The minimum requirements are simply a screen, and a projector capable of displaying an image sufficiently bright for the given screen dimensions. Because the visuals are performed by an on-site choreographer the conductor has no additional tasks and can focus entirely on the orchestra.
The visuals include night-time and space scenes so it is necessary for the stage and hall to be as dark as possible, preferably in blackout. This means the musicians must perform with the aid of music stand lights, and some lighting on the conductor is needed for the musicians' benefit. (Note: some conductor spot-light locations are not helpful to the musicians because they will only light the conductor’s back - and can also shine onto the screen.) Wherever possible the screen should be hung as far downstage as possible to minimize light-spill from the stand lights.
It is recommended that the orchestra rehearse with stand lights and visuals at least once before the performance to confirm they can see the conductor and their scores.
The video feed is supplied by a laptop computer that can output HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, and VGA signals.
The laptop and choreographer need to be located in a position that has a clear view of the conductor. In practice, this can be anywhere in the hall, but the ideal location is on-stage. Signal delay is rarely an issue but video-mixers, distribution systems etc. may need to be by-passed.
While all the visuals are in high-definition (16:9 1080p60) and an HD projector is preferred, in practice an HD projector is not a requirement unless the screen is very large. However, increased projector brightness, resolution, and color fidelity significantly enhance the experience for the audience.
A choice of two synchronized DMX light show programs are now available for The Planets. The first adds simple color washes for each movement and occasional use of light effects. The second has numerous effects matched to the visuals and is suitable for immersive experiences where light fixtures are placed throughout the auditorium. To see a demonstration of the lighting effects, click here: