Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge were officially opened to traffic in 2018. Since then they have become the transportation hub in The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region, which helped create a new pattern of economic development. Two of the themed amusement parks called Guangzhou Chimelong and Zhuhai Chimelong benefited from the opening and operation of both the high-speed rail and bridge, which have contributed to the momentum of growth within the hospitality industry in China.
To further seize the country’s great opportunity to establish a leisure bay area in the Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region, both Guangzhou and Zhuhai Chimelong have upgraded the amusement parks by introducing different remarkable projects. These upgrades aim to make better use of touristic resources as well as contribute to accelerated technological innovation within the region.
In the beginning of 2020, Guangzhou Chimelong announced the introduction of evening sessions with 47 experience points, in which 11 points are interactive scenes and incorporate some of the world’s most interactive technology for evening tours. These include but are not limited to: somatosensory interaction, gravity sensor, color interaction, sound interaction, wind pressure sensor, laser interaction, etc. With the support of the world’s top visual creation team, the evening sessions have created two main routes called “Starry Fairy Tale” and “Forest of Phantom Light”, which are also divided into 9 different experience avenues. Among them, Laser Music Valley is the world’s largest laser interactive scene. To ensure customers can experience the most magical moment during the night, Guangzhou Chimelong used approximately 5,000 pieces of sound and light equipment, nearly 2,000 square meters of simulation scenes, all connected by more than 100km of cables. Both Chimelong sites chose Luminex as the core backbone system in supporting those spectacular effects.
“We have never been disappointed with Luminex GigaCore switches even though this was the first time for us to install such a gigantic system connection within the park. Also, we have a close relationship and support from Guangzhou Hongfung Light&Electronics Co., which is the Luminex’s distributor in China. The project is challenging but we trust Luminex because their products are so reliable, robust, and easy to use.”
– Mr. Deng, General Manager of the project contractor, Nathan World (Beijing) Culture Development Co. Limited
What made Guangzhou Chimelong choose Luminex out of all other brands?
1. The complexity and diversity challenge of Chimelong installation
The entire fixed installation system integrates all equipment within the same network segment, which includes thousands of lighting fixtures, more than 80 video projectors, a central control with its media- and audio servers, interactive devices, power sequencers, etc. It is quite challenging to avoid signal conflicts between the multitude of different devices as well as to ensure a high network transmission speed without affecting the system backup stability. All this complexity depends on the system performance of the network switches, and it must require the most reliable product system and the support team.
2. The Chimelong installation’s network challenges
- The central control server must trigger multiple devices simultaneously, such as projectors, sound switches, lighting scenes, a timer for the power sequencers, etc.
- The central control server and the monitoring host computers of different devices all use dual-network-cards and two IP addresses. These might have some delays when switching between IPs or sending commands.
- The communication between the central control server and the video projectors pass through the UDP BROADCAST protocol. The projectors must keep sending the commands in order for the server to keep up with the signals, which could bring a large amount of redundant and incorrect data to the system.
3. Luminex visualization software
Luminex’s visualization software Araneo can keep track of the network connection status for the entire system. Seamless as the connection status LED indication on the GigaCore switches Luminex GigaCore switches are also equipped with RLinkX, which is a redundancy protocol that offers a hassle-free and seamless recovery system in case of a link failure. For example, when the main link has a problem, the redundant link will then take over within milliseconds without affecting system performance. Besides, Luminex’s renowned lighting control product LumiNode together with LumiNet Monitor can monitor the online connection status of RDM fixtures in real-time, modify the universe and protocol instantaneously, as well as visualize the universe data when running the ArtNet fixtures and verify if the fixtures are in normal program and position.
4. Some outstanding Luminex features that made a big difference
- After setting up the entire system, the main and redundant link are both visible in the Araneo software and on the switch LEDs. It is easy to monitor the ports when connected to the corresponding switches or devices. During the commissioning stage or the later monitoring stage, the entire system with Aarneo brings without any doubt a convenient and reliable experience to the users.
- Sometimes it is hard to check the connection status in different locations as they are relatively far apart. However, with the help of the GigaCore switches, all the cabinet locations can be easily identified from the Araneo software. It even allows you to restart an end-device in case required through the software.
- Araneo continuously monitors the bandwidth usage of all switch ports
- GigaCore and Araneo group functionality makes it very convenient to divide VLANs from all devices in only a few minutes. This dramatically shortens the whole programming and commissioning time, and it does not require users to have an IT background to control the software.
- LumiNode and LumiSplit both offer the same LED indication to check RDM activity. Together with LumiNet Monitor, this brings a complete RDM monitoring solution.
Zhuhai Chimelong also shared how Luminex offered the best interoperable functionalities with many other protocols.
“We use Grand MA from MA lighting, as our console so we need a switch that could be compatible with MA NET. Luminex switches are compatible with most of the AV protocols and have pre-configured groups (VLAN), once we connected the signals, it is automatically configured with the according protocol. This is really convenient for users as no setup is needed.” – Lighting Project manager
“For audio, we use L-ACOUSTICS, and the switches need to also be compatible with the AVB protocol. The most amazing and unexpected part is, Luminex switches can connect and convert both audio and lighting signals without causing any conflicts between them. This is the ideal solution for our challenging performances during evening sessions.” – Audio contractor from RacPro Co.
Conclusion from Chimelong
Luminex offers real-time status monitoring of all network ports from all devices, bringing a new experience to all users. Meanwhile, thanks to the powerful Araneo visualization tool, the central control equipment vendors can add a visual interface in their own software interface to trigger and configure all devices. Luminex’s advanced functionality has set an excellent visualization benchmark for other suppliers to follow and refer to, which led to many users discussing how to implement and apply network visualization on their own devices once they experienced Luminex’s software.
Mr. Deng concluded: “We are very happy with the Luminex solutions both in reliability and stability, as well as the powerful visualization functionality. During the commissioning stage and after the project is completed, we can modify the setting by just logging into the GigaCore switches and node webpages. Especially when we discover a problem, it can be easily identified through Araneo and check if the network problem is related to bandwidth usage. Also, Luminex is compatible with many protocols, so there is no need to worry about interoperability issues.”
Luminex Network Intelligence is a Belgian-based manufacturer of data distribution equipment for professional lighting, audio and video applications. Besides Ethernet-to-DMX converters & DMX/RDM splitters for lighting control projects, Luminex also produces Ethernet switches, enabling users to build a complete data distribution system for all types of AV applications. The GigaCore switches are, like almost every other Luminex device, truly plug-and-play products that provide an excellent solution to expand an AV network in a very user-friendly way, without needing any IT knowledge. Luminex products can be found in the most demanding installation, theatre and touring AV applications worldwide.