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Smarter Sharing

EASY TO INSTALL TapShare is plug & play — doesn’t need additional software or a driver.

SUPPORTS REVERSE CONTROL The laptop screen can be displayed synchronously with any annotation on the touchscreen so that the presenter can present smoothly and efficiently.




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TapShare allows four input sources from a laptop or mobile devices and supports ‘Split Screen Display’ so that team members can share ideas simultaneously.

EASY TO USE With one single button and Wi-Fi support, simply tap the button to start presenting immediately. iOS devices: simply plug one cable to instantly share ideas.

SUPPORTS WIRED CONNECTION TapShare supports PoE (up to one metre) replacing expensive HDMI and switcher hardware so it’s applicable for large meeting rooms.

EASY MANAGEMENT With an advanced host control system, the host can easily manage the display and content from different sources.

+61 (0)3 9005 9861



10 • • • • • • •

Half 19” unit for rack, truss or wall mount Perfect for connecting PA systems, audio rigs, truss cameras, moving lights ... ArtNet, sACN, MANet, DanteTM, RAVENNA/ AES67, PTPv2, RTTrPL (Blacktrax) and more 8x Gigabit Ethercon ports Optional PoE supply

Over 30 Years in Business To find your nearest Integrator/Reseller, please visit and click-on ‘Where To Buy’

Production Audio Video Technology Pty Ltd 4/621 Whitehorse road, Mitcham 3132 Victoria Ph: 03 9264 8000 e:



WIRELESS INTERCOM SYSTEM. Introducing ROAMEO, our professional-grade wireless intercom system based on licensefree DECT standard. Operating like a wireless keypanel, ROAMEO is a user-friendly, fully integrated solution perfectly matching your professional needs. It empowers a large number of simultaneous users to communicate seamlessly across wide areas. Learn more and meet ROAMEO at For technical and sales enquiries please contact Magna Systems. Ph: 9417 1111 | E:



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NEWS News and new product info.

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alchemedia publishing pty ltd (ABN: 34 074 431 628) PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Australia All material in this magazine is copyright © 2018 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. 8/12/2017





WHAT HARMAN DID NEXT. Interview with Harman Professional's Asia Pacific boss, Ramesh Jayaraman.


NEP. OB. RTS. COMMS NEP’s huge RTS comms investment.


RTI CONTROL: RSL NOT RSI Brighton Le Sands RSL upgrade includes control.


IN THE PIPELINE: MEDIA IN A 4K* WORLD Cover Story: 4K Update & the asterisk explained!


TEACHING & LEARNING BUILDING Monash University’s innovative new faculty building.


REVIEWS VIVITEK DK8500Z 4K Single-Chip DLP Laser Projector.


EV EVOLVE 50 Column Loudspeaker.


SHURE GLX-D Wireless Microphone System.




ISE 2018: Serious In Tent “Bloody hard to book a table at a Korean restaurant this week!” Such was the commentary of an Amsterdam-based, non-AV friend who I met in the days prior to Integrated Systems Europe. ISE is big. Bigger than last year. A whole lot bigger than a few years ago. Monstrous compared to its launch 10 or 12 years ago. It’s so big that the tack-on ‘tent’ ISE added to the car park to accommodate new exhibitors is, I warrant, bigger than the entire Integrate show. (Okay, ‘tent’ doesn’t begin to describe the temporary, acres-wide structure, but you get the idea.) ISE attracted 80,000+ visitors in 2018. There were 1200+ exhibitors, including Google this year. It’s a bigger exhibitor show than IBC. It’s enormous. And the Korean restaurants were slammed.

2018 is the year of the customer. Not to say last year wasn’t, it’s just that this year I sense that the new product releases have the client (and increasingly that’s the end user or the IT dept) in the cross hairs. Ease of use, deployability, and ability to monitor are arguably trumping the needs of customisation or versatility or even the race for ‘best of breed’ performance. Have a look at the selection of new product releases below and make up your own mind. There’s no shortage of innovation but ‘making things simpler’ for the customer is a thread that runs through most everything. — Christopher Holder.




K-Array’s new Capture-KMC20 microphone is composed of eight 4mm cardioid capsules aligned in a line array configuration featuring Pure Array Technology (PAT). Given its line array characteristics, the Capture shows a minimal variation of gain with distance. As a result, the distance between the orator and the microphone isn’t as crucial and he is able to move towards or away from the mic freely without significantly affecting the volume or audio quality. The polar response is cardioid in the horizontal plane and very narrow in the vertical plane, so when mounted vertically, not only does the mic not pick up sound from behind but it’s also insensitive to sounds that come from above and below, strongly reducing the amount of ambient sound captured. The microphone’s slender frame is shaped from a 6x6mm solid square brass bar using a milling cutter with bits less than 2mm in radius. Looks like a discreet mic for conference halls, boardrooms, houses of worship and TV studios.

Samsung Flip is an interactive display that drives more productive and efficient collaboration without the hassle. Meetings can take place anywhere and at any time, with all vital elements included. For businesses that lack collaborative environments, Samsung Flip elevates any personal office or available room into a fully-functional huddle space. Conversations and content can be saved and shared easily through mobile and digital channels. Use Flip to create, draw, write and inspire with the smooth and familiar feel of traditional writing in a versatile digital format. A variety of colours, styles and widths are available and up to four people can write simultaneously, using any object as the writing tool. Align your personal devices with the central screen for interactive content visibility, notation and sharing. Samsung Flip includes a dedicated HDMI port for seamless connectivity with users’ personal devices.

The central component of the Rivage PM7 system is the CSD-R7 digital mixing console. The same size as Rivage PM10’s control surface, the CSD-R7 has the DSP engine built in and delivers a greater degree of portability and system flexibility. With 120 input channels, 60 mix buses, 24 matrices and a selection of 48 plug-ins, Rivage PM7 provides a similar mixing capacity to the company’s Rivage PM10. Rivage PM7 uses Yamaha’s TWINLANe networking technology, Dante, or both. The dedicated TWINLANe network uses optical cable to handle up 400 channels of audio. Combinations of the RPio622 and/or RPio222 I/O racks and HY256-TL or HY256-TL-SMF audio interface cards allow input via Hybrid Microphone Preamplifiers with analogue input stages, taking Yamaha’s ‘natural sound’ concept to new heights, as well as digital sections with Virtual Circuit Modelling of Rupert Neve Designs transformer and SILK processing circuitry.

K-Array: NAS: 1800 441 440 or



Ultra-realistic Messaging On Display

Bring the next generation of Samsung UHD picture quality to your commercial environment.

Empower UHD streaming through the built-in Tizen platform media player^

Showcase text and images in crisp, sharp detail, and elevate brand image with UHD technology.* Samsung QM Series features 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, portrait or landscape orientation, and reliable 24/7 operation~ for ultimate flexibility and picture clarity in commercial settings.

Samsung UHD Displays, differentiating the consumer experience through enhanced large-screen content sharing. For enquiries please contact our Business Desk T: 1800 31 32 33 | E: Please visit for more information. * Picture quality may vary depending on source content. ~ Only specified models (QMH 49”, 55”, 65”, QMF 75”, 95”) are designed to operate for 24/7. Model QMD 85” is designed to operate for a maximum of 16/7. ^ Built-in Tizen media player available in QMH 49”, 55”, 65”.






Epson has announced a 12,000-lumen native 4K 3LCD laser projector, the Pro L12000Q. Epson also adds the compact Pro L20000U to its large venue projector line, boasting 20,000 lumens of colour and white brightness1 and WUXGA resolution. Epson’s Pro L-Series laser projectors are designed for demanding environments, including rental and staging events, lecture halls, and digital signage installations. The new Pro L12000Q and L20000U models share the same robust, compact and lightweight chassis that makes them easy to integrate into existing infrastructure – a breakthrough at this level of brightness. The new projectors also feature support for HDR, 360-degree installation flexibility, and a sealed light source and optical engine to protect from dust and smoke. The Pro L12000Q and L20000U are compatible with Epson's Pro L-Series lens family, including the new ultra short-throw ELPLX02 for large image projection from just a few feet away. Epson laser technology delivers remarkable colour accuracy, easy set-up, and up to 20,000 hours of laser light source for a virtually maintenance-free solution.

InFocus launches the JTouch Plus INF8630AG, the latest and largest addition to its JTouch open Androidbased interactive touch display solutions built for collaboration. The JTouch Plus INF8630AG features a 4K anti-glare 86-inch display that users can customise and annotate over any documents, whiteboard, browse the web, and run Android apps, plus wirelessly cast with ease using LightCast. The 86-inch JTouch Plus is well suited to education applications, using an open Android platform that allows users to easily install and use any applications from the Google Play Store. Students can interact with educational content, games and information on the large screen as they would on a tablet. Featuring Total Touch Control, the JTouch Plus is intuitive to use without a remote. Teachers and presenters can also connect any device (HDMI, VGA or PC), freeze the screen and annotate over any content, and then save screen captures to the internal storage or an external USB drive.

Meyer Sound continues to expand its installation range of products. The Ashby Series of self-powered ceiling loudspeakers incorporates the Meyer’s IntelligentDC technology — joining the seven surfacemount loudspeakers already using the tech. The series combine Meyer’s self-powered ethos along with the installation ease of distributed low-voltage systems. The Ashby Series comprises two flushmount models: the Ashby-5C with a five-inch low-mid cone driver and the Ashby-8C with an eight-inch low-mid driver. Both employ a concentric 0.75-inch metal dome tweeter and are housed in integral, quick-mount metal backcans with Phoenix connectors for fast, simple installation in new or retrofit systems. The innovative dual-driver concentric design provides a uniform 100° dispersion pattern, allowing use of fewer speakers to cover a wide listening area. A remote MPS-488HP rack-mount unit supplies both balanced audio signal and 48V DC power for the amplifier.

Westan: (02) 8033 2186 or InFocus:

Audio Brands Australia: 0499 828 521 or Meyer Sound:



People talk about ISE being too big. Anyone who’s been to CES in Las Vegas will understand what ‘big’ is. CES makes ISE look like a village fete. Yes, you need the full four days of the show to see everything. Yes, it’s reaching the maximum capacity of the RAI exhibition centre. But I don’t think it’s too big. I especially love ISE for the gems I can find from the smaller exhibitors. AV over IP solutions were everywhere: More companies are taking on the SDVoE solution, like Christie (with PureLink). I’m disappointed that no one else is really championing AVB. Not sure Biamp can carry that torch by itself. Imagine if a company like a Lightware picked up AVB, I think that’d be healthy.

Samsung Wall: Samsung’s Wall uses Micro LED (ie. they’re self illuminating/don’t need any back light), and are arranged in tiles. It presents as a really clean flat surface and looks well suited as a primo large-format indoor display for the likes of an ASX100 boardroom. Crestron NVX: The biggest issue until now has been the lack of support of Dante — that support is a big deal. The Xio control and monitoring platform is a big step forward as well. It turns NVX into an attractive proposition to the IT gatekeeper.

Extron introduces the TeamWork Connect 300, a cost effective, pre-configured collaboration system for two digital and one analogue source. Simply connect a Show Me cable to a laptop or tablet to automatically power on the system. When a user presses the Share button on a Show Me cable, the switcher selects that input and the Share button lights up for visual confirmation. TeamWork Connect works with most laptops, tablets, and flat panel displays, and supports full resolution computer and video signals up to 1920x1200, including 1080p/60 and 2K. Extron:

Apart Audio’s REVAMP8250 is a flexible solution for commercial installers, which provide multi zone audio for a wide range of project requirements. Featuring an eight-channel bridgeable Class-D power amplifier, the REVAMP8250 has the ability to create eight zones in mono, four zones in stereo, and four bridged mono or two bridged stereo systems. Apart Audio: Amber Technology:

Award-winning sound from small-format loudspeakers.

RoomMatch® Utility loudspeakers Bose® RoomMatch Utility loudspeakers bring the award-winning sound of RoomMatch arrays to smaller 2-way point-source designs. Available in a variety of sizes and coverage patterns, these high-SPL loudspeakers can be used for many retail and restaurant applications, and as specific zone fill and floor monitors for houses of worship and performing arts centers. The line of products features the Bose EMB2 compression driver to reduce distortion and deliver consistent tonal balance across all product models. Available in black or white.

AUS 1300 368 436 | NZ 0800 705 500 |

©2017 Bose Corporation.

Learn more at PRO.BOSE.COM






Adamson’s IS-Series has new models: the IS7p and IS10p. Like the existing IS-Series offerings — the IS7 and IS10 two-way, full-range line array cabinets and IS118 and IS119 subwoofers — the new point source models pack Adamson’s sophisticated tour-grade technology into a sleek package with rugged and unobtrusive rigging solutions, keeping the focus on the architecture in any given application. Both loudspeakers feature newly designed rotatable waveguides, with nominal dispersion patterns of 70° x 40° or 100° x 50°, respectively, and ensure a smooth transition from onto off-axis positions, delivering natural sound without diffraction or lobing. Depending on the application, their full-range capabilities can negate the need for a subwoofer, and with their high SPL-to-size ratio, the IS7p and IS10p are remarkably efficient solutions. Available in June.

