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Archive for May 30th, 2012

Tightrope Media Systems Amplifies the Carousel Digital Signage Experience

New dynamic bulletin and reporting features, integration with Zeplay instant replay solution boost operational and entertainment options

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, May 30, 2012 – The digital signage universe continues to mature in the public eye, giving businesses, universities and other verticals an increasingly recognized visual platform to engage customers and enliven public spaces.

Tightrope Media Systems comes to InfoComm 2012 (June 13-15, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth N2257) with new developments to its Carousel digital signage system that deliver a richer experience for viewers, and new creative and reporting capabilities for end users. The advances integrate smoothly into the existing Carousel system, retaining its installation- and user-friendly characteristics for systems integrators.

Dynamic Bulletins
The web-centric Carousel solution is renowned for location-based data, delivering weather and other relevant information to local viewers. At InfoComm 2012, Tightrope extends local weather options, supporting multi-day forecast creation (up to seven days) and text-based crawls from WeatherBug. Carousel operators can build forecasts with temperature information and graphics to visualize the sun, clouds, rain and other climate conditions.

Increased multi-lingual support is a significant new Carousel development, with right-to-left text for Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi languages; and Asian-language word-wrapping for Japanese, Korean and simplified/traditional Chinese. Carousel also now displays international date formats by location, supporting EDS and date/time display among others.

Tightrope also addresses social media and digital signage integration at InfoComm 2012 through live Twitter feed support, allowing operators to publish tweets alongside RSS and other data-based feeds in any screen zone.

Built-in location-based services ensure that the correct forecasts, languages and social media feeds are delivered to the right screens across larger networks.

Stadium Excitement
Tightrope will also demonstrate Carousel integration with its ZEPLAY Instant Replay Server for stadium environments. Operators using the integrated solution can trigger instant replays of touchdowns, home runs and other thrilling moment from an iPad interface for immediate translation to Carousel-driven displays.

Digital signage operators in the stadium following the game action can press an icon to launch the iPad application. The application triggers an XML data string, which translates replays from the main stadium display, such as a Jumbotron, to one or more digital signage displays. This is especially ideal for fans that missed the live action, allowing them to view replays of big moments on menu boards at the concession stands, for example.

Emergency Notification
Digital signage gives corporate offices, school campuses and other locations a dynamic informational and entertainment tool — and can bring additional value when used for security and public safety.

Carousel now supports the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) that is being implemented across campuses and organizations nationwide. CAP allows a large university, corporate or other campus to implement simultaneous emergency messaging across a variety of platforms — using the same protocol that triggers alerts via SMS/text, AM radio, cable television EAS and outdoor warning devices for Carousel digital signage systems.

Reporting and Data Management
There is an undeniable creative element to working with digital signage that injects a sense of excitement into the content that ultimately reaches the consumer. However, someone still needs to manage the data and understand how the results affect business and operations.

At InfoComm, Tightrope adds a report publishing module to Carousel to export all bulletin-related metadata. This allows users to intelligently filter information related to status, schedules and impression data — a key benefit for sponsors on advertising-supported networks. Users export CSV reports of each bulletin, and flexibly adjust bulletin filters as needed to include only the information required at that time. Users can select from a list of all active and current bulletins across each screen zone.

About Tightrope Media Systems
Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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KRAMER INTRODUCES THE VP-471 AND VP-473 PROSCALE™ DIGITAL SCALERS

Kramer is pleased to announce the addition of the VP-471 3G HD−SDI to DVI ProScale digital scaler and VP-473 3G HD−SDI to computer graphics ProScale digital scaler to the existing VP-472 3G HD−SDI to HDMI ProScale digital scaler. With this addition, Kramer now offers a family of scalers that meets any serial digital scaling need through 3G SDI.

The VP-471, VP-472 and VP-473 are indispensable assets in any video broadcasting environment since they provide a bridge between the broadcast and the Pro-AV worlds. These three digital scalers for SDI, HD-SDI and 3G HD-SDI signals up or down scale the incoming video signal and output to different formats, as described below.

The VP-471, VP-472 and VP-473 digital scalers scale the incoming serial digital signal to one of several selectable computer graphics video, standard definition or high definition video resolutions and output them via a DVI connector for the VP-471, via an HDMI connector for the VP-472 and via a 15-pin HD connector for the VP-473. In addition, the VP-471 de-embeds the audio as either a S/PDIF signal or as an unbalanced stereo audio signal on RCA connectors. The VP-471 and the VP-473 also de-embed the audio to unbalanced stereo audio on RCA connectors.

