Vertigo 2005 vs. PopMart 1997 | It's Like comparing Apples with
Above picture shows PopMart stage from 1997.
photo credit: ryanr @ flickr.com
Above photo shows Vertigo stage from 2005.
Our interview with Barco, the LED manufacturer for U2's Vertigo stage, from a couple of weeks ago generated a lot of interest leading up to the European shows and the subsequent unveiling of the tour's outdoor stage set-up. Initially many fans had flashbacks to PopMart as they took in the huge red and black striped PA stacks and the mammoth LED screen backing a sprawling stage. In some fan forums there is some debate as to which screens actually were/are better. Well, we decided to contact Barco once again to gain further insight into the differences between the Vertigo and PopMart screens. Sabine Clappaert offered us the following information when we posed the question, "How do the Vertigo video screens differ from PopMart era video screens?":
Sabine: First and foremost, it is not recommendable to compare the screens of the two tours, as they each use a different type of LED technology. A bit like comparing apples with pears (Vertiblog edit: or Lemons!), but that will become clearer in the 'straight up comparison' / explanation below.
PopMart:- Saco LED display with resolution of 95,75 millimeter (the higher the millimeter, the lower the resolution. Thus: 95mm resolution is LOWER than 20mm or 10mm resolution)- Total screen size = 700 square meters
Vertigo:- Barco OLite 510 modules (herein lies the fundamental difference) with resolution of 10 millimeter* Note: Each OLite module measures 112mm by 84mm and has a resolution of 10mm. The blocks are spaced the width of 1 module apart from each other, giving the screen a total fill factor of approximately 18%.- Total screen size = 500 square meters
So, on a side-by-side comparison, the PopMart screen was larger, however, the Vertigo screen actually has a higher resolution.
So there you have it. Vertigo is a higher resolution technology than was used in PopMart.