Tag Archives: Branding

  • -

Corus Entertainment: Driving New Business And Operational Efficiencies With Bannister Lake Software

Tags : 

Corus Entertainment is one of Canada’s largest media and content companies with assets in radio, television and online. The broadcast television side of the company is a mix of over-the-air broadcast stations and specialty cable channels. Like all media organizations, it is observing dramatic shifts in audience viewing habits and in the way advertising dollars are being designated. Corus is responding proactively to address the changing media marketplace, developing innovative technology and content solutions. It is a pioneer in Canada, creating consolidated news production facilities, building a national infrastructure with sophisticated content sharing capabilities and extending their various brands across multiple platforms. Corus also broke new ground in leveraging live data; both as a content source and as a driver of video and content to new platforms. Early on, Corus saw the value that data had as an editorial source that could be extended over its many media properties and as a powerful tool to strategically distribute content.

Data empowers Corus to accomplish two essential things: add significant editorial value to its multiple media properties and secondly, open new market opportunities driving untapped ad revenue. To meet these objectives and take full advantage of their data and content, Corus’ Global News division turned to Bannister Lake, a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for broadcast.

In working with Corus, Bannister Lake focused on three essential data-rich areas: elections, information tickers and creating new media products and services. Across Global News’ broadcast operations, Bannister Lake’s Elector election race software is being used to produce municipal, provincial and federal coverage. Elector allows editorial staff to quickly and effectively filter race results, identify important trends, make race calls and in turn populate and display dynamic election graphics on-air or online.

“Elector has become our go-to software solution for all our election coverage. It works great on municipal, provincial and federal races. Both our editorial and technical staff love its ease of use and quick implementation,” says Gerry Belec, director of news technology and operations at Corus Entertainment.

Across Global News, Bannister Lake powers L-Bars, tickers, and sponsor logos on all the local morning news programs. The key tool Global News uses to make all this possible is Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software. Chameleon provides Global News with a single data/graphics management solution that drives a wide variety of graphic playout devices across the entire Global News organization. By centralizing data through Chameleon, Corus not only realizes operational efficiencies, but also permits broadcast sales to create new media products and sell both national and local sponsorships on all its broadcast tickers. Editorially, Chameleon enables Global News to integrate the widest possible variety of data sources on-air, including social media feeds, financial data, sports scores, closings and atypical feeds such as community events calendars.

Corus foresees Chameleon playing an expanded and valuable role as the media company develops and launches multi-platform solutions, expands online, distributes more content via partnerships and explores innovative media opportunities.

Global News takes advantage of BLADE, Chameleon’s RESTful API feature, allowing them to manage and distribute specific portions of a data feed. With BLADE, Global News can effortlessly direct their content to various output channels including thousands of screens across digital signage networks in multiple cities across Canada. This has fostered new revenue and promotional opportunities for Corus and has dramatically improved brand recognition. BLADE allows Global News to target specific end points strategically with content designated for that output.

Corus and Global News further benefit from Bannister Lake’s development strategy that emphasizes multi-user, web-based solutions while still maintaining high levels of security. Teams from across the country can simultaneously access the solution, load content, query data and create and edit playlists, but only according to their user status. Should unusual operational issues emerge, Bannister Lake’s development team can write custom code resolving the issue.

“We look forward to a long and creative partnership with Corus. We are thrilled that our software and custom services can be plugged into so many aspects of their business”, says Georg Hentsch, Bannister Lake’s founder.

Also published in
TV Technology


  • -

Bannister Lake’s Alain Savoie to Present at the 2019 NAB Show Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC)

Tags : 

Bannister Lake announced today that Alain Savoie, the company’s creative and technical director, will be presenting his co-authored white paper, “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution” at the 2019 NAB Show. Along with Savoie, the paper was written by Bannister Lake’s Vernon Freedlander who heads strategic partnerships and the company’s president, Georg Hentsch. The presentation takes place on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center room N260.

