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AAMI Parrkk K Kicks icks Off

BANG THE GONGS: AVIA AWARDS SPECIAL AV ON THE HOOF: CANNING STOCK ROUTE EXHIBITION DIVING INTO THE THINK TANK: WHAT’S THE INFOCOMM 100 ALL ABOUT?

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04

Editorial The end of the video conferencing universe as we know it

the vast majority of companies who will go for a system like this would probably never have asked us for the kind of VC systems we could have sold them last week. Because these systems are going to be configured and installed by the guy in the office with the home theatre, a component sound system or a couple of computers and an unsecured wi-fi router, it will probably work, but probably not very well. After the first few meetings with head office when the sound is unintelligible because it’s not loud enough, badly gated, feeding back, drowned out by passing traffic, or too inconsistent between speakers; somebody will eventually realise that the system needs improving. Nobody is going to be happy to be seen by their staff or clients in green, flickering pictures, with their eyes in shadow or the room too dark compared to the burned-out window. These difficulties of course are exactly the ones we have spent the last few decades learning to avoid with proper system and room design. Now, thanks to Cisco and the huge marketing campaign it’s about to launch, thousands of businesses are going to install totally unsuitable loungeroom VC systems we will be able to help them configure, re-install correctly, expand to fit the room and improve to the point of usability. Welcome to our exciting new VC universe. Andy Ciddor, Editor If you can suggest a topic that we haven’t covered yet, or better still a loopy way of linking our randomness into themes, please contact me: andy@av.net.au

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Just as we were going to press, the Cisco Borg announced what it had done with some of the technology companies it has assimilated in the last few years. It had long since captured the very top end of the Government/Fortune 500/ASX 100 videoconferencing (VC) market with its Telepresence product that was sold directly to IT departments while they were shopping for their big networking iron. So much so, that in 2008 when we approached them for some product information about Telepresence, the response was that Cisco had no interest in the professional AV sector, as Telepresence was an IT product. A mere 12 months later, they assimilated Tandberg; Logitech consumed Lifesize; and we were left pondering the outcome and its impact on our industry. We now know at least one of those answers: Umi (pronounced ‘You Me’) is being promoted as consumer level, loungeroom-toloungeroom video chat application. It’s based around a customer’s existing television (with an HDMI connector) and existing broadband connection. The US$600 system includes a set-top box that connects to the supplied camera and television, to provide a simple interface designed for everyone in the family to use. Available in the US by the time you read this, Umi will offer unlimited conferencing time for US$25 per month. Connection is via Cisco’s routing system in the Cloud, needing 1.5Mbps of your bandwidth for 720p or 3.5Mbps for 1080p conferencing. Consumer or commercial by intent, when Umi arrives here it’s going to open large-screen VC up to any business that can afford to put a Kogan/JB Hi-Fi TV in its meeting room. There go thousands of our customers who will never buy their VC from us. Except that

Not just a magazine www.av.net.au AV Industry Jobs Board: the best place to hire & be hired


HDMI & DVI Boards Now Shipping! Active HDCP Status Reporting automatically reads and reports HDCP authentication for all connected sources

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Intelligent Technologies for Digital System Integration Digital signal technologies are now very much a part of commercial A/V system designs. Integrators working with digital signals face three primary challenges – maintaining signal integrity throughout the system, ensuring compatibility between devices, and working with content protection schemes such as HDCP. The new HDMI and DVI Pro matrix boards for the Extron SMX System MultiMatrix are engineered with the intelligent technologies you need to succeed and thrive in the digital era. HDCP Status Reporting and Compliance Checking actively reads and reports HDCP status for all connected sources. Non-compliant displays are sent a green signal, providing visual indication that the signal path is intact and protected content cannot be displayed.

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Crew Starting out in life training as a dentist, Stuart soon saw the error of his ways. Instead he started up an AV company in London in 1984, and has been in AV ever since. His expertise is in vision for live events, from 35mm slide to videowalls, projection, and more recently, blending and multi-projector systems. He has worked as technical director for touring television shows and corporate events of all sizes, and has spent the past 10 years as General Manager at Haycom.

Cover Photo: Sandra Davis Advertising Office: (02) 9986 1188 PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086

Editorial Office: (03) 5331 4949 PO Box 295, Ballarat, VIC 3353

Editor: Andy Ciddor (andy@av.net.au) Publication Manager: Stewart Woodhill (stewart@av.net.au)

Mandy Jones is Events Producer for Museum Victoria, responsible for producing media launches and special events across the organisation’s four sites (Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum, Scienceworks and the Royal Exhibition Building). Previously she worked in venue hire sales, and in all aspects of indoor and outdoor theatre including production and stage management, lighting design and operation. For many years Mandy was the Melbourne correspondent and photographer for Connections/CX magazine, and also served on the ALIA committee as a board member and honorary secretary.

Editorial Director: Christopher Holder (chris@av.net.au) Publisher: Philip Spencer (philip@av.net.au) Art Direction & Design: Dominic Carey (dominic@alchemedia.com.au) Additional Design: Leigh Ericksen (leigh@alchemedia.com.au) News Editor: Graeme Hague (news@av.net.au) Accounts: Jen Temm (jen@alchemedia.com.au) Circulation Manager: Mim Mulcahy (subscriptions@av.net.au)

Nick Macfie is a live event production manager and technical director, who so far this year has orchestrated the production elements of events such as Movie Extra Tropfest, the official launch of AAMI Stadium and the Australian Hair Expo, along with the 10th Birthday celebration of airline Virgin Blue. Nick is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Music. While still a student there in 2003, he co-founded Production Technologies which operates out of Sydney serving the production needs for event, marketing and experiential agencies, both locally and internationally.

alchemedia publishing pty ltd (ABN: 34 074 431 628) PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 info@alchemedia.com.au All material in this magazine is copyright © 2010 Alchemedia Publishing Pty Ltd. The title AV is a registered Trademark. Apart from any fair dealing permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. The publishers believe all information supplied in this magazine to be correct at the time of publication. They are not in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. After investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, prices, addresses and phone numbers were up to date at the time of publication. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements appearing in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility is on the person, company or advertising agency submitting or directing the advertisement for publication. The publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, although every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy. 18/10/10

Pete Swanson recently joined AMX as NSW/ ACT Business Manager, prior to which he has spent over a dozen years in the world of AV integration including time as Director of WSP Lincolne Scott’s AV consultancy division, working as a contractor with Electrosonic and as an AV designer in the UK. He is almost uncontrollably passionate about improving the AV industry and has found an outlet for this passion in his work with InfoComm, where he is involved with promoting the organisation and developing industry standards.


SmartScale

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SmartScale™ Ensures Every Display Always Looks It’s Best Effortless Switching – SmartScale, an integrated part of our DGX and DVX signal management systems, solves the complexities of integrating multiple signal types and resolutions in today’s complex AV systems. Scales Resolution – Matches incoming video signal to each individual display, automatically and without manual setup. Preserves Signal – Maintains integrity of the original signal quality throughout the signal path.

TA DAFER ID S EDRAN T SmartScale Source

AMX SmartScale equipped Signal Management Device

Receiver or Output

Come see SmartScale at the AMX Integrate Booth #F18 For more information visit www.amxaustralia.com.au or contact AMX Australia on (07) 5531 3103 or sales@amxaustralia.com.au © 2010 AMX.


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Issue 13 REGULARS NEWS A full wrap of news out of Integrate 2010, along with the latest new product information.

16

INFOCOMM NEWS Regional news from InfoComm.

64

TERMINATION It’ll almost never be right on the night.

66

AVIAs SPECIAL

50

Photographer: Michael Hill

AVIA WINNERS & NOMINEES We take you through the winners, the losers, and the deliberations behind the inaugural Audio Visual Industry Awards.

24

QUESTACON: JAPAN THEATRE More on the winner of ‘Best Audiovisual Installation Under $1m’ category.

32

LA TROBE UNI SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY More on the winner of ‘Best Use of AV in Post Secondary Teaching’ category.

36

FEATURES

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IN THE RIGHT BALLPARK The AAMI Park installation kicks goals.

40

AAMI PARK: OPENING, READY OR NOT We hear a first person account of the opening night of AAMI Park, which was both hair-raising and exhiliarating.

46

TAKING STOCK National Museum of Australia’s extraordinary multi-touch Canning Stock Route exhibit.

50

REVIEWS HITACHI CP-WUX645N WUXGA LCD Projector.

54

XTA DC1048 Audio Processor.

56

MARTIN M1 Mid-sized Lighting Console.

58

TUTORIALS

40

Photographer: Joe Casmento

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54

THE INFOCOMM 100 A first-hand, behind-the-scenes account of the international industry think-tank.

60

SIGNAL COMPRESSION The process of digital audio and video compression.

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012

NEWS

Action at the Amber stand. Rod Sommerich can be seen delivering the spin on the SpinetiX HMP100.

In the Headroom. Craig Gamble, Chris d'Bais and David Claringbold explaining how to successfully upgrade a performing arts centre.

Checking out the latest generation of Sanyo interactive whiteboard.

Avolites consoles being ignored in favour of the liquid refreshements during the ULA reception.

Smelling the roses? Almost. The Panasonic display featured a very impressive 105-inch 3D plasma panel.

The Soundcraft S1 console. The gentlemen in the background in the Jands shirts are Paul Mulholland and Tim Kennard.

NAS’s Chris Cumming demonstrates the range of Heil Sound microphones via the MyMix networked personal mixer/recorder.

One of the several areas required to display the vast range of products available from Hills Sound Vision & Lighting.

The frequently-heard response to the first Integrate show in 2009 was “at last, a tradeshow for the AV industry”. That theme continued to echo through the 2010 show as even more of the industry were there; showing their wares, meeting old friends, checking out the latest available technologies, attending the seminars and training sessions, and most importantly, trying to find the best quality give-away pens and carry bags. It was good

to catch up with so many of you around the show. As indication of the type of people who attended, 56.3% indicated an interest in AV installation, 40.5% in multimedia, 25.9% in education technology, 52.8% in pro audio, 40.5% in lighting, 30.6% in venue technology, 20.5% in post production, 19.1% in broadcasting and 25.9% in staging, while only 5% were interested in

musical instruments. (Clearly the registration questionnaire allowed visitors to indicate multiple areas of interest.) Perhaps the biggest growth area for the 2010 show was the educational content. There were substantially increased numbers of seminars and training sessions from associations, interest groups, distributors, and manufacturers. Add to these the first-time offerings in areas such as, education technology,

Audio Technology World and technology for worship, and the choice of topics and levels of training were sufficient to overwhelm some visitors. Integrate 2010 also saw the presentation of the first AV Industry Awards, an opportunity for you to show off what you do well to and see what others are up to and how they’re going about it. You can find out lots more about the AVIAs – the finalists and winners – in the

AVIA feature in this issue of AV. And, for the majority of the industry who didn’t have the time, frequent flyer points, or travel allowance to attend the show this year: over the following pages we’re showing some highlights of the products that were on show at Integrate this year. Maybe you can make it to Integrate 2011 – now with extra-strength InfoComm. – Andy Ciddor


Magna Systems & Engineering: DAS güt.

A fully-caffeinated John Walsh (Gencom), Damian Zuvich, David King, and Grant Clayton watch on as AMX’s Graham Barrett weaves his magic.

The Production Audio Services and Extron stands were busier than Baghdad builders.

Hills SVL’s Joel Mulpeter in full swing as Sovereign Hill’s Adam Reid and Balanced Technology’s Kristian Gardiner take heed.


014

NEWS

AMX: FEEL THE POWER

NOT FOR THE SQUARE-MINDED

EXTRON: SWITCH SWITCHES

Released by AMX the NXA-PDU-1508-8 power distribution unit (PDU) allows you to control the rack as well as control the room. Managing power delivery, the PDU monitors energy consumption of each connected component and restricts power to any or all devices not in use. With eight individually monitored and controlled AC outlets, built-in 12V power supply, two sets of four AxLink Bus Strips and power monitoring for each outlet, the PDU can reduce wasteful standby power usage. Native NetLinx control over AxLink integrates the PDU with AMX Control systems and Resource Management Suite (RMS). It’s designed for commercial and residential installations wanting to reduce energy usage costs, minimise their carbon footprint and protect valuable electronics. The PDU adds a basic level of control by allowing remote reset of devices via a power cycle, reducing the need to send staff to a customer site, which means... ah, you can turn stuff off and on again. Next we need something to remotely thump the side of the telly! AMX Australia: (07) 5531 3103 or www.amxaustralia.com.au

VR Solutions introduced Christie’s Entero LED Cube, designed for command and control room applications and video wall environments. The Entero LED Series has been designed for an ‘extraordinarily’ long life with reliable operation and constant performance quality – so much so that Christie is willing to label it as a Zero Maintenance design for 24/7 rear screen projection display systems. Cost savings are achieved by eliminating all consumable components such as lamps, dust filters and colour wheels. The rated life of the LED illumination module itself is 60,000 hours while Christie’s high-reliability design reduces the risk of component or system failures. The Christie Entero LED includes ArrayLOC, an intelligent automatic brightness and colour management minimizing the need for human intervention and wall disruption – I think that means some of us are out of a job. All projection displays in the video wall array communicate with each other via Ethernet to ensure consistent matching and no external computer or controller is required for wall monitoring. VR Solutions: (07) 3844 9514 or www.vrs.com.au

Extron’s new MPS409 combines five separate switches into one enclosure, 3x3 HDMI with embedded audio, 2x1 DVI, 2x1 VGA/HDTV component video, 2x1 composite video and 9x1 analogue stereo audio. The separate switches are able to work independently of each other as normal, however a number of different modes change the balance of operation. Combine Switcher Mode allows all the digital video sources to switch together to a single HDMI output with audio from the corresponding digital inputs then output through the local and program audio outputs. In Single Switcher Mode all the format switchers combine to create nine inputs and in Separate Switcher Mode each signal format group is able to switch independently to their own output, making the MPS409 effectively four separate video switchers. The microphone and program audio outputs have front panel adjustment and a ducking processor cuts in when a microphone signal is detected. The MPS409 has 48v phantom power and is a 1U device. RGB Integration (08) 8351 2188 or www.rgbintegration.com.au

NEWS IN BRIEF

The new AMD series power amplifiers and mixer amplifiers from Australian Monitor comprise six models covering all types with features like remote source selection, volume control, and parametric EQs. The AMD series use Class D class amplification with constant voltage and low impedance outputs and have on-board DSP processing. Hills SVL: (02) 96471411 or nsw@hillssvl.com.au

BSS Audio has released two new processors in its Soundweb London product range. The BLU101 offers 12 input and eight outputs with the usual suspects of DSP available, such as automatic gain control and noise cancelling. However its tour de force is the AEC (acoustic echo cancellation) on each channel. Jands: (02) 9582 0909 or info@jands.com.au

Robe’s new Robin 600 Series of moving light fixtures come in three flavours, the Robin 600E Spot, Robin 600E Wash and Robin 600 E Beam, all of which use a new patented cooling system and improved optical systems. A silent control system allows users to carefully adjust the desired noise levels while maintaining the best lamp operating temperatures. ULA Group: 1300 852 476 or www.ula.com.au

Grass Valley’s T2 iDDR is a next-generation intelligent digital disk recorder (iDDR) that combines advanced nonlinear features like direct, frameaccurate access to content with VTR-like controls. The T2 has two playback channels and one record channel, all simultaneously and independently available, supporting full 1920x1080 (60/50/24) resolution, as well as 720p and 480i formats for both capture and playback. AV Group: (02) 9764 5911 or sales@avgroup.com.au

Australian Event Productions introduced ADRaudio’s new arena-filling sub, the JD21. Loaded with a single 21-inch subwoofer and two 18-inch subwoofers, each driver is powered by one of three internal ADRaudio Class-D amplifiers for a combined power rating of 6600W, but the cabinet still weighs in at a reasonable 87kg. Australian Event Productions: 0424 098 140 or www. australianeventproductions.com


NEWS

015

INFINITY & BEYOND

MELLOW YELLOW SANYO

VOILA! IT’S A VOLANTE

Hitachi Australia launched the CP-WUX645N projector at Integrate. A key feature of the CPWUX645N projector is its 1920 x 1200 resolution, which is beyond full hi-def (1920 x 1080) and also includes 4200 lumens for vivid brightness allowing businesses in industries such as aeronautical, engineering and medical to project extremely detailed figures and diagrams. In addition to improved picture quality the CP-WUX645N is another projector to offer a ‘Picture by Picture’ feature which allows users to focus two visual sources on one screen at the same time from the same projector. A manual optical lens shift plus a two times zoom lens gives installers more flexibility in regards to projector placement. As it is with all the Hitachi projector range the CP-WUX645N has a hybrid filter that reduces the amount of cleaning required, the projector provides advanced network connections and security features. Reviewed in this issue. Hitachi Australia: (02) 9888 4936 or www.hitachi.com.au

The PLV-HF10000 is the latest in Sanyo’s range of projectors which has been designed specifically for full HD and cinema projection. With a native 2K resolution of 2048x1080, the PLV-HF10000 offers 3000:1 contrast and the QuaDrive Optical engine for accurate colour reproduction. The projector uses an internal yellow panel in the light path, which separately controls the yellow light inside the optical engine and offers a wider colour gamut and better colour accuracy by using a Colour Control Device (CCD, not to be confused with a charge-coupled device CCD). Taking a step further beyond picture-in-picture functionality, the PLV-HF10000 can also deliver picture-by-picture, combining multiple projections into a singular, massive image with blended edges. Sanyo: 1300 360 230 or info@sanyo.com.au

In a million years when the human race is reduced to ashes and someone is picking through civilisation’s rubble they may come to the conclusion that our AV industry was very clever at connecting stuff, but absolutely crap at spelling and grammar. The voLANte is a new device from Axis Audio Visual for streaming high definition video over LAN. A simple transmitter and receiver type system, voLANte utilises generic, Layer 3, managed, gigabit network switches to create a HD streaming network. Ten full HD streams may be delivered via a single switch port and only ports with receivers attached are delivered video data. Any receiver may access any stream on the network at any time and with the Conductor software a matrix of up to 1000 x 1000 may be achieved. Each transmitter and receiver can store up to 60 images and create up to eight slide shows making each transmitter and receiver a digital signage capable device, too. All in all, that’s impressive. Oh… voLANte – now I get it. Axis Audio Visual (03) 9752 2955 or www.axisav.com.au

The DM-1 Dante audio network card for the Electrovoice NetMax hardware family can be installed in the N8000 or N8000-1500 chassis to provide high-resolution, low-latency audio transmission over IP networks. Dante provides a self-configuring, plug-and-play digital audio network that uses standard internet protocols and is a scalable solution that works on both 100 Mbits and 1 gigabit Ethernet. Bosch Security Systems: (02) 9672 1233 or www.boschsecurity.com.au

Harris Movement Engineering used Integrate to announce it has become distributor for Reutlinger products. We’re a bit loath to allow phrases like “industry leaders” into these pages (everyone claims it) but in this case you can’t deny that Reutlinger has made a big name worldwide in rigging apparatus aimed at the AV, exhibition and entertainment industries. Little wonder HME was swamped with orders. Harris Movement Engineering: (02) 9708 6614 or www.harrismovement.com.au

It’s like some manufacturers are upgrading their products faster than the blink of a refresh rate. Moments after I had put my sticky fingers all over the impressive Samsung digital signage wall display at Integrate (lunch at the Fox & Hounds pub, right?), I noticed that Samsung released its new LED BLU (Back Lit Unit) energy efficient commercial large format displays. Available as the 400EX(n) model (40-inch), 460EX(n) model (46-inch) and the 55oEX(n) model (55-inch), each promises improved image

quality in a sleek (40mm depth), lightweight design. The new range is easier to install, provides full HD with 120Hz refresh rate and has increased contrast. The ‘energy efficient’ tag is earned by the LED BLU models using up to 40% less power consumption than similar sized commercial LCD and plasma displays. Samsung: 1300 362 603 or www.samsunglfd.com

CLARIFICATION VRS would like to clarify that our company has not provided goods or services to the Sydney Opera House Trust to date, and is not connected in any way with the Trust and was not authorized to use images of Sydney Opera House in the advertisement which appeared on page 9 of the July issue of AV Magazine (Issue 12). However, we are the exclusive distributors of these projectors which were used in that projection and we now manage the entire range of Christie products in our portfolio. Our only intention was to show an application where Christie product had been used.


