In this week’s Episode we discuss the Basic Overview of creating a Show Network. I’ll go over the basics of networking and what you need to get started.
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Lighting News! (1:45)
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Main Segment (3:00)
Two Episode’s ago we discussed using a computer for Lighting. In general, a Windows PC will be used for any lighting software. In case you missed this Episode be sure to check it out.
Why Even Use Networking in Lighting?
You may want to consider using Networking for a couple of reasons in Lighting.
One of the main reasons to use networking is to set up a Back-Up Console that follows what your Main Console does. In any unforeseen circumstances, you may never know what may happen.
Another reason for using Networking is for networked DMX. As technology and functions become more complex the need for Network and cables are becoming more standard.
If you plan on working in Lighting, Audio, or Video you may want to seriously consider working with networking because it’s becoming a very necessary skill.
What Do I Need to Network?
Since you’ll be working with Consoles, you may quickly realize you will need to Network it. Output Hardware (“nodes”), Pixel Controllers, and Even Lights themselves!
Just getting started with Networking you only need a Network Cable to connect the devices, set up the IP Address, and Subnet Mask to set the range.
What Kind of Networking Gear Do I Need?
Getting started you only need a few items to get started. At the basic level, all you need is an “unmanaged switch”. For what we do in the lighting world this is really what you need.
You have an optional “access point” for wireless control. Ideally, it’s very ideal to have this option.
A consumer “router” combines both of these with “routing”, which basically connects smaller networks to bigger networks.
If you are starting small I would recommend using a Router and hook up all of your equipment through there.
What Type of Networking Signal Should I Use?
The two most common are Art-net and sACN. My personal preference is using sACN because it is easier to configure and set up.
Art-net = No internet or other protocols
sACN = Other protocols can run on the same line
Console Nets = varies, but required for backup console tracking functionality.
But the best way to get started is to review your equipment and find the best preference it prefers to work with.
This is a very Basic Overview of Networking but if you would like to dive deeper I would recommend checking out Learn Stage Lighting Labs for our Action Plan: Networking for the Lighting Person.
I do recommend checking out my YouTube Video What are Art-Net and sCAN?
Be sure to tune In next week as I tackle questions from Listeners just like you. If you have a question be sure to visit the site and submit your question. We’ll see you next week!