HD Broadcasters Eyeing Best Colors

The transition to 1080i or 720p for local news almost always necessitates remodeling old sets or starting from scratch and devising entirely new ones. (Besides building for a wider aspect ratio, old analog-era sets can look cheap and shabby in HD). A big part of the research for any new set is color schemes.

When WCVB-TV in Boston went HD with its local news, it had to decide whether to merely build an HD version of its old set using its same theme colors (blue and red), or take fuller advantage of HD’s penchant for reproduction and detail and infuse some other colors into the mix.

Russ Nelligan, WCVB creative services director, said he didn’t want to “overwhelm people with the visuals and sounds. We wanted to have a contemporary look, but we didn’t want to have an old Technicolor and impersonal look, as well.” In the end, his staff went with the traditional reds and blues--as well as gold--that were familiar to their viewers, according to the Boston Globe.

The goal is to use colors on the set and in graphics that attract new viewers but not turn off the loyal ones. The Globe said psychologists who study the effects of color on people’s perceptions say certain colors can affect the presentation of a news show in very different ways because the hues tend to send subliminal messages to viewers.