Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Construction update for Wednesday

I'm actually managing to keep my promise and post today's update today. I also ventured up to the Hall AV control room to get a couple of photos. The first one shows the booth in which most of the Hall AV crew is working this year. It tends to get a bit hot, but otherwise the working conditions are more controlled than inside the hall. The booth can also be locked, which is good for security.

This second photo shows the view from the outside part of the Hall AV booth. The audio and lighting people work out here. You can also see that the tables, chairs, screen and stage are all in place. Some of the lights in front of the screen will need to be lifted a bit tomorrow to stop them blocking the image.

Another thing you might have noticed in the previous photo is the "normal" front of house control position in the middle of the hall. This is a special arrangement this year for managing the concert audio and lights. We also found room for a camera in the same place for a wide view of the stage. We won't broadcast the concerts live, but hope to record them and show them later on in the broadcast. This depends on some technical and copyright licensing details being finalized.

The studio is also looking pretty good now.

The studio and broadcast control rooms have also progressed quite a bit since yesterday. Most of the video cabling and the internal audio cabling are done. Connecting the audio between the control rooms and all connections to the seminar area are still to be finished. This is probably somewhat behind schedule Hacking the intercom system also needs more soldering. Like the studio this all needs to be done before the broadcast can start, so our technical team has a busy night ahead of them.

 Setting up the streaming gear is also progressing, but is not complete. This means that we will also have to get stuff done today and tomorrow. We will see whether we have succeeded when the broadcast starts tomorrow at midday Finnish time (GMT +3).

Construction update for Tuesday

We are back in business. I'm starting with a late construction update for Tuesday and will try to follow up with another update later today.

Some preparations are made on Monday, but Tuesday is the first full day of construction at the arena. Work starts early and things get really busy by the afternoon truckloads of gear arriving almost constantly. I only arrived closer to 10 am, so a lot of gear was already inside.  This was my first impression of the main hall.

Most of the early work was related to the audio and video setup in the main hall and moving furniture in the TV production areas. Proper TV work started once the first load of video gear arrived. The first job was to place the two HD equipement racks for the studio control room. Naturally the first mission time display was also started.

At the end of the day most of the heavy equipment is in place in the broadcast and studio control rooms. Cabling has only just started. There is also a synchronization problem to be solved between some of the video converters and we need to hack together some additional features for the intercom boxes we use. I dare say everything is under control for the time being.

The studio is also starting to take shape with the first lights up and running. Obviously there is still a lot left to do here.

In the main hall almost all of the tables are in place. Chairs will only be added at the last moment because they might get in the way of other work. The main lighting setup is working, but the digital audio system we are using needs some firmware updates. The video projectors are attached and will be set up on Wednesday.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the hall AV control, but that should certainly be further along than the TV control rooms. Hopefully I'll find my way up there before tomorrow's update.