2014 June 20th - Case Study
Information full circle for A1 Report

Albanian, but with an international atmosphere thanks to the Hotbird satellite, the "A1 Report" television channel is transmitted on an analog platform, on a digital terrestrial channel and in streaming even on the web.

Technical director Olger Teneqexhi explains: "We are operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with news and information in continuous cycle. We treat breaking news with particular attention to politics, events and economy, while we dedicate a very important moment to sports at the end of every newscast. All of this is possible thanks to our team of eight reporting troupes in FULL HD who guarantee maximum promptness of information with top quality image."

A1 Report is not the classic television channel that we are used to, but presents itself in a very particular graphic skin: the layout is in fact composed of several areas of different sizes where informative contents of various nature are displayed, a few occupied by video services - live and deferred - others are exclusively composed of graphics with fixed images, on rotation and animated text with effects.

The result is a screen loaded with news, pleasant to see and easy to consult. Within the programming there are many interviews on contemporary events, alternating with an ample area dedicated to sports, displayed both at the end of the news program as well as in the section on the upper right, where all of the main headlines regarding the most important events are shown. Therefore, this means managing all according to "news reporting criteria" and not like a traditional sports event.

What the spectator sees from home is a mosaic of "pictures in pictures", with graphics always shown and two main frames of different sizes where the most important news rotate on continuous cycle.
The background graphics run synthetic ticker text over on rotation and photos related to the news of the day, step by step, involving national events and international topics. On the right, the graphics report current news, social events and the latest updates of the day.
The moment a specific event happens, the graphics change and the news is emphasized by appropriate "Flash" titles.

Olger Teneqexhi explains: "For production and transmission, we exclusively use various software by the Italian company ClassX that allows us, through a connection with our CMS (centralized digital content management system), to reproduce the photograph of the person/athlete interviewed and the environment involved. Every news story is commented by about 70 text characters and three photos that rotate one by one, following an appropriate sequence. We often change the register of the presentation from "Flash" to "Curiosity", and propose photos and comments on VIPs, gossip, culture and curiosities from the world.
We are really very satisfied with the flexibility of the modules that comprise the ClassX software package and it is exactly thanks to this that we will quickly go from the current display of flash news with photos and text to a system based on the broadcasting of a compressed video coming from a live feed. The implementation of the second Picture in Picture will allow us not to interrupt the presentation of the main news story displayed in the larger Picture in Picture, but to give yet more emphasis to other "hot" news stories in the area for the purpose, of smaller size. Soon, the DTT will permit choosing the audio and video to listen to, giving the viewers the choice of listening to the content of greatest interest."

Below this graphic area the A1 Report television channel proposes an area set up for the display of advertising contributions or promos for the various programs.
The list of video formats supported is lengthy and ranges from files in MPEG2, AVI, Windows Media Video, Xvid and others that are sent on air in a pre-established sequence.
Horizontally, on the lower part of the screen an area defined "banner" allows inserting advertisement in a graphic-text form paired with one or more photos of the product.
In the lower part of the screen there is a Ticker, also commonly called a "crawl", it is connected to various RSS feeds coming from the official A1 Report site but also from the BBC, CNN, Reuters with both text in English as well as the Albanian language.

Olger Teneqexhi specifies: "The fundamental motor of our TV channel is the ClassX core, or the LiveBoard module which manages the whole flow of information and related broadcasting through graphic templates created using specific modules set up for the purpose.
All of the commands and all of the updates arrive a tour main central CMS station, which is the same that pilots and fills in the contents of the Web site this also completely dedicated to news reports. Everything is managed by a front-end from which the operator can pilot the contents remotely, even out of office, changing what is necessary in real time.

We can compose up to 4 live videos simultaneously on the same screen with relative graphic inserts synchronized and positioned as desired in the "picture in picture" in a dynamic way, basically with all of the layout changes necessary."

The ClassX machine on which LiveBoard is being run therefore creates all of the decoding part necessary on the video feeds, manages the broadcasting of four live videos simultaneously resizable as desired into windows and of all the graphic information such as lower-thirds and promotional blinks.

Olger Teneqexhi concludes: "The three modules that we use are those meant for the production of text and graphic contents: CastaliaCG, MoreCG and CoralCG. Each one shows characteristics and specific features that allow covering every aspect related to the creation of quality information that we need throughout the day. They are easy to use and decidedly reliable."