by Oliver - Monday, February 24, 2014 - Permalink
This is the last post to the Chronicles.
After almost 10 years, the old Boinx blogging platform is ripe for retirement. Over the last couple of months, we built a new platform and today, we are restarting the Boinx Blog under a new URL and with new gusto!
Posts from 2004 to today will remain available on this site for reference and permalinks will continue to work.
by Megan - Monday, December 16, 2013 - Permalink
At first glance, one probably wouldn’t assume a company by the name of “The Motley Fool” offered financial solutions for investors, analyzing earnings reports and rating stocks for the benefit of its community of millions. Yet that’s exactly what the “Fools” at this financial services company do. So what’s with the silly name? Taken from Shakespearean literature, the “fool” was someone who both amused and instructed those around them, and could speak the sometimes-harsh truth to royalty – without the fear of losing his head. It was the perfect name for this financial services company, which had (and still has) a fresh and fun take on an otherwise serious subject.
The Motley Fool is the brainchild of brothers David and Tom Gardner. It started in July of 1993 in Alexandria, Virginia as a monthly 16-page investment newsletter mailed to 1,000 friends and family members. The brothers requested $48 for an annual subscription; 37 people subscribed. With the odds against them, the Gardner brothers’ dedication to building the world’s greatest investment community fueled the flames to keep going. The investment paid off.
Despite their humble beginnings in the summer of ’93, the Motley Fool grew to be the most popular finance site on America Online – in less than a year. By 1998, the Fools had been referred to as an “ethical oasis” by “The Economist,” published three best-selling books, successfully launched their own website, and played one killer April Fool’s Day prank on the financial world. After celebrating their 20th anniversary this past summer, things couldn’t be better for the growing team. And while the team has expanded well beyond the two founding brothers, David and Tom are just as passionate as ever about helping the world make better investments, serving as a daily inspiration for their team.
“The Motley Fool started off in the Internet go-go age as an online resource for retail investors, the first and biggest of its kind,” recalls Motley Fool Analyst Austin Smith, who considers himself a relatively new Fool. “We rose with the Internet bubble and our employee base shot higher. Then the world came crashing down and we had to reimagine our business. We've since converted to a subscription-based business with our premium newsletters reaching investors the world over and providing investing advice for every skill level and type of investor.”
Today, the Motley Fool reaches millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services. The team champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. Recently, however, the Fools jumped into a new frontier: video production.
“Our most recent foray, which finally broke the mold and became profitable for us, began probably about two years ago,” said Smith of the company’s on-again off-again endeavor into creating videos. “However, it took four to six months of dipping toes in the water before we really, truly committed to growing videos at scale. The push started 18-20 months ago.”
When they started out, the team was using individual editors for all of their production needs, but the process required a day or more to turn around the final product. The software restricted them from discussing the day’s financial events, putting them behind the conversation. The Fools needed something that would shorten production time and allow them to publish videos same day. That’s when they stumbled upon the perfect software for their needs: BoinxTV. Smith tells us, “We heard about BoinxTV through online research and switched to the software because of its ease of use and the timely nature it allowed us to publish.”
The team now works almost exclusively with BoinxTV, pairing it with some patched-together workflows including Handbrake, PowerPoint, Word, and an API plug-in. In addition to BoinxTV, the Fool’s technical setup consists of a Mac, three Sony FS700 cameras with teleprompters, a Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E switcher, and a mixer for audio. And while BoinxTV offers easy-to-use features and allows for a quicker production process, these aren’t the main reasons the Motley Fool continues to work with the system. The Motley Fool’s favorite aspect of using BoinxTV?
“The team. We may not still be using BoinxTV today if it wasn't for the very responsive and talented team at Boinx. They were able to build us custom layer solutions for our very specific uses and have been a pleasure to work with as we have grown our production.”
BoinxTV’s powerful layer concept offers virtually endless possibilities for users to design show templates, by adding layers such as lower thirds, picture-in-picture, scrolling tickers, green screen effects and much more. While this was a great start for the Motley Fool, they needed more. They asked Boinx for special, custom layers with certain options and functionalities. Working over Skype (due to the major mileage between Munich and Alexandria) Achim Breidenbach, Boinx Software co-founder and Quartz Composer extraordinaire, discussed the details with the Motley Fool team in order to implement these new features.
