For a PDF of the June 2009 PLSN Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.
Almost 20 years ago, Emmy-nominated director David Niles, a.k.a. Captain Video, had one of the first high-definition studios around. It was in the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York and it featured a giant projection screen and a hi-def projector on which he could show his work.
On the day I met Niles, he sat me down in the empty theatre and showed portions of his musical Dreamtime. The projection was incredible. It didn’t hurt that it involved a beautiful model, but even that didn’t divert attention from the stunning detail in the pictures. It was then that I first realized that HD would change how sets were built and subjects were lit.
Niles was way ahead of his time, but by the time the theatre was sold to CBS and the David Letterman Show moved in, HD was a foregone conclusion. But as with any large infrastructure, we’re still in the process of changing over. In the meanwhile, there are lots of options for hi-def acquisition and display. In the entertainment production industry, display usually means big backdrops and large projection surfaces. The newest means of covering large areas with hi-def images is the subject of this month’s Buyers Guide.
Every decade has its game changer. In the 1970s it was the memory controller. In the 1980s it was automated lighting. The 1990s brought the LED video display and the 2000s went wild over the DMX512-controlled media server. Together, these elements define the modern production as we know it — networked systems of lights, displays, and consoles serving up eyefuls of color, form, and images. Check out the listings on the following pages to get the latest in hi-res video display.