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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: businessdesk@samsung.com Please visit www.samsung.com.au/business 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”.


PROFESSIONAL AUDIO VIDEO SOLUTIONS IN AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND Production Audio Video Technology (PAVT) is a proudly Australian-owned and operated company that has distributed professional audio, video, conferencing, and production products for over 30 years, establishing ourselves as a leading AV provider for corporations, smallto- medium business, institutions, public buildings, and live production houses. With a highly skilled technical

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ISSUE 63

40 REGULARS Advertising Office: +61 (0)416 230329 PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Australia

NEWS InfoComm Show news.

Editorial Office: +61 (0)3 9998 1998 PO Box 295, Ballarat, VIC 3353 Australia

6

ASSOCIATIONS News from Avixa.

64

TERMINATION Sweet Torture.

66 NEWS FEATURES

Editorial Director: Christopher Holder (chris@avapac.net)

YOU’VE FINALLY ARRIVED The $22m Star Foyer AV experience.

16

DREAM PROJECT Daydream Island Resort is back.

18

CLUB HIT Bankstown Sports Club showstopping digital signage.

22

Graphic Designer: Daniel Howard (daniel@avapac.net)

STEM IN THE FLOW An overview of Stem Audio’s InfoComm debut.

24

Additional Design: Dominic Carey (dominic@avapac.net)

FITTING THE BILLE d&b install for Bille Brown Theatre.

26

Accounts: Jaedd Asthana (jaedd@alchemedia.com.au)

SAINTLY SOUND Renkus-Heinz column array into St. Stephen’s.

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LIFESIZE TO REALITY 1:1 plan mapping a big Epson & Datapath job.

32

EXTREME HOSPITALITY The Calile Hotel’s next level, 5-star AV.

34

STAR STUFF Audio upgrade for UoW planetarium.

38

Contributing Editor: Derek Powell

22

Assistant Editor: Preshan John (preshan@alchemedia.com.au) Publisher: Philip Spencer (philip@avapac.net)

Subscriptions: (subscriptions@avapac.net)

46

FEATURES alchemedia publishing pty ltd (ABN: 34 074 431 628) PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Australia info@alchemedia.com.au All material in this magazine is copyright © 2019 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. 29/7/2019

50

BEST MEDICINE Monash Uni’s new BioLab is all about connection.

40

TRACKING NICELY Huge LED for Sydney Trains control centre.

46

ORDER IN THE HOUSE Old Parliament House’s innovative audio solution.

50

GOOD AS GOLD Sovereign Hill’s famous light & sound show reimagined.

56

REVIEWS VIVI Wireless Presentation System

56

62


06

EDITORIAL

Rude Health or Rude Awakening?

H

ead along to the InfoComm show and you can’t help but be convinced the industry is in rude health. Big show; big numbers; lots of happy blokes (in the main) slapping each other on the back and enjoying free beer. So why would one of the most influential figures in the industry convene the world’s AV media, along with a group of hand-picked, topdraw system integrators and heavy-hitting end users to tell them the industry is about to end as we know it? Joe Pham is CEO of QSC and he did something really quite peculiar at this year’s InfoComm show. Rather than calling the usual press conference where the usual protocols are observed — new products, hand shakes, ‘thanks for everyone’s support’ etc — he used his time to, in effect, call a school assembly. Joe’s 50-minute address was a fastidiously prepared, yet idiosyncratic, TED-style lecture on why the AV industry, as we know it, is soon to disappear. FILM BUFF

Joe is a big film buff. A phamily (sorry) holiday in Dubrovnik gave Joe a binge-forged love of Game of Thrones (filmed on location in the medieval Croatian city). More recently, QSC took care of a large chunk of the technical undertaking of the Hollywood premiere of Avengers: Endgame. Joe’s a big fan. He even got to exchange fanboy pleasantries with Chris Evans. Why does Joe’s movie habits mean anything more than a ‘hill of beans’? He wants us to be GoT’s Jon Snow; to be an Avenger; to have more than the vision to see the writing on the interactive whiteboard but to actually have the guts to do something about it. It’s not easy. When everyone’s frantically loading their Kodachrome and snapping away on their SLRs, it’s hard to be the one not to advocate for opening yet another 60-minute photo developing booth. SOFTWARE IS EATING THE WORLD

Joe sees the future very clearly. The future isn’t in manufacturing. He points to Andreessen Horowitz’s seminal Wall Street Journal article of 2011, ‘Why Software Is Eating the World’, as a prophetic take on the AV biz. For a manufacturer, like QSC, you might think Joe’s industry critique could be distressing. Not so for Joe. He has taken a company that some 15

years ago was a Top 2 or 3 manufacturer of power amps and, under his leadership, is turning it into something else entirely — an IT company. Joe reckons software is about to eat the AV industry. After all, if it’s ‘eating the world’ then it’s presumptuous to think we’re not immune. What do we do about it? Good news: the answer, for now, isn’t to stop making stuff. After all, the world still needs to hear and see things. But Joe is adamant that product designed, built and marketed in isolation is a doomed orphan of the software world. Bad news: that sort of product accounts for the vast majority of what you’ll find on any AV tradeshow floor.

“Joe Pham’s address was a fastidiously prepared, yet idiosyncratic, TED-style lecture on why the AV industry, as we know it, is soon to disappear” PLATFORMS & ECOSYSTEMS

Instead, Joe insists that products need to reside within a ‘platform’ and a platform, thanks to software, can bring products together in a cogent manner. What’s more, you need to choose an eco system, where platforms can coalesce. Think: iOS or Android. Q-SYS is the QSC ecosystem, but Joe wasn’t here to pitch his product, he’s here to tell you where it’s at. I believe him. Could Joe’s lecture be the well-rehearsed ravings of a self publicist and company man? I don’t think so. Anyone who volunteers to chair the AVIXA board (a position which Joe currently fills) demonstrates to me that self interest could hardly be further from his main motivation. No, Joe wants to raise Avengers — to see the future and respond. Have the cohones to step up

and not just make a better mouse trap, but to reinvent the way you do business. It’s as inspiring as it is ambiguous — there were no handbooks distributed afterwards. The world of IT tells us there are only a handful of Apples and Googles, and the rest of us either design things that work within their eco systems or make a living helping people to operate within those ecosystems. And if Joe’s right, that’s AV’s future. Maybe it’s time to choose. Christopher Holder Editorial Director. P.S. Immediately after writing this editorial I had a follow up chat with Joe Pham in his hotel room at InfoComm. Which sounds more intimate than the reality of the situation: 1. Joe’s room occupies about half the top floor of the Hyatt, and 2. he invited the rest of the audience attending his address. My primary interest was to see how his penthouse compared with mine (joke). Joe was at pains to point out that he didn’t think the AV industry was somehow going away anytime soon, but intimated that the only thing standing between many small- to medium-sized manufacturers (who don’t choose an ecosystem) and obscurity, are longstanding industry partnerships/friendships. The descent into hyperniche irrelevancy would be inevitable. Joe also confirmed my iOS/Android ecosystem parallel. I like Joe. He’s got all the über-geek credentials you could ever want but can play the hard-arse business captain role as well. Is he the ‘smartest guy in the room’? Who knows. Is he the only one who can read the entrails? Of course not. But he is one of the few thought leaders to stick his head above the parapet and say what he thinks. Even at the risk of his own reputation or his company’s competitive advantage. His presentation had a sniff of risk about it; you can’t explain it away as just another selfserving gab fest. 


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08

NEWS

Show Highlights DANTE AS SOFTWARE Until now, Audinate’s business model has been licensing its Dante chips. In so doing, Audinate could guarantee the performance and interoperability of its AV networking technology. It’s been a successful business model: Audinate has some 400 partners and there 2000+ Dante products on the market. So Audinate’s announcement of the Dante Embedded Platform is a big deal — it provides Dante audio-over-IP to OEMs as on-chip software, allowing manufacturers and developers the ability to deploy Dante where either the price point or form factor made integrating dedicated Dante hardware challenging. Audinate’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Management, Josh Rush elaborates: “To ensure Dante-level performance from a processor not dedicated to network audio, we’re introducing Reference Designs for some of the more popular chipsets — notably the Analogue Devices SHARC DSP chip and the NXP i.MX 8, two of the more popular ARM chips in the AV industry today. Manufacturers working on new designs can incorporate the Reference Design into their product from the ground up, while we’ve also got manufacturers with existing ARM or X86-based products covered.” Audinate sees real growth in the smaller, lower channelcount products, that previously would have baulked at the Dante licensing fee. Chances are you’ll see Dante in more powered loudspeakers, compact digital mixers, microphones etc. If you think this move might result in a wild west of Dante-badged products with various performance specs, Audinate is doing its best to guarantee performance and interoperability via a Test Kit. Josh Rush explains: “We’re protective of the Dante brand. That said, Dante products with different latency performance already exist today. Take the Dante Virtual Soundcard as an example, which might have a higher latency than Dante hardware because it’s going through a computer. So our plan is to be very strict about what passes but also recognise there may be some leeway

NEW SYMETRIX OWNER JUMPING OUT HIS SKIN:

Mark Graham is now owner and CEO of Symetrix. After stints as CEO of Loud Inc and prior to that President of Crown amplifiers, buying Symetrix is an interesting career move. AV Asia Pacific sat with Mark at InfoComm to ask ‘why?’ and ‘what’s next?’. Mark Graham: “At this season in my career, I’m interested in having fun and enjoying the people I work with. Symetrix has always been a family business and I got to know the owners and we hit it off. We were able to work something out and it was the perfect thing for both sides. I get to work with my family [Mark’s wife runs Symetrix marketing and his daughter runs the sales operations], which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

depending on different products and applications.” Fittingly, QSC is one of the ‘lighthouse’ companies demonstrating the Dante Embedded Platform in action (read this issue’s Editorial for why it’s so ‘fitting’). For QSC, offering a Dante software license on its Q-Sys Cores was a no brainer. Trent Wagner, Audio Product Manager, QSC explains: “Q-Sys has already started down the path of licensing to expand the capabilities of a system. In that way we’re not burdening the whole system and everyone with unnecessary costs – you can pay based on your need. We’re taking that approach to the network audio realm with software-based Dante. Q-Sys now effectively will offer a native software-based Dante solution that’s scalable across the three existing Core processor models: the 110f, 510i and the 5200.” It’s a first of its kind: software-based Dante that will function just like existing hardware solutions, offering features that Q-Sys and Dante users are familiar with:

“I was attracted to Symetrix because it’s a really cool company. So as a guy who’s been in the industry a long time I could see Symetrix was a strategically smart company to buy. It’s a softwarebased company with a strong brand and a good technology. “We’re accelerating into an IT-centric world and Symetrix is so poised to just pull into that world… in fact, it’s hard to be patient and wait. InfoComm show next year, Symetrix will be transformed in terms of product offering. “It’s about the quality of our algorithms. Audio is still a black art. Video… we’re just switching signal around; but you’ve got to process audio to make it work right. And that’s what we do really well. The hardware increasingly

comes along for the ride. It’s the software everybody cares about. “The strategy that’s going to succeed in the long term is being able to exist in an open standard environment, because integrators – your customers – they don’t want you to dictate terms. But the cool part is doing that innovatively, to ensure you’re compelling – you want to be the glue for all that. “It’s premature for me to talk specifics about what’s next for Symetrix but you will see us come in with solutions. Solutions can mean a lot of things but it means not just providing a piece of a system. In six months’ time we’ll be announcing some really exciting stuff.” Symetrix: symetrix.co PAVT: pavt.com.au

low latency performance, precision network audio sync, network redundancy, device redundancy, all under the management of Q-Sys Designer or Dante Controller — you choose — and will be Dante Domain Manager compatible. It means QLAN, Dante and AES67 can all play nicely in the one Q-Sys ecosystem. This will make many Q-Sys customers very happy. Trent Wagner: “There’s a lot of pent up demand for Dante support on the Core 110f especially. There are some very popular Dante endpoints in the conferencing market, in particular, and only a select few of them support AES67, which has been our ‘get out of jail free card’ for quite a while. At the other end of the market, we see a lot more demand for customers wanting larger Dante solutions than the 64x64 Brooklyn chip could provide.” Audinate: www.audinate.com QSC: www.qsc.com

ZEE SPEAKS RE: IP Zee Hakimoglu, ClearOne Chair and CEO, talks to AV Asia Pacific about ClearOne’s ongoing battles over its beamforming ceiling tile patent: “What makes the United State so great? The United States is great because it has great respect and laws that protect your intellectual property. ClearOne is a American company, and has been around for 35 years. We respect our competitors’ intellectual property, through a wonderful legal system that respects and protects IP. If we don’t respect the IP of others, then we have a chaotic system like they do in other parts of the world. What’s a patent? A patent isn’t a concept; it’s a specific design. We’re happy to see the market embrace beamforming,

AEC and smart switching, we only ask that our design, using those three fundamental components, isn’t infringed.”


NEWS

09

d&b AUGMENTED ARRAY The all new A-Series from d&b audiotechnik combines variable splay angles, two approaches to acoustic optimisation, and an advanced waveguide design for coverage flexibility in both the horizontal and the vertical. The system comprises the AL60 and AL90 loudspeakers, with install variants. Up to four AL60/AL90s can be flown either in vertical or horizontal arrays. Variable splay angles between adjacent cabinets can be set in five degree increments from -10° to +10°. Midrange Directivity Control (MDC) ensures frequencies between 200Hz and 2kHz are evenly distributed, regardless of the splay angle. With 60° horizontal dispersion and directivity control down to approximately 550Hz, the AL60/ALi60 can cover a distance of up to 30m. The AL90/ALi90 – with its 90° horizontal pattern control down to 370Hz – is sonically and mechanically compatible, ensuring the same optimal acoustic result is “achieved consistently anywhere, at any angle, whatever the configuration”. d&b audiotechnik: www.dbaudio.com NAS: www.nas.solutions

Sonance Professional Series From the company that invented the Architectural Audio category comes a range of professional loudspeakers that set a new benchmark in sound quality and aesthetics for commercial environments. The Sonance Professional Series is a range of 70V/100V/8-ohm (selectable) in-ceiling, pendant and surface-mount speakers. New low-profile in-ceiling models have been added to the range to provide a solution for installations in restricted spaces.

POWERSOFT PLATES UP MEZZO Powersoft Mezzo consists of eight amplifier models, and suited to corporate, hospitality and educational environments. It’s a selfconfiguring amplifier system that delivers genuine power and flexibility in a compact, Class-D technology design that’s designed to be easy to install and operate. All of the eight models are networkable and feature automatic setup for audio parameters, “significantly reducing deployment time” during installation. Further, all of the units offer load monitoring, so users can monitor system parameters such as temperature, power usage and performance over time. The AD models include Dante and AES67 integration, and also add an internal Gigabit Ethernet switch and a second port, meaning that multiple products can share the same network cable. Mezzo’s power sharing capabilities are significant: for example, the smaller 320W power sized models are able to deliver 80/160W per channel into 2, 4, 8 or 16Ω as well as 100, 70 or 25V.

Contact the Amber Technology team to find out more: 1800 251 367 sales@ambertech.com.au

Powersoft: www.powersoft.com PAVT: www.pavt.com.au

ambertech.com.au


010

NEWS

Show Highlights

BIAMP ON BEAM

COMMUNITY VENUE HORN

SAMSUNG ADVANCED 4K UPSCALING

Biamp released the TesiraCONNECT room expander – a five-port AVB connection box that simplifies the Biamp conference room by providing power and media over a single cable between Biamp AVB DSPs, USB extenders, PoE+ amplifiers, and mics. Next, Biamp’s Devio small conference and huddle room system will now be available with the new TCM-X ceiling or TTM-X tabletop Parlé microphones in addition to the existing TCM-1 pendant option. This combines Devio’s easy, singlecable connectivity to all room peripherals with Parlé’s audio quality. Both mic array models feature four 90° Beamtracking zones, delivering dynamic 360-degree room coverage, while granting participants freedom of movement throughout the room. The Parlé mics use only one channel of acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) for a more efficient processing resource utilisation than competing beamforming microphones. Biamp also launched the next phase of its desono speaker family with a new constant-voltage, in-ceiling sound reinforcement speaker.

