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Archive for April, 2013

Analog Way completes its LiveCore™ series at InfoComm 2013 – Booth #2015

April 2012 – After the successful introduction of the NeXtage 16 and the SmartMatriX Ultra, Analog Way will unveil the Ascender 32 and Ascender 48 during InfoComm 2013 in Orlando, FL – USA. Based on the LiveCore™ platform, Ascender 32 and 48 offer unmatched processing capabilities with 32 and 48 Scalers respectively. The powerful new AV processors will be demonstrated in Analog Way’s booth #2015 from June 12-14.

In early 2013, Analog Way introduced a new generation of high-end AV processors based on the LiveCore™ platform. As the most important R&D project ever undertaken by Analog Way, this ultra-powerful platform combines ruggedized design, versatile connectivity and state-of-the-art processing to fit with the most demanding applications.

During InfoComm 2013, Analog Way will complete its LiveCore™ series with Ascender 32 and Ascender 48, two powerful Multi-screen Seamless Switchers with 32 and 48 Scalers.
Both systems offer 12 seamless inputs and 42 input plugs: 6 x HDMI, 9 x DVI-I, 3 x DisplayPort, 12 x 3G/HD/SD-SDI and 12 x Universal Analog. The devices can handle any source from composite video, up to 2560×1600, and outputs a variety of formats, including HD-TV and Computer format up to 2560×1600 and 4K.
As all LiveCore™-based systems, Ascender 32 and Ascender 48 include an independent Dual-Link output for monitoring purposes, with a Live Source Mosaic layout. The products deliver varied display configurations to adapt to almost any application: Mixer, Hybrid, Hard Edge and Soft Edge configurations.

In addition to a native background layer, up to 4 true-seamless scaled layers per output can be displayed through the Ascender 32, and up to 6 true-seamless scaled layers per output for the Ascender 48. Layers can be controlled individually in time and transition. All layers, including 50 logos and 50 frames that can be stored in the memory bank, are uniformly controlled and can be fully resized.
The Ascender 48 offers advanced layer management. When an output is disabled, its layers can be shifted to another output offering higher flexibility.

Up to 2 units of Ascender 32 or Ascender 48 can be linked. Inputs and outputs are shared and added, thus resulting in impressive 24×8 Scaled Seamless Matrix systems with 2 Live Mosaic previews.

Ascender 32 and Ascender 48 can be controlled directly from their front panel through a TFT color display, or through the Web-based Remote Control Software (Web RCS) specifically designed for the LiveCore™ platform.
The Web RCS offers a user-friendly graphic interface enabling operators to fully prepare a show and control it live.
Through the Web RCS, users can access Remote Services and Assistance is also available.

Home Control Apps Make Connected Home A Reality For New Generation Of Home Buyers

It used to be that the dream of owning a centrally controlled home — a home where consumers could control audio, video, lighting, security, heating, and more from a single wall mounted touch pad—was a reality reserved for only the highest end multi-million dollar homes. Hard wiring, custom software programming, ongoing maintenance, and system costs all guaranteed that no one but the wealthiest of Americans could even consider the idea.

Now that dream is well within the reach of just about anyone. A new generation of affordable IP-based home control systems that can be controlled and managed by PCs, touch pads, remote controls and Apple and Android mobile devices are changing the dynamic of home building and home buying — in some cases dramatically.

Rocky DiGiacomo, founder of 20-year-old Minneapolis, Minnesota based DiGiacomo Homes and Renovation, Inc., in many ways represents the leading edge of this new American revolution — he is now pre-wiring every new house he builds for home automation and control.

“I’ve always known that affordable home control would be a dream come true,” said DiGiacomo. “Recent advances in home control technology, coupled with the mass adoption of wireless technology products in popular culture, have taken the dream and turned it into reality. It’s no surprise that someone who uses their iPhone® to program a DVR would love to use their iPhone to control their entire home. With affordable new systems offering a multitude of control functions and media services, there really is a system for everyone. Whether you want to invest $5,000 or $50,000, you can start living in the future, today.”

