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Archive by Brian Galante

Tampa Bay Lightning Drives Instant Replays of NHL Game Action with Tightrope Media System

NHL franchise finds operational value in ZEPLAY instant replay system’s speed, reliability, affordability and ergonomic design

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, December 16, 2014 — The Tampa Bay Lightning is giving its fans at Amalie Arena more to follow beyond the high-intensity NHL action on the ice. As part of a recent $65 million renovation that includes a new production control room and the largest indoor video board in a North American arena, Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay solution is delivering impactful, in-game highlights with the same lightning-fast speed as the front line.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning chose ZEPLAY based on its speed, cost, reliability and streamlined operation, replacing an existing EVS replay system. ZEPLAY’s multichannel capability (four in, four out) makes multiple streams available for playout just seven frames after camera feed selection. The team’s production staff displays replays and highlights on a giant, four-sided Daktronics LED video display positioned high above the ice at Amalie Arena, the 20,000-seat facility—formerly known as Tampa Bay Times Forum—where home games are played. The immense display measures 28 x 50 feet on its larger sides and 28 x 20 feet on the smaller sides facing the goals.

“As the game unfolds, Lightning fans want to see a replay of that save or that goal, or any exciting play moments after it happens. ZEPLAY keeps our fans happy by giving them all the replays they want without delay,” said Jorge Rosell, director of broadcast production systems for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The issue of speed goes beyond how quickly the crowd gets to see a replay,” he continued. “Before it becomes part of our live show, our director has to see it first. The faster we obtain his approval, the faster we can get it out to the video board. ZEPLAY simplifies the whole process because the operator only has to look at one screen to see the video choices, and all of the key features and functions are easily accessible from the controller’s T-Bar.”

Speed also comes into play when ZEPLAY is used to furnish official replays to the referees. This occurs often during video production for The Tampa Bay Storm, the Arena Football League (AFL) team that also calls Amalie Arena home. Since there are usually no broadcast trucks or rights holders associated with AFL games, Rosell said they often provide official replays and live-stream their big board show, including ZEPLAY replays and highlight packages, via the team’s website.

During the recent renovation, the production control room—which has a floor to ceiling window overlooking center-ice—went 1080i HD with ZEPLAY, a new Ross Carbonite 24 2-M/E production switcher and a Chyron Lex 3 live graphics system. After discovering that the existing EVS system was too cost-prohibitive to upgrade, Rosell began looking at more affordable options that wouldn’t compromise operational features or reliability. He approached the Ottawa Senators NHL team in Canada to inquire how they liked their two ZEPLAY systems.

“The Senators were the first NHL team to choose ZEPLAY, and they were very happy with it, noting its ease of use in addition to its affordability,” Rosell said. “We jumped at the opportunity to be the second NHL arena to get a ZEPLAY.”

Tampa Bay Lightning games are covered by up to 12 cameras, including studio/field, robotic, goal-cams and wireless units. With four HD-SDI inputs/outputs, ZEPLAY accesses camera signals from a Pesa Cheetah house router. Besides creating instant replays, the system also plays out B-Roll, including highlight packages, directly to the video boards during show opens and intermissions. When lower-third supers, keys, mortices or other video effects are needed, ZEPLAY’s output goes through the Carbonite switcher/Chyron Lex production chain before display on the large board inside the bowl.

In the near future, ZEPLAY will also send replays to a custom app that lets fans view them on their smartphones and mobile devices inside the arena.

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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Tightrope Media Systems and University of Massachusetts Bring Interactive Digital Signage to Campus

Touchscreen-enabled kiosk at new Football Performance Center engages visitors with 130 years of historical data about the UMass Minutemen football program

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, December 8, 2014
– The University of Massachusetts in Amherst recently opened its Football Performance Center, a 55,000 square foot facility representing the UMass Minutemen football program. Visitors are greeted by a hall of fame showcasing the university’s 130-year football program as they enter the facility, located at the north end of Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium. As part of the experience, the university sought an interactive kiosk to compile and present detailed information about the football program. A Carousel digital signage solution from Tightrope Media Systems was selected to address the challenge, featuring custom software-defined programming to bring decades of historical and current data together.

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The interactive kiosk catalogues an impressive array of details and statistics related to the storied football program, showcasing players, teams, coaches, seasons and accomplishments. The system reaches beyond the realm of football action, generating information about the bands, mascots and other entries supporting the teams over the years. In casting a wide net, it’s assured that every visitor engaged with the kiosk will discover something of interest while controlling the touchscreen.