Community took the wraps off its new L Series LVH900 Beamforming Venue Horn. Designed for large venues, each LVH-900 consists of four 12-inch LF drivers, three Community M200 midrange compression drivers and four 1.5-inch HF compression drivers. All drivers integrate into a single tri-axial waveguide that fills the entire 36 x 31-inch face of the enclosure, providing pattern control to below 200Hz. The LVH-906 and LVH-909 offer 60 or 90 degrees of fixed horizontal dispersion, respectively, with each allowing vertical dispersion beamforming ranging from 60 to 20 degrees, in symmetric or asymmetric configurations. The company also presented its new Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers (ALC), which provide all of the signal routing, zone switching, DSP processing, protective limiting, remote monitoring, and amplification functions needed between a mixer and the loudspeakers in virtually any Community Professional Loudspeakers application.

Samsung’s QMR and QBR series both featuring advanced 4K upscaling and colour optimisation to satisfy those making the switch to 4K who lack the highres content – performing edge restoration and noise reduction, optimising on-screen text and imagery with crisp edges and fine detail. Also featured is Dynamic Crystal Colour, a 10-bit colour process allowing up to a billion shades to be displayed and giving businesses accurate colours across displays and locations for maximum brand consistency. All feature slim and near bezel-less designs, and run on Samsung’s SMART Signage Platform, keeping all communications and playback in the box for easy deployment. QMR series are always-on and QBR runs 16 hours a day. 43-, 49-, 55-, 65- and 75-inch options are available.

Biamp: www.biamp.com Jands: (02) 9582 0909 or jands.com.au

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON AT ELECTROBOARD?:

Mario Hilmi has joined ELB as General Manager Sales and Marketing. His appointment follows a successful tenure at BlueJeans and prior to that at Polycom. He’s a great scalp for ELB. As are the appointments of Sean Hooper as Chief Financial Officer and Sharonika Camplin as Head of Marketing. Mario’s success in driving a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) sales model made him a highly attractive proposition to ELB and director, Marie Bolton: “Mario is well-known for his impactful approach and we’re thrilled to have him leading our Australia-based team as we gear up for our next phase of growth. His appointment is strategically timed to support our aggressive growth strategy in Australia which

Samsung: 1800 313233 or businessdesk@samsung.com

Community: www.communitypro.com Hills AV: 1300 445 571 or www.hills.com.au

includes continued investment in people, facilities and technology. We’re adding new state-of-theart customer experience centres across the country to showcase what intelligent collaborative environments could be like and we plan to double our headcount in Australia over the next 24 months. Mario’s energy and enthusiasm are pivotal to leading our growing team and creating a positive workplace culture and we’re delighted to have him on board.” AV Asia Pacific spoke with Mario to get a sense of where ELB believes this high growth will come from: “The way in which people are communicating has changed dramatically in the past five years thanks to new technologies, the cloud, and more recently, the internet of things and

that’s driven a change in the way workplaces are being designed with open-plan offices, huddle spaces and flexible working. Our team is focused on simplifying these paradigm shifts for our customers, enabling them to join conversations, share, engage and interact with information and content as easily as possible.” In other words, ELB’s desire is to have a select suite of vendors (not all of them announced) in its stable that allows it to roll out huddle spaces like there’s no tomorrow. ELB has been doing something similar to this in the US where it’s been going gangbusters. Mario tells us ELB is active in 22 states of the US, and it’s not uncommon for it to roll out 100 huddle spaces in one night. So, Mario is hiring…

heavily. But why would anyone join ELB with all the staff churn over the last few years? Mario reckons the new spate of hires will inspire people: “I can’t change the past. But things are different. People wonder how we landed the likes of Sharonika Camplin, who’s an exceptionally high quality marketing professional. CFO Sean Hooper is a very smart man. I think high quality people will get the vision I’m casting and want to be involved.” Electroboard: electroboard.com.au


DIGITAL SIGNAGE. EASY. VISIT US AT INTEGRATE

STAND P1

AUGUST 2019

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Flexibility to update menus, displays, maps, corporate messaging, in minutes.

• Turn any display into Digital Signage! • Designed to operate 24/7 • Sturdy digital media player with HDMI and analogue audio output • Simple to Deploy: Easy, plug-and-play hardware setup with intuitive software • A range of 200+ customised templates designed by NoviSign • Unbeatable Value: The most feature-rich offering, at an incredibly low price.

Contact Us at 03 9489 0010 | sales@eavtech.com.au | www.eavtech.com.au


012

NEWS

Show Highlights

ASTRONOMICAL: COLLABORATE SPACE

JUST ADD DANTE

DIGITAL SIGNAGE: TAKING LIBERTY

ClearOne introduces a on-premise version of its Collaborate Space collaboration platform, Enterprise. “Collaborate Space Enterprise has all the functionality people have come to expect from a full-featured cloud collaboration app, with the increased security and full, enterprise control associated with on-premise platforms,” said Zee Hakimoglu, ClearOne Chair and CEO. Also available in ‘Basic’ and ‘Pro’ versions, Collaborate Space includes everything for online meetings, including scheduling, messaging, integrated file sharing, whiteboarding, annotation, meeting minutes, and more. All there versions also offer searchable, persistent private and public channels, organised by topic, which can include agendas, notes, messages, documents, whiteboards, audio and video recordings, and more. Collaborate Space has a userfriendly interface which runs on any device. Because it’s not designed as a ‘closed garden’ it includes gateway software for interoperability with traditional H.323 and SIP systems. Also, with ‘white label’ options, Collaborate Space can be customised to match any partner or customer brand.

Just Add Power (J+P) showed off its recently released 3G+ 767DSS Dante Enhanced Sound System transmitter. The transmitter adds compatibility with Dante and AES67 audio networks to  Ultra HD over IP  systems, with separate switching of audio and video. The transmitter allows installers to input up to eight audio channels from the J+P system for playout on Dante-enabled and AES67 devices and extract up to eight channels from the audio network for playout across the J+P system. The 767DSS is backwardcompatible with legacy two-channel Dante and AES67 devices, while offering higher performance with lower compression — bit rates of 176.4 and 192kHz — and latency as low as 0.25 milliseconds on Gigabit Ethernet. Secondary connectivity is built-in for glitchfree performance and to provide redundancy for highavailability applications.

Liberty AV Solutions has recognised a niche in the market for smaller digital signage deployments by providing packages that allow installers and end users to turn any display into digital signage and to take control of their content and scheduling. At the heart of the system is the NoviSign digital signage software, which makes it easy to design media-rich content that is engaging, live, and dynamic. There are more than 20+ one-click widgets, to create live and engaging content; and more than 200 templates that address all the key signage verticals, such as retail, hospitality, commercial, education etc. There are some powerful monitoring tools as well. Powering your screen is an Android digital signage player, that’s designed to go hard 24/7. The system is very cost effective with no pricey monthly licensing.

Just Add Power: www.justaddpower.com Australian Distributor: avation.com.au

Liberty AV Solutions: www.libertycable.com EAV Technology: (03) 9489 0010 or sales@eavtech.com.au

ClearOne: www.clearone.com PAVT: (03) 9264 8000 or www.pavt.com.au

LG CONNECTS WITH OZ INDUSTRY:

The Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, it was a chance for the industry to get up close to LG’s new Transparent OLED and LED signage, Open Frame OLED displays, and the

130-inch all-in-one LED Screen with surface sound. Also included at the event was the LG Flexible Curved OLED exhibit that offers a unique, immersive installation of commercial OLED displays.

Flexible Curved OLED displays enable a new approach for innovative and flexible digital signage designs. With no separate light source, the displays are extremely thin and lightweight, and flexible enough to be bent and angled at the installation site. LG Australia showcased its newest Transparent LG OLED display. The versatile 55-inch class display (model 55EW5F) delivers LG OLED’s impressive picture quality, meaning customers will be able to view video on the screen and simultaneously see objects behind the screen. The LG 130-inch All-in-one LED Screen delivers superb picture quality, supported by HDR10, to present accurate and vivid colours to viewers, while also captivating

them with Surface Sound driven by 36 embedded sound units. For the first time in Australia LG showed a new transparent colour LED film which can turn a window into a transparent display. The self-adhering film lets users overlay see-through content. Content appears in a range of 1.7 million colours, with approximately 120 levels of grayscale. The brightness is honed for indoor and nighttime use and 73% transparency ensures that ambient or directed light passes through unimpeded. The opposite side of the window is easily visible. When the display is off, its presence on glass is unnoticeable. Russ Prendergast, Marketing Manager for Commercial Displays at LG Electronics Australia:

“Digital displays have become a critical component for all kinds of businesses, however the way in which we’re looking to interact with visual tools is changing. The innovative B2B technologies that we’re showcasing open up creative new opportunities for the way we display communications visually and digitally.” Key speakers from some of Australia’s best-known organisations will join the Oz Connect event to discuss the opportunities and challenges in using digital commercial displays in new ways. Speakers include Lukas Carruthers, Digital Experience Lead, Cisco Systems Australia and Brendan Cook, Chief Executive Officer, oOh!media. LG Electronics: www.lg.com.au


We’ve just one-upped ourselves. Again. • Cabinet-free • Ultra-lightweight • Any shape you want 2019 At InfoComm 2019

Discover at: Booth #G1, 27-29 Aug 2019

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014

NEWS

Show Highlights

EAW ARRAY TECH

EPSON THINKS BIG

SHARP OPENS ALL WINDOWS

Earlier this year, EAW introduced the KF810P installation line array. The compact, lightweight KF810P is a three-way system with ‘best-in-class’ output and true broadband pattern control. At InfoComm, EAW launched the new SB818P|F companion subwoofer. The SB818P|F is direct radiating, with an optimally tuned, vented enclosure that houses an 18-inch neodymium transducer with long-excursion 5.3-inch voice coil and tremendous motor strength. EAW has further extended the SB series with the new SB818F, SB828, and SB825 loudspeakers. Meanwhile, EAW also debuted its new RS Series of two-way self-powered loudspeakers and subwoofers. Their portable, lightweight wooden enclosure houses bi-amplified electronics and feature EAW’s latest transducers and pattern control. The RS Series’ DSP provides intelligent Focusing for musical clarity and accuracy and DynO dynamic optimisation.

Epson is taking aim at the large venue market with its new range of 11 compact, interchangeable-lens Pro L10-Series laser projectors. The new Pro L10-Series are Epson’s most compact, interchangeable-lens laser projectors. The new models offer 4K Enhancement, HDBaseT and wide lens shift, making them ideal for large venue usage – from visitor attractions to higher education, museums to corporate meeting rooms. Designed for dynamic, high-impact live productions, Epson Pro L30000U high-end laser projector offers the best and brightest performance of the Pro L Series. Ideal for rental, staging, and other large-venue applications, this projector combines a laser light engine with inorganic components for extraordinary brightness and reliability. The ELPLX01 and ELPLX02 ultra short-throw lenses are now available in white for seamless integration into a wide variety of installations when paired with Epson’s white projectors.

Sharp used InfoComm to showcase a simulated smart office setup including an impressive 8K reception screen. Most interesting, though, was Sharp’s Windows collaboration display, which was set up in a corporate boardroom setting. The 4K Ultra HD display’s IoT sensor can monitor meeting environments for temperature, lighting and air quality and works with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins to monitor and optimise your smart meeting room environments and collaboration spaces. The system uses Sharp’s next generation 4K 70-inch interactive display, which meets Microsoft WCD specifications. It meets Microsoft’s spec and works seamlessly with Microsoft 365 collaboration tools. In addition, Sharp prepared three conference room environments where it previewed new 4K Ultra HD Aquos Board interactive displays. The rooms housed two 75-inch Class Aquos Board interactive display models along with the Windows collaboration display.

Epson: www.epson.com.au/laserprojectors

Sharp: 1300 552 552 or www.sharp.net.au

EAW: www.eaw.com PAVT: (03) 9264 8000 or www.pavt.com.au

NEWS IN BRIEF:

KV2 Audio’s ESD Cube was a real ear-opener at its InfoComm demo room. The tiny five-inch passive unit features a trans-coil design for superior vocal reproduction, extended high frequency response, increased dynamic range and super-low distortion. It’s ideal for theatres, bars, clubs, churches, museums or tourist attractions. Along with our new ESP1000 amplifier a combination of up to eight ESD Cubes, or four Cubes with either one or two ESD1.10 subwoofers. KV2 Audio: (02) 4388 4152 or www.kv2audio.com.au

Bose has re-entered the stadium install market with the IP55-rated ArenaMatch DeltaQ array modules and ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers – promising outdoor loudspeaker systems that bring consistent, intelligible sound to every listener. The idea is to bring its DeltaQ sound quality and flexibility to outdoor installations — sports stadiums, arenas, outdoor entertainment centres, and more. Nine coverage patterns are available. Bose ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers feature similar tonal balance to ArenaMatch array modules but in compact designs. Bose Professional: 1300 368 436 or pro.bose.com

Marshall Electronics’ next generation Marshall HD camera line greatly improves upon nearly every feature that has made the current Marshall POV cameras so widely adopted in broadcast and professional AV applications. The four new POV cameras represent the next evolution in its HD camera solutions. They include: the new CV503 is an upgrade of the best-selling CV502 model; CV506 is an upgrade of the CV505; CV344 is an upgrade of the CV343; and the CV346 is an upgrade of the CV345. Marshall Electronics: www.marshall-usa.com Corsair Solutions:  www.corsairsolutions.com.au

The new Atlona Rondo 448 addresses the challenge of managing an imbalance of inputs and outputs for 4K/UHD/ HDR sources. It provides a 1×8 architecture to move highresolution video content from a central location to eight end points. The Rondo 448 supports fullmotion, highly detailed graphics for presentation in conference rooms, classrooms and video walls, made livelier through professional visualisation, 3D renderings, simulations and more. Atlona: atlona.com Midwich: www.midwich.com.au

Riedel’s new Artist-1024 node features a whopping 1024 ports in just 2U and is targeted toward IP installations with its full AES67 compliance. Artist-1024 introduces a range of technical innovations centred on software-definable Universal Interface Cards (UIC). This entirely new type of interface card combines networking, mixing, and management, and it can be configured to act either as an AES67 or MADI subscriber card, or as an Artist fibre/router/ processor card. Riedel Communications: www.riedel.net


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You’ve Finally Arrived Star Sydney’s Grand Foyer makes big statement.

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he Star Sydney has recently dropped $65m on a transformation of the property’s Pyrmont entrance, with a brand-new bar, luxury retail and, now, an arrival experience with maximum ‘wow’ factor. You’re looking at the amazing $22m ‘Grand Foyer’ — part light, part water, part projection and part digital art attraction.   The Star Sydney Chief Operating Officer, Dino Mezzatesta, describes it thus: “The new Grand Foyer includes a 25m-long, 8K resolution crescent-shaped screen which will showcase the works of emerging and established Australian artists, university students, cinematographers and animators. The screen content reacts dynamically to the real-world environment and human movement, encouraging guest interaction. “Alongside the digital canvas, is the first sculptural water installation of its design in the Southern Hemisphere – the ‘Aquatique’ artwork of falling water.  The integration of Aquatique, LED screens, lasers, lighting and live performances is a world first for an entertainment precinct.” LIFE AQUATIQUE

The Aquatique feature is really something. It’s based around a 12m drop of two concentric water curtains (3m and 5m in diameter). Every hour, two Christie Crimson HD25 laser phosphor projectors use the water curtains to project onto (front and rear). The show lasts 10 minutes. Trevor Watt, The Star’s Director of Audio Visual was familiar with what the Christie projectors could do: “We use these same projectors in our Event Centre with outstanding results. This foyer show was always going to benefit from the laser phosphor technology — they’re used in regular short bursts so you wouldn’t want a lamp turning off and on all day. It’s a difficult service environment, so the laser phosphor light source means we don’t have awkward lamp changes.” A KVANT Atom 15 laser and four ACME XA 1000 BSWF moving head lights with custom gobos round out the light show. The audio for the hourly show is handled by very capable, ceiling-mounted Meyer Sound Cal32 column arrays, three in total. It’s a highly reverberant environment and the Cal32 speakers do their best to keep the audio component from spraying into other zones. Saying that, there’s no containing the hefty LF content reproduced by three ceiling-mounted 750-LFC subs and two groundstacked 900-LFC subs. The audio is delivered via Dante on a MediaMatrix distribution system.

