-studio camera on the Shotoku minijib, which enabled enhanced camera movement in the large studio green screen.

Click on the link below to see the preview of Viz Virtual Set in action for Channel 9’s election coverage, as produced by 9News Australia. Shown in the video are Nine Network journalist Michael Usher, virtual presenter of the election night coverage, and Rob McKnight (wearing jeans), Head of Promotions for Nine Network:

In this video McKnight is shown with the Ch9 Nightly News presenter Peter Overton, demonstrating the benefits of touchscreen technology for television newscasts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzXpvhxbO1I

Setup of the system was simple thanks to the new chroma keying software plug-in within Viz Engine, Viz Chroma FX. With Viz Chroma FX, the camera output is fed directly into Viz Engine. The internal Vizrt chroma keyer, controlled via Vizrt’s control user interface provides virtual output directly from Viz Engine.

Graphic design of the virtual studio scenes was performed entirely using the network’s existing Viz Artist design tools. Control of all the virtual studio scenes and playout of all graphics content was handled with the Viz Trio character generation control in the Channel 9 studio.

Election coverage from the network’s Canberra studio was also enhanced with a large, touchscreen plasma driven from the output of a Viz Engine renderer.

The Viz Engine software can now incorporate scripting directly within the graphics scenes. This enables the presenters to dynamically drive the intereractive touchscreen, recalling live, data-driven graphics and triggering animations to provide dynamic and informative election coverage.

About Vizrt:

Vizrt provides real-time 3D graphics and asset management tools for the broadcast industry – from award-winning animations & maps to online publishing tools.

Vizrt’s products are used by the world’s leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, the BBC, BSkyB, ITN, Tele5, laSexta, ETB, TV3, Antena3 and FC Barcelona, The Globe and Mail, Times Online, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions such as the Stock Exchanges in New York and London use Vizrt systems.

Vizrt is a public company traded on the Oslo Main List: VIZ, ISIN: IL0010838154.

Press contacts:
Martin Burkhalter
CEO
+41 22 365 7501
mburkhalter@vizrt.com

Ofra Brown
CFO
+47 5351 8040
ofra@vizrt.com

SCHWARZ Financial Communication
Frank Schwarz
+49 611 1745 398 11
schwarz@schwarzfinancial.com

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