“We wanted a searchable system that delivered an interactive experience for current players, students, alumni, fans and visitors,” said John Sinnett, assistant athletic director, University of Massachusetts. “We faced the significant challenge of finding a system that could centralize 130 years of information, make it interactive, and intelligently display a large amount of content in a sortable manner on demand. This is a homegrown system and we’re not aware of another university that offers anything similar. There’s no question that this was a steep hill to climb.”

Sinnett and his team soon engaged with Tightrope to generate a custom program for pulling historical and recent content from various online sources. Driven by intelligent, automated software-defined triggers and a central content management system, the Carousel solution manages a giant block of XML data, extensively programmed to ensure the right information correlates with the right targets.

However, Carousel’s trademark ease of use also provides staff with an intuitive interface to manually upload content, ensuring that missing details from player numbers and headshots to game stats and team descriptions can be effortlessly edited or added on the fly.

Most importantly, the varied and dynamically updating information gives everyone something to enjoy, increasing dwell times and generating a deeper connection between the user and the football program. Current Minutemen players and their families can follow seasonal statistics, while visiting alumni can look back at past achievements. Sinnett also views the interactive kiosk as an intriguing recruitment tool, allowing prospective players to search which Minutemen have made NFL rosters, and which teams have made collegiate football history over the years.

“The touchscreen is emblematic of the overall mission of the Football Performance Center,” said Sinnett. “This venue ties in a large part of the program’s history into a modern home that will be a future cornerstone of the program. Carousel is efficiently driving and disseminating information about the historical past and success of the program, while keeping visitors up to the date on the latest activities. Tightrope is helping us push that history forward, drawing in anyone with interest in our football program.”

The system is based on a scalable architecture powered by a single Carousel 330 server, capable of supporting 15 channels should the university choose to add more kiosks or displays in the future.

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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Renewed Vision Enriches World’s First Permanent 3D Pool Mapping Light Show at Sheraton Waikiki

PointCloud Media develops unique projection architecture driven though ProVideoPlayer2 software to entertain hotel guests year-round

ALPHARETTA, Georgia, November 18, 2014 — The Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu launched its Helumoa Playground Superpool series earlier this fall, comprising two distinct 3D pool mapping light show stories presented twice every evening to entertain hotel guests and the general public. Billed as the world’s first permanent installation of its kind, the 3D pool mapping shows are projected across a 7,503-square foot pool canvas, demonstrating lively displays of volcanic eruptions in “Helumoa – the birth of Hawaii”; and the rise of historical Hawaiian resorts and water sports in “Helumoa – the legendary story of Waikiki.”

Waikiki Pool Checkerboard

Overhead Pool Shot

Sheraton Wakiki Pool

The Sheraton Waikiki hired PointCloud Media, a full-service production company specializing in 3D projections, to develop innovative, energized shows featuring graphic figures and images projected onto the nearly 200,000 gallon superpool. The PointCloud solution integrates its core Raylight4D mapping system—responsible for superimposing visual content on the pool to mesmerizing effect—with seven ultra-bright projectors and reliable, cost-efficient playback software from Renewed Vision.

The integration of Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer 2 (PVP2) software is significant as it drives playback for all seven projectors from two Mac Pro computers, saving PointCloud Media tens of thousands of dollars in comparison to expensive hardware-based packages. Additionally, PVP2 simplifies the overall workflow, allowing PointCloud Media to automate playout and quickly adjust show schedules in the event of inclement weather or special circumstances.

“Over the years, we have used many different servers to augment video projections on large buildings, and they were all very complicated to operate, requiring real experts,” said Jack Hattingh, president, PointCloud Media. “The Renewed Vision PVP2 software reliably plays out all content from a stable platform, without the expense of purchasing or renting a system and hiring a full-time operator. I can purchase PVP2 software and a Mac Pro for the price of a three-week rental of most competing products. Being a permanent installation, the return on investment with PVP2 is nearly immediate.”

The end-to-end architecture includes five rooftop Barco HDQ-2K40 40,000 lumen projectors positioned 320 feet in the air to project visual content onto the pool, along with two 20,000 lumen projectors at ground level to project visuals onto adjacent rock formations. The workflow starts with a 4000×4000 content file for the pool map and a 3840×1080 file for the rock formations. A Mac Pro running PVP2 at each location slices the 4000×4000 file into five separate 1920×1080 feeds with mild overlap. The fluid pool reflections and surrounding ambience add an element of reality to the custom 3D mapping projections.

