A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Brian Galante

TNDV Mobile Production Trucks Standardize on Harman

NASHVILLE, December 16, 2013 — Mobile television production specialist TNDV has standardized on Harman digital audio consoles, allowing the company to deliver exceptional multi-channel audio production capabilities for remote broadcast and production projects of all sizes.

Nic Dugger, owner and president of TNDV, notes that the fleet-wide upgrade took several years and required a sizable investment, but the return on investment has been clear from the outset — and in some cases, the standardization has encouraged repeat business.

“Harman digital audio consoles produce outstanding sound quality, which is primarily why we choose them,” said Nic Dugger, TNDV’s president and owner. “Today, when a customer books any of our trucks, they are assured the best performing digital audio consoles on the market. Freelance crews can use the same intuitive user interface, operation, and architecture, and once familiar with set-up and software they can quickly turn their attention to the production.”

Besides having a high degree of confidence in their performance, Dugger likes that all Harman models have compatible, interchangeable parts. Because of this consistency, TNDV’s flexibility on live show sites is greatly improved since parts can be swapped between the Soundcraft and Studer models on different trucks in the field. And since TNDV’s truck engineers are intimately familiar with the Harman architecture, they can perform routine maintenance and even trouble-shoot the consoles when necessary.

“Because Harman appreciates that their media and entertainment customers are doing time-critical projects, they send us replacement parts no questions asked. They stay engaged with our engineers until the matter has been resolved,” he said.

Meet the Fleet
Aspiration, TNDV’s flagship HD expanding side video mobile unit, offers a Soundcraft Vi4 live production console with 72 input channels and 36 outputs, with up to 42 faders and 5.1 surround sound mixing capability in a private, on-board audio mix booth.

TNDV’s Vibration—a digital audio-only mobile unit—features the flagship Studer Vista 9 console with 256 inputs and 7.1 surround sound capabilities. Designed for audio mixing and recording of broadcast television and digital film productions, Vibration is a 53-foot semi-trailer that houses an acoustically isolated audio suite, machine room, and comfortable client lounge with custom furnishings and hardwood floors.

TNDV’s other Nashville-based trucks, Inspiration and Origination, both feature Soundcraft Vi1 consoles with up to 32 motorized faders, 96 DSP channels and 5.1 surround sound mixing capability. The Origination installation was the most recent upgrade, with the Soundcraft Vi1 vastly improve audio capabilities on the 30-foot mobile production unit.

Dugger approximates his business at 60 percent live entertainment and 40 percent live sports, which he says makes Harman consoles attractive for his bookings since they are “primarily entertainment desks.”

ABOUT TNDV: Television

Formed in 2004, TNDV: Television represents the culmination of many 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 productions include the live concert productions at the NCAA Final Four, the 2013 Re/Max Long Drive Challenge on ESPN, and the inaugural season of Sing for Your Supper on PBS. Please call 615-585-6528 or visit www.tndv.com for more information.

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Tightrope Media Systems ZEPLAY Enhances Fan Experience For Ottawa Senators NHL Games

Arena’s production team credits durability, ease of use, and archiving capabilities as key features of instant replay system

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, December 9, 2013 – The Ottawa Senators recently upgraded the production capabilities of its multipurpose home arena, Canadian Tire Centre, focusing on a new LED score board, cameras, fiber infrastructure and a complete control room overhaul. The control room project included replacing its older SD gear with new, all-digital HD switchers, routers and replay system that would meet the production crew’s specific requirements.

The production team selected two ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay systems for sports from Tightrope Media Systems, citing ease of use, durability, and quick and easy access to game action as benefits – all while offering exceptional value for its price.

Stan Kertesz, audio and video production manager for the Ottawa Senators, explained that his crew needed a reliable and easy to use replay system for its new LED score board and monitors located throughout the arena. This is because ZEPLAY would be integral to capturing fast-paced game action and generating fan excitement during home games.

