At Event Projection, much of the work we do involves AV integration and collaboration with other equipment and suppliers. In the summer of 2019, we were contacted by a tech production company, Pixelated Power. They were looking for a company to look after a project for McCann Heath to do something rather unusual with some screens.
The task was part of an exhibition stand for the ERS Medical Congress in Madrid and McCann had come up with a concept involving moving screens. The design for this was a large, lozenge shaped LED screen and in front of this, they wanted to install three smaller LCD screens that would travel up and down in sync with the content. Other suppliers were taking care of the screens and the stand build. The content was taken care of by McCann, but they were struggling with how to make the screens move.
Prior to taking this on, we had little experience with the motor systems to physically make this happen but thankfully knew of several places to start looking. The more important part of our role though, ensuring that they moved precisely in time with the content we were very confident with due to our expertise in bespoke software solutions and ends for one reason or another. Some were disregarded due to unfortunate incompatibility with the rest of the stand build. Others dismissed because of a lack of the fine precision that would be necessary. And others still, simply due to the very short lead time. Making the final decision required a day trip to Belgium where Showtex demonstrated their chain track system. Unsurprisingly, this was not designed to make screens move but was in fact a controllable curtain track for use in theatres! However, the speed and accuracy of the system was incredible, and it was easy for us to work with, so we chose this system to work with for this project. Unlike other systems that required the motion data to be output to control the content playback, theirs allow us to control it which was by far the most sensible way to work.
After testing several options, we settled on using our Avolites R8 media servers as the heat of our system. This looked after playback of content for the main LED screen and the three 55” LCD screens. With a clever patch, we were also able output the data necessary to control the tracks, all perfectly in sync and with sub-millimetre precision throughout the four-day show without a single hitch.