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NEWS

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5 1/IN TOUCH WITH ABI

2/ SEAMLESS CIMA

3/ KRAMER FLIES VP-747

You probably noticed a lot of digital signage at Integrate 2010. A Brighter Image (ABI) brought along its KI Kiosk, one of several Interactive Kiosks it markets. ABI has both free-standing and wallmounted kiosk models in fully enclosed cabinets with safety glass cover and external connection panel. Space is available for a built-in PC if required. The KI Kiosk is a computer-based display suitable for public locations such as commercial buildings, malls and clubs, shops and businesses advertisements and services. ABI KI Kiosks use infrared touch technology and users can access information by using a finger or stylus. Touchscreen panel sizes for the KI model are in 32-inch and 42-inch sizes. ABI: (02) 9938 6866 or www.abimage.com.au

It used to be that only my grandma cared if her seams showed (or were straight… or something), these days the race is on between manufacturers of multiple display arrays and video walls to make that pesky seam dividing separate screens disappear. CIMA has got it down to less than 3.6mm in total with its Super Seamless Bezel Design. This comes with its new 120inch Plasma Display Panel (PDP) assembly comprising four 60-inch screens. CIMA is calling it a world-first full-HD PDP assembly of its size and type with a final result of 2732 x 1536 resolution. Each panel has a 1500cd/sqm ultra brightness and 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio to ensure crisp and realistic images even in harsh and bright conditions. Anti Burn-In and Auto Picture Calibration are included. With its unique, easilyassembled and self-standing movable frame the screen can be installed anywhere within just a few hours. CIMA Digitec: (02) 9438 3913 or www.cimadigitec.com.au

The VP-747 is a multi-standard video to graphics scaler and seamless switcher with eight universal inputs comprised of five BNCs each, any of which can accommodate a composite video, s-Video (Y/C), component video (RGB/YUV), RGBS, or RGBHV signal. Inputs 1 and 2 can alternatively be configured to HDMI/ DVI inputs. The unit has dual scalers, one for the preview and the other for the program output. The VP-747 features HQV – that’s Hollywood Quality Video (yes, it’s real) processing with the highest quality de-interlacing (with 3:2 and 2:2 pull down), noise reduction and scaling performance for both standard-definition and highdefinition signals. The unit also features switching with FX, allowing transitions between two live sources using real-time effects such as cut and fade. The dual scalers with preview and program outputs are simultaneously output as RGBHV/YUV on sets of five BNC connectors, on 15-pin connectors and as HDMI (on DVI connectors). The resolutions can be different for preview and program. Kramer Electronics Australia: (07) 3806 4290 or www.krameraustralia.com.au

4/ TURNING TO PORTS

5/ TAKING THE MK

6/ROLAND ROLLS INTO TOWN

Professional Audio Technology gave Integrate visitors a preview of the DD32R, a digital interface for wherever AES/EBU ports are required in an Optocore Optical Digital Network. The 32 principal ports can be used as AES/EBU I/Os and on stage a DD32R becomes an interface to all microphone preamps with AES3 outputs. With Optocore microphone preamps, the DD32R enables direct gain control of the preamps on stage from most digital consoles, including Yamaha, Digico, Studer, Soundcraft, Lawo and SSL. The DD32R features wordclock I/O, composite video I/O, two LAN ports and two Sane ports. Four RS485 ports allow the transport of a wide range of standards such as RS422, DMX and MIDI. The dual power supply, with automatic switchover, provides redundancy. The DD32R is a 1U device. Professional Audio Technology: (02) 9940 3053 or www.proaudiotechnology.com.au

Acoustic Technologies launched the MK100A, an ultracompact speaker enclosure. An onboard 150W Class D power amp provides a flat response extending from 90Hz to 19kHz. With its integrated power module, balanced XLR input and flexible 360° mounting bracket, the MK100A is presented as a solution to a wide variety of applications. The MK100A has a nominal dispersion angle of 140° (with a quoted dispersion of 120° at 7kHz). The unit has an aluminium chassis and weighs in at 2.1kg. The MK100A is also available without the power module as a passive cabinet. The new MK range also features the MK50, a discreet and a compact 70mmsquare installation system including a self-powered sub bass. The MK Series has been designed for installation environments including cafés and restaurants, retail spaces, sound masking and any other location requiring unobtrusive sound systems. Acoustic Technologies (07) 3376 4122 or www.atprofessional.com.au

There were certainly lots of neat gadgets at Roland’s Integrate stand. Among them for AV folk the new V-1600HD vision switcher, which features a built-in preview monitor that provides a picture when external monitors aren’t available. Sixteen inputs provide connectivity to HD/SD-SDI, DVI-D/HDMI, RGB, component, S-video, and composite formats as well as still images assignable via USB memory. The 14 mixing channels provide built-in scalers and frame syncs for seamless mixing regardless of the resolution or format. Dual independent multi-format outputs provide a number of multi-screen output options including the ability to span the mixer output to two projectors and edge-blend the centre. Additional effects include a down-stream keyer a composite keyer, Picture-inPicture and multiple transitions. Next year, I’m kicking the kids off the electronic drum kit and having a go. Roland Systems Group: (02) 9982 8266 or dlackey@rolandcorp.com.au


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CONTROLSPACE TM ESP-88

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Elegance for just about any environment.


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1/ CRESTRON BYTE THE APPLE

2/ COMPACT AR4R8AY SYSTEM

3/ BRIGHTLINE GETS IN YOUR FACE

The newest version of the Crestron iPad application is now available from the iTunes App Store, where it was recently ranked the No.1 Top Grossing iPad Lifestyle App. This update includes automatic portrait/ landscape rotation and gestures navigation on the iPad for both Crestron and Prodigy control systems. A graphic template with user-selectable backgrounds designed especially for the iPad is also available from the Crestron website. There are infinite possibilities for customisation. Dealers can create their own branded designs and clients can enjoy the same look and feel on their iPad as on their Crestron touchpanels. Using wi-fi locally or 3G network remotely, you can access and control Crestron and Prodigy homes from anywhere on the planet (hmm... that’s a big call, have they tried Tassie?). The ultimate mobile touchpanel puts control at your fingertips, all in real time and from anywhere. Hills SVL (02) 96471411 or nsw@hillssvl.com.au

Here’s another tidy compact line array system – and I mean ‘compact’ – don’t be fooled by the picture. Sound Choice Pro Audio introduced its Beta Three R4R8 powered system, an array that is deployed in a set configuration (or of up to four sets of each) to provide optimum performance – meaning, rather than just adding any number of individual components as you like, each stack has four of the R4 mid/high units comprised of a ribbon driver and two four inch (100mm) drivers, and added to this is the R8 unit with its pair of eight-inch (200mm) drivers. Inside the R8 is housed the Class H amplifiers at 75W and 300W, plus the DSP processing which includes PEQ, crossover and slope, delay, gain and limiter all programmable via either RS232 or through a USB port using included software. Multiple R4R8 units are connected by a RS485 network port. Available in black or white. Sound Choice Pro Audio: 0413 676706 or rodger@spcaudio.com

We like to look our best, but video conferencing from your workstation using standard webcams (and even some of the better camera systems) can still present an unflattering image of yours truly. You can be squinting into a focused light like you’re being interrogated by the Gestapo or silhouetted from behind as if you’ve got something to hide. The light-under-the-chin Boris Karloff look is also popular. Brightline have an answer with the production of a new line of linear lighting solutions called the i-Series. i-Series LED fixtures mount on your screen, are scalable to virtually any monitor and remain cool to the touch. There are five sizes in the range with each of them having two levels of brightness and they plug into a standard GPO (just what I need – something else to plug in under my desk!). The largest unit is 1220mm wide and outputs 90W. Okay, I’ll take back the GPO thing – anything that makes me look good gets my vote. (But who really needs to videoconference with their dog?) Herma Technologies: (03) 9480 6233 or www.herma.com.au

4/ VOYAGER’S FIRST MISSION

5/ SCREEN TECHNICS TURNS ON LIGHTS

6/ JVC GO ON A DIET

Yet another world-first debut for Integrate – is there no end? Magenta’s Voyager is an ‘All-Format Fibre Optic Signal Distribution Platform’ that enables pro AV and digital signage customers to distribute multi-format high-bandwidth signals over fibre at significantly lower cost. An interoperable set of transmitters, receivers, distribution amplifiers and matrix switchers, Voyager allows any end-to-end configuration for extension and switching of uncompressed multi-format video and audio, RS232, IR and 480Mbps USB 2.0 signals over fibre at distances up to 30km. Built-in auto format conversion and delay-free HDCP switching can display all supported video types including HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, VGA and SDI without the need for external converters. For installations with displays requiring mixed resolutions, Voyager configures all sources to the highest resolution and then downscales each for lower resolution displays. IDT: 1300 666 099 or sales@idt.com.au

Screen Technics’ latest projection screen featured at Integrate is the Supernova Screen from dnp of Denmark. However, while the screen is impressive, the material it’s made from is what’s really of note – and is used across the range of Supernova screens. Featuring an active high-contrast filter, the Supernova screen reflects the projected image while absorbing incidental light from other angles. At seven times higher contrast than conventional front screens the Supernova One breaks the 15:1 contrast barrier – the standard for acceptable contrast – and allows for good projection in bright light. It’s available in three types of screen materials, ISF-certified Supernova 08-85 for high contrast and extreme viewing angles, Supernova 2323 for high contrast and high brightness or Supernova 20-20 for ultra-high contrast and ultra-high brightness. Screen Technics (02) 4869 2100 or info@screentechnics.com.au

JVC’s Ultra Thin Full HD LCD 32-inch monitor, the LT32WX50 is just 6.4mm at its thinnest point and weighs 5.7kg, presenting options for positioning and mounting where larger, heavier units can’t go. Portability also comes to mind for mobile displays. The full HD panel is complemented by an advanced picture engine that ensures natural, vivid still images and video reproduction. The 100Hz/120Hz Clear Motion Drive III anti-blurring technology significantly reduces motion blur producing an improved picture quality. Faithful colour reproduction is achieved thanks to Adobe’s RGB wide gamut colour space along with a contrast ratio of 4000:1. Included is a 5W+5W detachable stereo speaker. The input terminals include two HDMI, RS232C mini, D-sub15 pin mini with Y/Pb/Pr/Composite, audio input (3.5mm mini jack), and an SD card/USB. JVC Professional (02) 9370 8817 or www.jvcpro.com.au


JOINING THE DOTS Space Cannon Australia Pty Ltd 3/169 Beavers Road Northcote 3070 Victoria Australia

AAMI Park Melbourne, Victoria Credits: Lighting Design : Electrolight Light supply and install : Lightmoves

sales@spacecannon.com.au tel. +61 (3) 9486 5366 fax. +61 (3) 9923 6249 www.spacecannon.com.au


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MORE MOVING BARCO

NITRO EXPLODES ON SCENE

ELEMENTS SLOTS INTO PLACE

Barco/High End Systems announced it is now shipping the intellaspot XT-1, a full-featured hardedged moving yoke light. The intellaspot XT-1 offers innovations in optics, lamp configuration, high lumen output, energy efficiency and zoom range at an economical price. The intellaspot XT-1 features a powerful optical system, producing 20,000 lumens output from the 850W HID lamp, while also providing clear projections with a large zoom range of 11°- 55°. It has a fast mechanical iris, variable soft edge and electronic strobing, smooth CMY colour mixing and variable CTO. A fixed colour wheel allows instant colour choices via exchangeable dichroic filters. Two rotating Lithopattern wheels, each with seven patterns plus open, provide a large number of output patterns and images. The output can be further enhanced with a rotating prism and an animation wheel. A battery-backed full-colour LCD menu system enables fixture addressing without having to power up the unit. The intellaspot XT-1 promises low ambient noise, Remote Device Management (RDM), Art-Net, and wireless DMX capabilities. Barco: (03) 9646 5833 or sales.au@barco.com

Christie has announced the release of a new product series, Christie Nitro Solutions digital luminaires. The modular series of motorised moving yokes can provide up to 20,000 ANSI lumens of video projection, creating high brightness imagery on any surface from anywhere. With the optional Xenon or LED lighting heads, the system can produce up to 50,000 lumens of lighting. Nitro Solutions can be installed at ground level or rigged to a truss. Christie Nitro Solutions offer two motorised yoke options: a dual-arm yoke for larger video projectors ranging from 12,000 to 20,000 ANSI lumens, and a single-arm yoke for projectors ranging from 5700 to 15,000 ANSI lumens. The modular approach of Christie Nitro Solutions expands the effectiveness of the moving yoke platform by allowing the user to deploy the yoke with either a video projector or light head. Other features include DMX512 control and a quick lock attachment system for easy set up and take down. VR Solutions: (07) 3844 9514 or www.vrs.com.au

HK Audio Elements combines the benefits of modern line array technology with the easy handling of ultracompact PA systems. With only six components, Elements can be scaled from a micro system to a monster PA – all within a few minutes, as you plug the components together like Lego. Key components include: the E435 ($685) – this mid/high unit houses four 3.5-inch drivers and weighs 2.5kg; the EA600 ($1050) – the amp module has the same look as the E435, yet packs 600W of Class-D power, enough for four mid/high units or one passive sub and two additional mid/high units; and the E110 SubA ($1895) – this portable 10-inch active sub weighs only 19kg, and packs a 600W Class-D power amp, enough to feed another passive subwoofer or two more mid/high units. Another passive sub ($1250), a mounting pole ($175) and a stand ($320) round out the components. Three models of protective bags are also available. CMI: (03) 9315 2244 or www.cmi.com.au

NEWS IN BRIEF:

Primacoustic’s TelePad-4 enables musicians to mount their iPhone directly on a range of stands to view one of the many apps littering the planet. The TelePad-4 features a high impact cradle with quick release to take the phone off stage between sets. The cradle is equipped with a ball joint for 360º rotation and can attach to just about any stand – hmm, what’re the odds the drummer will take a phone call from his girlfriend in the middle of a song...? Amber Technology: 1800 251367 or www.ambertech.com.au

New from TOA: the Type H compact line array loudspeaker, the D-2000 modular audio-mixing system that can be expanded up to a 128 input/output configuration and the new DA series of digital power amplifiers. The DA series feature Class D technology and are available in a variety of two- and four-channel configurations, as well as a choice of low-impedance and 100V line operation. Audio Products Group: 1300 134 400 or www.toa.com.au

Jands has announced it is the exclusive Australian and New Zealand distributor for Creator. Based in China, Creator has four distinct product lines, covering matrix switchers, controller systems, conference systems and LED screens. Jands: (02) 9582 0909 or info@jands.com.au

Loud and Clear won a “full day shoot-out” against all comers to get a new Alcons Pro-Ribbon Array speaker system into the Riverside Theatre at Parramatta. The system comprises eight LR14 ultra-compact pro-ribbon line-array modules and three LR14B double 12-inch bandpass line-array bass systems flown in one central array with two BF302 Mk2 double 15-inch stacked subwoofers. Loud and Clear: (02) 9439 9723 or www.loudandclear.com.au

AMX has announced a technology sharing partnership with Swiss digital signage manufacturer, SpinetiX. The collaborative relationship allows both companies to combine their areas of expertise to develop digital signage advancements. Together, the two companies plan to create next-generation digital signage solutions that can create multisensory, interactive experiences for viewers. AMX Australia: (07) 5531 3103 or www.amxaustralia.com.au


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MITSUBISHI: FALCON FLIES

RØDE PRESENTS…

AVIOM: ALLFRAME ALRIGHT

Mitsubishi’s new range of dual-lamp DLP projectors deliver high brightness and have been designed for continuous operation, making them very well suited to use in areas where images need to run 24/7. Available in three different resolution models – XD8100U (XGA), WD8200U (WXGA) and UD8400U (WUXGA) – Mitsubishi’s Falcon series include a variety of image and performance enhancing features. The Lamp Relay function alternately rests each projector lamp for a set length of time during long operation periods, while the automatic self-cleaning filter and heat-pipe cooling system provide extra durability with less downtime for maintenance. Super Resolution – an advanced image processing technology developed by Mitsubishi Electric – analyses blurred components of lo-res images, then estimates the hi-res data not included in the original image and corrects the quality accordingly, creating sharp images with excellent detail. Other features include individual colour adjustment, network support for remote management, advanced geometric correction, motorised lens shift function, powered focus and zoom and optional lenses. Mitsubishi: (02) 9684 7777 or www.mitsubishielectric.com.au

