A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by David Steinberg

Alcorn McBride Welcomes J.R. Solis To The Sales Team

Alcorn McBride is pleased to announce the hiring of Jesus Rodrigo (JR) Solis as International Sales Engineer. He joins the company in a new position, which has been created to meet the growing demand for staff at Alcorn McBride, the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail and transportation.

The new post of International Sales Engineer is designed to support and grow Alcorn McBride’s global business. Reporting to the Director of Sales, Solis is responsible for supporting the company’s international distributors and dealers in Latin America and Canada.

“JR has the high degree of technical knowledge required for this new position as well as experience working abroad – and fluency in Spanish and French – that will serve him well in this role,” says Scott Harkless. “He will be an integral part of our sales and support teams as Alcorn McBride continues to grow our international business.”

Solis most recently served simultaneously as Lead A/V Designer for Disney’s “Magic” cruise ship working with Walt Disney Imagineering/Creative Entertainment, Audio/Video Designer for the EPCOT Test Track Attraction Re-imagining, and Parkwide A/V Lead for EPCOT and Downtown Disney. He was also a Team A/V Designer for the Disney “Fantasy” new build project in Papenburg, Germany. Solis was also a Production Planner for ESPN “Wide World of Sports.” Solis also has completed professional training and certification programs in the US, Mexico and France, including Binloop and Show Control Programming with Alcorn McBride Inc.

“I got to know Alcorn McBride from working so closely with their products. I knew I wanted to be a part of their team.” says Solis. “I’m excited to be joining the company at a time of significant growth and want to help increase Alcorn McBride sales worldwide.”

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications.  Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market.  A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design.  The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide.  For more information, visit www.alcorn.com. 

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Clay Paky Hits the Road with Journey and the Steve Miller Band’s Summer Tour

Journey and the Steve Miller Band are in the midst of their 2014 summer tour, and Clay Paky Sharpys are along for the ride that will take them to 30 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

The tour unites two of the iconic groups that helped define The San Francisco Sound. In careers spanning 40 years, Journey has sold 80 million albums worldwide and the Steve Miller Band more than 30 million records.

Tour Tech East Ltd. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is providing lighting support for the tour supplying 34 Sharpys and 20 Sharpy Washes. Senior account executive Tracey Ploss has worked with Journey and the band’s lighting designer Kevin “Deuce” Christopher for eight years.

“Last year Deuce used a couple of Sharpys, but this year he specifically wanted Sharpy Washes for the tour so we added them to our inventory,” says Ploss. “We’ve made a significant investment in the Clay Paky fixtures.” Sharpys are very popular with Tour Tech customers for their output, size and low power consumption. Fixtures are currently out with Styx and Foreigner, and the Calgary Stampede deployed a large number for its famed rodeo.

Deuce, who has been lighting designer for Journey since 2004, says he “probably doubled” the number of Sharpys in his new tour rig. “There are 12 on the side trusses and four each per overhead truss for a total of 12 more. Plus one each on ten US Towers that top a wall of 20 Sharpy Washes,” he explains. “A video display, comprised of PRG/Nocturne V-28 and V-9 LED panels, is directly behind the band above the towers. It looks like there’s a wall of light with the video display resting on top.”

He says he “wanted to do something a bit different” in creating an interesting background for the band, “but the budget didn’t call for elaborate custom sets. So Tour Tech helped me deliver the desired effect without going custom.”

Tour Tech fulfilled Deuce’s idea of using black A-Type, 30×30-inch x 8-foot truss turned upright on casters. “At the bottom of each bay there is a wooden insert. Each Sharpy fixture is placed on the insert – all of the fixtures actually sit in the truss and none on top,” says Deuce. “Using the truss as set pieces housing the lights allows us to have a tidy pack in the truck, ease of placement and removal from stage, and convenient movement for set changes with our three-band bill.”

The Sharpy Washes enable him to “go from a very narrow beam for nice graphic geometry to a wide beam for a silhouette look on the band and wash out in the audience.” Their light output also had to be able to stand out against the video display.

The Steve Miller Band’s lighting designer, Andrew Richter of IOD Group in New York, has used Sharpys and Sharpy Washes “extensively” the last two years. “The pure power from such a fast and compact fixture makes it ideal for all but long-throw, wide-beam applications. I prefer the Washes in a mid-stage position for our non-shared rig due to their speed and depth of color rendering.”

