Tetra-VIO feeds LED walls used on French TV programmes

Phase 4
Phase 4_2 Phase 4_3 Phase 4_4

True visual revolution, LED walls have become increasingly present on TV programme sets in recent time. These LED walls are dual purpose in that they cover a large stage area or set the one hand, whilst on the other they produce both vivid and dynamic images of anything ranging from simple logos to HD video content, from a variety of display formats.

As one of the most advanced display technologies on the market, LED walls produce images of both high brightness and excellent colorimetry, allowing presentations of high quality with impact.

Phase 4 is an AV company specializing in the set-up of high-tech lighting systems for live TV performances. Ever since 1980, Phase 4 has been working on French TV stage productions, and now is involved in 80% of these TV programmes.
Recently Phase 4 has further developed the service it offers by including LED walls applications. To accompany this new offer, Phase 4 acquired 4 Tetra-VIOs (Ref.TVC401) multi-format converters.
Analog Way’s Tetra-VIO is a universal AV and computer switcher capable of scaling, scan conversion, format conversion or standards conversion of images, and where necessary Digital Audio embedding/de-embedding from SDI.

Tetra-VIO, ideal multi-format converter for LED Walls

Phase 4 does not provide classic video production. Although recurrent, the installations are not permanent and usually last between 2 days and 2 weeks. Use of the four Tetra-VIOs to partner the LED walls has fitted in well with the strategy of offering additional services to the TV companies. Now the Tetra-VIO is used with LED wall used on each TV set installation.

The first installation of this type to use these Tetra-VIOs was at the Lendit Studios in La Plaine St Denis near Paris, France, in June. This was for the TV show “La Meilleure Danse” (“The Best Dance”) produced by M6, one of the most prominent TV channels in France.

Alexandre Halupka, Video Technician in charge of LED video walls at Phase 4, explains why he chose the Tetra-VIO. “For my activity with LED walls, I was looking for an image converter that could convert signals in different resolutions, while ensuring pan, tilt, zoom, functions and more, allowing me to adjust contents for LED walls. To supply the various technologies of LED video walls, specific format and frequency are required. Today we are mostly working in HD, with 1920x1080i format at 50Hz, so every time, I need to convert signals and change the size of the contents sent to me. It has been a while since I was looking for such a processor.”

In addition to its high levels of performance, the Tetra-VIO particularly suits to situations when non-standard resolutions are often required, such as LED walls. Alexandre Halupka says that: “The Tetra-VIO’s advantage is the “LED Wall” function that allows the precise adjustment of images as well as offering ‘play’ on the horizontal and vertical axes independently. All said and done, the Tetra-VIO enables to adjust an image to the pixel.”

Installation of 4 Tetra-VIOs for the TV show “La Meilleure Danse” (“The Best Dance”)

“La Meilleure Danse” is a TV programme produced by the French TV channel M6. This program is a dance competition with a jury and an audience who vote for their favorite dancer, professional or not.

For the show itself, the TV set included a P6 LED video wall (6mm between each LED) measuring approximately 30m², and 30m² of P25 LED video wall (25mm between each LED), split between separate screens.

The initial set-up of “La Meilleure Danse” needed particularly careful and faultless preparation as the show was to be broadcast live. So, on the show one Tetra-VIO was used to feed the P6 wall, while another Tetra-VIO was supplying video to the P25 wall.

Two additional Tetra-VIOs were held available on standby in case of technical problems. The Tetra-VIOs held in back-up were also configured as operational units for the show, each receiving its’ source, so that if a problem occurred, the cables supplying video to the LED walls could ‘hot swopped’ over.

To enhance security further, the shows’ logo was pre-recorded and configured into the non-volatile memory of theTetra-VIOs. This meant that in the event of a loss of signal, that thanks to the frame/logo function on the Tetra-VIO that the LED walls would continue to be fed with images incorporating the logo of the TV programme.

In terms of content for the LED walls, the show was based around imagery from both computer and video sources. The Tetra-VIOs were used not just as converters but also to adjust images on the LED walls. The mobile broadcast unit was sending the sources through BNC cables in 1920x1080p format at 50 Hz. For this particular LED wall installation two formats were required; 1920x1080 for the P6 wall, and 1280x1024 for the P25 wall, both at a rate of 50Hz. Each source was put through a colorimetry corrector before being sent via BNC cables to the Tetra-VIOs where the signals were converted to DVI to feed the LED walls.

Looking back Alexandre Halupka says of the Tetra-VIO that: “For the first installations that we have done with the Tetra-VIO, the show ‘La Meulleure Danse’ and the M6 Live Music concert, we did not have a single problem, despite being our first use of the product. The Tetra-VIO offers a very good price vs. performance ratio and perfectly matched our expectations. The product met all our needs, especially for LED walls, this solution works perfectly”.

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