Date posted: May 6, 2015

Orlando-based worship-oriented college keeps student body informed, inspired with dynamic, multi-location network

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, May 6, 2015 The First Academy (TFA)—a worship-centered college preparatory school in Orlando, FL—has deployed a Carousel digital signage network from Tightrope Media Systems to keep its 1,200-plus student body informed and inspired.

Designed for scalability, security and ease of use, Carousel lets users fill displays with a montage of video, pictures, text, tickers, social posts, weather graphics and more. TFA regularly updates Carousel-driven information on eight 55-to-65-inch digital displays strategically located across its large campus. Each display is divided into zones dedicated to the different school divisions including: the Upper School (high school), Middle School and Lower School (K-6), athletics facility, media center, library, theater and school store.

The First Academy keeps its student body informed and inspired with lively and dynamic content driven by Tightrope’s Carousel platform

“Our goal was to engage students with timely, captivating content that would keep them informed about important school events while still celebrating the achievements of our students and teachers,” said Matt Eggert, M.S., director of technology and innovation for The First Academy. “We also wanted our signage system to be easy to use and update on the fly, with displays reinforcing our school brand identity. Carousel does everything we need as part of its automated workflow.”

The First Academy is committed to using state-of-the-art technology, including iPads, computers and digital media systems like Carousel to support and enhance the academic experience. In the case of Carousel, each school division can easily create unique content, which is automatically delivered to a zone on their display. While the Upper, Middle and Lower schools see information focused on their school experience, items that pertain to all TFA students, like school store sales or the weather, are pushed to all the displays at once.

Eggert notes, “The network quickly scaled after the Upper School went live with the initial Carousel media players,” inspiring a call to Tightrope’s Professional Services team to bring more creative and dynamic design elements to the network. The web-based Carousel server, which operates on the school’s existing local area network, supports up to 300 players should the campus choose to further expand, and as Eggert points out, “it’s a cinch to connect new players to Carousel’s virtualized backbone.”

“It didn’t take long before others across the campus wanted their own displays, so we expanded the system to support other departments very quickly,” said Eggert. “However, while Carousel has a wide array of built-in design tools, we turned to Tightrope’s professional design team to help design our templates. Over a conference call with Tightrope’s design team, we discussed how to apply our website’s look, colors and fonts to our Carousel displays, which Tightrope considered in the creation of our custom templates.”

The Carousel network expansion has opened new opportunities to drive content from different personnel. Teachers now regularly email photos to their displays’ administrator for posting, and Carousel automatically converts them to the file formats and resolutions needed by the system. Video clips can be programmed to run continuously in a loop, or simply run as a special bulletin at the top of the hour. Additionally, visits from college recruiters, college deadlines and messages from the guidance department are just some of the important announcements made on Carousel, reinforcing the power of a campus-wide digital signage network.

About Tightrope Media Systems

Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, Internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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Date posted: March 2, 2015

Robust and reliable CDN architecture with transcoding, distribution and playout services support live, on-demand content in multiple formats

Hendrik Information Systems, a Houston-based multi-platform technology systems provider, is taking distance learning and concurrent video streaming of educational content to the next level for some of the country’s largest medical institutions. Hendrik is relying exclusively on StreamGuys’ infinitely scalable, cloud-based content delivery network (CDN) and on-premise servers to facilitate automated transcoding services, as well as live and on-demand broadcast capability for all of their clients’ global events. Additionally, intelligent business software provides in-depth analytics to help Hendrik better understand its audience across every streaming event.

Hendrik partners with major academic medical centers and schools throughout the U.S. to successfully implement online content strategies that maximize knowledge, awareness and brand recognition. Working with StreamGuys gives Hendrik a robust and reliable content delivery infrastructure and comprehensive streaming expertise, without the liabilities and capital investment required to support online content delivery on their own. Hendrik’s client base includes Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist.

