Category Archives: News

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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.


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EA’s eFIFA FUT Amsterdam

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The final leg of the eFifa FUT Global Series playoffs took place in Amsterdam over 6 days at the end of May.  128 players from around the world competed against each other for a chance to not only win this tournament, but to qualify for the FUT Grand Finals taking place in London in early August. 

Once again, Bannister Lake was called upon to provide moderated data for in show broadcast, and the venue’s digital signage. 

Since the tournament took place over 6 days, the requirements weren’t as complex as Manchesters’ tournament.  In Manchester, both Xbox and PS4 games were played at the same time, whereas in Amsterdam, only one console was played at a time.   This of course, didn’t diminish the quality of the production, but allowed us to focus more on the individual players and games. 

The biggest achievement in my opinion comes from this; A typical hockey, or baseball, or basketball or even soccer/football game, has your typical production crew.  A mobile truck, with a couple dozen camera feeds, 3-4 EVS operators, Technical Director, CG operator, Audio A1 and a couple A2s, a Stats producer, Associate Director, Director and Show Producer.  But for those broadcasts, it’s still a single game, taking place over 2-3 hours.   An eSports tournament is hundreds of games with hundreds of players over 8-10 hours, but the broadcast demands and requires the same quality output as your single game/2-team format.    

Some stats to ponder:

  • over 60 Xpression graphics templates built, linked to data provided by Chameleon
  • 472 games played during this Amsterdam tournament, with 10 different stats per game
  • 128 players, with 8 different individual stats per player
  • archived stats from Barcelona and Manchester totaling 944 games with 256 players
  • 2 Xpression operators, with 4 channels of output.
  • 2 automated Chameleon L-Bars (one with and without sponsors)
  • 2 automated digital signage feeds for in-house signage (Xbox and PS4 content)
  • exclusive news feeds content, entered by the talent and EA’s social media team 

With eSports broadcasts being produced more and more, with viewership increasing over the million mark, production demands will require things to be extremely efficient.   Chameleon is just one of those tools that help make something like this possible.  

Integrating the Chameleon into our Productions has super-charged the amount of info we’re able to communicate to our audiences.  For the past 2 seasons we’ve relied on the Chameleon architecture to power our onscreen info-graphics.  The system itself is very straightforward to integrate; Producers and Talent are able to update it in the heat of the action and most importantly –  using Chameleon has resulted in better storytelling, and more flexibility in how we tell those stories.

 

TJ Walker

Boombox Group

Head of Production

Bannister Lake wishes to thank Boombox Group for choosing Chameleon as their tool of choice for displaying and moderating the tournaments’ data. 

 

 


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FIFA World Cup 2018

BL is pleased to once again be providing the scorebug for this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. TSN has the rights this year for the Canadian broadcasts of games beginning June 14th. Although the broadcast rights have changed over the years with different permutations of CBC, TSN and Sportsnet owning/sharing them, this will be the 5th FIFA World Cup in a row BL has provided the scorebug.

From the 2002 2-0 Brazil win over Germany in Yokohama, Japan in 2002 to 2014’s dominant performance by Germany to take the final game 1-0 against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, BL has been there to provide viewers with the crucial scoring information counting down all 64 games for each tournament.

Community will be publishing all the news and scores from the world cup. This data will be made available for all either by mapping to community from your Chameleon instance or by using BLADE (Chameleon’s RESTful api) on the following links:

We’re all looking forward to watching this year’s edition of the greatest show in sports. Good luck to TSN on its broadcast of all 64 games.


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EA’s FIFA eSports Manchester

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The 2nd leg of the eSports FIFA eWorld Cup Tournament took place in Manchester Apr 13-15 2018.  Once again Bannister Lake was hired by Boombox to assist with aggregating and moderating stats for the tournament using it’s powerful Chameleon platform.  This time around however, Chameleon was truly tested to its full potential. Like the previous tournament, Chameleon was used as the central platform to aggregate data from game ops who entered in tournament scores and stats.  This includes individual player stats (games played, wins, losses, goals for and against, GFA/GAA and win order) and individual game stats (Games 1/2/ET/PK results, goals/shots for player 1&2).  And like the previous tournament, these stats were feeding 2 Ross XPression character generators to populate player and head to head boards throughout the tournament. This was done by using Chameleon’s restfulAPI Blade and Chameleon’s query module working with XPression’s datalinq tool using datalink keys.  This method allowed for the operators to enter a player’s name in a search box, which in turn called up all the players stats.

While Chameleon was responsible for populating templates in XPression, Chameleon’s own rendering engine was used during the tournament as well, in a form of an L-Bar.   In February, this L-Bar was used exclusively to showcase stats, social media and news items to the viewers, but this time, we’ve added a feature to display sponsors.

