Examining WX Channel HD

twchd_logo.jpgJust a few observations about the Weather Channel’s new “Studio of the Future”:

  • The centerpiece of the set, the giant rear projection screen, isn’t being used effectively. When viewed from the anchor desk, the background is washed out and blurry. However, the flexibility of displaying panoramic views of American cities and landmarks does add a nice touch to the set (unlike MSNBC’s somewhat bizarre decision to constantly showcase only Rockefeller Plaza despite the fact it’s a national cable network).
  • The studio’s new key wall isn’t nearly as well lit as the previous studio’s — there is some noticeable green glow and harsh lines around talent.
  • Overall, the set isn’t even seen that much, which was also true in the old studios. Since the majority of weather forecasting is full-screen chroma key, WeatherPlus’ minimalistic set makes more sense.
  • “Abrams & Bettes” seemed to be originating from the old studios earlier this week, but this will likely change when the show goes HD June 16.

By the way, I have some mixed feelings about the Weather Channel HD logo. Using the vertical pipes is a unique way to integrate the “HD” into the logo — and a creative alternative to simply boxing the letters in a rectangle like other networks and television stations. However, perhaps the spacing could be a bit wider so the right half of the logo is a bit closer to the 16:9 shape.