“It has always been important that we have the ability to produce our own replays,” explains Kertesz. “We realize that when you’re a fan watching a game at home, you get these great angles and replays, but that’s not always the case when you’re in the arena watching the games live. With that in mind, I wanted two replay machines from the start. We had one SD system from another vendor but the front end control wasn’t very good, and it had some bugs. It also only gave us four angles, and I wanted many more.”

Kertesz took a serious look at the price-to-performance ratio of available replay systems. “The consultant we were working with recommended Tightrope,” he says. “We checked it out and the price point was very good. I looked through the specs and the functionality and realized this system was exactly what we needed. We’re basically getting two machines for the price of one.”

Each ZEPLAY system allows operators eight channels of live replay (four in, four out) and a built-in multiviewer for studying angles. The unit’s controller and jog/shuttle wheel with magnetic stops gives operators the accuracy and speed needed when working under pressure. “They are good, solid controllers,” says Kertesz. “That’s something we didn’t have before with our old unit; that ease of use and control is something my operators appreciated right off the bat.”

ZEPLAY’s extensive tagging options to assist with storage, recall and lightning-fast highlight package creation was another essential feature for Kertesz. His operators archive game-day footage for highlights, promo packages, posting videos online or even as complementary footage after a game during player interviews.

“The archiving capability and full HD quality is very important to us, and overall it is the biggest way that ZEPLAY enhanced our game and workflow,” says Kertesz. “It’s great that we can show replays during the game, but with the tagging features, we also have that ability to create these HD highlight melts after the games. We can digitally transfer those to our edit suites and build databases. It makes the workflow really simple.”

Up and running on ZEPLAY after training for only two games, Kertesz stresses that it was not only quick and easy to learn, but the rewards were immediate.

“You can hear the reaction from the fans when you get a good replay, like the puck just barely stopping on the goal line,” says Kertesz. “So, we get recognition that it enhances the fan experience. Overall, ZEPLAY was a great choice and has become a big part of our show.”

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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Bannister Lake Launches School Closings Solution

BL Snow Day offers a simple, cost-effective way to generate and deliver school and community notices across many systems and devices

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Canada, November 21, 2013 – Bannister Lake announces the availability of BL Snow Day, a new cost-effective school closures and local community events solution for broadcasters, schools, municipalities and digital signage networks.

BL Snow Day’s simplified web-based workflow provides an unlimited number of content moderators the ability to pre-schedule content for future play out and set automatic story expiration. Automation and editorial tools enable staff to manage community events, local news stories, images, and video content and organize it into reusable topics and playlists ready for broadcast.

In broadcast, BL Snow Day helps local TV stations generate and broadcast real-time critical school closures and bus cancellations or delays due to inclement weather on any platform, including digital signage, web, and mobile. BL Snow Day also provides a simple toolset for on-campus information, allowing K-12 schools and universities to share early dismissal details across campus TV systems and digital signage networks.

Additionally, municipalities can use BL Snow Day to broadcast school closing and community event information across town hall systems, and offer it as a shared resource for the entire community. This allows local broadcasters, schools, and fire and police departments to centrally access and use the system.

Above all, BL Snow Day is quick to deploy, providing end users and systems integrators with an uncomplicated platform that is simple to install and easy to learn. Any system that can read an RSS, XML, ODBC, or JSON feed can immediately integrate BL Snow Day output, which gets new customers up and running quickly.

“Your school closure solution shouldn’t be complicated to install, integrate or operate when you’re looking to share local information with your viewers quickly and efficiently,” stated Pete Challinger, VP U.S. Business Development at Bannister Lake. “BL Snow Day is easy to integrate and easy to learn. It eliminates your manual copy and paste workflows, and it offers good value for call letter stations, schools and government agencies looking to add closure coverage or update their existing systems.”

BL Snow Day is available as an enterprise server 1RU chassis solution, a secure cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, and a lightweight, solid-state, portable Nano turnkey solution that fits in the palm of the hand.

