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Archive by David Steinberg

Vista Phoenix Management System Installed at Traffic Management Center of Mississippi Department of Transportation

The Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Program has installed a Vista Phoenix for its traffic management center. Vista Phoenix’s network-distributed open content management system for the simultaneous encoding, decoding and display of audio-visual data is deployed on the Christie MicroTile wall that monitors traffic cameras.

‘We converted from analog to digital a while back, and our previous equipment was not compatible with an end-to-end digital solution,” says John Gilligan with the Mississippi Department of Transportation. “Vista Phoenix looked to be a very efficient addition for us.”

Vista Phoenix provides seamless access and control of AV data, regardless of the user’s location. Whether used by multiple parallel participants, single offices or in the field through mobile technology, Vista Phoenix connects them all. AV distribution and monitoring are no longer contained to a single location – Vista Phoenix breaks through physical walls to encompass a global workplace.

The simple but powerful system consists of one or many Vista Phoenix hardware nodes as well as web-based management software connected through an Ethernet network. It’s scalable with one or hundreds of nodes, multiple display walls comprising up to 128 screens, multiple desktops and users. Comprehensive tools allow one or thousands of users to simultaneously view, listen to and interact with any source of information found in a multimedia environment from virtually anywhere through a single, robust system.

Vista Phoenix offers support for HDCP, H.264 encryption throughout with drag-and-drop simplicity. The system permits users in public utilities, government, security and surveillance, transportation and telecommunications to confidently make faster and more accurate life critical decisions, even in the most challenging environments.

“Vista Phoenix distributes media to the Christie MicroTile wall, which has a 10×4 configuration,” says Gilligan. “Vista Phoenix handles all the switching, most of which is automated. We’ve programmed the system to have some preset modes. And we broke it down regionally so we can view different regions of the state.”

While Vista Phoenix is already working “great – very efficiently,” Gilligan is looking forward to exploring more of the system’s offerings. “We plan to capitalize on some future capabilities, such as monitoring via the Internet.”

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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Alcorn McBride Supports Three New Powerhouse Exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Three large, new headline-making exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis are using an array of Alcorn McBride equipment for show control, lighting control, and audio and video playback.

Known as the world’s biggest and best museum for children and families, the venue’s mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. The nearly 500,000-square-foot museum boasts almost 120,000 artifacts and draws 1.25 million visitors annually.

“It’s important to understand that this is a place for children and families where they can learn together and share interactive experiences brought to life through sound and light shows that are made more authentic utilizing tools such as the Alcorn McBride equipment. We find those kinds of details make our visitors feel as if they’re in the actual place depicted in the exhibit,” says Kimberly Harms, Director of Media and Public Relations.

Chief Technical Officer David Donaldson notes that, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ exhibits are strategically designed to encourage family interaction and intergenerational learning vis-à-vis a number of touch points. “High-quality sound and light shows stimulate the senses and help create a feeling in which children and families experience what it would be like to wander around another time or place via high definition video and sound recreations,” he explains. “These immersive experiences make it seem as though you really are in China or traveling the earth 77 million years ago.”

“Leonardo: The Mummified Dinosaur” opened at the museum in March. “We have a permanent exhibit called Dinosphere that is housed in a former CineDome, a large-format theater. It has about 150 programmable lights and artifacts,” says Donaldson. “In part of Dinosphere is Leonardo, the largest intact dinosaur ever discovered and one of only four mummified dinosaurs in the world. He’s about 20 feet long and 77 million years old.” Leonardo is a juvenile Hadrosaur, or plant-eating “duckbill” dinosaur. He was unearthed in Montana in 2001.

“Leonardo is in a special glass case with a sound and light show that tells his story,” Donaldson explains. “He’s already one of our most popular exhibits.”

