Big Moving Pictures (BMP) describes itself as "a rolling television network." Basically, that means they deliver gigantic televisions, cameras and sound equipment to major outdoor events like a Blue Angels flying demo to enhance the experience. Thanks to an agreement signed yesterday, BMP plans on kicking the entertainment factor up a notch or two by building gigantic, truck-mounted 40' x 22' HDTV screens and hauling them to a rock concert near you. When completed, the displays will be the largest mobile HDTVs in the world—and the first LED displays that provide full HDTV resolution in daytime outdoor environments.
The hydraulically operated jumbo TVs are expected to weigh an astonishing 66,000 pounds and deliver true 16:9 aspect ratio for direct usage of 720P HDTV signals. Other features include an LED element pitch of 15mm and a brightness range up to 10,000NITS—so the TVs are not only bigger, they should also be significantly brighter than anything else out there. How long it will take to get these screens built has not been determined, but one thing is for sure—when all is said and done they should be a big hit with an audience (and advertisers).
If only we could play games on it.
Here's some clarification from the manufacturer:
- It's Not A Projector. Some of the bloggers seem to think that this is a reflected-light solution (a "Just get a bigger projector" or "projectors will never work in bright sunlight") indicating that they didn't understand (despite the giant headline) that this is a non-projected LED screen - light-emitting diodes / LEDs are transmissive light and are easily capable, with a sufficiently large array at state-of-the-art output devices, of operating clearly in dazzlign sunlight. At night, you actually have to turn them down or they become absolutely blinding (but in that dance-party application...Hey...). Just For Fun - we first determined that Moore's Law also applied to displays when testing a small, prototypical ultra-bright screen during the XPRIZE flights of SpaceShip One out in the Mojave Desert - the SpaceShip had to be launched at dawn when the wind was calm, so that meant capturing the live camera downlink and putting it up on some kind of display. The one we were able to put together, using (what were then) the only super-bright LED modules available in a kludge on a trailer, gave us and thousands of people in attendance the opportunity to witness the first time that a privately built spacecraft left the Earth's atmosphere, live against the blazing early-morning desert sunlight. Since then we've evolved the MEGASCREENS concept that you see today.
- The Resolution Question. These screens take a bone-stock 720P signal in, the actual number of lines works out to around 660 due to the physical limitations of what you can fold up and take down an American road. With a dot-pitch of 15mm you can only pack so many lines into a semi-trailer. Going to the next smaller size (10mm is the current state-of-the-art for outdoors with an IP65 environment rating, the smaller sizes can't take heat or water) makes the thing almost look blurry at a distance (we've tried) and would generate a staggering amount of heat for little picture-gain. SO after a lot of calculating, trial-and-error plus input and advice from literally the world's leading experts on these LED products, we came to 15mm. The point is that we can feed a normal, HD-SDI (the pro HD line standard which has little in common, unfortunately, with the HDMI consumer standard) signal into the system, the video processor works out the scaling-down to 660 lines, with almost no downgrading that is visible to the naked eye, and we have a beautiful picture.
- The Other Resolution Question. It's funny that someone mentioned "1080p" - first of all, there is no true network standard for 1080p, we went around the entire broadcasters' convention last week (NAB) and found that only digital cinema people care about it - even Yoda (aka Gary Demos, the American father of HD...there is a Japanese counterpart to him...) believes that for "your (meaning, My) kind of content, 720p is the right format" which is good enough for me. Oddly, before reading that blogger's comment, the only person who had pushed me on the 1080p issue was Mark Cuban. Anyway, from a physical standpoint, taking 15mm pitch LEDs and building a 1080-sized screen would not fold up sufficiently to roll down a road in America. But if and when that becomes practical, we'll be there, Dude. For the next 3-5 years, though, and pending a big evolution of that technology, we'll be very happy to blow our minds with 720p at ridiculous brightness levels, playing Halo from 1,000 feet away.
BIG MOVING PICTURES & STRONGBASE USA SIGN PARTNERING AGREEMENT TO PRODUCE THE WORLD'S LARGEST MOBILE HDTV SCREENS
April 30, 2008
LAS VEGAS, NV (APRIL 30, 2008) - Big Moving Pictures Inc. (BMP), the creator of the 'rolling television network' concept, and Strongbase USA today announced the signing of a unique agreement to create the largest mobile LED screen displays ever produced to make BMP the undisputed leader in on-site audience engagement systems.
Raising the bar for "state of the art" at just under 40 feet wide by 22 feet high (more than 40 percent larger than current screens) MEGASCREENS will be the first LED displays to ever provide full HDTV resolution in daytime outdoor environments.
Big Moving Pictures will transport MEGASCREENS to the largest events in the United States and Canada where they will augment and enhance the audience experience at air shows featuring the US Navy Blue Angels, US Air Force Thunderbirds and open-wheel auto races such as the NHRA and Indy.
"We are building a 'rolling television network'," said BMP President & CEO David Knight, "with everything that a television network normally has - cameras, graphics, performers, and supported by national advertisers - but using giant screens to reach large audiences instead of their home TV sets."