“Once I had the graphical designs, I began implementing the features and certain behaviors,” Achim recalls. “When I finished the first version of the layer, I handed it over to the Motley Fool crew, who then tested it in their production environment. After thoroughly testing it, they came back with important feedback. And so in two or three development cycles, a layer was finished and installed on the production machines.”
With helpful input from the Motley Fool team, Boinx developed a layer that would run topics on a sidebar to fit their unique requirements. The anchorman has a specific amount of time to discuss that particular topic until it is switched to the next one. To give even more flexibility, the BoinxTV operator can decide if the topic switches manually or automatically at predetermined time intervals.
“Another interesting layer we helped develop for the Motley Fool fetches live stock data from their own web service,” says Achim. “The BoinxTV operator simply enters any given stock symbols, prompting the current stock price to display in the recorded TV show. When we finished creating this layer, we actually decided to take it to the next level by displaying stock charts in real time with live data.”
You can see these and more layers in action by watching videos from any of the Motley Fool’s series, such as Investor Beat, Ask a Fool and MarketFoolery. It’s all available on their YouTube channel. Whether you’re an experienced investor or simply thinking about opening up a few stocks, the Motley Fool’s videos are the perfect mix of informative and entertaining to help you make the right investing decisions.
Next up in the pipeline for the Motley Fools is, you guessed it, more videos! According to Smith, the new focus will include longer form financial shows that will run anywhere from “five to 15 minutes in length, running the gamut of financial topics and providing more discussion for every type of investor.”
“We've been thrilled with the team and are eager to grow with them as we push Boinx further and further and they respond with even better solutions.”
Check out everything the crew is up to at www.fool.com or see some of their videos on their YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe to stay keep up with all the Motley Fool updates!
by Megan - Monday, October 21, 2013 - Permalink
Are you going to MacTech Conference 2013? We are! Come see us November 6-8 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott in Los Angeles. It’s looking awesome so far! The speakers are incredible. The content is fantastic. The hallway discussions and interactions are the best. We’re even using BoinxTV to make the videos for the event again! The event’s registration is ahead of last year, and MacTech’s expanded hotel guest room block discounts are almost sold out.
It’s your last chance to register, and as a sponsor, we have a special surprise just for you! Register now using our special link and save an extra $100 off the already discounted early-bird price available now. That’s a total savings of $400 off the event!
The hotel discount block is selling out fast, and it’s scheduled to end this coming weekend. Pre-registration discounts are also almost over. Hurry and register now for a steep discount on us!
What: MacTech Conference 2013
Where: Manhattan Beach Marriott in Los Angeles, California
When: November 6th-8th
Who Should Attend: Technologists passionate about improving their craft. IT professionals. Consultants. Programmers and developers that focus on Apple technologies. Check out the sessions here! If you’re still not sure, check out MacTech’s “Why Attend” page here, or take a look at tweets about last year’s event here!
What’s New: New venue. Expanded schedule. Pre-conference workshops. More sessions. More certifications. More labs. New vendor forums. Want more? Check out the full list here!
Here is some info on how we recorded the conference using BoinxTV last year:
The BoinxTV Configuration
At the core of the whole operation was of course BoinxTV running on our MacBook Pros. We had the two cameras connected via Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptors, the presenters’ computer screen grabbed via USB and the sound captured via USB. All this media came into BoinxTV simultaneously and needed to be synced up and adorned with lower thirds, which included a MacTech logo and other graphics, all in real time, then recorded to disk.
To pull off this magic, BoinxTV uses a stack of Layers, each representing an object on screen. A switcher layer allows the operator (Bastian in our case) to switch between various video sources, another layer displays the MacTech logo, and a presenter screen layer creates the two-up view, with the speaker in the corner on top of his larger-than-life slides. Bastian controlled all of these layers through his control surface on the iPad. With the push of a button, a whole set of layers and myriads of settings per layer could be changed. All this happened while the speakers were giving their talks. Although MacTech chose not to broadcast this as a live stream, it would have been easily possible.
by Megan - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - Permalink
Wired Educator, the go-to source for tips on the latest and greatest software in the educational realm, is getting back into the swing of things now that school is back in session. They are giving educators the inside scoop on the best school-friendly software to use for the 2013-24 school year, and luckily for us, Boinx is on the list! Click on over to their full “Back to School with Boinx” post, or read on for a quick synopsis of the post.
