Human-powered flight has been a dream sought after for centuries and accomplished only very recently. Red Bull® gave contestants a crack at this rarely achieved fantasy during its summer-long Flugtag competition, held nationwide. In Long Beach, California, 105,000 spectators watched teams push whimsical contraptions from a pier, and the event sounded as good as it looked, thanks to the open-sourced approach to the next generation of digital audio networking, IEEE 802.1 AVB Bridging protocol, enabled by AVB-compliant technology from Harman Professional. The signal control chain consisted of four dbx SC 32 Digital Matrix Processors and 24 AVB-capable Crown CTs 3000power amplifiers, as well a half-dozen network bridge switches from BSS Audio/NETGEAR® configured and controlled using Harman HiQnet System Architectâ„¢. On Stage Audio (OSA), led by vice president Jim Risgin, deployed the AVB system.
The crowd at the Long Beach edition of the Red Bull Flugtag was so enormous that the exit ramp off I-710 had to be closed, with all parking garages at full capacity and traffic gridlocked throughout the downtown area. The hundreds of thousands that secured a spot were rewarded with the spectacle of human flight as 34 teams launched their crafts off a 30-foot flight deck in an attempt to defy gravity (the international Flugtag flight distance record now stands at 207 feet and was set in Minneapolis/St. Paul on July 24, 2010). The sound system used for the event was less whimsical than the aircraft but surprisingly just about as simple. Using the HiQnet System Architect's virtual software environment, Red Bull ran audio and control data signals to three distant points, from the console to two parts of the pier 4,500 feet away. The efficiency of this transport protocol enabled them to know the precise amount of equipment needed to handle a project of any size, with far less technology than ever before.
“The systems at Long Beach would have cost 10 times as much last year, in terms of hardware rentals and purchases,” said Risgin. “AVB is the ultimate convergence of AV and IT, so we're able to use the much-less-expensive IT types of components, like terminations and the BSS Audio/NETGEAR switches we used here, rather than the more costly equipment made specifically for pro audio applications. We're leveraging the economies of scale of the IT industry.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.2 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2010. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.
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