Full Service Social Media Solution

The Molden Media team continuously strives to bring to you the best solutions for the problems you face as a modern day broadcaster. In some cases it requires cooperation to create these solutions. Consequently, we have joined forces with our partner SAM to build a complete social media application that lets you integrate the most popular social platforms into your shows. This will help you to engage your audience in a conversation, make them an active part of your broadcast, and increase their loyalty.

M2Social Admin

The base of this solution is our social media tool M2Social, which allows you to moderate comments and bring them to air or onto a screen in the studio. Via the online dashboard you can moderate the social media content, make alterations and tag certain comments as recommendations for the anchorperson or producer. M2Social also includes a mobile app for the iPad, which gives the anchorperson the opportunity to select comments for publishing on the fly and interact with the content.

M2Social iPad1

The integration with SAM adds a powerful search and management tool to our M2Social suite. SAM covers a multitude of social media platforms simultaneously and incorporates non-destructive filters to ensure the highest value of search results. Additionally, SAM offers a variety of management functionalities, such as the creation of stories, integration of maps, and easy curation tools.

M2Social-Preset-SAM

Through the combination of SAM and M2Social, we try to reflect the common workflow of most broadcast environments, where the selection of content is part of the editorial work, while graphics and show control are left to the gallery. This ensures both high quality of social media content as well as perfect story flow.

For more information on the M2Social product suite, please refer to our website or contact us directly.

 

 

Posted in Tutorials | Leave a comment

Understanding Touch Technologies

We at Molden Media have gathered quite some experience with touch technologies over the years, and we would like to share them with you. Although most of us feel very well adapted to touch technologies, using our phones, tablets and touch screens on a daily basis, we do sometimes encounter very common misunderstandings when it comes to our installations. This article is an attempt to give you a heads up and make your experience with our installation as comfortable as possible.

mbc_touchscreen_screenshot_02

In terms of hardware, we have tried and tested almost all technologies on the market, and we are happy to work with most of them. However, we usually use a combination of HD screen and our custom infrared touch frames. The advantage of this setup is that our customers can hold on to the screens which they have previously purchased, not having to invest a large amount of money into new hardware, while we turn these screens into multi-touch devices through a simple and quick installation of our frames.

With every technology, specific details need to be taken into account by the operator. We have gathered a few to help with the most common problems that occur in using our multi-touch frames.

 

Installation

We will create a touch frame that is especially fit to match the dimensions of your screen. In case we are not around to do the installation ourselves, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

The touch frame requires an even surface for installation on a screen. It oftentimes helps to remove the manufacturer logo from the screen. These are usually glued on, so a blow dryer and a screw driver should do the trick.

removing-logo

The touch frame is an individual device and requires power and communication with your workstation. Always connect the work station, the display and the multi-touch frame to the same power outlet to avoid problems caused by voltage fluctuations. The frame will be connected to the workstation via USB. We highly recommend that you do not use USB extenders, since infrared multi-touch systems are highly sensitive measuring technologies that need absolutely stable communication. It is best to place a separate gateway PC right next to the installation. If this is not possible in your studio environment, we can recommend USB extenders that have proven to work. Please contact us for more information.

Before you move the screen and multi-touch frame, please make sure to power down the entire system, including the applications on your workstation that communicate with the frame. Carefully disconnect the power and USB cable from the frame and only then move the screen. Do not put pressure on the frame when pushing the screen along, since it might get deformed, which can result in faulty touch information or malfunction.

 

Creating Content

Our multi-touch frames use embedded infrared diodes that throw a grid across the entire screen. The diodes have a distance of about 5.6 millimeters, which results in a few design parameters that need to be taken into account. Touchable objects should never be smaller than 7 by 7 millimeters and never too close together. Please keep in mind that when you downscale content to run on a smaller screen and multi-touch frame, the distance between the diodes remains the same. Touchable objects might be too small for recognition at a lower resolution. If this is the case, you will need to adjust your content.

