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Seeing the big picture MegaPixel Summit

The MegaPixel Summit is the first event to address the challenges and complexity of implementing large-scale displays. Last month, we caught up with organiser Chris Chinnock of Insight Media to find out about the thinking behind the conference and what delegates can expect to hear – and see

What is the raison d’être for the event?

The whole idea is that this is a prod- uct category that is bigger and more diverse than people realise. A lot of people have their fingers in it already, but there’s been no confer- ence dedicated to understanding the whole ecosystem.

What are the limits of where the conference coverage starts and finishes? It’s really all about the ecosystem, so it’s from pixel generation – whether that’s video or computer generated – through pixel process- ing and distribution, so some of those inputs now have to be scaled or expanded or compressed and aspect ratios changed, and then distributed out to a variety of dis- plays. Those displays can be a com- mand and control wall with rear-projection cubes or Microtiles, they can be LED tiles and walls, they can be flat-panel LCD walls, they can be blended projectors, they can be combinations of those things – and they can be either in one large display of varying aspect ratio, or they can be distributed, so you could have displays here and there with various aspect ratios, and the output and input resolu- tions and formats can be very vari- able. So managing that whole system can get complex. Lots of players do that and do it fairly rou- tinely, but my sense is there’s a lot of confusion in how you actually configure these things, and there are complexities of managing this,

complexities of specifying and designing and installing, and even explaining all this to the end user. So the real reason for putting

this event together is to provide a single venue and a format where we can talk about all these issues both as components and pieces of the puzzle, and then we’ve got a whole session dedicated to looking at this as a system, with case studies.

If an event like this had been held three to five years ago, how different would it have been? I think it would have been very specialised – there would have been some cave applications, spe- cialised visualisation for oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and so on. Now it’s much broader. Digital sig- nage business is much bigger now; they’re using tiled LCDs or LEDs more extensively; you’ve got 4K resolution panels out there; the ability to blend projectors has advanced quite a bit in the past few years; as has controlling all those pixels, especially on larger canvasses and in distributed sys- tems. So it is moving quite quickly – and again, all the more reason to have this kind of event.

You mentioned all the areas where there’s confusion – con- figuration, management, specifi- cation, design, installation and even explanation – is it possible to single any one of these out, or are they all really important? They are all important, and I think that’s the issue – and that’s why

it around on this display, blow it up and move it around, scale it, interact with it and and so on – maybe even some live collabora- tion with a webcam and an inter- net connection. Part of the rationale for having these megapixel solutions in the room is that they provide a vehicle for peo- ple to demonstrate what their solu- tions can do, or what the general solution can do.

I see Dimenco are talking about glasses-free 3D – will that be demonstrated? Yes – they’re talking about doing a side-by-side demo. They’ll have a 4K display and a 2K display, prob- ably showing the same 3D con- tent, so you can compare the two and say, “Yes, having more pixels really helps, doesn’t it?”

we’ve organised this event to talk about the pieces and the parts first, and then put it all together in terms of solutions. I’ve developed a graphic that

shows this whole tapestry, this whole ecosystem. I’m thinking of using it in each of the presenta- tions so that each presenter can highlight where they are in the ecosystem and the path they’re going to take along it. So everyone gets the big picture and each speaker’s part of it – they see the forest and the trees.

Are there any other aspects of the conference you would like to highlight?

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One thing we’re looking to do is to create at least one, maybe two, megapixel display systems in the room – it could be a blended pro- jection system, it could be an omniSHAPES display from eyevis, or a flat-panel solution from Pla- nar, or something else. The idea here is, we want to walk the walk! Even if we’re just doing a Power- Point presentation, let’s throw it up on a megapixel display. It also provides a vehicle for people like Jupiter to show what they can do with their pixel pro- cessing. They’re talking about a live demo where they will bring in var- ious video sources and computer sources, and they’re going to push

Other than addressing the con- fusion that exists with regard to various aspects of megapixel technology, are there any other key aims of the conference? I think it also provides a kind of shopping list or reference point for systems integrators and end-users: as they think about their applica- tions and opportunities, they can say, “I’ve now met a bunch of the guys in the industry that can solve these problems or provide solu- tions.” So it’s good business devel- opment, it’s good networking for integrators, end-users and manu- facturers. I expect some deals to get done from this, and I think many of the participants do too!

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