Introducing Chameleon Character Generator and Sequencer Support

Chameleon customers may have noticed something new in our web interface Flow:

CG Support !

Bannister Lake is rolling out Character Generator (CG) support for Chameleon. While the Chameleon renderer has a full function Designer allowing the creation of scenes used for tickers, branding and custom applications, an easy way to create traditional CG sequencing is now available. The new CG Sequencer support is provided through Chameleon’s web interface Flow. This gives users a way to drive graphics from any browser including support over internet, intranet, cloud, streaming and OTT.

The Chameleon CG is all driven from the chameleon.api which is Bannister Lake’s api for building standalone and web-based applications on any platform. All communications happen using a tcp/ip port providing great flexibility. And all rendering happens using JavaScript on the client side providing a wider distribution of processing. The requirement for rendering on the client side is supported on any platform supporting the chromium engine from phones, tablets, Raspberry Pi, laptops, Macs, PCs, Xenix and more. This offers excellent support for remote broadcasting, streaming and traditional studio environments.

After publishing graphics from the Designer, the scenes are now available to be used on any channel. In Flow, pick the channel, scene and set the dynamic tags in the scene. Save the scene in a playlist which can be used among users in a content group and we now have a web-based, collaborative CG sequencer for Chameleon.

While the Designer will be given sequencer support going forward, the new web-based CG sequencer offers the most flexible means for providing a fully functional CG sequencer to our users.

For more information on Chameleon Character Generator and Sequencer Support contact sales@bannisterlake.com

News, Broadcasting, Production and COVID

SMPTE Toronto’s January 2021 Virtual Go-To Webinar meeting reviewed how Global News and Corus Entertainment have had to adapt to the restrictions faced by the changing COVID regulations. Gerry Belec, National Director, Operations & Technology focused on the world of plexi-glassed control rooms, mask-wearing staff and PPE’d reporters. Gerry shares how working from home accessing operations systems for Graphics, Elections, intercom and monitoring via the network was possible.

Watch Global TV’s Live Election Night with Bannister Lake Chameleon

Chameleon For Elections

Election night is one of the most important events for television broadcasters. You want to be absolutely correct when you call races. Watch how Global TV used Bannister Lake’s Election Module for three Canadian Provincial Elections and the 2020 US Federal Election. In this video, Global TV’s Gerry Belec, Director of News Technology & Operations and Laith Jadua, Global’s Graphic Technologist explain how they used Chameleon Election software for all their graphic displays including Broadcast L-Frame’s, Touchscreen, OTT channels and the Global News web site.

Bannister Lake Drives Global Television’s Coverage of Three Canadian Provincial Elections On-Air and Online

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today that it played an instrumental role in the production of three recent Global News provincial election specials. The company’s Elector software was used by editorial teams in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick to track results, make race calls and manage full frame graphic and ticker playout. Bannister Lake also provided custom software development services creating interactive web widgets. The web widgets were used to visualize results on on-set touchscreens that allowed analysts to navigate through various provincial ridings and pinpoint election results. In addition to results data, the widgets included other contextual datasets including demographics and historical voting outcomes. A second set of widgets were created and fully integrated into the GlobalNews.ca website providing users with access to election results in a fully interactive format that could be accessed by any device.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Bannister Lake and having them add their expertise to our online election coverage not only improved the overall web experience, it created a strong sense of consistency across both our properties”, said Gerry Belec, Director – News Technology and Operations, Global News.

Global took full advantage of Bannister Lake’s HTML5 capabilities and integrated election results data directly into VizRT graphic engines that populated regional L-bars. Bannister Lake’s election data was also incorporated into Global’s News’ social media distribution efforts populating graphics announcing breaking election news.

“Our election solutions are completely agnostic and work well on any graphic engine and as our web widgets demonstrate on any device. For broadcasters using various products to reach their audiences both online and on-air, we offer exciting new ways to tell the election night story.”, said George Hentsch, President, Bannister Lake.