Live data, its management and visualization, have become an integral part of the broadcast and visual communications workflow. Whether used in fast-moving, dynamic on-air presentations such as elections, news, sports, eSports, or finance, or to populate and control on-air branding, effective live-data aggregation and management drives efficiencies and creates new monetization possibilities. As broadcasters seek out new revenue streams, live data plays a key role both online and in developing new markets such as streaming and digital signage.

Savoie will be speaking on several important data-related topics that directly impact the broadcast industry. The presentation will focus on unique data-driven engineering and development methodologies, and how broadcasters can take advantage of the data aggregation and management tools and techniques these methodologies foster to create more efficient and automated production workflows. Savoie will also explore how broadcasters can utilize real-time data to create and distribute new revenue-generating products and services. Savoie will use examples from broadcast, eSports, and event signage to illustrate.

Savoie is an industry authority on live-data-driven graphics. He has worked on numerous high-profile broadcast projects integrating data into innovative graphic solutions. At Bannister Lake he is responsible for integrating data feed content into Bannister Lake’s data aggregation and management technology suite and in turn outputting data to on-air graphic systems throughout the broadcast and event ecosystem. Savoie works directly with engineers, designers, editorial teams, and event producers offering training, commissioning, graphic operations, and consultation to meet any data and technical requirement within the production and graphic display workflow.

At the 2019 NAB Show Bannister Lake will be highlighting its flagship data aggregation and graphics management solution, Chameleon. Chameleon provides networks and station groups with unparalleled data aggregation, graphics management, and visualization possibilities. Beyond broadcast, the Chameleon solution is used in multiple data applications: OTT, streaming, digital signage, HTML5, online, and mobile. Chameleon reads, ingests, and manages multiple, diverse data feeds through an advanced web interface, providing users with full control over incoming data. Users can edit, moderate, blend, and manage datasets to generate completely customizable and automated tickers, L-bars, full frame graphics, and branding elements.

Be sure to visit Bannister Lake at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.


  • -

Bannister Lake to Highlight New Feature Set and NDI Version of Chameleon Data Aggregation and Graphic Management Solution at 2019 NAB Show

Tags : 

Bannister Lake’s industry-leading data and graphics management solution, Chameleon, will be in the spotlight at the 2019 NAB Show with a focus on the product’s new election, sponsorship, and security functionality.

As broadcasters start planning for the 2020 presidential election, Chameleon boasts improvements to its election race modules, providing producers with more options to ingest and manage result data feeds, referendums, propositions, and acclaimed candidates.

The latest release highlights Chameleon’s ability to drive online, mobile, and social media election experiences by feeding data to web widgets and automatically sending out tweets based on Chameleon data conditions. These exciting features allow producers to utilize Chameleon data to visualize election results interactively, presenting innovative new storytelling possibilities.

A new and improved sponsor module tracks and connects campaigns to specific sponsors, making as-run logging clearer and better defined. Chameleon also includes enhanced security features aligned with NIST guidelines with improved password protection.

Bannister Lake has also focused a great deal of attention on social media, enhancing Chameleon’s Twitter search capabilities and improving the product’s media module, introducing bins for organizing content and the enablement of multi-file uploads.

Product demonstrations will feature projects focused on Bannister Lake’s recent work in elections, eSports, and event signage.

At NAB, Bannister Lake will also be introducing a new version of its Chameleon NDI player, providing NDI users with the ability to fully manage and visualize live data feeds. NDI users will be able to integrate, moderate, and customize multiple live data feeds into graphic templates and provide their audiences with real-time news, weather, sports, social media, financial, and customized data.

As part of NAB’s Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC), Al Savoie, Bannister Lake’s creative and technical director, will be presenting his co-authored whitepaper “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution.” The interactive session will explore Bannister Lake’s unique approach to data aggregation and feature production examples from both broadcast and eSports. Savoie’s presentation takes place on April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center room N260.