The VP-471, VP-472 and VP-473 have one SDI input and one SDI looping output on BNC connectors to accept an SD, HD or 3G SDI signal. They automatically detect the incoming signal format. Supported formats include SMPTE standards 259M, 292M, and 424M. The maximum data rate for these products is 3Gbps. The units are HDTV compatible and they include a reclocked and equalized looping Input. All three units feature a non-volatile memory that retains the last settings used.

The VP-471, VP-472 and VP-473 come in a compact MegaTOOLS™ size. Two units can be rack mounted side-by-side in a 1U rack space. Operation is done directly via the front panel push buttons with OSD (On-screen Display) which allows an easy setup and adjustment. A freeze button is also available. The built-in ProcAmp conveniently adjusts the signal in terms of color hue, sharpness, contrast and brightness. Each scaler also features an external 5V DC power source, making it suitable for field operation.

The VP-471, VP-472 and VP-473 are currently in stock at a list price of $1295.00 per unit in the United States. These scalers are available from Kramer Electronics sales companies around the world. Complete product information can be found at www.kramerus.com.

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HARMAN’s AKG Microphones Surround Guns N’ Roses’ Matt Sorum’s Legendary Drum Set, Leading The Rock N Roll Allstars’ Global Tour

VIENNA, Austria – Eleven of the most famed rock and roll musicians of recent history have teamed up for a world tour of epic proportions in 2012. Led by former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, The Rock N Roll Allstars recently concluded a successful run in South America. Behind his massive drum set, mic’d with a strategic array of HARMAN’s AKG technology, Sorum conducts the Allstars through a 2.5-hour show, performing a collection of hits from each member’s respective band.

The Rock N Roll Allstars include Gene Simmons of Kiss, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Gilby Clarke of Guns-N-Roses, Billy Duffy of The Cult, Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Ed Roland of Collective Soul, Steve Stevens of the Billy Idol band and Mike Inez of Alice in Chains, in addition to Sorum.

Sorum’s drum kit boasts double kick drums, five toms and a very large collection of cymbals. With such an elaborate drum set, Sorum wanted to ensure it was enjoyed visually as much as it would be for its sound. The pure epicness of the tour itself, combined with the enthusiasm of the fans, made sound a number-one factor for Sorum and the Allstars. When looking for a set of mics to capture the drums, Sorum required three factors: ease of use, durability and visual appeal for the perfect set up. AKG’s collection of microphones proved to be the perfect match.

AKG’s C518 M micro mics were Sorum’s first choice on his toms – the instrument for which he is widely known. The C518′s easily clipped on to his toms and held tight during his passionate beats. AKG D12 capsules were placed in the kickdrums, suspended in the drums themselves for a rich sound with no adverse noise. C414XLS mics were mounted for overhead cymbal pickup, while one C214 was mounted in the front of the kit for the splash cymbals and ride. Two sets of C451 stereo condensers were clipped on the set to mic the main hats as well as an x-hat set up. Sorum utilized one additional AKG P4 for backup vocals during the shows.

“I’ve had real issues with tom mics in the past, falling off or needing adjustments, but the 518′s give me a great sound and are reliable during the shows,” stated Sorum. “AKG gives my drum set a huge sound and a clean look, without the worry of fixing an ill-fitting clip. Once the D12′s are in place and the 414′s are set, we get this amazing, thick, warm, fat resonance and it couldn’t sound more natural.”

The Rock N Roll Allstars will continue their world tour in Australia and Japan in fall, 2012. The South American shows were host to more than 20,000 fans each night in the outdoor venues.

For more information about AKG, please visit http://www.akg.com and http://www.youtube.com/AKGacoustics. For more information about the tour, please visit http://www.rnrallstars.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG(r), Harman Kardon(r), Infinity(r), JBL(r), Lexicon(r) and Mark Levinson(r). The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.3 billion for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012.

WorldStage Supports Doug Aitken’s 360-degree Outdoor Projection Piece, Song1 at Hirshhorn Museum

It was a case of perfect harmony when WorldStage successfully delivered a complex projection and audio solution for “Song1,” artist Doug Aitken’s ambitious multimedia piece, which premiered on the cylindrical façade of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

WorldStage, the new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, devised a system that enabled Aitken’s fluid video images to cascade across the entire surface of the Hirshhorn’s 725-foot wide circumference. “Song1″ has been called the first work of 360º convex-screen cinema on this scale.