About Bannister Lake Inc.
Bannister Lake is a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for Broadcast Television, Cable, Satellite and audio visual applications worldwide. Our display solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, automating the process of data entry for video graphics display and improving the productivity of your organization. Visit Bannister Lake online: www.bannisterlake.com

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Tightrope Media Systems ZEPLAY Ignites Fan Experience at University of Minnesota Sporting Events

Slo-mo instant replay system offers school a robust feature set, reliable performance and affordable price point for upgraded control room

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, November 19, 2013 – TCF Bank Stadium is home to University of Minnesota Gophers football, one of 23 varsity sports teams on campus competing in the storied Big Ten Conference. The modern, recently-opened stadium influenced HD upgrades to a control room shared with three arenas. The upgrades include two Tightrope Media Systems ZEPLAY solutions to drive slo-mo instant replay and sports video to more than 1200 screens.

The production team, headed by Tadd Wilson, scoreboard and video operations manager for University of Minnesota Athletics, cited reliability, an extensive feature set and a competitive price point as key benefits. The two ZEPLAY systems provide 16 channels of live replay (eight in, eight out) for the nearly 100 annual sporting events covered from this control room.

Wilson notes that this high-channel capacity was a big reason for choosing ZEPLAY over competitive systems, adding that it enhances his ability to create sequences, load and export clips. These operational benefits especially stood out during the evaluation process.

“I was most impressed with the number of channels that ZEPLAY gives us without having to pay an exorbitant price,” he says. “We have anywhere from five to eight cameras that we want to record on any given game day. We also interface with the TV trucks on-location, adding another four to seven cameras. The ability to record as many channels as possible was a top priority.”

Wilson and his team use ZEPLAY predominantly for in-house play to engage home and visiting team fans on game-changing events, from touchdowns in TCF Bank Stadium to hockey goals in Mariucci Arena. ZEPLAY instantly triggers high-quality replays on-demand across large LED score boards, displays and monitors. Each venue includes more than 300 TVs and displays located in concourses, suites, premium areas, concession stands and other locations.

“Replays are one of the main reasons people look at our displays,” says Wilson. “Fans immediately turn their attention to the displays to see the replay when a touchdown happens or a goal is scored. Or, they can see why everyone’s cheering if they were at the concession stands getting a hot dog.”

In addition to high-channel capacity and high-quality video, ZEPLAY provides Wilson and his team with a built-in multiviewer that allows operators to follow action and monitor many angles on one display. Also, since the control room is manned during games by a combination of full-time staff, freelancers, and students (part-time employees from various majors), the simple learning curve and ongoing overall ease of use was significant.

“We looked at other replay systems, but the price points versus the feature sets just didn’t make sense,” said Wilson. “ZEPLAY gives us all the features and capabilities we need and is a fairly straightforward, easy device to for our operators to learn.”

ZEPLAY’s extensive tagging and key play marking options were also essential for Wilson. These features provide quick filtering and file recall from built-in storage to assist with speedy highlight package creation. Operators archive game-day footage for highlights, player-of-the-game features and posting videos online. Files are digitally exported to long-time archives without complex recording processes, and can be recalled and played out as high-quality 4:2:2 HD files.

Wilson adds that ZEPLAY’s reliability can’t be underestimated. “I was worried about replay systems in general crashing or locking up during games, especially the disk-based systems,” he said. “To this day, we haven’t had any issues with ZEPLAY. It’s never locked up or crashed. That has really impressed me.”

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 Promotes Frank Frederiksen to COO

New role puts focus on IP solutions development and company operations

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, November 14, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix has promoted Frank Frederiksen to COO following a successful 15 months as Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy. His promotion, effective immediately, represents part of the strategic process at Barix to build a strong management team that will lead the company to new growth. He reports directly to Barix CEO Ronni Guggenheim.

Since coming to Barix, Frank has focused on enhancing the user experience for customers through streamlined solutions that simplify ease of use and installation. He oversaw the development and rollout of Barix’s recently-introduced IP Paging ecosystem, which eliminates complex configuration processes in favor of a plug-and-play solution where Barix devices self-configure automatically.

