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How 69News WFMZ Studio Stretches Graphics Across Multiple Video Wall Displays

Published: April 4, 2018
69News WFMX's new video walls are built around a VuScape Videowall Controller. Photo courtesy of NewscastStudio.

Ever wonder how TV broadcast studios get their images to display continuously across multiple video wall displays? An Allentown, Pa.-based station wanted that effect for its own 69News WFMZ Studio, and it turned to integrator Advanced and creative firm Devlin Design Group to design a solution that stretches graphics across multiple displays – without compromising image quality.

[related] “Our job was to build an AV infrastructure that has no limitations on configuring content across a range of video wall displays from multiple manufacturers,” says Advanced executive VP Mark McPherson.

“We built a videowall system that successfully allows WFMZ to work with an infinite number of display layouts while using a 4K signal. Now, WFMZ is not limited by signal bandwidth in any capacity.”

The entire video wall is built around a VuScape Videowall Controller, which allows the production team to seamlessly configure how display signals are distributed, according to an Advanced press release.

The video wall itself is a 6-foot by 3-foot NEC Ultra Narrow Bezel Display which is flanked by several smaller displays, including LCD monitors from Sharp and LG.

“In order for the flexible content manipulation to work, all video wall displays have to work in portrait or landscape mode,” says McPherson.

“The Advanced and Devlin Design Group technical teams designed the monitors so that they will toggle between the two modes on-the-fly – an element that is very unique to WFMZ’s broadcast studio.”

69News WFMZ, stretch graphics, video wall displays, Devlin Design Group

Image courtesy of NewscastStudio

Breaking News without Breaking Up Content

WFMZ’s production staff needed to be able to easily configure the content across multiple displays. As such, VuScape’s software includes a “birds-eye” layout representation of all of the monitors connected to the system.

According to the press release, producers can “drag and drop” content around to fit the best way across multiple screens.

“This feature is an enormous benefit for producers responsible for distributing content on set,” McPherson says.

“It allows them to prepare the scenes before they go into production, which is unprecedented, and it enables them to test out how the image will appear before they go ahead with that configuration.”

According to Advanced VP of engineering Kevin Linton, the most challenging aspect of the installation process involved the integration of several of the older technological components on set with the newer AV.

Particularly, 69News WFMZ wanted to control all presets and videowall layouts from their older pre-existing production switch.

69News WFMZ, stretch graphics, video wall displays, Devlin Design Group

Image courtesy of NewscastStudio

For seamless control, Advanced had to integrate it with the ROSS overdrive system, a network-based control application.

“We had to draft a module to integrate their production switch with ROSS and, in turn, control the videowall processor,” Linton says.

“Although it was a challenge, we were ultimately successful in making it work. This is the first time we were able to control the VuScape processor from a production switch.”

In the end, Advanced and Devlin Design Group call the WFMZ one of the most innovative videowall display systems in the broadcast industry.

“The entire infrastructure is centered around distributing the highest quality graphics throughout the studio,” McPherson says.

“We’re proud to provide 69News WFMZ with cutting-edge video integration that is extremely innovative but is still hassle-free for staffers.”

69News WFMZ, stretch graphics, video wall displays, Devlin Design Group

Image courtesy of NewscastStudio

Posted in: Projects

Tagged with: Advanced, Broadcast, VuScape

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