Maestro application suite provides a complete workflow that meets the graphic needs of TV stations and production houses, including ingest, authoring, managing, distribution, playout and archiving. Maestro can be used in a wide variety of environments, such as news, branding, studio productions, OB-vans, editing, and post production, on a single graphic platform, integrated with commonly used news, automation and editing applications.
Modular and scalable architecture
Maestro suite offers an adapted workflow to any situation. Thanks to its modular architecture, a tailored solution can be proposed to meet each specific broadcaster’s needs. The whole system is fully scalable, so if changes in the workflow require the addition of new components, they can be seamlessly added at a later stage. The simplest setup consisting of a Maestro station controlling a single render channel can easily be expanded with more channels, integrated with newsroom, or any other of the Maestro Suite modules, without a complex installation process, and while maintaining all the previously created material.
Flexible, intuitive and easy to operate
Maestro optimizes graphics control in any environment, from a manual character generator operation recalling page numbers, to rundown based productions, created manually or received via MOS, or an automated broadcast controlled by automation systems.
Maestro can direct simultaneously several render channels, optimizing the studio operation, while multiple Maestro controllers can control a single render channel, enabling users to share graphic capabilities in complex productions without adding new graphic channels.
Maestro’s animated preview can be used to verify graphics, animation and data prior to being sent to air.
Maestro’s intuitive and customizable playout interface makes it the best suited solution for a wide range of productions, in particular news and studio broadcasts where it excels in performance.
PageEditor is an integral part of Maestro Suite that is responsible for the creation of data entry templates (aka pages) for graphic scenes. PageEditor is optimized to allow the composition of pages visually, enabling the creation of the interface where data will be entered, the sequence of events that will be triggered when this page will be played, and the playout intelligence from a single interface without programing knowledge.
Advanced timeline and smart logic
The smart logic mechanism generates advanced logic for playout, based on current status and predefined rules. This ensures that data and animation are always displayed properly regardless of the playout order, and allows the graphics to react differently in different situations.This means, for example, that a lower third could have a different animation if it is played on an empty screen or if it is played when another lower third is already on air.
This feature enables graphics that are already on screen to react to graphics that are to be played out later. For example if a lower third is on air and a ticker item is played on air in the same space occupied by the lower third, the lower third will shift up or will shrink to provide space for the ticker item.
Using this feature, visually complex productions can be managed by a single operator, without adding complexity to the operation, and drastically reducing the risk of on air mistakes.
Connection to data sources and social networks
Maestro pages can be connected to different data sources to fill graphic elements with data. Virtually any graphic parameter can be filled with data (text, images, videos, colours, size/position/rotation, visibility, etc).
The main supported data sources are MSSQL, ODBC, Excel, Access, text files, RSS feeds and XML.
A recent addition to Maestro’s capabilities is the ability to retrieve data from social networks. Twitter updates (Tweets) and Facebook wall information can be used to feed graphics, such as a ticker. The connection to social networks is as easy and simple to use as any other data source in Maestro. A wizard guides the user in the query configuration process, and a simple drag and drop operation assigns the results of the query to the graphic element. This completely eliminates the need for scripting knowledge to create queries. Additionally, Maestro can retrieve data from 3rd party social network applications.
Innovative controls and macros
Maestro allows low level control of templates for advanced users, without adding extra complexity for common tasks. The macro and scripting mechanisms enable the creation of custom made sequences of commands to automate recurring tasks. The scripting interface is simple and intuitive, and features a contextual help for specific functions, making its usage very simple. The scripting language is based in Jscript.
Scripting is possible inside pages or as independent macros. The usage of scripting can be combined with the usual user-friendly page creation interface. Script can be just another event in a template’s timeline.
Macros can modify the look used by all items in a rundown, so the same rundown is available for two different channels or at two different times a day, such as for noon and evening news shows.
In-page scripting can be used, for example, to add complex conditional playout for graphics.
Dynamic scene blending
Maestro’s dynamic scene blending architecture enables the triggering of multiple graphic scenes at the same time. Each scene is treated as an independent layer and is combined on-the-fly to form a single output channel on a single render channel. This reduces the amount of physical render channels required for complex productions, and simplifies the video layout. For example, an animated background, lower third, ticker, logo and template with a DVE effect over video insertions can be played simultaneously on a single output channel by a single Maestro control interface, each independently (created separately and can be modified or played in or out independently of each other).
3D effects can be used to animate the transition between two different graphic items, even if each of them could have animated objects itself. For example, one page containing a table with financial information can transit to another graphic containing sports information with a full 3D transition, such as a cube that rotates from one side to another. The transitions are not an integral part of any of the pages and can be changed at any moment. This allows a deeper and easier control of the animation of the graphics on air.
