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Archive by David Steinberg

Electrosonic Supports Integrated Environmental Media System in New Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX

Photo: Moment Factory

The new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) offers passengers a unique travel experience with its Integrated Environmental Media System (IEMS), a series of seven digital media features integrated into the interior architecture that provides entertainment and information to passengers. Electrosonic was tasked by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) with the detailed engineering and system integration of the IEMS components, and the build out of the IEMS control room that keeps everything humming around the clock.

Electrosonic was also responsible for the integration and installation of the complex digital playback system that supports the multi-channel synchronization necessary for display on the media features. Electrosonic was involved with the mammoth project for close to two years, providing the client with specialized management expertise throughout.

“This is one of the largest international terminals in the U.S., and its first priority is as an airport, a hub to the rest of the world,” says Electrosonic account executive Bryan Hinckley. “Our experience coordinating with different trades and vendors, and our expertise in integrating complex systems and new playback technology, helped make the IEMS system a success.”

Electrosonic project manager Janne Hammel notes, “Because of the type and scale of work Electrosonic does for multiple industries around the world, we were uniquely qualified to act as conduit between LAWA and the design and content producers, serving as a translator and helping to facilitate communications and manage expectations on all sides. It was extremely challenging and incredibly rewarding.”

The IEMS media features are located in the 150,000-square-foot Antonio Villaraigosa Pavilion (Great Hall) beyond TSA screening and consist of the Welcome Wall, the Bon Voyage Wall, the four-sided Time Tower, the Destination Board and Story Board and two portals that usher travelers to their departure gates. Integrated into the terminal’s architecture, they are more than digital signage or multimedia eye candy. Each media feature serves a specific purpose for the passengers, offers sponsorship opportunities for marketers, and dazzles with its ability to merge the latest technology with soaring architectural elements.

“All of the media features were custom designed to support individual creative visions,” says Hammel. “The ability to roll out large-scale custom projects is all about attention to detail and time management. It takes a certain amount of imagination to go from design to fabrication to hardware integration, where the smallest thing can have a big impact as the project evolves. That’s our business.”

What set the job apart from other large projects was that it was essentially “a series of big multimedia features included in a large public works venue,” she explains. “We had to balance how to integrate the systems into airport operations and security. We spent a lot of time working with the airport IT representative to deliver a system that maintains absolute security.”

The Welcome Wall, which displays joyful scenes of greeting for arriving international passengers, is a high-resolution 6mm LED Daktronics wall measuring approximately 26 by 84 feet, divided into two screens and surrounded by a decorative glass frame. The adjacent Bon Voyage Wall, with content inspired by photographer Philippe Halsman’s Jumpology photographs, is a similar configuration with dimensions of 13 by 23 feet.

The Destination Board is a different take on flight departure information. The 80-foot wide screen displays flight details from LAX’s Flight Information Display System database. The high-resolution 6mm LED screen is partitioned into a central flight info display flanked by informational side panels and framed by a low-resolution crown of LEDs. Content on the side panels is linked in real time to destination flights displayed on the board to provide travelers with fun facts, weather briefs and images of destination cities, while a graceful arched crest features international flag graphics or subtle arrays of colors.

The four-sided Time Tower is built around the Villaraigosa Pavilion’s elevator tower and is designed to not only tell time, but also explore time as part of the travel experience. It is 72 feet high with a base of diffused glass panels and an interior layer of 10mm LEDs. Sensors sensitive to passenger gestures create constantly changing patterns in the content generated through customized programming and the capabilities of the system. The upper surface features high-resolution 6mm LEDs and integrates a functional clock face with entertaining content incorporating a time theme.

“The display is very large and has a number of video content sources which have to synchronize seamlessly on the four sides of the tower,” Hinckley says. “Electrosonic and Smart Monkeys spent a lot of time with the content creators and Daktronics on pixel-for-pixel consistency from media creation through playback, processing and display. There’s no video scaling involved.”

Electrosonic also coordinated with the LAX audio system, which uses very complex zoning, and delivers safety and emergency messages to ensure proper audio playback for the Time Tower clock strike at the top of every hour.

Along the west side of the Villaraigosa Pavilion, poised above retail shops, is the 120-foot-long Story Board feature. Its high-resolution 6mm LED tiles form five display walls of varying size and shape across a structural frame. Once again, Electrosonic worked closely with all the vendors to achieve pixel-for-pixel consistency in a huge palette of pixels comprising custom content that tells ambient narratives about travel.

