Category Archives: News

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Bannister Lake and Tagboard Extend Social Media Capabilities Across All Media

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Social media plays an integral role in viewer engagement but moderating,visualizing and distributing social content in real-time has its unique challenges. The integration of Tagboard’s community-centric social media platform into Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software provides event and broadcast producers with the ability to manage and distribute social media to the widest variety of display options. Bannister Lake developers created a custom reader for Tagboard helping to ensure that the social media aggregation tool could take full advantage of Bannister Lake’s BLADE RESTful API for strategic distribution to any graphics engine for playback.

At the recent US Open Tennis Championships, Tagboard aggregated and moderated social content from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram which was then funneled through Chameleon. Chameleon was used to create and populate 15 different screen layouts that were then distributed to place-based screens throughout the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY.

“At live events, social media provides an immediate sense of interactivity and engagement that adds a great deal of editorial value. By integrating Tagboard into Chameleon we have taken another step towards becoming a complete visualization solution.” says Georg Hentsch, President at Bannister Lake.

Chameleon, Bannister Lake’s powerful data engine, is a robust data management solution that handles multiple data feeds from a diverse set of sources. At the US Open, Chameleon managed over 250,000 XML files corresponding to the participation of over 1000 players playing hundreds of matches. In addition to Tagboard social media content, Chameleon was also responsible for other data sources including weather, event news, schedules, headshots, scores, sets winners, standings and other tournament related data. Player’s personal biographical data such as place of birth, height, weight, handed and others information was also included.

Chameleon’s unique ability to use automation to manage, visualize and distribute a diverse set of real-time data sources provides audiences with timely, relevant content while introducing new storytelling and monetization possibilities to producers.


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Bannister Lake’s Elector Software Powers Global Television’s Coverage of the 2018 New Brunswick Provincial Election

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It was one of Canada’s most exciting election nights ending with a minority provincial government and two fringe parties playing a vital role in the final outcome. Once again, Global Television turned to Bannister Lake’s Elector to provide and parse the media consortium data and drive real-time election graphics. Global covered the election online and cut into programming with regular news updates. In addition to populating Global’s broadcast graphics with election results, Bannister Lake software allowed Global to create web solutions that pulled specific election results and displayed them on the globalnews.ca website.

Global used Elector combined with Bannister Lake’s Flow content management solution to provide a complete election night data workflow. Elector incorporates a high level of automation and is managed via a web-based interface that can be accessed by an unlimited number of users. The solution provides editorial teams with the ability to filter and track races, make race calls, and build playlists of graphics to be put to air.

Flow provides broadcasters with the ability to re-purpose content and access it either directly from the database or in an XML or JSON format, which is ideal for use on websites or mobile devices. Bannister Lake’s RESTful API, BLADE can then take the repurposed content and feed it into a web widget or another broadcast presentation solution such as augmented or virtual reality. It’s a powerful end to end solution that is versatile enough to satisfy a wide variety of election night requirements across all platforms.


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Bannister Lake’s Chameleon Serving Up Aces at the US Open

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The US Open Tennis Tournament at Flushing Meadows, NY is underway and at the heart of the enormous task of managing and visualizing the event data is Bannister Lake’s Chameleon. Chameleon software is handling thousands of datasets, moderating and distributing schedule information, matches, standings, social media, news, weather and more. Cloud backup is also provided by Chameleon.

Data projects of this magnitude require collaboration with multiple partners. Bannister Lake is working alongside Marty Dormany of The Academy of Lower Thirds and the team at Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment. Through the combined efforts of these talented professionals, tennis fans throughout the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center receive live updates and vital tournament information from place-based digital signs throughout the facility.

“It’s one of our largest and most complex projects”, says Alain Savoie, Bannister Lake’s Creative Director. “There are 763 players competing with 899 matches to be played over the 2-week period. Every single game needs the ability to be called up on the fly and include match data and player data.”

Chameleon is not only parsing and managing data, it is also providing the event’s scorebug and ticker solution. In all, 11 different ticker feeds are being generated and feeding various screens around the venue. In-stadium scorebugs are being displayed in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, and in The Grandstand. In addition to Chameleon, Bannister Lake’s Community data service is being used by production teams to input content.

The US Open signage graphics are being run off 7 Ross Video XPressions outputting to 15 channels displaying 15 different screen layout styles using XPression Tessera and controlled through Ross Video DashBoard. Chameleon’s tight integration with Ross Video products assures operational efficiencies and outstanding performance.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon with its powerful data engine, innovative parsing, versatile data reformat tools and ease of operation and setup make it the industry’s best choice for complex, mission-critical data visualization tasks.


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Chameleon powering digital signage systems at the US Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York

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Here’s the pain point: You need to manage an incredibly large amount of real-time data coming from multiple sources in a variety of formats. All those complex data sets need to be moderated, parsed, reformatted, visualized and then distributed to various screens/devices. Somehow you have to boil all that content down to present a compelling visual storyline that engages your audience. Bannister Lake’s Chameleon product handles this task everyday working with North America’s top broadcasters.

