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U.S. News Network Integrates Planar LED Video Wall Technology with its New Chicago Studio

Founded in 2008, Newsy is the leading cross-platform television news network for the next generation of news consumers. Its content is available on cable; on over-the-top services including Hulu, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Sling TV, and Pluto TV; and on connected television including Xumo. Newsy is also available via its mobile apps and at newsy.com.

With journalists across the country reporting for its 24-hour news channel, investigations and documentaries, Newsy delivers straight forward reporting without opinions, giving viewers the facts to make up their own minds. The network is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri and has offices in Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, Denver and Cincinnati.

In January of 2019, Newsy boosted its live programming with the launch of a live streaming division in Chicago, moving into a new 23,000-square-foot office with three studios. As part of its investment in studio technology, Newsy installed two Planar TVF Series LED video walls with a 1.8mm pixel pitch (TVF1.8) in one of the new studios. The installations include a 12-foot-wide, 5.5-foot-high video wall array (6x5) and a 6-foot-wide, 5.5-foot-high video wall array (3x5).

The Planar TVF Series is a family of fine pitch LED video wall displays featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio that allows every pixel pitch to exactly achieve popular resolutions including Full HD and 4K. Offering front serviceability and a creative stackable design, the Planar TVF Series eliminates cabinet-to-cabinet cabling and reduces the complexity of installation and vertical alignment. With a profile of less than three inches, and cabling clutter removed, the need for extra space around the video wall is dramatically reduced.

Improved Storytelling

The Planar TVF Series LED video walls were installed in Newsy's new Studio A, which is used for pre-taping production and where their lunchtime programming is shown live.

"Launching these studios was a leap forward for Newsy," said Newsy Chief of Staff Tony Brown. "We've never taped in studios before, so in some ways it's a new format for us. But really it's about upgrading our presentation and our storytelling."

The larger of the Planar video wall installations is currently used to create a virtual expansion of the Studio A newsroom. The other video wall—placed directly behind the main anchor position—displays the skyline of Chicago with the imagery changing according to the time of day.

"Our main, initial reason for bringing in these video walls was to add a sense of depth and space to the studio and to construct an environment that reflects our location here in Chicago," said Newsy Director of Production Ross Fitzpatrick. "Plenty of other newsrooms are being built with wall-to-wall LED screens. That's not what we wanted. Our intent is to be subtle and eloquent as we venture into this format."

Based on the size of Studio A and how Newsy wanted to integrate the video walls with the studio layout, Fitzpatrick said a front servicing model—which the Planar TVF Series provides—was essential. "We are familiar with that particular model and we knew it provided the pitch we wanted," he said.
"To date, everything with the video walls has been perfect—the color reproductions are great, and the image quality is fantastic."

In the future, Newsy anticipates introducing more of the features of the Planar video walls with their programming. "We are taking things slowly and plan on strategically using the video walls with our very specific Newsy way of telling stories."