Rode Microphones has released a complete line of compact wearable microphones for presentation, theatre, house of worship and video/film production. These three new microphones are designed to provide crystal clear audio, while maximising ergonomics and blending seamlessly with the presenter or talent. The new Rode HS1 is an ultra-light headset microphone, featuring a malleable, lightweight headband and tube arm assembly with three axes of mechanical adjustment. This provides comfortable, unobtrusive mounting, while the microphone tube arm can be relocated to either the left or right side of the user’s face to ensure the perfect fit and function for any individual. The HS1’s omnidirectional capsule provides clear audio and low handling noise and a wide frequency response, maximising intelligibility. Next, the Rode PinMic offers an innovative take on the traditional lapel microphone. The PinMic features a detachable capsule head that mounts onto three pins on the microphone backplate, providing a discreet alternative that can be located almost anywhere on a wide range of clothing and fabrics. Finally, the Rode Lavalier is a high performance lapel microphone that offers simple, intuitive use and cable management. Like the HS1 and PinMic, the Lavalier is supplied with a pop filter, mini furry for use in windy environments, cable management clips and a rugged storage case. Røde Microphones: (02) 9648 5855 or www.rodemic.com

The AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System replaces traditional analogue I/O boxes with a modular digital solution. It’s well suited to permanent installations in theatres, schools, conference centres, as well as touring and portable live sound. By digitising the audio input signal where it connects to the network, the AllFrame system keeps analogue cabling to a minimum, reducing system complexity and labor costs while delivering improved performance and flexibility. Instead of soldering, terminating, and testing scores of analogue connections, installing conduit, and pulling separate cables for each audio signal, the AllFrame requires only a single Cat-5e or fibre connection. The unit can be powered over the Cat-5e cable or from a dedicated DC power line. Each AllFrame device supports Cat-5e cable runs up to 120m between devices, with no loss of fidelity. With integrated fibreoptic connectivity, cable runs can be extended to over a kilometre (multi-mode fibre) or tens of kilometres (single-mode fibre). As part of Aviom’s Pro64 Series, AllFrame provides robust and flexible audio connectivity. Because Pro64’s Auto Mode supports any combination of serial and parallel wiring topologies – without affecting signal flow at any point – I/O points can be placed anywhere an application requires. Production Audio Services: (03) 9264 8000 or info@productionaudio.com.au

A Missy Higgins concert sowed the seed for one of the NT’s most successful innovations: the Framelock crowd control barrier. Tour organisers stipulated industry standard barriers must be used, however none were available in Darwin. At the drop of an Akubra, Colin West of Framelock developed and manufactured the prototype of the Framelock Crowd Control Barrier. The barriers have since been used all over Australia. Total Event Services: (02) 8980 8222 or www.tes.com.au

InFocus Corporation has announced the completion of an agreement to sell the rights to the Proxima and ASK projector trademark and brand assets to Acto, a Chinese contract manufacturer of projection products. InFocus has held these trademarks since the June 2000 merger with ASK Proxima and made the strategic decision to streamline its operations with the sales of the Proxima and ASK brands to concentrate on its own InFocus brand. InFocus: www.infocus.com

Production Audio Services has yet another sign to stick in the window after becoming the sole distributor for German cable solutions company Klotz Audio Interface Systems (Klotz AIS). Not to be confused with Klotz Digital which PAS already represents, Klotz AIS was with TAG for 10 years and Klotz’s Asian sales manager Kamal Mahtani made a point of saying that TAG had done “an incredible job”. Production Audio Services (03) 9264 8000 or sales@productionaudio.com.au

coolux has annouced the release of a ‘groundbreaking’ signal processing algorithm that will be included in the latest Pandoras Box v4.7 of FluidFrame. With FluidFrame, Coolux has created a solution that offers a smooth cross-conversion that can handle any input and output frame-rate, supporting both interlaced and progressive sources and clips. FluidFrame Technology can be applied to any live video input or content playback scenario. Show Technology: (02) 9748 1122 or www.showtech.com.au

Hoyts Cinemas has signed an exclusive deal to convert its entire cinema circuit of over 400 screens across 49 locations to 2K- and 4K-ready Series 2 Christie Solari projectors over the next three years. As a part of the Digital Cinema Implementation Partners – Australia program (DCIP-A) – the agreement is a testament to the 25-year relationship between Christie and Hoyts, and makes the deal the largest of its kind in Australia and NZ. VR Solutions: (07) 3844 9514 or www.vrs.com.au

After a gap of 15 years, AutoDesk is releasing a version of the architectural and engineering industry’s standard software AutoCAD for the Mac OSX platform. The Mac version will require 64-bit Intel processorbased hardware. AutoDesk: http://usa.autodesk.com


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SOUNDCRAFT Si COMPACT

QSC: INSTALLER FRIENDLY

KRAMER DEBUGS HDMI

After releasing the Si3, Si2 and Si1, Soundcraft has run out of integers – but not ideas. The Si Compact comes in 16, 24, and 32-input frames featuring 16, 24 or 32 recallable mic pres respectively, each with four stereo returns. Each input is fully equipped with compressors, gates, parametric EQ, high-pass filter and delay. All mix and matrix buses feature a compressor and parametric EQ, and a BSS graphic EQ, always available on every one of the 25 mix buses. To complement the channel processing Si Compact offers four stereo Lexicon effects processors. Flexible onboard and expansion I/O options ensure the Si Compact integrates with other system components; along with the mic inputs there are two pairs of stereo analogue line in, AES in and out, 16 analogue line outputs, headphone monitor out and a 64 x 64 channel expansion card slot capable of utilising any of the Si series option cards that include AES, Aviom, CobraNet and MADI (especially useful for interfacing with DAW hardware). The Si Compact is built on the same DSP platform as its brethren and promises the same sort of high-quality sound and simplicity of operation, with plenty of one-touch controls and easy access to all the key functions. Jands: (02) 9582 0909 or info@jands.com.au

QSC has announced the new CMX Series of amplifiers – a new contactor-friendly version of the RMX Series. CMX amplifiers are designed to deliver true and accurate sound performance and feature high-current toroidal transformers and filtering to ensure generous energy reserves to handle high-level transients, even when driving heavy-duty 2Ω speaker loads. Available in four models – the CMX300V, CMX500V and CMX800V housed in a 2U chassis and the 3U CMX2000V – the range provides power output levels from 185W to 2500W per channel. All models feature constant voltage output for distributed audio systems – the CMX300V and CMX500V offer it in mono-mode only, while the CMX800V and CMX2000V deliver constant voltage output in either mono or stereomode. CMX amps also feature actively balanced input choices including barrier strip, XLR, and ¼-inch TRS connections as well as NL4 Speakon and detachable euro-style output connectors. 1dB recessed detented gain controls take care of the output level settings. Recessed rear dip switches select between stereo, parallel, or bridged mode operation, and the ability to enable or disable low frequency filter protection. An integrated security plate is also provided to ensure tamper resistant installations. Prices start from $1099. Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or info@tag.com.au  

From Kramer Electronics the VA-2HDMI is described as an HDMI EDID Reader-Emulator. It’s a diagnostic and debugging tool for installers working with HDMI devices. The unit can switch three different EDIDs to the HDMI input. The USB connection together with a software editor, allow the installer to manipulate various parameters of the EDID. It has a maximum data rate of up to 2.25Gbps, input resolution up to 1080p and achieves Standards Compliances HDMI 1.3, HDCP 1.1 and DVI 1.0. LED Indicators cover input, output and HDCP, and a non-volatile memory saves final settings. EDID parameter modes are Output, Default and User. With an optional RK-3T rack adapter three of the VA-2HDMI can be mounted side by side. The unit also has an S/PDIF output and an external 12V power supply. Kramer Electronics: (07) 3806 4290 or www.krameraustralia.com.au

NEWS IN BRIEF:

Vision has developed the flat panel Techmount or TM-LCD, which is a new approach to wall bracket design for installing LCD or plasma display monitors. By eliminating the usual bulky plates the TM-LCD is a much smaller, simpler product which fits a wider range of screen sizes from 15-inch to 65-inch. Vision also provide screws that can be installed by hand. These thumbscrews then hook directly onto the wall brackets, replacing the plate which normally fits to the screen. The thumbscrews locate

easily on the wall brackets and sit securely – they can’t vibrate loose and undo (just don’t invite Uri Geller around to watch the footy). Integration Supplies: 0408 570 950 or ian@isupplies.com.au

AFL clubs will stop at nothing to win. This year it included ‘hacking’ into each others’ talkback communications. Apparently this wouldn’t be possible if they were using the Clear-Com Tempest 2400. Tempest sends encrypted audio packet data between the base station and its belt-packs which need to be physically connected in order to be paired. Jands (02) 9582 0909 or info@jands.com.au

Ashly Audio’s new KLR Series two-channel amps range from 1000 to 2000W per channel at two ohms, are ideal for both professional audio and fixed performance installations that require sonic perfection across the audible spectrum. NET: (02) 9905 5997 or nextet.com.au

Dueltek’s custom designed range of Clipsal AV wall plates encompasses hundreds of options and configurations. All our custom plates are original Clipsal, not the lower quality replicas or versions which are not compatible to architectural design standards. The plates come in a wide variety of colours and incorporate the full gamut of audio, video and data I/O. Dueltek: (03) 9725 1911 or www.dueltek.com.au


JPS KICKS GOAL The FIFA World Cup seems at least one Commonwealth Games away, but it’s worth looking back at one neat aspect. Sydney played host to one of six official international FIFA 2010 World Cup sites along with Paris, Rome, Berlin, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. The site was located at Darling Harbour where giant screens broadcast live all 64 games over the four-week period. The four screens – three on floating stages – were set up at Cockle Bay and one in Tumbalong Park delivering round-the-clock coverage. There was also an entertainment program as well as interactive sports and family fun activities, plus Street Soccer during the day. Jands Production Services were called upon to deliver an audio solution for the event and according to their account manager James Foster, their JBL VerTec system was the ideal PA for the event. “As the main stage was situated outdoors on a barge the installation was always going to be tricky,” he commented. “A major concern for us was having something that would work with the weather. As it turned out it rained for the initial set up week of the event as well as other periods throughout the event, the JBL VerTec can sustain that kind of environment.” Jands Production Services: (02) 9364 7500 or www.jps.com.au

Cisco, everyone’s favourite 400-pound networking gorilla, has unveiled its plans for moving video conferencing into the consumer marketplace. Its Umi Telepresence (pronounced ‘you-me’) system announced recently for the US market, works with existing HD TVs and broadband connections to provide a video connection to friends and family. Consisting of a camera, a set-top box and a subscription to Cisco’s cloud-based service, the package, which is being sold through the Best Buy chain from November, will cost just US$599 plus a US$24.99 per month subscription for unlimited video calling and video messaging. umi.cisco.com

It’s now possible to control a camera (or cameras) with a Beyerdynamic D200 series Conference System, be it wired or wireless, so that when a delegate pushes the ‘Speak’ button the camera swings around, zooms in on the delegate and displays his or her image on a screen. Parameters are programmable using a software package called iCNSvote. Hills SVL: (02) 96471411 or nsw@hillssvl.com.au


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AVIAs Report Text:\ Andy Ciddor

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1. Shane Cannon represents Rutledge Engineering, proud winners of Best AV Installation $1m+ for its work on MCEC. 2. Max Colebourn (La Trobe Uni), Mark Hanson (Hanson Associates) and Linton Schier (La Trobe Uni). 3. Kramer Krew: Rob Leonhardt, Mick Antunovic, John Ungerer, Natania Ungerer, and August de Llera. 4. Jim Seretis (Audio Products Group), Peter Swanson (AMX) and Andrew Pearce (Biamp Systems).

Love the idea or loathe it – the Australian AV industry finally has its own awards – and now it has its first group of award winners who deserve our congratulations. Indeed, congratulations are in order for everyone who took the trouble to participate. What is clearly apparent is that the Australasian AV industry abounds with people who take pleasure and pride in responding in clever and innovative ways to the challenges presented by their work. For independently-adjudicated awards to work requires the input of a panel of independent and industry-respected judges (that’s respected, not necessarily respectable!). The judges nominated by the industry’s associations, AETM, ALIA and InfoComm, were indeed independent and probing, as proven by the time required to hammer-out the award winners. The panel, Scott Allan (ALIA), Peter Blackmore (InfoComm), Tim, Hall (ALIA), Patrick Lee (AETM), Derek Powell (AETM) and Paul Van der Ent (InfoComm), were required to individually read all entries, and nominate their top three candidates in each award category. As the panel facilitator and non-voting chairman, I collated their individual lists to produce a short list of three finalists in each category. The panel then met in Sydney, two nights before

the Integrate show, to select the winners. Peter Swanson, currently Chair of the InfoComm Asia-Pacific Region Council, and one of the judges initially nominated by InfoComm, was concerned that a recent employment change from consulting to sales might cast some doubt on the independence of the panel, so he withdrew and was replaced by InfoComm veteran, Peter Blackmore. The panel’s work was essentially unpaid, although some who travelled from interstate received assistance with their travel and accommodation expenses. If pressed, most panel members will admit they gave freely of their efforts because they believe in raising the standards of the industry by giving us something to strive for, and by rewarding excellence and innovation. The nearest thing they received to a perk was that after completing the final judging session in a depressing, windowless hotel meeting room, they were treated to dinner in a modest, but very pleasant, Italian restaurant in Darlinghurst. NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT

The only disappointing aspect of these inaugural awards was the small number of entries we received in the K-12 Education and Production categories. It was with some


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dismay that the panel decided not to make awards in these categories, and instead refund the entry fees of those who took the trouble to enter. As a first outing, these awards were far from seamless in a whole bunch of ways and we have learned much about how to improve the process. One major outcome from the judging session was a list of improvements that we need to make to the entry and judging processes. The shortcomings we identified included: the need for a more structured and standardised set of judging criteria to simplify the process of arriving at shortlists, additional project information required from the entrants, and a more thorough investigation into the application material. Consequently, the entry form for the 2011 AVIAs will include a requirement to provide client references, and the AVIA team will follow up with referees and report their findings at the final judging session. STANDING ON CEREMONY

In light of my four decades of live and broadcast production experience, it was with some trepidation that I learned there would be an award presentation event during Integrate. The idea of putting on a production

for other people who make their living from putting on productions seemed very… brave. Nevertheless, Editorial Director, Chris Holder, gave it a try. And he pulled it off – with some very professional help from the production team at Videoplus and the voice-over services of our prodigiously-talented contributor, Tim Stackpool – who is also a broadcast TD, event producer, media presenter and voice talent, when he isn’t moonlighting as a writer for this magazine. Without a doubt, the best aspect of the event was the opportunity to catch up with the very broad cross-section of the AV industry who were attracted by the glamour of the event, or more likely by the free drinks supplied by Vicoustic. Of course, the winners were rightly very proud, the losers were very gracious and those who didn’t get around to entering at all, pointed out how they had much better projects that would have won hands down. Such is the way of all awards. All that’s left to do now is for you to have a browse through the next few pages to see what was submitted and what won, and work out which of your projects you’ll be entering in the new, improved and even shinier 2011 AV Industry Awards. 

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5. The great and the good: the AVIA judging panel pose for the camera – Peter Blackmore, Paul van der Ent, Derek Powell, Tim Hall, Patrick Lee and Scott Allan. 6. Exhibit of Themselves: Museum Victoria's Andrew Greenwood and Joe Coleman. 7. Get the Beers in: National Audio Systems' Chris Cumming, James Ritter and Shane Bailey. 8. All Smiles: Andrew Harper (Hanson Associates) and David Millar (Rutledge).


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BEST AV INSTALLATION OVER $1M

AWARD

WINNER

2010 RUTLEDGE ENGINEERING Melbourne Convention Centre Development

The Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is one of the world’s largest and most versatile combined convention and exhibition facilities. As such, the primary objective for this venue was to showcase pioneering technology to suit the architectural design which makes this convention and exhibition space world class. Rutledge boldly elected to deliver all display systems on a native high definition platform at a time when there was no readily available off-the-shelf technology available to achieve this. The use of production-quality sound in all foyer areas, and to deliver this through a fire-safety rated system, allowed a single audio system to meet the needs of public announcements, functions, meetings, small performances and life-safety (EWIS). The mammoth size of the venue meant the ties between performance spaces and control rooms had to be fibreoptic to maintain native HD video resolution, given distance limitations of copper cabling. (See Issue 7 for the full story.)

ADVANCED VIDEO INTEGRATION

RUTLEDGE ENGINEERING

Telstra Brisbane One

Sydney Opera House Concert Hall Sound System Upgrade

Telstra One was developed to bring together all Telstra staff previously operating from over nine different locations throughout Brisbane. With this large consolidation of staff came the challenge to provide enough work spaces equipped with intuitive AV systems to support the team. AVI employed AMX control systems to integrate a multitude of technology including VC, projection, IWBs, audio, video, lighting, blinds in all work spaces including boardrooms, project rooms, meeting and training rooms, video conference rooms and staff breakout rooms. AVI installed a 10-inch touchpanel with built-in microphone and speakers in each of the lift lobbies on all 22 floors, to act as an intercom and staff-tracking system. This innovation developed by AVI has been so well received that Telstra is looking to roll it out across all of its sites nationally.

Rutledge designed, supplied and installed a bespoke sound and loudspeaker rigging system for the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. The system includes cutting edge signal distribution, loudspeaker systems, control and custom rigging solutions, and represents significant innovation in many disciplines. The work represents a dramatic turnaround in expectations for the venue, for the client and its audiences. The venue now has a sound system that complements its iconic stature within the performing arts world. It has been met with critical acceptance, and has provided large gains in efficiency of turnaround time for productions within the venue. (See Issue 8 for the full story.)


