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Captivating colours A glitzy kaleidoscope at Dubai’s Chameleon Club

Smart universities

Much more than smart boards

2011 | AVPro IP audio design October concepts

For mosques, schools and other venues

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Sennheiser: sound expertise for successful conferences. ■

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Acoustic feedback and background noise are effectively suppressed. Distributed in the Middle East by: Sennheiser Middle East Office 550, Building 5E/B, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai, U.A.E PO Box 371004 Tel: +971 4299 4004 eMail:


Welcome In the world of sound purists, I confess I am an outsider. Fortunately for the sound purists at Dubai’s newly opened Chameleon Club, the proof of the sound quality is in the headache-free Thursday I spent at the club. It was compelling listening to the two audio specialists explain the sound system that took months to design, install and fine-tune. Elsewhere in this issue, it was a privilege interacting with designer Arne Kvorning on the new installation at the Dover Castle in the UK. Closer home, the opulent campus that Aseem Gupta calls his office, in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, was a hands-on introduction to the technologies being integrated currently at Al Ain’s University – UAEU. There is work despite the economic gloom but there is also a lot of the kicking of the proverbial can down the road. Among those who have survived the often brutal months since September 2008, we see an enthusiastic across-the-table drive towards better customer service. It seems now is the best time for enhancement in skills and for discussing industry issues with peers. Richard Tan of InfoComm MEA 2011 has a topical lineup of seminars and workshops for the inaugural event. We are media partners with InfoComm and hope to see you there. Meet the exhibitors online at and visit us in Hall 8 (B8-32).

Supriya Srinivas Deputy Editor AVPro Middle East

Publisher Dominic De Sousa COO Nadeem Hood Managing Director Richard Judd +9714 440 9126


Sales Director Raz Islam +9714 440 9129 Group Sales Manager Sandip Virk +97150 459 2653 Art Director Kamil Roxas +9714 440 9112

Group Editor Broadcast Division Vijaya Cherian +97150 768 3435 Deputy Editor Supriya Srinivas +97150 725 6701 Assistant Editor Anuradha Mojumdhar Database Manager

Rajeesh M +9714 440 9147 PRODUCTION Production Manager James Tharian +9714 440 9146 DIGITAL SERVICES

Published by 1013 Centre Road, New Castle County, Wilmington, Delaware, USA Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 (0) 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 (0) 4 447 2409 Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC

October 2011 | AVPro | 1 © Copyright 2011 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

9 - 13 October 2011

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Issue 1 | October 2011



Innovations Regional stories, new appointments, innovative products and more



IP audio concepts A white paper on multipoint IP audio design concepts


AV and museums Secret war tunnels come to life at Dover castle

Cover story


Chameleon Club opens Sound and light solutions in Dubai’s newest club


Live concerts streamlined Green solutions from Philips and Sennheiser’s originals


Smart University From time-tables to ‘lecture capture’, Al Ain’s UAEU integrates technology


InfoComm MEA 2011 Meet the exhibitors and the organiser

ON THE COVER: Chameleon Club Photograph by Cris Mejorada

AV Education


Radial appoints local distributor Having completed a successful seminar on Primacoustic products in the United Arab Emirates with the president and CEO of Radial Engineering, Peter Janis, Melody House has now also been appointed as the distributor of Radial products in the region. Radial Engineering is a Canadianbased manufacturer that designs and builds Radial DIs, splitters, switchers, isolators and re-ampers. The company also manufactures the Primacoustic range of acoustic products that include recoil stabilisers, room kits, panels, bass traps, diffusers and IsoTools. “We have been working with

(from L to R) Dino Drimakis and Simon Short from Melody House with Peter Janis from Radial Engineering and the SAE Team

Radial Engineering over the past year promoting the Primacoustic brand which we have had some reasonable success with,� commented Dino

Drimakis, business development manager at Melody House.

NMK receives distributor of the year award Nicolas Kyvernitis Electronics Enterprises, distributors of Midas and Klark Teknik in the region, have been awarded distributors of the year for 2011. Based in the United Arab Emirates, NMK has over the past few years spearheaded the sales of digital Midas consoles in the region with a total of seven PRO6 consoles, a PRO3 console and an XL8 sold to market segments that include install sound, live sound and broadcast sound. With a few more sales in the pipeline and the introduction of the new PRO2 and PRO2C consoles in the market, NMK is preparing for a very busy and exciting year ahead that will see a lot more Midas digital 4 | AVPro | October 2011

(from L to R) Chicco Hiranandani, CMDSE, Nicolas Kyvernitis, MD, Shaju Thomas, service manager

consoles in the market. In addition, the increasing number of technical riders with Midas digital consoles for worldwide tours such as Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Metallica,

Macy Gray and many more will no doubt have a positive impact on the brand.


Genelec makes two major appointments Dr. (Tech.) Siamäk Naghian has been appointed managing director of Genelec Oy . Siamäk Naghian received his Master of Science in Technology, Licentiate in Technology, and Doctor of Science in Technology degrees all from the Helsinki University of Technology, Electrical Engineering Department in Finland. He joined Nokia in mid 90’s where he was involved in several research and development, management and leadership positions until mid 2005. Dr. Naghian joined Genelec in 2005 as head of Genelec research and development and a member of the Genelec management team.

“Genelec is a unique company whose image resembles quality and trust of customers,” says Siamäk Naghian. “It will be a great pleasure to take on this new role and I’m looking forward to the challenge.“

Nick Zacharov rejoins Genelec as director of research and development Born in London, Dr. (Tech.) Nick Zacharov obtained a bachelor’s degree in electro-acoustics in 1992. He subsequently received Master’s and Doctor of Science in Technology degrees from Helsinki University of Technology in 1997 and 2002, respectively in the field of acoustics and audio signal processing. A member of the Institute of Acoustics and the Acoustical Society of America, Nick is also a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society and a chartered engineer. He has been an active member of the Audio Engineering Society, serving as chairperson, co-chairman of

conferences and AES governor. He holds several audio patents and has more than 60 major publications to his name. Nick is also co-author of “Perceptual Audio Evaluation – theory, method and application”, which is the acknowledged textbook in this field.

Yoshiyuki Tsugawa is Nexo CEO

Yoshiyuki Tsugawa was appointed as a key member of the project team which oversaw the acquisition of Nexo by Yamaha Corporation in 2007. Since that time, he has remained fully involved with the French manufacturer, integrating Nexo’s interests into overall Yamaha proaudio strategy. Yoshiyuki Tsugawa has been with Yamaha Corporation for 19 years, having joined the company at the age of 23. Although he has spent several years in Europe, working in Hamburg, his most recent position has been as the general manager of business strategy for the pro-audio division in Japan, where he has played a key role in defining Yamaha proaudio’s marketing directive. Nexo is one of Europe’s leading sound reinforcement loudspeaker manufacturers. Based in Paris, France, the company was founded in 1979 and, since 2008, is a wholly owned strategic business unit of Yamaha Corporation. October 2011 | AVPro | 5


Abbey Road Studios select SSL Duality The legendary Abbey Road Studios, celebrating its 80th year of providing excellent recording and postproduction facilities for acts ranging in style from The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Oasis, Florence + the Machine and Sting to movie scores that include Harry Potter, Shrek and The Lord of the Rings series, has installed a Solid State Logic Duality SE console in its new production/mix room ‘Studio 52.’ The new Duality room will be available as a state-of-the-art mixing and production facility for traditional client attended sessions and will assist with the additional workload from the new Online Mixing Service. “When we decided to open a new mixing and production facility, the engineers were adamant that

they wanted an SSL Duality,” says Mirek Stiles, head of audio products for Abbey Road Studios. “The Duality lends a hand to projects with no compromise. The channel layout and center section are just the same as the legacy SSL consoles we know

SLS Productions acquires HK Audio stage monitors Melody House, distributors of HK Audio speaker systems in the United Arab Emirates have recently supplied 22 Premium PR:O stage monitor cabinets to Dubai-based rental firm, SLS Productions. Established in the early 90’s, as a small sound and

lighting production company, SLS Productions quickly transformed into a major rental firm serving an evergrowing and diverse client base. Like all HK Audio products, the Premium PR:O range is all about well-balanced, transparent sound

and love, with the added bonus of DAW control. I have come to the conclusion that Duality is the most compact and versatile large format console for the modern studio.”

and controlled power. The line’s remarkably linear frequency response, ultra precise transient response, and extraordinary sound pressure levels attest to a standard of audio quality far beyond the reach of other offerings in this class. The new active models feature easy-tooperate onboard electronics that are engineered to provide excellent sound and utmost reliability in a surprisingly light package. “SLS Productions have been very happy with the performance of their new purchase,” commented Dino Drimakis, Business Development Manager at Melody House. He added, “The compact size of the speakers is a great advantage as it allows them to be flexible for various events.”