DiGiacomo’s solution of choice is the ELAN g! Home Control System manufactured and marketed by Carlsbad, California based ELAN Home Systems. Debuted in 2011, ELAN g! is perhaps the most modular, and hence most affordable home control system currently available. From music distribution and lighting control to advanced energy management and security integration, ELAN g! offers a full range of solutions to fit any lifestyle and any budget. Requiring zero custom programming and coming standard with iPhone, iPad and PC control, home automation is now as easy as checking your email!

This sentiment has become common among builders, as evidenced by Jim Blansfield of Blansfield Builders in Danbury, Connecticut, who has used the ELAN g! system to close several home sales in the past year, and has built a total of 13 homes with ELAN systems so far.

“I’m a believer in ‘the new normal’ way of thinking,” Blansfield said, “and with the affordable and expandable control solutions made possible by companies like ELAN, home control is the new normal! In the past two years, I’ve closed several new homes by demoing the ELAN g! system for prospective clients. The buyers are consistently impressed that I include technology in my designs and recommendations, because many other builders minimize the importance of home technologies. For builders, their resistance to change is going to hurt them in the long run.”

Blansfield is quick to point out that while off-the-shelf or cheap systems from companies like Verizon and Lowe’s may sound appealing, they have severe limitations and the average homeowner is not equipped to engineer and design an easy-to-use system that will actually make life easier. He advises all his clients to use a professional integrator who has experience with custom home control.

“Hiring a skilled, knowledgeable, reliable contractor is the glue that holds the whole project together,” he advised. “As home technology gets more and more complex in its abilities, while getting even easier to operate for the end-user, certified professionals will increasingly provide the service and support that enables everything to run smoothly and allow the users to forget there is a sophisticated system at work. Most homeowners are as qualified to build their own home control system as they are to build their own car. They can read all the manuals, and maybe put something together that sort of works, but it won’t be the same as something designed and built by a professional.”

The phenomenon has reached all kinds of homebuilders, such as Karoleena Homes in Calgary, British Columbia, which builds pre-fabricated and modular homes throughout Canada. The company places integrated home technologies so high on their list of necessary design components that they included the ELAN g! system in a show home that traveled to several home shows throughout Canada in 2012.

Coinciding with the availability of more affordable technology is the fact that the children of the first internet generation are now entering the national housing market and, as in every aspect of their always-on lives, they expect their homes to be able to respond quickly and fluently to their changing needs.

“I believe that our industry is on the verge of a market upswing of historic proportions,” said Joe Lautner of ELAN Home Systems. “The first generation of Americans raised from birth on the internet, smartphones, iPods and iPhones are becoming homebuyers. They are going to demand that the home they buy supports their media and technology passions. This generation of buyers is not going to stand for running their mobile lives from an iPhone only to return home to the dark ages of individual appliance control!

Lautner believes that consumers will benefit from a new generation of what he calls ‘affordably innovative’ system solutions that offer consumers specific levels of multi-room and multi-function systems that are clearly differentiated by retail price points. “I believe you will soon see every new home, and indeed many existing homes, offer system solutions that are price appropriate for the price of the home. The higher you go in the home price, the greater its degree of home function integration and control.”

About ELAN Home Systems:
Founded in 1990, ELAN® Home Systems is an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning whole-house entertainment and control systems that are distributed through a comprehensive channel of select dealers and distributors throughout the United States, Canada and more than 58 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com.

ELAN is part of the Core® Brands division of Nortek, Inc. Core Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech® brands.

ELAN is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc., a global, diversified company whose many market-leading brands deliver broad capabilities and a wide array of innovative, technology-driven products and solutions for lifestyle improvement at home and at work. Please visit www.nortekinc.com for more information.

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Waves Audio Expands Network of Product Specialists

— Diverse group of audio professionals specializing in live, post-production and recording studio
markets join Waves Audio —

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, April 29, 2013 — Waves Audio announces the expansion of its professional team with the appointment of three additional Product Specialists worldwide. With the recent growth surge in the live and studio markets, Waves has chosen to expand its customer support in these sectors.

