AUDICOM Video Controller
Video Controller
OVERVIEW HDVmixer Client PDF Imprimir E-mail

The HDVMixer client module is a user interface that can locally or remotely control the station's HDVMixer Server settings. The server runs in the DJ's on-air computer, whereas information is gathered and generated by other staff members. Therefore it's necessary to have remote control capabilities to feed information into the video stream.


Running several HDVmixer clients in various computers through the station a logical information workflow can be accomplished. For instance journalists at the news room can update news tickers, while the producers can update guest names, photos and info from a different location. While this is taking place, the DJ can be selecting a specific camera, or he can even activate HDVmixer's autoVJ feature for the software to automatically select the proper camera view based on a set of predefined rules.


General view of HDVmixer Client. Click to view full size.


HDVmixer is divided into 7 panels, each having a specific function. The panels are:

  1. MONITOR: Where video SOURCES are configured

  3. TRANSITION: Where transitions between SETs are configured

  5. SET: Where the video compositions are configured (up to 4 simultaneous SOURCES can make up the scene)

  7. BACKGROUND: Where the SET's background image is configured

  9. TITLE: Where text/image overlays are configured

  11. SCENE: Where SCENE buttons are configured. These buttons activate a particular combination of SOURCES, TRANSITIONS, SETS, BACKGROUND and TITLE. These buttons can have autoVJ automation rules which allow them to automatically trigger under specific circumstances

  13. STREAMING: Where the streaming status is selected and the connection status is displayed. HDVmixer can be either STREAMING, or in PREVIEW mode. Connection health statics are displayed in this pane too. Warning information is shown when network congestion or server disconnection occurs



HDVmixer MONITOR Panel showing the available video sources. Click to view full size

The MONITOR panel shows a fixed image for each video source, so the user can easily identify each of the available options. HDVmixer supports up to 6 different video sources, as can be seen in the MONITOR's panel image.


5 of the video input feeds are user selectable, the sixth is always AUDICOM's own video playout signal. The sources for each of these inputs can be any combination between: webcams, professional camera inputs via Blackmagic capture cards, IP cameras, RTMP video streams, or even window desktop's captures (server's PC windows form). The later option is useful to generate virtual sources based on Skype Video or from a web browser. The video sources are defined in the application server.


The features available in the MONITOR's panel are:

  • A user defined name is assigned to each source. This name is shown above of each source to easily identify each signal. The name can be modified by double clicking the name labels of any source

  • Display a reference image of each video source

  • Select up to 4 video sources that will be used in the SET composition





Besides showing the various sources, the MONITOR panel is used to manually select which sources will feed the built-in video mixer.


Keep in mind that the following definitions: A SET in HDVmixer terminology is a particular configuration of the video mixer, which produces a specific video output composition. Several SETs compositions can be stored in HDVmixer as TEMPLATES, which can be easily go on-air with a single click.


HDVmixer's built-in video mixer is capable of handling up to four simultaneous video feeds. The video mixer's input channels are identified with letters 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D'. Each SET template defines the position and size of each of these four input channels in the video output (PROGRAM).


Most scenes will probably use one or two video sources, as it is rare in Multimedia Radio/TV applications to have more than two sources simultaneously on-air. The most widely used configurations use a single source at a time. For example, the most simple SET of all would be one that configures the video mixer to output channel 'A' input at 100% size. A more advanced SET would be one where a music video and a talent are displayed in a PIP (picture-in-picture) composition. If AUDICOM's playout video is set on channel 'A', and the talent camera on channel 'B', then we can easily configure a SET template that shows input channel 'A' at 100%, and channel 'B' in the upper right corner of the image with a size of 25%.


Video mixer channel assignment buttons.To define which of the 6 existing video sources will be used in the SET composition HDVmixer has a 6:4 video input matrix. Each of the 6 sources has a series of 4 buttons that assign that input source to any of the four video mixer input channels. These buttons have the legends 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' on top of each video source in the MONITOR's panel (as seen in the image on the right). 


These buttons allow the user to quickly see which inputs are been used by the video mixer at any given moment in time. If all four buttons in a particular source are grayed, this means that the video source is not been assigned to any of the channels in the video mixer. While any of these buttons is illuminated, then it indicates that that video source is assigned to that particular mixer channel. For example, if all the 'D' buttons are gray, this indicates that channel 'D' is not been used (it has no input source assigned). On the contrary, if button 'A' is lit for source 5, it means that the video of source 5 has been assigned to the video mixer's channel 'A'. Any of the 4 channels in the video switcher can be assigned to any of the 6 available video sources.


