CLARKSTON, MI--High Resolution Systems’ new UDC-400 Universal Device Controller played a key role in delivering video components to the big screens at the recent Microsoft Global Exchange (MGX), an annual conference for the company’s sales, marketing and technical field staff. High Resolution Systems teamed with Staging Techniques to use a UDC-400 to switch all the live video feeds and extensive computer content to the big screens viewed by 12,000 attendees at the Philips Arena in Atlanta.
High Resolution Systems set up a Christie Vista Spyder system with Lightware DVI router on the same network to handle the computer switching to all of the screens, downstage monitors and onstage monitors. A pair of UDC-400s ran with UDC software at the front of house control.
The UDC-400 is a software-based control platform that allows simple, cost-effective control of devices using IP (TCP/UDP/Telnet) or serial (232/422/485) protocols. Designed for live events, staging and rental, worship, corporate and industrial, and broadcast markets, it provides a fast, flexible and affordable way to control high-resolution processors, routers and switchers or any other device that needs control.
At MGX, the stage manager/show caller and the executive producer, located in the front of house, were each equipped with a UDC-400-M control panel programmed to switch approximately 30 different computer input sources of the Lightware router that were also sent to the arena’s big screens through the Spyder system. “The show caller and executive producer could punch their panel’s buttons to view the content of the outputs on their own monitors,” explains Drew Taylor, a partner in High Resolution Systems. “Both UDCs were hooked to an HP Netbook with 1 GB of RAM running Windows XP which runs had our software running. You don’t need a lot of power to operate the UDC; the controllers ran smoothly for eight days – we never had to restart the UDC software or the netbook. They proved to be very reliable.”
The Netbook at the front of house control was connected to Taylor’s local system network via a very long cat5 cable. Another cat5 cable ran under the stage to a wireless router he set up with a static IP address that acted as a wireless access point to his network. “That allowed me to connect to my computer, which was backstage running UDC software, wirelessly from anywhere on the arena floor with a Slate tablet PC. I built a custom interface for the tablet in the UDC software,” he points out. “The UDC backstage was programmed to control Spyder so I could switch content to the screens in the house from my tablet through Internet Explorer which showed the custom interface and told my PC backstage which buttons I was pressing then sent preset recall commands to my Spyder system backstage.”
High Resolution Systems also deployed UDC controllers to switch all 20 downstage monitors through a Sierra HD-SDI router that resided under the stage on Taylor’s network.
“The client reported that the UDC worked great, was very responsive and provided everything they needed for MGX,” Taylor notes.
Using the UDC-400 for its out-of-the-box matrix routing capabilities demonstrated “the basic scenario for the UDC,” he says. “Although MGX was a huge, high-profile event, any UDC customer can quickly and easily set up their system to serve as a Universal Remote Control Panel for any type of router – Leitch, Isis, Harris, Black Diamond, Lightware, Datatek for example– at any size event.”
Microsoft was impressed with Taylor’s wireless control via the Slate PC tablet, which showed how an alternate control interface is an option for applications where a touchscreen is more suitable than a panel of buttons. The software giant was also pleased to learn about the UDC’s support of Black Diamond, the router of choice for Microsoft’s own computer switching system that’s used for screen switching on smaller shows. “Now they can make the UDC part of their package for other events,” says Taylor. “The UDC offers them a lot of flexibility.”