The scenic design for the band calls for Richter to block off the Sharpy Washes on the rear lower truss with a fiber optic drop and a full stage drop designed by Stanley Meyers for “Jet Airliner” in which the Sharpys play a key role.

“The ‘Jet Airliner’ stage drop consists of a large central jet aircraft pointing upward with layers of smaller aircraft in a Japanese rising sun homage,” Richter explains. “I really wanted to create a sense of the jet in motion. My long-time colleague/programmer Scott McCowan and I worked on several different intensity chases and color bumps to a less than desirable effect. Ultimately, we thought of the old anime/manga ‘speed racer,’ where the primary subject is stationary and the windows show movement quickly zipping by.”

They achieved a similar effect by deploying Sharpys from a side position so they “graze the drop with the imagery of lines of clouds zipping downward past the static aircraft wings and fuselage creating movement,” he says. “It’s the perfect synergy of the right light and brilliant programming to create the vision I wanted without video, without animation wheels but using purely the speed and position recall accuracy that only a Sharpy can deliver.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Deuce over his last few Journey tours – he’s always thinking of new ways to bring their performance to life for the audience. I knew the Sharpy Wash would be a nice addition for them and I was very excited that he liked it so much. Tracey and the Tour Tech East team are also great to work with, so the entire project has been a pleasure for A.C.T,” commented A.C.T Vice President, Automated Lighting, George Masek.

For Journey, Kevin Cassidy is the crew chief, Rob Kern production manager, Armando Figueroa in charge of power distribution and control, Oscar Carnales lighting tech, and Cole MacDonald FOH systems tech. Scott McCowan programmed the Steve Miller Band show.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “This is a very ambitious and impressive tour and both designers are doing a great job at deploying our fixtures to their fullest.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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Technomedia select Lightware Matrix and Fiber Extenders for 3D “Grand Hall Experience”, Projection Mapping at Union Station, St. Louis

Historic Union Station in St. Louis has reopened after an extensive $66.3 million renovation to its lobby where Technomedia, a Mood Media Company created the largest permanent 3D projection mapping attraction in the United States on the 65-foot high barrel-vault ceiling and walls transforming the space every evening for hotel and local guests and visitors. Technomedia chose Lightware DVI-OPT-TX110 and RX110 transmitters/receivers to extend the multi-4K 120 frame video signal to 14 projectors displaying the dazzling custom content. Lightware USA is the US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

“It was logical for me to choose Lightware,” says Andrew Atienza, Technomedia Projection Specialist. “It’s a reliable and cost-effective solution that works well when you’re dealing with the concerns of a historic space. We have limited rack space in the machine room on the third floor balcony. The TX110s are the size of a DVI connector so no additional rack space and no additional wiring was needed for them.”

Union Station was the world’s largest and busiest train station when it opened in 1894. Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) purchased the station in 2012 with the goal of restoring the property and driving business to the station’s new hotel, dining and shopping options while maintaining the Grand Hall’s historic character.

The Grand Hall has been refurbished with stylish lounge and bar seating and a stunning ultra high definition 3D projection mapping show, which plays every evening on the hour between 5 and 10 pm. Since its debut on May 9, National Train Day, The Grand Hall Experience has increased attendance to the Grand Hall by over 125 percent. It has exceeded all expectations and quickly become one of the most popular attractions in St. Louis.

Technomedia, conceived and developed The Grand Hall Experience for LHM. The experience consists of a variety of shows that showcase creative design and innovative storytelling. The show take viewers on an amazing journey from the blue depths of the sea where a whale, sea turtles and sharks float weightlessly to the heights of world’s great ceilings where the magnificent artistry of Rome’s Sistine Chapel and Paris’s star-studded Sainte-Chapelle soar overhead. In other shows, the detailed filigree of the historic building come life with 3D detail that transforms into complete immersive visuals like psychedelic flowers bloom. Clockwork gears turn and lighted train cars race down a tunnel, the building itself moves and shifts uncovering the incredible surprised behind the walls. St. Louis-born celebrities John Goodman, Bob Costas and John Hamm contribute to the narration.

Technomedia is no stranger to 3D projection mapped shows. The company used Lightware for video distribution for the Cuartel de Ballaja in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Atienza also selected Lightware matrices for “Iris” at LA’s Dolby Theater.

