A record 204 Million viewers tuned in to see Eurovision light up The Globe arena, Stockholm, Sweden in spectacular fashion this May 2016. And what a show it was. Illuminating the radically-formed non-linear stage and video floor were an array of Barco HDQ-2k40 projectors and over 900 square meters of LED all driven by 19 Hippotizer media servers.
They formed a seamless canvas of geometric shapes onto which Video Content Designer Mikki Kunttu mapped out more than 32 unique and immersive media designs for most of the 42 entrants appearing in the two semi-finals and in Saturday’s grand finale. (10 of the participants provided their own content and design.)
This year’s event saw the chain of devices behind the projection and screens rise to a whole new level of technological advancement. With a huge pixel count of over 70million pixels on a live broadcast, once again the ESC team used Green Hippo technology to raise the bar on what is often heralded as the most viewed non-sporting broadcast in the entertainment world. The addition of several new broadcasting territories this year meant delivering a cutting edge, immersive show was all the more important.
Hippotizer’s 3D Visulizer was used to pre-program most of the show, with 3 programmers working simultaneously across the network making changes and updating the show as rehearsals and last minute changes appeared. Hippotizer also integrated with CAST's BlackTrax video system,used to track x-y coordinates of 5 hover boards on stage for one of the interval shows.
The strength of Hippotizer remains strong. The ability to use video layers creatively hand in hand with the consoles timecoded timeline is what makes the workflow fast and efficient. A production like ESC is firstly all about how you manage time and secondly how you manage your creativity within that time. Yes, it’s four weeks on site, which might seem like a lot, but with 42 songs and all the opening and interval acts there’s not a lot of time to waste at all. I’m a big believer in hands-on layer control until the bitter end. This approach takes considerable amount of weight off the content rendering farm as a lot is heavily touched by the media servers. I like the fact that we are seeing new doors opening with features such as Shape and Visualizer, but I cannot stress enough the fact that the core approach to layer based content manipulation is what I love these guys at Green Hippo for. Especially in a production like ESC, where I have to see the changes on stage “now or never”. Mikki Kunttu
With such a large amount of pixels to process in realtime, the chosen video playback system needed to never skip a beat. Hippotizer delivered once again with stunning results both inside the arena and via the worldwide broadcast feeds.
“Green Hippo continues to provide large-scale video playback on a multitude of high profile events worldwide, but for me, Eurovision still remains a personal favourite.” Comments Green Hippo Director James Heron. “Despite having sat in the audience, live, on numerous occasions, I still get a little emotional the moment the stage comes to life, partly because it is such an emotive competition but mainly because I’m seeing the hard work and endless development that our London team undertakes to make this show seamless and simply breath-taking. It’s a great feeling when your own products still inspire and amaze you!”
For over 15 years Green Hippo have developed and built Hippoizer media servers, providing top level professional quality video playback with real-time control. We are the leading brand name in the live events industry for video. Our proven platforms are the standard for video playback.
Hippotizer’s have developed and expanded what is possible with scenic video, supporting the designers and artists to bring their visions to reality.
Our product ranges cover the whole market, from the smallest VJ user starting out, to the largest entertainment company on earth and their huge spectaculars. We are easy to learn, work in real-time and fit the show need – from a MacBook Pro controlling 1 output screen to huge canvases that span arenas.
Photograph courtesy of Ralph Larmann