Engineered and manufactured in Germany, Dynacord’s new IPX series comprises three four-channel models and one eight-channel model, offering a power density of 5kW, 10kW and even 20kW from a single amplifier with all channels driven. With outstanding audio performance, integration flexibility and reliability, IPX series amplifiers can cover a wide range of fixed install venues, from concert halls, art centres, theatres, and houses of worship to distributed sound systems in stadiums and entertainment centres. Combined with high energy savings via the new Dynacord Eco Rail mode, they represent an ‘outstanding value’ for mid- to large-sized audio installation. The integrated OMNEO interface with a primary and secondary port allows the use of eight channels from a Dante audio network, while remote and supervision parameters run on OCA protocol (AES70), open for third-party integration. The IPX series offers 96k digital signal processing. The three DSP blocks are split into user, array and speaker processing controls, each featuring a wide range of equalisation, delay, level options and even asymmetric filters to adapt to almost any application.

AV Studio is a SaaS product that streamlines postprocessing of recorded video through remote operation and monitoring of simple on-site capture hardware. AV Studio makes for ultra low-cost recording and postproduction of live seminars and conference breakout rooms using cloud-based infrastructure.

Adamson: CMI: (03) 9315 2244 or

Dynacord: Australian Distributor:


Crestron AirBoard: Actually a rebadged Kaptivo product that works great. It’s designed for a conventional whiteboard and captures the content by taking snapshots as and when the content changes. It’s not just sitting there chewing up hard drive space. We attempted to design something like it from scratch six years ago while working on a USC project without success. Great to see a professional, resolved product like this in the market. And perfect for the university space. Neets Soundbar: A range of soundbars with interchangeable covers to match a room’s aesthetics. It’s affordable, which is what you need when you go to install 100+

of these devices into a university. Not only is it priced right but has RS232 control. We’ve had experiences of a soundbar going to sleep and without the control port, can only be woken up manually — which is a huge pain in the neck. Sleek Erard: neat idea from a mounts specialist. It’s a mount for a screen that allows you to sit it up against a glass wall without any drilling or mounting directly to the glass. A real problem solver. Lenovo Skype ‘Phone’: The ThinkSmart Hub 500 is a PC touch panel that’s designed as a thoroughbred Skype for Business product. The 11.6-inch LCD can be tilted. It’s in direct competition to the Logitech Dock but it

combines a Lenovo PCs into an all-in-one unit. Neat.

Epiphan has some new hardware as well: Pearl Mini is a portable unit that can record, stream and switch up to two HD inputs simultaneously. Pearl Mini works with HDMI, SDI, and DVI sources without the need for signal converters or scalers. Design your own custom layouts, including picture in picture and image overlays, using the drag-and-drop editor in Pearl Mini’s web-based Admin panel. Combine, crop, and scale up to 2 HD video sources. Add overlay images, text, and timestamping and more. Simultaneously livestream to YouTube, Facebook or any other CDN or CMS. At the same time, use the built-in streaming server to stream locally to web browsers, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. Epiphan: AV Studio: AP Technology: (02) 9452 6001 or

Solstice Kepler, Mersive’s latest 3.1 version of Solstice adds new features for meeting collaborators, including room scheduling via calendar integration, expanded in-product language support, a fully redesigned welcome screen and more. The room scheduling feature integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 to automatically maintain an updated room calendar and can support other 3rd party calendar systems via the Solstice OpenControl API. Mersive: Midwhich:

Gefen’s 4K Ultra HD 600MHz 1:2 Scaler with EDID Detective and Audio-De-Embedder helps SIs solve compatibility issues often encountered in installations including a mix of 4K and 1080p displays. Thanks to independent scalers built into each of its two HDMI outputs, one output can downscale a 4K 600MHz signal to 1080p Full HD, while the other can upscale an HD signal to 4K Ultra HD 600MHz, maximising compatibility in a mixed resolution display system. Gefen: Amber Technology:






ListenTALK enables clear, secure, reciprocal communications. The product features a pocket-sized device that makes it easy for groups of two or more people to listen and talk with the push of a button. It is ideal for noisy, crowded and/or mobile environments where people need to communicate and wish to avoid having to shout or whisper. Applications include guided tours, training and collaboration, mobile sales or safety presentations, intercom/event production, language interpretation, and many more. Built on the less crowded 1.9GHz DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) band, and offering secure encryption and full duplex spread spectrum technology, ListenTALK delivers the best and most powerful single solution to group communications. ListenTALK groups can be set up quickly and easily using the free software suite, docking station tray, or by simply touching the units together using near field communication (NFC). ListenTALK devices can be configured in bulk by the simple push of a button on the docking station tray.

Panasonic has unveiled new 4K solutions, including a ‘beyond 4K’ 20,000 lumens laser projector and a 4K professional display lineup. The PT-RQ22K beyond 4K laser projector is equipped with 4K+ (5120 x 3200) resolution and is aimed at live event staging, exhibitions, rental, and permanent installations where absolute reliability is critical. It meets the demand for a light weight, high-brightness 4K+ projector with film-like image quality, suitable for single or stacked projections. The PT-RQ22K shares the same compact dimensions and 20,000 lumens brightness as the PTRZ21K series, a WUXGA/SXGA+ projector. The imaging engines include a Quad Pixel Drive and 240Hz real motion processor. Heat-resistant phosphor wheels and solid-state laser modules serve vivid 4K+ images with industry leading brightness, contrast, and accuracy. The PT-RQ22K also offers BT.2020 emulation and supports premium HDR video content playback.

Something for IT/AV system administrators: Q-SYS Reflect is a new management platform for the Q-SYS ecosystem, which will launch with two different versions. Q-SYS Reflect Core Manager runs natively on the Q-SYS Core processor and provides a more modern and secure interface for common, IT related tasks on the Q-SYS hardware. Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager extends that web platform to the cloud and provides a hosted solution to monitor and manage multiple Q-SYS systems including Core processors and peripherals. QSC also released:


ListenTechnologies: ListenTALK: Australian Distributor:


FantaLED: I like the look of this LED ‘rope’ product for theming a large void like you might find in a corporate foyer or a shopping centre atrium. Too low res to display content but it’s eye catching. LG as a lo-res LED product that can mount to a glass wall. It was only in white LED last year, this year it colour changing. Once refined it can be actually usable for displaying content. Cisco Spark Quad Camera: an addition to the Spark family. I’m not Cisco’s biggest fan but this looks like a potentially good solution: an entry-level VC system with a 4K camera, multiple cameras, a soundbar, mic array and good aesthetics. PQ Labs: PQ labs is known for

The Q-SYS UCI Editor is an easy to use, drag-and-drop design tool that allows users to create custom, robust UCIs for native Q-SYS touchscreen controllers. For installations that require more complex control integration, the Q-SYS Scripting Engine allows control plug-ins and scripts to easily integrate third-party devices. TSC-G2 Series Touch Screen Controllers were also launched equipped with IPS technology for superior off-axis viewing, and require no dedicated control hardware to operate. QSC: Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or

its touch overlays. This is an infrared emitter that you can place on any glass surface, not necessarily on a TV display and turn it into a touch screen. So imagine if you had a window with these emitters and the actual display behind the window, the glass could act as the interface. Calling all real estate agents! Klik: I liked the look of the Klik wireless collaboration system. It support iOS and Android (I tested it for both at the show and it worked instantly). It can sit on the client network and talk wirelessly through the client network. Much neater than having an Apple TV and a Miracast dongle to cater for both flavours.

Praesensa is the latest Public Address and Voice Alarm System from Bosch – IP-connected and fully-featured. All components are networked, thereby ensuring the highest flexibility and scalability from small centralised to large decentralised systems. The Bosch Omneo IP architecture supports Dante audio networking, AES67 and AES70 protocol. Praesensa offers high levels of data security and full network link redundancy with smart integration of functions and backup facilities — no single point of failure and only a few different devices are needed to fulfil system needs. Bosch:

Casio’s XJ-L8300HN is the company’s first 4K Ultra HD projector, featuring 5000 lumens brightness with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and is equipped with a DLP chip. Casio’s Business Development Manager, John Dykes: “We’ve seen a continued level of growth in our lamp-free projectors, especially with our Core Series due to its competitive price point and brightness of up to 3500 lumens brightness. The 4K XJ-L8300HN will be on display so that integrators can see the performance of its lamp-free design at this high resolution.” Casio:

Demand more from your wireless system DMS800

Dual Channel Digital Wireless Microphone System • Ultrawide band 150Mhz – 1 unit covers whole of Australian wireless spectrum • Environment frequency scanner and spectrum analyser • Run two transmitters simultaneously on 1 receiver • Dante integration


Premium Analogue Wireless Systems • • • • •

Automatic frequency setup Operate up to 16 channels simultaneously per band Line of sight transmission up to 300m Available for Vocal, Presenter, Sports & Instrument Up to 14 hours’ battery life on transmitters

For more information please contact:






AMX Acendo Vibe is a new line of premium conferencing sound bars designed for huddle spaces and smaller meeting environments. It’s an all-in-one solution that requires no programming or installation of additional equipment, and is available in three colours. Acendo Vibe 5100 and 2100 series models incorporate advanced JBL technologies, including far-field microphones and integrated AEC to ensure everyone in the room can be heard clearly. USB and Bluetooth connectivity streamlines BYOD (bring your own device) conference applications by allowing users to easily connect laptops, phones and tablets. Dedicated audio inputs and outputs allow users to integrate Acendo Vibe with other AV systems, such as assistive listening systems and more. The 120° field-of-view (FoV) camera allows everyone in the room to be seen, including individuals sitting close to the display. The 5100 Series also includes HDMI connections to route video to the display, and automatically turn the display on when a laptop is connected.

Atlona introduced the AT-HDVS-SC-RX at ISE, its first HDBaseT receiver with Atlona CrystalScale Technology (ACT), a 4K scaling and video wall processing engine. The HDVS-SC-RX carries over the most pertinent features of its 1080p-only predecessor, the HDVS200-RX, including image adjustment capability, audio de-embedding, and the ability to automatically match incoming signals to the display’s native resolution. For the first time, Atlona has engineered CrystalScale, the core signal processing engine to fully optimise image quality and switching performance. This includes new features to support mirror/flip and 90° image rotation, motion-adaptive video de-interlacing, 3:2 pulldown, aspect ratio control, and internal test pattern generation. The premium scaler inside the HDVS-SCRX makes a significant difference when showing small numbers and detailed graphs. The scaling receiver also adds a second HDMI input, allowing users to incorporate additional content from a local computer or wireless base.

Beyerdynamic’s Phonum is a compact, portable batteryoperated speakerphone uses a downfire loudspeaker that radiates the sound across the table surface. Phonum also uses Beyer’s Voice Compass technology to draw attention to the spoken word. Phonum improves the quality of the audio transmission and the communication effectiveness. Phonum can be set up quickly and easily in any room and connected effortlessly via Bluetooth or USB to a smartphone or computer. This enables meetings to be held without large conference rooms and complex, fixed communications systems — spontaneously, quickly, creatively and with the team in mind. Phonum can be powered with its integrated rechargeable battery, and with up to 15 hours speaking time it offers more than enough time for longer meetings. During USB operation, the system sources its power directly from the data port.

avt: (07) 5531 3103 or AMX:

Midwich: 1300 666 099 or Atlona:


connect to your display, and there’s the table top transmitter (you can connect up to 64 transmitters to the one receiver). The transmitter has an attached USB cable to accept power from your laptop (and to control an interactive whiteboard). That’s lead No.1. Lead No.2 is either a mini displayport or HDMI cable that takes the video output of

LUMENS: TAP & GO One of the pleasant surprises to come out of ISE was Lumens’ introduction of TapShare. Every product like this owes something to the seminal ClickShare from Barco. And every product like this is at pains to not tread on Barco’s patent toes. TapShare is a two-cable solution. There’s a wireless receiver that

your laptop. The result is 1080p video (60fps) or 4K (@ 30fps) with negligible latency. A USB port in the transmitter allows the sharing of a mobile device. Once plugged in (no drivers required), simply hit (tap) the button on the transmitter and the presenter will be given the option of allowing the device to be displayed on screen. Once the okay is given the display goes into split-screen multiview (up to four sources may be displayed at once). Rounding out the I/O there’s a ethernet port on the transmitter which also allow PoE. It’s also possible to Airplay and Android screen mirroring straight to the display via your device, using the TapShare receiver’s built-in 5G wifi network. No drivers required.