6 | AVPro | October 2011


3D television without glasses Fraunhofer research scientists are optimising the technologies that make it possible to watch TV in 3D without technical aids such as 3D glasses. “The breakthrough for 3D television will only come, however, when you don’t need glasses. Wearing them is just too uncomfortable and tiresome,” states Frederik Zilly from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI in Berlin. Research scientists at HHI are therefore working with twelve partners in the Muscade project on technologies which will make it possible to watch 3D TV without glasses. For this to happen, autostereoscopic displays are needed, which are coated with special optical foils. They create two different images for the left and the right eye, which is the basic principle of threedimensional vision. To allow different viewing positions – for instance, when the viewer moves his head – these displays use five to ten different views of an image. In the future this number will be considerably higher.

Exhibitors label PLASA 2011 a ‘great success’

Frederik Zilly from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications

“With four cameras, calibration is much more complicated,” explains Zilly. This is because all positions and angles of the cameras must be set exactly the same so that the optical axes are parallel, all lenses have the same focal length and all focal points are on a common stereo basis. To achieve this, the scientists have developed a feature detector which recognises identical objects in the image on all cameras.

With visitor figures in excess of 12,000, showing a marginal increase over 2010 and strong international engagement from across the world, this year’s event sets the scene for a strong return to Earls Court in 2012. Over 500 products were launched at the show, including major new developments in audio, AV, lighting and staging, plus there were a number of ‘behind closed doors’ prototype demonstrations of ideas expected to be unveiled in full next year. PLASA 2011 also delivered an enhanced visitor experience, with a raft of new interactive features drawing substantial crowds, including the STLD’s LED luminaire shootout, the expanded Theatres Trust Ecovenue feature and the new PLASA Production Bar in Earls Court 2. The PLASA Show returns to Earls Court from 9 to 12 September 2012.

October 2011 | AVPro | 7


A new chapter for touring and performance venue sound JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software facilitates the specific design requirements of touring and live performance venue sound reinforcement systems. Designed especially for touring and theatrical sound engineering, Performance Manager is an application-specific iteration of HiQnet System Architect – connectivity and control software application for professionalgrade audio system integration. Performance Manager will provide a comprehensive, step-by-step workflow which directly corresponds to real-world system configuration, taking the workflow paradigm introduced in System Architect 2 to a higher level of functionality for any live performance audio application. It

is fully integrated with JBL’s Line Array Calculator II loudspeaker configuration and acoustic modeling software. The workflow begins by loading templates of the speaker arrays used in the system and then running Line Array Calculator II for each array as part of the initial sound design task of determining how many and which type of loudspeakers are required

Fujairah Media acquires new Roland VR5 mixer Nicolas Kyvernitis Electronics Enterprises, distributors of Roland Professional in the region, have recently supplied Fujairah Media with the VR5 audiovisual mixer. Based in the Fujairah Media Free Zone, the production studio is used to produce and record various Arabic shows that are routed via the VR5 mixer from Roland. The VR-5’s “all-in-one” solution greatly simplifies production, recording and streaming of live 8 | AVPro | October 2011

to cover a given venue. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is ultimately a product of Harman’s ongoing commitment to develop application-specific versions of the platform, addressing the day-to-day tasks of audio professionals in a broad range of markets. Paul Bauman, Director of Tour Sound Product Application and Application Engineering, JBL Professional said, “In touring, time is money and Performance Manager dramatically streamlines the system design, setup and tuning process, allowing the JBL VerTec System Engineer to achieve a higher level of performance with more consistent results on a daily basis from venue-to-venue.”

events. The VR-5’s innovative design incorporates a video switcher, audio mixer, video playback, recorder, preview monitors and output for web streaming, all in a single unit. As a USB Video/Audio class device, web streaming is effortless by simply connecting to a computer running a live-streaming service such as USTREAM and Stickam, as well as any video call service such as Skype and iChat. “The VR5 has been one of our best-sellers in the past quarter,” commented Moswain Antao, Roland Video Specialist.


Christie’s LHD700 and LX1200 LCD Projectors The 12,000 lumen Christie LX1200 and the high definition 1080p Christie LHD700 projector to its LCD line-up, join a successful Christie portfolio of products. The successor to the popular Christie LX1000, the Christie LX1200 is suitable for rental staging applications, boardrooms, high education facilities and houses of worship. Featuring XGA (1024 x 768) resolution, the Christie LX1200 fills the market need for a high brightness, low-cost projector providing radiant imagery and finer contrast. “The Christie LX1200 is a high brightness, 2-lamp system at 12,000 lumens that is more compact than other projectors in this lumen category. The LX1200 has one of the broadest ranges of lens options, allowing flexibility of placement in even the most challenging venues,” said Simon Smith, product manager, Middle East. “And with Christie’s 4DColor technology, customers will experience vivid, dynamic colours that are unavailable with standard LCD panels.” The new Christie LHD700 is a 7000 lumen full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution projector utilising a single lamp and 4DColor technology

is ideal for auditoriums, corporate boardrooms, government, higher education, houses of worship, and fixed and rental staging requiring native HD content, high resolution data and superior brightness. Both the Christie LX1200 and Christie LHD700 come with a threeyear warranty and ship in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Simon Smith, product manager, ME

Wohler Introduces the DVM-2443 MPEG Video Monitor Wohler Technologies unveiled the new DVM-2443 MPEG video monitor, a cost-effective fourscreen monitoring system that offers broadcasters advanced test and measurement features in a stand-alone 2-RU configuration. The DVM-2443 video monitor incorporates four 4.3-inch 16:9 ratio LED backlit displays for flexible and convenient at-a-glance monitoring of programme content from 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and MPEG-2/4 ASI streams, as well as metadata, waveform, and vectorscope overlays, and audiolevel meters. “Advanced features and capabilities will be bundled standard with the DVM product line as we continue to expand the DVM range,” said Jeff McNall, Wohler’s product line manager for audio and video products. “Our new DVM-2443 monitor goes beyond conventional monitoring by supporting 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs as well as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 ASI streams and associated metadata.”

DVM-2443 MPEG video monitor

October 2011 | AVPro | 9


The Chameleon can talk To create a sound system that was as ‘jaw-droppingly’ good as the interior of the club was spectacular, Joe Chidiac, audio specialist, Pulse Middle East, put together a system with unequalled clarity and power. In conversation with Supriya Srinivas

10 | AVPro | October 2011

We stood on the dance floor. DJ Rolland let the music play at 120db. It felt like an adrenaline rush. Incredibly, audio specialist, Joe Chidiac, continued his interview with me, and I listened with no extra effort even as I swayed imperceptibly to the music. “This is because you are listening to a pure sound. You can easily have a conversation while the music is playing. We are achieving 130db but currently we are running at 120db. In some other clubs, even at 100db you cannot talk – that is because it is not pure music coming to the ear. Here, you would not face the ringing in the ear or the headaches normally associated with such clubs,” he said. Coming from Chidiac, this is no empty boast. The 28-yearold Lebanese guitarist and audio

specialist for Dubai-based Pulse Middle East, is steadily building a name for himself with sound installations in Ferrari World, the Diablo Club (Ibn Batuta Gate Hotel, Dubai) and now the recently inaugurated Chameleon Club in the Byblos Hotel at Tecom, Dubai. The chameleon challenge Combined with the skills of his colleague and lighting designer, Rami Haber, who has earlier been involved with mega-projects such as the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World, among others, the audio-visual effect at the Chameleon Club is nothing short of spectacular. A giant chameleon welcomes you to the club. Poised over the bar-area, this fibre-glass creature has no less than 8,000 LED lights on the body


Chameleon bar: Four UPA-1P Meyer speakers in (X) technique stereo-mode face the chameleon’s body from all four corners along with 2-floor mounted 600-HP dual 15-inch subwoofers installed behind the bar, that allows low frequency to surround the area. 12-spot speakers installed on the belly of the chameleon connected to a different audio source deliver special sound effects.

October 2011 | AVPro | 11

The VIP Zone

The chameleon has allowed for interesting possibilities with guests at the club surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colours ranging from hot pink and green to a sparkling blue

12 | AVPro | October 2011

alone, an installation that was deemed impossible at the design stage. Chidiac recalls, “Initially companies that tendered talked of a limited number of external lights. We decided to go ahead with 8,000 LED lights that would fit on the body like a skin. It was custom-built for us by Greece-based Electron. While Rami has done lighting for Ferrari World and other venues, this particular installation is unique to the region.“ Pushing the design envelope was Milanese designer, Italo Rota. Best known for his work on creating the interior design of the Cavalli Club in the Fairmont Hotel, Dubai, Italo Rota placed the 6.5 metre by 5.5 metre chameleon covered in 15,000 LEDs with a tongue that rolls across a heart-shaped ceiling, as the centrepiece of the club. Recalling the

challenges in installation, Chidiac says, “We had many factors to consider from heat generation to controlling 8,000 LED pins on the body, as well as maintenance issues. All we have to do now is to replace the pins without going into the body. During installation, each group of 150 lights was installed manually and after rigorous testing, Rami put together a programme that allows for the unique movement of light that you see now. We initially thought it was a dream and to see our impossible-sounding design convert to reality was truly satisfying.” The chameleon has allowed for interesting possibilities with guests at the club surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colours ranging from hot pink and green to a sparkling blue. The six zones of the club have

30,000 LED lights in addition to the acrylic custom-made LED boxes on the walls and ceilings creating the perception of never-ending walls.

