GeekNights Monday - AV Tech for Panels and Public Speaking

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about the AV tech used in panels and other public speaking scenarios. Just in the last few years, some important things have changed (e.g., you can no longer rely on presenters OR venues having VGA).

In the news, vile people continue to plague tech company staff, Hyperloop is (rightly) held up by regulation, LastPass is raising prices, Lenovo is moving to stock Android for all its phones, and radio navigation returns to prevent a Battlestar Galactica situation.

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That was fast.


good fifteencha

Nice timing. I gave a talk at a conference a week ago and the audio came out scratchy and clipping badly. Apparently it was an issue with the equipment, all the talks in that room had the same issue :confused:

Sings in monatone voice. We flew a kite in a public space, we flew a kite in a pubbbblic space…

Good toty.

Ray tracing doesn’t cast rays out from a light source until they reach the camera. Instead they cast rays out from a single point (a virtual retina) through a hole (a virtual aperture) and out into a space. Then they see if it hits a surface and keeps that point bouncing around until it reaches a light source or hits something with no reflections at all.

Do that over and over from the same point with slightly randomised direction and average them out and you get rid of hard edges to the pixels.

Do that over and over with slightly randomized time intervals between frame refreshes and you get natural looking motion blur.

Do those over and over for every pixel or receptor on the retina and you get an image.

Sorry for being wrong. I haven’t done it since college. Which is shockingly 12-13 years ago already. And I only did it once. And even though I took and got good grades in two computer graphics classes, I did not use that knowledge ever again.

I read a book about the history of Pixar a few years ago so it was pretty fresh.

In real-world applications on earth, the received power of a radio signal doesn’t really match 1/r^2. First there’s shadowing, where objects like buildings or hills block the signal. Even harder to deal with though is multipath propagation, where a signal travels along two or more routes (say direct and a reflection off a wall) to reach the receiver. Because they travel different distances they have different phases and they can either interfere constructively or destructively. This causes the received power to change drastically with small changes in position, making it pretty unreliable.

Sending timestamps tends to be pretty reliable, as shadowing and multipathing don’t change the transmission time as much as they effect the power. You just need enough received power to read the sent data. As long as you get signals from a bunch of transmitters that have accurate times you can reconstruct your position and the time (accurate time is another really important us of GPS).

Oooh, that is way smart. I wish I knew more about radios, but I was born too late.

As someone who appears on stage as my job, and as someone who has done technical setup for loads of live events like this, here’s my biggest tip:

Give the sound technician their own microphone!

Nothing is worse than the sound tech having to shout from the back of the room when setting up. Actually there is. Worse is when something goes wrong on stage during an event, and the audience is loud, and the people on stage have no way to hear the technician telling them to use the spare microphone or to move to another part of the stage, or any number of other solutions to a technical problem that would be easy to fix with easy communication from the sound desk.

Actually, there is something worse than that. The worst thing is to have the sound technician talking into some coms headset and another technician on stage with a headset listening and passing on any message to the speaker, and then relaying messages back from the speaker on stage to the sound technician. It’s the biggest pain in the ass ever.

If there’s a lighting or video technician, they should probably have a microphone too. That’s not always possible, but everyone being able to talk to everyone else and hear everyone else without going via coms headsets is the single thing that makes my tech setups run literally 20 minutes shorter than doing things via onstage technicians via coms headsets.

Well, when things are super pro level and the performer is wearing IEMs, the techs can just talk to them directly without the audience hearing.

But the title of this thread is “AV Tech for Panels and Public Speaking” and that is the perfect place for sound and light/video technicians to have their own microphones.

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Speaking of that-guys in industries, Polygon video producer Nick Robinson has been suspended over sexual harassment allegations. It all started when he made a really aggressive tweet at the developers of Overcooked, and someone replied “maybe Nick would have more time if he wasn’t sliding into every girl in games’ DMs”. There aren’t a lot of concrete details (nor do there need to be) and several twitter accounts who talked about being victimized went private since.

The scary thing is that it seems like this was kind of a known thing in the games journalism industry, but the victims didn’t want to come forward and the people they told knew it wasn’t their place to do so for them. Pretty much no one outside the industry knew, though, and no one wanted to be the first to come forward publicly. The main question now, is how much did his employers and coworkers know, and if they were handling it appropriately based on how much they knew.

Having the staff mic also makes it MUCH easier to gently push overlong speakers off the stage, announce the upcoming event, etc…

I downloaded the sample for the new book club book to see if I was interested in reading it. So far the intro is pretty legit. I would hope it holds up for the rest of the book, but I think I’ll be grabbing a copy for Kindle.

Daddy 4k

“Dell has announced the S718QL, a laser projector capable of throwing up a 100-inch Ultra HD 4k picture…”