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Author Topic: Conference tech discussion  (Read 2972 times)

Įrni F. Siguršsson

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Conference tech discussion
« on: September 27, 2012, 11:58:13 am »

Hi there, 50% of my work is conference AV technician, mostly running powerpoint, podium mics, 3-4 panel mics and maybe wireless.

I've been wondering, if there is an active online forum or user group of conference technicians (besides this one) since I've been wondering how I can do some things better.

Where I work the control room is a bit to far from the stage to be able to run if something comes up, but clients are not always willing to pay for two technicians.

Our problems mostly consist of: People not finding their power points, don't know how to bring it to full screen or don't know how to close the previous speakers presentation, or putting headset mics on presenters.

The computer is built into the podium so users operate the computer themselves. I've been thinking about a remote control solution, so I can log into the computer and help out when needed (or between speakers open up the next powerpoint document). Does anyone have any experience in this in a conference AV environment. What programs work best, am I thinking this wrong or what. A remote control might solve 80% of my problems where two technicians are needed.

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Sound Engineer, System Tech and AV Conference technician.
Harpa, Reykjavķk concert and conference hall. Iceland

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 12:01:37 pm »

Hi there, 50% of my work is conference AV technician, mostly running powerpoint, podium mics, 3-4 panel mics and maybe wireless.

I've been wondering, if there is an active online forum or user group of conference technicians (besides this one) since I've been wondering how I can do some things better.

Where I work the control room is a bit to far from the stage to be able to run if something comes up, but clients are not always willing to pay for two technicians.

Our problems mostly consist of: People not finding their power points, don't know how to bring it to full screen or don't know how to close the previous speakers presentation, or putting headset mics on presenters.

The computer is built into the podium so users operate the computer themselves. I've been thinking about a remote control solution, so I can log into the computer and help out when needed (or between speakers open up the next powerpoint document). Does anyone have any experience in this in a conference AV environment. What programs work best, am I thinking this wrong or what. A remote control might solve 80% of my problems where two technicians are needed.

Teamviewer???

http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 05:46:39 pm »

Hi there, 50% of my work is conference AV technician, mostly running powerpoint, podium mics, 3-4 panel mics and maybe wireless.

I've been wondering, if there is an active online forum or user group of conference technicians (besides this one) since I've been wondering how I can do some things better.

Where I work the control room is a bit to far from the stage to be able to run if something comes up, but clients are not always willing to pay for two technicians.

Our problems mostly consist of: People not finding their power points, don't know how to bring it to full screen or don't know how to close the previous speakers presentation, or putting headset mics on presenters.

The computer is built into the podium so users operate the computer themselves. I've been thinking about a remote control solution, so I can log into the computer and help out when needed (or between speakers open up the next powerpoint document). Does anyone have any experience in this in a conference AV environment. What programs work best, am I thinking this wrong or what. A remote control might solve 80% of my problems where two technicians are needed.

Windows XP & 7 Pro allow remote desktop, as do Macs.  You can also use VNC.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 05:59:53 pm »

Windows XP & 7 Pro allow remote desktop, as do Macs.  You can also use VNC.
Does Remote Desktop still lock out the end user?  Some sort of screensharing application could work fine, as mentioned.

Also, it is possible to use Microsoft Office Communicator (if installed) to screenshare and control the other computer remotely without locking out the end user.
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Įrni F. Siguršsson

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 04:31:02 am »

Teamviewer does not work for me because it needs to contact an external server to set up the connection. Also it is not invisible, you get a popup saying that someone has connected, and also when you close the session.

Remote access needs to be invisible. I actually have the podium computer screen available for viewing trough my switcher preview monitor. really just need a keyboard/mouse control. I've also thought about just trying to extend keyboard and mouse up to my control panel using cat5 adaptors, but it's probably about 50m (160') so that might be giving me problems.

