Dell Powers First-Ever Concert Streamed Live in 4K

When the media first began reviewing our UltraSharp Ultra HD 4K monitor last year, sometimes they would couch their praise for the display with statements like “you’ll have to wait a few years before content becomes widely available in 4K.”

In April 2014, ExtremeTech said it was “a stunning monitor – but 4K still isn’t ready for prime time.” But, last month they said “at long last, 4K is finally taking off” and today we’re excited to announce how Dell is playing a part in that.

The FADER FORT Presented by Converse, taking place during the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival, will be the very first live concert live streamed in 4K worldwide and it will be powered by Dell, Intel, RED Digital Cinema, and Sharp Electronics, with key support from XI Media Productions, Omega Broadcast and New Cinema.

One man sits and another stands in front of several computers and monitors streaming the FADER FORT 2014

We’ve been a partner with The FADER for a couple of years and Dell Precision workstations, seen hard at work above producing last year’s FADER FORT live stream, will once again play a key role. And when we say Dell is powering this very first 4K live-streamed live concert, Dusty Kraatz, owner of XI Media Productions puts the challenge of that into perspective.

“Dell made a beast of a custom workstation to run the live stream… it was great, but our encoding team needed some tweak, so AGAIN Dell went into their work shop and within a day overnighted a new customized workstation that did the trick,” Kraatz told me. “That's pretty unheard of and truly speaks to the level of commitment Dell has put behind our 4K efforts.”

The work to prepare for this event has been demanding for everyone involved; but, what will take place every day at The FADER FORT Presented by Converse during SXSW is even more involved.

“The signal will run from the cameras over fiber to a switcher that will distribute the signal to 3 different stations,” explains Mike Bailey of our Dell Precision Technical Marketing team. “One station will record the uncompressed 4k stream, one station will be a live-feed displayed on monitors within the venue, and the last station consists of a Dell Precision T7810 Workstation and a Dell Ultrasharp 4k display used to encode and stream the 4K video to the world via the FADER website. We’ll also be using a Dell Precision M3800 to control the switcher as well as for editing 4K content.”

You may still be wondering what the big deal is if you don’t own a 4K television, a 4K monitor or one of our 4K Precision M3800 mobile workstations or XPS 15s. What’s in this for you?

“A lot of people have yet to fully understand that even if you yourself aren't watching in true 4K, you are still benefiting from the content having been shot at such a high resolution,” says Kraatz. “Four times the resolution is squeezed into your hand. That might get smashed down based on your connectivity, but the end result truly will be a higher quality viewing experience.”

Powering the first concert live streamed in 4K means we get to bring that viewing experience to music fans around the world during the live performances and with exclusive interviews from top artists including Migos, Bleachers and more live in brilliant 4K resolution. All performances will be streamed online at TheFADER.com/FORT.

So, while I’ve seen tweets like these from people hoping to be there in person…

 Tweet from @WeezyFsxsw that reads: Naming my first kid #faderfort prob won't give me any better chances of getting in right? #sxswproblems

The reality is you don’t have to do anything more drastic to see what happens at this event than go online from the comfort of your home. If you’re short like me, that means you’ll have the best view without the crowd of tall people to try to look over!

In person or online, The FADER FORT Presented by Converse, has long been positioned as the spot to see live music during its March homestead, and this year promises to be as exciting as ever.

“We could have started small. We could have done this in a very controlled environment, indoors and rehearsed for a week,” Kraatz says. “Instead, we are setting up the entire video village in two days, streaming over 40 bands, outside in a completely live and unscripted environment.  It's a bit crazy, but it takes these risks and aspirations to create amazing and unique content.  At the end of the day, we don't do easy…we CRUSH.”

Wide view of the crowd in front of the stage at FADER FORT 2014

Laura Pevehouse

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.