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Archive for October, 2011

Visual Acuity broadens skill base with new hire

Theatre lighting and production specialist Damian Andrews becomes a Lead Consultant, Project Development at Visual Acuity.

Theatre lighting and production specialist Damian Andrews becomes a Lead Consultant, Project Development at Visual Acuity.

Theatre lighting and production specialist Damian Andrews becomes a Lead Consultant, Project Development at Visual Acuity.

Independent technology consultancy Visual Acuity is expanding once again, this time appointing Damian Andrews to the position of Lead Consultant, Project Development. Andrews brings a fresh perspective to the consultancy with a wealth of experience working in various project roles ranging from client user, owner,operator and integrator.

This key role has both internal and customer-facing dimensions, as Blair Parkin, Managing Director, Visual Acuity, explains:

“The technological scope of our work continues to develop, as does our geographical reach – we are currently working on projects as far afield as Asia, the Middle East, the US and Europe.

“Damian will lead and champion our customers’ interests and provide advice and support to architects, building engineers, vendors and other service providers on each project.”

In addition to project-management expertise, Andrews also brings specialist skills in stage lighting and production to the party – significantly broadening Visual Acuity’s range of technological competencies as the diversity of the company’s customer base continues to grow.

Andrews’ industry experience dates back to the mid-1990s when, while studying for a Diploma in Audio Visual Design, he worked in the technical department of the UK’s Middlesbrough Theatre. He subsequently studied Electrical Engineering for Theatre, before embarking on a large-scale musical as production electrician and working as Company Stage Manager for the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Several years travelling the world as a technical manager in the cruise-ship industry culminated in the appointment as Senior Production Manager on the Queen Mary 2 overseeing the operation of multiple and varied entertainment spaces.

“The QM2 featured the world’s first Planetarium at Sea, and it was while working there that I developed a passion for planetarium design, technology and content,” Andrews explains. “After returning to dry land to work as an event technician and convention-centre operations manager in New Zealand, I was delighted to be approached by Sky-Skan, Inc., to work on a planetarium installation for them there.”

Andrews subsequently worked on other planetarium projects for Sky-Skan all over the world, including the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco – which is where he first came to the attention of Visual Acuity. He now joins Visual Acuity from Staging Connections, an event services company in Melbourne, Australia, where he was Operations Manager. Prior to that, he was Technical Director and Chief Lighting Technician at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, Ireland.

Andrews has returned to the UK where he will be based at Visual Acuity’s Brighton HQ. “This appointment gives me the perfect opportunity to use the skills I have gained from working in varied industries around the globe, to compliment what is already a well-respected and experienced team,” he concludes. “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Visual Acuity.”

www.visual-acuity.com

FOR-A TO SHOW KEY PRODUCTS AT ANNUAL CAPER CONVENTION IN BUENOS AIRES

Show Marks First Time Company’s Super Slo Motion HD Camera Shown in Full Broadcast Configuration in Latin America

Fort Lee, N.J.- FOR-A Corporation of America, a leading manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, today announces the company’s participation at CAPER 2011 (Camara Argentina de Proveedores y Fabricantes de Equipos de Radiodifusion), an annual convention focused on digital television technology.

Recognized as a critically important gathering for broadcasters in Argentina and surrounding Latin countries, CAPER 2011 will take place from October 26-28, 2011 at the Centro Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

At the show, FOR-A products will have a showcase at the booth of its Argentinean distributor SVC (Sistemas de Video Comunicacion SA), a sales, engineering, and systems integration company based in Buenos Aires. SVC has provided over 25 years of service and support to the Latin broadcast community and is a vital business partner to FOR-A in the region, which encompasses Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia.

In the SVC booth, CAPER 2011 show-goers will see a variety of FOR-A solutions for cost-effective, live broadcast production including: the VFC-7000 HD Super Slow Motion Camera; the FA-9500 3G/HD/SD multi-purpose signal processor; LTR-100HS LTO-5 Video Archiving Recorder, VTW-330 HD/SD Character Generator and HVS-300HS and HVS-350HS live video switcher.

CAPER 2011 will mark the first time that FOR-A has shown the VFC-7000 Super Slow Motion Camera in a full broadcast setup—including a high-end lens, viewfinder, and tripod—in Latin America. The VFC-7000 is a compact, lightweight, user-friendly camera capable of high-speed HD recording from 24 to 700 fps. It offers a high-sensitivity CMOS color sensor; electronic high-speed shutter of up to 1/200,000th of a second; and recording times ranging from 9.8 to 29.5 seconds.

