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Archive by David Steinberg

Vista System’s Spyders Play Key Role in Technology-Rich James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University

There are Spyders to be found throughout the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the North Carolina State University Centennial Campus, and they’re getting rave reviews. Vista Systems’ Spyder X20s were selected by The Sextant Group, Inc. for a number of video processing tasks in the technology-rich library.

The Centennial Campus in Raleigh is home to the colleges of engineering, textiles and veterinary medicine. A 218,000-square foot James B. Hunt Library is being called the library of the future for its stunning architectural presence and use of technology. It will house, upon completion, the campus library, the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) and numerous technology-intensive environments for faculty, students and visitors.

The Sextant Group was charged with providing AV and IT design services for the new building. They chose Spyders to fill the video processing needs for many multimedia displays. “There are five Christie MicroTile 4K walls throughout the building, so we needed a processor that could handle them,” says Scott Frey, CTS-D systems designer for The Sextant Group. “There are also two auditoriums with blended multi-window projection, and Spyders were needed there, too.”

A Christie MicroTile curved wall displays faculty and student work in the iPearl Immersion Theater. Another MicroTile wall in the Game Lab can be used as a single panorama or divided into multiple sections; it supports the study of digital games and offers a place to play for fun.

But Spyder’s reach extends even further. The Teaching and Visualization Lab boasts a 3D-capable 270º screen on three walls for a total of 80 linear feet of display surface, 10 projectors and a Spyder X20. In the Creativity Studio a white box-style theater/classroom features a large curved screen, two projectors, a Spyder and movable and writable walls. The Creativity Studio is “a flexible, collaborative space with multiple projection surfaces and limitless interactive opportunities for students – all with a single point source and control,” Frey notes.

For every multimedia application in the new library “Spyder really fit our needs,” he says. “It has great configurability and windowing and handles multiple formats. We can update and upgrade it, and it’s one of the easiest to use of all the video processors on the market. Spyder has been looking and working great.”

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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Electrosonic Scores with AV Support for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

When Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame opened at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, sports fans flocked to the new 40,000 square-foot space that celebrates the country’s impressive and inspiring sports history. With AV support from Electrosonic, the attraction offers 11 exhibit galleries representing 58 sports, plus more than 50 interactive visitor experiences designed to captivate fans of all ages.

“We were involved in every aspect of the brand new museum,” reports Electrosonic account executive Tony Petruzziello. “Every exhibit required AV components and a number of them are really stand-out experiences.”

Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A) designed the new building, which houses interactives and multimedia presentations designed by Cortina Productions and Bruce’s Garage. Electrosonic was the main AV systems contractor working for The Taylor Group, which provided overall exhibit project management and fabrication. Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team worked with C7A and the media producers to design the exhibits.

Electrosonic hired Calgary AV contractor ASCCI to provide the equipment and local resources for rack fabrication and on-site installation. Eos Lightmedia of Vancouver did the lighting design.

One of the most challenging galleries in the Sports Hall of Fame was The Ring of Canada Sports, which required a customized projection solution. “C7A wanted the images floating overhead, but the ceiling height restricted projector positions and the throw distances needed to achieve the desired image sizes,” says Electrosonic design consultant Andy Batwinas. “In the end, the screen surface evolved to a ring shape and used Sharp XG-P610X projectors with wide-angle lenses mounted above custom mirror bounce assemblies to rear project onto the scrim material.” The scrim can be dropped from a portion of the frame to allow for routine projector maintenance.

A number of noteworthy galleries and exhibits fill the new attraction. In the Skater Gallery, Sharp PG-F267X ultra short throw projectors display imagery on the walls behind athlete figures. “These models allowed us to place the projectors in the floor very close to the walls and achieve a large image for the backdrop,” Batwinas explains.

The entry tunnel is a clever use of a narrow space. Three Medialon MIPs source images of sports suited to the long corridor, such as curling and swimming. Video is projected via three Panasonic PT-DW6300US units aimed at the floor, and edge blended.

“Like the entry tunnel, the Water Sports Gallery capitalizes on the Panasonic projectors’ ability to be mounted in odd orientations,” says Electrosonic engineer Jim Funke. “This time they were aimed upwards to give the illusion of being under the water and looking up at shimmering images projected onto discs mounted in the ceiling.”

