It’s a fact that LA has the craziest traffic on the planet outside of NYC. I used to commute to Hollywood on a daily basis from the San Gabriel Valley and I can tell you- it’s not a party…at least not a party that’s fun to attend. Apart from the wackos and endless commuters, who takes care of the mundane? Which roads are open? Which ones are full of holes? Where is the traffic the worst? That job falls to Caltrans- and it’s not an easy one. So I was fascinated to see the following press release from our friends at Electrosonic about upgrading the District 7 Command Center video wall.
When Caltrans District 7 began the first phase of a multi-phase AV system upgrade at its Los Angeles facility, it contracted with Electrosonic to create a brighter, more reliable video wall for traffic monitoring that takes advantage of the latest in projection technology.
“Caltrans District 7 has more than 400 cameras on the highways of Los Angeles and Ventura counties,” says Electrosonic project manager Guy Fronte. “They can review camera feeds 24/7 in the facility and when there’s a traffic event – road damage or an accident – they can magnify that feed on the videowall. The videowall is integral to 24-hour traffic management.”
The existing videowall comprises a 12-screen center unit in a 4×3 configuration flanked by a pair of 6-screen 3×2 units. The giant wall features 80-inch diagonal screens in the center and 52-inch screens on the sides.
The standard format of the wall has single-camera feeds (more…)
Devin Wambolt over at DCBolt Productions gave me the heads-up on this crazy nightclub install they just completed. The club is Castle Nightclub in Chicago and they premiered the system for a huge NYE bash this year. Devin reports: “We are using three different types of LED’s in this system, (aside from the house lights) LED panels, LED strips, and LED modules. Our LED strips are (32x) SMD5050 LED pixels per meter, our Modules are (5x) SMD5050 LEDs per pixel, the LED panels are 6 millimeter pitch SMD2835 LED pixels. The led strips and modules are run by MADRIX Ultimate for real-time dynamic playback. The LED panel screens are being driven by a custom configured Resolume Arena setup.
Some pretty impressive work, and I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m in Chicago!
Right here in my hometown! In fact, I got a peek at it before opening night and it looked cartoonishly huge even without being powered up. I might get a chance to get to rig an event around the behemoth this weekend so I’ll snap some more photos….but for a write up, check out Commercial Integrator’s web article.
The new scoreboard features twin 1080p HD video screens (Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision™ 6mm LED), each measuring 50 feet long – extending nearly foul line to foul line – by 21 feet high, about 2,800 square feet in total space. In addition to the HD screens running the length of the court, the rectangular scoreboard is capped by a pair of 25 feet by 14 feet full 1080p HD video screens facing each baseline. Completing the interior portion of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse upgrade is a pair of LED video displays, one in each balcony end zone. The displays measure 23’ by 10’ and provide fans with stats, replays, and other game-related information.
Through ANC Sports’ VisionSOFT operating system, the new audio and video upgrades work with the arena’s existing LED ribbon and digital courtside signage systems.
ANC also updated the aging audio system, head end and broadcast control room. The new control room was built out complete with a full 3G broadcast infrastructure with 1080P signals and production equipment to provide unprecedented image quality. ANC’s unique 64-bit operating system maximizes the clarity of the scoreboard as the operating system does not scale its content, enabling the video screens to display 1:1 resolution.
I know- not technically projection….but there’s a lot to look at here. An interactive pad that you step on to change the features of a car, multiple digital surfaces to interact on, and a display that is screaming for no seams. I guess I get it on a lot of levels, but wouldn’t you think a brand like Audi would opt for a more seamless digital display? Or at least a more slick way of presenting the product? Don’t get me wrong- if I had the scratch I’d buy an Audi in heartbeat….but I’d still like to see a seamless display. Or maybe map the features to an analog car in the actual showroom…LIKE THIS? Kudos to Audi for making the whole painful-carbuying-experience a little more slick….and granted, I might be in a minority, but if I wanted to buy a $50,000 car and use a Kinect-based, interactive, input-enhanced, 9-screen display system to do so, I’d want a damn seamless screen. Again, I might be in a minority….BUT…..
We can expect this sort of thing to become commonplace as the marketing folks get more entrenched into AV and control. In fact Aston Martin, BMW, and Infiniti are rumored to be working on the exact same thing. Let’s just hope they invest in Microtiles or maybe an RP alternative.
NEW YORK – WorldStage, the new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, Inc., has become the first company in the U.S. to acquire Barco’s new C5 5.5mm pixel pitch, black-face indoor LED display. Introduced earlier this year, the Barco C5 has pushed the boundaries of image quality and price.