“When we began, StreamGuys was clearly the only CDN service provider that could build their offering around our business model,” said Mark Sangster, president and CEO of Hendrik. “Other CDNs tried to have us change our model to suit their service offerings. StreamGuys’ customer service stood apart, and has since become an integral part of our technology platform and support services for our medical clients.”

For a typical event, a keynote speaker is recorded and then delivered over the Internet to viewers around the world, using a wide variety of display devices. Typical webcasts include a dual feed with two unique players—one focused on the presenter and the other streaming a slideshow of content that supports the speaker. StreamGuys’ transcoding technology processes content once for delivery to online, mobile and OTT devices, while supporting multiple streaming formats. Hendrik, which currently uses its own in-house designed players, anticipates upgrading to StreamGuys’ HTML5-based SGplayer moving forward.

The StreamGuys SGmon service, offered in weekly, monthly and yearly subscription packages, provides real-time analytics to monitor peak usage time, helping Hendrik and others like them to make informed decisions in regards to scaling streams and associated concurrent user limits. In addition, the company’s SGreports software offers a deeper dive into audience comprehension, with detailed metrics on content usage tied to hits, visitors, streaming platforms and play duration. This is useful to Hendrik’s clients to help them judge the success of an event and plan future topics of interest.

Hendrik’s healthcare clients webcast a wide range of events, from seminars to “Grand Rounds” to full conferences. Sangster said that due to the busy schedules of healthcare professionals, many viewers take advantage of the video on-demand option if unable to view the live webcast. However, the company recently produced a very successful all-day event seen by several thousand webcast viewers from 29 US States and 33 International countries.

And all of its clients are slightly different. Miami Children’s Hospital, for example, streams live content every day, occasionally broadcasting two live events. Cedars-Sinai and Houston Methodist stream several events each month, as well as two annual all-day conferences. Hendrik also streams a very large annual medical conference called “Pumps & Pipes,” which is a program developed by Houston Methodist, Exxon and NASA.

StreamGuys’ backup services for redundancy are used extensively, in tandem with a high-availability server where the on-demand content resides for later use. Reliability for each live event is assured through a dedicated backup server that protects against failure. This is critical to the major academic and medical companies Hendrik works with, and also simplifies how both Hendrik and StreamGuys work with each hospital’s IT staff.

“More than their technology is the consulting, guidance, troubleshooting and technical support that StreamGuys provides for every event,” Sangster said. “We would not have the offerings we have today without them. They have created a personalized team for us, with 24/7 availability. Having an event not happen is very costly to Hendrik’s bottom line and industry reputation, so the entire infrastructure is carefully designed to ensure the viewers wouldn’t notice any unanticipated technical issue.”

About StreamGuys, Inc.

In business since 2000, StreamGuys is a provider of audio and video streaming toolsets and services.  The company has a reputation for outstanding customer service, a robust and reliable network, and competitive rates.  More than 600 clients worldwide, across many industries, depend on their mission-critical service.  Projects include serving as the technology backbone for live streaming/podcasting for top broadcasters such as Cox Media Group (CMG), New York Public Radio, WAMU Washington D.C., KQED San Francisco and WXPN Philadelphia; live video events for major auto racing circuits and the British Royal Wedding; audio streaming for government entities such as D.C. Court of Appeals, U.S. Army, and the National Science Foundation; mobile video content for Cisco Systems; and IPTV content for international broadcaster ABS-CBN.

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Date posted: February 26, 2015

Latest-generation of Tightrope Carousel, BrightSign media players enable stunning videowall displays, and affordable yet dynamic large-scale networks

Tightrope Media Systems and BrightSign are evolving their partnership throughout 2015, with new innovations to more effectively power videowalls and large out-of-home networks on a tightly integrated, scalable and robust signage architecture. The two companies are leveraging each company’s next-generation platforms within an integrated digital signage solution to enable these and additional benefits for their customers.

Last year at Digital Signage Expo, Tightrope and BrightSign announced a partnership to offer a very cost-effective enterprise solution with a full suite of tools. The combination of Tightrope’s strengths in advanced content creation and management, and BrightSign’s market-leading technology and signature reliability, results in a winning solution for any business or network operator to manage an affordable and sophisticated digital signage network.