Alcorn McBride equipment plays a key role in the Dinosphere and the Leonardo exhibits. At the heart of the Dinosphere is a V16 Pro show controller. An A/V Binloop HD handles video playback on monitors throughout Dinosphere. Two Lightcue DMX recorder/players are on hand, one for Dinosphere and one that manages 15 separate lights above the Leonardo exhibit. A single-channel AM4 MP3 and WAV player runs Leonardo’s soundtrack in synch with his lighting. When Leonardo’s seven-minute show is not running a Digital Video Machine HD 8400 plays back animated loops on a 90-inch flat panel display.

“Everything works very well,” Donaldson says. “We have been very happy with the Alcorn McBride gear we use as it has been very reliable and is solid state.”

Two new exhibits opened in May. “Take Me There:(r) China” is the second exhibition to explore modern life in a single culture. Take Me There:(r) Egypt was the first. To get visitors in the mood to travel, they board an airplane fuselage where two video monitors are mounted on the front wall of the cabin and two overhead. Five rows of seats are offered, and windows line the sides. Three slots in an AV Binloop HD play back trip content: a video of flight attendants talking about the journey and views outside the windows. The Binloop triggers buttkickers underneath the seats, which simulate air turbulence.

Elsewhere in “Take Me There:(r) China” an AM4 plays ambient music and street noise in the market place, calligraphy shop, medicine shop and tea house. In a bullet train experience, visitors sit in two rows of seats facing each other with a window in between on which a Digital Video Machine HD 8400 plays back footage shot on the super-speedy bullet train. An additional AM4 is available in a performance space. Staff can press wall buttons to access a series of audio clips programmed directly into the system.

Also in the China gallery is “Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army,” the first children’s museum appearance by the famed tomb statuary since they were excavated near Xian, China in 1974. Fifty visitors at a time are brought into the entry theater’s cue line where they watch a video run off a Digital Video Machine HD 8400. Then they walk into the dimly lit gallery where all of the sound in the 15,000-square-foot space emanates from an AM4. A concluding theater experience features two video walls running a loop from an Alcorn McBride Binloop.

The museum’s Playscape permanent exhibit also features an A/V Binloop HD for its cue line. Playscape incorporates new brain research to create an authentic, physical space to help young families explore some of the most important developmental touchstones of children’s lives. The Binloop runs video in synch for families waiting to enter the space.

“Alcorn McBride equipment has become a standard for us and a very good investment,” says Donaldson. “It’s very reliable, all solid state. When you have families involved, reliability is of the essence. We have a very low threshold for things that don’t work!”

Donaldson also gives kudos to Alcorn McBride’s staff, whom he calls “very responsive. I can always reach someone if I need something – it’s like they’re working right along with us.”

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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Lausanne’s Olympic Museum Reopens with AV System Design, Engineering and Integration by Electrosonic

When The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, reopened recently after a two-year renovation, it made extensive use of audio-visual and interactive techniques that take visitors on what’s been called “a multidimensional journey across the Olympic Universe.” Electrosonic designed the AV system, which is simple for visitors to use and offers maximum flexibility for the museum, under subcontract with media producer Centre Screen Productions of Manchester, England. Electrosonic handled the system engineering and integration under a separate subcontract with Paragon Creative of York, England.

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, The Olympic Museum is now a greatly expanded, four-level venue spanning more than 32,000 square feet and featuring over 1,000 objects and 150 screens, which deliver an informative and immersive experience to Olympic fans and the curious from around the world. Visitors can tailor their tours to capture a broad view of the games or engage in an in-depth Olympic experience. The augmented reality created by the museum allows each person to seek the information and emotion they’re looking for and perhaps return home with some unexpected knowledge.

Ghostly images of the torch relay, projected onto a curtain of flexible, vertical silicone rubber rods, greet visitors as they walk up the ramp to the uppermost exhibit area, Level 1. The impressive, panoramic “Welcome to Olympia” display shows the origins of the games in ancient Greece. Created by three edge-blended Panasonic projectors, it’s the first of several panoramas visitors encounter. All of them feature multi-channel sound with Tannoy speakers.

