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.

 # # #

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.”

# # #

Date posted: February 4, 2015

New pricing structure eliminates channel licensing costs, reduces price per end point

Tightrope Media Systems has refined its pricing strategy to benefit its entire Carousel customer base, reducing the cost of digital signage network deployments at any scale. The new cost structure removes the need to buy unique licenses for each channel, instead charging for server and player connections only.

Tightrope has long offered its customers the freedom to buy only what they need, instead of forcing them to purchase packaged systems or blocks of players. While the further simplification of pricing benefits all Carousel customers, it’s especially valuable for larger networks – or smaller networks with an interest in scaling to more end points. As a result, new and existing Carousel customers can customize as many channels as desired without escalating costs – and potentially experience a cost savings north of 50 percent in networks with more than 75 media players.

Tightrope’s new pricing structure focuses almost exclusively on server (pictured) and player connections, eliminating unique channel license costs and making large DOOH networks more affordable.

“Carousel has always offered a straightforward pricing structure, but we have further simplified the buying experience through unlimited, free channel licenses with the purchase of a Carousel server,” said Eric Henry, signage solutions developer, Tightrope Media Systems. “This is not only attractive for new customers, but also for existing customers that want to re-invest in their signage networks.”

Henry adds that resellers and systems integrators also benefit from a greatly reduced complexity in quoting systems or installations.

Additionally, end users can now virtualize any Carousel server, and deploy its software on any operating system. Tightrope’s Professional Services team offers remote integration assistance to any customer interested in virtualizing systems to ensure smooth and proper configuration.

“We believe there is tremendous value in a beautifully designed network with custom-branded channels, as well as having the end customer up and running quickly,” said Henry. “Ultimately, our goal is to remove constraints from the end user’s mind, lower their costs, and ensure they are leveraging their Carousel investment and all its possibilities.”

# # #

Date posted: January 29, 2015

Board-level module gives manufacturers, systems integrator a flexible foundation for Audio over IP product design

IP audio and control specialist Barix has long had a strong OEM business, with the company’s IPAM module series at the core of tens of thousands of devices deployed worldwide today.  At ISE 2015, Barix will exhibit its latest module, the IPAM302, for vendors and systems integrators seeking cost-efficient, openly programmable modules to build their own IP audio products—as well as for companies interested in private-label products manufactured by Barix.

The recently introduced IPAM302 is more compact and uses less expensive connectors than previous generation IPAM modules, further reducing the price of an already low-cost series. Most importantly, the IPAM302 is forward compatible for the next generation of IPAM modules, ensuring that OEMs can freely build a product today and easily replace the module in the field moving forward.

The IPAM302 allows Barix OEM partners to build Audio over IP products at a low cost today, and seamlessly upgrade to next-generation modules in the field

“Our OEM business accounts for nearly 25 percent of our business, and is among the primary reasons why Barix is considered a visionary in IP audio and control,” said Frank Frederiksen, managing director, Barix. “We remain dedicated to working with companies who need the freedom and flexibility to build their own solutions using Barix’s open programming environment, along with the reliability that our core technology delivers across security, transportation and professional AV applications.”

The IPAM302 is the board-level technology at the core of Barix’s latest-generation Instreamer IP encoders and Annuncicom two-way audio devices.  The board design includes one serial port and four I/O connections, which OEMs can map to relay closures and other devices such as an amplifier, IP speaker or door station to enable SIP intercom. Barix IPAM modules are especially popular for vendors and integrators building products for residential spaces, K-12 schools and university campuses, and fire safety and evacuation systems. Additionally, IPAM modules are at the heart of numerous OEM products for transportation, both on-board trains for paging and intercom; and inside stations for platform announcements.

Visitors to ISE 2015 can learn more about the capabilities of the IPAM302 at the Barix stand (Hall 8, 8-M245) in the RAI Conference Center, February 10-12.