Anyone know of a way to just control keyboard or mouse trough a remote application, I don't really need to remotely see the screen.
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Sound Engineer, System Tech and AV Conference technician.
Harpa, Reykjavķk concert and conference hall. Iceland

Scott Carneval

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 05:50:29 pm »

We always run the presentations from FOH and just give the client a wireless presentation mouse, or a CUE remote if the distance is too far for the mouse. This way you can also have the presentation running redundantly on a second machine and switch over in the event of a crash.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 01:10:20 pm »

Remote desktop is the way to go. You can configure it to show if someone's connected or not. You would just take over between presentations and load the next guys stuff then full screen his show and do it all while the projector is blacked out.

The Remote Desktop app just requires the two computers to be networked together. They don't have to hit an external server. If you are going Win7 to Win7 it is very fast too. Same goes for Mac to Mac. Mac to Win7 or vice versa isn't as good, but is still very workable.


My wife is a Photographer and sometimes I help her do post processing work. I will use our Macbook air and remote into her iMac on the other end of the house to do it. I can sit in front of the TV and process images in almost real time. We don't have a super fast router either. It's an old Apple Airport B/G router.
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Steve Milner

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 02:53:06 pm »

Hi there, 50% of my work is conference AV technician, mostly running powerpoint, podium mics, 3-4 panel mics and maybe wireless.

I've been wondering, if there is an active online forum or user group of conference technicians (besides this one) since I've been wondering how I can do some things better.

Where I work the control room is a bit to far from the stage to be able to run if something comes up, but clients are not always willing to pay for two technicians.

Our problems mostly consist of: People not finding their power points, don't know how to bring it to full screen or don't know how to close the previous speakers presentation, or putting headset mics on presenters.

The computer is built into the podium so users operate the computer themselves. I've been thinking about a remote control solution, so I can log into the computer and help out when needed (or between speakers open up the next powerpoint document). Does anyone have any experience in this in a conference AV environment. What programs work best, am I thinking this wrong or what. A remote control might solve 80% of my problems where two technicians are needed.

 I've got a show that we just set up yesterday that involves two different ways of doing it. We just wrapped the first morning of full programming (lighting/qlab etc) today, and everything went flawlessly. We have two MacPro towers in the booth that are running the show. One is dedicated to Qlab, firing off lighting,sound & control cues. The second is running the video projection & control software.

 Being that both are installed in racks, in a closed control booth, we needed to give the crew control of both machines, while they are sitting out in the house for programming during this week.

 The QLab machine was simple, we used an SDI feed we had coming off the switcher already routed to the theater for a confidence monitor, we simply extended that to his tech table to an Sony SDI Monitor. We gave him a wireless keyboard and mouse, with the receiver on the end of a usb extender to get optimal coverage out in the house. His setup worked perfectly and with an iPad controlling the LS9 w/ Stage mix, he was able to control the console as well while he was working in Qlab, which came in handy.

 The other piece of software was running so that the programming was taking place on the main screen of the computer, while we were using the second output to pull 1080i to the Barco projector. We gave the programmer a MacBookPro and setup a hardwire VNC for him to control the MacPro in the rack. This let him view his programming screen with the VCN on the laptop, while seeing his content on the big theater screen. This too worked perfectly.
 
 At the end of our time, we simply unplug, and move everything out of the space, leaving the cables in-place under the seats. This approach has let us maximize the limited amount of time we have in the space each day.
The actual computers doing the work never have to move or be re-patched, backups are done to external drives through-out the day, and when we are ready for run throughs, we will simply move the crew into the booth to the actual control positions, hopefully seamlessly.

 I also tested a hardwired USB over CAT5 extender yesterday, as a backup option for the Qlab (keyboard & mouse) control, and was getting fine results with 50+ feet of cable. I'm not sure how far the various models are rated, but there may be a solution using a PoE injector to carry the power further, that may help get you where you need to go. I still prefer a hardwire VNC control vs. the usb over CAT5 extender, as you can utilize that cable path for other data needs, rather then dedicating it to just extend a usb cable.

 

 

Tim Padrick

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Re: Conference tech discussion
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 07:58:56 am »

I sometimes use TightVNC to access/control a PC from an iPad.  No troubles (but I've not used it much).
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