Kilowatt AV uses Avolites Ai Media server for South Africa's first 3D video-mapping event
South Africa - South African equipment rental and technical support house Kilowatt AV recently invested in the Avolites Ai Media Server EX series to power the country's first-ever choreographed 3D video-mapping experience.

The event, for global car manufacturer Nissan, integrated live dance with 3D virtual mapping technology to create a show that demonstrated the blurring of lines between human and virtual arts.

"Our scenic team designed a 24m wide 3D stage set that required the Ai Media Server to power three 14K HD Christie Projectors, which covered the area," explains Dillon Jearey, chief executive officer for Kilowatt AV. "The biggest challenge for us was that the deadline between content load-in and show production was incredibly tight. Thankfully, the Ai proved itself to be extremely versatile and reliable, handling the fast-tracked programming schedule with speed and ease."

The equipment was supplied to Kilowatt AV by DWR Distribution, South African distributor for Avolites Media and its sister company Avolites. "The new Ai Media server EX series brings huge added value to ownership," explains Managing Director Duncan Riley. "It features third generation PCI Express motherboards and graphics cards, as well as a front panel touch screen that displays the Ai Visualiser. It also has internal EDIT management and Dual Preview and 8 HD Projection outputs."

"With the Ai you get a comprehensive feature set and an incredible amount of processing power for your money," agrees Jearey. "Before anything else, Kilowatt AV is a business and for us finding products with impressive capability that also matches their financial payback is crucial. The Ai Media Server is absolutely one of those products."

Kilowatt AV's decision to invest in the Avolites Media technology has been spurred by the company's recent success and expansion into the South African projection-mapping market. This expansion has also seen Jearey acquire a personal stake in Cape Town-based animation outfit Lucan Visuals.

"Projection mapping is often misunderstood and incorrectly sold in South Africa," explains Jearey. "Kilowatt AV has been aware of this for some time now and we have realised that fantastic quality content is required to complement the technical equipment solution. LUCAN is a studio of incredible animation talent and we believe that synergies with us and other technical support companies will elevate the quality of mapping productions implemented in the market. Having LUCAN as a supplier gives us access to 6 of the continent's most talented up and coming animators and being able to offer a total solution gives us increased control and service levels for our clients.

"We invested in the Ai Media Server to complement and show off high quality content. Now we can provide our clients with a full video mapping service equal to that of any European production house. In addition, we can demonstrate what can be achieved when you combine high-quality content and state of the art technology. Plus, we can offer realistic prices and turnaround times."

Technical support is also important to Jearey, who cites that the friendly, helpful efficiency of the Avolites Media technical support team alongside the excellent customer service from DWR were a key influencer in their purchasing decision.

"For the Nissan event we had an 18hr load in," explains Jearey. "We were still new to the server and working our way around the system. Thankfully the Avolites Media support team were always available on the end of the phone. We made around three or four phone calls during the project and they provided all the backup and support we needed - even when they were out of hours!"

Kilowatt AV is one of very few technical houses in South Africa able to provide a full service video mapping and digital content operation that incorporates everything from creative content production to equipment hire.

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