KXAN set upgrade leverages video technology, warm design elements

Nexstar’s KXAN in Austin, Texas, has debuted a new set that smartly leverages various formats of on-set video panels to give the station a flexible, brandable news environment.

The set, from FX Design Group, features a modular anchor desk created from a mix of glass, wood and metallic elements. The far camera left and camera right segments, which feature clear bases with metallic gray banding, can be wheeled away to make the desk more compact while also doubling as lectern-style pods for talent and even used for special programming such as the recent Austin mayoral debate. 

The anchor area background is outfitted with the backdrop of a window created from a mix of displays, creating a massive video wall, with Digital Video Group integrating the various on-set technology.

A banner-style LED from Neoti is used above the anchor area, serving as a way for the station to bring its branding to the space, including for standalone programming such as its politics show “State of Texas.” 

Below this LED are four vertically-mounted Philips 86″ displays grouped in two sets of two and trimmed out to resemble windows. The array allows the station to showcase different cityscapes based on time of day or swap them out for topical or branding looks, with Datapath handling video processing. 

Meanwhile, in between these panels is a seamless Neoti 1.8mm LED pillar, roughly the same width as the 1.5mm LED segment on the anchor desk front, that extends from the floor to the grid.


This portion is also positioned directly behind the anchor two shot and allows the station to display branded and topical graphics between the anchors without pesky bezel lines interrupting the imagery. 

Not only does this blend of seamless and vertical panels bring a sense of depth to the main anchor background, but it also allows less pricey technology to fill in the far, less prominent parts of the wall. Of course, this also means that the crisper, uninterrupted video wall ends up front and center between the anchors.

It can also be used as primary background for single anchor shows or segments, with the talent sitting off-center and the graphics on the video wall over his or her shoulder.

The bulk of the anchor area wall is framed out with an internally lit border, while above the 2.5mm LED ribbon are additional 43″ video panels, installed horizontally in this case, that simulate transom windows above the ones below.

The center seamless LED is typically emblazoned with a larger version of the station’s logo that is visible in wide anchor shots. This layered video wall approach has become a hallmark of recent Nexstar sets, mixing a large vertical array with banners to convey branding for the newscast daypart or story.

Meanwhile, the studio also includes a working weather center positioned perpendicular to a freestanding seamless video wall.

This layout allows the station to use this significant chunk of seamless 1.5mm LED as both a background for weather and for other standups. 

In select cases, the corner of the U-shaped weather presentation desk is visible in standups and there is also the option for talent to start at the desk and then turn and walk into a secondary video wall shot that’s more like a chroma key setup.

The video wall itself is capped off with an additional LED ribbon, which, again, serves as a useful tool to bring in weather, news or franchise branding to the space depending on what it’s being used for.

The weather center mostly sits behind an open wall created with gray framework, frosted panels and a wood header over the doorless passage between the two spaces. Part of this wall features a 2×4 Philips array that can be used to present two separate images or graphics, with TVOne Corio processing the video. 


Behind the divider is a collection of workspaces and wall-mounted panels for displaying weather graphics and other feeds.

The updated studio also includes an additional 3×3 video wall camera left, which is commonly used for standups, including ones with the option for talent to walk over to the anchor desk with a coordinated camera move.

The station has also used this array (as well as the seamless one near weather) in a “video on video” format, including having talent toss to a VSOT. 

Additional elements include a wall with three displays that can rotate and track to form a variety of arrangements. This area, along with the rest of the set design, mix stacked stone and concrete walls with lit textural panels to add depth.

Surfaces are also finished with backlit horizontal slats, gray finishes with integrated accent lighting and bold white, horizontal internally lit segments along the floor and header that take cues from the anchor wall’s large frame.

The studio includes Ross Video Cambots with CueScript for prompting.