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Hardware Issues

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:02 am
by cjflynn
It is common for the companies who use satellite distribution for their live events to expect a technical person be available the day before the event to do tests and then will expect a pre-show test to be completed just before the event. This technical person will be expected to know how to adjust sound and color levels as well as put in special security codes.

What can go wrong?
  • The production company might presume that the facility receiving the event knows there are always pre-show checks without making a special effort of the information until too late.

    The message about the pre-check might be sent to someone in the booking department who doesn’t know to reach the correct technician, expecting someone to already know or just be there.

    The equipment that may have worked for previous events may not be appropriate. A common problem is that a company will have bought a consumer level satellite or cable OTT box that worked in early days. But as the security standards changed they don’t know that this won’t work anymore…the information isn’t passed on because the production company presumes that no one would use consumer that doesn't support professional encryption standards, among other things.

    Equipment that worked for previous events often floats between auditoriums, or even between multiplexes. This equipment might not turn up, or it isn’t known that it is missing until the last minute, or it shows up but without the necessary cables or other needed boxes, like scalers.

    Some boxes can show 3D with one standard (top and bottom), but not (side to side) and the situation of not knowing what you don’t know doesn’t appear until too late.

    Equipment used for movies are also presumed to be a button away from working with other digital stuff, only to have issues found at the last moment. For example, there may only be presets on the projector for Flat and Scope, which are different dimensions than Flat and Scope for television broadcast. Likewise, screen masking presets won't go to the proper place, with the issue of exposing screen edges or pillar boxing with white edges. A/D-D/A boxes and scalers and interface boxes are all prone to last minute discoveries as well.
In addition to keeping a good log for the equipment and techniques, what other solutions are there, and what other problems have been near show stoppers? Please use this thread to educate and volunteer checklists and experiences.