WKBN-TV Launch New Set Using Ross Virtual Solutions

WKBN-TV Uses Groundbreaking Approach to Design

WKBN-TV, the Media General owned CBS affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio, recently launched its groundbreaking approach of presenting news programming with Ross Video’s Virtual Solutions. The design process began in March 2014 and included virtual and augmented reality pieces mixed with real elements to create a layout that is both visually appealing and functional.

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WKBN’s existing Ross equipment made their decision to go further with Ross Virtual Solutions very easy. Previously running with a Ross Synergy switcher, OverDrive automation and three XPression graphic engines, WKBN invested in three more XPression systems and UX Virtual Control Software to create the virtual space for each camera, as well as three Furio VR-One robotic heads; one with a Furio Robo Dolly and 6 meters of track.

“WKBN’s goal was to take a fresh look at studio design by integrating the best features of traditional physical sets along with the unique new storytelling features available through augmented reality and virtual sets,” says, Kathryn Mosher-Boule, Manager for On-Air Image and Design for Media General. “Our team worked closely with Studio A Designs and the Ross Virtual Solutions to create the most innovative and practical new set design possible today."

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"By integrating virtual elements into the design of their new set, WKBN has created a seamless blend of virtual computer-generated and practical elements,” says Chris Mollomo, Virtual Design Manager for Ross Video. "It’s a cutting-edge approach and one that I expect we will see more stations adopt in the near future.”

Anthony Ferguson of Studio A Designs, and newly formed Z Space Creative, designed a unique practical set with Augmented Reality and Virtual Set elements integrated into the design. Working closely with Ross Video’s Virtual Solutions design team, Anthony determined what could be done with Augmented Reality and Virtual Sets and crafted his final design using AR / VS in ways that had never been considered before.

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“We are extremely pleased to be able to work closely with WKBN on the development of their new state-of-the-art virtual studio from the design phase to its launch on-air,” says Dave Larson, General Manager, Ross Virtual Solutions. “The Media General team has done a great job with their forward-looking approach and we believe they are a great example of how studios are evolving to support better storytelling while providing additional revenue opportunities and lower cost studio design and operating costs, such as AR and VS enabling the creation of in-show advertising and branding.”

About WKBN:
For more than 60 years WKBN-TV, the local CBS affiliate, has been at the forefront of the television industry in Youngstown, Ohio.  The first television station in Youngstown, WKBN has continued its tradition today being a local leader in the digital medium as the first in the local market to launch mobile apps on devices and tablets.

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About Z Space Creative:
Headed by Anthony Ferguson and Glenn Anderson, Z Space Creative focuses on set design and production for the broadcast industry, offering creatively impactful designs and a collaborative approach.

About Ross Video
Passionate about live production, Ross Video designs, manufactures and delivers dependable technology and services that power exceptional live video productions seen by billions of viewers around the world every day. Ross Video’s goal is to make it easy for customers to create compelling news, weather and sports broadcasts, engaging material for sports stadium screens, legislative assemblies, entertainment shows and rock concerts, and inspiring content for houses of worship. 
Relentlessly innovating, Ross Video delivers the world’s widest range of products and services for augmented reality and virtual sets, mobile live-event solutions, real-time motion graphics, robotic camera systems, social-media management, production switchers, routers, infrastructure products, video servers, newsroom systems, terminal equipment and more.
Ross products and services are designed to offer the best system integration and unmatched customer choice by both working together seamlessly and integrating tightly with third-party solutions. 
Ross Video has offices around the world, and provides outstanding, free-for-life telephone support staffed by technical experts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year—even for products bought on eBay. Ross employees are authorized to rent helicopters when necessary.

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