Total Production

Avolites Ai Servers Drive Singapore National Day Screens

September 2015

A squadron of six Avolites Ai Infinity EX8 servers were out in force for the Singapore National Day Parade celebrations in August driving specially-created content onto a massive 400 metre-long LED screen.


Singapore-based The Show Company, which specialises in large-scale productions, was challenged with finding the technology to pull off such an event, which celebrated 50 years of Singaporean independence. The team was employed by the Singapore Armed Forces, which ran the ambitious celebrations.


The huge LED screen was stretched out like a massive ultra curved HD screen all around central Singapore's Padang open playing field, and situated just behind the spectator stands. Content varied from visuals of the country's flag to images celebrating the island nation's rich history.


The Show Company's Rick Goh said: "The signal was sent out via 10 lines of 600 metre long fibre optic cables to the processors running the screens. The Ai servers were controlled via an Avolites Sapphire Touch. We had timecode being sent to us from the audio department which was used to trigger all the cue stacks done on the lighting desk."


The team needed a server powerful enough to run a canvas of nearly 20,000 pixels wide. Not only did it have to be powerful, it had to be flexible as well as be able to handle the quality of the content being rendered.


"The EX8's Aim Codec is truly amazing, all I can say is that if you don't see banding with content rendered at 6,000 pixels wide at the highest quality, it just goes to show we've picked the right server," Goh continued. 


"The other feature that made Ai right for the job was that the Ai was able to pixel map content onto the LED screens with much ease. It's not easy to map a 6,000 pixel wide content onto such a huge screen and we had a relatively easy time stitching three servers together to look like one long 20,000 pixel wide screen."


For the first time since 1969, foreign Heads of State and Heads of Government attended the parade. The entire event was broadcast live across Asia and replayed on various channels, including YouTube, for a global audience.


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