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Product Spotlight: Broadcast Graphics from FOR-A

Apr 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

How it Works: FOR-A introduced its first broadcast graphics product at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. The company has linked with Vertigo Xmedia’s Producer Xmedia broadcast graphics automation suite and FOR-A’s partner Brainstorm’s high-end 3-D broadcast graphics solution. FOR-A provides the marketing muscle, distribution and the hardware glue behind the system.
Bringing it all Together: Brainstorm’s 3-D system is the engine for the product suite, while Producer Xmedia’s system includes a drag-and-drop user interface, a gallery of graphic objects and the ability to link to databases, automation systems and newsroom computer systems, said Gary Attanasio, national sales manager for FOR-A. The company configures the system and provides some hardware elements such as switchers and digital delays that are necessary to run a real-time graphics application, he said. Brainstorm is known for its compelling graphics, animation and effects, but its system wasn’t designed for everyday ease-of-use, he said. That’s what Producer Xmedia enables, but since Vertigo Xmedia didn’t have the marketing might that FOR-A afforded, Mr. Attanasio said. “Instead of reinventing the wheel, I said, `Let’s connect with Vertigo Xmedia,”’ he said.
Features and Benefits: The Producer Xmedia portion of the system allows for centralized distribution of graphics through a server and also allows the product suite to tie into MOS-compliant newsroom computer systems and automation systems. The Brainstorm portion allows for 3-D effects and complex graphical rendering. “If you want more sophisticated complex graphics, you want … 3-D,” Mr. Attanasio said.
Competitors: Chyron, Pinnacle and Vizrt.
Cost: The system starts at $25,000. It is affordable for smaller TV stations and scalable for larger stations, station groups and networks.