“PVP2 allows us to fine-tune the mappings on the fly to create the best convergence between the projected images,” said Hattingh. “Its advanced rending engine, coupled with the power and reliability of the Mac Pro, enables smooth playback of the massive video file across all five outputs. PVP2 is also allowing us to create some unusual projections, as we’re blending from four corners geometrically rather than top to bottom or left to right. PVP2’s flexibility has made it easy to create a unique mosaic map with plenty of light that audiences can enjoy.”

The master system on the roof is connected to the second rock projection system 31 stories below via a fiber-optic connection, with all content triggered simultaneously from both PVP2 servers. As each show begins, PVP2 triggers a contact closure relay to change the sound system from the standard background music service to the PVP2 audio feed. A third Mac Pro system outfitted with PVP2 supports a hotel broadcast on Channel 37, with viewers able to enjoy a live cut of the pool projections at the moment the light show music begins.

PointCloud Media representatives routinely monitor the system from their offices near Dallas to ensure everything is working properly, with the ability to stop, pause, restart and reschedule shows as needed. A third, holiday-themed show is now in development, given the success of the first two shows. Additionally, the simple learning curve of the system will allow hotel staff to use the system for other business opportunities as desired.

“PVP2 and the rest of system is very easy to learn and operate, so the hotel can easily use this for conferences and other themed events by the poolside,” said Hattingh. “Furthermore, they can easily gain an additional return on investment by renting the system to businesses and clients.”

About Renewed Vision
Founded in 2000, Renewed Vision’s mission is to offer reliable, purpose-built production software that enables organizations—spanning from churches to corporations—to create dynamic media experiences that enhance worship services, meetings and other special events. For more information on our product lines, including ProPresenter, ProVideoPlayer and ProVideoServer, please visit our website at www.renewedvision.com.

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Tightrope Media Systems Accelerates Multichannel Instant Replays for Utah Jazz with ZEPLAY

NBA franchise upgrades control room, adds giant LED displays during recent renovation of Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, November 6, 2014
– The Utah Jazz has a storied history as the National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise based in Salt Lake City. To further engage fans attending home games at Energy Solutions Arena, the team is now using Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay solution to trigger multiple angles of exciting game action.

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Installed during a recent major renovation of the 19,000-seat arena, ZEPLAY is used during every Utah Jazz home game as well as motocross, monster truck shows, rodeos and other sporting events taking place at the downtown venue. All replays are displayed on giant YESCO LED display boards inside the arena bowl, which were also part of the renovation project.

“Game day entertainment is very important to Jazz fans, and seeing instant replays of key game moments is one of their biggest demands,” said Shawn Brown, director of video productions for the Utah Jazz. While ZEPLAY is recording eight angles of game action (four in, four out), the operator can select and output multiple angles of any replay in just seven frames to accelerate playback. “Within a second or two following a key play, our ZEPLAY operator can cue and run a multi-angle replay,” explained Brown. “That’s how fast and easy it is to do.”

Major advertisers sponsor the replays for a particular quarter during home games, making ZEPLAY’s playback reliability exceptionally important. In the new control room production workflow, ZEPLAY interoperates with Ross switching, graphics and branding systems to display advertiser’s logo in the lower right corner of replays viewed on the LED screens.

“ZEPLAY helps enable this important revenue stream for our operation,” Brown said. “It also contributes to the overall efficiency of our arena show production.”

ZEPLAY includes a dedicated multiviewer to display four (1080i) HD-SDI signals coming from Ikegami cameras strategically positioned above and alongside the basketball court, as well as the four HD-SDI signals it outputs to arena screens. ZEPLAY’s preview/program video signals also display on a large flat-screen monitor wall at the front of production control to benefit other operators, including the director and technical director.

During its mid-2013 facility renovation, the Utah Jazz placed a massive 4-sided YESCO LED video board above the basketball court and LED ribbon displays around the arena. They also relocated their old production control room to a new suite with four times the space and upgraded equipment, adding a Ross switcher and graphics systems; and digital content production systems from Click Effects. ZEPLAY replaced a legacy Leitch replay system that’s no longer supported, enhancing live production possibilities while increasing reliability.

“Our previous system would lock up or crash right in the middle of games, and there was no tech support available anymore,” Brown said. “So our engineering team researched other replay systems that were on the market and found ZEPLAY to be the ideal fit. Since installation, it’s been very stable and reliable, and the replays just look awesome on our video boards.”

