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Archive for December, 2013

Sonic Ritual: HARMAN Professional and Premier Production & Sound Services Cast a Spell at Voodoo Experience 2013

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — The third time’s the charm, as Baton Rouge, Louisiana sound company Premier Production & Sound Services, LLC (PSS) found out when it supplied the sound reinforcement system for the Voodoo Experience festival for the third year in a row. The 3-day festival featured a dazzling array of more than 80 artists and more than 100,000 people at New Orleans’ City Park were treated to an epic sonic and musical experience, courtesy of HARMAN’s JBL Professional VTX and VERTEC® line arrays, Soundcraft digital consoles and Crown amplifiers.

PSS equipped the festival’s Flambeau Stage with eight JBL VTX V25 fullsize line array elements per side and four stacks of three S28 subwoofers arranged in cardioid configuration. PSS also deployed 12 VERTEC VT4886 subcompact line array elements atop the subwoofers for front fill. A total of 28 Crown IT 12000 HD amplifiers powered the system.

Stage sound was furnished by 16 JBL SRX712M floor wedges, plus 12 VT4886 loudspeakers and six VT4883 subcompact subwoofers. All the loudspeakers on stage were powered by nine Crown IT 4×3500 HD amplifiers.

In addition, PSS supplied two Soundcraft Vi6 digital live sound consoles for front of house and monitor mixing. Brian Gordon, PSS Head Audio Engineer and Co-Owner and his staff used the JBL VTX-LZ-K Laser Accessory Kit to precisely align all the loudspeakers in the system.

“This was our third year of working on the Voodoo Experience festival and our second with the JBL VTX Series line arrays,” said Russ Bryant, PSS Director of Operations and Co-Owner. “The sound was absolutely awesome. At a large-scale outdoor rock festival like this, the demands on a loudspeaker system are tremendous in terms of the sheer SPL and coverage required—and the V25 line arrays are phenomenal in their ability to deliver clear sound even at high volume, with pristine, effortless headroom especially in the upper midrange and high frequencies.”

The Crown IT 4×3500 HD amplifiers also made life easier for PSS. “Having four channels in one amp allowed us to significantly cut down on the amount of cabling we needed and save a lot of time and labor,” he pointed out. “We are very happy with the flexibility they offer and the fact that they can be optimized for use with VTX and VERTEC loudspeakers using their V5 DSP presets.”

Anyone who has mixed sound at festivals with dozens of bands can attest that smooth transitions between acts are crucial. “We wound up using the Soundcraft Vi6 consoles for 31 front of house and monitor changeovers,” said Bryant. “I can tell you that the Vi6 was much easier to use than other consoles that were at the festival,” noting that in addition to its superior sound quality, the Vi6 is laid out very much like an analog console, which made it easy for visiting engineers to step right up and start mixing. Another big advantage: “The Vi6 still passes signal while you’re loading show files into it where some other consoles will not, which is a major benefit during the hectic time constraints of a big festival.”

Bryant concluded, “There were four total stages at Voodoo Experience 2013 and we had many people coming over from the other stages telling us that our stage sounded the best.”

For more information on Premier Production & Sound Services, please visit www.psssound.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®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

HARMAN’s JBL Professional and Crown Deliver Mega-Scale Dolby Atmos™ Multichannel Sound in South Korea’s Megabox Cinema

ILSAN, South Korea — Megabox is a chain of 58 South Korean movie theaters known for its commitment to leading-edge cinema technology. Moviegoers who attend the Ilsan, Baeksuk Megabox Theater will now be treated to the newest advancement in movie theater sound, thanks to the theater’s recently-installed Dolby Atmos™ surround sound system featuring HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos takes cinema surround sound to an entirely new level of excitement by employing overhead speakers as well as traditional surround speakers to create an astonishingly immersive sonic environment. Sound can originate from literally anywhere – side-to-side, front-to-back and overhead – enabling the directors and sound designers to create a true three-dimensional listening experience.

The system is installed in the theater’s 275-seat M Hall. Designed for critical film sound reproduction applications in medium to large cinemas, five JBL 5672 three-way loudspeakers and five 4342A loudspeakers are deployed as the main left, center and right-channel speakers. Eight JBL 4642A dual-18-inch subwoofers and two PRX618S-XLF extended low-frequency 18-inch subs deliver powerful and authoritative bass, and a total of 48 JBL 8350 Cinema Surround Speakers are arranged throughout the theater.

The loudspeakers are powered by an impressive complement of 16 Crown DSi 4000 and 29 DSi 2000 amplifiers. Crown DSi Series amps are specifically designed for cinema applications with features including onboard DSP, EQ, delay, output limiting, presets for industry-standard JBL loudspeaker systems and much more.