Chidiac says, “It has been a joy working with the team and a creative person of the calibre of Italo Rota and converting his design to reality.”

Acoustic challenges While the lighting, all controlled by Avolites lighting mixer that is placed in the compact DJ booth makes the club a visual spectacle, it posed some unique challenges for Chidiac as he designed the audio. He says, “It wasn’t easy. As you can see, we have a lot of acrylic boxes on the walls and ceiling and it can affect the acoustic quality with a lot of bouncing, interference and clashing. Everyone was afraid that we would not be able to hit 120db without reverberation – but now we have happily achieved 125db with no reverberation problems even when the club is empty. The sound is so pure. When it is packed, the sound is warmer and nicer. The ceiling is also treated acoustically. There are springs to accommodate the vibrations. A similar solution was achieved for the acrylic boxes along the walls.”

Getting the EQ right Surrounded as we were by serious hardware in acoustics, it is easy to forget the artistry that went into creating the sound that is the same quality regardless of which area in the club you are. “I use two software technologies to test my systems,” says Chidiac. “One is the EASE modeling software where generally the design process begins. While the software will tell you the

Choice of Meyer Carving a club out of what was once the roof-top of the hotel was a welcome challenge for Chidiac. The venue was one of the reasons why Meyer Sound was used. Calling it the ‘Rolls Royce’ among the various brands in the market, Chidiac says, “Meyer was the obvious choice given the venue. We have a high ceiling with plenty of ventilation and that allows us to use the powered speakers of Meyer. I have always enjoyed working with the brand.” DJ Rolland, the resident DJ and musician/ composer concurs and says, “With any other brand, I would have had questions. But with Meyer, what can you say?” Chidiac said he enjoyed

“Just having the best product is not enough. For instance, if you do not respect the design of Meyer, the sound can be a disaster”

working with DJ Rolland and his opinion was especially critical during the five days it took to achieve the EQ in all the zones given the differences in room shapes, height of ceiling, the materials used in the interiors – all causing the music to sound differently in different zones of the club. The easy camaraderie between Chidiac and Rolland offered an inkling of the team work that made the Chameleon Club possible.

optimum coverage of a venue, it will not identify the locations. And that is where the second software comes into play – my knowhow and creativity.” Chidiac reportedly makes the venue flat with a spectrum analyser which he then removes to use his ears. Chidiac says, “I walk from zone to zone, speaker by speaker to achieve the desired effect. Just having the best product is not enough. For instance, if you

Products and integrators Suppliers: Procom Middle East ( Design, engineering and installation: Pulse Middle East ( Sound: Meyer Sound ( LED lights: Electron ( Lighting mixer: Avolites ( Live performance: Yamaha 01V audio mixer (

October 2011 | AVPro | 13


do not respect the design of Meyer, the sound can be a disaster. It is like having a Ferrari and not knowing how to drive it.” Possibly the ultimate compliment can only come from the resident DJ. Rolland says, “If I have a splitting headache after a day’s work something is wrong. If there is a delay between the monitors and the rest of the system, it would be difficult to work. For me, Joe is the best when it comes to sound – this is a perfect sound system for a club of this size.” I may not be a sound purist, but I know a headache and true to Chidiac’ words, there was no sense of feeling heavy-headed as I stepped

out of the club. I did, however, leave the club with a promise of testing the

sound on a Thursday night when the club would be packed with people.

Creating a jaw-dropping sound system The installation is driven by no less than 40,000W of Meyer Cabinets with a Galileo 616 processor The main stage and DJ booth area: Two UPA-1P compact , vented two-way enclosures. The loudspeakers feature a 12inch cone low-frequency driver and a 3-inchdiaphragm compression driver coupled with a 100-degree horizontal by 40-degree vertical constant – Q horn installed above the DJ booth and 6 UPJ-1P that combines the advantages of self-powered systems with the placement and arraying flexibility afforded by a vari0 rotatable horn that features a 10-inch cone low frequency driver coupled with 80-degree horizontal by 50-degree vertical constant – Q horn installed above the stage area in a 2-array shape. 2700-HP subwoofers are installed on the left and right of the stage to boost and cover the area augmenting the low frequency range of the loudspeakers. At the gates : Four UPJ-1P Meyer Speakers in ( X )

14 | AVPro | October 2011

Technique Stereo Mode along with 4-floor mounted M1D-sub-dual 10-inch cone driver each featuring a 2-inch voice coil and a lightweight neodymium magnet structure.

“This lounge was a challenge because of the LED installation which caused a lot of acoustic issues and arriving at an EQ that was ideal took a great deal of testing.”

Chameleon bar: Four UPA-1P Meyer speakers in (X) technique stereo-mode face the chameleon’s body from all four corners along with 2-floor mounted 600-HP dual 15-inch subwoofers installed behind the bar, that allows low frequency to surround the area. 12-spot speakers installed on the belly of the chameleon connected to a different audio source deliver special sound effects.

Restaurant: Four UPJ-1P and 2 MM-10 Miniature Woofer Meyer cabinets form a pendant from the ceiling with a U-shaped bracket surrounding the seating area to maintain less decibel levels at the bar. Chidiac says, “At the restaurant and the VIP areas, the sound is generally 10 decibels lower than the dance area.”

VIP lounge: Four UPJ-1P and 2 MM-10 Miniature Woofer Meyer cabinets form a pendant from the ceiling with a U-shaped bracket employing the figure-of-eight technique. Chidiac says,

Entrance: Four MM-4 miniature type speakers deliver special sound effects while entering the club. Chidiac says, “DJ Rolland created these special sounds that evoke the movement of a chameleon. These sounds play as guests step out of the elevator and in the restrooms.”

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Multipoint IP Audio Design Concepts From single-building and single-campus audio distribution to audio delivery to external locations, IP audio offers highquality, cost-effective solutions, writes Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO of Barix

16 | AVPro | October 2011

Multipoint audio encompasses a handful of design concepts. The appropriate concept depends greatly on the reach of the system, and the source of the audio. Most multipoint systems typically involve sending audio from one to many zones within the same facility; or from one to many external locations on the same campus. How this is most effectively accomplished is dependent on the mode of transport. CobraNet and EtherSound based systems, for example, enable distribution of very high-quality

audio from one to many points locally. However, these typically better serve live-staging applications as opposed to general audio distribution in schools, hospitals and office buildings. Facilities with powerful in-house digital production systems may look to these transport methods. CobraNet is especially regarded for low latency and minimising delay as audio is delivered to more than one location. Schools, mosques and other multi-zone facilities are increasingly looking to IP for reliable, low-latency audio transport. IP audio, in addition to supporting single-building or


single-campus audio distribution, offers a robust transport architecture for delivery to external locations. While this might be more typical of broadcast or retail audio distribution, opportunities certainly exist for networking sermons and performances to distant mosques and other locations. What makes IP potentially very attractive to schools, mosques, office buildings and healthcare facilities is the ability to take advantage of existing network infrastructure for audio distribution and to centralise other applications on the same network. This clears the path to cost-effectively roll out multipoint audio and other network-supported services while maintaining the high audio quality and reliable transport required. The foundation Think of IP distribution as a virtual audio cable. The network is the foundation for the hardware that will support the overall solution. There is of course some actual real wiring in the network infrastructure (though far less complex than the legacy “spaghetti bowl”). The ability to use that existing infrastructure will amount to noticeable cost savings, provided the wiring is for a shareable Ethernet network with appropriate cable lengths, links and switches to support multi-point audio transport. Hardware requirements are generally simple. An IP encoder is required at the source point to accept an analogue or digital audio output from the router. These can cost as low as $400 depending on the choice of product. Each receive site will require an IP decoder to accept the signal as transmitted over the network. A good decoder

“Schools, mosques and other multi-zone facilities are increasingly looking to IP for reliable, low-latency audio transport” Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO of Barix

will be capable of receiving a variety of audio files (mp3, PCM, AAC, etc.) and decode it back to XLR-balanced or unbalanced audio for playout over the loudspeaker system. Each amplifier requires a decoder, which can cost as little as $200 apiece. Decoders with built-in amplifiers can be used for areas with lower audio power needs — some can even be powered over the network cable (PoE), further simplifying the wiring. Perhaps the most attractive point of employing an IP infrastructure is the ability to centralise other services to the same network. This means providing a central point of operation for building systems, such as lighting and HVAC control. Security systems can easily be added, accommodating IP cameras and access control technologies on the network. Other possibilities include

two-way audio, enabling intercom communications at help points and other general locations. Deployment decisions The true difference in multipoint IP audio lies in the network characteristics and layout of the system. One question to answer is whether synchronous playout is required. This is a must if nearby zones are audible in addition to an audience’s local zone. This is mainly an issue in single-building multipoint systems, where audio from one room might bleed into another. We call this scenario “acoustic vicinity” The main challenge of distributing to multiple points with acoustic vicinity is to ensure an enjoyable listening experience while walking from zone to zone. This will require split-second accuracy across the October 2011 | AVPro | 17


network i.e., synchronous delivery to multiple points that are within acoustic reach of each other. This is easily achieved with a standard, wired network connection. A 100MB Ethernet connection will do the job, supporting uncompressed, lowlatency audio (about 2MBit/s). This can be easily be deployed within a single building, at a generally reasonable cost. A multipoint network to more than one building or location on the same campus will not have acoustic vicinity, but will have challenges in the physical sense. We call this second scenario “physical vicinity” The benefit of this deployment is that the audio does not have to play out with to-the-second accuracy. In a live performance, a 500-millisecond delay between the stage and other campus locations will not adversely affect the audience experience. This also allows the facility to add compression to the mix, reducing the bandwidth requirements compared to a single-building system with acoustic vicinity. Multi-building or multi-location systems on a single campus will