The figures of athletes on ancient Greek vases come alive in an engaging interactive table display. The figures on the pottery are animated and displayed directly onto the table surface by projectiondesign projectors. LCDs provide information about the sports shown.

Also making a hit with visitors on Level 1 are the “Olympic Torch” exhibit and the “Historical Timeline.” The torch display includes an array of torches interpreted by six 22-inch Iiyama touch screens, a Panasonic projection of the lighting of the Olympic flame on a screen that can be viewed from front or back, and a stylized projection of flames dancing on the floor, which is part of the exhibit lighting.

The timeline uses five Panasonic projectors to produce one very long image of a “library” whose volumes relate to specific Olympic games. Five small interactive podiums enable visitors to open up a volume of their choice and see a compilation of images from that year’s games play out across parts of the timeline.

Another Panasonic three-projector panorama, this one dedicated to “The Best of Opening Ceremonies” from the games, completes the tour of Level 1.

Level 0, where the stories of the Summer Games, Winter Games, Paralympics and Youth Olympics are told, features a number of surround screens with multi-image content. Interactive displays in each area are based on 7thSense Delta server architecture for remote updating of content as needed. The panoramic “Inside the Race,” with five edge-blended Panasonic projectors, envelops visitors with highlights from the games and close-up looks at the athletes’ grit and determination to succeed.

The lowest exhibition level, Level -1, is devoted to the theme of “The Olympic Spirit.” The International Plaza has a three-screen display as well as three stacks of 55-inch, narrow-bezel Panasonic LCDs. Another three projector display acts as a backdrop to an exhibit of Olympic medals.

The “Words of Olympians” exhibit enables visitors to learn about athletes and hear their own accounts of participating in the games. Twenty AV stations, featuring 22-inch Iiyama LCDs, play looped programs. Stop and Listen Gorilla handsets deliver the audio.

The great number of screens throughout The Olympic Museum challenged Electrosonic to develop a consistent approach to the overall systems design. That approach is based on carrying all the video, audio and control signals on standard CAT-6 cabling; housing all computers and servers in racks in dedicated control rooms near the exhibits they serve; and minimizing variations in practicable equipment.

Four control rooms on the three different levels are outfitted with 19 equipment racks. The racks in each control room represent a sub-system under the control of a Medialon system controller. One of the Level 1 control rooms has been designated the Master control room for overall system control and linking to the museum’s Building Management System for automatic scheduled operation.

Electrosonic also specified a standard OEM computer for the interactive exhibits to ensure consistency of performance and to simplify maintenance. Delays due to compatibility problems that might not have been discovered until equipment arrived on site were eliminated by test-running the content on the standard computer prior to delivery.

Mark Pyrah, CEO of Paragon Creative Ltd said, “As turnkey fit out contractor we worked closely with fellow British companies Centre Screen and Electrosonic to create seamless immersive environments that entertain, thrill and motivate in an entertaining and memorable way. We are delighted to say that the project was completed to both schedule and budget. We are immensely proud to have been involved in this stunning project.”
“Electrosonic put together a first class team, and from the kickoff meeting in Lausanne to the final installation 18 months later, the whole team performed superbly,” said Dave Postlethwaite, CEO of Centre Screen Production. “As a software producer you need a hardware company that is experienced, flexible, rigorous in their methodology and systems and, very importantly, has a team with boundless enthusiasm; Electrosonic had it all!”
Concluded David Rodriguez, Project Manager for the Technology and Information Department at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), “Electrosonic worked with the content manager, the integrator and the IOC, taking into account the needs of each and proposing technical solutions complying with the technical and energy-saving standards of the country. All of the interactive terminals, 98 projectors and 30 large-screen monitors and respective PCs were installed within very tightly imposed deadlines. After six months of operation, there have been very few problems. This shows the quality of the work Electrosonic did for The Olympic Museum. We are very pleased to have been able to work on this project with them.”

London-based Metaphor was the creative advisor throughout the museum rebuild. Paragon Creative appointed Mather and Company to handle exhibition design and Sutton Vane Associates lighting design. Centre Screen named Peter Key as audio consultant.