As passengers move from the Villaraigosa Pavilion toward either the north or south concourse, a series of ten 28-foot-tall columns form a visual portal to their destination. Each column, consisting of six vertically stacked 55-inch Planar LCD monitors, displays content themed around the art traditions of various destination cities. Speakers and motion sensors are embedded in the base units of each portal to enhance the experience.

“It was an integration challenge to make sure the sensor and playback gear could co-exist in the limited space within the portals,” Hinckley points out.

Electrosonic also designed the layout and installed the Main Equipment Room (MER), which is comprised of a control and rack room. Miles of optical fiber from all over the terminal feed into the MER, where over a 1,000 individual connections provide the capability to display and control the content displayed on each feature. Cameras in the terminal that show the content-display status of each feature allows a single operator to monitor all features simultaneously. Additionally, a 65-inch display was installed in the control room where new media content from prospective partners can be reviewed prior to public display.

“We have people on site for 24/7 operation and maintenance of the system,” Hinckley notes. “Since this is a working international airport, the only time we have access to the field equipment is between 2 and 6 am, so we not only need a quick response team on site to remedy any potential problems, but we also need to staff the graveyard shift to make any necessary repairs.”

Janne Hammel believes that once travelers experience the new terminal and its standout media features, they’ll have a greater appreciation for the work of all the vendors involved. “You can talk about physical dimensions and number of pixels, but until you’re standing in that space experiencing the media and how it integrates with the terminal’s passenger activity and flow, you don’t realize how it exceeds your expectations.

“L.A. is a world destination and that’s reflected in the content of the media features and their integration into the physical structure of the new international terminal,” she says.

Electrosonic is proud to be a part of the LAX Integrated Environmental Media Systems (IEMS) Team, which includes: MRA International, IEMS Project Director; Marcela Sardi of Sardi Design, designer of the media features and Creative Director; Smart Monkeys Inc., System Designer and technical consultant for the content delivery system; Daktronics, display supplier; Moment Factory, Executive Content Producer; and Digital Kitchen, Supportive Content Producer.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic 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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Clay Paky Sharpys and grandMA2 Consoles are Winners at “Miss America 2014” Pageant

The Miss America pageant returned to its Atlantic City origins this year and lighting designer Allen Branton was charged with lighting the cavernous Boardwalk Hall and making sure 53 beautiful women looked their best whenever the TV camera turned their way. He was aided by Clay Paky Sharpy and Sharpy Wash fixtures and grandMA2 lighting consoles from Atomic Lighting in Lititz, Pennsylvania. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for both Clay Paky and MA Lighting.

Branton marked his sixth consecutive year lighting the pageant, which was televised on ABC-TV. After spending a number of years in Las Vegas the show moved back to Atlantic City where “the venue, audience and scenery doubled in size,” he reports. “Given the size of the hall and way the show was set in the room, every single element of production had to be rigged from overhead – and there’s no permanent rigging infrastructure. So there were 240 individual rigging points for lighting, sound, video, scenery, cable management, cameras. Atomic provided and managed all that, which we hadn’t needed in Vegas; their attention to detail is second to none.”

Branton mounted 24 Sharpys on truss for “Miss America 2014.” “Sharpys are a dramatic little effects light for music and variety programming, particularly for their size and cost,” he says. “They’re a wonderfully fun and dynamic tool. In beam arrays they add spice and energy to the Sharpy Washes.”

He also employed two dozen Sharpy Washes as utility and backlights positioned on truss in the gaps formed by the finger-like arches that created a ceiling over the stage. “Having a light with that much output in that small a physical package came in handy,” he says. “The Sharpy washes provided a nice delicate array of light for 53 women who needed a hairlight from the overhead zone. I’m glad we had them.”

Programmers Felix Peralta, Kevin Lawson and Laura Frank utilized a full-size grandMA2 and a pair of grandMA2 Lights with fader wings. Peralta was responsible for programming the scenic and effects lighting for the show, Lawson the key contestant and audience lighting, and Frank the media. “We carved up the show into three different aspects of lighting design, but all the consoles were networked so the programmers could work independently or collaboratively,” Branton explains.

Kevin Lawson praises grandMA2′s “fantastic multi-user capacity,” something he and Peralta took advantage of, and the system’s expandability. “We can keep adding universes and not hit a ceiling,” he says. “And grandMA2 doesn’t slow down based on the number of fixtures and parameters you use.”