Beyerdynamic: Syntec: 1300 467 968 or

Setting it apart, TapShare features ‘reverse control’. So for example if you’re using a Surface Hub as your main display and you were sitting at the desk with a Surface Pro, then drawing on the Hub will be replicated on the pro and not just the other way around. There are similar applications for interactive projection as well. General consensus suggests the fluidity of the screen sharing is first class. The video quality is excellent. Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 or

Chief’s Impact On-Wall Kiosk brings a new level of flexibility to the digital signage enclosure market, while maintaining a sleek aesthetic to complement a variety of environments. A depth-adjustable exterior frame allows for a variety of display sizes. Reversible hinges help to avoid installation and service obstructions, and the design keeps the display mounted to the frame when opened, providing unparalleled service and maintenance access. Chief: Midwich:







BOLERO WIRELESS INTERCOM • • • • • • • • • • •

Up to 10 beltpacks per antenna 100 antenna, 100 beltpack system capacity Best-in-class voice clarity “Touch&Go” beltpack registration 6-channel beltpack plus dedicated REPLY button Built-in microphone and speaker for Walkie-Talkie mode Smartphone integration via Bluetooth Ergonomic, robust beltpack design Sunlight-readable display with Gorilla Glass™ Decentralized AES67 IP networked antennas Seamless integration into RIEDEL‘S ARTIST intercom matrix






Biamp’s next generation of the Devio products pack unique features and patented capabilities that further improve audio quality, while also simplifying installation and programming for integrators. The enhancements broaden room design flexibility, deliver improved video capabilities, and expand support for VoIP/POTS handsets and mobile devices. Equipped with Biamp’s beamtracking technology, Devio microphones not only identify and lock onto a signal source, but also track that source as they move around the room. This ability to capture participants’ conversation as they collaborate, while intelligently mixing conversations from around the table, allows far-end conference participants to experience a more natural-sounding conversation as it unfolds. Devio is a cost-effective, uncomplicated USB audio interface that provides users of web-based conferencing systems with an exceptional AV experience.

BrightSign introduces the first of its Series 4 Players, the XD4 and XT4. The Series 4 range is newly designed to support Dolby Vision and deliver BrightSign’s fastest performance to date through upgraded processing power. The XD234 and XD1034 will replace the current XD Series 3 models and XT244 and XT1144 will replace the current XT Series 3 line. As always, the XT line will support PoE and XT1144 supports HDMI In to deliver Live TV to end-points either via an HDMI cable or streaming over a network. The new players will continue using the sleek, patented industrial design of the Series 3 players. Jeff Hastings, CEO: “We are constantly looking to improve our award winning players and build in support for the newest video formats. The new models offer even faster performance and support the latest, most advanced form of 4K HDR video by Dolby Vision.”

JBL’s VLA Compact Series offers the ‘same performance’ as the VLA Series long-throw line arrays in a more compact, outdoor-ready solution for use in a number of scenarios, from small- to mid-sized stadiums and arenas to larger venues. VLA Compact is designed specifically for permanent installation applications requiring even coverage, high intelligibility and high audio levels, offering large format horn-loaded modules to provide broad bandwidth horizontal directivity and an increase in sensitivity. The full-range models of the VLA Compact Series include dual 10-inch low frequency drivers featuring Harman’s Differential Drive technology, with 65° and 100° horizontal coverage options available. A subwoofer with dual 15-inch Differential Drive woofers is also available. Because the VLA Compact is intended for outdoor use, the speakers also include weather protection out of the box, with an IP55-rated fibreglass enclosure and steel end panels.

Biamp: Jands:

Midwich: 1300 666 099 or Brightsign:

JBL: avt:




Audinate has introduced Dante AVIO, a family of cost-effective endpoint adapters that allow audio professionals to connect legacy analogue and digital audio equipment to Dante networks. Starting with an MSRP of US$129, the Dante AVIO series features six new adapters including line-in and line-out analogue adapters, a bi-directional AES3/EBU adapter and a bi-directional stereo USB adapter. Each Dante AVIO adapter acts as a completely independent Dante network device, allowing legacy gear to enjoy the benefits of networked audio. These devices can now seamlessly transmit high quality, uncompressed audio streams over long distances without the noise and ground issues common to analogue connections. Dante AVIO adapters enable non-networked equipment to be interoperable with any of the more than 1250 Danteenabled products on the market.

New evolution wireless from Sennheiser. The ew300 G4 series is specifically geared to enterprises, hotels, conference centres, schools and universities. The systems are available in various frequency ranges in the UHF band; the switching bandwidth has been increased from 42MHz to up to 88MHz (up to 32 channels). The three-stage switchable output power (10/30/50mW) increases the range of the transmitters, thus addressing more difficult RF conditions. All transmitters of the 300 series are equipped with mute switches to give the speaker control over transmission. The latest version of Sennheiser Control Cockpit software enables easier handling, maintenance and control of all wireless microphone solutions – all via web browser on smartphone, tablet and laptop. In addition to SpeechLine Digital Wireless, the new version of the Sennheiser Control Cockpit offers brilliantly convenient control of further microphone systems, which now includes the Digital 6000, evolution wireless G3 and the brand-new evolution wireless G4 series.

The MS-TestPro provides an elegant, handheld solution for in-field testing of HDBaseT-based systems and cabling. With its built-in HDMI Pattern Generator, HDBaseT monitoring, logging and diagnostic functions, the MS-TestPro provides installers and integrators with quick and efficient system analysis and troubleshooting.


Sennheiser: (02) 9910 6700 or

MS-TestPro’s HDBaseT Tx, Rx and PoH (power over HDBaseT) capabilities provides a highly efficient testing platform for HDBaseT source and sink devices, powered devices and up to 100m of Cate5e (or higher) cabling. There’s an EDID reader on board and will happily play with Extron XTP. It’s not the only HDBaseT diagnostics tool going around but the price of the MS-TestPro makes it a compelling addition to an SI, installer or AV department’s toolkit. M Solutions: Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 or

Less is More VHD2.0 Large Format Point Source System

Sound Engineer Angus Davidson has been involved in large scale sound reinforcement for the last thirty years mixing for famous acts like Supertramp and Crowded House. For him sound quality is the number one priority and this is what has drawn him to KV2 and VHD. “The capabilities of the VHD2.0 in sound quality and coverage have astounded me but the cost savings in transport, crew, rigging, power requirements and set up times make this system a real winner. VHD delivers real bang for the buck on all fronts.“ Angus Davidson Sound Engineer



What Harman did Next. Harman Professional Solutions’ global tectonic shifts sends tremors through our region. We catch up with Asia Pac boss for an update. Interview:/ Christopher Holder


t’s not the first product to combine Harman Professional Solutions — stable smarts but it most ably embodies the new corporate ethos. Acendo Vibe is ostensibly an AMX product but really it’s a Harman Professional Solutions product. The AMX Acendo Vibe is a new line of primo conferencing sound bars for smaller meeting environments. With a feature set that includes JBL speakers, far-field microphones, a wide-angle camera and a modern office design aesthetic, Acendo Vibe is being sold as an allin-one intuitive and easy-to-install package. And on the face of it, Acendo looks like a total winner for the upmarket huddle space market. It’s an all-in-one meeting room appliance that’s as easy to use as a smart phone. It looks amazing and all it needs is a display… ah, yes, displays. More on that later! Harman Professional Solutions has done a good job of leveraging the legacy of its iconic brands like JBL, AKG, BSS etc and blending them with the HARMAN brand. Harman Professional Solutions also understands it is uniquely placed in the AV landscape because it has industry recognisable brands in Lighting, Audio, Video and Control. HARMAN PUSHING HARMAN

Some four years ago, Harman Professional Solutions began pushing HARMAN. Since then a heckuva lot has changed. In that time Harman purchased AMX (which not that long before had itself purchased SVSI). A restructure of global operations meant the myriad offices around the world were shut down in preference to having three Centres of Competency in Northridge, CA for acoustics; Richardson, TX for electronics, DSP, and video and control; and Aarhus, Denmark for lighting. On top of this, duplicate positions across the brands Harman Professional Solutions acquired resulted in the announcement of 650 layoffs, although this was countered by an aggressive hiring program from the company. Still, net loss to the business was somewhere over 200 people. In amongst all of this, the company was acquired by Samsung, with the deal completed in March of 2017. Like I said, a lot has changed, but Harman Professional Solutions says its business is now better-positioned to meet its customers’ needs. It also says the changes will increase its speed of new product development; improve

the supply chain; optimise sales, support and corporate functions; and accelerate its investment in IT, infrastructure and marketing. Closer to home, 2017 also saw the company part ways with Jands, as part of an extensive review process to reduce the complexity of its structure in Australia. The breakup was less like a Brangelina de-coupling and more like seeing your grandparents unexpectedly ending their 35+ year marriage. It seemed inconceivable. The change sees CMI taking on Harman’s MI retail, recording and prosumer, avt taking care of integration & installation products, while Show Technology maintains its steady grip on Martin.

Ramesh Jayaraman, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions


AV Asia Pacific spent an hour with Ramesh Jayaraman, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Harman Professional Solutions to better understand what those tectonic shifts mean for the region and where they’ll lead. AV Asia Pacific: What do you make of the industry suspicion that Samsung was only ever interested in Harman’s ‘connected car’ smarts and don’t really know what to think of the Professional division? Ramesh Jayaraman: What we’re actually seeing is that Samsung is very bullish on the future of Harman Professional Solutions and its AV brands. Samsung sees an opportunity to leverage our ability to sell into places where the addition of one of its displays would offer a complete solution. That represents a huge selling opportunity for Samsung and Harman Professional Solutions. AV Asia Pacific: Right, so not the ‘orphan child’ then? Ramesh Jayaraman: Not at all. Samsung sees real value in the brands of Harman Professional Solutions. The restructuring has also seen huge investments in our side of the business. With Samsung’s full support, we have some very exciting times ahead. SOLVING SOLUTIONS

AV Asia Pacific: How’s the push toward providing solutions working out for Harman? Ramesh Jayaraman: Harman Professional Solutions and Samsung are looking at integrated offerings for our customers. Take the boardroom as an example. We’ve always

been the leader in providing solutions for the boardroom with our iconic brands AMX, Crown, AKG, BSS… what we missed was a display and now we have that. Now it’s about bringing it all together; creating a synergy; going in as one team, talking to people as one team. Another example is the hospitality/ hotels sector. Samsung displays and televisions are in more hotel chains that anyone else. That puts Harman Professional Solutions and our partners in a unique position to provide offerings from the same house. We are a true one–stop-shop, with solutions for a range of industry verticals. AV Asia Pacific: Regionally, how has the Harman restructure gone? Ramesh Jayaraman: We have consolidated our presence into a new regional headquarters in Singapore opened in late 2016. In APAC, Harman Professional Solutions recorded a stellar performance in 2017 and we see our strategy pointing us to some successful times in 2018. AV Asia Pacific: From our chat this time last year your push was to really engage the end users — hotels, stadiums, cinemas etc. There was more than a whiff of a change in distribution model there. Ramesh Jayaraman: The market strategy is to work with our partners. But additionally, our business development efforts include working with our end customers, that’s part of the strategy. But all final closures happen through our partners. We’ve more than doubled our workforce in the region. The people we’re bringing in are the crème de la crème of the



Future Glimpse?: The AMX Acendo Vibe is a new line of primo conferencing sound bars for smaller meeting environments. With a feature set that includes JBL speakers, far-field microphones, a wide-angle camera and a modern office design aesthetic, Acendo Vibe is being sold as an all-in-one intuitive and easy-to-install package.

industry and becoming the voice of Harman Professional Solutions. That’s a very positive cycle. Asia Pac has become the fastest growing region within Harman Professional Solutions. But like you, I heard the rumours: ‘Harman’s going to go direct’. No, that’s not our strategy. We’re a solutions provider; a manufacturer. The strategy in Australia and everywhere in APAC is to work closely with our partners and build country level strategy for growth together. AV Asia Pacific: How do you explain the success over the last year? Ramesh Jayaraman: We identified and looked hard into our vertical markets and asked ourselves ‘how do we go deeper in the vertical we serve?’. It’s what I like to call the ‘inch-wide, mile-deep’ approach. The product solutions are the same but how do I get deeper and serve a wide range of the market within our focus verticals? It’s about having the distribution partners with the specialised knowledge to service the verticals they operate in. Giving end users what they want, according to their requirements, and nearer to them. Last year we picked out three verticals and went deep: retail,

cinema, broadcast. In the case of broadcast, an OB truck, for example, it’s about focussing on more than the Studer console — glamorous as it is — and providing a complete end to end solution including audio requirements — speakers, mics, lighting etc. “Inch-wide, Miledeep”. Our solutions-selling combined with a “Customer First” approach is the focus of our strategy in the region and we are happy to take this one step at a time. AV Asia Pacific: You mentioned Retail as another vertical your focussing on. Any insights into how to go ‘mile deep’? Ramesh Jayaraman: The question I ask myself and the team is why are we only selling through MI shops? As an example, why is a JBL Eon One only in a MI shop when BBQs Galore or Officeworks, for example, might be just as effective? It is about bringing our products closer to our customers, and making it easier for them to experience and buy our products. AV Asia Pacific: The inference being, once upon a time you might only buy a computer in a specialist retailer while now you can grab one from a variety of sources.

