Plasmas and LCDs provide ubiquitous view of performers at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live!

Panasonic convertible cameras feed live coverage of music performances to 43 widescreen plasma displays and seven LCD panels located throughout the 26,000sq.ft. entertainment facility.

Since opening in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area in December 2004, Rams Head Live! has hosted musical acts including Elvis Costello, Third Eye Blind, Arlo Guthrie, Lyle Lovett, Bo Diddley, Dr. John, Herbie Hancock and others.

Nearly 320 shows have been planned for 2005 in the 26,000sq. ft., three-level facility – throughout which patrons can view performances on 43 Panasonic widescreen plasma displays, including 42in and 50in HD models, as well as seven Panasonic 22in LCD panels. (Twenty-four additional Panasonic plasmas were purchased and divided among four other Rams Head venues in Maryland and Delaware.)

The venue uses three AW-E860 2/3in 3-CCD 16:9/4:3 convertible cameras with pan/tilt heads for live shots of the performers along with a fourth camera (Panasonic’s CL-924A) used on-stage as a drum cam (essentially an effects camera on a microphone). Washington Professional Systems (WPS), a Wheaton, MD, Panasonic dealer, handled the design, sale and equipment installation. Consultant Garth Michael acted as chief designer and WPS’ vice-president Greg Lukens was overall supervisor and audio specialist.

The three-tiered Rams Head Live! is comprised of a stage level, where up to 2000 audience members can stand, either in front of the performance area or at one of the bars. Overlooking this ground floor is the second level, with food stations and bar areas, and a third level, with limited seating and a VIP area. The Panasonic 16:9 HD plasma displays are installed throughout to maximize the audience’s exposure to performances. The plasmas in the adjacent tavern (separated by glass from the performance area) can either display the live event or tout coming attractions. A Leitch digital multi-port router carries the live video signal to all the displays.

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