NEW YORK—New York Digital is a provider of media production and distribution for the U.S. and Brazil. Recently, we worked closely with The Telos Alliance and Visom Digital to spec the Telos Infinity IP Intercom system for this year’s Lollapalooza Brazil in São Paolo, April 5-7, helping the event attain seamless communications on a matrix-free IP backbone.
Globosat—a division of Rede Globo, the largest broadcaster in Latin America—needed to tie all the stages and production center of Lollapalooza Brazil together. We consulted with Globosat’s lead engineer, Fabio Costa de Almeida, to specify the Telos Infinity as the principal interface between various and disparate systems, pulling together communication sources from across the entire event into the Infinity ecosystem.
MATRIX-FREE DESIGN STREAMLINES PRODUCTION
I chose Infinity for its matrix-free design, giving the event’s producers more flexibility to add expansion panels easily and on the fly while taking up less space in the truck. We needed a compact solution that could be controlled remotely and changed instantaneously. While matrix technology does let you make changes remotely, you need a lot of space for the racks and peripherals. In this case, we had only 1RU worth of equipment, including a half-rack Axia xSwitch and a half-rack Telos Alliance Mixed Signal xNode. This was the only equipment in the van; everything else was remoted to other places.
We set up the Infinity system with partylines for Lollapalooza’s on-air directors and producers, for clear and instantaneous communication with the event’s stages. The Infinity equipment was very resilient, even when the temperature in the truck went up to 120 degrees.
ZERO LEARNING CURVE
I had to leave the concert for several days so it was important for me to be able to set up the system easily, then instruct the chief and communications engineers on how to operate it in my absence. I taught them how to launch the Infinity Dashboard software, how to manipulate the system and turn it on and off.
One of the most common questions was “How do I add an expansion panel?” You simply take a cable, plug it into the switch, plug it into the head, allow a few seconds for the new piece of equipment to be recognized and you’re ready to go; no need to add a card or expansion slot.
LABELING SAVES THE DAY
Small details like how Infinity panels are labeled proved to be lifesavers for the team. The color-coded switches allow you to color the panels by groups—we had a group for director, lighting, stage and production, all with different colors.
Text labeling was very easy to read—we had two crew members named Rodrigo, and we never got them confused. Labeling is extremely important because the people using the system may not have a lot of technical aptitude and they need to make snap decisions and push buttons very quickly. You can program the buttons all from the Dashboard GUI, too, so it’s easy.
Will I use the Infinity IP intercom system again? Absolutely—installation is minimal and because it’s all IP-based, it’s very “plug-and-play” with none of the problems associated with matrix systems. That’s a very big plus.
Danny Littwin is the Emmy and Grammy-award winning director of New York Digital, which provides production and technical management, space segment sales and facilitates television production in Brazil and U.S. Littwin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Telos, visit www.telosalliance.com.