Definition Live Spring 2023 - Web


P hysical attendance to mass events has returned with a bang, as music concerts, sports stadia and immersive entertainment venues feed audiences craving the live experience. The Covid-19 hiatus seemed to re-energise the whole sector. The venues and events market in EMEA saw a 43% decline in pro AV spend during 2020 against 2019, as audiences largely stayed at home according to Avixa. Growth resumed in earnest last year, with 2023 pro AV revenues from the sector expected to top $9.4 billion. Fuelling this is a renaissance of the venue as a destination. Just as picture houses once afforded people a luxurious sensory escape, a multitude of venues are upping the ante in a bid to offer what streaming services – or as importantly, virtual reality headgear – cannot. That’s jaw-dropping multi-sensory storytelling in the company of strangers. “Immersive experiences are in vogue,” says Lluís Badosa, managing director of Dataton’s Spanish partner, inWO Smart AV. “This kind of experience hits a sweet spot in the convergence between culture and AV technology.” When it opens at The Venetian later this year, the MSG Sphere will house a 160,000 sq ft LED screen at 16x16K, claiming the crown of highest resolution in the world. It will be programmed to show experiential video and to support live events complete with haptics, scent emission and beam-forming audio. Its exterior is clad entirely in another wraparound display. Driving content management and video playback, including video processing of both displays, is technology from 7thSense. “We have spent a long time working to develop a very reliable, top-performance, super-high-bandwidth network storage solution,” explains Rich Brown, 7thSense CTO. “The magnitude of pixels needing to be rendered efficiently is extremely challenging. This is the biggest, highest-spec display we’ve undertaken.” Chief components from 7thSense are banks of Delta media servers, its FPGA- based pixel processor Juggler that plays back live and recorded camera feeds at low latency, plus a new generative product that integrates game engines into the live workflow. Already in Las Vegas and Atlanta, with plans for international export, is Illuminarium. This offers visitors a headset-free form of VR, either of a safari or the surface of the moon displayed on a 360º canvas and using an arsenal of AV tech, such as laser projection, spatial beam-forming audio, in-floor haptics, scent and LiDAR-based interactivity. Brian Allen, EVP of technology and content integration, says: “Making content

possibilities, ranging from stunning shows to real-time, choose-your-own- adventure video game content, to evening events with a DJ. The Now Building in Soho currently claims the world’s largest wraparound screen installation. Opened last November, planned by Outernet with Qvest as systems integrator, its digital canvas is spread four storeys high in 16K resolution. Facilities include automated control and playback of content and immersive audio processing. In Manchester, the £186 million cultural hub Factory International, built on the site of the former Granada television studios, has super-sized,

for Illuminarium Experiences is not as straightforward as making a music video or a traditional film narrative. We think about everything from choosing a signature scent for the show to interaction design, to where people dwell for the longest in our theatres. There’s a lot of empirical data that goes with it, but also a lot of forethought in creating this overall attention-grabbing design. “What makes us unique is not only the fact that we are a communal, digitally delivered experience, but we can change out the content incredibly quickly. That content ranges from real-time, to pre- rendered, to interactive and generative content.” This opens up a plethora of


Powered by