The Entertainment Technology Show-LDI2004

celebrates the convergence of lighting, audio, and projection with a special show control session, open to all show attendees. Entitled Show Control Case Studies: Ensuring Reliability, this in-depth three-hour session will be moderated by John Huntington and George Kindler.

Computerized show control systems provide incredibly sophisticated functionally. But what happens when the computer malfunctions, or the operating system crashes? How do you handle this in the system design? This case study session will present ideas on how industry leading show control system designers are confronting this design challenge. Each session will discuss potential pitfalls, and then detail an actual project where this design approach was used.

Individual case studies include:

Haunted Lighthouse 4D Theatre, Busch Gardens Tampa/SeaWorld San Antonio
Electrosonic systems provided the audio, video and control for these twin systems. Four 1600 x 1200 LCD projectors with digital edge blending are used to create the highest resolution, high definition 3D digital systems currently in operation (that we know about).
In addition to the projection systems, and more importantly for this presentation, Electrosonic System used the TCP/IP based ESCAN show control software at both locations Installations of ESCAN exist all over the world in museums, themed attractions and retail environments.

For the 4D theater project, creating redundancy was quite simple. Since all the show control commands came out of the Ethernet connection, back up is provided with complete redundant show control computer. By simply turning off the primary controller or disconnecting it from the network, the back up unit acts as a full mirror. ESCAN also generates DMX and chases SMPTE via the USB port. A technician simply moves the USB connection from ESCAN to the back up computer and boots up. In the unusual case of a show system failure, the show can be restored in minutes.

We can also provide diagnostics via remote monitoring using VNC and a temporary dial up connection for security and IT reasons. Wireless PDA's were also implemented for the maintenance teams.

Presenter: Bryan Hinckley
Systems Sales Engineer
Electrosonic Systems

KaTonga, Busch Gardens
KaTonga, the new Broadway inspired stage show at Busch Gardens takes you on a journey to the heart of Africa in a musical celebration of animal folklore. The show follows a day in the lives of aspiring storytellers, called Griots, as they strive to become masters of their craft.

Jason Pontius from ShowSys will present a redundant ShowMan solution originally engineered for KaTonga at Busch Gardens Tampa. Since ShowMan is a PC based solution, the client requested a solution to allow for live fail-over in the event of a PC or software failure. ShowSys responded by designing a solution that constantly monitors itself and responds appropriately in the event of a failure. Jason will discuss the balance between redundancy and expense, and explore the Busch Gardens installation.

Presenter: Jason Pontius
Vice President of Operations

The Lido de Paris
A spectacular show where failure is not an option. One of the most famous nightclubs in Paris, Le Lido, has completely renovated its revue show for the 26th edition. This year's spectacular is named Bonheur. Running twice a day, the new musical tells the story of a young "bird-lady" looking for happiness.

The show encompasses four scenes using twenty-three scene sets, including an airplane, an ice skating rink, a fountain, a swimming pool and an Indian temple. MEDIALON Manager was selected as the show control software for this complex installation. The system uses four peer-to-peer MEDIALON Managers to partition, control and synchronize all show elements while supporting, of course, true live interaction with onstage talent.

Multiple instances of Manager provide redundant control paths, allowing the show to continue if certain show subsystems (or even controllers) go offline. Partitioning the show elements allows graceful degradation in the event of total subsystem loss, the eggs are never in just one basket.

Presenter: Alex Carru
CEO, Medialon

Complete information about the entire ETS-LDI2004 conference program and registration information can be found at