Architectural SSL, May 2011
by Barbara Horwitz-Bennett
For the P.C. Richard & Son Theater, a private venue for Clear Channel Radio's New UYork Stations, 8,000 LED nodes embedded in the side walls, curved ceiling panels and upstage wall help create an experience that immerses the audience.The theater is controlled by a media server taht mixes color, texture, and video images. "We wanted to be able to give each performance's lighting desginer the ability, not just to control the look of the stage, but to habve it completely envelop the audience." Says T+L's Livingston.
Initially, Livingston's lighting design team considered using cold cathode for the ceiling panels, but there weren't enough dimmers to support it. "With LED, all we needed was a relay, and once we decided to go with LED in the ceiling, it made sense to go with LED for the walls," he says.
As for the video screen, the per-sq.-ft. cost of a traditional screen was way beyond the budget, so the team began brainstorming about whether a video wall could be designed with LEDs without purchasing LED panels. "We talked to the folks at Color Kinetics, who had actually installed a string of LEDs on a floor behind some plexiglass in their showroom. We did a series of mock-ups, and at the end of the day were able to get everybody on bosrtd wityh the idea," he says.
Although the screen doesn't offer high resolution, the projection is visible, and the effect it helps create when an image is projected behind the performer and then fanned out to the walls is very exciting.
On the control side, a number of systems, including a stage lighting control console, light manager device and a video server, are all networked to send signals to the LED nodes throughout the venue.
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