He notes that the equipment and content are running maintenance-free. “It’s been completely hands off,” he says. “It’s wonderful not having to worry about anything. The Lightware units required very little set up and have been rock solid reliable.”

Since The Grand Hall Experience is expected to be a permanent attraction at Union Station the aim is to create new content on a regular basis. “The Christmas show is already in development,” says Atienza. “We can also loop custom content seamlessly for special events held in the lobby.”

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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Electrosonic Welcomes Josh Cottrell as System Consultant for the Entertainment Market

Electrosonic is pleased to announce that Josh Cottrell has joined the company as a System Consultant for Sales. He is based in the company’s Burbank office and will focus on Electrosonic’s Entertainment business that includes themed environments and attractions.

Josh Cottrell has worked at the highest levels of the entertainment industry for more than 16 years, and his credits include numerous award-winning productions. For 10 years, he served as Show Systems Manager, then subsequently as Project Manager/Show Systems Manager, at BRC Imagination Arts in Burbank where his projects spanned the globe. Among them were the Story Garden by AMOREPACIFIC; the USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010; “Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted” and the “Shuttle Launch Experience” at the Kennedy Space Center; The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam; and the Empire State Building’s “Dare to Dream” exhibit.

“Over the years Josh has done multiple projects with us as an Electrosonic client,” says Bryan Hinckley, Electrosonic’s Business Development Manager. “Having come on board from the client side, he has a unique perspective on the way we work and the services we provide. Josh has had such good experiences with Electrosonic that he ultimately wanted to join our team!”

“I am delighted to be part of a group that is respected throughout the industry and has completed countless world class projects,” says Cottrell. “I’m looking forward to adapting my skills to the Electrosonic side of the business and moving ahead with exciting new projects.”

Cottrell began his career in the entertainment industry as a technician at one of Southern California’s legendary theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm. From there he expanded his talents to include special effects, audio, video and control systems, rigging, pyrotechnics, scenery, lighting, staging of live spectaculars and stunt shows, theme park design and planning, 3D and animated media, technical direction and project management.

For three years, he was a Producer, Project Manager and Technical Director at Landmark Entertainment in North Hollywood. Among his credits there were “Hershey’s Really Big 3D Show” in Hershey, Pennsylvania; “The Secrets of Castle O’Sullivan” at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia; and “The Mask” at Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid theme park.

For 12 years, Cottrell also headed his own company, Precision Effects, in Sherman Oaks, California, which provided project management, special effects, show action, scenery, technical direction and production fabrication for a wide range of customers, including the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California; Magic Mountain’s “Batman Stunt Show;” and Tomb Raider’s “Jewels of the Serpent” at Paramount Parks.

Cottrell’s extensive experience has covered creative, technical, and management efforts from concept to production to the field. He has a proven ability to realize the creative intent, provide solid technology solutions and create seamless show and facility integration within a project’s resources.

“Josh is incredibly well respected in the industry, and his contacts and connections are second to none. We’re very proud to welcome him to the Electrosonic team,” Hinckley says.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

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

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WorldStage Launches The LAB in San Francisco

WorldStage is opening The LAB in San Francisco as an extension of its core business focusing on emerging media server and interactive technologies for live events and happenings. The LAB enhances the bicoastal presence of WorldStage, which has offices in New York City, Orange County and Nashville, and gives the company its first office in northern California.

WorldStage President Josh Weisberg explained, “The LAB allows us to get a little more creative in our technical approach for clients with customized hardware, software and control solutions. We’ll be taking advantage of the latest and greatest media server and interactive technologies as well as projection mapping, tracking and creative LED installations. Clients can see and experience the technologies we offer: The WorldStage LAB will have on site examples of different media servers, video projection, pre-visualizations systems, and software programming for them to explore.”

Jane Ewert will head up The LAB as director of business development. Tech guru Josh Silverman has joined the start up as the Director of Technology. They will be collaborating and partnering with creatives, designers and producers in the Bay Area to offer innovative new approaches to corporate events, theater, trade shows and marketing installations.

According to Silverman, “The WorldStage LAB is a unique space where we merge the arts of programming and live event production. We will create one-of-a-kind designs with custom applications and emerging technologies to transform live and interactive shows for clients worldwide.”

