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HARMAN’s Crown Debuts Its XLC Series Power Amplifiers Featuring DriveCore™ Technology at InfoComm 2014

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — HARMAN’s Crown Audio today announced the introduction of its XLC Series XLC2800 and XLC2500 Power Amplifiers, two cost-effective 2-channel models that offer a host of useful features for installed sound applications. The new amplifiers incorporate proprietary DriveCore™ technology for high efficiency with lighter weight and are on exhibit at InfoComm 2014.

The XLC2800 and XLC2500 can operate into impedances from 8 ohms to 2 ohms using stereo, parallel or bridged mono outputs. Although extremely powerful at 775W and 500W per channel respectively (at 4 ohms; 2400W and 1550W into 4 ohms in bridged mode), both amplifiers are lightweight and measure only 2U rack spaces high.

Both models feature HARMAN’s proprietary DriveCore amplifier IC chip, which combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output stage along with additional audio-signal functions – yet is about the size of a postage stamp. DriveCore and other exclusive Crown Class D amplifier topologies significantly reduce the amplifiers’ size/weight and power consumption requirements while yielding much more energy-efficient operation.

“Our new XLC Series amplifiers provide a cost-effective solution for restaurants, bars, stores, businesses and other establishments that don’t require the high power output and networking connectivity of our other amplifier lines, yet still need a top-quality amplifier that’s totally reliable and delivers outstanding sound quality,” said Daniel Sanez, Business Segment Manager, Crown Audio.

Designed for easy installation, the XLC2800 and XLC2500 feature Power, Signal, Clip and Fault indicators and limited front panel control. The XLC series is contractor friendly with input/output connectors, and supports parallel connections to multiple speakers, an advantage in applications where available amplifier channels are limited. XLC Series amplifiers also feature rear-panel volume controls for each channel.

Like all Crown products, the XLC2800 and XLC2500 are engineered for unshakable reliability even under the most demanding conditions of continuous long-term use and carry Crown’s three-year, no-fault fully transferrable warranty.

The Crown XLC Series XLC2800 and XLC2500 Power Amplifiers are available immediately.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

HARMAN’s Crown DCi Network Display Amplifiers: The World’s First AVnu Alliance® Certified AVB Endpoint

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – HARMAN’s Crown Audio today announced its DCi Network Display Amplifiers are the first professional audio endpoints to receive AVnu certification for Audio Video Bridging (AVB) interoperability from the AVnu Alliance, the professional audio industry’s only organization dedicated to driving open, standards-based AV networking through the certification of AVB products for interoperability.

“This certification underscores our long term commitment to AVB and HARMAN Professional’s support for the AVnu Alliance and its mission to promote interoperability amongst audio manufacturers,” said Dan Saenz, Business Segment Manager, Crown Audio. “Crown’s history of leadership in professional amplifier technology is well documented and today’s announcement is the latest in a long list of industry-first achievements.”

Crown’s flagship DCi Network Series amplifiers set a new standard for power and flexibility in large-scale installed sound applications. The eight-channel DCi 8|600ND delivers 600W into eight ohms (300, 600 and 300W into 16, four and two ohms) and the four-channel DCi 4|1250ND provides 1250W into eight, four or two ohms (625W into 16 ohms). Both amplifiers offer direct drive “constant voltage” capabilities for 70Vrms and 100Vrms amplification without the need for a step-up transformer, yielding higher audio quality in distributed audio applications with power outputs of 1250W and 600W respectively.

Like all Crown DCi Series amplifiers, the DCi 8|600ND and DCi 4|1250ND take advantage of HARMAN’s proprietary DriveCore amplifier IC chip for powerful, highly efficient operation from a compact form factor measuring just two RU high. The DriveCore chip combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output stage along with additional audio-signal functions, yet is about the size of a postage stamp. The DriveCore-based Class D, next-generation PWM design dramatically reduces size and power consumption and yields a much more energy-efficient operation.

Crown DCi Network Display Amplifiers passed the testing procedures at an AVnu-appointed test house. AVnu Alliance funds the development of certification testing and its members are responsible for ensuring AVNu Alliance’s IEEE AVB compliance program meets demanding performance benchmarks. This is the first and only independent AV networking certification test program.

Certification, which is available to any member, is based on testing that takes place at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL), which serves as AVnu’s independent testing facility. “AVnu Certification provides in-depth validation of member products against established standards enabling a healthy multi-source ecosystem,” said UNH-IOL’s Bob Noseworthy.