In addition, NAB attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Bannister Lake’s Zeus media storage and playout solution. Perfect for image- and clip-intensive production environments, Zeus provides producers with easy and immediate access to content. It is an ideal solution for home shopping channels, entertainment programs, news, sports productions, and any situation where high volume, quick turnaround, and unpredictability of clip and image requirements must be carefully managed. With minimum custom development, Zeus can be fully integrated with popular MAM systems, providing broadcasters with access to vast libraries of clip and image content.

Be sure to visit Bannister Lake at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.


  • -

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon Delivers 4K Graphic Content Over IP

Tags : 

Bannister Lake announced today that its data aggregation and management solution, Chameleon, is now capable of outputting 4K UHD video over IP video networks. The solution was recently showcased at the InterBEE exhibition in Japan using Visionary Solutions’ PacketAV 4K DUET encoder and decoders.

Visionary Solutions’ PacketAV 4K video over IP encoders and decoders solve the transportation issues common with non-IP cabling solutions, allowing Chameleon graphics to play back smoothly on 4K monitors in any location.

“We are thrilled to see Chameleon successfully operational in a 4K over IP environment,” said Georg Hentsch, President, Bannister Lake. “This marks an important milestone as we continue to build on years of consistent innovation and presents a data and graphics management solution that performs exceptionally well in any resolution and in any broadcast environment.”

“I love how clients marvel at the simplicity and efficiency of this system,” said Doug Strable, sales representative for Bannister Lake and Visionary Solutions products in Japan. “Chameleon’s web-based interface allows a non-technical user to update the information on all platforms, and the PacketAV DUET 4K encoders and decoders allow content to be displayed through a standard LAN network. The combined system is easy to set up, easy to maintain and easy to update.”

Chameleon graphics rendered to HTML5 were transported over a standard 1 Gigabyte network to multiple 4K video monitors with native 4K image quality, while maintaining its industry-leading data management functionality.

As the international broadcast industry continues to experiment and migrate to 4K over IP workflows, it is vitally important that graphics technologies keep pace with developments and support the trend. Similarly, the production community requires solutions that allows data content to be quickly repurposed to find value in a 4K environment.

Bannister Lake is an industry leader in data and graphics management, providing software and services for a broad range of broadcast and digital signage projects, including real-time election results, social media integration, financial, sports, news, and eSports.


  • -

Bannister Lake Releases Chameleon Version 10 Real-Time Data Aggregation and Graphics Management Solution

Tags : 

Chameleon, Bannister Lake’s data aggregation and graphics management solution is introducing dramatic new enhancements with a strong focus on election data. Within its election module, Chameleon Version 10 improves how election data is ingested and managed. The new release expands the ability to enter manual election results where data feeds may not be available. This is particularly useful in less populated districts or in jurisdictions where it is not practical to organize a real-time results feed. The new functionality also provides an important failsafe in situations where a data feed may have stopped working.

In addition, Chameleon Version 10 dramatically improves the management of referendum and proposition results, providing editorial staff with more options for displaying down-ballot data. The election module also features improved management and filtering for acclaimed candidates.

“We realize that elections are more than just national events. These new features help ensure that broadcasters covering races in remote locations or in smaller communities can use data on-air more effectively,” said Bannister Lake’s President, Georg Hentsch.

The new release highlights Chameleon’s ability to feed data to web widgets, allowing producers to visualize data interactively online or on mobile devices. This feature drives new storytelling opportunities not only for elections, but also for news, sports and financial data. Bannister Lake is also introducing support for automatically sending out tweets based on Chameleon data conditions, enriching live data experiences on social media.

Chameleon Version 10 also provides improved sponsorship management, allowing users to manage campaign and client data more efficiently. The new and improved sponsor module tracks and connects campaigns to specific sponsors, making as-run logging clearer and better defined.

The new version of the product also includes enhanced security features aligned with NIST guidelines with improved password protection. Chameleon now offers clients an upgraded password strength checker and warns users when they are changing their password to a common password based on a list of the 1,000,000 most used passwords.

