CNN adds LED video walls to 'The Situation Room'

| by Bradley Cooper
CNN adds LED video walls to 'The Situation Room'

CNN recently upgraded its studio in Washington D.C. with three small pixel pitch LED displays installed by APG Displays, a division of Advanced, to act as video walls. The news organization renovated the studio during election season for the shows, "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer and "The Lead" with Jake Tapper, according to a press release.

"CNN's former LCD modular displays were difficult to shoot. They called on us to rectify the issue with high-resolution LED displays that would allow them to film creative, tight shots of the video wall itself," David Weatherhead, president of APG Displays, said in the release. "No other network in the world has a studio with 1.2-mm pixel pitch LED videowalls. CNN has truly set the standard for modern television."

CNN needed displays with higher resolutions that would look good under its camera angles. CNN in particular relies on both zoom shots and camera shifts as opposed to more simplistic techniques where the reporter stands in front of a video wall. CNN's older LCD displays appeared blurry and created bad color shift effects with the shifting camera. The organization thus selected three bezel free LED displays to correct this situation: one 108-inch diagonal 1.2-pixel pitch Leyard LED display; one 30-inch wide 1.6-mm pixel pitch Leyard LED display; and one 25-inch wide 1.2-mm pixel pitch Leyard LED display. 

"We presented CNN with the most innovative displays on the market, and Leyard instantly captured their attention," Weatherhead said. "Together, we proceeded to conduct a wide array of camera tests to ensure that Leyard's display technology looked nothing short of stunning on the screen."

APG Displays trained CNN's team to show them how to control the video walls' color balancing, calibration and brightness. Due to the rapid news cycle at CNN, APG often had to work on the system during broadcasts, which required a great deal of efficiency and quietness, according to the release.

APG also used a Christie Spyder X20 video processor so that CNN can split the 108-inch video wall in half with two different content streams for Studio A and Studio B, according to the release.

"Leyard's 1.2-mm and 1.6-mm pixel pitch displays allow CNN's production team to control the displays in a way that LCD products cannot," Weatherhead said. "Beyond the visually stunning element, Leyard's displays also offer the team an easy-to-use software so they can effortlessly control what appears on screen."

The company also integrated a power supply backup system to ensure constant operation during a malfunction or power outage.

"The last thing that CNN wants is for their graphic display to black out on air," Weatherhead said. "To prevent this from happening, we designed a backup system for every single component for each video wall. If one power supply dies, another power supply kicks in automatically with no delay."

Image provided by APG. Used with permission.

Topics: Display Technology, Hardware

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.

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