New KSL-TV news set presents design challenges

KSL-TV, the Bonneville International-owned NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, recently decided to upgrade the look of its local newscasts by deploying a new news set design, replacing fixed, motionless set backgrounds, and changing its branding and logos.

"We did not want to go with a traditional local news feel," said Tanya Vea, executive VP for KSL-TV news. "We think we're bigger than that. We think we're better than that."

To make this desire real, the station turned to Broadcast Design International, a full-service design firm near San Diego, for support in the development and installation process. According to BDI senior design representative George Edelmann, to implement KSL-TV’s vision for the project, his company needed to employ a powerful processor.

"In order to create KSL-TV's desired news set, BDI needed a processor that would handle the multiple aspect ratios of these different configurations using various video sources from computer animation to live HD video, and tvONE's C3-540 CORIOmaster was just the solution," he said.

With the help of tvONE, BDI configured and installed the C3-540 CORIOmaster to power nine 60in Salitek MPDP60 plasma displays in a 3 x 3 configuration and two 42in Orion PDP plasma displays in the face of the anchor desk. Along with the high-resolution monitors, BDI had two configurations of low-res LED displays. One is a 15 x 3 “L-shaped” wall that wraps around an oblique corner angle and the other is a 6 x 5 panel wall.

At first, BDI thought it would be a challenge to control images and video in an odd aspect ratio in the LED wall, but it quickly found otherwise.

"The CORIOmaster worked flawlessly to handle an ‘L-shaped’ wall that was approximately 28ft wide by 5ft tall and another 11ft wide by 9.5ft tall," said Edelmann.

"CORIOmaster did better than expected in handling the various video displays in different aspect ratios while using various types of sources all in HD. Setup and operation was easy and took half the time we expected,” he added.