PRG and FTS trusted Christie Spyder X80s to process video walls totaling more than 14,000 square feet

Making mountains of data understandable is Tableau’s mission, and expanding the concept of data possibilities was its goal at the company’s Tableau Conference 2018 that took place in New Orleans recently. Tableau, the leader in enterprise analytics platforms, presented the leading minds in research, creativity and innovation, who encouraged participants to “kick their skills into high gear,” network, and expand their knowledge.

Production Resource Group, LLC (PRG), the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology to a wide range of markets, has partnered with Tableau on more than 15 events since early 2015.  The company has worked with Tim Durr, owner of Orlando-based Freelance Technical Services (FTS), for half-a-dozen years during which he has been part of the last four Tableau Conferences.

“Tim is probably the most brilliant video technician I know, and we entrusted him to design the video system for Tableau 2018,” Tableau’s largest annual event, said Nick Barton, PRG’s Director, Global Accounts, Corporate Events. “The Tableau Conference has been growing every year and drew up to 22,000 attendees for this most recent event.”

FTS provided the engineering design and video processing equipment for the keynote room and Data Village, which included 14,669 square feet of LED video walls and more than 90 million pixels of 4K content.  FTS supplied a complement of Christie Spyder X20 and X80 multi-screen processors, to drive a dazzling visual canvas for the keynote sessions in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as well as informative displays on the Data Village exhibition floor.

“The show was designed around the capabilities of the Christie Spyder X80,” said Tim Durr.  “The keynote room is a big space to fill, and staging and production company PRG asked which image processor could handle the amount of 4K LED video content they wanted to use.  The Spyder X80 is the only existing windowing processor capable of managing that many channels of 4K and the only product able to show 4K at native resolution. With that in mind, the client elevated the game further by using an LED product that really made the content shine.”

Two Christie Spyder X80s managed the content on a stage spanning 300 feet of LED video screens in the keynote room. The space included seven primary content screens and 22 scenic screens, which separated the expanse of primary screens and formed floating ribbons above the enveloping content. Another Spyder X20 fed a linear display of four blended delay projection screens at the rear of the keynote hall – ensuring audience members farther from the stage wouldn’t miss anything.

The presentation media was played from media servers with 17 channels, twelve 2K graphics computers, six 2K playback devices and two live camera IMAG feeds.

In the Expo Hall where the Data Village welcomed visitors to hundreds of exhibitor and sponsor booths, another Spyder X80 fed eight 4K LED video walls in the form of a ground-supported cube in the center of the floor and two LED video walls at each end of the 500-foot long exhibition area. 

Durr pointed to the advantage of the Spyder X80 providing a simple method to program backup sources without creating excessive presets as well as the ability of every input and output to accept 4K at HDMI, DisplayPort and SDI. “That affords us incredible flexibility and freedom of engineering. No other technology can do what the X80 does, and it all performed flawlessly for TC (Tableau Conference) 2018,” Durr concluded.

“Only the Spyder X80 allowed us to reach the resolutions and pixel counts we required,” echoed Barton.  “The versatile system delivered a flawless event.”

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