STAR TURN

The new experience has been collaboratively delivered by The Star Entertainment Group and rockstar lighting specialist Bruce Ramus (Ramus Illumination). Bruce Ramus: “We’ve turned light into an expressive platform in the form of the digital canvas. Through this, light animates to tell the story of the local environment, it is the light, movement and artistic expression of the community that shares the wider story of The Star and Sydney.” 

CONTACTS Ramus Illumination: (03) 9191 2544 or www.ramus.com.au Christie Digital: (07) 3624 4888 or christiedigital.com Audio Brands (Meyer Sound): (02) 9659 7711 or audiobrands.com.au ULA Group (ACME): 1300 852 476 or ulagroup.com Hills AV (MediaMatrix): 1300 445 571 or hills.com.au


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Dream Project Daydream Island Resort’s epic $140m comeback from Cyclone Debbie.

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aydream Island Resort on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is back! Battered by 260kph winds and a tidal surge that saw two feet of water flood through its main buildings, the resort was almost destroyed by Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. Now, thanks to a $140m makeover, it’s back in business and looking great. And it is sounding great thanks to an all-new Bose sound system installed by local integrators NQAV. Bose now provides the soundtrack in the main building with its three-storey atrium; the signature swim-up pool bar; all five restaurants; and the newly created underwater observatory where guests can chat to divers in the resort’s Living Reef display beyond the plexiglass wall. DAYDREAM NERVE CENTRE

From his first inspection, amid the bustle of the rebuilding works, NQAV’s Kevin Booth knew the installation would be challenging. Building work was well advanced and cable access would be tricky. His brief from Daydream’s IT Manager

Craig Williams was to provide a centrally managed background system to each of the public spaces, complete with local inputs and controls in each zone. “From previous jobs we knew that a Dantebased system could give us the central control and management we needed,” Kevin recalled. “We chose Bose because we could integrate a complete Dante system with the amplifiers as well as the DSPs. Plus, we could easily extend the system as new areas on the Island opened.” The central music sources connect to a Bose ESP1240 DSP with a Dante card that sits on the Island’s network backbone. Bose PM 4250N networked amplifiers, with a Dante card in each, provide amplification at each zone. Where needed, Bose WP22BU-D wallplates provide inputs for local music sources or for radio microphone receivers. The remote management capabilities of the Bose systems are especially useful for on-island operations. “It makes things a lot easier because you don’t actually have to physically go and stand

in front of the infrastructure to manage it,” declared Craig Williams. “And also it opens up the option of having remote support from our installers.” LOOKIN’ GOOD

For Kevin, being able to choose speakers with similar aesthetics and matching sound quality from the extensive Bose range was crucial. “We could get the same voicing and same look and feel of speaker no matter which size or mounting style we needed,” he observed. “In some of the smaller areas we have gone with the Bose DS16SE while in the larger areas where we needed a bit more power we chose DS40SE. They look almost identical, which made it a lot easier to fit with the décor. Aesthetics are really important when you’ve got five-star guests coming through. The DS Series fit in really well.” In the function rooms, Kevin kept the entire installation network based, choosing AMX NMX-1000 series encoders and decoders to provide input plates and receivers for both the


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Maxell ceiling projectors and the Panasonic trolley-mounted monitors. “We wanted to keep everything networkable and flexible for scalability,” he said. “Venues like this get asked for some pretty funky requirements from time to time and using a networkable video source and audio source just gives them that flexibility to change things up.” CONTROL SIMPLICITY

Making sure the control systems are intuitive is a key requirement. The ubiquitous Chris Duckworth created a very elegant and easy to use UI on the AMX touch panels. Wheel in a monitor and plug it in to the system and a button will appear allowing source switching. When the monitor is removed, the button disappears, keeping the interface simple and easily understood by staff and clients alike. The simplicity is something IT Manager Craig appreciates. “[With our old system] if we had an event going on we'd have an Event Coordinator to help people with the equipment. Now you can literally give a client a five minute run through and they can do it themselves - you don't need someone dedicated there to control the equipment.” Craig is delighted with the NQAV installation. “We had a very outmoded system that dated from the original resort,” he summarised. “We were looking for something that would last long term. And we needed something more professional, with a much cleaner, crisper sound. I think with the Bose system we’ve got that.” 

EQUIPMENT LIST Background Music System DSP: Bose ESP1240 ×2 Bose ESP1DANTE ×2 Speakers:

Bose DS16SW ×9 Bose DS16FW ×20 Bose DS40SEW ×26 Bose DS40SEB ×6 Bose DS40FW ×17 Bose DS40FB ×6

Amplifiers:

Bose PM4250N ×10 Bose PMDANTE ×10 Bose ZA 190-HZ ×2

Input Plates:

Bose WP22BU-D ×12 Bose EP22-D ×3

Control System:

AMX NX-1200 ×2 AMX MSD-701-L ×10

Function Rooms Video over IP:

AMX NMX-ENC-N1115-WP ×9 AMX NMX-ENC-N1122A ×1 AMX NMX-DEC-N1122A ×6

Switches:

Cisco SG350-26-P ×2 Cisco SG350-10-P ×9

Monitors:

Panasonic TH-55LFEW ×4 Panasonic TH-55LFV6W ×4

Projectors:

Hitachi CPWU8700W ×2 Hitachi SL712 ×2

Screens:

Grandview GRIP180C ×1 Grandview GRIP150C ×1

PJ Lifts:

Screen Technologies 143060CX ×2

Microphones:

Sennheiser SKM100 Handheld Set ×3 Sennheiser SK100 Lapel Set ×2

Outdoor Shows:

Shure BLX14RS Headworn Kit ×3 Shure UA844+SWB ×1 Shure UA850 ×1


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Club Hit Bankstown Sports Club takes its foyer signage to another level.

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ankstown Sports Club (BSC) is NSW’s largest and arguably most progressive licensed club. This showstopping digital signage feature is a great example of a club choosing its partners carefully and getting a great result. Jason Klippel, the club’s Digital Entertainment & AV Manager, his team devised the design and layout of the screens and then turned to the club’s long-term AV technology partner, The P.A. People, to make it happen. TALE OF 2 CANVASSES

The installation looks spectacular and intricate, but can be considered as two pixel canvasses. There’s a three-wide video wall of HD displays (5760 x 1080) and a 10-strong array of LG Commercial panels behind it. Ensuring the content appears correctly on the displays is a powerful tvONE CORIOmaster 4K multi-window video processor. The C3-540 CORIOmaster chassis shipped with 16 slots and redundant PSU. There are 4 x 4K30 HDMI inputs through the CM-HDMI-4K-2IN cards and 13 x HDBaseT outputs through 7 x CM-HDBT-SC2OUT-1ETH cards. These were then received at the LG monitors converting the HDBaseT signals to HDMI through 13 x tvONE 1T-CT-642 HDMI 1.4 receivers. This is no small processing task, and one CORIOmaster eats for breakfast.

MOUNTING A CHALLENGE

FOYER CONTENT

An AMX control system allows Jason and the marketing team to toggle through a selection of screen configurations managed by CORIOmaster. Prior to installation Jason used tvONE’s CORIOgrapher to visualise a number of possible screen configurations and orientations. The board was presented with a variety of options from which to choose. The winning configuration was sent to The P.A. People to bring to life. “We have total confidence in the P.A. People’s ability to get the work done,” commented Jason Klippel. Mounting the screens presented a considerable challenge in itself. The P.A. People’s in house capabilities ensured it was something it could take in its stride. Managing Director, Chris Dodds: “Mounting the screens was one thing — it did present a certain engineering challenge — but we also needed to ensure the video wall was serviceable. Each of the three front screens can be lifted off to access the rear screens.” Club AV Manager, Jason Klippel, doesn’t take The P.A. People’s next-level engineering expertise for granted: “A lot of The P.A. People's work is right at the end of the project. Their guys were here on a public holiday, working to get this job finished; testing and making sure it was perfect from Day One. They’re always happy to go that extra mile.”

The content is regularly updated to reflect the theme of holidays, seasons and commemorations such as ANZAC Day. The content cycles to match the 15-second dwell time of patrons’ passage through the foyer. The LG Commercial displays feature LG’s customary super-thin bezel which gives the installation its clean lines. “The bezel width was certainly a consideration,” confirms Jason Klippel. “We also found the LG screens had the best value for money. They fit the bill perfectly. LG had the right size configurations available for us to achieve our design. The P.A. People had the flexibility to mount the displays the way they needed to without compromise. And we had the support from LG. Durability is another major consideration. These displays run 24/7/365... I’ve not turned them off yet, and we’ve not had a problem.”  The P.A. People: (02) 8755 8700 or www.papeople.com.au Corsair Solutions (tvONE): (03) 9005 9861 or corsairsolutions.com.au LG Commercial: lg.com.au avt (AMX): 07 5531 3103 or avt.tech


in association with

2019 in association with

Find us at stand J22

Australia . New Zealand . South East Asia

27 - 29 AUGUST 2019 MELBOURNE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

www.midwich.com.au

|

www.midwich.co.nz

|

www.midwich.com.sg


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Stem in the Flow

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ne of our highlights of the InfoComm show was Stem Audio. None of what it’s selling, individually, is necessarily ground breaking but its holistic (and comprehensive) approach to collaboration is an eye opener. Stem is an offshoot (sorry) of well established US conferencing products manufacturer, Phoenix Audio Technologies, and looks to provide “the complete full stack solution for audio conferencing,” according to CEO, Jacob Marash. It comes at conferencing equipment from a new angle, bringing consumer standards to the B2B world by concentrating on the approach to the problem rather than the problem itself. Needs Analysis: To better understand market needs, Stem undertook thorough research with the end users who actually use the devices – the designers and architects who design the spaces, the IT professionals who manage products across organisations, and the integrators who purchase, install and maintain audio conferencing products. They asked them what their problems are and what their pain points are. The research showed six problems common to almost every respondent: • Room design: time consuming and requiring a lot of guesswork. • Difficulty of install: time on site is profit lost • Testing the room: objective measurement complexity • Custom solution: no one size fits all • Managing the technology: need to monitor and control remotely in real time • Training users: the more difficult it is to use, the less it is used These issues are not new to the industry. Designing a framework that addresses these problems is. Ecosystem solution: The Stem approach to this challenge is to provide a whole ecosystem made from the building blocks of hardware but glued together with intelligent software. As Jacob Murash put it: “it's the perfect marriage between hardware & software”.

Stem has the luxury of drawing on decades of Phoenix's audio knowledge but has its own R&D to produce a range of elegant and simple products that not only work well but do so within the Stem ecosystem. It's designed deep learning and neural networks to drive DSP and software improvements and used this knowledge to redesign beamforming mic arrays. Many answers to the pain points lie in the software: • RoomDesign creates a virtual room to design and specify products before purchase. • Installation uses one Ethernet port with PoE. Connect to the network and you are done. • RoomCheck generates an objective room audio clarity heat map of the installation. • RoomAdapt analyses your room’s acoustics and adjusts settings to ensure your products are optimised for best audio clarity. • Remote Management allows monitoring of the ecosystem from anywhere over the network. • Intuitive Design: Stem’s user interface integrates seamlessly with all major video conferencing platforms. Easy for end clients to use what they already know. However, Stem is primarily a hardware company. Its suite of five networkable products can

be mixed and matched into any size meeting room. Wall mic/speaker combination, ceilingmount microphones, tabletop speakerphone, simple user interface and the Stem Hub – deployed when multiple Stem units are in the room. A living, breathing organism, the product range will continue to grow as Stem does. Along the way, they want to be open to as many third parties as possible, staying compatible with all video conferencing platforms and already Amazon Alexa enabled. The Stem InfoComm booth motto was "we play nice", summing up the company approach. Branching out: Stem might be new kids on the block but come from good pedigree. Jacob Murash: “We have decades of experience yet we're still able to be nimble and cutting edge.” Stem’s goal is to provide products that are: scalable, reliable, controllable, intuitive, flexible and simple. The Stem difference is putting all those features in the entire ecosystem.  Stem Audio systems available Q1 2020 Madison Technologies (Stem Audio): 1800 00 77 80 or stem@madisontech.com.au


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Fitting the Bille Brisbane’s Bille Brown Theatre scores point source upgrade.

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ille Brown Theatre is a beautiful performing arts venue in South Brisbane a short stroll from the Brisbane River. Reopened in October 2018 after a 12-month long renovation, the 351-seat space has been completely redesigned with a corner stage and raked seating. Along with the renovation came the requirement for a new audio system that could deliver crystal clear and impactful sound to every pair of ears in the house. FLY TIGHT

The technical requirements of Bille Brown Theatre’s new sound system were threefold. Firstly, the boxes had to be relatively lightweight as all loudspeakers would be mounted from the rigging infrastructure above the steel tension net overhanging the width and length of the stage. Secondly, it was crucial the system did not interrupt sight lines to the stage from any seat in the theatre, including the nose-bleed seats. Thirdly, the system needed to provide coverage to every seat while still meeting the previous two criteria. “Predominantly we use the system for sound effect playback in our theatrical productions,”

says Daniel Maddison, Technical Coordinator at Bille Brown Theatre. “But if we ever do hairline microphone reinforcement, we wanted a PA system that incorporated rejection on stage to prevent feedback and give as much headroom as possible given the limited space we now have with the corner stage configuration.” POINT SOURCE PUNCH

Bille Brown Theatre began its search for the perfect PA by auditioning systems from three big-name contenders, one of which was a d&b Y-Series point source rig. “Other companies were looking at a distributed mono system,” says Daniel Maddison. “The d&b system was able to provide us with a left/centre/ right scenario with out fills. We took that on board and looked at all the coverage prediction plots for the new venue and we were really pleased with the results.” Doug Pringle from the NAS Projects Team worked with Daniel on a solution based on d&b’s Y10P and Y7P point source loudspeakers known for impeccable vocal clarity and real punch for

their size and weight. The three hangs form an LCR configuration which can also run in stereo with the centre pair acting as a fill. Additionally, two single Y7Ps are mounted vertically on either side of the three centre pairs as outfills. Two d&b 21S subwoofers are discreetly mounted above the steel tension net in end-fire cardioid configuration to supply heavy-hitting low-end impact in Infra mode. Every d&b loudspeaker in the Bille Brown system has its own amplifier channel, including the subwoofers and E6 loudspeakers. Two d&b 30D amps and two d&b D20 amps power the entire rig. Daniel says, “By having that flexibility and extra control over each speaker instead of doing loop thrus, it just means we can push the system that little bit further. It gives us more confidence in those gigs which go beyond the norm.”  NAS (d&b): 1800 441 440 or nas.solutions


See our installation products www.boschcommunications.com.au

@ INTEGRATE 2019

Bosch manufactures market-leading Public Address/EVAC systems, conference systems, critical and broadcast communications systems (RTS), best-in-class amplifiers (Dynacord) and hundreds of loudspeaker models (Bosch, Dyncord and Electro-Voice) ranging from wall-mount or ceiling speakers all the way through to prosound line array systems. No matter what the audio application, we have it covered. See a sample of what we have to offer at Integrate 2019. Dynacrod and EV Installation products will be showcased at the JANDS stand #i32 and Bosch, Dynacord, EV and RTS products will be showcased at the AUDIOBRANDS stand #L7.

THE MOST COMPLETE FAMILY IN COMMERCIAL AUDIO The EVI D family is the industry’s most complete family of commercial loudspeaker solutions, with acoustically and aesthetically matched surface-mount, ceiling-mount, pendant-mount and flush-mount models for spaces of every size and shape, indoors or outdoors. Every EVI D loudspeaker is designed with both the contractor and the listener in mind, combining unique timesaving features to simplify installation with best-in-class audio performance, excellent value, great looks and robust reliability. EVI D, your go-to product family for high-quality background music and public address applications.

