Grand Final Footy Show 2012

Event Systems was contracted by Rohan Thornton of GTV 9 Melbourne to supply network infrastructure and technical support for the Grand Final Footy show at Rod Laver Arena.

Requirements of the system included distribution of Lighting control, Kinesis control during rehearsals, media server control, Windows networking for content distribution and Internet Connectivity. To ensure that all these requirements were working properly, comprehensive monitoring took place ensuring network latency was within limits and that all endpoints were functional.

Cisco SG300 switches were used to form a redundant Fiber Optic ring around the venue. Catalyst 2960 Switches served as edge connectivity for the catwalks. DMX output was via PRG Artnet Nodes Stage Left and Right with Pathport nodes in the catwalks and arena seating. Six Pandoras Box media servers provided content for the Mediatec screens onstage. Control FOH was via LSC Clarity consoles.

The entire network was separated with basic VLANS however core monitoring had access to each VLAN using a Mikrotik Router. This allowed monitoring traffic to enter the individual networks, but still kept the broadcast traffic from each lighting network at bay. Melbourne Olympic Parks supplied a connection into the Rod Laver network allowing Back of House production offices access to the show network using Layer 2 GRE Tunnels. This ensured network integrity from a show standpoint as well as an ease of provision through an unknown network such as MOPT infrastructure. Internet connectivity also came for this MOPT connection.

Failure tests were performed during rehearsals to ensure network integrity for the final show. No dramatic signs of failure were evident in the lighting rig while the network converged to redundant links. 800Mbps stress tests between switches were  performed with network latency never exceeding 10ms from FOH to the furthest point in the network.

Building such a network for show control allows an unlimited number of services to coexist in the same space allowing for reduced set-up time and reduction of costs associated with running large amounts of cable for each required service. Show integrity is also increased because of the redundant capabilities of modern network equipment.

Client: GTV 9 Melbourne

Crew: Andrew Hebblethwaite

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