Ramesh Jayaraman: Exactly, it’s no different to buying a laptop. We need to expand our retail presence. Another aspect is giving ourselves greater point of sale consistency. Go into an MI store and you’ll be met by a wall of black PA speakers. How do we differentiate JBL? We’re orange — it’s the colour of our logo. So why aren’t we showing that more? How do customers find us more easily in a store? Many of these basic points we addressed by building point of sale displays and adding merchandising, to better highlight our products in stores that are nearer to our customers. AV Asia Pacific: Still, it’s radical thinking. Are most of your partners willing to go on the ride? Ramesh Jayaraman: Our partners have been absolutely phenomenal and are a great strength to us in supporting our market approach. We’ve spent the last year working on planning that approach, including strategic market mapping which was done in conjunction with our partners. We are working together on joint promotional activities that will attract the attention of our customers, get them to experience our products and help with sell through.


We’re not shedding any brands, we are absolutely committed. AUSTRALIA SUMMARY

AV Asia Pacific: More specifically, how’s the new approach going in Australia? Ramesh Jayaraman: The intent wasn’t to change partners in Australia, it was to work with the existing partners and grow. In other markets we’ve had long-time partners — 40 years-plus Harman Professional Solutions relationships — who have said, ‘I love your thinking Ramesh, let’s work together on this and make it happen’. When the results follow, you don’t need to sell it. That’s what’s been happening elsewhere in APAC. AV Asia Pacific: You’ve come from outside the industry and joined Harman late 2016. Was there any resistance to your approach because of that? Ramesh Jayaraman: We have a lot of smart partners who are technically very good. What we’ve changed is our approach and that’s now: “Customer First”. We realigned our strategy to be customer–facing, so we provide them what they want and enhance their experiences using our products. For example, I get an opportunity to speak to a lot of CEOs and other top executives. We have discussions around their boardroom experiences and conferences. The consistent feedback centres around the time spent kick-starting a meeting by getting connections to laptop, projector, display etc., right. At HARMAN Professional Solutions, we can fix that. We can solve a basic customer need by providing the right solutions that can begin meetings when people are in the room. We can provide solutions in lighting, audio, video and control to satisfy customer needs. So our fundamentals start with the customer: what the customer wants, not what I want to give them. AV Asia Pacific: How would you explain the Australian distribution shake-up to the market? Ramesh Jayaraman: Market coverage and simplicity. Are the partners we have able to cowork with us and build a strategy to cover the whole of the Australian market? That’s why the ‘shake-up’ happened. CMI has been a longtime Harman Professional Solutions partner and they’ve done a stellar job in building the DigiTech and AKG brand.s CMI has a real hunger to do well in what they do, They’re always thinking about ‘bigger’ and ‘better’. avt has been an amazing partner for us. As an AMX distributor they built a sizeable business and they’re well respected. I’ve been impressed with how avt has invested in the Harman


Professional Solutions install business. So I have avt, CMI and Show Technology as HARMAN Professional Solutions country partners in Australia. And it’s amazing now how many good customers we are bringing on board with our world class solutions. They are invested for long term and we see success in the Australian market jointly. AV Asia Pacific: There must be thought to allowing avt to sell Samsung displays at some point in the future? Ramesh Jayaraman: We are in the early stages of harnessing Harman Professional and Samsung synergies. Presently we’re working on various areas together, including Cinema and Corporate Solutions for this region. Once I have more information specific to Australia, I would love to share it with your readers. AV Asia Pacific: So is that Australia done? Ramesh Jayaraman: For the Australian market our partners are settled into their new roles and markets. The majority of our verticals are well covered in terms of our ability to provide full solutions. We are working on confirming partners for the cinema and broadcast sectors, because these are specialist verticals. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

AV Asia Pacific: How’s the new solutions focus impacting product development? Ramesh Jayaraman: Acendo is a good example of the new approach. We’ve always had a strong presence in big corporate meeting rooms. Now we’re creating devices that solve the needs of smaller conference rooms or huddle spaces. Harman Professional Solutions’ latest offering, Acendo combines a lot of our proprietary smarts into one integrated product that makes our customers’ lives easier. AV Asia Pacific: Would you say there’s a pivot, more generally, towards packaged, ready-toroll solutions across Harman Professional? And what does that mean for those whose job it is to specify and integrate these products? Ramesh Jayaraman: The traditional markets aren’t going away we’re just opening up new markets and customers in our traditional markets. Harman Professional Solutions has always been strong in the corporate space. But for every executive boardroom or large meeting room, a business might have eight or more huddle spaces. In Acendo, we now have a solution that caters directly to that sort of space. The customer wants simplification. Whether the amplification is from Crown or whether BSS is taking care of echo cancellation is not as important to the customer as just having a pain-free meeting. The ecosystem of the manufacturer, distribution partner and dealer/systems integrator is needed. The ecosystem of the consultant and the customer is needed. We can make our workplaces more technology

savvy and help our customers enhance their experiences. We’re all about increasing that cooperation between the partners in the ecosystem and making it stronger. I’m not about eliminating any link in the chain. AV Asia Pacific: Your background is in security systems. Can commercial AV learn anything from Security or more broadly, IT, when it comes to providing solutions? Ramesh Jayaraman: Security is a deeper subject with lots of confidentiality surrounding it. But there are a lot of similarities between the industries. What we can learn is that as with security systems, big business and government don’t want to invest capex money in AV systems. They’d rather lease. Or educational institutions, for example, they want a three year refresh program. Rather than investing upfront on a $1500 laptop, they’re happy to explore financing models that help them pay monthly, freeing up capital to invest in their core needs. In the world of commercial AV, service contracts and long term partnerships will get more important and at Harman Professional Solutions, we are working to facilitate this with our HARMAN Finance program. We work closely with our partners and integrators to build customer friendly finance tools that help fund these agreements. AV Asia Pacific: I guess we’re talking about the commoditisation of AV. Which isn’t exactly a ‘great news’ story for most in the industry. Ramesh Jayaraman: Every industry goes through this cycle. The same thing happened to the fire and security space years ago and many predicted doom and gloom… ‘we’ll be buying home security devices from online retailers, and our industry is doomed’. It didn’t happen. The big companies grew stronger. Commoditisation isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. It’s worth asking ourselves, ‘how do I take a commodity solution and make it something the customer wants?’ Put the customer first. As a systems integrator I might approach a CEO and tell him he needs to spend $100k to upgrade his meeting room. The CEO responds by saying he’ll speak to his CFO and gets back to you maybe next year. Or, as a systems integrator I can say ‘for $500 a month I’ll give you an always-on meeting room’. ‘Go ahead,’ says the CEO, ‘do it now’. It’s a different way of thinking. And don’t forget, that when you deploy these new appliances in numbers you need a consultant and an SI to do it properly. As we speak, we have a customer exploring the deployment of 2000 Acendo units. We are working with a consultant and an SI to fulfil the requirements. Once you start working with more than a few of these devices it can be quite complex to integrate. We don’t see that eco system going away. It can get stronger, but the players do need to change the way they think. 






EP has recently installed a huge RTS comms system, forming part of the broadcaster’s new Andrews Hubs, located in Sydney and Melbourne, and connects the hubs with sporting venues and OB trucks across the country via a new high-bandwidth IP network. The RTS IP-based talkback system includes multiple ADAM-M matrix frames all with redundant power supplies and MCIIe control accounts, new OMNEO IP and Dante audioenabled OMI32 32-channel and OMI48 48 – channel cards to connect all of the keypanels, multiple TM10K Trunk Masters with redundancy between the trucks and hubs, RVON16 IP cards for the long haul trunk lines, over 300 of the latest fully software optioned KP-5032, KP-4016, EKP4016 and DKP-4016 keypanels, over 300 PH88R5 headsets, multiple Roameo AP-1800 DECT wireless access points and TR-1800 wireless fourbutton beltpacks. The equipment was supplied by Magna Systems. NEP Australia’s Director of Technology, Marc Segar, said: “Once NEP committed to an all-IP ecosystem at the Andrews Hubs and in our four

new all-IP outside broadcast trucks we began the search for the very best IP-based technology. The RTS talkback system we selected fits perfectly into the ethos of the hubs as the new keypanels with control over IP enable us to configure local keypanel settings and allows us access to every panel in the system remotely. In other words anyone anywhere at anytime can communicate via the RTS IP comms. This makes it not only efficient and effective but also futureproof.” NEP’s search for their new IP-based talkback began at the end of last year when Segar and his team including Head of Audio and Communications Salvador Santos, went to the market to see which systems could deliver on their exact IP requirements — going through a rigorous testing and assessment process. Salvador Santos: “We had experienced the new RTS ADAM-M matrix and new keypanels when they were installed in The Bunker at NEP’s Everleigh HQ last year, so we knew they were good. Once we tested them to their limits alongside competitive offerings it was clear that the RTS solution more closely met all of our requirements.”

The new RTS IP talkback system in-situ at NEP’s Andrews Hub in Sydney. The new KP-Series is future-proofed through flexibility and features automatic hardware recognition plus the technology of OMNEO. There’s also IP Connectivity and TCP-IP Layer 2 & 3 compatibility. The new keypanel family also features two echo cancellation modes, plus quick AD/DA conversion ensuring ultra-low latency and reducing noise, echo, delay and other malfunctions found in older technologies.

Marc Segar concluded, “The ease of the RTS talkback system’s IP connectivity across one national network and being able to trunk all the ADAM-M matrices together on such a large scale was key in the purchase of this equipment and its fair to say we now have the very latest in IP talkback technology.”  Magna Systems: (02) 9417 1111 or Bosch (RTS): 1300 026 724 or

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Resurrection House Audio Comes Alive


esurrection House is a Catholic primary school located in Essendon, Melbourne. The property has a rich history. Originally built as an orphanage for Polish children affected by World War II, it turned into a primary school but still retains its Polish charm with notable architecture and beautifully manicured garden beds. Weekly Sunday mass is a big part of the Resurrection House community. The ornate church has sliding doors across the rear which open up into a much larger parish hall opposite. Churchgoers spend time in this area after mass, often enjoying music played by the school students from the parish hall stage. SOUND THEATRICS

Theatre productions have become a larger part of the school’s annual schedule as students showed more interest. These are also held in the parish hall which had an outdated PA system and console. Resurrection House decided it was time to up the ante. In searching for a new PA, the school’s volunteer technical manager Joseph Gofron stressed the importance of intelligibility in the vocal range. “Vocal intelligibility is important for us because our audience is often elderly and a lot of them suffer from high frequency hearing loss,” notes Gofron. “When we started doing musicals with young kids’ high-pitched voices, intelligibility was an issue. We wanted to have clarity. The narrators and actors telling the story need to be understood.”