Another fan favorite is the Formula 1 car in the Ride Motion Gallery, which is backed by a curved screen displaying racing footage. Electrosonic provided a Sharp XG-P560WN running through an FPS IA-200-EX to correct for the screen’s curve. Shadow Boxing in the Contact Gallery gives visitors a chance to demonstrate their pugilistic skills; participants cast their shadow on a screen where a Sharp XG-P610X projector displays the moves of their opponent.

Several exhibits featuring 3D Blu-ray players allow visitors to simulate the feeling of being a hockey goalie and baseball catcher. Other visitor experiences, such as the ski jump exhibit, have sensor interfaces, which trigger events to make them more interactive.

Various Sharp Moments Timeline exhibits, sponsored by the electronics giant, feature Sharp PN-E421 42-inch LCD monitors powered by Medialon MIPs. In the actual Hall of Fame area, guests can use 32-inch touchscreens to select athletes and sports notables they want to learn more about; their images are displayed on Sharp PN-E521 LCDs.

Finally, visitors can gather in the 120-seat Riddell Family Theatre to watch a 10-minute video highlighting great sports moments. A Christie Mirage HD10K-M projector displays onto the theatre’s 16×9-foot painted wall.

Electrosonic provided the audio system throughout the building. It’s comprised of BSS London BLU processors and break out boxes connected to QSC CX-Series amplifiers driving JBL or Innovox speakers.

Medialon MIPs are the video sources for everything not run from a PC. Cisco DMP-4400G-52-K9 Digital Media Players are used in digital signage and several exhibits. Medialon Manager controls and monitors the majority of the exhibits.

The AV systems are housed within a number of equipment racks in the enterprise IT control room.

“The Hall contains an extraordinary amount of media and interactive exhibits under one roof. Electrosonic rose to the challenge and pulled it off magnificently,” concludes Stephen Platenberg, Principal, Cortina Productions

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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Chicago’s United Center Purchases Robert Juliat Cyrano Followspots from Chicago Spotlight

Chicago Spotlight, Inc. is shedding some light on United Center, the largest arena in the U.S., with help from Robert Juliat Cyrano followspots. Home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and the NFL’s Chicago Blackhawks and a venue for top musical artists, the United Center has hosted over 40 million guests since it opened in 1994.

“The United Center is in the process of replacing their current followspots,” says Chicago Spotlight president Marty Lazarus. “Their existing fixtures have been there since the arena opened. Their goal is to replace two each year until 8 are replaced with Victors and 4 with Cyranos.”

Cyrano is a compact and efficient 2500-watt HMI followspot with a high-performance quartz condenser optical system. It features a 100% closing iris; 100% closing dimmer; B-size gobo holder , variable frost, dichroic blue filter; and 6-way boomerang color changer with removable filter frames.

Lazarus explains that Chicago Spotlight demo’d the Cyranos for the arena and staged a shoot out comparing them to the current fixtures. “The customer was impressed with the Cyranos’ features, the even field and the sturdy construction of the unit,” he reports. “The Cyrano’s light output was comparable to the spotlights it was replacing – we’re talking about 2,500W HMI vs 3,000W Xenon with a more even field. They felt that by purchasing two Cyranos they were getting a lot of value for their dollar.”

United Center organized a training session with 14 local stagehands to familiarize them with the new fixtures, the first of an expected dozen units. At United Center Rob Staverman is senior director of event operations and Bob Grmusich the house electrician.

About Robert Juliat

Robert Juliat is a three-generation, independent family-run company dedicated to the manufacturing of professional stage lighting products. Robert Juliat lights are used by customers who include Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, New York’s Lincoln Center, LA’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Bruce Springsteen, Disney Theme Parks, Carnegie Hall, The San Francisco Opera and Ballet, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Comedie Francaise, The Sydney Opera House, plus theatres, schools and public venues around the world.

R&D, production and the company headquarters are based in the village of Fresnoy-en-Thelle, 50 km north of Paris. Robert Juliat USA is located in Wallingford, Connecticut. For more information visit www.robertjuliat.com.

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San Francisco Ballet Finds Prelite Previsualization Services Invaluable for Complex Lighting Demands of World Premiere of “Borderlands”

The unusual lighting demands of the world premiere of “Borderlands,” a modern dance piece performed by the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House, were facilitated when Maria T. Mendoza took advantage of Prelite Studios’ previsualization services before arriving on stage.