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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A.C.T Lighting becomes the exclusive distributor for Robert Juliat lighting solutions in the US

Robert Juliat and A.C.T Lighting have entered into a strategic agreement for A.C.T Lighting to become the exclusive distributor for all Robert Juliat products in the US.

The RJ USA Wallingford office will remain operational through the end of the year, but A.C.T Lighting will manage all sales and customer service issues going forward. RJ USA’s Fred Lindauer and Pete Engel will join the A.C.T Lighting sales group and the entire team will work together to provide a smooth and seamless transition.

Founded in 1993, A.C.T Lighting is the leading distributor of entertainment lighting equipment used in the concert touring, theatrical, and architectural industries.

“We are very proud to add Robert Juliat lighting products to A.C.T roster,” says A.C.T Lighting Chairman Bob Gordon. “Robert Juliat has long been a leader in the field and has established an excellent reputation for top-quality lighting fixtures based around superb optics and ergonomic design.” Robert Juliat is approaching its centenary: It was founded in 1919 and is still 100 percent family owned.

“We feel this agreement is a logical way to provide a future growth for Robert Juliat in the US. A.C.T Lighting is well positioned in the American market to bring added value for both the customers and Robert Juliat,” explains Robert Juliat’s Managing Director, François Juliat.

Contact sales@actlighting.com for further information.

Information on all Robert Juliat lighting products can be found at www.robertjuliat.com

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Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Vision Division Depends on Reliable Lightware Routers for Failure Control of Stadiums’ LED Screens

The Diamond Vision Systems of Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. (MEPPI) has a big picture perspective of what Lightware Visual Engineering’s matrix routers offer the company’s stadium clients from coast to coast. Lightware USA is the US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

“Our primary application for Lightware is failover control” for the 15×58-foot LED “hustle boards” at the corners of stadiums, says engineering manager David Corathers. “We’ll put a big switcher on the front end [of our LED screens] with outputs for primary sources. But we also have to be able to patch different sources and need the routers in there for back up.”

Corathers has deployed an array of Lightware routers for the large LED screens at the homes of the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. “The stadiums are installing new screens and upgrading all their systems,” he explains. “It’s often a case of having to support old and new screens, although Buffalo has all new stuff. We have a Lightware MX8x8DVI-Pro in there; another phase of the upgrade will require another 8×8. We’ve also been using 16x16s and the 4x4s and 4x8s for smaller projects.”

Lightware MX8x4DVI-Pro and MX8x8DVI-Pro is an 8 input 4 output or an 8 input 8 output DVI matrix router, switching all DVI-D resolutions from 640×480 @ 60Hz to 1920 x 1200 including all HDTV resolutions: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2048 x1080. All inputs have a unique cable equalization circuit which allows using up to 50 meter cable. All outputs drive 500 mA power on DVI +5V pin to power fiber optical DVI cables.

MX8x4DVI-Pro and MX8x8DVI-Pro contain an Advanced EDID Management system; EDID monitor identification data determines the native pixel resolution and refresh rates for connected computers. The user can emulate any EDID on the switcher’s inputs independently, read out and store any attached monitor’s EDID in 100 internal memory locations, and upload and download EDID files using the Lightware Matrix Control Software.

Corathers says Lightware products score high in reliability, ease of use and cost-effective pricing. “They offer good reliability at a reasonable price. We’re always looking for the best value for our customers, and the Lightware products do just that.”

About Lightware USA

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 in size from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×1602 5G 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 of resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber also set the product line apart from that of other manufacturers.

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

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WorldStage Supports TIME 100 Gala with Sound Reinforcement and Video Presentation Technology Services

TIME celebrated the publication of the annual TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World at a gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center where WorldStage provided sound reinforcement and video presentation technology services for Empire Entertainment, Inc., which produced the glittering event.