Date posted: January 26, 2015

Digital signage industry veteran Thomas Pollum will lead sales and business development efforts across DACH countries

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, January 26, 2015 Navori announces the opening of a new office in Germany to support growing interest in its digital signage solutions across the German-speaking DACH countries of Germany (D), Austria (A) and Switzerland (CH). The company, which will soon unveil new branding, organizational strategy and products, has appointed industry Thomas Pollum to lead sales and business development from the new office, located in the City of Elmshorn.

Thomas comes to Navori with a history of success in director-level and management roles at BIS Germany (A Mood Media Company) and Samsung, among others. The Elmshorn office location will allow Thomas to drive closer customer intimacy, and develop deeper relationships with existing partners.

“The DACH region is one of the most important markets for Navori, and the establishment of a local office will increase our presence and brand awareness across German-speaking area,” said Pollum. “There is strong demand for powerful yet easy-to-use digital signage software as businesses of many sizes transition to digital media platforms, and recognize its value for everything from general communications to revenue generation. Navori offers the most reliable and user-friendly digital signage solution on the market, and our new office will enable the best possible support for our customers.”

Pollum points to increasing business with systems integrators, resellers and digital signage operators in the DACH region as a key strategy for Navori’s continued growth in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“As a Swiss company, the DACH region is a crucial market for Navori, which is renowned for local support worldwide,” said Ronni Guggenheim, managing director, Navori. “With this strong commitment to a local presence, we will drive growth and market penetration through enhanced customer focus and support. We are happy to add Thomas, who is well known and networked in the digital signage industry, to the greater Navori team.”

The new office location in Elmshorn is near the City of Hamburg, Germany. Thomas can be reached at t.pollum@navori.com, and will be present and available for meetings at the ISE 2015 show, February 10-12 at the RAI Conference Center in Amsterdam, Stand 8-M210.

 

 # # #

Date posted: January 5, 2015

Velocity Productions integrates interactive video wall, custom iOS app with ProVideoPlayer2 software to maximize playback quality and flexibility

The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center at 12Stone Church in Atlanta honors the life and impact of John’s global and generational leadership as an internationally recognized leadership speaker, author and pastor.  In celebration of his continuing legacy, visitors today enjoy interactive audio-visual presentations of John’s life and achievements across an immersive video wall controllable from several user stations.  The engaging video and graphical content is driven exclusively by Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer 2 (PVP2) software, bringing exceptional reliability and quality to a cost-efficient playback infrastructure.

Velocity Productions, an Atlanta-based production and systems integration company, was tasked with building out the video wall on a curved wall, using a custom mounting system to cleanly integrate multiple 46-inch Barco monitors in a four-wide, three-tall configuration.  The challenging integration project influenced the Velocity Productions team to evaluate technologies on the playback side that would not only deliver reliability and quality, but also bring balance to equipment and labor costs; and maintain operational simplicity moving forward.

Renewed Vision PVP2 software expertly plays out high-quality, user-selected videos from several iPads stationed near the video wall

“We primarily selected PVP2 for its low cost and ease of use, ensuring long-term value and a quick return on investment,” said Brian Morrison, director of AV integration, Velocity Productions.  “It’s affordable, and straightforward operationally.  The layouts are appealing, and the playlists are easy to create and manage.  Simply put, we wanted something that works well on a daily basis and provides the quality of other high-end playback systems on the market — without the expense.  That said, PVP2 is enabling the center to achieve some very interesting applications.”

The PVP2 software resides on a Mac Pro at the core of the operation, delivering two display port signals to a DVI adapter to transport signals to the video wall.  With the video wall arranged in a 4×3 configuration, Velocity Productions programmed the PVP2 software to split the wall into two, 2×3 sections, sending each a 1920×1080 image.  The video monitors then break up the video signal across all monitors in each 2×3 section.  Next to the video wall, visitors can trigger content using a Savant Systems six-button controller to drive the first level of interactivity.