Mendoza, key lighting programmer and Assistant Master Electrician with the San Francisco Ballet, had worked successfully with Prelite on a number of corporate productions. “I was very excited to finally be able to introduce Prelite to the Ballet and apply the process to a more theatrical environment,” she says.

Mendoza set up the full Prelite system in the Ballet’s electrical shop ten days in advance of hitting the stage. “Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s ‘Borderlands’ was an unusual case for us. We usually use our lighting inventory of 600-700 conventional fixtures to which we add movers, HMIs and other lights depending on the designer’s request and production budget,” she explains. “The lighting designer for ‘Borderlands,’ Lucy Carter, came up with a rig consisting of 32 six-foot RGBAW ColorBlaze TRX fixtures that spanned the stage; they were configured eight each on four system pipes about ten feet apart.

“The set featured three large gray canvas frames, about 50×30 feet, that basically created a three-wall boxed set,” Mendoza continues. “Once San Francisco Ballet Master Electrician, Kelly Corter, and I saw the lighting plot and Lucy’s intentions, we immediately thought of Prelite given the limited on-stage time we’d have once the lights and set were physically set up. There was no way my fellow board op Anna McGriff and I could be programming on-stage for ten days with a full crew standing by.”

Prelite was especially helpful in supporting the pixel-mapping feature on ETC’s EOS lighting console. “We used pixel mapping in conjunction with the standard console protocol; cues would use one or the other. This was the first time for the Ballet and myself using the EOS Pixel Mapper, and it was very effective,” Mendoza reports. “I have used various media servers and consoles in this application before, but we decided to stick with the EOS in-house and for the ballet’s eventual tour. There was a bit of a learning curve, but the folks at ETC tech support were incredibly helpful, and Prelite tech Adam Rechner was with us on site at all times so that any issues that might have come up could be addressed immediately. With Prelite we were able to tackle the EOS Pixel Mapper learning curve without using up precious stage tech time.”

Mendoza found many other advantages to using Prelite as well. “Once Lucy arrived on site we spent days recording and creating every imaginable way of loading media, grouping and building effects for hundreds of individual channels. Prelite allowed us to then take all of the content clips, groups and effects and see how they interacted before actual live cueing began.”

She is convinced that “there was absolutely no way that we would have been able to be prepared for a rehearsal one day after install without all the work we did with Prelite. I’d recommend Prelite to anyone who has a time-consuming programming project and very limited on-site time. We would not have had the same outcome without it.”

About Prelite

Prelite was founded in San Francisco February 2000 by Tom Thompson and Norm Schwab as a place for lighting designers and programmers to use technologies to previsualize lighting projects. Its success led to the launch of Prelite NY in June 2001 by Kim Grethen and Rodd McLaughlin. The bicoastal company provides studios where previsualization and creativity take center stage away from the distractions and interruptions of a chaotic work environment and where clients save time and money and minimize stress. Prelite also offers on-site previsualization services for those who prefer the convenience of working at the venue. For more information, visit www.prelite.com or contact Thomas Thompson at 415-883-7727.

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Clearwing’s Full grandMA2 Kit Takes Center Stage at ATV Dealers’ Meeting in Phoenix

When a major ATV manufacturer wanted to generate excitement at its annual dealers’ meeting, Clearwing Productions, Inc. turned to MA Lighting’s grandMA2 onPC command wing with grandMA2 onPC fader wing to program 70 moving lights and 48 feet of Color Kinetics’ ColorBlaze units and a grandMA2 light to run the show. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in North America.

The meeting in the ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center drew 1,5000 dealers to presentations, effects-filled product reveals, an awards ceremony and mid-show entertainment. The Phoenix office of Clearwing, which provides sound, lighting and services, includes a grandMA2 light, grandMA2 onPC command wings and its new grandMA2 onPC fader wing as part of its standard kit for live staging jobs.

“I’ve been using the grandMA2 light for the last two years and would never go back to another console,” says Aaron Hubbard, Clearwing’s director of business development and the lighting programmer for the dealers’ meeting. “The command wing system is typically our back up system. In this case we actually needed to program the show from the command wing because the position of the MA2 LIte desk was pretty far away, and with this small platform you can get right up front witch makes it’s rather convenient. “Running three touchscreens from the windows system using a simple USB>VGA video driver allowed me to use an un-modified user profile”

MA’s onPC command wing is a portable solution offering realtime control for 2,048 parameters in combination with grandMA2 onPC. Designed as the perfect hardware expansion to the grandMA2 onPC software, grandMA2 onPC command wing enables the look and feel of the software to be as close as possible to a real grandMA2 console.

