FOR-A To Debut its SmartDirect 'All-in-One' Live Production System at NAB
With Brainstorm's Easy On Air Graphics template-based CG interface, SmartDirect can key graphics over background video internally or output key and fill signals for an external mix
FOR-A Company Limited, a leading manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, will demonstrate its new SmartDirect all-in-one live production system at the 2012 NAB Show (Booth C5219), which runs April 16-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Powered by a Brainstorm graphics engine and FOR-A’s MBP-1244 video processor, the PC-based system delivers high-end graphics and uses templates and automated playlists to dramatically simplify video production workflows. Introduced at IBC 2011, the system was first referred to as “Smart Studio” and has now been officially dubbed “SmartDirect.”
With Brainstorm’s Easy On Air Graphics template-based CG interface, SmartDirect can key graphics over background video internally or output key and fill signals for an external mix. 3D templates can be created with Brainstorm eStudio, while 2D templates can be created using Adobe® Photoshop® or Microsoft® PowerPoint®. A built-in map data converter allows still or animated maps to be used as templates, which can be enhanced with text or objects.
SmartDirect also includes a number of production templates for content creation. For example, select “news” and the system generates a news program playlist and material template. Operators can then edit and customize the playlist, materials, and graphics to create each segment of the program. During an actual production, SmartDirect implements all operations automatically – from switching cameras to rolling video clips to managing graphics – by following the completed playlist. All actions can be automated or some steps can be done manually, and changes can be made on the fly if the live program does not follow the predetermined playlist.
An optional video switcher link connects SmartDirect with an external FOR-A switcher, such as the HVS-300HS or HVS-350HS, to deliver more elaborate graphics, wipes, and effects. The link allows SmartDirect to control basic switcher functions, or the switcher can recall graphics directly from SmartDirect through macros and event memories assigned to user buttons on the control panel. Add an optional MBP-12CK chroma keyboard, and SmartDirect delivers virtual set capabilities with VRCAM-S software, complete with edge color replacement, filtering, and other functions to reduce noise.
A built-in clip player enables playback of multiple files in full HD, and playlists can be created easily and stored for future use. Another option links SmartDirect to external MXF clip servers, such as FOR-A’s MBP-100PD, MBP-100SX, or MBP-110SXA. With its optional streaming feature, SmartDirect can simultaneously encode and distribute video over the Internet.
“SmartDirect is a great addition to any live event, webcasting, or studio production facility that already use our HVS-300HS or HVS-350HS video switchers, because it provides phenomenal graphics capabilities,” said Pedro Silvestre, sales director for FOR-A Corporation of America. “It’s also an affordable way to add sophisticated graphics or virtual sets and simplify productions for operations with limited production personnel.”