Wired Educator uses Mouseposé (more info) for classroom and auditorium presentations. Mouseposé allows the user to focus on a specific part of a photo, dimming the rest of the screen and putting a spotlight on the main feature. “If I am doing any type of demo, I am using Mouseposé,” Wired Educator says. “It is better than any other similar program. Want your presentation to look great and be effective? This is it!”
They also use iStopMotion (more info) to create memorable video introductions and highlights. “iStopMotion is an amazing stop motion animation application that is easy to use,” says Wired Educator. “To get my students’ and audience’s attention, I will create a short iStopMotion animation introduction or segment to spice up what I am talking about. You can actually see the wonder on people’s faces as it plays.” Wired Educator’s students use iStopMotion with their digital storytelling productions, and they come out fantastic!
“Boinx’s FotoMagico 4 (more info) makes all the pictures I take during the school year look like the most professional slideshow you have ever seen,” Wired Educator says on the popular media-showcasing app. Until they demoed the program, they didn’t think they needed a new tool for slideshows at school. But after seeing FotoMagico’s high tech transitions, sound, and amazing customizations, Wired Educator had one word: “Wow!” I guess there really is nothing better to keep a student’s attention than technology!
Wired Educator’s highest praise goes to BoinxTV (more info), the complete studio video broadcaster. They say that it’s a must-have software for schools, and that “it brings together all of the skills students are learning in English, math, and school in general to make something powerful – a professional production for your school.” Wired Educator suggests using BoinxTV for creating a school television program, educational webcasts, professional video of live events, and more. “BoinxTV makes your videos look AWESOME and the user interface makes it easy to use … have your school purchase this software and put it to use. It pays for itself with the first production.”
Looking for some ideas to add Boinx to your back to school lineup? Try these fun projects in the classroom to give your students a fresh take on new subjects.
• Use iStopMotion to create an educational stop motion film. Have your students animate processes in the subjects they’re learning, such as photosynthesis, a scenario that explains a math problem, a scene from a history book, or character development in an English novel.
• Have your students prepare a presentation of their summer adventures with FotoMagico. Learning a new language? Students can include titles in the language they’re learning and give the FotoMagico presentation in that language as well. Additional Boinx apps such as Mouseposé might even help the other students see the focus of the presentation better.
• Use BoinxTV to put on a student production. Students can put together a news report outlining a notable scene from a book as if it were happening present day or they can act out that scene themselves and broadcast it to their peers! BoinxTV is a great way for students to learn how to communicate effectively, work together, storyboard, and much more. The possibilities are virtually endless!
Do you have another idea that’s not on the list, or that you’ve tried out in the classroom with success? Let us know, and share your projects! Plus, check out the video above from the Chilmark School in Martha’s Vineyard to find out how they are using iStopMotion for iPad to not only teach children about film literacy, but the serious issue of bullying and how to stop it.
by Megan - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - Permalink
Get ‘em while they’re hot! Join us in celebrating the end of the summer with our very own Sommerfest – major discounts on our Mac and iOS products that are sure to make the coming months anything but cold. From now until August 25th, we will be offering 30% off of FotoMagico 4, iStopMotion 3 and BoinxTV on our FastSpring Store. Ready to take the plunge with all three? If you purchase any of the three Mac apps, you can purchase the other two at 50% off! All you have to do is choose your first product on the FastSpring Store and proceed to check out – we’ll take it from there.
What about iStopMotion for iPad, you ask? Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about it! From now until August 18th, iStopMotion for iPad will be available on the App Store for just 99 cents. No, your eyes are not, in fact, deceiving you. That’s a cool 90% discount off of our stop motion animation app for the iPad - regularly $9.99. Now get clicking to the App Store – you can thank us later!
Enjoy These Sommerfest Deals From Boinx:
FotoMagico 4 just $69.99 (30% off)
Turn your summer photos and videos into a memorable slideshow with FotoMagico, sure to bring you right back to those special moments even in the coldest of winters. Easy to learn and master, it offers endless creative possibilities. Wally Cherwinski recently reviewed FotoMagico 4 for ScreenCastsOnline, saying: "If you want pro-style slideshows with real impact, you won't regret the investment."
iStopMotion 3 for Mac just $34.99 (30% off)
Stop motion animation is the easiest, quickest and most affordable way to make a movie, and it's fun for the whole family! Users who want to get serious about animating can check out work from the fantastic Animation Chefs.