Coveted spots on the TIME 100 list this year were filled by Beyonce, Google’s Eric Schmidt, director Alfonso Cuaron, Robert Redford, Amy Adams, transgender actor Laverne Cox and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Honorees Pharrell Williams, Carrie Underwood and Seth Meyers entertained the guests.

“Our company has a strong history with the team at WorldStage and work closely with them,” says Melissa Gold, Senior Producer at Empire Entertainment. “WorldStage was instrumental in making everything work within the space and within the budget at the TIME 100 gala.”

Visual imagery filled a number of roles during the evening. “We used video content on plasmas to display content throughout the night, like moving wall paper,” Gold says. “During the show two of the monitors did a show feed for overflow guests who were not in the main room.” Video content looped later in the evening when a DJ performed in the atrium.

WorldStage furnished three Sony HXC-100 video cameras, a FOR-A HVS 300 video production switcher, and AJA Ki Pro digital recorders for ISO and PGM. Four Christie HD 10K-M video projectors displayed onto a pair of 9×16-foot screens on stage. Video playback was facilitated using DT Labs Playback Pro on iMac computers.

The biggest challenges were posed by the performances of Williams and Underwood. “Each act had a significant amount of equipment on a single stage with little TIME or space to facilitate turnover,” says Tony Rossello, director of events and venues at WorldStage. “We liaised with artist management to incorporate their specifications and design an effective sound reinforcement system appropriate to the event space.”

Audio gear included Yamaha CL5 and PM5D consoles and DiGiCo SD7 consoles for FOH and monitors; Shure X and UR band wireless mics; and a Riedel digital intercom system.

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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grandMA2 Rocks on Tony Award-winning Musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the unconventional rock musical that recently captured four Tony Awards, may not be your grandma’s Broadway show, but its use of grandMA2 lighting consoles keeps the edgy production on track at the Belasco Theatre. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA products in North America.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s gender-bending musical tale of life, love and a botched operation. It won Tonys for its star, Neil Patrick Harris; costar Lena Hall; and lighting designer Kevin Adams – Adams’s fourth win. The play also received top honors as Best Musical Revival.

The lighting and video for “Hedwig” were programmed on two grandMA2 full-size consoles. During rehearsals Kevin Adams, video designer Ben Pearcy, associate lighting designer Paul Toben and second assistant lighting designer Jimmy Lawlor used grandMA onPC stations to monitor the production. Now, both lighting and video run nightly on a single grandMA2 light with an onPC command wing and an NPU as back up in the compact booth. Brian Dawson is the board operator.

“grandMA2 offered us a really good networking solution that enabled us to have multiple programmers on the system during rehearsals and give display feedback for the designers,” says lighting programmer Benny Kirkham; Zach Peletz is the video programmer. “The show is very dynamic and we had to get it done quickly. Using grandMA2 and all its tools was the only choice to get the look we wanted.”

Kirkham notes that the show “is supposed to depict a one-night-only concert by a punk rock group, so we had to create some of the insanity of that with the design. Kevin really walked the line well creating a show that’s wild and anarchic without creating a distraction. The whole package comes together, and everything in the design works perfectly!”

Adams met Kirkham on the new Blue Man Group show at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas where they worked on a grandMA2 console. They reunited for “Hedwig,” and Adams was “delighted” to partner with the programmer and the grandMA2 again.

Adams liked grandMA2′s graphical “Magic Sheets on the monitors,” which meant he “never needed any paper” to speed up recalling control channel numbers. “I had a lot less info in front of me; I never needed any channel numbers. I could just point to the layout that Benny and I shared. It was very visual and intuitive. An entire layer of frustration went away.”

Adams also liked the color monitors. “With ‘Hedwig’ we have mostly moving lights. With the monitors in color it was easier to understand what was happening live.”

Kirkham notes that Adams “became quite a fan of the grandMA2″ during the course of “Hedwig’s” production. “It’s fast and has the best effects engine on the market, which enabled us to create the look and feel we wanted,” he says. “The grandMA2 was great at managing tracking and cue data – and there’s no board that can fire up the popcorn machine as well as grandMA2 can!”

