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NBC Reaches for Pinnacle With Centralized Ops

NBC has once again picked Pinnacle Systems for a graphics project, in this case the centralized graphics operation for its station group. The group, which is using 30 Pinnacle FXDeko II character generators to streamline the graphics workflow for its 15 owned-and-operated stations, joins the NBC Network and CNBC in using the FXDeko II.

"Our objective is to minimize the time-to-air and effort required for breaking news and daily graphics," says Richard Westcott, NBC vice president, strategic projects, technical planning and engineering. "We're able to fully leverage the MOS protocol to deliver a sophisticated on-air look with increased speed and consistency while utilizing fewer resources."

The 30 Pinnacle FXDeko II systems were integrated with NBC's Proximity asset-management system to allow for browsing, production and delivery of graphics throughout the 15 stations. According to Westcott, the FXDeko II is able to receive files distributed via a wide-area network (WAN) and to automatically resize and position both image files and video clips based on templates.

FXDeko II's features include typing on a curve, skew and support of TrueType fonts. It also has embedded effects and a built-in sequencer. Digital inputs include SDI; analog inputs include composite, component, S-video and key. Internal storage is 20 GB or larger.

One of the features NBC is taking advantage of is support of the MOS protocol, which allows the FXDeko II to be integrated into Avid's iNEWS newsroom computer system, which NBC also uses. The FXDeko II templates bring together the graphics, full-screen images, text and moving video. An interface based on the MOS (media object server) protocol then inserts the graphics into the on-air rundown. In the last step, the FXDeko II delivers the "NBC look" through an intuitive playback controller.

Ajay Chopra, president, Pinnacle Broadcast and Professional Division, considers the approach taken by NBC to be a hint of graphics operations in the future, because templates allow for more-consistent looks among network operations and eases the creation of complex graphics packages.