“In order for Dolby Atmos to be heard the way its designers intended, every aspect of the system has to be perfectly optimized,” said Hueng-Sik Jung, manager of Projection Technique Team of Megabox. “The coverage pattern of the loudspeakers has to be precisely directed and smooth throughout the theater and the amplifiers have to be capable of delivering clean, powerful sound at high volume levels. The JBL loudspeakers and Crown amps in the Megabox cinema are ideally suited to these requirements and the sound in our theater is so enveloping and lifelike that it literally almost seems unbelievable at first listen.”

Dolby Atmos employs up to 64 speakers and the proprietary Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor to heighten the realism and impact of movie theater sound. The Dolby Atmos specification requires 105dB peak SPL at the reference point in the theater along with numerous additional stringent technical requirements.

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®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

FOR-A’s HVS-390HS Production Switcher Provides Value and Flexibility to Diverse New Customer Roster

Cypress, CA – Compact and cost efficient, FOR-A’s HVS-390HS video production switcher has proven itself ideal for a wide variety of applications. First introduced last year at NAB, current customers of the 1 M/E to 2 M/E switcher include houses of worship, universities, public access television stations, major newsgathering organizations, government agencies and network news stations.

Located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, Trinity Church, a historic Episcopal house of worship, recently purchased the HVS-390HS as the center of its new control room. Trinity Church regularly webcasts worship services, concerts, and conferences from its iconic Manhattan church, and estimates that the switcher will be used for 450-500 events throughout the course of a year.

“We found FOR-A’s HVS-390HS 2 M/E switcher to be exactly what we needed,” said William Jarrett, Trinity Church’s Director of Media, Production & Operations. “The switcher has an easy-to-understand flow, and the ease of use and layout of the switcher inherently made sense to us. The amount of inputs it offers is ideal for our productions, and there’s an elegance about the unit that we really appreciate.”

News organization The Washington Post is another recent customer. The D.C.-based company is using the HVS-390HS along with FOR-A’s VTW-330HS character generator for a video wall application.

The HVS-390HS video switcher is also well suited for schools, and has recently been purchased by both the New York Institute of Technology and Worcester State University. NYIT installed the HVS-390HS as part of a control room upgrade in September. The switcher is being used for hands-on production classes and for video produced for the school’s global digital network.

“The switcher offers great value and features that empower our students,” explained Herb Savran, NYIT’s Chief Engineer of the Communication Arts Department. Savran has over 25 years of experience in using FOR-A equipment. “Our 2 M/E switcher provides extensive DVE and keyers options, multi-viewing and routing capabilities, and makes it easy for our students to produce a variety of fast-changing shows.”

Broadcasters ranging from local PEG facilities to worldwide broadcast networks are using the HVS-390HS. Wilbraham Public Access, which serves the local Wilbraham, MA area, recently purchased the FOR-A switcher for use in its television facility. New York’s ABC News is also an HVS-390HS customer, utilizing the switcher for mobile news production for the national network.

Phoenix, AZ-based company Road Dog Show Pros, who specializes in event management and corporate productions, is another new HVS-390HS switcher customer. The company currently has the switcher packaged in a flight pack, where it was first used during a November production in Nashville.

“We purchased the HVS-390HS because of the extensive amount of features it offers at a reasonable price point,” said Andrew Stavro, Road Dog Show Pro’s Technical Director. “A few things that stood out to me are the customizable labels for each source button, the two multi-viewers, and its Web interface. These features make set-up much easier for us. We’ve always found FOR-A products to be high-quality and reliable.”

FOR-A’s HVS-390HS is also ideal for government applications. The switcher is part of the video production setup at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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 714-894-3311 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.

Smart Monkeys, Inc. Soars With Massive Project at the New Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles Airport

Airports wing passengers to their destinations, but they’re not often known as destinations themselves. All that may change with the dazzling architectural entertainment aspects of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles Airport (LAX), for which Smart Monkeys, Inc. provided technical consulting, systems design, programming and implementation. People may start buying plane tickets just to view the innovative media features enhancing passenger departures and arrivals.

The Integrated Environmental Media System (IEMS) has been designed to create both an unprecedented passenger experience and a new source of non-aeronautical revenues for LAX. Developed by MRA International in concert with Los Angeles World Airport’s (LAWA) executive team, the IEMS built within the Bradley West terminal architecture offers the first corporate sponsorship programs in a U.S. airport.

The IEMS consists of seven media features, with approximately 9,600 square feet of combined active display area, designed by Marcela Sardi of Sardi Design, who also acted as creative director for the content.

