Video and AV News

modulopi-mappingkitModulo Pi opens eShop for designers
Friday, 17 April 2020

France - Modulo Pi has announced the launch of a new eshop. Available through modulo-pi.com/eshop, the eshop provides dongle, software licenses, and accessories to support designers and technicians in their daily projects and workflow.
The eshop provides cost-effective options for those willing to discover the Modulo Player and Modulo Kinetic software and their advanced capabilities. A mapping kit is also available for technicians interested in training on Modulo Pi’s media servers. The mapping kit includes shapes, a self-assembly castle, a media kit, and in-depth tutorials to learn how to use Modulo Player and Modulo Kinetic step by step.
Licenses for Modulo Player and Modulo Kinetic Designer will also offer the opportunity for offline programming. Thus, operators will be able to pre-programme any project from their PC without having to be connected to a media server. The pre-programming work can be saved for later use, and easily transferred to the media server whenever needed.
In addition, monthly subscription plans are available for Modulo Kinetic Designer 2D+3D. Meant for designers and technicians, the licence will provide access to some of Modulo Kinetic’s advanced tools such as project study and simulation, real-time interactive VR, as well as creation of generative and interactive content based on the media server’s 3D particles engine.
Yannick Kohn, founder & CEO of Modulo Pi, explains: “Through our new eshop, we intend to make our technology available for anyone willing to find out more about our Modulo Player and Modu

uv862-ultraview-uhd-outdoor-tvheroUltraView outdoor TV available in EMEA
Thursday, 16 April 2020

UK - Peerless-AV has announced the availability of the 86" UltraView UHD Outdoor TV (UV862-EUK). Providing 4K resolution and a brightness that is three times that of the average of indoor TV, it is designed for use in outdoor spaces such as bars and restaurants, stadiums, hotels, cruise liners and more.
Aluminium construction materials provide protection against various climates, corrosion and discoloration. The model is equipped with a High TNI panel, which allows for direct sunlight readability without the risk of isotropic blackout, and internal speakers provide quality sound.
The 86" UltraView UHD Outdoor TV includes a dedicated Outdoor Flat Wall Mount to provide a secure installation. Other features include an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts screen brightness to best match the lighting conditions, and an IR extender input and IR repeater output for providing flexibility for integration with control systems.
“We’re pleased to announce the availability of the 86" UltraView UHD Outdoor TV in EMEA after a successful first time showcase at ISE 2020 in Amsterdam,” said Keith Dutch, managing director – EMEA, Peerless-AV.
“As well as the home install and hospitality market, the product is ideal for outdoor sports bars, throughout stadium concourses and many more applications. The outdoor TV provides customers with a safe, enhanced display option that is bright enough to be viewed in direct sunlight and intelligent enough to automatically adjust brightness for low light viewing.”

 
 
miltonkeynes-1SFL on track for model car championship
Thursday, 16 April 2020

UK - The beginning of 2020 saw the finals of the IFMAR 2020 1/12 World Championship at Milton Keynes’ Centre MK. Event production supplier, SFL, provided a zoned AV system for the event, made all the more challenging by the Championships being held in a working shopping centre that remained open to the public throughout.
The IFMAR 2020 1/12 is hosted by the BRCA (British Radio Car Association), which races over 13 different classes of radio-controlled model racing cars. It took place over five days in Centre MK’s dedicated 1800sq.m exhibition space, which is situated within the main shopping area, and attracted an impressive 100,000 visitors to watch the thrills and spills of this exciting event.
SFL’s involvement with IFMAR started four years ago at its UK National Meeting, the first IFMAR event held at Centre MK. "I took a small van, set the gear up and then raced,” recalls SFL’s Mark Payne, who has a passion for model car racing. "Sadly, other commitments mean I don't compete any more, but it's still great to be involved."
SFL supplied a distributed video and audio system. Multiple d&b loudspeakers were positioned around the track for bystanders, in the pits for the drivers and the rostrum for commentators and referees, along with a four way Sennheiser RF system for handhelds mics and in-ears monitors. Two 60" LCD screens were provided to give spectators basic, but important information about the race such as drives, position and timing, along with live action from the track. Three 42" LCD screens were placed inside the pits to gi