“The ability to capture fast-moving subjects without any motion blur makes the VFC-7000 ideal for live sports,” said Pedro Silvestre, Sales Director, FOR-A Corporation of America. “The VFC-7000 is part of a comprehensive, affordable FOR-A product range which, when used together, meets critical live production needs.”

FOR-A will also show two powerful, compact HD/SD video switchers: the HVS-300HS 1-M/E portable switcher and the HVS-350HS 1.5-M/E switcher. The HVS-350HS offers integrated frame synchronizers; 2D/3D wipe effects; DVE; (dual-channel) keyer with chroma key and picture in picture; (four channel) DSK and still stores; and dual-channel, 16-way multiviewers. The HVS-300HS offers integrated frame synchronizers; up converters; 2D/3D wipe effects; keyer with chroma key; dual channel P-in-P; DSK and still stores; and 16-way multiviewer.

CAPER 2011 is also an opportunity to exhibit the FA-9500, a 3G/HD/SD multi-purpose signal processor for use in multi-standard, multi-format DTV environments. Besides functioning as a frame synchronizer, the FA-9500 provides up/down/cross/aspect conversion, plus a second converter for down/cross/aspect conversion, a color corrector, Dolby E encoder/decoder, and automatic video optimizer for all types of video and audio signals.

With its 1.5-terrabytes of recording capacity, the FOR-A LTR-100HS video archiving recorder ingests and archives large quantities of HD media cost-effectively using LTO-5 datatape. Equipped with a high-quality MPEG-2 encoder, the LTR-100HS includes an MXF wrapper/un-wrapper so that MXF files recorded in real-time to LTO-5 tape can be used directly by nonlinear editing systems.

“We’re looking forward to meeting current and prospective Latin American clients at CAPER 2011,” Silvestre added. “We’re confident that we have very compelling production solutions that will appeal to this rapidly growing DTV market.”

About FOR-A
FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 201-944-1120 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.
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Harkness Screens Announces Launch of Digital Screen Checker

SHOWEAST (STAND 518) HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, 24TH OCTOBER 2011 — Harkness Screens, the world’s leading manufacturer of projection screens for cinema and events applications, launches the Digital Screen Checker, a brand new version of its existing luminance meter, at ShowEast 2011. more

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Christie Previews Innovative Integrated Media Block (IMB) Solution at ShowEast

Advancing its leadership position in addressing the exhibition industry’s transition to 4K and high frame rate (HFR) projection standards, Christie will preview a fully integrated media block (IMB) solution with 4K and HFR capabilities, designed to meet Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC (DCI) specifications, at ShowEast.
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Designed and manufactured by Christie, the world’s leading provider of digital cinema projectors, the Christie IMB works with all of Christie’s Solaria™ Series 2 projectors to provide an integrated solution from a single, trusted equipment supplier. A key feature of the Christie IMB is that it utilizes industry-standard, off-the-shelf storage devices, unlike other media blocks that typically require expensive, proprietary storage solutions.
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Also, featuring complete MPEG2 and H.264 support, the Christie IMB allows exhibitors to display a larger variety of alternative and advertising content, fully streamed from the same storage device that holds the packaged cinema content. The complete, all-in-one projection system that results will provide unparalleled value, will be more reliable than third party solutions, and will give exhibitors ultimate confidence in their long-term investment decision.
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“Most current digital projector installations utilize a media block in an external server that is linked by cables to the projector. This creates bandwidth limitations that impact picture quality and inhibit the overall system’s ability to maintain and display video at higher frame rates and increased pixel resolution,” observed Don Shaw, Director, Product Management, Christie Entertainment Solutions. “The Christie IMB overcomes this challenge by physically operating within the projector. It becomes an integral part of the display device, creating a secure connection that can manage the high bandwidth required for HFR and 4K content without compromising image quality.”
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Shaw noted that the IMB design reduces complexity because it eliminates the need for an exhibitor to support varied servers and IMBs currently on the market from different manufacturers, on their different screens. Christie achieves further integration by embedding its Screen Management System – the control interface for the projection system – directly into the IMB.
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“Christie now offers a groundbreaking, single projection solution that converts and delivers packaged feature film content within a secure, DCI-compliant environment, while providing the option to upgrade to full HFR capabilities. And because we also manufacture the projector that forms the keystone of our advanced digital cinema solution, we eliminate compatibility issues that could potentially occur in media blocks from third party suppliers, especially following regular software upgrade cycles,” observed Shaw.
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Designed for Exhibitors by the Engineers That Know Our Projectors Best
The design of Christie’s IMB is grounded in a solid understanding of a projector’s software, thermals, vibrations and internal power supply; the type of knowledge one would expect from the world’s largest sole-source supplier of digital cinema projectors. It comes in three versions to suit your particular needs – a 2K/2D/3D standard frame rate model, that can be easily upgraded to support 2K/2D/3D high frame rates and, beyond that, an all-inclusive upgrade that adds 4K support.
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The Christie IMB, designed to work with all Christie Solaria Series 2K and 4K projectors, plays perfectly with Christie Previsto™ HFR, a technology that enables the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequels and Avatar sequels to be played by exhibitors on single projector systems, exactly as intended by the filmmakers. Choosing a Christie IMB today ensures that, with a simple license key upgrade, an exhibitor is ready when the first HFR feature film, The Hobbit, is released in December 2012.
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For more information on higher frame rates, visit www.higherframerates.com.

