Dynamic display revolution!


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Issue 104 - August 2015

Projection mapping and dynamic video displays have transformed live events and performance art. Blended projection and massive video walls have given event directors the ability to deliver a whole new level of creativity to theatre, music and outdoor events.

One of the companies at the forefront of this revolution is SNP Productions Ltd, an outfit that specialises in Catalyst media servers. They have worked with crews worldwide to inject real passion and drama into UK events such as the Brit Awards at the O2 London and NFL at Wembley Stadium, London. It has also supplied systems into the Middle East for headline events including X-Factor Lebanon and Arabs Got Talent.

What each of these projects have in common, says Simon Pugsley of SNP, is the need to astonish their audiences. The days of a colourful draped backdrops are over. We now have to work with creative directors to deliver stunning multimedia results, whatever the venue and wherever the event is held.

The need to travel to any location brings with it special demands: the crew need a high performance live play-out system that is fully portable and can be up and running quickly. Reliability and mobility are crucial to give technicians peace of mind that the creative vision can be delivered without a hitch.

The Catalyst software that SNP specialises in features the ability to blend, map, manipulate and control multiple live sources and animated content. This gives directors the ultimate in creative freedom. To achieve the event organisers vision, there can be no compromise in terms of processing power, regardless of the remoteness of the location.

SNP has long relied on portable systems for live events but, as higher resolution video and animations have started to become a reality, the crew needed to evolve its existing flightcase rack units. Mixing and producing multiple HD sources in the field called for a new level of computing and storage performance to cope with very high data rates and incredibly complex real-time processing. The company`s last-generation Mac Pro tower computers had to be replaced by the latest edition Apple workstation, but this posed a number of issues:

The new Mac Pros cylindrical design may be aesthetically appealing but its completely impractical in a 19 rack frame. Its lack of internal expansion is also a flaw - adding storage, PCI cards and professional connectivity is nowhere near as straightforward as it used to be. In the live events business, we need technology to be totally versatile we work with up-to 6x MDP outputs and have to make changes to the hardware configuration for every event. In its raw state, the Mac Pro had the power, but not the adaptability we needed. Continues Simon.

The solution came in the way of the Sonnet xMacPro enclosure, which is specifically designed around the new Mac Pro 6.1. It converts the workstation for use in a standard rack, but more importantly, it leverages the performance of the Thunderbolt 2 port to allow users to add multiple PCI cards, external optical drives, LTO decks and RAID storage.

SNP use the full potential of the xMacPro, radically expanding its capabilities with a specialist HD-SDI video input card, Sonnet multi-port USB 3 adapter and a Sonnet Tempo PCIe 512G SSD Card to provide additional high speed fast access storage at 1100MB/s. The UPS-protected 23RU rack also encloses a MOTU USB audio interface, DMX interface and a Lightware 16x16 DVI matrix.

The xMac Pro is a great solution and well engineered. It provides a secure housing for the MacPro and offers flexible expansion capabilities. Concludes Simon.

www.snp-productions.co.uk


Tags: iss104 | projection mapping | dynamic video display | live events | performance art | media server | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • 3D Storm discuss IP and NDI for Live Media Server and Live CG Broadcast at NAB 2018

    3D Storm discuss IP and NDI for Live Media Server and Live CG Broadcast at NAB 2018

  • LiveCG Broadcast and LiveMedia Server from 3D Storm at BVE 2018

    LiveCG Broadcast and LiveMedia Server from 3D Storm at BVE 2018

  • LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

    LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

  • 3D Storm with LiveXpert at BVE 2017

    3D Storm with LiveXpert at BVE 2017

  • LSC Lighting at IBC 2015

    LSC Lighting at IBC 2015

  • Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

    AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

  • WOWZA at IBC2011

    WOWZA at IBC2011


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF