Contact us for more information www.westan.com.au
Collaborate Versa, 300, 600 & 900 When the answer is
“All of the above.”
• Includes traditional H.323/SIP, standards-based, multi-party videoconferencing. • Includes built-in, cloud-based Spontania virtual meeting room for 25 participants! • Includes integrated multipurpose tools for streaming, recording, wireless presentation, and whiteboarding! • The Collaborate Pro 900 provides media collaboration with ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array and CONVERGE® Pro DSP mixer technology included! ClearOne’s COLLABORATE® Pro 900 media collaboration solution goes far beyond videoconferencing with best-in-class, multiuse functionality and the ultimate in professional audio.
Over 30 Years in Business To find your nearest Integrator/Reseller, please visit
www.pavt.com.au and click on ‘Where To Buy’
Production Audio Video Technology Pty Ltd 4/621 Whitehorse Road, Mitcham 3132, Victoria PH: 03 9264 8000 email@example.com NEW ZEALAND OFFICE 28 Torrens Road Burswood, Auckland NZ 2013 PH: +64 9 272 8041
Flexibility right from the start. www.boschsecurity.com/PAVIRO PAVIRO not only provides professional quality sound for PA, EVAC and background music requirements. Its features and system architecture makes specification and installation faster, simpler and more efficient. To find out more contact Bosch on 13000 BOSCH (26724).
CONTROLLER WITH DSP
CALL STATION ► Up to 16 call stations ► Programmable LCD display buttons for selection of input source and zone routing ► Supports a maximum cable length between stations of up to 1,000 m ► Available as a kit for custom installs (e.g. for heritage sites) ► Key-switch and emergency button options
24 ZONE ROUTER ► Maximum 4 simultaneous channels ► Up to 492 loudspeaker zones ► 20 GPI and 24 GPO
► DANTE enabled network for up to 4 controllers ► Maximum 4 simultaneous channels ► 2 mic line inputs, 2 aux inputs, 2 message players, 2 alarm generators, 2 chime generators ► Up to 85 minutes of message storage ► 10 GPI and 12 GPO
2-CHANNEL AMPLIFIER CALL STATION EXTENSION ► Up to 5 extensions can be added to each call station ► The PC GUI can be used for zone and source selections
► 2 x 500 W Class-D with low power consumption (3 W stand by mode) ► Local input per channel ► Excellent sound quality >104 dB SNR ► Protection: Audio input and output limiters, high temperature, short circuit, mains and DC supply, ground fault
REGULARS NEWS 6 Includes Peter Coman’s show tips, and a look at the Bosch Dicentis discussion system. TERMINATION 58 Projected Demise? FEATURES
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HARD ROCK DUBAI 18 Bose’s ShowMatch first install PAWN & CO. 2.0 20 d&b PA raises bar
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ACU HEALTH FACULTY 22 InDesign Technologies’ Peter Coman takes us on a tech tour HARMAN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 24 We talk to Harman’s Asia Pac boss about his new experience centre and more ON THE NETWORK 30 Our exclusive interview with Audinate’s CTO & founder Aidan Williams
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BIAMP BUYS INTO BRISBANE 36 Take a walk through Biamp’s Aussie R&D
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WORSHIPCENTRE POWER 14 Powersoft & EAW church combo ARTS CENTRE TURNS PAGE 16 Q-SYS makes short work of complex paging
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VEGAS PARK THEATRE 10 MGM’s monster L-Acoustics rig
THE INN CROWD 40 The Jazz Corner Hotel keeps up with rising hotel integration demands. REVIEWS SWIVL 44 Video lecture capture system SONANCE PRO SERIES 48 Commercial range from residential stalwart ARKAOS MEDIAMASTER PRO 5.0 50 Real-time video & effects software
alchemedia publishing pty ltd (ABN: 34 074 431 628) PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Australia email@example.com All material in this magazine is copyright © 2017 Alchemedia Publishing Pty Ltd. The title AV is a registered Trademark. Apart from any fair dealing permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. The publishers believe all information supplied in this magazine to be correct at the time of publication. They are not in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. After investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, prices, addresses and phone numbers were up to date at the time of publication. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements appearing in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility is on the person, company or advertising agency submitting or directing the advertisement for publication. The publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, although every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy. 17/05/2017
AUDAC XMP44 52 Modular professional audio player
LIVESTREAM MEVO 54 Live event camera
Highlights from AV News Online
BOSE CONFERENCE CALL
CLEARONE DIALOG 20
TVONE CORIOMASTER MICRO
Bose moves into conferencing. Admittedly Bose has been in the conferencing market with loudspeakers and amplifiers for years but the addition of a processing solution is a significant step. Fuat Koro, Director Global Sales & Marketing at Bose is quoted as saying: “we believe we can bring real benefits to the industry with the ControlSpace EX conferencing solution through products and tools that streamline the implementation of conference room audio. We do this through seamless microphone integration, comprehensive connectivity from one DSP model, and simplified software configuration.” Bose’s processor speaks Dante, and there are plenty of high quality Dante microphones in the conferencing market now. Bose has also released Dante-based under-table boxes which allow you to plug in any analogue microphone, with audio, control and power over a single cable from the table to the rack. The EX-UH Dante-based under-table box will extend USB and a phone headset connection to the table. ControlSpace EX-1280C provides VoIP, PSTN and USB connectivity in one unit.
ClearOne’s new wireless microphone system, Dialog 20, comes with handheld, boundary, gooseneck and beltpack transmitter options. It’s a highly secure, 128-bit AES-encrypted digital system that natively connects with Converge Pro 2 mixers and Beamforming Mic Array 2. The receiver unit is compact and has multiple mounting options. It can be powered via Micro-USB, PoE, or P-Link. Operating in the universal 2.4GHz frequency band, Dialog 20 suffers no license restrictions. Audio sampling is at 24-bit/48k with a signal to noise ratio of 109dBA. The base station receiver has both XLR and quarter-inch connectors for audio output. ClearOne says two AA batteries will power the tabletop, handheld and beltpack transmitters for an impressive 12 hours. Four AA batteries in the gooseneck microphone will keep it running for 15 hours. An eight-bay charging/ docking station is also available.
tvONE’s new Coriomaster Micro is a half-rack unit with powerful video processing capability. It delivers the same bandwidth and functionality of Coriomaster in a more compact form factor and is capable of accepting up to three modules. It also fits into tvONE’s ONErack. Audio support is added, with mute/unmute, ±20dB audio level adjustments per input, preset selection, and more. Audio can be controlled from the front panels, within Coriographer, or via API commands. Front panel multi-coloured buttons give easy access to source routing and preset recalling. Coriomaster Micro is ideal for four-screen 2x2 videowalls, projector edge blends, or multiviewer applications that don’t require a full-sized Coriomaster. Its small size means no-fuss deployment, yet without compromise to performance, presentation, or functionality. For larger installations, Coriomaster (4RU) and Coriomaster Mini (1RU) have you covered.
Production Audio: (03) 9264 8000 or www.pavt.com.au ClearOne: www.clearone.com
Bose Professional: pro.bose.com
COMAN VIEW Peter Coman, InDesign Technologies’ Managing Director talks us through what caught his eye at ISE and what to look out for at InfoComm & Integrate this year.
CISCO SPARK: Not wanting to lose ground to Microsoft in the previously AV-owned meeting space, Cisco is the latest IT juggernaut to release a collaborative LCD panel. Cisco’s response to the Surface Hub comes in at about half the price, however, in keeping with the traditional Cisco model, ongoing licencing fees sees the Cisco Spark Board not as affordable as it first appears. Closer inspection of the Cisco Spark Board reveals a number of seemingly obvious audiovisual requirements missing from this first-generation product. Firstly, in order to comply with the Building Code of Australia, hearing augmentation needs to be provided in most spaces where
this product is to be deployed. Unfortunately, the audio line out provided on the Spark Board cuts the audio to the built-in speakers when connected, and as a result does not offer a fixed line level, essential for hearing augmentation. So, if your environment necessitates BCA compliance, then you’ll require a product such as an Extron MVC121 that offers a single line in with a fixed and variable line out to the hearing augmentation and external speakers. Secondly, while the built-in microphone array with voice tracking offers adequate coverage for most spaces, an external microphone input would prove to be beneficial, especially for larger spaces. The last feature
seemingly overlooked is a video output. For environments such as lecture theatres it would be an advantage to share content via a larger medium. In saying that, the 4K capacitive multi-touch display is sharp and responsive, and is standard on both the 55- and 70-inch versions. As you can see, these products leave us with a battle ground for the collaborative meeting space, AV vs IT, a Commoditised Solution vs an Engineered Solution, Vendor vs Agnostic. As a result, the AV landscape has changed, the IT guy is now the gatekeeper, and the gatekeeper is more familiar with Cisco and Microsoft, than Crestron and Extron. They’ve formed strong relationships with the IT giants over the years, so
Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 or firstname.lastname@example.org tvONE: www.tvone.com
when they decide to muscle into the traditional AV environment they get instant traction. While this is not unexpected, the glaringly obvious concern is their distinct lack of AV knowledge, which more often than not results in a less than satisfactory user experience. This can leave the gatekeeper confused, the AV consultant is saying one thing and the IT goliath another, who do they listen to? Unfortunately for the AV industry there can only be one winner, and just like the transformation of the IT landscape in the ’90s where companies such as Dell, Compaq and HP reclaimed the industry from the small operators building custom computers, the same thing is going to happen right here in our own backyards.
All doom and gloom for the AV industry? I prefer to see it as an opportunity; an opportunity to work more closely with the Ciscos and Microsofts of the world to help them engineer better solutions that not only meet the clients’ needs, but comply with standards and legislative requirements. An opportunity to finally combine the IT and AV worlds with truly integrated solutions.
YAMAHA DEBUTS CS-700 Yamaha has announced the CS-700, an all-in-one collaboration solution designed in collaboration with Revolabs to support huddle room environments. The CS-700 brings Revolabs’ expertise in microphone technology together with Yamaha’s loudspeaker engineering knowledge, and new high-quality video and screen sharing capabilities. A beamforming microphone array and four speaker elements provide a high degree of audio coverage in both capture and output. Through the integrated USB port, the CS-700 is ready to connect to the organisation's chosen unified communications platform, such as Microsoft Skype for Business, Cisco Spark, GoToConference, Google Chromebox for Meetings, Vidyo, WebEx, Zoom, BlueJeans, and others. The unit's wide-angle video camera captures all meeting participants in the room and the optical solution ensures a high ‘pixel-per-face’ resolution necessary for participants to recognise nuanced facial expressions that are vital to effective meetings. Over the same USB connection to their laptop or tablet, users can seamlessly and intuitively join a meeting. Hills: (03) 9890 7477 or www.hills.com.au Revolabs: www.revolabs.com/huddle
Introducing Sonance Professional Series If you do commercial projects, then you will want to check out the all-new Sonance Professional Series – a range of 70V/100V/8 ohm selectable In-Ceiling, Pendant and Surface Mount Speakers that set a new benchmark in sound quality and aesthetics for the category. The Sonance Professional Series is available in 4”, 5.25” (Surface Mount only), 6.5”, 8” 2-way and 8” Woofers, and shares consistent voicing to ensure seamless sonic integration when used together throughout a space. Now commercial projects can enjoy the same clean, minimalistic design and uncompromised sonic performance that Sonance is renowned for.
Talk to the team at Amber Technology to find out more: www.ambertech.com.au
1800 251 367 email@example.com
SOURCE SUPPLY SUPPORT
Highlights from AV News Online
IBM A.I. MEETS HARMAN SYSTEMS
NEW PANASONIC WHITEBOARD DISPLAYS
SHURE AXIENT DIGITAL
IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology has been paired with Harman’s AKG Microphones, JBL speakers and AMX AV control and switching systems to form the new Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms. It lets consumers simply ask questions or issue commands with their voice when in a room. These requests are then sent to the Watson cloud and Watson IoT services, which work with Harman’s technology to allow people to easily control their in-room subsystems without having to physically perform any manual tasks and trying to figure the new systems out. For example, now when an employee enters a conference room they can start a video conference, launch a presentation and more using their voice. In the future, these tasks will be executed automatically based on what the system has learned about the employee based on previous meetings. The system gets smarter about the person and their preferences over time.
Panasonic has introduced two new touchscreen interactive displays – the TH-75BQE1 75-inch 4K directLED panel and TH-65BFE1 65-inch Full HD direct-LED panel. With a 10-point precision touch, the interactive panel allows notation using an included stylus pen and multiple presenters can write at the same time. Expanded presentation tools, such as Loupe, Spotlight, and Fade-out Marker, provide an impressive yet convenient presentation. The displays also have a simple USB memory viewer to play media stored on USB memory devices, and include both video capture and screen capture functionality. Whiteboard Mode lets you write and draw on screen with a tool palette to adjust line thickness and colour; PowerPoint Link Mode allows quick import, modification, and re-saving of PowerPoint files; and Desktop Mode mirrors content as it appears on the PC screen. Both models are equipped with a Direct-panel LED for consistent quality and image illumination, and feature front-facing speakers for clear audibility in meeting rooms and classrooms.
Shure has released Axient Digital wireless — the company’s cream of the crop offering. The system builds on the company’s UHF-R and ULX-D series to not only provide extremely high-quality RF but also command and control functionality and hardware scalability. Two transmitters are offered with Axient Digital: the AD Series and ADX Series. With AD Series transmitters, you get outstanding core product benefits such as exceptional RF performance, digital audio, and networking options. Stepping up the the digital ADX Series transmitter incorporates ShowLink — real-time control of all transmitter parameters with interference detection and avoidance.The ADX Series also includes the first micro bodypack with an integrated selftuning antenna for better concealment and comfort. Axient Digital is compatible with the Shure Battery Rack Charger which supports up to eight rechargeable batteries in a single rack space.
COMAN VIEW Peter Coman, InDesign Technologies’ Managing Director, talks us through what caught his eye at ISE and what to look out for at InfoComm & Integrate this year.
CRESTRON MERCURY: Crestron’s ‘all in one meeting and collaboration solution’ has some shortcomings. The fact you can connect up to two external mics says to me that I can put Mercury in a huddle room or a bigger space. That’s fine for the input, but what about the output? There’s no speaker out or line out — it’s self contained in every other way. We love Crestron product but this seems a bit wrong. If you have two or three people huddled around it all looking at the touchscreen, then the speaker is on the back facing the other way. Aesthetically it looks great; functionally it looks a bit undercooked. Again: hearing
augmentation. If it’s an amplified product it needs, in most environments, to be plugged into a hearing augmentation system. Currently, it can’t do that. It’s also going to need NFC or Bluetooth pairing for people’s speakerphone — that’s a common request from clients. BEGINNING TO CLICK: Barco’s Clickshare is nicely-styled product that works really well. What I noticed when I used it for the first time: it wants to automatically load its drivers to your PC. My PC was blocking it and as a result Clickshare wasn’t working. It took me a few minutes to realise what was going on, so I found the .exe file, copied it across manually and it
sparked up fine. This little product — the SmartConnect (from Spanish company, Abtus) — on the other hand, plugs straight into your HDMI port — it’s just a video out. It’s battery powered and there’s a receiver at the display end. It’s very much like Clickshare in that you press your button to present. And just so easy to use. When you finish, you dock it to recharge. MIC ARRAYS: Microphones continue to get more intelligent. After ClearOne’s Beamformer mic array paved the way, Shure’s MX boardroom solution came out last year and Sennheiser has theirs. We’re now seeing those mic arrays
Jands: (02) 9582 0909 or www.jands.com.au Shure: www.shure.com
being deployed and they’re really working. And it’s more than the mic arrays themselves. Traditionally microphones have been dumb devices. We’ve relied on the back end for the smarts. Now they have built-in intelligence and that’s a pretty big deal, you can now have your microphones under the auspices
of your control system. I thought Nureva’s solution was particularly interesting (HDL300). It combines a beamforming mic array and a loudspeaker system all in the one ‘soundbar’ form factor. Yamaha has something similar, using some Revolabs technology, which will also be interesting to hear in action.