Joe Sofo from Concert AV — who managed the installation for Resurrection House — was familiar with d&b audiotechnik products from the concert and festival scene. Joe suggested a point source front of house system comprised of two d&b 24S loudspeakers and a single d&b 21S-SUB subwoofer placed under the front edge of the stage. Bek Varcoe from the NAS Projects Team used d&b ArrayCalc software to guide the best placement for the loudspeakers. The wide stage puts a large gap between the two 24S speakers, so a d&b Y7P was mounted horizontally above centre stage to fill the front area. All loudspeakers are powered by a single d&b 30D four-channel amplifier. CUE THE M32

Apart from the loudspeakers, the school also upgraded its mixing console to a Midas M32 digital mixing console with accompanying DL32 stage box. The M32’s ability to store and recall snapshots was quickly utilised in the school’s productions to simplify playback cues and microphone switching — a much easier workflow than riding faders and popping mutes. What’s

more, the M32 accepts cue signals via MIDI, allowing an entire show’s lighting and audio playback to be controlled by a single operator using LSC’s Clarity system. “The Midas M32 is great,” says Joe Gofron. “Although I can run a show with one operator my preference is to have more operators because a lot of the audiovisual stuff is run by ex students. They enjoy using the mixer and lighting system; it gives them a sense of ownership.” Prior to the PA’s official commissioning by NAS, Joe Sofo had already received compliments from the school stating how big an improvement the d&b loudspeakers had made. Joe Gofron said, “The speakers are a big plus over what we had. The clarity and intelligibility in the vocal range is the most noticeable difference. They’re doing a marvellous job. I think we made the right choice.”  National Audio Systems: (03) 8756 2600 or Concert AV: (03) 9318 1234 or



Corporate Events






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Good Heads For Radio KIIS FM Elevates Show with Philips Video Walls Text:/ Christopher Holder


ou can’t use the ‘head for radio’ joke anymore. Thanks to live streaming, social media and YouTube, radio is now a visual medium. Leading the visual charge, the KIIS FM breakfast and morning shows studio in Melbourne has been utterly transformed with the installation of two video walls comprised of Philips commercial screens. Prior to the refit of the ARN-owned studio, the KIIS FM breakfast show packages were grainy, poorly lit and generally underwhelming — something they’re quick to admit. Central to the refit strategy was to replace the worn out, wall-mounted domestic panels in the studio with a larger, wall-to-wall installation of commercial-grade panels that would display the show’s branding. When ARN contacted video wall specialists, Current Projects, it knew their vision for the displays would be a significant investment, but were pleasantly surprised. ARN Broadcast Engineer, Nick Payne, picks up the story: “We contacted Current Projects actually asking for another brand of commercial

display, but Ewa [Zwarenkant] and the team there pointed us in the direction of Philips and we got an incredibly good price in comparison.” EASY BRANDING

The Philips BDL5588XH 55-inch panels look stunning. They may only be running at some 15% brightness (so as to not compete with the studio lighting in the video packages) but virtually every camera angle now has larger-than-life KIIS branding as its backdrop. One key factor in the purchasing decision was the Philips screens’ low surface reflection. When you have nine 55-inch panels in a small studio, it’s crucial for the clarity of the video for the screens’ ‘Haze’ value to be low (more matte). Finally, ARN wasn’t interested in using the screens to achieve any picture-in-picture or other video wall features, the screens needed to be easy to maintain and update. Nick Payne explains: “We’re radio people, not vision people. We didn’t want a media server running the displays, we wanted it to be really easy to

use. As it stands we feed the 3x2 video wall with a 4K signal and its automatically split out to the six screens. The branding changes from show to show, but we won’t use it to display video or the grand final.” KIIS IN LOVE

Only weeks after its installation, already the displays are having a serious impact. The video packages look stunning; the KIIS talent love the look; and management know they’re onto something. “The talent have really fed off the new look, it’s elevated the shows to a new level. We had the national program manager here recently,” recalls Nick Payne. “After seeing the new studio with the Philips video walls he said ‘we’ve got to hide this from Kyle [Sandilands]!’ That’s going to be next: putting this setup into our Sydney studio.”  Current Projects: 1300 511 244 or Westan (Philips): 1300 963 963 or


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MEDIA IN A 4K* WORLD Text:/ Derek Powell



RESOLUTION This is the simplest of the big four specifications and the one that defines the category as ‘4K’. The familiar Full High Definition video display panel is now standardised at 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Ultra-high Definition (UHD) video displays are made to have twice as many pixels across the width of the picture and twice as many pixels vertically. That makes UHD displays 3840 pixels wide by 2160 high, containing a total of four times the number of pixels than 1920 x 1080 HD. We call these UHD displays 4K because


he era of 4K* hardware is upon us. In the commercial audiovisual sphere, it is getting hard to buy a display screen, switcher or distribution system that is not 4K* rated. Every TV manufacturer is pushing Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K* screens as the replacement for what used to be full High Definition (now somewhat disparaging referred to as ‘2k’). But wait. Apart from a handful of Netflix options (on a good day, with an uncongested streaming connection) where is the content that makes it worthwhile installing super-high-resolution screens? And why is there always that pesky asterisk* whenever a ‘4K*’ specification appears? ASTERISK EXPLAINED

Let’s start with the basics: 4K video is not just twice 2K. Actually, UHD 4K has four times as many pixels per picture than HD. In crude terms, that implies that every aspect of the signal chain — every cable, extender, switcher and so on — needs to have four times the bandwidth we are accustomed to with HD to pass a UHD signal. That’s tough for us as designers and installers to achieve – and expensive.

they are (nearly) 4000 pixels across. These days, HD displays are sometimes referred to as ‘2K’ as they are (nearly) 2000 pixels in width. Now we come to the first complication. 3840 x 2160 describes the standard number of pixels used in a domestic UHD 4K television (which includes nearly all commercial 4K panels and most UHD projectors). But there is another standard used in the digital cinema industry called DCI 4K which is specified as 4096 pixels wide by 2160 high. The DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) 4K is a little wider than UHD 4K

To generalise (but only a little), most modern cables, switchers and extenders can transmit pretty much any flavour of uncompressed ‘full HD’ 1080p signal (at up to 60Hz frame rate with no colour sub-sampling) — any material, from Bollywood blockbusters to the fine lines on architectural drawings, will be properly reproduced. However, as of 2018, most cables, switchers and extenders cannot pass full resolution 4K with the same frame rate and with full colour definition. An awful lot of equipment that claim to be 4K* capable can only pass ultrahigh definition images at up to 30 frames per second or by drastically reducing the colour definition (a technique called chroma subsampling) — it’s well worth reading the fine print. These ‘short cuts’ will probably have no noticeable impact on the Bollywood movies but can have a drastic effect on other material. To understand whether a system capable of, say, 4K/30 4:2:0 will produce acceptable results for a certain client, you need a good grasp of the material being reproduced and an understanding of how the various elements of frame rate, colour sub sampling and bit depth affect image quality. So, while we’ll come back

with an aspect ratio closer to 17:9. DCI 4K is slowly replacing the current digital cinema standard (DCI 2K) of 2048 x 1080. In a world that never stands still, there are many more aspect ratios out there such as Ultra-wide 4K (3840 x 1200 which is about 21 x 9 aspect ratio) and a growing smartphone trend for displays with an aspect ratio of around 18:9 (or 2:1). In the commercial audiovisual world, though, we’ll take 4K to primarily mean UHD 4K or 3840 x 2160. However, we’ll keep in mind that we may also strike DCI 4K.

to the bandwidth (and the maths) shortly, we should first take a look at some real-world applications for 4K. WATCH LIST

There’s little doubt the push for higher resolution is being driven by the major manufacturers of domestic televisions. The transition to high definition digital broadcasting gave the industry an appetite for growth, and consumers have now come to expect that electronics (especially computers and phones) will need constant upgrading. Even so, the toughest challenge in the domestic market has been finding content that exploits the new capability. With most broadcasters lacking the capital (and the transmitter bandwidth) to broadcast in 4K, upgraded streaming services (such as Netflix) have stepped up while UHD Blu-ray and upgraded videogaming consoles have pushed their own hardware. While it is clear that much of the demand for 4K in the commercial sector is a trickledown effect from aggressive marketing of 4K in homes, major industry players are finding a number of distinct market segments that are a good fit for UHD systems.




Perhaps unsurprisingly, Michael Bosworth, Managing Director of Christie Digital Systems Australia nominated Live Events as the sector leading the 4K projection charge, citing events like Sydney’s Vivid festival as shining examples. “With projection mapping onto buildings, the greater pixel density of 4K gives a much better audience experience, especially when you’re projecting over large distances,” Michael explained. “It allows producers to put denser, much more complex content onto the ‘canvas’ you are projecting onto,” he continued. “Moreover, colour rendition is better, making images really look more lifelike”. Epson has also identified the events and rental market as its best chance of gaining a toe hold in the 4K market. Epson’s Business Marketing Manager, Paul Haddad, isn’t heralding the imminent adoption of 4K in Epson’s more traditional commercial and education markets: “For a long time the hype (around 4K) far exceeded real life demand. Traditional infrastructure has limited display devices from delivering on promised performance. 4K content creation has and continues to be challenging and the ability to replicate and share has stunted widespread adoption.” Instead, Epson has identified the growing trend in dynamic content being utilised during live events as a focus for 4K. The ability to mirror live content, delivering fast frame rates and lifelike images on the big screen has become integral to generate impact and deliver a successful event. Epson enters the space with its EB-L12000Q laser projector, which features a light, compact design that looks well suited to life on the road. First spotted at ISE this year, the EB-L12000Q is expected to be seen in Australia later this year. CINEMA SECTOR A SLOW BURN

Christie is also making inroads into the Commercial Cinema market with its specialist range of DCI 4K equipment. Christie Cinema projectors feature a completely integrated system from the encrypted disk pack through to the projectors. Michael revealed that the current mix in Australian Cinemas is around 30% 4K to 70% 2K, though progress in converting from 2K has been slower than you might expect. “A lot of the producers are not distributing films in 4K at the moment,” Michael noted, citing the significantly increased premium to post produce and distribute in 4K compared to DCI 2K. “My guess is as we see the costs [of 4K post production] continue to come down quite quickly, 4K will soon become the norm in cinemas,” he concluded.

The refresh rate (sometimes called frame rate, though the two are not always the same) denotes the number of complete pictures presented every second. The standard frame rate for cinema cameras is 24 frames per second and material on Blu-ray or DVD is sometimes presented at this rate, which is the lowest in general use. The TV industry developed using a frame rate of 25 (in UK/Europe/Australia) or 30 (USA and elsewhere) frames per second and these are still in use for material prepared for broadcast TV or video. Where the on-screen material was captured by a camera (either film or video) frame rates of up to 30 frames per second (30fps or 30Hz) are generally acceptable as fast-moving objects generally have some degree of camera blur, leading the eye to accept the motion as realistic. Computer generated material is generally created and presented at higher frame rates – most often now at 60Hz. At slower frame rates, moving objects, animation, even cursor movement becomes objectionable, in part because each onscreen object is super-sharp. Generally, a 4K transport system that can only handle up to 30 frames per second will be suitable for movies but will show objectionable artefacts when used to display many kinds of computerbased motion, particularly video game material, that was created at higher frame rates. In the

commercial audiovisual world, it is important that all our transport, switching and display systems are able to accurately present the full gamut of material so the ability to present at least 60 frames per second is crucial to the design of multipurpose 4K systems.

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Samsung’s Head of Professional Display Solutions for Australia, Claudio Cardile, also sees the transition to 4K displays moving quickly with digital signage applications in the vanguard. “We’re seeing digital signage going to 4K as it gives people more room on screen for extra text and data, not just to gain the extra picture quality,” he commented. “Wayfinding or messaging boards for staff are applications that can utilise the greater screen resolution especially well. We’ve seen some applications in education where they’re putting up a vast array of content but its more around images and data not necessarily video.” Claudio noted that Samsung’s core ranges in sizes above 65 inch were now standardising on UHD. “In the larger sizes we’re seeing the higher resolution used for split screen with multiple sources running in full HD within each quadrant of the displays – especially in 85- and 98-inch,” he continued. “We’ve got control room applications where they’re using a single 55-inch on an operator’s desk that can utilise the screen real estate, rather than having multiple panels on arms – which makes for a very much easier installation.”

projection mapping onto buildings, the greater pixel density of 4K gives a much better audience experience — Michael Bosworth, Christie Digital

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In terms of sources, many panels are being connected directly to 4K outputs on PCs or signage players but Cardile explained some users are taking advantage of the sophisticated input processing on commercial UHD panels. “Some of our commercial panels accept multiple inputs and have on-board videowall processing (such as our QM-85) so that people have separate feeds coming in from multiple sources in the meeting room or control room and our panels can actually do the split screen – side by side, four-screen split and so forth. We’re seeing a very mixed approach to it but certainly we’re seeing them utilise the screen resolution.” While some applications are definitely happening now, even more customers are specifying 4K panels purely for future-proofing. “Enterprise customers who are planning ahead and are beginning to standardise on UHD with the intent of driving better utilisation of their screens,” Claudio concluded.