Velocity Productions also developed a custom Savant Systems iOS app to control the video wall content.  PVP2 integrates with a Savant Systems controller via the DMX over Artnet protocol to add a second interactive element to the experience for the staff.  This allows staff to scroll through and recall any of eight educational videos produced exclusively for the John C. Maxwell Center from an iPad, iPhone or Apple laptop.  The eight videos otherwise rotate across the video wall on a continuous basis, all built around John’s leadership reputation with each video dedicated to a specific time in his life.

“PVP2 really gave us the flexibility to align the layouts and content to the screens, which was not easy given the unusual video wall format,” said Morrison.  “The software provides a level of adjustability without complexity.  While there is a feature that allows us to add layers for a richer output, we’re outputting a simple setup of layers where we’re matching outputs to signals coming and out.  But, we could make every single screen unique, and that ability to adjust moving forward is pertinent to its long-term value.

“Beyond that, the interoperability between PVP2 and Savant Systems was key in really taking the experience to a higher level,” added Morrison.  “From an integration perspective, it was easy as bridging the two systems together over the network.  Visitors to the center benefit the most, using our custom iOS app to watch and listen to presentations across several personal stations.  In the future, we anticipate adding 4K content to the video wall, which PVP2 natively supports.  We see many interesting opportunities with this installation moving forward.”

Date posted: November 18, 2014

PointCloud Media develops unique projection architecture driven though ProVideoPlayer2 software to entertain hotel guests year-round

The Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu launched its Helumoa Playground Superpool series earlier this fall, comprising two distinct 3D pool mapping light show stories presented twice every evening to entertain hotel guests and the general public.  Billed as the world’s first permanent installation of its kind, the 3D pool mapping shows are projected across a 7,503-square foot pool canvas, demonstrating lively displays of volcanic eruptions in “Helumoa – the birth of Hawaii”; and the rise of historical Hawaiian resorts and water sports in “Helumoa – the legendary story of Waikiki.”

The Sheraton Waikiki hired PointCloud Media, a full-service production company specializing in 3D projections, to develop innovative, energized shows featuring graphic figures and images projected onto the nearly 200,000 gallon superpool.  The PointCloud solution integrates its core Raylight4D mapping system—responsible for superimposing visual content on the pool to mesmerizing effect—with seven ultra-bright projectors and reliable, cost-efficient playback software from Renewed Vision.

An overhead view of PointCloud Media’s 3D pool mapping projection, driven by Renewed Vision ProVideoPlayer 2 software

The integration of Renewed Vision’s ProVideoPlayer 2 (PVP2) software is significant as it drives playback for all seven projectors from two Mac Pro computers, saving PointCloud Media tens of thousands of dollars in comparison to expensive hardware-based packages.  Additionally, PVP2 simplifies the overall workflow, allowing PointCloud Media to automate playout and quickly adjust show schedules in the event of inclement weather or special circumstances.

“Over the years, we have used many different servers to augment video projections on large buildings, and they were all very complicated to operate, requiring real experts,” said Jack Hattingh, president, PointCloud Media.  “The Renewed Vision PVP2 software reliably plays out all content from a stable platform, without the expense of purchasing or renting a system and hiring a full-time operator.  I can purchase PVP2 software and a Mac Pro for the price of a three-week rental of most competing products.  Being a permanent installation, the return on investment with PVPV2 is nearly immediate.”

The end-to-end architecture includes five rooftop Barco HDQ-2K40 40,000 lumen projectors positioned 320 feet in the air to project visual content onto the pool, along with two 20,000 lumen projectors at ground level to project visuals onto adjacent rock formations.  The workflow starts with a 4000×4000 content file for the pool map and a 3840×1080 file for the rock formations.  A Mac Pro running PVP2 at each location slices the 4000×4000 file into five separate 1920×1080 feeds with mild overlap.  The fluid pool reflections and surrounding ambiance add an element of reality to the custom 3D mapping projections.

