Bianca Andreescu’s spectacular win at the US Open Tennis Championships was an exciting moment for women’s tennis and for the entire country of Canada. As Canadians, we are thrilled for Bianca and excited to have handled the complexities of data management and aggregation for the US Open for the second straight year.
Bannister Lake’s Chameleon is the engine behind organizing the massive number of XML files and graphics that were strategically distributed and visualized on over 20 different video displays located throughout the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center. The various screens were viewed by a record number of 737,872 fans who attended this year’s event.
Real-time data on this scale presents enormous challenges. Bannister Lake’s technical and creative director, Al Savoie and the Bannister Lake development team were faced with reading and ingesting a wide variety of live data feeds from various sources, in various formats, including a new scoring system. The feeds then had to be organized within the Chameleon database and using the solution’s RESTful API distributed to specific screens-all of which had different editorial requirements, various graphical layouts and different dimensions. Some screens were formatted in portrait, some were ribbons, some landscape, and new this year were fascia displays courtside in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Outside of practice courts producers would display upcoming schedules, player biographies, schedules and brackets, however the screens located outside the main stadiums could display subsets of the live action data; serve speeds, number of aces, unforced errors and other game specific data. Producers have come to understand that the signage displays are most engaging and effective when the live data content is relevant and targeted. Due to the nature of the competition, content was often substituted updated and versioned depending on events. Chameleon’s unique strength is the ability to utilize its query and RESTful functionality in tandem, to organize data to create datasets that have a specific editorial function.
Live Chameleon data was quickly called up using a “match ID” system that Savoie was instrumental in developing. This would confirm that the correct headshots, bios and stats would quickly and automatically be loaded with a simple match ID entry. This dramatically sped up workflows, eased pressure on operators in the control room and ensured consistent editorial accuracy.
Like Bianca, Bannister Lake looks forward to the challenges at next year’s US Open and are confident we’ll once again both perform like champions.
Bannister Lake played a vital role at this year’s US Open at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY. Bannister Lake’s powerful data engine Chameleon served as the data management solution for multiple data feeds from a diverse set of sources. Chameleon was used to reformat, filter, moderate and distribute data and graphics to dozens of various shaped digital signs throughout the tennis facility. Bannister Lake was instrumental in devising the workflows and processes that handled over 250,000 XML files corresponding to the participation of over 1000 players playing hundreds of matches. The complexity of the project was compounded with Chameleon also taking on responsibility for managing other data sources including weather, event news, social media, schedules, headshots, scores, sets winners, standings and other tournament related data. Player’s personal biographical data such as place of birth, height, weight, handed and others information was also included.
“We knew Bannister Lake’s Chameleon could handle the complexity. It’s the industry’s most powerful engine for aggregating any data type and it’s the only way we could have pulled off the US Open project under the extreme time constraints; that and all the hard work by our team.” said Georg Hentsch, President Bannister Lake.
“Our extensive work in both the broadcast market and in eSports prepared us for the production challenges of the US Open. Chameleon has powered a variety of event-based productions, most notably eSports tournaments which typically includes hundreds of matches played over a short amount of time with a large number of players. So, we were more than ready.” said Alain Savoie, Creative and Technical Director at Bannister Lake.
Bannister Lake’s unique workflow was built around leveraging the single Match ID unique identifier which was used to drive all the data associated with a particular match. Chameleon was then able to use automation to populate the various graphics templates and tickers that were in turn distributed via Ross Video’s Tessera and XPression graphics engines to the screens throughout the facility. In total, 7 XPressions running simultaneously with 15 output channels, displaying 15 different screen layout styles were utilized. In addition, 11 tickers running different content on different layouts were also being used.
In addition to Chameleon, Bannister Lake provided a complete cloud-based backup system and their unique Community data service. Community allowed editorial and production teams at the US Open to contribute news and essential information to the hundreds of thousands of tennis fans who attended the event.
