Astucemedia Enhances SaudiTV with Interactive Financial Graphics

Interactive Financial Graphics driven by VizRT for Al-Ekhbariya News Channel

Montreal, Quebec, Canada—April 15, 2011

Astucemedia, a broadcast graphics design and integration company in Montreal, Canada, recently enhanced the look and performance of the real-time, interactive financial graphics at Al-Ekhbariya, a SaudiTV news network in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  The project was contracted through Creative Edge International, a media company in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia that provides production management services to the government-run SaudiTV news channel.

Last year, Creative Edge first hired Astucemedia to integrate real-time financial data from Thomson Reuters with Al-Ekhbariya’s financial graphics templates, such as changes of valuations in stocks and indices, that the network had created using Viz Artist by Vizrt.  Vizrt’s Viz Content Pilot infuses the real-time data into the graphics templates and delivers them to air.  Al-Ekhbariya presents financial news reports at regular intervals throughout the news day.

In February 2011, Astucemedia returned to Al-Ekhbariya to modify their financial graphics displays to better fit the dimensions of its new in-studio video wall, as well as to optimize the user interface to allow on-camera presenters to trigger and control their own interactive graphics while giving live reports.

“By optimizing the newsroom graphics workflow, we empowered the on-camera presenter to control the pace and play-out of graphics in the playlist rather than waiting for a control room operator to follow along and trigger the graphics for him.  The on-air presenter can now be confident that the appropriate graphics will play out in a timely, smooth manner,” said Alexandre Leclerc, chief executive officer of Astucemedia.  Leclerc and two colleagues from Astucemedia worked on-site at the SaudiTV channel for several weeks in February until the new graphics workflow went live on February 25, 2011.

“Today it is not enough to just present an eye-catching, interactive graphics show,” Leclerc said.  “It’s necessary to consider the efficiency of the overall graphics workflow and how it supports and enhances live reports.”

The on-camera presenter now has the flexibility to control live graphics on the video wall in one of two ways:  using an Apple iPad; or making a subtle hand motion in a specific zone near the projection that is detected by a Radar Touch suspended from the studio ceiling.  The laser sensor also enables the presenter to move objects on screen with a hand movement in a specific region of the display.

Astucemedia developed a custom trigger application that enables either the iPad or Radar Touch to relay the control data to a Viz Content Pilot in the production control room, which then plays out the next graphic in the rundown.  Newsroom producers and graphics operators prepare the graphics rundown in advance as they had done before; but the on-air presenter can now control their delivery to air at the precise moment.

“We’re extremely pleased with the broadcast graphics design and integration services provided by the Astucemedia team,” said M. Fadi Maskoun, program production manager for Creative Edge International.  “Because of the upgrades they made to our live graphics workflow, our channel now delivers more visually interesting, polished financial news reports.”


About Astucemedia

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Astucemedia is a full-service systems integrator specializing in the design and implementation of interactive broadcast graphics, real-time data integration, custom applications, as well as on-site training and technical support.  Astucemedia clients include ABC, FOX, CBS, MBC, TF1, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, NDTV, and SaudiTV networks.  Astucemedia opened an office in Dubai to better support broadcasters in The Middle East region.  For more information, visit our website at: