IPS Rentals Inc. recently took delivery of a Christie® Spyder X80multi-screen windowing processor and used it almost immediately when Coppell, Texas-based ETS AV hired IPS Rentals to supply the Spyder X80 for the general session of a major information security event in Las Vegas.
Henderson, Nevada based IPS Rentals Inc., a go-to source for high-resolution video switching and playback systems for show professionals, was an early adopter of the Spyder X80, having used the Spyder X20 for hundreds of live events in America and overseas.
“Technically, we had purchase order number one,” said James Wadkins, president and owner of IPS Rentals. “The X80 was the only system being developed that was a true 4K system from start to finish, and we’re looking ahead to what our customers will need as the AV industry moves from traditional HD technology to the clarity of (systems using) 4K signals.”
“We know the new Spyder X80 will become the industry leader just like the X20 has been,” Wadkins continued. “With the X80 designed from the ground up to be a true 4K 4:4:4 system from every input to every output, it has the raw processing power to handle productions that use 4K content in the live events industry. Alternatives to X80 are adapting their HD processor to handle small amounts of 4K in a limited fashion. But the X80 is poised to be the most efficient ultra high resolution screen switching system in the marketplace now and in the future.”
“They (ETS AV) came to us specifically for 4K-based media servers,” Wadkins said. “As the show program added more 4K at 60 input and output signals it became apparent they had outgrown the system they originally asked us to provide. When we mentioned to Syl Prevost that we now had the Spyder X80 in our inventory, he jumped on the chance to use it.”
“We originally had planned on using another product but if we used it, we would have had to link several units together to make it work,” said Syl Prevost, senior project manager, ETS AV. “Jim told us the X80 would make life easier. There were fewer connections to make, less configuration and operating variables to consider. It was a lot simpler to use and in our experience, simpler always means more reliable. We had used Spyder X20s before we had 4K needs; it had always been our first choice.”
The arena setting for the event featured a circular stage covered with low-pile white carpeting and two 30K laser projectors projecting down onto the carpeting. The projection turned the stage into a rotating full moon in eclipse with the sponsoring company’s logo.
Three LED walls, each about 28 by 24 feet in size, formed a backdrop to the stage. As attendees walked into the conference, the LED walls displayed a mountainscape with night sky, shooting stars, and low fog.
When the general session began, ETS AV output three 4K streams into a media server then into the Spyder X80 to run the opening video. “It was one big file that had to stay in synch across all three screens,” Prevost explained. “During the presentations, we had a mix of 4K and 1080p content into the X80. The LED at center displayed an IMAG window while the side screens had graphic speaker support as 16x9 picture-in-picture content layered over the mountainscape shown during the walk-in.”
Christie’s Joel Turensky worked with Wadkins to ensure a smooth performance, which also boosted customer confidence. “Joel flew in for the rehearsal day, which gave great confidence to the customer that Christie had their best results in mind, Wadkins said. “ I served as the X80 operator for the show, and it went flawlessly. Every 4K source hit the screens as planned and without issue.”
“It was nice to see Joel come out and make sure we all were supported,” Prevost added. “The X80 had the horsepower we needed and it performed perfectly.”