4K gives people more room on screen for extra text and data, not just to gain the extra picture quality — Claudio Cardile, Samsung


Stephen Metzger, ZeeVee’s VP of Development, has seen its 4K IP encoder/decoders being immediately adopted by the medical sector with its specialised demands. “It is pretty self-evident that more resolution gives a surgeon detail to observe, but they also need absolute colour fidelity. Colour sub-sampling, or any ‘posterisation’ is unacceptable  when you are trying to observe, for example, subtle differences in the shade of red that define different types of tissue. 10-bit colour is a necessity. Additionally sub-frame latency is an absolute must when internal machinery is being driven remotely inside a patient. Any compression delays would be unacceptable. The ZyPer4K series of products service all those needs with lossless, true-colour, effectively zero-latency delivery through standard 10G IP infrastructures.” Predictably, sport is another big driver of 4K

CHROMA SUB-SAMPLING This is the tricky part, the one with 4:4:4 and 4:2:0. Chroma sub-sampling is a technique that allows the data rate of a 4K signal (or any other digital video signal) to be reduced by up to half with only a relatively small impact on the apparent picture quality. Though the way it works is quite complex, the basic theory is fairly simple and it’s also fairly straightforward to grasp where and when it is okay to use and when its better avoided. Digital video is sometimes carried as three separate signals representing the amount of red, green and blue light in a scene (RGB). However, more often, digital video is encoded as one signal representing the brightness of a particular pixel and two signals that represent the colour of that pixel. This ‘component’ encoding was first developed in the analogue colour TV era when it was referred to as YUV. The ‘Y’ refers to the luminance component (the brightness of the pixel) while the U and V signals provide the colour information. In digital terminology these signals are now properly referred to as Y’CbCr with the Y’ still referring to the component that conveys luminance while Cb and Cr are the colour difference signals that determine the colour of each pixel. The human eye is much more easily able to see detail in brightness than detail in colour. The eye will perceive a picture as sharp and clear if the

brightness details are correct and won’t notice if the colours are somewhat blurred. In practice, this means if we provide lots of detail in the Y’ signal (that is, the brightness of each pixel), we can skimp on the amount of detail we provide about the colour of each pixel without the eye noticing. In digital video this is done by transmitting the full detail of the brightness (Y’ channel) for each pixel but only transmitting the information about colour every second pixel (4:2:2) or effectively every fourth pixel (4:2:0). The result is that the data rate for a colour video signal can be cut by half from a full colour detail signal (4:4:4) to a colour subsampled 4:2:0 signal. That’s a huge saving in data rate that reduces the bandwidth needed in switches, cables and extenders. There is a downside of course. It is very hard to pick the reduced colour definition on movies, TV or even still pictures. So, 4:2:2: or 4:2:0 colour sub-sampling can be used with very little apparent effect when showing a 4K feature film (4K Blu-ray exclusively uses 4:2:0 sampling, for example). But blurring becomes quite obvious on coloured text or fine detail such as coloured lines, so 4:2:0 will make documents, spreadsheets, and drawings blurred and difficult to read. For most computergenerated content, 4:4:4 should be used instead.



COLOUR BIT DEPTH Conventional digital video signals use 8-bit signals to describe each channel of R, G and B colours. This provides up to 256 shades of red, green and blue which can combine to form more than 16 million colours. While this was fine for 1080p High Definition, there are limitations in how realistic the image can be. When 4K Ultra High Definition came along, part of the new standards allowed for producing more colour combinations (referred to as Wide Colour Gamut or Deep Colour) and also providing a broader range of brightness (High Dynamic Range). To do this, extra bits are added so that the R, G, B signals are allowed to have

10, 12 or even 16 bits of information each. 10-bit colour allows for more colours and finer graduation of colour so that a sunset sky, for example, appears as an even transition between light and deep blue — without the banding of colour that can occur with a more limited 8-bit colour system. It’s beautiful, but — you guessed it — 10 or 12-bit Deep Colour uses more bandwidth and requires more capable and expensive switches and links. Deep Colour and High Dynamic range are being introduced to UHD TV specifications so you will see this requirement emerge first in high-end TV and movies.

When the NFL starts broadcasting the majority of games in 4K, we expect there to be an explosion in the sport-bar and consumer markets — Stephen Metzger, ZeeVee

adoption: “When the NFL starts broadcasting the majority of games in 4K, we expect there to be an explosion in the sport-bar and consumer markets which we will service with costeffective solutions.” 4K TAKES COMMAND (& CONTROL)

Command and control environments require lots of pixels, and at first glance would appear to be ripe for a 4K upgrade. After all, these rooms are often all about detail, colour rendition and multiview displays where detail

is everything. What's more, the ability of the 4K canvas to display four full-HD images is a huge advantage for control rooms. iMAGsystems is an Australian video-overIP innovator, with its flagship Lightning range matching HDBaseT on performance for the transmission of 4K/60 4:4:4 down standard 10G IP networks. Command and control rooms are still largely the domain of processor-heavy video wall processors but Lightning’s AptoVision chipsetbased encoders and decoders have found a

niche for rooms wanting to make the set up to 4K without the big pricetag. “The significant increase in video data, four times that of 1080p, has meant existing technology has either been prohibitively costly and/or severely complex,” noted iMAGsystems’ CEO Gerry Raffaut. “Professionals are now looking to videoover-IP technology as the answer, removing both complexity and significantly reducing infrastructure costs. To provide the same level of video delivery that this field expects, you need uncompressed, zero latency video distribution.”


To provide the same level of video delivery that this field [command and control] expects, you need uncompressed, zero latency video distribution — Gerry Raffaut, iMAGsystems


Graham Barrett, avt’s redoubtable Head of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation presented a different view of 4K. “In the education sector you’re seeing a reasonable amount of 4K in Media Studies and Visual Arts,” he said. “There’s a lot of 4K content being developed by students and for students, so we’re definitely seeing a requirement in those scenarios.” He also mentioned Geophysics and Medicine as important content generators in high resolution. “There’s more and more 4K content coming out of endoscopy and other camera systems as well as diagnostic tools,” he noted. “We’ve already done a number of projects with our new SVSi N2400 4K encoders, including at the University of Adelaide, so real world applications are certainly out there.” One real world avt application across the Tasman was an operations centre for Vodafone New Zealand, designed by consultant Craig Hill. Part of a massive 400-endpoint SVSi installation, it includes a 24 x 24 virtual matrix using the 4K-capable SVSi N2400 encoders. The endpoints include two massive 98-inch LG UHD screens which can display either one 4K image in full resolution or four HD sources in a split screen configuration. “This is part of their pay TV operations,” Craig Hill explained. “These two screens, along with another four 65-inch monitors, allow the operators to check both incoming and outgoing quality on their 4K video sources”. Meanwhile, avt’s Graham Barrett is keen to point out their SVSi N2400, used in the


we are heading towards a world where 4K at 4:4:4 and 60 frames a second is the norm. At least until 8K comes along! — Graham Barrett, avt

Vodafone operations centre, is a full 4K/60 4:4:4 networked video solution. “There’s a million and one variants in what people refer to as 4K,” Graham notes. “Certainly, there seems to be a growing acceptance that a colour compressed 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 solution is acceptable for a range of applications. 4K Blu-ray, for example, is colour space compressed. Then you’ve got the frame rate, which at 30 frames, for some instances is perfectly adequate but I think generally we are heading towards a world where 4K at 4:4:4 and 60 frames a second is the norm. At least until 8K comes along!” Refreshingly, Graham singled out Extron’s True 4K Specification for praise. He noted that Extron’s recent push to remove the asterisk, and publicise all the crucial 4k performance specifications up-front, was a step in the right direction. EXTRON’S WAR ON THE ASTERISK

Damien Hiscock, the Senior Trainer for Extron in Australia has similar views on the need for clarity and transparency in discussing the true capabilities of all 4K*-capable products. “Extron maintains there are a lot of UHD/4K systems where the system designer and even the customer may not have a full understanding of the actual requirements,” he observed. “Nor do they understand the impact these requirements have on the selected equipment.” In being clear about the need to understand and publicise all the relevant specifications — not just the headline figure of 4K resolution

there are a lot of UHD/4K systems where the system designer and even the customer may not have a full understanding of the actual requirements — Damien Hiscock, Extron

— Extron is hoping the rest of the AV manufacturing industry might follow, resulting in less confusion for consultants, designers and even end users when selecting products. “Each of the four key factors revealed in Extron’s True 4K Specification — resolution, refresh rate, chroma sampling and colour bit depth — impact on the overall data rate needed to pass the signal throughout a system,” Damien continued. “Unless all four factors are included in comparisons between products, not only between different vendors, but also between product ranges from the same vendor, you can’t be sure the chosen product will be fit for purpose.” 4K IS OKAY, OK?

4K is here to stay. However, storing, switching and transporting 4K signals remains, for now, at the leading edge of technology and requires very capable and expensive systems to do it well. Not all 4K video is created equal, however, and you need to understand exactly what type of content is to be displayed to make the best decisions on exactly what equipment is best for the job. You need to know what questions to ask and understand the four factors of resolution, refresh rate, chroma sub-sampling and colour bit-depth that together determine the bandwidth required. There’s a lot to learn and if you want to go further I suggest an excellent second step is to download and absorb some of the excellent whitepapers to be found on the Extron website. 



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Future Learning Lessons from Monash University’s new Learning & Teaching building. Text:/ Christopher Holder Images:/ CHW Consulting

MAP TABLE A number of rooms have a Map Table. Students and teachers can set up demonstrations at defined locations on the table. Press the appropriate button and the teacher can share the demonstration to the room via an overhead camera — like a document camera on steroids.


niversities are incubators of new ideas and tomorrow's leaders. However, challenging conventions and encouraging out-of-the-box thinking can be significantly undermined by the imposed psychological and physical rigidity of traditional teaching spaces. Monash University’s new Learning and Teaching building delivers a step change in learning environments at scale. The 65 formal and 60 informal learning spaces spread over 29,494sqm provides a radically new environment for over 25% of Clayton campus teaching — and there’s nothing ‘safe’ about its design. The building strongly encourages students and teachers to journey together in news ways that Monash believes will help solve the global problems of today. CAFFEINE & POWER

The new Learning & Teaching building has been fully adopted by the students. The

building has been designed for students and their power-hungry, wifi-voracious, caffeineintensive needs. What’s more, unoccupied teaching spaces are available for students to work in or simply sit in. I spoke to Monash Uni’s Myles Fenton, who’s business card title reads: ‘Capability Manager Audiovisual’. His team lead the AV design on the project, providing the glue between the Office of Learning and Teaching, the architect, the builder and the contracted AV teams, including CHW consulting and Rutledge AV as the integrator. Myles Fenton: “One of the guiding principles was ‘student agency’: students have to feel empowered and comfortable to make their own decisions. They’re adults, they’re sitting in a space for three hours… if they’re waiting for permission to do everything then it’s not going to lead to great outcomes.” That ‘agency’ might start with students being



DROP DOWN OCTAGON The eight screens plus the rigging amount to some 1.5 tonnes of display. They will drop to the floor at the push of a button for servicing purposes. Push the button again and it returns to it original recessed position — great design and engineering.

easily able to duck to the loo or have quick access to a latté, but it translates to the use of the AV. Myles has an anecdote that sets the scene for why the AV approach is a bit special: Myles Fenton: “I was in the Learning in the Round not long into the start of term and I saw this great student-generated drawing displayed on the big screens. It was a graffitistyle Linux penguin in a tux that the student had drawn on the perimeter whiteboard. [Sharing the whiteboard content is as easy as pressing a button.] It made me think: the power balance within the room has shifted. This was a computer programming workshop; students were working in groups and a demonstrator was walking the room, as you might expect. But everyone was comfortable enough to have that student artwork up on the main system — something unthinkable in another place or time. Previously the displays would only show teacher content and student work by exception

and then only after the teacher had granted permission from the teacher's control panel — a hurdle rarely overcome.” The anecdote demonstrates the push and pull of the new approach. The design and AV is actively encouraging (and, in some cases, forcing) the educator to step out of their comfort zone, and actively encouraging the student to participate, share and collaborate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the design of the Learning in the Round. ROUNDING OUT

When Myles Fenton and Professor Kris Ryan (Academic Director, Education Innovation Monash University Office of Learning and Teaching) sat down to brainstorm the notion of an in-the-round learning space they were drawing on some ancient wisdom: Myles Fenton: “It goes back to the knights of the round table, where no single person



SPLIT ALLEGIANCES Myles Fenton: The principle of the split lectern is it’s something that doesn't invite standing behind. On one side there’s a document camera and the other side a preview monitor. The combination provides a level of continuity and comfort for those who have never

is in the ascendency. There’s a lot of sound psychology and pedagogy behind round teaching environments and there has been no shortage of attempts.” Myles and Kris set about examining other examples of in-the-round teaching, and, not to put too fine a point on it, where everyone else had gone wrong. Myles Fenton: “The common shortcoming we saw time and again was where the displays were positioned. All eyes would be on the presenter in the middle of the room then heads would need to turn to see the AV presentation. Or they’d have to look clear past the presenter to a screen on the other side of the room. In other words there’s normally fundamental lines of sight issues which create a disconnect between the focus on the presenter versus the content.” The Monash Uni solution is ingenious: an array of 98-inch screens takes care of the ‘disconnect’. A round, central ‘map’ table sits underneath. Four floor-standing preview monitors allows the presenter to always be connected to the content without obscuring any student sight lines. Maintaining the central focus is a high-spec EAW loudspeaker system. Myles Fenton: “In our research we encountered a lot of distributed in-ceiling audio solutions which don’t cut it. It just sounds like the voice of God booming around… there’s no connection with who’s speaking.”

taught in these new rooms. But on the flipside, being split, you need to get out from behind the lectern. Evidence suggests that simply by walking back and forth reduces anxiety in the academic, helping to slow the pace and lower the heart rate.