The Global Television Network and its parent company Corus Entertainment use Bannister Lake solutions in a variety of innovative ways. In addition to election coverage, Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data aggregation and management solution powers L-Bar graphics for both the network’s regional morning news shows and for its over the top news channels. Chameleon also powers an extensive digital signage network with localized news, weather, sports and other data-driven content.

Broadcast Graphics Expert Phil Carmichael Joins Bannister Lake

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today that broadcast graphics industry authority Phil Carmichael will be joining the company as Director, Sales and Marketing. Phil brings decades of experience to the role in a number of capacities including product management and as a demonstration specialist. Phil began his career at CBC Calgary as a broadcast technician before focusing on broadcast graphics. As a graphic designer and operator, he specialized in sports production and worked on a wide variety of high-profile events including the Stanley Cup playoffs, Major League Baseball and the Olympic Games. Phil moved on to become a product specialist at Chyron where he worked closely with a variety of customers helping them gain a deeper understanding of both the products and associated workflows.

“We are pleased to have Phil join our team and explore new opportunities. He is well known in the world of broadcast graphics and uniquely brings experience from both an operator perspective and from a pre-sales angle”, said Georg Hentsch, president, Bannister Lake.

“I have been impressed with Bannister Lake and the Chameleon product for many years and am excited to join their efforts to bring more real-time data capabilities to broadcast graphics. The company’s dedication to product development and custom data solutions is needed in the industry and I look forward to contributing to Bannister Lake’s success”, said Phil Carmichael.

Bannister Lake’s flagship data aggregation and management product Chameleon plays an important role in broadcast, digital signage and over-the-top. As audiences’ demand for real-time data continues to increase, Chameleon provides producers with new opportunities to enhance storytelling with data visualization, improve production workflows and create exciting new business opportunities.

CustomWeather and Bannister Lake Form Partnership to Create New Business Opportunities in Broadcast and Digital Signage

Bannister Lake and CustomWeather  announced today that they have entered into a partnership to develop joint business opportunities and enable users of Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software to incorporate weather data from specialized weather company, CustomWeather, Inc. CustomWeather is an industry-leading weather data provider featuring forecasts for 85,000 global locations in 95 languages, providing high-resolution forecasts from its proven forecasting model, the CW100.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon product is an innovative real-time data aggregation and management solution used throughout the broadcast and digital signage industry to power and populate graphic templates. The solution drives news tickers, election results, financial data, wagering, and other editorial applications. Chameleon is also used for on-air branding applications, controlling and populating snipes, bugs, promos, and “coming up next” boards. Chameleon’s RESTful API allows data to be reformatted and strategically distributed to broadcast graphic engines, as HTML5, and be integrated into mobile applications.

 “Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software offers a novel way for us to expand our reach in the broadcast and digital signage market,” said Geoff Flint, President and CEO of CustomWeather. “Our superior weather products combined with Bannister Lake’s expertise in managing real-time data and custom development offers tremendous value to their customers.”

“CustomWeather is an ideal partner for Bannister Lake. Weather data is an important data source for our customer base and CustomWeather’s accuracy and assortment of data products provides an attractive offering for both the broadcast and digital signage market”, said Georg Hentsch, President, Bannister Lake.

Both CustomWeather and Bannister Lake will actively pursue opportunities that leverage each others expertise in creating real-time data and custom software solutions. As data specialists with strong development skills in database, APIs, and applications, Bannister Lake designs, builds, and implements solutions that utilize editorially relevant data sources, such as CustomWeather, to engage audiences and attract advertising revenue.

Bannister Lake Completes Chameleon Integration and Custom Development Project at RFD-TV

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today that it has completed a major project for popular agribusiness and rural lifestyle channel RFD-TV. RFD-TV is owned by Rural Media Group, INC. (RMG). RMG properties include The Cowboy Channel and Rural Radio Sirius XM channel 147. The Nashville based cable network provides viewers with extensive daily coverage of commodity markets and other business news of special interest to the farming industry.