For the next 2 weeks Chameleon is powering digital signage systems at the US Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York. Chameleon is managing thousands of data files from a diverse set of sources and distributing them to approximately 100 screens spread over the tournament’s four main venues, keeping spectators informed. Chameleon’s powerful data engine, innovative parsing, flexible management tools and ease of operation and setup make it the best choice for complex, mission-critical data visualization tasks.


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Getting to the Heart of the Story: Superior On-Air Data Presentations with Chameleon’s Query Functionality

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Making sense out of vast amounts of data is a challenge facing anyone involved with the information economy. But this challenge is especially onerous in the world of broadcast television. Broadcasters not only have to retrieve the vital content they require editorially, they then must edit it, moderate it, visualize it and manage its distribution. In a breaking news situation, this process must happen quickly and accurately. As broadcasters launch various companion services on cable, the web, OTT and digital signage, for different audiences and with different revenue models, the management of data content becomes even more complex.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software product includes a powerful data parsing tool called Query that provides producers with incredible flexibility and adept data management features. Query allows specific data assets to be identified, modified and in conjunction with BLADE, Chameleon’s RESTful API, be brought into and played back through virtually any graphics engine, including on the web. Bannister Lake developed Query to fully leverage the power of SQL SELECT across its database schema. This functionality allows data-sets to be aggregated, grouped and fully customized providing real time, dynamic results. Furthermore, specific queries can be saved, modified and shared among users across an entire organization, vastly improving on-air editorial, refining workflows and putting content to air. A typical example may be a broadcaster that needs to pull only the National Weather Service data pertaining to potential wildfire conditions. Query can parse through all the NWS data and pull only the data-sets that correspond to specific locations, temperature, precipitation and geographic conditions. BLADE can then be used to bring this data content into a graphic engine, a virtual reality system or a ticker for real-time visualization.

By applying the combination of Query and BLADE functionality, media organizations can insure that their extensive investments in data content tell the best story possible while being comprehensively monetized leading to a greater ROI.

Query of NHL Top 10 Goals


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Chameleon: Drive On-Air Graphics Directly from Google Sheets

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With Chameleon’s new Google Sheets Custom Reader, media producers can automatically pull data content from Google Sheet cells and populate graphic templates. Producers can take advantage of Google Sheets’ sharing capabilities and have multiple users contributing content. Plus, content can be organized and displayed using the Google sheet tab which automatically provides a topic name for content.

Chameleon’s Google Sheets Custom Reader can handle multiple sheets and tabs providing an efficient and simple way to display complex graphics for broadcast, signage and web. It’s an elegant way to present sports scores, ESports content and News tickers.

Chameleon is the industry’s most advanced broadcast data engine providing users the ability to input any kind of data to populate and manage graphic templates.


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Bannister Lake’s Chameleon: From Branding to Tickers, The Industry’s Single Solution for Data Driven Graphics.

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Broadcasters everywhere are recognizing the revenue opportunities,operational efficiencies and cost-savings that can be realized by fully leveraging data. Television stations, networks, OTT services, digital signage networks and other digital media operations use data in two distinct ways; to manage internal operations (traffic systems, advertising accounting systems) and to visualize specific content on-air (news, weather, sports, promos). But connecting the two and in turn creating, administering and monetizing graphical content associated with data has always been a challenge.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon resolves the complexities of data-graphics co-ordination by providing media organizations with a single powerful solution for managing, visualizing and distributing any data type. Chameleon combines the features and capabilities of two of Bannister Lake’s previous products, Super Ticker and Brando, to create a powerful solution that is both data and playout agnostic.

Bannister Lake takes the position that no matter if the requirement is displaying live news tickers, presenting election results, running snipes or the strategic co-ordination with a station’s traffic system, a single solution can and should provide all the necessary requirements to use data efficiently and productively.

Though playout agnostic, Chameleon extends its tight integration with Ross Video XPression and improved support with XPression Project Server including automated deployment, ensuring all systems across the network have the latest, up-to-date, graphic templates.

Chameleon provides full “as run” logs for promos and sponsorships with a variety of support specifically for campaign tracking including the ability to track and account for promos and sponsorships throughout the broadcast day.

Chameleon’s Query function provides broadcasters with the flexibility to use data sources in exciting new ways to create rules governing the playback of content. Stations can leverage a variety of external and internal data conditions to determine if and when branding and sponsorship content should appear on-air. For example, a soft drink snipe may only appear when the temperature reaches a certain threshold, or a special baseball themed offer may only appear when the home team has won the game. Query also allows media organizations to co-ordinate and trigger other related content alongside sponsorships and promos to drive new revenue. A commercial for a car dealership could automatically trigger a snipe promoting a new program sponsored by the same car dealership. Using Query broadcast sales can create premium sponsorship offers that are targeted or co-ordinated with specific events.