Tightrope’s accelerated content rendering, combined with BrightSign’s enhanced connectivity for media playout via PoE support, enhances the value overall integrated solution for large out-of-home network deployments.

This year at Digital Signage Expo, Tightrope and BrightSign will demonstrate seamless integration between Tightrope’s Carousel digital signage system and BrightSign’s next-generation XD2 players. The companies will exhibit two spaces apart (Tightrope at 2631; BrightSign at 2131), demonstrating how the integrated platform produces stunning videowall displays; as well as highly scalable and manageable networks for enterprise-level businesses and organizations.

New features of the integrated platform including portrait mode display and H.264 video streaming support to enhance visual capabilities for any signage network or application. Additionally, newly available media player synchronization for videowalls ensures that Carousel can drive content to multiple BrightSign players, which collectively deliver video and graphics across many panels for cohesive output and display of stunning visual content.

BrightSign XD2 networked media players, to be shown in the North America for the first time at Digital Signage Expo, all feature faster HTML5 and graphics processing; as well as Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability to simplify the powering of BrightSign players in remote locations. The complete XD2 portfolio includes:

  • BrightSign XD232, a networked interactive player capable of full HD 1080p60 video decoding and simultaneous content playback from local, networked and streaming sources
  • BrightSign XD1032, a networked multi-control interactive player that adds support for pure digital and surround sound audio
  • BrightSign XD1132, a networked multi-control interactive player that adds support for live TV playback via an HDMI input and live TV player

Users of the integrated platform will also benefit from Carousel 6.5’s faster processing power, which accelerates content rendering at the creation levels. The faster upfront rendering ensures quicker delivery to BrightSign media players across networks of any scale.

BrightSign CEO, Jeff Hastings, agrees that the partnership is beneficial for customers across all vertical markets. “Our respective companies are committed to technology innovation and continued integration work to provide our integrators, VAR’s and end-users a leading solution for sophisticated and robust digital signage roll-outs in all shapes and sizes.”

Eric Henry, signage solutions lead, Tightrope Media Systems, adds that the evolving relationship between the two companies includes cooperative research and development efforts to ensure continued innovation across the integrated Tightrope/BrightSign platform.

“We continue to bring more depth to our partnership, with dedicated project managers from both companies working together to develop new features and functionality for our combined customer base of resellers, integrators and end users,” said Henry. “Digital Signage Expo is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the most recent innovations from our combined efforts.”

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Date posted: December 8, 2014

Touchscreen-enabled kiosk at new Football Performance Center engages visitors with 130 years of historical data about the UMass Minutemen football program

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, December 8, 2014 – The University of Massachusetts in Amherst recently opened its Football Performance Center, a 55,000 square foot facility representing the UMass Minutemen football program.  Visitors are greeted by a hall of fame showcasing the university’s 130-year football program as they enter the facility, located at the north end of Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium.  As part of the experience, the university sought an interactive kiosk to compile and present detailed information about the football program.  A Carousel digital signage solution from Tightrope Media Systems was selected to address the challenge, featuring custom software-defined programming to bring decades of historical and current data together.

The Carousel interactive kiosk was programmed by Tightrope to deliver a searchable, sortable digital signage experience on campus to enthusiasts of the UMass Minutemen program

The interactive kiosk catalogues an impressive array of details and statistics related to the storied football program, showcasing players, teams, coaches, seasons and accomplishments.  The system reaches beyond the realm of football action, generating information about the bands, mascots and other entries supporting the teams over the years.  In casting a wide net, it’s assured that every visitor engaged with the kiosk will discover something of interest while controlling the touchscreen.

“We wanted a searchable system that delivered an interactive experience for current players, students, alumni, fans and visitors,” said John Sinnett, assistant athletic director, University of Massachusetts.  “We faced the significant challenge of finding a system that could centralize 130 years of information, make it interactive, and intelligently display a large amount of content in a sortable manner on demand.  This is a homegrown system and we’re not aware of another university that offers anything similar. There’s no question that this was a steep hill to climb.”