Frank will continue to oversee product management at Barix while working to enhance company operations, with an emphasis on improved logistics, manufacturing and fulfillment to more effectively meet customer demand. As a result, he expects Barix to strengthen its focus on complete solutions and better vertical integration.

“IP streaming has entered the mainstream, and many of our customers need more than capable hardware devices; they need a complementary environment around those devices to control, manage and monitor their entire systems,” said Frederiksen. “We have simplified interfaces and improved ease of use over the past year so that our customers don’t need to be IT experts. And there are exciting developments on the horizon that will better position Barix as a complete IP solutions provider.”

Barix’s global product management and logistics/fulfillment teams will report to Frank, and he expects to leverage this opportunity to build a more flexible production environment. “I look forward to establishing a stronger link between defining products and bringing them to market,” he said. “The combination of overseeing products and production responsibilities is a good basis for driving operations and budget.”

Barix: The Voice of Simplicity (www.barix.com)
Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, specializes in the research and development of state-of-the-art IP based communication and control technology. The company is a long-term and reliable supplier of IP audio and control devices, with more than 150,000 devices shipped in its first decade of business. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks/Internet, offering new and improved solutions to the commercial audio distribution, communication and automation industries. Barix products provide solutions in Audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).

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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

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Bannister Lake Launches Sports-Centric Content Management Solution

Unique software solution delivers stats, rich data for the sports fan through intelligent automation – freeing human resources to engage fans on a broader level

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Canada, November 5, 2013 – Immediately following its first successful national launch at Canada’s live-event sports specialty channel, Sportsnet, Bannister Lake Software announces the availability of BL Sports Ticker, a new sports-centric content management solution.

BL Sports Ticker helps broadcasters and sports entertainment networks unite disparate workflows, paving the way to consolidate, centralize, and automate existing sports coverage workflows with a single solution. The solution eliminates the struggle that networks have long experienced to maintain and manage amalgamated channel branding, multiple data sources, and independent graphics and branding across multiple platforms, ticker systems, and rendering engines.

“A single BL Sports Ticker implementation powers an unlimited number of channels with automation efficiencies that afford you the freedom to focus on what matters most: viewership and fan engagement,” said Chris Mintz, Lead Solution Architect at Bannister Lake Software. “With the game basics like scores and stats coming in automatically, editorial personnel can focus on adding the detail that really excites the audience. It gives them time to tell team and athlete stories.”

BL Sports Ticker’s simplified workflow also allows networks with limited staff resources to automate many manual tasks. This affords networks the freedom to control key regional differentiators and unique brand identities from a single data source. Editorial staff can pre-schedule content by time zones or work shifts rather than by game and match dates. In master control, automation support replaces manually driven squeezes and state changes with fully automated, scheduled operations.

With BL Sports Ticker, broadcasters have the freedom to:
• Highlight regional franchises per league, per channel and per sport
• Supplement automated data with customized, regional editorial
• Build daily rundowns as granular as a channel demands
• Output to broadcast, web and mobile

Bannister Lake’s latest automation solution continues to take full advantage of the template-based workflows and dynamic graphic updates available within the Ross Video XPression platform, as well as social media integration.
“For sports entertainment, BL Sports Ticker offers the same powerhouse performance and reliability that BL Super Ticker delivers to today’s 24/7 news networks but provides more sports and score-specific control,” said Mintz. “You’ll have fans of all types hooked with your customized coverage of the season from draft to playoffs and stats from DL reports to spreads. Add in the ability to show your viewers social media and you become the ultimate sports fan broadcast.”

BL Sports Ticker is available as an enterprise server 1RU chassis solution, a secure cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, and a lightweight, Solid State, portable Nano turnkey solution that fits in the palm of the hand.

About Bannister Lake Software Inc.
Bannister Lake is a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for Broadcast Television, Cable, Satellite and audio visual applications worldwide. Our display solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, automating the process of data entry for video graphics display and improving the productivity of your organization. Visit Bannister Lake online: www.bannisterlake.com

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Bannister Lake and Key Code Media Team Up for Social Media Integration

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Canada, October 29, 2013 – Bannister Lake Software, the leading provider of automated broadcast display solutions, announced a new business partnership with turnkey digital media communication systems industry leader, Key Code Media, at SMPTE 2013 in Hollywood.

