Installation 250 September 2022

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September 2022

Issue 250

installation-international.com | AV integration in a networked world

IBC SPECIAL

VIRTUAL PRODUCTION: WHERE AV & BROADCAST

CONVERGE

CONTROL ROOMS A SECURE & INTELLIGENT FUTURE

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ee o at Booth 10.A31

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IMPACT

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STANDALONE IP CONVERTERS iniat re roce ing and atewa rame deal or remote tili ation o edior et pp c a t e lt iewer and pp n tallation clo e to ignal o rce and de tination e.g. mo nta le at t e ac o a creen or ne t to a camera.

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DISTRIBUTED IP VIDEO NETWORKS edior et ol tion are deplo ed in a ariet o prod ction en ironment aro nd t e glo e. et er rac -mo nted in t e engine room or locall in talled in t e t dio or remote prod ction location edior et solutions provide the benefit of an incredible Small Form Factor technology. MediorNet IP brings a high degree of flexibility to productions and a high degree of scalability to prod ction in ra tr ct re .

www riedel net

VIDEO


"In this landmark 250th edition we look at the continuing convergences between AV and broadcast"

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CONTENT

Editor: Rob Lane, rob.lane@futurenet.com Group Content Director, B2B: James McKeown, james.mckeown@futurenet.com Graphic Designer: Sam Richwood, sam.richwood@futurenet.com Managing Design Director, B2B: Nicole Cobban, nicole.cobban@futurenet.com Production Manager: Chris Blake, chris.blake@futurenet.com Freelance contributors: David Davies, Sarah Edwards, Kevin Hilton ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director: Michael Pyatt, michael.pyatt@futurenet.com Account Manager: Sam Marsh, samuel.marsh@futurenet.com

MANAGEMENT Senior Vice President, B2B Elizabeth Deeming Vice President, Sales & Publishing, B2B Aaron Kern Vice President, B2B Tech Group Carmel King Vice President, Sales, B2B Tech Group Adam Goldstein Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive

Rob Lane, Editor rob.lane@futurenet.com linkedin.com/in/rob-lane-646365a/

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All contents © 2022 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein.

T h e n ew a n n u a l AV

Never has hot-desking been so literal: as I was writing this column from my home ‘office’, solace from the crazy UK temperatures was nigh on impossible. Hybrid working clearly still has a long way to go. Easy enough to upgrade one's workstation with a decent camera/speaker system – maybe even a stand-up desk – but air-con and decent insulation for the home, in the UK at least, is a much bigger ask. And with energy bills set to rocket again in Brexit Britain this autumn, home workers will be swapping the sweats for the shivers. First world problems, of course, but problems all the same if you’re one of the growing numbers of hybrid or remote workers. According to Yannic Laleeuwe, segment marketing director, workplace, at Barco (page 12), employees certainly still have work to do, and must adapt their working model and collaborative resources to fit for all employees, techn o l o gthey’re y sbased. pecial report from Installation wherever Also in this landmark 250th edition of Installation – as you’ll already have seen on our front cover – we take a deep dive into the continuing convergences between AV and broadcast, neatly coinciding with IBC 2022. We’ve curated four features as part of this broadcast-AV special, from page 25: virtual production; focus on tech overlaps; the rise of immersive audio in AV and broadcast; and evolving NMOS specifications. In addition, we look at developments in the control rooms market – where there’s a growing focus on cyber security, and the adoption of cloud-based platforms and AI – and check out AV’s green credentials, with our sustainability roundtable, with even more content online via our bitly link. The issue also includes the usual round-up of top installations from around the world, the latest appointments, alongside further commentaries from Dean Challinor, general manager of Distec, Eric Li, founder and CEO of SiliconCore Technology, and Evan Benway, founder of Moodsonic. What I haven’t yet mentioned is the Pro AV Watch List 2022, our pick of the biggest influencers in AV at the current time: the ones to watch in 2022 and beyond. Over six pages we celebrate 25 of these movers and shakers, in the AV industry’s equivalent of the Grammys. Turn to page 16 to see who made the cut.

THE 2021 INSTALLATION PRO AV TECH OUTLOOK

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TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION, DEPLOYMENT, AND THE DRIVERS OF CHANGE IN PROFESSIONAL AV

Cover photo credit: Ian Wallman

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CONTACT .www.Installation-International.com NATHALIE.ADAMS@FUTURENET.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION

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In this issue...

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P

AV

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25

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25 OF THE AV INDUSTRY’S KEY INFLUENCERS

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Install insights Our pick of the latest, greatest installations from around the world. This issue Panasonic gets arty, GLP brightens Jack White and Foals tours, DAS Audio invigorates a Washington

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AS AV SP

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FOUR FEATURES ON THE ONGOING TECH OVERLAPS

venue, Christie lights up The Masked Singer, Daktronics goes large for US soccer team, and Modulo-Pi media servers power a Chinese attraction

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Is £2.1 Billion for IT upgrades in the NHS enough? Dean Challinor, general manager of Distec discusses how NHS funding could be best spent to ensure better outcomes for

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patients and clinicians alike

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Table stakes for equity in the workplace Business leaders must adapt their working model and collaborative resources to fit for all employees, says Yannic Laleeuwe, segment marketing director, workplace, at Barco

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ac

o t

n st

pi

pitc

Eric Li, founder and CEO of SiliconCore Technology, explains the innovations behind the sub-1mm pixel pitch LED display market and the technologies that will drive future growth

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tu n to t

o

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o

do s t at sound

Evan Benway, founder and managing director at Moodsonic,

AV

SA

MANUFACTURERS DISCUSS THEIR SUSTAINABLE VALUES

on the benefits of soundscaping in the office

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AS AV SP

25 Vi tua p oduction

A a

n

innin

o AV

The rapid rise of virtual production, and its demand for

After a rock

AV technologies and services, has helped to balance out pandemic-related slowdowns elsewhere. But we’ve only seen

cancelled a

the start of what is set to be a hugely rewarding new market

with four re

for the AV industry

– Installatio

32 Crossing the borders Broadcast and AV technologies were once very defined but, with the adoption of IP and IT systems in both areas, the line between the two is increasingly blurred. This trend is set to continue with parallel development and the introduction of new standards

38 New adventures in imm

si

audio

As immersive audio becomes increasingly ubiquitous, the more ambitious technology developers and installers are exploring the ways in which it can augment other immersive elements such as VR

42 Nurturing NMOS Now growing in popularity across pro AV and broadcast, the evolving NMOS specifications are addressing enduring IP discovery and connection challenges, with a project to support NDI implementations next on the cards

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P o AV

atc

ist

For Installation’s second Pro AV Watch List – following on from last year’s inaugural round-up – we have brought together those who we feel are the biggest influencers in AV at the current time: the ones to watch in 2022 and beyond. Over

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six pages we celebrate 25 of these key influencers, in the AV industry’s equivalent of the Grammys

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o

AV

ms a

m

acin sustaina i it

With sustainability more important than ever before as

The evo

temperatures around the globe reach record levels, Installation sounds out some of the AV industry’s leading manufacturers on

residen

their green credentials

50 In search of more secure & intelligent control

McInty

An acute focus on cyber security, as well as the harnessing of cloud-based platforms and AI, is now defining

w

developments in the control rooms market. We explore this increasingly dynamic area of pro AV

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o

s

s a

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Key appointments from across the AV industry

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HOW CYBER SECURITY & THE CLOUD ARE ADDING DYNAMISM

58 Inside Track We talk to Craig Storey, CEO of Lightware Visual Engineering UK, about land and water-based sports activities, leaving the armed forces for AV, and the positives and negatives of Covid lockdowns

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INSTALL INSIGHTS This issue, Panasonic gets arty, GLP brightens Jack White and Foals tours, DAS Audio invigorates a Washington venue, Christie lights up The Masked Singer, Daktronics goes large for US soccer team, and Modulo-Pi media servers power a Chinese attraction

Panasonic deployed for permanent digital immersive art experience London’s first permanent digital immersive arts experience, Frameless, is bringing art to life “like never before” and will be opening in October in the heart of London’s West End. Frameless has partnered with Panasonic, which will use the venue as its global flagship showcasing projection technologies and large format displays. Market leaders in the live events and immersive experience sectors, Creative Technology has also been brought on board to deliver integration services for all video systems across the attraction. Using over 50 of Panasonic’s 3-Chip RQ22K and RQ35 DLP laser projectors, the art projections will be delivered by 479 million pixels and 1 million lumens of brightness and vivid colour across all four immersive galleries, as well as a fifth gallery dedicated to corporate and educational events. Panasonic will also showcase its MZ16 projection series, delivering long-lasting brightness and “superb” colour performance. A second layer of audio immersion is achieved by 360-degree surround sound from 158 EM Acoustics R8 speakers, set to a score of specially composed music, with interactive audio triggered by audience movement –all brought together by Hive media servers, calibration cameras, switching, movement and depth sensors, delivering a “uniquely inspiring” experience.

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Eye-popping installations

DAS Audio invigorates the atmosphere at Washington DC’s Rosebar Lounge

GLP brightens Jack White & Foals tours GLP’s JDC1 hybrid strobe and X4 Bar 20 batten, along with ‘virtual’ X4 Bar 20s, had a big part to play in Jack White’s Supply Chain Issues tour, with stage set designed by Canadian creative director Matt Larivée, of Lüz Studio. 28 JDC1s and 12 X4s were deployed. “The JDC1 is one of my favourite fixtures for washing a band from the floor, so that was a goto to define the space and light up the band with washes and powerful tube FX,” noted Larivée. “As for the impression X4 20 Bars, they are also a regular fixture that I use, this time in a more subtle role to define the space above the band, next to the video wall.” Larivée has worked with White for five years, designing the show for his previous tour in 2018, as well as being involved with one of his side projects, the Raconteurs. The artist himself contributed a good deal of creative input, “which was actually a good thing, because he’s very inspiring,” explained the designer. Meanwhile, Cassius Creative has been lighting Foals’ video-heavy European tour with GLP’s JDC Line 1000 and impression FR10, which includes 140 fixtures used as the backdrop. To fulfil the inventory, vendor Lite Alternative made a large investment in the hybrid fixture, which combines a powerful strobe line with a unique LED pixel-mapping stick. At the same time, Cassius Creative has long favoured GLP’s battens; first the impression X4 Bar 20, and more recently the chunkier impression FR10 Bars, some 48 of which have been deployed overhead on a flown rig.

The Rosebar Lounge in Washington DC was recently upgraded to include loudspeakers drawn from the E11EVEN Sound series by DAS Audio. AV systems integration firm Willy-Tech Services of Miami worked in close coordination with DAS Audio to develop a sound reinforcement system. For the main room, four E11EVEN Sound ES-10 twoway point source loudspeakers were specified. To provide low frequency support, these were augmented with eight E11EVEN Sound ES-212 compact bass-reflex subwoofers. At the DJ booth, the set-up includes two E11EVEN Sound ES-10 two-way point source loudspeakers, along with an ESBR18 passive direct radiation subwoofer. Power amplification is handled by E11EVEN Sound EP-14K2 two-channel power amplifiers with 8800 watts per amplifier. Out on the patio, with its new retractable roof, the audio setup includes eight ARTEC-312.96 compact two-way full-range loudspeakers, which are augmented by five E11EVEN Sound ESBR218 high-power passive subwoofers. According to lead engineer and owner/operator Guillermo Rodriguez Rodriguez, this combination of loudspeakers provides “great coverage and terrific audio quality”.

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Eye-popping installations

New Daktronics video display lights up Monterey Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, has partnered with Monterey Bay FC to design, manufacture and install a new LED video display and audio system at Cardinale Stadium in Seaside, California. The display was installed this spring and is currently engaging and entertaining audiences for soccer and other special events. “We are thrilled to partner with Daktronics, they were wonderful to work with,” said Monterey Bay FC president Mike DiGiulio. “The LED video display is a focal point of our stadium. It creates an amazing atmosphere here on game days, and we look forward to utilising the display to entertain our fans for years to come.” The LED video display measures approximately 17ft high by 32ft wide and features 15mm pixel spacing to deliver excellent image clarity and contrast to fans in every seat. It features industry-leading environmental protection ensuring it operates as expected in the California outdoors. The display is capable of variable content zoning allowing it to show all the expected video and content at every event. This includes one large image or multiple zones to show any combination of live video, instant replays, up-tothe-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages. “We are anticipating one of the best game-day environments in the USL at Cardinale Stadium in Seaside, California,” said Eric Cain, Daktronics sales representative.

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Christie HS Series projectors light up The Masked Singer Vietnam stage Christie HS Series 1DLP laser projectors are lighting up the grand stage of reality music and costume art show The Masked Singer Vietnam with visuals designed to complement the performances and costumes of vocalists whose identities are concealed. The circular stage of The Masked Singer Vietnam is flanked by two huge face-like structures that have become synonymous with the show, serving as tunnel entries for the contestants from backstage. They are lit by four Christie D20WU-HS laser projectors installed and commissioned by Christie’s partner Alta Media, which specialises in systems integration, digital content and show entertainment technology. “The gigantic faces of The Masked Singer Vietnam are the show’s biggest scenic elements on-stage and we needed to ensure that both live and TV audiences are able to appreciate the eye-catching visuals projected onto the polygonal surfaces of these iconic structures,” said Tai Hoang, co-founder & CEO, Alta Media. “Having used the Christie D20WU-HS on several occasions including the Dam Sen Park lake show, we decided that it is the perfect projection system for this project due to its high brightness, accurate colour reproduction, compact footprint, quiet operation, and omnidirectional capabilities.” Hoang noted that the four D20WU-HS projectors are doublestacked, fitted on a truss and cross-installed with a throw distance of 24 metres. “This specific configuration enables us to achieve optimal visuals on both face-like structures each measuring five metres high,” he said. “The projected contents comprising an array of dynamic visual effects are then altered according to the visual script that matches the performance of each vocalist.” Jason Yeo, senior sales manager for Southeast Asia, Enterprise, Christie, added: “The Masked Singer Vietnam is highly entertaining reality singing TV series that has enthralled audiences and we are thrilled that the D20WU-HS laser projectors have been used to deliver fascinating visuals on the iconic faces onstage to heighten the audience experience. Alta Media has accomplished an amazing job.”