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| Email: | www.boschcommunications.com.au 026 724 boschcomms@au.bosch.com | Email: boschcomms@au.bosch.com | www.boschcommunications.com.au


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Renkus-Heinz’s Saintly Sound

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esigning and installing a PA system for a cathedral has to be one of the toughest challenges in audio. Typically, the acoustics of the space are extremely hostile; the heritage and aesthetic considerations severely limit speaker placement and cabling options; and the budget is often well below the optimum. Queenslandbased integrator 5thCorner met this challenge with considerable success in Brisbane’s St Steven’s Cathedral using Renkus Heinz Iconyx digitally steerable line array loudspeaker systems. The previous PA was no longer meeting the expectations of the congregation, and the brief was for a new speaker system that would tame the reverberation in the space and provide clarity throughout the expansive nave and transept of the Gothic revival building. At the same time, the existing analogue mixer was to be replaced by a digital system with flexible control options and matrixed outputs that would also cater for the regular live webcasts of services. HERE BEGINNETH THE LESSON

The 5thCorner team knew that the key to providing clarity for the spoken word would be keeping sound away from the vast vaulted ceiling of the cathedral. A steerable beam array would be the best fit, so they involved their trusted supplier Hills SVL early in the design phase. The Hills team modelled the space, taking multiple acoustic measurements before recommending a design based on the Renkus

Heinz Iconyx range of speakers. Andrew Gable was the project manager for 5thCorner. “The quality of the sound was really important to the client,” he recalled. “They wanted the space to sound like a cathedral – they didn’t want a booming noise coming from the front. They wanted a sound system that worked within the cathedral – not the other way around. “The Renkus-Heinz speakers have worked incredibly well in that space,” he continued. “The steerable beams gave us the ability to be very specific in where the audio actually went.” COLUMN SUPPORT

The final design uses a pair of the larger IC16-RD columns at the front of the nave supplemented by a pair of smaller IC8-RD further back as delay speakers and another two IC8-RDs covering the left and right transept seating. Keeping the number of boxes to a minimum and mounting them on the main support columns has minimised the visual impact and kept the architectural elements uncluttered. For the front end of the system, 5thCorner chose a Mediamatrix Nion DSP. This easily handled the requirement for eight analogue microphone inputs plus four radio mic systems and provided digital output to the Iconyx speakers via Dante. A separate set of matrix outputs provided a fully controllable mix to the webcasting system. A simplified control system was created using the

MediaMatrix Kiosk2Go software running on an iPad. This allows cathedral staff to have simple one-button control to turn the PA system on and off as well as a separate mixer interface to control individual levels when needed. FUTURE GROWTH

As part of the installation, all wiring was rerouted to a new basement control point and a fibre backbone was provided to allow for expansion and a future video display system in the cathedral. Rounding out the project was a new Williams Sound IR hearing assistance package with emitters covering the seating areas and a receiver charging station located adjacent the entry. The new installation has definitely proved its worth and has attracted plenty of favourable comment from both the cathedral staff and the congregation. Andrew Gable is convinced they made the right equipment choice: “One of the main reasons we did go with the Renkus-Heinz was definitely the backing that we got from Hills,” he notes. “If we do have any questions or concerns we can pick up the phone and anyone that we talk to within their support team is very much across the product. And we don't necessarily need to wait for someone to call us back. We can get the support that we need – at the time that we need it.”  Hills AV (Renkus-Heinz): 1300 445571 or hills.com.au 5thCorner: 1300 584 267 or 5thcorner.com.au


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TEAM Client Manager: Jerry King Internal Design: Tim Gentile Project Manager: Andrew Gable Project Implementation Lead: Igor Schey Lead Programmer: Igor Schey

Neets AV Control Systems EQUIPMENT Speaker System: 2 x IC16-RD Steerable Line Array Speakers with Dante 4 x IC8-RD Steerable Line Array Speakers with Dante DSP: MediaMatrix Nion DSP with Dante Hearing Augmentation: WilliamsAV IR Hearing System (TX90 transmitters, WIR RX22 Receivers) Microphone System: AKG WMS470 Series Wireless Handheld Microphones AKG WMS470 Series Wireless Lapel Microphones AKG Boundary Microphone AKG Gooseneck Microphones for Cantor and Ambo AKG High Gain Paddle Antennae & Omni Directional Antennae with combiner Control System: Crestron CP3 Central Processor with TSW-760 Touch Panel Video System: Crestron 16x16 DM Frame with Fibre Input & Output Cards

Neets is a smart, user-friendly and easy-to-install AV control system that makes it easy to start up presentations in meeting and classrooms. Neets focuses on developing reliable, user-friendly and effective room control systems for AV-integrators around the world. Configuration of the control systems is straightforward, without code complexity, with Neets Project Designer software. Automation processes can be initiated from the moment the system is turned on or by a simple press of a single button. Neets is the ideal solution for simple, low-cost control systems in the classroom and commercial applications. Now distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Amber Technology.

Contact the Amber Technology team to find out more: 1800 251 367 sales@ambertech.com.au

ambertech.com.au


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Sharp Interactive Touch on Point 160+ SHARP Interactive Touchscreenequipped Zoom rooms into Sydney Uni.

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he City Road entrance to the University of Sydney has been transformed by a pair of new buildings, facing each other across a contemporary urban square. The Administration building and its neighbouring Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences building don’t just look stunning on the outside, they house some radical new ideas in audiovisual design powered by Sharp Interactive Touchscreen Monitors. Ringed around the stunning central atrium of the administration building are a series of elegant meeting rooms that represent a truly new paradigm in collaboration technology. Central to the experience in each space is a Sharp Interactive Touchscreen which powers up automatically to display the user interface, based on the Zoom platform. To present, users simply tap an icon on the Sharp Touchscreen and then connect their device wirelessly to the Zoom meetings server by following the instructions on screen. Everything’s integrated into the solution. There are no cables and it doesn’t matter what device someone brings into the space – iOS or Android, iPad, Mac or PC. So long as it connects to the internet, the Zoom solution can place it seamlessly on screen to be viewed and annotated.

Two-way or multi-way videoconferencing is just as easy. Tap another icon on the Sharp panel to start a videoconference session. Depending on the room size, each Sharp Interactive Touchscreen is paired with a Logitech MeetUp or a Yamaha sound bar. Jordan Catling, Associate Director for Client Technology at the University of Sydney, explained the rationale: “The consumer market has really influenced the expectations of technology people are bringing to the University,” he observed. “We strive to make engagement with our technology something that feels natural and responsive. That’s why we’ve been focusing on ensuring the touch experience that people have is familiar – like the experience they get with their personal devices.” KEEPING PACE

Previous large touchscreens have not been popular with the academic community due to latency issues. “With really bright academics, their minds are going at 1000 miles per hour and the technology just wasn’t keeping up with them,” Jordan noted. “The new Sharp displays have really reduced latency so now the technology works as fast as the academic, and annotation is as seamless

as using a whiteboard or a chalkboard.” “The other big distinction is that traditional touch displays allowed just a single input,” Jordan continued. “With these displays having 10 points of touch and simultaneous use we can have problembased learning where multiple students use the devices effectively at the same time. The touch input is very reliable and consistent. So it creates a really good experience for our staff and students.” So far, more than 160 of the Sharp-equipped Zoom Rooms have been deployed across the university but the applications for the interactive monitors don’t end there. More Sharp panels are installed as huddle room boards (the capacitivehuddle board TC1 series), whiteboards and relay screens in the magnificent teaching laboratories of the new science building across the square. “A particular benefit in the Sharp displays is the anti-glare coating,” Jordan observed. “Natural light and really strong overhead lighting are particularly important in the scientific disciplines. With the integrated coating, the viewing angles of these displays are really good so we’re able to use them in a lot more situations.” (Photo: Dylan Esguerra)  Sharp: 1300 552 552 or visualsolutions@sharp.net.au


032

NEWS

Lifesize to Reality 1:1 scale plan projection takes serious Datapath and Epson firepower.

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t was mid 2018 and Melbourne entrepreneur Jason Jaap was looking to expand his business portfolio. He’d seen the immersive installation at Lifesize Plans in Sydney and was captivated by the concept of accurately projecting lifesize building floor plans onto the ground. Here, architects, designers and consultants can walk their clients through a realistic 1:1 scale projection of their prospective layout, making any design or outline changes before committing to bricks and mortar. Jason contacted the creative technologies and design team at Vision One to create a similar experience in Melbourne, branding it Building Reality. THE MAIN ATTRACTION

After detailed consultation between Vision One and Epson’s technical experts, 6 x Epson EB-L1505UNL 12,000 ANSI lumen laser projectors  were selected for installation in a reinforced ceiling grid, carefully spaced 12.3m and 4.7m apart. This matrix allowed for a full image size of 26m wide x 18m deep, slightly larger than a basketball court. These 12,000-lumen, WUXGA LCD laser projectors feature 4K enhancement and are connected back to the rack over Cat6 cabling, using long-distance HDBaseT transmitters and receivers from Clean Digital. The Cat6 cable carries both HDMI and RS232 signals for display output and system control. DETAILED SETUP

Before any content was shown, the meticulous process of projector alignment was undertaken.

Once each projector was properly positioned, Epson’s on-board individual Curve and Point Correction was used for point correction. This operation fine-tuned the image shape using definitive points on a grid. Meanwhile, curve projection was used to adjust and correct the shape of each image projecting against irregular, curved or spherical surfaces in the flooring. This sequence was performed on each of the six projectors, ensuring that an even and aligned grid could be achieved between each designated blend. The projector’s lens shift and zoom functions were also used here, allowing for more precise pixel-topixel adjustments. DATAPATH DESIGNING

Back at the rack, some lateral thinking from Vision One saw 2 x DataPath Fx4 video wall controllers  used to configure the blend, content distribution and overlap regions of the projectors. Using Datapath’s video wall management software Wall Designer, Vision One’s experienced installation technicians configured the video wall system to mesh elegantly with the projector matrix. This technical variation on the Lifesize design turned out to be very cost effective and flexible. Control of the whole system is achieved with the use of an HP Pavilion All-In-One Z8G53AA Intel i7 27H Windows 10 PC  and integrated touchscreen. This allows the staff at Building Reality to use simple and familiar gesture controls to 'scale' any PDF/floorplan document to fit the entire projected area (ensuring a true 1:1 reproduction). Any adjustments made on the

touchscreen are reflected in real time and real size on the enormous floor surface. VIRTUAL HOUSE TOUR

Given that many people struggle with conceptualising a three-dimensional space from a two-dimensional drawing, the potential benefits of conducting a virtual walk thru and alter your floorplan before a sod is even turned, are enormous. What Vision One and Building Reality have done here is create a seamless and well-constructed facility that allows just that. — John O'Brien  Vision One: (03) 9467 3777 or www.visionone.com.au Epson: www.epson.com.au/laserprojectors Midwich (Datapath): 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au Building Reality: www.buildingreality.com.au


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FEATURE

Extreme Hospitality The Calile Hotel’s next-level AV extends out to the porte-cochere and swimming pool’s palm trees. Text:/ Derek Powell

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he Calile was always going to be a special hotel. Amongst the many hotel openings in Brisbane for 2018, it was a big challenge to stand out but the challenge was met. Spanning half a city block and eight stories tall, this opulent building features a raw industrial finish with exposed concrete, stone, Travertine and corklined walls and floors. An integral element of the external façade is the 270,000 white bricks that line the arches and first level, only making way for breeze block openings aiming into the corridors. All of these design elements bring to life a building that is eminently suited to Brisbane’s fine sub-tropical climate. The hotel also features 178 guest rooms, 30m pool surrounded by palm trees and cabanas, an award-winning restaurant

(Hellenika), cocktail bar called Lobby Bar, and a retail arcade featuring among other things, a number of exclusive fashion boutiques. HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

Soho Sound Design was engaged from the beginning of the project to design, supply and install a world class audiovisual system that would reliably service the hotel’s daily needs with minimal requirement for external equipment and labour hire. Any element of the system had to be easily accessed and changed by staff from in-wall touchpanels, smartphones and tablets. Absolute attention to architectural detail was required such that almost all AV components are hidden or discretely placed along with other fittings to

reduce their visual presence. A crucial and underlying element of the Calile Hotel is the audio experience. Right from the minute a guest parks in the set down to when they enter their room, they are experiencing full-range high fidelity audio. The hotel common areas, pool deck, bars and function rooms are equipped with Meyer Sound MM10XP subwoofers and either MM4XP surfacemount or Ashby 5C in-ceiling tops. The two premier suites each have a Meyer Sound system on their private terraces on Level 7. The IntelligentDC architecture allows for reduced rack sizes and displaced heat generation as each loudspeaker houses its own amplifier. The externally located loudspeakers also have to withstand extreme weather conditions for much


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FEATURE

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS • 140 loudspeakers installed, of which 101 are Meyer Sound • 120 channels of audio I/O and 30 channels of video I/O in the core network • 200 ethernet connections to devices • 9 touchpanels and a further four individual iOS control interfaces • 100 rack units of equipment installed • Estimated 10km of loudspeaker cable and a further 7km of network cable

of the year including heat and humidity as well as wild storms with torrential downpours. A number of loudspeakers are located in garden beds and planters and receive daily water exposure. DSP & AV DISTRIBUTION

A BSS Soundweb London DSP network carries and manages all audio feeds for the hotel including the premier suites. This system has over 120 inputs and outputs and utilises Dante to carry audio between racks on the 10GB fibre backbone. Atterotech 2x2 Dante endpoints are used in the gym and premier suites due to their small size and silent operation. Eight channels of ListenTech AudioEverywhere provide wifi-based real-time audio to guests’ smart devices for personal listening and hearing augmentation throughout the whole building.

The video distribution is handled by JustAddPower HD-over-IP transmitters and receivers. 10GB fibre backbones allow any display to view any source regardless of what rack they are run from. The J+P endpoints also carry power On/Off control information to the TVs and projectors minimising the number of wires required at each point. RTI controls all audiovisual components in the building. A lot of the daily operational tasks are automated, however, each function room and common space has access to at least one seveninch touchpanel for on-the-fly changes. A number of in-house iPads allow staff to control the whole system while roaming, iPhone interfaces allow for onsite and offsite control of audio source and volume which allows management to remotely monitor how the system is being used. 

CONTACTS Soho Sound Design: 0421 012 460 or sohosound.com.au Audio Brands (Meyer Sound): (02) 9659 7711 or audiobrands.com.au avt (BSS): avt.tech Sennheiser: (02) 9910 6700 or sennheiser.com.au PAVT (PowerSoft, Atterotech): (03) 9264 8000 or pavt.com.au Audio Logistics (Audac): 1300 859 341 or audiologistics.com.au NAS (Listen Technologies): 1800 441 440 or nas.solutions Connected Media (RTI): connectedmediaaustralia.com.au Avation (JustAddPower): (07) 5580 3300 or avation.com.au Christie Digital: (07) 3624 4888 or christiedigital.com


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038

NEWS

Star Stuff Uni of Wollongong rebuilds its planetarium.