Kirkham says he’s never been involved in a production as “collegial” as “Hedwig.” “Every change moved the show to an even better place,” he reports. “We’re very proud of it.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with Benny and the grandMA2 very much,” Adams concludes.

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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Clay Paky Sharpys Go Bollywood at the IIFA Awards for the Hindi-Language Cinema

An awards show like none other took Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium by storm when the annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards came to the U.S. for the first time. The IIFA Awards honor artistic and technical excellence in Bollywood, India’s famed Hindi-language film industry that sells more than 3 billion tickets every year. The show, which aired on Star World Network, used a large complement of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures.

“The IIFA Awards are the Indian equivalent of the Oscars with 800 million viewers worldwide,” says lighting designer Eugene O’Connor. “Cinema is huge there, and the awards show lasted more than five hours. It had a very big open and included production numbers with 60-70 dancers.”

O’Connor knew that Clay Paky Sharpys “were always going to be the main light” for the show in a stadium that demanded “big looks” for its giant TV audience. “With so much video on stage we needed something that was going to break through,” he adds.

Sharpys always top O’Connor’s fixture list. “You can’t beat them, especially if you can get enough of them,” he says. “We had 85 Sharpys from PRG on the IIFA Awards. We positioned 16 on the floor across the front of the stage and 14 across the back. There were six vertical towers with three or four Sharpys on each, plus a bunch on the roof.”

He notes that “when you light for TV you tend to light for FOH, but I light for many different angles. I like a lot of heights, and I let light wrap around the stage so everything is very big, bright and colorful. And the Sharpys performed really well.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “This is an impressively large show. We had been hearing about it for months beforehand. It’s great that they put the Sharpy to such great use with such great success.”

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Electrosonic Provides Audio-Visual Systems for National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has opened in the footprints of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Electrosonic provided the audio-visual systems for the museum, which is primarily located about 70-feet (21-meters) below ground and offers a unique and moving visitor experience.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is an educational and historical institution honoring victims of both the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 1993 bombing, while examining 9/11 and its continued global significance. The museum building was designed by Davis Brody Bond, LLP with exhibit designs by Thinc Design and Layman Design. It is accessed by an entry pavilion designed by Snøhetta.

The main exhibition space, reached by a gently sloping ramp, includes remnants of the Vesey Street stairs, the Twin Towers’ structural columns, a portion of the original foundations plus a permanent collection of artifacts. The memorial exhibition features the Wall of Faces, which displays photo portraits of the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks, and interactive tables to learn more about them. The historical exhibition uses artifacts, photographs, and media to recount the events of September 11, explore the background leading up to these events, and examine their aftermath and continuing implications. The vast Foundation Hall houses the exposed side of the slurry wall, the surviving retaining wall of the World Trade Center, and the well-known Last Column, a 36-foot high column covered with mementos from Ground Zero.

Bob Haroutunian of PPI Consulting was the audio-visual systems designer for the museum and education center. Arup was the designer for the Pavilion Auditorium. The majority of the content was provided by Local Projects, with additional content provided by Infusion and Project Rebirth.

“This was a very large museum project located several stories underground, which made it a bit of a logistical challenge,” says Electrosonic project manager Jackson Benedict. “The site is spread out over nearly eight acres, so just getting from one side to the other took a long time.” The project spanned several years so Electrosonic had to stay on top of evolving technology and equipment advances as equipment was specified and installed.

Electrosonic created full-scale mock ups of about 70 percent of the exhibits at some point in time. “We did a lot of testing with Design & Production near Washington, D.C., Hadley Exhibits in Buffalo and our own facility in Burbank,” adds Electrosonic account executive Bryan Abelowitz.

Electrosonic supplied a traditional museum system for the exhibition space where approximately 100 media experiences are available for visitors. These range from touch screen interactives, small theaters and displays playing media to recording booths that enable visitors to record their own 9/11 stories.