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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TNDV Produces CMA Backstage Pass Multi-Camera Streaming Media Experience for the 48th Annual CMA Awards

HD mobile production specialist to produce live real-time, interactive coverage of the CMA Awards Red Carpet and backstage activities

NASHVILLE, November 4, 2014
— At The 48th Annual CMA Awards—airing live on the ABC Television Network tomorrow, November 5, from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville—mobile production specialist TNDV will take the reins on the production of CMA Backstage Pass. This live, multi-camera streaming media experience will give viewers the ability to use their tablets and mobile devices to get an exclusive look at what’s taking place behind the scenes before and during the live CMA Awards telecast.

With 13 HD cameras dedicated to CMA Backstage Pass, viewers will see many angles of activities off-stage, starting with the Red Carpet from 5pm to 7pm Central Time. From 7pm to 11pm, viewers can switch between cameras backstage, in the main broadcast truck and in the press room where the stars appear after receiving their awards.

“The main goal of CMA Backstage Pass is to give fans an in-depth view into what their favorite celebrities are up to during the show. It also provides an unprecedented look into the behind the scenes workings of a major international awards show,” said Lacey C. Devlin, producer for TNDV and Backstage Pass. “Watching the live broadcast is just one part of the experience fans are searching for. In the age of social media, fans want to know every detail—every inside joke, every off-camera event and other candid moments that make the stars more interesting and relatable.”

This innovative, unique live stream, which will unfold in real-time parallel to the main ABC-TV special, will give viewers additional content about the celebrities—whose fashions they’re wearing, accomplishments and personal moments caught on camera—and let viewers share the experience with others on social media. Viewers can experience CMA Awards Backstage Pass by downloading the WatchABC app, available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and more.

CMA (Country Music Association) chose TNDV to handle this special national event based on its growing relationship over the past six years. “TNDV is by far the best live production company I have worked with,” said Ben Bennett, director of digital strategy at Country Music Association. “TNDV always brings tons of ideas to the table and, most importantly, always executes flawlessly. Our show has grown into a major national event due in large part to their tireless efforts and willingness to find a way to make things happen.

“The two- to three-hour window right before our TV special is the most critical time when viewers are making decisions about what to watch that night,” Bennett continued. “The live stream creates a ton of chatter online during those critical hours. The more fans we can get talking about the red carpet and thusly, the CMA Awards, the more chance we have at getting a bigger audience to tune in. The same goes for during the show. The live stream will help drive the social media conversation, and should drive more viewers to the ABC broadcast.”

TNDV will switch between 13 cameras from its 40-foot HD truck, Aspiration, which will park next to the main broadcast production truck producing the CMA Awards. The CMA Backstage Pass camera inside that main mobile unit will let viewers watch the CMA Awards from the perspective of the main truck producing the live show. Additionally, TNDV is also producing special, behind the scenes packages to give fans an exclusive look at how the stage was built, the stars’ dressing rooms and how the City of Nashville prepared for the CMA Awards, the biggest night in country music.

“This year’s Backstage Pass will be unlike anything ever done for the CMA Awards,” said Nic Dugger, owner and president of TNDV. “While TNDV was integrally involved in last year’s second-screen experience, called CMA 360, this year we plan to ‘kick it up a notch’ by adding more cameras, more talent and more unfettered access to the Red Carpet and candid backstage moments. Our multi-camera webcast, which takes place right alongside the main broadcast, includes a 20-member crew, an expanding side HD truck, and a complex single-mode fiber optic infrastructure dedicated solely to Backstage Pass.”

ABOUT TNDV: Television
Formed in 2004, TNDV: Television represents the culmination of over 22 years of broadcast and live production for Nic Dugger, owner and president; and his staff of full time engineers. TNDV produces events from small single-camera productions all the way up to multi-million dollar international TV events, and takes pride in building custom solutions for challenging productions of any size, in any situation. Recent projects include the opportunity to provide both remote audio and HD video facilities for the live season 3 premiere of ABC’s NASHVILLE, the live concert productions at the NCAA Final Four, and for the first time in broadcasting history TNDV produced the 2014 Hat Trick of Country Music Award show red carpet specials, including the CMA Awards, the CMT Awards, and the ACM Awards. Please call 615-585-6528 or visit www.tndv.com for more information.

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Barix Centralizes In-Store Radio for Dutchman Hospitality Group

Transition to IP audio simplifies scheduling, playout of music for Ohio retail and hospitality campuses

ZURICH/MINNEAPOLIS, October 28, 2014 — The Dutchman Hospitality Group specializes in helping its guests slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. Keeping with this philosophy, the company has turned to Barix to centralize its in-store radio programming on its core IT network, transitioning to the Barix Store&Play IP audio solution to simplify the scheduling and playout of content on three of its largest retail and hospitality campuses.