“We worked two years and a half on the IEMS,” says Alan Anderson, Technical Director at Smart Monkeys, Inc. “The scale of the project is absolutely massive, and it was all produced in one go – not over a period of time.”

“Smart Monkeys was invaluable to this project,” commented Mike Doucette, Chief of Airport Planning at Los Angeles World Airports. “Their breadth of knowledge and ability to manage such a large project under all of our time and critical constraints was critical to the success of this project. We couldn’t have done this without them.”

“All of the media features are inside the TSA security zone, not in the terminal’s entry, so access to the hardware was going to be limited,” Anderson notes. “The system had to be able to run 24/7 and be operated by a terminal media operator who could take 100 percent possession of the system. Since the media features were open to corporate sponsorship, we had to guarantee a system that could display sponsor branding accurately and with minimum downtime to provide revenue for the airport. These considerations guided our choices.”

After Sardi Design recommended Smart Monkeys, Inc. MRA International interviewed them and discovered that “they understood the issues immediately. They really had deep knowledge, unlike anyone else we knew. Environmental media is very cutting-edge, and Smart Monkeys was the most experienced of anyone out there,” said Mike Rubin, head of MRA International Media Features Enhance the Passenger Experience

Of the seven media features comprising the IEMS, six are dedicated to departures and one to arrivals. Montreal’s Moment Factory was executive content producer for the features; LA’s Digital Kitchen was content co-producer responsible for giving expression to the LAX brand across the features and developing the Destination Board content.

The Welcome Wall greets arriving international passengers as they exit passport control and descend to baggage claim. A dramatic 80-foot portrait-mode LED wall bisects the passenger departure bridge with content ranging from stunning atmospherics to joyful scenes of greeting.

The Bon Voyage Wall delivers a unique send off for departing passengers as they clear security and cross the departure bridge to the Great Hall.

The Story Board is a 120-foot long multi-panel LED display that spans the west end of the Great Hall and is suspended on custom trussing so the panels appear to be floating.

The Time Tower is built around the Great Hall’s elevator tower. The 72-foot high, four-sided media feature has an upper surface composed of high resolution 6mm LEDs and a base of 10mm LEDs behind diffused glass panels whose interactive surface reacts to the gestures of passengers as they approach.

Above the Time Tower is the curved Destination Board, which displays flight departure information while entertaining passengers with visual data on destination cities. An arched LED crest displays graceful patterns related to the display.

Two Portals provide a transitional experience as passengers leave the Great Hall en route to their departure gates. Each Portal consists of ten 28-foot tall columns of vertically-stacked 55-inch LCD monitors. As passengers walk by the Portals their movement causes the content to move and transform.

Key Factors for Functionality

To ensure the redundancy and robustness of the IEMS, Smart Monkeys, Inc. devised a strong network backbone, created control and data management systems, and specified video servers and players that would withstand the rigors of almost constant operation.

Electrosonic was the integration company for the entire system. Their scope included backend equipment and control room out to the media features and gate displays. The two teams worked hand-in-hand for over a year to bring the system to life.

“Selecting devices for what they do and stacking them in a rack is one way to design a system,” says Stephan Villet, Lead Designer at Smart Monkeys, Inc., “but we believe that there is a dramatic difference between Systems Integration and a fully Integrated System. Our entire industry is talking about AV/IT merging, but using an IT network to transport media and replacing AV-specific connectors with RJ45s is just scratching the surface.”

At the heart of the system is the Smart Monkeys, Inc. ISAAC platform (Integrated Scheduler and Automation Controller). This platform is a Virtualization cluster, comprising enterprise servers and a SAN. The technology allows for unparalleled reliability, redundancy and scalability in an incredibly compact system.

“The equipment takes up just 8 RUs,” Anderson explains, “instead of two or five racks if everything was on individual servers.”

Choosing an enterprise-level IT solution to operate an AV system “is a more pragmatic approach to AV,” he notes. “Our point of view is that the entire world runs on IT; IT doesn’t stop at the doorstep of AV. It can be very useful to an AV installation.”

It’s Smart Monkeys, Inc.’s ISAAC intelligent platform that “makes the system a smart system and not just a playback system,” Anderson points out. “We designed and programmed a system that allows the operator to schedule all the media in the terminal from a single scheduling-engine interface.”

Seven Grass Valley K2 quad-channel play-out units, 20 X-Agora dual-channel interactive players and more than 20 SpinetiX single-channel HD digital signage players can play back media anywhere. Considering the complexity of controlling all the media in the new terminal – not just the content for the media features but the media for the gates as well – Smart Monkeys, Inc. rose to the challenge of making control as easy as possible for the operator.