About AVnu Alliance
The AVnu Alliance is dedicated to the advancement of streaming audio video by promoting the adoption of IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) standards over the network infrastructure. The organization strives to create an open path to AVB standards, define AVB compliance test procedures, and an AVnu certification program that ensures AVB interoperability of networked A/V devices to provide the highest quality streaming experience in professional A/V, automotive, and consumer applications to deliver a compelling end user experience.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

HARMAN’s dbx Debuts Its AFS2 Advanced Feedback Suppression™ Processor

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – HARMAN’s dbx today announced the introduction of its AFS2 Advanced Feedback Suppression Processor, designed to completely eliminate feedback from a PA system. The AFS2 is ideal for bands, DJs, live sound and fixed installation applications and offers a host of upgraded features including a Wizard auto-setup function, a completely re-designed Advanced Feedback Suppression module, and a large LCD display.

Successor to the popular AFS224, the AFS2 provides state-of-the-art feedback elimination, yet is simple to use, thanks to its one-button Wizard function that automates key setup parameters and walks the user through the configuration process. The AFS2 offers a full LCD display and 24 LED meters per channel for setup and monitoring. The AFS2 can be added to a system in minutes, thanks to its easy rear-panel connectivity and its optimized front panel .

The AFS2’s all-new DSP module takes dbx Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS™) to an entirely new level. This new module provides for faster and more focused filter sets in both fixed and live mode. While 10- and 12-filter feedback-elimination processors are commonplace, the dedicated processor in the AFS2 provides up to 24 programmable filters per channel with filter Qs up to 1/80 of an octave. This level of extreme precision, previously available only in high-end processors, enables the AFS2 to zero in on the exact frequencies needed to attenuate feedback. The AFS2 offers application-specific filter types including Speech and Music Low, Medium and High.

The AFS2 offers selectable Live and Fixed (installed sound) filter modes, selectable filter lift times, live filter lift and more, all of which are available via the intuitive front panel user interface. The AFS2 can be used in either stereo or dual independent channel mode. It includes XLR and TRS inputs and outputs and a USB jack to enable firmware updates when they become available.
“Getting rid of feedback can be one of the most difficult and insidious things to deal with when setting up a PA system, especially for bands and performers who have to carry their own PA and may be musicians first and sound engineers second,” said Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast at HARMAN Signal Processing. “The AFS2 is simple to use, yet powerful and flexible enough for elaborate large-scale live sound systems and fixed installations.”

The dbx AFS2 Advanced Feedback Suppression Processor will be available in July 2014 at a suggested retail price of $499.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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HARMAN’s BSS Audio Introduces Soundweb Contrio Control And Media Server: Provides Advanced Control Capabilities for Professional Audio Networking

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Raising the performance threshold of large-scale professional audio networking in stadiums, arenas and large fixed installations, HARMAN’s BSS Audio today debuted its Soundweb Contrio system control server at InfoComm 2014. Now, integration professionals have the ability to design network architectures that place advanced system control, system management and media server functionality at a central point of the network and, in doing so, build systems that are more efficient, more practical and better performing. At just 1U rack space, the Soundweb Contrio server is a headless system controller device fully configurable with HiQnet Audio Architect™ software as part of the HARMAN Architectural Media Systems solution. Backwards-compatible with BSS Audio’s Soundweb London family, the Soundweb Contrio server is the first product within the new Soundweb Contrio family that will ultimately provide enhanced processing capability and greater flexibility for a variety of applications.

Advanced system control

The Soundweb Contrio server enables comprehensive system control logic configuration, both with a similar ‘wiring’ design environment as exposed in Audio Architect for existing Soundweb London devices, and a new open scripted Lua environment. The overall system is made even more efficient by running a logic system separate from the audio devices, which frees up processing capability and reduces the amount of hardware required.

System-wide presets can be configured at the parameter level, enabling a very precise level of detail in the creation of system reset functionality.

An event scheduler enables comprehensive preset recall – whether at a system level, a device level or at a parameter level.

The Soundweb Contrio server also provides a single network clock to provide an accurate synchronization of all HiQnet devices on the network.

System management

The server includes a system self-healing functionality. By monitoring the Ethernet switch and ports to which all devices are connected, a day-to-day operator need only replace a device on the same switch port and the server will automatically remotely configure all the addressing and configuration of the new device to match the old. In this way, it is not necessary to launch a software application to add replacement devices to the system.