Based in Amish country in rural Walnut Creek, Ohio, Dutchman Hospitality Group sought a unified solution to deliver audio programming across multiple buildings to maintain a consistent and pleasant customer experience — a feat that proved impossible with separate CD players and the “everyone’s a DJ” approach. The company put its IT contractor, Mark Greenawalt of Makarios Networks, in charge of finding a cost-efficient solution that would offer better control of the overhead music in each building.

“When we made the business decision to have a single source of overhead music on each campus, the challenge of distributing the audio seemed to require pulling new wires between each building,” said Greenawalt. “I discovered Barix Store&Play while conducting research, and discovered that their solution converts audio to data packets for network distribution, before converting back to audio at the playout point. Once I realized we could use our existing infrastructure, it became clear that transitioning to Barix would save a lot of time, labor and money. The devices are inexpensive, and the ease of setup made the overall transition very affordable.”

Since discovering Barix, Greenawalt has since transitioned Dutchman Hospitality Group’s Walnut Creek and Sugar Creek campuses, which include multiple buildings spread across large areas, featuring a mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns. In the Ohio town of Berlin, the company is streaming music from the Berlin Farmstead Restaurant to the Carlisle Country Inn a quarter-mile down the road, taking advantage of Barix’s flexibility in networking audio across separate, distant properties.

The Barix Store&Play solution is configured to minimize use of network resources, downloading programs for playback on a scheduled basis. The network architecture includes a central Instreamer device on each campus to encode audio into files for streaming over the network; and Exstreamer devices at each remote building to receive and decode the files back to high-quality audio. With fiber-optic connections and a Gigabit Ethernet backbone already in place, Greenawalt had the Barix system online and streaming audio across all assigned locations within days. The IP-addressable Barix solution has operated flawlessly, producing outstanding audio quality with exceptional reliability.

“Being a musician, I have to say that I’m very impressed with the sound quality,” said Greenawalt. “But the ease of configuration and reliability is what really makes this special. The Barix receiving devices plug directly into our sound systems, instead of requiring investment in new amplifiers and loudspeakers. As one representative in a two-person IT department, having a low-maintenance solution is huge. It really is a set-and-forget system, with no wires to pull and no extra materials or components required.”

Looking ahead, Greenawalt expects that the Barix system will be used solely for the purpose of reliable background music distribution, but envisions opportunities to scale the network to additional locations on each campus as new services develop.

“The Barix IP audio solution strikes me as having an internet radio station for our own private campuses,” he said. “The sky is the limit in terms of where we can take it in the future. Considering its flexibility and ease of configuration, I’m not sure there is anything you can’t do with this system in terms of audio distribution if you are thinking creatively.”

Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)
Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide. We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for more than a decade with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.

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Barix AG, Seefeldstrasse 303, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 43322 11, Fax: +41 44 2742849
Barix Technology Inc, St. Paul, MN – (866) 815-0866

http://www.barix.com

http://www.ip-audio.info

TNDV Mobile Production Fleet Grows with Elevation

TNDV’s sixth truck integrates the production capabilities of the industry’s largest trucks into a more manageable, customer-friendly footprint

NASHVILLE, October 21, 2014 — Mobile production specialist TNDV has added a sixth truck to its fleet, allowing the company and its growing staff to meet increasing demand for its live production services around the country. Dubbed Elevation, the 40-foot truck delivers all the power of the industry’s largest trucks in a more manageable, energy-efficient footprint.

Elevation offers a similar video and audio infrastructure to TNDV’s other medium-sized, multi-format mobile production trucks, flexibly integrated to accommodate live and recorded shoots of any size. The architecture adopts TNDV’s strategy of flexibly customizing the workflow to meet any client’s demands, rather than forcing broadcasters, venues and other customers to work within a strict, fixed system.

Elevation also adds unique energy-efficient flourishes to differentiate it from other mobile production trucks, including an on-board 25kW generator to power air conditioners and the entire Elevation production infrastructure. This makes Elevation an ideal choice for isolated remote shoots—a common task for the TNDV team—by eliminating the costs and headaches of finding power in more secluded locations.

“Elevation becomes self-powered with the flip of an onboard switch, eliminating the costs of expensive generator rentals,” said Nic Dugger, TNDV Owner and President. “TNDV specializes in challenging shoots in unusual locations, from private outdoor concerts to high-intensity athletic events in temporary venues. This helps us reduce costs for our clients, and is especially helpful for tight production budgets.”

