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VuePix 4K Screen for Rio 2016 Olympics Studio

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Live your Passion Rio – The 2016 Summer Olympic Games have officially started! The Olympic Opening Ceremony at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil kicked off the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.

Channel 7 Rio Olympics 2016It is the first time that the World’s most watched sporting event is hosted in South America with a record number of countries participating in a record number of sports.

NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected NEP Group to provide mobile broadcasting and engineering consulting for its production. “NEP is proud to support NBC on its coverage of the Rio Olympics and continue our relationship that has spanned every Winter and Summer Games broadcast over the past 28 years,” said Deb Honkus, NEP Founder and Chairwoman.

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Channel Seven was awarded the rights to broadcast the Rio 2016 Olympics in Australia and is mounting the largest, most comprehensive sports coverage ever seen in Australia. The centrepiece of this coverage is the Rio Central studio.

Channel 7 Rio Olympics 2016 The NEP team approached the ULA Group to provide the HD Screen for their Rio Central Studio set. “We needed to come up with a fully customised curved screen solution”, says Nathan Wright, VuePix Product Manager at ULA Group. “Our VuePix S1mm technology screen was an ultimate choice for the set, thanks to its high refresh rate it eliminates any problems with moiré effect for cameras in TV environment”.

The VuePix S series features Black LEDs, which provide a superior HD image with high contrast, deep blacks and vibrant colours. The sleek slim line design with advanced ventilation doesn’t require any fans for cooling, making the screen perfect for the delicate installations like TV studios, where noise levels are crucial.

“The biggest challenge for the Rio screen was to get the curve to perfectly match the TV set”, explains Nathan. “We produced a customised curved hanging system, similar to those that we use for our VuePix E and C series, to work with our S series for this set.”

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The screen consists of 80 panels in 16 x 5 configuration, making it almost 7.5m long and 2.3m high. With the native resolution of over 4,000pixels horizontally and 1,280 pixels vertically, it features the impressive 5.2 million pixels

The content is run and fed to the screen via Avid Media Servers.

The whole team at NEP Studios is extremely happy with the screen. Angus Millar, Head of Production at NEP, comments: “The team at ULA were able to deliver a superb, bespoke high resolution LED screen solution for our Rio Central studio. We wanted to supply our client Channel Seven with the highest quality big screen display available and ULA were able to deliver ahead of time. The stunning display is matched only by the commitment and quality of the ULA team who overcame considerable technical challenges to make this work.”

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Cuono Biviano, Managing Director of ULA / VuePix group comments: “Once again it is with great pleasure to work with Soames Treffery and Angus Millar of NEP and their teams on the World’s largest broadcasting event.”

“Our VuePix S1mm technology went through a challenging process of evaluation to be selected as the perfect fit to meet the dynamic digital demand of this unique TV set”, explains Con. “The key points were for the image quality to be second to none, look like a painted canvas and to ensure there was zero moiré reproduced by the cameras. The S series is the flagship and testament to the VuePix platform to deliver the highest advancements in digital LED technology in today’s market.”

Channel 7 Rio Olympics 2016“We wish NEP and Channel 7 and the associated networks a successful broadcast and all the Australian and competing nations a sensational and memorable Olympic games”, says Con.

The Olympic Broadcast will run for 18 days and will see more than 10,500 of the world’s best athletes from 206 countries to compete for 306 sets of medals in 28 Olympic sports.

The XXXI Olympiad will be concluded in a big style with closing ceremony taking place again at the Maracana Stadium on 21st August.

About NEP

NEP is the leading worldwide provider of outsourced production solutions offering technical services for remote production, studio production, video display, host broadcasting, post-production, smart asset/media management, multi-screen delivery and end-to-end OTT solutions. NEP’s team of more than 2,000 employees are driven by passion and a focus on technical innovation, and together they have supported productions in over 65 countries on all seven continents. NEP has recently acquired Mediatec Asia Pacific, an Australian leading supplier of large display solutions.

200 E Series Panels for The Voice South Africa

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The VuePix E Series Screens were used as a centre piece of The Voice final TV set in South Africa.