VADDIO NEW ROBOSHOT Vaddio has introduced two new RoboShot PTZ cameras with integrated HDBaseT technology, for transmission of video and audio, Ethernet, controls, and power, all over a single cable. The new RoboShot 12 and RoboShot 30 HDBT cameras offer wide dynamic range (WDR) for clear detail in high-contrast, bright lighting conditions. The RoboShot 30 HDBT Camera is designed with an Exmor R image sensor for better light gathering capabilities, vivid colours and sharp images in dimlylit interiors. The RoboShot 30 HDBT Camera features a 30x optical zoom lens and a 2.3° (tele) to 65° (wide) horizontal field of view, making it ideal for medium to large venues such as houses of worship, lecture theatres and IMAG systems. The RoboShot 12 HDBT PTZ Camera provides a 12x optical zoom and a 73° wide horizontal field of view, ideal for video conferencing applications. Midwich: 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au Vaddio: www.vaddio.com
NEXT GENERATION 4K VIDEO OVER IP
The Gefen EXT-UHDV-KA-LANS-TX and RX feature HDMI and VGA inputs and outputs, and can support DVI when using Gefen HDMI to DVI cables. The Sender unit also features a VGA output for local monitoring of the source. The VGA input and output support VESA resolutions up to 1920x1200 at 60Hz (WUXGA). RS-232 and 2-way IR routing between the Sender and the Receiver units allows the transfer of IR commands and RS-232 communications among all sources and the displays. With HDMI and VGA selectable inputs, HDMI and VGA outputs, USB/KVM routing ability, 4K with HDR support, and an array of new cutting-edge enhancements, these Gefen Video over IP products fully address the evergrowing needs of systems integrators. FEATURES • • • • •
Extends HDMI, VGA, USB, RS-232, bi-directional stereo analog audio, and IR over IP, using a Gigabit Local Area Network
Supports input resolutions up to 4K 60Hz 4:2:0 on HDMI and up to 1920x1200, 60 Hz on VGA (WUXGA).
Supports output resolutions up to 4K 30Hz 4:4:4 on HDMI and up to 1920x1200 60 Hz or 1080p Full HD on VGA
When used with Gefen DVI-to-HDMI cables (not included), supports the use of DVI sources and DVI displays up to 1080p Full HD and 1920x1200 (WUXGA)
Built-in video wall controller accommodates any number of rows and columns up to 16x16
Talk to the team at Amber Technology to find out more: www.ambertech.com.au
1800 251 367 firstname.lastname@example.org
L-Acoustics in $90M Vegas Theatre
GM Resorts International’s Park Theater is the newest jewel on the Las Vegas Strip. Hosting an audience of 5200 in its standard configuration and with a maximum capacity of 6300, the $90m theatre is a showpiece of cutting-edge technology and the latest trends in theatrical design. Although the 14,000sqm performance space is enormous, the Park Theater hasn’t forfeited a sense of intimacy with its rear row of seating less than 45m from the stage. The Park Theater officially opened its doors in mid-December 2016 with a double-bill of Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders. It has already booked an impressive series of ‘extended engagements’ with artists like Bruno Mars, Cher, and Ricky Martin. In true Vegas style, the room’s technology is nothing short of dazzling. A projection mapping system scales 80m across the top of the stage and onto 15m-high screens on either side, illuminated by seven HD projectors and two 4K projectors capable of 3D imagery and more. To sonically match the stunning visual effects, theatre consultant Scéno Plus specified a true LCR PA system with left/right stereo line arrays of L-Acoustics K2 elements and K1-SB subs, with dialogue/lead vocals routed through a centre cluster of Kara as its own channel. Created in Soundvision, this system design was deemed the ideal solution to offer an immersive, full-range
(35Hz-20kHz) audio experience evenly and consistently across every seat in the house thanks to the K2’s Panflex horizontal steering, which focuses the energy on the audience and away from the walls. “The challenge here was to provide a truly immersive audio experience that was as amazing as the video projection,” explains Scéno Plus AV Designer Simon Léonard. “Plus, we had to provide a rider-friendly system that can meet the expectations and requirements of the biggest theatrical shows and concerts. L-Acoustics’ line source arrays have earned a reputation for delivering remarkable vocal presence and projection, and their consistent sonic signature eliminates coverage seams in the audience, creating a very intimate concert experience.” What’s more, the K2 arrays and other speaker elements had to be able to clearly and powerfully perform despite being hidden behind the projection screens that comprise the stage’s huge 700sqm proscenium. “We had a very big space to cover and it had to be done from behind the screens,” explains Léonard. “Accuracy of mappings and mechanical data were instrumental, and we required a highly efficient, predictable and accurate system. Plus the system had to be reliable and well renowned — it had to be spot-on in every sense. And the K2 solution caters for all of that while maintaining a
clear stereo image no matter where you’re sitting in the room. It’s really quite amazing and, in my opinion, very unique.” The sound system at the Park Theater today consists of two hangs comprising 16 K2 enclosures and six K1-SB subwoofers per side flanking a centre cluster made up of 14 Kara boxes and four ARCS II outfill enclosures. 12 SB28 subs are ground-stacked down below to anchor the system’s generous low-end, while eight X8 and two X12 coaxial enclosures are distributed across the 40m-wide stage to further extend the coverage and frequency response of the mains. 10 additional X8s serve as under-balcony fills, with the entire PA system powered and processed by 21 LA8 amplified controllers. Hills: (03) 9890 7477 or www.hills.com.au L-Acoustics: www.l-acoustics.com
Sydney • Melbourne • Brisbane • Perth • Auckland email@example.com | www.showtech.com.au | www.facebook.com/ShowTechnologyAus
Bosch’s IP-based Dicentis Conference System
year or so ago we saw the launch of Bosch’s wireless Dicentis conference system. Very, very neat. Works via wi-fi, comes with its own WAP, uses NFC to check in delegates, easy to set up… very well suited to multi-purpose rooms or spaces you can’t install cables into. But wireless, it seems, will never completely supplant the physically connected… especially where there are security concerns. More recently Bosch has expanded its IP-based conference system portfolio with four new, wired devices under the Dicentis name. The lifeblood of Dicentis is the OMNEO open media networking architecture. OMNEO is based on two key technologies – Dante (the audio over IP protocol from Audinate) and the system-control component OCA (Open Control Architecture). The beauty of OMNEO is it’s easily scalable (up to 750 devices) and can happily co-habit with whatever else you’ve got happening on your network. All audio and control data flowing through the system is securely encrypted. What’s new: four new discussion devices join the existing multimedia device. Let’s run through all five devices for the sake of completeness: Dicentis Multimedia device: has a user-friendly seven-inch touchscreen interface. The device allows participants to access and share meeting content with other attendees and to have web access. The generous display can handle live
video, which is particularly handy for larger conferences. The full suite of voting, language selection and identification functionalities are available by simply adding software licenses. It can even handle third-party Android apps. Dicentis Discussion device with 4.3-inch touchscreen: delivers many conference functions including dual use, language selection and voting. Use a NFC (Near Field Communication) identification card for the ID of participant. The touchscreen makes navigating the conference easy (identifying who’s talking at any one time) along with access to translations and voting information. Two delegates can share a device but vote separately and listen to proceedings in two different languages. Dicentis Discussion device with voting: incorporates standard parliamentary-style voting facilities with touch buttons that only light up when the functionality is required. Voting access can be easily controlled via the device’s NFC identification function. Dicentis Discussion device with language selector: allows participants to listen to speakers in their own language. Plugging in the headphone will automatically activate the device’s language selection functionality. Also supports dual use and fast participant recognition thanks to its NFC identification function. Dicentis Discussion device: supports structured
discussion, allowing participants to ‘raise their hand’ by pushing the discuss button and be placed in a discussion queue. Like all other Dicentis devices, this one features the ‘possible to speak’ function, providing clear indication to the delegate regarding when he or she can speak. Has the dual use function as well. Each device packs an inbuilt directional mic, while the system’s processor packs a very capable AEC feedback suppression for high-quality speech intelligibility. For circumstances where a gooseneck mic is required, then Bosch has you covered with two models. Dicentis is undoubtedly a highly capable, versatile system, and, being standards based, is easy to set up and doesn’t need any bespoke infrastructure. The four additional desktop devices are welcome, lowering the cost of entry for many potential organisations such as council chambers and the corporate sector. Bosch Communications: 1300 026 724 or sales. firstname.lastname@example.org
WorshipCentre’s EAW & Powersoft Power Move
he WorshipCentre Christian Church in Brisbane recently installed a new PA system consisting of the Powersoft X Series amps and EAW KF740 line array. Production Audio Video Technology (PAVT) won the bid and recommended the system. Project manager David Watson and sound designer Ben Clarke said the requirement included good intelligibility for spoken word, as well as great energy transfer for modern music styles including full band and concert-style presentations. And, of course, the system had to provide even coverage to the seated area for a maximum of some 1000 or so congregants. The room was modelled using EAW’s modelling and optimisation software, Resolution. As a long-time Powersoft distributor, PAVT was confident the amps would marry well with the EAW KF740 line array. “The X Series has incredible and precise control over the EAW speaker elements that made up the system, allowing the delivery of highly accurate and coherent results,” Ben Clarke continued.
The Powersoft amps were configured with one X8 running six cabinets of four-way EAW KF740 line array on the left wing — repeated with another X8 running the right hang of six cabinets. A Powersoft X4 drives the EAW QX564 bi-amped speaker cabinet, acting as sidefills. Two channels are assigned to the high and low, while the remaining two channels run front fill JF8 speakers. This is repeated with another X4 powering the other PA flank. In addition, a pair of Powersoft K20 amplifiers have ample headroom to drive four EAW SB2001 dual 21-inch subwoofers, with each output channel running one enclosure. These subs require 4000W at 2Ω running power with transients of all 9000W. CPC Production Services carried out the installation. Powersoft X Series amplifiers occupy less rack space than most other amp solutions, offer more power per channel and the amps themselves generated less heat than other brands. The advantages of Powersoft were picked up by both Ben Clarke and the client. “This amplifier is
comfortably more cost-effective per channel than others we have tried — plus it sounds fantastic, occupies less space and is extremely powerful.” Executive Pastor Tim Follett agreed. “We love the outcome of using Powersoft amplifiers to power our EAW speaker system. The accurate reproduction of music and speech is outstanding. The amount of space required to install all the amplifiers was so much smaller than other brands. Powersoft gets the big thumbs up from us at WorshipCentre Christian Church.” He also thanked PAVT “for the assistance they gave us and the outstanding product we have installed.” PAVT: (03) 9264 8000 or www.pavt.com.au CPC Production Services: (07) 3816 1009 or www.cpcproductions.com.au Powersoft: www.powersoft.com EAW: www.eaw.com
Designed for Exceptional Performance Epson L Series large venue laser projectors take image quality to new levels with game-changing laser light sources, WUXGA resolution and 4K enhancement technology. Create powerful images with outstanding reliability and minimal maintenance that are ideal for staging and rental applications. Features include: • Up to 25,000 lumens and WUXGA resolution for bright, colourful, brilliant images • 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation for continuous and reliable use • Versatile connectivity including HDBaseT, HDMI, SDI and DVI-D • Easy integration with Crestron ®, AMX® and Extron compatibility • Full suite of lens options for virtually any staging and rental application For more information visit www.epson.com.au/LaserProjectors
Q-SYS Systems Alert Text:/ Preshan John
n a venue as extensive as the Arts Centre Melbourne (ACM), the analogue paging system schematic resembles a tangled maze. In such cases it’s not hard to see the audio-over-IP advantage. Large patchbays make way for small touchpanels, and it doesn’t take a tech geek to route audio from anywhere to anywhere with ease. As part of a long-term plan to modernise its AV, Arts Centre Melbourne commissioned Melbourne-based AV installer Lumicom to replace its outdated analogue paging system with a QSC Q-SYS network. The Arts Centre Melbourne precinct houses three theatres: State Theatre, Fairfax Theatre, and Playhouse Theatre. Folks who walk into either the Level 1 St Kilda Rd foyer or Smorgon Plaza downstairs could be headed for any of the three theatres — which has to be taken into account when paging into these common areas. FIND YOUR PAGE
Six paging stations are located in each of ACM’s main zones, all connected to a single Q-SYS core. At the heart of each station is a Samsung DB10E-T touchpanel running a browser-based HTML5 control layer developed by Lumicom to provide intuitive control of the Q-SYS network. Each is connected to two I/O-22s and accompanied by a gooseneck microphone for paging announcements and a button for bells. The GUI runs off the Samsung tablet’s browser and affects only the zone in which it lives — not the entire network. Some of the paging stations, like the ones in the café and bar, offer aux cords for staff to connect an iPod to play their own music into the zone. A number of ACM’s public spaces have wall socket XLR inputs where staff can hook up a mic during art tours and presentations. These inputs also appear on the Q-SYS network and can be controlled via their local paging station. Because the whole interface runs within a browser, ACM staff can monitor the
network remotely through a smartphone or tablet. Using the control software couldn’t be easier. Start by selecting the zone(s) you want to page into. Then choose what to feed the speakers in that zone — a live message using the microphone, a pre-recorded message, background music stored in shared folders, or bells. The interface even lets you string together a series of pages. For example, prior to a show in the Playhouse Theatre, you can cue up a 10-minute message, 5-minute message, 2-minute message then bells, and feed it into the Playhouse Theatre foyer area only. Taking ACM’s existing paging system offline during the Q-SYS commissioning wasn’t an option. The whole venue had to be operating as usual throughout the installation. A major benefit of networked audio systems means an entire installation could be mocked up offsite with virtually exact reproduceability. “We were able to simulate the system completely off site,” says Michael Cartmel, New Media/IT Integration Services at Lumicom. “We had Arts Centre staff come in to try it out, we made a few changes, it was all approved off site, then we walked in and installed it. We wouldn’t be able to work that way without using Q-SYS.” The new paging system was an instant hit. Lumicom engineer, Scott Summers, said, “The network connection had to be real time — no audible audio delay. The old system had a noticeable 300ms delay. You couldn’t page across two areas really. We had to limit what they could do with the system because of that delay. Whereas now you can do what you like in whatever zone you like and it’s all perfectly in sync.” Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or www.tag.com.au Lumicom: www.lumicom.com.au QSC: www.qsc.com
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Bose ShowMatch Dubai Debut
ard Rock Cafe Dubai is a thoroughbred live venue, with cover bands entertaining enthusiastic audiences seven days a week. The original point source PA wasn’t cutting it. The room is acoustically hostile, and the previous design was beleaguered by multiple late arrivals, compromising music punch and vocal intelligibility. The Hard Rock Café asked the regional Bose office to demo its new DeltaQ ShowMatch PA. ShowMatch is a new system from Bose [see our overview of the system in the last issue of [[AV Asia Pacific]]. It’s a road-ready, mid-sized compatriot of the well respected RoomMatch PA Bose released around five years ago. The system comprises three full-frequency elements packing three different vertical dispersion patterns (5°, 10° and 20°). From there you have a choice of interchangeable horizontal dispersion waveguides you can fit into the box. Bose won the day, with the venue being impressed with ShowMatch and asking Bose to spec an appropriate system. The Hard Rock Café Dubai system comprises six ShowMatch boxes a side. The top two elements are 5° x 55°, the middle elements are 10° x 70°, the fifth is 10° x 100° and the bottom box in the hang is 20° x 120°. “The bottom box is really for the front row,” explains Bose Senior Design Engineer, Biju Abdul
Majeed. “We’ve created the ideal and optimised pattern for the room and the audience to achieve the best possible intelligibility. That first row is sold at a premium and needs the best possible sound. It’s hard to cover though, with the two arrays being 14m apart! But the 120° dispersion waveguide made it possible.” Tuning the space was the final crucial phase of the commissioning. The room is acoustically asymmetrical, with more reflective surfaces on one side than the other. Biju had to correspondingly tune the room asymmetrically to ensure an apparently even frequency response across the breadth of the space. Bose PowerMatch amps power the system including the four aside subwoofer arrays. The requirement was for a powerful sound where everyone in the lower floor area could enjoy 100dBA+ and high intelligibility. Up the steps into the bar the desire was for the PA to allow for easy conversation. At around 85dB you still need to raise your voice but the intelligibility is such that conversation is still perfectly manageable. AVI-SPL took care of the install, in fact, it took only one night to complete the installation, keeping the interruption to the venue’s operations to a minimum. For Assistant General Manager Katherine Misquith, getting the PA right was absolutely
crucial: “We’re one of the premier venues in Dubai and people rightly expect a lot from the experience. And they’re not afraid to tell you when they don’t like the sound — something we found out the hard way with the previous PA! I’m delighted to say, that since getting Bose on board we’ve only had positive feedback from the patrons and the bands — some of which have been with us for years — who are delighted… they’ve never sounded so good.” — Christopher Holder. Bose: pro.bose.com AVI-SPL (installer): avispl.com Check out AV Asia Pacific’s YouTube Channel to view our interview with Hard Rock Café’s Katherine Misquith and Bose’s Biju Abdul Majeed.
