Live XR with Lightware Visual Engineering at the core

Lightware Visual Engineering Vice President of USA and Canada, Steve Samson, shares how Lightware technologies bring cutting edge performances to life.

Illuminarium, an immersive entertainment experience, is powered by Lightware.

Since COVID-19, audiences want to be amazed by new live experiences to interact with pixel-perfect information at a car launch, an eSports event or music concert where High Dynamic Range and 4K resolution permit photorealistic display. Without Lightware Visual Engineering technology many of the highest profile live performances of recent times would simply not be possible. 

For example, the use of LED capture volumes is providing game-changing realism for virtual production environments to truly take off.  One of the key requirements for live XR environments is having a robust and reliable AV infrastructure to do the heavy lifting of uncompressed video signal management. 

This is where Lightware technology comes into play. The UBEX 10G AV-over-IP video and audio switcher is an integral part of the growing number of XR stages being built around the world. 

Since productions spend a lot of money generating the pixels used for backgrounds in high profile shows, it is critical that each and every one of those pixels is delivered exactly where it needs to go and when it needs to be there. 

That is precisely what the UBEX has been engineered to do. The optical unit uses a packet-based transmission to allow 4K UHD@60Hz 4:4:4 signal extension for pixel accurate delivery. 

Dolby Atmos audio capabilities are transmitted along with the video signal, all seamlessly switched at zero frame latency. No other technology comes close to what the mighty UBEX can achieve.

When we say zero frame latency we mean it. UBEX delivers a 0.01 ms latency that is undetectable to the human eye and crucial to achieving the immersive experience.

The units are also fully redundant, another vital important consideration given the technology’s growing use in live events such as Billie Eilish’s Where Do We Go – The Live Stream and Katy Perry’s Singles Day performance for Alibaba.  

UBEX’ full end-to-end redundancy features made it a perfect fit for the live environment where any sudden loss of signal is absolutely unacceptable. If a server or a link fails, production can send commands directly to Lightware’s technology to modify outputs and ensure there’s not a loss in content. It enables video producers to have a constant content stream to the destination.

Lightware technologies bring a plethora of features highly-specific for live eSport applications, with support of signals up to 4K60 through HDMI 2.0 as well as seamless switching, video wall capabilities and silent operation. Since eSport operations involve a high number of USB peripherals, from gaming keyboards and mice to USB cameras pointed at each player during a tournament, UBEX is the solution relied upon to perform in highly-challenging collaboration environments.

AV technology has grown more complicated with the demand to introduce interoperable products and solutions. Event organisers require the infrastructure to be user-friendly, reliable and quick to rig and de-rig. That’s why we made UBEX operable as a virtual matrix over a standard Ethernet switch. This enables systems designers and AV technicians to connect multiple UBEX boxes to create a complex network with virtually unlimited numbers of endpoints all while providing enhanced redundancy.  

Plus, Lightware technology easily integrates with existing IT infrastructures and can operate as in either TX, RX or even in TRX (transceiver) mode.  Systems designers can actually replace three devices (receiver, a transmitter and a transceiver) in one UBEX box saving time, space and the cost of transport and easing connectivity issues. 

Lightware’s sole objective is to extend and switch the video and control signals without any latency in the signal chain, while maintaining every single pixel’s original quality and 4K and HDR video domain. 

We believe we are doing this and we won’t stop there. Look out for more advances from us in the coming months as we extend the power of the immersive live performance.