 
green-hippoGreen Hippo strengthens product team
Wednesday, 15 April 2020

UK/USA - Green Hippo’s product specialist team has strengthened on both sides of the Atlantic with the appointments of Zep Mouris as Hippotizer product manager at its new London HQ and Nick Spencer as product specialist, based in Chicago.
The move comes as the company focuses on delivering enhancements to its range of real-time video manipulation products for the AV industries. It follows hot on the heels of a recent leadership change at Green Hippo, which saw the appointment of David March to sales and marketing director and Ryan Brown to operations and product director.
“Zep has been a cornerstone of software development since joining Green Hippo in 2013 and we’re thrilled that he now takes the role of Hippotizer product manager,” says March. “He has been instrumental in the design of many much-loved Hippotizer software innovations, including SHAPE, the advanced 3D mapping toolkit which integrates with all Hippotizer V4 Media Servers.
“We’ve worked alongside Nick on numerous projects over the years in his roles as freelance lighting and video programmer and witnessed his many talents. We welcome them both and look forward to rolling out developments for our end users born from their enthusiasm and skill.”
Spencer graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Theatre: Technical Production, before freelancing for five years in video for festivals, touring productions, films, corporate events and installations.
“I met and began working closely with Green Hippo during my time with design company Dunaway Designs

 
 
disguisedisguise launches on-demand training hub
Tuesday, 7 April 2020

UK - In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, disguise has launched disguise OnDemand - a virtual hub that features access to free training and webinars exploring key features and elements of the disguise workflow. Held in multiple languages, multiple times a day, the platform will feature exclusive content, including the opportunity for the community to take part in specialist discussions on key industry topics, and hear from customers during spotlight discussions on showstopping case studies.
Designed as a place for the community to learn and keep up-to-date on all things regarding disguise, free online training sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are planning on running a condensed version of the Fundamental and Pre-Production Workflows Training, broken down into a series of six one-hour sessions where attendees can learn the core features, including the timeline, stage, configuring output feeds, and how to set up devices.
As part of a wider initiative to reach out to the disguise community, disguise is also offering the Designer software free until September, and giving a series of discounted USB dongle giveaways, as well as partnering with Notch on a ‘codemeter’ dongle sharing scheme, allowing more people to access to both their software.
“We understand this is a really hard time for our industry, and disguise is committed to doing what we can to support our community of freelancers, partners and customers across the globe,” said Fernando Kufer, CEO at disguise. “These initiatives are vital to support our communit

 
prolyte-lsu-led-screen-bareProlyte LSU screen support system ready for hire
Monday, 6 April 2020


UK - Prolyte's LSU modular LED screen support system is now available for hire from Impact Production Services (IPS).
The Prolyte LSU system can be used to create freestanding LED screen support systems in a range of sizes. Designed to be used indoors for almost any LED screen system that has modules in 500mm wide multiple, it can also built to almost any size required. The kits from IPS contain a selection of components, and by combining different numbers of kits all kinds of screen support sizes can be constructed. If the screen needs to start higher, then IPS can supply a LiteDeck platform to boost the structure to the height required.
The system has already been deployed on a range of events, including on a corporate event in Paris for Showstyle where an 18m wide by 3m high LED screen was the centrepiece of a large room design. The LSU system was chosen particularly as it provides a clean finish to the front of the screen, with nothing sticking forward into the stage area. IPS project manager Tom Warden said: "Getting 18m of 2.9mm LED screen to line up seamlessly was one of my big concerns going into this project, and the Prolyte LSU system was brilliant onsite," adding that "the LED techs onsite all were very complimentary of the system, and how easy it was to set up".
The LSU system has adjustable feet on each base to make sure that the bottom horizontal connecting bar is level, and then vertical ladder truss sections attach to support the height of the screen. Arms then clamp onto the ladder sections and attach to the rear of the scree

 
 