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BEST USE OF AV IN POSTSECONDARY TEACHING

AWARD

WINNER

2010 IBS AV LaTrobe University, Bendigo School of Dentistry

IBS AV studied existing dental and medical training systems in place around the world and designed a new system that took the best aspects of each and incorporated them into a single system. The innovative use of an existing UTP backbone to deliver a highly sophisticated and advanced AV training facility sets this project apart. The ease of use and ergonomics of the system were carefully thought through and planned to ensure the AV system is as transparent as possible in delivering a high quality teaching environment from the lecturer to the students. (See the full story later in this issue.)

KLM GROUP

VISIONX AUDIO VISUAL

Sydney University, Faculty of Law

University of Western Sydney, Digital Media Lecture Theatres

KLM Group produced a high-quality audiovisual solution for the University of Sydney with over 30 individual AV systems, including the Moot Court, which is a showcase of top-quality AV, including six flat panels, five HD cameras, multiple loudspeaker zones, 15 microphones, video processors, streaming devices, HD videoconferencing and live record and playback capability for classroom critique of students’ performance. All with the option to later access stored files via the university’s network.

It was the job of VisionX to upgrade the University’s existing analoguebased Lecture Theatre platform to a new digital-based backbone that caters for the ever expanding range of hi-def audiovisual sources. VisionX workbench-tested Crestron’s new ‘beta frame’ Digital Media 8 x 8 matrix back in August 2009, the first system in Australia. Thanks to this legwork, VisionX gave UWS the confidence to embrace the digital age with lecture theatre system solution designs that deliver true hi-def display and management of digital source content in a way not seen in this country before.


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NEWS

BEST AV INSTALLATION UNDER $1M

AWARD

WINNER

2010 SOUND ADVICE AUSTRALIA Questacon ACT – Japan Theatre

Thanks to the work done in the Japan Theatre, the presenter has all the features of a fully integrated teaching and presentation venue at his or her fingertips. School children become involved in the shows and can interact with the technology. The single platform control interface allows the presenter to make ad hoc changes without the need to wade through pages of control screens. The key to the ease of use is a scripting feature developed by Sound Advice that links Microsoft PowerPoint lecture notes with Crestron device control. Since its completion, the venue has operated seven days a week, hosted many international training events via video conference and continues to be a source of continuing education in the science field for hundreds of school children daily. (See the full story later this issue.)

MUSEUM VICTORIA

VIDEOPLUS

Wild! Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum

Star City Sports Theatre

“Wild! Amazing animals in a Changing World” is an exhibition in many parts. Some 25 separate AV elements combine to bring audiences the full exhibition experience. The highlights include: a large 9 x 5m projection on an architectural surface accompanied by an eight-channel soundscape; Panoramic Navigators (more on these in the Innovation category); a moving floor projection which appears and tracks across the floor only to disappear and pop up somewhere else; an interactive touch table; and a projection of a panoramic time lapse taken over 12 months from the top of Mt. Buller. (See Issue 9 for the full story)

Videoplus transformed the new Star City Sports Theatre via a sophisticated lighting system. The room has a clean look that with a simple touch of the Crestron screen can be transformed into a full showroom. Another touch and the room can become a full-blown performance venue. Videoplus’s integration makes the complicated look easy, and was performed in a tight timeframe in a venue that runs 24 hours a day. The venue now has a lighting system that can meet the demands of live performance, mood enhancement and be easily controlled by general functions staff as well as the trained lighting crew.


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NEWS

INNOVATION AWARD

AWARD

WINNER

2010 MUSEUM VICTORIA & MEGAFUN The Panoramic Navigator

The Panoramic Navigator (or Pan-Nav) is a pole-mounted touchscreen that greets visitors to the Wild! exhibition with an apparently-live image of the scene they see before them. Pan-Navs use super hi-res pan and tilt encoders built within the structure to track the location of the screen to any point in space. This information is fed back to the computer live, which then updates the imagery to match the directional view of the screen. Users can select the item of interest from the touchscreen and a media rich overlay appears, incorporating an object movie, still photos and live footage of the animal as well as text data. A bluetooth interface incorporated into the device gives the visitor the opportunity to take away a souvenir of their visit in the form of an object movie which they can play on their phone or computer. The custom housings and software was developed by Megafun. (See Issue 9 for the full story.)

INTEGRATED MEDIA & ICE DESIGN AUSTRALIA

SHOWCASE DIGITAL MEDIA

Solomon Islands Parliament Sound System

Media Pod

The Parliament of the Solomon Islands had a sound system in the parliamentary chamber that had not worked properly since its installation in the ’70s. Integrated Media was commissioned to deliver the complete project, subcontracting ICE Design for the complex acoustic and electroacoustic work. ICE Design employed a combination of Biamp signal processing and Acoustic Technologies’ ALA07 beam-steered arrays to address the audio issues. The control system was designed with a touchscreen interface that allowed for easy in-house use. This project was a labour of love for all concerned and has made a genuine difference to a developing nation. (See Issue 4 for the full story.)

Showcase Digital Media supply its Media Pods as a battery operated media vision tool that is designed to bring branding, advertising and media to the table of any event. The device uses battery operated, seveninch LCDs designed for promotion of any information required. Each table or Pod can be individually assigned images and videos. The Media Pod has been enthusiastically adopted at events by Channel 7, many AFL teams, and the Melbourne Victory.


World Class Audio Visual.

Best Project Over $1Million Melbourne Convention Centre Development

Melbourne - 03 9488 1500 Canberra - 02 6100 1200

Sydney - 02 8596 5800 Adelaide - 08 8237 0500 Perth - 08 9208 4300 Darwin - 08 8911 1225 Queensland - 07 3620 8000

www.rutledge.com.au


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FEATURE

Questacon: Blinded by Science The Japan Theatre integration has proven to be a quantum leap for these Charged Particles.

AWARD

WINNER

2010

Text:\Tim Stackpool Images:\ Stephen Nano & Jared Adamo

Until fairly recently the National Science and Technology Centre’s Japan Theatre at Questacon in Canberra was a functional lecture space with a small stage area, a couple of radio mics, three loudspeakers, some basic lighting, and a PC feeding a very modest 4:3 format projector that was deemed ‘adequate’ for PowerPoint presentations. Today that space is a world class, awardwinning science lecture theatre with state-ofthe-art presentation facilities that has become a must-visit experience in the ACT. The theatre’s primary function is to host 30-minute science shows every hour from 11am to 3pm daily and from 10am on school and public holidays. These shows are presented by a member of the Questacon team known as the Excited Particles – a dynamic group of individuals who present different aspects of science in an engaging, exciting and humorous way. Apart from the presentation facility upgrade, the Questacon brief called for a simple intuitive interface that would enable the Excited Particles, most of them solo performers, to control every element of their shows, from the sound and lighting to videos, live cameras, curtains, music and explosions via a simple control interface. For the initial tender specifications Scott Willsallen of Auditoria did the audio design work, with the video system and lighting upgrade designs provided by Ian Anderson of Mitech. When the project eventually went out to tender, Construction Control won the contract to overhaul the theatre and subcontracted the audiovisual component to Canberra’s own Sound Advice. Stephen Nano of Sound Advice described the installation as ‘revolutionarily evolutionary’. “While fundamentally the audio, lighting and staging were delivered as per the specification, the vision side went through a major rethink,” he said. “The initial design was specified around a Crestron MPS400 media presentation switcher. When it came to the project being awarded, this

processor didn’t make it to market, so it was back to the engineering table for a new solution. As we delved deeper into the specification we found a couple of areas that presented a further challenge, one being that the projection system we offered required inputs in 1920 x 1080 digital format. The Crestron system at the time was only analogue and we needed to rethink things again.” GOING NATIVE

The primary signal management goal was to keep things as default and as native as possible. “So I looked at the projector, saw it was 16:9 at 1080p, and decided to get everything at that resolution. The next problem was the vision mixer’s DVI I/O. It did not natively sit at the chosen system base of 1080. I decided to keep the vision mixer I/O running HD-SDI and convert the system to a digital base.” As there are more sources and destinations than the vision mixer can support, a 24 x 24 DVI matrix was chosen. “This opened up a complete can of worms with EDID and HDCP support issues, so combinations of Gefen scalers and converters were chosen to resolve these problems,” Nano said. With the project underway, the client also requested an HD video conferencing solution, leading to a few more vision converters and the incorporation of DSP-based acoustic echo cancellation. A custom lectern was designed to accommodate the 15-inch touchscreen, the PC’s LCD display, CD player, DVD player and mechanical automation controller. Selection of the three PCs (located backstage in the control room) is via the touchscreen that subsequently controls a KVM. Thus there’s no need for the PC to sit in the lectern on stage. “After resolving a small teething problem with USB1.1 support on multimedia keyboards, this solution worked perfectly,” Nano reports. NO NEED TO FLIP OUT

The aim of the system design was to avoid that most hated of features: the incessant page

flipping required to access all of the functions on small panels. While the resulting system does have some page flips, Stephen Nano was able to give the user access to all the major features on a single page. This included control of house lights, stage lighting, audio volume, radio mics, travelling tabs, cameras, DVDs, CDs, PCs, entry doors, entry lighting and video conferencing – yes, all from a single page. So intuitive was the result, that the users were confident enough to operate the system for a full six months before any official training took place. “And not one person asked how to achieve any effect,” said Stephen. One notable feature of the touchscreen system is the ‘Mic Sense’ function which provides visual feedback as to which microphone is in use. The operator can mute and unmute or change the volume of the wireless or lectern mics, while simultaneously operating other aspects of the system. When a signal is sensed, that mic’s number glows orange to show it is active. When the signal stops, an orange outline on the number remains displayed for 15 seconds. When all mic inputs are silent, the last active mic retains the outline. This provides the operator with a great visual indication of the microphones in use during a show with many presenters. EMPOWERING POWERPOINT

It was clear from the start of this project that MS PowerPoint played a key role in presenting the existing shows for the Particles, with the performers using an RF remote mouse to advance the PowerPoint slides. Nano noted that while the performers took care to mask the operation of the remote control within another movement, they were still required to approach the touchscreen to operate the lighting and other devices. This disrupted the flow of the performance. “I then realised I could develop a simple control language, whereby the user could type into any page of the notes section of the PowerPoint presentation, to have any system function operate automatically,” Nano said.


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Top: Dual projectors are scheduled to operate on alternate days to provide both redundancy and extended lamp life. Above: Presenter's lectern with control touchscreen , computer monitor and mouse.

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Touchscreen with Mic Sense function operating (lower left). Channels 2, 6 and L2 have recently been active, while Channel 5 is currently live and active.

EQUIPMENT LIST RIGGING 2 x ASM band hoists and controller 2 x Jands JLX lighting bars 2 x Jands H250PH hoists 1 x Jands motorised tab track system 1 x ASM Genesis controller VISION 2 x Mitsubishi FL7000U hi-def projectors 1 x Screen Technics Cinemasnap 4500mm x 2531mm screen 2 x NEC LCD5220 displays 1 x Panasonic HS400A vision mixer populated with HDSDI I/O 2 x Panasonic AW-HE100 HD PTZ cameras 1 x Panasonic broadcast LCD monitor 2 x Integra DVD players 1 x DSTB 1 x DVI Gear - 24 in/24 out DVI matrix 3 x Gefen DVI to HDSDI Pro scalers 8 x Gefen HDSDI to DVI scalers 3 x Gefen DVI to VGA scalers

1 x Gefen G-Scaler Pro 1 x Gefen DVI to DVI scaler 1 x Gefen DVI to YUV scaler 6 x Dell 16:9 LCD displays AUDIO 15 x JBL Control 29AV speakers 3 x JBL ASB6118 subwoofers 2 x JBL Control 25 speakers 2 x Lab.Guppen C20:8x 8ch power amplifiers 1 x Lab.Guppen fP3400 2ch power amplifier 1 x Ampetronic loop amplifier 3 x BSS BLU160 DSP inc. analogue & digital I/O cards 3 x BSS BLU120 breakout 1 x Soundcraft Lx7ii 24ch mixing console 6 x Shure ULXS wireless microphone systems 2 x Shure MX412 lectern microphones 2 x Shure SM57 microphones 2 x Shure SM58 microphones 1 x Denon DN-A7100 THX preamp 1 x Denon DN-C640 CD player 1 x Whirlwind 8ch ISO splitter

LIGHTING 1 x Jands Vista S3 control console 1 x Dynalite 12ch relay controller 2 x Dynalite 12ch dimmers (existing) 8 x GLP LED robotic luminaires 20 x LED Par cans CONTROL SYSTEM 1 x Crestron Pro2 processor 2 x Crestron TPS15G-QM touchscreens 1 x Crestron STI-COM 2 x Crestron QM-TX Quickmedia transmitters 2 x Crestron hard button keypads VIDEO CONFERENCING 1 x Polycom HDX8006 video conferencing codec 2 x Polycom Soundstructure S16 AEC audio DSP 1 x Polycom Eagleeye 1080 HD camera PCs 3 x Dell rackmount PCs 1 x Gefen 4 x 4 KVM matrix 2 x USB2.0 extenders 3 x USB1.1 extenders


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FEATURE

Above: The major role of the Japan Theatre is to provide an easy-to-operate performance space for the Excited Particles. Top right: A truss grid offers flexibility for the lighting rig. Note the protective cages over the house lights and the band hoist hanging through a former downlight opening to give the Particles the opportunity to fly anything from people to science experiments. Right: In addition to the PowerPoint-based control facilities there is a full production control room for complex live events.

This function is called ‘ePowerPoint Notes Control’. Using this function, the performer can click to the next slide, which triggers the curtains to open, fades the CD volume, swings the robotic cameras to a preset position and dissolves to a picture-in-picture effect on screen. “The beauty of the whole thing is that, instead of having to go to the sound desk or the lighting desk or the curtains, you go to one central desk where there are ‘pages’ of clearly defined show formats that can be activated – or adapted – on a simple touchscreen,” said Sound Advice’s Managing Director, Norman Korte. IN TOUCH

Under the bonnet, overall control is undertaken by a Crestron Pro2 dual-bus system, offering IP control through its dual Ethernet card, and multiple COM, IR and serial ports providing interfacing between all the AV media, as well as scalability for further development. For the user interface, the designers chose two Crestron TPS15G-QM touchpanels, offering dual-window video and HDTV displays. Again, scalability was a key factor, with Crestron’s e-Control2 software enabling users to turn an ordinary PC into the third touchpanel with identical looks and functions. The video projectors are paired, but not stacked for simultaneous use. Instead, each projector is utilised on alternate days, building in redundancy while extending the life of each unit. Questacon’s Excited Particles Coordinator Patrick Helean is impressed with the new system, saying, “Thanks to the integration provided by our new control system, Questacon is now realising its goal to reach into the lives of both the Australian and international scientific community.”

FAR-SIGHTED SOUND

For the sound system, the choice was equally far-sighted: a PA system wired as a 7.1 surround system, but with the capacity to be upgraded to 16 channels in the future. In addition to 18 x JBL Control series loudspeakers and three JBL 18-inch underseat subwoofers, the audio setup included DSP-based signal processors from BSS, a Soundcraft Lx7ii mixing console, and a robust Shure wireless microphone system. In addition to the overhead truss system, the new lighting rig includes a pair of motorised JLX lighting bars over the seating area. Newly-added luminaires include colour-changing LED par cans and colour changing GLP moving LED heads with everything driven from a Jands Vista S3 console. The installation includes a pair of ASM steel-band hoists for flying people and objects during performances, motorised drapes over the projection screen, and an array of HD video sources and live cameras, fed through a digital vision mixer with a plethora of effects. Sound Advice also designed a compliant induction loop system using Ampetronic induction loop amplifiers, which enables visitors with a hearing impairment to enjoy the performances. The project spanned 12 months from inception, as the theatre runs non stop and the install was staged to minimise downtime. This worked well for the design of the user interface which was developed over the period in close collaboration with the end users. This project was all about bringing the full excitement of Questacon’s performances to the audience. It has gone on to be recognised by Crestron as Project of the Year, and to receive the inaugural AV Industry Award (AVIA) for ‘Best Installation Under $1m’ at the Integrate 2010 show. 


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FEATURE

Knowing the Drill: La Trobe Uni School of Dentistry

AWARD

WINNER

2010

AV fills you in on the details of this innovative dental lab. Text:\ Graeme Hague Images:\ Brenden Fletcher

My first serious brush with a dentist (excuse the pun) was in the navy during the late ’70s – yes, I’m that old. The RAN had its own dentists who had a simple policy of “no teeth, no problem” and set to work on yours truly with several power tools borrowed from the boiler-making workshop next door, reducing my teeth to something resembling Stonehenge. Okay… maybe a childhood of spending my lunch money on soft drinks and lollies rather than something nutritious might have been another factor. Regardless of who’s really to blame for my farfrom-pristine smile I have long since suffered a strong aversion to visiting the dentist and – you’ll have to agree – I’m far from alone, even though the science of dentistry and the training of the practitioners has come a very long way from the days of Captain Pugwash attacking me with a masonry bit.

each of the three laboratories – needed a significant amount of connectivity and localised control. Each of the lecturers’ consoles have the same equipment. In no order of importance (take a breath here), there is a 12-inch AMX NXT-CV12 Colour Touchscreen, an Elmo 5600 XGA Document Camera, a Panasonic DMR EX77 DVD Recorder (with output scaled to 1366 x 768 and input compressed from 1366 x 768 to SVHS), plus a computer and a laptop connection in case the provided PC isn’t enough, an auxiliary input plate, ceiling-mounted Sony EVI-D70 PTZ camera, a gooseneck presenter microphone and both a lapel or handheld Shure wireless microphone and, finally, an LCD monitor. An AMX NI4100 NetLinx integrate controller with three COM2 cards installed, acts as the hub of the system, with IBS AV’s Steve Corva taking care of the programming.

