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Fuse Technical Group picks Matrox Video to drive 4K video at Las Vegas Sphere

Contributed Content / Press Release

Technology innovator Matrox Video today announced that multimedia system designer and integrator Fuse Technical Group chose Matrox Video’s technology to drive SMPTE ST 2110 routing, orchestration, conversion, and control inside Sphere in Las Vegas, where U2 is performing the venue’s first-ever shows. Show and event producers rely on the technology to feed and manage SMPTE ST 2110 signals for what is currently the biggest show on the planet.

Sphere’s interior boasts a 160,000-square-foot, 16K wraparound LED canvas with 256 million rendered pixels — the largest and highest resolution LED screen in the world. For U2’s “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live” residency at Sphere, the band’s content development team called on Fuse to develop a video playback system capable of handling 16K resolution and augmenting and moving live input across 16K — all over IP, running on a complete SMPTE ST 2110 backbone.

“It took five years to build the Sphere, but we had only five months from the initial contact to deliver a 100% reliable solution in time for the first show — using a standard and workflow we weren’t accustomed to. It was definitely no small feat to do something like that in such a compressed timeline,” said Ryan Middlemiss, Fuse Technical Group’s director of media servers.

Fuse was able to realize the vision it had for the workflow — which in turn made it possible to bring the spectacle to life — thanks to the capability and performance of Matrox Video’s IP video products, coupled with its support and SMPTE ST 2110 expertise. Critical products in the workflow are:

  • Matrox ConvertIP for SMTPE ST 2110 Conversion — Fuse deployed 23 Matrox ConvertIP DSS dual-channel SFP SDI-to-IP devices to convert high-resolution SDI from the media servers into SMPTE ST 2110 and deliver content to the IP video backbone for display on the LEDs. Fuse selected ConvertIP for its 12G SDI and 4K (DCI) support, its low latency, and its 25G speeds. Fuse subsequently requested 6G support, and Matrox Video added the capability to ConvertIP.
  • Matrox ConductIP for Routing and Orchestration — Fuse uses Matrox ConductIP to route and orchestrate SMPTE ST 2110 sources on its internal network, a critical part of the workflow.
  • Matrox Extio™ 3 for Remote Operation and Control — The production system uses 30 computers, with one programmer and two technicians in the control room handling all the video for the show. Fuse deployed Matrox Extio 3 IP KVM extenders so the operators can access multiple computers from one remote workstation with one keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Users can move between Extio 3-equipped computers at once just by dragging the mouse.

For Fuse, the SMPTE ST 2110 element of the workflow was unfamiliar, but Matrox Video’s ST 2110 training and expertise helped Middlemiss and his team get up to speed quickly. The responsiveness and engineering support from Matrox Video proved crucial to the project’s success, especially when last-minute changes arose.

“The difference when I go shopping is that I really look into the people that I’m going to purchase from — who they are and how we get along,” Middlemiss said. “Ultimately, I felt comfortable investing in Matrox Video because I trusted the people behind it.”

“The jaw-dropping spectacle at Sphere sets a new gold standard for video in live entertainment, which demands innovative technological solutions. This scenario embodies Matrox Video’s vision and mission statement: to build innovative products and deliver superior support, enabling our customers to harness the power of video to communicate, entertain, and make critical decisions,” said Francesco Scartozzi, vice president, sales and business development at Matrox Video. “We’re honored to have worked with Fuse on this unparalleled project and that our technology and our people played a role in its success.”

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