Barix Reflector Service The Barix Reflector Service simplifies the setup of audio transport connections by removing the need for specialist knowledge. Hosted by Barix partner StreamGuys (www. html), the application serves as an online centre to configure and monitor the audio transport bridge while providing a 18 | AVPro | October 2011

Hardware requirements are generally simple. An IP encoder is required at the source point to accept an analogue or digital audio output from the router typically require routers to pass audio over the network. Use of “multicast” distribution will reduce network load, pushing a single stream with mp3 or another form of compression. This still provides very good audio quality, but reduces bandwidth requirements tenfold: a 2MBit/s audio stream requirement will reduce to about 200kbit/s. The third scenario uses the public internet, 3G or VPN connection to deliver the audio stream to external, distant locations. This can include other mosques, a radio station or even housebound worshippers. This scenario essentially uses infrastructure that the church or facility does not own and cannot control.   One big difference with the third scenario is that multicast is not an option. Multicast requires a rebroadcasting server, such as Shoutcast or the Barix Reflector Service (see sidebar), to be achieved cost-effectively. Such services provide an uplink to the internet for

distribution to external locations. Performance venues or worship facilities delivering sermons, concerts and other live services and events to other locations, FM transmitters or cable head-ends will find this to likely be the only costefficient route for IP distribution. This would be enabled similarly to a video webcast, employing a streaming server to distribute the signal to locations equipped with the applicable IP decoding equipment. Some facilities may find the need to deploy audio systems for all of these scenarios at one time. In this case it is recommended to use multiple encoders at the source point. This will allow the facility to employ low-latency streaming within the building without the expense and complexity of employing the same technique for external delivery. The real beauty of IP? It is simple: Anything is possible over the network.

straightforward relay of the audio feed. The Reflector Service is paired with Barix Audio over IP hardware at the send and receive points, creating a plug-and-play installation that can have broadcasters, live production specialists and venue operators streaming audio over IP links within minutes. The Reflector Service simplifies installations for those using broadband internet connections by eliminating firewall

poking and costly static IP addresses that require specialist knowledge to configure. The Reflector Service even eliminates basic router forwarding configuration, as the encoding and decoding devices are automatically partnered following connection to the Reflector Service via the World Wide Web.


“The market is expected to grow 20% each year” Ahmed El Ridi, CEO of Advanced Interactive Media Solutions (AIMS), highlights the ROI and challenges of digital signage Around the world DOOH ad revenue is the fastest growing of all media. What is the value of the digital signage market in the region? In the GCC, digital signage business is approximately doing $150 million in business annually. The market is expected to grow by 20% each year. What are the ROI benefits that you are seeing through digital signage? Through digital signage, clients are seeing an immediate impact on their operational costs and capital expenditures. For instance, we have an installation in a fast food place with menus on digital signboards. Not only is this move environmentally friendly, there is considerable savings in labour, printing, downtime and transportation in updating menus. In addition, they are able to up-sell products and move slow-moving products. Secondly with our way-finding system in large malls such as Dubai Mall – imagine the huge savings they enjoy because updating the system is a simple data-entry issue.

Ahmed El Ridi

Undercutting is an issue. The digital signage market is not an FMCG market. So while the undercutters eventually go out of business, every two years you will have someone new trying to do the same. The threat is constant, the players are different. We are the only ones who have been in the market for 10 years. As for clients, they are getting more informed as the number of installations grow. Moreoever, you have online casestudies, white papers, blogs and so on informing the market. As for lack of trained staff, we overcome that problem by training our clients. It is more of empowering them to use the technology.

About Advanced Integrated Media Services (AIMS) Advanced Integrated Media Services (AIMS) integrates the power of SCALA content management solutions, internet, interactive displays, mobile applications and communication technologies to develop interactive digital signage solutions for the region.

What are the challenges of working in the digital signage sector? October 2011 | AVPro | 19


Giant images are displayed on the entire length of the tunnel via 23 Optoma EX785 DLP projectors

“Largest permanent AV installation in Europe” When English Heritage opened the new attraction at Dover Castle, “Operation Dynamo: Rescue from Dunkirk,” it deployed around $700,000 worth of audio-visual equipment to recreate the drama of World War II’s Dunkirk evacuation – a case-study

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Situated in the network of 60-metre long secret tunnels, 26 metres underground behind the famous White Cliffs of Dover, the attraction at Dover Castle in English county of Kent, makes extensive use of AV technology to present the events of May 26 to June 4, 1940. In the highlight of the attraction, 23 projectors create giant images that run the entire length of the space augmented by spectacular lighting effects. German fighter planes appear to zoom down the entire length of the tunnel immersing visitors in the action on the Dunkirk beaches, while another scenario shows eerie-silhouetted figures hunched over a table planning the

evacuation from within the tunnels. Challenging working conditions Electrosonic and Denmark based Kvorning Design & Communication designed and produced the new attraction. The project posed some difficult challenges, including working in a historic site, dealing with the climate underground and projecting images in spaces where no surface is straight. During the design phase, Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team worked with Kvorning to determine the audiovisual solutions to meet their creative designs. The design works included ‘AV and control design’ in sufficient detail to allow reliable budgeting and form the basis of tender documents.


Q & A with Arne Kvorning of Copenhagen-based Kvorning Design & Communication

Full-sized tests needed to be conducted and 3D CAD techniques were used to model the projection optics. “Providing a series of audiovisual experiences in the listed tunnels underneath Dover Castle has presented some very unique challenges,” says Dirk Bennett, acting head of interpretation at English Heritage. “Electrosonic has provided the expertise, experience and creativity to come up with solutions which will create an immersive and exciting experience unique in the area of heritage interpretation.” Dover Castle is known as “The Key to England” in its role as guardian of the nearest landing point to mainland Europe. The tunnels at Dover Castle were begun in 1797 when Britain faced the possibility of invasion by the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte. The tunnels formed safe underground barracks for British troops. Most importantly, it was the place where the rescue of the British army from Dunkirk was planned in 1940. Show divided into eight zones “Operation Dynamo: Rescue from

Dunkirk” takes parties of up to 30 people at a time through eight zones featuring original newsreels, recordings, veterans’ testimonies and special effects, which portray the rescue of the British army from Dunkirk, France – planned in the Dover Castle tunnels. The show begins in ‘The War Begins’ cinema, an underground briefing room with a mock 16mm projector and blackboard, the latter actually an LCD panel covered in black gauze, which displays the events leading to war. After passing through a corridor of tunnels, visitors arrive in an underground war room for ‘The Battle of France’ presentation. Two walls of the large space show archival footage; animated graphics are projected onto a low table in the center of the room by a Panasonic 6300 projector. As the presentation ends and the crisis builds, images spill over the table to fill the pyramidshaped sides of the table. The highlight of the attraction is ‘Rescue from Dunkirk Casemate Z’ set in one of the 60-meter long tunnel spaces or casemates. Giant images are displayed on the entire length of the tunnel via 23 Optoma

Museums, especially on-site recreations such as the one in Dover must pose special challenges but they are probably more exciting than generic museums. What were the big challenges in the Dover project? The ‘Secret Wartime Tunnels’ at Dover Castle is an interesting mix of recreated spaces and casemates with intensive use of projections. The main challenge was recreating the battle scenes on the beaches of Dunkirk. It is all created from original footage combined with advanced 2D and 3D-animation techniques.   Reportedly $700,000 was spent on AV equipment. In terms of the total cost of the project, how would you rate the equipment used? Almost half of the total budget was used on AV equipment and I think we achieved to give the client – English Heritage – a unique and priceless visitor experience.  Can the museum authorities change or modify any of the exhibits? The museum has all rights to modify the content and the displays but they will hopefully come back to Kvorning Design & Communication whenever they want an update. This is a work from the heart for us. How crucial is the client brief in this regard – is it purely in terms of content? What point of reference did you have to execute the project? In this case the client brief was only in terms of content. It was our own CONTINUED ON P22