The Soundweb Contrio server monitors all HiQnet devices and logs all warning or error conditions. The event logs of individual devices are also aggregated to provide a centralized monitoring location for the full system.

The server can send email information regarding the logged events, the degree of severity configurable within Audio Architect.

Media server

The Soundweb Contrio server supports both HARMAN BLU link and Audinate Dante™ audio transports in order that it can fit appropriately with a variety of system configurations.

In addition to its ability to recall system-wide presets, the event scheduler enables message playback over the audio network.

As with the Soundweb London series of products, the Soundweb Contrio server is configured within HiQnet Audio Architect – HARMAN’s common control software application for all devices in a sound system, from microphone to speaker. To facilitate system setup, HiQnet Audio Architect is unique in its graphical representation of the installed sound venue as the system design environment.

The Soundweb Contrio server runs an embedded version of HiQnet Audio Architect and is therefore immediately capable of providing integrators and end-users comprehensive management of all system presets, backup, storage of specific venue setup modes, event aggregation and scheduling.

“The Soundweb Contrio server provides audio professionals, systems integrators and end users with the best of both worlds,” said Iain Gregory, Market Manager, BSS Audio. “It provides enterprise-grade architecture and performance functionality coupled with a simple, intuitive user ecosystem comprising headless devices and wall controllers. The Soundweb Contrio server is the critical first step in enabling systems designers and their customers with exactly the right tools when they each need them.”

“By leveraging the power of HARMAN Audio Architect, and the vast number of devices from microphone to loudspeaker it now controls, we are providing the strongest possible foundation for the Soundweb Contrio server and delivering the most comprehensive audio system management platform available to date,” stated Adam Holladay, Market Manager, System Development and Integration Group, HARMAN Professional.

The Soundweb Contrio server is the first of the next generation of backward-compatible BSS Audio products and is designed to work in conjunction with BSS Audio’s new series of Soundweb Contrio wall controllers. The controllers are available in white or black and provide visual feedback for end-users to easily manage and adjust audio operation in a specific environment.

The headless appliance is just 1U rack space high and features a 500GB solid-state drive.

The Soundweb Contrio server will be available in September 2014.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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MS2800H/L Digital Signage Appliances Deliver Up to 8K Content to 16 Displays at 1080p per Display

MS2800H/L Digital Signage Appliances Deliver Up to 8K Content to 16 Displays at 1080p per Display

Play and Manage 4K and 8K Content at Native Resolution on Ultra HD Video Ribbons and Walls

InfoComm, Las Vegas, NV & San Jose, CA, – June 18, 2014 – DT Research™, Inc., an industry leader in the development of information appliances for vertical markets, today announced the MS2800H and MS2800L Digital Signage Multi Screen Appliances, the latest in the WebDT Signage System line, capable of powering content on up to 16 screens. The MS2800H/L Multi Screen Appliances enable up to 4K or 8K powerful content seamlessly played across multiple displays (up to 16 from a single appliance), and offer content blending, or tiling, across screens. The MS2800H/L provide a fully integrated system for Ultra High Definition Video playback on up to 16 screens and multi-zone management via WebDT Content Manager 6.1 Pro, the included web-based Content Management System.

Featuring two ultra-powerful Intel® Xeon® v2 processors (E5-2630 for MS2800L and E5-2643 for MS2800H with higher frame rate supported), the MS2800H/L support up to 16 outputs for ultra high resolution video arrays. Each screen displays 1920 x 1080 (Full-HD) resolution and multiple screens can be configured into one canvas or can deliver content to individual screens in different areas of a building. This flexibility simplifies installation in large venues.

The MS2800H/L are complemented by the web-based WebDT Content Manager 6.1 Pro software for intuitive remote management of content and device functions. Bundled with all WebDT signage/multi screen appliances, WebDT Content Manager offers an easy-to-use interface for organizing, scheduling, and distributing content, and supports numerous media formats (e.g., images, videos, Flash, remote URL’s, RSS, executable applications, ZIP, and Microsoft PowerPoint). Flexible screen layout options with multiple zones and layers enable a multi-screen video wall to be divided into multiple areas with different content in each zone to mix images, text, and real-time video through an RTSP or MMS stream, or through an optional video capture card. This management software allows quick updates over a network connection for real-time or scheduled content playback and automatic content download recovery to prevent downtime. The newly released WCM 6.1 Pro now supports a powerful HTML 5 Widget Editor (available for download online), enhanced player management interface, extended browser support, and fully frame-synchronized multi-screen video playback with frame-synchronized audio/video.

