Our take on WBBM-TV’s new streetside set

WBBM-TV debuted its new streetside studio with its switch to HD brodacasting, becoming the third station in the market to use a windowed set.

The new set, designed by PDG, features a working monitor wall as its camera center shot, something that isn’t seen very often but gives the set an active, high-tech feel, especially since all the monitors used have sleek black frames.

The monitor wall is situated in an alcove-like area that features two metallic walls that jut out at a 90-degree angle, creating a dramatic effect.

Similar sets to this one have been installed at various stations across the country, but WBBM-TV’s does boast some new features.

First, the large-screen monitors found on either side of the anchor desk are framed by a backlit orange border, a nice touch that softens the set up a bit.

In addition, the set’s sports center has several new elements, including an LED ticker, three plasmas that can be used for displaying various team and sports graphics and a sweeping duratran header that makes a splash in toss shots.

It is interesting to note that the weather center, because of the configuration of the studio, is a bit far away from the main anchor desk. However, its placement does allow on-air talent to been seen in front of the weather as it happens, something that will be particularly effective during heavy rain and snow storms.

Also in this area are metal framework filled in with translucent plexiglass and duratran graphics, giving the whole area an open feel that blends well with the window framework behind it.

A standup area that’s situated right up against the windows features a mobile plasma cart. This area also features a unique, interally-lit mesh covered column (a similar one is found in the weather center). It appears this may have been done to address a fairly common challange in streetside studio configurations: structural elements that can’t be moved.

This technique creates an excellent sense of depth with the help of dramatic lighting that illuminates the graphics mounted on the column surface. The mesh-like material adds a great textural element as well.

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HD, Local News, Set Design

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