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Orad Helps National Terrorism Institute Prepare U.S. First Responders for 'Virtually' Anything

(October 19, 2008)
DMN Newswire--2008-10-16--Orad Hi-Tec Systems, a leading provider of broadcast graphics solutions, today announced that the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute (NTPI) is relying on the company's ProSet virtual studio system to support cost-effective, compelling, and memorable distance-education training for firefighters, soldiers, police officers, and other emergency first responders. ProSet incorporates Orad's Maestro, 3Designer, and Page Editor solutions to enable NTPI to depict on screen an almost infinite arrangement of sets, graphics, and videos.

"We have limited space in our studio, so before we went virtual, we used hard sets built by commercial contractors and stored them wherever we could find space," said Charles Hall, NTPI media services director. "This was expensive and cumbersome, and because of our physical limitations, the results weren't always up to the quality we wanted. After evaluating several different companies' virtual set solutions, we chose Orad's ProSet. The first time we used the system, I think all of us reacted with a big 'Wow!' The 30 x 60-foot studio appeared to be huge and our low-hanging light grid was no longer a problem."

Funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security, NTPI was founded in 1998 and is housed at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Fla. The primary audience for NTPI programming is the civilian and military first responder community, including law enforcement, fire/rescue, emergency medical, public health, and emergency management personnel. However, many NTPI productions are also available to the general public via the Web and on public access cable channels.


Since summer 2007, the institute has used only virtual sets, some from a set library and others designed in-house. NTPI also takes advantage of Orad CamTrack, which affords the flexibility of capturing movement in perspective, enabling, for example, talent to be tracked from one set area to another, maximizing the flexibility of the physical space. Because there is only one studio, the ProSet virtual studio system also boosts efficiency, allowing the production team to change sets fast and with minimal staff intervention. The institute also uses the virtual set to give programs like its "Live Response" panel discussion show a network look. For post-production, the Orad graphics solutions integrate seamlessly with NTPI's Final Cut Pro® and Avid® workstations.

At NTPI, the physical studio includes three Shotoku broadcast system pedestals and a sensorized jib that require only the equivalent of a calibration point to merge the images taken from four digital cameras with virtual backgrounds that may even include footage of actual disasters. Orad ProSet relies on simple, yet highly advanced infrared tracking that extracts camera position, orientation, and field of view from the video signal itself, making the set ideal for a small studio like NTPI's because it eliminates the need for outboard tracking equipment.

"NTPI serves a vital function in the United States by providing distance learning for emergency preparedness," said Avi Sharir, CEO and president of Orad Hi-Tec Systems. "Flexible and highly reliable, Orad's virtual sets support that mission by enabling cost-effective creation of polished, high-impact productions."

More information about ProSet and other Orad solutions is available at    

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About the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute
Founded in 1998 and funded by the Department of Homeland Security, NTPI provides training for U.S. military and civilian first responders. The institute is located on the Allstate Center Campus of St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Fla. For more information, visit

About Orad
Founded in 1993, Orad is a world leader in TV graphics and production technology. Orad's position in the graphics industry is quickly growing while maintaining its market dominance in virtual reality and sports enhancement. Orad's line of products includes virtual sets, on-air graphics systems, virtual advertisement, sports production solutions, and middleware for the industrial and military visualization industry. Orad is a publicly held company, having been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since December 1999 (symbol: OHT).  



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