PRG Gear use Perle PoE+ Media Converters for Coldplay Tour

Integrating and powering PoE+ Video Cameras in Stadium Single mode Fiber Networks

When Coldplay announced their "A Head Full of Dreams" tour, Derek Burt, Head of the Concert Touring Division at PRG Gear - then known as VER -, got to work.

"As you can imagine, the amount of infrastructure required for a tour of this magnitude is incredible", comments Burt.

Tours such as this are completely self-contained. All required equipment is moved from location to location. Engineers from PRG Gear, the largest owner of single-mode fiber cable in the United States, sets up the fiber network at every arena and stadium for the video equipment

The 28 arena Coldplay tour is split into 5 sets over several stages, with each angle of each stage requiring video coverage. The video equipment, Panasonic Robotic PoE+ Cameras, are controlled over standard UTP Ethernet cables. There were two requirements to make this set-up work

  1. Provide power to the cameras over standard Ethernet cables
  2. Integrate the cameras into the single mode fiber network

By connecting the video cameras to Perle PoE+ Media Converters, this was achievable. The Media Converters transparently connect copper to fiber for data transmission, and inject 30W PoE+ power up the UTP cable to the video camera.

PRG Gear Media Converters network diagram

Derek comments, "Power at concert tours has traditionally been a nightmare. Video needs to be totally independent from sound, lightning and automation. Now, with fiber optics everywhere, and isolation, we can literally pick up power from the hall in the corridor or anywhere else. This gives us greater flexibility in the way we install our equipment".

While on tour, the equipment is exposed to brutal conditions. It can be dry, dusty, humid or raining. Each day, the entire set is taken down and knocked around while being packed for transport by plane, truck or boat.

"The show must go on, and you only get one shot at it. All equipment used needs to be rugged and stand up to extreme fluctuating conditions", explains Burt. "There are plenty of budget type media converters out there but, we wanted something which was more enterprise grade, robust and 24/7 online. We felt that the Perle product was in-keeping with what we wanted to do. We simply cannot risk our reputation on products failing during the show".

In addition to Perle Fiber Media Converters, all PRG Gear Engineers have Perle PoE / PoE+ Injectors in their tool kits for use in environments where copper to fiber conversion is not required.

About PRG Gear

PRG Gear, formerly known as VER, is a leading global provider of production equipment and engineering support. With the world’s largest inventory of rental equipment, PRG Gear supplies the most advanced technology to a broad array of clients in the TV, cinema, live events, broadcast and corporate markets. Clients rely onPRG Gear’s depth of experience in Audio, Video, Lighting, LED, Cameras, Rigging, Media Servers, Fiber and more. With 35 offices across North America and Europe, 24/7 support, and unparalleled expertise, PRG Gear can support any live or taped production anywhere in the world.

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