Press Release

For More Information:

PEAK Systems
Andy Johnston
Tel +44 171 834 4693
Fax +44 171 821 6636

CBS News
Steve Jacobs
Tel +1 (212) 975-7000

L&S Marketing, Inc.
Sheldon Liebman
Tel +1 (505) 332-1281
Fax +1 (505) 332-1286


(Munich, 4 November 1998) - CBS News has used Everest™ 3D realtime graphics system from Peak Systems to generate live to air graphics for the Dan Rather hosted elections '98 results show live from New York on 3rd November 1998.

The show used a number of Everest systems together with Sherpa, a purpose built production control application that received and organized incoming results data and combined it with historical information and race contenders' names and faces. Mr. Rather could directly choose the graphics he wanted using a graphical computer interface in the TV studio.

Race results could be on air within 1 seconds of electronic arrival at CBS New York.

Comparing this broadcast to previous election shows, Steve Jacobs, executive producer at CBS News, said, "At CBS we consider that we set a benchmark for special event graphics production. Compared to previous years we were quicker to air, we had complete flexibility which graphics we could use at any time, the graphics looked great and explained what was happening better. Everest's performance, design oriented authoring tools and programmability were key to the successful delivery of the graphics in the show."

He continued "We've been using Everest full time on our evening news shows for nearly a year, and have just acquired four more systems which will enable us to extend its use into our morning news shows during November. We use Everest for template animations of financial results, general news graphics and special purpose animation created on demand by our designers to explain breaking stories"

EVEREST is resolution-independent and can be used for NTSC, PAL, 16:9 and HDTV productions. Sherpa is a PC based control system used to retrieve and assemble data into on-air templates and control the on-air playout of Everest. Everest runs on Silicon Graphics Onyx computer systems.

Background Information
Everest offers authoring tools, with which the design for the one air look is defined and agreed and all the templates are created. Colors, animation, fonts, transparencies and position on screen are all designed at this stage. Performance is checked to make sure any required combination of graphics executes flawlessly. When the design is finished, it's time to build tools for the production team and the links to the historical and incoming results data.

Everest enables the director to use any graphic at any time, without concern for other graphics simultaneously running. For example, a lower third can be brought on while a clock or headshot with a caption is already in use. The system produces digital video plus a key channel.

For Elections '98 CBS developed two proprietary control systems. One was used by Dan Rather and the other for use in the control room by the on-air team to cue graphics for play, Both systems made use of Everest's extensive ability to be controlled automatically by outside events. The value of this approach is that it allows the user to access graphics in a logical way for the specific show. With 600 candidates and 300 races to choose from, and an unpredictable results arrival order, flexibility and ease of use was key. There were more than 60 available graphics templates that could automatically be filled with contest-specific details, and, with hundreds of potential animation routes between graphics, the creative opportunity was immense.

Another design criteria was to provide immediate graphics support to Dan Rather and the show's Producer Director, Eric Shapiro, as they chose breaking news stories and provided analysis of incoming results.

Election show graphics are traditionally showcase events for the network, both because of their importance and because of the complex, fast changing data they need to present. CBS has now completed its 5th national election - 2 Presidential and 3 mid term - using Silicon Graphics systems for their power, openness for programming and ability to present live information in 3D. This was their first election using Everest.

Peak Systems Profile
Peak Systems supplies complete on-air graphics systems and virtual sets to broadcasters on a global basis. Full training, production support and technical support services back up these systems. The core technologies employed are Everest real-time graphics generation and rendering software, and Silicon Graphics computer systems.

Peak has offices and staff in Munich, Hamburg, Florida, New York, Bratislava and London.

Editor's Note: Digital images of EVEREST are available.

PEAK Systems GmbH, Buergerm.-Huber-Str.34, D-83052 Bruckmuehl, Germany
Phone +49-8062-90660 Fax +49-8062-906622

Everest is a registered trademark of Peak Software GmbH; All other product and company names are the property of their respective owners.

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