Schools: Win a Compix CG from a National Television Production Contest

We are excited to be partnering again this year with SkillsUSA.org, a nationally recognized organization whose mission is to foster partnership among students, teachers and industry to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

SkillsUSA will be hosting its National Television Production Contest from June 23-27, 2012 in Kansas City, and as an official supporter of the contest Compix will be donating a CG unit to a lucky winner. And here is how the contest works.

Step 1. Teams of two contestants (students) are required to shoot a one-minute video on location to convey the “theme” of the event.

Step 2. Editing is done in the contest area with special emphasis on professional production of the video by industry standards, quality of audio and video, and adequate conveyance of the “theme” to the viewer.

Step 3. Contestants will be given two hours to write and film, and five hours to edit. There are two divisions of the contest; a high school division, and a post-secondary school division. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from each division.

Here is the Gold Medal winning video from last year’s competition. Students Javi, Todd and their “coach” Dave Ruby, representing Fairfax Academy in Virginia, show off some serious talent in this cool one-minute video:

It’s crazy that these guys pulled this off with this level of quality in the amount of time they had. Congrats again guys!!

SkillsUSA also hosts many other contests such as 3-D Visualization and Animation, Action Skills, Audio/Radio Production, Broadcast News Production, and Graphics Communications. For a full list of contests, please visit http://skillsusa.org/compete/contests.shtml.

Good luck to students who are competing in this year’s contest and we will follow with results once the lucky winners of 2012 SkillsUSA Television Production Contest are announced!

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Compix SideKick Now Shipping!

We are thrilled to announce that Compix SideKick is now shipping globally!

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Born out of continuous demands from our customers working in challenging field and mobile applications, Compix SideKick is a “pick up and go” portable chassis option that can be added to the following full-size turnkey products:

Bring on the Bruisings! 

We thought of all the harsh environments our customers may be working in, especially the globe-trotting folks who travel extensively for sports, concerts, and live-breaking news coverage. We understand that when you are on the move constantly, shipping desktop systems back and forth just becomes impractical, unreliable and quite expensive. That’s why we engineered SideKick to be a completely self-contained portable workstation with a reinforced, lightweight aluminum chassis.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s proof. 

Here is Matthias, Director of Ops – we happened to catch him during one of his “testing” sessions.

We mean what we say!

For more information about Compix SideKick, please contact our sales at sales@compix.tv or call +1 949 585 0055 during our office hours 8am to 5pm PDT.

Sports Branding for Everyone!

The Big League Graphic Look…

Without the big league price! Every sports outlet should be able to have the same video-look available as the big network guys, without having to break the bank to afford it. With an amazingly flexible and intuitive user interface, creating exciting broadcast quality graphics is extremely easy for all levels of expertise. You can bring in Adobe Photoshop™ elements, giving you the ultimate flexibility for your scores and stat pages layout and look. In addition, the unlimited import of TGA, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, and TIF files allow team logos and player pictures to be incorporated into your playout templates with ease. Animations can also be easily built into your look with the import of Targa sequences with alpha channel for that big league graphic look.

Make Major League Improvements in Your Sportscasts

Compix SportsBrander™ scores big with great features to keep your audience turned in to the latest stats and scores happening before their eyes live at the stadium or at home. Exactly the same information that appears on your scoreboards can now be instantly duplicated and displayed on any of your video feeds in real time. SportsBrander™ includes the ability to connect to your Daktronics™, OES™, and TransLux-Fairplay™ scoreboards and automatically update and display any information available on the scoreboard. This includes any of your game clocks and shot clocks that can process down to 10ths of a second with amazing response time. SportsBrander makes the magic happen, completely hands free, without the need for an additional CG crew.

Close Up and Personal – Or Not

Probably one of the most amazing things about watching a sporting event on television, instead of actually being there to see the event in person, is the level of close up, detailed information the televised event offers the viewer. And one of the most important things in the televised event to the viewer is the graphics. Of course, in a stadium, the big screens will have lots of stuff going on, too, with dancing bears and replays and hotdog deals. Plus the scoreboard will always let us know who is winning and by how much.

Don’t get me wrong, sharing my personal space with 70,000 of my closest friends does have its charms, but sometimes it is even more fun to be the potato and eat my own hotdogs and popcorn in the comfort of my own couch.

Plus, there is nothing like the instant and constant updating of the on-screen scores and stats during a game that makes the game even more interesting to watch and a much more personal event.

SportsBrander Makes It Easy

The new Compix SportsBrander provides much-needed functionality at an amazing price point and is available in analog, SD-SDI, and HD versions as an out-of-the-box turnkey solution. The system can also be upgraded to a full-featured Compix CG at a nominal cost.

Our standard playout interface is included in all of our SportsBrander models. With its logically placed controls, graphic artists or playback operators of all levels can recall and play graphics in manual or automatic modes. All standard video resolutions from analog to high definition are supported.