“PVP2 allows us to fine-tune the mappings on the fly to create the best convergence between the projected images,” said Hattingh.  “Its advanced rending engine, coupled with the power and reliability of the Mac Pro, enables smooth playback of the massive video file across all five outputs.  PVP2 is also allowing us to create some unusual projections, as we’re blending from four corners geometrically rather than top to bottom or left to right.  PVP2’s flexibility has made it easy to create a unique mosaic map with plenty of light that audiences can enjoy.”

The master system on the roof is connected to the second rock projection system 31 stories below via a fiber-optic connection, with all content triggered simultaneously from both PVP2 servers.  As each show begins, PVP2 triggers a contact closure relay to change the sound system from the standard background music service to the PVP2 audio feed.  A third Mac Pro system outfitted with PVP2 supports a hotel broadcast on Channel 37, with viewers able to enjoy a live cut of the pool projections at the moment the light show music begins.

PointCloud Media representatives routinely monitor the system from their offices near Dallas to ensure everything is working properly, with the ability to stop, pause, restart and reschedule shows as needed.  A third, holiday-themed show is now in development, given the success of the first two shows.  Additionally, the simple learning curve of the system will allow hotel staff to use the system for other business opportunities as desired.

“PVP2 and the rest of system is very easy to learn and operate, so the hotel can easily use this for conferences and other themed events by the poolside,” said Hattingh.  “Furthermore, they can easily gain an additional return on investment by renting the system to businesses and clients.”

# # #

Date posted: October 28, 2014

Transition to IP audio simplifies scheduling, playout of music for Ohio retail campuses

The Dutchman Hospitality Group specializes in helping its guests slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.  Keeping with this philosophy, the company has turned to Barix to centralize its in-store radio programming on its core IT network, transitioning to the Barix Store&Play IP audio solution to simplify the scheduling and playout of content on three of its largest retail and hospitality campuses.

Based in Amish country in rural Walnut Creek, Ohio, Dutchman Hospitality Group sought a unified solution to deliver audio programming across multiple buildings to maintain a consistent and pleasant customer experience — a feat that proved impossible with separate CD players and the “everyone’s a DJ” approach.  The company put its IT contractor, Mark Greenawalt of Makarios Networks, in charge of finding a cost-efficient solution that would offer better control of the overhead music in each building.

The Barix Store&Play solution simplifies scheduling and playout of music for Dutchman Hospitality Group, while using minimal network resources to distribute high-quality audio

“When we made the business decision to have a single source of overhead music on each campus, the challenge of distributing the audio seemed to require pulling new wires between each building,” said Greenawalt.  “I discovered Barix Store&Play while conducting research, and discovered that their solution converts audio to data packets for network distribution, before converting back to audio at the playout point.  Once I realized we could use our existing infrastructure, it became clear that transitioning to Barix would save a lot of time, labor and money.  The devices are inexpensive, and the ease of setup made the overall transition very affordable.”

Since discovering Barix, Greenawalt has since transitioned Dutchman Hospitality Group’s Walnut Creek and Sugar Creek campuses, which include multiple buildings spread across large areas, featuring a mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns.  In the Ohio town of Berlin, the company is streaming music from the Berlin Farmstead Restaurant to the Carlisle Country Inn a quarter-mile down the road, taking advantage of Barix’s flexibility in networking audio across separate, distant properties.

The distribution of audio over the network via Barix technology delivers a more consistent hospitality experience across the mix of retail stores, restaurants and inns on three Dutchman Hospitality Group campuses.

The Barix Store&Play solution is configured to minimize use of network resources, downloading programs for playback on a scheduled basis.  The network architecture includes a central Instreamer device on each campus to encode audio into files for streaming over the network; and Exstreamer devices at each remote building to receive and decode the files back to high-quality audio.  With fiber-optic connections and a Gigabit Ethernet backbone already in place, Greenawalt had the Barix system online and streaming audio across all assigned locations within days.  The IP-addressable Barix solution has operated flawlessly, producing outstanding audio quality with exceptional reliability.

