Latest install projects by ASG.

NDI Protocol Provides Range, Durability and Uncompressed Video Quality for Successful Implementation in Groundbreaking Project

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., February 22, 2022 – Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a solutions provider for media creatives and content owners, today announced its collaboration with California’s Del Norte Unified School District (DNUSD) in the implementation of a remotely controlled, local area network that streams sports, academic events and other activities. Fourteen BirdDog PTZ NDI cameras are spread throughout the rural district’s campuses, with staff directing the streaming output from one central operations center. Broadfield Distributing served as official distributor of the BirdDog cameras.

Like a lot of innovation over the past year and a half, the initial driver was COVID restrictions. “We’re a small, rural community with a huge, diehard community of superfans and a lot of senior citizens who’ve lived here their entire lives and follow the school events,” explained Michael Hawkins, Director of Communications, DNUSD. “We’d been thinking of creating a live streaming system like this for a long time. Last summer, the State of California limited the number of guests who could attend graduation ceremonies and large events. The graduation date became our deadline to get this done. Not seeing your grandchild graduate, participate in a school concert, or watch your graduating high school senior play in a final game was a huge blow to the quality of life for our community members. We wanted to get this set up for everyone in time for graduation and beyond.” 

Camera installation at Del Norte High School.

The cameras were selected based on BirdDog cameras’ fully featured NDI capabilities, which utilize high definition, uncompressed video quality, compatible with any broadcasting software that integrates with NDI. Using the NDI specification, users can work on any network and in the cloud with the highest quality video at the lowest latency.  BirdDog not only sells indoor cameras, but also offers external PTZ cameras, which the school district requires. The company’s A200 and A300 cameras are weatherproof, with IP67-rated enclosure and ideal for deploying with a single CAT cable for video, audio, camera control and Power over Ethernet. The P200 and other models are perfectly designed for in-classroom usage. 

The DNUSD IT department installed the first three BirdDog cameras at the Del Norte High football field just in time for graduation last June – one camera in the announcer’s booth and two high atop light poles to provide consistent coverage of events that take place there. All of the district’s middle school ceremonies and its high school graduation were held there. 

“This is a fantastic showcase of the power of NDI and BirdDog PTZ cameras,” said Eamon Drew, Co-Founder & CMO of BirdDog. “We’re humbled that our gear played a part in enabling these important human connections through the pandemic.”

The system installed was also used to live stream the 2021-22 football season. The district received such positive responses from the live stream offering, they installed BirdDog PTZ cameras at five additional locations for other indoor and outdoor sports. 

Being a small rural community, the Del Norte Unified School District has one functioning auditorium in all of Del Norte County – at Crescent Elk Middle School. The middle school is located two miles away from Del Norte High and the district’s live-streaming headquarters. The district’s IT department installed three cameras at the Crescent Elk auditorium to livestream performing arts events. The events are now streamed remotely from district headquarters. 

To leverage the power of NDI and live-streaming even further, DNUSD utilize the tool Restream to duplicate its livestream simultaneously across multiple platforms, including Youtube, Facebook, the school district website, and other services.

In 2018 DNUSD underwent an extensive, four-million-dollar upgrade to its network infrastructure, so capacity was never a concern. Range, durability and video quality were foremost in the minds of Hawkin’s team. “NDI was the initial draw to the BirdDog cameras because we’re very rural,” said Ryan Bahten, Director of Information Network Services, DNUSD. “We have 4,500 students in the largest geographic school district in the state. In terms of durability, there are no other PTZ camera built as solid as these. With all the wind and rain we get in the Pacific Northwest, that was important to us. And the video quality is full NDI, which is unlike most PTZ models. We have the network to handle it, so we want to make our coverage as good as possible.” 

Dan Gustafson, Network Systems Analyst, DNUSD, explains further: “We dial in from a central location, which is our everyday office, and we can access cameras from a high school auditorium, basketball court, football field or soccer field – which are scattered across a large campus. We can take the feeds instantaneously with almost no set up and get a very high-quality live stream sent to our families. As a small district, we don’t have the staff to cover multiple different teams at all of their locations, so this was necessary to make this work.”

Hawkins went on to add, “Currently, we have three cameras in the Crescent Elk Middle School Auditorium. At Del Norte High School, there are multiple indoor cameras installed for basketball, volleyball, and wrestling. For our outdoor sports at Del Norte High, we have cameras at our soccer, baseball, softball, and football fields. We are currently in the process of installing cameras at our outdoor tennis courts and near our track fields. After we finish these installations, we plan on building out streaming capacity at all of our middle schools across the county to begin offering live-streaming to our community and career technical education to students interested in broadcasting and live-streaming.”

