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Internationale Funfausstellung, Berlin By DMN Staff Writer
The Internationale Funfausstellung, which takes place every two years in Berlin, traditionally opens with a live television transmission (alternating between German national TV networks, ARD or ZDF).

ARD were responsible for this year's opening spectacular on August 25. And while the location in recent years has been the ICC, which is situated close to the fair, this time ARD opted to use the Convention Center at Europe's biggest hotel - the 1000-bed Hotel Estrel.

Set designer Peter Roth, the man responsible for a number of ARD shows in Germany, wanted to create something original for the network other than traditional projection and cube systems, and the show title Tele Visionen also implied the need for a modern set.

Besides centre stage - where the acts performed - there needed to be projection screens in the wings, where the main interviews and presentations would take place. However, the centre stage also required a creative approach, with a 1-2 minute change around, and the ability to project different images and colours - and he knew that only an LED screen would deliver this result.

Having decided on the design concept, the second problem was that in the Convention Center the ground load was restricted to 750kg/m2 - thus it would have been impossible to use a LED system with a weight in excess of 70kg/m2. The Screen Visons/Screenco 25mm LED screen overcame the problem perfectly, and was chosen for its module weight of just 50kg/m2. Yet even this lightweight system required staging and tracking company, Stage Kinetik from Cologne, to support the ground rig with additional motors in the hall ceiling.

Screenco's display also handsomely fulfilled the design concept, which was to have four 18sq. metre LED screens as movable decor columns, taking up different positions on the stage. These could be moved forwards and backwards and also into a cylinder formation (spaced at the rear, and close together in front to form a single screen); each column could then be rotated 180 at the top.

The display was designed into 4x4 modules per column, running off two processors. The signal was delivered from a hard disc player over a DVE unit, enabling Screen Visions to split the screen into different sections and layouts. Each music act was given a different set screen layout with their own specific on-screen animations. Tracking speed was 0.2m per second.

Acts who performed on stage during the show included top German act, No Angles, Peter Maffay, Oli P, Lisa Stansfield, Vanessa Mae, Judy Weiss, Smokie and Yamboo.

Rigging time for the screens was six hours, with a three-hour derig. Duration of the live transmission on ARD was two and a half hours.

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