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TV set lighting VS video walls


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Hello all

It's been a while since i've been on this forum. Right now, i'm working as a DOP for a local television in Switzerland. We've been rebuilding the whole lighting rig and i'm pretty happy with the gear i've chosen. It consists mainly of Fiilex and Elation fixtures. Anyway, i'm struggling a bit with the video walls on the set. No matter what i do, they always seem to be too bright. I tried turning down the brightness but, i still need to light the talents quite strongly to compensate with the video walls in the back. The phenomenon is the same with the different lighting scenarios i have. Either low key or high key.

My question is: how do you deal with led/video screen walls on a TV set ? I spoke with some colleagues and they told me that they turn down their LED walls to the minimum and sometimes, they even lower the opacity of the media files.

I also struggle with the white balance of the screens. Before i arrived, they have been calibrated way to high (around 7000K) and i have to light the whole set at 6500K (limit of my projectors) and turn the +green to the max to match the screens. The in the camera, in have to compensate this green/cyan tint. Do you think there's another way to do this rather that re-calibrating all the screens ?

Wish you all the best in those strange times and i'm looking forward reading your answers.

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It's just like any other mixed lighting scenario if you don't want the mismatches, so either you adjust the TV's brightness and color to match your lights or the opposite, or a mix of both to meet halfway.  Whatever is the most efficient.  So I don't see a way of not adjusting the TV screens unless you want to use LED lighting and shift it all to the blue-green level of the monitors and then adjust the camera.

You could also get ND hard gel and neatly cut a piece for every monitor. Might add even more green though that you'd want to dial out of the TV (shift to magenta). I suppose if you go that way, you could even use 85ND hard gel and be able to light the room closer to tungsten.

Usually when I have playback on set, the technician can adjust the color temperature of the image to be as warm as I need it to be.

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Even in theatrical live environments where we use LED for scenery etc we turn them waaaay down, often to their minimum settings and still sometimes as you said do black transparent layer over all of our media to notch it down even more just so it balances with stage lighting and is easier on the audiences eyes.  

Any high end LED wall will be able to make some major color timing adjustments.  Can you get the company that installed them to come balance them to your lights?

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Hey guys

Thanks very much for your answers. This is what i thought, screens are always too bright 😉 I'm gonna try to lower the backlight of the video screens even more to be able to open the iris and get proper exposure on the faces. Yes, the company that installed the screens could do a new calibration but they charge pretty high to do this. Before that, i'll test with a hard gel like David Mullen suggested. I could also try to shift the white balance on those screens but it will destroy the calibration and all the screens may have a small color shift between them.

By the way, i was told that TV set are usually lit around 600 Lux on the faces. Can somebody confirm that ? I'm a bit new to tv set lighting and i was told several different values for them.

Thanks a lot

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