When the television audience heard that The Voice would come to South Africa, there was a huge response and expectation. For Chris De Lancey from Multi-Media who was awarded the technical supply for The Voice Angola by production Co AMPN, South Africa and Nigeria, it has been a tremendous relief to see the show raise the bar for local televised shows and to meet international standards. The show was recorded at Sasani Studios, Johannesburg.

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“First tentative discussions around The Voice began late in 2013, and December of that year, draft 1 budgets were being produced. Two years later it was on us,” said Chris. “When I eventually got sign off I was both elated and terrified at the same time,” Chris shares. “I don’t think I slept for four days before I could speak to anyone and say, right, lets start talking and dealing with this.”

Realising the scale of the task at hand, and that lighting was such a key component of a show this nature, putting together a like minded team of people together to do the show justice was paramount. Joshua Cutts was appointed lighting designer, and after a pitch process, Dewet Meyer of JDM Unlimited was appointed set designer. Multi-Media’s Auriot Booyes was appointed head of audio, which was obviously an integral part of the show. He also backed up as assistant project manager to Chris.

With the backing of the rest of the team from Multi-Media, the planning process began in earnest.

“It was an enormous relief when Josh said he was available to do this thing. I knew obviously that we would be getting one of the best lighting guys in the country but I also knew it would be taking a lot of pressure off me – despite the fact that working with one of the countries tops lighting designers for the first time was quite daunting. It proved to be a very symbiotic relationship,” he said.

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Both Josh and Chris wanted to go in with a bang. “We had to make ourselves proud, we had to make the production proud, we had to make South Africa proud in terms of what we did,” said Chris. And then their greatest lesson… they had to hold back a little.

“We obviously had to put together a big lighting system,” Joshua continues. Josh also chatted to the designer from The Voice Holland. “I had some input from him, we had a few discussions about what I might be able to do to enhance the definition of the theatrics of the whole show and maybe use some of his style of lighting from Holland to South Africa if we needed to.”

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“My vision was to pixel map as always. I needed big fixtures with large RGB pixel counts in them, so hence I wanted to try Robe Robin CycFX 8s for the first time as a back wall feature. I used Robin LEDBeam 100s between the pixels. As the studio is relatively small, Josh used Robin Pointes for sharp, hard beams or he would zoom out for gobo work. The workhorses, Robin LEDWash 600s, created a blanket was of colour over the space and audience. There were also LED PARS and LED battens.

Front lighting was a challenge as the set and ceiling design were not suited for followspots. Generic front washes were originally used but these fixtures did not give the dynamics to go up and down on stage. “It was generally a focussed instrument that I couldn’t move and manipulate based on each song. We weren’t getting the black levels we wanted in the room and it wasn’t creating the definition and depth we wanted. It wasn’t theatrical enough.”

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Josh opted instead for Robe BMFL Blades. “I only use four BMFL Blades from the front for about 80% of my key lights,” he explains. “What’s interesting is I tried to use them as programmable followspots so I continually move them around the stage within cues of the song to almost follow the performer from one side of the stage to the other. Two BMFLs are used to wash the entire stage. Then I cut them down to where the performer is. I cut the stage out, and when the performers move, all I do is open the blades. If they go left, I’ll open the left blade, if they move to the right, I’ll open the right blade. That way I’m not changing the intensity of lighting. They are going at 100% and it’s working.”

Josh only uses MDG Atmospheric Hazer for shows. “The trick with a good hazer is to not realize there’s haze in the room until you switch a beam of light on. The room feels dark and black but then suddenly a beam comes on and it’s visually there.”

Vuepix E Series panels were used for the screen. “We started off on the Blinds with 50 panels,” explained Chris. “In the Battles the floor stuff stays and we add side screen to about 100 panels which are mainly used for the team names. For the Live show we go up to 200 panels.”

The Voice has been a privilege for Chris and Josh to be part of. “The Voice really focuses on the talent. You can’t call them contestants, you call them talent, there are no judges – there are coaches,” Chris elaborates. “There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to find this talent. The Voice is a very specific brand. It needs to look a certain way, it needs to feel a certain way and the full production team’s attention to detail is considerable.”

