Evolve Technology, an Analog Way distributor and rental partner for the corporate and live staging markets, is now offering an inventory of Analog Way Aquilon RS2 and RS4 multi-screen presentation systems and videowall processors with HDR capabilities.
Evolve’s Aquilon complement was upgraded with version 2 firmware for LivePremier 4K/8K models making the processing engines compatible with the BT.2020 Wide Color Gamut (WCG) as well as the HDR10 and HLG standards. More importantly, they accept simultaneously sources of different types (SDR, HLG or HDR10) and convert them without any added latency to the desired standard. This conversion allows for all the sources to look correct and to mix HDR and SDR content in the same screen without requiring an additional outboard converters and adding any latency.
“Our latest version 2 firmware update with HDR delivers brighter whites, deeper blacks, a wider color gamut and more life-like images. You can see the benefits under a multitude of viewing situations,” says Brian Smith, Southeast Regional Sales Manager for Analog Way. “HDR capabilities are now available for Aquilon RS2 and RS4 models at no extra cost.”
George Ray, Product Solutionist at Evolve, notes that the company “has been looking at HDR for LED displays for a couple of years. We’ve found that while people like HDR when they see it, they don’t like what they need to do to make it work. But thanks to the Analog Way team HDR is now literally plug and play.”
He added that the Aquilon RS2 and RS4 systems “can handle SDR and HDR content simultaneously and have them both look correct – I don’t know any other screen switching platform that can do it and do it easily. We’ve been waiting for this function and were eager to get it.”
Ray has a decades-long history as a “software breaker,” he reports. “When something new comes out I like to go through as many functions as possible so we can respond when our purchasing, rental and training customers have questions, and we can also provide feedback to the manufacturer.”
Ray’s specialty is the LED display market, and his goal was “to make version 2 work correctly with the NovaStar LED control system we use. I’m able to confidently say that our Aquilons can take HDR signals from Blu-ray, Windows or Mac sources and send them to any destination without color space or scaling issues. And you don’t have to jump through hoops to achieve that.”
He notes a recent increase in customers requesting HDR for LED displays on virtual sets and xR stages. “That’s big now,” Ray says. “But customers also want sources going to non-HDR displays at multiple locations: a green room display, the director’s monitor, graphics preview. We can now take the HDR signal from the media server for the virtual set’s LED display and convert it for non-full screen, SDR displays and everything still looks correct.
“I really went in trying to break version 2, but it just worked as Analog Way claimed,” Ray declares. “I was flabbergasted that HDR could be that simple!”