TOUCHDOWN! Myles Fenton: We intentionally put the AV touchdown points in a corner of a room [pictured]. It would be an absolutely terrible spot to teach from, and that’s the point. So we put a basic portable lectern on wheels which is something the teacher can place a wireless

keyboard and mouse onto and that encourages them into the room — they’re out with the students facilitating learning rather than being a ‘priest behind a pulpit’ at the front of the class.


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GET A ROOM It’s amazing just how much glazing there is in the new building. Often you can look right into a lecture space to see what’s going on. If you’re still unsure whether you’ve arrived at the right room, the Monash e-solutions team has developed a nifty room booking system based on Concierge room booking hardware. If the room’s touchpanel is green, then students can amble in for any reason. When it’s about to be timetabled the display illuminates blue. The only time it’s red is for staff meeting rooms. “Let’s not have it showing red — keep out! — when there’s activity booked. After all we’re inviting students to come in,” noted Myles Fenton.

HIP HIP ARRAY Many teaching spaces have what Monash Uni calls a Data Wall. Smaller spaces have a 1x2 array of 98inch NEC displays, 60-cap rooms employ a 1x3 array while 90-cap rooms extend to four wide. A Crestron multiviewer processor accommodates up to four sources. Additionally, there are four Crestron receivers

Of course the other well known audio issue with round spaces is that, well… they’re normally an acoustic disaster area. Myles Fenton: “We had the space comprehensively modelled for speech intelligibility. We have acoustic treatment above and below the whiteboards around the perimeter of the room and incredibly dense acoustic treatment in the ceiling. The whiteboards are obviously highly reflective, so we’ve tilted those up so first reflections go into the acoustically treated ceiling. In the same way the octagon of screens are tilted down, both for better sight lines but also to break up those acoustic reflections.” Added to that, you have high-spec EAW loudspeakers that are selected primarily for their tight, controlled dispersion patterns. HOT BUTTON ISSUE

The whiteboard perimeter of the Learning in the Round is paradoxically high and low tech. It’s not ‘interactive’ or ‘smart’ it’s simply a board. Where it’s clever is each section has a Sony PTZ camera trained on it. To throw the content of the whiteboard to the central displays requires the simple push of a button under the whiteboard — there are a staggering 26 camera positions in all. Myles Fenton: “The aim was to have the capability for every student group in the room

behind each display to handle four discrete sources. When the lecturer has the floor, the screens are in presentation mode. In collaborative mode the screens start to really show their flexibility. Each quadrant can display a MoCOW source (a moving computer on wheels). There are some 186 MoCOWS

in the building and they’re a means by which students can quickly wirelessly present something from a device to their group. From there the MoCOW can be shown as a source on the Data Wall. In Extended Desktop mode one computer can drive up to four of the 98inch screens.

4K: COME CLOSER The whole building is plumbed for 4K, featuring Crestron DM, Cisco switches and 4K displays. Myles Fenton: 4K has its place. When we’re asking students to look at things in the micro and then in macro, in other words where we’re displaying content where you can literally put your nose up to the glass of the screen and then take three or four steps back and appreciate what’s on the whole screen…that’s where we see 4K as being relevant. For general use, the viewing distance is so close, there’s little relevance. I think Avixa did the analysis on the point at which you can appreciate all the detail of 4K, and it’s 0.8 times the height of the image — so for a metre-high screen that’s only 800mm away if you want to appreciate the detail. It’s a little counter intuitive. Most people will say

they want 4K so people can stand further back, but it’s quite the opposite. Practically it means you need to keep the space in front of your 4K screens clear, so people can approach the screen and fully appreciate the detail. There’s no point packing furniture right in front of the display. We haven’t gone for interactive screens but I can see how 4K may be useful for those applications, where you can potentially have more fluid, highly detailed annotations. Then of course there’s the multi-view advantages of 4K. In this building we can have four students wirelessly sharing their screen to a screen — that could be four hi-def pieces of work displayed simultaneously.

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GET A ROOM It’s amazing just how much glazing there is in the new building. From almost any vantage you can see learning on show in any number of classrooms or informal spaces. If you’re still unsure whether you’ve arrived at the right room, the Monash e-solutions team has developed a nifty room booking system based on Concierge room booking hardware. If the room’s touchpanel is green, then students can amble in for any reason. When the room is timetabled for class the display illuminates blue. The only time it’s red is for scheduled staff meetings. “Let’s not have it showing red — keep out! — when there’s activity booked. After all we’re inviting students to come in,” noted Myles Fenton.

AUDIO: CONSISTENCY IS KEY Ben Clarke heads up PAVT’s technical support department and provided specialist know-how in the audio design: Ben Clarke: The days of a pair of plastic loudspeakers next to the screen for program and a bunch of ceiling speakers for voice are well and truly gone. The Learning in the Round was a big audio challenge because of its shape. The reverberant field is just going to focus all the energy back into the centre and there will be various hotspots. I talk about the triangle of compromise, by which I mean, how much do you invest in the three key aspects of good installed sound and what will give you the best results? I’m referring to: speaker directivity, acoustic treatment and the microphone. A highly directional speaker across a broad band of frequencies won’t come cheap. Extensive acoustic treatment is pricey. Getting a high quality mic capsule as close to

to hop up and find a whiteboard. It’s amazing to see the room in action with the academic walking the room, discussing the topic with the group, the student group leader contributing via radio mic and pressing their whiteboard button to submit their workings to the rest of the room. The teachers and students are empowered and they’re not worrying about the AV.” It must have been tempting to find a hi-tech solution with interactive whiteboards. Myles Fenton: “Interactive whiteboards are ideal when you have a prepared presentation, but they’re not nearly as useful for brainstorming — the technology often gets in the way.” The accompanying whiteboard button is probably the biggest stroke of genius. Press the button, it lights red and the room sees your whiteboard. Press it again and it returns to the academic's Powerpoint or whatever it may be. Myles Fenton: “It’s the holy grail of tech: a simple mechanical button you don’t need to think about. You don’t need to go to the touch panel. You don’t have to navigate it, you can

the source is also a challenge. The university uses Shure ULX-D wireless across the campus, so that was already settled. The finished design uses a high-directivity device (the EAW KF394) mounted above each display in the octagonal array. Then we worked on some optimisations with Rutledge AV as the integrator to get it sounding as even as possible. We chose the KF394 because of the enclosure’s spaced pair of 10-inch drivers which help extend that pattern control down into the midrange where the power frequencies of speech are. As downfill we use the EAW VFR69. The VFR69 has become somewhat like Monash Uni’s workhorse loudspeaker. It’s inexpensive but it’s a timber cabinet. And when teamed with an Ottocanali or Quattrocanali multichannel amp from Powersoft it shares a consistent sound with all the other EAW

just press a button and continue to brainstorm. Sit and talk to academics about what they like about the building and the’ll mention the buttons. The cognitive load of running a class is high enough without adding the AV on top. The button is perfect.”  AUDIO SPEC 8 × EAW KF394 speakers 4 × EAW QX326B speakers 24 × EAW VFR69I speakers 446 × EAW CIS 300 speakers 82 × EAW SMS5 speakers 6 × EAW LS432I speakers 4 × EAW LS832I speakers 5 × EAW UB12S speakers 8 × EAW UB52I speakers 22 × Powersoft Ottocanali 1204 DSP+ETH amplifiers 10 × Powersoft Quattrocanali 1204 DSP+Dante amplifiers 5 × Powersoft Quattrocanali 2404 DSP+Dante amplifiers 2 × Powersoft M20D-HDSP+ETH amplifiers 39 × Shure ULX-D Wireless Receiver 132 × Shure ULX-D Wireless transmitters

speakers on campus. The technical ace in the hole is the ‘grey box’ processing block. It means we can get an identical amplitude and phase response in those smaller learning spaces as we do in the high-spec theatres. The grey box means we can implement that filter set into the Powersoft amp natively. Monash Uni is determined to provide its students with the same audio and acoustic experience regardless of the space their in and EAW’s grey box allows that, even if the speaker boxes are wildly different, all without external equalisation — the integrator can simply load the preset and it will sound optimised, correct and accurate no matter what loudspeaker category is chosen for a particular room or application. The result? Teachers are telling us the students are more engaged and more able to concentrate on the content. That’s largely because they’re experiencing less fatigue.

KEY PERSONNEL CHW Consulting • Daniel Knoche • Manoje Indraharan • Ashleah Davis Rutledge AV • Chris Collier • Nico van Wieringen • Nick Ryder • Nathan Louey • George Moragiannis Monash AV Design Consulting • Peter MacLean • Stephen Kainey • Zane Johnston • Myles Fenton




Column Loudspeaker For when a stick PA is too ‘slim’ for your tastes. Review:/ Mark Davie


ix seconds. That’s how long the EV rep reckoned it would take to get the Evolve 50 set up. By the time we got the column bits unzipped and stacked, then found a spot to plug in the power cord, it was more like 60 seconds. Still, it’s quick; very quick. Quicker than any column speaker we’ve set up in the past. No cables, no shims; nothing but a magnetic pole to slip in between your speaker column and sub. A minute later, we were all staring at the Evolve 50, and while it took the form of a stick PA, it was immediately obvious there were some ideological differences to Bose’s original ‘one-PA-for-every performer’ paradigm. For starters, it has a builtin J-curve, the sort of curved bottom system techs will induce into a concert line array to cover the floor while still projecting into the stands. Great when the rig is flown four storeys into the air, but when the whole thing stands a little over two metres tall, that bottom lip is just pointing straight at your feet. EV says its for when you have the PA up on a stage, with a shorter pole coming to compensate. It still doesn’t account for the 90% of the time the thing sits on the floor. Thankfully it didn’t adversely affect the PA’s definition, and the curve does form a nice bow shape, with a large carry handle like a string connecting the two ends of the stave. EV is serious about the Evolve 50 breaking away from the mono nature of stick PAs and turning out in stereo too. You can easily hook up two of these systems to flank either side of a stage. It’s as simple setting the Mix Out option in the DSP to ‘R’ — for right channel — running an XLR cable across to input one of the other speaker, and it will automatically split the stereo RCA/ minijack/Bluetooth input across the two speakers. The other two input channels remain in mono. If you want to mix more inputs in stereo, you’ll have to bring your own mixer. SKINNY BUT LOUD

Thankfully, EV hasn’t just gone for the directionality and stereo utility of a ‘proper’ PA, it sounds like one too. Evolve 50 is one of the more

potent stick PAs we’ve tested. It’ll blow your socks off if you let it. It’s loud, registering 127dB SPL at one metre. It’s also not laid back like the Bose L1’s natural-sounding delivery. It has punch, enough to handle rock ’n’ roll duties. It has a peak around 10kHz, and most of the DSP modes (other than the scooped Music setting) have a presence bump at 2kHz which makes it a little bitier than other stick PAs. I generally had it on the flatter Live setting, with the treble turned down one or two dB. Of all the stick PAs we’ve tested, the Bose shined for its natural reproduction, the JBL Eon One was an all-round great sounding system that proved a dark horse for its price, and the HK Elements system had a clarity and three-dimensionality to the vocals that was unparalleled. The EV Evolve 50 is more aggressive than any of those. It’s powerful and suited to anyone looking into the stick PA format but doesn’t want to stray too far away from the sound and ‘balls’ of a typical top box and sub combination. STEREO STICKS

The Evolve 50 can happily live in both worlds: while it will work as a bonafide stereo rock PA, it still holds the single stick pose well. When it comes down to it, a portable column speaker needs to do a few things well: it has to be easy to set up, have a wide horizontal spread, high feedback rejection, and have enough inputs on the back to cater for most gigs. Evolve 50 goes up quickly, covers 120 degrees in the horizontal plane, and you can stand in front of it with a mic without any issues. So let’s look at those inputs: The onboard mixer has three channels; two mic/line inputs on combo jacks, and a stereo input that can be fed via a minijack, RCA, or a Bluetooth stream. The mono inputs have an interesting design. It didn’t appear to matter whether you plugged a mic or line source into either jack or XLR inputs, the volume control still exhibited the same range. There was plenty of level for any



source and plugging a line input into the XLR didn’t send it off. No mic/line switches; it just worked. It seems a relatively foolproof design that adapts to the user. Nice. On the downside, there’s no dedicated instrument/DI input. Initially, I didn’t think that would be a problem for me, as I carry my own LR Baggs Para DI with my acoustic. However, when I plugged it in and turned phantom power on, it didn’t work. On further investigation I found out the phantom power only ran +15V, not the +48V I needed to run that particular device. It was probably unfortunate the first thing I plugged in was too power hungry; reviewer’s ‘luck’, I guess. EV says the reduced phantom power is designed for the lower power requirements of condenser microphones. For the DI, it was just a matter of breaking out a 9V battery. Rounding out the input section, the screen defaults to show input meters for all three channels. It’s a nice touch to see whether you’re peaking. TEETH TO IT

