Category Archives: News

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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


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The Web Widgets are Coming!

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Our customers store a ton of important information in their Chameleon databases. Adding to that wealth of data is all the useful information available on Community. Community has a wealth of weather, sports, news, financial information and more. And with our soon to be released eventful support, calendars can be stuffed with local events.

While tickers are the ultimate way to show data for broadcasts whether for digital signage or traditional broadcast, it’s not the only way to utilize all that useful data. That’s why from the beginning we included BLADE, our RESTful api, for retrieving data from our database. We support all the standard formats like xml, json, rss, csv and others. We even created a UI in Flow, our web interface to Chameleon, to help customers discover the correct BLADE url for the data they need.

However, to use raw BLADE data, there is a technical requirement. Software developers would have no trouble turning a json file into html using PHP. Character Generators and Digital Signage players are also adept at utilizing BLADE standard formats as is. But how to make use of BLADE for the non-technical user? How can a web master insert data much like they insert Google Maps?

Well, the answer is to follow Google’s lead and create web widgets with our data. So, instead of raw json, xml or csv from BLADE, what if that url did more? How’s this for an example:

The above isn’t a screenshot. It’s a mini-app on this page. Click the arrows, the league dropdown or the logo and they’re all active. Also, leave this web widget up and you’ll see refreshes of the scores automatically. And these are real scores coming from live Community data. No smoke and mirrors!

The web widgets we’re adding will be more than just static data. For example, this scores web widget has lots of flexibility with colours, branding (logos/links), size, leagues, refresh rate and much more. For example, looking at what we have above, there’s a league drop down allowing changing of the league. This is optional since the league can be fixed but the important point is that the web widgets are mini-apps that are easily placed on any web page much like Google has done with Google Maps.

The above scores web widget comes to us courtesy of our Community instance of Chameleon. We expect to expand our web widgets over the next few months to include all of our data types. And by default, all Chameleon customers get this support. It’s not an option. It’s just an expansion of our BLADE support.


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Included data

New Included Data Feeds with Bannister Lake’s Chameleon

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CAMBRIDGE 09-13-2017 – Bannister Lake announces data feeds are now included with the powerful Chameleon platform, the software company’s latest broadcast and media Cloud, NDI and SDI compatible graphics and ticker solution.  

Data includes weather, financial, sports scores and US National Weather Alerts at no additional cost for Chameleon customers.  This is in addition to the already available content modules such as alerts, events, closings, Twitter/Facebook, elections and NEWS.

“Free data, what’s not to love?” states Georg Hentsch, “That’s the inherent value to any  company who relies on vasts amounts of published information.   Currently we have North American sports  (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB) and finance data includes currencies, indices, commodities and Dow Jones.  More leagues and finance options are available on demand.  As for weather cities, we currently have all the world capitals, along with major cities in the US and Canada. Again, more can be added as requested. “

In addition to the included data provided, Chameleon has many data source plugins at no additional cost. Plugin sources include Calendar (ical), Google Sheets, Inrix, Barchart, Stats, WSI, and Weather Underground no name a few.  Custom readers can be created at a minimal cost or can be built by 3rd parties/customers using Chameleon’s open data model.

At IBC meet the team at Ontario booth in hall 2A .

About Chameleon and Bannister Lake

The all-In-one solution for branding and news content delivery is an adaptable media graphics solution for NDI, SDI and Digital online applications, containing the company’s best branding and ticker elements that media organizations expect in an increasingly on-demand broadcast environment.  Recently used at NDI Central NewTek booth and Broadcast Beat’s production at the NAB show, the versatile software system, blends seamlessly with other tech solutions.  Bannister Lake has partnered with leaders in the broadcast industry such as Imagine Communications, Grass Valley, Broadstream, AJA Video and Ross Video


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Pebble Beach Chameleon

Pebble Beach Systems Features Chameleon with Dolphin Automation

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CAMBRIDGE ON 9-11-2107 –  Bannister Lake Chameleon, the data and graphics broadcast platform will be on display with Pebble Beach systems, Stand 8, B68.

“The Chameleon integration with Pebble Beach requires no additional 3rd party graphic editors”, says Georg Hentsch, “Chameleon is a comprehensive ‘all in one’ graphic playout solution that addresses data, branding, and graphic playout.

Customers of Pebble Beach systems’ Dolphin product, now have an option to produce an advanced ticker and branding solution using Chameleon’s HTML5 graphics engine.  No need for an additional graphic CG systems.

IBC 2017 attendees can see the products and request further information from each company. Bannister Lake at the Ontario, Canada Pavilion in Stand 2.A46 and Pebble Beach, Stand 8 B68.

 

About Chameleon and Bannister Lake

The all-In-one solution for branding and news content delivery is an adaptable media graphics solution for NDI, SDI and Digital online applications, containing the company’s best branding and ticker elements that media organizations expect in an increasingly on-demand broadcast environment.  Recently used at NDI Central NewTek booth and Broadcast Beat’s production at the NAB show, the versatile software system, blends seamlessly with other tech solutions.  Bannister Lake has partnered with leaders in the broadcast industry such as Imagine Communications, Grass Valley, Broadstream, AJA Video and Ross Video.

About Pebble Beach and Dolphin

Pebble Beach Systems is a leading developer and supplier of automation, channel in a box and content management solutions for TV broadcasters, service providers, and cable and satellite operators.  Products are flexible, reliable and scalable, and designed to cater for all channel types. Our innovative solutions manage acquisition, file-based workflows, archiving and multi-channel playout at large and small installations worldwide.