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Largest-ever temporary MicroTiles installation

The UK's Goodwood Festival of Speed saw not only a number of fast, exotic cars but also the largest Christie MicroTiles temporary installation yet created in Europe.

Production AV fielded the largest temporary Christie MicroTiles display ever at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed — configured in a highly original design.

Working for Twofour Digital, the Gloucester-based AV specialists commandeered no fewer than 270 tiles, configured in a giant concave 30 x 9 display to help car manufacturer Audi showcase its entire range.

Production AV was brought in by Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) to whom they had earlier demonstrated MicroTiles. The latter, in turn, introduced Twofour Digital and Audi to the technology when they were looking for a compelling media display that would wow visitors to their touring pavilion at Goodwood.

According to CPL, LED was bright enough for the application, but a really high resolution was needed as some of the content was running in full HD, and needed to be clearly visible to visitors even when they were very close up to the screen. Plasmas would not give the curvature. They also needed something that could look extremely neat and tidy with the technical elements easily concealable, so projection was out. Chrsitie’s MicroTiles proved to be the optimum solution.

“When they saw MicroTiles they decided to fill the whole of one wall with a curved display, giving them a 12m x 2.7m screen,” said Production AV project manager, Sam McCrea. Set on a 1m high plinth the display was the largest temporary MicroTiles installation yet seen in Europe.
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The screen showed footage created by the Twofour Digital team showcasing the best of Audi on a 30-minute loop. Video coverage included a range of Audi racing cars heading up the famous 1.16 mile hill climb, including an Auto Union Type D, Audi R8 LMS and the Audi R18 TDI sports prototype that raced in this year’s Le Mans 24 hours.

Twofour also provided on-demand video content for the Audi team to use on their social networking sites.

To construct such a large display with its precision curvature had required careful prep time — and a lot of resourcefulness, as Production AV set out in search of the requisite number of tiles to complement their own inventory. “We set it up in the warehouse with a 6mm wedge between the back of each tile to get the curvature; but they coupled easily, and when we switched on the display the impact was immediate,” said McCrea.

“We used six outputs of Spyder for the MicroTiles walls, splitting the display into six separate sub arrays — with three 10 x 5 as the top row and three 10 x 4 arrays on the bottom,” explained the Production AV project manager. “That enabled us to work in full 1,920 HD resolution for each array. The whole display ran flawlessly throughout and the client was delighted.”
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The wall’s 13 metre arc fitted snugly around the corner of the stand. CPL had a special plinth fabricated which stood a metre off the floor and formed the base of the installation. It was painted in a specific matt dark gun metal RAL colour to match other elements of Audi’s branding and blend in with the MicroTile wall.

All the video footage was stored in a Pandora’s Box media server, and output to the screen via a Christie Spyder x20 screen management system programmed by Diacre. They ran six video outputs to the wall, which was split into six sections, all edge-butted together in the Pandora’s Box. Both static and Moving PiPs also appeared on the wall during the looped video show, all controlled and time aligned via the Spyder, which ran everything automatically and continuously from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the event.
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Audio was an important part of the whole Audi AV experience, so CPL supplied a high quality d&b 3.1 surround sound audio system which was integrated into the base of the MicroTiles Wall. The speakers were d&b E6s with E15 subs, and the actual track was also run through the Pandora’s Box.

The regular stream of visitors were also able to see the lightweight, aluminium, five cylinder 408PS quattro Concept, R8 GT Spyder, A1 and RS 3 Sportback, while there was a viewing platform of the track.

Paul Middleton from Twofour Digital confirmed: “Once they had seen all the amazing Audi footage on the 12m screen visitors could not help but be wowed.”

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to showcase our cars and to improve our visitors’ experience at the Goodwood Festival of Speed,” said Hugh Fletcher, National Digital Manager for Audi UK. “The screen not only added to the atmosphere inside the Audi pavilion, but also brought our fantastic brand and product range to life.”