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“I think the thought process behind it is they’ve spent a considerable amount of time finding decent talent, and then when they get them here, they’re not just judging to see how well they can sing. They coach them quite heavily, they teach them how to sing, to use the stage, to use a mic. That’s the ethos. It’s not just a talent show with one winner. Everyone who leaves this place must feel that they’ve gained something from it. A constant thing I hear people talk about, and the one thing they really appreciate, is that the coaches are not derogatory about the performance at all. The coaches are very nurturing, it’s a very positive environment that they try and create.”

It’s a winning formula, and when you sit and think about it, Chris De Lancey and his team from Multi-Media have done a remarkable job.

MGG Productions invest in VuePix in South Africa

MGG Productions invest in VuePix in South Africa

Mark Gaylard, owner of MGG Productions, has forged ahead as the first investor in a VuePix E-Series Pro 12mm LED Mesh Screen in South Africa. The mesh panels went straight into the music production Afrikaans is Groot, which played to full houses in Pretoria and Cape Town during November.  The impressive screen was one of the main features of the set, designed by Michael Gill.

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At the start of 2014, MGG began their search for a new wall that would be lightweight, bright and allow a curve set up. No strangers to LED panels, MGG’s first purchase was in 2007, a Robe Stage Cube 324 demo model supplied by South African distributor DWR Distribution. “That had a pitch of 45mm and it was very big and heavy,” recalls Mark Gaylard.  “It was the first thing in SA that had that large LED effect, and our first experience with this type of technology.” The unique effect was as a result of a diffuser in the front, and it caused a stir when used for the first time on Idols for Strike Productions.

In 2013 MGG purchased the VuePix L-Series 6mm Indoor/Outdoor from DWR.  The first user in the country was Theo Papenfus from Stage Effects. MGG and rental company Fogtech decided to order the same panels, which meant that the three companies would have a total of 200 pieces enabling them to build a large, high resolution wall, and the opportunity to cross rent.

The VuePix L-Series 6mm landed and went straight to Afrikaans is Groot 2013. “There were about 120 panels and it looked phenomenal,” said Gaylard. “Since then we’ve used the screens for corporates and for sets. It has been a very successful product, very well built and well priced”.

The only set back has been the workload. Where the 6mm panels should have been used to create a large high quality wall, MGG used them for corporates and sets – something that could have been substituted with a lower resolution screen.

When VuePix launched the Pro Version of their E-Series just after Prolight and Sound Frankfurt, MGG took the plunge to make their largest ever LED purchase. “The LED gives a brightness of over 3 500 nitts,” said Gaylard. “The big thing for us is the 12mm pitch, it is a see through, lightweight, low energy, good quality, well made product under the VuePix name. We have 200 panels.”

The bright, easy to use and easy to set up,  E12 Pro is already a workhorse. Four days after arriving in South Africa, it went into a conference for back wall basic effects; it has worked on a product launch and then went to Afrikaans is Groot 2014.

Another Poker prize for VuePix

Clifton Productions provided their services to yet another Poker series. ‘World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific’ set and recorded at Crown Casino in Melbourne. Working closely with set designer LD Mal Nicholls. All of Mal Nicholls designs where custom built and supplied by Clifton Productions – trussing, lighting, flooring, circular riser, Video Screens, etc.

VuePix 6mm LED Screens were again the choice product for the set, delivering great background graphics and visual effects.

The lightweight slim VuePix T series cabinets are easy and quick to assemble, and provide space saving installations for various purposes. The display can be customized to virtually any size and shape according to project requirements. The Smooth image display with ultra-high resolution and excellent color uniformity provide top quality viewing performance at close viewing distances.

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VuePix on FOX SPORTS

FOX SPORTS have recently installed two new sets in their Pyrmont studios, designed by Mal Nichols from Mal Nichols & Associates. ULA has provided solutions to Mal with a new customized VuePix P10 screen which includes a customized airflow system which minimizes fan noise for recording on set, with a higher refresh rate.

FOX SPORTS is Australia’s leading sports broadcaster, screening an average of around 21 hours of LIVE sport each day across three dedicated channels (FOX SPORTS 1, 2, 3) as well as FOX SPORTS 1HD, FOX SPORTS 2HD and FOX SPORTS 3HD.

