Turner Studios controls the airwaves with NEC Display Solutions LCD monitors.
- Facility: Turner Studios
- Location: Atlanta, Georgia
- Challenge: Space constraints, power consumption and high temperatures
- Solution: 40" NEC LCD4000 and 30" (29.5" VIS) LCD3000
- Date: Mid-2003
When you tune into a sports broadcast, the last thing that comes to mind is all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to bring you the perfect-angle replay of a homeplate collision or winning jump shot, or the graphic that gives you a fascinating, little-known statistic or keeps you on top of the score or leaderboard.
While you enjoy the game, sharing drinks and laughs with friends, a team of operators and technicians is tirelessly working to make sure you see everything you need to see.
The Field Operations team at Turner Studios, the full-service broadcast production division of Turner Entertainment Group, is faced with this task on a daily basis with the additional obstacle of broadcasting out of a 53-foot production truck. The Turner team, which covers multi-camera network events (98% of which are live sports, including away games for its hometown Atlanta Braves baseball, Hawks basketball and Thrashers hockey teams), employs two trucks that each travel nationwide and require up to 18 people to produce a single broadcast.
With its 40" NEC LCD4000 and 30" (29.5" VIS) LCD3000 displays, NEC Display Solutions* has helped Turner Studios equip its two production trucks with the latest in display technology, resolve a handful of issues and improve the way in which the team provides viewers with an exciting and enjoyable television experience.
Over the past few years, the Turner team sensed a growing need to update its trucks’ displays, which consisted of more than 200 10" CRTs. They needed to display more images in the same amount of physical space and easily change their picture format and aspect ratio.
The heat generated by the vast number of displays was not improving the team’s overall comfort while on the job, and the displays’ power consumption was damaging Turner’s cost-effectiveness. In addition, whatever display solution they chose would be faced with the conditions that come with being installed in a truck that is continually driving cross-country, including road vibration and varying temperatures.
After discussing all of their challenges, the Turner team decided to install large-format monitors controlled by multi-image display processors.
In mid-2003, after looking at projection monitors (“too space-consuming”) and plasmas (“too many drawbacks”), the Turner team tested an NEC LCD3000 and was impressed with its viewing angle and overall level of screen performance.
Turner Studios’ two television production trucks each feature three areas that utilize NEC LCD4000 or LCD3000 displays. In each of these areas, the units utilize multi-image processors to display up to 12 screens each.
The main production wall, which once housed 76 CRT monitors, now features 15 LCD3000s. The videotape room, which handles replays during broadcasting, uses 6 LCD4000s, while the video operator’s position employs 2 LCD4000s. “In using these monitors in this application, we have successfully demonstrated proof of concept for total CRT replacement in the production and tape rooms of our mobile units,” said Bob McGee, Turner Studios’ director of technical operations. “There has been unanimous approval voiced by our clients.”
NEC Display Solutions LCDs have met all of Turner’s challenges without breaking a sweat. “These monitors have been placed in the most hostile of environments outside of combat,” said McGee. “They are subjected to vibration, wild fluctuation of temperature and humidity, daily power cycling and dust, and the LCDs have not had a problem withstanding any of these obstacles.”
Further, the LCDs more than doubled the mobile unit’s viewable screen area, decreased power consumption and cooling costs, reduced user eyestrain, greatly improved the team’s productivity and comfort and resulted in a net weight savings savings of roughly 1300 pounds.