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Modulo Pi’s media servers power spectacular tourist attractions in China

Eye-popping installations

AV Stumpfl and Panasonic create projection magic at international art exhibition An AV Stumpfl projection screen and Panasonic laser projector helped to “spark wonder” at the 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, titled The Milk of Dreams, The event included 213 artists from 58 countries in the main exhibition.

As part of tourism expansion plans in the Wuyuan county, China, a full resort has been created with hotels, restaurants, and entertainment facilities, with Modulo Pi media servers powering projection mapping. Encounter with Wuyuan opened on July 17, 2022.

Cavatina Hall achieves “communication excellence” with Electro-Voice and Dynacord An extensive public address system from Electro-Voice and Dynacord has been installed at Cavatina Hall, an office building located in the historic city of Bielsko-Biała, amongst the Beskidy mountains in southern Poland. The six-story building counts over 9,000 square meters of top-tier office space, a cutting-edge recording studio, a chamber music room and a majestic 1,000 capacity concert hall. The venue itself is owned by leading Polish development company Cavatina and is the first privately owned and funded concert hall in Poland. Cavatina Hall required an extensive solution to cover public address across its various areas, flexible enough to meet the differing needs of office workers and theatregoers.

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Commentary

£2.1 billion for IT improvements in the NHS... is it enough? Dean Challinor, general manager of Distec discusses how NHS funding could be best spent to ensure better outcomes for patients and clinicians alike

I

n October 2021, the UK government announced that it would be pledging £2.1 billion to overhaul the IT infrastructure in the NHS. This funding is part of a wider £5.9 billion package designed to help clear the record high backlog of patients waiting for treatment in the wake of the pandemic. Sajid Javid told the BBC that the £5.9 billion will be used to pay for physical infrastructure and equipment – not day-to-day spending – and that £2.3 billion of the money will be used to fund more diagnostic tests such as CT, MRI and ultrasound scans. While this announcement in the budget was certainly welcome, and will be transformative if used effectively, there are questions around whether this will be enough to fulfil the government’s ambitious plan. DIGITAL FUNDING The British Medical Association (BMA) has previously called for an increase to digital funding, with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) estimating that £2.9 billion in capital funding would be needed for digital transformation. However, they have pointed out that without full mapping of NHS technical debt, it will be incredibly difficult to allocate this funding in a way that will maximise impact, while also ensuring parity between providers, in terms of digital maturity, and therefore parity in patient care. The issue is further compounded by the reality that the NHS workforce is shrinking. Arguably the greatest asset that the NHS has is its staff. The doctors and nurses, health care assistants, clerical and maintenance staff that go to work every day to help those in need, even when doing so puts them in harm's way. However, around one in ten NHS positions are currently vacant, with questions about fair pay, rota systems, and

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workplace pressure largely to blame. A Royal College of Nursing employment survey, published in December 2021, highlights issues of staff morale, sickness absence and the prospect of rising vacancies. This pressure, coupled with a 15 per cent decrease in real terms in nurses’ pay over the last ten years, makes recruitment and retention a challenge. These issues show that it is of great importance to invest in the NHS, now more than ever. Allocating funding to updates that will improve working conditions and morale for front line staff will make a measurable difference. The investment in IT equipment and infrastructure was hailed by Sajid Javid as one that will streamline processes and free up clinicians' time to focus on patient care at a time when recruitment is particularly challenging. Additional resource being devoted to this will be welcome news for NHS staff, who will benefit from these updates with easier workflows and better access to data. A key consideration in rolling out new technology is the impact on workforce capacity in the short term while staff undergo training and become familiar with the new systems. There are calls for clarity on whether individual trusts and organisations will be bearing the cost of this training or if allowances for training have been made in the new funding. Therefore, we should focus more on intuitive technology that will not require too much upskilling to implement. Technology is designed to empower individuals by allowing them to make faster and smarter decisions. In a clinical setting, it has the potential to make real tangible improvements to the patient experience and clinical outcomes. With so many possible avenues and a real appetite for change, the question is how can the NHS best use the funding to ensure maximum gains? While there has been a lot of emphasis on digital

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Commentary

Distec’s recent partnership with US computing giant Tangent

transformation being rooted in AI and machine learning, I believe the starting point should be in hardware modification. For example, giving clinicians access to high powered medical PCs that are interconnected to a central patient record system would facilitate immediate change in working practices. This would allow data to be uploaded from patients’ bedsides during check-ups straight into the system, which could in turn be accessed trust-wide. This would eliminate hours of clerical work and the issues that come with a paper-based system, and become a catalyst for joined up care in line with the Information Governance Framework on Shared Care Records. AVAILABLE RECORDS Patients would also feel the impact of this sort of change, as their records become immediately available to all clinicians who may be treating them. Easy access to their medical history will accelerate their treatment plans, and clinicians will be able to make more informed decisions. It will also enable multidisciplinary teams to work together remotely to treat several medical conditions or more complex conditions. In the longer term this central storage of patient data will allow for detailed trend analysis over time. When clinicians have

access to a big data they can clearly see where current treatment programmes are excelling and where they might need some improvement. They can identify which drugs and therapies, improve workflow and update policies accordingly, giving patients the best possible level of care. Another smart investment would be in the application of digital signage. We have seen excellent results following the growth of digital signage in healthcare in response to the pandemic, empowering patients with self-check-in and wayfinding systems that allow them to find their destinations. These are excellent examples of ways that technology can make vast improvements for patients and staff with relatively little input or training required. With ease of installation and programming, no downtime is required, and this solution not only improves the flow of patients through all stages of care, but it takes the pressure off staff who would have been asked to guide patients around the hospital or medical centre. The health landscape has changed immeasurably, and the tools clinicians need to do their jobs have also changed. While the availability of better and smarter technology offers great opportunity, it also requires investments of money, time and capacity to implement and maintain.

MORE ONLINE: To read an extended version of this article on our website, please click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3bEM4ua

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Commentary

Equity in the workplace has become table stakes Business leaders must adapt their working model and collaborative resources to fit for all employees, says Yannic Laleeuwe, segment marketing director, workplace, at Barco

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ver the past three years, the pandemic has disrupted the landscape of where we work and introduced new challenges, both from broad business perspectives and in terms of interpersonal communication and collaboration in the workplace. The rise of hybrid workplace models has helped workers adapt, allowing them to choose between working from home, the office, or elsewhere, as it fits their needs around childcare, personal health, or other factors. After some initial resistance from certain industries that heavily prioritise an in-office presence, businesses have truly embraced remote working largely thanks to the range of virtual tools now available to them.

WORKPLACE EVOLUTION This evolution in workplace expectations has resulted in some dramatic shifts, including how competitive a business can be in attracting new candidates based on how it structures its working model. Globally, a number of demographics have indicated that they are more likely to apply for remote positions than on-site roles, including women (46% vs 40%), candidates without a degree (59% vs 54%) and Gen Z workers (21% vs 18%, Microsoft, 2022 Work Trend Index). This report highlights how employee expectations have changed, with the primary reasons employees quit being: personal wellbeing or mental health; work-life balance; risk of getting Covid-19; lack of confidence in senior management/leadership; and lack of flexible work hours or location. Surprisingly, “not receiving promotions or

raises I deserved” was seven on the list. These findings cement how crucial it has become for workplaces to offer hybrid working opportunities in order to attract candidates of diverse identities, ages, and backgrounds. Introducing hybrid working models is not a silver bullet to solving workplace issues. Employers must work to ensure that hybrid working works for everyone, not just those who are physically present, and their workplace is truly an equitable one. This means adapting processes and providing the technology resources that gives all employees an equal footing in the workplace, whether in person or virtual. Business leaders cannot simply introduce a hybrid model without taking a close look at their employees and adjusting fundamental aspects of how the business operates and colleagues interact with one another. Another important aspect to consider is meeting equity, which means that everyone in the hybrid workplace has equal opportunity to communicate, contribute and share ideas, wherever they are located. Equity is now an imperative, and the recent, drastic changes to today’s workplace demand that business leaders keep pace by fostering flexible, hybrid work environments. These tectonic shifts in the ways we work are not easy to adjust to, and leaders will need to continue listening to their employees to identify new pain points that might emerge. However, providing employees agency in choosing their dayto-day work environment provides myriad benefits that helps retain workers and attract the most competitive candidates.

MORE ONLINE: To read an extended version of this article on our website, click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3vMaWqI

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Commentary

The race for the finest LED pixel pitch Eric Li, founder and CEO of SiliconCore Technology, explains the innovations behind the sub-1mm pixel pitch LED display market

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nnovation within the LED industry is thriving, pushing display performance capabilities to new heights. The resolution, pixel pitch and brightness will always be the key specifications for integrators and end users to consider during purchasing decisions. However, as display sizes increase and pixel pitches decrease, buyers need to understand the impact sub-1mm pixel pitches have on the broader LED features and the technologies to watch. LED technology is incredibly sustainable and versatile, and these are just two of a long list of beneficial features. As pixel density increases, some classic challenges are exacerbated and some new challenges arise. FIRST FACTORS Heat increase, colour shift, brightness levels and durability are often the first factors to be compromised as the pixel pitch narrows. We see these issues frequently occurring in displays using traditional manufacturing and connection processes. It’s almost impossible for any display using the Common Anode connectivity method to reach sub-1mm pixel pitches without suffering from poor performance, higher running costs and reduced lifespan. This is due to the excess heat being generated which ages and degrades LEDs. Power and heat savings are required for sub-1mm displays to operate efficiently, which is why developing new manufacturing processes is crucial for the evolution of the LED display market. Flip chip, chip on board (COB), and common cathode are the main elements in the race to

produce mircoLEDs and miniLEDs, but it will also require the support of durability technologies to enhance the overall display performance. COB is a cost-effective process which eliminates LED packaging, reducing the required real estate and therefore allows for higher pixel densities. Whereas flip chip is an energy saving manufacturing process that improves heat dissipation and reduces power consumption, while unlocking the higher brightness capabilities and improving viewing angles. Flip chip is the way forward for sub-1mm display, but it is still developing in stages and requires further improvements before we see an efficient sub-0.7mm display. Solutions such as IMD are also being introduced to the market to combat power/heat challenges. Depending on the LED packaging, visual anomalies can occur. Uniformity becomes increasingly challenging as smaller pixel sizes and tighter pitches are being introduced. While the demand for displays with ultra-fine pixel pitches with flawless visual appearance and cool operation rises, it’s also crucial to understand the impact on durability. The smaller the pixel pitch becomes, the more it is subject to damage. Therefore, an advanced method of protection is required that will increase the durability whilst ensuring the display remains serviceable at PBC level and preserves the characteristics. For this, it’s best to select a screen that uses an LED encapsulation technology, such as LISA. These emerging technologies will open the LED market to new applications and transform how LED tech is utilised.

AVAILABLE ONLINE: An extended version of this article is on our website. Click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3vPAAeh

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Commentary

Return to the office. How does that sound? Evan Benway, founder and managing director at Moodsonic, on the benefits of soundscaping in the office

C

ovid showed both the promise and the pitfalls of remote working. What have we learned? And how can soundscaping help companies motivate their people to come back to the office? I have some very good news and a bit of bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. We’ve all recently experienced a hype cycle. The Covid pandemic swept the world, sending us home to work from our bedrooms, spare rooms and kitchen tables. Although the experience of working from home was uneven, a consensus formed: working from home worked. Indeed, for many tasks, including cognitively demanding, focussed effort, the home appeared to work better. In the words of Tim Oldman, CEO of Leesman, whose survey captured over 280,000 responses from employees around the globe: “It doesn’t say much of the average office when a space designed for living can support an employee better than spaces designed specifically for working.” With offices closed and businesses still functioning, pundits and social media feeds thus reached the peak of the hype cycle: “The office is dead!” Unfortunately, they’d failed to read the rest of Leesman’s study, which showed the inability of homes to support social, creative, and collaborative activities, as well as the degree to which on-the-job learning has suffered. The long-term consequences of all of this for innovation and corporate culture are uncertain, but clearly negative. It became clear that post-pandemic work would involve a hybrid of home and office time. With offices newly opened and restrictions lifted in much of the world, we thus arrived at the trough of the hype cycle: “Return to the office!” But the return to the office has been unevenly successful, partially due to the persistence of the pandemic, but

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increasingly because employees have preferred to stay at home. Safety concerns, commutes, and the benefits of working from home have meant that for many, the return to the office hasn’t been a compelling proposition. Leesman’s work showed that employees who’d been privileged enough to work in exceptional offices prior to the Covid pandemic have been keen to come back as soon as safely possible. And many companies took advantage of the pandemic as an opportunity to reinvent the office to better support social and collaborative activities and to facilitate connection. Oldman now sees the growing trend of ‘hotelification’ of workplaces, as organisations seek to provide employees with offices that they want to visit: “Employees will treat offices differently because they are using them nomadically, booking in for a conscious stay. Offices therefore need to be beacons of warmth and hospitality to motivate people to visit them.” For companies willing to make the effort to rethink their historical approach to office design, this is a tremendous opportunity to create better offices than ever before. NUISANCE NOISE For decades, noise has been the top complaint about offices. The best studies by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment, Leesman, Gensler and others have all shown this. It’s nothing new that people hate the sound of the office. What is new is Covid-informed experiences of employees around the world, who found that “almost any activity benefitting from acoustic privacy is better supported at home than in any average office.” Thankfully, sound,

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Commentary

Soundscaping is designed to optimise an environment's sonic experience

specifically soundscaping, represents a powerful tool to companies keen to get their people back into the office. Soundscaping refers to the introduction of targeted sound designed to optimise the sonic experience of an environment. Indoor soundscaping can be comprised of music, artificially generated noise, or other elements, but in offices the best rule for designing for large groups of people is to take a cue from nature. Biophilic design is concerned with our evolutionary biology, and specifically our innately positive pyschological, physiological and behavioural responses to natural stimuli. Whereas music is powerfully subjective, biophilic soundscapes can be created so as to work well for large groups of people sharing indoor spaces. Science-based soundscapes can contribute significantly to many aspects of employee wellbeing and performance as well as collaborative and social activities. Combining soundscaping with multisensory design can create offices that outperform options available to people at home. Return-to-office strategies will need to go beyond enticing people in with amenities. Offices will have to be increasingly healthy and comfortable places, with biophilic design playing an increasingly important role in creating restorative and

engaging sensory experiences for employees. Soundscaping can help, improving social cohesion, social presence and organisational culture; up-to-now lacking in many workplaces. And the research shows that soundscaping can support physical and mental health, relaxation, focus and cognitive functioning, and creativity. For those seeking to meet Oldman’s challenge and create offices that are “beacons of hospitality” capable of motivating employees to return, soundscaping can help these buildings become more than just places to work. ZONAL IMPLEMENTATION Soundscaping is best implemented zonally, with distinct sensory zones supporting the many sensory needs of neurodiverse people. Sensory design that also introduces elements of choice can be a real winner, where employees are empowered to choose where and how they work and easily configure the environment as they want. In this way, soundscaping can help offices rise to Oldman’s challenge, creating mixed-use lifestyle spaces, rather than just places to work. Now how does that sound?