“This is the first school we’re aware of doing long-distance streaming from a centralized location over NDI like this,” said Dave Van Hoy, President, Advanced Systems Group. “It shows the true power and flexibility possible with NDI. We’re excited to contribute to a project as innovative as what the communications team at Del Norte Unified School District accomplished. I expect their pioneering work will become more commonplace as others discover the potential of NDI.”

ASG Key Account Manager John Shike consulted on DNUSD’s camera selection, the NDI infrastructure, technical issues encountered during installation, and even tracking down parts. “John really stepped up to the plate,” said Hawkins. “He dedicated all his time to making sure we had everything we needed. He was the bridge between us and any problems we faced along the way. The entire company was just a great resource from consultation, to distribution, and just being good people. They were of huge value to us in every way.” 

About ASG:

Advanced Systems Group, LLC enables creativity through better technology for media creatives and content owners. From acquisition to post-production to delivery, whether on premises or in cloud, ASG’s goal is to ensure customer success through tailored solutions that create optimal workflows. One of the largest Systems Integrators in North America, ASG provides engineering services, physical and cloud integration, training, and support. ASG’s Virtual Production Control Room allows clients to operate their live event control room in the cloud. ASG’s Managed Services delivers customized staffing solutions for all phases of media production, including creative and engineering. Based in Northern California since 1997, ASG has teams in Los Angeles, the New York Tri-State Area, and the Rocky Mountain Region to provide nationwide services. Find your solution at www.asgllc.com.

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., JAN. 26, 2021 – Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) have been unable to gather together in groups to perform. However, a new Dante audio networking solution from Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading media technology and engineering firm, is helping teachers and students collaborate in real time across almost 30 practice and ensemble rooms at the San Francisco-based campus. 

According to Jason O’Connell, SFCM director of recording services, string performers were allowed to attend classes in school in person by wearing masks and observing social distancing. However, there were very strict restrictions for singers, as well as brass and woodwind players, who were not allowed to perform in the same room together. 

While the school was able to have lessons via videoconferencing and even cell phones, latency issues made it impossible to perform together – and sound quality, particularly with vocals, was problematic. SFCM needed a solution that would allow groups of singers and musicians to work together while spread across the building in separate rooms. 

In July, ASG arranged for a test using Focusrite RedNet X2P audio interfaces, which include microphone inputs for the vocalist or musician. The compact units connect through SFCM’s existing Ethernet, and use Dante audio networking to send and receive real-time, high-quality audio. 

Sources are fed to a Yamaha mixer in the concert hall (where the strings players are located), and the audio mix is fed back to the performers. Each performer can adjust their headphones to raise or lower the volume of their own performance as well as that of the entire ensemble. The system also supports personal or group communication with the instructor.

O’Connell said it only took a few minutes to confirm the system would be effective for the school. By August, SFCM had 25 RedNet X2P units across the facility in classrooms, offices, practice rooms, and studio spaces.

“This was a problem we needed to solve immediately that we never faced before, and we got a lot of support from ASG,” said Kelley Coyne, assistant director of recording services. “It was really great to see the faculty members actually hear their students sing for the first time in months.”

With the Dante-based system, there is less than 10ms of delay. “We have not received a single complaint about latency,” O’Connell reported, “and our faculty and students are extremely sensitive to timing.”

While SFCM still cannot host an audience, it has been able to produce concerts using the ASG solution and stream the performances to the school’s YouTube and Vimeo channels. O’Connell also said ASG is helping with AV integration at the Bowes Center, SFCM’s new 12-story building that will more than double the size of the school’s facilities once completed. “ASG has been great,” he added. “They’re super responsive and quick to help you with ideas.”

About ASG:
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area with offices in the New York Metro Area, Los Angeles, and the Rocky Mountain Region, Advanced Systems Group LLC has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets for more than 20 years. With unmatched experience in high-speed shared storage, media asset management, archiving, editing, color and VFX systems, ASG has become one of the largest installers of post-production and shared storage systems in North America. Highly focused on customer success, the ASG team has installed and supported more than 500 storage networks, along with production and post-production systems. As part of its complete solution approach, ASG also offers a range of managed services, providing expert staffing for media production and event management. For more information, visit www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., Mar. 27, 2019 – Advanced Systems Group (ASG) was integral in the creation of Electronic Arts’ recently-opened EA Broadcast Studio in Redwood City, CA. Previously, EA relied on third-party venues to host their esports operation, but the new state-of-the-art in-house production studio was built in just three months and was ready for their recent Madden NFL 19 Challenge in mid March.