Lighting designer Michael Murnane of Footcandles LLC teamed with Clearwing Productions, inc. on the dealers’ meeting. While the show itself ran from the grandMA2 light the wings remained on the active network as a tracking back up, Hubbard reports. “Until we opened the house, I had the command wing front and center in the ballroom for any adjustments and aerial positioning. I preferred to come down from my crow’s nest to use the wing and be at the center of the stage so I could see symmetry.”

One of the biggest advantages to grandMA2 onPC command wing and grandMA2 onPC fader wing is their portability. “They’re small enough to get into some interesting places,” says Hubbard. “We could move them up into the bleacher seats to program from that perspective. We could move them anywhere and program from that vantage point.”

In addition, “since the system is on a PC, I can use an iOS remote desktop connection app to control any functions directly from my iPad,” he explains. “Of course allowing me to ability to play back cues from the iPad is a huge benefit.”

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WorldStage & WATCHOUT are What’s Going On at Broadway’s “Motown: The Musical”

It’s Motown meets Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre where “Motown: The Musical” charts the amazing journey of Berry Gordy from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul responsible for launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and more. Accompanying the iconic musical numbers in the show are bold video and graphic effects, which required a unique automation-tracking solution by WorldStage.

The new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications Inc., WorldStage provided “Motown: The Musical” with two Christie Roadster HD18K projectors, two Dataton WATCHOUT quad-output Display computers, two Dataton Watchout Production computers, and two control computers each running an instance of Coolux Widget Designer PRO. The hybrid system enables extremely accurate positioning of the video imagery on a variety of moving stage elements and set pieces.

“We were tasked with supplying a cost-effective technology that could accurately track up to 26 axes of automation system movement. That’s a considerable number, which included simultaneous x, y, and z axis tracking on multiple surfaces on multiple planes,” notes WorldStage account executive Lars Pedersen. “We’ve successfully done similar jobs using other systems in the past, but nothing to the extent of what we had to manage for this job.”

Since the designer, Daniel Brodie is very familiar with the Watchout graphics platform, WorldStage decided to move forward with a Watchout-based system, even though it hasn’t been used for automation tracking on a Broadway production. “Although we’re quite versed in the inherent capabilities and feature set of Watchout, this would be the first time we’ve used it to facilitate automation tracking,” Pedersen explains. “Regardless, we knew we had the expertise and we were confident we could make it work.”

Working closely with the team from Hudson Scenic, the decision was made to implement a “software” solution to facilitate direct communications between the automation and the video systems. The star component in the system was the Coolux Widget Designer PRO software, which enabled the Watchout computers to interpolate and manage the position information being output from the automation computers.

Dual-converged Christie Roadster HD18K projectors were selected for brightness and redundancy purposes. In fact, Projection Designer Daniel Brodie of brodiegraphics explains that the projectors are primarily used as a lighting source, which track the movement of the set pieces. “We can track more accurately with the projectors than we can with lighting instruments. We worked with lighting designer Natasha Katz to project color to match the lighting design, whether naturalistic or abstract.”

Brodie also maps animation and video to the set pieces. “Some content is purely evocative: flashing colors and video – psychedelic or kaleidoscopic – to support a musical number. Sometimes we play back a scene from ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ that we reshot with our actors; we also display documentary footage of 1968 events to accompany the song ‘Ball of Confusion.’ And sometimes we use just standard projection design for dates, names and titles.”

The show scored another first in taking advantage of WATCHOUT’s built-in stereoscopic 3D capabilities to align the projectors on multiple planes. “We discovered that we could do 3D effects during shop prep at WorldStage, and they’ve worked perfectly,” Brodie reports.

Daniel Brodie concludes, “I continue to be amazed, but not surprised at the level of ingenuity that WorldStage brings to the table.”

The WATCHOUT programmer for the show is Patrick Southern and the animators are Gabriel Aronson and Allison Pottasch. At WorldStage TJ Donoghue is the Project Manager, while Michael Kohler, Technology Specialist at WorldStage, was the Widget Designer PRO programmer. Sean Kelly was the projectionist.

