Written by Mike Graham, product manager for CHAUVET Professional
…And there was video, and it was good…
CHAUVET has entered the video panel world with our release at InfoComm in Orlando this year. MVP Series of modular video panels has already started to buzz right out of the gate. (Honestly, we could not be any happier with the immediate response that we have gotten.) This month I thought I would break down some of the video jargon you will start to see in our literature as well as hear by our sales team.
MVP installation and operation is actually easy
Before we get into the video person to lighting person translation guide let me first say that MVP installation and operation is not scary at all. We have taken our time and have made sure to make this as easy as possible. If you ask the crew we worked with at InfoComm, they would pick the MVP panels over lights any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Also, they would rather hang them. This is because they are lightweight, the rigging hardware is easy to use and all of the cabling is done with Neutrik powerCON and etherCON connectors. How simple is that? No strange proprietary connections that you can’t find on the road, just easy to use connectors that are available at any boxed goods store in our fine industry.
So, let’s say you are new to the wonderful world of video and you want to sound like you know what you are talking about. There are four words and phrases that will go miles into making sure that you get the information you need, that will let the salesperson know that you mean business:
1. SMD LED – Surface mount diode LEDs are used in the manufacture of the MVP panels. We use these because they are much smaller in size than other LED styles and take much less power to operate. They also have a very wide viewing angle and are very stable in their construction.
2. Pixel pitch – Pixel pitch refers to the distance between LEDs. It is measured in millimeters. We measure from the edge of the LED because SMD LEDs come in several different sizes. If we measured from the center, it would be a mathematical mess. You might end up with two 18 mm pitch panels with completely different amounts of LEDs.
3. Viewing Angle – Viewing angle is the area of which the panels can be seen from. This is really important to know when you are setting up your show and you want to make sure that the people sitting in the 400 section can not only see that there are video panels, but see what is on them. The MVP panels have a 140-degree viewing angle.
4. NIT – NIT is a measurement to video people as LUX is for lighting people. It is defined as follows: the candela per square meter (cd/m2) is the SI unit (International System of Units) of luminance; nit is a deprecated non-SI name also used for this unit (1 nit = 1 cd/m2). The unit is based on the candela, the SI unit of luminous intensity; and the square metre, the SI unit of area. Nit measurement is done at the manufacturing plant and is not something that you can take your handy light meter out and measure. The higher the nit, the higher the maximum brightness of that source is.
Getting signal to the panels is easy
Another concern about the MVP system is how to get signal to the panels. Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic wand needed. We implement software that has been created specifically for CHAUVET to manage the signal distribution to the panels. In a basic setup, we send signal from the PC over USB to the MVP Signal Processor and then to the panels. (We will address advanced system setups in future tech tips. Stay tuned!) Once we have all of our wiring done, we configure the software and tell it where the panels are and what kind of layout we have. So for example, if I have six panels wide and five panels high, I create a grid in the hardware setup section of the software that has six panels wide by five panels wide. I then make sure that the software knows what kind of panels are out there, and then I send the configuration file to the panels. In a nutshell, it is as easy as that. All of the settings are done using one software program. There is even a playback section built into the software that is easily accessible and easy to use.
CHAUVET will be requiring customers come to our worldwide headquarters to attend training on this system prior to using it. We want to make sure we can provide all the tools necessary to you so when you get back to your shop, installation, or wherever you intend to use the MVP system, you have a good handle on it.