Megapixel Powers Screens at Eurovision 2024 with SMPTE ST 2110

The world’s largest annual music show, Eurovision, kicked off with huge fanfare in Malmo, Sweden, last week with Megapixel on hand as an official technical supplier to the event, supporting long-time partner Creative Technology Northern Europe, an NEP group company. 

Planning for Eurovision started almost immediately after the previous contest in the UK, and 2024 marks the first year since Russia 2009 where a single company has been the technical supplier for Audio, Lighting, Video, and Broadcast equipment. CT Northern Europe was an early adopter of ST 2110, just like Megapixel; and the plan from the start was to deliver a native SMPTE ST 2110 backbone for the video system. 

Niclas Ljung, Chief Technology Officer at Creative Technology, says “Working with Megapixel from the very start of the production allowed us to verify system designs and have a direct feedback loop with the development team ensuring total success from the outset.”

Megapixel worked closely with Creative Technology to deliver a fully redundant SMPTE ST 2110 video distribution network, feeding video from eight Disguise GX3 servers to ten HELIOS® LED Processors – utilizing Megapixel’s newly released 100G fiber input module, a recent addition to CT Northern Europe’s rental fleet. 

Ola Melzig, Eurovision Senior Technical Director says “Eurovision has never been afraid of pushing the boundaries of technology, in fact every Eurovision for the past 25 years has used technology that was on the bleeding edge. This year we chose to deploy ST 2110 and show the world that this technology is the future of video distribution for live events”.

The video system fed two completely independent HELIOS systems with signals from the Disguise servers, ensuring 100% uptime for the video system throughout rehearsals and live broadcast. 

HELIOS was responsible for driving over 1000 sqm of ROE LED panels consisting of 680 Black Quartz 4 panels for the back wall, 540 Black Marble tiles to make up the floor and 460 Vanish tiles to form the cubes above the stage. The cubes are controlled by a Kinesys automation system allowing them to be flown in and out independently giving the show designers a plethora of creative possibilities with the LED system. 

Megapixel’s HELIOS LED Processing Platform is the first LED processing system capable of native ST 2110 ingest as well as being the only system capable of ingesting 8K ST 2110.  HELIOS is the only processor capable of delivering such a production with the complexity and scale of Eurovision, making it the most powerful 8K processor in the world. Thanks to years of experience in live events and high stakes broadcast environments, HELIOS was the perfect choice for this production.

Karl Wigenius, On Site Video Manager commented, “Having the entire LED system on a single processing platform made sense for us as our staff are already very competent with HELIOS. Deploying a system even as complex as what we have for Eurovision, was straightforward and everything has worked very well. This is important for us given the high profile nature of the production, we have no room for failure and HELIOS has delivered rock solid performance for us.”

In addition to HELIOS, Megapixel’s OMNIS® AV Monitoring Platform was called upon to remotely monitor HELIOS units and distribute real-time health reports of the entire system to the onsite technical staff. OMNIS was able to proactively monitor the ten HELIOS processors as well as power and network infrastructure to ensure total reliability for the duration of the production.