Branton says his projects “never use anything but grandMA2 consoles anymore. Its architecture is user friendly, and there’s so much data to be managed these days.”

Branton notes that while “the faces of the 53 women competing change” over time, the Miss America pageant is remarkably consistent in its format and goal. “People tune in expecting to see these women in (quite literally) their best light; we never know which ones will be in close up. So we have to make their close-up photography really consistent woman to woman, act to act, show to show, year to year,” he says.

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Electrosonic Provides Audio-Visual Systems Expertise for Thea Award-Winning Projects

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has announced the winners of the prestigious 20th annual Thea Awards, honoring creative excellence in theme parks, museums and other attractions, and once again Electrosonic has taken part in several of the winning projects. This year Electrosonic played key roles in Outstanding Achievement awards for the Polynesian Cultural Center Revitalization in Oahu, Hawaii, and the Mystic Manor trackless ride at Hong Kong Disneyland.

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) netted honors in the Attraction Revitalization category and was cited by TEA for “very successfully bringing the 50-year old facility and guest experience into the 21st century.” The theater hosts the new production “Hawaiian Journey,” which takes guests on a breathtaking flight through the islands as they look at the time of the first Hawaiians.

Early in the design phase of the project, Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team worked with Michael Lee Design, LLC to develop a modern digital solution to replace the aging IMAX film system and antiquated audio system in the existing facility. During the production phase, Electrosonic installed a new AV system in the reimagined theater, including a Christie 4K projector, 7thSense 4K media server and Strong/MDI 40×74-foot projection screen, plus a new 7.1 surround sound system and Medialon Show Manager. Electrosonic also designed and installed alternative content interfaces that enable the theater to serve as a true multi-purpose facility. Electrosonic’s upgrades not only reduced operating costs but also significantly enhanced the guest experience.

Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland won TEA’s top honors in the Attraction category for the ride creators’ ability to never lose “their rigorous focus on the beautifully told story” while achieving “technical breakthroughs.”

Working with the US-based Disney team, Electrosonic provided audio-visual fabrication services in the US for Mystic Manor, a trackless ride-through attraction that combines extensive and ingenious projection mapping, audio-animatronics and other one-of-a-kind special effects to tell the tale of a mischievous monkey and a magical music box whose ribbon of mystical energy brings a host of artifacts to life. The highly immersive adventure is full of surprises and theatrical wonders that deliver “state-of-the-art storytelling.”

The Thea Awards are considered one of the attraction industry’s greatest honors. The awards gala, slated for April 5, 2014, in Anaheim, California, will mark two decades since Thea honors were first presented.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic 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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Themed Entertainment Association awards prestigious Thea Award to Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) for their Revolution™ Tru-Trackless™ ride system

The Themed Entertainment Association (T.E.A., teaconnect.org) awarded its prestigious Thea Award to Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) for their Revolution(tm) Tru-Trackless(tm) ride system, recognizing the development and introduction of this amazing new technological leap in theme park ride systems.
The announcement was made at the IAAPA EXPO in Orlando, the largest theme park attractions and amusement trade show in the world.

Using a blend of several cutting-edge technologies and multiple patent-pending innovations, Tru-Trackless(tm) ride vehicles are able to move through a show space in any direction, stop and turn at will, while providing a full motion-base experience to the audience. Vehicles are able to follow multiple independent ride paths, perform multiple motion profiles, and enter and leave from the load and unload stations in first-available order, not the traditional “follow-the-leader” style.

“Helping Storytellers Move Your Audience is our mantra”, according to Bill Bunting, Manager of Business Development at OES. “We subscribe fervently to Arthur Clark’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Too often in our industry, the technology overpowers the experience. It bleeds into the show to the distraction of the story. We think the story should dominate, and the technology should be used only to support the storytelling. It should disappear into the magic created by the experience. We think there are only two prime goals on each project: 1) support the story through the guest experience, and 2) make it reliable and safe. It really all boils down to that.”

Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) contributes to the cutting-edge development of theme park technologies, including dark ride vehicles and show systems, and an array of other custom solutions. “Being a part of a large global organization with roots in deep-water, robotics, mechanical systems, space exploration, and naval technology development gives us access to talent, knowledge and expertise that others in our industry simply can’t match,” says Dave Mauck, VP of Oceaneering Entertainment Systems. “We can leverage our vast resource pool around the world, tap into expertise and innovative engineering that sometimes amazes even us”.

