Positive Outlook for ChyronHego as It Goes Private and Intros new Graphics, Telestration Products
“Last year, we were acquired by Vector Capital,” said ChyronHego President/CEO Johan Apel at an NAB press conference. “The transaction closed in March this year, when we delisted and became a private company. It was public and traded for a long time, since the 1970s, and it’s now private.
“Why is this important?” he continued. “The way public markets have developed, there is a lot of red tape and administration required that’s cumbersome for SMEs [small and medium-size enterprises]. Access to capital is expensive and difficult. As a private concern, we can be fast and nimble, taking advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace.
“Our view is that the market is still fragmented,” Apel added. “The pace of fragmentation is actually getting faster, and the cost of R&D is high. We believe there will be more consolidation in coming months. We see ourselves as one of the drivers [in our market space], and now we are shareholder-based rather than public.”
Looking at the state of the broadcast-technology and sports-production business, Apel said ChyronHego has achieved some big wins over the past year: “We are winning large projects in all our markets. The outlook is quite positive. We are doing really well in the Americas. Northern Europe is fairly OK,” he observed, “and, while Southern Europe has its challenges, it is much better than last year. We will grow organically by 20% this year.”
Introduced at NAB 2015 is Studio MediaMaker, ChyronHego’s solution for streamlining broadcast production. Designed especially for smaller or non-traditional organisations, Studio MediaMaker automates the end-to-end processes of broadcasting — from planning to production to file-based publishing of news content and then, through links, to ChyronHego graphics-workflow solutions and other production resources.
“The emergence of new types of broadcast-content producers, such as newspapers, sports clubs, and corporate organisations, is driving demand for cost-effective tools to get video content produced and delivered to air. At the same time, traditional broadcasters are looking for more-efficient systems with which to package their content to support ever larger channel lineups,” said Apel. “With Studio MediaMaker, we’re bringing unprecedented simplicity to production automation for smaller operations and on-demand content producers, as well as to larger networks that are expanding their local news and weather coverage. All of these customers benefit from streamlined news-production workflows and cost-effectiveness through automation.”
Developed in collaboration with Sky Sports on Monday Night Football and now also deployed at Fox Sports Netherlands, ChyronHego’s new VistaCam is a broadcast-graphics solution for panoramic in-studio video displays. VistaCam provides an ultra-high-resolution video-wall backdrop for in-studio shows.
Sky Sports wanted to provide a three-projector, panoramic backdrop behind the presenters’ desks featuring graphics and live video from football venues. However, signals obtained from wide-angle HD cameras located at the football pitch were appearing pixelated and out-of-focus when projected on the large video wall in the studio. Aware of ChyronHego’s innovations in panoramic video and image-based tracking systems, including its patented CogEye technology for stitching HD sources together, the broadcaster approached ChyronHego to provide a solution.
ChyronHego based the VistaCam solution on the Super-HD camera units used in the company’s TRACAB optical player-tracking systems. With TRACAB’s patented image-processing technology, the compact HD cameras use stereo technology to ensure that the entire playing surface is constantly filmed from several angles. Using this technology, ChyronHego custom-designed and built a small, portable camera unit for VistaCam comprising four HD cameras.
With the camera unit installed in the arena and transmitting the four HD video streams over a Gigabit Ethernet connection, the VistaCam presentation engine is able to stitch together the feeds to create a very high-resolution, near-180-degree video panorama. The VistaCam software includes an intuitive GUI for real-time colour correction in the studio and can be integrated with ChyronHego’s resolution-independent Lyric64 graphics-creation and -playout platform.
“There are a few solutions available that can create panoramic video feeds, but they’re primarily used for coaching and game analysis. VistaCam is the first-ever broadcast-quality system to deliver panoramic video for studio presentations that addresses the pixelation and other quality issues that have plagued panoramic video walls in the past,” said Apel.
At NAB 2015, ChyronHego is also releasing a new version of Paint that includes support for 4K productions, enabling broadcasters to introduce and telestrate a 4K stream in an HD broadcast without any loss of resolution. The company is also launching an all-new version of Paint for Mac platforms and, for the first time at an NAB Show, is showcasing Paint Live, a solution targeting live OB productions with the ability to telestrate fill and key output.