The WebDT Signage System offers highly-integrated digital signage hardware with intuitive web-based content management software enabling effective targeted communications. With a range of high-powered appliances for single and multiple screens, the WebDT Signage System delivers dynamic visual messages to optimize customer experience with minimal total cost of ownership and maintenance effort.

To view a full video demonstration, please visit: http://www.signage.dtri.com/products/multi_screen_appliance/ms_video.html
The MS2800H and MS2800L are available now.

About DT Research
DT Research™ develops and manufactures web-enabled information appliances for vertical applications. The WebDT family of products is based on thin computing platforms for secure, reliable, and cost-effective computing. WebDT products include digital signage solutions, wireless tablets, point-of-service handhelds, compact modular systems, and display-integrated information systems. These systems emphasize mobility, wireless connectivity and touch displays WebDT systems offer durability and ease of integration, by delivering solutions that can be remotely managed with the comprehensive WebDT Device Manager software.
For more information, visit http://signage.dtri.com.

DT Research and WebDT are trademarks of DT Research, Inc. All other brands and product names may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
###

Pexip(R) Announces Video Soft Clients for Infinity Scalable Meeting Platform

Virtual Meetings More Accessible Than Ever With Desktop Clients and Support for all Major Browsers

OSLO, Norway — June 17, 2014 — Pexip(R), a global disrupter in scalable, distributed videoconferencing technology, today announced its plans to introduce an all-new suite of Pexip Infinity videoconferencing clients, expanding users’ options of simply joining Pexip meetings. The Pexip Infinity clients will be available as installable client software for Windows(R), OS X(R), and Linux(R), in addition to supporting all major browsers including Internet Explorer(R), Safari(R), Chrome(TM), Firefox(R), and Opera(TM). more

ASHLY AMPLIFIERS AND SIGNAL PROCESSORS NOW SHIPPING WITH DANTE™

WEBSTER, NEW YORK: Ashly Audio, maker of powerful, high-performance, cost-effective power amplifiers and signal processors, is now shipping Dante digital media networking solution with all their nXe, nXp, Pema and NE Series networkable amplifiers. NE Series rack-mount system processors (4400, 4800, 8800) are also available for purchase with Dante. With low latency, robust synchronization, I/O scalability, and simplicity of installation via standard IT technology, Dante will significantly enhance the power and value of Ashly’s networkable amplifiers line and select signal processors.

“We’re now ready to supply our market with this incredible audio networking technology in our nXe and nXp amplifiers” says Anthony Errigo, director of communications at Ashly. “Dante currently brings the best in flexible, yet robust, digital audio transport and we’re poised to build on its success by delivering this connectivity in our most premier amplifiers and processors. Our customers will benefit greatly by this advancement.”

Audinate revolutionizes the way that A/V systems are connected by transporting high-quality media over standard IT networks. Dante is a robust proven solution which is widely deployed in hotels, transportation centers, shopping centers, public address systems, live sound reinforcement, theaters, concert halls, stadiums, athletic venues, corporate boardrooms, universities, broadcast facilities, recording facilities, houses of worship, government facilities, and courtrooms.

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

ABOUT AUDINATE Audinate’s patented Dante media networking solution has been adopted by eighty OEM manufacturers in the professional audio/visual industry and is a Promoter Member of the AVnu Alliance™. Audinate offices are located in US, United Kingdom and Australia. Visit www.audinate.com for the latest news and information on the company. Dante is Digital Media Networking Perfected.

Dante is a trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd. Audinate is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.

STOP BY AND SEE ASHLY AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #C11308

ASHLY AUDIO CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF BUILDING GREAT-SOUNDING, COST-EFFECTIVE, AND RELIABLE PRO AUDIO SOLUTIONS

WEBSTER, NEW YORK: Founded by Billy Thompson in 1974 on the wings of a successful live sound company, Ashly Audio has been pioneering innovative products for the pro audio industry for forty years. Although much has changed, such as Ashly’s steady pivot from analog solutions for live sound to digital solutions for installed sound, much has also not changed, and it is this constancy that underlies Ashly success and longevity. Ashly has always delivered great-sounding gear that is highly reliable, easy-to-use, and fairly priced, which is a combination that never goes out of style. Moreover, Ashly has always resolutely stood behind its products and offered its full support to its customers. Ashly continues in this tradition as it builds the next generation of networkable amplifiers, DSPs, and user interfaces.