The medium-sized footprint also aligns with TNDV’s strategy of keeping trucks manageable for clients working within limited spaces, including arenas and temporary outdoor venues. This strategy accelerates load-in and load-out times while taking up less real estate on location. At 40 feet long, Elevation is the same size as TNDV’s flagship Aspiration truck, a vehicle that TNDV clients appreciate for its features-to-size ratio. Like Aspiration, Elevation includes a Ross Vision 3 switcher, an Imagine Communications Platinum integrated router, and Aja Ki-Pro recorders on the video side, along with multiple Hitachi SK-HD1000 cameras for multi-standard, multi-format field production at premium quality. The audio infrastructure is also similar, with a redundant ProTools system, JoeCo MADI recorders and an 80-port RTS ADAM intercom system—but adds a Soundcraft VI-3000 audio console for expanded functionality.

“The VI-3000 moves us into the 96-input world from the 64-input world of our other video-centric trucks, and adds an integrated I/O infrastructure located physically on the desk itself,” said Dugger. “This not only increases our channel count for larger audio productions, but simplifies our setup and configuration process for signal processing and source equipment across the audio infrastructure.”

Elevation has been used for several successful productions since taking to the highways in early September, including the 2014 Re/Max Long Drive Challenge golf tournament in Nevada; and the Celebrate Freedom Atlanta concert, hosted by local radio station 104.7 in Jim Miller Park. Elevation has also visited the Governor’s Mansion in Kentucky to produce a free private concert.

With TNDV’s fleet at six mobile production trucks, Elevation joins the previously mentioned Aspiration truck alongside Inspiration, another 40-foot truck for medium-sized productions; Vibration, a 53-foot specialized audio production truck with remote recording facilities; and two additional trucks, Origination and Blackjack, designed for smaller-sized productions.

ABOUT TNDV: Television

Formed in 2004, TNDV: Television represents the culmination of over 22 years of broadcast and live production for Nic Dugger, owner and president; and his staff of full time engineers. TNDV produces events from small single-camera productions all the way up to multi-million dollar international TV events, and takes pride in building custom solutions for challenging productions of any size, in any situation. Recent projects include the live concert productions at the NCAA Final Four, the Re/Max Long Drive Challenge on ESPN, and for the first time in broadcasting history TNDV produced the 2014 Hat Trick of Country Music Award show red carpet specials, including the CMA Awards, the CMT Awards, and the ACM Awards. Please call 615-585-6528 or visit www.tndv.com for more information.

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Tightrope Media Systems Drives Interactive Digital Signage at Choice Hotels Headquarters

Systems integration specialist Human Circuit, Inc. networks Tightrope Carousel system across two locations, and multiple conference rooms and common areas

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, September 22, 2014
Choice Hotels, the corporate parent of several well-known hotel chains in the United States, recently relocated its Maryland headquarters to the northern Washington, DC suburb of Rockville. The company occupies six floors of a newly built 10-story building, with a second corporate location in Phoenix, Arizona. With various conference spaces and thoroughfares to communicate across, Choice Hotels turned to systems integrator Human Circuit, Inc. to design a complete professional AV system with a dynamic and interactive digital signage network from Tightrope Media Systems.

Tightrope’s Carousel solution was selected for its interactive capabilities and ease of use, allowing Choice Hotels to customize outputs depending on the nature of the message for each location. The network serves three main corporate communication purposes: interactive wayfinding, historical education, and general information for visitors and personnel. The open nature of Carousel has also made it easy to incorporate business operations, such as Outlook integration for real-time schedule of meetings and events.

“We work with a number of signage companies and representatives for many different manufacturers,” said Kevin Filano, systems design engineer, Human Circuit, Inc. “Tightrope was an ideal choice for this project because Carousel is highly customizable, which was important given the targeted content across different locations. Their layouts are non-cluttered and elegantly designed, which works great for a corporate environment. Tightrope makes sure the end user can display the right amount of information without making it look too busy, while retaining a smooth and professional look.”

The main business operation is centered on the fourth floor, and is naturally the most visible part of the network. The main conference center and several reconfigurable meeting rooms rotate a variety of engaging content, but the interactive elements of the network are spread throughout the building. The wayfinding displays are found at elevator lobbies and stairwells along a staircase spanning all six floors. Visitors can view a floor map, daily schedule and page through an alphabetical staff directory to pinpoint floor, room and other pertinent information. The historical education displays also incorporate interactive elements, engaging both visitors and staff.

