January 2012 Plugfest

Plugfest 2012

Some of the most important developments in the entertainment production industry in the last five years have been in the area of control and bi-directional communication, including Remote Device Management (RDM), a protocol for communicating bi-directionally between devices in a lighting or control system, Architecture for Control Networks (ACN), a TCP/IP-like protocol for bi-direct…ional communication over Ethernet, and Streaming ACN (sACN), a protocol for streaming DMX control protocol over an ACN network. Plugfest is designed to help implement these protocols in real-world devices in order to create the future of the industry.

Plugfest is a “must-not-miss” event for manufacturers and developers of control protocols and devices that use any of these protocols. The event is free to attend and participate and everyone is invited.
Each January and July, several manufacturers and members of the Control Protocols Working Group convene informally to test their newest firmware with other manufacturers and their gear. They methodically try to “break” their software by interconnecting it with a wide variety of devices and test equipment, which are conveniently brought by various attendees and laid out on a group of conference tables in a suite of the Marriott Solana Hotel in Westlake, Texas, the location of the bi-annual event. When they identify a bug, they can typically fix it on the spot and try it over again until it works properly. They usually work late into the night and begin again early in the morning, fueled by junk food and soft drinks.
The event was originally created to test and improve the Remote Device Management protocol (ANSI E1.20 RDM) but it has expanded to cover all of the CPWG protocols, including the popular ANSI E1.31 Lightweight Streaming Protocol for Transport of DMX over ACN.

Plugfest has grown every year, due to its popularity and success. The next Plugfest is from Friday, January 28 through Sunday, January 30 at the Marriott Solana in Westlake, TX. If you are interested in participating, please contact Scott Blair at sblair@rdmprotocol.org to register. Plugfest is open to all, but, with its growing popularity, registration is advised in order to make space accommodations.