Tampa, FL (April 5, 2006)–Tampa, FL-based Southern Sound Equipment LLC was recently contracted to replace the audio recording systems of three courthouses in the Florida Supreme Court system, building in safeguards, including Furman PL-8 Series II power conditioners.
Surges and accidental high-voltage connections can destroy electronics, potentially ruining audio archives and the capability of recording new audio. Electrical noise can wear down equipment and degrade recording quality. These unseen threats were why Gary Griffith, Southern Sound’s pro audio/video systems designer who led the installation, chose to include power conditioning products from Furman Sound.
“I chose Furman equipment for two primary reasons: their high quality in build and technology, considering how important it is that the recording system is reliably working, and the competitive pricing of the gear,” said Griffith. “Now that I’ve seen them in action, I’ve started to use them in other projects as well.”
All three courthouses received virtually the same system from Southern Sound. The systems revolve around a high-end MediaMatrix NION signal processing and amplification system from Peavey.
The recording system that Griffith designed for the courts is based on four zones. Audio signals from those zones, which cover the judge, attorney, jury and gallery, are compiled by the MediaMatrix system, recorded and sent to each courtroom’s digital court reporting system. The data is then stored to a computer hard drive.
Positioned between the MediaMatrix system and its power supply are a pair of Furman PL-8 Series II power conditioners. Each 15-amp, rack-mount PL-8 II features the proprietary Series Multi-Stage Protection Plus (SMP+) circuit, which encompasses three different technologies: SMP, EVS, and LiFT.
Though surges and accidental high-voltage connections are a big consideration when dealing with power for sensitive electronics, there is another lesser-known problem which plagues today’s taxed power grid: electrical noise and contamination. In A/V systems, electrical noise often results in buzzing audio and flickering video, so in the Florida Supreme Court’s system, the Furman PL-8 II’s Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT) was used to supress noise across the entire dynamic frequency range.
There are many other considerations for advanced power management such as power factor correction, uninterruptible power supplies, and voltage regulation, but what must be understood is that the sensitivity and sophistication of today’s electronic circuits at minimum require serious AC power conditioning. Anything less is too costly to consider, and in the case of the Florida court system, will not only limit the high-quality performance of equipment, but could compromise the recording of court proceedings.