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Pawn & Co. 2.0 Upstairs
d&b Y-Series 7P d&b T-Series 10P d&b 18S d&b 27A dB Technologies DVX D12 HP dB Technologies LVX 8 d&b 30D
ocated just off Chapel Street in Melbourne’s South Yarra, Pawn & Co. is a pawnshop crossed with a bar. Everything is for sale — be it the chair you’re sitting on, to the glass you’re sipping from. It’s also a fully functioning bar that can host your corporate dinner, bucks party, or cocktail night. “It’s a novel concept,” says Josh Lefers, one of Pawn & Co.’s directors. “If you want to interact with the pawn shop aspect of the venue then you’re more than welcome. It’s 2am, you’re there with your date and you spot a trumpet. Buy it; play it. That’s fun. But you don’t have to interact. Fundamentally, Pawn & Co. is a bar and a really good one at that. Our mission is to help you have a fun time in our venue. So it’s not enough to have a cool idea or a strong concept, you have to back it up with great execution, and we have the team to pull that off.” I’LL TAKE IT
Some five years ago Pawn & Co. launched nearby on Chapel St. South Yarra. It got done over by a developer deal that kicked them out of the tenancy. The venue ran a ‘Save Pawn’ petition that revealed just how much it had inveigled its way into the
culture of the area. There was unstinting support from the hospitality venue community. Version 2 of Pawn came with five years of extra experience and resources. Josh was pleased to see his concepts fully fleshed out. This included a new sound system. Eventcraft was engaged as the AV consultant and installer, headed by Jason Rooney. PAWN PA
The PA design is a cracker. Downstairs a pair of full range dB Technologies DVX D12 HP 15inch loudspeakers cover the main area. They’re inverted to allow the HF horn to shoot under the steampunk creative fixed to the lowish ceiling. Two d&b 27A passive cardioid subs fill out the bottom end. The subs back on to the foyer and the cardioid design means the front entrance is spared most of the sub output. A d&b 30D amplifier powers the PA. The foyer has a couple of dB Technologies LVX 8 eight-inch two-way loudspeakers addressed as its own zone and independently delayed to be in sync with the ground door DJ output or upstairs if the headline DJ is taking over the venue’s sound. All the zoning and processing is managed by an Ashly DSP which was existing – about $3000
worth of processing sitting the cupboard from the previous tenant which was welcome. The upstairs main room boasts a top spec d&b rig. Y7P full-range loudspeakers do most of the work. Four d&b 18-S subs provide all the lowend grunt you could ever want. They’re flanked by another pair of dB Technologies DVX D12 HPs facing the DJ. With the help of ArrayCalc wizardry, Chris Braun and Dave Jacques from the NAS Projects Team commissioned the d&b system for optimal sound in every spot throughout the space. The previous upgrade saw Pawn & Co. move to d&b but the team still did their due diligence and auditioned a handful of other premium alternatives. They came back to d&b. Josh sees the benefits in investing in high-quality audio: “There’s a level of quality you need to provide when you’re attracting ‘name’ DJs. Admittedly we’re a bar, not a festival or a nightclub, but great audio is still non-negotiable.” Eventcraft: 0408 475 964 or www.eventcraft.com.au NAS (d&b, dB Technologies, Ashly): 1800 441 440 or email@example.com
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ACU St. Brigid Health Sciences Building Tech Tour:/ Peter Coman
he Australian Catholic University has invested in its regional Ballarat campus, inaugurating the new St. Brigid Health Sciences Building earlier this year. The facility will primarily cater for physiotherapy students and includes specialist physiotherapy laboratories, work spaces for students, tutorial rooms, general learning spaces, simulation rooms, a research lab and an observation room. The entire facility represents roughly a $1.25m audiovisual investment. InDesign Technologies (headed up by Peter Coman) was the AV consultant. He takes us on a tech tour of the building:
FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES There are three learning spaces with operable walls, so the space can be broken up and combined in any way that’s desired. The master room is geared for VC, based on a Polycom RealPresence Group 700, with two cameras.There's dual projection (Panasonic laser projectors and Screen Technics motorised screens), four highly sensitive ClearOne pendant microphones and Shure MX series wireless microphones (handheld and lavalier). All microphones feed into a Biamp Tesira DSP with an expansion module to accommodate all the mic inputs.The ceiling mics have three elements apiece which chew up the inputs. In the lectern rack we’ve also got a Crestron DM8x8 and a Crestron 10inch TSW1050 as our control touchscreen. ACU has
long used Control Gadgets to do their programming and this helps ensure consistency of experience across all the campuses. There’s also an Echo360 lecture capture module in the rack. We’ve had custom cut and engraved stainless steel wallplates made for our cabling. The custom approach makes for a far neater install and we use wall space more efficiently. With the DM8x8 in the rack, the VC is all local to the room. That can then be routed anywhere in the building via the Crestron 64x64 DM HDBaseT matrix in the main comms room. Two pairs of JBL Control loudspeakers and an infrared Williams Sound hearing augmentation system round out the spec.
PRACTICE ROOMS All the rooms have two systems: an in-room system based on a Crestron DMPS300 (except for the main VC learning space with the 8x8) a 10-inch Crestron touchscreen, a Dell PC, Crestron AirMedia for presentations, a Cisco switch, a single Screen Technics motorised screen and Panasonic laser projector. That then feeds into a centralised system with the Crestron DM64x64 matrix. The two Practice Rooms are centred around the lecturer’s demonstration plinth. It has two Panasonic cameras trained on it and a ClearOne pendant mic. The video and audio can be recorded to an Echo360 in the comms room — the PC output, Camera 1, 2 or a combination. There are three Dell PCs shared by the students with the screens on Atdec articulated height-adjustable arms. The 22-inch Samsung touchscreens mean that the student isn’t relying on a keyboard and mouse. The teacher can push content out to any one of the three student displays, so the students can stay at their own plinths and observe. We take HDMI out of the Panasonic cameras, then,
using an HDBaseT transmitter, the video is sent to the central Crestron matrix. This model of camera has been very reliable for us, our only request is they manufacture it in white as well as black. The cameras — along with all the Williams Sound hearing augmentation — are centrally powered via a dedicated low-voltage power supply in the comms room. It’s a far superior approach than using individual plug packs. They fail and a technician needs to access the ceiling with a ladder and often interrupt a class. The Shure MXW microphones have been excellent. They hang around the students’ necks — easy to wrangle. They use a Dante transceiver which go back to two Biamp Tesira servers (one for input, one for output) connected via AVB. It’s a ‘transceiver’ because not only is it receiving a signal it’s also feeding information back, such as whether the pack is docked, battery power status and more. The setup is ideal for applications such as this. Each transceiver accepts four local wireless microphones, but with Dante, only one cable is required between the transceiver and the rack.
WETLAB It’s a dust-free ‘PC2 compliant’ wet lab, which made the AV design more challenging. We couldn’t have a projector in there. Instead we have an 85-inch LCD that’s built into the wall and concealed by glass, which can only be accessed from a room behind the wet lab. Above the screen is a Williams Sound TX90 infrared transmitter. We used that model because it’s black and blended into the black splashback. We’ve used mounted Panasonic HE40 cameras. During demonstration, the lecturer can access presets for the cameras. There are in-ceiling speakers throughout.
CONTACT Indesign Technologies: 1300 468 478 or indesigntechnologies.com.au
The HARMAN Experience Harman has consolidated its regional offices into one Singapore HQ. Pride of place is the Harman Professional Customer Experience Centre. We take a tour. Text:/ Christopher Holder
he aircraft carrier is definitely turning round. As you might imagine for a company with around a US$7b annual turnover and 29,000 employees worldwide, it’s not a quick and painless process. The Professional segment of the Harman business might be small compared to its connected car division but it remains by far the largest group in our sector – so there are plenty of eyeballs trained on Harman’s every move. I spoke to Harman Professional’s regional boss, Ramesh Jayaraman (read the full interview later this story), and the prevailing mantra is about shifting focus to ‘solutions’, ‘experiences’, and to the ‘end customer’. AV Asia Pacific dropped by the new Customer Experience Centre in Singapore. It’s impressive, and it’s a tangible manifestation of Harman’s pivot to solutions and users, and not just traditional ‘sales channels’. Built into Harman’s new regional offices it provides a nexus point for distributors, technical support people, integrators and installers, as well as key customers to meet, consult, be trained, and be inspired. All of Harman Professional’s big-name
brands (the likes of JBL, Crown, Soundcraft, Studer, AKG, Martin, AMX, BSS, dbx, Lexicon) are present but they’re organised in terms of application rather than product group. In fact, the theme of the centre is ‘Engineering a Connected Enterprise’ and there are spaces for those interested in venues, theatres, recording studios, commercial facilities and hospitality. Through interactive touch panels and live demonstrations, guests can experience the latest in networked AV, broadcast 4K video and other audio, video and lighting technologies. “With the opening of our new Customer Experience Centre in Singapore, we are demonstrating our commitment to expanding growth and customer engagement in the Asia Pacific region,” said Ramesh Jayaraman, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions. “The new location will help us develop closer relationships with our enterprise and entertainment customers, as they experience firsthand how we can meet their needs through innovative, integrated and holistic solutions.”
HOSPITALITY Ramesh Jayaraman: One of the big markets for us in the Asia Pacific is hospitality: hotels, bars, nightclubs, shopping malls, etc. The hotel industry in the Asia Pacific is huge, with developments in the Philippines, Australia, here in Singapore and elsewhere. In this area, we showcase our Martin brand of lighting which is great for retail theming, mood lighting in a hotel lobby or something more dynamic in a small bar or club. With the audio options on the other hand, we want to help customers to look, feel and experience our vast range of ceiling speakers The little JBL Control 42s working with a sub is quite a revelation for many, as are the pendant speakers — perfect for situations that feature industrial interior designs with exposed ceilings. Not forgetting the AMX Inspired signage platform, which is also a great fit for Hospitality. Whether it be inside a hotel room, hotel lobby or shopping mall wayfinding.
FULLY CONVERGED Ramesh Jayaraman: The idea of the Experience Centre is to better demonstrate all the various markets Harman is engaged in. You see, many customers’ experience of Harman is confined to our individual brands such as Soundcraft, Studer, or JBL. We want to change that experience and showcase to customers how Harman Professional Solutions is a one-stop solution provider to your audio, video, lighting, and control needs. Everything you see and hear is all within one converged network. So all our audio, video, lighting, and control, is sitting on the one converged network. This is quite a unique selling point as far as selling a solution is concerned. The purpose of this Experience Centre is to showcase how everything works together. We’re leveraging Harman’s technology even when we’re presenting something as basic as a set of headphones. There’s an AMX control panel controlling a BSS media server, which is playing back media on demand for the customer to listen to, whether that’s a speaker or headphone using the mixing console.
VIDEO WALL Ramesh Jayaraman: This is using the SVSI technology to do the video wall processing. We have a decoder behind every single screen, but otherwise you do not need any external processing in order to achieve a video wall – it’s all programmable by a web browser interface. For us here, we use the video wall and the stage for presentations and showcase our offering for large venues like stadiums, outdoor arenas and large displays.
ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING Ramesh Jayaraman: Martin Professional is best known not only for its show lighting but also architectural lighting options. Everything from the LED floodlights — building-level fixtures — down to strip lighting (which is illuminating the graphic wall) to simple gobo projectors are featured in the experience centre. It provides another facet to the offering. Especially for customers coming from large venues — these days it’s just as much what you’re doing outside the stadium as it is inside the stadium.
TOUR SOUND Ramesh Jayaraman: We’ve got a miniaturised version of the sort of technology we would see at a Harman-powered concert or event. A small VerTec line array system, a Soundcraft Vi7 digital mixing system, a Martin M6 lighting controller, and a range of Martin Professional high-end lighting fixtures — Auras, LED washes, and a lot of the creative LED elements as well; from low resolution pitch LED dots to 6mm LED panels. Bring in liverecorded stems and you can mix a show in here. It is great training for FOH engineers!
MICROPHONES Ramesh Jayaraman: We’ve got a new microphone demo app where we’ve recorded hours of different instruments using the different AKG mics. It’s about letting the customer hear. You can use that Perception microphone for vocals, but hear the difference when you use a AKG C414.
RECORDING & PRODUCTION Ramesh Jayaraman: The centrepiece here is the Studer Vista V console. Historically we send customers to the Studer factory in Europe for the sort of training they can now enjoy here — having the console here is a real treat. Broadcast, especially, is really based around providing a customised solution, so it would be great to sit with a customer here and understand their requirements and work with them on the options, and work through precisely how they’d like their console to be configured and/or their OB truck to be laid out. We can support multi-channel audio and have a JBL L7 series 5.1 system here.
NETWORK VIDEO Ramesh Jayaraman: The network video section demonstrates the capabilities of our SVSI by AMX system. You can select from different levels of quality depending on your bandwidth and the level of latency. We’re demonstrating SVSI’s first-generation 4K video over the network. With a side-by-side comparison of the raw 4k coming from a Blu-Ray source and the networked version. It’s quite impressive. There’s
very little difference in the colour rendition, with just a bit of latency. What it does is it uses a derivative of JPEG2000 compression. Currently, we’re showing it using a gigabit connection. The newer version is down to 250Mbs of streaming data, which actually makes it considerably more usable. We’re finding increasing interest in 4K quality video streams in meeting spaces, video walls and more.
JBL EON ONE Ramesh Jayaraman: Lastly, the new Eon One. It is finding homes everywhere. Not just with portable PA users but AV rental companies, hospitality customers, somebody who wants to do a little town hall in the middle of their office, schools, and educations institution. Its handy, portable and can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces. It is great for a small meeting to public performances.
Ramesh Jayaraman: The new Soundcraft Ui console means that as a guitarist, I can plug my instrument straight into the DI box and then access a bunch of dbx guitar modelling, and Digitech amp modelling built-in. The Soundcraft Ui forms the core of our new connected PA solution we launched at NAMM. You can plug in one of our new AKG microphones and the mixer automatically detects the microphone model and recalls any saved preset you have configured for that microphone. Connect to our new JBL PRX800 loudspeakers, and the mixer knows you’re connected to that loudspeaker and you can control the DSP from the loudspeaker. The future of live performance has indeed arrived. We are excited how this is going to evolve further.
