Pixels bring synchronicity to Eden Project

Exploring the impact that humans have on the global environment is a key theme of the Eden Project, the world famous ‘global garden’ located in a former china clay pit in Cornwall, England. Fittingly, that theme was also the centrepiece of Beth Derbyshire’s multimedia presentation Anthem, performed at Eden this autumn, with BrightSign HD1010 media players.

Presented as a joint venture between Eden Project, Beth and Cape Farewell - an organisation devoted to highlighting climate change through culture - Anthem combined a trilogy of films shot by Beth in the Arctic, Newfoundland and the UK, with a live choral performance of music composed by Ulrike Haage.

Pixels supplied a complete media playback system for the project, comprising three HD1010 compact media players, which were synchronised to show the film elements of Anthem on three large screens in the Eden Project’s Mediterranean biome.

Working very closely with Beth, Pixels UK’s technical team wrote program scripts which allowed the BrightSign players to drive the installation’s projectors from a single button press to start the presentation. The processing power and flexibility of the HD1010s meant that there was no need for a separate show controller, all control and synchronisation being done via the players’ GPIO and network ports.

“We believe that this was the first time synchronised BrightSign HD media players have been used in a live performance,” says Pixels UK managing director Norman Garland.

“We put a lot of work into perfecting a reliable, simply operated system for a live performance environment and we were very pleased with the result. The system worked absolutely flawlessly throughout the run of Anthem in what is an ideal environment for plants, but not necessary for technology!”

“The most important thing when making video work is the quality of the output,” explains Beth. “I went to Pixels UK as they are widely regarded as an industry expert. Pixels advised me on a cost effective but quality range of players, the Bright Sign HD media players. They were beyond helpful in testing the equipment, offering advice on how to make the media look excellent and bent over backwards to help me.

“The media players have performed faultlessly and the media looks fantastic for the month-long exhibition in a tough environment, even at very large scale. I could not have achieved the end result without all the advice and help from Pixels. So thank you Pixels!”

BrightSign HD media players are suitable for many types of playback and display applications. The product line-up comprises a competitively priced standalone player for looping HD video and playlists; two models which add basic or advanced interactivity / control and two players with simple or advanced networking for remote content delivery and reporting. Video output is full HD, 50p and 60p on all models.

All BrightSign players use low-cost SDHC flash memory cards to store HD media and offer a complete, powerful and reliable solution in a package measuring just 165mm x 155mm x 33mm and weighing less than 0.4kg. Integrated mounting brackets allows the player to be easily fixed to the back of a LCD / plasma display or secured to a rack shelf or equipment bay.

The BrightSign HD1010, used for the Anthem performances, has full networking capabilities, digital and analogue video and audio outputs, plus USB, serial and GPIO interfaces.

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