super-bowlHippotizer Tierra scores in Super Bowl show
Monday, 6 April 2020

USA - USA – More than 150m fans around the world witnessed pop stars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform a Latin-inspired concert at this year’s Super Bowl LIV halftime show, on a huge circular video floor powered by Green Hippo Hippotizer Tierra+ media servers.
Lighting director Jason Rudolph took the helm for the visuals for the prestigious halftime show, which was produced by Touchdown Entertainment on behalf of the NFL. It took place at the 65,000-capacity Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
With a plethora of aerial shots on the camera angle agenda, the team devised the large, round stage as an eye-catching centrepiece for the action, which was broadcast live in the USA by Fox and around the world by multiple networks.
“We used two of the new Tierra+ Media Servers on the show - one main, one backup - each doing 2x 4K outputs for the stage,” Rudolph explains. “The Tierra+ was also driving pixel-mapping outputs for the LED lighting on the stage, which were fed into an MA3 and merged so that I could control them either via the console or via pixel-mapping.”
The circular stage was made up of multiple LED screen tiles, supplied by Fuse. The fiery, colourful content, designed by Possible Productions, lit up the enormous stadium, adding dynamics to Shakira and Lopez’s energetic, highly-choreographed performances.
“We utilised the latest Hippotizer software build 4.5.3, and all of the content was run as FlexRes Lossless 422,” Rudolph continues. “The codec choices, as well as media management functions of Hippo ar

 
madrixprtestmadrix5Madrix 5 professional available for test
Thursday, 2 April 2020

Europe - Madrix 5 software has always been available as a demo version for everyone to try out the pixel mapper at the convenience of their own work machines.
Madrix 5.1 launched the additional 'pre-programmer' software license to facilitate show and project preparation without the need for a full output licence.
A new way to fully test Madrix 5 is now being introduced as an additional resource to support the current workflow needs of operators, lighting designers, VJs, and project companies around the world.
Madrix 5 professional is an extensive software licence, which is available free of charge as a time-limited license that works until 1 June 2020. It is fully functioning within this time frame. The only requirement is to make a small, one-time purchase for a Madrix Key from a local dealer. This USB dongle then remains universally usable for the range of Madrix software products and licences.

 
 
convergenceClearOne's Convergence platform now available
Thursday, 2 April 2020

USA - ClearOne has announced the availability of its first release of Convergence AV Network Manager, a unified AV network management platform to monitor, control, and audit ClearOne Pro Audio and Video products and services. A beta version was available to AV practitioners for their evaluation prior to this release.
The new AV management system provides remote real-time system access for at-a-glance and all-inclusive dashboard views in any browser from desktop to mobile. Its unlimited scalability supports organizations of any size and can be configured for one of 12 languages.
The new release provides efficient batch firmware updates on multiple audio and video devices at once. The release adds the ability to download, back up, or restore project files simultaneously for multiple Converge Pro 2 and Converge Huddle systems. The release provides the ability to provision Converge Pro 2 VoIP lines and view VoIP registration status through the browser interface. The AV management system facilitates downloads of device logs and provides reports for devices and peripherals, users, histories, and calls. Email notifications provide anytime, anywhere alerts for immediate system status.

 
harman-pr-office-of-defense-secretary-thailand-2Thai Defense Ministry installs Harman system
Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thailand - The Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence recently upgraded its headquarters with Harman Professional Solutions AV, lighting and control systems.
Part of Thailand’s Ministry of Defence, the Office of the Permanent Secretary is responsible for determining strategic goals, executing plans, drafting policy and the inspection and monitoring of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.
Occupying a grand, nine-story building with multiple wings outside Bangkok, the organisation’s headquarters includes a multipurpose hall which can seat 1,500 and be divided into two separate spaces on demand. To ensure world-class sound, video, lighting and control for presentations and events, the Office of the Permanent Secretary deployed a range of solutions from JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, BSS, Martin Professional and AMX.
"The client needed cutting-edge AV and stage lighting systems for the multipurpose hall that seats 1,500 people,” said Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, director of project, Mahajak Development Co. “A robust and flexible solution was necessary to facilitate different types of events. Evaluating these requirements, we designed a system with Harman's industry-leading networked AV and lighting solutions, providing the client with the required flexibility and allowing them to upgrade the platform in the future."
To achieve suitable sound reinforcement in multiple room configurations, the Office of the Permanent Secretary installed a range of JBL loudspeakers in the main hall. When the hall is divided, 15-inch JBL AM7215 speakers

