NBC Chicago continues evolution of its set with seamless video wall upgrade
WMAQ, the NBC O&O in Chicago, completed a series of studio updates that resulted in a complete switchover to seamless video walls in three areas of its studio that represent the latest step in the evolution of a set dating back to 2012.
The latest string of changes stem back to early 2018, when the station added a new standup area with blue and white walls and a large television screen perched on a console-style unit.
The new look mirrors the seamless background NBC’s O&O in Boston, WBTS, added when the station switched affiliations from Telemundo to NBC in January 2017. Neoti supplied and integrated the new LED display technology for WMAQ.
WNBC, which has since stopped using the set that originally inspired the five-vertical panel version at WMAQ, moved to a new set in October 2016 with a similar background, but with slimmed down columns.
The Chicago market includes ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox O&Os plus independent WGN all producing regular daily newscasts from sets that use large video walls:
- WLS, the ABC O&O, debuted a new set in September 2015 that features a video wall behind its anchor desk, but the panels feature bezels.
- In May 2017, WFLD, the Fox O&O in the market, moved to a new set that features a curved bezeled video wall.
- Also in May 2017, the city’s independent station WGN, which produces large blocks of morning, midday and evening newscasts, switched to a new set with a 3×3 bezeled video wall camera center behind the anchors and two seamless, lower resolution panels on either side.
- WBBM, the CBS O&O in the second city, moved into a new studio in September 2017 that features two bezeled video walls.
While WMAQ was unique in the market using a vertically mounted video wall behind home base, this update makes it the first station in the Chicago market to use high resolution, seamless LED video walls on its set.
By eliminating the metal columns strategically placed to “hide” the seams of the video panels the new look is cleaner and also eliminates the annoying reflections, which often include bright green from the studio’s chroma key wall, that appeared behind the anchors.
So far the station has continued to use cityscape video feeds behind the anchors which are frequently used on WGN.
WLS occasionally uses the approach and WBBM previously did as well.