Ewert comes to the WorldStage LAB with a 20-year background as a producer and account executive for live events, digital media and broadcasting in the Bay Area. She has managed and driven sales for a number Bay Area creative agencies, overseeing live events and presentations for Apple, Sun, Cisco, Intel, Hitachi, and Yahoo. Prior to her career in business development, Ewert was an executive producer with the Washington Post Interactive division and a news journalist in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Michigan.

“As a producer and account executive in the Bay Area I hired WorldStage exclusively for our live events,” she says. “WorldStage pushed the limits with their technical creative engineering expertise, and I knew the process would be seamless with no mistakes. I couldn’t be more pleased to help build WorldStage’s presence here.”

Josh Silverman brings ten years of design, audio/video integration and software development experience to an industry increasingly focused on combining these disparate fields to create innovative systems and experiences. He has been the principal of Pretty Extreme, Inc. since 2007. The New York City-based company creates exciting interactive experiences and develops custom software for brands and individuals. He was also the principal of Three Byte Intermedia, Inc. from 2007-2010. Prior to that he was a senior software engineer with Show and Tell Productions, a commissioning engineer with Electrosonic and a systems programmer with Scharff Weisberg, the company that merged with Video Applications Inc. to form WorldStage.

His work has included projects for Sprint, HP, Sony, Oracle, ABC, Singapore’s Visionarium, Prada Epicenter Stores in Beverly Hills and Tokyo, and the Jazz Hall of Fame at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The WorldStage LAB will introduce itself to the Bay Area with a series of open house events as well as in-depth, one-on-one sessions. On Wednesday September 24 and Thursday September 25 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, the WorldStage LAB will welcome clients and collaborators to meet the principals, see the facility and enjoy some refreshments. Private walk-throughs can also be scheduled any time during the week of September 22. Those interested in either of the open houses or a private walk-through should contact clientservices@worldstage.com

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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Clay Paky B-EYEs Shine at Lollapalooza 2014 Music Festival

Lollapalooza 2014 returned to Grant Park, Chicago this time with Clay Paky’s A.leda B-EYE K20 innovative, LED-based moving lights helping the annual music festival to shine.

Lollapalooza was held July 31- August 2 and headlined by Eminem, Outkast and Lorde with hundreds of other performers and bands on hand for the three-day celebration of alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop.

Lighting designer/lighting coordinator Seth Jackson did plots for Lollapalooza’s four stages working with the lighting designers who accompany the bands. “It’s a three-month process going back and forth with the bands,” he explains. “This year we had 10 B-EYEs on two of the stages, supplied by LD Systems, on the Lake Shore and Grove stages.”

Lollapalooza marked Jackson’s first time using B-EYEs. “I had seen a demo of the fixtures and was really excited about them,” he says. “Most of the bands’ lighting designers hadn’t seen them before either. But it’s been great fun to see how every designer has used them, and they all love them.”

Jackson mounted all the B-EYEs on the upstage truss with a lot of smaller fixtures in between. “The idea of those two stages was to look big but not be big,” he says. “I had the B-EYEs upstage looking down on a pyramid creating this monster wall of color and movement in the back. They powered over all the other fixtures in front of them.”

The B-EYEs also stood out from a distance. “If you were on stage at the other end of the field you could see them even before it got dark,” he reports. “It was really nice to see them cut through at that distance.”

Jackson says the fixtures not only “looked great” but “performed beautifully. There were no issues at all with the mechanics, and LD Systems was pleased by the simplicity of getting the fixtures in and out. Everybody at the festival was very happy with the B-EYEs.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “We’re glad to see Mr. Jackson working with our B-EYEs and look forward to seeing what else he may do with them.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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Three Bye Intermedia Delivers Custom Control Software for New Interactive Tuning Chamber in Clear Channel Lobby

Three Byte Intermedia, Inc., a custom software studio focusing on interactive AV solutions, collaborated with AV consultants Controlled Entropy and designer Beneville Studios to create a unique Tuning Chamber in the New York City lobby of mass media giant Clear Channel. The corridor leads visitors from the elevator through a fog screen with video display and down a hallway lined with interactive LED lights and the sound of live streamed radio programming triggered by the visitors’ movements.

“Clear Channel was renovating three floors in their New York offices and had been inspired by an interactive museum installation they saw to redo their lobby,” says Olaaf Rossi, Three Byte’s project manager. “Since they’re a media company best known for their radio stations, the idea was to have visitors become a human tuning dial controlling Clear Channel radio programming as they approached the reception desk.”

