Panasonic's Giant AV Launch Stage/Screen Was Fantastic

Yesterday, the guys from Panasonic had a media event in Melbourne to launch their new range of home AV gear, including their VT20 3D plasma and their Yahoo7 partnership. But one of the most interesting aspects of the whole event wasn't actually a Panasonic product - it was the massive stage/screen they had set up in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Like a giant Celebrity Squares stage, the main portion was made up of nine squares that would have been about two metres high by two metres wide each. Covering the entire setup was a material of unknown origin, that could both reflect an image projected onto it as well as show people behind it in individual squares.

As the throng on media entered, only the top, centre square was illuminated, showing the DJ and guitarist playing soft entrance music. After we had taken our seats, a singer appeared in the centre square, surrounded by the projected image of a brick wall. As her song progressed, different squares of projected wall disappeared to reveal dancers and backup singers.

After the song finished, Panasonic began their presentation, using the stage to act as a large screen to show Panasonic's MD Steve Rust as he addressed the crowd.

On either side of the centre stage were two other equally high (but not quite as wide) screens. During the finale (another song, just before we went to look at the products), the walls came crashing down in a sea of polystyrene foam bricks.

On closer inspection, the main section was lit up by three huge vertically aligned projectors, while both the side screens were lit by two. I was told that the multiple projector setup was to improve the brightness, although specific details on the type of projectors and material it was projected onto was unknown.

Panasonic told me that whole thing was put together by a company called Imagination based out of Sydney. All I can say is that they sure as hell did a great job...

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