HDVmixer's video input matrix feature allows the software to be used not only in automatic mode, but as a conventional video mixer under manual operation. The video operator can 'punch' any video source to the output as required, not needing to configure a specific SET template for each of these scenes. Since in manual operation, the operator can set up a generic template with a SET where the channel 'A' is set at 100%, and then the video source selection is made using the input matrix (using the channel selection buttons available in each of the sources).





HDVmixer's TRANSITION Panel.

The TRANSITION panel is where the user clicks to trigger a video transition from one scene to the other. All changes done to the scene, whether they are source changes, new graphs to be overlayed, or a new news ticker are applied using a soft fade transition effect lasting 500mS. This provides multimedia radio broadcasters with an agile and professional look comparable to commercial TV broadcasts.


This panel has a PROGRAM/PREVIEW button that visually mimics the 'bar' control found on traditional hardware video mixers. The operation of this bar is described below associated with the operation of PREVIEW mode.




To activate the PREVIEW mode, click on either the VIDEO or the TITLE buttons until they lit in green. When the PREVIEW mode is active any changes made to the scene will not be applied immediately. The changes will go on-air only after pressing the PREVIEW/PROGRAM 'bar' button. Applying changes will generate a smooth transition in the main video output (PROGRAM) from the previous scene to the new one. It's therefore very easy to perform several changes at once: first change the elements of the scene and then press the 'bar' when you are ready to air the new scene.




Sometimes the operator needs to change the video sources on the fly and as fast as possible. Avoiding to hit the 'bar' button each time a source change is needed would be a plus in such circumstances. HDVmixer provides an AUTO apply mode for these applications. For example, if the operator wants to switch from 'Camera 1' to 'Camera 2' as fast as possible, he can do so with a single click. As soon as the AUTO button is activated (it's located next to the VIDEO PREVIEW button), changes to the SET will go on-air immediately. When the AUTO mode is active, both the AUTO and the PREVIEW buttons will lit in red indicating that changes will be applied automatically. When the AUTO mode is active the following changes will apply intermediately: selecting a new SET template, clicking any of the video input matrix buttons in the MONITOR panel, or selecting a background image in the BACKGROUND panel.


Both AUTO apply feature is only available to the MONITOR, SET and BACKGROUND panels. The TITLE panel does not have an AUTO apply changes feature, as text/graphic layers have to be carefully configured before been displayed on the air. Most of the time this involves changing more than one text at a time, so automatically applying changes does not seem to be a good idea.




HDVmixer has separate buttons for controlling VIDEO and TITLE (text/graph layers). This allows to split the workload between the station's staff members in a logical workflow. As one person can be responsible for changing the video scenes, whereas another can be in charge of text and image updates (TITLE). There can be several HDVmixer clients running on different workstations, and all connected to the same HDVmixer server. Therefore, it is possible that journalists in the news room use their workstation's HDVmixer to update the news tickers, while the producers of a show are in charge of updating the names of the interviewee, while SET changes correspond to the video operator (or are automated using autoVJ rules). As HDVmixer has separate buttons to apply VIDEO and TITLE changes, one HDVmixer terminal can be locked to change only VIDEO or TITLE elements, not allowing it to interfere with the rest of the scene configuration. To grant permission to modify either VIDEO or TITLE objects, is as simple as activating/deactivating either VIDEO or TITLE buttons in the TRANSITION panel.


PANEL SET PDF Imprimir E-mail


The SET panel is where the video mixing configurations are selected. Using the four video sources selected in the MONITOR panel, the operator can choose a specific composition using those video feeds. This will define how the output (PROGRAM) video composition will look like on the air.

SET panel configured with various templates.


SET presets determines the position, size and display order of each channel of the mixer's four video channels (A, B, C and D). Each SET preset is shown in the SET panel as a button. Each of these buttons has a name and a thumbnail (image) of the scene composition.




The properties of each SET preset are:

  • Screen position of each mixer channel (A, B, C, D)
  • Screen size of each of the channels
  • Crop of each of the channels video signal (left, right, top, bottom)
  • Visibility Order: front/rear between the 4 channels
  • Channel active (visible/hidden)

To modify a preset, double clicking on the SET button of interest. A window displaying the above properties will show up. This edit window has a preset preview area to see how the new configuration will be displayed once on the air. This preview simplifies fine tunning the size and position of each video source in the final video composition, as it is visually displaying changes while they are being made.

Editing a SET preset.