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ActiveDeck 2.0 Debuts as a Quick and Easy Solution for Creating Interactive Presentations on Apple iPads

ActiveDeck

ActiveDeck

Three Byte Intermedia, Inc., a custom software studio focusing on interactive AV solutions, introduces ActiveDeck 2.0, a media rich audience engagement tool available as an add-in for PowerPoint 2010 ( www.activedeck.com ). Destined to be a must-have for presenters in the educational, corporate and trade show markets, ActiveDeck enables users to quickly and easily create interactive presentations on their Apple iPads.

“One hundred iPads gave birth to ActiveDeck,” says Chris Keitel, a principal at Three Byte. “Last fall the luxury automaker Infiniti wanted to give attendees at their leadership summit a personalized experience that represented the streamlined, technology-enabled experience they were expected to present and emulate at their dealerships. We gave each group of 100 participants iPads, and presenters pushed content to each iPad using software we developed for the summit.”

Keitel reports that the success of the event and the growing popularity and power of the iPad suggested that the software they developed shouldn’t be just a one-off application. “We decided to scale it for presenters to use whenever and wherever they want to make a strong connection with their audience – from classrooms and boardrooms to trade shows and retail stores. We were guided by two principles: Make it easy for presenters and participants to use, and capitalize on the iPad’s abundant opportunities to engage audiences with interactive activities and rich media.”

ActiveDeck is a very versatile audience engagement iPad application and is tailored perfectly for education, corporate and trade show markets. For example in the educational market, ActiveDeck enables teachers to use questions, games, polls and surveys to obtain actionable intelligence from their students. ActiveDeck includes unique quiz/test functionality, which allows the teacher to specify correct answers for multiple-choice questions so they can be graded in real time. Students can see if they answered a question right or wrong via a pop-up feedback feature, which displays instant results on their device.

At the end of a series of questions individualized score reports and percentages of right/wrong answers can be viewed on the iPad. The teacher can also segment their students into groups and tally the correct answer percentages by each groups’ collective performance. Test results and student feedback can be used on the spot to boost classroom participation and engagement or analyzed later to improve future lessons.

In the corporate arena, ActiveDeck can be used to craft custom, interactive iPad presentations that can be simultaneously delivered to on-site and remotely connected participants making ActiveDeck the ideal solution for focus groups, compliance training or product launches.

Those exhibiting or presenting at trade shows can use ActiveDeck to showcase their products and services while gathering valuable customer and market insights.

ActiveDeck consists of three components: The PowerPoint add-in, the iPad app, and the cloud service which ties it all together. All that’s required to get started is PowerPoint 2010 for Windows and the ActiveDeck add-in.

First, the presenter uses the ActiveDeck add-in to make their PowerPoint presentation interactive and to publish it to the cloud.

Next, participants log in via the ActiveDeck app and download the presentation onto their iPad. They can now begin to influence the presentation in real time and contribute valuable feedback to the discussion.

ActiveDeck is built on Microsoft’s Azure platform and securely manages the publication and distribution of presentations in the cloud. All data is encrypted and presentations can be public or password protected. The presenter can use ActiveDeck’s analytics capabilities to track who has viewed the presentation and when. Information collected from the audience is stored and available for post-event reporting.

The ActiveDeck single-user demo is available free online. Pricing plans for small (2-99 users) and large (100-300 users) events are offered along with enterprise pricing for an unlimited number of users (with custom software solutions included).