“We figured out a way to have a unified interface access point for most operations,” says Dennis Cole, Smart Monkeys, Inc. Network Architect. “We designed a web-based GUI that allows everything to take place through the browser. We manage the credentials for users of different levels of the system, then they get into their mode of operation – scheduling, media ingest, monitoring – and access the control panels embedded inside part of the web page.”

Playing It Forward

The control system designed by Smart Monkeys, Inc. is scalable and can be expanded to accept more database information. “We have allowed the corporate sponsors and operator to push things further,” says Anderson. “For example, a sponsor could decide to bring in mobile app interactivity to respond to their communications needs.”

“Our understanding of software programming and our expertise in control architecture drives us to redefine the way AV systems are designed,” adds Mitch Schuh, Smart Monkeys, Inc. Software Architect. “We selected equipment that thrives when controlled via software, instead of more conventional operation.”

Anderson gives kudos to MRA International working with LAX for “setting the bar really high for sponsors. There’s a certain ‘wow’ factor built into the foundation content, but there’s room for that content to grow and soar.”

The new Tom Bradley International Terminal certainly gave Smart Monkeys, Inc. a chance to spread its wings.

“It’s one of the biggest jobs we’ve ever done and shows our ability to manage jobs this size and bigger,” says Villet. “This project also demonstrates that we work best as an integral part of the process active from the beginning when the needs were defined, then designing systems based on those needs and programming and implementing the systems.”

MRA International’s Rubin reports that Smart Monkeys, Inc. “performed remarkably well. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to deliver the system we have. Because this is a public project, they had to design a system that could receive different manufacturers’ products even when they didn’t know what those products would be. And the system had to be very robust and have a lot of redundancy. It had to be designed as turnkey system so that a third party could run it.”

The result is “a stunning success,” Rubin says. “Smart Monkeys, Inc. was the braintrust of the system. Everyone on this team has great respect for them.”

Client: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) – Project Director: MRA International – Design Director / Creative Producer: Sardi Design – New TBIT Architect: Fentress Architects – System Designer and Technical Consultant: Smart Monkeys, Inc – Executive Content Producer: Moment Factory – Content Producer: Digital Kitchen – Systems Engineering & Integration: Electrosonic – Display Technology: Daktronics

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About Smart Monkeys

Smart Monkeys, Inc. specializes in providing advice, project management and programming for show control offering a reliable, high-quality alternative to inhouse resources for project-based consulting, control systems development and project specific system programming. For more information, contact ADD.

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Casino Lounge Upgrades with New Yamaha CIS Series

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Already outfitted with Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems equipment, Tulalip Casino Resort in Tulalip, Washington recently upgraded its Destinations Lounge audio system with the new Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) product line. The system includes one MTX3 processor, two XMV4280 amplifiers, six VXS8 speakers, 16 VSC8W speakers, and two VXS10SW subs, all purchased on the recommendation of Clarity Media Group (CMG), Lake Oswego, Oregon.

“We decided to use the Yamaha CIS products primarily based on the sound quality of the demo units we listened to, states Travis Cibolski, co-owner and system designer, CMG. We also appreciated the system’s ability to integrate with the existing infrastructure to offer simple operation for our customer.”

Cibolski said CMG wanted to create a relaxing and high-end environment in the Destination Lounge. The audio is accompanied by a 4K Atmosphere video system displaying music being played by the artists, a mix of music videos, “mood” music which contains pictures of nature, cityscapes, etc. with music, and “digital karaoke” style scene with a live band covering songs. Each band member is played on a different TV appearing on four HD screens. For this reason, stereo in every seat was a must. The wide dispersion of the Yamaha CIS speakers allowed us to do this without cluttering the ceiling with lots of speakers. Surface mounted speakers are used for the entry and placed between suspended ceiling panels. The Yamaha speakers are compact enough to be completely hidden, offering pleasing sound with a low visual impact.”

“We knew that this system needed to be high end and sound crystal clear at all listening levels, while maintaining the aesthetics of the space,” states Aaron Jackson, Audio Visual Technical Engineer, at Tulalip Casino. “I fell in love with Yamaha products after CMG installed a head-to-toe Yamaha/NEXO system in the Canoes Cabaret, our live music venue. Our Destinations Lounge system sounds amazing through the entire spectrum and has beautifully uniform coverage in every seat. We have come to expect that when we buy a Yamaha product; it’s going to work, it’s going to look great, and it’s going to sound amazing. Bottom line for us is, Yamaha has struck the perfect balance of price and quality.”

The Yamaha CIS product offerings have been created specifically for installed sound market applications where there may not be an experienced audio operator running the system; for example, restaurants, retail outlets, public address systems within the transportation industry, convention centers, hotel ballrooms.