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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Electrosonic Provides AV Systems for New Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Entry Area

When Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Orlando, Florida, reconfigured the entry area into the park, Electrosonic was charged with providing the audio-visual design, infrastructure, equipment and programming for the background music, audio messaging and video signage for ticketing and guest relations services.

The project was the first from Electrosonic to implement QSC’s Q-Sys Digital Signal Processing (DSP) unit, which is billed as a powerful yet simple solution for audio processing, control and management. The Q-Sys CORE 3000 128×128 provides multi-channel audio playback park-wide.

“Q-Sys offers a number of advantages to the Visitor Complex,” according to Electrosonic commissioning engineer Tony Peugh. “With Q-Sys, you no longer need separate devices to play back the audio, eliminating the need for multiple CD players and solid-state audio playback machines, and minimizing the equipment footprint in the rack room.” In fact, Electrosonic combined two EER rooms into one smaller space.

“With this new configuration, 128 channels of audio are available, so you can tailor soundtracks to certain zones in the park by creating audio players in the software,” Peugh explains. Q-Sys communicates over a network with Q-LAN “so any device can share audio, functions or information. As the park expands and upgrades, more audio can be added just by providing a network connection. It’s very simple and reliable, and could very well be the next big thing.”

“The new system also has green credentials,” says Electrosonic project manager Gary Barnes. “It uses a lot less power than racks full of devices, so people concerned about LEED certification find Q-Sys a useful option.”

Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team was involved at the very start of the project, serving as the AV consultant to architects PGAV. Electrosonic’s Yiannis Cabolis was the designer of record.

Electrosonic outfitted the retail building, Voyagers, with 11 QSC speakers and a subwoofer connected to amplifiers in the EER. Twelve QSC speakers were also installed in the entry/exit turn-style area, another dozen in the self-service ticketing kiosk area, and four, including two subwoofers, in the fountain area. In all cases, the audio sources for the speakers came from Q-Sys.

Digital signage is prominent in several areas. The ticket stations and information area each feature two 32-inch high brightness, outdoor-rated LCD displays for graphics and information about tour packages and special events. Four QSC speakers and a paging station are included. The Welcome Center features an identical configuration and the ticket booths boast four LCD displays and eight speakers.

In all cases, the displays are fed by a video player located in the EER via fiber with HDMI/DVI video and serial control. Audio is fed from the player to channels of DSPs and amps. Media is controlled by a media server application running on a PC in the EER; the displays’ start and end of day routines are controlled by the system controller running on the Medialon Show Control Machine.

A covered, outdoor patio adjacent to the Rocket Garden featuring a new restaurant, the Rocket Garden Café, with counter service, has two 32-inch high brightness, outdoor-rated LCDs forming part of the scenic wall treatment. They display historical rocket and pop culture images from the 1960s.

Electrosonic was brought on board the project by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on behalf of NASA. Whiting-Turner Construction built the new entry area and worked closely with Electrosonic.

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

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds(tm) Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX(r) space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle Atlantis opens June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame(r), featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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Indiana Pacers Score with New Video Board Powered by Vista Systems’ Spyder

The NBA’s Indiana Pacers have unveiled a new center-hung video board at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse designed to deliver an experience fans just can’t get at home – and a Spyder is a big part of it.

ANC Sports Enterprises, LLC of Purchase, New York, an industry leader in providing integrated signage, design and marketing solutions for sports and commercial facilities, integrated the Vista Systems Spyder X20 with ANC’s VisionSOFT control system to feed the huge new displays with entertaining and informative content for Pacers fans.

The Pacers display is more than five times larger than the previous video board in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. ANC Sports designed the new installation with slightly curving, twin sideline-facing 6mm LED HD screens each measuring 50′ wide x 21′ high and featuring 2560 x 1060 pixels.

They are bookended by a pair of baseline-facing 6mm LED video displays each measuring 25′ wide x 14′ high with 1280 x 736 pixels. In addition, two LED matrix displays, measuring 23′ wide x 10′ high, are mounted above the upper deck at either end of the venue where they show stats, replays and other game-related information.

“What’s really unique about the Pacers’ installation is being able receive and display two side-by-side 720p feeds, while still including a lower third for scoring and statistical information,” explains Chris Mascatello, executive vice president, technology sales for ANC Sports.

“Vista Systems’ Spyder plays an instrumental role in the display system. Working jointly with VisionSOFT, the Spyder enables us to feed the best resolution across the entire display system.”

