WBW: “Big Data” – Where’s the Beef?

In 2017, when I went to my first spring NAB, I met the rep of Viz who was well known at WMUR-TV as their weekend meterologist. As he touts Viz to do so much, the irony is that a vast a majority of Boston TV stations (including WMUR-TV) use Viz for some form of graphics engines. Viz is a platform where art and SQL knowledge is required for one person to understand. And you wonder why graphics are ether too CGI or too bland? On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about “rendering” said graphics, or in laymans terms “exporting” or “baking”. Yet this “big data” that Viz touts does not seem to result in confirming if the 2010s climate in New England is real or has been previously concurrent.

The data sucks because the content is non existent and as a result, using flashy graphics as a way to get the viewers to come back is not winning the station’s already bruised reputation. All across the Nielsen measured DMAs, local news has been falling like an avalanche. What should be creeping the managers at the Boston TV stations, is their carrers are on the line as a figurative avalanche from Mount Washington is set to make its way across the 128 beltway taking out the last amount of cash revenue and viewers these stations are producing.

I’d rather be ignorant and dead and be informed and be scared. ~ Steven Clickford.


(Sidenote, I am not bitter at these people personally. I understand their job. Their job is to report to the news directors and do what they are tasked to do, create drama and fear for ratings, even if they don’t feel like it. I have nothing personal against said person or company, I personally do not agree with their approach as too much data can overwhelm the viewer. Viz does not support standards by the creative community, that was done when Photoshop ’88 was on the market in 1991, when a famous broadcast graphics designer set some guidelines on what to put on the screen at a single time.

Due to the use of personal computers and the ability to superimpose them on TV, the 8 point Arial font that was a no-no 20 years ago is now acceptable because the industry  doesn’t care if you put a paragraph as a “lower third” because they feel you want to have “stats” be shown at you. Hence why I was so skeptical throughout the 10 minute duration for the Zone. )