For more information on Clarity Media Group, visit www.claritymediagroup.net.

For more information on the Destinations Lounge at Tulalip Casino, visit www.tulalipresortcasino.com.

For more information on the Yamaha CIS Series, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
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.

Cabletime Celebrates 30th Birthday & Brings New Product Features to ISE 2014

London, 18 December 2013. At Integrated Systems Europe (4-6 February 2014, RAI, Amsterdam), Cabletime, developer of the powerful MediaStar Evolution range of IPTV and digital media distribution solutions will be celebrating 30 years in the industry as it unveils new features and benefits to its popular Evolution Media Manager software and an important enhancement to the Evolution LAN-Caster range.

Happy Birthday Cabletime!
Cabletime was founded in 1984 and has undergone many changes over the last 30 years. The company will be celebrating its 30th birthday at ISE and the booth (1-P80) will reflect some of the product, corporate and industry developments that have marked significant milestones in its history. A special montage will also recognise many of the industry figures who have been involved in the company’s progress through the years, so partners and customers from across Europe may well find themselves featured!

Extended Media Manager Capability V5.1
Media Manager provides a powerful and fully integrated content management system from a single interface and is at the core of Cabletime’s MediaStar Evolution system, allowing the system administrator to schedule and control access to all media sources, monitor every part of an IPTV distribution network and provide central control for all screen and workstation users regardless of their physical location within the data LAN. This new release has been expanded to cover full management of the new HLS streaming server facilities for PC’s, tablets and smartphones, Media Portal management and creation, management of the Evolution VOD system and numerous small improvements such as centralised ticker/crawl distribution and alert management.

Cabletime will be showing the Evolution Media Manager on its booth 1-P80.

New HLS Streaming Server
All MediaStar encoders now support HLS streaming and when integrated with the new MediaStar HLS server product can deliver content to users of both android and Apple OS devices using HLS (HTTP live streaming protocol). Evolution Media Manager makes the implementation quick and easy so that users of tablets and smartphones can now enjoy access to all content on the IP network using the Evolution Media Portal.

Evolution Media Portal
A new Media Portal created and managed in Media Manager gives users simple click-through access to view content on their PCs, tablets and smartphones. Portal pages are created in Media Manager and the system administrator can quickly and easily determine what media content to make available and to whom. Many pages can exist for different constituencies. Viewers on PCs, tablets and smartphones can access the portal pages and by selecting content icons gain access to their desired media.

“This is a simple to use but increasingly vital feature, which fully supports the growing number of remote device users, who want access to the same content as members of staff on the corporate headquarters wired LAN,” said Mike Cuckow. “Last year we updated Media Manager so that users could remotely control the system using an iPhone or iPad, so integrating HLS via the new MediaStar Media Portal was the next logical step.”

Video On Demand
iVOD is now available for integration into any MediaStar Evolution system. With comprehensive ‘trick-play’ functionality (play, pause, rewind, etc), users are able to select stored media content from a server and watch it directly on any of their Evolution system screens or devices. Media ingress and server housekeeping are easily handled by Evolution Media Manager with the system processing a wide variety of file formats, storing and tagging them so that they are instantly accessible to users either through the media portal or screens equipped with MediaStar 780 media players.

“This enhancement is about access to the widest range of in-house content,” continued Mike Cuckow. “Users have been able to play stored media previously, but the system administrator can now use Media Manager to transfer all relevant media onto the iVOD server so that it is ready to play as and when users need it.”

Screen Crawl & System Wide Alert
The popular system-wide scrolling ticker feature, which was introduced by Cabletime earlier in the year to display news, corporate announcements or internal messages through RSS feeds or custom text, now has an additional function: a new ‘Alert’ feature, which can instantly overlay an announcement in a text box in the centre of the screen on top of the current media where it can be easily noticed. Previously, alerts have been possible, only as part of the ticker itself. The new alert feature is available as part of Media Manager 5.1 and is upgradeable from previous versions.

LAN-Caster DVB-C
Cabletime is expanding its DVB-T2 (Terrestrial) and DVB-S2 (Satellite) LAN-Caster range to allow processing of signals from cable networks (DVB-C). Making its debut at ISE, the unit allows the live streaming of news, sport, entertainment and information from CATV networks directly onto the LAN. Based upon the successful DVB-T2 LAN-Caster unit, it has a PCMCIA CI CAM slot for multiple channel decryptions and is available in a blade format. Existing DVB-T units in the field can be upgraded to support the DVB-C standard.

“DVB-T users who upgrade, will have the option to switch between terrestrial or cable delivery, depending on which delivers the most comprehensive content and signal,” said Mike Cuckow.