Because of Chameleon’s ability to provide AsRuns, we integrated the sponsors to be displayed on the L-Bar itself and scheduled the sponsors to appear on-air at a specific time during the day using Assets Schedule.  If the L-Bar wasn’t on-air during that particular time, we used Chameleon’s Switcher app to trigger the sponsor manually as well. At the end of the tournament, we handed off a PDF of the played sponsors and their duration on screen, providing another element for the production.

In February, the production and social media staff also used Chameleon to enter news stories and filter social media entries.  Like in February, the news entries being entered were used as an exclusive gateway to viewers watching, as oppose to simply relying on social media.  Only viewers of the show were exposed to in-depth analysis and on the floor reporting. The influencers and casters were responsible for entering anything they heard on the floor (using an iPad) and the social media team were responsible for approving those stories before going to air.

Some new moderation features were added to Chameleon to assist with production to easily search and filter through stats.   One in particular was Query Results which was used on air with talent to call up specific results. The host quizzed some of the casters with questions based on Chameleon’s queries, including top 10 goals-for players in the tournament, top 10 goals-against, and top goals-differentials, to name a few.  

This wasn’t enough however, as Ncompass, one of two clients during this tournament, requested another feature be provided throughout the tournament in a form of digital signage.  Especially used during day 1 of the tournament when 128 players were competing on PS4 and XBOX consoles, the players needed an easy way to see where they were in the standings and who their next match-ups would be.  Using Chameleon’s channels, we provided two individual urls feeds (PS4 & XBOX) which were in turn used on about 16 monitors placed around the venue. Intel PC sticks were connected VIA HDMI with WiFi, and directed to open the urls in Chrome full screen.  

 

A bonus added feature for digital signage was a countdown clock, informing players of the next round in the tournament, and the ability to trigger announcement and messages using Chameleon’s assets module.   The messages were treated as snipes, able to trigger on/off manually or automatically based on their requirements.

To recap, our single instance of Chameleon, aggregated and moderated 128 players with their stats, with 473 games played, filtering and creating queries for the casters to monitor,  populated 2 XPression systems with dozens of templates, 2 Chameleon L-Bar tickers (one with and one without sponsorship enabled) and 2 separate feeds for digital signage populating over 16 screens at the venue.  All for less than $2,000.

There is a final leg to this tournament coming up at the end of May/June.  

 


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FIFA Championship Cup

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CAMBRIDGE, ON 01-22-17

Today Bannister Lake announced Chameleon’s powerful graphics and data package will help publish tournament stats during the upcoming EA sports FIFA World Cup Championship.

The tournament, taking place in Barcelona, will showcase some of the worlds best EA FIFA players.  Gamers from around the world have been playing hard in order to qualify for the 128 player roster on Xbox and PS4 consoles.

Chameleon HTML 5 web player will have results during the pre-bracket tournament on Friday Jan 26th.  On Jan 27th and 28th, from the final 16 games to the championship match, Chameleon will collect and moderate game data, including scores, shots, goals for/against that will populate Ross’ Xpression graphics system.  

“Smart, good looking interface,” says Creative and Technical Director, Alain Savoie, “ with a solid data display for real- time wins, losses and player stats during the matches.  The Chameleon Web player is a great tool to show ticker data information of the matches and players, without an operator.  Meanwhile, we can focus on the linear broadcast and XPression, using Chameleon’s RESTful API to populate in-game data.”  

The FIFA World Cup 2018 Championship will be streamed live, all over the world, the weekend of Jan 26th.

About Bannister Lake

Bannister Lake is committed to helping great media companies tell better stories. A software company dedicated to making your media life easier, by bridging your data with high quality graphics.  bannisterlake.com

 


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Bannister Lake, ForA and Varto Technologies at NAB NY 2017

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Bannister Lake Partners with For-A America and Varto Technologies

CAMBRIDGE ON 10-17-2017 The Canadian company is showcasing Chameleon with ClassX CG and Chameleon NDI with NewTek TC1 at NAB New York 2017, October 18th and 19th.

Chameleon will be implemented into ClassX CastaliaCG platform, one of the company’s most popular graphics packages offering aggregated and managed data such as social media, news, weather, sports score data amongst other, to their vast array of customers,  enhancing Castalia CG’s data ability.

Varto Technologies will be bundling Chameleon with their extensive sales services, providing booth demonstrations at NAB NY.  Chameleon fully supports NewTek’s NDI protocol.  Chameleon’s integrated CG combines graphics and data as a source for any customers looking for a ticker or branding solution.

Chameleon Ticker with ClassX Castalia CG and LiveBoard at For-A America, Booth N224 and Chameleon NDI with NewTek TC1 at Varto Technologies, Booth N939.

Stop by and see the awesome capabilities of Chameleon.

 

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. Visit us online at www.bannisterlake.com sales@bannisterlake.com