WORKING (ORAL) BEE

DENTAL ASSISTANCE

Fortunately, and despite the horror stories, plenty of people still want to become dentists and La Trobe University in Bendigo identified the need for a new, state-of-the-art school of dentistry that could cater for rural and regional areas of Victoria. System integrators IBS Audio Visual (previously known as Integrated Broadcast Systems) was awarded the contract for the audiovisual component of the school. The job of system design, from original concept right through to flicking the ‘on’ switch, fell to two people, Lester Mayhook-Farmer at IBS AV and Linton Schier, the Senior Audio Visual Engineer at La Trobe. Apparently still with time on his hands, Lester also got to project-manage the entire installation. This turned out to be three distinct and separate laboratory zones to be distributed across the entire network of the facility as required. Any zone had to be linkable to any other with signal distribution to be narrowed right down to feeding into or from an individual student’s workstation. To achieve this, the lecturer’s broadcast positions – almost identical in

The first zone, Laboratory A is the most conventional of the three. Here the lecturer addresses a 200-plus seat auditorium and lesson content is displayed on a 115-inch Screen Technics motorised screen by two ceiling mount Mitsubishi XD2000 XWGA projectors. As mentioned, the network allows material to be sourced from the other two zones as well, but Laboratory A often doubles as a presentation space for guest lecturers who have no requirement to tap into the wider resources available. The second zone, Laboratory B, is where things get a little more innovative. Here are 31 individual computer learning stations with a 22-inch widescreen monitor, all connected to the network and the lecturer’s position. The network allows the lecturer to override either all the students’ computers collectively, a selection or any station individually. Students work independently, at their own pace, through programmed practical exercises, following the steps displayed on their learning station screen. Together with a dummy head fitted with practice


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While the AV facilities are a vital part of the teaching process, they had to stay transparent and separated from the virtual environment of the classroom

Lab B where each of the 31 student learning stations is equipped with a simulated patient's head and full complement of dental equipment. Monitor arms are used to enable the students to follow on-screen exercise instructions without impeding their acess to the patient and the equipment.


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FEATURE

Top: Student working on a simulated patient head. Left: Wet lab where all monitors are suspended from the walls and ceiling to avoid both electrical hazards and equipment damage around the biological laboratory environment. Above: The lecturer station in each room is identical for operational consistency. Each has a document camera, a computer workstation and an AMX touch screen controller for source routing.

teeth, each learning station has a full set dentist’s usual instruments of torture – sorry, tools of trade – such as pedal-operated drills, suction and hand tools along with professional lighting. The term ‘ergonomic’ gets bandied about with some abandon these days, but in this case IBS AV did have to give careful thought to the design of AV devices at the workstations. Performing dental procedures is – in all seriousness – hands-on work and it was important that the experience of the students at La Trobe wasn’t too far removed from the reality awaiting them in the outside world. While the AV facilities are a vital part of the teaching process, they had to stay transparent and separated from the virtual environment of the classroom, so screen mounts on articulated arms were installed to ensure correct positioning of the AV equipment. The third zone, Laboratory C is a ‘wet area’ laboratory. When it comes to anything medical, even dentistry, it’s probably best to leave up to your own imagination what involves ‘wet’ procedures. Suffice to say it’s not a place for delicate AV gear to be within splatter distance, so while Laboratory C again, has the same lecturer’s console, out on the classroom floor the students’ main visual information comes from six Mitsubishi LCD

461V 46-inch ceiling-mounted LCDs and two Dell 22-inch wall-mounted monitors. AUDIO WITH TEETH

Audio distribution of all types such as microphone feeds and line-level feeds from equipment is handled by a pair of Nexia Biamp CS units with the final amplification coming from two Inter-M QD4480 power amps. PA delivery to the students in all three laboratories is comparatively straightforward with six JBL Control 26C ceiling speakers for each zone. Adding everything up, more than 40 signal sources – the three lecturer’s positions with 12 inputs each plus equipment like the new radiography booth’s X-ray machines – had to be routable to over 60 different end points throughout the facility with an almost infinite combination being available. It became a challenge to design a GUI for the touchscreens that would allow everyday users to program their desired signal distribution and operate the system without needing a rocket scientist on hand to help out (although, at a university you’d expect one to be within hollering distance, right?). Again, IBS AV worked closely with La Trobe staff to come up with a GUI that is simple and intuitive, yet provides full control.

Although the equipment racks in each laboratory are fully loaded, the lecturers don’t have to operate any of it from beyond the touchscreen GUI aside from loading in physical media like DVDs. Any number of signal distribution possibilities can be configured from any of the three lecturers’ touchscreens. SAY AH

Finally, there’s plenty of room for expansion – a specific requirement of the client brief. IBS AV has provided not just for more people using the facility in the years ahead, both more students and lecturers, but also for extra equipment that will need to be accessed from across the whole network. Some additions have already been put in place. That radiography booth now delivers X-ray results throughout the facility. In the short term there are plans to duplicate the large motorised screens and projection available in Laboratory A into Laboratory B. An interesting future acquisition will be a Surgicam, a head-worn mobile camera that the students will wear as they work with the data streamed wirelessly to the system. The future for dentists is looking bright – that’s bright, white and without a cavity in sight. 


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In The Right Ball Park The AAMI Park install is a rectangular peg in a rectangular hole. Text: Mandy Jones & Christopher Holder In a city where sport is king, the completion of a new stadium is a big deal. Melbourne has long been well-equipped for cricket, AFL and tennis, but rugby and ‘the world game’ soccer have been noticeably lacking in world-class facilities. So when the Victorian State Government unveiled plans for a new rectangular stadium to be constructed on the Edwin Flack oval in Richmond, rugby and soccer players and fans alike hoped the result would be worth the wait. After two and a half years of construction, the $267.5m stadium (now known as AAMI Park) is fully operational. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s sporting precinct next to Olympic Park and a stone’s throw from Rod Laver Arena and the mighty MCG, the impressive 30,050-seat rectangular stadium is purpose-built for soccer and both rugby codes, and the occasional concert. The stadium is home to NRL team Melbourne Storm, A-League soccer teams

Photo: Sandra Davis

Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart, and Super 15s rugby team Melbourne Rebels, all of whom have the benefit of fully equipped training facilities as well as a gymnasium, pool and change rooms. Other tenants in the stadium include the Victorian Olympic Council, Tennis Victoria, Melbourne Football Club and the Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre. On game days, spectators have access to 14 public bars and retail food outlets, and a street level café is open everyday to service the stadium’s tenants and the general public. Corporate facilities include 24 corporate boxes with enviable views to the sunken pitch below and a large function room suitable for events up to 1000 guests. Even though the stadium holds more than 30,000 spectators, as a space it has a remarkably intimate feel. Being rectangular in shape, spectators are so much closer to the action than when these sports are played on oval grounds.

Designed by Cox Architects and constructed by Grocon, the distinctive open-roof stadium has been a welcome addition to Melbourne’s expanding skyline. Comprised of large white shells, the stadium’s roof provides shelter for spectators while allowing direct sunlight onto the combination of natural turf on the playing surface itself and synthetic StaLok turf on the sidelines, ensuring a high quality playing surface. From a distance, the shells look like a fluffy white cloud, but upon closer inspection the interconnected triangle panels become apparent, and it is these triangular panels that are the key to the design. The triangles combine to form a lightweight steel bioframe of geodesic domes which provide incredible strength and structural integrity for the roof while using 50% less steel than a typical cantilever roof. Some 80% of the 20,000sqm of cladding on the roof is made of metal panels and the remaining 20% is glass panels, enabling even more natural light into the stadium and onto the pitch. While


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the clever design of the bioframe has obvious cost and sustainability benefits in its reduced use of steel, the benefit to supporters is in the un-interrupted sightlines to the pitch without columns or roof supports in their field of vision. LIVE ON SCREENS

Stadiums are big audiovisual undertakings – that much is obvious. Rutledge Engineering know all about ‘big’ and if there’s an AV lesson to be learnt from AAMI Park, it’s that big doesn’t have to be over-awing or overly complex. For Rutledge the project could be broken down into these main categories: the bowl PA, the MATV backbone, the comms, the facilitywide PA system and the screens. Each of those areas are big undertakings but they don’t have to be enormously complicated. The most obvious AV is the sheer number of screens: screens in the concourse, screens in the corporate boxes, screens in the tuck shops, screens in the function rooms… screens

galore. The Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT) has an obvious connection with Chinese electrical manufacturer Hisense (the Hisense Arena over the road is under MOPT’s management) and clearly the instruction has been to back up the Great Wall trucks and unload containers of 42-inch commercial panels. Each screen is individually addressable – each is a LAN node – and can display freeto-air, live feeds from Foxtel, or presentations in the function rooms. Rutledge designed and built a custom RS232-to-LAN adapter for remote control of each screen (on/off, channel select, and volume for screens using their builtin speakers). All the screens feed off a digital (fibreoptic) MATV backbone. The function spaces have an AMX touchpanel to help set up the room for presentations. A local rack has the presentation (Panasonic projector, Sennheiser wireless system) and processing gear (Biamp Nexia, Ampetronic hearing loop) required to stage events and can accommodate

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an operator with mixing console if required. Rutledge Engineering applied its experience from its AVIA-winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre project to install a dual-function network of background music speakers. ‘Dual function’ because the Bosch Praesideo system plays the roles of both paging and as a Sound System for Emergency Purposes (EWIS). The 100V line amplifiers power a rainbow nation of Bosch, JBL and TOA speakers dotted about the stadium – everywhere except the seating areas, which is the domain of the EAW system. THE BOWL

US loudspeaker manufacturer EAW is well known in The States for being a big player in stadium sound – NFL and NBA stadiums and arenas are EAW’s pet subjects. Amazingly, AAMI Park is EAW’s first stadium scalp in Australia, but one suspects it’ll be the first of many.


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Rutledge Engineering engaged Production Audio Services to consult on the design, and supply the bowl PA, which is based on EAW AX Series loudspeakers and Powersoft K3 amplifiers. The three-way speakers are run in passive mode, with one channel of each K3 amp feeding each AX box and letting the internal crossover do the rest. The AX boxes can be run in bi-amp mode but it was decided this was an unnecessary expense (double the amp channels, for starters). The AX series uses a tri-ax design, with the HF device and eight-inch mid device sharing the same full cabinet-face horn, with the dipole 12-inch LF devices. This tri-axial approach has some advantages. It provides a very even frequency response across the full breadth of the speaker’s coverage, because you don’t experience the same sort of destructive interference you get from multiple arrival times from drivers spaced apart in the same box. The result is a more coherent ‘nearfield’ sound. Production Audio’s Ben Clarke who designed the system is justifiably very proud of the results. “Intelligibility is the biggest concern in a stadium. You need to make sure you model the system as accurately as you can. We spent months in EASE exploring the options. My first priority was to guarantee the best possible direct sound to all the seats. But here’s where you can get your EASE plots to say what you like, and you have to be more discerning that that. It wasn’t simply a matter of scoring the same broadband SPL across all the seating, or getting one frequency right, the aim is to get a smooth even sound across as many frequency points as you can – the wider the frequency band, the more predictable the cluster will be.” Ben alludes to the fact that too many stadium PAs might spec out well down to 1kHz but that’s simply not good enough: “Speech fundamentals are often below that – for example, the first harmonic of my voice is around 250Hz. So the goal is to design a system that is controlled over the widest possible band.” But of course, the biggest issue with intelligibility in a stadium is the problem of hearing sound from speakers that aren’t right above you. Ben Clarke elaborates: “Much of the intelligibility challenge is minimising the interaction between loudspeakers from cluster to cluster, horizontally: that needs to be as tightly controlled as possible. We’re talking about multi-path reflections within the stand itself flooding into adjoining bays. That’s a big contributor to intelligibility problems.” Not spraying sound around is a function of the loudspeakers’ directivity, which itself is a function of the cabinet size and the horn size. Thanks to the AX’s big horn mouth the

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pattern control goes as low as 200Hz which does wonders for keeping the sound on the punters and away from hard surfaces. “Designs fall down when they just concentrate on total SPL or direct coverage – intelligibility plots are a good way of sorting the men from the boys,” notes Clarke. (1) FROM THE KICK-OFF

EASE plots, testing and talk mean little when 30,000 fans amass for the first big debut of the PA and, indeed, the stadium. Rogue Traders played live prior to the big match, with Norwest taking the reins of the production (providing the onpitch supplement to the PA, designed by Justin Arthur) with Nick Macfie (from Production Technologies) providing the technical direction. Macfie picks up the story: “Sitting in the grandstand, my initial response was surprise – the sound was very ‘nearfield’, something not common in Australian stadium venues. There was a real consistency in the sound – you could wander from the coverage of one cluster to the next and it was seamless throughout. I’d go as far to say that it’s the first time I’ve heard a house stadium system capable of being properly integrated into an entertainment format, not just ground announce and replay.” LIFTING THE ROOF… WITH LIGHT

When it came to illuminating the striking stadium, lighting consultants Electrolight were awarded the job of designing an artistic lighting system for the roof façade by Major Projects Victoria. Early in the design process, Electrolight’s Paul Beale teamed with fellow Melbourne lighting specialists Lightmoves to workshop ideas. Joe Casamento was Project Manager for Lightmoves and talks about his work on the stadium with a great sense of pride. “Grocon has delivered an extraordinarily complex project – it’s an amazing structure. Electrolight was instrumental in Lightmoves being involved and we’re thankful that they turn to us for these types of projects,” said Casamento with a healthy degree of justified back-slapping. The resulting solution was an LED node set into the intersecting roof panels. Initial plans were to use Studio Due CityLEDs, a low-voltage RGB fixture small enough to fit in between the panels. During prototyping and testing the designers agreed the concept worked, but the CityLEDs were too directional and not quite bright enough, so they set about creating a locally made alternative. Casamento had recently completed work on the Melbourne Theatre Company building with Electrolight and local LED manufacturer Fabian Barzaghi from Space Cannon Australia

which involved, amongst many other things, the development of an in-ground LED fitting. This fitting became the starting point for the roof node, as it had a shallow profile and was very bright. “We made some prototypes and kick-started it from there. What we came up with is a custom special but we call it a Pixel P9 because it has nine Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs in it, three of each primary colour,” Casamento explained. Other than its brightness, the Pixel P9’s main advantage is in its special domed diffuser lens which transmits the light in all angles. “The whole thing just glows from whichever way you’re looking at it, so there isn’t an angle you can’t see the LEDs from on the ground or in the air, which was imperative on this job. We viewed it from the top of Eureka tower during testing and it’s amazingly bright from there and close up it’s incredible,” said Casamento. In order to decide which LED node was best for the job, all the stakeholders gathered in the adjacent Gosch’s Paddock one night for a comparison. After seeing both types of fixtures they were asked which one they preferred. “They chose the Pixel P9 because it was brighter – almost twice as bright as the CityLED – and because they could see it from more angles,” said Casamento. PIXEL POWER

Each LED fitting has a 200mm cable and a moulded plug and socket on each end so that the units plug into each other. Some 148 vertical runs of LEDs form the basis of the daisy chain, with each run having a feeder cable, 24V power supply and dedicated DMX. Casamento explained the challenge of this was that each triangle on each shell was a different length as was the distance between each LED. After racking up many hours on a spreadsheet, he came up with a plan to add extension leads ranging from 2m to 8m, pre-commission each fitting of each run at the factory and provide detailed instructions for the installation team. A ‘plug and play’ approach was important as the installation was to be undertaken by abseilers who were not necessarily qualified electricians. This meticulous planning and documentation by Casamento and Lightmoves Technical Director Andrew Sherar ensured the success of the installation. “Andrew and I spent a lot of time documenting it properly and we had all the documentation completed well ahead of the installation. We knew exactly what the bracket was, how it was going to be attached, how the runs would go, which leads to use between each LED for each particular shell. We spent months painstakingly designing and prototyping in

(1) Speech Transmission Index (STI) is a measure of speech transmission quality, where 0 is unintelligible and 1 is perfect. The understanding of speech, the intelligibility, is directly dependent on the background noise level, of the reverberation time, and of the size of the room.


DAMPING A FACTOR Ben Clarke: The Powersoft K3 is a touring spec amp. The benefit of using a highspec amp is the damping control [ability of the amplifier to control undesirable movement of the speaker cone] is greater than a cheaper amp, even a cheaper Powersoft amp. When you’re driving long speaker lines you need as much control as you can over the speaker. You can adjust for EQ or level loss from running long lines but you can’t make allowances for loss of transducer control. So an amp with a high damping factor, means you can drive longer lines. The DSP is in the amp. We’re the first to use Powersoft’s Armonia software in Australia. It allows us to use the Armonia user interface to drag in the amps you’re using, select which rack room they’re in, which speakers they’re driving in that quadrant, and set up user groups in that design, so you can dial up a configuration for a special event without affecting other aspects of the setup – Armonia makes building customisable zones and groups easy.

Courtesy: Rutledge Engineering

EAW AX SERIES – MUCH CHOP? Production Audio Services’ Ben clarke explains the advantages of the EAW’s AX range of tri-axial loudspeakers. “No matter where you go in its coverage pattern you always get the same frequency response, it’ll just reduce in level off-axis. Whereas in other designs with offset drivers you get a collapse through the crossover range where you move off the aligned axis of those transducers. That often impacts on the sound quality. Because you can only time align and frequency response of the system from a position – move off-axis, from that position (horizontally or vertically), you can get a very different repsonse. Double that when you bring in another box into the cluster – with interference between the two compounding problem. “With the EAW AX’s tri-axial design you’re not getting that crossover collapse because it’s coming from a single point within the box. The dual 12s and the eight-inch coax mid are on a common horn, with the HF unit mounted behind the mid device. Having that point source means you always get a clean impulse – a time coherent response – without the time offset problems inherenet in a large format system.”


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preparation for the install so we knew we could get everything up on the roof and done in time,” revealed Casamento. Plant rooms are located at each corner of the roof. Each has an Enttec Datagate Mk2 Art-Net to DMX converter feeding five Enttec RDS8 data splitters. A fibre line runs from each plant room back to the stadium’s central control room where the LED system is operated from a simple control widget designed by Lightmoves. The widget is used to trigger specially commissioned video content as well as an easily customisable template to allow the LED colour to be changed to complement specific events. BIG CANVAS

Content for the LEDs is programmed using pixel mapping via coolux Pandoras Box, effectively treating the LEDs as a 1544-pixel low-resolution video screen. Two artists have been engaged to design video content to suit the pixel mapping in Pandoras Box. Both Alexander Knox and Bruce Ramus have experience providing video media to be rendered onto LEDs – Knox’s experience in kinetic sculptures and light installations such as ‘Maxims of Behaviour’, an LED installation on Melbourne’s Royal Mail House building [see Issue 6], and Ramus’ experience in producing advanced media experiences and large-format projections for architectural and theatrical environments, made them ideally suited to this project. “The two artists had to come up with video content to suit the pixel mapping in Pandora’s Box and that’s how we’ve programmed it. We’ve employed Lyndon Gare to be our programmer and liaise with the artists and he’s done an amazing job. Test LEDs have been set up in our commissioning room so that the artists can test their content and see how the colours render on the actual LEDs. Already there are dozens and dozens of shows – there is artwork specific for Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Victory, Australian green and gold, and each program begins with an indigenous artwork,” explained Casamento.

Courtesy: MOPT

Photographer: Sandra Davis

GOSCH IT’S GOOD

Recalling the first time he saw the finished stadium lit up, Casamento says he was lost for words. “I remember standing in Gosch’s Paddock, seeing it come alive for the first time, it was incredible. You never forget those moments – they’re the moments that make all the hard work worth it. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky because not many people get to do projects on this scale and I’ve managed to do a couple now. I’m always humbled by the experience, and I’m so proud of this one because it’s a Melbourne-made solution for Melbournians using Victorian taxpayers’ money.” 

As the roof LED system is going to be used for a long time, and mostly by people with no system training and not the slightest interest in reading the extensive system documentation required in the supply contract, all control screens are simple and contain step-by-step instructions for every occasion.


MORE INFORMATION AAMI Park: www.aamipark.com.au Rutledge Engineering: (03) 9488 1500 or www.rutledge.com.au Production Audio Services (EAW, Powersoft): (03) 9264 8000 or www.productionaudio.com.au KLM Group (Electrical & Communications Contractor): (03) 9320 3444 or www.klmgroup.com.au Electrolight: (03) 9670 2694 or www.electrolight.com.au Lightmoves: (03) 9701 2500 or www.lightmoves.com Space Cannon Australia: (03) 9486 5366 or www.spacecannon.com.au Show Technology (Pandora’s Box): (02) 9748 1122 or www.showtech.com.au Enttec (DMX distribution): (03) 9763 5755 or www.enttec.com Philips Lighting (Luxeon LEDs): www.lighting.philips.com.au Grocon: www.grocon.com.au Major Projects Victoria: www.majorprojects.vic.gov.au Cox Architects: www.coxarchitecture.com.au Bosch: (02) 9683 4852 or www.boschsecurity.com.au

Courtesy: Rutledge Engineering Rutledge Engineering designed and built a custom RS232-to-LAN adapter for remote control of each screen (on/off, channel select, and volume for screens using their built-in speakers). Photographer: Joe Casamento

ABOUT THE PIXEL P9 Each Pixel P9 node is 130mm diameter by 39.5mm high, encased in black aluminium housing and weighs around 1kg. A custom articulated bracket was developed by Grocon in order to attach the nodes so that they’re flush with the roofline, an important factor considering cleaners and maintenance staff would have access to the roof. By placing a fitting in each panel intersection across the 20 shells, the 1544 individual Pixel P9 LED nodes delicately trace the curves and accentuate the sculptural quality of the stadium’s shells. Fully outdoor rated (IP67), the fixtures can operate in temperatures from -15˚C to +50˚C and using a Remote Device Management (RDM) system running over DMX, thermal sensors within each node send readings back to the control room so that if ambient temperatures are outside of the unit’s tolerance, the current to each fitting can be reduced to avoid overheating. The RDM system can also provide simple diagnostics such as fixture IDs, DMX data addressing and current operating temperature.


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AAMI Park: Opening, Ready or Not Production Manager, Nick Macfie, relates the tale of a gig booked into a venue that was still under construction. Text & images:\ Nick Macfie

Around late January or early February this year, while stumbling through one of my regular online haunts (The Cool Hunter) I come across something that stood out: it was then referred to as the Rectangular Stadium. Lit in triangle form by an intricate installation of LED lighting throughout the roof, it flashed, it moved, it changed colour… it was different… it was cool. I wondered what lucky city had adopted such a cool stadium design. Upon further investigation, and much to my surprise, I discovered that it was Melbourne! Looking a little deeper, I realised the images were computer renders, so I supposed that much like the majority of content on The Cool Hunter website, this was probably a concept piece. A little later I uncovered how misinformed and out of touch with current affairs I am. This stadium was in the final stages of construction; a true realisation of the design and vision by Cox Architects and the City of Melbourne. Imagine my surprise again, when not even a month later, there we were, standing in the stadium under construction, receiving the first production briefing for the launch of this amazing venue with an Australia vs New Zealand, National Rugby League (NRL) test match. Timesquare Productions, the NRL’s retained event management agency, appointed Tim Freeland, Creative Director of Splendid Communications to design and produce the opening ceremony to launch AAMI Park. These proceedings were to take place before the match kickoff and be broadcast nationally via the Nine Network on May 7th, 2010. Our company, Production Technologies, was engaged by Tim Freeland to manage all technical elements of the show, including audio, video, lighting, staging, communications, power and crew management. Tim Freeland developed the design for the show that needed to take account of

the requirements of stakeholders, including the NRL, the Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT – the owners of the venue), the Nine Network and AAMI (the naming rights holder). The program also had to incorporate an indigenous Welcome to Country and history of great Victorian sporting moments in the half hour live broadcast segment prior to the match. PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

There’s nothing peachy about how this started. When we first visited the venue five weeks out from the event date, the roof was still held up by scaffolding the whole way around; all the control rooms were full-time workshops; and no mains power supply existed. As you can imagine, our conversations en route back to Sydney that afternoon weren’t brimming with confidence. A week out from bump-in not much had changed, except we’d actually noticed more problems: like how the roof leaked… a lot. We were given the green light on the creative and execution of the production only three weeks prior to bump-in. All suppliers were anxiously standing-by to get moving, or at the very least, visit the site. Sure enough, gear started moving across the country to meet the requirements, crew started designing the systems, and we all started throwing the usual curve balls at each other; all before anyone had even touched an Excel spreadsheet or mentioned the word ‘induction’. Our final on-site production meeting was 10 days prior to bump-in, with all suppliers, members of MOPT, and the NRL, together with the principal building contractor and site managers. Nobody had to warn us this was going to be ‘interesting’, we knew. The ability to hang anything from the roof structure was immediately dismissed by the building contractors, who responded as if it was some kind of ludicrous delusion. We fought hard for it, but we lost – not


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The ability to hang anything from the roof structure was immediately dismissed by the building contractors, who responded as if it was some kind of ludicrous delusion

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Roundslings and acres of burlap padding were required to suspend the 256m of lighting truss from the front of the east and west balconies.

the kind of curve ball anybody wants 10 days out from the installation date. It was comforting to see three or four of the strongest production minds in the country keep their cool in this situation. Rather than throwing their toys out of the pram, it became a process of problem solving – problem solving on the run, you might say. A solution had to be devised for the flown elements of audio, video and lighting with only five or six days to go before the trucks had to be packed. It’s not as easy as just laying down the law that the lighting must hang, that the PA can just go on the field-of-play, and that the projectors can stack over seating. With the lead-time available, clearing these solutions with all the stakeholders was nearly impossible. AUDIO: GET IT ON

Since it was unclear as to whether the house audio installation would be functioning in time, it was decided that the show system would need to be self sufficient if required. To achieve this, Norwest Production deployed a ground-based system consisting of 36 x L-Acoustics Kudo elements on their

One of the six clusters of Christie Roadster S+20K projectors that had to be mounted on scaffold towers above the seating when it was discovered that the roof was not load-bearing.

custom-made carts, accompanied by four EAW KF750 cabinets on their sides for the corners of the stadium. With the three corner carts linked together and attached to an electric buggy, we had the ability to strike the field in less than 60 seconds with eight crew. Justin Arthur of Norwest was responsible for system tuning and also took on FOH mix duties. Full credit goes to Justin for tuning and time-aligning the system in a very small time frame while battling the noise of circular saws, drills, jackhammers, cement trucks, and about a thousand angry workmen. In the end we were fortunate enough to be able to supplement the ground-based system with the house system – EAW AX series loudspeakers powered by Powersoft K3 amplifiers. The house system was very simple to integrate and provided an even and seamless blend for the upper grandstand. A major consideration in the design of the show system was the ability to feed the topand rear-firing house boxes individually, allowing us to separately feed the top boxes as desired in the time-alignment process.

The entire ground system had to be struck from the field following the anthems in the one solitary minute prior to kick-off, on what ended up being a very soggy pitch following the rain. Note to Australian and New Zealand Rugby teams: when a rainsodden electric cart fails to make it off the field due to a malfunction and holds up the kick-off, don’t be outdone by 20 Showsupport loaders who can push it off the field (well done lads!). LIGHTING: SPECTACULAR

Lighting contractor Bytecraft Entertainment (led by Fergal O’Sullivan) and rigging contractor Show Tech Australia (led by Tiny Good and David Segan), worked closely together to overcome our inability to fly equipment from the roof. Instead the 256m of box truss was attached with Gackflex slings and countless burlaps to the balcony front of the tiered seating sections on the east and west sides of the stadium. A rig of 80 x Martin Mac 2000XB washlights sat on top of the box truss, spread evenly down each side of the field. These were supplemented by 10 x High End Systems Showgun and


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PRODUCTION CREDITS Show Producer: Tim Freeland (Splendid Communications) Show Caller: Craig Claridge (Timesquare Productions) Technical Director: Nick Macfie (Production Technologies) Lighting Design / Operation: Richard Neville (Mandylights) Stage Management: Robert Fischer (Timesquare Productions) Audio Contractor: Norwest Productions Project Manager: Nick Hutchinson FOH Engineer / System Design: Justin Arthur System Engineer: Andy Marsh System Engineer: Aaron Mason RF System Tech: Steve Caldwell Lighting Contractor: Bytecraft Entertainment Project Manager: Paul Rigby System Engineer / Crew Chief: Fergal O’Sullivan Video Contractor: The Electric Canvas Project Manager: Peter Milne Rigging Contractor: Show Tech Australia Project Manager: Tiny Good Communications Contractor: All Things Technical Project Manager: Josh Moffat Power Contractor: Event Power Solutions Project Manager: Mark Jamison Screen Contractor: Pattons Awnings Project Manager: Daniel Halse Staging Contractor: Staging Rentals Melbourne Labour Contractor: Show Support Project Manager / Crew Chief: Jamie Sparks IT Network Contractor: Wired Sky Events Project Manager: Matt Hall It's finally come together: the projection screen is laid out on the field, the PA boxes are on their dollies in raincoats, and the lighting rig is up and running. All that‘s needed now is 30,000 punters and a downpour.

4 x Syncrolite SXB-5/2 xenon moving lights, with Strong Gladiator 3kW xenon followspots at each corner of the stadium. Show Tech also provided the much needed cable management truss, scaffolding and pits throughout the stadium. Being a brand new (and unfinished) venue there were no tie lines, no conduit, no cable trays, not even a hole in a wall to run a cable through. Richard Neville of Mandylights provided the lighting design and operated the grandMA console, having already visualised the event in Sydney weeks earlier, sitting alongside Tim Freeland in the Mandylights studio. The result was a spectacular lighting show for both the live and broadcast audiences. VISION: STRIKING

The most striking feature on the field-ofplay for the ceremony was a 40m x 56m projection screen which was constructed from 350gsm PVC mesh in four panels and joined with Velcro. This enabled it to be struck from the field in less than two minutes by the 22-person crew.

Projection veteran Peter Milne and his company Electric Canvas was engaged to provide the projection solution for the event. They installed 18 x Christie Roadster S+20K projectors, nine either side of the stadium, on six scaffold towers built by Show Tech Rigging. The content from video creative house Engine was played back, and integrated with a live feed from the Channel Nine helicopter hovering above, through an E/T/C Onlyview system.

The stadium control room housed a Riedel Artist 32 system frame which fed the 12 x 1000 Series panels for all show call and operational crew throughout the event, including additional panels for ground announce and game time control. Deployed to the rear of the north seating bowl were the RiFace interface units connecting all duplex and simplex radio channels into the matrix, together with an Artist 64 frame linked via a redundant fibre ring back to the control room.

COMMS: A WORK OF ARTIST

ALL RIGHT ON THE NIGHT

Often given the least attention and the greatest number of insults, the communications were contracted to Josh Moffat at All Things Technical, who installed and managed the Riedel Artist system and two-way radios from bumpin until show-time, with flawless results. Josh comes with a lot of experience of sports communications, having frequently provided comms for NRL events. Based around an Artist digital matrix system, nodes were distributed across three fibrelinked locations.

Not often does a show come along where more pre-production is done on site than off, but watching all of these elements come together so smoothly was a truly gratifying end to a most adventurous week. Amazingly, it was all smiles at the end, from the crew, the clients and the sponsors; even in the pouring rain. Apparently Australia won the game. I missed that minor detail on the night. Bonus. 


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Taking Stock The NMA’s new multi-touch exhibit brings the Canning Stock Route to your fingertips. Text:\ Graeme Hague Images:\ Courtesy Lightwell

For those people who have a taste for the genuine Australian outback, taking their massive 4WD cruisers with roof racks and ‘roo bars, huge antennae with pennant flags, extra cans of petrol stacked to the skies, spare tyres bolted to the windscreen wipers – you know the type – well, for them the Canning Stock Route is an exciting, heartthumping challenge. A real adventure. Good on ‘em, I say. For folks like me, who regard a three-star motel room as akin to taking part in a bad episode of Survivor, travelling the Stock Route is a silly idea. It was, and still is – at a tad under 1800km long – the longest historic stock route in the world. It traverses some of the most inhospitable country in Western Australia (ignoring the Northbridge nightclub strip momentarily), filled with endless deserts, sand dunes and a vast array of wildlife that can kill you with a single spit. There’s got to be an easier way to see it that doesn’t involve getting bogged, bitten and scorched every five minutes. Good news, there is an easier way to see it. STOCK SHOTS

For much of the early part of the 20th century the Canning Stock Route was the only way to get cattle overland from the verdant grasslands of the Kimberly region to a railhead at Wiluna and during that time there were also a fair number of outraged indigenous clans who wanted to kill you, too. They resented the stock route denying them their own land and access to water. With that kind of dramatic history it’s only right that the Canning Stock Route (CSR) deserves a new multi-screen audiovisual display called ‘One Road’ in Canberra’s National Museum of Australia (NMA). It’s a signature part of the overall Yiwarra Kuju Exhibition, mostly told in traditional paintings, which is a focus on the many perspectives of Aborigines who grew up in the country around the stock route, including those who worked as drovers and those who strongly opposed what they regarded as trespassing on their land. The central component of the display is an array of 10 x 46-inch MultiTouch Cell displays configured in what is claimed to be the first asymmetric multi-touch installation for a museum exhibition. The combined units are more than 7m long and enable visitors to stand around corners and collaborate on the panels as a single, connected display. The design encourages use by more than 20 people at a time. The whole point of the staggered alignment is to allow for a reproduction of the actual shape of the stock route, properly following the course of the route via the connected screens as they spread across the floor of the gallery. Interactive markers are placed in their correct geographical positions according to the information they bring forward, with other touch points put around the periphery of the map for the less location-

specific material. The display offers instant multi-touch access to both historical and contemporary detail, including paintings, film and other cultural works, as well as a rich oral and visual record. The exhibit features more than two hours of video, over 70 paintings and about 100 separate stories by artists from the countryside surrounding the stock route. From start to finish, the project took 12 months to complete, building on a three-year undertaking by the Western Australian creative arts organisation FORM, in partnership with nine Aboriginal community art centres. MULTITOUCH: HARD CELL?

While Sydney-based Lightwell supplied and installed the MultiTouch Cell panels, the NMA’s own multimedia department undertook all systems design, coding and integration for the exhibition. NMA’s Sean McKinty programmed both MultiTouch panels and the AMX system and oversaw the connection of all data and audio streams between the control system, power controllers, amplifiers, and speakers for the MultiTouch panels. Andrew Shaw joined the NMA team a little after the project commenced and after doing some catching up took on the technical management and purchasing. An AMX NXI NetLinx integrated controller fitted with an NXC-ME260 Ethernet master card lies at the heart of the AMX system, offering a user interface via a wall-mounted AXD-MCP 5.5-inch colour touchpanel. Each of the five Ubuntu (Linux) PCs running the interactive table system communicates with a pair of the MultiTouch panels via the proprietary TUIO protocol. The software for the panels was developed using C++, OpenGL and the MultiTouch Cornerstone SDK, to create a native Linux application. The system includes a watchdog application that tracks system lockups and hardware health and raises the appropriate alerts. XML and other standards were used for all content resources, to enable easy management during development and, perhaps more importantly, for support and maintenance by the NMA staff on site. MultiTouch’s patented computer vision system, which reads up to 120 frames per second in bright daylight or dark environments, can react to unlimited touch points including hands, fingers, fingertips and 2D markers across the table surface. Talking of fingertips, this highlights one of the more unique aspects of the display, the opportunity for users to try their own hand at making art. ART GIVEN THE FINGER

The table offers virtual sand for finger-drawing and also canvases where visitors can do finger paintings using a range of colour palettes. All the while as you paint, around you and in other areas, audio recordings and video presentations plus three-dimensional characters


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as you paint ‌ three-dimensional characters such as lizards and snakes crawl across the screen

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such as lizards and snakes crawling across the screen are playing their part in the display. It’s this amount of depth and variety that the One Road interactive table provides concurrently and to such a large number of simultaneous participants that – you have to agree by present standards (which admittedly last about two weeks before someone sets new ones) – is pretty impressive. Attracting a crowd can cause problems by itself, in this case overlapping fields of audio as users standing next to each other trigger different sound files. Each of the 10 panels has an associated pair of SoundTube speakers, so it’s theoretically possible to have 10 competing audio presentations playing at once. The design teams thought long and hard about this and considered solutions such as prioritising playback in a first-come first-served basis or maybe queuing files, but in the end it was deemed that the placement of the speakers on the screens, combined with the asymmetric array and low volume levels, meant that enough separation was achieved without too much interferance. Besides, every interface provided playback controls for users to rewind, pause or repeat the audio if needed and, as an added safety net, most of the content was augmented by subtitles. STOCK ROUTE, ON THE ROAD

The entire Yiwarra Kuju exhibition, including the One Road Canning Stock Route Interactive Table, is scheduled to go on a national tour after finishing its season at the National Museum of Australia. Beyond that, negotiations are in the pipeline for

Line in the Sand: In addition to the more usual multitouch gestures to browse, open and manipulate the content, vistors can also interact with the background and create their own sand pictures.

potential displays in Asia and the Unites States. This was always in the planning and an integral part of the design and development process was about everything being able to travel. The interactive table can be dismantled into components that can be roadcased and the control equipment is already in racks ready to go. In the end, the biggest challenge for Michael Hill from Lightwell and Andrew Shaw’s crew at NMA wasn’t anything to do with hardware or the efficiency of any software – all that worked fine thanks to MultiTouch. The hardest part was the actual design of the One Road interactive experience. A team that included FORM, the Museum, filmmaker Nicki Ma, exhibition designer Susan Freeman, indigenous multimedia producers and the artists whose paintings are featured in the exhibition collaborated in the artistic endeavour of creating a display that catches visitors’ attention and keeps it for the whole virtual journey along the dangerous Canning Stock Route, down the twisting dirt road of 10 multimedia touchscreens. That’s successfully achieved without any flat 4WD tyres, boiling radiators or deadly critters trying to bite you. It sounds like the perfect kind of adventure to me. 