ANC Sports also directed the overhaul of the arena’s video control room, which drives content to the massive displays. “It’s a full 1080p control room with 3G infrastructure and one of the most advanced in the world,” says Mascatello.

The addition of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse continues Vista Spyder’s tradition of supporting the largest sports displays in their respective categories including hockey for the Tampa Bay Lighting, NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the NFL’s Tennessee Titans’ LP Field.

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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“Shale Voyager” Virtual Theater Experience at New Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas is Fueled by Alcorn McBride Products

In the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, the Tom Hunt Energy Hall’s 4D Theater experience, “Shale Voyager,” is controlled by Alcorn McBride’s V4 Pro show controller and 8-channel Digital Binloop HD player.

The $185 million museum opened December 1 near downtown Dallas and is a hands-on destination for discovery featuring five floors of public space with 11 permanent exhibit halls. The Tom Hunt Energy Hall, funded by a gift from Hunt Petroleum Corp., features a small theater, dubbed “Shale Voyager,” which provides a virtual experience that educates participants about the process of hydraulic fracturing. Video and motion chairs give visitors the sense of what it would be like to shrink to the size of a grape, travel vertically down a 6,500-foot borehole, come out horizontally through the black rock of North Texas’s Barnett Shale and whoosh back to the surface when the gas is released.

“Shale Voyager was designed as a cylindrical theater with a spherical top,” explains Paul Bernhard of Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design and Consulting who designed, built and programmed the theater. “Three platforms hold seven people each in a semi-circle. Six screens are in the ceiling; three represent portholes. Another screen is in the floor. The screens show visitors what they’re seeing on their virtual voyage to the Barnett Shale.”

Bernhard chose Alcorn McBride’s Digital Binloop HD to play the show’s video and the V4 Pro to control the show, including the doors and seats.

The Digital Binloop HD provides up to 8 channels of HD video in a compact, economical and highly-reliable package designed for continuous daily use with no maintenance. Video clips are stored on Compact Flash media so there are no moving parts to wear out; each card can hold hours of media.

The V4 Pro is a versatile, frame-accurate controller for serial and network devices. It features 16 optically isolated inputs, 16 discrete outputs with self-restoring fuses, video frame sync and a realtime clock/calendar. It’s capable of running every day for years, without ever requiring reboots, software updates or maintenance of any kind.

“Everything is working very nicely; the synchronization is great,” Bernhard reports. “Alcorn McBride has a reputation as the go-to company for complex show control – they’re one of the leaders. Our set up has been very reliable, and visitors are really enjoying the show.”

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.

About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The $185 million Victory Park museum, designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, opened to the public December 1, 2012. The Perot Museum is named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot, the result of a $50 million gift made by their five adult children. To learn more about the Perot Museum, please visit perotmuseum.org.

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grandMA2 Locks and Reloads with Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley National Tour

Country artists Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley have Locked and Reloaded and grandMA2s along for the ride. Their 33-show national Locked and Reloaded Tour uses two grandMA2 light consoles to control about a hundred moving lights on a complex, multi-level set. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor for MA Lighting in North America.

“We wanted the production design to give us the opportunity to create different moods,” says Chris Lisle, Nashville-based production designer for the tour. “We have a lot of moving pieces. There’s a big wall of light for punch for the rock sets and some circular trusses for the moodier songs.”

Lisle had wanted to use grandMA2s “for years,” and programmer Scott Chmielewski suggested he try them for the tour. “It’s a very user friendly and functional console, yet it does so much,” says Lisle. “It’s very deep; it has so many layers, and you can get really detailed with it. One of the things I love is its ease of networking. I’ve had problems with that on other consoles.

“The grandMA2s effects engine is also amazing,” he adds. “There are so many things you can do so easily. It’s mind blowing! I had no idea we could do so many effects so simply.”

Lisle notes that Chimeleski uses the consoles for DMX merging. “There are so many functions, and some of the macros we’ve created are amazing. You can create the console you want, lay it out the way you need it to be. It was a great opportunity for me to be able to sit down with a programmer like Scott who knows the board so well. It was super easy to learn, but there’s so much more I can learn going forward.”

Lisle is impressed with the grandMA2s performance and robustness on the Locked and Reloaded Tour. “It’s a fantastic piece of equipment that’s also very reliable,” he attests.

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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