If the AUTO VIDEO button (on the TRANSITION panel) is grayed, then the auto apply changes is off. Therefore, clicking on a SET button will have no effect to the PROGRAM signal. It will only select the preset (with a green box around the button). To apply this new SET on the air the PREVIEW/PROGRAM 'bar' button in the TRANSITION panel must be pressed. If the VIDEO button is lit, then the changes will be applied into the main video output (PROGRAM). If the AUTO VIDEO button is enabled (red color), then clicking on a SET button means going on-air with that particular preset right away.


 When a SET preset is on-air HDVmixer indicates it by adding a red background to the legend with the name of the preset. Only one SET button can be active at any given time, as only one specific preset configuration can be aired.



BACKGROUND Panel showing several scene background images.BACKGROUND panel is where the background image of the current scene is selected. Whatever area that is not covered with one of the video sources on top, will display this background image. Like in the SET panel, the BACKGROUND panel has a set of buttons with a thumbnail of each of the available images.


Background images can be BMP, JPG or PNG image files. Each background button has an associated name which corresponds to the name of the image file in it. The active background button is displayed with a red background in the button's name area. The background image can be selected independently from all other property. Changes in backgrounds are applied either when the PREVIEW/PROGRAM button is pressed, or automatically if the AUTO VIDEO button (found in the TRANSITION panel) is active. Background selection is stored as part of a scene configuration.

TITLE PANEL PDF Imprimir E-mail


TITLE panel is used to display text and image overlays on top of the video image. This control lets the operator add a variety of layered objects over the video. Examples include JPG images to show scores and music information, fixed texts, animated logos (gif image files), banners, and news tickers.


Whenever we refer to TITLE we are thinking of a preset button containing layers of objects that will be place in front of the video (the SET). The purpose of having separate presets for SETs and TITLEs is that they can be activated independently from one another. For example, the operator can configure a TITLE preset button to displays the legend "LIVE" in one corner of the screen. This text layer can be activated independently from the SET chosen at any given moment in time. These TITLE presets can be automated, so that captions like: "You're listening to: Madonna - Material Girl" or "Weather Info: 72F' appear during specific moments in each show. Below we are going to look into the functionalities provided by the TITLE panel.

TITLE Panel shown with various texts and superimposed logo images.


TITLE presets: similar to the SET presets, these preset buttons display a thumbnail image displaying the graphic layers contained. Each TITLE preset may contain a variable number of layers. For changes in the TITLE panel to go on-air the operator has to press the PREVIEW/PROGRAM bar button (located in the TRANSITION panel).


TITLE presets are always toggle buttons. Are activated when pressed once, and deactivate if they are pressed once more. When a specific preset button is on air, the button's name background turns red. Selected buttons display a green frame around them. These framed objects will go on-air as soon as the operator clicks on the PREVIEW/PROGRAM bar button.


The user can have as many preset buttons active at once as he needs (up to 30 layers in total): One button may hold the isologotype image of the radio station or TV channel, another may display the name of the show currently on the air, a third one can display a news ticker on the bottom of the image, another could hold weather information, etc.


The order in which HDVmixer displays the preset buttons in the panel (left to right and top to bottom), is the order in which the layers are stacked one on top of the other in the final video composition. When two layers overlap the one on top will be displayed above the other ones.




List of active layers.On the righthand area of the TITLE panel a list of all currently active layers is shown. The layers displayed here correspond to all the objects found on every preset button currently selected. So when there is more than one preset button selected simultaneously, the layer list will append all the layers corresponding to all preset buttons in the correct order in which they should be displayed.


Each layer in the list on the left has a box that lets you show/hide each layer independently. This feature is useful to have pre-configured text layers that are not visible, until the user updates it's text field with new information. It is therefore possible to have generic presets for LIVE COVERAGE, TELEPHONE INTERVIEW, etc, and only time-specific info of each particular event has to be filled just before going on the air. Avoiding the need for the operator to be working out layer configurations when he has to be focussed on the live coverage underway.










Double-clicking on a preset button will bring up the TITLE edit window. Each of the layers contained in the preset can be individually modified. New text and image layers can be created, or existing layers can be reordered up or down in the layer stack, or simply deleted. 


TITLE preset edit window.

The existing types of layers in HDVmixer are:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Ticker: scrolling text (used for news)

To simplify operation, layer properties have been divided into tabs to sort properties by function: Text, Image, etc. Additionally there is a tab called 'General' with the properties common to all types of layers.




