25 years after giving Britain its first taste of 24-hour rolling news, Sky News has lost none of its appetite for innovation. Its news is available across a wide range of platforms and the Sky News headquarters in the UK is equipped with the latest technology. As is the studio of Sky Sports News HQ, which had its biggest ever revamp in 2014. Both studios feature large Barco LED-lit OVL video walls, procured and installed by Shooting Partners.
Barco all the way
In 2006, Barco equipped Sky News’s 7,500m2 main studio newsroom in London with a 14 x 3m LED video wall – a real first at the time. Just like the many other dedicated Barco solutions set up at the London-based News Centre, the video wall performed to Sky’s expectations. Yet, after more than eight years, it was time to replace the LED backdrop with new technology.
Sky News Arabia sets the tone
The Sky News team behind the Arabic Sky news station, which was launched in May 2012, chose cutting-edge technology to make the channel a success, appointing UK-based audiovisual expert Shooting Partners for the technical set- up. After numerous in-depth studio technology assessments, Shooting Partners installed a large Barco OverView OVL-708 video wall. The set-up inspired Jon Ben- nett, head of studio output at Sky News in London. He commissioned Shooting Partners to procure, provide and install a similar wall.
An immense canvas
“Jon Bennett wanted an immense canvas with minimal seams, a screen with a 2:1 aspect ratio and greater than 4K resolution,” explains Steve Jones, Managing Director at Shooting Partners. “We were certain that the OVL-708 would meet these requirements.” Ensuring a high level of redundancy and a maintenance- free operation, Barco’s OVL is the brightest LED-lit rear-projection cube on the market. Together with the Sky team, Shooting Partners installed an 8.4m x 4.2m OVL-708 wall at the Sky News studio. The result is very impressive both on screen and within the Sky newsroom.
The brightest possible canvas
Sky Sports News HQ chose a similar set-up for the new-look studio it inaugurated in August 2014. “The new studio would be twice the size of the previous one, with a huge video wall as its centerpiece,” Jones recalled. After a shoot-out with different manufacturers, Barco’s OVL re-confirmed that it was the best solution. “The 18m2 high-resolution, curved wall, which can be graphically split into differ- ent sections, provides the brightest possible canvas for our hi-res sports images,” says Mike Ruddell, Sky Sports Head of Technology.