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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » ABC News division finally gets fully contiguous display screen. (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: ABC News division finally gets fully contiguous display screen.
Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
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 - posted 09-05-2018 12:22 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For the longest time I noticed that ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live was using a remarkable big LED display screen as the background of the set. It look like it's about the whole width of the stage and at least a 10ft, maybe as much as 15ft high. Then I watch the ABC World News Tonight with David Muir and it is painfully obvious that, gee, ABC's news division does not merit a non-segmented display -- news gets the older style multiple panel display where you can see lines between the panels. Whole thing looks to be the about as big as the Kimmel show's display, but not that same high tech, lines-free display.

I thought, come on ABC, why are you dissing your news division so?! Well, happy to report, as of about a mouth ago, ABC's World News Tonight got themselves a spanking new, full contiguous background display (Samsung, possibly?) Very spiffy. Only trouble is, they haven't yet reshot the opening and closing credits which still show the ABC graphic against a shot of the set that has the old segmented display screen. Wonder how long it is going to take them to fix that?

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Mark Ogden
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From: Little Falls, N.J.
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 - posted 09-05-2018 08:43 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They have the same one we have, made by D3 Displays. It's still a segmented modular display but one that displays edge to edge on each cube, so the join lines are more or less invisible. God help you when one of the bottom cubes dies, you're looking at an all morning job to swap it out.

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 09-05-2018 08:49 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow, Mark -- That is pretty damn impressive. But I bet when all those fans get going, it must be more than a bit noisy, yes? I was thinking of getting one for my living room...as soon as those lottery numbers come in for me.

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Martin McCaffery
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 - posted 09-05-2018 09:00 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The analog school clock is what really makes it special [Wink]

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Mark Ogden
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From: Little Falls, N.J.
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 - posted 09-05-2018 09:41 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Temperature control on this thing is kind of a PITA. The fans are speed controllable and we keep them on "low" because there are live mics just a few feet away. They also like to use bright white graphics which drive the heat up. We wound up going out to Bed Bath & Beyond and buying a bunch of small Vornado fans which we lined up at the top of the display pointing upward, which helped draw the heat up and out while staying relatively quiet. You still have to keep watching the temperature display though.

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As far as the clock goes, the stagehands like to hide back there during the show. They haven't gotten into the digital era yet. [Wink]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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 - posted 09-05-2018 10:23 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A bunch of companies manufacture (or really just sell) these kinds of high resolution LED displays. I personally prefer American-based companies like Daktronics and Watchfire. Both have been around for many years (Dak is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year), they have American-based manufacturing plants and use better quality components in their products. There's lots of cheaper options out there. But the cheap up-front cost can be more than offset by lots of service issues on the back end. Daktronics makes very dependable stuff. That's not to knock D3 by the way.

LED technology has made big strides over the past decade. Previously full color "jumbotron" LED displays required each pixel to be rendered by a cluster of separate Red, Green and Blue LEDs. Now there's one piece 3-in-1 SMD LEDs which have the RGB operation in what looks like a single bulb. That allows the pitch between pixels to get far tighter, and dramatically increase resolution. Bigger outdoor LED boards still often use the clusters of separate RGB LEDs for the brightness advantage.

The highest resolution boards available currently squeeze down to a pitch of 1.2mm between pixel centers. The close up photo of the D3 display Mark showed looks like the pitch could be between 1.2mm and 1.6mm between pixel centers. LED displays for TV production studios have to be as high resolution as the budget will allow. A coarse pixel grid will yield moire-city when shot with a video camera. Flicker used to be a problem with LED displays and signs. Current SMD LED technology will allow refresh rates up to 2500Hz -way beyond the normal frame rates of video cameras. Available color gamut is more broad than any video standard. The overkill on that is done in part to allow fine adjustments to color on new replacement LED tiles when one board goes bad. As these displays age they will still lose brightness over time. You don't want new tiles being noticeably brighter than the others.

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Scott Norwood
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 - posted 09-05-2018 10:57 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So, what does keep the brightness and contrast consistent on these when individual tiles are replaced? Is it handled by software, or does someone have to manually adjust the thing? I have wondered about this in relation to the big LED scoreboards that are used at sporting events--they are made up of small tiles, yet they look like a single piece when viewed from a normal distance. Clearly someone or something is able to compensate for age differences and manufacturing tolerances.

Clearly things have come a long way from CRT "video walls" in the 1980s.

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Mark Ogden
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 - posted 09-05-2018 11:19 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know about stadium displays, but the tiles in the wall above are individually addressable for brightness and are to some extant color correctable. You haul out a laptop with the program on it and have at it while looking at the output of a studio camera that's pointing at the whole wall, because eyeballing gets you close but not exact. Fortunately, they don't drift a lot. The overall SDI video feed is then on a color corrector of its own, which is why it looks pink in the shot above; the studio lighting is about 2800K so we make the wall redish to the naked eye so that it appears white on camera.

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Frank Cox
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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
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 - posted 09-05-2018 12:00 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I remember the TV weatherman standing in front of a map drawn on a felt board with cut-outs of suns and clouds and lightning bolts in his hand, going through the weather forecast patter and pasting each element to the board as he went along.