The US Open Tennis Tournament at Flushing Meadows, NY is underway and at the heart of the enormous task of managing and visualizing the event data is Bannister Lake’s Chameleon. Chameleon software is handling thousands of datasets, moderating and distributing schedule information, matches, standings, social media, news, weather and more. Cloud backup is also provided by Chameleon.
Data projects of this magnitude require collaboration with multiple partners. Bannister Lake is working alongside Marty Dormany of The Academy of Lower Thirds and the team at Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment. Through the combined efforts of these talented professionals, tennis fans throughout the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center receive live updates and vital tournament information from place-based digital signs throughout the facility.
“It’s one of our largest and most complex projects”, says Alain Savoie, Bannister Lake’s Creative Director. “There are 763 players competing with 899 matches to be played over the 2-week period. Every single game needs the ability to be called up on the fly and include match data and player data.”
Chameleon is not only parsing and managing data, it is also providing the event’s scorebug and ticker solution. In all, 11 different ticker feeds are being generated and feeding various screens around the venue. In-stadium scorebugs are being displayed in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, and in The Grandstand. In addition to Chameleon, Bannister Lake’s Community data service is being used by production teams to input content.
The US Open signage graphics are being run off 7 Ross Video XPressions outputting to 15 channels displaying 15 different screen layout styles using XPression Tessera and controlled through Ross Video DashBoard. Chameleon’s tight integration with Ross Video products assures operational efficiencies and outstanding performance.
Bannister Lake’s Chameleon with its powerful data engine, innovative parsing, versatile data reformat tools and ease of operation and setup make it the industry’s best choice for complex, mission-critical data visualization tasks.
Here’s the pain point: You need to manage an incredibly large amount of real-time data coming from multiple sources in a variety of formats. All those complex data sets need to be moderated, parsed, reformatted, visualized and then distributed to various screens/devices. Somehow you have to boil all that content down to present a compelling visual storyline that engages your audience. Bannister Lake’s Chameleon product handles this task everyday working with North America’s top broadcasters.
For the next 2 weeks Chameleon is powering digital signage systems at the US Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York. Chameleon is managing thousands of data files from a diverse set of sources and distributing them to approximately 100 screens spread over the tournament’s four main venues, keeping spectators informed. Chameleon’s powerful data engine, innovative parsing, flexible management tools and ease of operation and setup make it the best choice for complex, mission-critical data visualization tasks.
Making sense out of vast amounts of data is a challenge facing anyone involved with the information economy. But this challenge is especially onerous in the world of broadcast television. Broadcasters not only have to retrieve the vital content they require editorially, they then must edit it, moderate it, visualize it and manage its distribution. In a breaking news situation, this process must happen quickly and accurately. As broadcasters launch various companion services on cable, the web, OTT and digital signage, for different audiences and with different revenue models, the management of data content becomes even more complex.
Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software product includes a powerful data parsing tool called Query that provides producers with incredible flexibility and adept data management features. Query allows specific data assets to be identified, modified and in conjunction with BLADE, Chameleon’s RESTful API, be brought into and played back through virtually any graphics engine, including on the web. Bannister Lake developed Query to fully leverage the power of SQL SELECT across its database schema. This functionality allows data-sets to be aggregated, grouped and fully customized providing real time, dynamic results. Furthermore, specific queries can be saved, modified and shared among users across an entire organization, vastly improving on-air editorial, refining workflows and putting content to air. A typical example may be a broadcaster that needs to pull only the National Weather Service data pertaining to potential wildfire conditions. Query can parse through all the NWS data and pull only the data-sets that correspond to specific locations, temperature, precipitation and geographic conditions. BLADE can then be used to bring this data content into a graphic engine, a virtual reality system or a ticker for real-time visualization.
By applying the combination of Query and BLADE functionality, media organizations can insure that their extensive investments in data content tell the best story possible while being comprehensively monetized leading to a greater ROI.
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.
MLB Network Advanced Media in New York needed a multi-user solution to moderate social media for The Dugout, MLB’s weekly 3-hour program live streaming exclusively on Twitter every Wednesday during the regular season.
An instance of Chameleon Cloud was setup for multiple users at MLB.