The infrared grid has a certain distance to the surface of the screen. This is necessary not only because of the way the infrared frames are manufactured, but also because we need to assure that the infrared barriers are never broken by the screen itself. This sometimes results in problems for the operator, especially when he triggers touch commands at an angle.

secondary-touches

 

If an operator uses his index finger to touch a button or move an object, it sometimes happens that he involuntarily triggers secondary touches with the knuckle of his pinky finger or the cuff of his shirt. Depending on the content, this can result in the sudden scaling of an image or pushing the wrong button. Please note that this problem can be easily solved by using the Group configuration in M2Touch Gateway, which will group a cluster of touch inputs into a singular touch command, thereby avoiding the effects of involuntary secondary touches.

Another problem is the so-called parallax effect, also caused by operating the screen at an angle. While the fingertip might break the barrier right above the correct spot, when moving the finger in or out, the point where the infrared barrier is broken will move along the finger and thus change position. Please see the drawing below for better understanding of the parallax effect.

parallax-effect

 

The problems caused by the parallax effect can be easily avoided through smart design choices. The size of and distance between touchable elements is key here. Very small objects crammed into a small space will increase the risk of false inputs. If you instead give touch buttons a reasonable size and arrange them well in your project, the parallax effect can be easily eliminated. In addition, the installation will be much easier to operate.

 

Training

Every multi-touch installation is only as good as the person operating it. This is especially true for live broadcasts, where an error or false reaction by the installation cannot be taken back. Therefore, we have found it crucial to bring the potential operator into the development process as early as possible. Not only will this lead to them getting well acquainted with the technology at an early stage, but they will also let you know how to set up the installation in order for them to feel comfortable with it.

Once the design is finished, take some time for an in-depth training with the operator. Show them every sub-menu, have them click on every button. It’s like learning to drive a car: They need to know their way around the installation by heart to guarantee a fluent and sophisticated show.

mbc_touchscreen_screenshot_01

If you keep these few details in mind, you can avoid the most common mistakes made when installing and operating multitouch frames. Naturally, we are happy to help if any issues arise, so please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and comments.

Posted in Tutorials | Leave a comment

HSE24 Graphics and Workflow Redesign

Every now and then, it’s time for a change. This is not only true for every one of us, but also for big broadcasters, such as the shopping TV giant HSE24, who decided in early 2014 that it was time for a redesign of their entire appearance. The company, which runs five individual channels, not only chose to give the on-air graphics and websites a new look and feel, but also decided to upgrade their workflow to a centralized and easy to manage solution.

Molden Media and HSE24 share a long history. For many years now we have created their on-air graphics, so we happily took on the task of adjusting all templates to the new requirements given by the HSE24 design team. But this was only the beginning.

HSE24_Screenshot_kochen_de

In 2013 we were commissioned to integrate the newly acquired Russian channel Shopping Live into the HSE24 workflow. We took this as an opportunity to introduce to HSE24 our playout and control software M2Control, an extremely flexible solution for content and graphics management. It allowed the editors at Shopping Live to easily create product rundowns for their shows, quickly adjust graphics if need be, and also offered a number of logging functionalities. The parent company in Germany was impressed by the new workflow and thus asked us to implement it group-wide for the relaunch in 2014.

M2Control now manages all three German channels of HSE24 as well as the subsidiaries in Italy and Russia. One great advantage of using one software solution for all locations is the connected approach. With M2Control we have implemented a new level of automation, making it possible for the smaller German channels HSE24 EXTRA and HSE24 TREND to easily access the taped programs of the main channel for reruns. Additionally, the controlling software monitors all channels simultaneously to ensure that programs don’t interfere with each other.

Although the changes we implemented might appear like a considerable break, one of the reasons that HSE24 chose to work with M2Control was their wish to maintain their established mode of operation. With M2Control we were able to reproduce the known HSE24 workflow while at the same time bringing their data processing and management capabilities to the next level.

Shopping-Sender Regie

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Developer Days – Where the Magic Happens

Once every three months the entire staff of Molden Media gets together for one week to contemplate our product suite, discuss our development strategies and make plans for the future. This is an important and valued tradition, and this year, we would like to share it with you.

We believe it is essential to bring everyone to the table in order to create the best products and services. That is why everyone gets to talk, the old folks just as much as the newbies. And quite naturally, it takes an adequate seating-accommodation to do some serious thinking.

Don't be fooled, we are hard at work.

