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Alford Media Services Grows Inventory with Eight Luminex GigaCore 16Xt Switches

QuakeCon 2015

Alford Media Services, Inc. in Coppell, Texas has added eight Luminex GigaCore 16Xt to its inventory. The systems are currently used to manage two Yamaha CL5 console packages and the Dante protocol for projects on the road.

Alford Media Services provides audio, video, lighting, and show coordination to customers worldwide. The event technology support company is based in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth and serves clients ranging from one-day corporate meetings to touring extravaganzas.

Alford uses the GigaCore 16Xt switches to transport the Dante network over fiber and Cat5 for its Yamaha CL5 consoles. Primary and redundant GigaCore switches are housed in the backstage patch rack and in the front-of-house rack. Multimode Dual LC fiber runs between backstage and front-of-house; Cat5 connects to the console. video village inputs and outputs are tied in with another pair of Cat5 connections to the backstage GigaCore switches.

The system manages Yamaha Rio Ri8-D and Ro8-D input and output boxes in the front-of-house rack; a Rio 3224 I/O box and Ri8-D input box in the backstage rack; and a Rio 1608-D I/O box in the video village rack.

"The GigaCores' ease of use is great," says Steve Ellis, audio front-of-house / systems engineer at Alford Media. "Our engineers don't have to be IT guys to put a system together. The GigaCores do all the IP work that not everyone is capable of doing."

"Knowing that I can plug in my racks and [GigaCore] will just work is excellent," he declares. "These days, audio engineers spend a decent amount of time working out network connectivity issues. Not having that issue allows me to focus on other things during my set up."

He reports the systems have been operating "great" with "zero problems" on site. John Caswell, Alford's audio specialist, agrees. "We are very happy with the switches. In particular from a packaging standpoint, they are extremely well built and robust. We didn't have to use a 'lesser' switch then build patch cables to get to a rear panel. That process adds many points of failure. Simply bolt these into the rack and go do a show. Well done Luminex," he says.

The GigaCore switches have already been deployed on a number of projects, including QuakeCon 2015, the annual four-day, Dallas-based convention where thousands of computer gamers come together to play on a world-class network -- it's been called North America's biggest Bring Your Own Computer LAN party. The switches were also used at the RealWorld 2015 User Conference for RealPage, Inc., the leading provider of property management software solutions.

Alford has plans to utilize the popular Luminex GigaCore switches for more than audio, too. "We are looking to move our lighting networks onto this system as well, utilizing the separate groups [GigaCore] offers," says Ellis. "At this point we could put the grandMA2s on the same front-of-house snake as audio."


(27 August 2015)

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