“Choice Hotels added an interactive museum area to play out video clips that educate on the history of the company,” said Filano. “A lot of thought went into the layout, color scheme and playout of these interactive elements for both the historical and wayfinding displays. We worked very closely with Tightrope to achieve that. Their programming services were instrumental in bringing everything together on time.”

According to Filano, the installation process was unusual as his team was working in tandem with general contractors and architects as the building was raised. This had the benefit of cleanly integrating the entire technology infrastructure, including the digital signage, into the overall architecture. However, there was no downtime to create punch lists and program systems, which made Tightrope’s professional services that much more critical to the signage network’s success.

“Normally, the contractor completes 90 percent of the job before we even come on site, but we were pulling cables and hanging displays while they were raising walls,” said Filano. “We had enough to manage on the AV installation side, so we took advantage of their services to enable the custom functionality of the various outputs, and assist with signage network configuration.”

The overall Carousel architecture for Choice Hotels is clean and network-friendly, using a virtual server cluster with intelligent software to drive content instead of a central computer. The robust network now extends to the Phoenix corporate location, with similar content created, managed and driven from the Rockville headquarters, where Carousel’s remote capabilities also enable network-wide troubleshooting from a central location. The scalable Carousel backbone ensures that Choice Hotels can expand to additional displays at the Phoenix location without significantly driving up costs, labor or operational complexity.

“One of the biggest benefits of Carousel is ease of use and learning curve, which is important as the network scales,” said Filano. “Choice Hotels has already had a handful of people move around in the company that were previously operating Carousel. With a number of different operators taking over the system, they have had no issues with those transitions.”

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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Renewed Vision ProVideoPlayer 2 Delivers High-Impact Multiscreen Presentations for Watermark Church

Dallas-based worship organization enhances services, reduces costs with Renewed Vision software

DALLAS, September 10, 2014
Watermark Community Church, a prominent biblical community with a worship presence in three Texas cities, has chosen Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer 2 (PVP2) to create dynamic, high-impact multiscreen video presentations at its 3,500-seat Dallas worship center. The PVP2 installation is a significant element of a larger technology upgrade, which includes a dedicated fiber network to connect its Dallas location with a 500-seat worship center in Fort Worth; and a third worship center opening in Plano in early 2015.

Les Brown, technical director for Watermark Community Church in Dallas, was seeking a reliable and affordable solution to replace a six-year-old Green Hippo media playback server, which reached end of life and could no longer be upgraded. He researched PVP2 following recommendations from media technicians at other houses of worship and drew on his experience using another Renewed Vision product, ProPresenter 5 softwareimage. Brown notes that ProPresenter has performed flawlessly for years, displaying biblical passages, song lyrics and other media content during services.

“We were confident that PVP2 would perform reliably to foster an inspirational worship experience for everyone,” Brown said. ”PVP2 has played a significant role in our overall upgrade plan, and offers us tremendous cost-savings. It is a fraction of the cost of competing solutions.”

Beyond its reasonable price point, Watermark Church benefits from long-term cost-savings based on its simple configuration and interoperability. Watermark Church has configured PVP2 to run on a Mac Pro, which outputs five video signals to a bank of digital video projectors, including two Christie and three Barco units. PVP2 can be programmed to deliver a different display to each of the five screens or a single display that spans all five screens, as well as a combination of displays in a single presentation.

The decision to buy PVP2 followed a successful software trial that Watermark conducted on Easter 2014. The special musical performance, which featured the house band, soloists, and back-up singers, leveraged PVP2 to project a single video across five separate large displays above the stage. The video, which featured song lyrics, graphics and particle smoke, was created in After Effects to allow the visual elements to use all five screens as if they were one display. Since the band was performing to a click-track, the lyrics would appear on the video in perfect synchronization with the vocalists.

Brown currently controls PVP2 using a Barco FSN router during services, but plans to integrate PVP2 with the church’s DMX lighting control system. This will enable the lighting director to control and synchronize the PVP2 video displays with other staging elements, like theatrical lighting and music, according to pre-programmed cues.

“The Mac Pro’s ability to output five streams at once saves us considerably on additional computer hardware, and we can make the most of our PVP2 investment since the system is easy to maintain and upgrade,” Brown said. “Reliability was a chief concern as we’ll use a DMX lighting board will control the PVP2, and won’t have a second system to cut to in the event of a technical problem. It’s been running reliably since deployment, and we’re confident we can transition to DMX integration.”