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he University of Wollongong (UoW) Planetarium had a long life since initially opening in 1989 and being rebuilt in 2000. Once more than serviceable, by 2018 the associated AV installation was showing both its age and proximity to salt air. The university initiated a major refit and rebrand as Science Space in 2019. In the first phase, global planetarium specialists Evans & Sutherland (E&S) installed their Digistar six dome projection system, consisting of 2x 4K laser projectors mounted opposite each other at the base of the 10m dome. E&S supplied five custom PCs to handle blending, alignment, video and audio pre-processing, and Digistar system management. When the Digistar 6 system was wired to output audio into the original rusty system, it was patently obvious that the extant audio gear needed upgrading to match the slick new video. UoW Senior AV Designer Dave Rigter came in to manage the audio upgrade process. SKIES THE LIMIT

Much is written about the integration of technologies but of equal importance is the integration of the various people and companies that implement these technologies. Large institutions (such as UoW) have ongoing

technical supply and support needs, requiring similar ongoing relationships with suppliers and integrators. Dave drew from his pool of trusted local installers and engaged Michael Fagan of Connect AVI to find a solution that would leverage the design knowledge and product range of UoW strategic partners avt. Michael designed a new 5.1 surround system based around a BSS BLU 806 processor. This DSP takes Dante inputs from the Digistar PCs and routes it over Blu-Link to a Crown DCi 8|600N amplifier. 5x JBL AM 5212 Surround speakers and a JBL ASB6118 Sub deliver this sumptuous sound to the public. A Williams IR loop is also installed for assisted listening. Everything was pre-cabled out of hours and the switchover went seamlessly, carefully prepared contingency plans were not required. Normally integrated over their networks by UoW, Dante is on a closed loop here due to the relative distance from ICT support staff. Dave is able to monitor the system remotely from his desk and finds it both easy and reliable. SCIENCE SPACE IN ACTION

All this cool technology is nowhere as cool as sitting under a dome, immersed in a high

resolution, bright, seamless image and engulfed by, in Dave's words, "a cracking sound system". This facility allows the classic planetarium experience of star gazing from inside but ever so much more. Digistar's interactive content library is extensive and user made presentations can be shared with other domes worldwide – even in real time! As a dedicated STEM space for students or a high definition modelling display for researchers, this installation is world class and the upgrades should give it a long life. Science Space now even hosts movie nights and tours, providing a valuable secondary income stream for the venue. For the client, designer, suppliers and integrator, everything went smoothly and everyone came out smiling. It is best summed up by Dave Rigter: "This was a landmark project for the university and the end result is brilliant. It was a real success for us." – John O'Brien  Science Space Home: sciencespace.com.au Evans & Sutherland: www.es.com Connect AVI: (02) 4203 7200 or info@connectavi.com.au avt (Harman Installation Product): avt.tech Hills AV (Williams AV): 1300 445571 or hills.com.au


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040

FEATURE

Best Medicine The Monash University BioLab building is all about connection. Text:/ Christopher Holder

S

uperlabs are here to stay. Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine had its labs strewn across the campus and the consolidation plan started years ago. The brand new BioLab building on the Clayton campus opened for business at the start of this academic year and it’s a doozy. Five floors of labs. Each floor can accommodate 240 students. Each floor can be divvied up into four zones. “Some 12 different groups teach in here — pathology, histology, anatomy etc — and they all have different requirements,” explains Peter MacLean, Audio Design Manager & Lead Architect at the university. “The idea was to build a lab system that allowed us to share facilities among different groups and to meet all their requirements but also allow the flexibility of different groups using it at different times and

different class sizes. There are five floors of labs: 240 students each that can be broken down into four zones of 60 students each; and can then be linked as a single 240-student teach space, two 120s, or four groups of 60 groups… at the press of a button.” CONNECTION IS THE CHALLENGE

Of course, as lead architect and designer of the BioLab’s AV systems, what Peter is describing is precisely the aim and challenge confronting any superlab designer. The measure of success is largely down to how connected the students feel with the lecturer and the content. It’s a significant challenge regardless of whether you have one lecturer teaching 240 first-year students how to use their Leica microscopes, or if you have four distinct senior-student groups all slicing up a

different part of a cadaver. It’s something Peter and the academic staff discussed at length in the years of workshopping the best possible solution: “Ultimately it’s about the audio,” concludes Peter MacLean. “It’s about speech intelligibility and connection with the academic. It’s about allowing the students to feel there’s a one-on-one relationship, even if there are 240 students in the room.” IN THE ZONE

AV designers have grappled with the audio zoning issue for years. Some have used headsets, where students dial in the relevant lecturer — great for museum tour guides, not so great for the students’ esprit de corps. Others have dabbled with highly directional ‘sound shower’-style loudspeakers which provide unbelievably good directionality


041

FEATURE

EAW: GOING WAY BACK

(Top) EAW's LS4321 loudspeakers in action. (Above) The lecturer's touchpanel interface.

but do so at the expense of a full frequency response. Still others have adopted an in-ceiling speakers over each table, but often suffer from an unacceptable amount of spill between zones in what’s unavoidably a highly reverberant (linoleum and steel) teaching environment — resulting in reduced speech intelligibility. As for Peter MacLean? He buzzed EAW. Internationally, Monash Uni is EAW’s largest university customer, so the loudspeaker manufacturer and PAVT (the long-time Australian distributor) were quick to respond. Peter described what he required: a loudspeaker that could provide students with a ‘nearfield’ audio experience regardless of where they were in the lab. “EAW had an ideal speaker in the LS432,” recalls Peter MacLean. “It’s somewhat like a baby

Peter MacLean, Audiovisual Desigin Manager & Lead Architect: “Over the years I’ve learned that technology on its own is one thing but working with the suppliers and the manufacturers can really add an extra benefit to what you’re trying to achieve because they understand what our philosophy is and we have a shared history — you develop that relationship and they give you that extra support. “My relationship with EAW goes back to 1995 when I bought the second EAW system in Australia for a large church. I EAW because they provided excellent sound quality but also because of the high speech intelligibility — much better than the other models

line array, featuring very tight control in one axis that allows us to offer very high intelligibility and very high connectivity with the lecturer – much higher than normal in-ceiling speakers – and their directivity help to isolate the sound between the adjacent zones.” EAW’S GO-TO BOX

The passive EAW LS432i two-way enclosure features two four-inch drivers either side of a HF array of three one-inch soft-dome tweeters. The system maintains a well behaved nominal vertical coverage pattern of 20° to below 1000Hz.  “The LS432 has two major advantages over an in-ceiling speaker or museum-type speaker,” explains Peter. “It’s a much higher quality loudspeaker – it sounds amazing. The other key advantage is you’re only hearing the

at the time. I’ve subsequently used lots of different brands and models but as a university we have established a lasting partnership because EAW delivers a wide range of models that exactly suit our requirements. “EAW provides great support and PAVT is particularly supportive in what we’re doing. PAVT provides not just sales support but technical support – helping us design our systems, design our EQ and our DSP standards. This way we can roll out systems — Rutledge AV as the integrator can drop in the files prepared by our AV engineers and we get predictable and exceptional results.”

LS432 nearest to you, rather than the next row of in-ceiling speakers. This provides a far more intimate, nearfield experience for our students and improves that all-important speech intelligibility.” Rutledge AV’s Project Manager, Nick Ryder, elaborates: “Ultimately, the EAW LS432i speakers were chosen due to their superior clarity and very tight angle of disbursement. This was following extensive EASE-modelling by the consulting engineers; and mock-ups and postinstallation validation by Rutledge AV. Four speakers were recessed above each lab table and were fully zone-controllable. In total around 450 speakers were installed.” The acoustics of the BioLabs play a role. Marshall Day did its level best to tame the otherwise hostile acoustic environment, rich in hard, shiny surfaces. The ceiling is replete with


042

FEATURE

ONERACK IS THE ONE tvONE’s OneRack was launched a couple of years ago promising the simplification of racking devices that don’t generally like being racked — baluns, transmitters/ receivers, media players etc, each with their own plug pack. Peter MacLean: We use the OneRack to mount the Teq AV IT WiPS710 Wireless Presentation devices in the labs. In Level 1 to 3 we have 44 of these devices in the labs and they are mounted in a 10U tvONE OneRack and a 6U OneRack. The OneRack solution provided the following benefits to us: • Takes up less space in the rack than the traditional method of attaching two or three to a 1U shelf. • Provides built-in power for the devices, negating the need to mount 44 power packs within the rack and their associated cabling. • Provides a dual redundant power supply system that is also monitored by the Crestron control system, warning us via Fusion if one of the power supplies fail, allowing us to replace it without any impact on the teaching. • Forces air cooling of the devices — they do get hot and if they are not kept cool enough, they freeze-up, require time to cool and then need rebooting. • Provides much easier access for servicing the devices, as the blades they’re attached to can be quite easily slid out of the frame.  Corsair Solutions (tvONE): (03) 9005 9861 or corsairsolutions.com.au Axis AV (Teq AV IT): 1300 294728 or axisav.com.au

Students can share content from their station’s NUC or their own device via the Teq AV IT wireless presentation system, all from a simple to operate Crestron keypad.

absorbent material and assists greatly, while the noise from the services has been kept to a minimum. PAVT’s Technical Support Manager and Smaart black-belt, Ben Clarke, tuned the system. “PAVT has always provided great service,” enthuses Peter MacLean. “And being one of EAW’s largest clients doesn’t do any harm! Ben Clarke went the extra mile.” “Audio throughout the facility is supported by Powersoft Quattrocanali 1204-DSP-Dante amplifiers,” continued Rutledge AV’s Nick Ryder. “Maximising the system’s efficiency and reliability

by implementing the EAW Greybox presets, which correct phase and magnitude response as well as system limiting and protection.” VIDEO: DM ME

Each floor of the BioLab building has a Crestron DM 128x128 frame for matrixing video. Pointto-point video remains the preferred approach for Peter MacLean. Each floor of the building is self contained in this regard – if one floor wishes to share video with another, that can happen via a Cisco SX80 VC appliance. Peter MacLean: “We really like the concept


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044

FEATURE

MAKING THE CUT: PC2 REQUIREMENTS Given the facility houses dissection and biomedical resources, it was a requirement that all AV equipment was installed to conform with Physical Containment 2 (PC2) obligations. It meant Rutledge AV was required to recess speakers into the ceiling finish, which wasn’t as easy as you may think. Given the weight of the EAW LS432i loudspeakers, Rutledge had to devise a way to permanently mount them to the slab before the ceiling was installed but then also slightly change the locations of the speakers to locate them within precise, laser cut holes. Project Manager, Nick Ryder: “Ultimately we designed

a track-type grid to mount the speakers onto, which gave us the ability to move the speakers in any location on the horizontal plane and finely tune their locations to achieve a precise fit into cut-outs after the ceiling tiles were installed. “To meet PC2 requirements we had to invisibly caulk the edges of the speakers to ensure containment between the laboratory and the ceiling space was maintained. Around 450 of these speakers needed to be installed in this manner.” Phew.

of Crestron’s NVX [video-over-IP system] but we had to ask ourselves: ‘what’s the benefit of using NVX over DigitalMedia?’ DM is uncompressed and it has less latency, so why send video all the way up to a centralised IT room to be compressed and sent right back again when we don’t have to? “We’ve also noticed that something like 80 percent of installations with video-over-IP end up putting their own AV network in any way, because it doesn’t work on the infrastructure network. From our point of view, if we can’t put it on the infrastructure network why would we put a whole other network in? Meanwhile, Crestron DM is simple and easy to manage.” Just about every floor has two main NEC 98inch displays per zone. Each zone has a teacher’s touchdown point – not a lectern but a landing zone for the teacher’s PC and materials. The touchdown point has a Crestron wall panel for system control. There are four sources: the teacher’s laptop, the house PC, the Teq AV IT wireless presenter, and a Sony PTZ camera if the teacher wishes to use the big screens to show the room something interesting, like a skin lesion. HOT BUTTON ISSUE

Each student station has its own AV system. A Crestron keypad allows the students to select a source, such as the station’s own NUC PC, student laptop, or the wireless presenter (to share the content of an iPad etc). Upon start-up, the student’s station display will mirror the teacher’s source selection. “Not so long ago, university AV systems did their best to avoid any student control. The fear was, the students would do something disastrous, inappropriate or nefarious. Things have changed with the move to student-led learning – it’s about engaging students and, let’s face it, they’re over 18 and if they’re going to mess up, it’s better they do it at uni rather than their workplace down the track. “The more the students are engaged, the more they’re invested in their own learning – they’re

The plan shows the arrangement of the student stations into four zones. (Top) Shure UHF wireless is used by the lecturers.

not just passive participants, they’re active participants. And we know that engaged students turn up to lectures; when they turn up to lectures they get better results; and when they score better results they don’t drop out. “That’s what motivates myself and my team. We know that with good AV design we can influence retention rates and help students to learn. “This is more than a job. We can talk about speech intelligibility in abstracted terms but to me that connection with the academic in the classroom clearly flows through to better outcomes; the sort of results we actually care about… students learning, graduating and changing the world.” 

CONTACTS Peter Maclean: peter.maclean@monash.edu Rutledge Engineering (Integrator): rutledgeav.com.au Marshall Day (Acoustic Consultant): (03) 9416 1855 or au.marshallday.com WSP (AV Consultant): wsp.com PAVT (EAW, Powersoft): (03) 9264 8000 or pavt.com.au Multiplex (Builder): (03) 9353 3500 or multiplex.global Crestron: crestron.com.au Sony Professional: pro.sony Jands (Shure Wireless): (02) 9582 0909 or jands.com.au


046

FEATURE

Tracking Nicely It may not be the largest LED wall in the country, but it has more pixels than any other LED display in Australia… possibly the world. Text:/ Derek Powell

L

iterally standing tall inside Sydney Trains new Rail Operations Centre (the ‘ROC’ for short) is a massive LED wall that, in terms of resolution, dwarfs any other LED display in the country. It’s ground-breaking too, as it is one of the first command and control displays realised using LEDs instead of the more common rear projection cubes or LCD monitor walls. Astonishingly, with 41 million active pixels, the LED solution was chosen in part, because it had less resolution than some of the competing technologies. The videowall was designed and installed by Critical Room Solutions as part of a project that consolidated a number of Sydney Trains operational groups into a purpose built facility in the inner Sydney suburb of Alexandria. Technically, the 32.5m long, 3.6m high wall is known as an Operational Visual Display System or OVDS for short. But OVDS is a bit of a mouthful, so it is more often referred to as the ‘Wow board’. It’s an appropriate moniker which exactly described the reaction from the more than 400 staff who now work in the ROC, on first

seeing the massive display. But as we’ll discover, the nickname actually originated quite early in the three-year project. SOMETHING SPECIAL

To find out more, AV Asia Pacific spoke to Chief Operations Officer Lena Kimenkowski, and Technical Supervisor John Kimenkowski, the dynamic brother and sister team behind Critical Room Solutions (CRS). They are the second generation of a company that has a 30year history, specialising in control room design on major infrastructure projects, with offices in Perth and Adelaide. Not surprisingly, given the focus of the company, CRS was invited to provide submissions for the project quite early on. “Going back two or three years,” Lena recalled, “I was at a conference where [Sydney Trains] spoke about the future of the ROC. Following up, we were involved in quite a few expressions of interest; calls for information about our capability and about what we could do. And then it started getting more serious – about the

actual solutions rather than about the company. They were testing that the companies could not just deliver on components but also to help develop the solution, ultimately. The nice thing about the project was that, from the beginning, the client said that it should be a Wow wall. That gave us the freedom to put forward something that was really interesting.” HERE’S THE PITCH

One of the more interesting factors in the design was the decision to pitch an LED solution rather than the more traditional command and control solution of rear projection cubes. John Kimenkowski explained that CRS’s decision to recommend a NanoLumens LED wall wasn’t the obvious choice but was driven by good science. “The tender actually called for cubes,” John noted. “That’s what they had in some of their existing locations and while we could do a cube wall that size, we realised that [with so many cubes] the overall resolution would be far more than was needed. The key driver was getting big


FEATURE

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GEAR HIGHLIGHTS 1 × NanoLumens Custom 1.6mm LED display, made up of 500 cabinets, 20x send cards, 1000 receive cards, 6000 nixel boards and approx 1500 cables. 54 × Panasonic TH55VF1H Ultra narrow bezel 55-inch video wall displays 54 × Infinigrid videowall mounting brackets 5 × VuWall, VuScape 640 video wall processors in various configurations 82 × Techlogix fibre DVI extenders 5 × Techlogix 12 port low voltage power supplies 10 × Extron TLP1025T touch panels 4 × Extron IPCP 350 control processors 1 × Extron IPCP 555 control processor 2 × Extron DMP 128 Plus 2 × Extron MPA 601 amplifier 8 × Extron CS3T ceiling speakers 10 × Extron SW4 HD 4K plus HDMI switchers 3 × Shure MXA 910 ceiling microphones 3 × Panasonic AW-HE38H VC cameras 2 × Panasonic toughpads and docking stations 4 × Crestron Airmedia AM-101 2 × SMART technologies 7075 75-inch SMART board 1 × SMART technologies 7086 86-inch SMART board 1 × IHSE Draco Enterprise KVM matrix chassis 1 × IHSE Draco Compact KVM matrix 16 × IHSE R474 Con boards 80 × IHSE L474 CPU boards 16 × IHSE 474-BODY6R power bays for cards

clear images and if you scale sources at a lower resolution to that size it starts to lose quality. So what we really aimed for was to get a pixel perfect image that was simply a lot bigger. And the only way to achieve that is with LED technology. “As soon as we saw floor plans of the room and how big they wanted this wall to be, our first thought was: this is a prime opportunity [for the kind of technology] that we think will be the future of all control room displays. And that is LED technology. When you start looking at its lifetime; how easy it is to service; how little power it uses when run at lower brightness. We obviously don’t need to run anywhere near the potential brightness – we’re currently actually running at about 36 percent – and it’s still just so vibrant and bright.”

twentieth of the entire display – out to one of their sites and set it all up,” John explained. “We were giving our idea of what an ideal control room control environment looks like. Lots of stakeholders came through and had the opportunity to ask questions. So it was a very hands-on experience rather than keeping everything in that sort of tender format where bits of information can very easily get misunderstood or lost.” Once a technology decision was made and contracts awarded, the detailed design evolved rapidly. The final layout, as defined by Sydney Train’s ergonomists and technical operations team, called for one main display – the Operational Visual Display Screen (the OVDS or ‘Wow Board’) to provide critical information to all the operational groups.

platforms; and deliver a safe and reliable journey to its millions of daily customers. The 1.6mm pixel pitch LED display contains 41 million pixels configured as 19,200 x 2160 – equivalent to 20 full HD resolution displays. The largest display element switched to the display is the graphical map of the entire network created by the Train Location System (TLS). The TLS display usually occupies the centre portion of the wall where it allows the train controllers to see the immediate and knock-on effects of any delays or outages and schedule new services as needed. Other inputs available to the videowall include off-air television via Foxtel or pictures from any of the thousands of CCTV cameras that monitor tracks, platforms and concourses across the network.