Sinnett and his team soon engaged with Tightrope to generate a custom program for pulling historical and recent content from various online sources.  Driven by intelligent, automated software-defined triggers and a central content management system, the Carousel solution manages a giant block of XML data, extensively programmed to ensure the right information correlates with the right targets.

An external view of the new Football Performance Center, a hall of fame honoring the UMass Minutemen program and featuring the Tightrope interactive kiosk

However, Carousel’s trademark ease of use also provides staff with an intuitive interface to manually upload content, ensuring that missing details from player numbers and headshots to game stats and team descriptions can be effortlessly edited or added on the fly.

Most importantly, the varied and dynamically updating information gives everyone something to enjoy, increasing dwell times and generating a deeper connection between the user and the football program.  Current Minutemen players and their families can follow seasonal statistics, while visiting alumni can look back at past achievements.  Sinnett also views the interactive kiosk as an intriguing recruitment tool, allowing prospective players to search which Minutemen have made NFL rosters, and which teams have made collegiate football history over the years.

“The touchscreen is emblematic of the overall mission of the Football Performance Center,” said Sinnett.  “This venue ties in a large part of the program’s history into a modern home that will be a future cornerstone of the program.  Carousel is efficiently driving and disseminating information about the historical past and success of the program, while keeping visitors up to the date on the latest activities.  Tightrope is helping us push that history forward, drawing in anyone with interest in our football program.”

The system is based on a scalable architecture powered by a single Carousel 330 server, capable of supporting 15 channels should the university choose to add more kiosks or displays in the future.

 

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Date posted: July 14, 2014

Mobile production specialist captures, magnifies and streams Vanderbilt and University of Virginia commencements in HD

Mobile production is most often associated with the world of sports and large entertainment events, but a growing contingent of non-broadcast organizations are looking to outside production teams to increase quality and expand audience reach.

TNDV recently brought its mobile production expertise to the campuses of Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, achieving these goals and more for their spring graduation ceremonies.  TNDV transitioned both commencement productions to HD for the first time, vastly improving image magnification quality for the large attending crowds.  The company also streamed the live ceremonies worldwide to ensure families, friends and alumni could tune in from anywhere.

According to Nic Dugger, owner and president of TNDV, an increasing number of his clients across education, government and corporate verticals are recognizing the quick return on investment that comes with upgrading the production quality and taking the event to an external audience.

“Universities like Vanderbilt and University of Virginia realize that commencement is the most crucial day to a student’s life,” said Dugger.  “Graduation day sets the mood and tone to the student’s relationship with that university forever, and potentially influences future donations and ongoing involvement.  They want every student’s family to be able to experience the event with them, whether onsite or online, with the visual and audio quality required for total immersion.  It takes a professional mobile production crew and technology infrastructure to make that happen, especially when you are serving two very different audiences.”

TNDV built a true mobile production facility for each event, staffed with producers, directors, and a complement of switcher, graphics and playback operators.  The staff positioned multiple Hitachi HD5000 cameras around the venues, feeding back to its Inspiration truck.  On board, the signals were sweetened with graphics and audio, and routed to large LED screens on either side of the stage.  Throughout the productions, TNDV staff monitored multiviewer feeds both on board and outside the truck, the latter of which lent a professional production atmosphere for attendees.

The team also positioned an array of audience microphones throughout the crowd to capture the energy of the event for online audiences.  This replicated the in-person experience for those who couldn’t make the ceremonies.  Additionally, all camera feeds from the ceremonies, as well as special events surrounding the commencements, were recorded to Aja KiPro banks for future university use.

For Dugger, the tricky nature of producing graduation ceremonies is that unlike a live performance, the emphasis is not on a single artist or small group of performers.  Everyone involved is on equal footing, from guest speakers to the entire student body.