The 'General' tab displays the following common attributes to all layer types:

  • Visble: Whether the layer is hidden or not
  • Width: Width of the layer
  • Height: Height of the layer
  • X: Horizontal position of the layer inside the scene
  • Y: Vertical position of the layer inside the scene
  • Opacity: Transparency Level of the layer
  • Global: Sets weather the layer has local scope to the current scene in particular or global scope. All layers which have animation and that the animation should not restart from the start when switching scenes should be defined as global. Since this allows an animated logo, or news ticker to continue the current animation sequence even when changing scenes
  • Global Allocation: Indicates the global identifier assigned to the layer (HDVmixer supports up to 10 global text layers and 10 global image layers)


Specific properties of text layers.In addition to common attributes, there are specific attributes for each object type. The specific attributes of text layers are:

  • Title: Short name describing the layer. It's used to refer to the layer in the Layers list area
  • Font: Font type and size
  • Text: Text to be displayed in the layer. The user can use 'metanames' (tags) that are automatically updated with information from AUDICOM's data base. Information such as the Title/Performer of the song currently been played, current time, temperature, RSS news feed, or several other data fields can be used to assemble text layers
  • File: Used to define an external text file used to import the layer's text from
  • Color: Text color
  • BackColor: Text background color (if any)
  • Align: Text alignment options (left/center/right)
  • Opacity: Sets the degree of transparency of the text. 100% indicates a solid object, whereas 0% indicates that the text is completely transparent
  • Border: Defines a border around each letter of the text. This functionality is frequently used to ensure that the text's visibility is optimal both over light or dark backgrounds
  • Border Width: Defines the thickness (in pixels) of the font's outline border
  • Border Color: Sets the color used by the font border
  • Border Opacity: Sets the degree of transparency of the font's border
  • Speed: News headlines are often displayed as scrolling text. A text layer can be configured to scroll at a specific speed. Scroll speed is given in pixels per second


Specific properties of image layers.The specific attributes for image layers are:

  • Path: Image file to be displayed (supported image file types: BMP, PNG, GIF, JPG)

  • Color (optional): Color used to tint the image. It can be useful to match a specific color set during some shows, while not having to create separate logos and captions for each program. If color is set to white, the feature is overridden

  • Chroma Key: Activates the chroma keying for this particular layer

  • Chroma Color: Sets the color the user wants to chroma key out of the image (make transparent)

SCENE PANEL PDF Imprimir E-mail


HDVmixer's has got a set of distinctive features when compared to any other video suit. These features that make HDVmixer unique are:


  • Scene presets that make scene switching a simple task as clicking on the desired scene button. A complete video layout: background, video sources, set configuration, text layers and image overlays will automatically be recalled

  • Scene changes can be fired automatically based on user configurable rules (autoVJ functionality)

  • Automatic text layers data update based on RSS feeds, or AUDICOM database information. Legends as: 'You are viewing: , ' are possible. Sixteen different data fields (metanames) can be used to include information like: time, temperature, show name, etc

SCENE panel where one-click presets are displayed using multicolored buttons.


The SCENE panel consists of 36 scene preset buttons that allow the user to switch from scene to scene with the push of a button. By right clicking on any button the user can edit the button's properties. Each scene button has got the following options: background selection, video source selection (for each of the 4 video mixer channels), video mixer SET layout and TITLE presets to be activated during the scene.


These scene buttons can be automatically trigger based on specific user configurable rules. This auto-scene switching capability is called 'AutoVJ', as it acts like a VJ switching video sources during a live show. This is a crucial feature for Multimedia Radio transmissions, as the DJ is not distracted with an increased workload due to the new features of the broadcast.


As shown in the above image, scene buttons have: a specific color (out of a set of 8), a name, a number (positions 1 through 36), and some small icons. These icons indicate what specific settings does the button contain. Buttons can: change the SET/SOURCE, can display TITLEs, and can have autoVJ automation rules. There are three distinctive icons to show each of these possible features that could have been configured to a particular button.





The SCENES panel can work either in manual or auto modes. When the 'ON' button lits red, the AutoVJ intelligent automation is active. When button is grayed, scene switching is only manually operated. Therefore, the operator will be in charge of selecting the scenes he needs during the show. Whereas in autoVJ mode, all scene selection is based on a set of predefined rules that are configured to each scene button. When all those rules are met, that particular button is activated. A third way in which scene switching can be operated is hybrid mode. HDVmixer's autoVJ mode will then be activated, but the operator will have the oportunity to manually select additional scene layers (like banners or captions).


The autoVJ rules used to activate a scene are based on several conditions. These parameters are shown in the upper area of the SCENE panel ('AutoVJ Controller' area). Any of these variables (or a combination of several of them) can be used to trigger a scene switching. This data is constantly updated by AUDICOM, giving the user several degrees of freedom when planning to automate his video scenes.