Three Byte was tasked with writing custom control software to orchestrate every element of the interactive experience: the microwave sensors which pick up new arrivals coming out of the elevators, DMX control of the fog screen welcome video featuring Clear Channel radio DJs, 2,000-channels of DMX control for the red-and-white LEDs dot-patterned in the walls, and the play out of live streamed radio shows on a dozen Clear Channel stations mixed with radio static effects. If a visitor hears a song or DJ they like they can pause and listen before their progress down the hallway triggers radio static and changes the station.

Three Byte’s custom software is a C# app with a backing SQL database. By running control for all of the Tuning Chamber’s elements out of one custom application Three Byte eliminated the need for racks of AV equipment dedicated to the fog screen and its video display, the LED lighting and the live streamed audio mixed with radio static effects.

The control solution is also a “set it and forget it” app that is easily operated by Clear Channel personnel. “They have web-based control of the elements and can do basic overrides,” says Rossi. “We maintain remote access to the system to check on things or troubleshoot any problems.”

Before the Tuning Chamber was installed a full-scale mock up was built at Beneville Studios to simulate the space and allow the participants to make their hardware and software decisions.

“Creating the mock up was extremely important,” notes Rossi. “Being able to come together with the design team and the client and walk through the experience making changes to the interactivity when necessary was essential to getting the installation off to a fast start. When the Tuning Chamber was installed it was up and running immediately so Clear Channel could impress clients right away.”

Rossi says visitors to Clear Channel love the one-of-a-kind interactive experience that awaits them as soon as they step off the elevator. “Musicians, in particular, are having a lot of fun with it,” he reports. “They’re doing moon walks and dancing back and forth through the space to get the most from the live streamed audio.”

Kevin Centanni was the AV consultant at Controlled Entropy and Michael Beneville the designer from Beneville Studios.

About Three Bye Intermedia

Three Byte Intermedia (www.3-byte.com) specializes in the design and implementation of innovative AV solutions for challenging projects of all sizes. It offers custom software development, show control systems design and development, architectural design support, AV systems design and integration, and systems engineering. For more information, visit http://3-byte.com/.

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Clay Paky Sharpys Light Up Drake vs. Lil Wayne Tour of Dueling Rappers

Photo: Todd Kaplan

Grammy-winning rappers Drake and Lil Wayne may be duking it out onstage this summer but behind the scenes it was no contest choosing Clay Paky Sharpys for their tour’s lighting rig.

Lighting designer/show design Guy Pavelo, of GP Design, is using 180 Sharpys provided by PRG for the Drake vs. Lil Wayne Tour, which kicked off at the beginning of August and runs through September. The show is also known as the Shed Tour for playing amphitheaters in 31 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning rappers co-headline the tour performing dueling 10-minute sets, trading barbs and encouraging fans to use a special downloadable app to vote for one or the other of them. Drake and Lil Wayne ultimately make peace and perform together before the result of the poll is announced.

“We’re taking an arena-size rig and putting it in small outdoor venues pushing everything to the limit,” says Pavelo, who was lighting designer for Drake’s world tour. He has also lit Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Rihanna, Beck and Pharrell Williams. “A lot of the venues are literally wall-to-wall with trussing and lights.”

All 180 Sharpys are up in the air on two main sticks. “They are my gag trusses – and Sharpys in that quantity are crazy,” he says. “We can change the angles of the trusses, but we always see the Sharpys on the high line. They make really good visuals.”

Pavelo believes that Sharpys “help define the look of the show,” and he uses them on every show he builds. “They are definitely a staple for me these days,” he admits. “I’m always looking for new ways to do a different trick with them. I don’t have to use them for every single number, but Sharpys really help to highlight, make a statement and bring variety to a show.”

Pavelo notes that the tour is getting good reviews for its unique approach to showcasing the co-headliners. “Drake and everyone involved loves the show,” he says. “And I’m really happy with the Sharpys. The fact that we had to build the rig from stock-size elements and take it to all these places coast to coast is great.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The Sharpy lights look amazing in those venues on that rig. We’re proud that Mr. Pavelo has chosen to use them on his tours.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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WorldStage Supports Colombia Proexport Event at Metropolitan Pavilion

Proexport recently promoted the nation of Colombia brand to businesses in the US with a day-long series of events at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York where WorldStage provided extensive audio, video and lighting support, including an unusual multi-projector array to accommodate the unique requirements of the Gallery’s reception visual display.