More on the Yiwarra Kuju exhibition can be found at www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/yiwarra_kuju/ More information of on the Canning Stock Route project can be found at www.form.net.au/aboriginal-development/canning-stock-route-project


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Hitachi CP-WUX645N A 3LCD projector for high-resolution and dual-image applications. Text:\ Stuart Gregg

There is certainly no shortage of projectors on the market, and choosing the right one for the job is a minefield. So when asked to review the Hitachi CP-WUX645N I was keen to understand where the manufacturer was pitching this unit. Hitachi has designed this projector for ‘large’ spaces such as meeting rooms and lecture halls, with a push towards those needing to display high resolution, detailed CAD-style images. The CP-WUX645N is a three-panel LCD unit with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA), producing a claimed 4200 ANSI Lumens, making it a fairly impressive specification for its size. It is very quiet in standard operation and almost silent when run in whisper mode, although you do drop some light output in this mode. With a single non-motorised 1.93x lens, it appears to have been designed with an emphasis on permanent installation. The lens has a manual shift, but it is fairly limited with horizontal adjustment of only 10% and vertical of 50%. That said, the shift is good with focus and image staying true. The focus was good across the image over the full (2x) range of zoom. Uniformity of colour and luminance was good for a projector in this price range, colour reproduction was okay in the default settings, but some manual adjustment was required to get it just right throughout certain colour palettes. CORNUCOPIA OF INPUTS

There is a comprehensive set of input connections although it’s notable that Hitachi chose to go HDMI rather than DVI for the digital input. I tested it using a number of sources, input formats and resolutions, including Mac PowerBooks with DisplayPort to HDMI adapters, Blu-ray HDMI and YUV, composite video and analogue VGA (RGBHV). The projector handled acquiring all sources with ease, and the auto setup produced accurate wellclocked images. The Mac PowerBook recognised the projector first-up, although the only thing to watch for is the overscan option on both the projector and computer. If set incorrectly, this will leave you missing the top section of your image. High detail CAD-type images reproduced very well and the Picture by Picture feature did a nice job of scaling two hi-res images and placing them side-by-side. This is a useful feature for education and medical installations where two images are often put up for comparison. Graphics and photos displayed nicely, but did require some manual adjustment to get true colour reproduction. The image zoom feature did a nice job of scaling the enlarged area of the image but I found it really cumbersome to move the magnified region of the image around. By default it magnified the centre portion of the image and then allowed scrolling around using the remote, but this is a slow process as there is only one magnification setting and the movement increment is very small. The menu functions are intuitive and extensive, with most of the default

settings being suitable for day-to-day use. The built-in test patterns are great. I found the remote took a bit of time to get used to, with some functions that would naturally fit with the joystick actually being set using the additional toggle switch, which felt a bit flimsy. WELL ADJUSTABLE

The keystone and Perfect Fit adjustments allow keystone adjustment both horizontally and vertically as well as individual adjustment of each of the four corners. Although this allows off-axis projection, it eats into the available resolution, and hence the ability to run native 1920 x 1200. However, given the quality of the scaling on this unit, it may not prove to be an issue for most users. The networking, monitor output, security, and email alerts functions all work well, and are useful for a projector installed in a university or similar environment, while the scheduling features work well for digital signagetype applications. Lamp life is respectable, with a claimed 3000 hours in econo-mode or a more realistic 2000 hours in full-power mode. Replacement lamps are $799. The top change lamp (nothing bugs me more than having to uninstall the projector to change a lamp), long life filters, and overall high build quality, certainly looks to make it a low/easy maintenance option. I'm not a huge fan of the silver finish, it may be a small point, but it just feels a bit cheap and dated to me. GAMMA DOESN’T GET AN ‘A’

One area where I felt this projector did struggle was video (both SD and HD) reproduction. The default gamma settings produced fairly average blacks, and while it has the most extensive gamma adjustment system I have ever seen on a projector of this size, I can’t help thinking it needs it to produce images with good uncrushed black levels. The claimed 1000:1 contrast ratio is achieved using an active iris with either presentation or movie setting, but I didn’t find it helped a great deal on movies with mixed dark and light scenes. I can’t see the average user delving in that deep into the settings and therefore would unnecessarily live with average video quality. The CP-WUX645N is a well-featured projector with some nice functionality for those who are prepared to get into the menu and options. It gives respectable bright images for vector graphic type applications, and with some work, is capable of providing good video. At a recommended retail price of $10,000 (inc GST) it represents fair value for its light output and features.  Hitachi Australia: (02) 9888 4100 www.hitachi.com.au


WINNER

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056

REVIEW

XTA DC1048 XTA applies its no-compromise sound quality to a ground-up, 4-into-8 install audio processor. Text:\ Graeme Hague

It’s a bit frightening to think that someone might be listening to us – well, to me at least. In a previous issue of AV I lamented that a certain audio distributor/zone mixer only offered a rear network connection and limited front panel controls. The problem I have with this is the possibility of idle employees who are tired of playing Solitaire might surf the company network for interesting stuff and discover this funlooking mixer thingy and before you know it, the ultra-secret board meeting discussing world domination with Doctor Evil is being broadcast into the women’s public toilet. Unlikely? I don’t think so and it seems XTA agrees. Its latest installation audio processor, the DC1048 does come with a rear RS485 connector for networking and front panel controls, but from the outset XTA suggests you use a laptop of some kind and only the handy front USB port to set up the processor before you disconnect again and remove any chance of someone inadvertently trashing the settings. And they have another simple idea – timed presets. You can create a preset of the ideal configuration and schedule it to load, for example, every morning at 7am. This means that any glitches caused overnight by power failures or the pesky cleaners trying to plug in their iPod will be reset automatically every day. The laptop stays in the bag. RACK WITHOUT GUILT

The XTA 1048 is a 1U rackmount four input/eight output matrix mixer and audio processor. It’s designed for permanent installations in offices, court complexes, schools – anywhere that multiple zones and input sources are mostly fixed. Aside from some kind of audio knowledge required to initially set up the internal DSP effects, this is a unit for operation by anyone with some common sense. With its 20 available presets, it could readily be handled by AV and IT techs or competent office staff. It’s a set-and-forget device with an option for remote touchpanels to access those presets away from the main unit. Opening the box reveals there is no included CD of the iCore software required to run the DC1048. I was momentarily grumpy, then it occurred to me, why should XTA bother? What’s the first thing anybody does with this kind of product? Connect to the internet to check for updates – which invariably exist. Packaged CD software is pretty much obsolete before it

even leaves the factory, so okay let’s save the planet from a few thousand drink coasters. I downloaded the 22MB iCore software and a required USB driver, installed the program and went through a fairly painless process of connecting the DC1048 and getting iCore to recognise it without having to bother with that USB driver after all. Hmm… Another slight annoyance was having to shift my Taskbar to see the entire iCore GUI on my widescreen laptop, a problem that didn’t repeat itself later on my main PC. iCORE BLIMEY

iCore is a good-looking piece of software that inspires confidence. It’s not exactly Cubase 5, but certainly more than the bland sort of two-dimensional, utilitarian application you often see with this sort of equipment that – and I know this sounds crazy – makes you wonder just how much time the developers put into the background algorithms when the GUI resembles Donkey Kong circa 1980. With iCore the amount of EQ and limiting available is also impressive, if not overkill. There are eight bands of parametric EQ on the inputs and nine bands on the outputs plus crossover settings for the latter. The EQs themselves have a wide variety of types, such as straightforward high or low shelf filters, notch or band pass, and there are more esoteric choices like VariQ and Elliptic settings. The main mixer window is where the limiter controls for each output are located, plus there’s phase inversion and a delay setting for time-aligning speakers. The DSP plug-ins are very good. I’ve seen a few DAW plugins that provide less for supposedly ‘professional’ quality. It’s this depth of the iCore software paired with the DC1048 features (to clarify, iCore is required for a range of XTA processors and will identify and display control for multiple, connected devices) that makes the DC1048 an attractive proposition for installers in a market that’s starting to see a lot of these kinds of audio processors. Let’s face it, automated zone control and signal mixing is becoming standard. The quality of the DSP effects can be the only point of difference. If you can’t get things sounding right with what the DC1048 has on board, well… The internal real-time clock that provides the timed, preset recall is a good inclusion, both as a fail-safe measure and to simplify things for less expert users.


REVIEW

FEATURE

057

BALANCED STORY

Back in the real world of hardware, the DC1048 has front panel buttons on one side for comms settings (unit ID, baud rate, master or slave modes), system settings such as LCD brightness and that all-important lock-out function using a PIN for thwarting curious fingers with a choice of Full or Preset Only available, and a General Purpose Interface (GPI) menu setup. On the opposite side is Preset Up, Down and OK. Arrayed between the buttons are six-stage LED level indicators for all the outputs and inputs, the front USB port plus the LCD with a default, darkened display until woken by pressing something. Time and date are shown dimly as the only indication the unit has power – a small niggle. All the connections on the rear are Phoenix three-pin apart from the RS485 network link which allows cascading of multiple DC1048 and the GPI port. XTA encourages users to connect its own WP-1048 remote wall panels to the GPI port, but this is a standardised configuration and plenty of third-party devices will work fine. Notably, all the audio connections are balanced, but that’s it. There’s no phantom power or trim pots on any, so even a basic announcement microphone will need a preamp of some description. Finally, the DC1048 has a side-mounted cooling fan which is surprisingly raucous, but judging by the warm air it puts out after a few hours of operation, it’s definitely required to run full-time. PRO SHOP

Sometimes it’s hard to get too excited about high-quality converters, build quality and top-notch algorithms when you know the signal is destined for budget in-ceiling speakers, open microphones in glasswalled boardrooms with poor acoustic qualities, etc – a whole host of factors can conspire to blunt the efficacy of the best component designs. Yet XTA’s reputation has been built on high quality sound – certainly in the concert production sector where XTA really made its name. Saying that, the DC1048 isn’t simply a PA processor with the knobs removed, it’s been designed and built with the permanent install market in mind. Spend the time in iCore and explore the DC1048’s DSP and you will be rewarded. Whatever weak link you might have in your setup, the DC1048 won’t be it – an industrial-spec’ed, powerful, flexible device that will happily be hub of just about any audio system.  Price: $4295 CMI: (03) 9315 2244 or www.cmi.com.au

Top: iCore Output PEQ – A comprehensive array of high-quality EQ is available. Above: iCore Mixer – The mixer looks a lot better than some and is well laid out. Input and output channels can be labelled. Configurations are saved as files with presets saved within those files.


058

REVIEW

Martin M1 Lighting Console Martin Professional's latest foray is into the mid-size console market. Text:\ Paul Collison

It looks a little like the love child of a Compulite Spark Top, a Whole Hog II and a tin of silver paint. Add a fancy backlit trackball and a Martin badge, and you have the M1 – Martin Professional’s latest lighting controller. Its roots stem back way further than its immediate forebear, the now defunct Maxxyz system and even further back than the Case controller. In fact, the first moving light controller this writer used was a rackmount Martin 20-08 back in the late ’80s. Certainly Martin has come a long way since then. There was a long way to come! But to think of the M1 as a new lighting console is somewhat incorrect. The software derives from the long-developed Maxxyz platform, which was initially plagued with hardware issues, however the M1 seems to have overcome these. Martin lighting controllers have long polarised many programmers: some love them, some despise them. For sure, this latest one will do the same; however, it is probably one of the most well developed ‘new’ lighting control systems to hit the market of late. After a quick rundown from Simon Barrett at Show Technology in Sydney, the M1 and I headed to the Opera House forecourt for a date with some footballers on the NRL Footy Show Grand Final edition. How romantic. Before we go much further, we need to understand where the M1 sits in the market. We’re not talking about a console that will control 1000 moving lights. Martin have realised that there is a gaping hole in the market when it comes to reliable, mid-to-low-end controllers. A solid platform that runs 50-odd moving lights, some generic channels and a media server or three, at an affordable price, was needed. With a price point that is very competitive, the M1 is scalable to your needs. Out of the box it can control four streams of DMX via the four 5-pin ports on the back of the console. Simply add a Martin Ether2DMX8 converter to bring that up to 12 streams. For a further small cost, you can unlock all 12 streams and use any Art-Net device. MIDI in/out modules are also optional. This means you don’t need to buy capabilities you don’t need. If you want to expand further, there are ports for Martin Wings and DMX input. FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The silver faceplate is good and bad. In low light it is easy to navigate, but it will show up dirty hand marks pretty quickly. The surface isn’t cluttered – in fact, it’s quite easy to get going. The layout is good, although I wouldn’t want to be left-handed, given the encoders are far to the right of the surface. Fortunately, Martin has realised most of the universe despise the tractor faders that populated the Case and Maxxyz surfaces. These have been replaced with the chunky rotary encoders that seem to now be standard on most lighting controllers. The built in 13.1-inch touch screen is great, if only a little on small side. I’d definitely prefer two, however, that would also increase the cost. The good news is there is native support for ELO Touchmonitor screens without the need to add any drivers –

something more sophisticated lighting control system manufacturers are yet to achieve! So with one of those attached, our outing to the Footy Show Grand Final was much more enjoyable. There are 10 x 80mm throw faders centrally located with three user-configurable buttons on each. In addition there are 12 shorter throw faders with a single button. The shorter faders are great for flash and trash as the shorter throw allows your fingers to play with more faders at one time. Add in 12 more buttons for playback and it’s obvious there is a lot of real estate on board over the 100 pages. Now we know we can afford it, what can we do with it?! Well, for a start, it’s light. At only 14kg (not in a case), you can throw it on a plane without huge excess fees. For this show, it travelled in my boot and was carried from the car park to the stage – something I’ve not done with a professional console for a long time. The M1 was allocated three Pandoras Box media players, 16 Chromlech JARAGs and a dozen Martin Stagebars. Not much of a workload, but we filled the four DMX streams pretty quickly. SO HOW DID WE GO?

The patching process on the M1 is simple and straight forward. This is one part of the software that many console manufacturers either over-complicate or over-simplify. The patching wizard is quick and simple, and seemingly includes almost every fixture known to man – patching our show was very easy. The standard layout views are a winner. Seconds after patching, I could access my fixtures and start programming. Not needing to go back to the drawing board and create every view was quite nice. I eventually created my own single view, incorporating the ELO Touchmonitor, but for the most part, the standard views were acceptable. The tabbed preset window saves huge amounts of real estate without compromising on programming efficiency. The software is stable and functional. With a little persisience (and occasional help) I managed to find most of the features I was after, including the desk lamp control. Thanks Ian. I found the M1 to be quite an easy console to use. It might sound strange, but it was actually quite a fun console to use. As with most other systems, I’d like a more dynamic GUI. Since both the Windows and OSX operating systems have come a long way with dynamic interfaces, I still don’t understand why lighting GUIs need to be so drab. However the M1 is probably better than most systems I’ve used lately, but still not perfect. The 13.1-inch screen is okay, but for long programming stints I think I would find it too small to consistently navigate. The addition of the ELO Touchmonitor screen would almost be non-negotiable for me to use the console again. PROS: SIMPLE & SOLID

The software is well developed. Functions such as cloning, full tracking back-up features, inhibitive masters, sub-fixture profiles and more, show the maturity of the software team building on the


REVIEW

development of the Maxxyz console. The M1’s small footprint and low weight mean it’s a very portable console without substituting functions and most importantly buttons and faders. The GUI is simple and easy to navigate. Within a very short time, any user should be able to program and play back cues with ease. Big fat programming buttons combined with the standard ‘clicky’ flash buttons make operating fun and easy. The hardware is solid and feels great – it feels like it will travel well and last. The software is sophisticated with plenty of features – many advanced programming and playback features are fully implemented. There is an offline editor available, in the form of the M PC, plus iPhone remote and playback apps. The suite of options available is quite impressive. It also does RDM, if the rest of your system is capable. CONS: GUI NEEDS WORK

Some of the functions of the console are a little buried. I suppose this is rectified with familiarity, but I do feel some things like encoder resolution and even saving the showfile are not quick and easy. I am convinced the touchscreen GUI was developed by someone with extremely good eyesight and very small fingers! I find it a little small and cramped, so the user needs to be very careful to hit the right part of the screen. A more simplified and bigger (see here dynamic) interface would increase programming speed and make the console easier to navigate. Lack of SMPTE timecode is an oversight – MIDI

059

FEATURE

timecode is not a great option, besides SMPTE is much more the industry standard synching protocol. Some of the software needs a tidy up. Things like the ‘Blind’ programmer are accessed by a physical button labelled ‘Preview’ but displayed as ‘Blind’ on the screen?! For the first time in what feels like forever, I had to pull out the old desk tape and pen. The lack of displays around playbacks obviously saves cost, but means the feedback from the surface is inhibited. The on-screen keyboard is too small. A solution like the Windows 7 touchscreen interface where a keyboard pops out from a dock when required, would be a slicker approach. M1: A1?