“Our specialization in LED video is related to mid-size, high-quality LED displays and we’ve done well with the Barco NX-4 and NX-6 tiles for a number of years. However, they are an expensive technology beyond the budgets of many of our clients.” says WorldStage President Josh Weisberg. “We first saw the C5 at the Detroit Auto Show and thought the video performance of the tile was markedly better than the inexpensive tiles that are proliferating throughout the events community and, when we learned that Barco had priced the C5 tile competitively, we were sold.”
In addition to the new tile’s visual characteristics, the C5 is constructed of high-strength aluminum, the C5 enclosure is a silent “fan-free” design and the cable system is clean and logical.
According to Weisberg, “The contrast performance of the C5 tiles is amazing. Due to a unique shader design, the blacks are unbelievably deep. It’s like looking into a void even in bright environments such as a broadcast studio. We also like the system used to align the tiles along concave and convex curves – it’s simple to implement in a precise manner.”
Another advantage of the system is that it uses high-quality processing in the DX-700, Barco’s premier LED processor system. Otherwise, the system uses newly designed ground support and rigging support parts that reduce the number of pieces and parts to a reasonable minimum.
“By investing in the C5 we’ll be able to deliver a better-looking product over its lifespan than our competitors,” says Weisberg. “The C5 may be a more expensive system but it is a high value-based product any way you look at it.”
Touch technology is so prevalent now that it’s hard NOT to use some incarnation of it on a day-to-day basis. From the oft-referred-to scenes from Minority Report to a weekly peek on NCIS, huge touchscreens are becoming the norm from corporate boardrooms to police HQ. I ran a piece a while back on the huge interactive video wall at the University of Dayton, but that was a projection-based system. Now it seems we’re seeing LCD screens of the same size, no longer restricted to NOC’s and control centers.
I recently got a sneak-peek at such a behemoth being custom built by Sensory Technologies. My beloved DPI Lightning HD35 was coming back from hospital and ready for pick up at the ST dock- and this awe-inspiring wall, in the build room, was in it’s final touches before being deployed. Field Engineer Chris Poore was kind enough to show me the particulars….
The following is a re-print from the good folks at LiveDesign. It’s a great article on LED screen technology originally done by Fabio Aversa of Eurodisplay.com. Looks like it’s only up for a month then it’ll have to go into digital oblivion, so read it while you can! While you’re at it, have a look at Eurodisplay’s website- it’s chock full of great info about LED’s, LED technology, and outdoor displays.
Here’s a couple of videos from my friends at Reel Video Systems. Their roll-up screen are SICK and must be seen to be believed- keep in mind these can be viewed in broad daylight and still look good!. They offer a number of roll-up size options including 4,5,6, and 8 meter…..I know the guys that work there and they don’t mess around. They calibrate in-house, and can deploy screens up to 35′ high using a ground mount system. If you want some quality work with a beautiful result give them a call!. I ran a short piece on RVS a while back , but here’s a refresher if you missed it.
Skrillex blew up the Ultra Music Festival this last weekend and then took off in his own scissor-lift style spaceship. Here’s the proof. With Lasers, dammit! Can someone please teleport me back to being 18 again?….
EDM superstars Skrillex and Fat Boy Slim are just a drop in the bucket at the Ultra Music Festival. Combine that with a stage and visual design from V Squared Labs and you get the real star of the show– the mainstage rig! Here’s a look at the rig courtesy of MTV and Vello: Get More: Music News
Get More: Music News
If V Squared is there you know it will be great….maybe rivaling the famed Amon Tobin ISAM rig….we’ll see. “We have this crazy high-definition output system taking it to the next level at Ultra this year,” Virkhaus beamed. Of course, possibly the most exciting one-up from last year’s undertaking is the presence of, wait for it, an “LED roof” over the stage that is going to be an added visual element for each set.
“This is the overhead grid that’s going to be over viewers,” Virkhaus explained. “You’ve got artists like Tiësto, Afrojack, Skrillex, Avicii — people coming who are going to make a fantastic show for the audience — and we are going to do some amazing visuals. I know [the fans] are going to be blown away with the experience we are bringing.”
Of course there are other projects going on as well. Large scale projection masters Senovva will be projectionmapping for Red Bull with 12 Barco FLM 20k’s as seen here:
Send pics please…..or a ticket and a flight to Miami….
Barco has announced the NSL-5521, a 55″ full HD LCD with LED backlight. You’ll probably install it in a control room with a bunch more to make a huge wall, but why not stick one in your board room or living room for that matter? As a tiled LCD solution, the NSL-5521 is ideal for personal wall environments and adjunct control rooms in Emergency Operations Centers, traffic management and surveillance centers, C4I-SR environments, utilities and process control centers and broadcast & telecom monitoring applications.
