UK - Absen made its debut at the Media Production & Technology Show (MPTS), where the company showcased its innovative AbsenLive capabilities.

Absen demonstrated its extensive AbsenLive production technology with floor, wall, and ceiling installations, all of which suitable for rentals or permanent setups in live events, virtual production, and xR stages.

Exploring the AbsenLive product portfolio, Absen's stand featured a main screen that utilised the PR1.9, a virtual production specialist product.

A ceiling screen showcased the PR3.9, while the floor utilised the Mars series' MR2.5, suitable for live events and VP/xR. A side screen featuring the SA2.6 completed the immersive experience. In a dedicated demo area, attendees got the chance to get hands-on with Absen products.

Solutions from across the AbsenLive portfolio were on dis

UK - Distortion Studios, specialists in virtual production, recently opened the doors of its new Bristol-based studio, backed by an in-house team of immersive digital arts specialists. The space, home to a cutting-edge studio stage complete with the latest and most trusted virtual production technology, can be utilised by anyone looking to shoot virtual production content, as well as serving as a training and community hub.

 “At Distortion Studios, we want to play a part in upskilling the next generation of industry professionals locally,” remarks Nick Diacre, technical director at Distortion Studios. “So, we’re looking to invite technical people in and run training in the space, alongside the usual studio hire. Remaining technologically agnostic was therefore important to us.”  

Diacre first encountered SP by Stage Precision in the soft

Portugal - Event provider Europalco has once again leveraged Christie integrated solutions for a spectacular synchronised multi-projection display for the annual meeting of Millennium BCP, Portugal’s largest private bank, held at Lisbon’s Carlos Lopes Pavilion.

DCE Loving Brands agency organised and created the employee recognition-themed event, which was integrated into all levels of production for the approximately 1,600 people in attendance. Europalco provided a wide range of services, which included sound, lighting, video, cameras, automation, kinetic elements, stage set-up, and furniture.

A gigantic 60 x 8m main screen divided into three sections (each 20 x 8m) served as the focal point of the stage. Supported by 12 Christie 30,000 lumen, 4K 3DLP projectors, a Christie Spyder X80video processor, and Christie Pandoras Box Servers for show con

France - La Planète Rouge, a team of 3D and VFX set designers as well as colourists, set out to create The Next Stage. Housed within Provence Studios, the largest filmmaking infrastructure in southern France, it is situated in the heart of the French filmmaking industry near Marseille. The Next Stage has been designed to be ‘the ultimate in virtual production studios’, featuring a custom-made LED screen from French manufacturer, ArtBox, and is powered by Brompton LED video processing.

“We started with a blank sheet,” says La Planète Rouge’s Morgann Brun. “The infrastructure needed to be as immersive as possible because our aim was for production companies to be able to create content for feature films there.”

The result is a studio that features a U-shaped volume with an LED ceiling, plus a mobile set up. As Brun puts it, it is a Swis

UK - LED display brand Absen has announced the opening of its first UK showroom, in Theale, Berkshire, serving as a hub for Absen’s European operations.

The new showroom boasts Absen’s comprehensive range of solutions which cater to an array of markets, including rental & staging, virtual production, commercial, conference, DOOH, and data visualisation as well as providing essential office space for its team. The European hub also presents a display experience through its collaborations with ecosystem partners, including:

Designer and manufacturer of AV solutions, Peerless-AV providing essential bracket solutions specifically designed for the Clear Cobalt (CL) Series, which redefines LED capabilities for data visualisation. The showroom features groundbreaking collaborative displays like the CL0.9 v2 and NX 1.8 proAV solutions.

Intera

South Africa – Hit TV series The Masked Singer kicked off its second season in South Africa in April with 16 celebrities battling it out in flamboyant costumes to hide their identities. The production team ramped up the staging, lighting, and visuals for the 2024 contest using tvONE’s Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers alongside a grandMA3 console to create epic projections and LED screen animations.