Handling the Southeast Asia territory will be Kevin Stanley, recently appointed to the position of Waves Live Product Specialist. He will provide pre- and post-sales service, product demos and training (including workshops and seminars), and he will handle the dealer, distributor and rental/studio clientele in the region. Stanley’s background includes live and system engineering for local events and concerts in India; work as a Project Engineer for Yamaha; pro audio product demos, client training and tech support; and design and system integration for installed sound.

Johnny Mann was recently named Waves Product Specialist, and he will represent Waves in the southeastern U.S. and beyond. His background includes music supervision, music licensing, music publishing, music composition, live performances and work as a studio musician. His resume includes composer credits for international and domestic U.S. television, film, and commercials.

Returning to Waves is Michael Pearson-Adams, who has been named Waves Product Specialist. Pearson- Adams was Waves North America Product Specialist for five years before moving over to the Avid Pro Audio Specialists team. He’s now back with Waves. His background includes work as a producer, mix engineer and writer, in addition to his previous work with Waves as a Product Specialist.

“We are proud to welcome Kevin and Johnny to our team, and we are pleased to see Michael returning to Waves,” stated Mick Olesh, Executive VP Sales. “All three have proven track records of expertise and professionalism, and they are all great additions to our sales force. They know Waves products inside and out, and they will be providing their vast knowledge to the benefit of our entire supply chain, from distributors to end users.”

Visit www.waves.com for more information.

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SuperExploder Expands With New 5.1 Surround Mix Suite Featuring Genelec 8200 Smart Active Monitoring™ (SAM™)

— A division of bi-coastal Northern Lights, SuperExploder’s new 5.1 studio will use Genelec 8240A Active Monitors and a Genelec 7270A subwoofer that help deliver superior broadcast sound for commercials and promos —

NATICK, MA, April 29, 2013 — New York facility SuperExploder, a sister company of bi-coastal facility Northern Lights, handles all of the company’s audio post production work from its current three mix rooms in the facility’s location in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. But as the amount of work taken on by the award-wining company continues to increase, it is in the process of expanding SuperExploder, adding a new 5.1 surround studio for Senior Mixer and Sound Designer Jody Nazzaro. And Nazzaro’s choice for monitoring is from Genelec, the world’s longstanding pioneer in active monitoring. Studio R, as it will be known once it’s commissioned in early summer, will have five 8240A Bi-Amplified Loudspeakers and a Genelec 7270A Active Subwoofer, all sourced through Dave Prentice at New York’s Dale Pro Audio. The studio, which will also feature an Avid Pro Tools HD X system, was designed by Brian Dorfman of Orchard Design, with systems/wiring design by Nazzaro and James Sorensen.

Jody Nazzaro’s new 5.1 surround mix suite will join three other rooms already at work at SuperExploder: Senior Sound Designer/Mixer/Composer Ted Gannon’s 5.1 surround studio and two stereo mixing suites. A third new stereo mix suite is also being built, and SuperExploder will exist as its own separate facility, complete with its own entrance, lobby and lounge, yet fully integrated with the rest of Northern Lights operations.

Nazzaro, who mixes commercials for clients including Prilosec, ESPN, DirecTV and Lancôme, and promos for networks such as USA and Spike TV, says that the diversity of audio elements coming into post for use on broadcast television has increased tremendously in recent years, and not always in a good way – spots and promos now often include music built around the highly compressed, lossy MP3 format. Furthermore, commercial spots are now the trip wires for the recently enacted CALM Act, Federal legislation that tightly regulates the volume levels of broadcast television audio, determined largely by the relative levels between program audio and the sound of interstitial commercial spots. “There is a lot to listen for these days,” says Nazzaro.

