The Super Bowl is an American institution, drawing hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide. For 2020, the championship was hosted shortly before the COVID 19 lockdown at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
System design consultant Lumen & Forge was chosen by Broadwell Airdomes USA, on behalf of show organiser AG Entertainment, to help create an unforgettable experience for over 60,000 attendees. With the assistance of German projection specialist Vioso, Lumen & Forge installed a dome measuring 68.58m wide by 53m high (225ft by 175ft), making it the largest projection ever made inside this kind of structure.
While industry-standard projection domes have a hemispherical shape, this one was oval, or a 'pill shape'. Created by Broadwell Airdomes USA, the size of structure was determined by the use of the dome which would host concerts and parties within: the pill shape would also allow for a higher capacity of visitors, while creating optimal placement for 24 Digital Projection M-Vision Laser 18K projectors.
While advantageous from a capacity perspective, the shape had major bearings on both camera calibration and content creation. To combat this, projection specialist Vioso was asked to provide an advanced calibration rack, which included Lumen & Forge's own Vioso Domemaster server, six Datapath Fx4 display controllers, as well as a 7m-high tripod for the calibration camera.
After designing the dome in a 3D space, the teams were able to develop content that was placed into VR for testing. Using this method, the 16:9 content was modified to fit the shape of the dome perfectly, altering the calibrations to fit the lens of the camera.
Vioso has used its Domemaster server in the past for both calibration and playback inside a dome. Playback was then fed by a separate server and captured by the Domemaster with two 4K inputs, before being mapped inside the dome.
Datapath's Fx4 display controllers are the professional choice for blending multi-source video and projection, and are used in countless live events, corporate applications and visitor attractions around the world. The end result at Miami Gardens is a jaw dropping spectacle that brought an added dimension to Super Bowl LIV, with the adaptability to be used at future events with minimal technical upheaval.