PROOF OF CONCEPT

THE NUMBERS

WALL MANAGEMENT

Knowing that the LED wall was a non-compliant proposal, with the support of its major vendors, CRS proposed a proof of concept demonstration. “We took a whole bunch of equipment – and one

Suspended from the ceiling along the front wall, the stunning 32.5m long x 3.6m high display enables Sydney Trains’ controllers to monitor the entire rail system; control trains, tunnels and

Managing the huge display area is a VuWall processor which takes in HDMI feeds from 30 PCs to turn the LED Wall into one giant canvas, allowing any bit of information to be displayed


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FEATURE

TEAM DETAILS Principal: Critical Room Solutions – Lena Kimenkowski and John Kimenkowski Project Management & LED Structural Engineering: Arcadis – Thomas Willets and Chris Slater LED Support: NanoLumens – Almir DeCarvalho and Doug Price Digital Place Solutions – Gerry Thorley and Stephen Rubie PCB Digital – Chris Day and Phil Giles

FACTS & FIGURES Total project value: ~$6.2million AUD Total project man hours: ~9000hrs Contract award to Completion: ~14 months

anywhere – making the system very flexible. To make the display quick and intuitive to operate, a number of templates have been devised to meet regular requirements. Within the various areas defined on the templates, individual sources can be changed at will. An enterprise KVM solution from IHSE allows operators to directly control each source PC, allowing them to call up particular views at will. Ten operator desks are equipped to allow local preview and control of every source relevant to their location so they can work closely with a piece of content before publishing it to the desired wall. Dedicated Extron control processors with a bespoke graphical user interface, allow for an easy to use interface to the whole solution. CRS’s own ‘Wall Builder’ technology allows Sydney Trains’ operators to interact with the video walls after only 10 minutes of familiarisation and basic training. POD RACING

In addition to the OVDS, there are three other videowall ‘pods’ on the main floor of the Rail Operations Centre. These provide specialised information display to teams responsible for the Sydney Trains’ own electrical network (the Electrical Operations Centre); the Infrastructure Operations Centre (responsible for bridges, level crossings and more) and the Rail Technology Operations Centre. The three displays are each made up of 12 x Panasonic 55-inch ultra-narrow bezel LCD screens, two walls in a four by three format; and one as a six by two display. Each pod has its own videowall processor; control system; and a Foxtel box to view news coverage of any incidents. INCIDENT ROOM

But wait, there’s more! On an upper floor, overlooking the control centre are two other hightech facilities. The Incident Management Room and Executive meeting Room are separated by

MAIN DISPLAY Display type: 1.6mm pitch LED Display Size: 31.5m long × 3.6m high Resolution: 19,200 × 2160 Pixel Count: 41 million (approx.) 3 LEDs per pixel over 124 million individual LEDs! Weight: ~6 tonnes Power draw: ~160amps Expected lifetime: 100,000hrs + Cabling: Over 7km worth of Cat6 STP PODS DISPLAYS X3 Display Type: 55-inch Ultra Narrow Bezel (1.7mm) LCD monitors Display Sizes: 2× 4×3 4.9m long × 2m high 1× 6×2 7.3 long × 1.3m high Resolution: 2× 7680×3240, 1× 11,520×2160 Pixel Count: ~25 million each Weight: ~400kg Power draw: ~15amps Expected lifetime: 60,000hrs + Cabling: Over 2.5km of fibre optics with DVI extenders IMR DISPLAYS X2 Display Type: 55-inch Ultra Narrow Bezel (1.7mm)

an operable wall but can be joined together in case of a major incident. Each room has similar technology: smart boards, videoconference equipment, and ceiling array microphones to facilitate communications for routine meetings or critical events. Each room also has its own LCD videowall display that can mimic the OVDS or carry separate information as needed. CONTROL FREAKS

After a hectic 14-month delivery schedule, CRS have created a stand-out, first of a kind control room solution. Perhaps more importantly, they have also generated a satisfied customer. “CRS have done an exceptional job delivering

LCD monitors Display Sizes: 1× 6.1m long × 1.3m high 1× 4.9m long × 1.3m high Resolution: 1× 9600 × 2160, 1× 7680 × 2160 Pixel Count: ~20 million each Weight: ~400kg Power draw: ~15amps Expected lifetime: 60,000hrs + Cabling: Over 400m of fibre optics with DVI extenders BACKEND 5× video wall processors with a total of 96 full HD outputs and 112 full HD and 4K HDMI inputs, processing ~320Gigabit of visual information every second Over 75 client PCs delivering graphical content to the video walls All PCs controllable at 10 operator desks via a 160 Port KVM matrix solution 10× customised control touch screens for simplified and unified control of all devices 5× full 42RU racks of equipment 1 floor below Over 1000 individual pieces of equipment, excluding LED wall components Over 3000 individual patch and interconnect cables used, all labeled and documented Over 135 Project documents produced Over 65 pages of system diagrams detailing the interconnections

the OVDS system into our Sydney Trains flagship Control Room,” commented Ibrahim Fazah, Sydney Trains ROC Program, Facility Technical Manager. “They were able to manage a complex delivery during all the phases of the project from managing our challenging requirements during the design stage, the complex construction of the screen support in our new purpose built facility as well as full system installation, configuration and commissioning.” Though it won’t be seen by the travelling public, the display represents a massive investment in ensuring the safety of passengers who make more than 1.3 million journeys every day on Sydney’s rail network. 


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FEATURE

Order in the House New (beam steered) sound for the old parliament house. Text:/ Derek Powell

L

uis Miranda is a man who enjoys his work: “I just love solving problems,” he declares. Luis is an audio consultant with Auditoria, a specialist consultancy whose work covers everything from Live Events (think: Olympics opening ceremonies) to major venue sound systems (think: the renewal of the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House and Bankwest Stadium at Parramatta). Luis has a PhD in Acoustics and relishes the challenge of coaxing good sound out of difficult acoustical environments. Throw in a few extra constraints like a heritage-listed building and he’ll happily rise to the challenge. This particular challenge was three spaces within a building that most of us will instantly recognise — Old Parliament House in Canberra, the most significant building in Australia’s democratic history. Those three spaces are the most iconic in the building: The House of Representatives Chamber; the Senate Chamber; and Kings Hall, “the huge echoing crossroads that was the beating heart of the House”.

DEMOCRACY HUB

The House has been transformed into the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) that now daily hosts educational tours for school groups and tourists, interpreting the history of our democratic institutions while preserving the fabric of the wonderful old building that has been witness to the most pivotal moments in our history. MoAD’s aim was to bring 21st century audiovisual capabilities to this near century-old building. As part of the process, the Museum’s Head of Facilities Chris Grebert and Project Manager Warwick Bartlett sharpened that broad aim by bringing together the needs of the different stakeholders — education, tour groups, events, and, of course, the heritage requirements for the installation. The most problematic area was Kings Hall, the splendid space that sits between the Senate chamber on one side and the House of Representatives chamber on the other. Its highcoffered ceiling, plaster walls and highly polished parquet floor make a grand statement but those

very features also create an acoustic that makes sound reinforcement extraordinarily challenging. With the hall now heavily in demand for all manner of functions, the brief from the museum was to design and install a flexible sound reinforcement system that could provide clear, articulate speech, while remaining virtually invisible. Luis knew that the system would need to deliver even coverage across the 16m width of the room while keeping sound away from the multiple reflective surfaces that could easily create a giant echo chamber. A distributed speaker system would be out of the question as multiple speakers would badly impact the heritage values. But there was one possibility that ticked the right boxes: a line array with digital beam steering. STAYING ON BEAM

As Luis started the design exercise, he knew that digital beam steering would be a powerful tool but the architectural limitations were quite significant. From a heritage point of view, the speakers in Kings Hall needed to be unobtrusive and away


FEATURE

051

The real stars of the show are the Fohhn DLI-130 column arrays installed discreetly up and out of the way in the coffered section of the architecture.

from major sight lines. The museum’s heritage department would have to approve all installations and they provided support in identifying solutions that would have the least impact on the fabric of the building. The ideal position would be high up in the coffered ceiling area, but that location would require a speaker with exceptional beam steering capability. Luis whittled down the possible speaker systems to a choice of three. The contractor specified that every part of the installation had to be demonstrated and approved to ensure the outcome would be adequate, so Luis set about trialling the speakers in situ. He brought in a portable high-reach pallet lifter which could position the speakers at the right height to closely simulate various options for the final speaker position. He then took a series of measurements in the space to determine the impulse response for each of the speakers in a number of positions. The result was a pleasant surprise: “When we tested using the Fohhn DLI-230 speaker, we found that its beam forming worked really well,”

Luis recalled. “It proved that locating a speaker high up in the coffered section could deliver the coverage we needed while also being more in line with the Heritage Conservation Guidelines.” The final installation used three pairs of the DLI-230’s smaller brother, the DLI-130 which fit perfectly in the recessed ceiling area. The DLI130’s useful frequency response extends down to 60 Hz which is extraordinary for a box running

eight, four-inch drivers. As a result, subs weren’t needed since the requirement in Kings Hall was primarily for speech reinforcement. The three speaker pairs allow for functions to be set with the stage or lectern in different positions — at the front, on the left, or the right side of Kings Hall. Only one pair will generally be in use at any one time with configuration handled by a Q-Sys DSP which takes care of all


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FEATURE

STEERED COLUMN ARRAYS Column speakers, with vertically stacked drivers were popular in sound system design from the 1950s thanks to their predictable directivity and relatively long throw. What’s more, stacking drivers produces a narrow, low profile form factor that can blend into a range of architectural features making column designs unobtrusive. More recently, manufacturers have used small, closely-spaced drivers in column speakers to create a line array source which can provide high directivity over a relatively wide frequency range. It has been known for some time that introducing a progressive delay to the sound emanating from each speaker in a column line array has the effect of steering the beam down (if the upper drivers transmit earlier than successive lower drivers). This has the same result as tilting the box forward but the steerable

the audio routing in the installation. The correct speaker pair for each orientation is selected using a Crestron control system, accessed by a discreet wall-mounted touch panel or an iPad running Crestron’s XPanel software. ACOUSTICS: LET THAT SOAK IN

However, the active electronics and speakers could only ever be part of the solution. The initial brief acknowledged the existing acoustic problems and Luis’ preliminary measurements had confirmed that some absorption would be needed to tame the acoustics. The reverberation time was around four seconds and during the museum’s daily opening times, noise from the tour groups in

the wings to either side echoed right across the space. But what could be done without impacting the heritage values and distinctive architectural features of this space? “That was a little bit tricky,” Luis admitted. “We did the required calculations and then tried to find a product that looked right — could be colour matched, and performed as well as possible for what we were permitted to do”. Luis’ solution was ingenious and virtually invisible. He had broad-band fabric-covered absorber panels made up to the precise dimensions of the decorative plaster panels on the walls. Colour matched to the plaster, they are visually indistinguishable from the architecture but have a

array enclosure can continue to sit flush against the wall, retaining its inconspicuous appearance. Beam steering was difficult and expensive with analogue technology but with the appearance of DSP chips and small form factor amplifiers it has become practical to produce steerable arrays with every driver individually powered. Speaker columns can sit flush while their output is directed very precisely away from walls and ceilings that will create unwanted reverberation and echo. Steerable arrays can also provide very even SPL levels over quite a long throw, making them highly desirable in sound reinforcement applications. Today, steerable beam column arrays are available from a number of manufacturers including Meyer Sound, Tannoy, Renkus-Heinz, JBL, Fohhn and others. CMI (Fohhn): (03) 9315 2244 or cmi.com.au

valuable effect on acoustics. “It has had a really good impact on intelligibility in the room,” Luis noted. “It shaved about a second off the reverberation time. At 1kHz, the measured reverberation has come down from four seconds to 2.7s, which is much more manageable.” ECHO CHAMBERS

With Kings Hall tamed, attention turned to the Parliamentary chambers. The old House of Representatives chamber, once the scene of many fiery debates across the dispatch boxes, was now regularly filled by visiting school groups learning about parliamentary procedures and processes. The first requirement here was for a sound


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054

FEATURE

EQUIPMENT LIST AUDIO

CONTROL

Loudspeakers (Kings Hall): 6× Fohhn DLI-130 with signal distribution via Fohhn AM-40 Loudspeakers (Chambers): 2× Fohhn DLI-230 per room Subs (Chambers): 2× Fohhn XS-30 per room

Central controller: Crestron CP3 Touch panels: Crestron TSW-760, one in each room iPad control: via Crestron app

Central router & processor: QSC Q-Sys Core 510i Distributed audio IO: QSC Q-Sys I/O 8 Flex Hearing augmentation via WiFi: Williams Sound HHS132D complete with preconfigured iPhones and personal neck loops or headphones Hearing augmentation via Roger protocol: Phonak Roger BaseStation (one per room) Hearing augmentation tuner via Roger: Phonak Wall Pilot (one per room)

VIDEO

Microphone receivers: Shure ULXD series, 6 channels in Kings Hall, 4 in each chamber Microphones: ULXD1 plus WL183, ULXD8 plus MX410/C ULXD2 plus B87A. Portable console: Yamaha QL1 complete with RIO1608-D frame

reinforcement and hearing assistance system for the use of teachers and museum guides. In addition, because the space was heavily used for functions and commercial presentations, it needed a lectern, dual video projection flanking the Speaker’s chair and a full-range program sound system. The audio, projection and hearing assistance arrangements had to cover every one of the 128 green leather members’ seats as well as the 50seat public gallery while making the absolute minimum impact on the fabric of the space and remaining discreet to the point of near-invisibility. Perhaps surprisingly, although the chamber had been fitted with microphones for Parliamentary broadcasts, there had never been a PA system, so Luis needed to start from scratch with no ready-made cabling conduits, nor any established speaker recesses where new infrastructure might be hidden. Once again, the ideal solution was the narrow, low-profile Fohhn column arrays, this time using the larger DLI-230s mounted to either side of the old Press Gallery. Luis created presets that allowed each speaker system to deliver two different beams at once. One beam covers the floor of the chamber while the second directs sound only to the public gallery which can be switched on whenever that area is in use. To allow full-range sound, two matching Fohhn subwoofers are floor mounted behind the railing of the Press Gallery, adjacent to the columns but out of sight. Because the gallery is not open to the public, the speakers did not need any fixings so there was no effect on the heritage woodwork. VOTE FOR PROJECTION

The projection system was required for use with visiting school groups and also for occasional corporate presentations. Again, any equipment added to the space needed to be as unobtrusive as possible and to be removable without damaging the fabric of the chamber. Integrators, Sound Advice, responded with some innovative mounting solutions to meet this demanding

