Thu01232020

Last updateMon, 06 Jan 2020 9am

 

Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance

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Cinema Test Tools for the Non-Technical Manager 

Cinema Test Tools is a free resource for the cinema industry, tuned most particularly for the non-technical manager. The tools include several DCPs, all with interesting means of testing the sound and picture quality for the interested by lightly trained staff. The lessons on sound and light are written to provide a foundation to communicate with the technician who must respond quickly and well to the information that they discover.

The key is a free Online Managers Online Walk Through Checklist that correlates with the many DCPs. It helps bring an understanding of the many nuances of the auditorium's situation in a straightforward way. 

Lesson One: Who's on the Network

You have built yourself quite a neighborhood with that intranet of yours. Somewhere there is perhaps a list of all the addresses, some allocated on purpose, some snuck in to let a tech roam around while waiting for a part. When was the last time you updated that list against reality? Or worse, when was the last time you checked to see if something odd was there?

Solar Winds has a nice tool that creates a spreadsheet of this data, which also allows you to make notes and permanently allocate zones and the like.

Here is a Youtube shot of the system in action.

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The beauty of this tool is that it is free. Here is what they say the highlights are:

PRODUCT USAGE:

  • IP Address Tracker Highlights:
  • Track an unlimited number of IP addresses for a unified, at-a-glance view of your entire IP address space
  • See which IP addresses are in use – and which are not
  • Eliminate manual errors while ensuring that IP addresses are listed in the right place
  • Determine the last time an IP address was used
  • Pre-populate key statistics like DNS and response time

The Solar Winds IP Address Tracker can be downloaded from the Solar Winds site at: SolarWinds-IPAddressTracker-v1.zip For pro or beginner, it is a good first tool to use as the week turns to next week and the administration of your system hasn't been done.

It is simple enough to use straight after download, but you will find an email in your inbox that will give you links to several courses of materials. Except for those who make IP their daily business, we'd recommend them all.

As you would expect, since everything in digital cinema seems to change every year, IP is going to change this year. Early in June the first official day of IPv6 will come and go. Nothing will change since so much of our equipment has been developed for this day to come and go. But it would be a good thing to have a handle on the situation well in advance. Who knows what switch or router is so old and the firmware so grey that it might freak on the new larger numbers.

On the more practical level, new projectors are going to have IMBs as well as SMS units. One more set of IP addresses to track. Why not train a few people on this in your organization?