And a look at the Oceaneering website (www.oceaneering.com) highlights those comments. With offices in 22 countries, and over 10,000 employees worldwide, Oceaneering has a reach into all corners of the world, and a rich legacy of technology and innovation dating back to its founding in 1964.

This Thea Award win marks the 12th for OES, and follows up its dual 2012 wins for the ride systems for both Transformers: The Ride-3D at Universal Studios Hollywood, and Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle at Universal Studios Singapore.

The Revolution(tm) ride vehicle can be seen in action on the IAAPA trade show floor at OES’ booth #1054 during this week’s IAAPA EXPO 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center.
For more information, visit oceaneering.com/oes.

###

If you would like more information on this topic, or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Matt Kent at 407.484.6600, or email Matt at mkent@oceaneering.com

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Oceaneering Showcases REVOLUTION™ Tru-Trackless™ Ride System at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 Featuring Alcorn McBride Products

Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) is using Alcorn McBride’s RideTraXX synchronized multi-channel audio player with crossfade, VCore controller and ShowTouch iOS control interface to demo its groundbreaking REVOLUTION Tru-Trackless ride system at IAAPA’s Attractions Expo 2013. IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, will be at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, November 18-22.

OES is known for its cutting-edge development of theme park technologies, including dark ride vehicles, show-action systems and an array of custom solutions. The company’s latest revolutionary innovation is a ride system like none other. REVOLUTION is a “Tru-Trackless” system in which ride vehicles are able to glide around a show space in any direction, stop and turn at will, and provide a full motion base experience for the audience. Vehicles can follow multiple ride paths, have multiple motion profiles, and dispatch from load and unload stations in first available order.

“We chose Alcorn McBride’s RideTraXX as the 5.1 audio playback unit for the REVOLUTION system,” says Matthew Kent, head of creative services at OES. “At IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 we’re also using VCore to trigger some show control specifics. We want to be able to walk up to the vehicle at the show and turn it on or off and access specific elements of the demonstration profile. REVOLUTION is designed to be put into an attraction on a continuous cycle of show control. VCore allows us to create a single motion profile for trade show demonstrations purposes with a Touch iOS interface that Alcorn is providing as well.”

During the demo Kent says OES will deploy RideTraXX for “off-board audio so that it can be heard throughout the booth rather than from within the ride, since we won’t have people in the vehicle, however it will be operational and controllable via the touchscreen.”

OES turned to Alcorn McBride for the REVOLUTION demo as a tried-and-true solutions provider. “Alcorn was already the provider of the audio system we chose for this product for all of our customers,” says Kent. “RideTraXX is versatile and offers all the inputs and outputs that we require, and it’s very easy to maintain and use. The Compact Flash card interface makes it simple to change show audio media on the fly.”

The REVOLUTION vehicle system may be used not only for passenger ride systems but also for other entertainment applications, such as moveable scenic, animation or show-action platforms.

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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WorldStage and AV&C Set “Stylescape” in Motion at the “3.1 Phillip Lim for Target” Fashion Week Event

During Fashion Week the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection was previewed at a private pop-up shopping event in New York City where “Stylescape,” a larger-than-life interactive cinemagraph conceived by Mother NY to showcase the limited-edition collection as worn and blogged about by tastemakers across the US and Canada. WorldStage provided AV support for “Stylescape,” for which the media and interaction systems and software were designed and implemented by Audio, Video and Controls (AV&C).

The event was held at Spring Studio on Varrick Street where shoppers clamored for Lim’s clothing, shoes, bags and accessories for men and women while mingling with Jessica Alba, Solange Knowles, Nate Berkus, Maria Sharapova and Perez Hilton. Billed as a “North American fashion panorama,” “Stylescape” served as a striking backdrop in the space, displaying notables photographed on the same day in various North American cities wearing Lim’s collection. The panoramic, interactive video installation played out on a high-resolution 3.9 mm LED wall measuring 10 x 120 feet.

AV&C is a New York-based media and interactive systems and software firm, led by David Bianciardi, that bridges the gap between technology and design in the built environment. The company specializes in creating digital icons and interactive experiences in public spaces, so it was uniquely qualified to bring “Stylescape” to life.