Signal distribution: Crestron DM-NVX-350 (one per remote input and one per remote output) Signal distribution: Crestron DMF-CI-8, one at Kings Hall Configuration and processing: Crestron DM-XIO-DIR-80 Video playback: BrightSign XD234, (four separate devices in Kings Hall, one per chamber) Projectors: Panasonic PT-RZ670BU Screens: Screen Innovations Solo Pro Acoustic Treatment: Kvadrat Soft Cells Broadline Broadband absorption panels

brief. They concealed twin Panasonic RZ670 laser projectors in the public gallery and devised a discreet mirror system to project across the chamber. On the opposite wall, twin retractable screens were suspended from the Press Gallery balcony. The screen cases were colour matched to the woodwork so they virtually disappeared when not in use. For functions, HDMI inputs to the projectors are available at the lectern positions with signal transport provided by Crestron’s DM-NVX-350 video-over-IP solution. A Shure ULXD series lectern mic and dedicated receiver keeps cabling to an absolute minimum, providing functionality without intruding on the unique character of the chamber. Once again, a Crestron TSW-760 touch panel allows function staff to set-up and control the presentation facilities. GUIDING HAND

The guides who take the regular school tours through the museum take control of each space they enter using an iPad running Crestron XPanel. In each room, the system allows the guides to tune the radio mic receiver to their own Shure lapel mic transmitter and to trigger educational video content on the projection system. Behind the scenes, BrightSign video players provide content via the network to the projectors in each space. Out in Kings Hall, other automated BrightSign players provide interpretive video content to projectors that use the acoustic panels as a screen surface. Of particular importance in the project was the comprehensive hearing assistance system, which is used for both tour groups and functions across the Kings Hall and the chambers. Two separate systems provide flexible options for any patron who enter the spaces. First, all audio (microphones and video program sound) is directed to a Williams AV hearing hotspot. Patrons can use an app downloaded to their own smartphone to tune in to sound in each space via wi-fi and then

use their own earbuds, headphones or Bluetooth system. For patrons who don’t use a smartphone, pre-configured iPods with personal neck loops or headphones are available from the museum staff. The second system installed in the spaces uses the ‘Roger’ protocol devised by hearing aid manufacturer Phonak which is already popular in a number of schools. An RF beacon located at the entrance to each room alerts users of certain Phonak hearing aids that a direct connection is available. It allows the aids to automatically tune in to the audio from a local Phonak base station connected to a feed from the room sound system. ANSWER TIME

Many seasoned AV practitioners would rather avoid jobs that combine poor acoustics with the constraints of working in heritage listed buildings. Luis, though, enjoys putting his years of university study in audio and acoustics to good use. “Solving acoustic problems in difficult spaces is something I like to do,” he confided. “Whether I am working in Kings Hall or Bankwest Stadium, I’m trying to provide the best clarity in a challenging environment. So understanding not only loudspeakers but acoustics helps a lot.” 

TEAM DETAILS Consultants: Auditoria Luis Miranda Jofre PhD – Senior Consultant Scott Willsallen – Director Integrators: Sound Advice Norman Korte – director Stewart Henderson – project manager MoAD: Chris Grebert – Head of Facilities, Capital Projects & IT Warwick Bartlett – MoAaD Project Manager Mitch Bracken – Technical Officer Daniel Iglewski – ICT coordinator


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FEATURE

Good as Gold Sovereign Hill’s famous light and sound show has been radically reimagined. Text:/ Christopher Holder

Y

ou can’t accuse Sovereign Hill of not extracting the very best value from its AV investments. The ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ light and sound show first started transporting visitors back to the gold rush back in 1993. Admittedly, the show, devised by The Shirley Spectra, had a major technology upgrade in 2003. Still, it’s a darn good innings. Thanks to a state government grant, Sovereign Hill was able to invest a hefty $8m into replacing the attraction. The new light and sound show is called Aura, and it tracks the history of gold in the region from the moment it was created until now. ALL THE ACCOLADES

Sovereign Hill engaged Accolade to produce the show, headed up by director Andrew Walsh as coTechnical Director with Nick Eltis. “In terms of scale and complexity Aura would be unique to Australia – I don’t think there’s anything as detailed as this.” Andrew would know. What he hasn’t been involved with personally, he’s had a good look at.

Accolade is well known for big flourishes, including the likes of Olympic and Commonwealth Games opening ceremonies. Andrew is one of the go-to guys internationally. Aura takes Sovereign Hill guests through the story of gold in the region via three ‘theatres’. The first is an indoor 3D theatre that covers off the elemental creation of gold, using a new 3D presentation technology that uses passive glasses and two specially-modified Panasonic laser-hybrid projectors and a full-blown Bose surround sound cinema system. The second theatre tells the Wadawurrung creation story using projections on the waters of a dam and hillside. The third theatre tracks the story of gold post European colonisation, and makes the most of the 64-acre site with amazing projection mapping, mechanical automation and pyrotechnics. EXTRA DIMENSION

Aura introduces audiences to gold at the source – right back to the beginning of the universe. The animations are in 3D using a fresh technology from Infitec, and the first instance in Australia.

The approach sees two modified Panasonic laser-hybrid cinema projectors displaying two filtered versions of the full colour gamut. The system uses passive glasses and a standard projection screen, which keeps the cost down, and makes for a flicker-free experiences for audiences. “There’s a lot to like about the Infitec system,” notes Accolade’s Andrew Walsh. “From a redundancy point of view, it means if one projector goes down, you’ve still got a show. It’ll be a 2D show but it’ll still be a full colour presentation.” For peace of mind, Panasonic holds spares of the module that carries the left/right information. If a projector goes down then that module could be swapped out. Technical Director, Nick Eltis was equally impressed: “Many 3D experiences can leave you feeling a bit queasy. Not this one. It’s very impressive.” To adequately present the sound of an exploding star, you need a serious audio system (the silence of space is not going to cut it I’m afraid, angry nerds!). The 3D theatre employs a Bose Professional PA – RoomMatch LCR array system behind the perforated cinema screen and


FEATURE

057

(Main) The key difference between the new production and the old, is the extensive use of projection. The main shot shows how distant structures are used as projection canvasses. (Below) The Free Trade Hotel theatre with its barn doors open reveals four edge-blended Panasonic PT-RZ660BE laser-hybrid models that project onto the inside surface of the doors, and a further five units mounted underneath, taking care of the ‘tent projection’.

RoomMatch Utility speakers for surrounds, with RoomMatch VLF subwoofers for the requisite low-end extension. It’s an impressive introduction to Aura. INDIGENOUS THEATRE

After the 3D presentation, guests take a ride on ‘transporters’ to the main 64-acre Aura site. The transporters are fitted with audio playback features to keep the story flowing. First stop is a 10-minute presentation that shares a legend belonging to the Wadawurrung People, the traditional owner of the land, and then describes the impact of the goldrush on their way of life. Two edge-blended Panasonic laser-hybrid projectors use the dam wall as a canvas, to great effect. Illumination Physics LED nodes in the dam itself provide an extension of the content. An IP-


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FEATURE

VIDEO Head to YouTube.com/avmagazinetv for interviews with Andrew Walsh, Chris Dodds, Nick Eltis and Jarrod Ferguson.

(Left) Animations projected on the side of the dam wall of the Indigenous Theatre. (Below) AV Manager Jarrod Ferguson lifts the lid on one of the projection igloos – the coolroomstyle sandwich insulation protects the Panasonic projectors from the worst of the temperature swings. The boxes are ventilated but not air conditioned.

SOUNDS OF EUREKA The old Blood on the Southern Cross show relied on spot audio effects via loudspeakers in the field. Aura accomplishes a similar dramatic impact via careful sound design and a high quality Bose sound reinforcement system, designed and installed by The P.A. People. RoomMatch Utility speakers in the Free Trade Hotel venue, along with Bose installed subwoofers provide the detail and impact the dramatic story telling required. Nick Eltis: “Andrew Walsh and I have had a great relationship with The P.A. People for 25 years plus. When it comes to those left of field projects that require some specialised knowledge and experience — I always go to The P.A. People. “I know they have a good relationship with Bose, and for our purposes the Bose product fit perfectly. Bose has a range that worked, indoors and outdoors.”

The P.A. People: papeople.com.au

rated distributed JBL Control series PA system takes care of the audio. MAIN EVENT

Guests are then ushered into the main theatre space where the bulk of the son et lumière show takes place. Initially, the pre gold rush colonial story is told via animation projected onto the interior of the venue’s ‘barn doors’ via Panasonic laser-hybrid projectors with short throw lenses. Once the doors are activated and opened out, the real action begins. The vista confronting visitors is a full-scale gold diggings site – tents, buildings, mine poppet head and more. Whereas the previous Blood on the Southern Cross show relied on conventional lighting, located sound sources in the field, and some flame effects, Aura relies heavily on projection. Five Panasonic projectors (housed in the structure of theatre) shoot outwards onto structures in front of the theatre, including three

mechanically automated tents. A Medialon automation system runs the show – programmed by Interactive Controls’ Dean Stevenson. Sovereign Hill has been an AMX outfit ever since the Welcome Stranger arrived but Aura, surely, is Medialon’s show-control sweetspot. A companion Dataton Watchout system handles the content. The HDMI outputs of the Watchout system are piped out to the projectors as HDBaseT (via Wyrestorm extenders) over multimode fibre. Medialon not only triggers timing in the Watchout content but also to the grandMA onPC lighting controller (then on into the field via an ArtNet network), the ModBus mechanical automation triggers (programmed by ShowTechnology), and the pyrotechnic triggers. A more unusual item in grandMA onPC’s cuelist are the gas campfires in the diggings. The campfires flare up via a DMX cue. First up, the pilot light is triggered. A pilot light burner control (by a company called Krom Schroder) takes on this specialised task. It sends an input to the

Medialon Showmaster software confirming the gas on all 14 campfires can safely be turned on. The supervising AV tech has a gas kill switch on the desk just in case. There’s also a dead man’s switch for the mechanical automation – the presiding AV tech in the control booth remains on the switch to ensure those aspects of the automation occur. The AV tech has access to vision from security cameras across the site, and if there’s any suspicion of something not being quite right, then the mechanical, gas and pyro aspects of the show can be immediately disabled. As mentioned, the mechanical automation features include the barn doors opening, the pixel-mapped tents moving and spinning, the poppet head going up, flags lower and raised, and more. BRUTAL CONDITIONS

Aura operates in a real-world gold diggings environment. There’s nothing remotely ‘theme park’ about the setting. In fact, a few hundred


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FEATURE

WMT 3D: A REAL WEAPON Infitec’s approach to 3D projection is like a 2.0 version of the old red and green glasses. The company’s glasses use a narrow colour band wave to improve the quality of the image, using specific wavelengths of red, green and blue for the right eye and different wavelengths of the same colours for the left eye. The glasses filter out very specific wavelengths and give the viewer the illusion of a 3D image. The technique is called wavelength multiplexing technology (WMT). As the WMT is independent of polarisation it can be applied to any screen. The passive glasses do not show any flickering effects and they don’t need any synchronisation or battery replacement.

PANASONIC PROJECTION SPEC EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS Medialon Showmaster show control Dataton Watchout Display Server Bose RoomMatch PA & Utility loudspeaker system JBL AWC62BK two-way outdoor speakers Univox PLS-X5 Hearing Loops Wyrestorm EX-70-H2X & EXF-300-H2 HDBaseT Extenders

metres below, is an active commercial mine site. The site experiences sub zero temperatures and the mercury can soar to 45° in the middle of summer, something Technical Director, Nick Eltis remembers vividly. “It was well over 40° when we were commissioning the site. It was hot, dusty and not a great environment for precision AV equipment.” Remarkably the Panasonic projectors kept on trucking. The enclosures built for the projectors in the field use a sandwich coolroom-style material and and ducting for ventilation. “We keep the moisture out and control the worst of the temperatures, but there’s no air conditioning in the enclosures,” explains Nick Eltis. “Some have air forced in and others have air extracted to keep the temperatures stable. Even on those extreme days the projectors kept working – they were giving us temperature warnings but they were still functioning. Which was impressive.” Aura is an enormous projection undertaking. The work required to map the unusual projection surfaces, get the lensing right, do the dynamic pixel mapping mathematics, line up the projectors… all represented a large installation challenge.

3D THEATRE 1x PT-RQ32YLE / 1x PT-RQ32YRE Indigenous Theatre: 2x PT-RZ31KE Door Projection: 4x PT-RZ660BE Tent Projection (inc. Narrator’s Screen): 6x PT-RZ660BE STREET BUILDINGS Eureka Hotel: 2x PT-RZ970BE (stacked) Bowling Alley: 1x PT-RZ770BE Shop Front: 1x PT-RZ660BE Court House: 1x PT-RZ970BE Governor's House: 1x PT-RZ970BE

“Panasonic was exceptionally supportive,” recalls Nick Eltis. “We had the full support of the Australian and international Panasonic technical team – they were invaluable. They joined us on site to do the final line up and calibration. In fact, even after we did some final building works, Panasonic came back for a final line up prior to going live.” Sovereign Hill’s Manager of Technical Services, Jarrod Ferguson, is aware of the challenges ahead: “If it wasn’t for the laser light source [with its airtight optics and endurance], there’s no way we could deal with the maintenance and run costs. There are still some challenges we need get around. With five projectors lined up on the mechanically automated tents, it’s not as simple as replacing a projector if one goes down — the difference output of a brand new projector would be noticeable.”

content producers, along with the other trades. The rest of the budget was almost entirely spent in Australia. For example, the music was conducted by Christopher Gordon (Mao’s Last Dancer, Master & Comander) who is a longtime Accolade co-conspirator who worked with composer Mike Lira (Monsieur Camembert, Rake), and recorded by the Australian Scoring Orchestra at Sydney’s Trackdown studios. The parochial nature of it all is fitting for an intentionally hyper-local story told in the first person. And that’s Andrew Walsh’s take-home message to event producers – the success of a production such as Aura begins and ends with the story. As for the AV? It’s thrilling to see technology serving the story so well – a natural extension of the tale – but as elegantly complex as a Swiss watch whirring away in the background. 

LOCAL PRODUCE

The $7m budget might seem quite lavish, but the scale of this show is immense. Fascinatingly, around 50% of the budget was spent locally, in the Ballarat region – animators, set builders,

CONTACTS Accolade: accolade.net.au Technik (Nick Eltis): technick.net.au


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062

REVIEW

Vivi Wireless Presentation System A SaaS-sold, Oz-designed wireless presenter leaps out from a crowded field. Text:/ Derek Powell

V

ivi is the launch product from the Melbourne-based technology company of the same name. The product is a wireless presenter platform. Nothing new there, you might say. Well, this one stands out from its many rivals. Not only is Vivi designed to do way more than most competitors, it is also marketed in an entirely new way. Wireless presenters are a hot product category right now with a huge take-up across many market sectors. With smartboards and touchscreens supplanting black and whiteboards in virtually every classroom from preschool to university, and teachers now toting tablets rather than textbooks, the demand for foolproof, cable-free video connection has exploded. The Holy Grail is to create a product that will allow any user device – computer, tablet or smart phone; with any operating system – iOS, Android, Windows or Mac; to connect wirelessly to the display. But that’s easier said than done. One huge challenge is keeping up with the relentless upgrade cycle of the multiple platforms. Will the next version of Airplay; Chromecast; Miracast; WiDi (or whatever) still be compatible with the product you build today? Vivi has not only sidestepped that problem but has created a platform that opens up a range of completely new features. In a move that clearly puts Vivi at the crest of the new wave in AV; the product is sold as ‘Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS), a model that is spreading like wildfire among the new breed of buyers whose background is in IT, rather than AV. While Vivi is currently configured as the familiar small-format processor designed for mounting behind an LCD or atop a projector, you don’t actually ‘buy’ the box itself. Instead, the box essentially comes free when you buy a licence to use the Vivi service. While this is a new concept to some, the upsides of predictable ongoing costs, constant feature upgrades and included hardware maintenance are very attractive to IT departments.