Per an article in SVG News, ASG was brought into the project to assist EA in the creation of two main studios as well as a 1080p broadcast-control room, AR seamless green screen, and post production facilities. The entire facility was completed in just three months; construction began on Dec. 10 and the facility went live on March 10.

The studio deploys five Ikegami HDK-99 broadcast cameras with Fujinon lenses. Photo courtesy of Sports Video Group.

Joseph Lynch, head of broadcast, EA Sports says, “We were able to get this done on a really short timeline, which is a testament to how passionate our crews, contractors, production-management team, vendors, and integrator are. We worked with ASG because we knew they were a smaller sort of boutique shop and we really liked that personal relationship. We knew that we had somebody that we could grow and build a relationship with over time. They worked hard to deliver in a short time and put together a beautiful facility.”

Inside the new EA Broadcast Center, which launched during the Madden NFL 19 Challenge earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Sports Video Group.

Read the entire article here.

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., April 23, 2019 – San Leandro Unified School District in San Leandro, Calif., is protecting more than 9,000 students with a new IP-based CCTV system designed and installed by Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading media technology and engineering firm. The system provides video support for the 13 schools in the district, as well as offices, a community center, and other district facilities.

The district was having issues with its previous camera system, which was a mishmash of analog and digital technologies that “just wasn’t working well,” according to Manuel Ruiz, CTO at SLUSD. Funded by a bond that generated monies for safety and technology, the $1.5 million system is being used regularly by administrators, who received training through ASG.

Rabinder Mangewala, senior director at SLUSD, said the new CCTV system can capture student disciplinary issues on video, so administrators do not have to spend as much time investigating what happened. “Because the system is so good, investigation time is greatly reduced,” he explained. “It can make a huge difference in investigations.”

School safety was the top priority, of course, but SLUSD had a number of requirements for its new CCTV system, including cameras with long lifespans and a non-proprietary, “virtual friendly” infrastructure that would work with the district’s existing virtual environment. Plus, neither the cameras nor the software could require annual licensing, as the district wanted to avoid ongoing costs to the general fund. “ASG understood that and obviously came up with a great solution for us,” said Ruiz.

Planning for the project began in October 2017, but new camera deployment did not begin until May 2018. Now, there are more than 750 new Sony CCTV cameras across the district, including a variety of 1080p indoor models and 4K outdoor models. ASG partnered with Walker Telecomm in Wheatland, Calif., for camera installation, while the district hired a security consultant to collaborate during the design process.

Mangewala and Ruiz praised ASG’s hands-on approach to the project, which included walking each site to help identify camera counts and optimal installation locations. “A public school district is often short of resources,” Ruiz added. “We don’t have extra personnel to manage these types of projects. Being able to find a vendor to provide us with that type of resource was incredibly helpful. Not only did ASG do that, but support was extremely personalized.”

Cameras are positioned to monitor hallways, building entrances, and exterior spaces, not classrooms. Mangewala said the cameras deliver exceptional coverage.

Bandwidth is not an issue, as SLUSD built out its network several years ago to support a massive expansion of services. In fact, its extensive array of CCTV cameras has its own VLAN, with video traffic separated from other traffic on the network. ASG selected an OnSSI open architecture IP video camera platform, which allows SLUSD to create firewalls to restrict access to CCTV cameras and footage.

“San Leandro was faced with replacing an inefficient CCTV system that had been expanded over the years with an assortment of analog and digital components. The best course of action was to start over – but the new system had to conform to a number of unique requirements,” said Dave Van Hoy, president of ASG. “Our solution provided a reliable and secure bridge between video technology and IP, and it’s delivering excellent results for school administrators.”

“Our new CCTV system is another example of our commitment to student safety at San Leandro,” said Dr. Michael McLaughlin, district superintendent. “Today, technology is a foundational component of any security plan. ASG and our other partners have made it much easier for our administrators to help maintain a safe environment at our schools.”