BUDGET BROADCAST Ramesh Jayaraman: This is our entry level Soundcraft product, it’s an all-in-one DSP core controlled by any HTML5-enabled browser. So there are multiple ins, outs, Dante GPIO control, the ability to plug in external fader bays. You can control it via an iPad, your phone or your laptop. There’s a built-in wi-fi access point so you can record into it. It’s all configured as you would expect an on-air console to be. Perfect for small radio stations, for ENG, in the back of a broadcast truck or somebody taking out in their rucksack.
HEADPHONES Ramesh Jayaraman: Welcome to the world’s most professional and exhaustive headphone display area! It’s important to differentiate the professional headphones from the consumer alternatives. We do not have Bluetooth; they are not controlled by apps; they are all reference-quality product. Having the gallery here allows people to understand the tonal differences between a closed-back and open-back pair of headphones.
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Ramesh Jayaraman, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions
RAMESH JAYARAMAN INTERVIEW
AV Asia Pacific Interview: Ramesh Jayaraman, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions AV Asia Pacific: You’re heading up Asia Pac for Harman. How’s it now set up? Ramesh Jayaraman: For Harman the Asia Pacific region consists of 20+ countries where we work with our distributors, partners, system integrators and retailers to offer Harman Professional Solutions’s brands to our customers. The region is headquartered in Singapore. AV Asia Pacific: You’re quite new to this job. What’s your background? Ramesh Jayaraman: My background is in business strategy, planning, direction, and in driving growth in a co-ordinated manner, with the focus from start to finish on the customer ecosystem with distributor, system integrators, dealers, architects and consultants, designers and end users. At Harman our focus will be on our customer and their experience. With all the different Harman brands now under one roof, together with their indepth expertise we are in a great position to take advantage of the potential that the region has to offer. For my part, my appointment allows me to work with Harman global teams and bridge the gap with a regional Asia Pacific perspective. I come from a systems integration background with 15+ years of experience. During my earlier tenure our team had changed the company from a product-based to a customer-centric solutionsbased company. The approach and experience will be of great help in my current position, while Harman is already in a great position with strong momentum and we are looking to further accelerate growth with the great team we have on ground.
AV Asia Pacific: Harman is going through significant changes. What’s been your main focus in the early days of your tenure? Ramesh Jayaraman: Harman’s approach is based on a Customer First approach. We have segmented our markets with emphasis on business development and channel management catering to the diverse nature of our customers. The enterprise business comprises of different vertical segments such as corporate, education, government, hospitality and large venue and entertainment business comprises touring, retail and cinema. The lighting business, due to its unique nature, will continue the strong focus on architectural lighting and entertainment lighting while being subject matter solution experts to our business development efforts. This allows us to approach each vertical, by offering flexible, customised, complete best-in-class audio, video, lighting and control solutions; solutions that our customers can trust will meet their needs, work right the first time and continue to work well for years to come. AV Asia Pacific: Sounds like that’ll necessitate changes in the way you sell? Ramesh Jayaraman: Our strategy is to work closely with our distributors, partners and system integrators and offer to our customers the best in class suite of Harman Professional Solutions. We follow a ‘vertical specific’ approach in our markets. Our focus is aligned with our global strategy and focus areas. These include Cinema, Touring and Retail in Entertainment business and Corporate, Education, Government, Large Venues, Hospitality among others in our enterprise solutions. Over the years, Harman Professional solutions have transformed from a productsbased, to a customer-centric solutions-based business, always working closely with the partners
ecosystem and leveraging their expertise. More importantly, we are now creating experiences by merging our different technologies such as Martin Architectural Lights, AMX control automation, LED panels and JBL speakers to the cinema space and bringing exceptional experiences that every customer is looking for. AV Asia Pacific: Practically how do you do that? Ramesh Jayaraman: We’re assisted by a business development team and consultant alliance group team; it’s a structure that looks at working with end users and influencers. If the market is hotels, then we’re actually talking to those hotels directly, and pulling the integrators and distributors along with us to provide the solution. AV Asia Pacific: Talking to end users presumably ruffles the feathers of your traditional channel partners? Ramesh Jayaraman: As mentioned earlier, I come from a systems integration background with 15+ years of experience, and there are distinct roles the manufacturers, distributors and system integrators play. My role is to facilitate our traditional channel partner to increase their markets, customers and business. We are helping them to enhance their ability to sell and service their customers using the latest technology, training methods and customer-first approach. The approach is to stimulate the market to enhance business and market penetration. AV Asia Pacific: Traditionally, if I’m an AMX dealer or an integrator that relies on AMX, my view of Harman is comparatively narrow. But surely that’s a good thing… I’m a specialist? Ramesh Jayaraman: I’m a person who looks at the background of customer first. When people plan or address an opportunity, they’ll naturally view it through the prism of one vertical or another. That said, we’re encouraging those people to delve deeper; to peel the Harman onion; to leverage the Harman portfolio to best serve their vertical. AV Asia Pacific: Where does the Experience Centre fit? Ramesh Jayaraman: The Harman Customer Experience Centre is another recent Harman investment in the Asia Pacific region that will have a positive impact. The centre gives visitors specific insights into Harman Professional Solutions, including category-leading brands such as AKG, AMX, BSS, Crown, dbx, JBL, Lexicon, Martin, Soundcraft and Studer. These best-in-class products are designed, manufactured and delivered to a variety of customers, including recording and broadcast, musicians, cinema, touring sound, commercial sound and contracting applications. From major sports arenas, entertainment venues and nightclubs to hotel resorts, classrooms, airports and houses of worship among others. Our
We’re living in an IP world. It’s not a matter of if your business will be totally impacted by it, it’s just a matter of when. customers are looking for a full solutions package and Harman is in the forefront of bringing it together for them. At the Experience Centre, customers are able to explore the wide variety of solutions, test proof of concepts, consult with specialists and experience Harman technology in real-world scenarios. The experience centre is also a convergence of technologies, showcasing our end-to-end solution offerings, our AV over IP capabilities, while highlighting the experience collectively with our various solutions. AV Asia Pacific: Does the Experience Centre also say to your channel partners: hey, we’re a smart company and we’ll help you with back office technical support for that project you’re tendering or to your customer’s design? Ramesh Jayaraman: Our first focus is to work closely with our partners, and make them the best at serving our customers. As a support, we’ve got a technical team centred here and they work on key projects with our distributors and integrators to bring it to fruition. It’s something we do internationally as well. We can provide support small to mega business deals.But the more important intent is about simplification. Yes, largescale projects can be intricate and complex. Lastly, it is about simplification. Our product roadmap is about making systems easier to operate and easier to configure. We’re starting to see that with our new connected PA product…. Not only do we have the equipment talking to each other, to showcase systems, we’re building an ecosystem, where products actually recognise each other. AV Asia Pacific: I guess we’re returning to the fact that everything is soon to hang off the network. That’s how simplification and interoperability comes about. Ramesh Jayaraman: And that’s part of our pitch to the integrator: they have to upskill: It happened in other industries 10 – 15 years ago. It is continuing to evolve in the AV industry. As I alluded to earlier, the IP transformation for the security industry was swift… not much more than two years for it to take over. In fact, it happened so quickly that people got bounced out. We’re living in an IP world. It’s not a matter of if your business will be totally impacted by it, it’s just a matter of when. The world is simply getting more connected.
YCONFERENCE V C - 3PHONE 00 Designed using Yamaha’s well-known sound processing technologies, the YVC-300 ensures users won’t find themselves hovering around the phone struggling to hear. As a portable USB conference phone for use in huddle spaces and small conference rooms its features include: • USB, Bluetooth and audio in/out connection interfaces • Bridging connections over multiple interfaces into a single call • Support for automatic pairing of NFC-enabled devices The YVC-300 is the perfect choice to provide quality group communication for huddle spaces and small conference rooms at a fraction of the cost of dedicated equipment.
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AV ASIA PACIFIC SITS DOWN WITH AIDAN WILLIAMS, CTO OF AUSSIE AUDIO-OVER-IP INNOVATOR, AUDINATE. INTERVIEW:/ CHRISTOPHER HOLDER
arn-tay’ or ‘Donn-tay’? I’m more of a Darn-tay kinda person. Donn-tay sounds too posh for my Aussie sensibilities. In my renaissance literature book club, would I refer to Donn-tay’s Infer-r-r-r-r-no [with an ostentatiouslyelongated rolled ‘r’]? Either way, Audinate’s Dante has become an entrenched part of the commercial AV vernacular. Audinate is an Australian success story. From its Ultimo roots, Audinate now has offices around the world, and more than 350 manufacturers are now producing Dante-enabled product. From recording studios, to outside broadcast trucks, to live sound and commercial AV installations, there are 1000+ Dante-enabled products to choose from. The Dante-promise is uncompressed, multichannel, high-quality, low-latency audio over a standard IP network. That promise was a reality back in 2006 when Dante was launched. These days Audinate has made the lives of the ever-expanding Dante community even easier with a suite of software tools that allow you to monitor, manage your Dante network and with Dante Via, to shanghai your audio sources and destinations on your Mac or PC into the Dante network. Given Audinate’s regular release of firmware upgrades to all licensees and given the standardisation of the Dante chips and the Dante Brooklyn module, every Dante-enabled product is fully interoperable with every other.
its QSYS DSP engine happily operates on Intel to some federal funding through NICTA (National processors — riding the hyperpolic swell of Information & Communication Technology Moore’s Law. One suspects the industry would love Australia, which subsequently merged with to see QSC beneficently make QLAN CSIRO), set about solving the problem. open source, but why would it? Come 2006 the technology In the meantime Dante’s was commercialised, and extensive ‘rainbow nation’ Audinate was born. ecosphere is a potent This is going to OVER THE NETWORK parry to QSC’s promise sound weird coming from AV Asia Pacific: of unlimited power. Some 15 years ago And, indeed, there are the CTO but the value of you weren’t the only plenty of projects that Dante now is not primarily company with an leverage both. audio-over-IP solution, AV Asia Pacific technological. Cobranet was having spent an afternoon considerable success, with Audinate’s CTO and there was MediaMatrix founder Aidan Williams and Digigram’s Ethersound was to take stock of just how making progress in broadcast circles. far his company has come Aidan Williams: They were all custom solutions and how he views the future. and couldn’t share the network. For example, REALLY MOTOROLA-ING at the same sort of time as our launch, Gibson To better understand Audinate in 2017 you need [of guitar fame] was pushing something called to understand Audinate circa 2003… back before MaGIC [Media-accelerated Global Information Dante even existed. Carrier], an initiative it was working on with By day, Aidan was employed as an IT network 3COM. (Some will remember 3COM as a really engineer with Motorola Labs: “I was working on quite massive networking company at the time, automatic configuration and discovery at Motorola which went to the wall.) Labs in the early 2000s and that technology by that Gibson was proposing a you-beaut audio time was kind of done. But low latency through networking solution, and to realise it they were Ethernet networking certainly was not creating a new kind of Ethernet switch that NAVIGATING THE MARKET done. In particular, being able shuffled audio packets and samples all over the Is everyone a fan? Well, to get good synchronisation place. In other words: MaGIC needed a special not exactly. The Dante while you were still using a purpose audio switch. Can we do chips materially add to network, was not done. What we were trying to do was take off-thethe cost of a product The challenge was: can shelf, garden variety, 100Mbps Ethernet and see synchronisation well with and there has been a we do synchronisation whether we could actually crack the nut of solving off-the-shelf networking long-held belief that well with off-the-shelf the synchronisation piece. technology without having inevitably the audionetworking technology IN SYNC over-IP smarts would without having to to sell special-purpose AV Asia Pacific: Why was proper sync the key? run natively on a sell special-purpose Ethernet switches? Aidan Williams: If you can be sure that two commodity processor Ethernet switches?” and be open source. On the other hand, by devices are synchronised, you can have a pretty The AVnu Alliance was night, Aidan was (and good idea what the latency is through the network. formed to turn that dream into is) a keen home studio Put another way: if you know that one particular reality, developing AVB as an open musician and engineer, device is producing packets at exactly the same source standard. Trouble is, AVB needs a more which had him thinking about rate as they’re being consumed, you know when expensive super-charged IP switch, which has cables in another way: “Being a home studio they’re going to turn up. Once you have good synchronisation, you slowed progress. guy, and having a network background, back The AES67 standard promises a basis of in those days I looked at the recording and can drive out a lot of the buffering in the device interoperability between audio-over-IP protocols production technology, saw all the wires and itself. So the foundation of low latency is good (including Dante) but Dante has a collection of all the connections — saw the ‘computer-ness’ quality sync. features over and above the AES67 standard that of it — and thought, surely ‘all these analogue AV Asia Pacific: What was the Dante secret? How ensure it currently stays ahead of the pack. connections have got to go away?’. Ultimately did you crack the nut? Aidan Williams: One of the things we did in QSC’s QLAN has become the a defacto they’ve got to disappear.” standard for audio-over-IP in mega projects as Aidan and a small team of researchers, thanks Dante, which is a subtle and under-appreciated
thing, is that we split the clock synchronisation faster because often there’s proportionally less the face of the planet, that kind of concept. information from the audio data. traffic on the network. The result is better latency AV Asia Pacific: Right so you were an idealist, and The received wisdom at the time was: you’ve as well as more channels. didn’t have a mercenary ‘cash-in’ mentality in the gotta get all the audio there first. But that’s not We solved the sync problem for the 100Mb early days. actually right. Getting the sync information case, and it only got better as the network speeds Aidan Williams: No, and don’t forget, it wasn’t like through the network first is what really, really improved. a slam dunk at the time. For six or seven years in the matters. So as long as you’re synchronised at each AV Asia Pacific: Is the better performance on early life of the company, we were trying our hardest end, packets can arrive with a little faster/wider networks a ‘given’ to sell the technology to notable manufacturers who bit of wriggle room. when you designed Dante? had the ability to put it into loads of products and AV Asia Pacific: Right. So Aidan Williams: We actually make a material difference. with Dante you don’t expected networking AV Asia Pacific: And that wasn’t easy. need to collar the links to get faster, so we Aidan Williams: We felt a little like Alexander I would argue that network administrator were very careful to Graham Bell trying to sell the first telephones. to prioritise the audio ensure our design was Once you’ve proven the telephone works you’ve AES67 is addressing the packets? able to take advantage got to prove its utility, that it’s somehow useful. problem we already solved Aidan Williams: No. of faster links. To give Trouble is, they can only call you because you’re In fact one of the you an example of a the only other person with a telephone. So you sell back in 2006 things you don’t want technology that doesn’t a few more, and do your best to create a larger to do in most networks do that, that’s Cobranet. group. Eventually you get to a point where enough is take high rates of people have telephones, where suddenly you don’t PATH TO MARKET packets — thousands have to convince everybody that telephones are a AV Asia Pacific: You developed good idea. and thousands of packets Dante as a research project which was AV Asia Pacific: When did you know you had a per second — and pass that into some quality of service prioritisation scheme subsequently commercialised. I wonder if things critical mass? and say, “You must get every single one of those would have been very different if your development Aidan Williams: Yamaha used Pro Light & Sound tens of thousands of packets there within some had come from within a big organisation like a early in 2012 to launch the CL Series of mixing really tight time window, otherwise the whole Harman or a Yamaha. consoles and a bunch of associated stage boxes. Aidan Williams: That’s an interesting thought. system doesn’t work.” Here was a large, conservative, Japanese AV I dunno. But looking back, there’s a number of manufacturer, renowned for not taking risks on AV Asia Pacific: Why not? Aidan Williams: Because it’s just a hard problem dimensions to it. I think there are no shortage of technology, releasing a portfolio of products with to solve. If you think of network traffic like cars on companies that have created their own internal Dante built in. And it was not only built in, it was a highway, then separating the sync information is networking technology. So I think it was important the way you connected from the stage box to the like providing a dedicated bus lane. The sync gets that Audinate was a separate company, in the console — without Dante you wouldn’t have the there before the audio packets, which means that sense that we could sell the technology to full complement of I/O. if the packets don’t arrive precisely when they’re everybody and we weren’t some That was a watershed for us, expected that’s okay, your sync can sort it all out. subsidiary of a competitor. but we only truly felt the That level of arm’s AV Asia Pacific: And the sync info is obviously impact three months later going to be far less intense than the audio packets. length separation has at the US InfoComm Aidan Williams: Right. Sync represents only some certainly helped from show in 2012, where We expect to be able to 10-12 packets per second. IT people don’t mind the point of view of we had a queue of provide video solutions in prioritising small and infrequent packets like that. selling the technology manufacturers saying: manufacturers. They sure as hell don’t like having Megabits and to ‘Well, if the QA test the future, so absolutely We’re not the only Megabits of high-priority audio traffic. house for the pro AV it’s on the radar. independent company. industry (ie. Yamaha) ON THE ROAD AGAIN At the time, Cirrus reckons Dante is AV Asia Pacific: Guaranteeing sync sounds Logic bought Cobranet alright, then it must be!’ easy when it’s point to point but harder on a for example, and they still We went from complicated network. sell Cobranet chips. They’re not working to convince Aidan Williams: Yes. So the problem was not developing it anymore, but they’re people about the making Dante work across a single wire. Anybody still selling them. validity of the ‘telephone’ — can do that. The problem was making Dante So they were independent and that technology conducting demos which proved to people how work with off-the-shelf networking technology, could have kicked on if they’d continued to invest Dante worked… ‘show me that it works, I don’t which at the time was 100Mb Ethernet switches. in it. But they didn’t. believe you’ — to talking to people about their AV Asia Pacific: You didn’t have to wait too long AV Asia Pacific: Were you determined from the product that needs networking… ‘Yamaha has bet for Gigabit. Was that a revelation? earliest stages to build Audinate as a company rather on it, we’re prepared to bet on it too’. Aidan Williams: If we use the analogy of vehicles than selling the technology to the highest bidder? I grew up in a farming area, and it reminded on a road again, think of 100Mb Ethernet as a Aidan Williams: I always thought of Dante as me somewhat of convincing a flock of sheep to one-lane road, then moving to Gigabit ethernet a very transformational thing, to take all those go through a gate — you need the first few to bolt was like upgrading to a 10-lane freeway — you analogue wires around the place and convert them through for the others to follow. Not that the pro get truckloads more channels and you get there into Ethernet cable. To eliminate the XLR from audio industry is a mob of sheep!