Fortunately, he’s listening on Genelec speakers, and has been since he got his first pair of Genelec 1032s at the age of 19. Fifteen years later, Genelec remain his first and only choice for monitoring. “We’re at the end of a sequence of events in the editing process and by the time it gets to me there are some really challenging audio issues to address,” he explains. “With so many things that are out of control, the one thing I can control is the audio monitoring environment, and for me that’s Genelec. Especially with Smart Active Monitoring™ and features like AutoCal™, I can completely control the listening environment and tailor it to what I need to make a great mix. I know exactly how the monitors are going to react – monitoring is never a variable. With the Genelecs, the imaging is always fantastic and there is never any listening fatigue. Its almost as if the speakers aren’t there, as though there’s nothing between me and the sound. That’s the highest compliment you can pay a speaker, and it’s one I can only give to Genelec.”

For more information, please visit www.genelecusa.com/.

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Gand Moves and Takes On Fifth GEO T System

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Gand Concert Sound (GCS) has moved to new digs in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. After 18 years at their Glenview stronghold, GCS has relocated to a new warehouse that quadruples their space, doubles their docks, and adds a rail spur.

“We have been busting at the seams for the last few years and started looking for more space closer to O’Hare International Airport,” states Gary Gand, President. “Real estate being in a slump allowed us to scale up square footage without taking on more financially.”

The new Gand space features a 25’ ceiling allowing full size rigs to be flown for testing, and the layout allows for a concert-sized stage to be erected for full rehearsals of touring shows.
“We can now turn trucks around in a matter of hours without having to play Rubik’s Cube with the gear,” says VP Tim Swan. “GCS intends to expand their backline presence and may team up with other production vendors, all under one roof.”

In the timeliness of the move to the larger space, the company, also known as ‘the NEXO guys’, just took delivery of another 28-box NEXO GEO T speaker system, bringing their inventory up to five arena-sized rigs. The company already owns quite a stash of NEXO GEO S12, S8, Alpha, and PS series speakers and 4X4 NXAmps, making them one of the largest NEXO houses in the USA. GCS began their stable of GEO T systems with the first concert rig in the USA used at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 2003.

For more information on Gand Concert Sound, visit www.gandconcertsound.com.

For more information on NEXO products, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

Photo ID: L to R: GCS Nick Dahl, Austin Swan, Tim Swan, Gary Gand, and Adam Rosenthal toast fifth NEXO GEO T System

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

SunBriteTV is the Cornerstone Element in Transforming Any Outdoor Living Area

THOUSAND OAKS, California, April 30, 2013 – Studies show that homeowners are more interested now than ever before in upgrading their outdoor living spaces. Whether it’s a modest yet relaxing patio or a backyard paradise to rival a resort, a SunBriteTV all-weather television is the perfect investment in creating the ultimate outdoor setup.

Manufactured in the U.S. and purpose-built to sustain the harshest weather from Miami to Minneapolis, a SunBriteTV is the foundation of any dynamic outdoor entertaining area. According to a survey conducted by the American Institute of Architects, architects experienced a significant increase in client interest in blended indoor/outdoor living in 2012.

“We’ve seen many consumers investing more in their current property to add long-term value,” said Tom Dixon, VP of Marketing, SunBriteTV. “A SunBriteTV is ideal in this situation: our durable outdoor TVs are built to last for years and add value to the property in addition to livening up social gatherings.”

The SunBriteTV Signature Series starts at $1,495 for a 32”, $2,795 (46”), $3,995 (55”) and $6,995 (65”).

All SunBriteTV models withstand temperatures from -24°F to 122°F and completely resist rain, humidity, salt corrosion, dust, and insects. Anti-glare screens are specially designed to deliver bright high-definition images in any outdoor climate, any time of day or night.

Every SunBriteTV includes a two-year warranty, a weatherproof remote, and 20 watt built-in speakers.

Optional accessories include a variety of wall-, ceiling- or pole-mount installation solutions, dust covers and FM Radio.

For more information on SunBriteTV please visit www.sunbritetv.com.

About SunBriteTV
SunBriteTV’s all-weather televisions have been time-tested in home installations, outdoor sports arena, restaurant and hotel patios and even on military vehicles participating in field operations. All models are available through SunBriteTV’s network of Authorized Dealers. To inquire about becoming an Authorized Dealer, contact SunBriteTV at 866.357.8688, or visit the Dealer Inquiry page at www.sunbritetv.com.