 
 
qgenfrontAvolites to unleash Q-Series media servers
Wednesday, 1 April 2020

UK - Avolites will launch its full range of Q Series media servers, along with the Ai v12.1 release.
Designed as the ideal hardware to complement the Ai software, the Q Series line-up includes the Q3, Q3pro, Q4 and Qgen.
“Seeing the projects and shows Ai has been used on made us realise we needed to provide servers powerful enough to meet the creative vision of our users,” explains Ciaran Abrams, Avolites, Ai lead developer.
The Q3 Pro is a portable server for the more demanding shows, with two 4K outputs and one HD along with EDID managed HDMI outputs.
The Q4 offers the power to deliver even more detail thanks to four 4K outputs and flexible input modules, so users can spec a server to meet the most demanding needs. With the rise in use of interactive realtime generative content providers like Notch, the Qgen is designed to deliver stunning graphics with three 4K outputs and a powerful Nvidia graphics card  that can deliver approximately 30,000 Notch marks + two-year Notch playback licence.
Paul Wong, Avolites MD, comments: "We worked with our customers to understand what technology and features matter to them, seeing these now developed into the new Q Series range is very exciting, and is just the start for where we see future of the Q Series.
Meanwhile, key feature updates in Ai will include:
- 64 bit architecture, allowing Ai to support the latest Notch blocks. Ai v12.1 will only work on 64-bit Windows and support 64-bit Synergy and USB Expert.
- AMD Texture Upload which will allow additional layers w

 
calibreCalibre scaler addresses distance learning
Wednesday, 1 April 2020

UK - Calibre UK has announced that its HQPro1000 switcher/scaler now benefits from a number of enhancements.
Many of the new features found in HQPro1000 make it now even more suitable for remote interaction applications, a market that Calibre sees as growing rapidly as businesses and organisations look to minimise travel and face-to-face contact.
“Distance learning, cloud meetings and medical display are typical of the remote applications that have become increasingly popular as organisations look to reduce cost, increase productivity and minimise their carbon footprint,” said Willy Tsai, managing director, Calibre UK.
“Now, they have another reason to evaluate the solutions available from Calibre to facilitate video streaming and remote interaction - and the new functionalities we’re introducing for the HQPro1000 further enhance its ability to deliver the optimum response.”
Offering those features typically only found in higher priced high-end rental products, the HQPro1000 is also a suitable seamless scaler/switcher for fixed installations. It features a modular architecture, true seamless switching, support for multiple sources and layers, plus a confidence monitor output. Scaling is provided by Calibre's best-in-class low-latency proprietary HQUltra technology.
Of particular relevance to remote interaction/distance learning is that the HQPro1000 now has the ability to create a virtual classroom. It can be set up in a chroma key studio and transmit four layers of educational material, with a camera used to capture the teache

 
 
brixtonStage Electrics wins Brixtonhouse contract
Wednesday, 1 April 2020

UK - Stage Electrics has won the contract to complete the technical fit out of production lighting, sound, video, comms and stage engineering systems at the new purpose built, fully accessible, Brixtonhouse Theatre (formerly Ovalhouse Theatre) which forms part of the Somerleyton Road Project in the heart of Brixton.
The new building will have two performance venues and seven multi-use accessible studios and a whole new inventory of equipment and is set to at the end of 2020.
Stage Electrics will again be working with main contractor Galliford Try with who they previously completed the Southampton New Art Complex.

 
powersoftWhite Light picks Powersoft T Series
Wednesday, 1 April 2020

UK - Technical services provider White Light (WL) has taken delivery of a number of Powersoft’s T Series amplifier platforms from the company’s UK distributor, CUK Audio.
The purchase, which took place between July and October of last year, included 31 T604s and three T602s, and was made after the company had a chance to get some hands-on time with the products at WL’s warehouse.
WL’s senior audio technical project manager, Harry Saxton McCann, says: “CUK’s product demos were brilliant, and the training was ideal to bring our freelance and full-time staff up to date with Powersoft’s latest offerings. A lot of the engineers have commented on how clean the PA sounds when being driven by Powersoft amplifier platforms, and the ability to keep everything digital over Dante and AES has been very beneficial.”
Available in both 4-channel and 2-channel versions, the T Series is designed to deliver cost-effective, high-quality performance loudspeaker processing. Both versions of the amplifier platform support channel powers from 750 W to 3,000 W.
In addition to analogue, the T Series includes AES3 and Dante by Audinate inputs, which are optimised for daisy-chained distribution of 2-channel audio to multiple amplifiers with no need for external switches or splitters. The T Series also allows remote control and advanced signal processing abilities through Powersoft's ArmoníaPlus, plus onboard DSP.
“It’s the all about the amount of flexibility the T series offers,” McCann explains. “The power output on offer in such a small

