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ZDF Chooses Viz Virtual Studio and Graphics for Two Virtual Studios in New Broadcast Complex

BERGEN, NORWAY, July 23, 2009- Vizrt announces that ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen), one of two large public broadcasters in Germany, recently began broadcasting from two virtual studios within its new 30 million Euro broadcast complex in Mainz, Germany. With its extensive, customized complement of Viz Virtual Studio and broadcast graphics solutions from Vizrt, ZDF is now broadcasting from one of Europe’s largest, most advanced virtual studios.

Since their official launch on July 17, 2009, the two news virtual studios and respective control rooms now produce many live daily programs, including five newscasts and a children’s show. At the heart of the two virtual studios are powerful, interactive systems from Vizrt, including Viz Virtual Studio, Viz Content Pilot 5.3, Viz Artist 3.3, Viz Engine 3.3, Viz Link and Viz Video Hub 1.2. Together, these systems cooperate to allow ZDF’s artists and journalists to create an impressive array of dynamic, live interactive 3D/2D graphics that enhance visually striking 3D CG virtual sets.

“ZDF’s goal is to become Europe’s premiere news broadcaster, and in an increasingly complex world, 3D graphics, animation, and virtual studio capabilities are the key to illustrating and explaining emerging events and issues,� said Armin Kaltenhauser, Director of Operations for Peak Software Technologies GmbH, Vizrt Austria.

“ZDF doesn’t just want to present the news, they want to explain the news to better inform the public,� Kaltenhauser continued. “By enhancing the look of its on-air product, ZDF wants to gain market share and expand its audience, especially by attracting younger viewers.�

While ZDF has been a satisfied Vizrt graphics customer since 2004, this public broadcast network still did due diligence—including conducting a technology “shoot-out� against leading competitor Orad and three month test—before choosing Vizrt’s Viz Virtual Studio for its two new studios.

Factors in Vizrt’s favor included the ability to provide the custom development, modifications, and upgrades necessary to ensure the proper integration and performance of the virtual set technology at their facility. For example, Viz Content Pilot 5.3—a template-based graphics solution that automates creation of live, data-driven 3D/2D graphics displays—has been fully integrated with ZDF’s Avid iNews newsroom computer system and workflow.

ZDF’s Viz Virtual Studio is also the first to use Vizrt’s Look-Ahead Transition Logic, which automatically manages optimal transitions between new and existing on-air graphical elements. ZDF’s Transition Logic feature will manage up to 20 layers, with up to 35 states (a 35 x 35 matrix), with control over elements independent of each other.

Another first at ZDF is the use of Viz Link, which ties together graphics, video, production tools, and media asset management for easier search and utilization of media databases. At ZDF, Viz Link is used for clips storage, with direct rendering by the Viz Engine.

ZDF’s Viz Virtual Studio was installed in August 2008, followed by tests, training, and design development, supported by Vizrt’s research and development teams. With four video inputs and two clip channels, the two virtual studios (N1 with 700 square meters and N2 with 300 square meters) have shared use of seven virtual cameras, including four Shotoku and three robotor systems from RT Leaders, and 17 Viz Engines, all licensed for HD. Since Vizrt’s Viz Virtual Studio workflow supports HD, this will be beneficial to ZDF when it transitions to HDTV in early 2010.

About Vizrt

Vizrt creates leading-edge content production tools for the digital media industry – from award-winning 3D graphics & maps through integrated video workflow solutions and online publishing tools.

We propose a new vision for content creation, management and delivery with an end-to-end solution from conception to multi-format distribution. Through constant innovation and a good measure of fun, we create software and services that push creative boundaries and develop new ways of telling stories.

Vizrt’s product suite is used by the world’s leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, Sky, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, TV Today, CCTV, NHK, The Globe and Mail, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions, including both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, utilize Vizrt solutions.

Vizrt is a public company traded on the Oslo Main List: VIZ, ISIN: IL0010838154.

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