Several exhibits required especially complex media systems. The first exhibition visitors see as they enter the galleries is We Remember, which features recollections of people around the world as September 11, 2001, dawned. Six large, vertical screens are staggered down a 60-foot ramp; a portion of a world map is projected on each of the six screens, such that, at the top of the ramp it appears to be one cohesive map. Digital Projection projectors with mirror mounts display the content, while 16 ceiling-mounted Atlas speakers recount, in multiple languages, where people were on that fateful day.

Rebirth is based on timelapse documentary footage captured by filmmaker Jim Whitaker over the last 13 years on the site, from the clean-up of the pit to today’s rebuild. Seven Sharp projectors display the approximately 11-minute video on three walls that surround visitors. A full EAW sound system delivers the audio. “We built a full-scale replica of the room in our Burbank facility and tested a variety of content in it,” Benedict reports.

Since the Last Column, a 36-foot steel piece from the Twin Towers, is so tall, two 55-inch ELO touch screens run Local Projects’ interactive software, allowing visitors to scroll up and down its full length to see high-resolution details of the signatures and mementoes on its sides.

Eight interactive tables in the memorial exhibition enable visitors to scroll through the Wall of Faces or search for loved ones and access biographies and family photos. 3M supplied the touch screens, Dell the computers and Local Projects the software to operate this especially impactful exhibit.

Electrosonic also provided a full AV system for the multi-purpose Pavilion auditorium, an approximately 150-seat theater used to show videos throughout the day and available for hosting events from standard presentations to video conferences.

The museum has four education classrooms equipped by Electrosonic with digital whiteboards, document cameras, video conferencing systems plus other standard features.

Key equipment components in the museum include Sharp, Christie and Digital Projection projectors, Alcorn McBride audio playback, Vista Group SoundStik audio stations, Dataton WATCHOUT display and playback, Adtec signage players, Boland, Sharp and Samsung LCD displays, Extron extenders and Medialon system control.

Three control rooms service different areas of the museum with a total of 26 equipment racks in use. Signals are extended via a mix of fiber optic and twisted pair extenders. “The fiber and copper backbone we used allows the museum to expand with higher-resolution video or new monitors and projectors as they become available,” notes Benedict.

The Pavilion auditorium has its own control room with two racks. Each education classroom is self-contained.

Electrosonic is providing two on-site technicians to help keep the museum’s exhibits in good order.

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.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, fundraising, programming and operations of the Memorial and Museum. The Memorial and Museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site.

The Memorial remembers and honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees. The Museum displays monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 and 1993 attacks and the aftermath. It also explores the global impact of 9/11 and its continuing significance. Davis Brody Bond are the architects of the belowground Museum and Snøhetta designed its entry pavilion. The Museum’s exhibition designers include Thinc, Local Projects and Layman Design.

For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, go to 911memorial.org.

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

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YouTube Brandcast Presented by Google Debuts New Location with Production by Good Sense & Company and Technology by WorldStage

After the past two years coping with the confined space of the Beacon Theater, followed by the out of the way Basketball City location, for 2014 the YouTube digital “Upfront” (formally called Brandcast) found itself within the spacious environs of the Theater at Madison Square Garden. That space provided the canvas for an innovative scenic design penned by the design team at Good Sense & Company, led by creative director Joshua Cicerone and head of design Chris Jones.

The resulting design, arrived at after much iteration, provided unique challenges for the production team with its reliance on techniques more likely to be seen on a Broadway stage than a one-off 90-minute presentation for an audience of 2,200 New York advertisers and agencies.

“The new location and a direct line with the client’s content creation team allowed us focus on the overall look and come up with a fresh design that makes the MSG Theater more dynamic,” says Jared Siegel, Co-Founder and Production Director at Brooklyn-based Good Sense & Company. “Our goal was to combine impressive LED, projection mapping and automation using rotating and tracking scenic units as a great way to reveal performers.”