Martin Professional is definitely kicking goals with the M1. This is obvious given current delivery times. Martin simply can’t keep up with demand, which is a good problem to have. Once the M1 hardware fully adopts the Maxxyz software and the GUI is modified to suit the M1 layout a little more, this will be a tough lighting control solution to go past. Two thumbs up for the M1. I’m looking forward to using one again.  Martin Professional www.martin.com Australian distributor: Show Technology www.showtech.com.au Recommended Retail: $21,999 Inc GST


060

REVIEW

The InfoComm 100 We plunge head first into the AV Industry’s think tank. Text:\ Peter Swanson, CTS

So, there you are, working away at your desk, sweating over the latest project design, when suddenly a letter is dropped into your in tray. This is a surprise, as more and more people communicate by email alone, unless it’s sending out product catalogues. You open up the letter and see that the InfoComm logo is there, but juxtaposed with the number 100. Reading on, you find that you’ve been invited to an event comprising 100 executives in the AV industry… and about now you realise just how fortunate you’ve been. The InfoComm 100 began as an initiative in 2009 and was repeated in 2010. It comprises a mix of 100 people from around the globe and from all facets of the AV industry: consultants, integrators, manufacturers, technology managers and event professionals. To round this out, there are a few carefullyselected guests from related industries, such as architecture, project management and ICT. Run under the auspices of the InfoComm Leadership Development Council, it is focused on leveraging the skills and knowledge of current industry leaders, but also about seeking out the next generation and giving them mentoring and networking opportunities. The intention is that each year

50% of the attendees will be drawn from the previous year and 50% will be new members. The intention is to balance useful experience gained from prior years with new insights from different thinkers. TAKING THE PLUNGE

The program takes the form of a 1-2 day deep immersion in the current state of the AV industry and the directions in which it is likely to head over the next 3-5 years. The inaugural event in 2009 happened to take place just as the GFC was coming home to roost for many companies around the globe. Along with many of the other attendees, I was wondering about how exactly we could

be spending the time gazing off into the future when it seemed like our economic reality was crashing down around us. Fortunately, the InfoComm staff had considered this too and the introductory speaker, Rich Kaarlgard, gave an excellent talk that charted us through the current difficulties, considered past challenges in the world economy and left everyone feeling that the most important thing was to get on with making a difference to the industry by looking, and planning, forward. The discussions covered a huge amount of ground in very little time, including industry competition and structure; technology and science; market demographics; social values and client preferences; global economics and the business climate; and legislative, regulatory and political climate. In addition to all of these areas, the group also considered what the appropriate description of our industry was now and how it was changing. The attendees from architecture, project management and ICT really helped to frame discussions in the context of the world beyond the confines of our industry. It was inspiring to see so many leaders of the industry giving their time to such an event. There was a clear sense that people felt we had collectively achieved something of real value to the association, but had each gained


REVIEW

It was inspiring to see so many leaders of the industry giving their time to such an event

greatly in a personal sense as well. Whether or not it was known or hoped for as an outcome in the event’s planning stage, I think one of the major benefits was getting a large number of industry leaders recharged and reinvigorated to make it through the GFC and continue their businesses into the future. GOING UNDER FOR THE SECOND TIME

By the time this year’s event came around, many people were feeling the economy was improving and as a result there was more of a ‘business as usual’ feel to proceedings. There were two key areas of focus on this occasion. The first was Building Information Modelling (or BIM) and the integrated project delivery it potentially facilitates, and the other was Social Media. The Social Media discussions ranged across its applications in the operation of AV business, the potential for projects that incorporate or build on Social Media, and the ways in which other facets of our industry may change as a result of Social Media functionality. If it’s all starting to sound like a pretty heavy-duty couple of days, there is also plenty of time to network with your fellow ‘100 members’, and find out more about the state of the AV industry around the world. Surprisingly, the key thing you find when talking to people from a variety of countries, is that many of the approaches, problems and opportunities that we face here are replicated in their countries, but with variations due to local culture and language. Naturally, the membership of any given year is limited (to, yes, you guessed it, 100), but if you are getting involved in moving the AV industry forward at a community/industry level there is always a chance you might be the next recipient of a ‘golden letter’. Whether or not you have the chance to attend, personally, I hope you will see both the short term value of InfoComm ‘supercharging’ a new generation of leaders, along with the long-term commitment to the industry’s well being implicit such an initiative.  InfoComm International: www.infocomm.org


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064

NEWS

REVIEW

InfoComm News News from the Asia Pacific Region.

NEW ASIA PACIFIC PROGRAM CO-ORDINATOR Please welcome Gracie Chiu, InfoComm’s new Asia Pacific Regional Co-Ordinator. Gracie is based in Hong Kong and will provide support to both our Asia and Oceania regional offices as we, in turn, increase our service and support to our members in the region. Born in Hong Kong, Gracie moved to Australia with her family as a child and lived in Brisbane where she attended Griffith University to complete her degree. Gracie moved back to Hong Kong four years ago but travels back to Australia from time to time to visit family and friends. Gracie’s first official function with InfoComm was to attend Integrate 2010 in Sydney, where she helped staff the InfoComm Booth. She enjoyed the opportunity of getting to meet so many of the Australian Members on Day 1 in the new role. Gracie can be contact through our new Asia-Pacific Region Office at: Shui On Plaza 2/F Shui On Centre 6-8 Harbour Road, Wanchai Hong Kong She can also be reached by email, for our Oceania Region Members at Oceania@infocomm.org, and by skype at infocommasiapacific INFOCOMM ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS THROUGHOUT OCEANIA InfoComm Roundtable Meetings are a valuable way for members and guests to get together and hear about developments in the Audiovisual Industry. InfoComm also provides members with an Association Update. Half of each meeting is devoted to members sitting around tables to share ideas and provide feedback to InfoComm. In conjunction with the Roundtable meeting, we have a Networking Hour with drinks and snacks or breakfast depending on timing. The meetings are open to all InfoComm members and their guests and they are intended for business owners, senior and middle managers. The dates for the next series of Roundtable Meetings are listed below. The location and time of each meeting will be announced in the InfoComm Asia-Pacific Regional Update newsletter and listed on the InfoComm Asia-Pacific website. INFOCOMM STEP PROGRAM Sustainable Technology Environments Program or STEP is a rating system for the electronic systems that work within the shell and core of a building. The system, now in draft form, invites participation throughout the project – from AV program phase through occupancy, from the entire AV value chain. Now, AV manufacturers will have a place where their green products, shipping practices and facilities can count for something. Consultants, integrators and software programmers will collaborate

to share responsibility in the planning, design, integration and programming of systems to minimise energy consumption while still promoting AV quality. Purchasers of AV goods and services will have a clear way to specify their sustainability goals and measure the ROI of their sustainable AV investments. STEP is slated to launch in January 2011. Further Information can be found on the InfoComm website www.infocomm.org CALL FOR PRESENTERS: INTEGRATE IN ASSOCIATION WITH INFOCOMM INTERNATIONAL 2011 With the co-operative agreement between Integrate and InfoComm taking effect from 2011, InfoComm will be increasing our educational offerings at the show. In addition to the Super Tuesday program, the InfoComm Academy will offer 6 x 2-hour seminars and 2 x 3-hour workshops. If you would like to present on behalf of the InfoComm Academy at the 2011 show in Sydney, please go to www.infocomm.org/globalcall. Submissions are required by 31st January 2011, to allow time for program development and attendee marketing. INFOCOMM ASIA EXPO The InfoComm Asia show is just around the corner. Richard Tan and his team have been working hard to build a great event. There will also be a strong InfoComm Academy Educational program at the show. For more information, please visit the InfoComm Asia show website, www.infocomm-asia.com. If you conduct business anywhere in the Asia Pacific region, this is a ‘must attend’ event for you. FUTURE DATES InfoComm Asia Expo Hong Kong: 17th – 19th November 2010 2011 Australia & NZ Round Table Meetings Auckland: 17th March Perth: 22nd March Adelaide: 24th March Melbourne: 29th March Sydney: 31st March Canberra: 7th April Brisbane: 12th April For further Information on any of the above please contact Jonathan Seller, CTS, InfoComm International Regional Director at jseller@infocomm.org or look on the regional web page www.infocomm.org/asia-pacific


TUTORIAL

065

FEATURE

Signal Compression The process of digital audio and video compression.

This is an excerpt from the Analog and Digital Signals Section of the newly revamped GEN106 Essentials of AV Technology Online. GEN106 Essentials of AV Technology Online is a comprehensive, introductory overview of science and technology for audio, visual and audiovisual systems integration with more than 240 lessons, quizes to help professionals assess their understanding of the material, and section tests to help students demonstrate understanding of essential AV technology. Content from this course is the basis for the InfoComm-Recognized AV Technologist Test. Learn more about this exciting new education certificate program at www.infocomm.org/avtechnologist. SIGNAL COMPRESSION

Compression allows us to reduce very large original files to practical, more manageable sizes. To compress something is to make it smaller in some way. The process of digitally compressing content is used extensively in computer applications, such as streaming audio or visual content over the internet. A good example of when compression can be useful is compressing a text file. Text files are full of spaces between words that are represented by groups of data. These groups of data can be compressed very tightly without affecting the characters, resulting in a much smaller file size. By discarding data that is not required we get compressed files. Compression technology reduces the size of digital files and makes them easier to transmit and store. However, the more you compress a signal, the more you affect its quality. If you remove too much data, the effects can be seen in image files and heard in audio files. One frame of uncompressed digital video at a resolution of 720x480 requires about 1MB of storage. At 30 frames per second, that’s about 1.9GB per minute! Imagine how much space a 10-minute video would occupy. Standard DV (digital video) cameras usually compress at a ratio of 5:1. There are some video formats which offer much higher compression rates. A very important step in the compression process is to use the proper codec. A codec is a piece of equipment that uses an algorithm, or a set of procedures, to encode or decode file information. There are many different types of codecs that are specialised for many purposes; there are audio codecs and video codecs. Let’s discuss the role of codecs in the compression process. TALKING CODECS & FORMATS

There are two elements to a digital file, the container and the codec. The container (such as WMV [Windows Media Video]) is the structure of the file where the data are stored. The container defines how the data are arranged to increase performance, and which codecs are used. Codecs (COmpression/DECompression) provide the compression method. A codec is a device or computer program that uses an algorithm, or a set of procedures, to encode and decode file information. Many video and audio codecs are in use today and new ones are constantly being created. In most cases, the codec must be installed in the operating system to play the file.

Formats can be confusing because the term codec is used interchangeably to describe the container and the codec(s) used within the container. In addition, some codec names describe both a codec and a container. An AVI container, for instance, could contain data encoded with an MPEG codec. Programs are available that allow the user to convert a file from one format to another. For example, a converter can be handy when adding video to a PowerPoint presentation.  About InfoComm: InfoComm International is the international trade association of the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm has 5000 members from more than 70 countries. Its training and education programs, along with its separately administered Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) and corporately administered Certified Audiovisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP) company credentials, set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. Its basic general knowledge course ‘Quick Start to the AV Industry’ is available free of charge from its website at www.infocomm.org

Digital Formats Format Name

Description

MP3

MPEG1-Audio Layer 3

CD

Compact Audio Disc

WAV

Waveform Audio Format (Microsoft)

WMA

Windows Media Audio MPEG-1: No longer in widespread use.

MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group)

MPEG-2: Lowest common denominator for most equipment and the most common MPEG codec. MPEG-4: Group of codecs of which some are proprietary Microsoft and some are open. Variations are becoming more widespread as quality improves.

WMV (Windows Media Video)

Collection of Microsoft proprietary video codecs that uses a version of MPEG-4.

AVI (Audio Video Interleave)

Commonly contains MJPEG or DivX, but may contain a variety of codecs.

MOV (QuickTime)

In most cases, this is used with the locked Apple codec. QuickTime can also contain other codecs such as M-JPEG.

ASF (Advanced Systems Format*)

Early Microsoft implementation of an MPEG-4 codec – intended primarily for streaming, it is a subset of WMV. * Formerly Advanced Streaming Format

MJPEG (Motion-Joint Picture Experts Group)

An early encoding method, it creates a JPEG image from each frame of video. Motion effect is achieved when the images are run in series. MJPEG is still found in some consumer digital cameras.

DivX

DivX began as an ASF codec inside an AVI container. Version 4 and later versions are variations of the MPEG-4 codec.

Sorenson

Apple’s proprietary codec. Apple started implementing versions of the MPEG4 codec with the release of QuickTime 6.


066

Termination It’s almost never right on the night. Text:\ Graeme Hague

You must have been living on another planet during the last few months if you haven’t heard of the kerfuffle over the Australia’s Next Top Model final. The host Sarah Murdoch mistakenly announced the wrong winner. A few minutes later with a pained expression worsening, like she was fighting really bad wind, Sarah had to correct herself and all hell has broken loose in the media since. By sheer accident (my wife grabbed the TV remote first that evening, damn it) I saw the show and my only real criticism up until that point was Sarah dragged out the, “and the winner is…” suspense a ridiculous length of time – she took forever. It makes sense now, because scuttlebutt has it Sarah’s in-ear feed from the producers dropped out at exactly the wrong time and she was desperately waiting to hear something… anything, really. Finally she tried a guess, which, given the 50-50 odds of being right wasn’t a bad plan. She must be crap at the racetrack, too. MODEL CLIENTS

As the media put the boot in, the producers shrugged it off and blamed it on the perils of broadcasting live TV and now every fluffed script line on television is compared to Sarah’s disaster. What bugs me is the suggestion that live television is somehow more difficult and challenging – and therefore more excusable – than live theatre or music, or the live presentation of a keynote speaker at an important conference. I mean, hell, Shakespeare never had an IEM in his lughole during the premier of Macbeth with lots of 16th century producers in tights telling him where to stand, what to do, what to say… Anyway, discussing the ANTP thing makes people like us reminisce about our worst production stuff-up and for yours truly it’s more a favourite since no harm was done. It always reminds me of how I learned this AV business mostly at the

LATTER DAY FAINT

expense of our clients. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but they didn’t know either, so I got away with it. The customer hiring our 1100-seat theatre was the annual Jehovah’s Witness convention and about 3000 attendees filled the joint to bursting, baptising each other in a bathtub in the foyer, holding meetings under the trees outside… it was like being in a Cecil B DeMille blockbuster with a million extras. Inside, on stage they rotated a series of lectures and workshops. You couldn’t help but like everyone, even though they took over the place – we let them operate simple audio, lights and flies. You see, the brothers and sisters were so damned polite. It was infuriating! You could poke them in the eye and they’d apologise for inconsiderately putting their face in front of your jabbing finger. There was another reason we welcomed them. Have you ever seen those wildlife documentaries on Argentine Army ants? The ones that march in a column of billions and devour everything in their path? Amazingly, lots of South American people like being invaded, because the ants eat absolutely everything organic and leave the rest. They don’t miss the tiniest crumb and ignore the plasma TV. So, as long as the kids, dogs and chickens get out the way the ants’ passage, it’s like the best of spring cleans. The house is pristine after the ants leave (and the cat’s missing). That’s what the Jehovah’s Witnesses were like. Part of the deal was they cleaned up afterwards and you could go deaf to the roar of a hundred vacuum cleaners. We couldn’t have paid for a better job.

I’d left two cheerful chaps to run the audio desk from the Control Room. This wasn’t normal, but it was only a lectern mic, a couple of floor SM58s and a CD player – what could go wrong? Then I got a polite (of course) phone call from the bio-box. The audio guys apologised (of course) for disturbing me in the office (where I was hiding) and interrupting my work (playing Solitaire), but the PA system was “fading out”. Could I come up? When I got there things were okay, so feeling empowered I gave them a stern and impromptu, expert lecture on how audio systems could go wrong in many ways, but would never “fade out”. They were imagining things. As I blathered importantly on, the bloody PA did exactly that. Remember, I was almost a complete novice myself, but luckily I noticed what was going wrong – one of those tricky, compressor thingies was doing something. Today, I can tell you that a Noise Gate over the main desk outputs had a very low threshold and attack rate. When the gate cut in and killed off the entire FOH it did, in fact, sound like a fade. I recognised a bypass switch, punched it in and continued my rave at the cowering audio guys who I swear were on the verge of falling to their knees and begging forgiveness. My exit from the room was masterful and spectacular. It was my mistake and 20 years later I’m still making them. They happen in the AV and theatre industries every day, and have happened in live TV for over 50 years. Everyone, get over it and move on. With all the fuss, anybody would think Sarah’s dad owned the network or something. 


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Are you in the situation where you need an audio solution, but the installation cost just blows your budget out of the water? Consider a cost effective and powerful audio over ethernet solution for PA systems from Bosch Communications Systems. Our solution uses your existing cable infrastructure via Cobranet-enabled devices, and can be used with any DSP including Netmax, Praesideo, and products like Bi-Amp and MediaMatrix. Our solution features the ION 2.0 wall mount configuration that enables low latency conversion from analogue audio to LAN to take place at the wall. The ION 4.4 is a 1/2 width 1U rack mount configuration with 4 analogue mic/line inputs and 4 analogue outputs. ION 8.8 is a full rack width 1U rack mount configuration with 8 analogue mic/line inputs and 8 analogue line outputs. The 2,4 & 8 channel versions have on-board data signal processing capabilities (DSP) which can take the processing load away from the centralised processor, providing a more flexible architecture in your system. The channel model can also split out audio channels from the Cobranet bundle or combine channels into bundles. This solution can be applied to paging & communications in hotels, hospitality suites, convention centres, corporate meeting rooms, schools - the possibilities are endless! Contact Bosch Communications Systems for a demonstration or more information today.

Bosch Communications Systems • Unit 2C, 6 Boundary Rd • NORTHMEAD NSW 2152 Ph: (02) 9683 4752 Fax: (02) 9890 5928 email: boschcomms@au.bosch.com www.boschsecurity.com.au


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AV issue 13  

AV is Australia and New Zealand's magazine for Audiovisual professionals.