Easy to connect, easy to configure, even easier to operate, and friendly to your budget, the SportsBrander makes a big league graphic look a lot easier and affordable for everyone.

More About Compix Persona

Compix Persona’s VirtualOverlay™ technology enables real-time creation of multiple and independently controlled virtual pages. These pages can be composited into a single physical channel. You can output a ticker, a station ID, a lower third, and video clip at the same time and all from a single key and fill output channel.

VirtualOverlay Explained

Every VirtualOverlay™ is completely independent from each other, making it Virtual Overlaysextremely easy to control. Fixed location objects such as clocks, timers, and station logos can remain on the output and operate without disruption. You can now create up to six independent virtual layers of motion-filled graphics and pre-composite them virtually, with the result appearing on only one physical output.

Crosspoints are Expensive!

This new innovative technology can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars by combining the functionality of six character generator systems into one.

The use of Compix Persona with VirtualOverlay can also free up valuable resources in switcher M/Es and DSKs, by combining the graphic elements prior to being mixed with video sources. Crosspoints that would otherwise have to be assigned to various graphics layers can now be re-purposed to other sources, allowing for a more rich and varied production. And of course, for each graphics channel that can be pre-composited, two physical crosspoints can be saved, one for each graphic fill layer and the other for every graphic key signal. So the savings can be even greater than originally considered!

Every Element on the Timeline

Every VirtualOverlay has its own timeline and includes unlimited object layers such as 3D, images, logos, channel IDs, lower thirds, over-the-shoulder graphics, and text crawls and clips. And each VirtualOverlay layer has it’s own timeline effects, these can include an unlimited combination of  rotation, slant, scale, pivot, crop, color, and opacity, plus 3D movement around all x, y and z axis. Total flexibility and infinite modification of key frames, timing controls, and previewing animations are also featured.

Total Control

Still or animated logos, channel IDs, lower thirds, scoreboards, over-the-shoulder graphics, text crawls and other graphic elements can be quickly and easily  inserted or taken off at your fingertips. Each VirtualOverlay™ has its own sequencer, making it easy to toggle among several pages during live operation.

 

 

On Air Made Easy

Each VirtualOverlay can also quickly and easily be inserted or taken out with Compix Persona’s LiveAction™ keyboard, which comes standard with all Compix Persona systems. The commands that are readily accessible from this dedicated, clearly labeled, color-coded custom keyboard allow operators to quickly control the VirtualOverlay display and all graphic page output controls.

The Bottom Line

Building additional pages on top of your default page and outputting them all simultaneously using only one physical channel can save you tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating the need for purchasing multiple channels or chassis of additional CG’s, while simplifying the use of other video mixing equipment.

For more information on Compix Persona and VirtualOverlays, check out our tutorials at http://www.youtube.com/user/CompixTV or contact us at (949) 585-0055. Till next time!


Why Are We the World’s Most Affordable Broadcast Graphics?

That is our slogan. It is on our brochures and business cards. But what does it really mean to be the “World’s Most Affordable Broadcast Graphics” company? At Compix, we think it boils down to three things: the monetary value you receive from our products, the ease of use of our products, and the after sales expenses you, the customer, should be aware of up front.

The monetary value of our products are especially important to all of our end users. Even though the recession is slowly on track for a rebound, the shake up in the video industry in the last several years has changed the value proposition of so many things that customers can and will spend money on. What used to be considered must-have necessities in video production equipment are now being re-considered as luxuries that can be cut from the budget, with the most important features and capabilities taking center stage over smoke and mirrors. This means real value in functionality for each dollar spent.

“Ease of use” is a little tricky to attribute a value to, but it all boils down to time, and time is, well, money. Our products feature capabilities, tips, tricks and shortcuts that not only make them a snap to learn and master, but also keep the basic user requirements fresh for your users that don’t operate your video equipment on a full time or consistent basis. Training costs can be a hidden can of worms for any sophisticated piece of technical equipment, and in the case of Compix products, we really shine here. While the competition may claim ease of use and a short learning curve, these claims deserve a closer look. More often than not, many CG companies will suggest – or even require – a certain amount of on-site training or commissioning for the purchased product. These on-site sessions are billed at thousands of dollars for the total of the sessions, plus the travel, lodging and per-diem expenses. This can add a bundle to the bottom line of that affordable system when it comes times to place the order.

At Compix, we look at training in a different way. We really encourage our new and experienced users to take advantage of our online tutorials, or to call our free-for-life 24/7 technical support line for quick or urgent questions and issues, and to take advantage of our very low-cost training sessions. Compix believes in making our products easy to use, easy to implement and easy on your wallet, with no hidden costs.

I just mentioned our free for life 24/7 technical support. Let me explain this. Another lurking cost most CG manufactures will include in the final purchase price is an ongoing maintenance contract, one that will cost you a percentage of the original purchase price for the lifetime of the product. And that can really add up. It is another expense that Compix does not think you should have to pay to be an effective and satisfied user of our products. Our Freedom Support Plan guarantees you free software updates for life, a real live person at the end of the phone for technical support, and 24/7 emergency support. The cost of all of this is included in the original purchase price.

