Vista Systems’ Spyder hit the road with Bon Jovi for the band’s Have A Nice Day Tour in support of their new album of the same name. Three Spyder 353 units are part of an HD video system, which is believed to be a touring-industry first.

Various acts have used HD playback but Bon Jovi is the first to carry an HD camera and playback system with them for the length of the tour,” says David Lemmink, director of engineering at Nocturne Productions, the tour’s video supplier.

In addition to Spyder, the system features seven Thomson/Grass Valley LDK6000 and Ikegami HDL-40 HD cameras, a Grass Valley Kalypso video switcher, a custom-built 40' wide Saco V9 HD LED wall, Mainlight SoftLED curtains, which display video, Saco V9 LED ‘fingers,’ which extend behind the main HD wall, and Barco G8 projectors for side screens.

“This is the first tour where we’ve integrated video and lights so all video playback and manipulation is controlled from the lighting desk via a DMX interface to the Spyder,” Lemmink explains. “With the Spyder, we can create six full resolution HD screen spaces--on the LED wall, curtain, fingers, and HD side screens--and manipulate 15 layers of 1080i HD video.”

Inputs, all of which are HD, include program feeds, the individual cameras, four channels of Grass Valley Turbo IDDR and three channels of Hippotizer. Every input runs through a 64x64 router and is processed by the Spyder. Custom hardware and software feeds the unique 50x1.5'fingers, which can mimic pyro effects and display multiple images.

“Since we have random access to anything and anywhere, Spyder gives us the capability to layer on demand,” Lemmink reports. “It’s my new favorite box, a real trouper. Spyder works like a 15-channel DVE with the added bonus of realtime control via DMX. And we’re talking about 15 layers of HD/SDI video. When you see the HD video signal 40' wide, it’s nothing less than stunning.”