Complex co-ordination with multiple media outlets is made easy with Chameleon. As a single software solution managing centralized data, advertising and promos can be strategically positioned to help audiences migrate to various companion media properties. This creates new revenue possibilities by organizing and managing campaigns across several different media channels.

Chameleon’s ‘Tag Time’ feature allows media organizations to leverage data and templating to update and position promos strategically. Tag Time automatically places promos at pre-planned spots during the daypart to pull audiences into primetime.

Chameleon from Bannister Lake is the industry’s only “one-stop” solution that transforms any kind of data into graphic content that can be used on the widest variety of editorial, branding and sponsorship applications. With features that drive new revenue and simplify operations, Chameleon provides media organizations with a path to new revenue opportunities and cost savings while executing flawlessly on-air.

About Bannister Lake Inc.
Bannister Lake is a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for broadcast television, cable, satellite, audio/visual and information presentation applications worldwide. Our solutions integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure while automating the integration and display of external data sources, improving the productivity of your organization.


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Bannister Lake Chameleon powers The Morning Show on Global News

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Bannister Lake Chameleon plays a key role delivering real-time content for The Morning Show on Global News across Canada. Chameleon manages News, Weather, Sports, Traffic, Finance and Promos for playout, ingesting and managing everything from international news to local sports scores for regional playout.

Global’s use of BLADE, Chameleon’s restful API, enabled their technical and creative team to deliver a compelling localized on air presentation for multiple locations.

Chameleon delivers live content for RossVideo XPression, Vizrt, Chyron, Pixel Power, ClassX, Imagine Versio and many other broadcast graphics platforms.

Global News Morning Show


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Bannister Lake Elector delivers Ontario Election results to Three Broadcasters in English and French.

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Bannister Lake played an important role during coverage of the June 7th Ontario 42nd general election delivering flawless results throughout the evening for three Ontario broadcasters. Bannister Lake’s Elector product provided editorial teams at Global Television, TVO and French language public broadcaster TFO with real-time results, advanced race filtering, and the ability to quickly and accurately create graphic playlists for broadcast.

Unlike previous elections, Elections Ontario utilized tabulators at many polling stations across the province which dramatically speed up the distribution of results data. Elector’s multi-user, web-based UI easily handled the deluge of data and provided producers and analysts with newsworthy voting trends, the ability to accurately make race calls and in turn translate those trends into powerful graphic presentations.

This election marked Global Television’s twelfth time using Elector on a major election broadcast. Beyond conventional broadcast graphics, Global used Elector’s RestAPI to integrate election data directly into augmented reality and virtual reality elements creating 3D interactive environments that complimented storytelling.

TVO first used Elector for the 2011 Ontario election and again in 2014. For the 2018 election broadcast, TVO used Elector to create a more analytical program featuring a wide variety of live data graphics that provided editorial context and insight.

This election was TFO’s first experience with Elector. TFO’s broadcast focused on Ontario’s Francophone population and used a combination of augmented and traditional graphics to convey the impact of election night. To accommodate TFO’s French language requirements, Bannister Lake translated the Elector UI into French ensuring TFO staff was able to fully utilize Elector’s capabilities. TFO also extended their broadcast by making their Elector generated graphics available on Facebook Live.

Bannister Lake provided all three broadcasters with a variety of professional services that complimented and enhanced their editorial and on-air capabilities. The Bannister Lake data integration team worked closely with the Canadian Media Election Consortium to ensure that results data flowed perfectly into each broadcaster’s Elector systems. The creative team led graphics integration connecting live data to graphic templates while ensuring that graphics performance was optimized. Bannister Lake led training sessions for editorial and production staff.

Elector is used throughout Canada and the US delivering reliable election night results and analysis for federal, regional and municipal races. An industry staple for over fourteen years, Elector can drive 2D and 3D graphic displays across any broadcast graphic playout system.


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Vern Freedlander Joins Bannister Lake

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce our newest team member Vern Freedlander. With his immense experience in broadcast newsroom operations and digital signage, he is a perfect fit in helping our products expand their reach.

Vern joins BL with extensive experience in broadcasting and digital signage. His broadcast career includes senior management roles at CTV News and Global News as a producer, director and creative director. At CTV, he helped launch CTV News Channel and worked on numerous elections, international summits and breaking news specials. At Global, Vern was part of the production team that launched the Global Television Network’s flagship newscast, Global National. While at Global he managed the network’s election data/graphics systems introducing new technologies and workflows allowing every market across Canada to produce high quality, competitive election night broadcasts.

Vern left day-to-day newsroom operations to join X2O Media, a Montreal based start-up, focused on software development serving the media, corporate communications and digital signage space. At X2O Vern combined his editorial, design and technical skills to generate new business opportunities and contribute to product development. Vern has a deep passion for live data and how it can be used to optimize content performance and distribution creating exciting business and communications opportunities for clients.