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HIVE media players power art at London’s Frameless immersive arts experience

HIVE Player_3 4K and 8K media players power the artistic displays that cover the walls, ceilings and floors across a 30,000 sq ft space situated within the Marble Arch Place Complex venue in London

A deployment of HIVE Player_3 4K and 8K media players have been selected for Frameless, London’s first permanent digital immersive arts experience.

Creative Technology (CT) delivered the video solution site wide, including projection, digital signage, LED and media servers. HIVE Media Players power the artistic displays that cover the walls, ceilings and floors across a 30,000 sq ft space.

Digital interpretations of 40 masterpieces from 28 artists including Klimt, Monet, Rembrandt and van Gogh lead visitors through four carefully curated spaces: Beyond Reality, Colour in Motion, The World Around Us and the Art of Abstraction.

Working closely alongside CT UK’s Systems Integration department, Dave Green, Mark Calvert and the team at HIVE Media Players advised on technical solutions, and as Video Playback vendor, helped to steer the design of the video system for the audiences’ bright and colourful journey.

Deploying a total of 19 Player_3 systems, highly accurate synchronisation was essential, as HIVE technical director, Dave Green, elaborates: “Synchronisation is the key element that holds everything together in an installation like this. The HIVE Player_3 system offers SDI outputs with GenLock from a reference signal and this ensures from device to device, everything is perfectly in sync.

“The video mapping at Frameless is very much at the cutting edge of what’s possible right now. This was achieved in part by CT using Front Pictures Screenberry software for automated camera-based calibration.”

Situated in the new Marble Arch Place Complex venue, Frameless blends digitalised art, creative vision and cutting-edge entertainment technology to present a “cultural attraction like no other”. The project has been brought to critically acclaimed fruition by figureheads from the worlds of tech, art, architecture and experiential events to showcase iconic works of art as they’ve never been seen before – via immersive, state-of-the-art video projection.

The 8K 25fps equirectangular video playback used in Frameless’ largest space is at the top end of what the HIVE Player_3 device is capable of, as Green continues: “The output resolution from the HIVE players is running at 50Hz, but the content was provided in 8K 25fps, so we needed to use the AiM codec interframe interpolation feature to ensure we achieved a smooth video playback on the larger surfaces, and in 8K, that’s fairly challenging.”

CT UK’s head of integration, Graham Bunyan, explains how Green added technical expertise to the nuances of this unique project: “It wasn’t just understanding the final playback, which is ultimately the result of all this hard work, but the relationship that CT built with HIVE was essential for success; we understood at every stage what the technical challenges were going to be.”

Frameless also augmented 50x 3-Chip DLP of Panasonic laser projectors, which helped to deliver 479 million pixels and one million lumens. 

Head of Panasonic UK, Gareth Day, comments: “Although HIVE is a relatively new company – we worked with Dave Green and Mark Calvert on the National Museum of Qatar, and subsequently on the UAE Pavilion and Expo 2020 – we’ve found them a great team to work with. It was absolutely fantastic to deal with them again on Frameless.” 

After 12 months of preparation before its Autumn opening, Green reflects on Frameless’ hugely successful reception: “It’s not until the venue opens, and you see the public immersed in the experience, that you really understand what was being created. HIVE is so proud to have worked alongside such experts on a project assembled by a world-class team; the results speak for themselves.”