Cabletime will be demonstrating all the new features on its products throughout ISE, illustrating the enhancements they bring to users both in terms of content delivery and content management across their network.

The MediaStar range provides TV/AV and multimedia distribution products primarily for medium to large enterprises, which require future-proof, stable and proven solutions for live TV, corporate communications, multicasts, music TV, training and digital signage. www.cabletime.com

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NEP to Acquire Global Television From Catalyst

Unites Two Leading TV Technical Production Experts to Create a Worldwide Entertainment Powerhouse

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia, and PITTSBURGH — Dec. 18, 2013 — NEP Group Inc. (‘NEP’) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GTV Holdings Pty Ltd (‘Global Television’ or ‘Global’) from Catalyst Investment Managers (‘Catalyst’). Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction brings together US-based NEP and Australia’s Global Television, uniting two of the world’s most experienced and successful television technical services companies.

NEP is one of the largest broadcast and live event service companies with operations across the United States, United Kingdom, and Brazil, and supporting thousands of events annually around the world. The acquisition of Global Television further expands NEP’s presence into Australia and Asia. NEP is majority-owned by private funds managed by Crestview Partners, with a significant ownership stake held by NEP’s management team.

NEP CEO Kevin Rabbitt said, “Global Television has an outstanding reputation for excellence in live sports and light entertainment and is the clear leader in the Australian television market. Together, NEP and Global Television offer a much broader pool of expertise, resources, and facilities and extend NEP’s services worldwide, adding significant value for our clients and partners who work internationally. We are excited to work with Global’s CEO Keith Andrews and his management team to continue to grow their business.

“With the support of our private equity partner, Crestview Partners, we have expanded our geographic footprint and established NEP as a worldwide leader in the industry. The Global acquisition is an important step in that process.”

Global facilitates the majority of premium live sport produced and broadcast in Australia, and the most-watched live entertainment programs. Six of 2013′s highest-rating television shows were Global projects, including the top two: the My Kitchen Rules and The Block Sky High winner announcement episodes.

Global has also achieved international recognition for its technical expertise in host broadcasting, partnering with production companies and broadcasters to win major contracts, including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2014 G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane.

Global will remain an independent operating entity based in Australia, led by Keith Andrews and his executive team.

Catalyst Managing Director Trent Peterson said, “Catalyst counts Global among our most successful investments, and we’ve been proud to work with Keith and his managers in achieving that.

“Global’s reputation for excellence is well understood in Australia. It’s a credit to Keith and his team that Global has been acquired by a much larger industry player with the reach and capability of NEP.

“We are especially pleased that Global is now part of an organization that shares its passion for great television and outstanding client service.”

Global Television CEO Keith Andrews added, “This is a great outcome for Global’s clients, staff, and partners. We’ve worked closely with NEP over the last four to five years on various major projects. The two organizations know one another well and I can confidently say we have similar cultures based on providing superior service to our clients.

“On behalf of the Global team, I thank our board of directors and Catalyst for their confidence in Global and their support as we’ve grown the company to its current level. We are all excited about the next chapter for Global Television as part of the NEP family.”

Combined with Global’s top-tier fleet of outside broadcast and studio facilities, NEP will offer over 70 high-definition (HD) outside broadcast units; several HD flypacks; studio facilities in Los Angeles, New York, London, Cardiff, Sydney, and Melbourne; thousands of plasma, LED, and projection video display solutions; as well as a large team of industry-leading engineering and technical experts.

The transaction is being financed entirely with debt arranged by Barclays and Morgan Stanley, and is expected to close in early 2014. AGM Partners LLC, Barclays and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to NEP. Jones Day; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisors to NEP. Greenhill provided corporate advisory services to Catalyst.

Photo Links:
www.wallstcom.com/NEP/NEP-KevinRabbitt-CEO.jpg www.wallstcom.com/NEP/GlobalTelevision-KeithAndrews-CEO.jpg

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Ratings source: OzTAM. All People, 5-city metro, average audience, weeks 1-47, 2013 Consolidated; week 48, Overnight.

Background
Catalyst completed the privatisation of Global Television in January 2007. Before that the company was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: GTV). Global Television was established in 1988, trading as Hoyts Television. More information is available at www.globaltv.com.au/company/global-tv-history.

About Global Television
Global Television brings content to life. They are Australia’s largest and most experienced outside broadcast and studio facilities company, providing broadcast infrastructure for major sport and studio productions across Australia. Global facilitates more than 2,000 hours of broadcast television each year, including live sport (NRL, AFL, Cricket), popular series and drama (My Kitchen Rules, The Voice, Big Brother, Neighbours) and live entertainment and event programs (Dancing with the Stars, The Footy Show and the annual Logie awards). Global also manages large host broadcasting requirements for international events such as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. More information at www.globaltv.com.au.

