Some people on television look the part. Others don’t quite. And the same goes for studio backdrops. Although the parameters are better known and more easily controlled for visualisation equipment, the differences in effect are often enormous. So what makes or breaks the star quality of a backdrop for broadcast studios?
Whether it is for news broadcasts or entertainment programmes, studio backdrops play a defining role in determining the look and feel of a show. The preferred technology for the backdrop is highly dependent on what the show aims to achieve as well as the capacity of the studio. Front projection is often discarded, especially for news broadcasts, as the shadow of the presenter may be cast on the screen. This has seen LCD video walls, consisting of multiple LCD display tiles, increasingly used as a backdrop. They are relatively easy to deploy, provide high-quality images and with their limited depth, they fit into just about any studio. A revolution among these LCD video walls, the Barco UniSee platform was launched to great market enthusiasm last year. It is quickly becoming a favourite for broadcasters around the world, ticking just about every box on the list of requirements for studio backdrops.
There are reasons for the popularity of the UniSee. Every television producer’s worst nightmare is a display panel (or an entire video wall) that breaks down during a live broadcast; it’s no wonder that reliability is the top priority for backdrops. And it’s no wonder Barco only uses high-quality components. Furthermore, just in case, we provide redundancy of all critical components – including the power supply and the input board. If one component were to break down, the other would automatically take over to ensure there is no downtime.
Reliability is nothing without excellent image quality. The images simply need to be utterly pristine – and free of any flickering – to optimally support the message and the presenter. Barco UniSee’s high brightness, which is easily adjustable, will meet the requirements of even the most demanding producers. Even in the unique lighting conditions of broadcast studios, the images still look bright and beautiful from any viewing angle. Unlike other LCD video walls, Barco UniSee has an extremely narrow inter-screen gap, creating a nearly seamless canvas for content visualisation. What’s more, the uniformity of each tile is the best in LCD video wall panels today. This greatly improves the viewing experience.
Keeps looking the part
The Sense X automatic calibration system is another must-have. It ensures consistency in the brightness and colour settings across the entire wall. Without this system, different modules often have a slightly different setting – which makes the wall look disturbingly out of balance. The automatic calibration system can be triggered manually or on a scheduled timing; e.g. run it every night at times when there are no recordings.
Additionally, the white point of the entire wall can be easily adjusted to accommodate the particular demands of multiple programmes. And last but not least, the video wall operates without fans and as such, without any of those noises that threaten to intrude on the broadcast environment.
These advantages have secured Barco UniSee’s a place on programmes around the world – whether wall mounted, floor-based, free-standing or in curved setup. And while there is great variation between these programmes, you can be sure that the backdrop will look the part.