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Audio Guy with Questions OMG! SCARY...SCARY...!


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Hello all,

I'm actually the A1 for the Chinese show Panda in Las Vegas Palazzo Casino and really shouldn't be here so bear with me

this isn't my area of expertise i'm just helping out the Op. person.


What we have is 2 content servers(and backups that are not being used) one for projection and 1 for the on stage LED wall and moving panels.

There are 2 computers in the control booth( you all call them production compts.)

the plan was to have 1 being main and 1 being backup.


This was never really achieved and the show has been running on 1 production comp for the past 10 months and I would

like to say flawlessly but we have had issues the last being last Tuesday when I unpluged the net cable from the main

production comp. to troubleshoot the backup and not knowing that when you reconnect the cable the system goes into

this update thing which for us takes about an hour and half.

Because I did this before show we had to start the show with no projection or LED's for the first 2 acts (6 act show).

This is why you shouldn't have audio guys messing with your video before show.


Moving on my first question is what's with this update thing and is there a way to turn that off change the content set up

so it won't take so long (don't bother asking about the content all I know is it's some sort of pretty HD stuff from china).

the second question is can we run both production computers simultaneously?


The show is being driven from Q-Lab timecode which goes to a 6ch audio DA so every machine gets it's own feed.

I have a small 5 port Linksys switch that the 2 net cables from production comp. go to

and the 1 main cable in the control boot that goes backstage to another switch that the  projection and LED servers are connected to .


One problem is the LED server won't play off the backup comp.

The other question is, is it possible to run both production computers. simultaneously during show

with one online and the other offline so if there is a problem all the op has to do is take the dead one offline

and bring the bkup online and and were back in business?


Please pardon my ignorance, I will probably find the answers to these questions in the next couple hours filtering through this web site.

But if there is anybody out there that could give me a quick solution to make this work and any suggestions that would make

this set up more failsafe it would be greatly appreciated and warrant free tickets to the show if your in Vegas.






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This a moderated Forum ie no need to re-post your questions.


Over to the case at hand:

I think you'll need someone onsite, to sort this out.

Please contact our North American Premium Partner, ShowSage,

for more info about any knowledgeable WATCHOUT person nearby.





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I hesitate to make this post, I know this is not a popular opinion in the live show community.


Why are you using a Production computer (watchmaker) in a performance playback system?


Every time you connect the watchmaker computer,

you are enabling WATCHOUT Display (watchpoint) write mode (changes enabled).

And that appears to have caught up with you.


Anytime watchmaker is forcing a complete media reload

when no changes have been made

to a show that is already there and running correctly,

something is wrong.


No you can not (easily) turn that off when using watchmaker,

you must fix the underlying fault.

No matter what, I understand this is your initial focus,

I would start by using the

Stage — Manage Display Computer — Re-Build Show Cache

function (WO 5.5+) to see if it clears the issue.



On the other hand, long term, once you address the issue at hand,

you may wish to consider changes to improve stability.


Since show changes are not occurring during a performance,

operating in cluster mode (no watchmaker computer) addresses this completely.


When playing back without a watchmaker station,

all the watchpoint computer (playback) are operating in read only mode.


All changes locked out makes for a very reliable system.


All changes enabled makes for a very risky system.

And that is a risk you do not need to take.


All successful permanent installations operate in this way,

it is proven significantly more reliable and repeatable.


Granted, in a live show environment the addition of a control system user interface

adds some upfront investment, but the stability over the life of a run is the reward.

watchnet offers control adequate for performance use,

with $0 investment in hardware and software (for a WATCHOUT 5.5.1+ system).

Panel development labor is the only incremental cost.


Chasing timecode as primary control may make cluster mode even easier.



And yes, I understand the community doing corporate / broadcast / etc

one-off shows have a different set of challenges. But that is for a different thread  ;)


BTW Happy to continue this offline via email or phone,

contact me via this forums message function.

Jim Kellner

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Everything you just said makes total sense to me and after watching the videos I have a better understanding of how things should be.


When I go in today I will lake a closer look at how it's being run.

I suspect it's being run this way because they were making some minor changes to the show at the start and just left it in that mode.


The guy that was hired to program this show came from cali. and bugged out once the show started and I guess never really completed the set up.


I will contact you outside this forum when I get more information.


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