A government agency and part of the executive branch of the government of Colombia, Proexport is in charge of promoting Colombian exports, international tourism and foreign investment. The event featured panel discussions in the Metropolitan Suite, a Business Matchmaking Session and a closing cocktail reception, focusing on the campaign, “Colombian IT” in the Gallery.

WorldStage was approached by Sístole, a non-traditional marketing and advertising agency, based in Colombia, to handle all the technical elements for the event. “Our client had ambitious plans for the space, taking it well beyond the typical seminar and reception look, which is always a challenge we look forward to.” says WorldStage project manager Frank Mejia.

For the space called The Gallery, a beautiful space with white epoxy floors and custom lighting, Sonic Design from Bogota Colombia was called to designed an immersive lighting and video display system with several unique features aimed to overcome the challenges of limited ceiling height and exposed ductwork.

“We worked with Tim McDevitt from Kairos Productions to construct a scenic flat, measuring 52 feet wide and 6 feet 8 inches tall, to serve as a projection surface,” says Mejia. “WorldStage account executive John Panama, co-project manager Michael Cruz and I dialogued with Sonic Design and Sistole and decided the best course of action would be to utilize Panasonic’s ET-DLE030 Ultra Short Throw Lens in combination with Panasonic PT-DZ870ULK 8500-lumen projectors. WorldStage is one of the few companies that have invested in this expensive lens with the built-in mirror, but we were able to project a 12′ wide image from just 4′ away from the screen, maximizing space for guests to enjoy the reception. We used multiple projectors in an edge-blend configuration to cover the entire 52′ of image width.”

WorldStage also installed four Sharp 90-inch LCD monitors on truss; the client provided a Pandora’s Box media server and its programmer. A Lightware MX32 DVI digital matrix router frame handled signal routing.

WorldStage supplemented the Gallery’s ColorBlast TR fixtures with 36 Astera AL7 wireless floor spots, 72 Elation EPAR QA LED PARs and 10 Source 4 ellipsoidals controlled by a grandMA2 light.

Audio needs were met with a Yamaha QL5 mixer, 12 Meyer compact loudspeakers and 4 Meyer subwoofers.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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Lightware Matrix Router Gets Kudos for Performance at Sochi Winter Olympics

Well before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia the Main Operations Center was installed inside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) building to run the day-to-day operations of various elements of the Olympic Village and venues, including transportation systems. Russia-based Live Sound Ltd. and its head of broadcast technologies, Andrei Mazurov, designed and installed central switching for the Center’s large videowall using a Lightware 65×65 MX-FR65R multifunctional matrix router. The company’s California-based arm, BBRS, Inc. handled procurement and part of the design work, including vendor communication. Lightware USA is the US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

The Main Operations Center was a powerful complex consisting of dozens of computers, monitors, a large multiscreen videowall, numerous management systems and many kilometers of wire. The big videowall, which displayed one continuous image or multiple views, showed operations personnel feeds of the sports competitions and the press room where Russian President Vladimir Putin, IOC members, heads of state and other VIPs held press conferences.

Lightware scored points for many of its features, which met the demanding applications of the Main Operations Center. “The most important requirements for all internal systems were superior reliability and intuitive, easy management despite the complexity of the systems. Operators did not have time to study all the details of the systems,” Mazurov recalls. “Based on these parameters the best solution for switching the videowall was the Lightware 65x matrix router.”

He notes that the modular design of the matrix allowed the technical team to configure the system to meet the objectives of the application. “The router offers more than 30 different modular I/O cards, which allowed us to interconnect many devices with different interfaces,” Mazurov explains. “The high quality of the both the main unit and each module, as well as the dual hot-swappable power supplies, raised the reliability of the device to the highest level.”

The router’s simplicity and ease of use meant “there were no problems even for users unfamiliar with the system and without prior experience with Lightware,” he adds.

Also scoring points for ease of use was High Resolution Systems’ UDC Raptor, which controlled the Lightware matrix. Raptor is a Linux-embedded server that significantly lowers costs to users compared to full-blown Windows servers; it supports the same user-friendly interfaces as popular UDC (Universal Device Control) software.

Mazurov says that the IOC “praised the work of all the organizational services working during the games and chief among them was the great job performed by the Main Operations Center where the multifunctional and extremely reliable Lightware matrix router was at the heart of the system.”

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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