Version 10 also boosts Chameleon’s query functionality, its ability to filter custom data, introduces media bins for organizing media into containers and additional support for the onboard HTML5 designer tool.

Chameleon Version 10 is now available. Bannister Lake is dedicated to releasing new features and functionality several times a year to improve the capabilities of its software products.


  • -

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

Tags : 

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.


  • -
Emojis

Smile with an Emoji!

Tags : 

Bannister Lake has been hard at work the last few months.   Our Election software was used during the Ontario elections at 3 different Networks (Global TV, TV Ontario and TFO); we took part in an eSports playoff series for EA’s FIFA World Cup; Branding is fully integrated inside Chameleon, making Chameleon an even more powerful tool in production.  

EMOJIs… 

One of the features that has always been available with Chameleon and it’s rendering engine, is the ability to display globally supported Emojis.  Often found in Tweets, emojis can also be added to news stories.   An example is this: 

I’m 😊 today because it’s ☀ outside.  The 💐are blooming and 🐦 are chirping. If only my 👨‍👩‍👧was here with 🤷‍♀️

gets translated to this on output: 

This has been a requirement for production personnel for years, since most CG broadcast systems don’t support it.  But with Chameleon Web, it works without having to do anything.  

To add an emoji while typing, simply Press Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;)  in Windows 10

Custom Content Type

Custom has been added to Chameleon a while back as a content type, but until recently, only available as a blade output.   Now, Custom is part of our rundown output, which means your ticker can include virtually any type of formatted content.  

One example for our demo is a list of recipes you may want to cycle through. 

Another very useful way to use Custom is with google sheets. One idea is when you want to display results from a sports tournament, and the tournament officials are using Google sheets to order their round robins or playoff brackets.   Google sheets can import the various visible tabs and automatically create custom results with the appropriate tags. 

For more information on the reader, go to our wiki page. 

Query Sponsors

Branding has now been integrated with Chameleon, making it easier for users to add some branding assets to their workflow.   But a major bonus that comes with the integration of branding with data, means that you can create conditional branding assets.   

As a simple example… maybe you create a house ID for your broadcast that will showcase a sponsor based on the type of weather in your area.  

Note in the image above, the Demo Assets Sponsor Banner was selected as the template, and a Query Weather Sponsor was given as the HouseID/Name.   But additionally, we picked “Query Sponsor based on Toronto Weather” as the condition. 

The conditions you see in the query includes: if Clear, show a RayBan sponsor.  If Cloudy, show Diesel wear sponsor.  If Rain show umbrella sponsor.   Coincidentally, in Toronto at the time of writing this blog, it was ‘none of the above’.

This feature allows you to create an unlimited amount of conditions.  If you’re in a major city with a major sports team, and that team wins a title.. your promo banner could have a related sponsor.  But if they loose that title/game, then automatically another promo banner would appear.  

And with Chameleon’s vast data collection, you can come up with anything to display at any time.  


  • -

EA’s eFIFA FUT Amsterdam

Tags : 

 

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. 

 

 


  • -

EA’s FIFA eSports Manchester

Tags : 

 

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.  

 


  • -

Chameleon: The Culmination of Brando & Super Ticker

Tags : 

Chameleon is simply that, the very best of 2 separate products brought together. As a whole Chameleon is certainly greater than the sum of its predecessors: Brando & Super Ticker.

Putting ticker and news functionality together with branding isn’t a new idea. At its most rudimentary level, branding layers such as logos are placed over top of existing ticker elements. Not until the arrival of Chameleon have these 2 distinct workflows been integrated together, not just slapped over top each other.

Chameleon Sample Output

Shown here, the programming schedule read from traffic is fully integrated into one Chameleon interface so that both elements from news and branding can take advantage of programming data. Sponsors and as run logs can all be managed from this one singular UI. Of course Chameleon is still multi user content management solution so many producers and can be working on it at the same time.

Chameleon-UI

In the end, Chameleon is end of the long evolutionary road of 2 amazing products finally coming together.