VuePix on FOX SPORTS
VuePix on FOX SPORTS

When Mal was asked by FOX SPORTS to come up with a new approach through a screen for the set, he wanted to try a new form of visual display. Mal says “I was asked to create a more graphical approach to the set. I chose VuePix as I wanted to create a new integrated style using LED away from Plasma displays which have been used a lot. I also chose VuePix because of the flexibility and user friendliness with the DMX in the studio control area”.

Mal’s influence behind the set design was to have the set marry up to the concept of the initial graphic brief where elements have been used utilizing shiny surfaces, elements of perforations/pixels mimicking the LED Screen/Stainless steel and LED lighting effects.

Mal says “I was asked to create a set that became versatile with lighting shades and colour to enable a day time program to be bright and a night time show with warmer subtle tones”. To do this, Mal chose to use RGB Flexi LED tape to bring his design to life enabling a seamless glow around the curved surfaces and endless variations through RGB and dimmable control.

VuePix on FOX SPORTS
VuePix on FOX SPORTS

For the Ashes set, a large quantity of RGB Flexi LED tape was used to illuminate all the acrylic and staging on set. Anolis ArcSource 12 fixtures were used behind the Plasma to illuminate up the back wall. Selected also for noise free operation (no fans) and high performance, Anolis ArcSource 12 utilizes luxeon 1w LED emitters.

For the first time VuePix has been used in a host studio environment. Mal says “The lumen’s were at an acceptable level in the RGB Flexi LED tape and the images on the VuePix screen came to be surprisingly clear when we pushed the boundaries”.

VuePix on Australian Idol

This years Australian Idol has totally been transformed with the ‘wow’ factor the VuePix ™ P18’s provide. Not only are the new VuePix™ P18 SMD LED mesh panels underneath the stage area, additional VuePix™ P25 RGB LED mesh panels are rigged on vertical curved truss around the stage. 8 vertical fingers have been created in a teared effect. Each P18 panel is 1552 x 576 mm, while the P25 panels are 600 x 600 mm. All graphics are run seamlessly through the screens simultaneously.

VuePix™ is known for its rich colours and modular design that allows amazing screen configurations and graphic reproduction. Whether creating video content or when graphic based material is used, VuePix delivers an impressive display output with maximum flexibility of use – which is a key for ‘live’ work when requirements change from act to act.
 

2009 Brownlow Medal

The Brownlow Medal Count is the most prestigious annual award on the Australia sporting calendar. Staged at the Palladium Ballroom at Melbourne’s Crown Casino complex, the 2009 Brownlow dinner was attended by over 1000 sporting celebrities and VIPs, broadcast live on Australia’s Channel 7 TV. Clifton Productions supplied a large array of equipment at this years 2009 Brownlow Medal event. Robe moving lights, Anolis LED fixtures, VuePix P6 LED Screens and iLEDpro fixtures were all in full force, used on stage and throughout the venue.

The art direction of the Brownlow’s was by Designer Mal Nichols of Mal Nichols and Associates. “The design elements had to be 3 dimensional to allow lighting and texture to the back drop of the talent”, says Mal. “And the lighting had to be flexible to allow for subtle changes within the presentation incorporating the background. We also utilized LED down lights in the base of the 3D boxes to create a textured feel behind the talent”, says Mal.

In the Atrium of the Crown Casino 10 x Robe REDWashes, 8 x Robe ColorWash 1200AT’s and 4 x Robe ColorSpots 1200AT’s were used as guests entered the red carpet area. Lighting Designer Rob Coia says “This years telecast of the Brownlow was a great success for Channel 7 on the tail end of a huge year in AFL Broadcast. It was the first time that I had used the new Robe REDWash LED fixture that Clifton Productions have as part of their inventory. I was very impressed with its performance, I used the REDWash to dress the walls and columns in the Atrium for the red carpet arrivals to provide some colour and shape for the background surfaces which appeared in most of the camera shots.”