Narrow-bezel display for tiled video walls
The new NSL uses durable LED backlights positioned directly behind the LCD panel and has the (more…)
More details from Elation:
LOS ANGELES – The new EPV6 LED display panel from Elation Professional is equipped with 3-in-1 Tri-Color SMD LEDs. This 6mm indoor video panel features 2,500-nit brightness (more…)
I guess I’m not exactly sure why you’d want to have moving video panels ….apart from the eye-candy factor…or if someone gets real creative and hangs them sideways to make a wall out of them…but they are pretty cool! Elation Professional’s EPV762 MH is a high-resolution 7.62mm pitch moving head video panel that can rotate just like a moving yoke light fixture, panning a full 540° and tilting up to 265°. The EPV762 MH’s sweeping motion gives video displays extra exposure at shows and events, since the screen is viewable from all sides and every angle. Equipped with 4,096 tri-color (red, green, blue) SMD LEDs and featuring 2,000-nit brightness, this screen can be used for high-res videos, graphics, text messages, special effects and more, “broadcasting” them around the room with its smooth pan/tilt motion. Part of the company’s (more…)
WinVision is a name that has become synonymous with super-bright, rugged LED displays. You see them everywhere from Beyonce to the sides of NBA courts to the Superbowl half-time.
Winvision is manufactured by Galaxia Electronics, a huge corporation that makes everything from the Winvision panels to tube-type LED lamps to LED studio lights.
The Winvision series of panels range from a pixel pitch of 5mm to 18.75mm and can flex to form curves, or be arranged in pretty much any fashion you can dream up. Many are super lightweight and most are IP 65 rated for water. Connecting the panels together is usually accomplished by means of clamps or posts on the sides and a few of the models feature the power box directly on the panel itself, making setup time fast and easy.
One of the first large-scale gigs I ever worked was Lollapalooza ’92. I still get excited when I hear about multi-day festivals with tons of acts and boatloads of production…I got that same thrill when I received the news of the Electric Zoo Festival from fellow projectionfreak Mojo Video Tech (AKA VJ Doctor Mojo). MVT was contracted to act as technical consultant and projectionist for the huge event on Randall’s island by the production design company StarLight Visuals.
Check out this low-res LED skin on the Zeilgalerie mall in Frankfurt. Th structure was in need of a facelift and what better medium than LED? With the size and spacing of the pixels it looks like they’ve pretty much maxed out their design in terms of complexity, but such are the vagaries of low resolution- you can only display so much. The second vid shows some details of the face and some close-ups.
PRG has started putting out some great behind-the-scenes webisodes about the technology behind Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. This latest one is with respect to video and features Howard Werner, Jason Lindahl, Jeff Kaye, and Phil Gilbert talking at length about the amazing rig they had to build for this show. They use a V676 and Mbox Extreme Media servers to feed and manipulate the content over 8 LED legs which are 2.5m w x 10m h. You can bet there’s all kinds off custom bells and whistles software-wise too. For as much crazy press as this show has received, I still can’t wait to see it.
GoVision is a company in Texas that rents GIANT mobile LED screens. Their GoBig Mobile HD Video Unit features a Daktronics 9′ x 16′ LED screen that can go to 25′ high. For those who need a size upgrade, the GoBigger Unit is 19′ x 33′ and claims to be the biggest screen of it’s kind. Mounted on an 18 wheel tractor trailer, it boasts 720p (with any acceptable signal), a self-contained generator, IP65 outdoor rating, and a full-blown mobile production studio with crew. With a deployed height of 34′, size is no issue here….
With a full line of other screens available (from custom sizes to golf scoring to pickup truck-towed units) GoVision provides a whole bunch of screen real estate. Their gear has been featured at concerts, outdoor events, and major sporting events like the recent Dallas Mavericks Championship parade. GoVision also provides optional camera rigs and personnel. Check out the size of that screen!
For a quick view of the tallest LED screen ever, check out their video at http://youtu.be/k9kyaC9q2WY
Reel Video Systems LLC has opened for business in Indiana. RVS will exclusively rent the Pix20 roll up video wall that we ran a short article on a while back. This unique, amazing unit rolls up and stores in the truss it hangs from so users can basically bolt together a whole module and fly it in less than time than it takes to unbox other comparable walls. It’s 3-in-1 SMD LED units are available in 5,6, and 8 meter widths, 4:3 (or 16:9), 6500 nits brightness, and fully IP68 rated. All power and signal routing is integrated.
We wish Reel Video Systems the best- and maybe if we save our pennies we’ll rent one….
Seattle’s Experience Music Project houses the Sky Church, a live performance and exhibition space. They had a huge LED screen already, but just unveiled a new, massive HD+ 60′x33′ curved screen featuring the Barco C7 surface-mounted LED tile. The C7 has a 7mm pitch with 2,000 nits brightness at 15.75″ square. With nearly 6 times as many LED’s as the previous wall, it still uses less power. Gotta love technology! Read the full press release here.
LiveDesign announced the Projection Products of the Year Today. The winners of this prestigious honor are as follows:
Display: Pixled F11
Software/App: ProjectorCalc by Michael Kohler
Content Creation/Editing: Maxon Cinema 4D R12
Accessory: coolux Pandoras Box Sensor Link
The Pixled F11 is a lightweight indoor/outdoor LED video display module with a 6500 nit output and an IP/65 outdoor rating. The use of Nichia SMD LEDs – at a pixel pitch of 11.25mm – make the display an ideal solution for applications with relatively short viewing distances and wide viewing angles. It is extremely lightweight, at only 3kg/7lbs per tile (15kg/33lbs per m2), the F-11 is four times lighter than the current industry average, removing many typical design constraints and opening up new creative design possibilities for both rental and permanent installations. The ultra-light weight of the F-11 also considerably reduces transport costs and requires less manpower to install. The F-11 is a modular system (45cmx45cm/1.48′x1.48′ tile), specially designed for easy transportation and quick rigging. With rugged, easy-to-use interlocking systems, standard off-the-shelf BNC data connections and custom designed flightcases, the F-11 can be installed with ease with the minimal amount of manpower. Quick-connect hanging brackets guarantee a robust connection to any truss system. Modularity and Climbing can be made very simple with optional Touring modules – which are 4 or 6 tiles big – providing quick access to any part of the screen.
really cool feature is the switchable transparency- a manual shutter release opens the space between the rails to allow the module to be opaque or see-through (with a 10% transparency).
ProjectorCalc from Michael Kohler is a program for professional lighting technicians and projectionists. Its primary purpose is to determine the size of a projected image given various information about the projector and its location. It’s for iPhone (no Android yet- big drag…we’re stuck with the TI-99) and available at the App Store.
Cinema 4D is pretty much the standard for graphic creation (at least in the projection world, Maya notwithstanding). It comes in 4 flavors, Prime, Broadcast,Visualize, and Studio- each with their own separate capabilities. Here’s the comparison chart. It’s not as pricey as some other competitors at under $1000, but it’s unbelievable software. A lot of the videos you see featured on here Projectionfreak used Cinema 4d in some way. Maxon has released Ver. R12 and it’s available here.
coolux’s Pandoras Box Sensor link is a module that allows Pandoras box to be integrated with industrial encoders, distometers, analog potentiometers, and contact closures. Sounds exciting, huh? What it means though is the video server can accept input from all these devices and cue different aspects of a show or presentation. Think interactive amusement park rides where a lot of different things happen at once. You used to have to integrate everything with time code (coolux does have a module for this too) or some other wacky get-up. Here’s a write-up from this site from a while back.
Congratulations to all the producers of this wonderful magic from Projectionfreak! Keep on making the great stuff that allows us to practice our craft…
From the folks at Barco- their OL-521 has won the prestigious Red Dot award. The OL-521 is an LED-lit, rear-projection display cube designed for fixed video wall installations in command centers and control rooms. The OL-521 is part of Barco’s LED video wall series launched in 2010, which tackles some of the biggest issues (e.g. screen size restrictions, color imbalances…) in video wall design today. These LED-lit video walls integrate cutting-edge DLP™ technology and a Barco designed projection engine for use in 24/7 mission-critical applications. They’re not just the coolest figuratively, they’re the coolest literally. This model is part of their liquid-cooled series and because of this, it’s the brightest display cube on the market without shortening the system’s lifetime. Additionally, by using mercury-free and energy-efficient LEDs, the OL produces less waste and allows recycling for future use as it comprises recyclable materials only. Check out the video on this page.
The OL-521 is the most space-saving display cube in Barco’s LED video wall offering. It’s a 50″ 4:3 with a depth of less than 45 cm (1.5 ft) and a weight of less than 44 kg (97 lbs), so the OL boasts significant fuel and cost savings during transport and installation. Barco’s OL is also available with front accessibility, which removes the need for a rear maintenance access, allowing a highly compact control room design. Furthermore, the OL display cubes can be stacked to a video wall of practically any size without sacrificing image quality or detail.
I need a couple for the mission-critical command center in the Projectionfreak HQ basement, except maybe I’ll go for the 70″ model.
After seeing and working the Blue Man Group 2010 Tour, I was convinced I had “seen the light”. It is perhaps the coolest use of video/interactivity that’s out there. A recent discovery revealed my new heroes- Bob Bonniol and MODE Studios, who helped develop some of the technology that led (no pun intended) to that astounding production. Make sure to check out the link as it’s a great reference for some behind-the-technology info on BMG as well as a number of other cutting-edge works. Projectionfreak is humbled.