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Extron Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

Extron 30th AnniversaryThis year, Extron celebrates 30 years of bringing uncompromising service, support, and solutions to our customers, worldwide. Extron started in 1983 with a single product designed to solve a specific problem. The RGB 100 interface converted non-standard CGA graphics card signals to an analog video format compatible with existing projectors and monitors. From this one product to the thousands produced today, Extron holds true to its goal of solving AV problems with creative innovation and backing these solutions with support and training that many AV professionals regard as the best in the industry. Over the last two years, Extron has expanded its global presence with the opening of several new regional offices. When the remaining offices open in 2013, the company will have more than 30 offices worldwide.

“We are at a very exciting time of growth here at Extron,” says Andrew C. Edwards, President and Owner of Extron Electronics. “In recent years we’ve embraced digital AV with hundreds of new products, broadened our control line to include sophisticated touchpanels, and designed fiber optic, twisted pair, and streaming technologies that have transformed the industry. Plus, with the addition of many new global offices, our customers have more convenient access to training and the latest in Extron technologies. For three decades, Extron has been characterized by our S3 Service, Support, and Solutions. S3 remains at the core of what we stand for—today, and for the next 30 years.”

Early on, Extron recognized the value of AV training for industry professionals and, in 1989, held its first full-day interfacing course. Since that time, Extron has trained thousands, and has grown to become recognized as the industry leader in AV technology education. Today, Extron’s S3 Technical Institute offers a variety of AV training programs that can be found in Extron’s worldwide offices, via the Web, and through Extron School On The Road. Extron also offers a structured certification program. Extron certifications are internationally recognized credentials earned through the completion of specialized training on the latest AV technologies. Currently, four certifications are available, with additional certification programs scheduled to begin soon.

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Dataton’s seamless solution helps BP convey a sustainable image

WATCHOUT at the heart of immersive London 2012 cyclorama

The use of cutting-edge multimedia technology to entertain consumers while reinforcing brand values is gaining momentum globally, and a shining example using Dataton WATCHOUT™ multi-image display and presentation software platform was to be found at BP’s ‘Fuelling The Future’ showcase during the London 2012 Olympics.

In a 360-degree environment designed by KBW Design, systems integrator DJ Willrich (DJW) designed and installed the AV system according to guidelines laid down by LOCOG, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. DJW used eight Panasonic projectors to create a cyclorama with seamless edge-blending courtesy of Dataton WATCHOUT. WATCHOUT was supplied by Dataton Premium Partner, Mirage Associates.

With a timeline synchronised to a Medialon show-control system, the audience was surrounded by a shifting audio-visual landscape that brought to life BP’s key brand messaging as an Olympic sponsor – that the company is discovering and recovering energy efficiently, responsibly and safely from some of the world’s most hostile environments.

David Willrich at DJW comments: “We have used WATCHOUT many times and had no hesitation in specifying it for this project. The system’s ability to blend, warp and geometrically correct multiple video images, synchronise them to a multimedia show, and put the whole thing inside a package that can be controlled on-site by non-technical staff, is second to none.”

For Dataton, Marketing Director Fredrik Svahnberg adds: “It is always a thrill to contribute core technologies to an event of global significance such as the Olympic Games, and we were delighted to be part of ‘Fuelling The Future’.

“Our systems performed faultlessly in front of almost 50,000 people during London 2012 and, now that the Games are over, they can be completely re-purposed – complying with the wishes not just of LOCOG but of our end-customer as well.”

ENDS

Note to editors: Images © KWB Design & courtesy of DJ Willrich.

Electrosonic Scores with AV Support for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

When Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame opened at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, sports fans flocked to the new 40,000 square-foot space that celebrates the country’s impressive and inspiring sports history. With AV support from Electrosonic, the attraction offers 11 exhibit galleries representing 58 sports, plus more than 50 interactive visitor experiences designed to captivate fans of all ages.

“We were involved in every aspect of the brand new museum,” reports Electrosonic account executive Tony Petruzziello. “Every exhibit required AV components and a number of them are really stand-out experiences.”

Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A) designed the new building, which houses interactives and multimedia presentations designed by Cortina Productions and Bruce’s Garage. Electrosonic was the main AV systems contractor working for The Taylor Group, which provided overall exhibit project management and fabrication. Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team worked with C7A and the media producers to design the exhibits.

Electrosonic hired Calgary AV contractor ASCCI to provide the equipment and local resources for rack fabrication and on-site installation. Eos Lightmedia of Vancouver did the lighting design.

One of the most challenging galleries in the Sports Hall of Fame was The Ring of Canada Sports, which required a customized projection solution. “C7A wanted the images floating overhead, but the ceiling height restricted projector positions and the throw distances needed to achieve the desired image sizes,” says Electrosonic design consultant Andy Batwinas. “In the end, the screen surface evolved to a ring shape and used Sharp XG-P610X projectors with wide-angle lenses mounted above custom mirror bounce assemblies to rear project onto the scrim material.” The scrim can be dropped from a portion of the frame to allow for routine projector maintenance.

A number of noteworthy galleries and exhibits fill the new attraction. In the Skater Gallery, Sharp PG-F267X ultra short throw projectors display imagery on the walls behind athlete figures. “These models allowed us to place the projectors in the floor very close to the walls and achieve a large image for the backdrop,” Batwinas explains.

The entry tunnel is a clever use of a narrow space. Three Medialon MIPs source images of sports suited to the long corridor, such as curling and swimming. Video is projected via three Panasonic PT-DW6300US units aimed at the floor, and edge blended.

“Like the entry tunnel, the Water Sports Gallery capitalizes on the Panasonic projectors’ ability to be mounted in odd orientations,” says Electrosonic engineer Jim Funke. “This time they were aimed upwards to give the illusion of being under the water and looking up at shimmering images projected onto discs mounted in the ceiling.”

Another fan favorite is the Formula 1 car in the Ride Motion Gallery, which is backed by a curved screen displaying racing footage. Electrosonic provided a Sharp XG-P560WN running through an FPS IA-200-EX to correct for the screen’s curve. Shadow Boxing in the Contact Gallery gives visitors a chance to demonstrate their pugilistic skills; participants cast their shadow on a screen where a Sharp XG-P610X projector displays the moves of their opponent.

Several exhibits featuring 3D Blu-ray players allow visitors to simulate the feeling of being a hockey goalie and baseball catcher. Other visitor experiences, such as the ski jump exhibit, have sensor interfaces, which trigger events to make them more interactive.

Various Sharp Moments Timeline exhibits, sponsored by the electronics giant, feature Sharp PN-E421 42-inch LCD monitors powered by Medialon MIPs. In the actual Hall of Fame area, guests can use 32-inch touchscreens to select athletes and sports notables they want to learn more about; their images are displayed on Sharp PN-E521 LCDs.

Finally, visitors can gather in the 120-seat Riddell Family Theatre to watch a 10-minute video highlighting great sports moments. A Christie Mirage HD10K-M projector displays onto the theatre’s 16×9-foot painted wall.

Electrosonic provided the audio system throughout the building. It’s comprised of BSS London BLU processors and break out boxes connected to QSC CX-Series amplifiers driving JBL or Innovox speakers.

Medialon MIPs are the video sources for everything not run from a PC. Cisco DMP-4400G-52-K9 Digital Media Players are used in digital signage and several exhibits. Medialon Manager controls and monitors the majority of the exhibits.

The AV systems are housed within a number of equipment racks in the enterprise IT control room.

“The Hall contains an extraordinary amount of media and interactive exhibits under one roof. Electrosonic rose to the challenge and pulled it off magnificently,” concludes Stephen Platenberg, Principal, Cortina Productions

About Electrosonic

Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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Town of Paradise Valley Contracts Intent Digital to Bring Order to Council Meetings

Town installs VoteLynx meeting management system to prepare for new laws requiring greater public access and transparency of information

 

In the old days, they would ring the bell in the town square. These days, getting people together for a town meeting takes technology. Anymore, meetings are all about monitors and microphones and switches and software for town clerks like Duncan Miller with Paradise Valley, Arizona, who is faced with fewer resources and the prospect of new legislature that could require municipalities to make meetings accessible and information transparent to the public.