Search topics and groups were defined for ‘Trending Now’ and Twitter accounts for MLB Teams and Players.
Users moderated and approved Twitter content into approved Twitter playlists for talent during the show.
CG graphic operator with XPression and XPression Datalinq accessed moderated Twitter playlists using Chameleon BLADE (Bannister Lake Active Data Exchange) for presentation of Social Media on set and the streaming broadcast to Twitter.
Rogers Sportsnet has been fighting it out with Bell’s TSN for top prize in the Canadian sports broadcasting landscape. After purchasing the broadcast side of The Score, they wanted to combine The Score’s legendary ticker with the less ambitious tickers Bannister Lake had created for Sportsnet for many years. With 7 channels and their unique ticker requirements, Sportsnet was looking at a single solution to drive them all in an efficient manner while not increasing the operator head count.
The 4 regional channels, Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific continue to provide a ticker with a regional flavor focusing on information for the region while showing all the national information. These tickers are displayed in a compact fashion to allow the video to dominate.
The newly imagined Sportsnet 360, taking its lead from The Score, became a channel which showed its ticker all the time including commercials and live events. This ticker had more information including betting odds on games and displayed its information in a taller format. This is the channel where hardcore sports fans tune into
Sportsnet One is the national channel while Sportsnet World focuses on world sports like cricket, soccer and rugby.
Super Ticker (now morphed into Chameleon with the inclusion of branding from Brando) became the ideal system to drive these diverse tickers. With a small team of operators organizing the rundowns for these channels, Sportsnet was able to deal with the hectic pace of sports data. While a great deal of the work is automated, Super Ticker’s web interface Flow became the platform for creating the added news that goes into the world of sports and the games and events that drive it.
Super Ticker’s content management was key to success; one database and a multi-user web interface. Super Ticker allows organizing data in a way where the channels can pick and choose their rundowns to include national and regional data.
TSN is the leader in sports broadcasting in Canada. On their expansion from one channel to 5, they needed a branding solution to promote the programming of their new 5 channel universe. For example, during a big event like Wimbledon, they might be showing 5 different matches spread among TSN1-5. These promotions included next boards, snipes and navigational tickers.
An added wrinkle is that the branding was mostly during live events. This required a manual triggering method allowing a TD to insert snipes whenever they could fit.
Promotion of big events were also inserted throughout the day with a clear representation of what channels the event will be playing on. In all cases, the promos focused on all 5 channels and included 100s of logos for all the teams and leagues that TSN covered.
Although these requirements didn’t fit a typical branding requirement, Brando came through off-the-shelf.
Brando was the branding ancestor of our merged branding/ticker/content management product Chameleon. We kept everything which made Brando great while modernizing it for today’s broadcasting, streaming and digital signage markets.
The show is an interactive show which lets viewers call in, web conference or tweet their comments and opinions on their favorite players and teams. As an interactive show YAHOO needed a solution that could deliver player and team statistics quickly and easily with the most up to date statistics in a reliable fashion.
A customized solution was developed to meet the requirements of Yahoo. The solution incorporated the reading of 3 different data feeds to compile the most up to date statistics possible. Data feeds automatically provide the current injury reports, player and team statistics. Using a client-server workflow the custom graphic application can be run from a laptop on the network to drive the Xpression graphic system. This workflow allows a second operator to use Xpression at the same time for any additional needs such as lower thirds.
Problem: With so much data available the operator is overwhelmed trying to retrieve it fast enough to keep up with a live program.
Solution: By building a custom software application Bannister was able to present all the NFL data in an organized fashion in a single screen. From here the operator can quickly select a player or team and display any or all of the statistics available within seconds.
Problem: Viewers that call into the show are pre-screened so it is known what topics they wish to discuss just before they are on air. During this very short period of time the operator needs to prepare as many statistics as possible which could come out of the callers dialog.
Solution: The application allows the operator to start typing, “man” for example, and it automatically filters the names. Using a ‘;’ separator the operator can quickly type multiple names resulting in a much more condense list of NFL players for that call.