Don’t be fooled, we are hard at work.

We take a very close look at every product and discuss how it can be made even better. Because we work in different teams, this includes bringing everyone up to date on the status of development. Then we get down to the actual decision-making.

We decided to redesign the GUIs of all of our products to adjust them to the current design standards. A special focus was on M2Control and VizSecure, which we constantly try to expand to meet all customer requirements. To give you an idea what that means: we want to implement a cloud based SAS solution into VizSecure to offer more business driven analysis methods.

Naturally, there is much more to come. Stay tuned to find out.

Meanwhile, here are some more impressions of our Development Days.

Getting down to business.

Getting down to business.

And there is food! The good old German Wurstsemmel!

And there is food! The good old German Wurstsemmel!

The Developer Days tradition also involves an evening of leisure, which we usually spend bowling.

The Developer Days tradition also involves an evening of leisure, which we usually spend bowling.

Usually this evening ends with someone getting to the heart of things. Here we are hearing the sermon on how software development is really a lot like bowling.

Usually this evening ends with someone getting to the heart of things. Here we are hearing the sermon on how software development is really a lot like bowling.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ZDF uses Interactive In-Studio Application for Live Election Broadcast

Sunday September 22nd was the most important day of the German broadcast year – Election Day! The second German public broadcaster ZDF used an interactive in-studio application by Molden Media to help visualize the data as an exciting election night unfolded.

zdf-wahlen-002

Molden Media’s custom election database received the projection data from the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, an institution that analyses election behavior and public political opinion and works very closely with the broadcaster ZDF. Molden Media’s system then verified all incoming data and processed it for the graphics playout. It was then embedded into the Vizrt graphics templates and brought onto a giant LED wall in the ZDF election studio. Next to projections and estimated wins and losses, a number of polls were presented to capture the central aspects around this year’s election and reflect the voters’ views.

zdf-wahlen-003

Additionally, all election data was streamed into flash graphics which were used for the online broadcast of the program.

Naturally, with new numbers coming all the time, the data visualization needs to operate as swiftly as possible – in real-time. Molden Media’s election system not only guaranteed for lightning fast data processing, but also provided the necessary safety and stability that is essential for live broadcast.

zdf-wahlen-004

zdf-wahlen-001

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Molden Media introduces new playout and control tool M2Control at IBC 2013

Molden Media, provider of systems, graphic design, software and services for the global television production industry, will officially introduce their new software product M2Control at IBC. This template based playout and control system bridges the gap between data source and graphics engine. Already, the system is in use at the Russian HSE24-subsidiary ShoppingLive, and other HSE channels will follow soon.

Molden Media has specialized in developing modular applications for existing broadcast environments to enhance the viewer’s experience as well as the broadcaster’s efficiency. Following this motto, M2Control functions as a link between data sources, automation systems and real-time graphics engines, and makes it possible to easily populate existing graphic templates with information from virtually any source. Via a custom user interface, operators can make last minute changes and manually take the graphics to air. The system can also operate in a fully automated manner, with pre-scheduled shows and rundowns.

Weekly special

Additionally, enhanced logic functionalities allow for the adjustment of the graphical scenes according to the information from the data source. In these cases, M2Control supervises the information coming in and triggers commands to alter the graphic templates in real-time.

The first broadcaster to use M2Control in live production is the Russian channel ShoppingLive, the newest member of the HSE24 family. M2Control also includes flexible monitoring and logging functionalities, which keep track of every graphic that goes on air, including the content and other metadata. This information is later used to evaluate customer behavior and product performance depending on the graphical content.

Molden Media will demo M2Control at IBC 2013 in Amsterdam. Next to playout and control applications, Molden Media also has other products on display, such as M2Social, which allows for the easy search of social media platforms and the implementation of relevant comments and tweets into a live broadcast. M2Social now integrates with the new social asset management tool SAM and the social engagement experts from Mass Relevance. Both these collaborations are to provide broadcasters with a more extensive social media experience through M2Social.