“Being a musician, I have to say that I’m very impressed with the sound quality,” said Greenawalt.  “But the ease of configuration and reliability is what really makes this special.  The Barix receiving devices plug directly into our sound systems, instead of requiring investment in new amplifiers and loudspeakers.  As one representative in a two-person IT department, having a low-maintenance solution is huge.  It really is a set-and-forget system, with no wires to pull and no extra materials or components required.”

Looking ahead, Greenawalt expects that the Barix system will be used solely for the purpose of reliable background music distribution, but envisions opportunities to scale the network to additional locations on each campus as new services develop.

“The Barix IP audio solution strikes me as having an internet radio station for our own private campuses,” he said.  “The sky is the limit in terms of where we can take it in the future.  Considering its flexibility and ease of configuration, I’m not sure there is anything you can’t do with this system in terms of audio distribution if you are thinking creatively.”

Date posted: October 21, 2014

TNDV’s sixth truck integrates the production capabilities of the industry’s largest trucks into a more manageable, customer-friendly footprint

Mobile production specialist TNDV has added a sixth truck to its fleet, allowing the company and its growing staff to meet increasing demand for its live production services around the country.  Dubbed Elevation, the 40-foot truck delivers all the power of the industry’s largest trucks in a more manageable, energy-efficient footprint.

Elevation offers a similar video and audio infrastructure to TNDV’s other medium-sized, multi-format mobile production trucks, flexibly integrated to accommodate live and recorded shoots of any size.  The architecture adopts TNDV’s strategy of flexibly customizing the workflow to meet any client’s demands, rather than forcing broadcasters, venues and other customers to work within a strict, fixed system.

Elevation expands TNDV’s mobile production fleet of small-to-medium format trucks to six – and features all the technical capabilities of the industry’s largest trucks

Elevation also adds unique energy-efficient flourishes to differentiate it from other mobile production trucks, including an on-board 25kW generator to power air conditioners and the entire Elevation production infrastructure.  This makes Elevation an ideal choice for isolated remote shoots—a common task for the TNDV team—by eliminating the costs and headaches of finding power in more secluded locations.

“Elevation becomes self-powered with the flip of an onboard switch, eliminating the costs of expensive generator rentals,” said Nic Dugger, TNDV Owner and President.  “TNDV specializes in challenging shoots in unusual locations, from private outdoor concerts to high-intensity athletic events in temporary venues.  This helps us reduce costs for our clients, and is especially helpful for tight production budgets.”

The medium-sized footprint also aligns with TNDV’s strategy of keeping trucks manageable for clients working within limited spaces, including arenas and temporary outdoor venues.  This strategy accelerates load-in and load-out times while taking up less real estate on location.  At 40 feet long, Elevation is the same size as TNDV’s flagship Aspiration truck, a vehicle that TNDV clients appreciate for its features-to-size ratio.  Like Aspiration, Elevation includes a Ross Vision 3 switcher, an Imagine Communications Platinum integrated router, and Aja Ki-Pro recorders on the video side, along with multiple Hitachi SK-HD1000 cameras for multi-standard, multi-format field production at premium quality.  The audio infrastructure is also similar, with a redundant ProTools system, JoeCo MADI recorders and an 80-port RTS ADAM intercom system—but adds a Soundcraft VI-3000 audio console for expanded functionality.

“The VI-3000 moves us into the 96-input world from the 64-input world of our other video-centric trucks, and adds an integrated I/O infrastructure located physically on the desk itself,” said Dugger.  “This not only increases our channel count for larger audio productions, but simplifies our setup and configuration process for signal processing and source equipment across the audio infrastructure.”

Elevation has been used for several successful productions since taking to the highways in early September, including the 2014 Re/Max Long Drive Challenge golf tournament in Nevada; and the Celebrate Freedom Atlanta concert, hosted by local radio station 104.7 in Jim Miller Park.  Elevation has also visited the Governor’s Mansion in Kentucky to produce a free private concert.