“The challenge across both the image magnification and live stream is to make sure that every student gets the recognition they deserve,” he said.  “Every student’s name needs to be seen and heard clearly.  Taking the leap to HD production makes that experience far more immersive, and ultimately more memorable.  And these productions were truly what you would see for a full-blown live broadcast.”

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Date posted: June 9, 2014

Using Tightrope’s Carousel solution, school district communicates news, events and more across multiple platforms to the benefit of students, faculty and parents

The Binghamton School District in the central-southern tier of New York State has discovered a way to communicate clearly with high school students, faculty and parents at once, creatively using digital signage technology from Tightrope Media Systems to deliver information inside the school and over the web.

Branded as Patriot TV, the school district rotates morning announcements with regular updated information on school events, weather and more to nearly every space in the Binghamton High School, reaching 1700 students across grades 9-12.  Using Tightrope’s Carousel digital signage solution, the IT-centric architecture allows the school to broadcast feeds on classroom SMART Boards and large monitors situated inside the cafeteria and within common areas.

Digital display screens in the cafeteria keep students abreast of school news, events and announcements during lunch

Additionally, Patriot TV feeds are replicated 24/7 on the school’s website, easily accessible from the front page.  This has the added benefit of giving parents an easy way to keep up with district news, school closings and other important information.

“We were really looking to simplify how the greater community accessed this information,” said Roxie Oberg, Principal at Binghamton High School.  “We wanted to provide a better experience than going to our website and navigating through a bunch of pages.  The Tightrope system puts everything in one place, in a visually appealing and easy-to-comprehend manner.  The community is learning about a lot of our activities through the Patriot TV web stream.”

This multiplatform approach was the driving influence behind adopting digital signage as opposed to more traditional methods.  An initial plan of launching a basic, traditional TV broadcast for morning announcements quickly transitioned to digital signage when its benefits of reaching wider audiences became clear.  And of all solutions explored, Lawrence Kassan, Coordinator of Special Events for the Binghamton City School District felt Tightrope offered the best mix for creativity, content management and price point.  Though Carousel supports unlimited screen zones, The Patriot TV output consists of four discrete zones and a constant data crawl of the morning announcements.

“The whole school doesn’t go quiet the minute the morning announcements come on, and we realized we could reach students and faculty all day through a rotational digital signage program,” said Kassan.  “The Carousel system gives us a very creative template to produce a dynamic output.  Integration with SMART Boards means that teachers can easily show Patriot TV feeds in the classroom when they are not using them for instruction.  And it has added to the overall school atmosphere as well.  The students are constantly looking at the big display screens.  There is a noticeable element of excitement.”

Students check out the Tightrope Carousel-driven feed for “Patriot TV” in a commons area inside Binghamton High School

Ease of use is another major benefit, according to Kassan.  Time-sensitive content is often added on the fly, though a rich scheduling function supports long-term planning.  Though Kassan currently handles all Carousel operations, the quick learning curve will allow him to train students and other faculty members heading into the 2014-15 school year.  Carousel’s user rights and permissions will help him facilitate the types of bulletins that can be created, screen areas that users can access, and advance content approval.

The opportunity to train other departments to use Carousel is especially pertinent given the school’s reputation as a creative force.  In fact, the high school boasts a school of the arts named after Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, who graduated from the school in 1943.

“The Rod Serling School of Fine Arts produces a tremendous amount of events covering theater, dance, concerts and more,” said Kassan.  “Our visual arts department has an excellent graphics arts department.  It’s a natural fit to have these faculty members and students contribute to Patriot TV.  And the easy learning curve of Carousel makes that a no-brainer.”

Kassan also expects to integrate the athletics department into the Patriot TV rotation, alerting the community about game schedules, results and other interesting sports highlights.

Date posted: February 24, 2014

Slo-mo instant replay system offers school a robust feature set, reliable performance and affordable price point for upgraded control room

GatorVision is the University of Florida athletic department’s broadcast and production initiative, handling live and on-demand event streaming and in-venue, game day coverage as part of its operation. The recently-built control room, located in the College of Journalism and Communications building on campus, houses a full complement of cutting-edge production gear suited to both outside broadcasts and in-venue content.

