Some people look good on TV, others don’t. And the same goes for video walls. That is why television studios have some very specific requirements for their backdrops. So which of the three dominant technologies – direct view LED, LCD and rear-projection cubes (RPCs) – best answer these requirements? In this article, a follow-up to the one on control rooms and corporate lobbies, we highlight the most important parameters.
In many cases, content in television studios is spread over the complete backdrop. Gaps between the individual panels, creating a black raster pattern, is therefore undesirable. LED is the absolute champion in this field, as this technology is completely seamless. Content can be spread over a large backdrop canvas without any interruption, making LED a preferred technology for many television studios.
RPCs have a thin gap between individual cubes, creating a thin raster which is visible when the camera is filming in close to the backdrop. Most LCD video walls have a bezel surrounding each panel to keep the electronics in place, which creates a larger inter-screen gap. Barco UniSee, however, was developed to work without a real bezel, making it the LCD video wall with the smallest inter-screen gap in the market (see image).
Another important parameter is the angle under which the backdrop is shot. For news programs, there are a limited number of static angles which are typically quite frontal. Other shows use mobile camera positions that can film the backdrop from a sharp angle. This makes the viewing angle an essential part of the consideration. LCD video walls have an exceptional performance in this field. Both horizontal and vertical viewing angles are very good, which gives the camera crew close to total positioning freedom. Direct view LED gains high scores as well, especially for horizontal viewing angles (which is in many cases the most important direction), and retains its brightness best of all technologies. Rear-projection cubes are best used for static setups, mainly for news studios.