RFD-TV faced a challenge. The burgeoning cable network, which delivers rural-related news and lifestyle content to 50 million Americans throughout the country, wanted to update its on-air experience. In the words of the network’s founder that meant looking “every bit as professional as the big boys,” referencing the likes of CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg. But these broadcast powerhouses have large coffers and expansive budgets. RFD-TV was looking for equal quality without the requisite costs.
The network approached its complete studio rebuild with a clear list of requirements. Chief among them was the ability to push a huge volume of high-quality data graphics to air. “Anchors are functionally dependent upon that data,” says Gary Kanofsky, RFD-TV’s chief content officer and executive vice president of news. “This is key data that’s critical to “amplify and clarify” the story or package they’re talking about on-air.”
Enter Avid’s Studio Suite, the only industry-leading solution that met every one of the network’s functional requirements at a budget that was surprising given what was delivered. Even more, Avid took on a close advisory role spec’ing out a system that Gary describes as having “no overkill in it – but was more than robust enough.”
Avid’s TD Control plays a critical role in the new broadcast system, giving RFD-TV a complete studio display and management solution that combines video processing and real-time graphics in one workflow. While interfacing with RFD-TV’s newsroom computer, server and automation systems, TD Control manages two video walls and four other in-studio screens. Best of all, the technical director can easily run TD Control through a simple touchscreen panel, offering a significant advantage over competitive offerings that require a dedicated operator.
Avid’s Maestro for graphics playout is also central to RFD-TV’s new look and feel. A universal controller for video and graphics, Maestro enables the team to easily create, manage, distribute, and play out stunning, high-resolution 3D graphics and videos. Maestro, which includes the 4Designer 2D/3D graphics creation tool, allows editors to introduce real-time data from external sources—including social media—and manage, massage and cue that data to external sources and play it out to air in real time.
In a streamlined six months the new studio system was up and running, and has been a tremendous success with those who matter most: viewers. Audience members have flooded the network with comments that spoke not only to the more dynamic look, but also to its ‘watchability.’ Industry accolades followed soon after, earning RFD-TV a Cablefax Award for Best News or Series Program, a formidable win against CNBC, Robin Meade’s show on Headline News, and other programs from Al Jazeera and Oxygen.
Tune into our webinars to learn more about these next-generation tools RFD-TV used to achieve their award-winning network: