Gearhouse South Africa's AV division has invested in an initial batch of 100 of Christie Digital's MicroTiles . Gearhouse MicroTile projects so far have included the Vuka Awards, where for a live telecast from the Theatre on The Track at Kyalami, Midrand, the Tiles were built into a prominent and eye-catching heart shape set piece. At the 2010 METRO FM Music Awards staged in the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, Gearhouse's full technical production, included a section of the set made from MicroTiles behind the presenter platform, which was used for some tasty visual eye-candy. For the ANC Lekgotla strategy meeting in Mogale City Krugersdorp, they were deployed in a completely different context - providing multiple power point presentation and information points.
The Gearhouse marketing department has also found the MicroTiles invaluable. A number are used on Gearhouse's current exhibition stand for the playback of video clips, montages and stills images illustrating a diverse range of projects and events, all helping to promote the company and its skills and services at various trade shows and exhibitions.
The Micro Tiles can be fed with any video input. For some of these applications, they have been run via grandMA VPUs triggered from a lighting console, and on others by a Wings Platinum screen/display management system.
Most recently, at the ISE 2011 show in Amsterdam, Christie's MicroTiles won an InAVation Most Award for the most 'InAVative Digital Signage Product' in the Technology Awards category. This is added to a host of others, including the Janus de l'Industrie Award from the French Institute of Design; the Most Innovative Video Display Product award from InfoComm International; Pick of ISE 2010 award; two rAVe Digital Signage CHAMPS Awards - for most innovative new digital signage hardware product & best new indoor digital signage display; a Most Innovative Solution Award at the Total Media Awards; a Satis-Le Radio Award in the Display category and Best AV Solution in the Producción Profesional Awards.
Gearhouse AV's operations manager Bhans Sheomangal explains how they were looking for a reliable product that can be easily deployed and used for numerous tasks including the creation of multiple plasma screen effects. The brief was to find something that was "Good quality with excellent and consistent colour reproduction," he comments. Adding MicroTiles are proving to be the "perfect" solution for many applications.
The MicroTiles can easily be seamlessly integrated into any set or scenic elements, which is a great asset as Gearhouse is frequently involved in set design and build via sister company Sets, Drapes, Screens (SDS). When all used together as one surface, the current 100 MicroTiles make up a 4 x 3 metre area. The colour calibration and temperature over all the tiles when used in this format has been superb, and is calibrated via proprietary software that calculates and balances according to the age, chroma levels, etc., of the different tiles.
"The picture quality, reproduction and color balance are all excellent," said Sheomangal. “Plus the light weight compared to plasma or LED panels is another massive advantage. If the front laminated screen needs to be replaced for any reason, the operation is straightforward and quick.”