The agreement covers Bannister Lake’s innovative social media integration, cloud-based content management, automated data entry solutions, and tight graphic engine integration. Key Code Media will incorporate these into their systems for Broadcast, Corporate video and digital signage applications.

Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing for Key Code Media commented, “We are particularly excited about the opportunities for social media integration, where we have many customers looking for an affordable and easy to use solution they can implement quickly. Bannister Lake’s TweetOut Nano fits perfectly.”

About Key Code Media
Key Code Media is the West Coast leader of selling digital video and audio workflow solutions. Leading vendors include Avid Technology, Apple, Sony, Panasonic, Harris, JVC, Grass Valley, Newtek, Facilis, AJA, Adobe, Sierra Video, Kramer, Leader and HP. Offices are located in Burbank, Santa Monica, Irvine, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago.

About Bannister Lake Software Inc.
Bannister Lake is a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for Broadcast Television, Cable, Satellite and audio visual applications worldwide. Our display solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, automating the process of data entry for video graphics display and improving the productivity of your organization. Visit Bannister Lake online: www.bannisterlake.com

Canadian Football League Team Plays Offense with ZEPLAY

Saskatchewan Roughriders technical staff dial up instant replays with speed and accuracy via Tightrope Media Systems

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, October 28, 2013
Saskatchewan Roughriders fans enjoy more than a winning football team upon entering the 45,000-seat Mosaic Stadium in Regina each game day. In fact, home and visiting team fans alike are treated to professional in-venue, large-screen video productions that further enliven the atmosphere — with instant replays and highlight packages from Tightrope’s ZEPLAY slow-motion system playing a major role.

“We have the challenge of keeping our fans entertained and engaged, and our philosophy is that we’re not simply competing with the at-home TV experience — we want to improve on that experience within the stadium atmosphere,” said Bill Wright, director of partnerships and game day operations, Saskatchewan Roughriders. “So we show more replays than viewers get at home, along with more close-ups and stats. We create as much on that screen as we can, at the best possible quality. ZEPLAY makes that achievable.”

Mosaic Stadium added its first large video screen in 2005, and has gradually enhanced its technical infrastructure to include nine cameras, multiple graphics layers and two ZEPLAY systems inside the stadium control room. The in-house staff incorporates instant replays from a third ZEPLAY unit that resides in a mobile production truck just outside the venue. This allows operators to work more angles into the replays and video packages across two large screens.

Furthermore, Mosaic Stadium this year transitioned to an all-HD control room, vastly improving video quality and enhancing the way that content is distributed and shared across the workflow.

“We’ve progressed to the point where this has become a very full-sized production show, and we are directing everything that happens in the bowl to the fans,” said Wright. “By going HD, we ensure that all of the content from the cameras through to the ZEPLAYS is produced, distributed and archived in pristine quality. This includes exporting files, and later using that content, from the third ZEPLAY outside the stadium after the truck drives away.”

Wright notes that speed and ease of use are two trademark ZEPLAY qualities that make a positive impact for each production. This includes its built-in multiviewer for monitoring multiple camera angles, and tagging options for building and playing back short clip packages during games. He adds that the team saved approximately 30 percent cost-wise at the outset compared to other replay systems considered, and minimizes training costs for new operators due to ZEPLAY’s quick learning curve.

However, Wright is most impressed with how ZEPLAY’s quickness has become integral to the stadium experience.

“We don’t have to be neutral the way a network broadcaster needs to be, so when we make a big play we can quickly show five replays that highlight a touchdown or interception from multiple angles,” he said. “ZEPLAY gives us the capacity to be very quick and nimble. Instant access to all playout angles allows us to be better than the broadcaster, and give our fans more of what they want. Replays are at the top of that list.”

