Raycom’s North Carolina CBS affiliate debuts new news set from FX Design Group using both a hard set and a virtual set.
Raycom Media CBS affiliate WBTV Charlotte, N.C. (DMA 24) has a new multi-newsplex set that debuted yesterday, Feb. 2, and was created by FX Design Group.
“The set looks absolutely top notch, but the immense technology at our fingertips, including the Virtual Studio from Hybrid TV, enhances every opportunity for news and storytelling,” said Dennis Milligan, WBTV news director.
FX Senior Designer Kevin Vickers used architectural and design skills to create multiple areas for talent to present from that incorporated a range of technology, including a 4×6 NEC array controlled though TV One’s Corio Master Mini video system that serves as both their main backdrop and standing presentation area.
There is also an 80-inch monitor for reporters to use, as well as a 90-inch screen for the weather team that includes a working weather office that is flanked with six large 55-inch Sharp monitors and one 46-inch NEC for traffic. Additionally, Digital Video Group was the integration partner and provided all of the aforementioned showpiece monitors as well as 28 46-inch monitors.
“In blocking our first shows and test runs, we absolutely couldn’t find a bad shot,” said WBTV CSD John Rice. “When a designer incorporates that flexibility, you have a beautiful set, but the function is front and center.”
The set also includes color-changing LED lights that help mood-brand the shows and stories being told, giving them flexibility throughout the different broadcasts and special events. Delivering all of this in a circular environment allows the production team to shoot from anywhere in the studio without having to worry about large traveling distances for cameras while maintaining quality shots of the talent.
The station said it wanted to continue its trend of “embracing the latest technology by incorporating a Hybrid Virtual System. The environment needed to feel like an extension of their hard set and give them multiple positions for presentation. It uses a similar layout and materials, but also lends itself to invention and imagination in producing content beyond regular newscasts.”
Nick Simonette, WBTV regional group VP-GM, said: “In all my years in broadcasting this is the best looking and most functional set I’ve put on to date.”