AVAILABLE ONLINE: To read this article off-page, on our website, please click here. Or please visit: https://bit.ly/3A2usAP

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Pro AV Watch List

INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS

WATCH LIST 2022 For Installation's second Pro AV Watch List – a natural evolution of 2020's Pro AV Power 20, and following on from last year's inaugural round-up – we have brought together those who we feel are the biggest influencers in AV at the current time: the ones to watch in 2022 and beyond. Over the next six pages we celebrate 25 of these key influencers, in the AV industry's equivalent of the Grammys

BOB BOSTER President Clear-Com Manufacturer-side sales and management professional serving broadcast, live performance and other mission-critical communications customers. Strong interest in innovative solutions involving audio and two-way communication. "Bob is a creative thinker and makes any conversation both more interesting and more productive", enthuses one industry professional on Bob's LinkedIn page. "He has an ability to look beyond the situation at hand and address client needs in ways that exceed what most people are capable of. He listens well and provides insightful response while being an altogether enjoyable person."

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Pro AV Watch List

ERIC LI CEO SiliconCore Technology

CHARMAINE TORRUELLA Business development manager QSC Accomplished, strategic, and highly analytical professional accustomed to providing "exceptional service" to customers as well as going above and beyond to achieve high-impact results.

Eric Li's determination and persistence in developing LED technology that broadens the capabilities of large-scale displays has resulted in multiple industry-first innovations and is the driving force behind widespread industry innovation in the fine pixel pitch dvLED industry. Li believes that dvLED display technology can be used almost everywhere, and it has been his life's work to produce products that blend into the daily lives of the masses whilst offering outstanding visual performance and the most sustainable technology specifications on the market. Li recently discovered a more sustainable way to manufacture driver chips, whilst reducing costs.

CYNTHIA MENNA Vice president/general manager Herman AV

BEKY CANN

Eight years at Herman AV (part of ADI Global Distribution) was preceded by nearly seven years as director at AVAD Business & Commerical Solution. Menna is highly respected throughout AV.

COLIN BIRNEY

Director of global PR Peerless-AV EMEA

Manager of consulting services AV MSP

Cann has been instrumental in the success of Peerless-AV brand awareness and growth within Europe over the last eight years. Her success led her to be promoted to director of global PR in 2021, and she is passionate in manifesting the vision of diversity within Peerless-AV, taking the company's inclusion initiatives up a notch. Cann was nominated to the AVIXA Womens UK Council where she is a committee member supporting and empowering women who work in the technology and AV industry, and creates an environment that appeals not only to the current, but also the next generation of women leaders in technology.

After a decade as a customer of audiovideo and IT in the corporate space, Birney decided to move into consultantancy and teaching, advocating for customers instead of vendors and manufacturers. His focus is creating high-quality, user experiences through ITSM industry standards applied to the specific operation needs of each organisation. AV MSP provides fully outsourced AV teams for corporate and education customers, via a tier 2 remote service desk, vendor management, AV team management, and AV team staffing. Also provides a full set of AV services including business consulting, AV design and project management.

ALEXIS LA BROI Director, AV Services Division MidPoint Technology Group Hugely respected leader with 25+ years as an AV technology provider. Goals include helping others become the best at what they do. Lives by the saying “each one teach one”.

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Pro AV Watch List

EVERT START Fellow research engineer Holoplot

ED MORGAN Chief commercial officer DisplayNote Morgan "thrives at the intersections of product building, go-to-market and company growth". It's his mission to increase yearly revenues, grow product usage and help build a great company.

Having worked on wave field synthesis since university, as a research engineer at Duran Audio (now Intellivox), Start introduced the very first beam shaping algorithm for loudspeaker arrays and developed 3D simulation software used for room acoustics, system design, loudspeaker array optimisation and prediction of acoustic parameters such as STI. His research and development work marked the starting point of the successful adoption of beamsteering column loudspeakers. At Holoplot, Start has honed X1’s 3D AudioBeamforming capabilities, making it entirely possible to control sound in the vertical and horizontal at concert-grade SPLs.

LAILA HEDE JENSEN Chief commercial officer ZetaDisplay Jensen has transformed ZetaDisplay into a turnkey solutions provider which designs and delivers digital transformation solutions that span the whole customer journey. She has repositioned the company on the global stage, evolving from being a leader in the Nordics and Europe to an internationally recognised brand. Jensen was chosen to feature in a campaign led by ISE for International Women’s Day, sharing advice and personal experiences of overcoming bias, and is working to ensure that more is being done to tackle areas of bias within the industry through mentorship opportunities, encouraging and supporting younger generations to take a leap into the tech industry. Fuelled by her passion for the environment, she implemented ZetaDisplay’s first sustainability report and was pivotal in devising the policy across the group. ZetaDisplay is the first digital signage integrator to do this and it is inviting others to follow, making its findings public so that smaller companies can implement the same practices, contributing to a change for the industry as a whole.

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Pro AV Watch List

JATIN BHATT European business development team head Professional Displays & Solutions, Sony Europe

ALESIA HENDLEY

Experienced AV professional, with over 14 years in B2B sales, pre-sales, project management, alliance management and leadership. Takes a "consultative approach" with all his clients to ensure they find the right solution together. Previously director of accounts, UK and Nordic markets at Userful, developing business for the company’s enterprise software platform in mission critical video processing solutions, and before that was head of business development at Samsung. Started out at Panasonic as pre-sales engineer, back in 2007, before moving to NEC Display Solutions Europe as strategic alliance manager.

Business Development Representative Audinate Hendley is a well respected AV pro who found her passion at a young age as a sound engineer with her father’s church. In the early stages of the church’s foundation they couldn’t afford musicians. By utilising different audiovisual technologies she and her father found creative ways to go higher both musically and spiritually, taking the congregation with them. Now you can find her operating/installing audiovisual systems or executing creative ventures. As a young professional she’s finding ways to bring AV, creatives, and creative visions together in the effort to leave her mark by making an impact, not just an impression.

GRAEME BAGLEY Teaching space designer & product owner Nottingham Trent University Renowned for leading the design and implementation of audiovisual and digital technologies used in teaching and collaborative spaces.

PAUL CLARK Senior vice president and managing director, EMEA Poly Clark has worked for Poly for almost 25 years, holding the position of EMEA MD for the first ten years, and then overseeing European product management before moving into various senior sales leadership roles. In his current position, Clark has supported customers with their needs for easier, more consistent communication and collaboration experiences, something that has become vital in today’s era of widespread hybrid work. His experience has allowed him to be a pivotal voice in the industry, especially during the hybrid work phenomenon, answering the question that has been on many businesses’ minds: how do we navigate the future of work?

IFFAT CHAUDHRY Bid manager Involve Visual Collaboration Experienced multi-skilled bid manager with a demonstrated history of working in the education, information technology and services industry. Strong communication skills and practical experience in pre-sales, bid preparation, bid writing, client relationship management, coaching, communication, leadership, project management, sales management, team building and training. Respected sales professional and team player with a Bachelor's degree focused in Education & Environmental Studies from Brunel University, and MA Leadership from UCL.

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Pro AV Watch Feature List

MAILE KEONE President and CEO Listen Technologies

LAINIE MATARAS Director - consultant, architect, design Planar Experienced business development manager, skilled in collaboration solutions, sales, control systems, visual display solutions and content. Approaching three years at Planar.

BOB MICHAELS President and CEO ZeeVee Senior executive with track record of increasing global revenues and profits for tech-based manufacturing companies in highly competitive markets. A decisive leader with strong strategic planning, operations, market analysis and product innovation skills, with the ability to develop an unprecedented level of customer trust leading to the early identification of customer needs and successful strategies to maximise new business opportunities. Proven ability to hire, lead and motivate highly talented, multi-cultural teams to execute these innovative visions. Highly experienced in new ventures, acquisitions and outsourcing in Asia Pacific.

Keone is responsible for the day-to-day strategy and operations at Listen Technologies. She has worked in the technology industry for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience to her role. Using her expertise, she's achieved great product and market positioning for the company and has been instrumental in Listen’s continued success. She has built world-class teams in sales and marketing, thanks to her philosophy, and loves finding out what people want to accomplish in life and help them achieve it. Her favourite part of the job is mentoring individuals. Working at Listen Technologies has taught Maile that you can run a successful company while doing good in the world.

DANIELLE WILLIAMS

MARK DELGUIDICE

Business development manager Audio Visual Material Limited

Senior sales consultant Viper Cabling

Started out at AVM in internal sales, progressing to projection screen sales and marketing specialist within six years. Business development manager from October 2020.

Provides AV systems and install technicians to integrators, vendors, VARs, distributors, for corporate, hospitality, HoW, EDU/Govt, military, and broadcast industries.

SHANE SPRINGER Senior technical architect Zoom Technical and strategic leader focused on continued improvement personally and organisationally, as well as an experienced innovator with a focus on growth that "moves a global needle through creativity and process", Springer is responsible for dozens of patent applications and industryleading features within Zoom's products. Played a vital role in process improvement and auality assurance in several organisations, and is presently a board member for a leading industry-governance association, the Association for Quality in AudioVisual (AQAV.org), where he has also served on the organisation's steering committee.

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Feature Pro AV Watch List

TIMOTHY TROAST Vice president & general manager, middle atlantic products Legrand North America Consistently delivers customer value and financial results beyond market averages through organic and inorganic growth models. Through high-impact, ROI-focused strategies, he boosts company size, revenue, and market penetration. Additionally, he leads acquisition due diligence activities, including post-M&A integration, to drive inorganic growth. As a trusted business partner and C-level collaborator, Troast has presented several strategies to senior management and built consensus over key growth agendas. Served on the AVIXA Commercial AV Association Standards Development Steering Committee.

LIAM J. HAYTER Senior solutions architect NewTek Creative workflow technologist with over 18 years experience in the creative, live, media production and post production sectors. Currently focused on end-to-end video/ audio over IP systems and solutions.

MARC RISBY Managing director Boxer Systems & Digi-Box Risby is an active member of the AVIXA community and a regular participant in their webinars as an AVoIP thought leader, bringing his passion and natural ability to explain complex technological concepts to a global audience. A regular presenter at a wide range of industry events, from SVG Sports Group and KitPlus to the MPTS Media and Technology Production Show, as well as a contributor to many industry judging panels, he has huge enthusiasm for the pro AV world.

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STEVE HUDSON Chief operating officer Project Audio Video Hudson has completely transformed Project Audio Visual’s business strategy and offering over the last 12 months, transitioning the company from being an integrator delivering corporate and retail solutions to a ‘go to’ business for Microsoft Teams Rooms. This new approach has already seen incredible success, with the company delivering over 4,000 Teams Rooms, achieving platinum partner status with nine of the leading Microsoft Certified vendors and more than doubling the team in the last year.

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TRULY EXCEPTIONAL COLOUR + TECHNOLOGY + IMAGES WUXGA - 4K - 8K - MultiView Satellite Projection Heads and RGB Modular Light Sources

SATELLITE MODULAR LASER SYSTEM

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The Visionaries’ Choice


Broadcast-AV special

VIRTUAL PRODUCTION:

BRAVE NEW BEGINNING FOR PRO AV? The rapid rise of virtual production, and its demand for AV technologies and services, has helped to balance out pandemic-related slowdowns elsewhere. But as David Davies reports, we’ve only seen the start of what is set to be a hugely rewarding new market for the industry 24

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Broadcast-AV special

V

irtual production’s ascendancy has been so dramatic and far-reaching that it’s difficult to think of a recent parallel in either broadcast or pro AV. Perhaps the closest comparison – in broadcast, at least – is 4K/UHD, which is now being used routinely across all manner of output. But even that can be seen as a logical progression in resolution from HD. By contrast, virtual production represents a major new area of the business whose presence has skyrocketed in just a couple of years. It does not take out long to work out why. Green screen replacement and other technologies that would ultimately fall under the catch-all of ‘virtual production’ have been growing in profile for a while; comfortably before the onset of the pandemic. But no one disputes that Covid-19’s sudden necessitation of new practical limitations, especially with regard to complex external and location shoots, provided a huge catalyst. It’s also been very beneficial to many companies whose other activities were affected by the pandemic. Richard Mead is CEO of video processing manufacturer Brompton Technology, which recently secured a £5.1m investment from Connection

Capital to further grow its presence in areas including virtual production. “There is no question that the growth of LED in virtual production helped us at a time when the live event industry was fully suppressed,” he says. “It would have been a much tougher time for us without that, and we consider ourselves very fortunate. We pivoted almost overnight to focus completely on supporting the emerging in-camera visual effects market, but were helped by the fact that performance on camera had always been a key priority for us because so many major live events are televised.” There are plenty of comparable stories across the AV world, with companies suddenly discovering that a significant new market was opening up for them. Moreover, no one expects the pre-pandemic reliance on location shooting to return to its former level; virtual production as a primary industry technique is here to stay. All of which means that with work in live events, museums and other visitor attractions – many of which are also using large-scale LED video products – picking up again, the next few years are looking very promising for those companies who have established themselves in virtual production (VP).