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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Clearwing Productions Chooses Technomad for Phoenix Zoo Audio Improvements

Technomad loudspeakers enliven “water lagoon experience” for visitors while giving zoo long-term outdoor audio solution

BOSTON, October 16, 2013 – The systems design and integration experts at Clearwing Productions last year overhauled the Phoenix Zoo’s annual seasonal spectacular “ZooLights,” transforming a linear roadside display into an immersive, 360-degree audio and lighting experience that encircled the zoo’s central water lagoon. The advanced audio system from Technomad performed so well that zoo officials opted to use the system year round, delivering multi-zone background and event music to visitors across the lagoon area.

The Phoenix Zoo initially hired Clearwing Productions to increase the production value of the annual lighting show, though the two teams quickly determined that the audio system was underperforming ¬– not to mention falling apart.

“The Phoenix area is inundated with sun and UV rays, which is very tough on outdoor products,” said Nick Pitman, service and systems engineer, Clearwing Productions. “The previous speakers were dry rotted or full of water, and most had cracks from UV rays. They wanted something that would produce great audio and last more than a year. That’s when we looked at Technomad.”

Technomad delivered an advanced outdoor audio solution comprising 24 loudspeakers, 12 subwoofers and multiple wired power amplifiers, all fully weatherproof to protect against UV rays and other outdoor elements. The Clearwing design included 12 speaker poles surrounding the lagoon, each with two Paris weatherproof loudspeakers pointing in opposite directions from a height of 16 feet. One Technomad Chicago subwoofer and two PowerChiton amplifiers were added to the base of the pole.

The PowerChiton amplifier modules simplified the installation for the Clearwing team and ultimately reduced project costs for the Phoenix Zoo, eliminating lengthy complex underwater wiring jobs to connect traditional indoor amplifiers to outdoor loudspeakers.

“We knew that we wanted an outdoor amplifier that was simple in design but offered longevity,” said Pitman. “This solution gives us 120 volts and a speaker line output in a compact, outdoor-rated package. One PowerChiton feeds the Paris loudspeakers and another feeds the subwoofer on each pole. Most importantly, the PowerChiton design has no fans, eliminating any heat-related performance problems. They just keep working.”

The end-to-end distributed audio architecture includes Harman or BSS equipment to route, zone and delay signals for everyday use or special events as required. Network protocol signals are converted back to balanced audio en route to the PowerChitons. From there, the Paris loudspeakers deliver full-range musical reproduction with broad dispersion across the entire lagoon, with the Chicago subwoofers filling in the low end with additional bass output.

“The zoo had previously used rock speakers, and after the lighting upgrade they made it clear they wanted to add real audio,” said Pitman. “The Paris loudspeakers cover the area thoroughly, while the subs emphasize specific points in the music or dramatic show scenes without pushing the bass to nightclub levels. Everyone involved agrees that this was the most effective outdoor audio solution for the job.”

ABOUT TECHNOMAD
Technomad LLC, founded in 1995, designs and manufactures loudspeaker systems for the professional audio and security/military technology industries. The company invented the first reliable full-range weatherproof loudspeaker and now offers nine models ranging in power from 60-watt loudspeakers to 1250-watt subwoofers — most available in Turnkey PA System packages featuring amplifiers, mixers and other signal processing equipment in pre-wired racks. The company also manufactures a variety of audio infrastructure and communications equipment including playback and recording systems, weatherproof power amplifiers and turnkey remote audio systems. Contact Technomad at 617-275-8898 or visit www.technomad.com for more information.

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StreamGuys Powers In-Store Broadcasts for Custom Channels

Cloud-based streaming architecture supports custom music services with dynamic ad insertions for businesses

BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, October 15, 2013 — Internet music service Custom Channels is helping retail businesses like Whole Foods Market transform in-store environments with broadcast-quality audio programs, mixing music and dynamic advertising that deliver a branded, radio-like experience. The company is relying on robust, cloud-based streaming services from StreamGuys to support its customers.

Custom Channels brings a rare broadcast perspective to the growing business of in-store audio streaming. Its principal partners, including President/Co-Founder Dave Rahn, launched Custom Channels following years of experience working at and consulting for radio stations. Today, Rahn and his team leverage their professional production skills and broadcast programming knowledge to build custom in-store programs for retailers like Whole Foods Market, for which they support two-thirds of their stores.