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EX785 DLP projectors, computercontrolled to ensure synchronisation and to warp and blend the images into one long panorama. Spectacular lighting effects augment the projections, which include fighter planes that appear to zoom down the entire length of the tunnel against a backdrop of ships and small boats. In another sequence, silhouetted photos give the eerie feeling that those planning the evacuation are still present in the tunnels. Audio in these zones was designed by Electrosonic to meet the needs of Kvorning’s sound designer. Sound is used not only for narration and special effects but also to draw visitors through the space. After the show concludes, visitors are free to circulate in ‘Aftermath zone’ areas that depict how the tunnels were used following the evacuation, especially during the

The project posed some difficult challenges, including working in a historic site, dealing with the climate underground and projecting images in spaces where no surface is straight Battle of Britain. LED lighting simulating original filament lamps is particularly evocative here. The exhibits are supported by ambient audio, display panels and video “labels” that display films showing how the spaces were used during the war. All have English, French and German soundtracks. Additional interactive displays overlook Dover Harbor in the exhibition space above the gift shop; a series of listening points allow visitors to hear the oral testimonies of veterans. “We have worked in close and positive collaboration with Electrosonic on the AV

installation in the secret wartime tunnels,” notes Kvorning Design’s Arne Kvorning. “As a team we’ve jointly created one of the largest permanent projection set ups in Europe. The experience is absolutely breathtaking, bringing the history of the tunnels to life.” For the project, Kier was the main contractor for the associated building works, COWI and the Light Bureau were the lighting designers, Stouenborg the audio designer and producer, Kvorning and Homerun the media producers, and MDM the creators of the special effects and set work.


Q & A with Arne Kvorning... and managed by the show control. The client has full control over the system using a simple interface.

ambitious idea to create this experience – probably the largest permanent AV installation in Europe. We have actually never seen anything like this in a museum environment before.  Full-sized tests were conducted and 3D CAD techniques were used to model the projection optics – was this during the tender process? The projections were tested in both 3D environments and in full-size in the tunnels – but it was not possible to do these tests in the tender procedure. When we won the project we installed a full-size mock-up of a tunnel section for test projections in Copenhagen and based on that we conducted a full-scale test in the tunnels. The final adjustments were made using the 22 | AVPro | October 2011

Personally, how would you rate this project given your experience in this sector? The project at ‘The Secret Wartime Tunnels’ is one of the largest AV-based visitor experiences we have created. It has not been easy, but the process and the results made it worth it.    Watchout software. What makes for an effective AV-led solution in museum spaces? The AV-installation at Dover Castle is rather complex but it is effectively timed

Denmark based Kvorning Design & Communication designed and produced the new attraction and Electrosonic was the AV systems integrator.

October 2011 | AVPro | 23


Connecting the cockpit: AV technology in boardrooms Plush leather chairs and polished boardroom tables are no longer enough to define a boardroom – collaborative meeting tools and integrated communication environments are essential to create a highly functional workspace, says Aseem Gupta, chief visionary of Visionaire in a tête-à-tête with AVPro More than 60 to 70% of professional AV is used in boardrooms and conference rooms. How has technology evolved within boardrooms? Boardrooms were always designed to be opulent. Even in the 1920s and 1930s, boardrooms had significant architecture and grandeur. People that frequent boardrooms are normally mature individuals and they have grown to appreciate the high touch and comforts of life. In 24 | AVPro | October 2011

their professional and personal lives they are recognised leaders and their decisions, thought leadership and abilities are highly valued. For such individuals, boardrooms are always custom–made. You cannot order a boardroom off-the-shelf. And therefore, working closely with architects and interior decorators is very important. Over the years, there is an increasing demand for the boardroom to connect to the outside world


and networked information delivery systems, ranging from the need to rapidly move data and present data in multiple ways to the several types of technology being used that allow you to create what we call a group display. Much of this data is available in real time so you must have the technology to support real time data. I personally think that a boardroom that is meant to do only powerpoint presentations is too elementary and doesn’t qualify to be called a boardroom. The boardroom technology must assist decision making and make it easy for its participants to be able to have access to all the information that they need to make highly critical decisions. I liken the technology role to what a pilot or a sea captain needs in the cockpit of a large airliner or the bridge of a large naval ship. Without this visioning capability, the pilot or the captain will not be able to control the efficiency of the airplane. When you consider the importance of decisions taken in the boardroom, the presenters that are managing the agenda wish to seek consensus on the issues and opportunities that are being discussed. The outcome needs to be a winning outcome. For this reason boardrooms need multiple types of displays, the capability to present visual data, audio, real-time imaging, video footage as well as the capability to annotate and write and draw. There is requirement for voting on issues requiring consensus. Ideas need to be presented in a fast-paced environment and the outcome of the meeting is to be captured and translated into action. The function of technology is to support all these needs of boardroom users. Confidentiality is important to boardroom proceedings and often

that warrant a boardroom have far-flung operations. In the past, for a meeting of five people, twenty subordinates would be flown in and would wait outside the room with data if required. Today video-based communication and telepresence is essential in a boardroom environment – in fact 50% of the AV requirement for boardrooms revolves around video communications. This technology saves time and makes the process of meeting more green. It has also become a legally acceptable method for a board meeting to be conducted. When I look at my history in this industry, I still remember preparing for a board meeting – 25 years ago,

“The boardroom technology must make it easy for its participants to be able to have access to all the information that they need to make highly critical decisions” written notes can be lost or worse, ‘wander out’ of the room. Therefore, electronic annotation and capture of the written notes and proceedings of the meeting need to be secured to avoid leakage of information. The same goes with audio and sounds that emanate from the boardroom. One shouldn’t be able to stand outside the room and hear the proceedings inside and with the large penetration of mobile phones that have recording capability; this is an area of major concern. The audio needs to be secured, so you don’t have information leakage. Another aspect that impacts boardroom technology is the flattening of the world. Businesses

and having to paint the 35 mm slides with colour – slide by slide. Some of us veterans in the industry will remember the slide projectors from Kodak that made a “khatak” sound when the carousel would shift each time. Today’s technology has moved considerably ahead in what we can achieve in boardroom presentations. AV integration often falters at the users’ level. How do you overcome that in a boardroom? Complexity has to, most decidedly, vanish from boardrooms. The most complex user-environment for ICT is the classroom as it needs a high level of user interaction. In boardrooms all the technology including the October 2011 | AVPro | 25


hardware has to be discreet and understated. We actually end up writing a lot of custom software coding to make the boardroom technology perform without a high level of user intervention. I don’t expect a chairman of the company to go through a training programme to run his boardroom. So we have little dots that we paste on the boardroom table that has a ‘show me’ written on it – a command for a camera to be directed towards you. We then use a variety of touch screens that will have a graphical user interface which is custom designed to perform the functions in the boardroom at the touch of a button. The Best User Interface (UI) is one with only two buttons – one that says ‘start the meeting’ and one that says ‘stop the meeting’. Human intervention with technology should be minimised in boardroom meetings leaving the participants to focus on the discussion and using their minds to solving the world’s problems, not worrying about the technology. Using language-free icon-driven commands, we are able to overcome language barriers as well. As a board member, it can be embarrassing to struggle with technology and it really defeats the purpose to waste time, or worse, spoil the mood of influential people at critical meetings which will negatively affect their capacity to make decisions. We also have to provide critical redundancy to ensure that things don’t go wrong. Basically, the UI should be so simple that the chairman would not need a technician to help him navigate. Once again we have to consider the security of information and discussion. Having people standing by who are not required to be in the meeting is a security risk. 26 | AVPro | October 2011

What are the common challenges a systems integrator would face? At the operational level, it is important that, as systems integrators, we are brought in at the planning stage. Typically in the region we find that we are an afterthought to the whole process. An architect would have already designed the space, the main construction contractor would have already built the space and the client would have spent all the money on interiors, with very little left for AV technology. For instance I have come across cases where they would install boardroom tables that cost upwards of a million Dirhams with a mere Dh100,000 for technology integration. While IT is always treated separately, AV often gets clubbed with the main contract and the contractor would treat you like he would a plumbing sub-contractor. We generally don’t do third party subcontracting since we haven’t seen great results.

What are the future trends in this sector? The boardroom functionality is increasing and customisation requirements are moving up. The number of displays required in the boardroom are incremental and most often there are multiple large displays and even individual seat displays that are embedded on the table. There is greater requirement for touch screen annotation and the capability for each seat to be able to function independently. The other trend is Green ICT. Today boardrooms, like other areas in the company are incorporating energy conservation solutions. A trend for the future is use of telepresence and holographic images in boardrooms – where a person can virtually attend the meeting from a remote location. I believe that the term AV is also passé. We are in the information and communications technology (ICT) business – AV is a subset and included within the ICT realm.