RFD-TV required Bannister Lake to oversee a number of upgrades including, the transition to a new data provider, integration of real-time data into updated graphic engines, create and power graphic tickers, and design and build a custom application allowing on-air talent to select, edit and control graphic playout.

Bannister Lake acted as the liaison between data provider Barchart and the channel to ensure that RFD-TV journalists were receiving the financial and editorial content required. The development and project teams at Bannister Lake worked closely with both Barchart data experts and RFD-TV engineering staff to ensure that RFD-TV’s data calls worked flawlessly. The Bannister Lake financial application provided news anchors with visibility into real-time commodity pricing and the ability to quickly create graphical financial charts and tables. Anchors would then use the application to generate graphic playlists and take the lists to air without incumbering the control room.

“Bannister Lake provided RFD-TV with an innovative way to take real-time data from our data provider and give our editorial teams the control they needed to customize that content,” said David Mitchell, Chief Technology Officer, RMG. “In addition to generating and populating tickers, we dramatically sped up our production process by running the entire graphics workflow from the anchor desk.”

The financial application also included a sponsorship management component that allows RFD-TV to schedule and execute sponsors’ logos associated with specific graphic boards. The solution automatically generates logs to reconcile logo exposure with advertising sales. This solution provides a more efficient workflow, while managing new revenue opportunities.

“We are pleased to see RFD-TV embracing Chameleon and our custom financial software solutions. The project represents what we do best, reading and ingesting complex real-time data sources and providing producers and editorial teams with the tools they need to disseminate that content to audiences as efficiently as possible”, said Georg Hentsch, president, Bannister Lake.

In addition to powering tickers for RFD-TV, Bannister Lake also created tickers for The Cowboy Channel. The 24-hour television network is dedicated to western sports including bull riding, roping, reining, and barrel racing. Chameleon plays an instrumental role visualizing results, standings, and event schedules.

Broadcast Graphics Expert Phil Carmichael to Host Bannister Lake Real-Time Data Webinar

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today that industry expert Phil Carmichael will host a 30-minute product education webinar that will specifically look at various methods to integrate real-time data into graphics engines. The webinar will explore how Bannister Lake’s Chameleon plays an important role to streamline real-time data workflows and open new visualization possibilities for broadcast graphics professionals. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, July 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific.

Phil Carmichael is a recognized industry authority on the broadcast graphics production and workflow process. He is a former graphic designer and operator for the CBC who was actively involved in sports production. He is also a former pre-sales specialist for ChyronHego.

Broadcasters turn to Chameleon to provide a complete, stand alone, real-time data solution that covers all their requirements including news, sports, financial, elections, traffic and more. The same solution provides a comprehensive on-air branding solution which includes bugs, snipes, promos and coming up boards. As the industry struggles with identifying new revenue opportunities, Chameleon provides new distribution outlets for real-time data including OTT, digital signage, information channels, special events and online. With elections only a few months away, Chameleon provides an easy to use election system alternative to integrate results directly into graphics engines, HTML5 or NDI.

“Real-time data has always kept audiences engaged but aggregating and managing that data and integrating it into graphics engines has often been challenging. Chameleon streamlines that entire process and provides a new approach to data-driven graphics”, said Phil Carmichael.

The webinar will explore the various content types Chameleon works with and how they integrate into today’s most popular graphics engines. As a platform agnostic solution, Chameleon can be used by any broadcaster or by producers working online. Carmichael will demonstrate how Chameleon powers real-time tickers, and full frame graphics incorporating up-to-the-second news and information content.

Real-time data provides producers, engineers, and management working in broadcast, and streaming media with unprecedented ways to tell stories, leverage automation, and expand their reach. Please join Phil Carmichael and Bannister Lake to learn more about these exciting opportunities. To register for the webinar please visit https://bannisterlake.com/webinar-registration/

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

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.

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