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CNBC’s SF Set Shines With Optimized Daylight Control from Broadcast Blinds

Fri 07, 02 2020

5 Feb 2020, New York – Located at One Market Plaza, CNBC’s San Francisco studios are well positioned to cover the tech leaders Silicon Valley and other notable companies that are literally just down the street. Even more notable, from my perspective, is the studios’ spectacular view of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

CNBC recently updated the daylight control system at its San Francisco studios to ensure it is making the most of this striking (and very recognizable!) backdrop throughout the day. Rick Smith of Broadcast Blinds worked with John Chiala, technical manager for CNBC West Coast Bureaus, to get the installation just right. Chiala’s lighting expertise was invaluable in the design decision for this studio full of windows.

John Chiala, technical manager for CNBC West Coast Bureaus, standing in front of the news desk with two different daylight control configurations.

The solution Broadcast Blinds put in at CNBC included three gels — a neutral density (ND) .3, an ND .6, and an ND 1.2 — to give the lighting team flexibility in getting the right look. With every .3, the light is brought down by one f-stop, which equates to a 50% reduction in light. Using the system installed, CNBC’s lighting team is able to select any combination of .3, .6, and 1.2, providing CNBC with a great range of options.

“We’re surrounded by windows, and it gives our studio operators much better control over the lighting,” said John Chiala, technical manager for CNBC West Coast Bureaus.

The best way to evaluate whether or not daylight control is right is to light the set properly and view it on camera. Together, the human eye and brain can do a lot to make up for imperfect lighting conditions. However, one don’t get the opportunity when looking at video that has been produced on screen. That’s what broadcast tools like lighting, daylight control, white balancing, and shading are for: creating the ideal on-screen look.

As seen in the below screen captures of the “Tech Check” morning and evening shows, CNBC has mastered its use of the Broadcast Blinds daylight control solution.

About Broadcast Blinds:

Broadcast Blinds customizes blinds and gels for television broadcast studios that have windows all over the world. More at: and at NAB Booth C6647

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