Live events challenge AV integrators From the ‘green’ solutions of Philips Selecon to Sennheiser’s originals and Midas’ consoles, the industry helps create the wow factor for audiences worldwide

Water Wars by Elaine Acworth, presented by the La Boite 2011 Indie Season and Umber Productions at the La Boite Theatre in Brisbane, Australia was set in the not-toodistant future at a time of water scarcity and its central themes of environmental awareness and sustainability are echoed throughout the production. The producers set themselves the goal of presenting a play in the most sustainable way possible from downloadable programmes to environmentallyfriendly set construction materials. During discussions where the extensive technical and production requirements were analysed it became evident very quickly that in order to balance the central environmental themes of the play, design solutions had to embrace the inherent notions of sustainability. David Walters, lighting designer, elaborates on this thought process, “To do anything less would have been hypocritical. Because of the variety of power efficient lighting solutions that 28 | AVPro | October 2011

Lighting states: Water Wars 2011. Photographer: Nicholas O’Donnell

have flooded the market in recent years I decided to set myself the goal of trying to design a rig that never consumed more that 10 amps at any given time. If achievable it would not only fully satisfy the ideas on sustainability, but also greatly simplify touring. It was a somewhat daunting challenge and required a great deal of research. One of the areas that was obviously of great interest was the brave new world of LED lighting technology.” After 18 months of research, the instrument that genuinely fulfilled all areas of sustainability (including recycling), while at the same time providing all the desirable characteristics of a conventional theatrical luminaire, was the Philips Selecon PL1. It also delivered the flexibility of DMX control and of

David Walters, lighting designer

course, a stunning range of colours. The industry move away from conventional dimmer and filamentbased lighting systems to the onboard electronics and LED fixtures is something that David believes is revolutionising theatre lighting design.


Ferry Corsten rocks Dubai with Sennheiser HD 25 Originals Ferry Corsten, voted as one of the top 10 DJs in the world over the past decade, recently played live at the Dubai World Trade Centre to an audience of thousands with a set of Sennheiser HD 25 Originals at his side. The HD 25 Originals are based on the classic HD 25, multi-award winner and a firm favourite with professional DJ’s, updated with the adidas Originals’ classic blue colour and Originals logo whilst retaining the high-quality dynamic speaker systems which Sennheiser is renowned for. The HD 25 Originals offer the same crystal clear highs and deep lows along with a lightweight and comfortable design. “Ferry Corsten treated music fans to

an enthralling set. The HD 25 Originals were a perfect match for the event, proving once again that they are a real standard for professional DJs with their mix of high SPL, excellent sound quality, superb noise-isolation and unrivalled comfort, “ commented Mig Cardamone, Business Area Manager

at Sennheiser Middle East. This range of headphones is available to buy at a number of retailers in the UAE, including Jumbo Electronics, Virgin Megastore, Sharaf DG and Plug-Ins

Midas Pro6 fits the bill for Foo Fighters

L to R: Ian Beveridge, Foo Fighters’ monitor engineer, with BRP’s Dave Poynter

A Midas PRO6, supplied by Britannia Row Productions in Europe and Delicate Productions in the USA, has gone out for the

first time on monitors on the Foo Fighters’ world tour in support of their seventh studio album, Wasting Light. Monitor engineer

Ian Beveridge, who has worked with Foo Fighters for some 17 years, decided to opt for the smaller footprint of a Midas digital console. Beveridge is enjoying the versatility and sound quality of the PRO6, citing user-friendliness of the POPulation groups and the storage capacity of automation and show files as particular standout features. “I use the automation very simply, making only one scene per show and perhaps a scene for guest musicians that require any big changes,” he says. Beveridge is also a big fan of the console’s patching flexibility. October 2011 | AVPro | 29


UAEU leads in ‘Green’ educational IC T While the new classrooms in the UAE-based University consume less electricity, students and teachers enjoy unprecedented integration of technology in education The new integrated campus for the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), in Al Ain, is a leading example of ‘Green ICT’ (environmentally sustainable information and communication technology). The UAEU established a technology vision as far back as 2006 with the development of its faculty of IT building which was the first institution in the region 30 | AVPro | October 2011

to encourage the live streaming of lecture video, audio and presentation on-line (commonly called lecture capture system). UAEU is already benefiting from this programme with its new campus classrooms consuming 50% less electricity as compared to the first bench-marked set of classrooms designed in 2006 and installed at the Faculty of IT Building. The fifty-five (55) and more

buildings that make up the integrated new campus is spread over 120 hectares and features approximately 290,000m2 of newly built, state-of-the-art teaching and recreational facilities, including accommodation for students and university staff. All the buildings on the campus development are connected to the UAEU Data Centre located at the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT Building).


Green initiative UAEU is headed towards a “paperless” and “inkless” teaching environment with the faculty having the ability of conducting lectures using all the resources available on the UAEU Cloud without them having to bring presentation laptops or other such devices into the classroom. To achieve this objective, UAEU has installed an integrated platform device that combines features of both IT and AV. The Arrive RoomPoint Media Processing Appliance is a “thin” device which eliminates needs for PC’s in classrooms and includes an AV signal switch and processor that connects directly over the network to a central cloud-based content delivery system. The user interface to faculty is provided by an integrated software solution called Arrive CloudPoint which publishes all the interactive tools and software applications required by faculty centrally. Arrive CloudPoint works with all types of interactive whiteboards which provides a virtual interface for students, faculty and the network system to seamlessly operate. Each classroom is equipped with a automated voice reinforcement system which ensures that the teacher’s voice effortlessly reaches the back of the classroom without having the teacher to strain their vocal cords. “Using only their fingers and hands, the faculty delivers a lesson making notes and annotations to large interactive whiteboards with “virtual ink”. This eliminates chemical usage and toxic waste associated with using ink marker pens and all notes are saved within the system for availability in the archives and as

In a review visit made by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of UAEU, he experienced classroom technology personally by writing an impromptu e-mail message addressed to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

“At Visionaire, we are privileged to be part of the ongoing integration of technology in the UAEU. UAEU has recently commenced a formal certification programme for staff and faculty to achieve user-expertise with the technology and we see a high level of interest for certified educational technology training in the region” says Aneeta Gupta, president and CEO, Visionaire.

mailed content to students”, states a UAEU Centre for Educational

Technology spokesperson. Khadamat, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, manages all the facilities at UAEU which includes managing the time-table. The Arrive InfoPoint Resource Schedule Management system ties directly with Khadamat’s Timetable software and UAEU’s Banner system to accurately publish an entire semester’s timetable to touch screen interactive displays mounted outside classroom doors. Technology has been used campus-wide – be it the Olympicsized swimming pool with its automated LED track timing system sensors, the basket-ball courts and ‘Great Hall’ where acoustic and echo challenges have been overcome using computer-based audio modeling and sound directivity to achieve clarity of sound. October 2011 | AVPro | 31


(Image for illustration purpose only)

Essa Mosque in Abu Dhabi: a case-study

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When the New Age Technologies’ (LLC) team first visited the mosque, there was a sound system that was installed and operational. At a glimpse, it was obvious that the speakers were not placed properly and the acoustic characteristics of the room were ignored in the previous installation. The sound was loud in some areas while low in other areas. There was annoying feedback, poor clarity of speech, echoing and static noise. This must have prompted the client to look for a new system. New Age Technologies (LLC) was selected by the client because of their track record, technical studies of the venue and competitive proposal.


The venue and client-brief The venue consists of a main hall on the ground, three ladies’ halls and a library on the mezzanine level. In the production room, audio and video recordings of in-house programmes are recorded and duplicated for distribution to worshippers. There is an exclusive ladies’ entrance lobby and gents’ covered outdoor praying area. There are two minarets where horn speakers are fixed for Adhan (prayer calls). The client wanted a clear sound throughout the mosque with minimum number of non- obstructive speakers also allowing for live recording of audio and video. While the minaret is used only for Adhan, the mosque interior is used for prayers as well as special conventions from time to time throughout the year. The system rack had to be kept in the production room in the mezzanine and operated remotely from the Mimber (prayer leading area) on the ground floor. A camera needed to be fixed in the main hall with pan/tilt/zoom features and images had to be broadcasted to large display panels in the ladies’ halls so that female worshippers would be able to view activities in the main hall. The sound system New Age Technologies LLC conducted a simulation of the soundfield with the help of EASE software and identified that five numbers of QSC AD-S282H speakers placed appropriately in the main hall would provide an even coverage of sound, adequate sound pressure level (SPL) and wide frequency response. These speakers are individually wired to independent amplifier channels of Crown CDi 2000 so that each speaker

“The client wanted a clear sound throughout the mosque with minimum number of non-obstructive speakers also allowing for live recording of audio and video proceedings.” output can be programmed for optimum sound and increase gain before feedback. The speakers were painted with the existing colour of the walls. A JBL Control 28T speaker has been installed on a wall and directed to the Mimber (Prayer leading area) as a fold-back monitor for the preacher. All microphone inputs, remote volume controls and system on/off controls are placed in a customised faceplate and fixed near the Mimber. This makes the system highly user-friendly. The user only needs to turn the system on and off for daily use. The Furman sequential switcher placed in the remote system rack controls the equipment in a sequence. A Shure MX185 wired lapel microphone is provided for the Imam leading the prayer. This facilitates consistent volume level in different physical positions during the prayer and it is maintenance-free unlike wireless lapel systems. A Sennheiser condenser microphone is provided for preaching and four Shure Beta58 are available for special programmes. Other halls: The ladies’ halls, library, production room, ladies’ entrance lobby and gent’s outdoor areas are installed with 70V line QSC AD-S52Ts for distribution of sound in the main hall. The system rack The system rack with the amplifiers, processors and source equipments are placed in the production room

in the mezzanine floor and remotely operated from the Mimber. A Furman sequential switcher and power conditioner feed power to all equipment. All microphones and source inputs are fed to a digital signal processor BSS BLU16 chassis with four in/out cards. The processor’s output is connected to relevant amplifiers and source equipment. Video system A Sony BR300 high-resolution camera with pan/tilt/zoom is fixed on the ceiling of the main hall and remotely controlled from the production room. The high definition signal from the camera is fed to a distribution amplifier and sent to four large display panels in the ladies’ halls and the library. Audio and video content is recorded on to a hard disc video recorder and copied for further editing and mastering.

