Tuesday, July 17, 2018

eNCA TOO WHITE? eNCA unveils its new, yet dated-looking, stark white washed-out studio 102 as part of the eMedia Investment news channel's latest rebrand on DStv.

eMedia Investment's eNCA (DStv 403) on Monday unveiled its latest rebrand - the 3rd in the South African TV news channel's history - complete with a stark "white washed-out" look for its studio 102 inside its Hyde Park headquarters in Johannesburg.

Some viewers liked the new eNCA studio while other DStv subscribers voiced several complaints about the changed and somewhat dated look. Neither eNCA nor MultiChoice that carries eNCA released any publicity information about the studio to the media covering television.

Together with quietly getting rid of the Africa symbol in the eNCA logo, dumping timeslots like News Day and Moneyline in a new stratified schedule including a Jane Dutton talk show at 20:00, eNCA also got rid of the main anchor desk for a smaller round transparent glass table.

eNCA also unveiled too bright white walls with video screens, together with a white floor including an odd grey stripe, that makes eNCA anchors look washed out and over-exposed.

With too little contrast, too much brightness and off midtones, DStv subscribers not just complained about why eNCA's "rebrand" didn't co-incide with the channel switching to high definition (HD) but also that the white blur-effect are hurting their eyes and that eNCA is now too white.

eNCA's new on-air look on DStv  also has a big and very noticeable problem with proportion.

eNCA's on-screen talent and anchors look shorter and stockier than in real life and come across as bulkier and fatter than what they really.

They're condensed and "squashed" from top and bottom" looking like Teletubbie kids telly characters, that of course has a negative impact on perceived credibility given that it's a news channel and not CBeebies.

At midday on Monday eNCA anchor Jeremy Maggs also apologised to viewers for the technical sound problems that occured on the rebranding day.

DStv subscribers complained that the eNCA channel marker in the bottom left corner is too big and intrude on the viewing experience. It's also not clear how the bottom third main banner that is in turquoise fits into the new overall eNCA on-air colour scheme.

Later on Monday afternoon eNCA added a "countdown clock" on top of its bottom left banner.

This was not for news of importance like what towns in the Free State will have their electricity cut by Eskom for instance (like other Johannesburg-centric news outlets wider small-town South Africa doesn't really matter), but for when Jane Dutton will do an interview with president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Stylistically eNCA also decided to now show and include the various in-studio cameras during shots - with the movable cameras looking like a pack of daleks encroaching on prey. This isn't bad and somewhat breaks the 4th wall,giving viewers a little "behind-the-scenes" glimpse supposed to make the eNCA machine feel more transparent since viewers can no longer see the control room that was visible behind the anchor desk like before.

eNCA's stark white studio 102 makeover feels like a cheaper done rip-off of America's Today show studio in New York on NBC with less colour elements.