The Blue Man Group’s new show at The Venetian in Las Vegas is using Barco's ENCORE Presentation System exclusively for all video control.

For the Blue Man Group production, ENCORE control encompasses switching and routing for cameras, background graphics, front and rear projectors, LED walls and digital disk playback systems.

Scharff Weisberg Inc., the Blue Man Group’s systems integrator, selected ENCORE because of its high-resolution scaling, and the ability to simultaneously manage RGB, SDI, HD, and analog video inputs in a single console environment. Equally important was the system’s ability to independently address multiple destinations in both RGB and DVI formats.

Four ENCORE processors are used for the Blue Man event, each providing a single high-resolution RGB destination. On stage, destination targets include three LED walls plus front and rear projection screens, and each can be switched independently from ENCORE.

For event control, Scharff Weisberg selected Barco EVENTS MANAGER, a software application designed for frame accurate device synchronization and the ability to create custom GUIs. With a single button press on a custom GUI, one operator can trigger entire sequences of ENCORE events (or “presets”) within the various Blue Man production numbers.

Jon Kiphart, the Blue Man Group’s video programmer, used over 150 ENCORE presets to create the show. “ENCORE was an elegant solution,” notes Kiphart. “In one unit, it provided the switching, the scaling, and the ability to move images across the screen easily. What also surprised me the most about ENCORE was its ease of use.”

Steve Scorse, vice president of sales and marketing for Barco's Media and Entertainment division, North America, commented on the importance of redundancy for this installation. “Working with Scharff Weisberg, we knew that a primary concern was equipment redundancy, particularly when dealing with a permanent concert environment such as this," he explains. "In this configuration, even projectors and playback devices have backups. As an economical solution, and because of ENCORE’s modularity, we were able to provide a single ENCORE processor as a hot-swappable backup, instead of an entire second system.”

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