So when we say we are “The World’s Most Affordable Broadcast Graphics”, this is what we mean. Until next time!

Compix EAS and the CAP Solutions

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) in the US has been in place since the mid 1990’s, which replaced the Emergency Broadcast System, or the EBS. The purpose of these emergency alert systems is to allow local broadcast radio and TV stations to transmit emergency messages from various local, state and national government agencies to the nation’s listeners and viewers.

Recently the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working to update the EAS system with a more complete and modern messaging system, the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), and has now released working standards and protocols for this updated system. The new system includes the ability for communications companies to receive emergency alerts over the internet, new methods to include these messages in new media applications, and also includes additional capabilities for multi-lingual alerts and to add video images to the messages.

We have all heard the “duck quack” signals that come with these alerts, sometimes they are just tests, and other times they are actual emergency alerts for weather related  warnings, Amber alerts, and other local and regional messages.

While the new FCC rules and regulations are in the process of being set, television and radio EAS equipment manufacturers have been keeping up with the requirements as they become more certain, and are in the process or already offer equipment to meet the federal guidelines for these new CAP requirements

Compix has been working with leading manufacturers of EAS and CAP compliant equipment to provide cost effective and reliable character generator solutions for television broadcasters looking for the next generation of easy to use EAS and CAP compliant products.

  One of these products is the Compix ChannelBrander™. This brings your channel to life with great features to keep your audience tuned in. Included is the ability to create continuous streams of automatically updated informational tickers and crawls, weather conditions, plus EAS and CAP emergency alerts. ChannelBrander uses embedded smart technology to offer powerful channel branding and affordable creation of interactive, informational headline feeds.

With added tools for creating graphics, such as customized lower-thirds, broadcasters can also easily monetize the on-screen space and increase viewer loyalty.

With flexible options for putting targeted and personalized content on-screen, users can add crawls, logos, and more – all on a single channel system. ChannelBrander enables simultaneous display of two independent crawls that automatically draw data from text files updated manually or automatically.  Users can go also go to news, sports, weather, and financial data websites to link RSS feeds with the ChannelBrander. Every ChannelBrander features broadcast ready requirements like preset “power up ready state” and includes an active bypass relay.

For more information on Compix solutions for your current and future EAS and CAP requirements, please contact us at sales@compix.tv for more information about your particular configuration and requirements. Till next time!

Compix Persona

So, how can a CG be really powerful and also be very easy to use? Isn’t it impossible to have great features and make them useable and accessible? At Compix, when we design our products, we keep two very unique types of users in mind – the graphic artist and the operator. The result is Compix Persona!

Prior to its release in North America, Compix Persona has been sold and used in over 800 locations around the world, in major broadcasting facilities and international sporting events.

Compix Persona Virtual Overlaysis built around our revolutionary VirtualOverlay™  technology—a new way of thinking about and working with sophisticated 3D broadcast graphics. Users can now create up to six completely independent channels of motion-filled graphics and composite them virtually, using only one physical output. This new innovative technology can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars by combining the functionality of six character generator units into one. The use of VirtualOverlay can also free up valuable resources in switcher M/Es and DSKs by combining the graphic elements prior to being mixed with video sources.

Each VirtualOverlay has its own timeline and includes unlimited objects, such as 2D and 3D texts and shapes, images, and clips per overlay channel.  All of these graphic elements can be quickly and easily inserted or taken out with Compix Persona’s LiveAction™ keyboard, which comes standard in all Compix Persona systems. The commands that are readily accessible from this dedicated, clearly labeled, color-coded custom keyboard allow operators to quickly control the VirtualOverlay display and all graphic page output controls. Dynamic data and automated control plug-ins can be used in any of the VirtualOverlay channels.

3D text and shapes can be created directly in Compix Persona, and 3D objects from applications such as 3ds MAX®, Maya®, and LightWave® can be placed directly in the canvas for real-time playback in the X file format. No pre-rendering is necessary.

Compressed video clips in Windows® AVI and WMV formats are also included in Compix Persona.

Adobe Photoshop® files and Adobe Illustrator® files can be imported into Compix Persona while maintaining their original individual layers. A live input source can be captured and used in the graphic layout as part of the design. All graphics created can be rendered to disk as an image sequence for use with any non-linear system, such as Apple Final Cut Pro®.

Persona includes all of these integrated features with real-time 3D/2D objects, moving clips, key framed animations, LiveAction custom command actions keyboard, and VirtualOverlay technology, and Persona is priced at $29,995 USD as a full turnkey HD/SD system.

Our dedicated experience as a broadcast graphics company of twenty-five years and our tradition of making products with common sense pricing guarantees you rock solid performance for years to come while giving you real value for your money.  Call +1 949 585 0055 or email us today at sales@compix.tv  to schedule a live web demo, and also check out our Persona tutorials on our YouTube channel. Until next time!