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ROE Visual Products Hit the Mark in xR Studios

Jim Hutchison • October 2020Product Spotlight • October 9, 2020

ROE Black Marble BM4 floor unit

ROE Visual has been bringing creative products to the entertainment market for many years, often providing the video display elements for the biggest shows, largest festivals, and most creative events, including Extended Reality/Augmented Reality experiences.

Telemundo used ROE Black Marble BM4 for their Latin American Music Awards show.

‡‡         The Broadcast & Film Niche

For those who are out there working mostly in the broadcast and film industry niches, ROE Visual panels are a standard in the production industry and have been for quite a long time. “It’s simple logic for us, whenever Sean [Cagney] and I are planning something, we put ROE product on it, it’s a very go-to brand for a lot of us out here,” says Jon Chavez, a systems expert in the production industry and president of Amazing Industries, Inc. “There’s so much about having ROE Visual panels on-site that makes everyone relax because it’s very well engineered and simple to work with,” continues Chavez. “I’ve worked for companies and worked with gear that when you bring it in, the riggers and the production crew have a million questions about assembly and weight limits — but with ROE Visual stuff, wherever you go, there is a feeling of, ‘Okay, it’s ROE Visual, we’re good,’ and things move at their normal pace, you’re done loading in by noon,” quips Chavez. “These times we’re living in require a completely different standard, a higher standard to achieve, and ROE Visual products work in the studio too. Katy Perry just had that xR broadcast of her ‘Daisies’ performance; ROE Visual products were used for that production. It’s become the quality standard for many houses offering xR capabilities.”

Although the quality is evident, film and broadcast solutions ask for different product requirements and specs. Using the right tools also means you need to select the right type of LED panel for the specific application you have in mind.

There are slight differences in using LED panels for a virtual event, e.g. broadcasting a live audience, or for film content that uses close-up shots. It’s good to discuss your needs and demands upfront with a specialist, so the right type of LED panel for the application can be advised.

So why do the ROE Visual LED panels have such an outstanding performance in this setting? Intensive testing and tweaking tell us, this is not down to one factor, but a combination of factors. The combination of the LED screen and the processing and syncing of these with the camera, for example, is certainly crucial to get good results. This needs to be done for every setup. ROE Visual LED screens work with high-end components, and state-of-the-art driver IC’s, which makes all the difference for the on-camera performance.

ROE Visual products have featured in lots of film and studio projects, including The Mandalorian, First Man, Westworld, the aforementioned Katy Perry “Daisies” performance, Premios Juventud 2020 Awards, MMC studios, Hyperbowl Studios etc., etc. Looking at the deployment of ROE Visual LED panels, the amount of ROE Visual products used in extended Reality (xR) experiences on a global scale should be an indicator of the incredibly high standards needed in today’s ultra-high-quality environment. More products from ROE Visual are suited for this type of application but in this article, we will focus on some proven technology, ROE Visual Black Marble and Black Pearl LED panels.

ROE Black Marble BM4 and Carbon Black CB5 were used for ABC News’ Midterm Elections coverage.

‡‡         Black Marble Panels

Black Marble panels are used to create an LED floor for studio or film shoots, which carves a new direction for studio-level environmental augmentation in this insanely unstable market, xR is looking like a lasting mark on the Entertainment industry, and that road is being paved by ROE Visual.

Black Marble LED floor panels are a class of product that looks good, is reliable, and is easy on both the production team and the end viewer audience. The Black Marble BM5 or BM4 LED panels are designed to offer a stylish solution for LED floors and integrated walls, offering great visuals, due to their relatively small pixel pitch. The matte finish is well-suited for use in any studio or film environment, eliminating any reflections on the floor. The frames for the Black Marble make it possible to build the panel in a multi-level stage, stair or even a wall configuration.

Most important takeaway from the Black Marble system: the modules are separate from the framing system, so you don’t have as many issues with electronics due to structural integrity. The Support Frame is designed to withstand a load of 1000 kg/m2, or 23,730.36 pounds per square foot.

The Black Marble BM5 is also available in an interactive version, opening endless options for augmented reality effects for news studios, game shows, you name it.

The interactive LED panels are combined with Interactive Touch Sensors, providing a perfect combination of style and interactivity. The Black Marble Interactive panels incorporate 100 Optical Sensors per panel, which provides fast and accurate tracking of any object touching the panels, like shoes and hands, but also clothes or drapes. The TouchController provides touch data in multiple formats, enabling designers and developers to create real-time generative graphics based on the touch data. In order to make the LED panels fully interactive the 100 optical sensors per panel are all IR sensors, they are unaffected by any ambient light or other IR cameras etc., even by direct sunlight. The sensors are automatically calibrated during the use of the panels, this prevents any “transient sensors” like dust, dirt, etc. from triggering during the show.

All the ROE Visual Black Marble LED panels are IP65 rated and have an anti-slip surface. You can use them outdoors, you can mop them, and they give you an edge-to-edge video freedom so your floor can become your stairs, and anything else you conjure up. They are a sexy panel: clean lines, glossy, and true deep black — offering a trendy, high-tech experience with the extra creative punch needed in this market, in this crazy time. There is no room for a slack product in the A-Market of video production.

According to Chavez, a production systems expert seasoned with years of ROE experience who wants to point out he’s not being paid by ROE, he’s just in love with their good kit. “The thing is, it’s the simple things with ROE that actually give them the edge we want out here,” he says.

‡‡         Black Pearl Panels

Another much used and well-liked product in film and xR stages is the ROE Visual Black Pearl LED panel. Coming in at a tight 2.84mm pixel pitch, the Black Pearl BP2 panel offers great features. On the standard 500 x 500 x 90mm frame size, ROE Visual has built a fantastic panel that gives great on-camera results and a very stable performance. Black Pearl also has excellent 90-degree corner panel for seemingly magic walls and offers convex and concave options for full production flexibility. DIT’s love the Black Pearl for its refresh rate and color depth, 6,000:1 contrast ratio, and reliability.

Point of order: all LED modules for Black Pearl are the same and the swappable power and data module is intelligent with respect to storing calibration data. “Let’s just say you have a panel lose a module, and you obviously have to swap it out. With some of Black Pearl’s competitors, pulling a module means that you’re going to lose your configuration settings, and you’re going to have to reflash [settings to] the wall. Brainpower in the ROE panels means I yank a module, take a replacement, and drop it back into the panel, ready to go. It’s now seamless and has the right calibration. They [ROE Visual] get that you can’t have everything stop to replace an LED module in one panel.” adds Chavez

Poor heat dissipation perpetually being the enemy of LED panels, ROE Visual has made the Black Pearl LED modules able to get rid of heat as quickly as possible for longer panel life. Using magnesium alloy panels and heat dissipating sheets in both LED modules helps with the shedding of heat in the system. Black Pearl is also a rigger’s friend, as it is light, sets up quickly, requires fewer points, and has less deflection towards center mass.

‡‡         Building xR Experiences

Taking the full xR experience to the next level, video ceilings have recently become an additional consideration in this field as well. For instance, the stage at Hyperbowl studios includes one. On top of the curved video wall is a LED ceiling, composed of the same Diamond DM2.6 panels, supported with a huge trussing substructure, thereby creating a seamless LED environment. The Diamond LED screen gave high scores on image performance on recorded short films, with the image looking “real and credible,” on all viewing angles and color representation. This resulted in a go for the studio set-up for broadcast applications and advertising studio usage as well as live events.

Are you looking to setup a virtual or xR stage? The ROE Visual sales team does not only offer the rights products for the application, they have a highly experienced team, happy to help you with all your queries.

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