GOOD DIGITAL, BAD DIGITAL
“We’ve got this audio technology, we can get AV Asia Pacific: When you launched, the sound packets across the network.” He said, “That’s not quality of digital was still a big concern — there possible.” I said, “Do you want to see a demo?” was some terrible-sounding digital on the market. He said, “No I don’t want to see a demo because Dante had a good reputation in that regard from I know it’s not possible!” So I think we had it reasonably hard, but I the beginning. Was that always a part of that early think that Cobranet had done a lot of the heavy blueprint? Aidan Williams: Yeah, absolutely it was. Early on lifting for us years earlier — people were prepared in the life of the company, when we were doing to at least countenance the IT side of it. Where things changed with Dante was we technology development, around 2003 to 2007 or so, everyone would go on about jitter — which could demonstrate not only a system with lowlatency and tight synchronisation, it was easy to CD player has the lowest jitter etc. Some of that fed into the pro audio side and use. It was simply a matter of plugging something the better engineers in the industry knew that some in, for it to turn up in Dante Controller, and click of these networking technologies had some terrible the matrix to patch it somewhere. The reaction was: “I can do that!” internal clock sources. And there Previously the conception of were third-party products to IT was having to punch in a clean up crappy clocks. bunch of numbers. That Networking was a was rightly beyond the bit like that as well. Our customers want pale for audio people. It’s possible to have a the freedom to choose the Even today I good implementation think one of the big right product for the job that would generate steps towards full a nice, clean clock. not be corralled into one acceptance is just to And we were very get someone to try it. manufacturer’s line. careful about making There’s a preconception sure we did that because that it’ll be really difficult, we had exposure early on but when they actually to people like [Apogee Digital try it… “Oh it wasn’t founder and Australian audio that bad!” legend] Bruce Jackson, who was really quite adamant about exceeding certain digital specification benchmarks. So we picked up on audio quality fairly early on, otherwise all we’d done is create a digital system with a crappy clock and things would drop out, not sync properly, and the audio quality would be substandard because the converters wouldn’t work very well. IP WHAT?
AV Asia Pacific: When you launched, lots of audio guys were dreading the switch to digital, so to introduce networking and internet protocols was a bit like the end of the world — ‘not only do I need to learn digital, you now want me to use computer cable!?’ What was it like talking to audio people during the launch phase? Aidan Williams: Yeah, that’s an interesting one. We had a great experience with Bruce Jackson and his Dolby Lake team in Sydney. He saw how his product [DLP] could get a hell of a lot simpler if the audio and everything else ran over one network. So that probably coloured our vision and gave us an unrealistic view of how progressive the audio world could be. On the other hand, I distinctly recall an AES show in, say, 2006, where we had a demo setup. This guy rocks up — big beard; AV dude.
AV Asia Pacific: You’ve got over the critical mass hump with 350+ vendors on your books and 1000+ products lines, but you’re also more challenged technologically than you’ve ever been. What do you need to do to maintain this sort of trajectory? Aidan Williams: This is going to sound weird coming from the CTO but the value of Dante now is not primarily technological. I think the value of Dante, now, is the brand promise of guaranteed interoperability and the ecosystem of products. AV Asia Pacific: What about adding video? I’m sure I’m not the first person to ask you about video? Aidan Williams: We expect to be able to provide video solutions in the future, so absolutely it’s on the radar. It’s not fundamentally different from what we do now. There are some obvious differences and one is the torrent of data involved with video as opposed to audio. Network bandwidth is not keeping up with video bandwidth so you need to press the two curves together over time. WHO’S AFRAID OF AES67
AV Asia Pacific: The interoperability guarantee that makes Dante so appealing, is also AES67’s selling point.
Aidan Williams: That’s the promise but AES67 doesn’t have the same feature set as Dante. We have firmware that supports AES67, and we’re picking up people who want the AES67 interoperability but they also want to have all the other features of Dante, like plug ’n’ play discovery and being able to have parallel redundant links. AV Asia Pacific: But surely the development of AES67 is going to take clients away from Audinate as manufacturers roll their own network protocol but can also play in a Dante world? Aidan Williams: Some manufacturers are attracted to roll-your-own solutions, some proprietary (eg. QSC) some based on standards (eg. Biamp). Rolling your own allows manufacters to decide who connects to their system. Both Dante and AES67 have been used to connect roll-your-own solutions to other products. However, the capabilities of AES67 and Dante are like chalk and cheese. Dante provides a complete solution with discovery, redundancy, commercial support, software, etc. AES67 on the other is a piece of the puzzle, not a whole solution. Manufacturers get AES67 with Dante, but they also get instant access to a large ecosystem of compatible products. If you’re a synthesiser person then you’ll remember General MIDI. It allowed MIDI files to playback on any GM synth. Great. Trouble was, it didn’t sound very good because you were only scratching the surface of the possibilities afforded to you by a the MIDI protocol. Currently AES67 is a bit like General MIDI. AV Asia Pacific: What’s your assessment of the market acceptance of AES67? Aidan Williams: It’s a standard and it’s deployable. My take as a networking person is that there are very few successful industry network technologies that haven’t got some associated standards with them. If you look at a company like Cisco; Cisco has built all sorts of proprietary technologies which ultimately have ended up in different forms in standards organisations all around the place. I think Audinate has done exactly the same thing.
AES67 didn’t exist when we were solving the audio networking issues back in 2006. Now, AES67 is thoroughly informed by the design of Dante — it has an obvious lineage back to the work we’ve done. I would also argue that it’s addressing the problem we already solved back in 2006. It’s not like we sat on our hands for the ensuing 10 years, there’s plenty of other things we’ve been working on since. So people buy our solution because it’s off the shelf and has a full set of features — all the pieces they need to build products. AES67 is not inferior, it’s just has a narrower scope, it’s more limited, it’s not a complete solution. Its aim in life is to provide connectivity to the rest of the universe. That’s really what it’s trying to do. But, like I said, it’s actually deployable, which is a massive tick from my point of view. As opposed to AVB. I remember everyone warning us, ‘AVB is going to come along, Dante is going to go away. Cisco is going to employ AVB, Dante won’t have a business anymore.’ Instead, because AVB requires changing the Ethernet switch… well, that’s not the way to gain market acceptance. AVB OR NOT TO B
AV Asia Pacific: And in your opinion that’s the key AVB sticking point? Aidan Williams: You just can’t deploy it without crow-barring in all the extra Ethernet switch stuff. And with that, the chip vendors have been keen to sell the advantages of the extra functionality in an AVB switch and get people to upgrade their switches. Some of the upselling was couched in technological terms about guaranteed quality of service, as if there’s no other way to achieve guaranteed quality of service. As we all know, there are plenty of people running mission critical networks not using AVB that would say they have guaranteed quality of service. I can tell you Sydney Trains’ signalling
has got guaranteed quality of service, and it’s not at a reasonable price point. And because it has a using AVB. newish, scalable product architecture built on ITRemember: prior to Dante, in order to employ style chips, it does get to access the muscle of the audio networking, you had to put in separate Intel Corporation to deliver those 1000 FIR filters switches, separate infrastructure. You may as well you refer to. run analogue cables if you’re going And QSC is competing with to do that. That’s the split a bunch of other products, universe idea of delivering which to an extent were AV systems and that’s not designed a while ago and Previously the how we view the world. maybe more bespoke conception of IT was We want to make in terms of their sure that everything internal processing having to punch in a we do in our architectures. In bunch of numbers. That implementations uses the same way we the kind of protocols consciously decided was rightly beyond the that people use in to ride the technology pale for audio people normal IT environments wave of 100Mb to manage devices and to networking to Gigabit do QoS, and manage to 10 Gig, my guess is that Multicast within the QSC has consciously decided to network. We speak all the ride the technology wave of the processor right protocols to enable a Dante product with a platforms that are available. Dante chip or module to just plug straight into an AV Asia Pacific: And my guess would be that IT infrastructure and have it be a normal citizen Audinate’s R&D would be looking to develop a on an IT network. So your average IT person is chip even more powerful Dante HC’s 512x512 not going to freak out over the fact there’s a Dante capacity? box on the network. Aidan Williams: As I mentioned earlier I don’t think that’s priority No.1 at the moment. But NIPPING AT THE HEELS take a look at Dante’s [newly launched] Domain AV Asia Pacific: Is that one reason why QSC is Manager… that’s an example of where we’re gaining traction, because it’s pushing even harder putting our development efforts: how do we to be a good IT network citizen? put additional software solutions on top of Aidan Williams: That’s a good question. I don’t that core networking element to make things know if that’s the case. QSC has a view around better for customers? That’s the key: solving the future merging of AV and IT technology, and customer’s problems. certainly a lot of its products are based on Intel Dante Domain Manager is a great example of chips that are badged QSC. building on the core Dante networking. Audinate has a wider We’re adding features like reach in terms of the security, different levels of entire ecosystem of access control, routed We had a queue of manufacturers that we network support and manufacturers saying: can drag into the IT centralised logging and world if we succeed in management to Dante ‘Well, if the QA test house what we do. So I’d like networks. It’s about for the pro AV industry (ie. to think in some senses the whole solution. Yamaha) reckons Dante is we’re way more ‘all in’ than QSC because alright, then it must be!’ we’re trying to involve a whole industry — we’re not trying to do it with one manufacturer’s DSP product. That’d be an easier problem to solve. Our customers want the freedom to choose the right product for the job not be corralled into one manufacturer’s line. AV Asia Pacific: QSC has the large-scale install market to itself at the moment. If you need 1000 FIR filters then it’s gotta be QSYS, and as a result QLAN gets a foot in the door. Aidan Williams: QSC has a good product pitched
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Biamp Buys into Brisbane Few in the audiovisual industry don’t know Biamp, but many would be surprised to hear that there is a Biamp engineering and design office here in Australia. Text:/ Derek Powell
ots of the world’s leading technology companies grow their businesses by acquiring smaller companies which have developed original technology. Recently we’ve seen the domino effect where AMX acquired a readymade networked AV product line when they bought SVSi. Of course, AMX themselves have been snapped up by one of the biggest fish in the pond, Harman, and in a dizzying turn Harman themselves have been swallowed by an even larger whale, Samsung. In all this you have to wonder what becomes of the littlest fish, the ones with the really great ideas and products. I’ve just had the chance to look behind the curtains to see what happened to a couple of Aussie companies whose world’s best technology was snapped up by a global player – and the news is surprisingly good. Cruising through a commercial suburb quite close to where I live in Brisbane, I was startled to recognise a familiar logo — Biamp — on a
commercial unit right on the main road. Biamp, of course, is widely known and respected for its excellent and class-leading Nexia and Audia DSP products as well as the more recent Tesira AV platform. But many might not realise that its world-beating Vocia networked paging and voice evacuation system and the outstanding Devio collaboration tool were actually born out of Aussie technology. Rather than just whisking the patents and the products away to head office, as happens in so many cases, Biamp has taken the opportunity to grow its Engineering and Product Support network by retaining and expanding the Brisbane office — and it is working for both its employees and its worldwide customer base. MEET MARKET
Biamp has been around for more than 40 years and has built an impressive reputation for quality
and reliability in DSP products. You won’t have to look far in the corporate or education world to find Nexia or Tesira audio processors lurking in a rack where they command countless meeting room or lecture theatre sound systems. But the company isn’t standing still and has been busy expanding its range of product offerings and its global footprint. Nine years ago, Brisbane company Creative Audio caught its attention. Creative Audio products had already played roles in prestigious installations throughout the world including the US House of Representatives, the Sydney Opera House, Stadium Australia, and Heathrow Airport. Creative’s ‘Second Generation Paging System’, then under development, was one of the first to offer a decentralised, network-based approach rather than the then prevailing central switching matrix architecture. To paraphrase the famous old TV commercial slogan, Biamp ‘liked the product so much, it bought the company’. But here was where the story diverges from the typical corporate acquisition. STAY AT HOME
Instead of simply moving the key people and the designs back to its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, on the West coast of the US, Biamp recognised a larger opportunity. It kept the Brisbane office and expanded it into a fully-fledged regional engineering centre, where it not only continued to develop the paging system but also became a support hub for the growing Asian market that was right in the middle of our time zone. That paging product, of course, was developed into Biamp’s Vocia product line,
Beaverton, USA which is going from strength to strength. In the Brisbane office, I spoke with Daniel McLean, who was part of the original team and is now Biamp’s Engineering Program Manager – Paging. “Biamp’s got the worldwide sales network and reach to really push Vocia, whereas a small Brisbane Engineering Company couldn’t,” he told me. “Now, with the product certified against the European Life Safety Standards (EN54) we are successfully selling not just here but into Europe and the Middle East.” TRANS PAC PARTNERSHIP
Over the past decade, the Brisbane team has become fully integrated with Biamp’s operation and Daniel is excited by the opportunities for synergy that this has brought. “We started off as a relatively simple paging system,” he recalled. “Now, there are new amplifiers and a lot of new ways to get paging in and out of the system, such as POTS, VoIP, and a text-to-speech server”.
It’s fantastic that with the sizeable manufacturing and sales organisation run out of the US, we can do engineering here and leverage that to have a worldwide impact.
