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Christie Spyder X80 delivers flawless visual experience

December 18, 2018

Freelance Technical Services needs only one Spyder for large-scale production

PHOENIX – The annual DaVita Villagewide conference was a runaway success thanks in part to Christie® Spyder X80 and Orlando-based Freelance Technical Services (FTS). Held at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, the gathering by one of America’s largest kidney care providers brought together the facility administrators who manage clinics nationwide. Approximately 3,800 people attended this year’s two-day event, which featured guest speakers and an awards program honoring employees.

Tim Durr, owner of Freelance Technical Services, designed the video package for Villag​ewide, served as video engineer for the show, and provided the screen switching system. Using one of two recently purchased Spyder X80s to manage the content, Durr filled the venue’s long wall with video projection: two 66 x 20-foot screens flanking a central set featuring window frames with printed graphics and four additional projection screens. Given the scope and complexity of the production, the DaVita team - with expert input from Tim Durr - selected the powerful Spyder X80 multi-screen windowing processor to manage the show’s dual link 3840 x 1080 content and the required inputs and outputs.

“We had bigger screens and more projectors this year,” said Jay Hawkins, Director of the Wisdom Team at DaVita, Inc. in Denver. “We had a lot of sources, a lot of destinations, and a lot of things going on. Tim (Durr) felt the Spyder X80’s ease of use and functionality were much better suited to what we needed to do.”

“We were mapping blended content to the screens and scenic elements as well as downstage confidence monitors,” added Durr. “We had eight 3840 inputs from a server system to connect all the screens and deliver a single look. And there were six inputs from 1920 x 1080 computers and two more from the HD cameras’ IMAG feeds. Before, we would have needed multiple video processors to do this but a single Spyder X80 could handle the job.

“No other processor allows us to use any type of signal connectors we want on in​puts and outputs: Display Port, HDMI, SDI,” Durr continued. “Everything is 4K compatible so users have the flexibility to choose any input to bring in any signal type. The same for the outputs. This is huge for us.”

Hawkins said the Spyder X80 worked as expected and the decision to use X80 made the project easier thanks to all the features and capabilities it offers.

“Building a smooth and seamless experience for our teammates who attend the conference is crucial to us. We want them to leave remembering the content, messages and experience, rather than thinking about all the technical aspects of the event, and that is what X80 let us do for them,” Hawkins added.

Four times the power of Spyder X20 yet similar interface

Durr, owner of four Christie Spyder X20s and two Spyder X80s, said Spyder X20 operators will find the X80’s software interface and GUI controls are exactly the same on the X80.

“You can program the same as you would on the X20 so the operator base is already there. Christie didn’t re-invent the wheel – they just made the wheel bigger. Christie is also quick to modify and update the features of the X80. They always do a really good job of keeping systems up-to-date with the feature set you need.”

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