A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Brian Galante

Tightrope Media Systems Scales for Enterprise-Level Digital Signage with Carousel 6.5

New release accelerates rendering times, improves remote diagnostics for out-of-home networks

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, January 15, 2015
Tightrope Media Systems is enhancing its Carousel digital signage system at Digital Signage Expo (March 10-12, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth 2631) with new tools to accelerate content rendering speed across out-of-home networks of any size. The updates, now available in the recent Carousel 6.5 release, improve core processing and memory utilization for increased rendering times—to the tune of 60 times faster.

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The Carousel 6.5 enhancements empower network operators to seamlessly scale networks to an infinite number of screens and locations, without adversely affecting network performance. The faster rendering performance specifically benefits the creation and distribution of weather bulletins, RSS feeds, and other time-sensitive content that requires real-time display. To achieve this, Carousel 6.5 amplifies its server performance to more effectively scale across multiple cores. Tightrope’s Carousel enterprise servers are easily scaled by adding further processing cores as the number of player end points escalates.

At Digital Signage Expo, Tightrope will also introduce Carousel Detective, a network diagnostics tool incorporated within the Carousel server core. The software-defined architecture allows network operators and Tightrope service engineers to access Carousel Detective over IP from any connected device for troubleshooting and general performance monitoring, further enhancing the enterprise-level performance of Carousel 6.5.

“Tightrope continues to invest in improving the user experience,” said Eric Henry, signage solutions leader, Tightrope Media Systems. “With enterprise-level bulletin rendering across large-scale network now taking a matter of seconds, our customers are assured timely distribution of dynamic and time-sensitive content across networks of any size. These improvements, along with extensive diagnostic toolset of Carousel Detective, set the stage for significant strides in next-generation Carousel systems on the horizon—notably a far richer, intuitive and user-friendly GUI on tap for the next major software release later this year.”

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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Barix Introduces IP Audio Players for Fully Integrated SoundScape Solution

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, January 14, 2015Barix last year introduced SoundScape, a solution to centrally manage and distribute branded audio over IP networks of any size. At ISE 2015, Barix will demonstrate the complete cost-reducing, revenue-generating capabilities of SoundScape as the company brings the fully integrated solution to market – including cloud-based content management and live status monitoring via the SoundScape Portal; and new compact, multi-format Exstreamer SoundScape IP audio players for location-based media playout.

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SoundScape is the only “in-store radio” solution capable of integrated audio distribution, remote device management, dynamic contact scheduling, system-wide reporting and monitoring, and high-quality, multi-format audio playout. Essentially, SoundScape brings together several traditional Barix strengths previously available as separate applications—including dynamic, targeted ad insertion—to simplify, accelerate and monetize deployments for content providers and systems integrators. SoundScape’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) design also establishes a centrally hosted model to increase network accessibility and availability, reducing overall operating costs and maintenance. As a result, SoundScape is more than a basic in-store radio solution: It is a fully functioning, revenue-generating music and entertainment system with hierarchical user management for single locations (clubs, supermarkets), large campuses (universities, corporate complexes) and multi-location networks (retail and hotel chains).

The introduction of Exstreamer SoundScape players is significant because it provides a highly reliable platform for remote device management and local playout. The Linux-based players feature the traditional benefits of Barix Exstreamer devices—including a compact form factor, low power consumption, multi-format decoding and broadcast-quality audio—and adds integrated control via a simple built-in, five-button keypad. Users can navigate the menu, skip songs, and change audio settings and network configurations without connecting to the central web-based SoundScape interface. A blue-toned backlit LED display details audio program and player information relevant to the location.

Exstreamer SoundScape players also bring greater efficiency to the playout operation through exceptional internal memory, minimizing network resources required for live streaming. A built-in real-time clock ensures that players continue to stream content locally via internal content storage in the event of network downtime—and pick up exactly where the playlist left off upon return of the network.

Visitors to the Barix stand (Hall 8, M-245 in the Amsterdam RAI, February 10-12) can simulate remote device management using the SoundScape Portal, the solution’s central management interface. In a typical SoundScape deployment, a content provider or network manager can visualize every player on the network using an intuitive, interactive map. Color-coded pins help users quickly determine the operating status of every player in the network, with green indicating normal operation and red indicating that attention is required. SoundScape’s in-depth troubleshooting capabilities enable users to remotely drill down into each player to determine and fix operating issues, while finely-tuned alerting capabilities inform users of problems via automatic e-mails or SMS texts.

The SoundScape demonstration at ISE will also allow visitors to establish connections between the Portal and players—the first step in adding new locations to the SoundScape network—build dynamic playlists featuring music and advertisements, and download audio content to local players. The SoundScape Portal’s rich content management capabilities also allow users to centrally assign and schedule content to unlimited player groups; and group devices by location and language. These flexible parameters further empower SoundScape’s revenue generating benefits by establishing a foundation for highly targeted, localized ad insertion.

“SoundScape is exciting as it truly offers a wide range of users an audio content distribution system for background music and messages across commercial and public spaces,” said Frank Frederiksen, managing director, Barix. “No other IP audio solution on the market offers as rich of an SaaS-enabled content and player management solution that also incorporates targeted advertising, stream tracking and reporting, and live status monitoring. Adding in tried-and-true reliable Barix audio players, SoundScape brings together a complete hardware and software solution to build new revenue streams and reduce total cost of ownership for branded, location-based music and entertainment.”

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

Tightrope Media Systems Bolsters Sales and Service Team with New Appointments

Company strengthens customer-first approach across broadcast, cable and digital signage

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, January 7, 2014
Tightrope Media Systems’ unique identity as a leading solutions provider across the broadcast/cable and digital signage industries has propelled year-on-year business growth since its formation as a standalone company in 2001. Looking to further bolster the company’s sales and service team to support future growth across both businesses, Tightrope recently promoted five-year company veteran Kelli Smith to Director of Broadcast Sales, and hired Richard Turner as Digital Signage Regional Sales Manager.