Daniel went on to describe the interactive process between the Australian and US engineers that saw the development of a class-leading ambient noise control for Vocia. “That’s the perfect example,” he noted “because the smarts and the DSP intelligence for that came from the DSP team in Beaverton. Using their specialised expertise, we were able to bring that functionality to Vocia. Now, you just plug the microphones in, tick a box and you get ambient noise control. “The DSP team has taken its expertise in conferencing and used that to solve a problem in paging. And now that technology has been taken forward to Tesira, where it has been implemented as an Ambient Noise Control block. Arguably that had its foundation in the application in Vocia.” PUTTING V INTO AVB
The concept of regional engineering teams has worked so well for Biamp that it has also applied it in the USA. In early 2014, Biamp acquired an engineering team on the East coast in Rochester which has become the core of its push into video systems. This bore its first fruits last year with the release of the TesiraLux AVB video encoder and decoder which will, according to Biamp, allow the company to put the V into AVB networking. I spoke with Lee Minich, Engineering Program Manager – Video, from Rochester and asked what role his East Coast engineering team is playing after its Lux product launched. “Well, first there’s a big sigh of relief,” Lee confided, “and that phase lasted only about an hour before we quickly got involved in all the activities needed after a product is launched — analysing any issues that emerge, while working continuously to incorporate any fixes and improvements needed prior to general availability of the product.” When pressed, Lee reckons that while he values
the chance at Biamp to work in a company with a wide range of products, he also really enjoys working in a team that is geographically diverse. “There are always cultural differences and different perspectives on issues – even between the East and West coast of the United States, let alone across the world,” he acknowledges. As an East coaster, Lee often fields calls from the European offices as he is closer to their time zone and gets to hear first-hand the feature requests and user scenarios from Britain and the continent. THINK DIFFERENT
Jason Damori is Biamp’s Director of Engineering and he echoes the team’s views that a spread of engineering effort throughout the world brings
unique rewards. “The diversity of geography brings with it a diversity of thinking,” he commented. “There’s a personality at each office and that also brings with it a character and diversity of thought.” Back in Australia, Daniel also enjoys the experience of working in a diverse team. “I think we have a good working relationship with the Americans,” he said. “We kind of ‘get’ each other. Being in different time zones tends to work well on occasion, because we can be working on things together and separately. It’s fantastic that with the sizeable manufacturing and sales organisation run out of the US, we can do engineering here and leverage that to have a worldwide impact.”
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The Inn Crowd PSQ Group’s Ben Donaldson talks about the special demands of hotel integration. Text:/ Christopher Holder
otels have a tough time keeping up with consumer expectations. Even in the best hotels — where you can order a BLT at 2am, buy front row ‘sold out’ concert seats from a super-connected concierge, and do laps of an infinity pool 10 floors above the rest of the world — chances are your in-room entertainment experience will be inferior to what you enjoy everyday in your front room, where you think nothing of watching Netflix on demand and ‘mirror casting’ content from a device to your TV. One Perth-based AV integrator, the PSQ Group, is leading the way in closing the gap between guest expectations and hotel experiences, using Philips’ range of specialist hotel TVs to get us there.
property developer Ubertas (helmed by jazz guitarist Albert Dadon) take over a commercial building in William Street, transforming it into a block of jazz-themed serviced apartments. Each apartment generously features one Philips hotel TV in the lounge and one in the bedroom. The Jazz Corner Hotel has invested in the IT/AV infrastructure that sees each room fully IP-connected. And when complete, the hotel entertainment system will allow guests to use the in-room TVs to order food from any of the four house restaurants, book tickets to Bird’s Basement shows after being exposed to high-production-value club promotion video (think: Vegas casino hotels), live stream shows from the jazz club, and avail themselves of the latest entertainment opportunities.
Most recently PSQ Group has worked with the newly opened Jazz Corner Hotel in Melbourne. Having already launched a worldclass jazz club (Bird’s Basement) in the sub level of an adjoining premise, the hotel sees
Ben Donaldson, Director of the PSQ Group explains the challenges unique to the hotels market: “We work with around 40 hotels across Australia and the demands we hear are now
almost always the same: hotels are looking to deploy Netflix and YouTube options so guests can easily procure their own in-room content. But mostly, no one has thought through the security and privacy issues. It’s great that I can use my hotel TV like I would my TV at home but I’d be horrified to learn that the next guest might see all my YouTube browsing history, or access my credit card details, or — as I’ve heard happen in certain hotels overseas — to think that I’m inadvertently streaming content to a screen in a neighbouring room! “The best hotel TVs are from Samsung and Philips, and we work with both. They provide the flexible integration pieces you need to meet those challenges. For example, having the TV automatically reset to its factory configuration when a guest checks out, meaning the next guest can enter details without fear of their private information being retained or their browsing history shared. “Those hotel TVs also allow us to design a system where guests can securely stream
Seeing my name on the TV when I enter the room is nice, but it’s only a one-way push. But how does the TV know only to accept content from the Mac address on my phone?
content from their device over wi-fi to the TV. It’s not news to be able to stream content to a TV, but as an integrator you need to ensure the wi-fi access point knows to only stream content from the Mac address of the guest’s device and not the device in a room next door. “All this can be a massive integration issue for hotel operators but it’s all now currently achievable to deliver that experience. Saying that, it does take the input of someone who knows how these things come together.” HOTEL INTEGRATION
Before your hotel knew you’d had a sneaky G+T from the ‘smart’ bar fridge, hotel integration was a lot simpler. There was the point of sale and phone system… oh, and the movie rentals.
Ben Donaldson: “Actually, the in-room movie system was mostly its own thing. The door locking system used to be segregated as well. At a hotel like the Jazz Corner Hotel, POS payment, door locking, TV, phone, guest wifi… are all integrated. Why does the guest wifi need integrating? If it’s not you can’t stream data to the TVs, because, as I mentioned earlier, the wireless network needs to recognise it’s the only TV the guest can stream to. Putting the TV on the network isn’t sufficient anymore. Seeing my name on the TV when I enter the room is nice, but it’s only a one-way push. But how does the TV know only to accept content from the Mac address on my phone? That’s a whole new level of integration. We’re doing that at PSQ, it works, but it’s new.”
Okay Ben, what’s the secret to complaint-free hotel wi-fi? Ben Donaldson: “We only use the wall-plate solutions in room. The hotels that still put access points in corridors are flirting with danger. “What’s more, we only put in Cisco WAPs into an IP in-room environment. We don’t get calls from guests who can’t see the wi-fi… we might get three or four calls a year from the big hotels. Every room has a wallplate WAP. No one knows it’s there and it delivers signal into each room. “For rooms with legacy infrastructure we’ll use a Motorola wall plate solution that takes twisted pair — there are a lot of retrofits that don’t have Cat5 into the rooms. “We’ve had an occasion when a new client’s CFO decided the best option was to go to Harvey Norman and buy 130 Netgear access points for the hotel. He didn’t understand the issues and it didn’t go well. We couldn’t fix the situation, they needed pulling out and starting again. “The biggest issue with wi-fi is congestion. We recently did a site survey for a hotel in Darling Harbour — something we routinely do even when we’re installing wall plates into every room. The survey map showed 2500 other access points in that immediate vicinity. When it’s that congested you need a strong signal. “From there it comes down to the link to your building. Jazz Club Hotel has Telstra fibre and the bandwidth into the room isn’t an issue. Instead you need to ensure you have a throttling control, so one guest can’t singlehandedly chew up all the bandwidth.”
ANDROID COMES TO LIFE The unique feature of Philips hotel TVs is their Android operating system that runs natively on the display. Unlike traditional display networks where the operating system sits on a media server in a rack — which allows content to be pushed to the screen via an IP network — running the Android OS in the display means apps can be pushed to the hotel TV using Philips’ CMND Display Management Platform. Ben Donaldson: “Pushing content, such as MPEG video or HTML5 isn’t new, but pushing full-blown apps out, and to have those apps come up as options when you boot up your TV or select a certain channel? That’s new. Because it’s an Android platform, if the content manager doesn’t have a certain feature natively, we can go to the Philips TV management platform and push applications out to the screens. Sky’s the limit. ‘What do you want written?’ You might want to add in-room lighting management, ‘okay, we’ll write that and push it out to the TVs’. For example, at the Jazz Corner Hotel, we can push a room service app to the TVs. That’s something new.” Westan (Philips): 1300 963 963 or www.westan.com.au
According to Ben Donaldson, The Jazz Corner Hotel has 13 services on its 10Gb LAN: “Anyone can build a LAN but in a multi-service environment, the network infrastructure needs to be right. In the case of the Jazz Corner Hotel, the Bird’s Basement Club is already connected, so they can switch on live streaming of concerts to rooms when they like. “Plus we can use the Philips CMND [content management/creation] platform to shunt the good-looking promotional content from the Ubertas marketing agency to any and all of the screens in the hotel. The hotel has made a solid investment in the infrastructure, now it’s down to the marketing and media teams to determine how best to leverage it.” HIGH EXPECTATIONS
High quality hotels have refined their offering over generations. Anticipating a guest's every desire is a skill honed with a resolute attention to detail and commitment to their comfort and pleasure. So in recent times, technology has really been a ‘fly’ in the hotel’s satisfaction rating ‘ointment’. For the guest, plugging in a
device, recharging, streaming, downloading… it’s all as natural as breathing. So why can’t my favourite hotel accommodate my needs?! As we’ve heard from Ben, increasingly they can but it’s deceptively tricky. Products like Philips’ hotel TVs are certainly leading the way. Not necessarily because of the usual headline features such as resolutions, contrast, brightness, or bezel width. It’s in the display’s ability to integrate, update, monitor and control. I’ll give the final word to Ben: Ben Donaldson: “Work like this is satisfying. We’ve been specialising in hotels for 12 years, and in my experience it tests you more than any other space. Because of the transient nature of the guests, it’s like having new clients coming and leaving in the space of a day. It’s a big challenge.” PSQ Group: 1300 881 840 or www.psqgroup.com.au
ShowMatch™ DeltaQ™ loudspeakers provide better coverage for outstanding vocal clarity. With DeltaQ technology, new ShowMatch array loudspeakers more ©2017 Bose Corporation.
precisely direct sound to the audience in both installed and portable applications. Each array module offers field-changeable waveguides that can vary coverage and even create asymmetrical patterns. The result is unmatched sound quality and vocal clarity for every seat in the house. Learn more at SHOWMATCH.BOSE.COM
NEXT-GENERATION ARRAY TECHNOLOGY
Video Lecture Capture System Text:/ Andrew Bennett
ack in the day, if you missed a class… tough luck. Either you hit the books or did your best to catch up in the next class. More recently, teachers have been recording video for their students. Very often these are static, locked-off videos with poor audio. Swivl has come to the rescue. Starting with a great idea (a mount that allows camera tracking of a presenter) it’s expanded to a Swivl ecosphere, recognising the success of Swivl won’t be in selling a nifty gizmo so much as winning teachers’ hearts and minds. The homepage mission statement is: ‘Lifting achievement by expanding the focus of observations to students’. I don’t even know what that means but I do know Swivl represents an affordable, nifty system that’ll save teachers time and result in highlyviewable video recording. AYE ROBOT
Swivl consists of a three-part solution: a Robot, the Capture app and, tying these together, Swivl Cloud. It’s these three elements combined that makes Swivl such a useful product. First up, let’s look at the ‘C Series Robot’. The Swivl doesn’t have an integrated camera, instead it relies on taking your Apple or Android smart device and giving it the power to follow you around the classroom. The robot holds your device loaded with the Capture app and acts as your very own camera assistant. It’s able to track your every
move in a full 360° arc and a 25° tilt range. The robot looks like a Roomba and R2-D2’s love child. Measuring around 13cm in diameter, and 8cm high, the robot is small enough to fit just about anywhere. It only has two buttons, a handful of status LEDs and a couple of plugs for power and connecting to the the tablet/phone that it’s holding. It has a clever ‘shim’ system to hold your device firmly in place. The main ‘claw’ that holds the device easily clicks out and allows one of three shims to be inserted, these provide different levels of support for your tablet. We tested it with an iPad, and while it had to be removed from its case, the Swivl held it quite securely.
tripod. This one little thread opens up an endless world of temporary and permanent mounting options — good thinking Swivl.
Remember the technological wave that hit lounge rooms in the mid 2000s from that Japanese game maker? The one that turned lounge rooms into tennis courts and golf courses? [Yes, wii remember Andy — Ed.] Well, the Swivl Robot uses much the same tech to track the presenter around the room — an infrared line of sight system. This means the presenter needs to use the included ‘marker’ and either wear it around their neck or hold onto it during the presentation. This marker also acts as a wireless microphone (in the DECT 1.9GHz range) used to record the audio of the presenter. In fact, the Marker takes care of most presentation functions, including starting/stopping the recording, starting/ stopping tracking and changing slides within the Capture app. I found positioning the Robot in the front row (say, 1.8m from the lecturer, next to the teacher’s pet) provides a good visual balance — enough of the teacher; enough of what’s on the ‘board’. (The best distance will vary based on the optics of your smart device was used and you can safely station the Robot up to 10m away, if so desired.) Underneath there is a standard ¼-20 mounting thread, the type found on any standard camera
The Capture app’s name undersells it by some measure. But at its core Capture does indeed allow you to record lectures. Upon launching for the first time you’re prompted to create an account and provided with a in-depth tour of how the app works. Upon first glance, it would be easy to assume that Capture is not so different to the camera app, however it has some hidden superpowers. Wouldn’t it be great if your tablet could be used as a pseudo slide teleprompter? Guess what, it can! It’s possible to have the slides being shown on your device’s screen, to navigate them with the marker, and to synchronise these with the video footage. What about if you also want to present these slides? Swivl has got that covered as well: pair an iPad with Apple TV and connect that Apple TV to the device you wish to present on and instantly you’re set up. No Apple TV? A gaggle of dongles and you should be able to connect in as well. One downside to note: the slides are a little ‘low res’. My guess is that the slides are converted to JPEGs when uploaded (there are signs of JPEG artefacts even after uploading a simple Powerpoint presentation).
Portability is central to the Swivl’s robot nature. The base unit has a lithium battery (quoted six hours of life), giving the teacher the freedom to place it optimally rather than where the nearest GPO is located. The device it’s holding, by its very nature has a portable power source. The marker is equipped with its own built-in battery and is charged by inserting it into its ‘home’ location within the Swivl.
