A.C.T Lighting is a leading distributor of lighting products, including the MA Lighting product line of lighting and video control systems targeted for the entertainment industry. This product line includes a full-size console for permanent installations (the grandMA2) and a more compact mobile version (the onPC command wing) designed to run with an all-in-one PC and touch screen technology. A.C.T Lighting tested several PCs with the onPC command wing, but chose Cybernet’s iOne-H5
with touch screen for their demo units because of its durability, exceptional touch screen technology, and Cybernet’s product line continuity. They now recommend the Cybernet iOne-H5 for all their entertainment lighting system customers who use the onPC command wing.
A.C.T Lighting is an importer and distributor of lighting solutions for the entertainment market. Their leading edge technology systems are used at indoor and outdoor venues of any size – from Broadway to music concerts to university drama departments to mega-productions like Cirque du Soleil. They are recognized as the industry leader for entertainment lighting technology, and their technology systems support entertainment events around the world. A.C.T Lighting serves North America, and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto. They sell through dealer networks and equipment rental companies in the industry; the end users are often lighting programmers who freelance or work for the event production companies.
The Business Challenge
A.C.T Lighting has several product lines, but the most popular control product is the MA Lighting product line, consisting of lighting consoles, networking components, and dimming systems that control lighting, video, and LED simultaneously. At the top of the product line is the grandMA2, a full-size and complete standalone system designed for permanent installations. The other products in this line are smaller versions, including a mobile or portable version that can go on the road: the onPC command wing that was designed for use with a laptop or all-in-one PC
A.C.T Lighting had several technical requirements for the PC they would choose to run their onPC command wing system. The PC had to be compact, with a small footprint. It would need to have processor speed that could handle their software and the systems being controlled. The PC would need a video card that handled discrete graphics. It would need to be rugged enough to survive being on the road and outdoors. Although not a requirement, the system would need two Ethernet connections (either built-in or with an adapter) to be able to control lighting and video simultaneously, which is becoming a requirement for many entertainment events.
The onPC software works best with touch screen input, so the touch screen technology spec was critical. A.C.T Lighting and their customers had tried other all-in-one PCs that had capacitive touch screen technology, but that became a problem. In outdoor venues, bugs would land on the screen, causing the software to recognize it as a touch command (an incorrect one). The programmer had to quickly sweep bugs off the screen and regain control of the system. Similarly, at indoor venues, confetti is often released in the air, especially during music concerts. Confetti can be very sticky, again, landing on the screen and causing the software to register a command. A.C.T Lighting realized that they needed to find an all-in-one PC with resistive touch screen technology.
Another issue that A.C.T Lighting and their customers faced was the constant upgrading of new models by the PC companies that cater to the consumer market; as often as every two or three months. A.C.T Lighting didn’t want to have to test new PC models that frequently to make sure they worked with their lighting control systems, so they wanted to find a PC manufacturer that had a longer product life cycle and greater product line continuity.
The Cybernet Solution
Will Murphy, the Director of Software Support and Development, led the effort to find the right PC solution. He started searching for an all-in-one PC because many laptops didn’t have the desired touch screen technology, didn’t have enough processing power, and suffered short product life cycles. He did his Internet research, and found some all-in-one PCs made by other PC companies and then he found Cybernet’s iOne-H5 with a resistive touch screen. He decided to order a demo unit from Cybernet, and the technical team put it through the same rigorous treatment as if it were on the road for an entertainment event. It passed their tests, the whole management team looked at it, Will recommended they buy it, and the order was placed for several demo units. A.C.T Lighting now recommends the iOne-H5 to their customers as the ideal PC to run their onPC command wing.
Cybernet’s iOne-H5 with resistive touch screen had the perfect specifications and performance that A.C.T Lighting was seeking for its onPC command wing system. It was compact, had the right type of touch screen that would function properly indoors and outdoors, it had the right processing power and video card, it was rugged, and most importantly, it had a long product life cycle and product line continuity, eliminating the need to upgrade to a new model every two or three months. A nice bonus was having two built-in Ethernet ports to enable the synchronization of both lighting and video content important for entertainment events today.
Not only did the iOne-H5 meet the technical and functional specifications that A.C.T Lighting was looking for, but the Cybernet iOne-H5 quality is on par with A.C.T Lighting’s own high standards. They therefore stand behind Cybernet’s quality and are happy to recommend Cybernet’s all-in-one PCs
to their customers. As a result, A.C.T Lighting’s customers have purchased more than 50 Cybernet iOne-H5 units to use with the onPC command wing. Their customers are very pleased with the iOne-H5 and they have performed superbly in diverse operating conditions – including assaults by bugs and confetti.