Creative Day Technologies, an event production company based in Troy, Michigan, deployed the DIMAX-Pro 4K video processor from DEXON to drive a large LED videowall for a major global automaker’s 2021 virtual product reveals and dealer meetings. The flagship product of DEXON Systems, DIMAX-Pro is an unprecedented 3-in-1 solution that integrates a presentation matrix, routing matrix and video processor in a single chassis. DEXON Systems products are manufactured in Hungary and distributed in North America by DEXON USA.
Creative Day Technologies was tasked with providing production services and the technical infrastructure that enabled the automaker to produce a series of virtual press reveals heralding 2021 vehicles and a virtual dealer meeting during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year Creative Day Technologies teamed with the automaker on the CES and Chicago Auto Show events prior to the spring lockdown.
With in-person auto shows cancelled for the rest of 2020 the automaker sought a way to continue to deliver important information on new vehicle announcements in the virtual space.
“Pandemic or no, automakers have a lot of new products to reveal,” says Sam Hanneh, Chief Technical Officer at Creative Day Technologies. “Our client planned on auto shows to get their messages out. They weren’t looking to produce highly-polished infomercials. They wanted to do traditional-style press reveals with an executive talking about the product and the vehicle driving in to be the focus of attention.”
Creative Day’s client had converted a former Detroit-area assembly plant into a museum and training center. Prior to the pandemic the automaker planned to hold a large dealer event there flying in thousands of attendees. They transformed a portion of the old vehicle assembly area into presentation space with a large stage, LED videowall and turntable. The pandemic shut things down mid-way into rehearsals. But several months later the automaker revisited the facility with an eye to using it as a base for virtual press events.
What looked like a temporary, stopgap solution is now a thriving virtual studio, following COVID-19 protocols to produce several press reveals and dealer meetings to date with more upcoming events being planned.
“The client wanted to create a setting that felt very familiar to the executives giving the presentations with a drive-on stage with large screen and turntable. But each event is given a unique look via the LED videowall, lighting and creative scenic elements,” explains Hanneh. The client worked with their display company provide the stage and custom-built, 80 x 12-foot high-resolution LED videowall while Creative Day Technology was tasked to provide the technical infrastructure to drive the event. The LED wall is driven by a DEXON DIMAX-Pro video processor system.
“We talked to Drew Taylor at DEXON USA about a cost-effective solution for the studio and decided that DIMAX-Pro would do the job for us,” says Hanneh. “It’s a very powerful router and video processor that handles the 4K60 signals to drive the LED wall and that gives us clean switching and dissolves and very crisp, high-resolution images. It’s been the perfect choice.” Creative Day Technologies obtained the DIMAX-Pro from High Resolution Engineering.
“DEXON products are cost effective, very reliable, extremely high quality and easy to use making them a perfect fit for virtual production studios,” notes Drew Taylor, President of DEXON USA. “DIMAX-Pro offers users a lot of flexibility and extensive cost savings by integrating the functionality of three products into one core system with seamless switching, routing and built-in multi-view capabilities all at full HDMI 2.0 4K60 bandwidth. It ticks all the boxes.”
In the automaker’s studio three 4K outputs of DIMAX-Pro feed three LED videowall processors to create a huge seamless canvas. During the press reveals the videowall often showed animated background images. For the dealer meeting the videowall displayed informative keynote content, including statistics, sales, future dealerships and upcoming product.
Creative Day Technologies packaged the presentations together giving them a “Live Event” feel for the on-line webcast. The automaker marketed the product launches on their social media sites, treating the upcoming reveals as live virtual events generating buzz about the announcements.
“Our client has seen a huge value in doing these virtual productions,” Hanneh reports. “They represent a huge cost savings compared to press reveal at an auto show. And they’ve been extremely successful: One of the product launches trended number seven on YouTube with over 11 million views.”
The automaker has invested in turning the event stage into a permanent facility for large meeting and events by making equipment investments in the space while retaining Creative Day Technologies to produce larger events. Additional events are being planned through 2021 as they continue to work on product announcements through the pandemic.
“We have a great partnership with Drew Taylor, Mike Taylor and Greg Byrnes at DEXON USA and High Resolution Engineering,” notes Hanneh. “They know their stuff and are always there and helpful in supporting our work.”