 
 
mezzostackPowersoft ramps up training initiatives
Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Europe - In order to keep up with the demand for more e-training courses, Powersoft, the Italian manufacturer of professional power amplifiers, has ramped up its capacity to deliver online training courses worldwide, with over 30 new sessions covering various subjects directly of interest to Powersoft customers and users.
Each course will last for one hour and will be conducted in English, Spanish, and Italian by experienced trainers and application engineers from Powersoft.
This week, Powersoft will offer insight on its new Mezzo amplifier range. During the sessions, attendees will learn about auto setup, power sharing, and remote control, as well as a number of other ground breaking features offered by the new half rack amplifier platform.
Next week’s sessions (beginning 6 April) will focus on ArmoníaPlus 1.4 and explain how to set up and programme a basic audio system with groups, monitoring, and remote control.
On 14 and 16 April, in the session entitled Powersoft products network connections and Dante/AES67 integration, trainees will learn how Dante and AES 67 protocols are integrated into Powersoft amplifiers and how they can be connected to networked environments using the set up and management tools.
Finally, on 21 and 23 April, Powersoft trainers will provide insight on ArmoníaPlus’s latest feature: Health Plus, system monitoring and remote control using third party control plug ins, including Powersoft ‘live impedance monitoring’ and cloud-based remote monitoring of all vital functions of a system. Informati

 
philippe-poppeAbsen Hires business manager for Benelux
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Europe - LED display manufacturer, Absen, has hired Philippe Poppe as its new business development manager for the Benelux region.
Poppe has a strong background in the corporate AV market, having worked at Harman, AMX, and Crestron among others, and will primarily be tasked with helping Absen to build its fixed installation business in the area. In addition, he will work closely with Absen’s local distributors and system integrators (VADs/VAPs) and help develop the company’s regional channel strategy.
Poppe started at Crestron in 2007 and was focussed on the Benelux region as a technical sales manager, before moving away from the tech side of things to work as a sales manager. In 2011, Poppe moved to AMX, which was, in turn, acquired by Harman in 2013.
“At Harman in 2018 I worked internationally in the EMEA region, specialising in the corporate, education, and government verticals,” explains Poppe. “Despite this relatively narrow focus, Harman’s vast distribution network and presence in the rental market taught me a great deal in terms of end user engagement and business development.”
In his new role at Absen, Poppe will use his in-depth knowledge of the Benelux region to effectively manage day-to-day activities with local distributor Van Domburg Partners, as well as building strong relationships with key resellers in the region; particularly those in the retail and corporate sectors.
“The Benelux market sees a lot of investment, given its relatively small geographical size,” Poppe says. “It is a very dense market,

 
 
cs-700zoommeetingimage0001Zoom certifies Yamaha Video Sound Bar
Monday, 30 March 2020

Europe - Yamaha Unified Communications has announced that its CS-700 Video Sound Bar is certified for use with Zoom Video Communications, Inc., Zoom Rooms.
The all-in-one video conferencing system passed Zoom's extensive testing process for the audio system, camera and USB interface to ensure it seamlessly integrates with the video conferencing software. The certification verifies that the CS-700 is interoperable with Zoom, making it even easier for users to connect and control the Video Sound Bar while benefitting from the highest quality audio and video.
Designed for huddle rooms, the CS-700 video sound collaboration system delivers the highest quality audio, video and collaboration capabilities in a simple, smart wall-mounted unit that is easy to install and deploy. It features an adaptive beam-forming microphone array, four Yamaha speaker elements and a wide-angle HD camera.
Users can quickly link to any UC platform, including Zoom, via a single USB connection, eliminating the frustrations and inefficiencies of operating disparate video, audio and collaboration components. With Zoom certification, the software automatically detects the CS-700, enabling mute sync and optimizing the audio in the Zoom cloud. The CS-700's integrated network management system allows IT staff to deploy and remotely manage each unit from a single location, increasing service response and efficiency.
“With Yamaha’s exceptional AV technology and expertise, the CS-700 will help us to transform any huddle space or meeting room into a modern, easy-to-use and power