Additionally, Molden Media will be present at the booth of their partner Vizrt, hall 7, booth 7.A10 where they will exhibit the system health monitoring software VizSecure and the their M2Touch product line for easy implementation of multi-touch applications into the broadcast studio.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creating a massive Broadcast Studio – Part 1

Currently, we are involved in the creation of a broadcast studio that truly blows our minds in terms of size, technology and creative design. Combining multi-touch video walls, 20 kilometers of LED band, 160 LED and LCD displays and the most sophisticated lighting equipment in a two story news and sports broadcast studio is quite a challenge, and we are excited to be involved.

For this project we provide our proven multi-touch interactive technology for two large video walls, one consisting of nine, the other of eight 55” displays. Now, with a project such as this, you don’t take any chances. So to make sure everything worked as requested, we went over to the touch frame manufacturer and tested the setup. Here are some insights:

The multi-touch frame – modular and massive!

The multi-touch frame – modular and massive!

mega_studio_p1_connected

Carefully connected

We truly enjoy the modular nature of the frames.

We truly enjoy the modular nature of the frames.

All packed and ready for shipping.

All packed and ready for shipping.

Soon we will be on our way to manage the installation on site. We will keep you posted as the studio progresses.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Here comes the flood

In case you have been trying to reach us unsuccessfully, here is the reason why: The floods in southern Germany have reached our beautiful island offices. Bridges are closed, sandbags are stacked, and we have to work from home. The latest update said that peak level will be reached today, but it still hasn’t stopped raining. Nonetheless, we hope to be back in our headquarters by tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest.

Our brave boss and lord of the hat Thomas has accepted the quest of going into the danger zone to provide some photo material. See for yourself!

Our office - so close, yet so far away!

Our office – so close, yet so far away!

This used to be the quiet canal around the island.

This used to be the quiet canal around the island.

Our gratitude goes out to the tireless helpers.

Our gratitude goes out to the tireless helpers.

The parking garage slowly filling with water - and empty except for Thomas' car.

The parking garage slowly filling with water – and empty except for Thomas’ car.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

M2Touch at mbc Cairo

mbc is one of the most renowned Arabian broadcast networks, with about ten TV channels and a number of online platforms. We are proud to be among the partners of mbc, with a work relationship that goes back several years. In 2012, we equipped Al Arabiya with one of our infamous 103” touch screens and the according software package: M2Touch and M2Touch Gateway. We also developed content for them, but their skilled designers have quickly managed to create their own sophisticated applications.

mbc_cairo_02

The beautiful setting of the mbc studio in Cairo!

Now another channel of the mbc family is using our technology as well. We have installed one of our 103” touch screens in the new newsroom of mbc studio Cairo in Egypt. The set is located in a beautiful film studio area and utilizes the latest in newsroom technology to deliver a high standard of broadcasting to the Egyptian audience.

Unwrapping the touch screen - a bit like Christmas!

Unwrapping the touch screen – a bit like Christmas!

Next to the touch hardware, we have also installed M2Touch and M2Touch Gateway for perfect communication between the device and the data backend. Additionally, mbc will use M2Pad, a piece of technology that allows for using an iPad in combination with the touch screen.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

HSE24 expands into Russian market

The German Shopping TV giant HSE24 will launch re-designed live productions at their Russian channel Shopping Live on May 20th. With a completely new on-air design on board, Shopping Live is utilizing our playout solution M2Control.

Shopping Live is an established shopping channel in Russia that has been on air since 2011. With the acquisition of Shopping Live in April 2012, HSE24 continues to expand into the pan-European market, after having introduced HSE24 Italy in 2011. New programs with a completely new design for Shopping Live have been broadcast using our playout solution M2Control since April 24th, with live-to-tape production in the German studios of HSE24.

Naturally, renewing an entire shopping channel with a large product line and a complex merchandise management system is not an easy task, but thanks to the many years of experience that we share with HSE24, all problems were solved swiftly. We have integrated M2Control, our high-end data management software, to make sure that all information from the merchandise management system is translated into the new and improved on-air graphics in real-time.

The next big step for Shopping Live is moving production from the German HSE24 studios to the new headquarters in Moscow. While final installations are still being made, go-live is planned for May 20th. We are very much looking forward to seeing Shopping Live being broadcast from their very own studio and appreciate the opportunity of working on this sophisticated project.

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment