Y O U R I N S I D E R B U S I N E S S R E S O U R C E F O R M O R E T H A N 2 5 Y E A R S / / / SEPTEMBER 2019
S Y S T E M S
C O N T R A C T O R
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Stadium Sound, Guide to Loudspeakers, and More!
o i e d u u s A Is
PHOTO BY STAS KNOP FROM PEXELS
8 industry insiders
26 Executive Q&A
Marc Chutczer talks about Meyer Sound’s innovation mindset.
28 Tech Tales
Biamp’s David Sholkovitz shares how integrators can solve productivity problems.
Brandy Alvarado of Mad Systems gives her networking do’s and don’ts.
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/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// SEPTEMBER 2019 // VOLUME 26 // ISSUE 9 ///////////////////////////////////////
PEOPLE 32 THE INFINITY STONES OF AV QSC’s Joe Pham compares the AV industry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and encourages AV professionals to become AVengers. By Megan A. Dutta
SNAPSHOTS 48 CREATING A BETTER MEETING CULTURE Culture Trip is a fast-growing travel, media, and entertainment business that creates stories to highlight what is unique and special about a place, its people, and culture. Yamaha VXL1 line array loudspeakers and an MTX3 matrix processor form a key part of a new audio system that has radically improved the company’s meetings. By SCN Staff
TECHNOLOGY 50 ASSISTIVE LISTENING DIALS IN With smartphones capable of communicating with just about everything, it’s no surprise that technology developers are applying them in the realm of assistive listening. Not only does this setup eliminate much of the hassle associated with dedicated devices, it also enables facilities to reach a wider audience. By Carolyn Heinze
52 DIVE INTO AUDIO PROCESSING Audio processors and amplifiers might not be the flashiest part of an installation, but they’re critical to a superior sound experience. By Mary Bakija
A sneak peek at what pro AV manufacturers will be showcasing at CEDIA Expo 2019. By Megan A. Dutta
37 | STADIUM AND ARENA SOUND
VIEWPOINT 66 NETWORKING AND CONNECTING PEOPLE, NOT COMPUTERS
With venues and events expected to produce $27.7 billion in pro AV revenue in 2018, it’s no doubt that there are huge opportunities for integration firms in stadium and arena sound. By Megan A. Dutta
42 | SYSTEMATIC SOUND
A focus on how loudspeakers integrate into end-to-end AV systems, and models that play well with others: these are common refrains in the pro AV industry in 2019. Ease of use, compact designs, and network-readiness are also trending in the diverse loudspeaker category, driving sales and integration choices. By Margot Douaihy, Ph.D.
ASSOCIATION NEWS............................................. 24 PEOPLE NEWS......................................................... 34 PRODUCTS............................................................... 56
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Vol. 26 No. 9 September 2019 Systems Contractor News (ISSN 1078-4993) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Periodical postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS, P.O. Box 1051, Lowell, MA 01853. Subscription rates are US: 1 yr $59, 2 yr $105; Canada: 1 yr $109, 2 yr $205, Foreign: 1 yr $169, 2 yr $325; Single copy price $10. Subscribe online at www.MySCNews.com. Please allow 6-8 weeks for address changes to take effect. ©Copyright 2019 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A.
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In a business environment, meeting and connecting with people can be fun ... and also bit frustrating at times. Here are some networking do’s and don’ts that have proven to be successful. By Brandy Alvarado
54 CEDIA EXPO 2019 PREVIEW
For more on the stories in this issue, visit avnetwork.com/scn0919.
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N E W S
SEPTEMBER 2019 VOL . 26 NO. 9
If It Ain’t Broke, Should You Fix It?
Megan A. Dutta
Follow Me Online firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/ systemscontractor twitter.com/scnmag twitter.com/meganadutta @scnmagazine
it actually work? Is there something Growing up, I always heard, “If it ain’t newer that can actually improve broke, don’t fix it.” According to my efficiencies? Yes, everyone wants the mother, our 13-inch black and white TV shiny new toy, but they often don’t in the kitchen worked just fine, thank upgrade to the new technology because you very much—no need to replace it. their current technology still works. Hearing this phrase on repeat has That’s where the smart integrator stuck with me. I’ve owned the same comes in. The smart integrator will toaster for the last 16 years. It’s cheap, proactively approach clients with new white, and came free with a coffee technology, but not pitch it as the maker. In other words, it matches none “hottest thing on the of my appliances, has a wonky lever, and is "Your client may have a market.” The smart constantly burning system that 'works,' but integrator will map out a plan and let toast. But it wasn’t does it actually work? Is her clients know why broke, so I didn’t fix there something newer the latest gadget will it … until recently. I woke up one day that can actually improve save time, money, or wondering why I efficiencies?" both. The smart continue to use this integrator will keep his client up-tostupid toaster that makes me so angry. date with the latest trends. He’ll say A decent stainless steel toaster with a something like, “Maybe this widget modern aesthetic is about $25, easily isn’t 100-percent necessary today, but affordable. So I went out and bought if you don’t do something about your a new toaster. And it brought me so. current not-broken AV system, it will much. joy. be outdated soon, and you’ll spend even In addition to sparking joy, it made more money doing a rushed upgrade toasting more efficient—less time, next year.” better quality. So why is our society Let’s toss the old if-it-ain’t-brokeso content to not fix things that aren’t don’t-fix-it adage out the window and technically broken? And is not fixing start thinking future-forward. something that’s not broken actually costing your customers money? Take the concept of the new toaster Tweet Us to the board room. Your client may What’s stopping you from fixing things that aren’t broken? have a system that “works,” but does
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Beale Street Audio Becomes the Beating Heart of AV in Houston Cardiovascular Center houston , tx —Sixth Sense Solutions of Houston installed Beale Street Audio speakers in Vital Heart & Vein, a fully automated, state-of-the-art surgical and cardiovascular care center. The resulting clear, high-quality audio delivered by the speakers keeps patients relaxed and operations running smoothly. “The sound quality surpasses all expectations and the user interface is very intuitive. The AV is truly exceptional,” said Dr. Mazen Ganim, president of the facility. “The professionalism and knowledgeable approach by the team at Sixth Sense Solutions helped make it a seamless and enjoyable experience from start to finish. A great job with truly amazing results!”
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4. Trends in Command and Control Rooms 3. Creating the Casino of the Future 2. AVI-SPL Acquires Digital Video Networks 1. Shure Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against ClearOne
Blog bits Now on avnetwork.com By Brendan Ciecko We’re on the precipice of the 5G revolution, and museums won’t be left behind. Just as technologies like artificial intelligence open a world of potential, 5G offers new possibilities for museums to engage visitors in meaningful ways. It’s time to start thinking creatively about how to harness the power of increased connectivity.
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Now on residentialsystems.com By Todd Anthony Puma “Always eat the groceries.” This means you shouldn’t just buy the equipment and install it for your clients; you should also install it in your own home and live with it. Understand all of the quirks, the workarounds, the added bonuses and the interesting ways you find to use it. Give your techs and sales team an allowance to put gear into their own homes so they can speak to clients from a point of knowledge, enabling them to troubleshoot more effectively.
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Now on Installation-International.com By Chris Miller Selecting a technology partner can be part art form, part science. Relationships, references, interviews, manufacturer accessibility—all are important and verifiable by end users or consultants. However, if the project requires engaging multi-country integration and service support, it can be difficult to determine who is capable and can deliver on that promise.
news greenville, sc—Zytronic
recently collaborated with Gizmo Bar, a new business in Greenville, SC’s NOMA Square that combines the function of a tech repair facility with the inviting comfort of a plush lounge. The 3,000-square-foot space is outfitted with interactive technology powered by Zytronic’s Zybrid multitouch sensors and the company’s latest ZXY500 touch controllers, which combine to deliver a mix of durability and interactive responsiveness.
Future to Launch The Video Show in D.C. This December Future U.S., publisher of Systems Contractor News, announces the U.S. launch The Video Show. The two-day event takes place December 4-5, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. As the Mid-Atlantic region’s biggest event for video professionals and enthusiasts, The Video Show encompasses every aspect of video and content creation, showcasing a multitude of brands alongside a dedicated program of seminars, live demos, and master-classes that take place within 15 Studios (content tracks). The inaugural U.S. event follows the successful U.K. launch of The Video Show in March in conjunction with The Photography Show. The U.K. event drew 32,000 visitors and more than 300 brands, including top industry names like Blackmagic Design, Canon, Nikon and Sennheiser. Programmed to appeal to personnel in a broad range of industries including production, broadcast, streaming, online/mobile media, events, newsgathering, government, education, and AV, The Video Show will allow enthusiasts and professionals alike to get their hands on the latest gear, try out new techniques, and learn about different aspects of videography from industry pros. Participants can expect to see hundreds of sessions across The
Video Show’s 15 premium Studios, each delivering themed content including panel discussions, tutorials, keynote addresses, and presentations delivered by experts in their fields. Topics include pro AV, live streaming, sports production, 360 video, and virtual reality. “In today’s rapidly evolving video production landscape, we’re excited to offer professional videographers a chance to get up close and personal with the best in the business,” said The Video Show conference director Cristina Clapp. “With 15 specialized Studios of premium content focused on independent filmmaking, streaming, live events, sports production, web and mobile video, and the future of video, The Video Show has something for everyone.” Registration for The Video Show is free through December 3, allowing attendees access to the 80+ exhibitors on the show floor. Early Bird rates for premium Studio content are half-price through December 3: $24.50 for a one-day Studio Access Pass and $37.50 for a two-day Studio Access Pass. At the door December 4-5, registration for The Video Show goes up to $25, with one-day Studio Access Passes available for an additional $45 and two-day Studio Access Passes available for $75. To learn more, visit www.thevideoshow.com.
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news Diversified Launches Diversified Academy Diversified’s recently launched Diversified Academy provides training and employment opportunities to veterans and their spouses. Located at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the program provides transition assistance from military service to a role within Diversified. Veterans who complete the comprehensive training course are equipped with the day-one skills they need to succeed as a new member of the Diversified team. “Military values of teamwork, selflessness, sacrifice, and dedication mirror our core DNA at Diversified,” said Fred D’Alessandro, CEO, Diversified. “We are proud to honor the service of our veterans, to enable a successful transition from military to civilian life for them and their families, and to provide opportunity in applying their unique skills and talents to building complex technology solutions across the globe.” With a dedicated team behind the program and continued opportunity for career advancement within a growing global company, Diversified Academy gives veterans the added confidence that as they’re leaving one team, they’ve already found a home with another. “As a veteran, it’s a privilege to be part of a program designed to assist veterans and their spouses as they transition from the military,” said Diversified Academy program sponsor and retired Army Sgt. Maj. David H. Haynie. “This can be a stressful time for both the veteran and [his or her] family members. Through the Diversified Academy, we are able to offer an opportunity to mitigate some of that stress by providing
training and employment within an organization that has limitless possibilities for professional growth and advancement.” The Diversified Academy is designed to serve as a pathway for veterans to find their next mission and continue to serve with a different uniform. Diversified points out that because it and the military have similar organizational values, and because Diversified already has a number of employees with military backgrounds, transitioning military members are easily able to find their fit at Diversified. “As a Marine veteran and a retired law enforcement officer, I am honored to be able to continue to give back to the men and women who secure our great nation and our freedom,” said Diversified senior director of operations and retired Marine Sgt. Stan H. Padgett. “The technology that our team provides helps save
“As a veteran, it’s a privilege to be part of a program designed to assist veterans and their spouses as they transition from the military.” —David H. Haynie lives down range, and that is why I absolutely love my job at Diversified. We would love for you to come and join our team!” To learn more about Diversified Academy, visit https://careers. diversifiedus.com/diversified-academy.
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boom, belgium—In the latest Eric Prydz in Concert (EPIC) event, which took place at Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival in July, the DJ performed inside a videomapped LED sphere more than 8 meters tall. The 5-ton Holosphere presented holographic imagery to electronic dance music fans via more than 2.4 million LEDs embedded in 72 panels mounted on a metal skeleton. Light Initiative was responsible for designing and manufacturing the relatively lightweight structural and cladding system that appears transparent to viewers. The sphere’s 301 square meters of LED panels displayed bright, custom mapped animations. With a uniform 16mm pixel pitch, the Holosphere achieved 64 percent transparency, revealing Prydz at the center of the action.
Shure Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against ClearOne
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Shure has filed a lawsuit against ClearOne in the U.S. Court for the District of Delaware. The lawsuit alleges that ClearOne’s BMA CT product, launched in February 2019, infringes Shure’s U.S. Patent No. 9,565,493 (“493 patent”), which protects the architecture of Shure’s ceiling array microphone. Furthermore, Shure alleges that ClearOne engaged in unfair competition, tortious interference, deceptive trade practices, and false advertising by intentionally making false, deceptive, and/or misleading remarks in the marketplace about the status and availability of Shure’s MXA910 in order to deter customers from purchasing these products. Specifically, Shure alleges that ClearOne is leveraging ongoing litigation between the two companies to intentionally and falsely claim that Shure’s MXA910 products are unavailable to customers; that Shure is unable to sell these products; that integrators, installers, and/or end users will need to tear or rip out existing installations of the MXA910; and other similar false representations. “Rather than innovating or competing fairly, ClearOne responded to Shure’s successful launch of its MXA product line by releasing its own product mimicking the MXA910,” said Paul Applebaum, executive vice president and general counsel, Shure. “To make matters worse, in an effort to promote its infringing product, ClearOne has decided to mislead the marketplace—which includes customers of both companies—by engaging in a smear campaign of false and misleading statements about Shure’s products. These deceptive practices not only harm Shure, but are intended to scare and confuse consumers.” In a statement, ClearOne said, “ClearOne denies Shure’s allegations of patent infringement and false advertising. Shure’s claims are frivolous and appear to be manufactured to retaliate against ClearOne’s meritorious patent infringement and trade secret claims against Shure, currently pending in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois. Shure’s claim that ClearOne’s BMA-CT product infringes its 493 patent is without merit. The asserted claims of Shure’s 493 patent are invalid in light of ClearOne’s own earlier Patent No. 9,813,806. Indeed, even before Shure filed its desperate lawsuit, ClearOne had challenged the validity of Shure’s 493 patent in the U.S. PTO, and asserted claims against Shure for infringement of ClearOne’s 806 patent. ClearOne is confident that it will prevail and that Shure’s desperate ploy to manufacture frivolous claims will be rejected.” Shure is seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief to prevent the continuing infringement of Shure’s intellectual property and to stop ClearOne’s alleged unlawful violations of the Delaware Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Lanham Act, and its Tortious Interference with Business Relations.
