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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jan 30

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1/30/2012 3:45 PM  RssIcon

Showtime SportsWorldStage Inc. (the new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications) scored a knock out when it supported the final championship event for Showtime Sports' "Super Six World Boxing Classic" at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on December 17, 2011.

WorldStage provided three big LED walls of varying sizes, a large Encore system for switching and routing, Pandoras Box systems for playback, audio for ground-level fill, a comprehensive lighting package and some of the rigging for the event. The championship capped a groundbreaking, two-year tournament featuring the best super middleweight boxers battling fight-by-fight until only Andre Ward and Carl Froch remained. Ward won in a 12-round decision broadcast live on Showtime.

"The championship was an enhanced version of a normal boxing match," says Jim Ferrara, lighting designer and production manager with Frank Gatto Lighting, which has numerous clients in Mixed Martial Arts and boxing. "Normally, there's ring lighting and moving lights. But this was the finale and a really big deal in the boxing world. So WorldStage delivered the additional bells and whistles: a lot more lighting effects, video playback and enhanced audio."

WorldStage's extensive LED inventory and expertise with the technology made the company the ideal choice to supply the venue's Entrance, Feature and Banner LED walls.

The Entrance wall was a custom-designed triumphal entryway 32 feet wide and 14 feet at its highest point with a door in the middle, for the fighters to enter through, and 11x8-foot curved return wings on either side. The Entrance wall was comprised of 150 WinVision 18 tiles.

Suspended to one side of the boxing ring was the 14.7x25.7-foot Feature wall consisting of 112 WinVision 12 tiles. A ribbon-shaped Banner wall was located above the edge of the ring; this LED wall measured 5.5x23.8 feet and was created from 32 Everbrighten 15 tiles.

Feeding the entire system were three (and one back up) Pandoras Box systems from WorldStage, which were programmed by Alex Bright. Over 9TB of content were delivered to WorldStage where they were encoded and edited in the company's Mini MRC Rack.

Each Pandoras Box hit a 32x32 Encore DVI router that fed Encore VPs and Avitech multiviewers. Mike Alboher was WorldStage's EIC and Encore programmer.

"Using the Encore allowed us to switch screens from Pandora [content] to feeds from the production truck sending the show out live," explains WorldStage event manager Josh Perlman. "The Encore also color corrected all the LED walls for optimum camera viewing."

Although there was very little time to ready this complex equipment for broadcast, "everybody at WorldStage did very well," says Ferrara. "Fans were treated to a great spectacle and a very exciting evening."

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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