“Ashly has always had a relatively slow but steady growth trajectory,” explained Mark Wentling, president of Ashly Audio. “Many similar companies started out around the same time as Ashly Audio but have since closed their doors or been absorbed into other companies to become just another ‘brand.’ People have moved on and factories have been shuttered or moved overseas. Our approach has always been to remain steady, dependable, and maybe a little conservative, and that contributed to the forty strong years that we’re now celebrating. Indeed, the Ashly philosophy reflects back on our employees… many of the people still on the payroll in engineering, administration, and manufacturing were there when the company was just starting up!”

Those were the days when Billy Thompson was still playing the role of mad scientist at a lab bench overrun with oscilloscopes, custom-made real-time analyzers, and voltmeters. The smell of solder hung thick in the air. Among many other gems, Thompson used that charismatic setup to design Ashly’s 1970s-era SC-Series of rack-mounted processors, which included classic compressors, equalizers, crossovers, line mixers, mic preamps, and all of the other goodies that today reside inside Ashly’s Protea™ Digital Signal Processing platform. The live sound industry flocked to these and other Ashly products because, for a fair price, they effectively solved real problems and were well-known to reliably endure the stresses of life on the road.

In the 1980s, Thompson pioneered Ashly’s now-legendary MOS-FET amplifiers, which revolutionized the amplifier market by dramatically increasing amplifier power and reliability while minimizing size and cost. Ashly’s MOS-FET amplifiers were among the first to be certified for meeting Lucas-films’ stringent THX movie theater sound systems. Today, Ashly continues in that tradition by delivering high-power, high-fidelity amplifiers in small-footprint, multi-channel configurations that maintain Ashly’s hallmark reliability and value.

“Our relatively small size allows us to be quite nimble and responsive to our customers, whom we deeply value,” said Wentling. “Ashly Audio still operates a full factory in Webster, New York, just outside of Rochester, where we design and manufacture all of our networkable products, including high-power Class-D amplifiers, DSP Matrix processors, and some legacy handmade analog mixers, like the MX-508. In addition, we have responded to market forces by opening Asia-based manufacturing for our KLR-Series amplifiers and some legacy analog products. However, this is just a component of our U.S.-based operations. Indeed, we expanded our U.S. manufacturing plant last year and grew the R&D team. We continue to add to our product line-up in the area of high-performance Class-D amplification, as well as DSP matrix & system processors.”

A development Thompson couldn’t have anticipated without Steve Jobs-like prescience is how quickly the pro audio industry has adopted network technology from the IT industry. Ashly’s nimble in-house engineering team has ensured that the company stays at the leading edge of this development, giving A/V integrators cost-effective options for building Ashly systems and tying them elegantly into the larger lighting and video infrastructures. Ashly’s network-ready amplifiers and processors play nicely on a TCP/IP network right out of the box, and integrators can network digital audio via CobraNet or Dante® (“and AVB when the time is right,” promises Wentling). In addition to networkable hardware user controllers, Ashly offers a popular Ashly Remote iPad app for custom control of its products and will look towards the eventual release of iPhone and Android variants as well. Beyond simply offering these technologies, Ashly’s dedication to customer support ensures that Ashly users are a phone call away from answers and solutions to the myriad questions and challenges that can crop up in complicated networked systems.

“There is an incredible history here,” says Anthony Errigo, director of marketing communications. “People at Ashly are dedicated and have great stories to share. Our employees are proud of this company and brand that they have built together.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

And to take an historical look at Ashly, visit: www.ashly.com/40

BE SURE TO STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #C11308

PHOTO CAPTION: Billy’s bench, circa 1979, with his RTA (Real-Time Analyzer).

Extron Introduces Two Certification Programs for Pro Series Control Systems

Extron Electronics is pleased to introduce ECS – Extron Control Specialist and ECP – Extron Control Professional. ECS is designed to prepare individuals to successfully deploy and maintain customized AV control systems that are built using Extron Pro Series control products and Extron Global Configurator Plus software. ECP is geared toward advanced users or those with a programming background who wish to take full advantage of the features within Global Configurator Professional software. Both certifications feature instructor-led, hands-on training and will prepare individuals to manage customized Pro Series configurable control systems. more

St. Cloud State University UTVS Puts Real World Broadcasting Into Student Experience with Autoscript E.P.I.C. Prompting

University Television Station (UTVS), the student-run TV station on the campus of St. Cloud State University, is using three Autoscript E.P.I.C. prompters for their busy production slate. UTVS delivers a variety of programming to the campus and the larger St. Cloud, Minnesota, community.