16 S C N www.riedel.net
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news AVI-SPL Acquires Digital Video Networks delivery capabilities to current and prospective customers. “Our goal is to be wherever our customers need us, whenever they need us, to meet their digital services goals,” said John Zettel, CEO of AVI-SPL. “With DVN joining AVI-SPL, we’re adding a tremendously talented team of professionals who share our customer-centric approach. We’re looking forward to strengthening our local presence in the Southwest and enhancing the experience for IA HI-DEF TVs CED our multi-locational customers looking to standardize their technology company-wide.”
As part of its strategic growth plan, AVI-SPL has acquired Digital Video Networks (DVN), an audiovisual and unified communications provider in the southwestern United States. AVI-SPL says the purchase will strengthen its market leadership with additional talent and resources in a growing5/06 region expanding global support and services 1pg TVBox SCN_RESI_2019.qxp_b 1pg INwhile BOX/BLDR 8/12/19 its 3:33 PM Page 1
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“The decision to join AVISPL made perfect sense for our customers and employees,” added Digital Video Networks co-founder Bill Blair. “With the incredible growth we’re seeing in the area, both will enjoy the added resources and services AVI-SPL provides from a local and global level, ensuring we remain the southwest region’s most trusted and most capable technology provider for organizations undergoing digital transformation. It’s a perfect match at the ideal time.” Over the past decade, AVI-SPL’s global reach has encompassed over 70,000 projects in more than 80 countries worldwide. With the acquisition finalized, DVN customers gain immediate access to AVI-SPL’s global solutions, including 24/7 coverage from four Global Services Operations Centers, and proactive monitoring and management capabilities via AVI-SPL’s Symphony, which was named Best IoT Product by Systems Contractor News at InfoComm 2019.
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news What Does ISE 2020 Offer North American AV Professionals? Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events, explains why AV professionals should consider adding ISE 2020 to their show calendars.
Integrated Systems Europe has become the world’s largest professional AV and systems More Online integration show. Since its inception in 2004, it has grown ISE 2020 takes place at the RAI Amsterdam in size, scope and influence: ISE Feb. 11-14, 2020. To learn more, visit www. 2019 visitors came from a total iseurope.org. of 188 countries, with the United States, China and Russia all in the top ten in the attendance league table. Our attendees are professionals from the AV channel and the enduser community who are interested in the integration of different products into a solution that meets a client’s needs. Much of the show floor is taken up by six Technology Zones: Audio & Live Events, Digital Signage & DooH, Education Technology, Residential, Smart Building, and Unified Communications. Satisfaction rates with the show are high: 92 percent of ISE 2019 attendees rated it as giving a good, very good, or excellent return on investment of their time and money. Another indicator of success is that the show has all but outgrown the venue that has housed it for the past dozen or so years. ISE 2020 will be our last at the RAI Amsterdam; in 2021 we will move to Barcelona, Spain. There are many reasons to come to ISE from North America, whether as an exhibitor or an attendee. ISE is one of a global series of shows owned or co-owned by AVIXA; to keep up to speed with the latest product launches, you need to attend more than one of them. But because it is the world’s largest show in this sector, ISE has become a key date on manufacturers’ product development calendars. And as it’s the first major professional AV exhibition of the year, many new products are shown for the first time at ISE. In fact, its timing is one
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Managing Director ISE Mike Blackman
of the reasons ISE continues to draw an increasing number of visitors from all over the world. As I’ve said, many North American industry professionals already attend ISE. Combined, the United States and Canada accounted for a little over 4 percent of the 81,000 people who came through the doors of ISE 2019. Backed by our co-owners, AVIXA and CEDIA, ISE is the only show that caters to both the commercial and residential AV markets. For attendees, ISE provides the opportunity to discover new companies and meet up with familiar ones. The big international companies that you’re used to seeing at InfoComm and CEDIA are also at ISE—but so are several hundred companies that you won’t have seen before. That gives you the chance to experience and learn about new technologies and solutions to help your business that many of your competitors don’t have access to. For exhibitors, ISE provides an ideal opportunity to reach new markets, not just in Europe, but further afield. For many manufacturers, it’s the perfect place to catch up with their European distributors—and find new ones. ISE’s free M2D (manufacturer to distributor) service is a simple and effective way of advertising to potential new distributors in specific territories and meeting up with them there and then. Another important aspect of breaking into a new market is getting the industry press on board. More than 500 industry editors from 36 countries attended ISE 2019; holding a press event at ISE is a relatively straightforward but highly effective way to build faceto-face relationships with the European press, and give your company and its offerings greater prominence in the minds of these key influencers. ISE also has a growing roster of conferences targeted at key vertical market sectors. The best established of these are the Digital Signage Summit and the Smart Building Conference, but we also have events for digital cinema, hospitality, pro audio, higher education, enterprise, XR (virtual, augmented, and mixed reality), visitor attractions, and—planned for ISE 2020—control rooms. There will also be a full program of other events at ISE 2020, including free thought leadership sessions on the Main Stage, professional development programs from AVIXA and CEDIA, and plenty more. We will have more details at the beginning of October, when registration opens. I look forward to welcoming you to Amsterdam in February.
news Pro AV’s Consistent Growth Contrasts with Unsteady Global Economy In contrast to the broader economic news, July wasn’t a tumultuous month for AVIXA’s Pro-AV Business Index, with sales growth remaining steady. Survey respondents continue to provide a mixed bag on how the summer season affects their business. Some cite that employees’ increased time off hinders project execution, while others in the education space are enjoying a busy time. “As a consultant, planning is easier in the summertime, with school vacations. On the other hand, executing projects is tough, as technicians and some of the customers are away as well,” shared a design consultant in the Middle East/Africa region. In July, the AV Sales Index (AVI-S) continued to show growth, with a reading of 60.3, or 1.1 points lower than the June mark. An index number above 50 indicates an increase in sales. “In an illustration of the diverse nature of the pro AV industry, our respondents gave contradictory reports about the impact of summer on their sales,” said Peter Hansen, economic analyst, AVIXA. “The fact that the AVI-S declined—though only barely—suggests that the ‘summer is slow’ folks outnumber those who report that summer is busy.” The U.S.-China trade war intensified in the first few days of August, which affects the pro AV industry in a multitude of ways. Primarily, it introduces uncertainty and makes businesses less likely to invest and expand. Rising import and export costs also disrupt supply chains and make products more expensive. U.S. jobs report prognosticators were spot-on in July, as the
economy added 164,000 jobs against predictions of 165,000. Wage growth remained tepid at a nominal 3.2 percent change, just 1.6 percent when adjusted for inflation. The pro AV world also reported steady growth in July, with the AV Employment Index (AVI-E) clocking in at 57.3, virtually unchanged from the June mark of 57.9 and the May reading of 56.6. The Pro-AV Business Index report is derived from a monthly survey of the AVIXA Insights Community, a research community of industry members that tracks business trends in commercial AV. The report actually comprises two diffusion indexes: the AV Sales Index (AVI-S) and the AV Employment Index (AVI-E). In each case, an index above 50 indicates an increase in sales or employment activity. Visit www.avixa.org/AVindex to access the free monthly Pro-AV Business Index reports and learn more about the methodology. For more information about joining the AV Intelligence Panel, visit www. avixa.org/AVIP.
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news AQAV Forms Strategic Partnership with AV User Group The Association for Quality in Audiovisual (AQAV) has formed a partnership with AV User Group. As part of the newly formalized collaboration, AV User Group members gain access to AQAV training and certification tracks at significantly discounted prices. AQAV’s educational tracks will offer AV User Group members expertise in ensuring consistent quality in the systems they design, install, or otherwise maintain. “We are convinced that AV User Group members—when trained—will see immediate results related to greater efficiency and cost savings in systems design and installation,” said Mario Maltese, founder of AQAV. Graduates also receive “documentation with which to easily train staff and users, and the ability to hold service providers accountable consistently,” added Maltese. Owen Ellis, chairman of AV User Group, indicated that the motivation to form this partnership was to not just support the end user with training, but to raise standards within the pro AV industry. “Knowledgeable, educated end users demand higher standards from their suppliers,” added Ellis. “This is generally where raising industry standards begins.”
NSCA Report Forecasts Marginal Growth
SMPTE to Honor 2019 tAward Recipients at Annual Gala SMPTE will honor a group of industry leaders and innovators at the SMPTE Awards Gala on October 24. The gala and after-party will serve as the concluding events of the SMPTE 2019 Annual Conference Progress Medal (SMPTE 2019) at the recipient Cristina Westin Bonaventure Gomila Torres. Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. “The SMPTE Awards Gala is a significant annual event that recognizes industry leaders of the past, present, and future,” said SMPTE president Patrick Griffis, vice president of technology in the office of the CTO at Dolby Laboratories. “Every person who will be honored at the gala has in some way made a substantial contribution to the ongoing advancement of media and entertainment technology. It’s always exciting to share the room with such a remarkable and accomplished group of individuals.” The Progress Medal, the most prestigious SMPTE award, recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the progress of the engineering phases of the motion picture, television, or motion imaging industries. SMPTE will present the 2019 Progress Medal to Cristina Gomila Torres for her leadership and ongoing contributions to the motion picture and media industry. Tickets for the SMPTE Awards Gala are limited. Those registering for SMPTE 2019 may elect to purchase tickets to the gala as an add-on to their conference packages or as a standalone purchase. More information regarding the gala and the 2019 honorees may be found at https://2019.smpte.org/home/gala.
The summer 2019 edition of NSCA’s Electronic Systems Outlook report calls for a 1 percent increase for construction put in place this year, down from a 4 percent growth rate of 2018. The report includes construction outlook information based on actual data from Q1 and Q2 of 2019, as well as a forecasted outlook for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. “Construction numbers look especially solid in corporate and government sectors as compared to 2018,” said NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson. “As always, the challenge for integrators will be finding qualified staff members so they can take on new work in growing markets. NSCA continues to support the Ignite program to attract new talent to the industry and help integrators fill the pipeline with qualified—and interested—employees.” The summer 2019 edition of the Electronic Systems Outlook report provides an updated view of construction data by market and electronic system/ technology, offering details on markets projected to do the best in terms of renovation and new construction; construction forecasts for 2019 and beyond; technologies growing in demand, and where growth is occurring; developing a focused sales approach; and new business opportunity potential. NSCA launched the Electronic Systems Outlook report as a response to integrators asking about market conditions and trends so they could adjust go-to-market strategies. NSCA has followed and reported on industry conditions for more than 22 years, believing that new construction is the best indicator of the future business climate for integrators. The NSCA says understanding construction put-in-place totals allows it to predict patterns of slowdowns, recoveries, and market/ geographic changes. The NSCA Electronic Systems Outlook is free for NSCA members to download at www.nsca.org/industry-research.
DSF Now Offering Micro-Credential Programs The Digital Signage Federation (DSF) has partnered with the Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG) to provide more than a dozen micro-credential programs. Courses include “Choosing a Display,” “Designing Content,” “Selecting the Right CMS,” and more. The new DSF courses are included with a DSF credentialing license, which is available to DSF members. Each member company receives one license to be used by an employee, with additional licenses available for purchase. All professionals who pass the micro-credential courses will be given a digital badge to use in their online profiles. For more information, email Brian Gorg at email@example.com.
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BY MEG A N A . D UT T A
40 Years Young MARC CHUTCZER DISCUSSES MEYER SOUND’S INNOVATION MINDSET SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities? MARC CHUTCZER: I lead the digital team at Meyer Sound. The digital team produces our audio processing boxes—D-Mitri and Galaxy—and the software that runs them. We maintain the infrastructure protocols like RMS or the Milan stack, and my team is generally composed of very senior engineers and researchers. Most of the time I don’t understand what they are talking about, and they know it, but I see my mission as a facilitator, a catalyst to get them logistically organized to deliver the best possible products. SCN: How long have you been in this position? MC: About six months now. SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role? MC: While Meyer Sound celebrates 40 years of doing business this year, the mindset of the company is that of one 40 years young. Innovation remains a constant and we have the flexibility to be responsive—as we are sought-after for sonic solutions across a wide range of end uses. I have to stay on my toes and always be ready for the next project, whatever it may be. Because I’ve often worked often in relatively small companies, I’ve been exposed to a breadth of operations throughout my career. I worked mostly in engineering, so I am used to development cycles in software and electrical or mechanical engineering, but I also appreciate and understand the full picture of manufacturing, quality assurance, operations, marketing, and finance. Because Meyer Sound does so much development and manufacturing in-house, having a broad understanding of those different areas comes in handy. SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals? MC: In the short term, some of the Meyer Sound products—especially software applications—need refreshing. We have already announced a 3D version of our MAPP software called MAPP-3D, and we have demonstrated our new live spatial sound mixing software, tentatively called SpaceMap Live, at ISE and InfoComm this year, which has really gotten people excited. My team and I are very focused on delivering on the expectation that the buzz around these demos has created. Long term, these two applications are the stepping stones to a new Meyer Sound ecosystem that is simpler, more intuitive, and, at the same time, more powerful than what we offer today. In truth, almost no one knows 10 percent of the features in some of our older products. We have a team that retains its expertise in digital signal processing, but also has a very modern understanding of user experience requirements. Hopefully we deliver software and hardware in the future that offers the same mix of accuracy, power, and flexibility in an even more approachable package. SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face? MC: At Meyer Sound, the emphasis on product quality is far beyond anything I have seen anywhere else. The teams don’t take shortcuts and the word “compromise” is not even part of the vocabulary. At Meyer Sound’s inception, John Meyer took loudspeakers apart and created a production facility for every component he thought he could improve on. John and Helen Meyer have always had a very close relationship with their customers, and they—and most Meyer Sound employees—spend
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Quick Bio Name: Marc Chutczer Position: Vice President of Digital Program Management Company: Meyer Sound Overtime: When not working, Chutczer enjoys cooking—especially trying out new methods or kitchen gadgets—sailing, teaching robotics at his children’s school, and music.
a huge amount of time in the field, so they have a very good understanding of the expectations out there. The desire to put out only perfect products is laudable but can sometimes inhibit the teams at the onset of a project. When you try to address every customer and every use case, coming up with the right product architecture is complex, and the fear of making mistakes can be paralyzing. Fortunately, many of the engineers who designed the incredible products Meyer Sound has produced over the years are still with us and help us overcome any “blank page syndrome.”
SCN: Where do you see the pro audio market heading? MC: Digital distribution of audio is going to grow exponentially. Meyer Sound and others in the Avnu Alliance are now shipping the first fully Milan-certified devices, and many more of these devices are coming. Some people have mixed feelings about AVB, but that will change once more Milan devices are available in the market. It’s an open standard that guarantees interoperability; Avnu Alliance members have done a huge amount of work to address industry shortcomings. Spatial sound mixing, both live and pre-recorded, will grow as we— and our competitors—make our tools more accessible. This is exciting because it really gives another dimension—three dimensions, really—for DJs or engineers to do almost anything sonically. Also, architectural acoustics and sound reinforcement will become ubiquitous. The idea that almost any space can be made to sound good for almost any kind of event is very appealing. When loudspeakers seem to disappear and a space can transform from a bustling restaurant into a concert hall for an acoustic ensemble almost instantaneously, it feels like black magic. That’s what we do with Meyer Sound Constellation technology, and we think almost any room could use it. SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Meyer Sound? MC: Definitely. We usually make announcements at tradeshows, so stay tuned. SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer? MC: Meyer Sound releases a massive amount of educational material and white papers. It’s a good idea to keep up-to-date with our publications. We also love to interface with our customers through lectures, demos, and one-on-one at tradeshows, or wherever the opportunity presents itself. Finally, we encourage people to come visit our factory in Berkeley, CA—we offer a very informative and comprehensive tour of our facilities, and questions are always welcome. *
BY D A V I D SHO LK O V I T Z
The Cost of Noise HOW INTEGRATORS CAN SOLVE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM CAUSING EMPLOYEE DISSATISFACTION AND LACK OF PRODUCTIVITY These days, it seems like every organization wants an open office with all the trappings of a sleek, modern aesthetic: hardwood floors, exposed ceilings, and an abundance of glass and metal. On top of that, there is an emphasis on designing spaces that encourage collaboration. But there’s a dark side to these beautiful workspaces: they lack speech privacy. Speech privacy means that private conversations remain known only to the involved parties; unintended listeners can’t understand what’s being discussed. A worker in an office with a lack of speech privacy is overhearing conversations they shouldn’t hear—or don’t want to hear—whether personal, HR, or confidential information. In the world of acoustics, there’s a difference between audibility and intelligibility. Audibility is the ability to hear a sound, while intelligibility is the ability to hear and understand the sound. In an office environment, it is one thing to hear a conversation that is happening 20 feet away, but it is something entirely different to understand what’s being said in that conversation. The latest architectural trends only exacerbate this problem. In addition to the use of more hard surfaces that amplify the noise, fewer materials are being incorporated into room design that can block and absorb sound, such as carpeting, ceiling tiles, and partitions. It’s easy to overlook the importance of speech privacy if you assume the worst outcome is an increase in watercooler gossip, but speech privacy has deeper—and costlier—consequences. For workers, all those conversations are standing in the way of getting their job done. In a survey of more than 25,000 employees working in more than 2,000 buildings, the Center for the Built Environment discovered that lack of speech privacy is a top driver of workplace dissatisfaction. Lack of speech privacy surpassed even thermal comfort, air quality, office layout, and lighting, with 60 percent of cubicle workers and 50 percent of open plan employees saying they were unhappy with their acoustic environment. From an employer’s perspective, job satisfaction is certainly important for recruiting and retaining employees, but it’s also vital for productivity. In a study conducted by Steelcase, surveys were collected over a four-year period measuring employee satisfaction, mobility, and collaboration. These surveys asked nearly 30,000 participants to measure 30 workplace attributes. The study concluded that 54 percent of workers defined themselves as “individual workers,” while only 46 percent identified themselves as “collaborators.” In an era in which collaboration is emphasized and modern architecture focuses on enabling collaborative design, these numbers reveal that there are possibly more workers who don’t necessarily have to collaborate to be effective in their job function. Employers have to consider how they can enable everyone to work productively, down to the individual employee. They have to ensure the needed acoustic privacy for those 54 percent of workers, such as engineers and designers, who spend the majority of their time doing individual work. While it is not practical to eliminate all conversational sounds in a workplace, it is possible to significantly reduce intelligible speech throughout a location. In the world of architectural acoustics, there are three primary ways to control noise and provide speech privacy, which are known as the ABCs of acoustics: A stands for absorption, which entails simply adding acoustically
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absorptive materials to a space, such as acoustic ceiling tiles, acoustic wall panels, and carpeting. B is for blocking, which calls for the use of solid barriers to block the direct sound, including cubicle partitions, walls, windows, doors, or any material that has an associated mass that can act as a barrier to sound. C is for cover, which aims to describe and cover the background noise level in an environment. Many of the options that fall within the A or B category most likely won’t be in line with the aesthetic vision organizations currently have for their spaces. That leaves covering. Sound masking is one of the best tools integrators have at their disposal to combat distracting background noise without detracting from design. Sound masking was pioneered commercially in the late 1950s by Boston-based acoustical consulting firm Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), but it is believed that the first sound masking system was the Romans’ use of water fountains to mask the sound of chariots on the cobblestone streets. In both cases, the idea is simple: add low-level background sound to an environment to promote speech privacy and freedom from distractions. With today’s sound masking systems, integrators can effectively raise the background noise level and create the best working environment without impacting the collaborative conversations that do need to take place. Sound masking noise is a very specific type of noise that acoustical engineers have created for the purpose of speech privacy. Although it’s related to white noise, there is a clear mathematical distinction between white noise and sound masking noise. It also sounds different. Amplified white noise is unpleasant and noticeable, like static. Alternatively, the frequency of sound masking at the right level is unnoticeable, like the flow of an air vent. It creates a remarkably more pleasant, seemingly noise-free environment that covers up or masks speech noise at distances greater than 15 feet. The optimal level for a sound masking system is no louder than 48 dBA. In comparison, a quiet library is roughly 30 dBA, an office conversation 60 dBA, and vacuum cleaner 70 dBA. At 48 dBA, a sound masking system won’t prevent two people talking near each other from hearing what the other one is saying, but it can help ensure the conversation is less intelligible to someone 15 to 20 feet away. Sound masking is employed electronically with loudspeakers connected to amplifiers. This idea came about in the early 1960s when BBN introduced the concept. Now there are options that make it possible to do paging, background music, and masking all in the same speaker, allowing clients to add sound masking as part of their audio or IT system and solve multiple problems at once. Lack of speech privacy is a pervasive and costly problem, but it doesn’t have to be the prevailing experience of the modern workplace. Most organizations just aren’t aware that there’s an affordable solution. On the job, integrators can start the conversation by walking around and noticing the working environment. Ask if noise is an issue and if people get distracted by conversations happening around them. When they say yes, because they always do, be ready to talk to them about the latest technological advances. In all that noise is an opportunity for integrators who understand the fury of sound that doesn’t need to be heard. David Sholkovitz is the director of marketing at Biamp.
the way they see it
BY C I N D Y D A V I S
Anticipating Customer Needs
GLENN BOOTH OF YAMAHA DISCUSSES STAYING AHEAD OF EXPECTATIONS SCN: You recently joined Yamaha as director of marketing for professional audio. What are your goals and priorities for the group? GLENN BOOTH: My top priorities are working more closely with customers and developing efficient channel management strategies with dealers, integrators, installers, and consultants. With our customers, education is key. Customers need to consider many issues when purchasing new technology, including their current production needs, as well as future growth and scalability. They have to think about equipment purchases within a “systems” context of integrated, system-level solutions comprising products that work together seamlessly. In the months ahead, we plan to accelerate our online and in-person training, rolling out a range of initiatives targeted to key market segments such as houses of worship, commercial installed sound, live sound, and music production. We’ll complement these efforts with trade show seminars, educational workshops, webinars, and joint demonstrations with our dealers. A cornerstone of these efforts is our Audioversity professional audio training and education program, a series of instructor-led and self-paced courses held at locations across the United States. These sessions give customers the information they need to get the most out of our professional audio and installed sound products, including mixing consoles, Dante technology, and NEXO loudspeakers. With our channel partners, we’re focusing on system design, integration, and total workflows, making them think about the difference between simply installing new technology and integrating audio effectively into a system. It’s important to support systems integrators, resellers, dealers, and consultants by giving them the tools and information to help customers make the most informed decisions. SCN: What are the main challenges facing pro audio customers? How is Yamaha addressing these challenges? GB: There’s so much focus throughout the commercial AV industry on some form of connected workflow. Integrators are dealing with complex installed sound system requirements, tight deadlines, and even tighter budgets. Audio engineers are dealing with more advanced DSP technology, studio productions, and more elaborate live productions. At the recent InfoComm show, we introduced several technologies to address these challenges: network power amps with powerful input matrixes and enhanced onboard DSPs, control and monitoring software upgrades, and loudspeakers designed to make sound system installation easier and more efficient. SCN: How is Yamaha offering customers more complete audio workflows? How does Yamaha’s solutions approach differ from competitive offerings? GB: Yamaha offers many great products, but it’s about much more than just providing customers with a standalone loudspeaker, amplifier, Steinberg software, mixing console, or network switch. It’s about how all these different pieces are interoperable, working together seamlessly to form a comprehensive audio workflow that matches the right technology to the right application.
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By making every piece of the audio chain talk to the others—from mixing consoles to amplifiers to NEXO loudspeakers to fixed install racks—the system integration and installation process is easier and more efficient from design to completion. Customers’ needs have changed, and we’re changing with them. We provide the “glue” that ties the boxes together. It’s also about how we approach the market, thinking about the long game and not just a product sale in the short term. We’ve revamped our product development approach, extending a device’s life to protect our customers’ long-term technology investments.
Quick Bio Name: Glenn Booth Position: Director of Marketing for Professional Audio Company: Yamaha
SCN: Yamaha has expanded its relationship with Dante, integrating the networking technology across more of its pro audio and commercial product lines. Is this part of a larger trend toward networking? What are the benefits to customers from this broadening Yamaha-Dante relationship? GB: We’re certainly seeing a larger trend toward networking in installed sound and live sound applications, with audio engineers and integrators managing more complex systems made of multiple connected devices. Audinate’s Dante is the glue for all this digital connectivity. We’ve integrated some form of Dante audio networking connectivity across all of our key product categories—from our new PC series of network power amplifiers to our TF, CL, QL, and Rivage mixing consoles to our powered loudspeakers and network switches. As more pro AV system projects move to an IT infrastructure, distributing audio and video over an IP network is a flexible and cost-effective option. To address this, we are adopting Dante’s AV Product Design suite for our products targeted to AV over IP applications. While this is certainly an increased focus for us, it’s not new for Yamaha. We were one of the earliest supporters of Dante. Our technology integration with Dante goes deeper than just another piece of software or option board installed in our products. Its functionality is embedded in our semiconductors, and the capabilities are a consideration in the early stages of new product development. We’ve created a standardized ecosystem of Dante-based technologies from Yamaha and other companies, taking the worry out of working with, say, a Yamaha mixing console and another manufacturer’s powered speakers. Integrators and customers simply know they will work together. *
in the trenches
BY MEG A N A . D UT T A
The Infinity Stones of AV QSC’S JOE PHAM DISCUSSES BEING AN AVENGER One of the biggest box office hits of 2019 was Avengers: Endgame. The film’s world premiere, held on April 22 in a purpose-built 2,000-seat theater with 70-foot screen in the Los Angeles Convention Center, was an all-QSC event. The film’s Dolby Atmos sound was handled by a comprehensive package of QSC loudspeakers, amplifiers, and signal processing featuring Q-SYS. Attending the event inspired Joe Pham, Ph.D., president and CEO of QSC, to think deeper about being what he calls an “AVenger.” Comparing our industry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pham said, “Similar to the Avengers, AV has been on a journey to find these Infinity Stones. Maybe we haven’t harnessed them to their full power, but we have found them. “Unlike the Avengers, we’re not here to bring these Infinity Stones together to rule the universe or save the universe, but we can use them to deliver an exceptional AV experience,” he added. “Because as AV professionals, we are passionate about what we do. We know the magic that AV can bring.” For Pham, these are the six Infinity Stones of AV. Stone 1: Talent The entire pro AV industry was created by talent, Pham said. “People needed to be heard [and] we figured it out. Then, eventually, sound and sight just needed to happen. Innovators and pioneers created an industry and created a trade.” While innovators and pioneers may have launched the industry, a different kind of talent is required to advance it, and perhaps even to reinvent it. “I think we have to reinvent what it means to be an AV professional, and I think we have to reinvent what it is our industry represents.” Pham outlined the ways QSC has reinvented itself throughout the years, but emphasized that the company can’t do it alone. Every role in the industry talent pool matters in the process of industry transformation. “There is no way one company can deliver an exceptional experience [on its own], and we get that from the Avengers 2. It’s not about one superhero. We actually need a set of AVengers to make it happen.” Stone 2: Software According to Pham, the AV industry has centered itself around hardware for the last 100 years. But today the industry is missing out on an opportunity because bringing together software and hardware is “where the magic happens.” Pham referenced a 2011 Wall Street Journal article, “Why Software Is Eating the World” by web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen, that said that companies in every single industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming. When the article was published eight years ago, Andreessen’s warning was met with measured curiosity. Today, Pham said, we could look at Andreessen as a prophet. Pham argued, “If we examine our industry, we’re getting there, but we still haven’t fully grasped the concept.” It’ll take an AVenger to help us. Stone 3: Ecosystem Stone three is the AV ecosystem. “A product, in isolation, is dead; it has no heartbeat. A platform is a collection of products that are integrated
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together in an intelligent way. Coupled with software, we can create a living platform that grows with [the client] over the lifetime of the product.” The ecosystem, according to Pham, happens when platforms connect with one another. “We are used to this in our everyday lives— our smartphone connects Joe Pham to our thermostat and our email, and we can order a car service with just a few clicks. While our personal lives are entrenched in the ecosystem, we, as an industry, aren’t quite there yet.” Stone 4: Data Whatever you call it—big data, deep learning, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, mass personalization—it’s impacting the pro AV industry in a big way. Pham claims that more data has been generated in the last 18 months than in the entire human history. Pham pointed to Google’s acquisition of Nest as an example. “Who thinks Google is paying $3.2 billion for a hardware thermostat company?” Pham asked. “They are using that data to enrich their understanding of household behavior. They connect that data through their analytics engine. Now they understand behavior of human beings in homes. That is powerful!” Pham added that pro AV has recently gained the ability to truly tap into data management. “When you have access to data, if you put a little thinking behind it, you can turn data into information. If you put a little bit more analytics and thinking behind information, you can turn information into knowledge. And that knowledge can be turned into actionable insights and value.” Finally, he added, “if you can deliver actionable insights and value to someone, they’re going to pay for it.” Stone 5: The New Economics of AV The economic value of the industry is shifting toward the customer lifetime value, Pham said. The relationship begins with a one-time purchase; extending that experience into a lifetime relationship is where integrators will be able to grow their business and find success in the next phase of our industry. Pham advised AV professionals to win in the new world of AV by becoming “first movers or fast followers” and to be ecosystem players. Stone 6: TBD The sixth Infinity Stone of AV lies in the mysterious future of professional AV. “I think as we move on and get more clarity on data and the new economics of AV, that sixth stone will begin to reveal itself.” In summary, Pham said, “Become an AVenger. We can do this together. The Avengers is a team. We need to get a team of consultants, technology managers, technology integrators, and end users, and we need to deliver the exceptional experience.” *