With TNDV’s fleet at six mobile production trucks, Elevation joins the previously mentioned Aspiration truck alongside Inspiration, another 40-foot truck for medium-sized productions; Vibration, a 53-foot specialized audio production truck with remote recording facilities; and two additional trucks, Origination and Blackjack, designed for smaller-sized productions.

 # # #

Date posted: September 22, 2014

Systems integration specialist Human Circuit, Inc. networks Tightrope Carousel system across two locations, and multiple conference rooms and common areas

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, September 22, 2014 Choice Hotels, the corporate parent of several well-known hotel chains in the United States, recently relocated its Maryland headquarters to the northern Washington, DC suburb of Rockville.  The company occupies six floors of a newly built 10-story building, with a second corporate location in Phoenix, Arizona.  With various conference spaces and thoroughfares to communicate across, Choice Hotels turned to systems integrator Human Circuit, Inc. to design a complete professional AV system with a dynamic and interactive digital signage network from Tightrope Media Systems.

Tightrope’s Carousel solution was selected for its interactive capabilities and ease of use, allowing Choice Hotels to customize outputs depending on the nature of the message for each location.  The network serves three main corporate communication purposes:  interactive wayfinding, historical education, and general information for visitors and personnel.  The open nature of Carousel has also made it easy to incorporate business operations, such as Outlook integration for real-time schedule of meetings and events.

“We work with a number of signage companies and representatives for many different manufacturers,” said Kevin Filano, systems design engineer, Human Circuit, Inc.  “Tightrope was an ideal choice for this project because Carousel is highly customizable, which was important given the targeted content across different locations.  Their layouts are non-cluttered and elegantly designed, which works great for a corporate environment.  Tightrope makes sure the end user can display the right amount of information without making it look too busy, while retaining a smooth and professional look.”

The main business operation is centered on the fourth floor, and is naturally the most visible part of the network.  The main conference center and several reconfigurable meeting rooms rotate a variety of engaging content, but the interactive elements of the network are spread throughout the building.  The wayfinding displays are found at elevator lobbies and stairwells along a staircase spanning all six floors.  Visitors can view a floor map, daily schedule and page through an alphabetical staff directory to pinpoint floor, room and other pertinent information.  The historical education displays also incorporate interactive elements, engaging both visitors and staff.

“Choice Hotels added an interactive museum area to play out video clips that educate on the history of the company,” said Filano.  “A lot of thought went into the layout, color scheme and playout of these interactive elements for both the historical and wayfinding displays.  We worked very closely with Tightrope to achieve that.  Their programming services were instrumental in bringing everything together on time.”

According to Filano, the installation process was unusual as his team was working in tandem with general contractors and architects as the building was raised.  This had the benefit of cleanly integrating the entire technology infrastructure, including the digital signage, into the overall architecture.  However, there was no downtime to create punch lists and program systems, which made Tightrope’s professional services that much more critical to the signage network’s success.

“Normally, the contractor completes 90 percent of the job before we even come on site, but we were pulling cables and hanging displays while they were raising walls,” said Filano.  “We had enough to manage on the AV installation side, so we took advantage of their services to enable the custom functionality of the various outputs, and assist with signage network configuration.”

The overall Carousel architecture for Choice Hotels is clean and network-friendly, using a virtual server cluster with intelligent software to drive content instead of a central computer.  The robust network now extends to the Phoenix corporate location, with similar content created, managed and driven from the Rockville headquarters, where Carousel’s remote capabilities also enable network-wide troubleshooting from a central location.  The scalable Carousel backbone ensures that Choice Hotels can expand to additional displays at the Phoenix location without significantly driving up costs, labor or operational complexity.

“One of the biggest benefits of Carousel is ease of use and learning curve, which is important as the network scales,” said Filano.  “Choice Hotels has already had a handful of people move around in the company that were previously operating Carousel.  With a number of different operators taking over the system, they have had no issues with those transitions.”

# # #

Copyright 2012 Dimension PR | All Rights Reserved. Web services provided by TAG Online

Latest Stories RSS | Comments RSS