About New Age Technologies (LLC) New Age Technologies (LLC) is an audio-visual turnkey integrator based in Dubai, UAE, offering design, integration, supply and installation of a range of commercial and residential audio visual systems.

October 2011 | AVPro | 33


Tapping the AV potential in the MENA region Exhibitors at InfoComm MEA 2011 enjoy access to one of the world’s largest gathering of ICT professionals at its inaugural show in the region. Richard Tan, general manager, InfoCommAsia in conversation with AVPro

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Is this your first Infocomm in the Middle East? How many exhibitors are you expecting? This is the inaugural InfoComm event for the Middle East market. The exhibition will showcase more than 70 exhibitors from 18 countries. What were the challenges you faced in terms of competition from regional events targeting the AV sector and other issues related to logistics, planning and execution? As you would know, we are in fact late in terms of introducing our event to this market.  There has been a show directly competing with ours that has been around for quite a while in Dubai, and we have been receiving requests from our members and exhibitors for a number of years to bring an InfoComm show to this part of the world.  However, we were prepared to be patient and to enter this market only at the right time and with the right opportunity.  One of the key objectives for our IFMEA show is to bring together not just the pro AV professionals in this region, but also the institutional

Richard Tan

end-users from across spectrum of vertical markets, e.g. transportation, healthcare, education, retail, building, residential, military, government, etc. Only then can IFMEA be a meeting point for all the major stakeholders in the marketplace – manufacturers, channel and professional end-users.  This is a key reason why co-locating IFMEA with GITEX makes sense.  GITEX has already been attracting many IT and technology managers from across many vertical market


sectors, and IFMEA offers them another set of technology that will benefit their businesses, whether it is employing control systems in corporate offices to reinforcing productivity, installing digital signage in shopping malls to delivering enhanced shopping experience, or providing telesurgery capability in hospitals to give it a competitive advantage. The opportunity to co-locate IFMEA with GITEX through our JV partnership with the Dubai World Trade Centre provided us with the launch platform for our inaugural show in Dubai, and I believe the timing is now right. As for issues related to logistics, planning and execution, there were none that we encountered that was significant.  Having DWTC as a partner that also

owns and operates the venue making it easier for things to get done. What are the sectors that you expect will stand out in terms of innovative products and solutions? It’s the first time our manufacturing members have an InfoComm platform to introduce their latest technologies, so I believe we will see quite a few new products being introduced especially for the corporate and hospitality sectors as demand for these are on the increase in the Middle East. Give us a brief about AV market in the region. According to the 2010 InfoComm Global AV Market Definition and Strategy Study, the pro AV market

in the Middle East/Africa grew from $1.56 billion in 2006 to $2.17 bilion in 2009 and is expected to reach $3.14 billion by 2012. Although the UAE market was hit by the recent financial crisis, most parts of that market have recovered very quickly and from feedback from our members operating in that region, market demand is back on track and there’s optimism in the potential growth of that market. This is also reflected in the strong support that IFMEA has received for its inaugural event – more than 70 exhibitors from 18 countries participating, including bellwethers like Extron, Crestron, Mitsubishi, AMX, Jupiter Systems, Sharp, NEC, Hitachi, Wolfvision and others.

Conferences and workshops at IFMEA as outlined by Richard Tan Our educational suite of programmes at IFMEA is housed under the umbrella name of IFMEA 2011 Summit. Some of the subjects that will be addressed include: • AV installation and design best practices • New and upcoming standards in AV • Video signals and video format conversion • 3D projection technology • Specifying AV systems • Acoustic and vision fundamentals for AV design • Green AV • Project management for AV projects For the 2011 Summit, we have chosen to focus on four industry sectors, namely healthcare, hospitality, IT and education. Information Technology (IT) industry conference

Sessions will cover AV on IT Infrastructure, What IT Professionals Want and Need to Know About AV, Digital Signage, Streaming Media, and more to assist IT professionals in working with AV or AV professionals. Hospitality industry conference Seminars will discuss new AV technologies available for hospitality and their applications, digital signage, use of AV in guest rooms, ballrooms, or meeting facilities, and many other topics to assist hotel technology managers, facility managers and tourism industry professionals. Healthcare industry conference Seminar topics will include overviews of cutting-edge technologies used in medicine today, case studies on specific applications of AV technology (such as

3D projection and the Blue Brain Project), medical display options, and telepresence or telemedicine, to introduce healthcare industry professionals to the technologies and tools available to them. Education industry conference Seminars will include discussions of current and emerging classroom technologies and their applications and teleconference applications in education, among others, to introduce educators, education professionals, education technology managers or facility managers, and university personnel to new possibilities to enhance learner experience. In addition, Extron will also be conducting training sessions where one can build upon their existing audiovisual knowledge and explore new concepts, technologies, designs, and applications. October 2011 | AVPro | 35


Aavara unveils signage solution Aavara launches HD distribution solutions that include ‘PB5000 HDMI Over IP Broadcaster’ designed to broadcast ultra-high quality HDMI video with audio to multiple TVs/Displays/Projectors over the IP network. Aavara will also launch ‘PCE122 HDMI Over Single Coaxial Extender’. PB5000, PCE122 are designed for commercial signage that require 1080p HD video impact, and for residential multi-room distribution. Hall 8 C8-42

Elite transforms window space into a projection screen Elite Screens Inc., an innovative company that specialises in quality projection screens for the retailer and integrator, launches its InstaRP pliable rear projection material. Elite’s Insta-RP is an adhesive optical rear projection material that is made of a durable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) material that is designed for excellent contrast and textured for optimal uniformity. The Insta-RP is suitable for commercial applications such as retail storefront windows, resorts, restaurants and nightclubs. It is the ideal solution for wherever a permanent rear projection display is needed. It can accommodate anything from a small window space to a sports arena with special custom sizes up to 3000 meters long! Hall 8 – 800

36 | AVPro | October 2011

Kit for recessed installations of motorised screen Iceiling Advanced is Screenline’s new motorised screen for inceiling installations, designed to meet the professionals’ requirements; the innovation being that the inceiling box is separated from the screen itself. The purpose of the separation is to speed up the installation of the screen, especially when its dimensions are important. Once the box is positioned, an easy and quick

operation thanks to the lightweight of the structure the screen is inserted when the works are finished. The reduced weight allows better trimming in case of irregular ceilings or false ceilings and also the possibility to fix the screen at the end of the works, so keeping it safe from possible accidental damage. Hall 7 - 723

Modero X Series panoramic and widescreen touch panel line AMX, the leading provider of solutions that simplify the implementation, maintenance, and use of technology to create effective environments, launches the new Modero X Series Touch Panels. The family of frameless, panoramic and widescreen touch panels features edge-2-edge glass, low-profile design, and more usable space for control, applications, video and a richly engaging user experience. Designed for the unique needs of enterprise customers, the Modero X

Series is hardware-ready to employ the newest technologies, specifically applicable for supporting technically savvy boardrooms, meeting spaces and end users. Hall 8 E8-20


Analog Way demonstrates its latest solutions Analog Way, a leading designer and manufacturer of image converters and presentation switchers will demonstrate its latest products and powerful solutions such as Eikos, a multi-layer mixer scaler seamless switcher offering up to 12 inputs including four fitted with SDI and two fitted with DVI-D. Eikos also offers a 12 x 2 Scaled Native Matrix with true seamless switching. In

this mode, up to 2 PIPs can be added on a still background and a mirror function is available. In QuadraVision mode, Eikos allows the display of four computer or video sources on the main output. A Video Output card provides SD or HDTV formats in various signals from Composite Video to HD SDI. Hall 8 – 812

