Normally for a reliable, high-quality, wireless talkback system for live production your going to have to come up with at least 10,000 dollars. You also had better know what you are doing because quite frankly they are all very complex and most are using chunky hardware and technology that hasn’t changed much at all since the 1990′s.
It seems like in today’s world there would be an easier and far less expensive way to do this, but there isn’t. That is, until now. A quick search anywhere for Unity Intercom will show you a new product that boasts a six channel full duplex intercom system, and that uses hardware you probably already own. That is true if you happen to own an iPhone, iPod, or Android phone. You see, all of these devices can run the Unity Intercom app and act as the belt-pack in this modern intercom solution. So basically this is a brilliant piece of software and a clever use of today’s technology to reduce the cost of intercom to just a fraction of what you would normally have to budget. Using a Mac computer as the server, a 6 channel talkback system can be up and running in just a couple minutes, it’s just a question of how fast can you download a small app and type in your user name.
So, is this a game changer? In today’s expensive, and complex event communications and production intercom world, for the competition anyway, it’s more like game over.
These new universal mounts with the adjustable legs found on the SLBU interface can be confusing at first but they allow a huge amount of flexibility. You can always call Chief if you have issues and they can walk you through it.
In my last post, we talked about troubleshooting when there is no image on the screen, but what about the times we get an image but its…wrong! Sometimes the color’s not right, sometimes there are imperfections in the image, whatever it might be, it can usually be grouped into one of three categories.
First, there could be a physical problem in the system, typically this applies to the cables and connectors more than anything else. In our simple computer>cable>monitor system for instance, the cable connecting the computer to the display might have a bent pin. This can result in some strange anomalies in the image on the monitor. Unplug the cable from both ends and examine the pins inside the connector to make sure that one is not bent. By the way, these typical computer video cables are called VGA cables and it’s not uncommon for there to be one particular pin completely missing from the connector, so if you see that, don’t worry about it.
Last time we talked about signal ﬂow. An image (signal) starts at the source device,
goes through the routing and distribution, and ends up at the display. When there’s a
problem, we’ll see it on the display. Problems are generally in one of two categories;
either there is no image, or the image is not representative of what is being generated
by the source. So lets take them one at a time.
A good portion of my time is spent helping our customers troubleshoot their systems. I really do like that part of my job. I know, there are lots of horror stories about technical support personnel. Incredibly long wait and hold times, rude technicians, geographically untraceable accents, but for myself, I really work hard to make sure that a customer is in a positive frame of mind when we hang up the phone. As a technical support specialist, I want you to call! Really I do! However, there are some things that you can do before you call that might end up saving you some time and trouble.
If you’ve done audio for literally any period of time, you have heard those words! It seems to be the rallying cry of performers across the world.
Of course we want all the band members, singers and instruments, to be able to hear themselves. It leads to a more confident and powerful performance. The challenge for most of us as sound engineers is to give all the performers the levels they need, without blowing out the first few rows of the audience with reflected monitor sound. The bounceback of the stage monitors off the back wall muddies up the sound and makes it nigh on impossible to create a clean mix whether you’re at the FOH (Front of House) position or a dedicated monitor board. The long term solution to this is to move to an in-ear monitor system which reduces stage volume to negligible levels in the first place. Since not all of us have that luxury, how do you deal with this often heard request?
The next time you are faced with a vocalist or instrumentalist who seems determined to have their own tone blasting them off the back of the stage, try this old sound guy trick. Continue reading “I Can’t Hear Myself!”
Every projector has a native resolution, this is the actual number of physical pixels from top to bottom and from left to right. A common mistake people make is to try to send a much higher resolution from a computer or other device to their projector than it’s native configuration. What happens at that point is the projector now has to scale down the image to what it’s able to work with. Loss of quality and slight delay is usually the result when this happens, and in some cases the projector will just display “no signal” as it’s incapable of reading the signal. Example: Sending 1920X1080 to a projector that is naturally 1024X768.
The two most common main-stream projector resolutions today are 4:3 1024X768 and 16:9 1280X800. Higher resolutions for HD video ( 1080 ) are usually found in the smaller home-theater market. These are generally less bright projectors as they are designed for dark home theaters with emphasis on color correctness.
Always send a signal as close to the native resolution of your display device as you can to ensure best results. This information is found in the specifications section for the particular projector your looking at.
As AV contractors, we get this question quite a bit. So let’s start with the basics. HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and along with DVI, DisplayPort and SDI, HDMI is a card carrying member of the True Digital Signal Club. With the exception of SDI, which has been standard in the broadcast world for years, the acceptance of true digital video in the Pro AV world has been slow at best.
If you’re coming from the world of consumer audio and video devices, there’s a chance you’ve never heard of SDI. If that’s the case, welcome to the future (or past, depending on your perspective). SDI, or Serial Digital Interface, has been around for quite some time, but only in the high-end professional world, and has gone through a few iterations to get to where it is now.
What is your projector telling you? The most important thing to note is what are the indicator lights doing? Your projector only has a few ways to communicate with you. Unless it wont power on at all, some indicator lights should be flashing if something is wrong.
After years of troubleshooting projectors from all over the country here are a few the most common issues and how to resolve them.
Acoustics – the misunderstood player in the sound world, and often the most overlooked aspect of a building project, renovation, or remodel.
Though speakers, microphones, and sound boards make sure that people can hear the message being given, the acoustics help to ensure people will understand it. The proper acoustics in a project help fine tune a room, create intelligibility and understanding, and make it possible to comfortably enjoy the effort put in by the sound equipment.
Most of the time there is nothing wrong with your projector. Dimming is normal and generally noticeable after around 700 hours on older projectors, newer ones made after 2008-09 ish will go much longer before dimming . The sad truth is that most lamps will grow too dim for use before their maximum life potential. The math used to rate a lamps life is almost always over-rated. However this has changed recently as many new projectors made in the last couple years are DC lamps that don’t dim much at all and have a better chance of lasting a full 1500-1800 hours or so. Here are 3 tips to make your projector lamps last longer.