 
dwr-lockdownDWR maintains online learning opportunities
Monday, 30 March 2020

South Africa - With the country in lockdown due to coronavirus, DWR Distribution’s staff remain available during office hours, while the company is offering a range of online learning opportunities.
“We have entered into completely uncharted territory as individuals as a country and as citizens of a global community,” says the latest update from DWR.
“The South African government has taken up the call to become a part the most ambitious and courageous global effort to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus that is causing Covid-19, placing the lives of its citizens before commerce and profit. We at DWR Distribution stand behind our government and our world leaders and pledge our support to stem the threat posed Covid-19 by staying at home.
“However, staying in our homes does not mean that we have closed our doors. We have simply installed a virtual door to our offices in the homes of the DWR team for the next 21 days. Our sales staff are available during regular office hours should you have any questions, ideas or would simply like to chat.
“We have a bumper-packed range of online learning opportunities available through our various suppliers. We hope that you make use of this opportunity to explore new skills or brush up on some old ones. Please visit our Facebook page or email Jannie at Jannie@dwrdistribution.co.za to find out more.
“It is a time of terrible uncertainty and fear for everyone. We are afraid for our lives, for the lives of our loved ones, and for our livelihoods. While this lockdown is a terrifying pro

 
 
wyrestormWyrestorm: fully operational, with exceptions
Monday, 30 March 2020

USA/Europe - Manufacturer of 4K and full HD AV signal distribution and control solutions, WyreStorm reports that it is monitoring daily all situations related to Covid-19 that may impact its business, following CDC guidelines and making sure that safety precautions are being taken.
“As an essential business, our warehouse is fully operational and making shipments daily, including in areas that have mandated shutdowns. We have not seen any major concerns in terms of our inventory and will continue to monitor this in the days and weeks to come,” says the company.
“At this time, we are functioning as normal, with some exceptions: Our sales team will not be making in-person customer visits for the time being, but they are always available by phone and email to answer any and all questions.
“We are continuing our work from home plan that was announced on Tuesday, 17 March. This is in effect for our office-based employees, excluding warehouse staff.
“We are encouraging everyone to order online. If you do not have a login to access your account online, or if you do not have an online account, request one here. We will work to get you up and running as fast as possible. We will continue to reach out periodically with any updates. Be sure to keep up with us on our social media platforms - such as LinkedIn and Twitter. In the event you may have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your regional sales associate, or contact info@wyrestorm.com.”

 
mtnmodularhospitalClair Global establishes relief centres initiative
Monday, 30 March 2020

USA - Clair Global is refocussing efforts to help communities and government officials by providing IT, networking and communications services for temporary disaster relief structures made necessary by the coronavirus outbreak.
With more than 50 years in the live event industry, Clair already works alongside emergency service agencies to provide network connectivity and emergency communications for the events they support.
The company is now partnering with Mountain Productions, Inc. to integrate Clair’s turnkey solutions and custom designs into Mountain’s large-scale temporary hospitals and disaster relief centres.
“When we launched the MTN Emergency Services platform, Clair Global immediately heeded the call, and we are proud to be working with their world-class organization and unique solutions to address this global crisis,” says Ricky Rose, CEO at Mountain Productions. “The combined efforts of the companies help to ensure emergency personnel can continue uninterrupted operations while working in temporary or improvised locations. Clair’s services include LAN/Wi-Fi-based connectivity, pre-built mobile office setups, network security and monitoring, and push-to-talk mobile voice communication.
“We are thrilled to be able to integrate our expertise into a resource that enables those who are working on the front lines to combat this pandemic,” says Matt Clair, CIO at Clair Global.

 
 
cpl-at-the-disco-photo-by-ben-daure-march-2020-17CPL delivers large disco themed webcast
Friday, 27 March 2020

UK - Technical production specialist CPL was poised to deliver an elaborate show environment to event organisers Pandora Events for a motivational event and sales conference occupying Hall 4 of the NEC Birmingham, UK, complete with in-the-round staging, live band, dancers and roller-skating artists and high-level presenters - for 2,500 guests, when, during the dress rehearsals, Covid-19 intervened.
The latest UK government advice - at that time, 10 days before the national lockdown came into force on 23 March - was announced, and organisers took the unanimous decision to stop guests journeying from all over the UK to be there.
Instead, with under 24 hours’ notice, the event was transformed into a four-hour webcast.
The band still played, the dancers and the skaters performed. All the routines were pre-recorded by CPL’s video / camera crew and inserted into the webcast - keeping the good energy flowing across the ether.
The most successful delegates were recognised for their achievements and sales and the new season’s products revealed, all in a near surreal setting for CPL’s project manager Mike Radford and their up to 70 crew (during peak times) who were working on the event’s combined technical aspects.
This included locals from Crewsaders who were “nothing short of amazing” stated Mike.
The get-in had originally commenced on the Wednesday for the Saturday showday. The design theme - initiated by producers Vanessa & Andrew Carter from Pandora Events was “Disco in a Starlight Express vibe”.
The stage w

 
robe-mgg-vehicle-fleet-outside-their-warehouseMGG hits the road in South Africa
Friday, 27 March 2020