Above: Mustang's XR stage uses cutting-edge tech, including Brompton Technology LED processing

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Broadcast-AV special

Above: ARRI Stage London; a 708 sqm advanced virtual production facility Photo: Ian Wallman

If Citizen Kane was the defining film of cinema’s first golden age, then there is a good case to claim that The Mandalorian holds a similar status for the dawn of VP. The result of a long process of research by Industrial Light & Magic in conjunction with video game developer Epic Games was a new VP visual effects technology, StageCraft, based on Epic’s Unreal Engine gaming system. Incorporating large LED video screens on which digital environments provide a real-time background for performers, the technique wowed audiences when the show debuted on Disney+ in late 2019. Virtually everyone who was interviewed for this article mentioned the series and the increasingly galvanising effect it had on the industry as the severity of the pandemic became more evident in the early months of 2020. RISING POPULARITY Christina Nowak is director of virtual production at Anna Valley, which is a provider of AV to the broadcast, entertainment and live event industries. “Virtual production's rise in popularity is derived, to a large extent, from the PR behind The Mandalorian,” she says. “The way they applied already existing virtual production techniques was both high profile and perfectly timed with the lockdown. At the time, productions needed to rethink how they operated – they needed to condense the talent and crew but get the same result – and virtual production solved a lot

of these problems.” What makes this trend more remarkable is the speed at which it has developed. Charli Harding, client and brand director at LED screen hire and technical event producer iMAG Displays, notes that when the company was first contacted about a VP project in 2019, “green screen replacement was the term being used; ‘virtual production’ was still to come.” With lockdown ruling out live events, it was therefore fortunate that “the same company [we worked with in 2019] phoned us up again and instigated a new project; since then it’s been 2.5 years of supplying a lot of VP solutions. As might be expected, the approaches taken by different companies can vary quite a bit. There are those like Anna Valley who have built their own multipurpose studios that enable them to carry out projects on-site. Then there is also the partnership approach, whereby companies look to collaborate long-term with a production house, which is the model chosen by iMAG and its film partner, Treehouse Digital. “We decided not to go down the fixed studio route as we wanted to be flexible,” explains Harding. “Treehouse Digital has a studio two miles from us, and we are able to do a lot of work there. But we also frequently work at Shepperton Studios [in Surrey] or Sky Studios in Heathrow.” For those who have built their own studios, one of the key challenges is to design them with enough www.Installation-International.com

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Broadcast-AV special

flexibility to be able to accommodate the requirements of an area of technology that is still evolving rapidly. For instance, camera and lighting systems manufacturer Arri recently opened a new VP facility, ARRI Stage London, which was designed by Arri Solutions and delivered as a collaboration between Arri and Creative Technology. The 708sqm stage showcases the latest in-camera visual effects technologies that Arri and its partners have to offer for creative projects, but has also been designed to test, streamline and refine integrated workflows in a real-world VP environment. It is also being used for a variety of feature, episodic television and commercial productions. “To accommodate all these different production requirements, it was of paramount importance to design and build a volume that is extremely versatile and flexible,” says Stephan Ukas-Bradley, VP solutions, Americas at Arri. “This was accomplished by utilising movable LED wall segments, motorised suspension systems, and traditional lighting fixtures to complement the environment created by the volume and create some additional depth and dimension.” The confidence that the TV and film industries now feel about VP is also borne out by the remarkable level of expansion taking place at many leading film studios, including well-known names like 28

Shepperton, Pinewood and Garden Studio. Many will require comprehensive VP technology solutions, suggesting that vendors could be on the verge of a lucrative new era. “The number of stages being prepared for highend production in the UK alone is quite remarkable; you’re almost looking at a doubling of sound stage [capacity] and so many are based around virtual production,” says Paddy Taylor, head of broadcast at Mark Roberts Motion Control. “Adoption was much more rapid and widespread than it likely would have been [without the pandemic], but there is no sense of it being a fad or a bubble,” says Mead. “The technique clearly has so many advantages, including the experience for the creative team, speed of working and, therefore, overall cost that it is now an established part of mainstream film and television production.” Nonetheless, as a fairly new area of technology, it’s to be expected that there are still gaps in the product ecosystem that need to be addressed. Hence multiple vendors and service providers alluded to a focus on streamlining aspects of the process and improving overall integration. Ukas-Bradley notes: “A key focus for Arri is to ensure smooth, dynamic integration at all stages of virtual production workflows. For example, when it comes to real-time metadata transfer, Arri has

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Broadcast-AVFeature special

achieve accurate colour rendition. Brompton’s Dynamic Calibration technology is a great starting point here because we can already deliver accurate colours within an HDR workflow, and we are working with many partners to build on this.” There is also an awareness that costs need to come down, although as with any new technology area that will surely will happen with the passing of time. Nowak comments: “Camera tracking is progressing, but is still very reliant on stickers; servers and processors are still very expensive; the LED manufacturers are working to develop lower pixel pitch (higher resolution) displays; and, while Unreal Engine in considered best-of-breed, it’s still developing to meet the demands of different markets.”

Above: Brompton Technology helped Doering creative agency to create unique visuals for German singer, rapper, songwriter and producer Clueso’s new music video Mond (Moon) Photo: Nico Knoll

developed a lens metadata plug-in, which pulls camera data directly into Unreal Engine. Real-time lens values drive environments, changing how the visual are presented on screen and creating an accurate and immersive experience for the scene. “Lighting integration within a virtual production environment is also incredibly important for accurate colour reproduction. Although LED video walls are very good at producing high resolution reflections and a homogenous base level of light, the displays do not provide what we would consider high quality of light due to the narrow spectrums of light emitted, which results in skin tones and fabrics not being faithfully reproduced.” Hence at the company’s Uxbridge stage it has installed a 360-degree ring of light using 50 Arri Orbiters [LED fixtures] to complement the lighting from the LED walls and provide detailed contrast control and accurate colour reproduction lighting in the volume. REFINED TECHNIQUES Refining techniques is also a priority for Brompton. Notes Mead: “We’ve been trying to streamline the process by working closely with other manufacturers producing complementary technologies; motion tracking, cameras and colour grading software, to name a few. A key area of focus for everyone in this space is colour, and how to reliably and repeatedly

COLLABORATION Apart from the technology challenges, it’s also a sector where a new level of collaboration is essential.”You can’t achieve quality, cost efficiency or sustainability without the involvement of the full team,” she adds. “Everyone from the VFX designer to the art department should contribute to the whole production process from the outset. It’s like building a house; you have to start with the technical drawings, you can’t just do it on the fly.” The expansion of VP has been so rapid that one has to ask the inevitable question: can it last? David ‘Ed’ Edwards is VFX product manager at motion capture specialist Vicon, which recently launched a new motion capture system for the VFX sector, Valkyrie, that is designed to work in conjunction with the company’s VFX software, Shōgun. Edwards remarks: “What I expect now is a period of consolidation which will involve collaboration [between companies] to see how solutions can be simplified and refined.” This will become increasingly important as – inevitably – film studios look to push VP’s creative limits. “Once people have become confident with a technology it’s natural that they will see what else they can throw at a system,” says Edwards. “So it’s an iterative process with an amount of consolidation, and it means that we are always speaking with customers to inform our long-term product roadmap.” Meanwhile, many companies are also managing the resurgence of live events such as conferences and concerts (“That whole side has really come back quickly and in a big way,” notes Harding). But here too we can expect the adoption of VP-style techniques as well as blended events that combine in-person and online experiences. This is likely to be especially beneficial for international events such as conferences, where a reduction in air travel has obvious benefits from an environmental perspective www.Installation-International.com

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at a time when many businesses are defining their decarbonisation strategies. “While local audiences have mostly returned to live events, virtual production can be used successfully by event organisers to reach international audiences,” says Nowak. “We’re still dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic in terms of travel issues and staff shortages, and streaming events can help alleviate some of the effects of these challenges and promote the creation of content across different platforms. One great example of this is the RealTime Conference: they’ve pretty much made it a staple that they will have an online and live streaming version of the conference, [and it] proved very successful.” It’s also likely that a more commoditised and tiered approach to VP provision will emerge as the market matures. “Different packages will become available ranging from the lower to the higher end, but demand will dictate the availability of VP solutions,” says Nowak. “Right now, there’s enormous market interest which is driving technology development from players like disguise, Megapixel VR and Mo-Sys, and increasing the range of solutions available, but accessibility is still an issue because we’re dealing with chip shortages.” Along with the ongoing supply chain crisis – now expected to continue well into 2023 – there

is another challenge on the horizon: sufficient availability of trained staff. Encouragingly, a very pleasing aspect to the rise of virtual production is that many companies are already actively involved in educational efforts of one kind or another, and also see the potential for shaping a much more level playing field. “While we’re in the midst of a skills shortage, virtual production is also creating new roles and opportunities for career development,” says Nowak. “There are no ‘old school’ experts in this field, so there are no obstacles for young people to quickly progress to very senior positions. [In addition] virtual production techniques make the industry more accessible to people with mobility issues who may struggle to work on location and are ideal for parents who can’t afford to be away from home for long periods.”

Above: ARRI Stage Photo: Ian Wallman

SUPPORTING SKILLS For many AV companies who were able to offset some pandemic-related challenges by branching out into virtual production, it now has every chance of becoming a permanent part of the business, and one that will also have increasing crossovers with other areas of pro AV and install. And in a period when there is so much to be worried about, that has to be a cause for celebration.

MORE ONLINE: For an extended version of this article off-page, online, please click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3JHzAP6

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THE EVOLVING WORLD OF PRO AV: WE’VE GOT IT COVERED

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11/08/2022 14:29


Broadcast-AV special

CROSSIN G THE BOR D Broadcast and AV technologies were once very defined but, with the adoption of IP and IT systems in both areas, the line between the two is increasingly blurred. As Kevin Hilton discovers, this trend is set to continue with parallel development and the introduction of new standards

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Sterling Event Group production space features a one-metrewide stage, backed by a 16m x 3m curved LED screen, created with Absen’s Polaris 2.5mm Pro panels

11/08/2022 11:30


Broadcast-AV special

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or many years, broadcasting had the image of being the pinnacle of technology and technological development. The term 'broadcast quality' was regarded as a guarantee of excellence and still carries some weight today. In comparison, the equipment used for professional AV applications was regarded as being not on the same level. The main reason for this was cost, with the events and presentation sector not having the same budgets for kit as its TV counterpart. The situation has changed markedly in the last 30 or so years. Broadcast standards have been relaxed in that time, particularly in the UK where legislation was introduced to encourage more competition in the market. On a strictly technical level, the adoption of digital and IT-based technologies – most notably IP – by both broadcasters and pro AV contractors has levelled the field considerably. There are still differences between the two, with each retaining individual requirements, but the former dividing lines are now more than hazy.

NG R DERS Technology developers that appeared during the mid-1980s and into the 90s, when the software and computer boom was beginning to influence both AV and broadcast, were among the first to see how there were techniques in the two sectors that could be mutually beneficial. "The broadcast industry has always been about the purest quality of signal possible, working uncompressed to the best standards," comments Liam Hayter, senior solutions architect at NewTek, part of Vizrt, a developer for graphics, virtual studio and infrastructure systems for broadcast. "Ultimately it would go out on DVB [Digital Video Broadcasting, the standard for digital terrestrial TV], which is compressed. Then there's live streaming, which is also compressed and, generally, whenever you work with compression you want to start with something at the highest quality to deliver the best possible quality." Whereas broadcasting is about reaching as big an audience as possible through transmission technologies, pro AV was for a long time primarily concerned with addressing people in a specific environment. In recent years, Hayter explains, this dichotomy has changed considerably, largely because of new technology but with the pandemic

inevitably having an influence in driving the use of video conferencing. "AV has always been more focused on the in-room experience, rather than remote contributors," he says. "The need has been different and the people doing AV didn't have the budget of broadcasters. But the shift to IP and software has levelled that out. Broadcasters are no longer afraid of working compressed because, for example, the film industry has gone from working with the best possible quality to using compression. That's also bled into AV because people want to work across the internet in a networked environment. Our production systems natively allow people to run Teams, Zoom, Skype and Discord, all the major video conference platforms, even WhatsApp and FaceTime, as a live source. So you can just call in and [it's allowed] quite an exciting space where they can be used as creative tools." FAST AND RELIABLE Graham Sharp, chief executive of Broadcast Pix, observes that "IP/IT technology has always been used in AV" but today it is now fast and reliable enough to meet the demands of broadcasters. "Because of this it is being rapidly deployed, which in turn is making a lot of broadcast functionality available to the AV market," he says. "Both sectors are looking for a cost-effective infrastructure that can meet the needs of today and yet scale and adapt as market requirements change. And as streaming exploded, users were searching to improve their production values beyond just feeding from a camera. Which is why so many broadcast tools have migrated into the AV world, such as camera control effects, transitions and TV quality graphics." Sharp is a veteran of the broadcast market, having held engineering and executive positions at a number of companies including Tektronix, Avid, Discreet Logic and Grass Valley. While Broadcast Pix produces production switchers, a mainstay of TV presentation, Sharp has moved it more into the AV market, with systems designed specifically for houses of worship and meetings, supported by live streaming capabilities. "Most technology is now software running on COTS [commercial off the shelf] hardware or in the cloud, so the flexibility and price point have brought many broadcast-specific tools into AV. We like to say we now serve the A to Z of video production, from aquariums to zoos. Newsstyle graphics, professional-looking transitions and effects, remote camera control and automation are all used to make more compelling content." While it would be easy to assume that the direction of technologies and techniques between broadcasting and AV was one-way, broadcasters are also benefiting from systems that originated in the events and installed markets. "Broadcast technology www.Installation-International.com