Aitken has said he wanted “Song1″ to be an exercise in “liquid architecture,” and the Hirshhorn’s cylindrical façade seemed to disappear when it was transformed into an urban canvas for fluid images of rippling water, floating boats and cars streaming down liquid-metal highways. Accompanying the projections were other-worldly singers performing a loop of arrangements of the 1930′s song, “I Only Have Eyes For You.”

WorldStage became involved with “Song 1″ two-and-a-half-years ago when the company met with Aitken to discuss the feasibility of the project. Following a partial-scale test, WorldStage determined that, despite the size of the images and the obstacles to overcome, they could make the artist’s vision come to larger-than-life.

“We’ve been working with WorldStage on major installation projects for the last 6 years,” said Chris Totushek, Producer, Doug Aitken Workshop. “Not only have they approached each project with experienced consideration and creative problem solving, but they take on each one of our large-scale installations as if it were one of their own. We’ve done enough with them to consider them family.”

The WorldStage solution required splitting Aitken’s images into 11 overlapping sections, one for each of 11 Christie Roadster S+20K DLP projectors. A total of 41,500 feet of fiber-optic cable transmitted the images from four Coolux Pandora media servers in the Hirshhorn’s basement to the projectors mounted on the museum’s perimeter wall.

WorldStage also provided and programmed the Pandora media servers and provided and installed the extensive outdoor audio system for the public art event. The company designed and fabricated custom mounts for the weatherproof equipment enclosures to ensure smooth operation in case of inclement weather.

“The Hirshhorn’s has done a number of innovative exhibitions recently but Song1 is by far the most technically complex,” says WorldStage President Josh Weisberg. “The project faced many challenges but the result places the Hirshhorn among the top tier of media-adept cultural institutions.

According to Weisberg the museum’s cylindrical façade was not that problematic in itself. “The actual façade is rather uniform and we’ve mapped projections to far more complex shapes in the past” he explains. “But the Hirshhorn’s façade is obscured in places by foliage, trees and the two large sculptures Snelson’s Needle Tower and Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke. After many hours working with a virtual 3D model of the site I was able to locate 11 projectors and predict that they could cover the entire façade seamlessly, with minimal shadowing.”

For the demanding application WorldStage selected 11 Christie Roadster S+20K DLP projectors, which boast 20,000 ANSI lumen output, for their brightness and reliability. Christie Twist Pro was used to warp and map images in conjunction with the warping and blending provided by the Pandora media servers.

Weather was another consideration for this outdoor project. To battle the elements WorldStage custom engineered and fabricated structures to adapt the Tempest Lighting Cyclone enclosures to the museum’s perimeter wall. The weatherproof enclosures are equipped with heaters and high-velocity fans to keep the ambient temperature within the projectors working range.

Since sound was a major component of “Song1″ WorldStage was also tasked with designing an audio system that would cover a wide area surrounding the museum, while providing clean sound quality at high levels. “We used 12 large Technomad BERLIN and eight small Vernal loudspeakers that are entirely weatherproof,” says Weisberg. “They were mounted to the wall using custom designed and fabricated mounts and arranged and zoned to preserve left/right orientation. You could hear them well from a quarter of a mile away.” Weatherproof Technomad PowerChiton amps were also employed.

After the successful premiere of “Song1″ Albert Masino, Director of Exhibitions at the Hirshhorn stated, “We were always confident that we were in good hands with WorldStage. They had a firm grip on all the requirements from the beginning. The design was great and the implementation was handled well.”

Totushek concluded, “Due to the nature of projecting flat imagery onto a curved surface that measured 50′ x 700′, we were worried that the image would not blend together in a natural way. But the whole World Stage team worked with extreme diligence, putting in long and late hours, to bring the project together. We were very satisfied with the result.”

At WorldStage TJ Donoghue was the project manager; Dennis Alfonso and Jeff Gottesfeld projection techs; Paul Clements installation supervisor; Barry Grossman systems designer; Michael Kohler media server programmer; Hector Vega installation tech; Richard D’Amato mechanical fabricator; and Brian Davis mechanical designer and engineer.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc., continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally. The Owners and Employees of WorldStage believe that all clients deserve the WorldStage Experience

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