On stage, a 11m x 4m 2.9 pixel pitch Absen LED main wall backed each performer, displaying custom-made content designed in collaboration with The Masked Singer South Africa creative director Barry Pretorius, and set designer Michael Gill. In addition, there were two 2m x 4m LED walls for Unreal Engine 3D effects rigged behind two stage left and right mask-shaped surfaces, which were projection mapped using the Boreal+ MK2 via

South Africa - Stage Audio Works was recently enlisted to reinvent the video infrastructure inside South Africa’s Moreleta Church. Known for housing one of the largest auditoriums in the country – with over 7,000 seats for the congregation - Moreleta welcomes both in-person and online worshippers every weekend.  

“We had been talking to the client for several months about upgrading their current video system,” says Stage Audio Works’ Lee Thomson. “They were considering an overall video upgrade for centre, left and right screens, so the first phase of the project included two new side screens, two cameras and a new video-switching solution.”  

Moreleta Church opens its doors twice every Sunday – at 9am and at 5pm. Additionally, the church also hosts dozens of external events across the calendar year, so having a video system that w

UK – Technical production specialist Blue Elephant has become the first UK AV supplier to invest in the latest generation of xVision Nomad 2.6 LED screen from Theatrixx Technologies.

Offering high-end production services and custom solutions for events of all types, Blue Elephant has purchased over 100sq.m (320 panels – with another 100 to follow) of the new high-resolution Nomad screen package from Theatrixx, including processing from Brompton Technology.

xVision Nomad 2.6 indoor screen offers many major advantages to AV production suppliers. Not only is its visual performance of the very highest standard, but it includes a robust and extremely durable die-cast aluminium panel design, with no-GOB (glue on board) module construction. For further durability, Theatrixx’s proprietary TPEP (Titanium/Polymer Edge Protection) technology significantly

The Netherlands - Tilburg University campus which specialises in artificial intelligence, social and behavioural sciences, recently upgraded its DAF Technology Lab to revolutionise the way its students learn and collaborate.

Expanding the possibilities of immersive education and innovative research, two CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) systems with VR opportunities and 360º sound from Genelec now call Tilburg home. In a project that aims to positively impact education and training, Genelec’s Smart IP series of networked loudspeakers brought real-life audio to a notably complex installation. 

Max Louwerse, professor of cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence at Tilburg University – and founder and scientific director of the DAF Technology Lab – has been a big advocate of this new type of immersive learning. In several publica

USA - Working with lighting designer Roger Gant, Montreal-based visual design company Lüz studio oversaw the lighting design, creative design and video content for Billy Strings’ ongoing US tour and festival dates, which feature Ayrton fixtures, grandMA3 consoles and MDG theONE atmospheric generators provided by Bandit Lites in Nashville.  ACT Entertainment exclusively distributes all three product brands in North America.

The singer, songwriter and bluegrass star’s current tour commenced in Asheville, North Carolina in February. Dates are booked nationwide through April and May, there’s a break in June and July for a trio of festival performances, then the tour resumes for a summer leg that wraps at LA’s Kia Forum. Billy Strings’ 2024 tour is in support of his Grammy-nominated collaborative album with his father, ME/AND/DAD.

USA - JLGroup has announced a strategic investment by JLL USA LLC into Vital Show Solutions (VSS), a pivotal move set to bolster both companies' growth trajectories. JLL USA LLC is investing over $1m into VSS, affirming its commitment to ensuring expansive equipment upgrades and continued team development. JLL USA Team will operate out of VSS’s shop located in Carrollton, Dallas, Texas.

This investment strengthens the collaboration between VSS's 19-member team and JLL USA, enabling JLL USA to tap into the expertise of VSS's entire team, including the head of video, head of sound, project managers, and enhanced transport capabilities. This positions both companies to efficiently manage and execute a substantial combined $12m order book for the year.

"JLL USA's investment in VSS represents not only a strategic alignment of our businesses but also our

UK - Display and video specialist PSCo has added Epson’s smallest and lightest 4K 20,000 lumens projector to its rental fleet.

Building on the success of the PU series, the EB-PQ2220B projector is described as ‘the world’s smallest and lightest 4K 20,000 lumens projector’ and is packed with Epson’s technologies while using the same 4K quality interchangeable range of lenses as the existing EB-PU series.

The ultra-lightweight, compact high-lumens projector offers easy installation and set-up, simplified maintenance, and stunning image quality that is ideal for use in large auditoriums, live events, concerts, and conference rooms. Furthermore, its small size and weight means a reduction in waste from packaging and lower costs for transport, storage, and installation.