For the pop-up shopping event, the team at Mother wanted to create something ambitious, engaging AV&C early in the process to design something aesthetically beautiful and technically sophisticated. The team finally settled on creating “the world’s largest cinemagraph and make it interactive and responsive,” says AV&C’s Bianciardi. “We had a huge canvas of visuals shot in 6 locations by Peter Funch, acquired simultaneously in 6x 4K video and digital stills. The resulting composited canvas was beautiful in itself, then we introduced the cinemagraph’s repetitive motion,” which guests triggered by manipulating physical props, using social media services, or simply moving and posing in front of the interactive wall.

The idea was to play with blurring the boundaries of physical, social and digital media, he explains. “A famous blogger would stand next to a bus station in Dallas on the screen; viewers could Tweet her, she’d respond and it would show upon the poster at the bus stop. Or viewers could dance with a salsa dancer, take a photo with the designer, blow on pinwheels, etc. There were 40 opportunities for interaction. The way we combined techniques was unprecedented and the scale and resolution of this type of screen was unprecedented.”

“David and the folks at AV&C are great at finding the sweet spot where technological sophistication and user enjoyment meet.” says WorldStage president Josh Weisberg. “It’s our job to mirror that philosophy in the implementation of the audio, video and lighting systems and in this project all of those elements came together successfully. You could see it in the faces of the guests interacting with Stylescape.”

AV&C called WorldStage Integration VP & tech designer John Ackerman as soon as they were awarded the project. “John immediately got it,” say Bianciardi, “and so did the superstars up and down the WorldStage ranks – that’s what makes WorldStage the right partner for us. We made several visits to their shop and set up a series of technology tests with client and creative stakeholders. WorldStage provided the platforms for all the work we did on the interactive technology, and we wrote custom software that put everything together into a cohesive whole.”

“By implementing (Derivative’s) TouchDesigner platform and Pandora we enabled the client to put a really big tableau on a long videowall,” says Weisberg. WorldStage also furnished 16-channel sound for “Stylescape” and a lighting package for the event. Michael Kohler was the Pandora programmer and Kate Brown was the audio engineer. AV&C’s Vincent Houze led the visualization and interaction software development.

“We partner with WorldStage for their technical sophistication,” say Bianciardi. “They understand what our requests mean and make suggestions as an active partner. They truly work in the service of design.”

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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Main Light Industries Acquires Wireless Solution’s W-DMX BlackBox F-1 G4 Transceiver Via A.C.T Lighting

Main Light Industries, Inc., the Wilmington, Delaware-based firm, which has become one of the largest rental houses in the country, has invested in Wireless Solution’s W-DMX BlackBox F-1 G4 transceiver. A.C.T Lighting is a North American distributor for Wireless Solution Sweden AB, the world’s leading manufacturer of wireless lighting control equipment.

Main Light was prompted to purchase the W-DMX when it was looking for a wireless solution to work with its Clay Paky Igloos as well as other wireless units in its inventory. Igloos are tough, sturdy, dome-shaped enclosures that offer complete protection against rain and humidity and maintain a perfect working temperature for fixtures even in hot or sub-zero conditions.

“We tested various wireless DMX products, and Wireless Solution’s W-DMX box proved to be the most reliable,” says Main Light’s head of client relations, John DiEleuterio. “We will primarily be using it for festivals and outdoor events. The Igloos are a perfect complement to and protection for the more compact line of Clay Paky fixtures, and the W-DMX on board allows them to be more easily used in remote locations.”

Wireless Solution’s W-DMX range of products is the consistent choice of top professionals in the lighting industry. It is the only company to offer dual-band 2.4 and 5.8GHz (optional) with RDM and adaptive frequency hopping in both OEM single PCB or Standard Tranceivers with FLEX function to change a unit to be both transmitter and receiver. The W-DMX BlackBox F-1 G4 comes standard with RDM. All F-Models are both transmitters and receivers and offer a full FLEX with optional anything in/anything out (for example: DMX in, Art-Net out or s/ACN in, DMX out).

Some of Main Light’s clients have already deployed the W-DMX, in conjunction with Clay Paky Igloos, for projects. Len Applefeld, lighting director at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, used the Clay Paky Igloos on Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2013. He said, “The onboard W-DMX was a great feature to have. We had six Igloos on top of the stage roof, and the W-DMX saved us a lot of time by not having to run data.”