Solid graphic asset management
Maestro can work as a standalone system or in a multi system environment where a complete graphic media asset management (GMAM) provides the essential tools for a cooperative workflow across all applications; including ingest, cataloguing, automatic proxy generation, custom metadata creation and advanced search, user rights management, asset moving, hot folder ingest and workflow management. The graphics asset management system can also be used to handle generic assets like images, clips or documents, providing a unique platform where to manage all the assets involved in the production of graphics.
Advanced ticker control
Multiple tickers can be displayed with control over speed, number of loops, content updates, etc, via drag and drop. The ticker content can be introduced manually or extracted from external databases. RSS feeds, tweets from Twitter, Facebook posts and SMS messages are also supported. Ticker behavior can be provided with “intelligence” to allow conditional playout of different content depending on the context, like using different colours for different types of content, to hide itself after all items have been displayed, or to show / hide some other graphics (like an “URGENT” banner) depending on the data being displayed.
News producer plugin - complete MOS integration with newsroom systems
Maestro can be integrated to newsroom systems. When linked to a newsroom system, access to the published templates is done from within the newsroom system itself. Journalists can browse or search templates, enter relevant data (either manually or retrieved from an external data source), preview it on their workstation –including real-time data and animations - and add it to the newsroom system’s rundown. Once updated, a mirrored rundown within Maestro Controller is automatically updated as well. AP ENPS, AVID iNews, Octopus, Dalet+, Annova Open Media, NorCom NC Power, Sobey and Dayang are some of the supported newsroom systems.
With Orad’s NLE plugin, any graphic template from Maestro can be used within an NLE system, providing a unified look for both real-time and post production items, without requiring extra work to produce new graphics.
Editing systems are integrated in two different ways with Maestro.
raft Editing systems. Systems where the resulting edited clip is ready for use and contains all elements required for broadcast, including graphics. In this case, Maestro NLE plugin allows selecting templates or pre-filled items, entering data manually or retrieved from a data source, adding the graphic item into the timeline, and burning it into the video. Avid Media Composer, Avid News Cutter, Apple Final Cut and Adobe Premiere fall into this category.
Cooperative production systems like Sony Sonaps, Gass Valley Aurora, Sobey and S4M VPMS use a mechanism where clips are edited by journalist and graphics are tagged into the edited clips, and either played together with the video in real-time in the studio, or rendered separately and integrated into the video in a remote render server.
Controllable by automation systems
Maestro can be triggered manually by an operator or can be controlled by 3rd party devices. There are two main categories of controlling devices:
- MCR automation systems that automatically follow a scheduled playlist, often generated by a scheduling system, and controls Maestro to play graphic elements. Popular devices such as Harris ADC100 and D-series, Snell Morpheus, Pebble Beach, Pharos, Aveco, Etere or SGT, can control Maestro. Maestro also features integrations with scheduling systems like MediaGenix or Provys.
- Studio automation systems that allow a single operator to run a studio production by controlling multiple devices, including graphics. These studio automation systems are often connected to newsroom systems that provide the rundowns for playout. Orad’s Maestro can be controlled by Ross Overdrive, Avid's Control Air and Command, Grass Valley Aurora playout, Sony Sonaps Playout and Mosart.
Maestro's open architecture allows any other automation system to quickly develop an integration to control Maestro.
By being controllable by 3rd party devices, Maestro is suitable for environments with high production complexity and low operation cost requirements, without having to give up key features such as smart playout logic.
Powerful 3D graphics capabilities
Maestro relies on Orad’s HDVG for real-time 3D graphics rendering, multiple HD/SD live video feeds, ClipPlay providing the rendering of multiple simultaneous clips independent of their format, and security safeguards such as redundant power supply, optional RAID system disk and mechanical bypass. Orad’s HDVG runs on Linux OS, for improved stability and performance.
RenderServer is an optional Maestro Suite module that can be used by 3rd party developers to generate clips out of existing graphic items. This is very useful to repurpose graphic content for different media (Internet or mobile). An API is available in order to use this feature. The currently supported formats are DNxHD, DVCPRO and H.264.
OradControl: A control application for Maestro on iPad
OradControl allows users to control newsroom or manually created playlists from an Apple iPad. With OradControl, the presenter can directly play graphics on-air at any moment, making the relevant graphics follow the flow of the conversation, without any restrictions on movement. Up to 8 simultaneous connections can be established with a single Maestro station, and changes performed on any OradControl terminal or on Maestro itself are propagated to all other applications automatically. OradControl can be downloaded from Apple’s AppStore.
Integration to other Orad’s solutions
Maestro’s workflow can seamlessly be combined with other Orad products. Maestro can support the tracking technology used in ProSet, the interaction devices used by Interact, and can trigger PowerWall’s graphics. In addition, all regular and stereo graphics in 3DWeather and Stereographics can be triggered by Maestro, and graphics created in Morpho can be imported and played in Maestro. Maestro can also be used with 3Designer while still maintaining its operational workflow and integration to Newsroom and automation systems.