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seemed like a relatively well-defined field only ten years ago but with the general access to high definition recording, editing and processing tools now, we are seeing a greater scale of convergence and blurring of formerly clear boundaries," comments Hans Stucken, global marketing advisor at AV Stumpfl. The company produces projection screens and the PIXERA media server, which Stucken says is being used for in-house corporate broadcast facilities based around a 'mini studio'. He adds that this kind of technology is now going both ways: "Real-time processing power and compositing tools have meant that what was once mainly being used in live event and fixed installation environments has become an indispensable part of any set designer's toolkit. The same goes for the classic AV sector; more and more installations feature aspects that would once have been labelled as broadcast technology. And with the software integration of powerful [virtual] authoring tools like Notch, Unreal Engine and Unity, the circle of convergence has widened even more." CONVERGING MARKETS A primarily broadcast-focused manufacturing group that has also benefited from these converging markets is Evertz. Known for a wide range of products – including contribution and distribution systems, control and monitoring units, encoding/ decoding/multiplexing technologies and fibre transport – as well as now owning audio console maker Studer, the company has seen its routers, switchers and IP gateways being deployed in pro AV. Dominic Doherty, AV product specialist with the EvertzAV division, acknowledges "an increase in the crossover between the two sectors", adding that although there is commonality in the underlying tech, the applications, users and user expectations tend to be very different between broadcast and pro AV. "The AV sector expects broadcast-like quality and resilience but packaged in a way that is simple to use, intuitive and does not require a senior broadcast engineer to operate it," he says. Doherty describes broadcast technology as "influencing" the development of AV products at Evertz, with systems being modified to suit the application. "Products will be adapted for AV in the most part but there is some of it that would be as it is in broadcasting," he says. "That would certainly apply to the switchers and routers, while the IP gateways would be developed more in parallel. There's two aspects to it: the switchers and routers would be more of a fast follow-up with the broadcast products and the AV gateways would be developed for AV-type applications as opposed to just incorporating broadcasting features." 34

Corporate product launch featuring AV Stumpfl systems in action

In the area of visual presentation, broadcast companies have been using large format displays and LED video walls on-air over the last 20 years

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EvertzAV essentially offers AV over IP (AVoIP) systems for varied applications, including lecture halls, corporate institutions such as banks and the military sector, which necessitates secure connectivity. "In a podium situation, such as a classroom, lecture hall or presentation theatre, you would have a number of pieces of gear, at the front of the room with the podium or teacher's desk," comments Doherty. "It could be as simple as the ability for them to switch between their laptop screen or local PC screen or a video source like a camera. That would be routed through the system to a large screen monitor, for example. Another typical use you see more in AV is the KVM application, where I could be sitting at a single desk and be able to switch between multiple servers."

Above: NewTek TriCaster and NDI tech: corporate presentations at Danske Bank, Finland

BACKDROP BULLETINS In the area of visual presentation, broadcast companies have been using large format displays and LED video walls on-air over the last 20 years, particularly in news programmes as a backdrop to the bulletin. The increasing use of LED volumes for virtual sets is now offering TV drama producers and filmmakers more flexibility and creativity as a replacement for back projection and green screen, while AV productions are also exploiting the technology (see page 25). LED manufacturer Absen sees its products used by both broadcasters and AV specialists. The company's director of VP, Brian Macauto, observes that "the technology used in the broadcast world is constantly influencing the world of professional AV", particularly with ever-growing need for content creation in recent years. "LED walls have changed the way they have been used in the industry extremely quickly," Macauto says. "Originally, when only low-resolution, largepixel pitch displays were possible, LED walls were typically used only for large outdoor billboards. Now that extremely high-resolution, low-pixel pitch LED displays are common, with great brightness and colour accuracy, the use of LED technology in broadcast studios and content production skyrocketed. LED technology now has a huge variety of solutions and LED is more affordable. LED is now used in all sorts of applications in AV previously not thought of, greatly due to the crossover with broadcast. For example, corporate boardrooms now use LED backdrops and full video production capabilities along with virtual production." An aspect of technology that Macauto highlights as having maintained the divide between pro AV and broadcasting is standards. There has always been a strict difference in specifications and applications between broadcast standards and formats such as SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), SDI (serial digital interface) and SD/HD www.Installation-International.com

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(standard definition/high definition resolutions) and their respective AV counterparts VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association), HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) and computer resolutions. "In years past, they could each remain in their own spaces and crossover was not as common," he says. "As broadcast sets began to adopt technology based in the computer world, such as large video canvass and green screen/augmented reality, the two different worlds of pro AV and broadcast had to work together much closer. Standards in IP and IT that have developed and work well in both worlds make the crossover much easier and faster. New standards in video and audio over IP have been instrumental in bringing pro AV-type media server and graphics processing tech to the workflows and standards of the broadcast world." The broadcast world has contributed a vast amount to the standardisation of IP as a media transport mechanism. In particular, SMPTE ST 2110, which standardises professional media over managed IP networks, is regarded by technologists and manufacturers alike as a key factor in the wide-

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scale adoption of IP video. Similarly, the AES67 Audio over IP (AoIP) interoperability standard has enabled incompatible AoIP protocols such as Dante, Ravenna and Livewire to work together on the same network. While AES67, which also forms the basis of the audio component of ST 2110 (as ST 2110-30), is also being used widely in AV, the sector still has a need for a more prescribed approach to the networking and distribution of video. Broadcast-centric standards such as ST 2110 for video and NMOS (Networked Media Open Specifications) for system management and control, are seen as either overspecified or too complicated for AV applications, particularly in terms of PTP (precision time protocol) and full linear data formats. Because of this, AIMS (Alliance for IP Media Solutions), AMWA (Advanced Media Workflow Association) and VSF (Video Services Forum) are working on a standard that will set out specific recommendations for IP networks in pro AV. IPMX (IP-based Media eXperience) has been in development for four years but work continues on the standard, which is intended to take the most

Above: Worre Studios in Las Vegas, which is used for both conventional and virtual presenations and features Evertz technology

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The influence of ST 2110 and other established broadcast tech standards on IPMX is another clear sign that the ongoing crossover between broadcasting and AV is not only continuing but also increasing

relevant elements of AES67, ST 2110 and NMOS to create a tailored solution for pro AV. "Looking at the building blocks of IPMX, a large proportion certainly has come from the broadcast world," acknowledges Jeremy Courtney, a senior director at audio console and IP video networking/ processing manufacturer Lawo who reports directly to the company's CTO. "IPMX is based on tried-andtested broadcast standards such as ST 2110 and NMOS, and it looks like the intention is to [also] use JPEG XS, a compression technology that combines low latency with respectable quality at rather high compression rates, such as 10:1. The aim of IPMX is to work on lower bandwidth networks, with relatively high quality sent down a 1 Gbps pipe, whereas, in a broadcast production context, uncompressed signals are transported via 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps and soon perhaps 200~400 Gbps." SMPTE also ratified ST 2022-6, which has facilitated the integration of 4K/ultra HD (UHD) with HDR (high dynamic range) into broadcast and streaming services, as well as the adoption of IP. Courtney views UHD and HDR as "naturals" to migrate into pro AV, further cementing the convergence with broadcasting. MONITORED PROGRESS EvertzAV, like Lawo, is a member of AIMS and Doherty says the company has been monitoring progress since 2018: "IPMX will need to take into account AV specific requirements not covered in ST 2110, such as HDCP [High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection] and the typical audio rates used in the sector. These will need to be defined, and EvertzAV will support IPMX as Evertz has with ST 2110." Graham Sharp at Broadcast Pix comments that IPMX is "generally welcomed" and will bring benefits to many: "Adopting an open standard will offer AV companies, integrators and end users much more flexibility, ensuring interoperability and protection against obsolesence. It will also benefit customers by ensuring products are easy to install and set up as the growth in usage is amongst organisations that aren't necessarily broadcast trained and who need products that are easy to understand, install and use." The influence of ST 2110 and other broadcast standards on IPMX is another clear sign that the crossover between broadcasting and AV is not only continuing but also increasing. That is likely to carry on once the standard is published but by giving AV its own guidelines for IP, the two sectors will still retain their distinct characters and requirements.

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NEW ADVENTURES IN IMMERSIVE AUDIO As immersive audio becomes increasingly ubiquitous, the more ambitious technology developers and installers are exploring the ways in which it can augment other immersive elements such as VR. Installation investigates

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he rise of immersive audio in the installation and broadcast and media markets over the past five years has been nothing short of remarkable. While the Dolby Atmos and MPEG-H technologies have been responsible for the lion's share of headlines thanks to their rapid adoption in broadcast, this movement is to some extent predated by the trend towards multi-channel configurations in pro AV environments such as museums, exhibition centres and concert venues. Hence, it should not really come as a surprise to find that the sector is now spearheading a new wave of increasingly ambitious projects that blend immersive audio with other technologies such as virtual reality (VR). Moreover, it is apparent that

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venue operators are aware that high-impact installations of this kind could be a way of enticing customers back through the door after two years in which many will have taken steps to upgrade their own domestic AV set-ups. "The baseline of expectation has definitely risen," says Niky Ellison, head of marketing & brand communication at UK-based company We Are Immersive. "There has been a period [during the pandemic] in which people have had more time to make their homes comfortable and perhaps invest in some new AV." The fact that so many people spend "so much of their lives online" is another important consideration that means museums and other venues are "needing to offer something different and spectacular" to ensure they remain relevant. Having launched its first binaural microphone, the MKE 2002, back in the 1970s, Sennheiser is able to draw on five decades' experience of immersive technology. In the last 20 years, its research in the field has become increasingly intensive, ultimately leading to an important moment of realisation around 2015. "We noticed an increasing demand for 360-video and found that creators needed professional capture workflows for ambisonics, which was then emerging as standard for the next generation of virtual reality content," says Renato Pellegrini, manager prolabs, AMBEO immersive audio at Sennheiser. The result of the company's deliberations was the Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic, developed to support ergonomic and easy-to-deploy 360-video production. The mic – for which Sennheiser has also developed a specific workflow – has since found favour in field recording and audio capture for a wide variety of applications, including virtual reality content production. Now, after what he describes as a "slight detour" during the pandemic, Pellegrini indicates that ambitious immersive projects are on the rise again in museums and exhibition spaces. "Plus, outside of traditional museums, there has emerged a trend of immersive physical experiences like the Museum of Ice Cream and the Color Factory, as well as groups that blend the virtual and physical like Meow Wolf or the immersive Van Gogh exhibitions that are popping up all over the world," says Pellegrini. "Alongside these are heavily immersive, headset-driven, location-based experiences. These productions are deeply exploring the intersection of performance/ interactivity, as well as that of physical space and virtual space." He is particularly impressed by current touring exhibition The Infinite, which uses a variety of immersive technologies, including VR, to allow visitors to experience life onboard the International Space Station.

Pellegrini also hints that we should expect museums to incorporate some of the new learnings they have acquired during the pandemic; a period in which many have expanded their online presence. "Museums have experimented with alternative, digital presentations of their collections [in the past few years], and it will be interesting to see if and how some of these experiments filter back into the gallery space," he says. Meanwhile, Sennheiser's own confidence in the continuing potential of immersive technologies has been underlined by a series of developments including the introduction of an AMBEO A to B format converter, as well as the arrival in the Sennheiser portfolio of immersive content creation tools developer Dear Reality in 2019, and – in July 2022 – audio innovator Merging Technologies. "There is a huge space for growth in immersive audio experiences to come," says Pellegrini. "VR and immersive audio have a great potential to enhance the visitor experience by making it much more immersive, memorable and engaging; not to mention bringing in an extra level of personalisation and interactivity, which is a perfect attraction point for the newly curious returning visitor in the postpandemic world." PUBLIC EXPECTATIONS Production studio We Are Immersive is another company to have been paying especially close attention to the development of the market since the middle of the last decade; no wonder given that the business was established in 2015. Ellison echoes the sentiments of Pellegrini in observing that the pandemic period has heightened public expectations. "A lot of people will have invested [in AV] as part of making their homes more comfortable," he says. "That means there is a need [for organisations] to use technologies that make the outside world more exciting again." Given that, it is undoubtedly helpful that technologies such as VR and immersive audio have continued to mature steadily throughout the past seven years. Invited to consider whether customer expectations can still outstrip what is actually possible and practical, Ellison responds: "I think if you asked that question two years or even six months ago, there would have been a different answer. But the fact is that the gap between expectations [and what can be achieved] is really closing now, and that is for a couple of reasons, including the greater availability of skilled workers and the technologies becoming more accessible." There has also been a significant period of time in which "people have had the opportunity to find out more [about immersive technologies], so they have a

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clearer understanding of them at this point in time." Recent years have seen We Are Immersive deploy immersive audio, VR and other experience-based technologies for an increasingly broad base of customers, ranging from the British Red Cross to West Ham United and IKEA. Ellison points to retail and visitor attractions as two markets currently generating a lot of enquiries, and suggests that the blend of VR and immersive audio will only become more commonplace. "So many more people now have VR headsets in the home, so it's only logical that their use [will become more frequent] outside the home," he says. CREATIVE POTENTIAL Marco Perry, who founded the company Immersive Audio in 2009, approaches the market from another distinctive angle, having worked on a wide range of music-based spatial audio projects – including with Bjork, Depeche Mode, Damon Albarn and Massive Attack – as well as immersive installations in museums and art galleries. Like Ellison and Pellegrini, Perry agrees with the suggestion that the blend of VR and immersive audio can be highly potent in public spaces. He also implies that, in a broader context, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what can be achieved. "There is so much creative potential in immersive technologies," he says. "I would say that, in the last few years in particular, there has been [an increased awareness of the need] to develop these more

memorable experiences, and the role that new technologies can play." With price-points of VR headsets and immersive audio systems also becoming more attractive, it's a "step that a lot of organisations are now willing to take; they recognise that they have to attract and retain interest in different ways." From his own perspective, he indicates that a deeper understanding of how people relate to immersive experiences – and the extent to which this can differ between individuals – has also been hugely beneficial. He was recently given his own immersive gallery space at Somerset House, where he blended music that he had composed with a variety of ambitious and experimental visuals. Encouragingly for the future development of allencompassing AV experiences, Perry says that his ongoing experiences as an educator have shown that the next generation of creatives is inherently engaged with the potential of immersive technologies. "They are absolutely tapped into those technologies; they have a great understanding of them and want to be able to use them to realise incredibly creative projects." All of which bodes well for the continued dynamism of the market. "More and more sectors are looking to immersive technologies to enhance the visitor experience, and that's proven by the extraordinary range of enquiries we now receive; it's really diverse," says Ellison. "So I would say that I am very optimistic about the future of this market."