Rob Hendry with BEW Productions recently used them for a Halloween event on the Battleship New Jersey on the Delaware River off Camden, New Jersey. “A last-minute addition of Clay Paky Sharpys housed within Igloos were used on the massive cannon turrets of the battleship,” DiEleuterio explains. “Due to the amount of steel on the ship and no sight line, Rob was hesitant to use wireless DMX at first. But the Clay Paky Igloos synched up flawlessly, which he said made for a very pleasant first experience with wireless DMX.”

Main Light, which has increased its inventory of Clay Paky lighting fixtures annually via A.C.T Lighting (the company is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky), found its new Wireless Solution’s W-DMX purchase marked another positive encounter with A.C.T Lighting. “We expect and receive nothing but the best in the way of support when it comes to dealing with A.C.T,” DiEleuterio reports.

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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The Peoples Church Pairs a Spyder with new LED Wall

The Peoples Church in Franklin, Tennessee, known for its strong use and support of creative arts and media, has invested in a Vista Systems Spyder X20 to take visuals for worship services and events to a new level.

The Peoples Church, which was founded as First Baptist Church of Franklin, Tennessee in 1838, holds two services at the Franklin campus each week plus special events for its congregation of 6,000. The Franklin campus worship center, housed in a building erected 15 years ago, seats 1,750.

“We replaced our old rear-projection video cube wall with a 4 mil LED wall measuring 33×10,” says Dustin Lemler, Executive Director of Creative Arts and Production at The Peoples Church. “When we looked for options for an image processor the unanimous recommendation was for Vista Systems’ Spyder, so it became the only solution we proposed to our Elder Board.”

In exploring a replacement for the videowall, Lemler and his colleagues “didn’t just want a screen. We wanted a palette that would do multiple things.” The image processing system they chose also had to be capable of handling multiple inputs and offer room for future growth.

“We need to have four or five images on the LED wall at once, and Spyder provided the best option for that,” Lemler explains. “We have 16 sources and use eight at a time. We’re running HDSDI out of the main switcher, and typically have several Macs running Pro Presenter, a stillstore, DVRs and DDRs for HD playback with some other composite sources left open as redundant back ups.”

Lemler and Church Media Director, Mark Hengstenberg went through Spyder training at Vista Systems’ headquarters in Phoenix. “We just hired an additional staff engineer, and he loves it – he picked it up really quickly,” Lemler reports.

“We recently debuted Spyder in a weekend service, and everyone was overwhelmed with how it worked,” he says. “It has enabled us to rethink our presentation. Spyder is proving to be an all-in-one box that can do everything we need and more. It will allow us to expand into all that it can do and has future compatibility for more screens.”

Lemler adds that support from Vista Systems has been “excellent. If we had any questions, people got right back to us. We haven’t been able to stump them yet!”

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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Clay Paky Joins Black Sabbath’s Reunion Tour

Photo: Sarah Mallos

Heavy metal icon Black Sabbath continues its Reunion Tour in Latin America, Europe and the UK with a large complement of Clay Paky Sharpy and Sharpy Wash lights.

The tour celebrates the band’s reunion last year and supports their album “13,” the first with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978.

“Sharpys are the ultimate eye candy,” declares Michael Keller, lighting programmer for Baz Halpin, the tour’s lighting designer. “They create such a visual display that they combat most videowalls. They’re one of the few instruments that can cut right past them.”

Halpin is utilizing 42 Sharpys on the Reunion Tour with two pods of 4x4s and ten fixtures on the ground, says Keller. “They’re very sturdy and rugged and have never had a failure. They’re bulletproof lights with very powerful lamps. The prism is great and the gobos are amazing. Anything you want to do with them is never an issue.”

Forty Sharpy Wash lights were deployed in Australia as fill for a video shoot, he notes, and “they were awesome as well.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, comments, “Mr Halpin and Mr. Keller have been Clay Paky users for a while and we’re thrilled about how they’re being used for this show. We look forward to working with them again in the future.”

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Lightware’s Product Support for 4K Switching and Signal Extension Offers Real-world Solutions at the Forefront of 4K Technology

4K is The Next Big Thing in video production, display and distribution, and Lightware U.S.A. is ahead of the curve with a roster of proven and available 4K switching and signal extension solutions. The US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products offers an array of 4K products, which demonstrate that the company has long been proactive on the 4K breaking edge technology front.

