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CBS SPORTS USES EVEREST 3D REALTIME GRAPHICS SYSTEM FOR FIRST NFL HDTV BROADCAST
(Munich, 12 December 1998) - On November 9, CBS Sports broadcast the first HDTV NFL game from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Everest 3D Realtime Graphics system was used to create high resolution graphics live to air. The graphic feed from Everest was full resolution 1080I format, not an up-convert of a standard resolution feed. CBS Sports have been using nine Everest systems to supply standard resolution graphics for the whole Sunday NFL season from stadiums across the country and the NY studio show. With this broadcast, they have expanded their use to HDTV 1080i format.
Ken Aagaard, Senior Vice President, Operations and Production Services at CBS Sports said "We've used Everest successfully since August for up to 7 games on a Sunday plus the studio show. Everest's ability to provide live to air graphics at both standard and high definition gives CBS the flexibility we need going forward."
He continued "CBS Sports has taken a leadership position utilizing Everest on Silicon Graphics Onyx2 systems for live graphics production from up to 8 games in a single day. We chose Everest for its designer friendly capabilities and the opportunity to put great looking graphics on-air instantly."
EVEREST is resolution-independent and can be used for NTSC, PAL, 16:9 and HDTV productions. Everest runs on Silicon Graphics Onyx computer systems.
Everest offers authoring tools which are used to design the on-air look and create graphics templates. Colors, animation, fonts, transparencies and position on screen are all defined at this stage. Performance is checked to make sure any required combination of graphics executes flawlessly. When the design is finished, tools are built for the production team and links are created to the historical statistics and incoming results data.
Everest enables the director to use any graphic at any time, without concern for other graphics running simultaneously. For example, a lower third can be brought on while a clock and score or head-shot with a caption is already in use. The system produces digital video plus a key channel for layering into the live action.
For the Fall NFL season, CBS designed a proprietary control system for use in the control room by the on-air team to cue graphics for play. The systems makes use of Everest's extensive ability to be controlled automatically by outside events. The value of this approach is that it allows the user to access graphics in a logical way for the specific action on the field. Flexibility and ease of use is key. There are more than 60 available graphics templates that can automatically be filled with game-specific details.
Using Everest for HDTV posed specific challenges. The extra image size requires many more pixels to be rendered each frame, the changed aspect ratio requires repositioning of the graphics in the screen and the extra screen area requires the graphics designer to consider the different framing opportunities for the live action. The rewards of HDTV production include sharp, clear graphics and fonts and the opportunity for the graphic to obscure less of the live action picture.
Peak Systems Profile
Peak Systems supplies complete on-air graphics systems and virtual sets to broadcasters on a global basis. Full training, production support and technical support services back up these systems. The core technologies employed are Everest real-time graphics generation and rendering software, and Silicon Graphics computer systems.
Peak has offices and staff in Munich, Hamburg, Florida, New York, Bratislava and London.
Editors Note: Digital images of EVEREST are available.
Everest is a registered trademark of Peak Software GmbH; All other product and company names are the properties of their respective owners.
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