Dallas-based rental and production company Gemini Light, Sound & Video (www.geminilsv.com) recently added 480 Elation EPT6IP LED video panels to its inventory and immediately took the 6.7mm pixel pitch panels out on a major summer tour and high profile event with more to come.
“We had been searching for quite a while for a good touring LED panel and visited the InfoComm show in 2014 with the goal of finding one we could use in 2015 and beyond,” stated John Stem of GeminiLSV, whose criteria for the panel included high resolution, IP65 rating and sturdy touring frame. They were also looking for a panel that was just as comfortable indoors as out. “Prices continued to drop after the InfoComm show and when product specialist Red Walter from Elation showed us the EPT6IP, it fulfilled our needs,” John says.
It was a previous positive experience with Elation LED panels that prompted Gemini to again look toward Elation for an LED video solution. John explains: “Gemini purchased Elation EPV762 LED panels years ago and they are still heavily in use today and are currently out on tour with Lamb of God. One of the main reasons for purchasing the EPT6 IP65 panels - beside the fact it’s a great panel - is our relationship with Elation over the years. We’ve enjoyed a long relationship with Elation and their support has been second to none. Elation has gone out of their way on several occasions since I’ve been with Gemini in respect to tech support, backing their product, and making sure Gemini shows using Elation equipment come off to our clients’ high standards.”
Setup and handling ease
Ever conscious of the amount of time needed to put up and tear down an LED wall, as well as the need to service the panels on occasion, the ease with which the EPT6IP panels connected was also important to Gemini. Each EPT6IP panel is made up of four removable magnetic modules and a removable power supply module for quick assembly and convenient servicing. “The latching system works well and makes an LED wall quick to put up,” John comments. “The fact that you can take out the modules was attractive and is a big help with service. It’s a fact that with big LED walls you’ll have an LED go out. To remove and replace an entire panel is a pain but with the modular system you can just pop it out and put a new one in. It only takes minutes and is light years ahead of other systems.”
Gemini has served as lighting and video vendor for metal band Slayer since 2008 and immediately put the EPT6IP panels out on the band’s 2015 summer tour with lighting and video design by Gemini’s Jason Cain. Configured as a 38’ wide x 21’ high LED screen backdrop, the LED panel’s handling ease and rugged IP65 build is just what Gemini was looking for in a touring panel. In order to make setup and tear down of the wall an even faster process, while protecting the LED panels from damage, Gemini had Matt Panther of company Reliable Designs design a custom touring pre-rig cart system for the EPT6IP panels, a similar cart system to one Gemini developed for their EPV762 panels years ago. A difference is that the EPV762 cart system is for floor packages only while and the EPT6IP cart is for flying the wall.
On the Slayer tour, each cart holds an 8’ long truss with a permanently fixed header on which 6 EPT6IP panels are mounted (3 panels wide by 2 panels deep). There are 6 header trusses in all, one header per cart, and the bottom of the LED wall, which doesn’t require a header, also fits into the cart. “It’s a brilliant system that allows us to simply connect sections together and fly it out,” John says. “We can set up the entire wall in about 60-75 minutes and after the show it goes down in about 45. The system has worked beautifully and the panels have held up well.” Both the EPT6IP and EPV762 cart systems are on wheels and roll off the truck and right on stage.
Reliable Designs also created a unique ladder system located behind the wall. Instead of climbing on and compromising the LED panels, the crew uses the ladder, which makes access higher up on the wall easier and protects the panels. Although each 25.2 inch square EPT6IP panel has a rugged aluminum frame, the ladder also adds an extra element of rigidity to the wall, John says.
Processing step forward
Another key aspect of any LED panel purchase is processing, an area that Gemini has had issues with on prior LED walls. “Processing using the NOVAPRO is great for this class of wall and a huge step forward,” John says of Elation’s LED display controller, video processor and configuration device. “The NOVA software is great and allows us to color-match the entire wall. When a panel is out of whack, we can easily match it with the rest of the wall. Also, the panel’s dimming capability is excellent and can dim without losing its grayscale and contrast.”
A good match
As Gemini is involved in events around the U.S., it was important for them that other companies also stock the EPT6IP in order to be able to work together on events that require large amounts of panels. One such example was at the recent NY CityFest in New York’s Central Park in July, where Gemini supported rental and production company Audio Spectrum by taking their new EPT6IP panels and matching them with Audio Spectrum’s own EPT6IP panels. Overall, 280 EPT6IP panels were used to show graphics and live footage onto stage wings (17’ w x 30’ h) and delay towers (15’ w x 9’ h) so that the show was visible to all of the approximately 60,000 attendees. “The EPT6IP’s matched very well on this event,” John concludes. “It’s a real benefit that now we can supplant our panels with other companies’ stock around the U.S.”
About Elation Professional
Elation Professional is one of the world’s leading lighting and visual solutions providers and is the global brand of Elation Lighting. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Los Angeles, with European sales, distribution and support based in The Netherlands, Elation designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of innovative yet affordable lighting and video products that are distributed through a global network of dealers and distributors. Made up of a spirited team of dedicated personnel, Elation is setting new efficiency and performance standards in Platinum lamp and LED technology and is acknowledged for a comprehensive commitment to Total Support. As a company in expansion with a presence in a growing variety of market segments, chances are you’ve experienced Elation lighting at a concert, special event, TV, theater, late night venue, House of Worship, theme park, cruise ship, exhibition, architectural space or elsewhere. For more information, please visit www.elationlighting.com