Previous page: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience light and sound spectacular, currrently in Bristol, UK Above: Players experiencing the free-roam VR Arean XIST developed by We Are Immersive

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NURTURING NMOS: IP SPECS OFFERING “OPEN AND SIMPLE” INTEROPERABILITY Now growing in popularity across pro AV and broadcast, the evolving NMOS specifications are addressing enduring IP discovery and connection challenges, with a project to support NDI implementations next on the cards. David Davies reports

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n the wake of multiple high-profile AV and media standards efforts in recent years, it might be easy for the casual observer to think that a lot of the most important IP boxes have been well and truly ticked. Indeed, it is true that in terms of transport and synchronisation of video, audio and ancillary data, major initiatives such as SMPTE ST 2110 have seen the industry’s adoption of IP take huge steps forward. But as tends to be the case in networking, it’s not yet a case of ‘job done’. In particular, ST 2110 does not solve the discovery or connection of devices that send and receive these streams, meaning there is a threat to interoperability if multiple proprietary approaches continue to proliferate. For a precedent we can look to the audio world, where the advent of the original AES67 standard in 2013 marked a welcome response to a fast-emerging issue regarding the interoperability of different IP audio transportation technologies. With the use of IP growing all the time in ‘conventional’ media and pro AV/install applications, the need for simple and effective connectivity and control has become increasingly acute. Hence the development of the NMOS (Networked Media Open 42

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Specifications) by the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA). Designed to support the industry’s transition to a “fully networked” architecture, the NMOS specifications provide an interoperable approach to discovering, connecting and managing network resources. But before delving any further, it’s important to note the distinction made by the association between a ‘standard’ and a ‘specification’. Unlike some other efforts where a specific challenge can be addressed and its solution “locked down”, the task faced by the NMOS teams is “more fluid” and therefore more open-ended. Neil Dunstan, director membership and marketing at AMWA, remarks: “It’s a job which exists as long as end-users identify more requirements that NMOS can solve, hence why we use the term specification as opposed to standard.” All of this is reflected in a list of technical specs that continues to be refined in line with “steady demand

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Above: AMWA NMOS Control meeting

Left:

NMOS featured at IBC 2019

from users to provide valuable new functionality”. Out of 13 developments, nine are ‘published’ or ‘published & stable’, including: IS-04 Discovery & Registration, which provides a uniform mechanism for new connected media devices to join into a running system; IS-05 Device Connection Management, which offers a uniform mechanism for connected media devices (especially ST-2110 devices) to integrate with controllers for stream connection; IS-07 Event & Tally, for carrying timesensitive information; IS-08 Audio Channel Mapping, for controllers to query and manage mapping of audio channels between the internal parts of a device; IS-09 System Parameters, for discovery of key parameters such as PTP domain; BCP-003 and IS-10 for NMOS security and authorisation, respectively; and NMOS testing tools for automated testing of NMOS/registry test suites and NMOS controller test suites. In addition, there are three other specs that are considered ‘works in progress’: IS-11 for compatibility measurement; MS-05 NMOS Control Architecture, which will provide a mechanism for devices to expose a structured combination of public and private control, status and monitoring APIs; and BCP-006 NMOS Stream Mappings, intended to enable controllers to manage ST 2110-22 JPEG-XS streams alongside uncompressed ST 2110-20 to manage ST 2110-22 JPEG-XS streams alongside uncompressed (ST 2110-20) streams within the NMOS system. Ethan Wetzell is platform strategist at AMWA member Bosch Communications Systems and a well-known figure in media networking circles for several decades through his involvement with AMWA and other associations including AIMS, OCA Alliance, and Avnu Alliance. Of the AMWA specifications, he

remarks: “Things are moving well with core elements such as IS-04 and IS-5 being stable and used in the industry, while others have been published or are in the planning stages. This reflects the nature of these kinds of technologies and how they keep pace with both the application domain and the development of other technologies that they support, complement, or interact with. As such, this is a developing and evolving landscape of technologies, as it should be.” Underlining this point, one of the developments currently incubating is set to support the use of the NDI video-over-IP technology, which has seen a steady rise in adoption during the past couple of years. The aim of the intended ‘Using NMOS with NDI transport’ project – for which a timeframe is now in discussion – will be to allow NMOS controllers to register NDI devices and manage NDI streams alongside other types such as ST 2110 uncompressed and ST 2110 JPEG-XS streams within an NMOS system. Dunstan highlights another, earlier example of AMWA responding to a specific requirement on the part of end-users. “IS-07 for Event & Tally was developed when the needs of end-users were identified to control ‘on air’ lights for a studio camera, or to change the camera operator’s name on a monitor’s UMD,” he says. “Neither of those have anything to do with ST 2110, but they still exist as a need for an end-user.” MEDIA SUPPORT As might be expected given the association’s approach, AMWA does not actually certify products for compliance with the specifications. However, the separate Joint Taskforce on Networked Media programme JT-NM Tested does cover IS-04 and IS-05 support for media devices within its TR-1001 testing, and maintains a catalogue of tested products. This is expected to be extended soon to include testing of IS-08 as well as of registries and clients. Meanwhile, the membership of the organisation continues to grow and now includes many worldleading technology providers and content creators. Among its principal members are Arista, Avid, BBC, Imagine Communications and Sony, while general members include Bosch, Channel 4, Cisco, NEC and Riedel Communications. Naturally, the aim is to attract more participants, although it will be specific end-user requirements that continue to determine and drive the activities of the NMOS working groups.

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EVERYTHING'S GONE GREEN: HOW AV FIRMS ARE EMBRACING SUSTAINABILITY With sustainability more important than ever before as temperatures around the globe reach record levels, Installation sounds out some of the AV industry's leading manufacturers on their green credentials

ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS Jan Sandri [JS], president, FSR Inc Mike Novak [MN], sales director, North America, Calibre UK Paul Wilson [PW], Epson UK product manager for video projectors Natalie Gould [NG], operations director, Pioneer Group Paul Clark [PC], senior vice president, EMEA at Poly Jeff May [JM], UK sales director, Konftel

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HOW GREEN ARE YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES? JS: FSR made a decision many, many years ago to be as green as possible and incorporate as much recycled material as possible into our products. One of the ways we’ve lived up to that commitment is by building our products using steel with the highest amount of recycled content possible. MN: Calibre's latest LEDFusion Pro All-in-One LED display reduces power consumption by over 30 per cent and surface temperature by 10°C/50°F compared to similar sized conventional LED displays. We’ve implemented features such as easy transportation, installation and deployment. Flight case packaging fits in regular elevators and doorways and AV installers can reduce build times and manpower removing the need to use large cranes or heavy equipment. Calibre has a light aluminium LED panel design reducing installation times from what could be a full day by three people to just 33 minutes

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by two people which further reduces the carbon footprint. Calibre All-in-One LED video walls feature < 0.5W power and Lan standby mode which conforms with ErP regulations. The easy front maintenance service ensures LED tile replacement can be done in under ten seconds. These are the ‘green’ and energy saving designs we have innovated since 2018 when Calibre first launched the first All-in-One LED display. PW: As a manufacturer, Epson has always asked itself what it can do to achieve a sustainable society and has worked for many years to increase the energy efficiency of its production processes and products, improve resource efficiency, and eliminate harmful and hazardous substances. To make a greater contribution, it seeks to drive work process innovations by minimising the environmental impacts incurred by customers when using Epson products and by raising operational efficiency and productivity. An example of reduced environmental impacts to the customer is the new EB-PU2220B highbrightness projector, which thanks to optimised design improvements has 38 per cent less CO2 emissions in its lifecycle compared with its 20,000-lumen predecessor, the EB-L20000U, and achieves 33 per cent lower power consumption. The EB-PU2220B is also 70 per cent smaller and 50 per cent lighter than its 20,000-lumen predecessor, meaning customers can reduce their freight transport by the same proportions. In October 2021, Epson was ranked in the top one per cent of its industry for sustainability for the second consecutive year by third-party assessor EcoVadis. This assesses Epson across different themes including environment, sustainable procurement, labour and human rights, and ethics. NG: Pioneer understands the environmental impacts of the technology we supply, and therefore we only work with suppliers who are also working to improve their environmental impact. For example, when specifying screens to a customer, we look at the usage and longevity of products to ensure that the product selected is fit for purpose and that it is as 'green as possible' we don’t

just look at the cost but the overall impact of each piece of kit we supply and ensure our clients are aware of the options available to them and which options are the most sustainable. We also actively review our suppliers and are continually looking for new developments and suppliers that are offering more sustainable solutions. PC: Climate change is a global emergency that requires urgent action. We care passionately about the future of our planet, and as a global technology business, it is our responsibility to minimise our environmental impact. We aim to minimise emissions in our operations and through our supply chain, and most importantly, build sustainability into the design of our products. Sustainable design is about ensuring that a product is manufactured and used in its most efficient way throughout its life cycle. No product can be fully sustainable. However, measures can be taken to reduce its environmental impact. For example, our packaging designs follow global best practice metrics from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and we have also implemented a phone takeback scheme, ‘Poly Renew’, initiated in the US, in which Poly receives and recycles second-hand phones in exchange for Poly gear. JM: Konftel is proud to have secured official Climate Neutral status for the third year in a row. We became the first in the UC industry to become Climate Neutral certified, where all greenhouse gas emissions have been offset by credits, to support various projects around the world. Achieving the standard was based on a far-reaching three step process which comprised measuring our 2021 greenhouse gas emissions footprint, purchasing verified carbon credits to offset that footprint and implementing plans to reduce emissions during 2022 and beyond. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT IS? PW: Epson’s goals are to reduce total emissions in line with the 1.5°C scenario by 2030 and become carbon

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negative and underground resource free by 2050. Epson discloses its progression towards its science-based targets (SBTs) and other environmental goals in its annual sustainability and integrated reports. Epson’s SBTs include reducing scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 19 per cent by FY2025, and reducing scope 3 (including category 1: purchased goods and services, and category 11: use of sold products) by 44 per cent by FY2025. It has so far achieved -21 per cent for scopes 1 & 2 (exceeding its target) and -3 per cent for scope 3. PC: We’ve achieved an 18 per cent reduction in our carbon footprint of 11,092 tCO2e for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions compared to 2020. Going forward, we want to be carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2035. In addition to this reduction, we also achieved a seven per cent reduction in our total energy usage across our operations. Using sustainable sources of energy to run our manufacturing sites and offices is also key to positively contributing to environmental protection. We aim to have 100 per cent renewable energy used across all global sites by 2030.

picture focus is delivering absolute emissions reductions across Poly, our products and for our customers. But we also strive to build sustainability into our products, enabling better reclaiming and refurbishing down the line which ultimately reduces landfill waste. We also plan to complete more life-cycle assessment of our product catalogue, with the intention of calculating energy usage of all Poly devices. Fundamentally speaking, we’re in a constant quest for improvement, and we believe continuous assessment, adhering to proven global standards and focusing on innovation is the winning formula to stay firmly on our sustainability journey. JM: As part of this year’s commitments Konftel will cut the use of plastic bags in some of our most popular products by 50 per cent, look to increase renewable energy at main manufacturing facilities and also reduce car commuting of staff by 40 per cent.

JM: 1,290 tCO2e is Konftel’s carbon footprint. tCO2e (tCO2e stands for tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent (e).

HOW EDUCATED AND ENGAGED ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES, AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENCOURAGE THIS? JS: The engineering department is totally invested in seeking new manufacturing processes that will keep us green, and make us greener.

HOW COULD YOU BECOME A CLEANER COMPANY? JS: We are always seeking ways to be kinder to the planet and that includes our never-ending search to find components built from even more recycled content.

MN: From product planning, R&D, sales and marketing, all team members are devoted to sustainability. We believe in it and strive for excellence. We also set goals for optimising the product design. Our innovation is to create more efficient products for our customers.

MN: We will become a cleaner company by reducing our environmental footprint and those of our customers. Calibre focuses on green product design that helps our customers streamline their operation efficiency in installation, mobility, logistics and usage of our product.

PW: Mandatory training is carried out by Epson employees early in their tenure and annually to ensure they are aware of current societal and environmental challenges and how Epson is addressing these through its products and services. Epson publishes an annual sustainability report globally and has a local version for Epson’s CSR activities across Europe to educate and motivate its employees, partners and other key stakeholders around sustainability.

