Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sky News on DStv updates its on-air look, goes gloss white with clearer font in smaller bottom '7th'; more immersive on-air graphic architecture.

Sky News (DStv 402) has updated the British 24-hour TV news channel's look, with a new gloss white appearance for the channel logo, a clearer strap font, and reducing the traditional bottom third strap and scroll to a 7th of the overall broadcast screen size.

At the top of the hour introducing the headlines and main stories, the Sky News logo now appears on a white screen almost like an envelope with a middle screen "clip" opening and closing.

The white background opens from the middle to the top, and to the bottom (like opening an "invitation" envelope", to showcase stories.

The new and flatter white Sky News look replaces the former blue, 3D "column-like" look.

Sky News - which is actually being broadcast in high definition (HD), although not on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa and the rest of Africa - has also made its visual screen size "bigger" by reducing the on-screen strap, the so-called "bottom third".

Sky News can do this because the text inserted on the bottom barker and scrolling in the ticker is actually more visible and legible in HD, something which might now be a problem for South African viewers of Sky News on DStv.

Sky News' on-screen strap is no longer the filling the bottom 3rd but ... roughly only the bottom 7th of the screen - a little sliver of intrusion. It makes Sky News seem "bigger" while the text is now even smaller than before.

The font inside the new adapted Sky News bottom strap has also changed (apologies, I'm supposed to know the font name and I don't), making it clearer.

The whole "sliding" in and out of on-air graphics on Sky News is now more "intuitive", mimicking tablets and smartphones as Sky News is clearly trying to lessen the "difference" between the actual TV screen as the screens of all other devices.

Sky News's new transitioning look actually shows how its information is manipulated and moved to fit a mobile scroll and tablet seamlessly from a wide-angle TV presentation.

Sky News' new visual on-air package, although there's been no announcement of it or the change from Sky, has clearly been designed to "smooth over" and to make Sky News' information and news presentation feel less one-dimensional as viewers are receiving it from a TV set, and more immersive, just like you'd explore a topic, subject or story on an iPad, tablet, smartphone or handheld device.