Telestream is applying its knowledge of video transcoding to graphics. The Nevada City, Calif.-based tech company will introduce file-based software at NAB that's aimed at automating creation of graphics for conventional broadcast TV, as well as for online and mobile content.
The product, called GraphicsFactory, is built on some of the same core technology that has made Telestream's FlipFactory product a popular tool for allowing different devices to seamlessly transfer video files.
GraphicsFactory automates graphics assembly with a “build once, apply to many” model that allows broadcasters and programmers to personalize media, add promos, brand, and localize media for a variety of platforms. Layered templates can include text, images and drop shadows, along with fade-ins/fade-outs and QuickTime movies that start and stop on a timeline. Through Telestream's transcode engine, the GraphicsFactory output can be “flipped” into virtually any file format.
“It runs on top of the FlipFactory transcoding engine to automate graphics,” says President/COO David Heppe. “You can create a template of what you want the output file to look like.”
The use of simple metadata allows the graphics template to be tailored for each video asset, and graphics and source video files are submitted to Graphics­Factory for automatic processing, transcoding to required formats, and delivery to distribution servers.
That model allows lower-level operators to insert graphics, and frees editors to focus on creativity. Heppe sees many applications for cable networks and new-media companies preparing content for multiformat distribution. Beta customers include World Wrestling Entertainment and The HorseTV Channel.
GraphicsFactory can also import graphics files from the type of dedicated graphics systems commonly used in news production, but Telestream hasn't announced partnerships with third-party vendors like Chyron or Vizrt.
“That's certainly one of the next steps for us,” says Heppe. “The initial focus is with the cable channels that are preparing lots of content ahead of time.”
An XML interface allows further automation of the process, because metadata provided by external systems can trigger creation of graphics, such as logos or bugs. Says Heppe, “That kind of information can be entered by a data operator or populated automatically by a database.”