Inside the container, there is a small control room which houses the broadcast equipment. It can run locally off a laptop, and sometimes we drop in a computer to run interactive art pieces. Most of the time, the screen is running on a fibre connection to the Aotea Centre’s control room. This control room or broadcast suite was part of our investment in the asset, giving us broader digital capability across the different venues in the Aotea Arts Quarter, in addition to the Digital Stage. Our scheduling and playout software are all activated from this suite, pushing content to the screen.
When we are running live IMAG in Aotea Square, we run everything from the Aotea Centre’s control room. Cameras in the Square link back to the control room’s Ross Carbonite video switcher. If we are away from Aotea Centre, we drop in a vision switcher, and it’s easy to include live cameras. If it is just a one-shot we need, we have a PTZ camera attached to the side of the screen that can be manually patched straight out to screen via the Blackmagic router in the container’s control room. This gives us a shot of the crowd. People love seeing themselves, it’s the most popular thing to have on the screen.
Brightness and Quality
The brightness (over 5,000 nits) is exceptionally good. We often get comments about how clear the picture is even though the sun is hitting the screen directly on very bright days. Some people are in disbelief – we’re very happy in that respect!
We most often run audio with the two JBL speakers side-of-screen. When I saw the proposal, I was sceptical that only two passive 12s would provide enough coverage and SPL, but ULA chose well, and they do a great job.
We have a distributed speaker system in the Square on a delay matrix which we use for large events, but the screen runs most of the time with just its left-right pair.
The on-going service and support from ULA Group has been exceptional. They are one of the best companies I have dealt with. When things inevitably go wrong with technology, ULA Group go out of their way to resolve things as quickly and efficiently as possible. That sort of support is hard to find these days