SWR debuts new virtual set for Rhineland-Palatinate edition

SWR, the public broadcaster of the Rhineland-Palatinate state in Germany, has debuted a new virtual set for its news programming.

“With the clear design, SWR Aktuell Rheinland-Pfalz will not only be very recognizable on television, but also on the various platforms,” said Ulla Fiebig of SWR.

“Modern television news also needs an environment that reflects this optically,” said Michael Ellermann, editor-in-chief of SWR Aktuell.

“Our new studio finally gives us the space to present the information of the day better and more clearly. Of course, the most important thing for us is the reliable news offers from Rhineland-Palatinate, but the packaging also has to be right. This is a further step for SWR television towards a contemporary range of information, service and entertainment. Our studio is now brighter, more transparent and appears much tidier.”

Previously, SWR used a virtual set with dark wood flooring and a cityscape view, with little in terms of architecture outside of the dramatic anchor desk. 

The virtual set of SWR Aktuell.

At the center of the revised Studio E in Mainz is a bright orange anchor table with a tapered base – reminiscent of an upside-down “A,” the network’s news icon.

“Many people meanwhile associate SWR Aktuell, its characteristic A, its petrol color world and red highlight bar, with a clear anchor for trustworthy information,” said Werner Pastula, head of brand management and design at SWR.


“In our redesign, we concentrated on these elements, strengthened them and made sure that SWR Aktuell – no matter on which platform – is unmistakably SWR Aktuell. In the new studio, this is ideally implemented in connection with our great presenters.”

Concrete texture accents the top of the table, mirroring the floor design. Concentric circles ring the anchor table transitioning to the virtual environment.

From these arcing lines, curved virtual video displays can appear with uplit, gently frosted footers.

Virtual portrait displays can also appear for debriefs with reporters and to layer in additional information for a story.

SWR notes that the design focuses the viewer’s attention on the story being presented and works across platforms, creating an immediately recognizable link to the broadcaster.

The new studio was designed in collaboration with SWR by Buero Cremers with Alpenblick developing the graphic and motion design inside the space. V-sion handled the integration of the social studio with Vizrt’s Viz Virtual Studio solution.

“Our main goal was to create a compact and flexible news space with all essential screen formats being visually within reach of the central desk. So all news content can be presented in a dynamic and direct way allowing a multitude of free moderation positions,” noted Frank Cremers about the design concept. 

Studio E includes a three camera Ross Furio floor-mounted camera system with Sony cameras and Autoscript prompters. 

The design will roll out later this year to SWR’s bureau in Stuttgart, Germany after the studio is upgraded with a new robotic camera system.