South Africa - The technical production industry is known worldwide for its resourcefulness and determination, and the coronavirus pandemic is energising some intrepid ideas to help keep businesses rolling and communities safe and functional during the crisis.
With all conferences and live entertainment work cancelled or postponed, South African rental company MGG based in Johannesburg was looking at their 32 idle vehicles - ranging from 45ft artics to small run-around vans - when owner and MD Mark Gaylard came up with the idea of offering the fleet for moving essential medical and other supplies during the crisis.
Mark composed a quick Facebook post about the transport fleet which went on his own personal page and before long it had nearly 400 shares and people started talking and calling.
The initial inquiries have started to become a steady trickle of work, all of which is helping keep MGG’s six full time plus their regular freelance drivers busy.
They have had calls to move anything from eggs and other foodstuffs and agricultural produce to steel and building materials. All important medical supplies like hand-sanitising products have been trucked from the docks in Durban, KZN, up to the commercial hub of Johannesburg.
“I quickly realised that the general transport and freight business is radically different from moving and delivering goods and trucking services in our core entertainment industry world,” comments Mark. “It’s highly competitive and a lot of the work gets outsourced to those who don’t own their own vehicl

 
 
g901-0320VNS announces GeoBox G901 processor
Thursday, 26 March 2020

USA - VNS Inc has introduced a 10-bit HDR-10-ready processor solution designed for large display installations. The GeoBox G901 processes 4K, 60Hz inputs/outputs for LCD or LED video walls, or projection edge-blending systems.
The G901 video processor places and controls secondary PIP or POP imagery (any digital input source in any format) onto projection-blended or video wall installations, without the need for a separate PC. It can switch video sources, convert formats, scale up and down in 10-bits, precisely crop and flip/rotate images, and supports non-VESA standard input timings and editable output timing.
The G901 boasts five inputs (three HDMI 2.0b and two DisplayPort 1.4) with switcher functionality outputted via one HDMI 2.0, and allows switchable dual-source content selection (maximum two images displayed at a time) with flexible, programmable output resolution. Maximum input is 4096 x 2400 at 60Hz or 7680 x 2160 at 30Hz via HDMI, and 7680 x 4320 at 30Hz via DisplayPort. With progressive RGB 10-bit 4:4:4 chroma sampling, the G901 supports 8, 10 and 12-bit deep colour, as well as BT.2020 HDR10 signal processing; refresh rates of 24-120Hz, with 3D motion adaptive de-interlacing; low angle smooth algorithm; and 3:2/2:2 film mode cadence.
Thanks to its powerful PIP/POP functionality, PIP (sub) images can be placed in any location and in any size on the video wall or projection-blended installation, with POP images able to be placed side-by-side or top-to-bottom. Main and secondary images can be rotated, flipped and swapped around independent

 
gdtf-workflow2SP3 for Vectorworks 2020 released
Thursday, 26 March 2020

USA - Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks has released Vectorworks 2020 Service Pack 3 (SP3) with quality and performance improvements as the central theme of this update. As part of the SP3 release, Vectorworks is introducing additional partner integrations with Enscape and NBS Chorus, as well as providing key updates for users of its BIM, landscape and entertainment design product line.
“Our release of the Vectorworks 2020 Service Pack 3 is the perfect example of our focus and drive to improve software quality and performance and to further enable Vectorworks to be a design hub for many workflows,” said Steve Johnson, vice president of product development at Vectorworks. “By continuing to develop connections to the latest technologies and partner solutions, we’re delivering a design ecosystem that is helping designers around the world to ideate, discover and realize their design visions.”
With Vectorworks Spotlight 2020 SP3, lighting devices and their schematic views have been re-engineered, improving overall file open time and performance. Specifically, issues with Schematic Views related to project sharing, the display of 2D label legends and how views are updated with model changes have been implemented, which will provide users with significant speed gains
Additionally, quality fixes have been made to optimise snapping and attaching loads to rigging objects in 3D, as well as to improve the graphic generation of lighting fixtures when using Duplicate, Mirror, Rotate and Move by Points commands.
“We’ve heard

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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