PVP2 now sits alongside a professional array of gear across Watermark Church’s infrastructure, including a professional production switcher and multi-resolution broadcast cameras. Viewers can access streaming media of the Dallas worship services at www.live.watermark.org from anywhere using their connected devices.

About Renewed Vision
Founded in 2000, Renewed Vision’s mission is to offer reliable, purpose-built production software that enables organizations—spanning from churches to corporations—to create dynamic media experiences that enhance worship services, meetings and other special events. For more information on our product lines, including ProPresenter, ProVideoPlayer and ProVideoServer, please visit our website at www.renewedvision.com.

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Stewart Audio Launches Low-Power Networked Amplifier Series

Compact, affordable Dante™-enabled amplifiers bring audio networking benefits to installations requiring lower channel counts for local amplification

SONORA, California, September 4, 2014 — The benefits of digital audio networking continue to extend past the mixing board and signal processing racks, bringing simpler connectivity, lighter infrastructure and improved flexibility and control to the amplification stage and beyond. However, most networked amplifiers today specialize in high channel counts for large installations, with amplifiers centralized in densely populated racks to serve global PA systems.

Stewart Audio today introduces a family of four low-wattage, networked amplifiers that address the need for lower channel count support at the local amplification stage. The new series brings the benefits of power-efficient digital audio networking to an underserved customer base, where consultants, systems integrators, dealers and end users require simple, affordable networked amplifier solutions scaled for smaller zones. This provides an affordable and reliable option to the larger, high-wattage amplifiers for high channel counts that permeate the market.

Importantly, the compact footprint of all four products enables simple installation at endpoints, providing networked amplification to smaller zones – whether for standalone needs in small-to-mid-sized installations; or to provide low-power amplification to smaller, distant zones in larger scale projects. Dual inputs in two models (AV25-2 NET+, CVA50-1 NET+) allow customers to serve both local and global PA systems if desired, with the option to target and prioritize pages and other audio events across many zones. This flexibility ensures that Stewart Audio customers can address larger facility needs while filling the void of local amplification requirements.

“To date, the market has lacked an affordable way to position networked amplifiers at endpoints,” said Brian McCormick, chief marketing officer, Stewart Audio. “Our new family of compact amplifiers create a cost-efficient way to run CAT5 or CAT6 cable to local zones, allowing our customers to enjoy the benefits of digital audio networking beyond the central infrastructure. These products give our customers a simple and affordable way to address a broad range of low power, low channel count applications without the expense of larger networked amplifiers, or the complexity of architecting custom solutions with bridge devices and analog amplifiers.”

Stewart Audio incorporates the market-leading Dante™ media networking solution from Audinate into its product architecture to enable many operational benefits. The incorporation of Dante Ultimo technology in all four products specifically addresses the requirement of affordable networking solutions for lower channel counts and lower power consumption. Compatibility with other Dante-enabled products is also ensured for a seamless, high-performance networking architecture across installations of any size.

Installations are further simplified with the presence of Symetrix Composer 2.0 software. Composer 2.0 software natively integrates device discovery and signal routing all four new products through its unique Dante third-party programming environment. This further reduces complexity for the installer, accelerating deployment times and creating a cohesive end-to-end Dante networking solution with local amplification.

The complete range of new Stewart Audio networked amplification solutions include:
• AV25-2 NET+: A 2x25W, 4 or 8 ohm low impedance amplifier with two analog and two Dante inputs, and remote and local volume control. Automated port switching can override audio feeds depending on which Dante or analog feed is set to priority.
AV25-2 NET: A digital-only version of the AV25-2 NET+ with two Dante inputs.
• CVA50-1 NET+: A 50W, 70/100V mono amplifier with one analog and one Dante input, remote and local volume control, and automated priority port switching to insert local audio feeds over main programs.
CVA50-1 NET: A digital-only version of the CVA50-1 NET+ with a single Dante input.

All four compact solutions can be pole mounted or attached to a flat surface near loudspeakers, and are plenum-rated to reduce the installation costs associated with rack-mounted systems. However, the 1/3RU design enables simple integration into central equipment racks if desired.

ABOUT Stewart Audio
Since 1982, Stewart Audio’s singular focus has been making a difference in sound reinforcement. Our broad array of compact standard and network amplifiers span both analog and digital worlds. With a commitment to innovation and quality, we provide our customers with a unique combination of features from RS232 control to DSP in a compact package. Visit the company’s website at www.stewartaudio.com.
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