BoinxTV just $349.99 (30% off)
This "broadcast truck without a truck" is a video production powerhouse. Users get all the features of a multi-million-dollar TV studio for a fraction of the cost. Find out how people like Chris Yates are using it to broadcast live with major networks like the BBC - and how you, too, can create your own professional-grade broadcasts!
iStopMotion for iPad just $0.99 (90% off)
Together with iStopMotion, the iPad is a great all-in-one time lapse camera: There are no cables, the battery lasts for a couple of hours and the large screen is a really great viewfinder. Bonus: The videos can be further edited in FotoMagico, where creatives can add subtle pan and zoom, music and titles, combining stop motion animation videos along with other various types of media.
by Megan - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - Permalink
As promised, Chris Yates joined StudioTech TV on Tuesday night to explain how he uses BoinxTV to plug into major networks and broadcast live with them right from his home office / studio. As an aviation expert, Yates has been called on frequently to comment on some of the latest headlines that have been breaking around the world. He joined Mark Johnson and Vance Willis to discuss his set up as well as why he chose BoinxTV to facilitate these broadcasts. He jumps into explaining BoinxTV at around the 35 minute mark.
by Megan - Monday, July 15, 2013 - Permalink
As one might imagine, Chris Yates, an aviation analyst and regular talking head for stations like the BBC and CNN, has been called in for comment quite frequently as of late. With major headline events including the growing list of Boeing Dreamliner calamities, the Snowden saga, and, most recently, the tragic San Francisco plane crash, Chris has been on call around the clock. “Within the past fourteen days I've used the Boinx TV software to enable live appearances on the BBC, SKY News, Al Jazeera and Russia Today,” Chris tells us.
While the events that brought him on the air have been quite unfortunate, Chris is thankful he’s had BoinxTV to help him get there, saying that he would not be able to broadcast live immediately without this software capability. Because of his interest in BoinxTV, Chris will have the opportunity to join StudioTech tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16th) to discuss and demonstrate the program’s capabilities. StudioTech TV delivers live and recorded content globally from studios in the UK and Eastern USA, with a specific focus on hardware and software enabling live streaming online and for broadcast. A significant number of viewers tune in to catch up on the latest developments each week and otherwise consume some 40,000 video views each month.
Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday July 16, 2013 from 1900-2000 BST (2000-2100 CEST / 2-3pm EDT), to learn more about BoinxTV and to find out how Chris is using it to broadcast live with major networks around the world, right from his home office.
by Megan - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - Permalink
The newest installment of BoinxTV directly supports the global distribution of live news
The landscape of news distribution has changed dramatically since the dawn of the Internet Age. These days, the “Twitterverse” is usually the first on the scene with breaking news – albeit allegations at best in most scenarios – with credited online news organizations following shortly after with more legitimatized versions of the story. With these younger news sources delivering stories at what, at times, feels faster than the speed of light, broadcast television has had to find ways to adapt and keep up in the race to deliver news.
Television news broadcasting operates differently than that which is published on the vast online stratosphere. Needless to say, it requires a physical presence – journalists reporting from a newsroom or on the scene with a camera crew. Delivering a story isn’t always as simple as logging on and posting an article written from the comforts of one’s home. So when Chris Yates, an aviation analyst and regular talking head for stations like the BBC and CNN, was called on to correspond on breaking news stories, he’d often have to drive out to a station’s respective news center, or have a news truck sent out to him. That is, until he discovered BoinxTV.
“There’s traditionally been very little robust software available that would allow me to link into a live broadcast virtually. I checked out all manner of solutions but almost everything I tried turned out to be very low end and failed to deliver,” Chris said. “In late September I happened to get chatting with a couple of broadcast engineers about different ways to stream live video and audio from my home office to the broadcast screen, and they recommended checking out BoinxTV. I’ve been using it for several months now, and it’s proving to be very, very robust.”
Chris has worked in the broadcast and print industries for over 30 years. He cut his journalistic teeth with a decade-long stint in BBC radio, before switching to print media with the globally renowned defense publisher Jane’s Information Group as an editor and company spokesperson across radio and television. At the same time, he successfully ran his own aviation security, safety and terrorism consultancy business on the side, which went fully independent in 2009.
