09.03.09

Giant LED screens grace Grand Prix

AUTHOR: Inavate

LEDVision, a Gearhouse South Africa company, supplied 200m² of LED screen, microwave links and control for the fifth round of the 2009 A1 Grand Prix World Cup. This was staged in South Africa for the first time at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Midrand near Johannesburg.

The seven screens included three mobile truck screens – one 40m2 Chromatek 20mm and two Barco B10s – each measuring ten square metres. There were also four modular screens – one at 40m² and 3 at 30m² - all made up from Lighthouse R16.

These were placed strategically around the massive track to offer optimum viewing for a close to 90,000 strong audience.

On top of the pit roof by the start/finish line was the first of the 30m2 Lighthouse screens, with another on the trackside at Turn 1 servicing the grandstand opposite. Further up at Turn 2 was another 30m2 Lighthouse, one of the Barco B10s and the Chromatek, providing viewing for everyone in the Gold Grandstand. The other Barco B10 was located at Turn 5, another 30m2 Lighthouse at Turn 8, and at Turn 10 was the 40m2 Lighthouse.

An LEDVision crew of 32 for the build up and 16 for the practice day and 2 race days was headed by Richard Baker, Allen Evans (JHB) and Mike Tempest from Gearhouse’s Durban office. They were working directly for Gauteng Motorsport, producers of the South African leg of the event.

A feed was supplied by broadcasters Alfacam, and microwave linked from their compound to the LEDVision control point behind the pit roof screen, and this was then bounced to the six other screens around the track.

The control set up included an advertisement scheduler, a Sony AnyCast switching station and a series of AV Stumpfl media servers. The ad stings were co-ordinated via a Medialon control platform supplied by LEDVision’s sister company, System Solutions. Apart from IMAG of the race action, the screens also relayed live updated race statistics, local advertisements and assorted public announcement information.

Power for three of the Lighthouse screens came from generators supplied by Gearhouse Power, with the fourth running off hard power, and the three truck screens were run from their onboard generators.

The biggest challenge for the LEDVision team was the geographical scale of the event and the distances between the areas needing coverage.