For in-venue productions, Tightrope Media Systems is helping the GatorVision production team score points with fans at football, basketball, volleyball and gymnastic events.  The control room includes two of its ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay systems to inject added excitement into game day action via multi-angle replays, on-the-fly highlight packages and more.

University of Florida student Neil Zimmerman operates a Tightrope ZEPLAY instant replay unit in the GatorVision control room.

Brad Noblitt, director of engineering for University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, states ease of use and flexibility as two reasons for choosing ZEPLAY over competitive solutions.  Noblitt has assigned a seasoned operator of a well-known instant replay brand to operate the primary system.  That operator simultaneously trains students to run the second ZEPLAY.

“The learning curve on ZEPLAY is not nearly as steep as competing products,” said Noblitt.  “We have a lot of student involvement at GatorVision, being part of the College of Journalism and Communications.  Our primary operator teaches students how to use ZEPLAY keystroke by keystroke.  Within an hour, the student can really understand the concept of the workflow.”

Noblitt also feels that ZEPLAY offers the best price to feature set ratio of slo-mo instant replay systems available.

“This gives us a true four-by-four system,” said Noblitt, referring to its four input and four output configuration.  “ZEPLAY offers a lot of flexibility based on the project size and budget.  We rely heavily on the system for the fan experience, and I am astounded by how quickly we can produce multiple replays.  We can fire off a replay even as our opponent heads back down the basketball court.  It is the meat and potatoes of our system.”

The GatorVision team further benefits from a built-in multiviewer that provides operators with a clear visual tool to monitor the various camera angles.  According to Noblitt, the ZEPLAYS never stop recording, which compel camera operators to keep shooting.  This ultimately creates exceptional value in terms of replay content.

Noblitt adds that the latest software release has simplified how his team can edit, trim and build packages for game highlights.  Additionally, the GatorVision team creates “melts” after every game for later use, with direct playout to our XDCam disc or as an exported .mov file(s).  This highlights the open, non-proprietary nature of ZEPLAY.

These features combined add even more to the educational experience for College of Journalism and Communications students interested in learning the system.

“We can easily set up a simulated game by taking our four camera feeds from the previous game, and using one of our ZEPLAY units to playback the game through our switcher,” he said.  “This helps us teach our students how to direct, how to TD and how to do replays offline.  If there is a problem we can hit stop, discuss what went wrong, back up a few plays and try it a different way.  We built that functionality into GatorVision because it is a teaching facility.  ZEPLAY offers a teaching tool to get students up to speed with true hands-on experience.”

Date posted: December 17, 2013

New Carousel software release adds Twitter, Facebook authentication alongside new visual enhancements tools to address evolving customer needs

Tightrope Media Systems announces a new software release for its tried-and-true Carousel digital signage platform, giving its customers new tools and enhancements that keep content fresh and enrich visual appeal.

Available today, the Carousel 6.4 software release supports direct Twitter and Facebook integration, simplifying how operators access and subsequently incorporate social media feeds into signage layouts.  This native connection, achieved via a simple login process, also better organizes social media integration so that content remains timely.

The new Carousel digital signage software release is focused on keeping content fresh and looking good

“Social media is so natural to people today that it’s easy for most to focus in and consume that information on signage platforms,” said Eric Henry, Signage Solutions Lead for Tightrope Media Systems.  “Our customers are increasingly seeking ways to ensure that their social media content is current, dynamic and well-aligned with their screen content.  It creates a natural connection between consumers and the businesses or organizations that rely on digital signage as a communications platform.”

The new Carousel software release also includes visual and operational enhancements to keep screens lively and appealing.  A new text character limit on Carousel bulletins eliminate screen crowding and wordy passages to retain viewers and strengthen messages.  Similarly, a new web preview feature offers a quick glance at clock bulletins to ensure content is synchronized and easy to digest.  Operationally, a new copy option allows for quick transfer of new bulletins to fresh templates, allowing users to create and customize layouts rich with up-to-date information.