on —A.C. PROMEDIA has welcomed MICHAEL COLON as western regional account manager. He will be responsible for the development of the western U.S. Michael Colon region, working with dealers, consultants, and integrators to create business partnerships focusing on the architainment markets. prairie , mn —WILLIAMS AV has hired NANCY BLANCHARD to run its new consulting liaison program. According to the company, Blanchard will be instrumental Nancy Blanchard in developing the program and working with the consulting community. eden
falls , on —After 14 years at the company, KHALIL WILLIAMS has been promoted to CEO of DESIGN ELECTRONICS. Williams will lead the company’s expansion Khalil Williams strategy, continuing to grow its client list externally, while building out the team internally. niagara
wa —AVIDEX has named MICHAEL “MOOSE” ADAMS as Pacific Northwest general manager. Before joining Avidex as director of service sales, Adams held Michael “Moose” sales leadership positions with Adams Crestron. The former Major League Baseball pitcher with the San Francisco Giants has been in the AV industry since 1996, when he joined Chelsea Audio Video as a sales representative. woodland
KLINKENBORG has been hired by FSR as western regional sales manager; he will manage FSR’s independent reps in the western region and Phil Klinkenborg work with resellers, consultants, and engineering firms. Klinkenborg was formerly a regional sales manager at Barco. white plains , ny —SMPTE
has named FRANK KUNKLE its director of marketing. Kunkle will be responsible for guiding the development and implementation of a robust Frank Kunkle marketing strategy, including campaigns, events, digital marketing, and public relations, while supporting SMPTE’s ongoing implementation of its three-year strategic plan. santa margarita , ca —JOHN SCHIPPERS has been promoted to chief rancho
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operating officer at EIKI INTERNATIONAL. Schippers, who has been with the company for 11 years, now has oversight of Eiki’s operations in the United States, Canada, and John Schippers Central and South America. Eiki also announced the hire of DON PARKER as south central regional sales manager. In his new capacity, Parker will be responsible for sales activities Don Parker throughout Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. fremont, c a —ARISTA
CORP. has appointed MARTIN E . FISHMAN to the newly created position of vice president, where he will be responsible for Arista’s Martin E. Fishman global sales and marketing, with a focus on the industrial PC and professional AV markets. This includes oversight of the company’s Global OEM business, its ODM operations, distribution, and management of the company’s VAR and system integrators. fl—JOY BURKE has joined SMART MONKEYS as the company’s senior manager of special projects. Burke will be responsible for driving business development in Joy Burke the Orlando area; she comes to Smart Monkeys after 16 years at Alcorn McBride.
>>>Rep News jose , ca —ATLONA has restructured its Canadian market strategy to better serve dealers, consultants, and integrators with three key partner appointments. DNT SOLUTIONS will exclusively cover the province of British Columbia, and will partner with KEYSTON DISPLAY SOLUTIONS to cover the “Prairie Provinces” of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. CONNSEC PRODUCTS will cover the majority of the Ontario province, excluding Ottawa. san
fl—SAFE ZONE has appointed SECURITY SOLUTIONS and LRG to strategically present the company’s solution to schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, health clubs, and theaters, as well as to owner/operators of other public venues where a threat may occur.
L to R: Phil Cajka, Glen Cordial, Greg Shade, and Reid Peterson stow,
oh —AUDIO-TECHNICA has awarded ONLINE CRM with its President’s Award for its work representing Audio-Technica professional audio products during the 2018-19 fiscal year. ca—AUDIO GROUP has hired PAUL COLLINS GROUP (PCG) as its sales representative for California and Hawaii. brea,
ny —URC has promoted LEE RAMBLER to national sales manager for direct accounts. Rambler, who has been with the company since January 2017, will be Lee Rambler based out of his home office in Lancaster, PA, and will manage a team of 10 territory sales managers and nine field application engineers nationwide. park , ca —COUNTRYMAN ASSOCIATES has expanded its engineering team, bringing on BRIAN HILLENBRAND and BENJAMIN LACASSE as design Brian Hillenbrand engineers. The company says the hires reflect its goal of expanding its engineering team to “accommodate increased demand for innovative products while Benjamin Lacasse simultaneously presenting opportunities for talented newcomers looking for a creative opportunity in the field of professional audio.”
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AV has welcomed SOUND MARKETING WEST as its new manufacturers’ representative for its commercial sound and video products in Southern California and Southern Nevada. COMMUNICATIONS will now represent RENKUS-HEINZ products in New England and New York. foothill ranch, ca—NFS
nc—AMY MOSCARDINI has been promoted to distribution manager at NEUTRIK USA. In her new position, Moscardini will manage the company’s distribution Amy Moscardini channel and determine its distribution mix. She will also assist in developing and implementing its distribution strategies in coordination with the company’s sales director, while continuing to develop strong working relationships with all the company’s distributors. charlotte ,
stadium and arena sound
Networked audio is becoming a necessity in stadiums and arenas. At the newly renovated Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, L-Acoustics K2/K1-SB loudspeaker systems are networked via AVB.
a system that performs to specifications and to the owner’s satisfaction.” Forming strong relationships with architects, consultants, and acousticians can help alleviate pain points during this process. In addition, integrators should make architects aware of the benefits they can bring to the table. “The most critical, and often overlooked, way that architects can help make their [own] lives easier and help ensure a seamless execuBIAMP
A full-size touchscreen computer allows the Community Professional Loudspeakers audio system at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy to be turned off as necessary, depending on how each area is being used.
tion is to engage the AV integrator early in the design process alongside the AV consultant,” Ivey said. “Joining forces in the early stages of project planning allows for timely collaboration among architects, AV integrators and consultants to clarify what all parties want to achieve, [which helps] build a relationship that fosters John Laughlin efficiency, productivity, and fiscal responsibility,” added John Laughlin, president and CEO, Conference Technologies Inc. (CTI). “When AV integrators work with architects from the beginning of a project, they can incorporate a functional technological space into a building’s design. This translates to a lower cost for the client and a clearer interpretation of the architect’s vision for each room. Early planning makes technologically complex collaboration spaces a reality.” Bringing integrators on earlier in the process also allows them to get a sneak preview of the building materials. “Standard structural build materials found in stadium/arena designs—like exposed concrete, steel, and glass—can exacerbate sound issues by adding to the sonic bounce,” Laughlin said. “Since modern-day designs need to consider so many alternative event configurations, like baseball, football, concerts, etc., and unique spaces like suites, event plazas, amphitheaters, and club
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Working with Architects Architects are often the first partner brought into a stadium project, whether it’s a brand new arena or an upgrade to the audio system in an existing stadium. This can put integrators in an awkward position because they didn’t have a seat at the original table. “The challenge we typically face on large-scale projects is reconciling the architect’s Kevin Ivey vision and the consultant’s specifications with the budget and the schedule,” said Kevin Ivey, sports and entertainment project developer, Baker Audio Visual. “Compromises must sometimes be made, and we must be careful and diligent to preserve the original design intent and provide
BY MEG A N A . D UT T A
enues and events were expected to produce $27.7 billion in pro AV revenue in 2018, according to AVIXA. In fact, the organization’s Market Opportunity Analysis Report: Sports Venues says nearly all venue executives surveyed planned to upgrade their audio equipment in the next 12 months. It’s clear that venue owners are placing increasing emphasis on the quality of the sound experience in stadiums and arenas, and there are huge opportunities for integration firms in that segment of the market. What are the biggest trends and need-to-know bits of info? SCN takes a look.
