‘SportsCenter’ adds 38 million pixels in Studio X upgrade


“SportsCenter” has launched the first element of a multi-phase upgrade to its Studio X home, aimed at modernizing technology and opening up new avenues for storytelling.

In total, Studio X has been upgraded with nearly 38 million pixels of new LED display technology.

The program’s current studio was launched alongside the opening of Digital Center 2 on ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut campus in 2014. With five studios and six control rooms, Digital Center 2 is home to many of the network’s flagship properties , but some of the technology that was state-of-the-art eight years ago has evolved considerably today.

“It’s been eight years and it’s time for something new and fresh, but we’re not totally ditching the look. It will definitely feel new, but it won’t feel foreign,” said Noubar Stone, Senior Director studio and lighting design at ESPN.

In the first phase of updates, which began the summer following the NBA playoffs, ESPN opted to add a new anchor office and replace the studio’s north wall, which previously housed a unique mosaic of screens at different depths.

“The technology was basically nearing its end of life,” Stone said. “The monitors were end of life and the system we were using to power the monitors was also end of life, and there was no obvious replacement for either.”

The north wall being dismantled in Studio X. Photo courtesy of ESPN.

“LED technology has improved so much…that it’s both economical and in terms of resolution, it really is the way to go.”


The new North LED video wall is nearly 48 feet long – spanning the space previously occupied by individual screens and then some – with the LED extending almost to the grid at 17 feet high, making it the largest screen on ESPN’s campus.

The new wall uses 1.9mm pixel pitch COB LEDs supplied and installed by AV Design Services.

“The monitors were pretty cool…but it became problematic over the years. You couldn’t shoot them. You couldn’t conduct an interview or something with them, so it became more of a part of background,” Stone said.

“The beauty of LED technology, anything you can put in it, you can put in it,” Stone added, noting that “SportsCenter” will use a variety of video wall graphics, from virtual set extensions to live shots. live through his parts of the day.

Two overhead vertical displays flanking the wall have also been updated, with new LEDs and scenic surrounds made by Mystic Scenic Studios. The new pieces, which resemble the original design, feature LED screens measuring 13 feet tall.

The space is connected by a 2.6mm floor LED – 41 feet wide and nearly 17 feet deep – which can be used in combination with the other screens as both a surface on which talent can stand and as an anchor desktop background element. It can also be used with existing augmented reality technology.

The Studio X previously had a small floor LED under the anchor desk, as well as integrated floor lighting throughout the studio. As part of the upgrade, the existing studio floor was raised and new flooring was applied and leveled.

“It was much more efficient to just lay the new floor over it,” Stone added. “We kind of knew that would be the big challenge.”

The North Wall replaces the Press Room backdrop as the primary backdrop for “SportsCenter”, giving the program a slew of new virtual and real backdrops to take advantage of. When debuting, the background featured a 3D scene centered around the red “SportsCenter” orb surrounded by various ringed and glassy elements and a wraparound element further back.

The final piece in the update is an anchor desk designed to accommodate studio guests; the previous design could accommodate a maximum of two presenters.


The new desktop ditches an LED faceplate in favor of a branded design and improved capacity.

The updated Studio X debuted on Monday, August 29, 2022 during the morning edition of the show.

Source link


Comments are closed.