The company recently switched to StreamGuys for content delivery support, recognizing its broadcast expertise as well as its shared spirit of customization to meet client needs.

“We have always used an outside CDN because the specialized technical knowledge required to maintain servers, bandwidth and overall infrastructure is frankly beyond our area of expertise,” said Rahn. “The difference with StreamGuys is that they are not forcing us into one business model for streaming services. They instead provide us with the streaming services that are right for our model, and deliver the ongoing recommendations, support and troubleshooting we need. That helps us keep costs low and leaves us to focus on program content and customer relationships — which is what we do best.”

Custom Channels takes program content beyond music by incorporating dynamic ad insertions in the form of “mid-rolls,” which Rahn cites as a particularly strong tool to trigger ads and promos for in-store streaming models. StreamGuys incorporates third-party ad insertion software into its streaming architecture, targeting broadcasters and IP-based music services that wish to incorporate promotional content in the form of pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls — and potentially generate new revenue streams.

“The ad insertion software in the StreamGuys architecture allows us to manage content at the server side as opposed to just pushing messages to individual players and boxes,” said Rahn. “For example, we work with a large chain of dental offices, Comfort Dental, with offices all over the country. The mid-roll insertions allow us to take a single Comfort Dental radio channel and insert specialized ads for each region, or even down to the local office level. The messages don’t have to live in the origin stream; instead, we create a place in the stream and insert them on a very targeted basis. It’s a very efficient model, and makes for good use of IP delivery.”

Rahn’s broadcast experience also means a focus on audio quality. Custom Channels currently delivers most audio content using the aacPlus codec at bitrates ranging from 64 to 96 kb/s, and uses other high-quality codecs like Ogg Vorbis for specialty services such as ReMix, which allows customers to create their own custom mixes. Rahn will explore Ogg Opus moving forward, the new versatile, open-source audio codec for low-latency, high-quality audio streaming. StreamGuys is the first CDN to announce support for Ogg Opus audio streaming.

“We’re dealing with businesses, and we try to keep as light of a footprint as possible since there are other demands on their bandwidth and technical infrastructures,” said Rahn. “StreamGuys allows us to use various high-quality, bandwidth-friendly formats so we are comparable to FM quality and usually higher than satellite quality — a sweet spot that our clients can easily handle on their networks.”

Rahn also points to several restaurant brands as Custom Channels clients, including the 200-plus Which Wich sandwich shop chain; and the fast casual Mod Pizza chain based in the Seattle region. Another interesting client is Floyd’s Barbershop, which operates more than 70 barbershops around the country. Custom Channels produces a true “retail radio” station in this case, with full-blown professional production, deejays and live requests.

“We focus on music-conscious brands that essentially want custom radio stations, and many of these clients also stream their channels on their websites,” said Rahn. “Ultimately, StreamGuys offers an ideal service for in-store delivery, whether it’s conventional streaming of a radio station or a business that wants something a little more unique.”

More information on Custom Channels can be found at http://www.customchannels.net.

About StreamGuys, Inc.
In business since 2000, StreamGuys is a provider of audio and video streaming toolsets and services. The company has a reputation for outstanding customer service, a robust and reliable network, and competitive rates. More than 600 clients worldwide, across many industries, depend on their mission-critical service. Projects include serving as the technology backbone for live streaming/podcasting for top public broadcasters such as New York Public Radio, WAMU Washington D.C., KQED San Francisco and WXPN Philadelphia; live video events for major auto racing circuits and the British Royal Wedding; audio streaming for government entities such as D.C. Court of Appeals, U.S. Army, and the National Science Foundation; mobile video content for Cisco Systems; and IPTV content for international broadcaster ABS-CBN.
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StreamGuys, Inc – info@streamguys.com – www.streamguys.com – 707.667.9479
P.O. Box 828 Arcata, California 95518 – fax 707.516.0009

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