Tom Allott, rental manager at PSCo, said: “The PQ series builds on

UK - Stage Electrics has announced the appointment of Mark Holdway to the newly created position of head of visual display systems projects. With over three decades of experience in delivering video display solutions, Mark brings considerable expertise to his new role. He has previously worked on projects for corporate clients such as the London Stock Exchange Group and broadcasters such as the BBC, Sky and ITV.

Dan Aldridge, commercial director & head of projects at Stage Electrics, comments, "Bringing Mark into this crucial role underscores our commitment to expanding the range of high-quality products and services we offer to both existing and new customers. Mark’s extensive experience and proven track record in the industry make him an invaluable addition to our team."

"Video display equipment is so often interconnected in its application w

Italy – The Laugh-Out-Loud funny LOL Talent Show returned this spring with audiences entertained by comedians who performed in theatres in Milan, Naples, and Rome. On stage, an eight-metre-high backdrop displayed pixel dot imagery, with LED strip ‘LOL’ lettering all driven by a Green Hippo Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 V4 from tvONE.

The upstage screen in designer Francesco Mari’s colourful set was created entirely from RGB programmable light chains - pixel dots - with a 20cm pitch, which was customized by E-Kube Srl with help of Modena-based real-time LED expert DigiLight. This created a ‘curtain’ that acted as a background ‘matrix’ screen. The three wooden LOL letters were rigged with Philips iColorFlex LEDs, covered with opal plastic cabochons. The outline of the letters was illuminated by a programmable RGBW LED strip, while the letter

Belgium - The Flanders Technology and Innovation Festival (FTI) is a six-day celebration of technology and innovation hosted across different cities in Belgium. The entertainment event takes place at the Buda Island in Kortrijk and is organised by Hangar K. Split into five distinct areas, the festival aims to bring people together to experiment, strengthen bonds, innovate and tackle the technological challenges of the future.

Leyard Europe’s LN Series LED screens delivered for the Unwrap Arena at FTI. The space celebrates new technology with an educational bias. During the festival children, educators and interested adults are invited to test out new equipment and immerse themselves in gaming to find out more about this booming Flemish industry.

Chief catalyst, Vincent Vanderbeck, is the power behind Hangar K. The company has a passionate ambition

USA/Canada - Solotech has announced a strategic collaboration with ROE Visual, with the purchase of over 5,000sq.m of LED tiles, including 4,500sq.m of identical Carbon LED tiles, which is the largest single-batch of LED tiles ever recorded.

“CB5 has become the industry standard for global touring over the last five years or so. With the addition of such a large quantity of ROE CB5 Mark II LED display to our already substantial offering, the team at Solotech will continue to deliver the most spectacular projects on the global stage”, states Mickey Curbishley, Solotech president, live productions division, USA, UK.

Grace Kuo, global sales director at ROE Visual, adds: "We've enjoyed working closely together with Solotech, a company that shares our passion for innovation and commitment to client satisfaction. This is a testament to our mission of p

UK - Office rentals specialist Halkin recently opened new premises on King William Street, in the heart of the City of London’s financial district. Distributed across four floors, the workspace required an extensive AV system that would fit the brand’s technology standard and enable collaboration and ease of use for clients. London-based AV and IT specialists, Tateside led the integration of a complete AV system across a total of eight meeting rooms.

“We have worked with Halkin on several workspaces over the past couple of years,” reveals Jack Cornish, technical director at Tateside. “We started out collaborating on smaller jobs such as upgrades of existing meeting rooms. The complete integration of the new office spaces at King William Street is our largest project with Halkin.”

Halkin has established a technological standard across all

UK –Floridian ska punk outfit Less Than Jake are touring with video at the heart of their performance for the first time, with live feed footage and pre-made content displayed on three large LED screens driven by tvONE's Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Media Servers.

Longtime Less Than Jake Lighting designer Nikki Dickinson, owner of Rig Lite Design Limited, teamed up with the band and Pete McCrea of Production AV to specify a kit list of five Marshall CV255 and CV366 cameras to capture the antics of the five band members, live feeds from which were fed into a Hippotizer Amba Media Server. A host of content taking in home-shot footage, old TV clips, song-related imagery and stock effects from various effect sources and from within Hippotizer were handled by the Amba and driven to the three 8' x 6' Desay M6 LED screens.