UTVS serves locally produced programming to 33,000 households on Charter Channel 21, also streamed live 24/7 on utvs.com. Founded in 1978, the station is staffed by the SCSU Mass Communications students: TV production majors work behind the scenes, and broadcasting majors appear in front of the camera and work as producers.

About 100 students actively produce news for UTVS. This semester features two half-hour evening newscasts, a weekly half-hour Spanish-language newscast, and a half-hour week-in-review news program on Friday.

As part of a full lineup of programming, UTVS produces sports and entertainment shows. “Back to the Movies” is a weekly movie review series; “Monday Night Live” is a weekly one-hour music show simulcast on campus radio station KVSC 88.1FM; and “Trivia Weekend” is a popular annual 50-hour trivia marathon staged in conjunction with KVSC. The upper level TV production class produces the new “Husky Faceoff” weekly sports show; and the weekly sports round up, “Husky Magazine,” has been on the air since the 1980s. The St. Cloud State Sports Network will begin broadcasting round the clock in the fall with live coverage of a wide array of college sports, a new slate of sports shows, and replays of classic games.

Since UTVS is training the broadcasters of tomorrow, the university is keen to ensure that students’ experience on-air and in production replicate real-world working environments. “We give our students a taste of what it’s like in the professional world,” says Derrick Silvestri, TV studio manager at UTVS. “Our main objective is to have them use the equipment they’ll encounter in the newsroom, so when they graduate they will be more than prepared to work in a professional environment.”

Twelve edit suites, which feature Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and, starting in the fall, Adobe Premiere, are dedicated to UTVS; media control takes care of media management and sports replays while the master control center handles commercial insertions and broadcast playback. Production equipment includes nine Grass Valley LDX studio cameras, Chyron Mosaics, Wheatstone and Grass Valley production switchers and RTS intercoms.

In the summer of 2013, UTVS acquired a trio of Autoscript E.P.I.C. 17-inch prompters, which they operate with three LDX cameras mounted on Vinten pedestals and heads.

“We were one of the first to have the E.P.I.C. systems,” says Silvestri, who purchased the units from systems integrator Alpha Video in Edina, Minnesota. “Before, we used a wide variety of systems, including the EZNews all-in-one script writing and prompting system. But our slate demanded a more professional-style system with automated workflows and MOS control. We got AP’s ENPS for scripting, but it didn’t offer prompting. That’s where Autoscript stepped in. Their products are a top choice in the professional world, and with E.P.I.C. we could use ENPS for writing and Autoscript’s WinPlus Ultra software for prompting. E.P.I.C. gives us a seamless workflow that works perfectly every day.”

In that workflow news writers prepare scripts with ENPS, E.P.I.C. ingests the text and a MOS-activated rundown is sent to +WinPlus Ultra for prompting.

Students have various control options for E.P.I.C. prompting. “We have two hand controllers in two control rooms. This way producers can keep pace – two wireless hand controllers for two studios for producers or reporter stand ups, and two foot pedals, one for talent on the sports set and one for talent on the news set,” Silvestri explains.

“About five years ago, with the advent of one-person journalism, we had alumni tell us that talent needed to be able to prompt themselves,” he notes. “So we transitioned from having a crew position prompter to having the news and sports anchors prompt themselves. That’s most likely what they will encounter when they graduate and move to a small-market station equipped with hand-and-foot controllers.

“E.P.I.C.’s foot pedals are particularly awesome. We’ve had a lot, and these are by far the best.”

Silvestri also gives kudos to E.P.I.C.’s 20-percent savings in power consumption and its class-leading High Bright LED prompting screens. “The talent loves the fact that we can do colors now for different slugs and cues,” he adds. The Clock Plus E feature for time of day and Tally Plus feature for live cameras also come in handy, he reports.

An additional attraction of E.P.I.C. is its streamlined good looks with no extra mounting bracket required. “It’s a very clean unit,” says Silvestri. “It works well and it looks really good. We do studio tours and want to impress the people we show around. This unit is designed to impress.”

Although he reports that the E.P.I.C. systems “worked perfectly out of the box,” Silvestri gives kudos to Autoscript’s customer support. “When I’ve called with general questions they call me back instantly,” he says. “Autoscript really stands behind this product.”

Three E.P.I.C.s are meeting the current needs of UTVS but Silvestri envisions expansion possibilities. “Right now we roll the cameras between the two studios, but if we invest in separate cameras for the news and sports studios, I can see us adding two more E.P.I.C.s.”

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