About NEP
With the world’s most advanced equipment, largest fleet of mobile units and global production studios to suit every genre, NEP enables its clients to execute, deliver, and display exceptional productions on any platform around the world. For more than 30 years, NEP has ensured its clients’ success by delivering superior service and building lasting relationships with a passion for continuous innovation. NEP’s talented staff is committed to acting with integrity and working as a team to deliver comprehensive solutions for remote production, studio production, video display, and webcasting that set the global industry standard. NEP is based in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and has offices throughout the United States and United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.nepinc.com.

About Catalyst
Catalyst Investment Managers is a leading Australian mid-market private equity firm. Catalyst has completed more than 40 MBOs in Australia and New Zealand with a combined enterprise value in excess of A$3 billion. Catalyst makes investments in market leading businesses, with excellent management, robust cash flows and strong growth prospects. Catalyst has developed significant experience in investing in a wide range of industries in Australia and New Zealand including media and entertainment, retail and consumer products, mining services and other industrial sectors. Catalyst’s sale of Global to NEP follows its exit of EziBuy to Woolworths, and Moraitis Group to Chevalier, and the acquisition of Vesco Foods and Cirrus Media (formerly RBI Australia), all in 2013. For more information: www.catalystinvest.com.au.

About Crestview
Founded in 2004, Crestview Partners is a value-oriented private equity firm based in New York. The firm is led by former partners and leaders in the private equity business and senior management of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Crestview’s investment strategy is focused in the media, financial services, energy and healthcare sectors.

All trademarks mentioned herein are acknowledged as property of their respective owners.

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SSL Welcomes Mankin Media To U.S. Live Console Distribution Network

“The SSL Live product has all the features that demanding churches want at their fingertips”

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEESolid State Logic is adding to its U.S. reseller network for SSL Live consoles with the appointment of its first specialist House of Worship dealer, Mankin Media.

“We are thrilled to become a partner in the SSL Live Dealer Network,” says Ben Mankin of Mankin Media. “The SSL Live product has all the features that demanding churches want at their fingertips. It is a wonderful new console with a brilliant user interface and pristine production capabilities built to work in lots of different scenarios. We have been continually impressed by the efficiency, power, and potential of the SSL Live since the console launched earlier this year.”

“Our partnership with Mankin Media helps establish the SSL Live product offering directly into the House of Worship market,” says Jay Easley, SSL’s Vice President of Live Consoles in the Americas. “Mankin Media’s commitment to training as well as the customer experience makes us excited to have them onboard with SSL.”

www.solidstatelogic.com/live
www.mankinmedia.com

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

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KanexPro Announces New SDI Switchers and Distribution Amplifiers

Wednesday 12/18/2013. KanexPro is excited to give you a first look into five new products that were just released today – The 3G HD-SDI Switchers and Distribution Amplifiers. These two amazing additions to the KanexPro portfolio are as powerful as they are cost effective! Take a look at just some of their capabilities.

• Built-in Re-clock technology for signal integrity
• Designed for splitting, switching and routing SMPTE standard HD SDI signals
• Supports full HD 1080p 24, 25, 30, 50 & 60 Hz
• Support for multiple color spaces
• Auto detect SDI, 3G, HD-SDI feeds
• Data rates up to 3.0 Gbps
• Extends RG6 cables up to 1000 feet
• Rack mountable

Our SDI to HDMI converter was popular and demanding amongst installers, which led us to engineer a new array of premium SDI products targeting security A/V and broadcast markets says David Sommars, Business Development Manager at KanexPro. With high-bandwidth up to 3Gb/s these SDI switchers and splitters can be ideally used with HDcctv cameras, surveillance systems, rental & staging facilities, post-production studios, digital cinema, or other A/V applications where you need to switch, split and extend sources equipped with 3G/HD/SDI outputs to SDI-compliant displays or video processors.

For more information, please contact sales at (888) 644-4149 or check www.kanexpro.com

About KanexPro

Leveraging our core strength in professional A/V products, KanexPro carries a complete selection of A/V connectivity needs. When planning digital installations you will find that we carry a broad line of A/V connectivity products enabling you to broadcast, extend, split, or multiply HD signal transmissions; simply and cost-effectively.