Ayrton Magic Blade R moving F

South Africa - The recent hosting of the international AV Alliance's annual three-day AGM in Cape Town set the stage for a convergence of global talent, innovation, and collaboration. Industry leaders, sponsors and technical experts from around the world gathered at the Westin Hotel to exchange ideas, showcase expertise, and chart the course for the future of the event solutions industry.

Hosting this pivotal event for the second time was Gearhouse Group, technical supplier and AVA's local member. At the heart of this year's AGM was the unveiling of AVA's educational initiatives and the establishment of its Education and Outreach Committee (EAOC). Charged with collating educational materials and crafting a user-friendly Learning Management System, the EAOC aims to equip AVA members with the tools needed to address current industry challenges, cultivate talen

Sweden - The stage design for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest has been unveiled ahead of the grand final in Malmö, Sweden, on 11 May. Lighting and screen content designer Fredrik Stormby from Green Wall Designs and production designer Florian Wieder are the creative team helping to create, design, and deliver a large-scale and spectacular show to a global audience of over 160m. 

The stage and lighting design for the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 will focus on the audience more than ever. With the stage placed in the centre of the arena, viewers will experience a visually revolutionary concept. The 360-degree experience surrounds the audience and viewers in the Malmö Arena. The stage is placed in the middle of the audience and shaped like a cross. Movable LED cubes, LED floors, light, video, and stage technology will be able to create gre

Finland – The popular TV contest Tähdet, tähdet returned for 2024 with a host of singers belting out numbers ranging from 1980s pop to Eurovision classics. Broadcast on Finnish channel Nelonen, audiences watched performances backed by nine Roe Vanish V8T LED screens with live and pre-made content manipulated using tvONE's Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Media Servers.

“The set design required visual appeal tailored to the viewers both in the studio and at home,” explains Varpu Sipilä from Finnish visual design company Visual45, which was brought in to create the lighting and visual elements. “Lighting design and operation, as well as video content production and operation, played a significant role. Particularly, the use of video surfaces was emphasized to enhance the atmosphere of the performances.”

On stage, the Visual45 team

USA - Sphere Entertainment presented a special Exosphere content show in celebration of Earth Day featuring work from multi-Grammy Award-winning Grateful Dead and Dead & Company percussionist Mickey Hart, and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg.

Hart’s and Schwartzberg’s artwork combined into an 11-minute content show that ran through the day. Their art featured individually at various times throughout the day as well. Hart and Schwartzberg are the latest artists to design for the Exosphere as part of Sphere’s XO/Art programme, which features artists’ work on Sphere’s immersive exterior. 

“Our XO/Art programme continues to make art available and accessible to the public in a highly innovative and unique way, both in Las Vegas and around the world,” said Jennifer Koester, president, Sphere Business Operations at Sphere Entertainment. “Mi

UK - It is a year since Lightroom, a performance space in the heart of London’s King’s Cross, opened its doors. The Moonwalkers is the latest experience at the London venue, following the successful David Hockney show, Bigger and Closer (not smaller and further away).

In this experience, The Holoplot X1 Matrix Array helps to transport audiences ‘out of this world’, showcasing the impact of its powerful software toolset on the creative workflow and audio quality.

This new production is narrated and co-written by Tom Hanks and includes original NASA audio. The score is composed by Anne Nitkin and was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Tom Hanks said in a recent interview, “There’s 1,000s of speakers here, and when the music begins, it’s not coming from a particular source, it’s coming

USA - ACT Entertainment has become the exclusive North American distributor of Green Hippo media servers and digital display products. ACT acquired Green Hippo in late 2023 as part of a larger acquisition that also included tvONE, a video processing and media server brand, which will continue with its existing strategy.

Green Hippo has garnered acclaim for its innovative and high-quality media server products, which are recognized globally for performance, reliability and cutting-edge technology. With ACT Entertainment as its exclusive distribution partner, the brand’s products will now be more accessible than ever to customers across North America.

“This exciting partnership brings together two powerhouse brands that share a commitment to excellence and innovation,” says Ben Saltzman, CEO of ACT Entertainment. “The Green Hippo products align

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