Already several states, including Arizona, have passed laws requiring public access of open meetings and transparency of public records at the state level. Some believe it’s just a matter of time before towns and cities will be required to do the same.

What’s a town or city clerk to do?

Late last year, Miller contracted Digital Video Networks and Intent Digital, a Phoenix engineering firm that specializes in audiovisual and meeting management systems, to develop an integrated solution for automating meetings and electronic documentation. “The main goal of this project was transparency and communication with residents, which required electronic documentation as well as meeting management and video streaming of council meetings,” said Miller, whose background as a town clerk didn’t prepare him for the parade of hardware, software and media technology needed for a comprehensive system.

Such systems are a convergence of technologies, with microphones and cameras on the one hand, and encoders, timers and audio video switching networks on the other. They require conferencing hardware, plus integrated software applications for visual presentations, roll calls, public speaker engagement, and overall management of all the theatrics and unpredictability of city council meetings.

As a small township with limited funds, Paradise Valley couldn’t afford to hire additional staff expert in audiovisual and meeting or voting management systems. “We didn’t want to have to hire a dedicated AV person sitting in a closet somewhere controlling all the equipment,” commented Miller.

“That’s a typical scenario for today’s municipalities, which are being hit with budget cuts and at the same time buckling under the weight of having to do more with less,” said Intent Digital’s co-founder and design engineer Bob Ginger. “We walk into these projects with the understanding that our systems need to be self-sustaining and able to operate under a variety of conditions and for operators at any skill level.

“Over the years, we’ve had to develop some powerful programming to get the usability and functionality needed of these systems,” he added, referring to the company’s Energize audiovisual control and VoteLynx meeting management systems.

For Paradise Valley, Intent Digital was able to bring together under one comprehensive system all automated meeting activities, electronic documentation and control for AV equipment. Key to the system’s ease of use is the integration of DataVideo’s SE-900 SD digital switcher and Intent Digital’s VoteLynx, an electronic voting and meeting management system that manages all the request-to-speak, meeting management and processing of data needed for town meetings, plus feeds content to be streamed on the town’s website.

The DataVideo SE-900 switcher is directly connected to the VoteLynx Request to Speak function, for example, so that when Miller cues a council member to speak, the system automatically selects a camera, sets up the camera shot and then when the shot is complete, automatically routes the results through the switcher for archiving or streaming without additional operator intervention.

Traditional setups require an additional switching panel that adds another layer of complexity to operator controls; tight integration of the VoteLynx management system and DataVideo SE-900 switcher puts these and other functions directly in front of the operator.

“I have one cool touch panel developed by Intent Digital where I can toggle back and forth between AV elements, and do roll calls, put up presentations, set speaker timers and handle all sorts of activities,” said Miller.

Through VoteLynx, which is also integrated to a documentation workflow system, Paradise Valley clerks can control five cameras plus audio as well as roll call, speaker engagement and other meeting activities from both the main meeting chamber as well as a smaller meeting room.

New dais monitors and microphones with infrastructure for future upgrades were installed, as well as 70-inch monitors for audience viewing and Lectrosonics ASPEN digital audio processors with Proportional Gain Algorithm (PGA) for seamless auto-mixing.

“Intent Digital really challenged us to think about what we wanted to accomplish. They weren’t afraid to make suggestions if they thought we were wrong, even going as far as to crawl under the table to find the junction boxes at our first meeting,” said Miller.

The result is a far cry from the old makeshift and make-do teleconferencing system, according to Miler, who was able to put the system to the test during an overcrowded event held in the town’s main council chambers recently. “We were able to easily set up the system to stream the event to a large overflow crowd in the smaller board room next door. We were lucky to have the system up and running just a few weeks prior, because without it, we would have had to turn a lot of our residents away for the event,” said Miller, who is confident that the town will be ready if, and when, it’s required to comply with new government public access and transparency laws.

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