Real-time media network
Network based intercom application
Digital wireless intercom
Swivl Cloud provides a browser-based platform for uploading, editing and sharing lectures. It fully integrates into the Swivl Capture App. It provides a quick and simple way of uploading slides into the Swivl by using a web browser on any standard computer and accepts a wide variety of file formats. Once lectures have been captured using the App, they can be uploaded (either automatically or manually) to the Cloud Library. In this library, your catalogue of presentations can be organised into folders and sorted. Basic editing of the slides in a presentation can also be performed right inside of the browser. Functions include: changing the timings of individual slides, swapping slides out for alternative ones or removing slides completely, along with trimming the video as required. (This means you can decide whether or not to leave in or edit out that standing ovation you received at the conclusion of your lecture.) SHARE WITH THE WORLD
Once you’ve performed those basic edits you have the option of how the final video will look alongside your slides: whether to employ a PIP style, where the slides are larger and the video is smaller, or opt for side-by-side approach where the slides and video content are roughly the same size. Publishing the video is easy with a selection of built-in sharing options. Only want to share to a selection of email addresses? Can do. Want to set up a group and share often to that group? That’s available. Want to create a private link and share that link around however you see fit? Yep, that’s there. What about embed the video into a website or LMS? That feature is also at your disposal. EARS EVERYWHERE
The Swivl has even more tricks up its sleeve. Multiple markers can be assigned to the robot and can record simultaneously. This can provide educators with the
ability to review a lecture and listen in on where students may or may not have had issues. It also solves that problem of ‘I can’t hear the questions from the audience, only the answer’ usually associated with classroom video productions. SWIVL PRO+
If one Swivl is good... what about a small army of them, across the classroom? Swivl Pro+ allows for one to four iOS devices to be connected with the Swivl app (the robot is not required) to the teacher’s master iOS device. Slides presented on the teacher’s Swivl are simultaneously presented around the classroom on the student’s devices, and the video from the student’s devices are recorded along with the master iOS device. All of these video sources can then be combined in the Swivl Cloud to create a multi-camera interactional view of the classroom. FLIPPING THINGS ON ITS HEAD
Technology has powered a new style of teaching known as the ‘flipped classroom’, where students ‘homework’ is to watch a lecture, and then to perform the tasks of answering questions and solving problems (that was traditionally set as ‘homework’) within the classroom with the support of peers and the teacher. Almost overnight, teachers have had to become amateur video producers. Technology such as the Swivl adds a level of sophistication to the production quality of such ‘flipped lectures’. Teachers flying solo are able to create quality lectures within the Swivl ecosystem to aid in teaching students, without the video editing learning curve or the expense/inconvenience of a camera assistant. Swivl has everything covered. Swivl is a fully-featured end-to-end solution helping educators create quality video recordings of lectures. No longer do lectures need to be a single wide shot of the entire front of the room. Instead they can have a level of interest and
movement, with a robot that follows the lecturer, along with a simple way of combining the video of the lecturer and any accompanying slides in an easy to distribute package. The ease of use ensures that educators don’t have to waste time setting up and configuring, and its portability means it can literally end up in any classroom environment. Speaking of homework; it’s easy to tell who else has done its homework: Swivl R&D has clearly spent time with the teaching profession. Swivl is new. So new, in fact, it feels like there’s a new feature coming out every week. And there are a few kinks to iron out. But the education sector’s enthusiastic response to Swivl (clearly evident on its blog page) endorses the fact it has got the fundamentals right. Swivl’s Goal: ‘To create a teacher driven movement with the potential to change anything using individualised observations.’ I don’t know what that means either. But I can report from a systems point of view, Swivl has the right combination of ease of use, features, and presentation quality. And I’ve no doubt it’ll only get better. Swivl knows the importance of getting its system in the hands of schools and colleges, so I wouldn’t hesitate to contact the Australian distributor AP Tech for an evaluation kit.
MORE INFO Price: Swivl C1 $899.95; C3 $1219.95 C5 $1559.95 (Base + Primary Marker + 4x Markers + 2x USB Marker charger) Contact: AP Tech: (02) 9452 6001 or www.aptech.com.au
Sonance Professional Series Not Another In-Ceiling Speaker Text:/ Christopher Holder
o boy, just what the world needs… another in-ceiling speaker! I hear you, but just un-roll your eyes long enough to hear out this ‘new’ entrant. Sonance, a big deal in the residential custom AV sector, is releasing its Professional Series. The range includes a total of 22 in-ceiling, pendant and surfacemount speakers that are designed to blend discreetly into the surrounding environment with both high-impedance and 8 Ohm performance. A Sonance swat team recently circled the world preaching the Professional Series difference, headed by Kent Sheldon (VP International Business Development) and Todd Ryan, its long standing chief speaker designer. I met Todd over breakfast and he strikes me as a humble man, but clearly he thought the status quo of work-a-day commercial install speakers left quite a bit to be desired. “What we immediately noticed is the level of build quality in commercial speakers really doesn’t equal what we’ve been doing in the home custom install part of the industry. Around 12 years ago we invested the money into a Klippel distortion analyser. For a speaker designer it’s the greatest piece of equipment to discover all the things wrong with a speaker but not how to fix them! Which I’ve raised with Mr. Klippel on multiple occasions! I regard the Klippel distortion analyser almost as a religion, because you really have to be mentally and philosophically invested in wanting to use it and to improve your designs such that it measures well.”
TRUST THE PROCESS
Beware of the clever speaker designer who comes sniffing around your commercial AV patch with a machine that goes ping! But there’s more: “We look at design very holistically. Let’s say we’ve got a six-inch speaker and it has a 60W transformer with a six-inch woofer, which, with a tuning of the enclosure, needs 6.5mm of excursion. A lot of people can do that calculation, but no one does… why bother? We on the other hand will use those measurements as a bare minimum and design the motor structure and the suspension parts such that they really do have that excursion. And even at the max tap setting the distortion level will still be at a point that Klippel has determined as not perceptible to human hearing. All that sounds easy but it takes months and months to conduct those tests for each woofer and tweeter. Once complete we moved onto the crossover design etc.” TRANSFORMERS TO THE CORE
Okay, beware of a thorough and clever speaker designer. And one who actually questions the choice of transformers used in most commercial constant voltage loudspeakers. “Competitors normally buy transformers based on price, not on getting the best audio performance out of them. I have an audiophile background. I know it’s a crazy world but I love it. I come from the angle where I’m trying to make something that
sounds better. Where music sounds like music and a voice sounds natural. When you approach all speakers that way, it places pressure on the design. But once installed into a typical commercial retail or hospitality space, people listen to the music more, it’s not just noise — it’s actually something to enjoy.” CUE THE BANDWIDTH
Beware of the idealistic, thorough, clever audiophile speaker designer. “These second rate transformers have very limited bandwidth — very compromised in the bass, very compromised in the high end — and tend to have a lot of distortion. I did some research and found a company in Japan that uses a core material that doesn’t saturate nearly as badly as others, resulting in a much wider bandwidth. I looked at it and decided there was no point making drivers with all this excursion, with tweeters that go all the way up to 30kHz, and settle for a transformer that only goes down to 50Hz and up to 10kHz. So we invested that money into using a high quality core material.” BETTER SOUND
Idealistic, thorough, clever and with a decent R&D budget. What next? “We evaluated a lot of other speakers. Once you put them in most real world spaces, due to the choices they’ve made with the drivers and the crossover design, the in-room frequency response — the power response — is not nearly as smooth
XMP44 SOURCECON™ PROFESSIONAL MODULAR AUDIO SYSTEM
An audio player which fulfils the specific demands of every user sounds hard to achieve. With the Audac XMP44 modular audio system, a fully-flexible, modular structure is now at your disposal.
and free of gross deviations as people would want. As we learnt more, we discovered that there was quite a lot of DSP being applied to make these loudspeakers sound any good. That seemed wrong. Correcting for problems in the speaker? Should we be producing a speaker that requires that?” It’s a rhetorical question. I’ve no doubt Todd thinks the speaker should sound good out of the box. “As you look at the polar response from our speakers you can see that from the four-inch to the eight-inch two-way speaker, their in-room power response is very predictable. You have a speaker that has detail and low-level resolution and intelligibility you don’t tend to hear in other commercial speakers. You have frequency extension that you don’t tend to hear in commercial speakers. For the person installing it or the customer, the Professional Series has an evenness of coverage that makes it a really unique product.” The Sonance Professional Series also retains its style nazi pedigree from dealing with style nazi architects and interior designers for 40+ years in the residential sphere. All the products look contemporary and smart. There are also some neat features installers will appreciate. The Sonance Professional Series speakers can be teamed up with Sonance’s DSP 2-750 DSP-equipped 70V amplifier, or indeed with any of the Apart 100V amplifiers available through distributor Amber Technology. This looks like a mature, well-considered product launch.
CONTACT Amber Technology: 1800 251 367 or www.ambertech.com.au
The flexible architecture allows simultaneous operation of up to four SourceCon™ audio modules while an optional Dante™ module allows bidirectional audio exchange over a standard IP network. RS-232 and TCP/IP control allows implementation with 3rd party automation systems. Compatibility with the Audac Touch™ mobile app and an built-in web interface provide control and configuration from any portable device, at any time.
DAB/DAB+/FM tuner module
FM tuner module
NMP40 Coming Soon Network audio player module
Voice file media player module
Internet audio player module
Media player & recorder module
Audio network interface 4 in / 4 out
For further information please contact Call 1300 859 341 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.audiologistics.com.au
ArKaos MediaMaster Pro 5.0
Real-Time Video & Effects Software Sound, Light… Visuals? Arkaos’s third piece of a live events puzzle is powerful and exciting to use. User Report:/ Micah Poole & Christopher Holder
isplays are getting bigger, cheaper and more commonplace. So the display tech is no longer the sticking point to attaining eyecatching visuals in an live events or entertainment setting. Amazing visuals need the right software. If your bias is towards creating perfectly pixelmapped and warped White Night-style eye candy then there are some well regarded options on the market — the best known being the Christie/ Coolux Pandoras Box. But if you’re after an application heavy on performance tools to mix and mess with visuals in real time then ArKaos is a VJ’s best friend. ARKAOS THEORY
Over many years ArKaos has been developing tools for the live visual producer and at the top of the heap is its MediaMaster Pro offering. It’s a program that helps you create stunning visuals by actively mixing and triggering multiple layers of video along with applying a palette of FX party tricks. Using a standard, off the shelf PC you’ll find yourself being able to throw more than enough layers of video at the wall. You can trigger, crossfade and cue your files all from a qwerty keyboard, or better still, map controls to a MIDI controller or DMX lighting desk. The UI is instantly familiar with an array of ‘channels’ laid across the screen with an accompanying fader. Within moments even a complete novice can have visuals running on the preview panel. But MediaMaster rewards every minute and hour you spend delving deeper into its impressive functionality. Opening the File Selector window, provides you with a full array of editing and effects tools. The old-school appearance of this section reminds me that ArKaos has been developing this program over many years. What it lacks in glamour it makes up for in attention to detail. Once you’ve selected your visual source (oddly there isn’t an Import button, you need to drag ’n’ drop your own file in or use a supplied file) you can begin to set up a show and to edit the
appearance of your footage. Parameters such as size, speed, colour balance and much more are all editable. From there you can apply one of a healthy array of effects. There’s a limit of one effect per channel of video which I think is more frustrating in theory than practice (if like me, you just want to see how the effects combine!). FILES & FADES
A VJ can never have enough control over the fades between clips and thankfully MediaMaster’s options are extensive. Once you’ve alighted on a custom setting you’re particularly pleased with, you can save it as a preset. I found this particularly powerful as I built my show — grabbing previously created presets (without the need to reprogram) for similarly-themed sections. Saying that, if you tweak your preset then you’re asked to create a new one — you’ll find your fader options list grows quickly, often with very similar presets. Use the File Selector window to change your hotkeys for a specific selected video. You can’t make changes to the MIDI or DMX info, only the keyboard hotkeys. I found this distinction frustrating. The problems arise with the organisation of the visuals. At one point I needed a short clip to finish a song, and, so I wouldn’t accidentally knock it, I wanted to separate it from the main group of visuals. But I couldn’t. I was was compelled to move the visual and presets to a
different fader. I won’t bore you with the specifics, but given the range of MIDI controller keyboards on the market (each with its controls and pads mapped differently) I’d like to see this approached more sympathetically. While I’m having a minor whinge, I should point out that file management is also a little clunky. There is no clear ‘Save’ or ‘Backup’ option. My feeling is that any VJ would want to ensure their backsides are covered with some redundancy, and, sure enough, you can, of course, save a show, and ArKaos saves a Setup file with all the associated material linked. So it is possible to ‘manually’ bring a backup with you to a gig. I’d prefer to see a Duplicate/Backup File option as a standard feature. PEELING THE ONION
MediaMaster Pro is enormously powerful. Up to 36 visual layers can run at once (PC specs permitting). Also, with the Videomapper extension, it’s possible to project to any surface. This allows your creativity to shine in a more contemporary events environment where eccentric combinations of screens and panels are often used. And even though media server programs such as Pandoras Box are better known for their pixel mapping, the ArKaos Videomapper is simple to use and powerful. And the masking option is another welcome feature. The LEDmapper also works in a similar way, allowing you to map specific LED installations.
New Feature in MediaMaster Pro 5.0 • Up to 36 layers to prepare, play and output more visuals and effects • Easily synchronise text with the new lyric player especially designed for singers, church performances and corporate presentations • Enhanced DMX patching over multiple universes and auto-patching feature • New and improved appearance of the user interface MediaMaster Pro 5.0 introduces MediaHub, a new powerful tool designed to: • Swiftly share your content between servers or computers over networks • Easily synchronise your content library over networks • Remotely monitor the status of any additional machine running MediaMaster • Import your new content remotely in the library of any server • Organise your library of content remotely from any computer • Safely synchronise your newest content or your backup server just before a show LED Mapper Integration Features: • Automatic discovery of Art-Net nodes connected on a network • Unicast connection to fixtures for optimal network bandwidth usage • Capability to run simultaneously with MediaMaster • Updated LEDMapper supporting larger network thanks to unicast
MediaMaster Pro is the complete package. It’s powerful enough for professionals, but simple enough for aspiring VJs to learn and operate. The real-time control aspects mean VJs will find MediaMaster particularly attractive but the program will happily double on video duties for concerts or theatre shows. As I alluded to in the intro: the world is now awash with stunning displays — large format LCD/LED and projection. Nightclubs, live events, churches, pubs, theatres, funeral homes… the visual
The slide-out construction of the Caymon GPR-Series equipment racks allows flushmount rack integration into walls or furniture while keeping the rear side of the equipment accessible for maintenance and servicing. The extending equipment bay rotates over a 90° angle in either direction, while a rear cable support allows effective cable management. In-Wall / Furniture integration for 19” equipment Hexaslide™ extending equipment bay Retracted & extended position locking Cable management rear supports Rotates over 90° angle in either direction Available in various heights Compliant to ANSI/EIA RS-310D, DIN41491 and IEC60297 standards
canvases are there but often the media serving software is not and they remain dark or deathly dull. ArKaos MediaMaster is a mature, stable media platform that rewards a venue’s lighting or video tech with great programmable results but is fully exploited when driven live. It’s in this context that MediaMaster Pro shines; where it has the capacity to surprise and delight, and complements a musical performance in a way that makes you wonder what you did with out it. ULA: 1300 852 476 or www.ulagroup.com ArKaos: www.arkaos.net
For further information please contact Call 1300 859 341 Email email@example.com Visit www.audiologistics.com.au
Professional Audio Player Text:/ Christopher Holder
ne thing I’ve noticed from my trips to ISE in recent years is just how rapidly Audac is developing as a company. Belgium-based Audac is an audio specialist and, in years gone by, from this distance at least, felt like another beige purveyor of install loudspeakers. Things have changed. Although retaining its focus on audio, Audac has poured considerable resources into some very elegant software control. What’s more, Audac gear now looks sharp, feels very solidly built and is releasing some innovative product, such as the XMP44. PASS THE SOURCE
The XMP44 is a 1U music source device. That’s not the innovative bit. A few years ago we had the 1U Bosch PLE-5DT through the AV Asia Pacific office and there are other install tuner/playback devices on the market. Audac has devised a clever modular approach to the product. Each of the four slots allows you to plug in a FM tuner, DAB tuner, media player and more. The module system is called SourceCon and it’s easy to slot your perfect combination of modules into the back of the unit. When it’s inserted/installed the module is instantly installed, discovered and ready to roll. So the idea is you can have one slot populated or two, three or four. You can mix and match modules to best suit your needs. Given you can have four sources playing at once you could easily have four channels of FM playing simultaneously to four different zones if that was your (admittedly peculiar) need. EASY CONFIG
The combination of a hi-res 2.8-inch TFT display and pushbutton dial makes for an instantly familiar approach to navigating the menu. The four pushbuttons takes some of the load off the rotary knob and makes navigation even easier.