KanexPro is a registered trademark. All other trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Omnivision to Highlight Omnitapps Multi-Touch Software at ISE 2014

Company’s Interactive Wayfinding Software Driving 22 Kiosks to Provide Maps, Floorplans, and Information for ISE 2014 Attendees

BEST, The Netherlands — Dec. 18, 2013 — Omnivision Studios BV, a leading provider of multi-touch software for touchscreen displays, today announced it will showcase its Omnitapps(R) Multi-Touch Software at the 2014 Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show in Amsterdam, Feb. 4-6. As an ISE Technology Partner, Omnivision also has developed the interactive wayfinding system for ISE 2014. More than 20 kiosks featuring touchscreen maps and floorplans created with Omnitapps Interactive Wayfinding will be available to visitors throughout the Amsterdam RAI exhibit halls.

With a focus on serving a wide variety of customers in the business, education, and gaming/entertainment markets, the Omnitapps Business Multi-Touch Suite is an advanced multi-user software family for creating and deploying highly captivating, interactive touchscreen experiences. With Omnitapps Multi-Touch Suite, customers can reinforce their brand presence and improve communications with multi-touch displays in public spaces such as lobbies, shopping malls, stores, tradeshows, real estate centers, museums, hospitals, airports, and more. Organizations can display their product photos, videos, brochures, and even websites within a multi-touch environment. They can also place products in the spotlight with Omnitapps’ unique and interactive games, including the Omnitapps Media Puzzle Pack and Omnitapps Educational Puzzle Pack.

“With the growth of giant multi-touch screens as well as tablets, portable all-in-one PCs, and Ultrabooks, we’re seeing a huge increase in their use in a variety of settings,” said Alexander Aelberts, CEO, Omnivision Studios. “As companies continue to expand the use of touchscreen displays, they need software that can integrate easily into their environment and deliver highly engaging multi-touch content at a lower cost. Omnitapps Multi-Touch Software is the most extensible and customizable multi-touch platform on the market today, designed to minimize cost and maximize user interactivity with a ‘wow factor’ that will engage and hold the interest of virtually any audience.”

In its ISE 2014 stand 8-H219, Omnivision will feature a live demonstration of the Omnitapps applications including versions specifically developed for retail, hospitality, events, entertainment, culture, and corporate environments. Omnivision will also preview an upcoming enterprise version of the Multi-Touch Suite that will enable remote monitoring and management. The enterprise version is expected to launch in mid-2014.

Supporting Windows(R) 7 and Windows 8 environments, the Omnitapps Business Multi-Touch Suite can be used in combination with large touchscreens, kiosks, touch tables, and all-in-one computers. The system is fully customizable for a wide range of professional applications, featuring multiple games templates and configuration forms, as well as support for multiple languages. With Omnitapps-driven displays, organizations can direct traffic to their location and captivate their audiences with highly interactive content. Omnitapps also includes data collection forms that enable customers to capture valuable information on touchscreen usage. Supported by all major touchscreen manufacturers, Omnitapps is available in standard or custom (out-of-the-box) configurations.

Photos and Captions:
Caption: Omnitapps(R) Wayfinding on a 103-inch multi-touch screen placed on a monitor stand from PresTop Products at ISE 2013 in Amsterdam.
Photo Link: www.ingearpr.com/Omnivision/Omnitapps_Wayfinding_ISE.jpg

Caption: Omnitapps(R) custom Multi-Touch application on an Ideum touch table at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Photo Link: www.ingearpr.com/Omnivision/Omnitapps_Multi-Touch_MIA.jpg

Caption: Omnitapps(R) Multi-Touch Suite used at tradeshow on a Samsung(TM) 55-inch multi-touch screen.
Photo Link: www.ingearpr.com/Omnivision/Omnitapps_Multi-Touch_Fair.jpg

# # #

About Omnivision Studios BV
Omnivision Studios is the developer of the industry’s most customizable, user-friendly, and reliable software for creating and deploying interactive multi-touch screens and displays. The company’s Omnitapps(R) product family enables out-of-the-box as well as custom multi-touch and multi-user installations in many industries including business, educational, and games/entertainment. Omnivision’s customers have deployed Omnitapps multi-touch applications in a wide variety of locations including schools, reception areas, shopping malls, real estate, museums, retail, and trade shows. The company has partnered with global industry leaders to provide complete multi-touch solutions supporting both desktop (Windows(R) 7) and modern user interfaces (Windows 8). For example, Omnivision is an official Intel(R) Technology Provider and Intel Software Partner, and its multi-touch software is pre-installed on Lenovo’s Horizon Flex20 Portable Aio. For more information, visit www.omnivision-studios.com and www.omnitapps.com.

https://www.facebook.com/Omnitapps

https://twitter.com/multitouchsuite

http://www.youtube.com/user/multitouchsoftware

All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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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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