For more information visit www.activedeck.com or contact Three Byte Intermedia at info@3-byte.com or call at 646 233 1700

ActiveDeck

ActiveDeck

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RTW SHOWCASES NEW FIRMWARE UPGRADE AND 3G-SDI INTERFACE FOR TOUCHMONITOR TM9 AT AES 2011

NEW YORK — RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters for professional broadcast, production, post-production and quality control, will be exhibiting at AES 2011 (Group One Booth 530) the TouchMonitor TM9 with firmware Version 2 (V2) and the new 3G-SDI add-on interface, available by the end of 2011. RTW TM9-3GSDI Firmware Update more

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Sound Devices 788T Reaches New Heights in Kathmandu for Recording of Nepalese Music Album

USBPre 2 Proves Invaluable as Stand-Alone Preamp and Portable Interface

KATHMANDU, NEPAL — When Alejandro Sánchez-Samper, assistant professor and assistant director of commercial music at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida, traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal, to record an album of traditional and contemporary Nepalese music earlier this year, he brought Sound Devices 788T digital audio recorder and its USBPre 2 (Sound Devices AES Booth 139) with him to do the job. Sánchez-Samper relied on the Sound Devices 788T to capture live performances for the upcoming album, titled Nepali Ho, while using the USBPre 2 as a stand-alone preamp. more

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RTW’S NEW COMBO INSTRUMENT FOR LOUDNESS RANGE METERING MAKES ITS AES 2011 DEBUT

LRA Instrument to be Incorporated in TouchMonitor 2.x, SurroundControl 31900/31960 and SurroundMonitor 11900 4.x Firmware Versions

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 21, 2011 — RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters for professional broadcast, production, post-production, and quality control, will be showcasing at AES 2011 (Group One Booth 530) its new loudness-range instrument (LRA) for many of its metering products. The new combination instrument will be incorporated into software versions for the TouchMonitor (V2.x), SurroundControl 31900/31960 (V4.x) and the SurroundMonitor 11900 (V4.x). The TouchMonitor TM9 and SurroundControl 31960 SD will also be on display for AES attendees at the booth.RTW LRA Meter more

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Christie Introduces Solaria 2.2 Software Upgrade, Featuring Christie Previsto High Frame Rate Technology, For Stunning 2D and 3D Cinema Presentation

To support exhibitors wanting to future-proof their investments in anticipation of showing high frame rate (HFR) movies – which are currently being developed by Hollywood’s most powerful directors – Christie has announced a powerful software upgrade for its Christie Solaria™ Series of digital cinema projectors.

Christie’s Solaria V.2.2 software application will be available soon and includes Christie Previsto™ High Frame Rate (HFR) technology, among other firmware upgrades, which will allow Christie Solaria Series 2 projectors to accept video content at frame rates as high as 48 and 60 frames per second (FPS). The current industry standard is 24 FPS. HFR technology renders fast-moving objects in exceptional detail, boosting the clarity and smoothness of the image.

Hollywood heavyweights supporting higher frame rates include James Cameron and Peter Jackson. Both have indicated that their new movies, including Cameron’s Avatar 2 & 3, and Jackson’s two-film adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, will be produced in HFR format, and exhibitors will require HFR-capable projectors to screen in theaters. Cameron, a vocal proponent of HFR production, has been touring major industry trade shows around the world, using Christie projectors to illustrate the benefits of higher frame rates, which he says, “will dramatically improve the viewing experience.”

“The transition to a higher frame rate standard is going to happen sooner rather than later, and Christie‘s Previsto HFR technology will protect exhibitors’ long-term investment in their digital cinema projectors,” said Don Shaw, director, Product Management, Christie Entertainment Solutions. “HFR will also provide exhibitors with new business opportunities that include projection of alternative content such as live sporting events, as well as artistic and cultural presentations, such as concerts and operas.”

In support of the transition, Christie also recently announced a historic, five-year agreement with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., to drive research, testing, and development of HFR technology. The two companies will do this by sharing expertise, equipment and intellectual capitals. Christie will also outfit Cameron’s new production facilities that include screening rooms for the next two installments of Avatar. In welcoming the agreement, Cameron praised Christie engineers who, “share the same passion for perfection, for continuously raising the standard of excellence that I do.”

“Christie recognizes the enormous trust exhibitors and partners place in us to provide them with the latest technology, and they also trust Christie to help future-proof their investment,” said Shaw. “The Christie Solaria 2.2 software upgrade reflects our commitment to the exhibition community, to provide our customers and partners with quality products and services that will serve them for the long-term.”