Four USB ports correspond to the four card slots and support data storage, media playback or any other supported function. For example, if you have the IMP40 internet audio player module inserted, audio from the USB stick will kick in if there’s an interruption in the connection, and when the connection returns it’ll switch back. Generously, there’s even some confidence monitoring (built-in speaker and a volume knob) — a godsend for installers in a subterranean rack room. All up, it’s easy to configure the XMP44… you can be setting it up with one hand and checking your phone messages with the other. Controlling the unit away from the equipment rack is well catered for. The XMP44 is both RS232 and TCP/IP controllable allowing implementation with home and commercial automation systems. What’s more there’s a free app and browser-based control. In fact, you can do more than basic volume control, it’s possible to fully configure the device from any anywhere you have internet. ZONE
If you’re after a single-source music player, no problems, Audac does those as well. The XMP44 is best applied to multi-zone/multi-source installs. Whether that be club/pubs, schools, office building or even churches. This is where the modular approach will save you money and provide a more elegant solution.
MORE INFO Price: $699 Audio Logistics: 1300 859 341 or www.audiologistics.com.au
THE MODULES IMP40 Internet audio player module: Synchronises with the vTuner database which contains over 30,000 channels ($369). • DMP40 DAB/DAB+/FM tuner module: Preferential station storage (10 entries) and signal strength indication ($229). • FMP40 Voice file media player module: External (USB) and internal (Micro SD) media support, 15 trigger contact inputs, 50 programmable timer triggers ($259). • MMP40 Media player & recorder module: Audio playback & recording; Repeat & random, single & continuous play ($239). • TMP40 FM tuner module: Worldwide FM band support; station storage ($149). • NMP40 Network audio player module: Spotify, AirPlay and DLNA compatible. • BMP40 Bluetooth module: Long distance Bluetooth transmission with pairing protection ($209).
OPTIONAL CARD ANX44 Dante network interface 4-in/4-out: Integrate into any Dante-enabled AV network and transfer digital audio with any compatible product on the market ($599).
For connoisseurs of premium sound
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OUR E PERTISE IS YOUR ADVANTAGE
Mevo Live Event Camera LiveStream’s pocket TV Studio Text:/ Andrew Bennett
his is truly amazing, a portable television studio! No wonder your president has to be an actor, he has to look good on television’. Fans of the 1985 hit Back to the Future would recognise that statement from the 1955 iteration of Doc Brown describing the JVC GR-C1, the first ‘all-in-one VHS Camcorder’ Marty brought with him from 1985. One can only imagine what Doc Brown would have thought of Mevo! Mevo truly is a device of the future, yet paradoxically feels like an old friend. I say ‘paradoxically’ because Mevo does something affordably and simply, that very few of us even considered a few years ago… yet, it feels like the product we’ve been waiting year for. Looking somewhat like a mechanical extra from Monsters Inc, Mevo packs the sort of punch that belies the modestly-proportioned packaging. Measuring just shy of three inches high and with a diameter of two inches, the Mevo comprises a 4K camera, microphone array, 1200mAH Li-Ion battery, along with wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, all inside its tiny footprint. One up on Marty’s VHS Camcorder, it can live stream using either the streaming service LiveStream or Facebook Live. Doc would be proud, Mevo literally is a portable television studio. FACE OF MEVO
The Mevo has but one button: the top of the unit functions as a power button, everything else is driven via the Mevo App on an iOS device. (At the time of writing the minimum requirements stated: an iPhone 5S with iOS9 or higher.) From the app you have full control over the camera, the angles (explored below), camera settings, network settings, streaming settings etc. It is intuitive, so easy to use, in fact, that a small child could be taking selfies, calling grandma and cutting between camera angles before they can walk.
Okay, here’s the Mevo pitch: our brains get bored quickly, especially with the same old, locked-off camera angle. What if there was a way to fake multiple camera angles from a single camera? Mevo pulls off this party trick. How? By building it around a 4K Sony Sensor with a 150° lens, then by providing software that easily allows cropping into multiple ‘pseudo’ camera angles. Sure, the laws of physics dictate that one camera can’t produce a front and side-on shot simultaneously, however, it is possible to cut to various parts of a single scene and give the illusion of multiple shots. If you’re conducting a product demo and want to cut from a wide shot of the person presenting the product to a closer view of the product itself, it’s possible. Want to have a couple of talking heads in an interview style and cut between the two participants? That’s possible too. All of this editing is achieved through the app. The camera can stay fixed on a single stand and give the illusion of a larger production. APP: NICE GESTURE
The app, too, is very intuitive. It employs the same basic iOS gesture control — tapping, dragging and pinching — we’re all naturally familiar with. The app presents you with a ‘wide’ perspective, showing you everything in the camera’s purview, then upon pinching and
dragging, a smaller blue rectangle describes the dimensions of the proposed crop. There is a handy floating ‘program’ screen that shows you exactly what is going out to broadcast. Camera angles can be preset, it’s just a matter of tapping and zooming into the angle you want to use from within the app, then tapping and holding for a second or so, this creates a ‘static shot’. You can then cut between these ‘static shots’ by simply tapping on them in the app, thus simulating cutting between different cameras. There’s always the handy, fallback ‘Go Wide’ button, just in case the situation calls for the widest shot possible. I considered it as my ‘panic button’ just in case someone moved outside my ‘static shot’ presets. CALLING THE SHOTS
It is also possible to ‘pan’ and ‘tilt’ around the scene. There are two modes to work with and they’re a bit tricky to master: the first is using a single finger on the screen and tapping and dragging around. This doesn’t perform the pan/tilt move until after you lift your finger off the screen. Mostly a Mevo production is unscripted — a webinar or presentation — so there’s some guesswork involved with the single-finger approach — which part of the frame is my presenter going to end up? However, I discovered that if you use a twofinger gesture on the screen and perform the same action, it does it in real time.
CONTACT Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 corsairsolutions.com.au
NO DIRECTOR, NO PROBLEMS
For those times when it’s just a one person show, sometimes it’s handy to have a third hand. Mevo packs built-in people detection and movement tracking, and there is the option to enable an ‘auto director’ style mode where the Mevo will follow ‘where the action is’. This is handy when manpower is limited. I found during my tests that the optimum distance between the subject and the Mevo for this to successfully track is between 1m and 3.5m. Any more and the error rate increases. Also note: you’re working with Mevo’s ‘face tracking’ technology, not ear tracking technology. When the subject turns away for a period of time it can confuse Mevo even if the presenter is talking. This feature works at its best when subjects are talking at the camera — which is going to be most of the time, if you want to retain an audience. BOOST
In some situations the 1200mAH Li-Ion battery just isn’t large enough for the job. Other times, when 4G or wi-fi reception is patchy, you’ll want to plumb straight into the network. Mevo has both situations covered with the ‘Boost’ accessory. The battery has an extended capacity of 12,000mAH, enough for ’10 hours of filming’ according to the Mevo team. A neat Boost battery feature: you can hook up a USB charging cable for your iOS device and keep your device charged off the Boost, while
it’s powering the Mevo camera. The Ethernet connectivity works in an interesting manner. When the Mevo detects the ethernet cable, it can go into a ‘hotspot’ mode, so that an iOS device can talk to the Mevo to control it. However, it doesn’t appear to pass the internet through to the iOS device in this mode, and the app wasn’t able to stream video out to a third party. The Mevo app recommended I connected to a wi-fi network on the same network as the ethernet. I tried that and was then able to stream the video. According to the Mevo team, it’s possible to buy ~$100 in Apple dongles to support Ethernet onto the iOS device which would then allow for both the Mevo and the iPhone to be connected via ethernet and support streaming. The Boost does support streaming by the iPhone’s 3G/4G network while in Hotspot mode (but this removes the benefit of having the ethernet cable in the first place).
THE IMPORTANCE OF AUDIO
George Lucas is often quoted saying ‘The sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie’. The Mevo is primarily a video device, but audio is also very important to the final product. While the Mevo has a built-in microphone array, it won’t work magic and sound like a shotgun mic/boom operator combo. However, the Mevo does support external audio in a number of ways. The first is by using a combination of dongles and spaghetti cables to get audio straight into the iOS device. Then inside of the Mevo app, there is a setting to use ‘iOS Audio’ instead of the Mevo Audio. The Boost also provides a USB port (the same one I used to charge my iOS device), a handful of USB microphones and audio interfaces can be connected via this USB port and an entire world of external audio options opens up. Check the help articles on the Mevo site for a list of supported interfaces.
24 Multi-colour LED Light Ring Control Button
Internal 1,200mAh Li-ion Battery 150 f2.8 Glass Lens
Micro-USB SD Card Slot (16GB SD included
COOL DESIGN The industrial design team did a lovely job of making the Mevo look ‘cool’. It feels solid, yet is soft to touch. The magnetic ‘base’ can be removed to fit the Boost option. Both the base and Boost have an intelligent three-thread insert, that allows mounting to either a ¼-20 standard tripod thread or 3/8-16 microphone or light stand thread, or 5/8-27 microphone stand thread.
just enough time to run to the TV, unmute it and see it play out in ‘real time’. It’s probably the only time that broadcast lag is a desirable feature. A similar thing occurs with the Mevo: it has approximately a one-second lag between real-time action and what appears on screen; then anywhere from 5-15 seconds between what is seen on the iPhone screen and what is seen on Facebook Live. I don’t see this as a deal breaker, or even a problem, in the situations Mevo will find itself in. But worth knowing.
Mevo is developed by LiveStream, the New York company founded in 2007 with a mission ‘to enable organisations to share experiences through live video, unlocking a world where every event is available live online.’ Naturally, the Mevo supports streaming over LiveStream, it also supports streaming via Facebook Live. The microSD slot allows for recording now and sharing later on whatever video platform you prefer. Videos are recorded at 720p resolution, in a standard MP4 format.
The beautifully designed product is truly a TV studio in your pocket. It’s ability to take your message and stream it to the world via LiveStream or Facebook Live was a foreign concept just a few years ago. Such a setup required expensive equipment and possibly an outside broadcast van. However, as amazing an offering as the Mevo is, I would say that it’s just one part of a larger system. For a successful production you still need to address lighting, audio and network connectivity, along with the talent in front of the camera. This is not a device that’s going to replace large professional systems, and it’s not designed to. This is a device that’s designed to empower those who don’t have the resources for such complex systems. For professionals, the features may be limiting, but will purchase Mevo to get them out of a tight spot or for when budgets are limited. For others, Mevo is opening up an entirely new market, platform and audience just waiting to be explored.
There is that great trick over the summer employed by many a cricket lover, but who doesn’t have the luxury of watching the match all day. They tune into the radio broadcast and listen to it while going about their day and have the TV on in one room on mute, if a wicket falls or Davey Warner hits a hapless offie into the carpark, it gives them
Accessory Power/ Data Connector
NEW FEATURES RELEASED AT NAB • A new beta Mevo Android App (v1.0b1): Mevo was previously only available on iOS. There’s now a first version of an Android App in beta. Full release in the Google Play app store is expected by the end of (northern) Summer 2017. • A beta release of the new iOS Mevo App (v1.5b1): with new features is now also available for download. App store releases of these features is scheduled for (northern) Summer 2017. • YouTube Live (beta): Mevo support for YouTube Live. Now you can use Mevo to stream to Livestream, Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitter/Periscope. • 4K Recording (beta): Mevo was a 720p camera, but now via a free app and software update you can now record in 4K 30fps 50Mbps on your Mevo SD card. Other bitrate options and 1080p resolution are also available. • 1080p Streaming (beta): Previously locked to 720p, you can now stream in 1080p to supporting platforms (for now, Livestream and YouTube). • Advanced Facebook Live settings (beta): now support for continuous streaming options, scheduled livestreams to Facebook pages, geographic location tags, adding friends via tags, and advanced video targeting.
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Termination Projected Demise Text:/ Graeme Hague
’m a creature of habit. Like, every Saturday at 1pm I meet my lovely wife for lunch after she closes her hairdressing salon. We always go to the same pub — to be fair, there’s only three in town and one recently got hit by a truck. My wife’s always late, so I go to the bar and carefully peruse the dozen or so taps of beer before ordering a pint of my usual Pilsener —which Nikki the barmaid is already pouring. Then I walk around to the Food Order counter and diligently check out the entire lunch menu, while Nikki gives me a kind of don't do anything stupid look, because she’s already written ‘sticky chicken wings’ on the docket. A bit later, eating chicken wings and drinking Pilsener — yet again — I always look at the obsolete, motorised projector screen on wall and think, I wonder if they'll ever take that down? The projector itself has been long gone for years after a punter did his best Tarzan impersonation from it. The likely answer is ‘no’, because an outmoded screen on the wall is far preferable to big cracks in the old brick where the mountings have been removed. At least the projector mount holes in the ceiling have been sort of plastered over — a practised eye can see them. Of course, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and progress, the projection system was replaced ages ago with a network of television monitors and a music video streaming service that seems bizarrely locked on songs recorded pre-1990 in 4:3 ratio and the drummer’s always tipping water onto the snare drum.
myriad cables, connectors and interchangeable lens, when you can Bluetooth your iPad to the latest 56-inch 4K monitor? And those Settings menus? It was easier to reach Level 10 of Warcraft. My memories of overhead projection systems can keep me awake all night. I installed one onto a very high ceiling in a North Queensland hotel. The projector was one of those monster three-canon RGB behemoths that weighed a tonne and really needed a scissor-lift, but no, two of us were up either side of a 4m ladder with this AV equivalent of a hatchback balanced on our heads as we tried to attach it to the mounting — when some wag chucked his pet carpet python in through the window. Funny... really f**king funny. Boy, did we laugh. And I’ll bet that projector is still there. It was amazing enough to find two blokes stupid enough to try and install it. No one would be so silly as to take it down again.
There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of metres of unused projector screen real estate all over Australia, still screwed to walls and buried in dusty storerooms, never to be used again. Should we worry? Not to mention the projectors themselves. Because all those features that we thought were just awesome have become a pain in the... ah, arm, compared to AV displays. Just like the RSI we suffered from constantly waving an infrared remote controller at the projectors, trying to get the damned Settings menu to appear. Who needs screens with squashed moths and cigarette smoke stains, and projectors with
My least favourite projector was a proper one. A 35mm cinema projector that grumbled, rattled and wheezed in the middle of our performing arts centre Biobox when we showed a monthly foreign film (early management figured that showing movies would supplement income from live theatre — and they were right… until Hoyts moved next door). That projector was a temperamental beast, and loud — bloody loud. But after a while you learned to listen — like audio vital signs. You didn’t have to watch the actual screen (until the rude bits in the French flick came on). I read books, wrote books, played
computer games... you could even slip outside onto the roof for a quick fag once a reel-splice had safely passed through. As long as you could still hear the projector and its familiar banging and flapping, it was safe. I got tricked once, though. Instead of snapping the film (it happened regularly), which brought everything to a crashing halt, the movie somehow began stripping down the middle after the lens gate, splitting it in half, which meant all the tension devices that had failsafe micro-switches stayed in place, and the movie still ran. I ended up with a small mountain of shredded celluloid before I figured something was wrong. At 24 frames a second, 35mm projection stuff can go scarily wrong, surprisingly fast. So while a million metres of obsolete projector screen might pose some ecological threat to the environment, and thousands of decommissioned projectors might blow up the planet if all the bulbs exploded at the same time, some of us aren’t saddened by the impending, total demise of projection systems. I still get a nervous tick and reach for my hip flask whenever someone says, ‘Powerpoint presentation’ out loud. Long live the commercial display, I reckon. Bluetooth, wi-fi, even HDMI... you gotta love it. You wait — Murphy’s Law. My pub’s screen will be taken down this Saturday. Then I'll have to drink a different beer and I won’t be able to order the chicken wings. When you think about it, modern technology and progress sucks, sometimes.
Dante Ready Switches with Visual Network Monitoring
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