IN THE BOX

My Vivi review unit came neatly packed in a tiny box accompanied by a separate plug pack power supply. The elegant machined metal case is roughly 125mm long and 80mm wide and at just under 30mm deep, it should fit neatly behind virtually any wall-mounted monitor or atop a ceiling-mounted projector. The connection panel has a coaxial DC input, an Ethernet jack and an HDMI output, along with a pair of USB-A sockets. A recessed reset pushbutton on the top and a slot for a Kensington lock complete the minimalist layout. Inside the box is a metal mounting plate and a USB key containing Mac and PC versions of the Vivi app. HOOKING UP

Vivi doesn’t come with a printed manual but just before my review device arrived I received an email outlining the setup procedure, including a link to the online Admin guide, and inviting me to book a phone support session to get everything running. Out of the box, I powered up the Vivi unit, connected an HDMI monitor and patched in a network cable from my home office router. Vivi needs internet access to set itself up, so the first order of business is to configure the box to suit your network. In my simple network very little needed to be done. The unit picked up an IP address via DHCP and was on the network right away. The next step was to log into the Vivi Central website. Here you can access all the Vivi boxes registered to your organisation and assign their locations, user permissions and more. Finally, to start using the device, you need to download the Vivi app and install it on any

device that you want to use with the presenter box. I installed the app on my PC and also on my iPhone and an iPad for testing. The process was swift and painless. PRESENT MY SCREEN

With a PC connected to the same network as the Vivi box, opening the Vivi app presented some simple choices. Clicking Present My Screen initiated a stream to the connected display. You can pause the stream, which freezes the picture on the monitor and allows you to do things on your device without everyone watching, and then restart it once more. The maximum resolution is 1920x1080 at 30fps and, at least on my network, latency was commendably low allowing me to easily navigate the mouse while watching the connected display. Vivi is built with collaboration in mind so other devices such as tablets, phones and laptops that are connected to the same network can also run the Vivi app and send their own content to the display. Opening the Vivi app on my iPhone allowed me to switch the display to the iPhone screen, though each time you do, you will need to open AirPlay and select the Vivi before selecting Screen Mirroring then selecting the room to connect to. Anything that displays on the iPhone screen will be mirrored to the display, allowing you to use your phone camera as an impromptu visualiser. Switching back to the PC was as simple as selecting Present My Screen on the Vivi app that was still open on my PC. There’s a simple and intuitive Annotate mode that allows you to draw or type over a captured screenshot; another image on your PC; or over


063

REVIEW

a white background to create an on-screen whiteboard. In the whiteboard mode, you can store up to 50 screens and switch back and forth between them. You can’t, however, annotate over live video. CAPTURE & SIGNAGE

Clicking Capture on the app creates a screen grab and stores it away in your Photos folder. It’s all very easy and intuitive to use. I found it very simple to connect and cast my screen from the PC connected to the wired network or from my phone and iPad connected via my wifi office network. There were no visible artefacts on live screens or still images but one minor limitation is that videos are limited to 30 frames per second. You can connect with any modern version of MacOS, iOS, Windows, Chrome OS, or Android. However, Android doesn’t yet allow transmission of audio. One useful feature of Vivi (that is also shared by some of its competitors) is the ability to operate as a digital signage player. It was literally the work of a few minutes to upload some test slides, set up a playlist, create a schedule and I was underway with a basic signage system. It was easy to display stills, video or switch to any live website but more complex features like layering, tickers and so on are not supported. If a signage playlist happens to be running, it is easy to take control and present your screen again simply by opening the app on your PC, tablet or phone. Once you stop presenting, the signage schedule will resume. The simplicity of Vivi is welcome, but also somewhat beguiling as there are plenty of other features that can create a very powerful system in a school, university or corporate setting. With my positive first impressions fresh, I arranged to find out more from Vivi founder Dr Lior Rauchberger at his Melbourne HQ. THE BACK STORY

The Vivi story started in 2013 when Dr Rauchberger, then at the helm of an AV Integration company (Urban Intelligence), went looking for an all-platform wireless presentation solution for a university client. While there were plenty of contenders (and still are), none ticked all the boxes for his client in terms of cost, reliability and true cross-platform ability. As Lior tells the story, he then did some market research and determined that there was indeed a market for a truly cross-platform presenter. “And so on the back of that I employed a couple of young engineers here in Melbourne and we built a prototype,” he recalled. “We had such a positive response to that prototype that we went ahead and spent 15 months in full-time engineering to build what became the Vivi release one.” Those first versions of Vivi found their way into half a dozen classrooms and offices across Victoria and the impact was immediate. Users, especially teachers, started spreading the word and orders

quickly followed. Lior was quick to harness the potential of an enthusiastic user base. “Along the journey, we have been really strong on crowdsourcing ideas and canvassing feature requests from our cohort of customers,” he noted. “We would send out a survey every three months to say ‘here are the features we have in our development pipeline. Which are important to your organisation?’ And that’s how we’ve evolved the product. Over those three and a half years most of the features have come from our community of users. I think that helped us accelerate our growth and adoption quite a lot – we’re delivering what people are asking for.” That growth has seen more than 15,000 units delivered already and now the company is expanding into both the US and European markets. Along the way, others have recognised the potential of Vivi and now Madison Technologies has taken on distribution – aiming to expand the client base strongly into the corporate realm. A NEW AGE PRODUCT

The Vivi concept of producing a product inherently expandable and marketing it as a software subscription is squarely on trend with the seismic changes hitting the AV industry. Having what is essentially a very powerful networked Linux PC behind every display in a school, university or corporate campus has unleashed a flood of possibilities and Vivi now has some unique abilities – with more added at each upgrade. One huge benefit (and not just in the US) has been the ability to trigger an emergency or a ‘Lockdown’ message direct to every Vivi screen in an organisation. The carefully thought-out feature can be triggered by any authorised user direct from the app. When triggered, every screen attached to a Vivi will display a graphic that specifies who has triggered the alert, where they are located and a set of instructions customised to the type of warning that has been selected. Perhaps the best feature of all is a configuration that allows the app to control more than one screen in a room. When set up, this allows a presenter using a single Vivi app to command multiple Vivi-equipped screens at once. One source can be sent to all screens, or a different source to each screen. The app allows the kind of collaboration sessions and room combining operations that would otherwise need a matrix switch, a control system and lots of cabling. And all this can be configured or re-configured through the app without programming. Other features on the roadmap include the ability to launch an instant poll during a meeting or class. Participants respond via the Vivi app on their laptops, tablets or phones and the Vivi box totals and displays the responses. That’s a product that teachers have been wanting for years, but up until now has required a software package and a box full of clumsy IR responder devices. Make no mistake, the concept of AV products

based around the SaaS model has now well and truly arrived and it is terrific to find that an Australian company is leading the charge. SOFT DIPLOMACY

Vivi is a true multi-function product. Once it is on your network, it performs its basic role of wireless connection brilliantly, but then goes on to add many other easy-to-use applications as well. There are only two things to get your head around. First, how versatile these boxes really are. With a handful of boxes connected to nearly any displays you can create joinable presentation rooms, a collaboration space, a digital signage network, an emergency warning system, or all these at once. The second mindbender is the fact that you are ‘leasing’ an AV service rather than simply buying a box. That’s a no-brainer for IT departments where everything from email to Microsoft Office comes packaged as a subscription service these days. If your budget is resolutely ‘capex’, though, you can buy Vivi as a multi-year subscription up front. For many of us, SaaS is an unfamiliar concept in the world of AV. But it is worth the effort to take a close look at this paradigm shift. You might find, as I did, that the view from this new perspective is worth the trip. 

MORE INFO Price: Licensing: Per year or multi-year up-front licence. Contact: Madison Technologies 1800 00 77 80 www.madisontech.com.au Pros: Easy set-up and operation, connects to nearly any source Multiple monitors per room Extra features such as Emergency Mode and Simple Digital Signage function Cons: No audio on current Android releases No Audio out (but promised in the next hardware iteration) Recommended For Meeting rooms in small to medium businesses School and college classrooms and tutorial spaces Summary A powerful cross platform wireless screenmirroring solution for meeting rooms or classrooms.


064

NEWS

Industry Update AV Association News

AV CALENDAR

P

THE POWER OF AV EXPERIENCES

assenger Terminal Expo is one of the largest airport tradeshows in the world — a dynamic, global gathering of industry executives and solution providers focused on reimagining air travel. It’s where Skytrax hands out its World Airport Awards and attendees explore everything from the latest baggage-handling technology to cutting-edge wayfinding and digital signage. I’ve been through airports all over the world, and it’s exciting to see so many investing so heavily in audiovisual solutions to improve the passenger experience and boost operational performance. In March, on behalf of AVIXA and all the AV industry, I had a chance to take part in the show’s conference, along with Maurice Jenkins, Chief Information Officer of Miami International Airport; Jesus Saenz, Chief Operating Officer of Houston Bush International Airport; Keith Thompson, Principal at Gensler; and Andrew Merkin, Producer at Moment Factory. We took the stage for a discussion of the business value of AV to airport design. Merkin, whose company has created immersive, engaging AV experiences in terminals at Los Angeles International and Singapore Changi Airport (Skytrax’s top airport in 2018), underscored the role AV plays in storytelling, branding, and otherwise turning what might be a stressful trip into something more enjoyable. Transportation is an industry sector investing more in audiovisual technology and AVIXA’s role as an industry association is to speak directly to decisionmakers working in airports — and other markets — to increase their awareness of AV solutions. It’s part of a commitment by AVIXA to act as a catalyst for market growth, and one that’s taken us all over the world speaking to audiences working in retail,

hospitality, transportation, financial services, sports venues, and higher education. Last year, at BDNY 2018, a sprawling conference and exhibition for the hotel design industry at New York’s Jacob Javits Center, AVIXA delivered a pair of sessions. In the first, executives from Marriott, W Hotels, Loews Hotels, PSAV, Gensler, architecture firm HKS, and hospitality design consultants Hirsch Bedner Associates, joined me to detail for attendees how their companies embrace audiovisual solutions in hotels. Kavitha Iyer, Senior Design Manager for Marriott, explained how “AV helps create hospitality as theatre”. Steven Upchurch, Managing Director and Principal of Gensler, urged the industry to consider audiovisual solutions at the “visioning” stage of a hospitality design in order to maximise their impact. In the second session, several of those executives dove deeper into AV experiences they’d created. Mary Alice Palmer of HKS and Gary Womack of Loews Hotels walked us through technology considerations for a new breed of hotels being built around sports venues, such as the Live! By Loews complexes in Arlington, Texas, and St. Louis. Since last InfoComm, AVIXA has taken part in the  International Retail Design Conference,  OEB Global for higher education professionals, the ALSD Design and Build forum  and ALSD International conferences for sports venue operators, American Association of Airport Executives’ Innovation Forum, Intelligent Transport Conference, and more. At all stops, the connections made have been valuable. Bringing the AV industry into closer collaboration with the industries it serves creates not only better business opportunities, but also audiovisual solutions that truly impact how people experience the world around them. — David Labuskes, CEO AVIXA

InfoComm China Chengdu 4-6 September 2019 chengdu.infocomm-china.com InfoComm India Mumbai 18-20 September 2019 infocomm-india.com Integrated Systems Russia Moscow 23-25 October 2019 en.isrussia.ru ISE Amsterdam Feb 11-14, 2020 iseeurope.org InfoComm Brasil Sao Paulo 14-16 April 2020 brasil.infocomm.show InfoComm SE Asia Bangkok 27-29 May 2020 infocomm-sea.com


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066

COMMENT

Termination Sweet Torture Text:/ Graeme Hague

I

’ve just returned from a holiday in Tasmania. Very nice indeed, apart from the road system resembling a bowl of spaghetti. I suspect the bloke who surveyed the highways and byways must have had shares in asphalt and bitumen — or maybe the white paint they use for double lines where you’re not allowed to overtake because the road is too winding. The only straight lines you’ll ever see in Tasmania are the signposts telling you the next bit of highway is 20km of hairpins. FULL OF CONVICTION

When you’re on a vacation like that, the object is primarily to see stuff. I mean, the alternative is lounging around a pool in Bali and doing nothing for a week until the food poisoning subsides to safe levels, whereas a trip overseas to Tasmania involves looking at stuff. Lots of stuff, ranging from cheese factories (cow cheese, goat cheese, fur seal cheese, road kill cheese... Tasmanians apparently can make cheese out of anything) to the ubiquitous convict-built bridge, convict-built church, and convict-built cheese factory. It turned out this wasn’t a ‘get away from it all’ holiday to avoid the kind of audiovisual equipment featured in these august pages — for the sake of a break — so perhaps it was a poor choice by yours truly, but then again it was a real eye-opener to spend two weeks witnessing the gazillion different applications where the technology is employed. It’s everywhere; to the point of making you wonder, similar to the smartphone phenomenon, how in this instance the tourism industry ever survived before the existence of AV presentations, touchscreens, and ghostly voices scaring the crap out of you because you’ve triggered a motion sensor. Whatever happened to the good ol’ volunteer tour guide wearing a cardigan? ABSENCE OF AV

Mind you, I have experienced the exact opposite. Some years back during a New Zealand trip I was steam-rolled into taking a tour of a chocolate factory instead of checking out the brewery tour (filled with dozens of free pints of beer). Our tour group consisted of a large number of wives and girlfriends all salivating at the

thought of mountains of free chocolate samples, accompanied by husbands and boyfriends trying to hide their disappointment they weren’t at the brewery (sorry for the stereotypes, but these were simpler times). We were a group of grown-ups, nevertheless our creepy tour guide, sans cardigan but wearing alarming overalls, treated us all like 10-yearolds and spoke in a weird, childish voice as he pointed out all the exciting, ‘magical’ things that occur in a chocolate factory. This was eerily odd, given we were standing in a factory that had effectively been switched off — like… nothing was happening; the place was in total shutdown. When someone finally pointed this out and queried the complete lack of any ‘magical’ chocolate-making, our guide reluctantly admitted everything was turned off because it was just after a mad period when the factory churned out tonnes of rabbits, eggs and what-not for the upcoming Easter market and everyone was on holiday. To compensate, he plied us with lots of free chocolate in the hope that our fingers would be too sticky to fill out any complaint forms. WHEN AV SAVES THE DAY

You’d agree that here an informative AV presentation explaining the current status of the factory could have avoided this awkward confrontation, kept the Jimmy Saville fanboy at arm’s length, and had us all wandering the brewery and quaffing free booze — a proper tour. One of the problems (for me, anyway) with modern AV presentations is that I feel obligated to view the whole thing… right to the end — perhaps because I have a good understanding of what's gone into producing them. I often wish there was a fast-forward button, or a ‘skip’ option to the next chapter, but no, you have to endure the entire, cheerfully delivered monologue on the deprivations of the convicts or the explanation of a special machine that squeezes cheese out of

goats. You’re left standing there trying to look interested while your wife abandons you for the next exhibition. At the same time it’s pretty damned impressive how varied and innovative these AV installations have become, and how far the industry has taken the concepts of AV beyond dodgy slide projectors and attached cassette tapes with ‘beeps’ to load in the next upside-down slide. It’s a shame that so many visitors eschew the full AV presentation in favour of getting savagely bitten by a furry, cuddly wombat. Interactive, and with synchronised lighting and sound, many of them would make Steven Spielberg proud (the AV gear, not the wombats). Of course, most of the Tasmanian displays feature all the different ways convicts can be flogged to within an inch of their life for stealing a cheeseburger from (the convictconstructed) McDonalds. A TORTURED TRIP

I guess the jury’s out as to whether the ruined buildings, spooky old houses, and mysterious holes in the ground that were likely pits of torture — or a nineteenth century dunny (same thing, on a diet of gruel) — were either brought alive as an ‘immersive experience’ or rendered impotent by the chattering voiceovers and hi-res screens that constantly reminded everyone they were safely 150 years distanced from the reality. But you certainly get to see stuff. And eat lots of odd cheese. 


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AV Issue 63  

AV is the magazine for Audiovisual professionals in the Asia Pacific region. Visit us at www.avapac.net

AV Issue 63  

AV is the magazine for Audiovisual professionals in the Asia Pacific region. Visit us at www.avapac.net