About ASG:
Based in Northern California with offices in the New York Metro Area, Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest, Houston, and the Rocky Mountain Region, Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in high-speed shared storage, media asset management, archiving, editing, color and VFX systems, ASG has become one of the largest installers of post-production and shared storage systems on the West Coast. Highly focused on customer success, the ASG team has installed and supported more than 500 storage networks, along with production and post-production systems. For more information, visit www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., Jan. 30, 2019 – When the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, Calif., built a two-story learning center to accommodate up to four events at once, they turned to Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading media technology and engineering firm, to install a flexible AV system to support it.

The cornerstone of the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life, the Oshman Family JCC has nine buildings and hosts a variety of cultural programs, shows, and lectures. Its new learning center, which opened in October, can accommodate 160 people on the first floor and 70 people on the second floor. Each floor can also be divided in half by a moveable air wall, so the building can be separated into four separate areas.

Each of the four interactive presentation areas includes an Optoma ZU510T-W laser phosphor projector, Kramer KT-107S touch panel, and Yamaha surface-mount and ceiling speakers. The rooms also use HRT’s Huddle Hub One wireless presentation system, which provides unique wireless screen sharing options for presenters and audience members. The center’s audio system is built around the Yamaha MRX7-D DSP processor with an EXi8 analog input expansion unit and XMV4140-D Dante digital audio network input, while the video system works through a Kramer VS1616D matrix switcher and controller.

All four areas are well isolated, so there is no bleeding of sound between them when the air walls are in place. Jodie Capriotti, sales account manager for ASG, said the new construction made installation relatively easy, but the building’s hard floors and large glass doors and windows were reflective surfaces that posed an audio challenge during the design process. “The modular, expandable, and easy-to-install Yamaha CIS system was ideal for this application,” she added.

Oshman Family JCC classroom

“It’s a wonderful space with incredibly good sounding rooms,” said Giulio Fregni, Oshman Family JCC technical manager of event services. “They are the best rooms in terms of sound on campus. By having in-ceiling and on-wall speakers as well as a subwoofer, you don’t get the feeling of a ‘telephone conversation’ you get with limited speakers. You have a much richer sound, with full highs and lows.”

While each area has several speakers and supports multiple microphones, the Yamaha MRX7-D offers feedback suppression that does not distort the sound. “It’s really amazing,” Fregni said. “It kills the feedback immediately. I’m very, very happy with it.”

Equipment rack at Oshman Family JCC 

The learning center was built overlooking to a new sports field, which was equipped with distribution boxes so audio from the center can be sent to the field and vice versa. Sensors on the first floor prevent the projector screens from lowering if the bi-folding doors facing the field are open. Additional sensors on both floors detect whether the partition is open or closed, so the AV system knows to combine video and audio signals for one room or two.

“ASG helped me in finding a neat and functional solution,” Fregni added. “Kramer put me in touch with ASG, and I’m so glad they did. ASG was very flexible and helped me throughout the process.”

About ASG:
Based in Northern California with offices in the New York Metro Area, Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest, Houston, and the Rocky Mountain Region, Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in high-speed shared storage, media asset management, archiving, editing, color and VFX systems, ASG has become one of the largest installers of post-production and shared storage systems in North America. Highly focused on customer success, the ASG team has installed and supported more than 500 storage networks, along with production and post-production systems. As part of its complete solution approach, ASG also offers a range of managed services, providing expert staffing for media production and IT services on a temporary or ongoing basis. For more information, visit www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.

$14 Million Project Includes Data Visionary Center with Iconic 360-Degree Cylindrical Video Display

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., Sept. 18, 2018 – When NetApp, one of the world’s leading companies for data management and enterprise storage solutions, agreed to sell several of its buildings and reduce the size of its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters, it invested $14 million to upgrade the entire AV/media ecosystem across the campus. Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading media technology integration, engineering, and managed services firm, was named the single-source provider for the multi-year project, and updated all conference rooms, training rooms, and video production facilities, as well as the security operations center and executive briefing center.

“We had to rebuild and consolidate all the active media and live event spaces into a smaller footprint,” explained Mike Tyler, NetApp senior manager. “Any one of these projects would have been a significant build. We essentially built seven different projects simultaneously and fully integrated them into one campus-wide ecosystem. ASG’s input was invaluable because of the experience they brought to the project.”

To better gauge expectations for the project, the entire construction project team – including Tyler, ASG, designers, and architects – conducted interviews with NetApp executives. “They all wanted something that was cutting edge,” Tyler recalled, “and would change the perception of NetApp to that of a technologically relevant company prepared to do business in the 21st century.”