Chris has been across most of the major aviation-related stories for over a decade, including the Concorde disaster, 9/11, Air France 477, Underwear Bomber, Bin Laden death and many others. Although he knows his way around the radio or television studio like the back of his hand, Chris now has the luxury of broadcasting live from his own home office studio.
“Standard practice in the past was an alert call to request either a studio appearance or whereabouts for a satellite truck to attend,” Chris tells us. “Given we live and work in a 24-hour news cycle environment, it’s vital that mainstream broadcasters have access to informed comment around the clock. News organizations I’ve worked with across the globe for very many years know that whenever a major event is breaking within my areas of expertise, they can simply call for a talking head who is able to go live within minutes and provide extensive insight, thanks to the increased capability offered by BoinxTV.”
Being available for a live television broadcast would often require Chris to travel to the nearest studio at the first hint of trouble in the past. While the nearest BBC and ITV studios (both of which have reciprocal arrangements to feed other global broadcasters) are a mere 18 miles away, others, like Sky News, could be up to a 40-mile journey from his home office.
“Major news events that once consumed huge amounts of time are now responded to with a couple of mouse clicks, and at a fraction of the cost previously incurred in terms of personal travel. Not to mention studio booking fees and satellite uplink time incurred by others,” Chris says.
Given the immediacy of radio and television news nowadays, the majority of mainstream broadcasters are increasingly turning to telecommute solutions such as Skype to get on-air talent live as quickly as possible. Chris says that early tests with Skype demonstrated particular issues, such as out-of-sync audio and video, that could have a big impact on an effective performance in the live-to-air environment.
“With BoinxTV, I can bring audio and video together and have lip sync lock, thus making the stream look real, as opposed to something cobbled together at the last minute,” Chris comments. “I’m also really excited about the ability to do green or blue screen. This allows me to deliver a feed specific to whichever broadcaster I’m appearing on at the time, therefore maintaining appropriately targeted visuals.”
He adds, “BoinxTV is a very powerful piece of software with which I can do anything from virtual sets through picture in picture to standard lower thirds. Broadcasters I speak to regularly are extraordinarily astounded by the sound and video quality inbound to them and destined for live broadcast nationally and globally.”
In his office studio setup, Chris runs a primary quad core iMac workstation and dual core MacBook Pro, along with an iPad and a couple of iPhones. A Canon 3CCD camera, full digital audio, and color-corrected lighting enables live television appearances. Two 32-inch Toshiba monitors allow him to actively view live off-air scenes from the field, enabling him to appropriately react to an evolving story in real time as he broadcasts live. “Outbound feeds are achieved predominantly via Skype and delivered by standard or high-bandwidth broadband links. I typically feed out in standard definition, leaving broadcasters free to upscale to suit their own requirement at the other end,” Chris concludes.
Chris recently took to the air and clocked up 18 hours of solid television and radio broadcasting over a single day across CNN, BBC World, Al Jazeera, Sky News and multiple other domestic and international channels, aided in large part by BoinxTV software.
Now THAT’S something to Tweet loudly about.
by Megan - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - Permalink
BoinxTV is nominated for Best Webcast Platform at the Streaming Media European Readers' Choice Awards 2013. We couldn't be more excited to be included in a category full of some of the most talented and innovative companies around! Show your support and go vote for us here!
by Megan - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - Permalink
Boinx Software is on the lookout for an intern to help us manage a new Wiki page for BoinxTV, the TV truck – without the truck! This is a paid internship requiring about 10 hours per week. Though we are based in Germany and this is primarily a work-from-home type of job, our marketing team in Boston will assist in managing the internship. This means we are looking for a candidate based in the Boston area who would be available to meet in the Boston office periodically.
Responsibilities for the internship include, but are not limited to:
- Gathering a deep understanding of how BoinxTV works
- Creating and editing wiki entries for documenting app features using Markdown
- Creating and editing screenshots for the documentation
- Responding to customer comments and requests regarding the documentation
- Candidates must be currently enrolled in college and pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer sciences, broadcast technology, journalism, web design/media, IT, film/broadcast, technology, computer and information sciences, or a similar area of study
- Must speak English fluently
- Must be based in the Boston area
- Must be interested and engaged in video podcasting, Public Access TV or similar
- Must be Mac user and own a Mac capable of running OS X 10.8
Think you got what it takes?! Check out the full job posting here and send your cover letter and resume to the corresponding email address. Looking forward to hearing from you!