I bet the felt cost a bit less than that display wall. [Smile]

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 09-05-2018 12:25 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I remember the weatherman when I was a kid, he would write the temps on the map with a felt-tip marker as he went along.

Out of curiosity I recently inquired into changing the reader-board areas of our marquee to electronic signs - they told me it would be about $20k per side, which makes the old way of paying a kid to do the job sound pretty good.

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Frank Cox
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 - posted 09-05-2018 01:03 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't have outside signs. The idea of chipping ice out of the tracks at 11pm in -40 with a wind just doesn't thrill me, so I never bothered. I just put the posters in the front windows with a "Now Playing at whatever time" sign over them and people can read that. And I can change them without having to open the door.

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Bobby Henderson
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 - posted 09-05-2018 01:35 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The cost for outdoor LED signs varies quite a lot based on the physical size of the cabinet and the pixel pitch of the display. The cost also varies a lot between brands; you'll pay more for a display from a reputable brand like Daktronics. The upshot is the higher quality display will look better, have a longer life span and not require as many service visits from the sign company.

Many businesses don't really need a LED sign, but they get them anyway since they're "digital" and "high tech." They think they're going to attract more attention with the display. But full color LED signs are common enough that it now takes one pretty big and high in resolution to turn any heads. If a business operator is going to invest in a LED sign he needs to be able to put engaging, good looking content on the display. The content must be appropriately legible to who is viewing it (often people driving vehicles). That requires spending enough to hit a certain size factor and resolution factor. A modest-size LED sign with ho-hum content on it is a waste of money. Instead of blowing a serious chunk of money on an LED display the business operator would be better off using that money to install a better primary sign.

So many signs are ordinary rectangular boxes with little, if any personality. No neon or anything like that. It doesn't do much better for a business to blow its sign budget on a LED display and then place a small, ordinary rectangle sign box on top of it. I think the cheap-ness of signs in general has helped inspire a wave of restrictive anti-signs ordinances in many towns and suburbs. Edmond, Oklahoma banned LED displays in its latest sign ordinance change.

The Internet, proliferation of mobile devices and online ticket ordering has made theater marquees with changeable copy lettering an outdated thing. But the theaters still need outdoor signs of some type, just to get the brand and theater name out there.

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Mike Blakesley
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In our travels we occasionally see old theaters that are operating, but the marquee is mostly burned out, or the plexi is full of holes, or whatever, and it says "Call 123-4567 for showtimes" or "See Theatrename.com for info" or stuff like that. I saw one where they just hung a small digital LED display on their marquee and left the rest blank. I couldn't handle that...the marquee is just too important. It is our #1 most effective advertising by far. It's a high priority for me (not to mention a challenge) to keep it looking good and 100% operational.

I guess a traditional marquee is kind of passe in this age of theaters in malls and such, but I'm old fashioned like that ... if my theater burned down and we built a new one, I'd still want to put a marquee on it.

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 09-05-2018 06:43 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah yes, Mike, old-school...nothing wrong with that. We had one of the very first computer controlled marquee with incandescent bulbs the size of night light -- not exactly high resolution. It could do 2 lines or 1 line of text. It had about 8 font styles, most of which looked like crap so in reality, maybe 2 or 3 useful ones. There were something like a dozen text animations, again, not all of them very useful but it did have a nice travel left to right like the original news sign across from the NYTimes building in Times Square (used in a brilliant sequence in GODSPELL, here: marquee sequence at 2:15 ).

But what I really liked were the zooms in & out and the horizontal and vertical flips and the wipes. I was great being able to make them take on the feel of the text animation style of the old movie trailers (I really miss those). The sign, BTW was made by a company called Translux, which, I always wondered if it was in any way, possibly in some distant corporate migration, part of or an outgrowth of the company that ran the Translux Cinemas in NYC
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The wing above which included two beautiful theatres was closed about a year when this picture was taken -- hence the overgrown trees -- WEST SIDE STORY was playing in the big theatre in the remaining wing.

Alas, the south wing in the complex with two theatres and the Performing Arts offices in our complex were demolished and with them that workhorse sign which served us well for 30+ years (that's a LOT of bulbs and bulb replacements).

The very badly mismanaged construction of the new wing (it was supposed to open in 2014...yes, 2014) was to have a new much smaller LED sign than the old one, but, ah me, all we have left of that item are the brackets on the wall, all because incredible of budget mismanagement and gross incompetence. Many things got cut, like counter-tops for the mixing and lighting consoles in the control rooms and equipment...a box office with no computers or phones...A/C control in the booths, keys for the doors...lights in one room wired to switches in a room on a different floor (I kid you not).

And today, they came to the conclusion that they have no budget for staff salaries and so they just fired, not the administrators who botched this debacle, but the entire Performing Arts Staff. There is no one left to run the new 100 million dollar building.

You know the saying, "the handwriting is on the wall"? Well, here it's "the marquee sign is NOT on the wall."

https://www.brooklyncenter.org

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Jim Cassedy
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 - posted 09-05-2018 09:06 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ABC still has a news division?

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