BrightSign Delivers Background Content in Real Time for CNBC

BrightSign was selected by CNBC to complete an integral component of its recent studio overhaul. The global leader in business news recently undertook a project to increase the flexibility of content delivery to screens immediately behind the news desk, and BrightSign figured prominently in the solution that was installed in late 2013.

“We’ve been looking at ways to streamline how we select and display content on the screens that serve as a backdrop to our on-air anchors and reporters,” said Lou Visconti, production technology specialist, CNBC. “Once I saw BrightSign’s app in action, I was excited to harness the app’s functionality to help us better manage and display background content.”

The monitors located behind the anchor desks at CNBC were underutilized, typically relegated to looping background content that wasn’t nearly as timely as the network’s real-time news programming. BrightSign developed a custom web page for CNBC to fully utilize these background monitors by offering greater control of the content being fed to the monitors, and giving staff the ability to switch content sources in real time to better reflect breaking news as it develops.

Key Facts

Industry: Broadcast television

Location: Headquartered in New Jersey, with studios in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles

Integrator: In-house

Project: CNBC Studio Digital Signage Installation

Installation

  • A total of four BrightSign HD220 solid-state digital signage players drive 12 monitors in each studio
  • The majority of monitors are located behind the anchor desk; other monitors are distributed at other points within the studio
  • Custom web page developed by BrightSign controls content delivery
  • Custom web page is accessed via a tablet and a PC, both located within easy reach of CNBC staff
  • The BrightSign solution is currently deployed in two New York studios and one Chicago studio, with plans to implement in Los Angeles

Challenges

  • Because the previous solution was DVD-based, it was impossible to toggle between content sources without switching between physical media
  • The control room ultimately determines camera angles and programming decisions, making and implementing decisions in real time; however the monitors behind the anchor desk required manual intervention and, as a result, were underutilized
  • Studio is in use 14 hours per day, with extended hours common when news is breaking
  • Previous solution made it impossible to synchronize content across the wall of monitors
  • Production staff are typically given a 20-30 second warning before going live – this requires the ability to quickly select content for display on background monitors
  • Older, DVD-based content delivery model underutilized background screens and resulted in “stale” content looping for extended periods

The Solution

  • BrightSign custom web page displays on a centrally located tablet which serves as a “remote control center” used to toggle between content sources
  • Staff on the studio floor now control background monitors, freeing the control room to focus on critical programing decisions
  • BrightSign’s solid-state digital signage players operate with virtually zero downtime, withstanding the rigors of the studio’s extended operational hours
  • BrightSign’s players enable content to be synchronized seamlessly

Benefits

  • BrightSign’s players deliver virtually zero downtime, all but eliminating the need for troubleshooting and maintenance over the course of the America’s Cup
  • Unobtrusive hardware is hidden from sight for a clean presentation that highlights the sleek displays and screens within the hospitality center
  • Very complex deployment with conventional HD displays and projector-driven screens is simplified for control by whomever is staffing the hospitality center at any given time