2009 Brownlow Medal
2009 Brownlow Medal

Rob continues, “They worked especially well in the Atrium , we usually have a great deal of difficulty getting the dark walls in this area to read on camera, but this year it was the best look so far, rich colours and bright! Richard Grenfell, who knows that space very well, programmed the lighting for the Red carpet arrivals and created a great balance between faces and walls. The REDs have an incredible light output, as well as a vast array of colours from full chroma saturation through to more subtle pastels, I found it a great tool for the task, especially when available power is an issue”

In the main Palladium room, Robe moving lights were used to accomplish the room looks, set and stage dressing. 48 x Robe ColorWash 700EAT, 44 x Robe ColorSpot 700EAT, 4 x Robe ColorSpot AT along with 18 x REDWash fixtures were used. “We are really happy with the newest additions to our Robe inventory – being the Robe REDWash. The feedback we are getting from clients is amazing!, says System Tech Aaron Humber from Clifton Productions. It was vital that the Robe’s provided even coverage across a large area as there were a number of wide camera shots within the broadcast. The ‘RED’ in the REDWash is short for Red Emitted Diodes, a unique LED lighting concept developed by Robe.

2009 Brownlow Medal
2009 Brownlow Medal

The Brownlow lighting was controlled by two GrandMA consoles, operated by Alex Saad and Andy Edis. A third “house” GrandMA was operated by Andrew Killengray to control the 140 Roboscans for tables,pin spots, and all the “house” architectural LED .” the lighting system was substantial in size and quantity , it proved to be extremely reliable with next to no faults“

One large VuePix P6 display was used on stage to run content through in conjunction with a second VuePix P6 screen behind the lectern for guest speakers. Andrew Edis from Impact Media Images supplied and operated Catalyst Show and custom images. The Catalyst was controlled via the GrandMA. This was incorporated in modules within the set of allowing direct vision on stage. Over 100 Visio color tubes were used for illumination on the set and stairs.

As early as Round 20 in the vote count, Gary Ablett Jnr had an unassailable lead and finally won the 2009 Brownlow Medal, finishing with a total of 30 votes.

VuePix adds versatility to Olympic Broadcast

VuePix adds versatility to Olympic Broadcast Channel Seven’s recent coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games featured the VuePix P6 high resolution LED Video Screen.

Channel Seven’s broadcast has been viewed by over 17 million Australians, outpacing all other Olympic Games and other major events over the past five decades.

Beijing 2008 was the first time the event has been broadcast in HD, with Channel Seven broadcasting over 17 hours a day of 1080i coverage.

The Broadcast was hosted from the Channel Seven studio of the International Broadcast Centre in Beijing. The Channel Seven Production was designed by accomplished Australian Designer Mal Nichols, where elements of the set were designed to maximize the limited space that the studio occupied in the
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Mal wanted flexibility in lighting effects incorporated into the design, and so the lighting rig included a 20 panel VuePix LED Video Screen, 50 iLED Color Tubes, and 70 iLED ColorBank 54’s, supplied by Clifton Productions – who also constructed the set.

Mal Nichols states that the goal of the lighting in the television production was to “create atmosphere, and increase options and flexibility” in a very small environment. This was the key motivation behind incorporating the VuePix screen, as the versatility of the screen allowed various content to be relayed to the audience – including live to air feeds and computer generated graphics. It was also imperative that the screen had brilliant resolution, so as to ensure that the quality was maintained for 7’s HD broadcast. Mal states “the resolution was of surprisingly quality for a 6mm, and there was no strobing through the screen”, which was essential for a flicker free broadcast.

VuePix adds versatility to Olympic Broadcast This impressive screen was VuePix’s P6 RGB SMD 3in1indoor model. The P6 is a high resolution (6 mm) display with a calibrated brightness of 1000cd/m2 and a pixel density of 10, 000 pixels/ m2 to deliver unrivaled light output, and incomparable color depth and uniformity, best suited for broadcast conditions. The content was powered by a multi-format image processor that accepted Channel 7’s HD SDI signal and digitally scaled it to 1024 x 768 (to fit the format of the screen) with ease. This signal was then sent through the VuePix’s video processor, which can accept a wide range of incoming signals: S-Video, composite, DVI and VGA. The screen was configured via the VuePix LED Studio software.

James Pavey of Clifton Productions supports the screen by stating “it looked good and went together easily”. He goes further to say “there were many positive comments from crew and guests on the set”. The VuePix range of leading LED video screens for indoor and outdoor use is distributed exclusively in Australia by the ULA Group.

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