Utilizing the worlds' largest mobile televisions, Big Moving Pictures will be able to capture and command the attention of millions of viewers nationwide at many of the most popular annual outdoor events.
MEGASCREENS will be built using the brightest Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) technology available. Essentially an evolution of the video display systems currently used in stadiums or rock concerts, MEGASCREENS are the biggest and most powerful LED-based display solution yet devised.
"There is simply nothing out there in the world of big screens even close to these - MEGASCREENS will be forty percent bigger and about 200 percent brighter than any current mobile outdoor screen," stated Knight, "plus they can withstand the rigors of the aviation and motorsports environments, including the ability to be situated next to runways, on oceanfront piers and even barges in the water, taking punishment from high winds and saltwater bombardment."
Knight explained "This is an extreme engineering challenge, which is why we elected to partner with the most successful maker of LED-based video systems in the world, Strongbase through their American arm, Strongbase USA."
Going To The Source
Big Moving Pictures spent nearly eighteen months doing prototyping and test performances using a wide variety of vendors' outdoor LED display units and found that none of the well-entrenched products could meet BMP's specific technological, environmental and scalability needs. At the end of this search, BMP elected to work directly with the company that has been providing LEDs and related componentry to most of the display industry: Hong Kong Strongbase Investment Group through Strongbase USA, which handles North American sales, service and marketing for its parent.
Through its tight engineering partnership with Strongbase BMP has been able to move its development plans forward more quickly to the mutual benefit of both companies. "Our work with and for BMP is taking us into new territory, with the production of the most powerful mobile screens in the world," said San Wang, Managing Director of Strongbase USA. "The challenges posed by this development and manufacturing effort are placing us at the forefront of the LED display systems world, leading to new and advanced products which all of our customers can take advantage of," Wang continued.
Why The Rolling Television Network & MEGASCREENS, Now
Advertisers have learned that they cannot rely entirely on in-home media to reach and motivate consumers. Recognizing a unique opportunity Big Moving Pictures developed its "Rolling Television Network" which offers advertisers the opportunity to connect effectively with consumers at many extraordinarily well-attended outdoor events.
Through its unique alliances with many of the most important air shows that feature the US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds jet teams Big Moving Pictures will give millions of attendees unprecedented views inside cockpits and from the pilot's point of view as well as insights into who the pilots are through 90-second "Meet The Team" exclusives.
BMP's programming is supported by commercials for major brands that run during intervals in the action. The company will announce additional partnerships in the motorsports and music categories within the coming year.
Why Strongbase USA
It was the need for big, bright, super-clear images in outdoor venues combined with transportability for city-to-city movement that drove BMP to seek a partner in the MEGASCREEN development effort: Strongbase USA was the undisputed winner. "We are extremely confident in our ability to support this development partnership like no other manufacturer," stated Greg Hawkins, Director of Sales & Marketing for Strongbase USA. "Big Moving Pictures is a detail-oriented, business-focused group who treat this effort as core to their business. We are thrilled to partner with them on the MEGASCREEN project."
MEGASCREEN Truck Open
High Definition, High Visibility Outdoors
The Big Moving Pictures/Strongbase developed MEGASCREENS are the first mobile screens to provide a true HD display for crisp, ultra-bright viewing by hundreds of thousands of audience members at an outdoor event. Using the 720P standard for high definition supported by many broadcast networks such as ABC, Fox, and ESPN where the progressive-scan format offers better imaging for sports and with a projected 5-7 year life MEGASCREENS will be available to serve the needs of Big Moving Pictures and other users in the action sports, movie, music, product launch, and videogaming industries for a long time to come.
About Big Moving Pictures
Big Moving Pictures is the first company to monetize advertising on outdoor television screens at large events on a national scale. Although superficially similar to the systems of production trucks and outdoor LED screens seen for years at baseball games, NFL, NASCAR and others, BMP applies a new, Silicon Valley-style angle that makes it possible for advertisers to conclusively reach their target consumers, and introduces the ad-based revenue model to large spectator events — this works thanks to BMP's total integration with the event itself — there is no competing 'signal' coming over the sound system or screens that could confuse or distract the audience — in every sense of the word, Big Moving Pictures becomes one with the show.
About Strongbase USA
Strongbase USA is a full color display manufacturer and content provider, specializing in custom design applications using light emitting diode (LED) technology, including but not limited to: indoor and outdoor display solutions, engineering design services, portable video walls, mobile video display solutions, stadium and arena scoreboards, and custom content software development. Strongbase USA is the North American Division of Hong Kong Strongbase Investment Group, the largest full color display manufacturer in China with over 3,000 display installations worldwide, is currently listed on the London, Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Weighing 66,000 pounds and hydraulically operated, the MEGASCREENS are trailer-mounted for maximum portability and rapid deployment into a given situation. Typical time from arriving onsite to displaying video will be under one hour, done by a single technician or truck driver. Image area sizing will be 39.4'W x 22'H in a true 16:9 aspect ratio for direct usage of 720P HDTV signals. LED element pitch is 15mm, brightness range up to 10,000NITS. HD video transmission to the screens will be accomplished by laser-based, digital microwave or fiber optic cabling systems.