EV has gone heavy into Bluetooth on Evolve 50. You can use Bluetooth to both control the device via the EV Quicksmart mobile app — available for iOS and Android devices — as well as stream music directly to Channel 3 of the onboard mixer. To stream you just have to scroll to the Bluetooth menu and click on ‘Streaming’ to start the pairing process. No codes required and I had music playing off my iPhone 6 in a jiffy. In the same Bluetooth menu on the speaker you also have the option to turn on Control App, which opens up a dialogue with the EV Quicksmart app. I had both Bluetooth streams running simultaneously without any problems. Quicksmart is a simple app that gives you immediate access to master mute and volume. It also gives you control over the three-band EQ, with a range of -12 to +6dB in 1dB steps. There is a selectable mid frequency that can range from 200Hz to 12kHz, but you can only access that

MORE INFO Price: $2499 Contact: Bosch 1300 026 724 or Pros: Powerful Simple setup Bluetooth control & streaming Easy stereo configuration Cons: +15V phantom only Summary EV’s Evolve 50 is more flexible than a typical stick PA. It’ll simply pair with another unit for powerful stereo operation, while still having enough onboard channels and control to happily sit standalone.

control via the touch ’n’ turn knob on the mixer unit. It would have been nice if this was included in the app, too. There are also four overall modes; Club, Music, Live and Speech. They range from bassheavy to bass cut, with Live being the flattest of the bunch. They’re all well designed presets that don’t go too hard either way. The EQ and presets are available via the DSP menu on the mixer, but it’s orders of magnitude easier to use the app than a push button scroll wheel. Other onboard functions include fine control of sub level between -80dB to +10dB, or the option to mute it. You can also send a pre-fader signal to a different speaker via the Thru output. If you’re using the pre-or post fader output, you can also set it up with the delay setting that reads

simultaneously in meters and feet. It can go up to 100m in increments of 10cm. The rest of the menu includes controls for LED on or off, display brightness and contrast settings, as well as the ability to store and recall up to five system settings. STICK EVOLUTION

It’s obvious that EV intends for the Evolve 50 to be more than just a stick shadowing a performer. It breaks from the ideologies of its predecessors, but it’s better for it. Rather than being a me-too product, EV has taken a step towards fulfilling the true potential of stick PAs; an easy-to-use PA, for any occasion. With the ability to simply set it up as a stereo PA, and its powerful rock ’n’ roll capable voicing, you won’t have to worry about it not playing its role. 




Wireless Microphone System Budget 2.4GHz wireless with a battery of pro features. Review:/ Christopher Holder


atteries are a big deal in the world of wireless audio. Not so long ago, big events would need an Energizer sponsorship to ensure the battery costs didn’t send them broke. Opening ceremonies would often involve hundreds of FM beltpacks that provide a click and a soundtrack to keep performers in sync. These performers might rehearse half a dozen times. The batteries would be replaced after every rehearsal. You could quickly rack up thousands upon thousands of AAs going into landfill. Pro wireless systems will give you the option of a recharging cradle, which is a great idea — charge while you stow. Budget systems will require you to feed the AA beast. Shure’s GLX-D, and the new Advanced version I’m reviewing, has done something very different and it’s going to change your life: the receivers have a slot-in recharging bay for the transmitter’s battery. It’s a revelation. What’s more, Shure’s lithium-ion battery will stay charged for up to 16 hours. Sixteen hours! (That’s after three hours charging.) When I was sparking up the review rig for the first time, I was a little up against the clock, so I had to pull the batteries out of their charging bays before the accompanying LED had lit green. Glancing at the transmitter display I saw 13:44. Ah crap. Thirteen minutes won’t get me through this rehearsal. Upon closer examination I could hardly believe my eyes: it wasn’t nearly 14

minutes, it was nearly 14 hours of ‘up time’! Yes, there’s a downside. You can’t pop regular AAs into the GLX-D transmitter if the Shure battery goes bad (it’s not a standard size). But the upsides are so considerable — for your productions, for your planet, for your mental health — that you’d have to say this puts GLX-D in a different league in the low-cost wireless category. ACCESSORISING

The other big deal for GLX-D Advanced are the accessories. In this end of the market, the manufacturer tends to think you’ll be buying only one or two channels and won’t bother with accessories like antenna combiners or sometimes even rack ears. (Just like the standard nonrack mount GLX-D systems.) Not so GLX-D Advanced. Shure reckons you can safely use up to nine receivers in the 2.4GHz band (“11 in ideal conditions”). Shure can sell you an antenna combiner/frequency manager and even pro directional antennas to achieve best results when you’re using multiple channels. Shure doesn’t try to pretend the 2.4GHz ISM band isn’t without its failings. As the manual will attest, this band is likely to be impacted by interference from competing wi-fi transmitters; doesn’t have the same range as UHF; and will normally have a slightly higher latency than a UHF system. In short, the chance of dropouts is higher with a 2.4GHz system.

There’s plenty of salient advice in the GLX-D manual for minimising 2.4GHz snafus. Shure has also employed the latest raft of countermeasures to minimise the chance of dropouts. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS…

The review rig comprised six racked up channels and the frequency manager. It was perfect for a Christmas production, where it proved itself to be solid in rehearsals and the final performance. Frequency-wise it was not only competing with the six GLX-D channels but three other channels of 2.4GHz wireless I had in use. I placed the receiver rack on stage and plumbed the GLX-D channels straight into the stage box, which assisted with stability. The four SM58 transmitters and two lav mics all performed well. Lots of clarity; good gain. CHAMPAGNE FEATURES

Demand for wireless is going through the roof. And that demand isn’t necessarily driven by the pro end. It’s the education, church and amateur theatre market that’s hankering for more wireless channels without the huge price tag. GLX-D Advanced packs some surprising pro features. I can’t tell you how much I love the long-life batteries and charge bays. And I’m a fan of the bigsystem accessories such as the frequency manager rack. These ‘champagne’-type features on the ‘beer’ budget make GLX-D Advanced a winner. 



Industry Update AV CALENDAR InfoComm China April 11 – April 13, 2018



AVIXA is calling for nominations for the 2018 AVIXA Oceania Awards program. The awards will recognise individual AV professionals for their outstanding contributions, extraordinary commitment or service to the AV industry in the region. Awards nominations are being accepted for the following categories: Oceania CTS Holder of the Year Award, Oceania Educator of the Year Award, Oceania Distinguished Achievement Award, Oceania Women in AV Award and Young AV Professional Award. The Oceania Volunteer of the Year Award will be given to an individual selected by AVIXA staff. All award winners will be announced and honoured at the AVIXA awards ceremony on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 in Sydney during Integrate. “Advocating for the AV industry is one of the many important responsibilities of our association. We are therefore delighted to continue to identify and honour individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the industry, leading the way for other professionals to develop their skills and inspire them to build similar careers,” says Jonathan Seller, Senior Director of Development Asia-Pacific at AVIXA. “We are excited to present the AVIXA Oceania awards once again at Integrate, where the awards ceremony is also a wonderful opportunity for the industry to catch up and network at the end of the first show day.” Nominations can be made by anyone who works with or is familiar with the nominee. Deadline: Saturday, 30 June 2018. Head to the AVIXA website for more details. AVIXA:

Avixa has announced the agenda for its new Integrated Life program at InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas. Taking place June 5 at the Westgate Las Vegas, this one-day thought-leadership event will feature interactive panel discussions and presentations focused on the crossover opportunities between the commercial and residential audiovisual markets. The program sessions will cover an array of hot-button topics, including the impact of artificial intelligence on consumer and commercial markets, voice-first products and the user experience, smart home and building technology solution trends, and more. “As the AV industry's professional association, it’s Avixa’s job to deliver fresh and timely education at every event we host,” said Jason McGraw, CTS, CAE, Senior Vice President of Expositions, Avixa. “With the new Integrated Life program, we’re going beyond commercial technology to explore how it crosses over to residential technology and vice versa. People live seamless lives so we need to think about our technology that way.” “We're excited to bring the inaugural Integrated Life event to InfoComm 2018 to explore the technology convergence across residential, enterprise, mobile, hospitality, and commercial, and public spaces, and the role integrators can play in these expanding ecosystems,” said Elizabeth Parks, Senior Vice President of Parks Associates. “The connected lifestyle is creating a variety of new technology experiences that have crossover effects into all areas where consumers live, work, and play.” In addition, the InfoComm 2018 exhibit floor (June 6-8) will have an area devoted to Integrated Life solutions, showcasing smart lighting, sensor technology, building and home automation, voice control, integrated security, mobile AV, and more.

Musikmesse Frankfurt 11 – 14 April 2018 Integrate Sydney August 22-24, 2018



Termination Room of Requirement Text:/ Graeme Hague


t’d be great if universities could make up their minds. One day it’s all about “remote” education and only doing stuff over the internet — you can be a bona fide, qualified NASA astronaut after completing a website-based, three-year course including a DIY Shuttle kit delivered by courier — and the next day the universities are expecting the students to be actually on the campus. Say what? That’s odd in many ways, not the least because it’s rare to see any large gathering of university students unless they’re in front of Parliament House, holding poorly written signs and chanting schoolyard slogans (obviously the Graphic Design students never take part in protests, if the handscrawled signs are any indication). Now Monash University has created a stateof-the-art, lecture theatre that’s based on an inthe-round design where the lecturer is surrounded on all sides by the students and apparently connecting with the class in a personal way. Similarly, the students are encouraged to share information — note the lack of a capital ’S’ there — and interact with each other. No, none of this is a Facebook thing or Instagram… nobody has to Like the teacher and send them an apple emoticon. Everybody is (take a deep breath for this one) in the same room. Scary stuff. Next thing you know we’ll be back to the days of giving recalcitrants a thorough thrashing, smoking in the toilets, and having to carry heavy books everywhere. Ridiculous, I mean, who the hell can afford books these days? BACK TO SCHOOL

Given the circular configuration of the auditorium, and using my Year 10 education at Derby Junior High School (senior students were expected to wear shoes, but it wasn’t compulsory) I can calculate that means the lecturer will have their back turned to roughly 70 percent of the students at any time — and what self-respecting teacher with a survival instinct is going to do that? Plus it’ll result in that same 70 percent of students goofing off and chucking spitballs at each other, flying paper planes, and not learning anything that doesn’t involve aerodynamics or origami. Meanwhile, the IT department of the university is sitting in its bunker with everyone tapping their fingers in annoyance, and asking one other, “Why did we run a zillion kilometres of Cat-6 cable throughout the entire campus and hang bloody

98-inch, 4K monitors on every damned wall, and put in a wi-fi network strong enough to fry chicken, when everybody’s going to be in the same freakin’ room?” Good question, and I believe the answer lies in modern pop culture. IN A THEATRE FAR FAR AWAY

Today’s university lecture hall architects are trying for a delicate balance between two popular models of assembling a large number of people together and hoping they’ll pay attention. One is the Republic Senate in Star Wars, The Phantom Menace and the other is — no surprises — the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While not exactly universities, there are plenty of parallels to consider and incorporate into 21st Century architecture. The Star Wars lecture theatre design would be pretty cool. You’re definitely going to need some serious IT since there’s several thousand members all sitting about a mile apart in a slight fog, and wi-fi will be a must. Mind you, if the NBN breaks down (again) you’ve got the option of using the rocket thruster thingies to fly closer to the teacher and not miss a single word — that probably explains the smog. Remember, it is an in-theround configuration, still catering for that touchy-

feely, sharing environment and occupying each other’s personal space — I knew I’d get a ‘space’ pun in somewhere. The Hogwarts education model isn’t in-theround. It’s more about everybody dressing up in Driza-Bone coats and large hats, pointing sticks at each other and hissing curses, and flying around the room on broomsticks — a bit like the National Party when you think about it. Not a lot of it is really high-tech and that IT Department won’t have a lot to do, but you gotta admit the students are mostly well-behaved and learn a lot. So something’s plainly working well. The obvious compromise between the two schools of thought (two puns, I’m on a roll) would be an in-the-round lecture theatre where all the students are allowed to take their own stick to point at things and curse, and the lecturer in the centre will be a 4K hologram projected from a safe room somewhere on the campus. That way the kids can flick rubber bands and chuck paper planes to their hearts’ content and the teacher, at least, won’t be losing an eye. The IT infrastructure is used for something worthwhile, and you still get that personal touch of the lecturer being in the room even if you can’t, well, touch them. A combination of remote, university education and personal interaction. Simple. 

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AV Issue 59  

AV is the magazine for Audiovisual professionals in the Asia Pacific region.

AV Issue 59  

AV is the magazine for Audiovisual professionals in the Asia Pacific region.