• Pontless wide shot of contestants with backdrop graphics

Ventuz Powers UK Game Show Pointless


Since its premiere on BBC back in 2009, the game show Pointless has been an all time favorite for British TV viewers. Broadcast technology provider Kinetic Pixel, who is in charge of all in-studio graphics installations on this show, relies on the real-time graphics software Ventuz.

Pointless, quite unlike its name, is one of Britain's most famous game shows with a total of over 800 episodes since its premiere in 2009. Airing five times a week with a celebrity special on Saturdays, the goal of the game is to find out what 100 members of the general public answered when asked a specific question. As opposed to other formats, however, the teams are rewarded not for the answers with the highest scores, but instead with the lowest. Hence the name Pointless, as an answer with zero points would be a perfect score.
To highlight this twist, the Pointless studio features the famous column, an LED wall which displays a stack of 100 graphic blocks. When a contestant has given their answer, the LED column counts down from 100 and stops at the correct number, creating an aura of suspense and allowing the audience to share the excitement. 
The creators of this installation is Kinetic Pixel, a broadcast technology provider founded in late 2013. For this show, as for all their other productions, they utilize the 3D real-time graphics software Ventuz. "The column countdown is an essential element of Pointless, and much care was brought into the production of this installation", explained Craig Hann, Managing Director of Kinetic Pixel. "The animation features of the Ventuz software suite allowed us to carefully tune the easing of the column animations depending on the end value. Therefore every column countdown is equally exciting, no matter how high or low the score."
Kinetic Pixel also manages the contestant desk screens, which show the team's current score, as well as the full HD projection behind the two hosts. This installation is reserved for the display of questions, accompanying images, and the overall logo animations. "Over the years the show has experienced many changes in design and the need for additional features", said Hann. "Luckily, Ventuz offers a lot of flexibility and a wide variety of programming possibilities, so we can easily adapt our installations to the producers' requirements."
Next to Pointless, Kinetic Pixel is also responsible for in-studio installations and on-air graphics at other renowned game shows and TV events, such as Only Connect, Fifteen to One, or the Miss World 2014 Pageant, which took place in late December in London. 
Pointless split screen contestant closeup shotPointless studio LED column displaying point scores Pointless contestant facepalming after answering a question wrong