For more information on higher frame rates, visit www.higherframerates.com

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Prism Projection Introduces Next Generation RevEAL Studio Fresnel at LDI 2011

Prism Projection, Inc. will be offering attendees at LDI 2011 the opportunity to see the next generation of lighting technology with not only a product launch but also a head to head comparison of source technologies. With the launch of the third generation RevEAL Studio Fresnel 3 (SF3) Prism expands their multi-award winning RevEAL line of products by offering designers yet another way to use LED technology as their primary source within a familiar fixture format. Another highlight of the Prism booth (#1519) will be the head to head comparison of the popular RevEAL Profile luminaire with an ETC Source Four 750-Watt ellipsoidal. Stop in and see why so many designers consider the RevEAL Profile a true ‘go to’ option for primary illumination.

“Many lighting designers consider the 750-Watt Source Four as a benchmark when comparing lights,” notes Garrett Young, President and Founder of Prism Projection, Inc. “During the show, we will give attendees the opportunity to see the Source Four alongside our RevEAL Profile, which we consider to be the future of framing profile spotlights. It has the output of traditional sources at a fraction of the power consumption, while still providing designers with beam-shaping shutters and edge-to-edge crisp projections coupled with high color rendering and excellent output.”

Many designers have quickly embraced the RevEAL Profile, which has received multiple awards throughout the industry, including the Best Debuting Product in the Lighting Category at last year’s LDI. The RevEAL Profile is a true high-CRI, LED Profile Spot with a lumen output of 16,000 lumens, a variable Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) range of 2,800–6,500K, an adjustable focus from hard to a very soft edge, changeable lenses for beam angles from 14º–70º, and a flat field. It also has four shutters on a tri-plane; accepts M-size gobos; uses DMX, Art-Net, or local control; and features a universal power input of 90–260V AC.prism-reveal-studio-barndoors.jpg

Debuting at LDI this year, is Prism’s new Studio Fresnel 3, with an output of 7,600 lumens and a Color Rendering Index (CRI) > 92, offers the ability to get clean cuts with standard barndoors and a wider range of beam angle adjustment—from a very narrow 8° to an extra wide 70°. The SF3 uses a manual zoom focus mechanism to smoothly and easily go from spot to flood. “We’ve been able to reduce the source size to enable the SF3 to work with the barndoor as well as allow for the tighter spot without any loss in output from the previous two models, adds Young.” Both the SF1 and SF2 will still be available in the Prism RevEAL line alongside the SF3 giving people the choice of the right tool for their particular application.

The SF3 reacts to the cuts and shaping of barndoors the same as a conventional Fresnel fixture and is the same form factor as a traditional 8” Fresnel. With a total power draw of 250-Watts, the SF3 is brighter than a 1kW Fresnel with a tungsten source. The RevEAL Studio Fresnels provide high lumen output, unparalleled color rendering, tunable CCT from 2,800–8,000K, a wide color palette with repeatability, and beam quality guaranteed by TrueSource® color management technology.

“We wanted to give lighting designers the ability to use our products in a similar manner that they are used to working,” says Young. “With the design of the SF3, we built on the accomplishments of the previous Studio Fresnel models and added in the ability to work seamlessly with a standard barndoor in shaping the beam. We were also able to engineer a tighter spot focus going from the previous narrow spot of 20° now down to an 8° spot.”
Both the RevEAL Studio Fresnel 3 and the RevEAL Profile will be demonstrated alongside the multi-award winning RevEAL Color Wash luminaire. Also be sure to come in for the head to head comparison of the RevEAL Profile to the ETC Source Four taking place each day in Prism’s booth #1519 at LDI.

Prism Projection – See what you’ve been missing.®

For more information about Prism Projection, Inc., please go to: www.prismprojection.com

About Prism Projection, Inc.
In the fall of 2009 Prism introduced the first of the RevEAL line of products, the Color Wash. Almost instantly the RevEAL CW generated industry awards and attention, including Best Debuting Product for Lighting at LDI 2009. In 2010, Prism again moved LED technology forward with the debut of the RevEAL Profile. RevEAL has received numerous product awards from LDI, WFX, ABTT, and Live Design tradeshows and magazines. Prism Projection’s products create specific colored light with high rendering indexes in instruments capable of maintaining that color output. The innovative TrueSource® color management and calibration system allows products to deliver exact color without many of the operational concerns of other LED systems.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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