Chyron Enters Virtual Set Arena

Forms partnership with NeuroTV
Author:
Publish date:

Graphics
vendor Chyron, which has been remaking its core graphics business by pushing
the software-based Axis online graphics system, is now entering into the
virtual set market through a new partnership with Belgian firm NeuroTV.

The
companies have agreed to integrate NeuroTV's "NeuroVS" virtual set technology
across Chyron's existing graphics platforms and co-market the combined system
as a cost-effective way for broadcasters to revamp the look of their news set.

While
virtual sets have been used widely internationally, they have been slow to take
off in the U.S.
because of the high cost of implementation, with most news operations
relegating their use to special events like election coverage. But according to
Chyron Senior VP and COO Kevin Prince, NeuroTV has created a single-camera
virtual set operation that dramatically reduces costs and which Chyron plans to
pitch to the local-station market.

"They
can imbed talent into the 3D screen, unlike the current mode, where talent is
keyed over a 3D screen," said Prince. "So you don't need complex tracking
cameras."

Prince
estimated that implementing the entire system, including lights, camera, and
hardware to support it, would cost between $200,000 and $250,000, which he said
could be as little as a fifth of the cost of rebuilding a physical set. A
second camera can be added for extra cost. The system can also create a
"virtual camera" effect that can pan to a graphic, allowing talent to move to a
new location and giving the single camera time to set up the new shot.

Chyron
will be demonstrating the NeuroTV integration on a green-screen set located
prominently in their booth. It will be displaying a traditional set
configuration to put broadcasters in a "comfort zone," said Prince.

"Realism-wise,
it looks very, very good," he said. "It's amazing what you can do now. As the
talent on the camera is now part of the 3D scene, they can be correctly
projected onto graphics in the screen, which can enhance the realistic
aspects."

The
NeuroTV system will be sold as a one-time hardware sale, like Chyron's legacy
graphics products. But it will integrate with the online Axis system, which
Chyron has been promoting heavily as it gradually shifts its business model to
being a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, driven largely by its Axis
online graphics system.

Chyron
believes that selling cloud-based graphics products like Axis, where finished
graphics are delivered through the Internet to desktop users, is a better
business model going forward as stations adopt a more IT-based approach to operations.
The Axis system also creates recurring revenues instead of one-time hardware
sales.

New
features for Axis at NAB include a sales tool that will allow sales executives
to log into the Axis system and use the graphic templates to create a mockup of
an ad, such as a Web banner, while meeting with a prospective client; improved
tracking capability that allows users to search and browse video clips and
animations directly in the cloud; and enhanced integration with Forbidden
Technologies' cloud-based editing service, FORscene.

Chyron
President and CEO Michael Wellesley-Wesley referenced the cloud-based editing
application in the company's Q4
earnings call last week
and noted that the editing market is a much larger
opportunity than graphics.

Axis
is currently used by some 200 TV stations and reaches 5,000 desktops, said
Wellesley-Wesley. After signing up Sinclair and Post-Newsweek as new Axis
customers in 2009, Chyron expects to announce several "enterprise-level"
customers in 2010, he added.

Related