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Stage Research To Distribute InstaSnake And SDS887 Video Distribution Hub From ETS

Stage Research has become a distributor of two unique new products, the InstaSnake and the SDS887, from Fremont, California-based Energy Transformation Systems, Inc. ETS is the manufacturer and supplier of high-performance audio and video connectivity devices, data communications wiring products and physical layer LAN products.

The InstaSnake (PA200 Series) is a pro-audio Sub Snake that uses low cost, lightweight Cat5 or better cable to send audio over four channels up to 1,000 feet. SDS887 is a UTP Video Distribution Hub with four baseband video signals transmitting through the distribution amplifier creating 32 outputs. Both are US-made products.

"While ETS is strong in a number of markets, such as live music and conventions, the company is not well known in the theatrical industry, something we hope to change," says Stage Research cofounder Carlton Guc. "We believe ETS and Stage Research are a good fit, and we're looking forward to introducing the InstaSnake and the SDS887 to the theatrical arena."

Tony Kayne, ETS Vice President of Sales and Marketing, says, "We're excited about establishing a relationship with Stage Research and view our association as a win-win situation for both of us."

The InstaSnake (PA200 Series) is a compact, lightweight, versatile passive group of components which allows users to run audio signals over a single run of Cat5, 5E or 6 cables. With a roll of wire, these compact units are easily transported or stored solving dozens of live and recording sound problems. Users can mix and match Mic/Line, Line or AES/EBU configurations making the InstaSnake a high-quality, affordable solution.

The InstaSnake is easy to transport and features rugged, road-ready construction. It may be used for analog or digital audio; a second unit may be added to increase the number of channels. The InstaSnake has been factory tested to 1,900 feet over Cat5 using low Z dynamic microphones.

The product is available in two basic send/receive units, which can be mounted in a 2u 19-inch rack, plus units with pigtails and wall plate versions. The InstaSnake has been used in live sound applications, recording studios, TV and radio broadcasting, production and postproduction, Foley/ADR studios, hotels and convention centers, houses of worship, cruise ships, auditoriums and stadiums, and field recording.

The SDS887 Video Distribution Hub is ideal for multicamera-to-multimonitor configurations required by theaters, point of sale applications, production monitoring, security and surveillance, displays and any situation needing live-action monitoring. The chief feature of the SDS887 is its ability to send four video camera signals to 32 monitors; users frequently deploy multiple systems to increase their monitoring capability.

"The SDS887 is a variation of our AV608 which sends audio and video down one Cat5," says Kayne. "We modified the AV608 to send four video signals. The SDS887 also contains video amplification."

The SDS887 Video Distribution Hub balances the input signal, distributes on UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair, Cat5 or better cable) and converts back at each display. NTSC, PAL, SECAM or CCTV signals are converted to and from UTP using the ETS SDS888 Video + Power and SDS889 Quad Video Balun. The ETS Video Distribution Hub supports color video over a total run length in excess of 330 meters on Cat5 or better able; black-and-white signals are typically supported up to 750 meters.

The rack-mountable system is reliable and portable, and its rugged metal enclosure ensures safe road travel. By enabling major cable runs to use Cat5 cable it also reduces weight and costs for productions.

Sound designer and engineer Shannon Slaton, who is also the author of ShowBuilder software distributed by Stage Research, was instrumental in the SDS887's development. He currently has the ETS Video Distribution Hub on the national tours of "Sweeney Todd," "Oliver," "The Drowsy Chaperone" and "The Wizard of Oz." "I have nothing but praise for ETS," he says. "These units have worked perfectly and have eliminated so many hassles in the video system. The rack has gone from being a mess to being simple and clean."

About Stage Research

Stage Research is the developer of SFX, Soft Plot, Light Factory, ShowBuilder: Sound Design and other audio and lighting software. For more information, visit our website at

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