“The new software release benefits our customers across all digital signage verticals we serve, including hospitality, transportation, sports and houses of worship,” said Henry.  “These enhancements also reflect what our customers are requesting today.”

Date posted: July 30, 2013

Compact, efficient design allows installation team to seamlessly integrate PowerChiton amplifier modules into existing scoreboard

Students rooting for the home team at Excelsior Springs High School in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, can now enjoy vibrant, crystal-clear sound as they take in football games and other events at their school’s outdoor stadium.  As part of a long-overdue audio upgrade, the school has installed two Technomad PowerChiton modules at the stadium to drive its loudspeakers, significantly improving sound quality.

The compact, low-profile – and weatherproof – design of the PowerChiton makes it easy for installers to co-locate the amplifiers with loudspeakers outdoors.

Kansas City, Missouri-based systems integrator Harvest Productions, which performed the upgrade, housed the new PowerChiton modules inside the stadium’s scoreboard.  The compact PowerChiton design enabled the unusual installation, ensuring they are not visible to spectators.  The PowerChiton amplifiers now deliver 1100 watts at four ohms, with excellent sound quality across the stadium.

The weatherproof design also ensures better outdoor protection than the school’s previous amplifiers, which were damaged from years of exposure to the elements.  PowerChiton modules are built with an integral IP66-rated, NEMA weatherproof shell, and can be installed anywhere without concern about moisture or dirt.

“The old amplifiers were a mess; we found insects nesting inside the amplifier casings, which were standard electrical boxes without any weather sealing,” said Martin Pilewski, Corporate Business Development Manager at Harvest Productions.  “Plus, the casings would cause the amplifiers to overheat.  Every time this happened the staff would turn up the volume, which caused the speakers to blow.  The PowerChiton was right in line with the school’s need for compact, weatherproof amplifiers.  Not only were they ideal for outdoor audio use, but they also fit within their budget.”

The efficient PowerChiton design requires only a passive radiator for cooling, so there is a lower chance that the system will overheat.  The amplifier unit is also fuse-protected for maximum operational efficiency.

“We have one of the most sophisticated high school stadiums in the area, and it was embarrassing when our speakers blew out during a football game,” said Roger Siegel, assistant director of activities at Excelsior Springs High School.  “We’ve been up and running with the new system for a year now and the sound quality is a monumental improvement. The audio is crisp, clear and perfectly leveled across the stadium.  We are absolutely thrilled with our new system.”

The PowerChiton is available in both wireless and Ethernet options.  Pilewski chose the Ethernet version as the most cost-effective configuration for Excelsior Springs High School.

“The system was easy to set up and install,” he said.  “There were already solid line level feeds in the scoreboard, so there was no need to overhaul anything just to install wireless units.  We just screwed the amplifier to a wall, connected the input and output through compression fittings and plugged in the unit.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.”

Date posted: July 23, 2013

Bannister Lake announces the release of BL Alert Tracker — a dynamic emergency notification system that offers an affordable alert management solution for live television broadcasts, second screen displays, digital signage installations, as well as mobile and web platforms.

BL Alert Tracker gives broadcasters, digital signage network operators and more a dynamic and affordable emergency notification system.

BL Alert Tracker offers complete control and flexibility over a variety of alerts, including EAS, AMBER alerts, weather, news, and other event and information notifications. The web-based content management interface combines automated data retrieval with manual text insertion and supports the inclusion of images. All alerts automatically expire after a period of time to ensure accurate, timely information distribution.

In an emergency, broadcasters, government offices, schools, and interest groups have only a few minutes to share emergency messaging with the public. “BL Alert Tracker’s simplified interface can group alerts by topic or location,” stated Georg Hentsch, president of Bannister Lake. “The solution is powerful enough to include in-line modification and spell checking tools, smart enough to prevent stale messaging, and streamlined enough to make the alert creation process simple. It’s the perfect set and forget solution.”

Visit Bannister Lake online: www.bannisterlake.com

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