Data Visionary Center
The executive briefing center, now renamed the Data Visionary Center, became the primary focus of the entire project. The centerpiece of the DVC is its Cloud Theater, which resembles the cross section of a large video teepee and is built of 18 slightly overlapping, horizontally curved individual trapezoidal panels, each 12 feet tall and six feet wide and positioned to create a cylindrical, 360-degree display. Half-panels are positioned over the two doors that provide entry to the interior theater, which features 240-degree panoramic presentations produced with an immersive dual-projector system from The Elumenati and 5.1 surround speaker system from Meyer Sound.

“People step through the doorway and freeze in their tracks – staring at this display,” Tyler said. “It’s really iconic. Our chief marketing officer asked for something bold, something that could be seen from the parking lot, and that’s exactly what we provided.”

The Cloud Theater is the centerpiece of NetApp’s Data Visionary Center and part of 
a $14 million AV/media ecosystem upgrade across its campus in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Advanced Systems Group was the single-source provider for the multi-year project.  

Other features of the DVC include a Planar Mosaic video wall, built with 32 individual panels set at varying depths, and an interactive Flip-Disc, dot matrix digital art wall by Breakfast, LLC, which uses a hidden camera to produce a high-contrast image of people walking past the display through a multitude of individual metal black-and-white pixels.

Inside the DVC, ASG also built five conference rooms with Planar touchscreens, which feature Bluescape collaborative virtual workspace software, as well as non-touch displays in four of the rooms for videoconferencing and desktop sharing. “Our executives felt that we needed to change the way we presented information to our customers,” Tyler said. “We had to get away from the traditional ‘death by PowerPoint.’ It’s the fundamental reason why, partnering with our clients on the DVC team, we chose Bluescape.”

In addition to the five conference rooms, NetApp’s DVC also includes an open, more relaxed collaborative space called the Mini Theater. The main AV feature of the space is a large Planar Clarity Matrix G3 interactive LCD video wall that utilizes twelve 55-inch LCDs. The touch-driven video wall also features the Bluescape collaborative virtual workspace software.

A Crestron touch panel in each room allows intuitive control of lighting, shades, and AV equipment, while a Crestron panel outside each room displays daily schedules and meeting agendas. While available resources differ between various rooms throughout the campus, the Crestron touch panel interface consistently presents each room’s options for ease of use. The outside panels are managed through BriefingSource, a cloud-based event management and scheduling resource.

Advanced Systems Group updated five conference rooms in NetApp’s Data Visionary
Center.

Control Rooms and Connectivity
NetApp has five control rooms across its campus, and four of them were updated by ASG with identical equipment. The fifth control room, which supports the gymnasium space that seats 1,200 people and is used for quarterly company-wide meetings, will be updated later this year with the same components. “NetApp is very, very big on video communications,” Tyler explained. “It’s really about the efficiency of the space and enabling the staff to easily move between control rooms throughout the day without having to relearn each room.”

All the control rooms had to be able to share AV resources between them, since NetApp often hosts very large events that utilize multiple event spaces. Fiber optic lines tie the four buildings together, and Tyler’s team created a separate virtual LAN and DANTE audio network throughout the campus for AV use. As a result, Tyler said it was critical to connect all the control rooms.

For NetApp, the keys to connectivity are two NVision 248×248 routing switchers. Housed in different buildings, the routers receive signals from cameras in any event space and time all sources to one master clock, so any source can be used in any control room for any project. Because all video and audio sources throughout the campus are connected through the routers, ASG developed customized programming that enables the AV team to control specific areas of the routers through Crestron interface panels installed in each room.

Tyler praised ASG’s inside sales team, which helped the project engineers remain flexible throughout the process. “We were updating our designs as new technology became available,” Tyler said. “ASG’s continual research throughout the course of the project allowed them to save us money and keep up with advances in technology.”

About ASG:
Based in Northern California with offices in the New York Metro Area, Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest, Houston, and the Rocky Mountain Region, Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in high-speed shared storage, media asset management, archiving, editing, color and VFX systems, ASG has become one of the largest installers of post-production and shared storage systems in North America. Highly focused on customer success, the ASG team has installed and supported more than 500 storage networks, along with production and post-production systems. As part of its complete solution approach, ASG also offers a range of managed services, providing expert staffing for media production and IT services on a temporary or ongoing basis. For more information, visit www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.