U2 debut remarkable huge touring LED
It’s ENORMOUS, at 200 feet long by 45 feet high. and it’s fed by a new 4k camera system with just one person doing the switching. Welcome to U2’s mega-tour 2017 style.
On the Joshua Tree tour, PRG rolled out a new LED screen framer called SPACEFRAME. This carbon fiber touring frame is ultra-lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced creating an intensive built-in structural strength. This allows for a free-form approach to stage designs enabling artists and designers to think outside the conventional LED box.
Get this – each 1.2m x 1.2m frame module ships packed down to about 120mm flat. The frame has an inbuilt snap out rigging and wind bracing system. You can pack eight frames onto a dolly that previously would hold six – and due to the carbon fibre material, the weight is now 35% less than before.
The system is already producing 25% labour savings on this tour, with less trucks required and obviously less air freight for those over-water hops.
“The quality and resolution of LED products have vastly improved over the last decade, but the frames have basically stayed the same. At PRG Projects, we saw an opportunity to innovate the way in which LED walls were assembled and transported, to rethink the construction of the frame and how it might impact the operational side of the business as well as the design experience,” stated Frederic Opsomer, PRG Projects’ Managing Director and innovation leader.
Leveraging in-house talent and partnerships already in place, PRG was able to produce the carbon frames from prototype to final product in just 17 weeks, enabling U2 to be the first to take advantage of the innovation.
The LED tiles are ROE (Radiant Opto-Elec Technology) CD8, 8mm pitch. ROE make a same-sized system that ranges all the way down to 3mm pitch, but on a screen so large that would be wasted.
4K Broadcast Camera System
The U2 tour also marks the introduction of PRG’s 4K (UHD) Broadcast Camera System as a first for concert touring. The PRG broadcast system, developed and integrated over three months, is a combination of products that can operate in 4K (UHD) and 3G SMPTE Standards. This design philosophy allows concurrent production to operate at the highest level of broadcast standards. The system delivers 60 frames per second (fps) with a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The concert touring system interconnects cameras and LED wall processors on fiber because of the enormous amounts of data and length of signal distances. The entire broadcast touring system can be set up within an hour and is designed to be operated by one video engineer, eliminating the need for four-to-five onsite engineering positions.
“PRG has been a part of every U2 tour since 1992 and the band always challenges us with pushing technology to its limits,” said Wolfgang Schram, PRG’s director of video engineering. “We have to be creative and that is the fun part.”