On Monday, May 13, a Nexstar Media Group station serving Michigan’s second-largest market made a leap into the next generation.
A new news studio was inaugurated, and it brings WOOD-8 in Grand Rapids one step closer to bringing next-generation broadcasts of its newscasts to viewers.
With state-of-the-art equipment, WOOD journalists now have advanced storytelling tools, while viewers will eventually benefit from a crisper picture and improved audio.
A Nexstar team including WOOD staffers put the studio plans in play. The WOOD studio, thanks to their input, now features more than 200 LED video panels. Further, newscast producers gained the flexibility to work with the design team to develop graphics that fit the specific need of each story in a newscast. Thousands of LED color-changing lights are built into the background, bringing a “crisp and vibrant display” to WOOD-8.
Front and center on the set, as shared by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, is an 18-foot video wall featuring 176 video panels. This is used “to highlight the vast communities of viewers from the lake shore to Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.”
The new sets accompany WOOD-8’s 24-foot wide by 9-foot high video wall.
A significant part of the project involved removing the old studio lights and wiring. The new wiring and LED lighting gives the team the flexibility to control every light in the grid and provide balanced lighting for the anchors, reporters, meteorologists and guests in the studio.
The key to the visual display and lighting is a system called JControl, which was designed and built in-house by the team at the station. JControl allows directors to send animations and graphics to any or all of the studio displays with endless transition and layer capabilities.
The station also included a nod to its history with a large mural that proudly displays its various logos from the past 70 years.