PHILADELPHIA – Featuring performances by over a dozen groups, including Rock n Roll Hall of Famers The O’Jays, a spirited Iron Chef competition, and an antique car show, not to mention mouthwatering Philly style food, the 12th annual Riverfront Ramble in suburban Chester, PA had all of the attractions that have made this event so popular throughout southeast Pennsylvania. This year’s edition also offered visitors something new – two 14’ wide by 8’ tall LED video walls made with MVP Ta8 Curve panels from CHAUVET Professional.
Flanking the main performance stage, the video walls were installed by Zeo Productions, a division of The Zeo Group, which has been handling audio and lighting for the event for a number of years. “In the past, we were limited to using outdoor projection on rear screens,” said Evan Bollentin, Zeo’s project manager for the Riverfront Ramble. “This only allowed us to do video for the headline act after dark.”
The LED panels gave the Zeo team much greater flexibility, making it easier to create a more engaging “production look” on stage for every performer. “Not only were we able to create more varied content, we were also able to run video during the entire festival -- from 2pm to 9:30pm,” said Bollentin. “So, the MVP Ta8 added a whole new dimension to the stage, which elevated the look of the entire show.”
The vivid colors rendered by the video panels also created a scenic element on stage. “Aside from showing the video content, the panels also introduced more color to the stage, which made it look more exciting,” said Bollentin.
Prior to installing video panels at the outdoor event, the Zeo team was concerned about brightness. However, the MVP Ta8 Curve, which has 4,800 nits illuminance, a 720 Hz display rate and 8.33 mm pixel pitch, delivered clear, sharp images throughout the day-night event. “One of the reasons why we chose these panels was for outdoor use,” said Bollentin. “The brightness was more than adequate. Even in direct sunlight everything looked crystal clear and bright.”
The ruggedness and stability of the panels also were praised by Bollentin. “The blow-through aspect of these panels was a lifesaver,” he said. “We had the threat of severe storms all day with winds reaching 25mph, yet the video screens stood strong. Also the bolt holes on the back of the wall allowed us to attach clamps and pipe that could be used to brace the wall and prevent flex in wind.”
Positioned on either side of the event’s main stage, the two video walls were made from 28 MVP Ta8 Curve panels, 7 panels wide by 4 high. Live IMAG and graphical content from advertisers was shown on the panels.
“All content was mixed in Full HD(1920x1080) through a Tricaster system, and then sent via SDI to the Chauvet 5162 Signal Processor, where it was then scaled and sent via DVI to the Chauvet driver,” said Bollentin. “We used a custom rack running redundant Chauvet drivers hooked up to a signal distributor for Ethercon output. I was easily able to configure two identical video screens on the Chauvet driver, which allowed me to drive the stage right screen on outputs one and two;, and the stage left screen on outputs three and four. The whole systems was fully integrated and worked seamlessly.”
Bollentin also found the panels easy to set up and take down. “The hardest part was getting the top row in line and level. After that I was able to turn it over to two local stagehands, who after two panels, picked up the process and completed the walls,” he said of the installation process. “It only took us about 20 minutes to erect each wall. Replacing panels from the middle of the screen was also flawless. We had one panel have an LED go down, and within two minutes we had the bad panel out and the replacement clicked in and calibrated.”
Based on his experience with the MVP Ta8 Curve, Bollentin is only sorry he didn’t make the switch from projection to LED video walls sooner. “It was really nice to be able to show video content all day,” he said. “We gave the audience a theater quality experience. I believe the MVP TA8 Curve will be a regular attendee at this yearly event.”
For more information on The Zeo Group visit www.thezeogroup.com.
About CHAUVET Professional
CHAUVET Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com
Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET® DJ, CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST®. They share Chauvet’s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit www.chauvetlighting.com