Product Reviews

Direct Boxes - aren't they all the same?

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We're often asked what the difference is between direct boxes, and this is a great question. So, let’s have a look at three different models from Radial, and explore what makes a JDI a JDI, and what makes a Stagebug a Stagebug. For this comparison we will look at passive DIs, starting with the Stagebug SB-2, continuing to the Pro DI, and finally we will have a look at the DI that changed the game -- the JDI.

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In each of their direct boxes Radial features a transformer that is designed specifically for the job. The transformer in the Radial SB-2 is designed to be compact and offers amazing performance in a small package. In addition, the SB-2 offers a ground lift, as well as a pad to help with extreme signal levels. This enables this compact DI to handle nearly anything you throw at it. Finally, the SB-2 gives you a Thru to send your signal on to an amplifier or any other instrument level input. All of these features are housed in a rugged metal chassis that can handle the rigors of the road, all at $69.99.

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The next step up from the SB-2 is the Radial Pro DI.

Read more: Direct Boxes - aren't they all the same?

 

Panasonic PT-RZ570 - 24/7 Workhorse, perfect for churches and business use.

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It's not the least expensive 5000 lumen laser projector, but if you're interested in a 100% maintenance-free projector for your church, restaurant, school or business, look no further.  The Panasonic PT-RZ570 features a sealed light engine and no need for filter cleanings, and lamp or bulb changes.  It's totally maintenance-free.  And the video quality is impressive. 

The PT-RZ570 has become the projector of choice for corporate-owned Buffalo Wild Wings stores because it can operate all day, every day while providing an exceptional picture.  BWW pairs these projectors with Da-Lite's new Parallax projection screen material for ultimate viewing angle and ambient light rejection.  If you've been in a BWW restaurant and have noticed screens that appear to be as bright as the smaller televisions beside them, that combination of PT-RZ570 and Parallax at 58x104" is what you're looking it. 

In addition to exceptional video performance with great contrast and shadow details, the BWW franchise owners that we work with also don't have to worry about doing maintenance, someone being injured while doing maintenance and/or spending the time of the manager or owner (the only people most stores allow to climb a ladder - or do something silly like standing on a bar stool).

Read more: Panasonic PT-RZ570 - 24/7 Workhorse, perfect for churches and business use.

   

The best way to connect your computer audio to your audio mixer.

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focusrite scarlett 2i2 rightI did it.  After too much messing around with cables and computer direct boxes of different types, I broke down and bought a USB audio interface for our church's presentation computer (ProPresenter, PowerPoint, etc.) in order to replace the PC direct box used to connect the unbalanced stereo audio signal from the computer's headphone output to the balanced input on the audio mixer. 

No matter what we did with the new all-in-one computer (one that someone else picked out), the self-noise at the headphone jack (its only analog audio output) was simply more than I could bear.  When playing music, the noise was not noticeable, but between songs (no matter the gain staging), anyone could hear just a bit of constant "hashy" noise, if they listened for it. 

Some people blame this type of noise on electrical grounding, some on radio frequency noise from spinning hard drives, some describe it as clock noise.  Whatever caused it in this case, it's not something that could be addressed by converting the unbalanced signal to a balanced line with a direct box, by proper system grounding, or by anything conventional, so I gave in and spent some of our fiercely-guarded budget money, and the noise is gone. 

There are lots of USB audio interfaces out there, but everywhere I look lately (even in places where we didn't sell them), we see the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or other Focusrite variants.  The Scarlett 2i2 is a 2x2 USB audio interface that can be used to play back or to record audio.  In most cases, people buy USB interfaces in order to record, but in this application, stereo playback is what we're after.  And the Scarlett 2i2 does it really well. 

We use the 2i2 for our SMAART system analysis setups, for recording and for playback.  Focusrite interfaces are the perfect partner for Pro Tools, so Scarlett 2i2 comes with Pro Tools | First recording software, as well as Ableton Live Lite and a suite of software and samples so you can start recording straight away. As you’d expect, it works flawlessly with all major DAWs on Mac and PC.  It's a handy device, for sure.  And at $149.99, it may just be exactly what you need.

Get more information or order online here.  Or call us anytime. 

 

   

Need a huge screen for gym or auditorium use?

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Evenroll

When you want the protein and to skip the carbs, all you need is the meat and cheese, and not the whole sandwich, right?!  But when was the last time the restaurant let you order that way? 

You already know that a projection screen is better than a painted white wall for image quality, so you called only to find that a 24' wide electric screen costs about $9000. 

You need that screen, but don't know how $9000 is going to fit into your budget.   

Are you willing to do a little extra work in order to save some money?  I'll bet that you can guess that I'm going to tell you that you can order a projection screen without the "bun" and the extra trimmings. 

The Draper Evenroll Rope and Pulley Manual projection screen comes in large sizes from 168-288" wide and in 16:9, 4:3, square and 2.35:1 cinemascope formats. 

It's a simple system; you will have to raise and lower the screen with a marine-grade pulley system without the benefit of remote control, electricity and anything other than a little hand and arm strength.  The rope cable won't twist or bind, and you'll get the same Matt White projection surface found in many other Draper models.

The Evenroll Rope and Pulley manual screens start at about $2000 and top out at a 24x24' for just over $3000 -- less than one-third as much as a comparable electric screen.  If you'd like more information on the Evenroll manual screen, call us at (800) 747-7301.

 

   

Living as One Multisite Platform - the new standard in live event video delivery

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LAO

Have you ever wondered how to extend live video to other sites at a viewable size larger than a desktop computer or a mobile device? The Living as One Multisite Platform was designed from the ground up to do just that -- to deliver audio and video to remote locations with unprecedented reliability, quality, and simplicity. And it uses the public internet. LAO can also stream to in-house venues on your network while reaching out to campus sites via the public internet. 

The platform uses a new patented method of streaming which ensures zero content loss throughout the entire transmission path, even in the case of a complete internet outage! This means that you'll enjoy a stress-free playback experience which is high quality, interruption-free, and much more affordable than other similar solutions.

Before joining the Multisite Platform, many of Living As One’s customers were frustrated with interruptions they experienced during live video playback. Even though those churches chose expensive equipment and fast internet connections, the products they were using were not designed to account for the unpredictable nature of the internet which results in buffering video and even complete blackouts. That tension is not good for anyone - tech teams, campus pastors or your guests. 

Over 70 churches have joined onto the platform in the past year of offering the solution to the public.  Read what some of them have to say.

Read more: Living as One Multisite Platform - the new standard in live event video delivery

   

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