To handle the technical requirements for the lighting and visuals, Good Sense turned to WorldStage Inc and Senior Project Manager, Josh Perlman, who returned for the third year in a row. Siegel credits WorldStage for their willingness to “roll with the punches on a show that underwent many changes along the way,” Siegel says. “I think we had 16 or so rounds of budgets. WorldStage was always very patient and accommodating.”

According to Perlman, WorldStage began working with Good Sense some four months prior to the Brandcast, reviewing each design and working out the complicated technical systems required to support them. “This year the design introduced a significant projection tracking element, which added a bit of complexity to the show,” he says. “To make it even more fun, the tracking pieces, when rotated, revealed an LED video wall on the reverse side of the dimensional projection surfaces. This provided the best of both worlds – punchy LED visuals and sculptural projection mapping with all visuals tracking the movement”

The movement of the four large scenic pieces allowed presenters, guests and performers to enter and leave the stage area in dramatic fashion while keeping the visuals flowing in an uninterrupted stream as the projections remained in view throughout the rotational movement. ShowMotion was again tasked with handling the scenery and automation. Their extensive Broadway experience gave them an edge, however Brandcast required them to install and test intricate automation in just a few (long) days, while normally they would get weeks to prepare for a show. Luckily the expertise of Ashley Bishop (Senior Project Manager at ShowMotion) provided her team with the focus to execute a flawless show.

“Our design required the projected images to follow the screens as they opened up,” says Siegel. “Then, we combined those visuals with the big “hero” screen, which used Barco C5 LED, as well as 9mm LED for the other scenic units. They looked great and worked well together.

“The screens had a very glacier-like appearance with multiple protruding planar surfaces, but the LED on the back was very flat,” he explains. “Adding the tracking of the projections really changed things a lot. It required a lot of time and programming, but it was very much worth it because it created a great effect – as if the imagery was painted on the surface of the scenery.”

Siegel notes that, “generating content pixel maps for a set like this is always a challenge. They need to be very precise and they create very large files, which makes content coordination tricky. For example, one performance featured a dancer on stage interacting with an animated, hand-drawn partner who was flung in the air for quite an amazing effect across the screens. That sequence alone was very complicated and it was one of many.”

To support the multitude of content and display requirements, WorldStage deployed a veritable mountain of technology. The main backgrounds and show content played off ten d3 Technologies’ media servers (primary and back ups), which fed all the destinations. The d3s and all the other playback sub-systems were routed through five Vista Systems’ Spyder X20 units. “Everything worked just great,” Siegel reports.

The image tracking function was supported by a custom app created by the WorldStage Integration team and kept the visuals glued to the projection screens no matter where and how they moved.

Perlman notes that in addition to the major screen switching elements, WorldStage provided a 7-camera live video shoot during the Brandcast, switched through the companies large Ross HD rig. “This coverage was switched to IMAG feeds as well as to records, which were cut down and posted quickly on YouTube after the event concluded,” he explains.

“Let’s not forget that WorldStage also supplied the lighting for Chris Dallos’ lighting design, and that was great, too,” Siegel says.

At WorldStage Mike Alboher was the EIC who oversaw the entire system: d3 integration, Spyder implementation, Ross Video switching and video transmission. Raul Herrera was the lead programmer with Alex Bright the server tech and projection warper. Programmer Bruno Fare and system tech Jason Spencer commanded the Spyder X20s. Mike Naylor is the Ross engineer.

Sound Designer Dave Ferdinand (One Dream Sound) had his own set of challenges to overcome. Siegel originally wanted to use the main array at the theatre, but the design called for a stage that extended into the audience and the large rotating projection screens that occasionally blocked the main array. Ferdinand needed to add a second vocal array downstage, but with all the front projection he needed something with a small silhouette. He chose Meyer Sound’s MINA arrays, which offered the punch he needed in a tiny package.

Good Sense & Company is a Brooklyn-based agency that designs and manages live events for some of the biggest and most enterprising arts and entertainment groups, charities, corporations and private interests around the world.

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 national

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