APart launches new loudspeaker series APart Audio launches OVO, a brand new cabinet speaker series that combines budget with great quality sound. A fresh and young loudspeaker range, available in low impedance as well as 100 Volts, and ready-to-fit in any décor or interior style. The MA247 replaces the MA246 and has been improved with 24V dedicated priority output per zone and folder selectable MP3 playback. Champ-3D is still the centerfold of the 2011 line-up. Our three-channel fully programmable digital amplifier has all the same advantages as the other models in our series of convection cooled amplifiers and much more: a builtin DSP, a fully parametric 4-band

equaliser and RS-232 control of all essential functions. Hall 7 E7-47

Mitsubishi Electric demonstrates display solutions Mitsubishi Electric has one of the most comprehensive line-ups of display products, including data/ video projectors, public display LCD monitors and rear-projection DLP display cubes. The new models will be showcased for the first time in the Middle East region during Infocomm. Adding to its existing comprehensive range of DLP rear-projection display wall cubes, Mitsubishi Electric has introduced the new 72” WUXGA display wall solution. The LED lamp system has been developed entirely in-house and offers significant operational and environmental benefits as well as economic ones. Mitsubishi’s proprietary LED light source offers superb colour stability over its expected lifetime of more than nine years of continuous 24/7 operation. Hall 8 B8-10

The pro AV market in the Middle East/ Africa grew from $1.56 billion in 2006 to $2.17 bilion in 2009 and is expected to reach $3.14 billion by 2012 Richard Tan, InfoComm MEA October 2011 | AVPro | 37


AVPro talks to exhibitors Crestron’s solutions at IFMEA MEA Crestron will demonstrate as to how living and working conditions can be simplified with Crestron solutions with products such as: Vincent Philippo, DigitalMedia regional director 8G+, the platform that offers a proven solution for distributing all digital and analogue signals over one-wire, using one IP address, completely eliminating all HDCP issues. “Besides AV integrators, we want to meet contractors, AV consultants, end-users and other decision makers. We plan to promote our DigitalMedia 8G+ solution in the market, focus on direct business with decision makers for projects and sustain the award-winning support to our partners at the highest levels in the industry,” says Vincent Philippo, regional director. Hall 8 E7-10

Furniture integration from Arthur Holm Arthur Holm is a leading European manufacturer of a wide range of patented retractable Montse Romero, solutions for international sales furniture integration in meeting and conference rooms as well as elegant monitor solutions for reception

38 | AVPro | October 2011

and public areas in general. The company is showing its latest generation of moving screens for table integration, as well as smart monitors to be integrated into walls and digital signage totems. “Since our products can be completely customised, we hope to have the opportunity to meet system integrators and AV consultants with who we can work in the development of their specific projects for meeting and conference rooms and reception and public areas in general,” says Montse Romero representing international sales. Hall 8 - 804

DVCOM’s innovations in communication Dvcom’s products offer solutions for video conferencing (Vu Telepresence), PCI telephony cards and open source Renjan George, PBX solution managing partner (Digium), Mediatrix Gateways (Media 5), VoIP phones (Snom), VPN, UTM, IP-DSLAM, Dual Wan, WAP, Firewall Solutions (DrayTek Vigor), Smartnode VoIP Gateways and routers (Patton), VoIP Gateways and IPPBX (Dlink) and VoIP peripherals, door access systems (CyberData) “We would like to position DVCOM as unique value-added distributor offering vendor supported products. Since the MENA region is showing great potential for growth and a healthy adoption of unified communication solutions in every

industry, we plan to identify and add some key technology vendors to increase the value proposition for our existing and potential partners,” says Renjan George, managing partner. Hall 7, F7-12

Digital signage from Cayin Technology Cayin Technology offers a complete portfolio of digital signage solutions including media players, servers, and software which are Ravel Chi, vice president applicable to various industries, such as education, retail, hospitality, corporate, financial, and public institutions. “We will showcase the latest versions of digital signage products at Infocomm MEA 2011. We are excited about meeting distributors and system integrators in both AV and IT industries, since digital signage needs the expertise from these two industries. We consider the Middle East as one of our most important regions,” says Ravel Chi, vice president. Hall 8 C8-47

Videographic products from RGB Spectrum

Denis Carle, director

RGB Spectrum is a leading designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge videographic products


for audio-visual, industrial, medical, and military applications. ”RGB showcases the Multipoint KVM system, our new solution for integrated control room management, the MediaWall videowall, the SuperView multi viewer, the DSx H.264 encoder, the Linx Prime switcher and the JPEG2000 DGy recorder. We hope to meet our regular AV integrators as well as IT integrators and prime contractors visiting the GITEX. We just opened a new office based in Lebanon to better serve the local support needs,” says Denis Carle, director. Hall 7 E7-30

Ultra short throw products from Hitachi “We will be showcasing our latest ultra short throw products which form part of the “Ultimate” range, including our brand new Arman Khan, interactive regional manager short throw B2B for corporate applications, the BZ-1M which is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool to enhance collaboration in meetings and presentations. In addition, we will have networking with Crestron demos available on demand and a first look at some of our brand new chasses. “We want to show the latest technology in projectors to our regular business partners, prospective new partners and of course to the end-customers.  We are strengthening the distribution network in the region in order to make our products more accessible to the end-user,” says Arman Khan, regional manager B2B.    Hall 8 B8-15 

Green technologies from Pan Intellecom JLT

Pan Intellecom JLT is the authorised distributor of Display Solutions manufactured by Delta Electronics, Gurpreet Singh Bahra Taiwan for the MENA and the authorised professional video partner of high definition video conferencing solutions manufactured by LifeSize Communications, a division of Logitech. “We will be showcasing Rear Projection DLP Video Wall by Delta Electronics for 24x7 Mission Critical Applications and full HD video conferencing solution from LifeSize. We hope to introduce our vendors to the AV and networking system integrators in the entire MENA region,” says Gurpreet Bahra. Hall 7 - 707

Conference solutions with DIS

Jan Villumsen and Chris Hellmuth (R to L)

DIS, Danish Interpretation Systems is one of the world’s leading brands of advanced conference electronics. The Scandinavian conferencing specialists will show their latest products like the CP 7851 Microphone and Camera Control Package which allows controlling cameras connected to DIS Conference Systems through an Apple iPad.

“We are showcasing advanced conference and interpretation equipment. We hope to renew existing contacts as well as meet new customers,” says Chris Hellmuth Hall 7 - 708

Acoustic excellence from d&b audiotechnik d&b audiotechnik operates internationally in the field of electroacoustics as a manufacturer of loudspeaker systems Thomas Hedrich and electronics for high quality speech and music reproduction or sound reinforcement in public places. At InfoComm, alongside products within the xS-Series of integrated loudspeakers from d&b audiotechnik’s new White range, there will also be on show the remote network and the familiar D6 amplifier. Hall 8 B8-44

Audio solutions from Australian Monitor With the release of the XRS speaker range nearly two years ago, Australian Monitor established a range of great sounding and aesthetically pleasing injection moulded enclosures. Australian Monitor has looked to expand the current XRS range of speakers. At Infocomm, the company will showcase Australian Monitor XRS ODV series speakers, Australian Monitor AMD Series Amplifiers and Australian Monitor Revolution Series DSP.  Hall 8 814 For more exhibitors and event updates, visit October 2011 | AVPro | 39


Creating a home studio AVPro in conversation with Peter Janis of Radialeng, the acoustics expert, on the growing market for home studios Home studios are growing in popularity. In your estimate there are half a million homes in North America that have home studios. What do you attribute the growing popularity to? I think that the advent of the computer and low-cost recording software like Garage Band has had a tremendous impact. Musicians at all levels can have fun making music and I guess doing a lot more creative stuff on their computers as compared to maybe playing games. The home studio enables the amateur to get involved while also allowing the established artist to record in the comfort of his or her home at a lower cost than going to a commercial studio. So the market has changed not only based on the available technology, but also due to tighter production budgets. According to you, a person could create a home studio for as little as $200. What would some of the low-cost solutions be? I think it is not so much that someone can create a home studio for $200, but this is the entry point to actually hearing a sonic benefit to acoustic treatment.  Once you begin to hear the benefit, you will quickly come to the realisation as to why professional studios and broadcasters treat their rooms. This same realisation is now beginning to take hold in video conferencing and in larger venues such as gymnasiums and houses of worship where intelligibility is important. Intelligibility or sending 40 | AVPro | October 2011

“By strategically placing acoustic panels on the walls, one can quickly turn a terrible room into a functional workspace” out a clear message is critical when trying to communicate. Rooms that are full of echo pose many acoustic challenges and are easily fixed with 25% absorption on the walls. What sort of room in terms of shape and position in the house would be ideal for a home studio? I think that home studios take a different perspective. You use what you have. In other words, it is not so much trying to build the perfect room, but rather making the best of what is available. By strategically placing acoustic panels on the walls, one can quickly turn a terrible room into a functional workspace. This is really what we are talking about. What are the common mistakes committed when creating a home studio?

The biggest mistake is seeing people spend thousands of dollars on the very best microphone, or converter, using up all of the available budget, only to find that the room is so bad that you cannot produce a faithful recording. We always recommend starting with good quality gear, but in doing so, making sure that a balanced approach is taken. Proper acoustic treatment will do much more for you than anything else. Ultimately, you must be able to take a recording from one room to another or the car and it must translate well. Once you begin to get familiar with your room and how it sounds, you will gain confidence with your mixes and your production quality will increase.

AVPro Middle East  


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