KelliSmith Tightrope

Kelli, based in Raleigh, NC, now manages sales for ZEPLAY, Tightrope’s industry-leading choice for cost-efficient, multichannel instant replay servers; and the company’s Cablecast portfolio of server and automation products. Kelli will leverage her experience and relationships from her previous roles as Southeast U.S. sales manager and Carousel digital signage portfolio sales manager (east coast) to drive new business across emerging vertical markets, notably universities and hospitality businesses, including hotels and cruise ships.

“Tightrope is very well known in the digital signage space and in the local PEG broadcast community, and it’s my goal to build that same recognition across a new group of customers in verticals that traditionally haven’t used Tightrope broadcast solutions,” said Smith. “For example, although Tightrope has thousands of servers operating in the field today, ZEPLAY is the only one focused on live production. We’re working to make sure that prospective customers think of ZEPLAY first when it comes to slow motion instant replay servers.”

As Tightrope Media Systems is privately held, Kelli stresses the importance of responding to customer and market needs directly. “I’m looking forward to growing the existing relationships I’ve built, and developing new ones through our customer-first approach,” she added.

Richard Turner, based in Maryland, has more than 30 years in the professional AV, broadcast and IT markets working as an end user, consultant, engineer and content producer. Most recently, he worked in the government sector. This rich and varied experience allows Richard to further elevate the already sterling customer service at Tightrope.

Richard is looking forward to learning the Southeast territory and meeting Tightrope’s strong customer base across the region. “It’s always great to learn how our end users use digital signage to tell their stories,” said Turner. But, he also realizes that it’s a challenge or customers to sort out the differences among the many products on the market.

“My greatest goal is education and ensuring our customers get the most from our resources and products,” adds Turner. “It’s not just about technology; it’s about understanding the stories the customers want and need to tell, and about a team, like Tightrope, that stands behind their products and encourages innovation and creativity.”

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 Drives Interactive Media Exhibit at John C. Maxwell Leadership Center

Velocity Productions integrates interactive video wall, custom iOS app with ProVideoPlayer2 software to maximize playback quality and flexibility

ATLANTA, January 5, 2015 — The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center at 12Stone Church in Atlanta honors the life and impact of John’s global and generational leadership as an internationally recognized leadership speaker, author and pastor. In celebration of his continuing legacy, visitors today enjoy interactive audio-visual presentations of John’s life and achievements across an immersive video wall controllable from several user stations. The engaging video and graphical content is driven exclusively by Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer 2 (PVP2) software, bringing exceptional reliability and quality to a cost-efficient playback infrastructure.

Maxwell Center PVP2 w-iPad Station

RV PVP2 Maxwell Center

Velocity Productions, an Atlanta-based production and systems integration company, was tasked with building out the video wall on a curved wall, using a custom mounting system to cleanly integrate multiple 46-inch Barco monitors in a four-wide, three-tall configuration. The challenging integration project influenced the Velocity Productions team to evaluate technologies on the playback side that would not only deliver reliability and quality, but also bring balance to equipment and labor costs; and maintain operational simplicity moving forward.

“We primarily selected PVP2 for its low cost and ease of use, ensuring long-term value and a quick return on investment,” said Brian Morrison, director of AV integration, Velocity Productions. “It’s affordable, and straightforward operationally. The layouts are appealing, and the playlists are easy to create and manage. Simply put, we wanted something that works well on a daily basis and provides the quality of other high-end playback systems on the market — without the expense. That said, PVP2 is enabling the center to achieve some very interesting applications.”

The PVP2 software resides on a Mac Pro at the core of the operation, delivering two display port signals to a DVI adapter to transport signals to the video wall. With the video wall arranged in a 4×3 configuration, Velocity Productions programmed the PVP2 software to split the wall into two, 2×3 sections, sending each a 1920×1080 image. The video monitors then break up the video signal across all monitors in each 2×3 section. Next to the video wall, visitors can trigger content using a Savant Systems six-button controller to drive the first level of interactivity.

Velocity Productions also developed a custom Savant Systems iOS app to control the video wall content. PVP2 integrates with a Savant Systems controller via the DMX over Artnet protocol to add a second interactive element to the experience for the staff. This allows staff to scroll through and recall any of eight educational videos produced exclusively for the John C. Maxwell Center from an iPad, iPhone or Apple laptop. The eight videos otherwise rotate across the video wall on a continuous basis, all built around John’s leadership reputation with each video dedicated to a specific time in his life.

“PVP2 really gave us the flexibility to align the layouts and content to the screens, which was not easy given the unusual video wall format,” said Morrison. “The software provides a level of adjustability without complexity. While there is a feature that allows us to add layers for a richer output, we’re outputting a simple setup of layers where we’re matching outputs to signals coming and out. But, we could make every single screen unique, and that ability to adjust moving forward is pertinent to its long-term value.

“Beyond that, the interoperability between PVP2 and Savant Systems was key in really taking the experience to a higher level,” added Morrison. “From an integration perspective, it was easy as bridging the two systems together over the network. Visitors to the center benefit the most, using our custom iOS app to watch and listen to presentations across several personal stations. In the future, we anticipate adding 4K content to the video wall, which PVP2 natively supports. We see many interesting opportunities with this installation moving forward.”

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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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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Amalie Arena lightning-hockey-bowl

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.

Utah Jazz ZEPLAY_press

Utah Jazz ZEPLAY-2_press

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.

# # #

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.

# # #

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

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