“The Lightware USA 4K products have been rigorously tested by our engineering team, are in stock in the US office and ready to ship,” says Drew Taylor who’s in business development at Lightware USA. “We already have 4K equipment in use today. Other companies advertise 4K products months and years before they become available. But Lightware has real 4K solutions; 4K is not just a marketing device for us but an actual shipping high quality solution based product line.”

As content is produced and released in 4K and as 4K displays and computer systems increase in number and decrease in cost, the industry is looking for real-world 4K solutions to deploy. “4K applications are growing, but even if you’re not using 4K content now you’ll want to futureproof your operations for higher resolution capability,” Taylor points out. “Oil and gas exploration, virtualization environments, scientific exploration and large data centers are already demanding high-resolution systems. But rental and staging and command and control applications are also upgrading to 4K capabilities so they can support 4K and Ultra High Definition in the future.”

Lightware supports 4K in three major product areas: Direct HDMI in/out with 3D boards; extending and switching signals over a single twisted pair; and extending and switching signals over fiber.

Direct HDMI In/Out for the Modular Matrix Frames

The Lightware USA MX-HDMI-3D boards handle 4K video signals with embedded audio over a single HDMI cable. The MX-HDMI-3D-IB 8-channel HDMI 1.4a input board and MX-HDMI-3D-OB 8-channel HDMI 1.4a output board offer DVI and HDCP compliance supporting all 3D formats. They are available with add-on digital S/PDIF or analog stereo connectors for advanced audio functions (HDMI embedded audio signals are managed by the board as well).

The input board offers integrated advanced professional functions, such as HDCP enable/disable mode, Pixel Accurate ReClocking, Advanced EDID Management and Input Signal Frame Detector. The output boards incorporate a second Pixel Accurate ReClocking chip, HDMI to DVI conversion, color space conversion (RGB and YUV per output) and color range scaling. Both are compatible with deep color, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio and feature PCM audio sample rate conversion.

Single Cable Twisted Pair Extenders

Lightware offers both input and output boards and extenders for handling 4K video signals with embedded audio over a single twisted pair.

The 8-channel MX-TPS-IB input board and MX-TPS-OB output board are HDBaseT HDMI 1.4a boards, which provide HDMI 1.4, audio, Ethernet and RS-232 extension on a single CAT5/6/7 cable up to 180 m distance. Optional digital or analog audio connectors are also available for allowing for audio embedding or de-embedding. Integrated advanced professional functions include HDCP enable/disable mode, Pixel Accurate ReClocking, Advanced EDID Management and Input Signal Frame Detector. They are compatible with deep color, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio and features PCM audio sample rate conversion.

Lightware’s HDMI-TPS-TX90 and RX90 HDBaseT HDMI 1.4a extenders are designed to work with the MX-TPS boards. These twisted pair transmitters and receivers extend uncompressed full HD video for extreme distances (up to 180 m) over a single CAT cable. The units offer bi-directional RS-232, IR and Ethernet pass-through all on the same CAT5e…CAT7 cable that carries the video signal. The extenders support full HDCP and EDID compliance and work at all standard AV resolutions. Remote powering is available through the single CAT5e…CAT7 cable; a local power supply also can be used. All devices can be mounted on a rack shelf,used in stand-alone formats and used with the TPS boards for the Modular Matrix Frames that range in size from 9×9 to 80×80.

4K Fiber Extenders

Finally, Lightware USA has introduced an HDMI Optical output board and an HDMI-3D Optical receiver that extend HDMI 1.4a and 4K video signals with embedded audio up to 1.6 miles to the fiber receiver. The MX-HDMI-OPT-OB board transmits HDMI 1.4a signals on 8 optical outputs with HDCP compliance. HDMI, DVI signals and HDCP + EDID handshaking are performed over one Multimode fiber utilizing the Lightware Single Fiber Technology.

The HDMI-3D-OPT-RX150RA HDMI 3D receiver allows for analog and digital audio de-embedding as well as RS232 signals to be sent from the matrix over the fiber up to a distance of 2,000 meters via the Lightware RS232 over fiber technology.

Lightware staged an impressive demo at InfoComm13 featuring live matrix switching of 4K HDMI 1.4a sources on a 4K monitor. “For Lightware, the demo showed that instant matrix switching of 4K sources is more than a proof of concept: It’s a reality,” says Taylor.

“With 4K likely to be the new standard that a lot of people thought 3D would be, Lightware already offers well-rounded product support for 4K with more on the way coming soon,” he promises.

About Lightware U.S.A.

Lightware U.S.A. is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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