PW: Epson is striving to achieve sustainability in a circular economy. As part of this, Epson is undergoing a series of environmental initiatives including closing its resource loop, developing environmental technologies, and creating products and services that reduce environmental impacts. PC: Every company aspires to leave the smallest possible environmental footprint. As a manufacturer of audiovisual products, our first commitment naturally focuses on reducing our carbon footprint, the major by-product of all manufacturing and distribution businesses. The big 46

Above: Konftel is a Climate Neutral certified company

PC: Our employees are highly educated on sustainability issues and proactively engaged in tackling them. All Poly employees must undertake annual education programs to make sure they understand their obligations as a Poly rep. This includes training on corporate social responsibility; that is, the obligations that all corporations have in terms of acting ethically and developing sustainably.

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We find that our customers, our partners and our people really care about all of this. We have put it at the very heart of our business because it’s the right thing to do. Yes, the right thing from a commercial perspective, but also the right thing from an environmental and ethical perspective. WHAT ARE YOUR KEY SUSTAINABILITY MEASURES? PW: While Epson measures its reductions in greenhouse gas emissions based on science-based targets, Epson also aligns its broad range of commitments to addressing environmental and societal issues with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” MN: The measures we have put in place to reduce our carbon footprint as a company are: n Reduce carbon usage through implementing an alternative transport, video call over face to face where possible n Reduce landfill usage by implementing recycling KPI targets, audits, and training n Reduce the use of non-sustainable resources n Over the next 24 months, we plan to move to an electric/hybrid vehicle scheme, standardising electric and hybrid vehicles where possible as company vehicles n Goods transportation, minimising the transportation of goods

All our staff must understand Poly’s place in the wider world. On the engagement side, many of our staff participate in – and run – what’s called our Global Giving programme. This involves a mixture of charitable fundraising activities and donations. As a company, we proactively reach out to our staff to find out which environmental or social causes interest them, and then help them donate to charities that match their interests. Via the programme, in 2021, Poly and our employees donated $127,000, and volunteered for a total of 229 hours, to support global causes relating to sustainability and other important issues.

PC: We’re currently working on a net zero carbon assessment to help establish a clear near-term and long-term route map to achieve net zero carbon emissions. As we are defining them, Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions resulting from Poly’s operations. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy for our operations. Scope 3 emissions include all other indirect emissions which occur within our value chain. We have also invested in specialist life cycle assessment (LCA) resources and appointed a dedicated supply chain ESG manager to facilitate engagement with the supply chain on environmental targets. By focusing on both longterm goals and the intricacies of present-day supply chain management, despite challenges during the pandemic, we believe our business operations are on track to achieve long-term sustainability.

JM: Our staff are fully educated and engaged about going Climate Neutral and what it means both to the company, our customers and the wider world. We provide regular updates and information which is regularly updated on our website too.

JM: Both Konftel and the Climate Neutral organisation believe every company should be climate neutral and invest in our planet. It’s about measuring, offsetting and reducing emissions to help the world become net-zero by 2050.” www.Installation-International.com

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HOW DO YOU SET GOALS FOR IMPROVEMENT AND MAKE YOURSELVES MORE EFFICIENT? JS: Our engineering department has quarterly meetings dedicated specifically to reviewing our purchasing policies as they relate to obtaining the greenest materials for our manufacturing processes and production environment. While FSR has been aware of the importance of recycling and conservation for many years, there is always room for improvement, and we encourage our entire team to participate fully with ideas and be creative in their contributions. MN: Continuous design innovation is a core value for Calibre and it gives us a unique and competitive edge. Our strategy is to invest resources in continuous innovation, providing reliable and energy efficient products. By working on the longevity, connectivity, reparability, and recyclability of our products, we make our products suitable for all business models. We are continually improving the installation, energy efficiency and packaging efficiencies of our products. The install time and manpower has been 48

reduced from one hour by three people to only 33 minutes by two people. Power consumption at maximum brightness is greatly reduced by 30 per cent and we have also redesigned and reduced packaging to be 28 per cent lighter in gross weight and 39 per cent smaller in volume and transportability.

Above: AV industry manufacturers appear to be embracing sustainability in a big way

PW: Epson’s environmental goal is to become carbon negative and underground resource free by 2050. As part of this commitment, the business is investing JPY 100 billion/£630m by 2030 on decarbonisation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain by more than 2 million tonnes. It aims to reduce the size and weight of products and increase product longevity to reduce total resource inputs, minimise production losses, and increase the role of recycled materials into product manufacturing. NG: To maximise sustainability in our working processes, we have implemented a robust ISO 14001 accredited environmental management system (EMS). This has been developed in line with legislative requirements, including:

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n The Environmental Protection Act 1990 n Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) n Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 n The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 Pioneer Group is a proactive company striving to reduce the impact our company-generated emissions have on the environment. We are committed to reusing, recycling, or safely and correctly disposing of waste off/on-site.

CHRIS BROOME, DRAPER PRESIDENT, ON THE COMPANY’S GREEN INITIATIVES Our biggest sustainability initiative is continuous improvement. We have been using the principles of continuous improvement/lean manufacturing to reduce waste for many years. Through this process, we have been able to make better use of our production space, reducing construction and heating/cooling expense. We have also placed a strong emphasis on integrating our manufacturing. Many of our lower-volume components are now made and/or finished on site, which increases our efficiency, reduces our inventory levels, and reduces the need to ship-in components. We have made lighting upgrades in our facilities over the past few years. We have LED lighting in our office and across much of our manufacturing space. Lighting in our manufacturing areas is motion sensitive to reduce electrical consumption. We have also chosen to use finishing processes (powder coating) and printing processes (latex printing) which have significantly less environmental impact than other options. Draper manufactures in the US, and we source many components and materials here. This reduces shipping required for many of our products and components. Although we have drastically reduced scrap thanks to continuous improvement, we do still collect and recycle many tons of materials each year. We collect reusable packaging materials – including more than 100 inner and 100 outer cardboard cores per week – and return them to key suppliers like Phifer and Mermet. We also we also return and/or reuse skids. We send some back to the weavers along with the shade fabric packaging, and we reuse other skids to ship products.

PC: We have devised goals and initiatives for becoming more sustainable and efficient. From a long-term perspective, we have set ourselves a series of low carbon emissions targets moving forward, which we think are ambitious but very much achievable. The first is to use 100 per cent renewable energy across all our sites by 2030. The second is to become carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2035. The third is to achieve net zero carbon emissions for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2050. To help reach these goals, we have established inter-departmental CO2 reduction teams whose aim is to identify ways in which Poly can avoid carbon emissions across all aspects of the business. These findings are then reported to our ESG impact committee, whose role is to assess and continually monitor progress made by the reduction teams. As such, we believe we have both the right goals to become more sustainable and the immediate processes in place to achieve them. Taking an interdepartmental approach is likely to prove effective as a long-term strategy. We want sustainability to be the collective responsibility of the company at large, not just one or two C-level executives. JM: When customers buy from us, they know they are buying from an organisation which has no carbon footprint whatsoever; zero net emissions. This is a major statement of intent. The tech we produce works in harmony with our climate neutral philosophy. More conference calling means less car and rail journeys, fewer flights, less busy offices, reduced gas and electricity consumption. By choosing Konftel users really can conference with a clear climate conscience from the very first meeting. We adopt a continual process to become more environmentally friendly.”

MORE ONLINE: An extended version of this article is available online. Please click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3zEvgvm

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CONTROL ROOMS:

IN SEARCH OF A MORE SECURE & INTELLIGENT FUTURE An acute focus on cyber security, as well as the harnessing of cloud-based platforms and AI, is now defining developments in the control rooms market. David Davies explores this increasingly dynamic area of pro AV

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T

he ISE Control Rooms Summit, which took place during ISE 2022 in Barcelona, depicted an exciting market in the midst of an important transition. By its very nature – and the often ‘mission-critical’ applications that it serves – control rooms has always been situated towards the cutting edge of pro AV. But with an increased need for flexibility and myriad cyber threats to hold at bay, it’s apparent that the expectations of innovation are now higher than ever. Our report from the summit (see June issue) alluded to many of the key trends affecting control rooms at present, including: a heightened focus on security, involving the separation of core systems to minimise risk; more extensive use of IP; the implementation of cloud-based platforms for more flexibility and data-driven insight; and the use of AI to automate more repetitive tasks and support decision-making. Three of these trends – cloud, AI and cyber security – will be explored in particular depth in this article. But to begin, a brief overview of how the control rooms market has been performing and evolving over the past few years.

Not unlike some other pro AV mainstays, control rooms has been subject to a variable level of investment through what we will inevitably come to regard as ‘the pandemic years’. Several commentators observe that, in any case, control rooms tends to have a longer buying cycle than some other markets, which makes sense given the scale and complexity of many installations. Nonetheless, there has been an enhanced opportunity to look at existing sites and determine if upgrades are required.

Above: Control room with TruePix Smart Move campaign visual on screen

STRONG BUSINESS Piet Vanhuyse, segment marketing director of large video wall experience at Barco, comments: “It does depend on the end-markets [to a certain degree]. You see some making less of an investment, and others taking the opportunity to revisit their current installations.” Nonetheless, he reports continuing strong business in applications ranging from hospitals to transportation facilities and other environments where “process control […] is becoming more critical”. Crestron’s director of technology, Stijn Ooms, also evokes a market that has remained strong for the

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company. “We have seen a big growth in control rooms’ use of Crestron gear over the last few years, [in particular] because of AV over IP.” Control rooms has been a concern of the Crestron business since 1999, but there has been a notable uplift since the introduction of the AV over IP solutions range, DM NVX. Whilst it is not a key focus of this overview, it is important to mention that the shift towards IP-based infrastructures has been as pronounced in control rooms as many other pro AV markets. The flexibility this has brought to many projects is neatly summarised by Jon Litt, director, government solutions (US) at Christie, who explores the trend through the prism of the company’s own emphasis on display solutions. “Control room displays have become larger, brighter and more seamless, and control room processors have become more distributed and based on AV over IP technology rather than monolithic AV technology, and therefore also have more stringent security requirements,” he says. “And with the advancement of IP technology into control room processing, the control room operator has access to more data points which can be used to increase the effectiveness of the control room operations.” Jacob Zuo, CEO of IP video encoder, decoder and NDI converter specialist Kiloview, confirms that its “roadmap is now based on working with video and audio and seeing how everything can be brought together on an IP foundation, using NDI [the IP transportation technology].” Demand for this approach is “growing all the time across control room applications,” he adds. But in an observation that would likely be echoed by many others, Ooms indicates that this combination of developments is bringing us to a decisive point. More collaboration than ever “is now required of an organisation’s enterprise information technology teams to ensure a successful control room system implementation”. PRIORITISE SECURITY Above all, there is an awareness that system configuration in the age of IP must prioritise security whether processes are primarily based around the control room environment, or if they also encompass other locations, remote data points, and so on. Again, Litt encapsulates the main threads of what can potentially be a complex network architecture. “The requirement of the modern control room application is the ability to ‘access and interact’ with essential data points regardless of whether the source of the data is local or remote with increased ‘security’,” he says. “Data points could be residing within an AV rack, in a data centre, an operator’s 52

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computer workstation, a mobile device, or somewhere outside the control room, including the cloud. Then there is the requirement to effectively interact with and control the data source just as if the application was running on a local computer in front of the control room operator.” Robust security protocols must protect both the control room and enterprise network, while also giving operators the accessibility they need. “This requires effective network architecture and management in addition to the design and specification of the AV systems within the control room,” says Litt, adding: “AV in a control room is no longer a siloed system.” On an individual system provider level, the approach to security tends to be multi-faceted. For example, Ooms points to Crestron’s widespread use of methods including 8021.X encryption – an IEEE network standard that provides an authentication mechanism for devices wishing to connect to the network – and AES-128, which employs a 128-bit key length to encrypt and decrypt a block of messages. George Ragias, solutions architect at global provider of AV collaboration services and support company Kinly, underlines the importance of encryption across control room applications. “With the arrival of AV over IP and the network, end-to-end encryption is important,” he confirms.”We’ve seen

Above: Huge Barco video wall installation at Reliance control centre

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To this end, Barco is not alone in having published security-themed white papers dedicated to the control rooms market. In the recent ‘Keeping Your Barco Control Room Secure’ document, it outlines a ‘three-pillar’ security strategy: ‘1. Secure design and development: secure technology from the get-go. 2. Updates and patches: be secure and stay secure. 3. Incident response: detect fast, solve faster.’ This kind of ‘constant vigilance’ ethos will surely become even more important to control room security as the number and range of cyber threats continues to expand at a frankly troubling rate.

Above: Christie LCD panels used for a waste management company's control rooms in Brazil

that it in a range of AV over IP projects. It could be a control room, or it could be a training facility. In some projects, we don’t have control over the network, and we are not allowed to put anything on the network because of the cyber threat. So, encryption is vital.” Not surprisingly, certain sectors – not least military and defence – can often have highly specific security stipulations. But the impression from talking to a broad cross-section of manufacturers is that they are able to both satisfy existing needs and help clients stay one step ahead of emerging threats.

CLOUDY DAYS Installation has also obtained some insights into other technologies and their impact on control room environments. The role of the cloud is particularly interesting and likely to be even more dependent on individual customer requirements than in other markets. But where it can be deployed, it may be playing an ever-greater role in facilitating more versatile control and processing. “As for the cloud, there are two types of control rooms,” says Ragias. “There are highly secure control rooms where we’re not even allowed to use internet. [For example] there was a project where we specified the IT was all AV over IP and audio over IP [using Audinate’s] Dante. I specified the manager, but we were not allowed to use it because the only way that you could take the licence and download it to the server was via internet.” Then there are projects where security and endto-end encryption are vital, but, he says, “some people still want a cloud-based monitoring solution as they can see it’s a huge help for managing equipment, updating firmware and troubleshooting remotely". For most projects, however, internet is not permitted because of the sensitivity of the content being distributed within the premises. For Crestron, Ooms says that to a large extent “the fear of the cloud is gone” and customers are aware of the flexibility provided by cloud-based access. He cites a recent project involving an unnamed police force where a cloud solution facilitates access to hundreds of cameras around the city; both for personnel in the control room and on the move. There is also the opportunity for technical managers to “go to the cloud and have access to different devices, do firmware updates, etc”. There was also discussion of AI’s emerging potential in this market at the ISE Control Rooms Summit. Mehmet Kaya, VP sales EMEA at Barco, highlighted its scope for development in aspects of “workflow automation” and “decisionmaking support” for operators confronted with more autonomous sub-systems in intelligent control deployments.