For example, a button could have the following rules: If MIC-1 and MIC-2 are on the air, then the preset should activate. This automation could be used to show a panoramic view of the studio when both studio mics are on the air. Another example might be: If AUDICOM is not playing video (is playing AUDIO or it is STOPPED), then enable a preset to display a still image background, a stream from a remote IP camera showing city traffic, and text with time & temperature information.


AutoVJ detecting two open MIC faders.




In order for a SCENE button to activate automatically, a series of one or more AutoVJ conditions should be met. All the conditions configured to a particular button should be met simultaneously for the scene to go on-air. Note, that only SCENE buttons for the currently visible SHOW are evaluated in AutoVJ. So the station can have several sets of 36 scene buttons that can be switched to accomodate one show or another. Show selection is done by simply clicking the right show name/thumb in the show drop-down menu.


The available conditions that are used to create AutoVJ automation rules are a combination of any of the following:

  • MIC-1 open
  • MIC-2 open
  • MIC-3 open
  • MIC-4 open
  • Show's current name (Block Name)
  • Song's Performer (if any)
  • Song's/Track Title
  • Music Style (or name of the sub-folder where the file is located for non-music files)
  • Block Type (Live, autoDJ, Satellite Link, Internet Link, etc)
  • File Class (Music, Promo, Spot, etc)
  • Play Mode (Video, Audio, Stopped)
  • Intro Time reached
  • Remaining air time for the current audio track on the air

Each rule can be triggered when certain condition is met, or it's not met. For example, a particular scene can be activated when the rule 'Block Type' is equal to 'BATCH' (commercial break), and another scene for all other conditions. This is useful to display a song name overlay during the whole programming except during commercial breaks. Flexible automatic video programming allows the broadcaster to have a very dynamic video product on the air with minimal manual intervention.


HDVmixer monitors AutoVJ button triggering conditions constantly. If two or more scene buttons meet their respective triggering conditions, they are all activated. The only exception if they have contradictory actions. In this case, the button with a higher amount of rules is the one that while have higher hierarchy. This hierarchical algorithm makes those button which are activated by the audio console's faders to have a higher priority (they generaly have 4 rules) than those used to display a set during a commercial break (which have just one or two rules configured).


Thanks to HDVmixer's AutoVJ, the business logic used for the video signal is customizable to meet the needs of every broadcasting event or show.




The operator is free to activate/deactivate other scene buttons even when AutoVJ is active. If the button he is clicking on does not change the video source, set, or background, this means that the user is just wanting to add some image/text layers to the video image, so therefore the new button will become active and the AutoVJ mode will not deactivate. If the user is selecting a scene button that does change the AutoVJ's selected video scene, then the AutoVJ mode will deactivate (AutoVJ button will go gray), as he is manually overriding the automatic scene selection mode.




Automatic replacement of time and temperature metanames.Using information from AUDICOM's database, HDVmixer implements a series of 'metanames' (tags) that the user can use embbedded into the text fields. These metanames will then be replaced by the updated information field before going on the air. These fields will also be updated regularly while on the air. Also RSS feeds can be used to update crawling news layers.


The way to insert a metaname into a text layer is very simple. If the text field of the text layer has any of the following legends, they will be replaced by the corresponding updated data field grabbed from AUDICOM's database. The list of currently implemented metanames is:


  • <BLOCK_NAME>: Replaced with the program's block name (usually the program's name)
  • <PERFORMER>: Replaced with the name of the song's performer (if music is on the air)
  • <TITLE>: Replaced with the title of the song (or audio filename for other class of contents)
  • <STYLE>: Replaced with the name of the music style (for non-music tracks, it returns the name of the sub-folder where the file is located)
  • <BLOCK_TYPE>: Replaced with block type. This can be: Live, autoDJ, Batch (commercial break), Satellite Link, Internet Link, etc.
  • <CLASS>: Replaced with the kind of content being played: Music, Promo, Spot, etc.
  • <PLAY_MODE>: Replaced with the current playback status: Video, Audio, Stopped
  • <TIME_LEFT>: Replaced with the remaining air time
  • <TIME>: Replaced with the current time, using the computers configured format
  • <TEMP>: Replaced with the current temperature for the current location (configured in AUDICOM and updated from an Internet Weather provider)


Auto Update of Performer and Title during video playback.Using metanames whilsly, on screen legends seem constantly changing in the broadcast, as if a graph operator is constantly watching out for changes. Layers which are time consuming such as: 'You are now listening to: Madonna, Beautiful stranger' are easily implemented in HDVmixer. It's just as simple as creating a new text layer with the following text in it: 'You are now listening to: <PERFORMER>, <TITLE>'. Metaname replacement works even when AutoVJ is disabled. So manually triggered titles can still contain metanames, or RSS feeds.