Anaheim, CA-February 2017… Winter NAMM is the most important annual U.S. trade show for many music equipment merchants and manufacturers, and Peavey Electronics® has for decades been a major participant. The legendary Mississippi manufacturer has long incorporated video into its booth, and for the 2017 Winter NAMM show, its planning team decided to significantly increase its video presence.
To that end, Peavey’s team generated new video content that they wanted to cycle throughout the show day. Sometimes the same video was shown on 17 flat-panel displays in its multi-room booth, as well as on the main stage. At other times, one video streamed to the flat-panel displays while a different video was offered on the main stage, periodically interrupted for live presentations, product demos, and such. To accomplish that, the Peavey technical team relied on a networked system enabled by the Visionary Solutions® E4000 PacketAV® 4K-Encoder and D4000 PacketAV 4K-Decoder.
“In the past, we used our own MediaMatrix® technology to program the playback of specific video clips related to our products, but that was before we produced longer form high-definition video,” recalls Peavey Commercial Audio Division General Manager Kevin Ivey. “Using MediaMatrix we are able to take cues from audio MIDI tracks to control lighting and playback video clips. With HD video, we sent everything over coaxial cable to distribution amplifiers to boost and route the signal. We daisy-chained HDMI devices, which limited the number of monitors we could use. Sometimes we played content from a stick PC into the HDMI port of a television.”
For the 2017 Winter NAMM show, Peavey looked to the future. “We needed a simple way to distribute ultra-high-definition video over IP,” Ivey avers. “We’ve been very interested in Visionary Solutions’ technology, so when we were planning for the 2017 NAMM show, I called them. It turned out that their new technology was perfect for our needs.”
Visionary Solutions’ E4000 PacketAV 4K-Encoders and D4000 PacketAV 4K-Decoders provide cinema-quality, 4K ultra-high-definition video over IP, with extremely low latency. The Santa Barbara, California, company’s technology bypasses the constraints of traditional switch-matrix distribution systems by harnessing the flexibility and scalability of IP networks.
The E4000 encoder converts an HDMI A/V source signal into a packetized network stream compatible with off-the-shelf, IGMP-enabled, gigabit Ethernet switches. Users can connect CAT5e or CAT6 to any decoder anywhere on the same network. The D4000 decoder converts the IP packets back into an HDMI signal connected directly to a display, delivering visually lossless video along with RS232 controls.
Any signal from any encoder can be sent to any decoder on the same network. The signals can be controlled with Visionary Solutions’ Vision Lite software to create different outputs on the display side, including video wall or matrix switching.
“The Visionary Solutions PacketAV gear allows us to easily send up to 4K video over a network,” Ivey confirms. “A switch or two takes care of the distribution. The rest of the system consists of network connections to each of the displays, and we’re off to the races. Using CAT6 cable throughout our booth enabled a much simpler booth setup than with the older method, and we enjoyed a better video distribution system.”
“With the new Visionary Solutions PacketAV system, we could deliver the same video source to all screens or different sources for the exhibit areas than for the projector and large flat-panel screen that served the stage,” adds Peavey Engineering Manager Tom Stuckman. “The audio was embedded in the video, so it was all delivered together, played from a small video server with an HDMI output to the Visionary Solutions E4000 encoder. One E4000 encoder on the edge of the network was routed into a switch, and multiple streams were distributed from that to our Visionary Solutions D4000 decoders.”
“Visionary Solutions’ PacketAV technology enables us to have a really nice look with synchronous video throughout our space,” Ivey concludes. “We spent a lot of time and resources creating very high-end, longer-form video presentations that add tremendously to our booth and increase foot traffic. Visionary Solutions enabled us to showcase that work, helping make our 2017 Winter NAMM booth extra special.”