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Expanding on these observations, his Barco colleague Vanhuyse underlines AI’s ability “to help the decision-making process and monitoring for operators” where their role moves towards supervising autonomous systems. He adds that there are some aspects “such as camera systems that already have AI applied” and implies that its deployment will be determined in part by control room operators “looking at control and what they need to do… and the fact that [many are] going to be dealing with a bigger number of sources coming in, and a growing amount of data. The inputs are more complex and the outputs are expected to be better because of the complexity of the inputs.” In short, when it comes to AI: watch this space. ENHANCED PERFORMANCE Meanwhile, the emphasis on improving visual performance of display wall technologies – always a driving force in the control rooms market – continues unabated. Showcased at ISE 2022, Barco’s latest launch is TruePix, an LED video wall platform that was “designed completely from the ground up” to suit a wide variety of enterprise applications including control rooms as well as TV studios and auditoriums. Available as 16:9 tiles with pixel pitches ranging from 0.9 to 1.9mm, TruePix is the first product to incorporate Barco’s new Infinipix Gen2 image processing system, whose hallmarks are said to include “no visual distortions, low latency, perfect sync and no tearing”. TruePix also includes SteadyView, which is designed to improve viewer ergonomics and reduce eye fatigue; a feature that Vanhuyse notes is “especially important in control room environments, where staff may intensely use the wall for multiple hours on end". For Christie, Litt says that the company’s plans going forward include “displays with continued improvement of visual performance, more options in pixel pitches, improved power efficiency, and improved production yields while reducing overall cost.” For instance, in video wall systems, Christie is providing both LCD and direct view LED solutions, and continues to conduct research on how to deliver highly effective, performance-based video wall products to market. "With LCD tech, we are providing secure tiled LCD options with now even more efficient remote power solutions," says Litt. "In direct view LED, we are investing a great deal in highly efficient production capabilities which provide us lower pixel pitches, improved production yields, improved energy efficiency and lower costs to our customers.” Finally, for a hint of what the future might bring, Installation turned to Rob Moodey, EMEA business development manager at Matrox Video. As he points 54

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Crestron control products utlised at Fishtech Group, a data-driven cybersecurity solutions provider

Above: Matrox-driven energy monitoring centre installation in the Netherlands

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out, “the DNA for most of Matrox’s products comes from a control room environment of some sort”. Moreover, the company has a “unique viewpoint” in that its products are typically used in both video-wall controllers and individual operator workstations, with the connection between the two elements often involving Matrix too. Outlining a typical scenario, Moodey says: “Starting at the operator desk we find multiple screens, traditionally quad full HD, now often multiple 4K panels. Those are usually energised by a KVM system that manages the distance between the operator and their computers (located in a machine room down the corridor), without introducing latency or image degradation. Those computers will typically have ‘wall friendly’ graphics systems.”

Above: Facility utilising Kiloview's NDI Core signal control, routing and management

EMERGING ENGAGEMENT Well-known in recent times for its KVM over IP products, Matrox is engaged with the emerging IPMX (internet protocol media experience) open standards and specifications for AV over IP. Moodey believes that IPMX and the protocols it supports “provides an excellent vehicle” for further enhancement of AV/IP, wall control and KVM products, “and the first signs are already there for those who have been watching Matrox announcements”. But he also points to more general developments in control room environments. “National control rooms are nothing new,” he says, “but aggregating more and more information from increasingly diverse sources is becoming the norm.” Combining multiple control rooms is also likely to become of a trend following the example set by the air traffic control sector, where there has been a trend towards aggregating the smaller airports into a larger control room. “It is a short step to thinking about other control room scenarios where roles are ‘distributed’ to alternate, rather than central, control rooms,” adds Moodey. Citing a recent refinery project, he says that the last couple of years have also “stimulated opportunities for reconsidering how to do things without actually being there”. Indeed, expanding this outwards, it seems eminently probable that all kinds of configurations envisaged during the Covid era will come to fruition in the next few years. With multiple new and emerging technologies contributing to a sector where business has remained buoyant despite the numerous recent challenges, it seems there is every reason to keep a close eye on this highly dynamic and inventive market.

AVAILABLE ONLINE: If you’d rather read this article off-page, online, please click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3AcfGZk

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Latest appointments

MOVERS & SHAKERS VOID ACOUSTICS WELCOMES NEW

NAOSTAGE CREATES SALES MANAGER

HEAD OF SALES AND MARKETING

ROLE TO LEAD COMMERCIAL STRATEGY

VOID ACOUSTICS has announced the appointment of Dan Moors as head of sales and marketing. Moors joins the team having previously worked in the construction and PPE sectors, and he is motivated about the challenges of working in a new industry and at a time of record expansion for Void Acoustics. “This is the first time I have worked in the professional audio industry which is clearly both dynamic and fastpaced, and I am embracing it 100 per cent!” said Moors. “I have a lot to learn from a product perspective, but there is real synergy with what I have done previously with similar supply chain structures and distribution networks. In addition to which, joining Void at this exciting phase of its development is a fantastic opportunity and one I am really looking forward to being a part of.”

NAOSTAGE, the creator of the world’s first automatic, beaconless 3D tracking solution, has announced the appointment of experienced pro AV professional Alexis Reymond as its new sales manager. Reymond has worked as a freelance audio engineer, electro-acoustic consultant, sound designer and music producer for more than 20 years, most recently in a sales engineering capacity with fellow Nantes-based company Arbane Groupe (APG/Active Audio). His other experience includes spells with event specialists Videlio and Magnum, where he worked as a sound engineer for 17 years, and Disneyland Paris, where he served as a freelance AV technician. In addition to his hands-on industry experience, Reymond holds multiple academic and professional qualifications.

PPDS APPOINTS NEW EUROPEAN SALES

DAKTRONICS EASTERN MISSOURI

DIRECTOR TO DRIVE GROWTH

SALES TEAM WELCOMES TODD GREEN

PPDS has announced the appointment of AV specialist, Jae O Choi Park, as its new European sales director. Based out of PPDS’ Amsterdam head office, Jae – who describes the new role as a “peak moment” in his career – will work with, and report directly to Franck Racape, who has recently been promoted as head of global commercial, to devise and execute an ambitious five-year growth strategy, in which Jae will play a pivotal role. Leading the commercial organisation in all countries and regional clusters across EMEA, Jae’s key focus will be to support and accelerate growth within these markets, “helping to ensure a seamless experience on projects for partners and end customers, from factory floor to installation. This includes driving PPDS’ full range of solutions within its ever strengthening portfolio.”

TODD GREEN has followed in his father’s footsteps to join the Eastern Missouri sales team for Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota. He brings “effective, dynamic” digital displays to businesses and schools across his home state of Missouri. Green spent the last 12 years working as a complex surgical rep, helping hospitals find the best resources to meet patient needs. With Daktronics, he will work alongside businesses and schools to meet their communication needs. “Todd will be a great asset to our team,” region manager Kelly Koenig said. “He cares so deeply about the people he works with and stops at nothing to help them succeed.” Green added: “I’m ready to use my skills and knowledge to help a new group of people.”

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Latest Appointments

Stay in the loop with the latest appointments, top hires, and promotions from across the AV industry…

Q ACOUSTICS APPOINTS FORMER APPLE

INFILED ADDS SUPPORT FOR

EXEC TO THE BOARD

GROWING US SALES TEAM

LEADING audio brand owner, Q Acoustics, has announced that Colin Greene, a former Apple executive for 13 years who led Apple’s US consumer business to multi-billion dollar revenues, has been appointed to its board of directors as a non-executive director. His focus will be to assist the development of the business strategy and optimising the potential of the core owned brands of Q Acoustics, QED and Goldring across the world. Greene brings 30 years of experience in executive leadership roles within technology giants such as NCR, Intel, Dell and Apple. During his tenure with Apple he held COO and MD roles in Tokyo and Seoul, and in the US led its consumer business. Since returning to the UK three years ago Colin has taken on a number of advisory and non-executive roles focused on the technology and consumer sectors.

INFILED, a global leader in LED displays, has hired Crystal Wu to support the growing US sales team. With 15 years in the LED display industry under her belt, Wu has a combined experience in sales, marketing, customer service, and project management in both the rental and fixed install markets. She is passionate about working closely with customers, understanding their needs, and developing the appropriate solutions for their projects, especially those that are time sensitive. “We’re very lucky to have Crystal on our team,” said VP/general manager, Henry Ambrose. “She’s a seasoned LED pro with a track record of successful projects. Our sales team is growing rapidly, and Crystal will be an asset to both the team and our customers focused on rental/ staging and system integration projects.”

KINLY ANNOUNCES NEW HEAD OF

DATAPATH APPOINTS STRATEGIC

CONSULTANCY AND DESIGN

PROCUREMENT MANAGER

KINLY, the leading AV systems integrator and remote collaboration service provider, has announced the promotion of Mark Kempson to the newly created position of head of consultancy and design. Kempson has more than a decade of AV specialist experience and has enjoyed successive promotions with Kinly since joining in 2018, including as sales engineer, AV pre sales manager, and AV design team manager. Reporting to Kinly’s new operations director for UK and Ireland, Stuart Davidson, Kempson’s new role extends his previous responsibilities to support all national and some international AV, UCC and collaboration business leads, generated by the UK business. An AVIXA Certified Technology Specialist - Design, he will work closely with Kinly’s project management team, and directly with clients.

DATAPATH has appointed Brian Tulley as strategic procurement manager, a role that will see him working with internal and external partners to secure the long-term availability of key, strategic electronic components required to support Datapath’s business objectives. Tulley has extensive experience in technology procurement, having held senior roles at blue chip organisations including General Electric and Rolls Royce. “As part of our ongoing global growth, we’d like to welcome Brian to the Datapath family,” said Tony Jones, director and co-founder of Datapath. “Brian has an impressive track record in global procurement and, during a period of considerable pressure on supply lines, we are delighted to add his skillset to the team.” Tulley’s role includes collaboration with Datapath’s tier one manufacturer partners.

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INSIDE TRACK This issue we talk to Craig Storey, CEO of Lightware Visual Engineering UK, about land and water-based sports activities, leaving the armed forces for AV, and the positives and negatives of Covid lockdowns Whereabouts do you hail from and where are you based? I was born in Surrey and grew up there until the age of 17 when I left to join the British Army. I currently reside on the south coast of the UK with my wife, two young children, my two dogs and cat. We live a busy life so need a quiet area to wind down! How did you get started in the industry? At the age of 20, I left very early in what I thought would be a longterm career in the British Army after studying electronic engineering and found myself looking for work that suited my interests and the skills I had been developing. I came across a job post in a local Connexions store advertising for an apprenticeship role within the AV sector. The job post went into some detail and the position looked like it suited my interests and the skills in electronic engineering I had been developing, so I applied and went for an interview not truly understanding what this industry represents. This led me to start working as an apprentice for an AV integrator called Focus 21. My first position was within their rack build facility, but I eventually ended up ‘trying my hand’ within any sides of the business that interested me. What advice can you give someone starting out? Diversity in your job is key, try as many different things as you can as early as you can. This will not only help you find the areas you are passionate about and excel in, but it will help you develop your weaknesses whilst giving you an understanding of other roles within the business and their challenges. I would also say that I have been extremely fortunate in finding two key mentors through my career path and without their guidance I wouldn’t be where I am today. I will admit though, that listening to their guidance and applying it has not always been easy but it has never been anything but worthwhile. How did you fill your time during lockdown? Any new hobbies? Cycling (indoors; static trainer) and running (indoors or a local loop) but my main time consumer was steering the business through that tough period; the exercise became a much-needed outlet for the hours spent on video calls at that time!

What football/rugby/other sports teams do you support? I have dabbled in a fair few sports taking some more seriously than others such as rock climbing, kayaking, surfing, SUP, triathlon, cycling, golf and racing motorbikes and cars. But I’ve never really gotten into supporting a team because I’d always rather be out there living it than watching it. Tell us something about you that may surprise people When I take something on, I do it with nothing less than everything I have. Whether this be training for triathlon or taking on a role for a company that was mostly unknown in the UK. I have applied this mentality into both my personal and professional life and only my close friends and family know how much I live and breathe this principle, giving nothing less than my all. If you could change just one thing about your life, what would it be? I would have liked to have served in the British Army a little longer. Personal reasons drove me to leave, and it was absolutely the right decision. But it’s always felt like a task I never completed, and this has never sat well with me. But this decision is likely the drive behind my ambition and desire to give things my all, which has led me to where I am today. How did Lightware fare during the Covid-19 pandemic? We have all found positives and negatives throughout the pandemic. Lockdown was a tough time for Lightware. I had joined the team a few months prior and projects went on hold almost overnight, with no understanding of when or (at worst) if they would come online again. The silver lining to lockdown was that people were easier to reach via video than they ever had been in person, and so lockdown for us became a time to spread our message and educate our customers. Once out of lockdown this became the springboard for Lightware, and we have been growing ever since. Our plans are really to invest in this success and further build on the quality team we have today, as well as release some more amazing products!

AVAILABLE ONLINE: If you prefer to read this article off-page, online, please click here. Or go to: https://bit.ly/3QhKWf5

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