Stadium and Arena Sound
stadium and arena sound
spaces, we design audio solutions that capture the distinctive needs of all events and spaces individually.” “While there is a consistent effort to control the audio reverberation in the bowl space of stadia and arenas, there is little that can be done regarding construction materials like concrete and glass, which have highly reflective properties that can adversely affect the audio by increasing the ‘tail time,’ or the time it takes the audio energy to decay within the space,” added Ivey. “Architects follow their best practices to ensure that there will be ample coverage of the seating areas, and acousticians help tune the audio performance of the space with the systems integrator.” Networked Audio Networked AV is on the rise in general, but in stadiums and arenas, it’s become the norm. “I think it’s safe to say that most every recent build or renovation of large sports venues has integrated networked audio— and video—by necessity and for installation efficiency,” said Dave Howden, techni- Dave Howden cal services, Biamp/Community Professional Loudspeakers. “With the number of audio sources increasing daily in venues, the ability to bundle these on a dedicated single network, or perhaps the building managed network, just makes sense from an infrastructure and distribution standpoint.” As an example, Ivey pointed to a project Baker Audio Visual handled at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where networked audio (and video and control)
were integrated on a central gigabit passive optical network (GPON), which he said is “the most important technical milestone” achieved at the venue. “Specifying and installing the widestranging and most robust infrastructure available and affordable at the time creates the highways on which all future media and control signals will travel,” Ivey said. “With everything now conducted via IP-based protocols, AVC becomes a matter of managing the traffic on the physical network. Having that network in place, with suitable redundancy and ample bandwidth for growth, means the owner can make changes and additions to the fan experience without substantial rework of the signal paths.” Laughlin agrees with the importance of creating a path for growth. “A well-designed network with the right choice in protocols will give you near-infinite flexibility,” he said. As for the future of networked audio, Howden believes the industry will move toward large-scale AV integration on the same network through SMPTE ST-2110 standard integration, which also supports AES67. Plus, “wider bandwidth data paths for AV [10 Gb+] will be a requirement, so even if a facility does not have that sort of bandwidth needs now, plan for it in the future on the network side.”
Three Considerations for Audio ADA Compliance in Large Venues Williams AV’s Tom Mingo shares three areas AV professionals need to consider when it comes to stadium audio. 1. Transmission Signal In larger venues, there are two primary assistive listening signals that work best: FM and Wi-Fi. FM systems operate in the 72.1–75.9 MHz range and can support an unlimited number of receivers. Transmission range with FM systems tends to be about 1,000 to 1,200 feet, depending on the amount of potentially interfering environmental conditions like structure, other equipment, etc. These systems are designed to broadcast to FM receiver/headsets worn by users who request accommodations based on their hearing needs. Wi-Fi systems operate on the existing house network or can be configured to run on a dedicated network. These systems give the users the ability to download an app to their device, and—when on the same Wi-Fi network as the Wi-Fi listening system—use their own phone, earphones, etc. to listen to the signals being broadcast. Integrators need to consider limitations when using Wi-Fi systems, like providing ample network strength to support the anticipated number of users.
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public facilities to provide equal access to people with disabilities, including those individuals who have hearing difficulties. It is the responsibility of AV professionals to ensure stadiums and arenas are compliant and provide an excellent audio experience for all. BAKER AUDIO VISUAL
Atlanta Falcons staff set out to offer fans a smarter game-day experience in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a multipurpose venue. Audio was networked onto a central gigabit passive optical network, which is “the most important technological milestone” at the stadium, according to Kevin Ivey of Baker Audio Visual, who handled the integration.
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2. Consider the Audience When selecting between the two primary transmission technologies, FM and Wi-Fi, it is important to consider who the audience for listening devices will be. Younger users will almost always prefer to use their own device as the listening source. This allows the user to be more discreet in their requirements for assistive listening and to use a technology with which they are extremely comfortable. Elderly users tend not to have the same comfort level in downloading apps and using smartphones for assistive listening. They tend to prefer to request the assistive listening device from the venue and have it preconfigured to work simply by being turned on. 3. Number of Potential Users ADA compliance requires a certain number of assistive listening devices be available based on the number of seats in the venue, but the number of devices required is not a set percentage of all available seats. Depending on the size of the venue, required available devices tend to range between 1 and 4 percent of total seats. In addition to having these assistive listening devices available, ADA compliance also requires that a certain percentage of these devices support neckloops. Neckloops are systems attached to the receivers that are meant to be used by t-coil-equipped hearing aid users. This allows those users to have the signal broadcast into their hearing aid, rather than having to wear over-the-ear headphones. Because the required number of devices changes based on total venue seating capacity, Williams AV has incorporated a free ADA Calculator on its website to assist integrators with designing systems that will meet the requirements. Visit www.williamssound.com/ ada-calculator to use it.
stadium and arena sound
Avoiding Sound Spillage Some of the world’s most famous stadiums— like Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Field—are located in highly populated urban areas. In order to be a good neighbor, these city stadiums are required to keep the noise down. How can integrators minimize the sound that escapes into the surrounding environment? “Selecting a loudspeaker system for stadiums involves a long and rigorous exercise of understanding the venue itself: its configuration, the materials used, the types of events that will be served,” said Dan Palmer, business development manager, sports facilities—U.S.A. and Canada, L-Acoustics. “And clearly, with many of the venues located in prime city space, consideration of the neighbors is crucial.” At CTI, Laughlin and his team put the “theory of sound propagation into practice.” The group researches the radius of the speakers and then creates a map. “It can be something as simple as the location and/ or placement of speakers in a particular zone or geographic
direction that can control how sound radiates in and out of the stadium and into adjacent neighborhoods,” he said. However, Laughlin cautions integrators to take other considerations—like temperature, Dan Palmer volume, structural density, and frequencies—into account when calculating the radiation of sound outside of the stadium. For less sound spillage, Ivey advises a transition away from point source systems and toward distributed loudspeaker systems, which are able to direct the audio over a greater area at a lower energy level. “Shaping the coverage pattern is possible with the arrangement and processing of speaker arrays, where the frequency range necessary for proper sound pressure levels and intelligibility can be managed and blended with surprising precision,” he said. “However, the lower frequencies, which carry further and take longer to decay, will inevitably be heard outside of the stadium envelope.” “Ultimately, careful system design and installation remain the most efficient way to achieve the best results,” Ivey concluded. “Once you’ve achieved optimum system design, careful application of DSP and signal processing can be applied.” The Premium Experience These days, everybody is looking for an upgrade—including stadium execs thinking about audio systems. Part of the challenge those executives face is competing with the viewing experi-
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ence people enjoy in their own homes. Most of the time, fans can watch a game from their couch—without having to worry about ticket prices, traffic, parking, etc. “The thought is that having a smaller number of seats in stadiums and arenas allows for a more personal and intimate live experience,” said Laughlin. “By incorporating a variety of new technologies into the design, construction, and operation of sports facilities, we can assist organizations to not only meet the home viewing experience, but to exceed it.” Ivey agrees: “Within the premium seating spaces, the expectation is an immersive entertainment experience rivalling a home hi-fi or theater system. More premium audio components and processing are reaching the suites and club spaces as a result.” Those in the standard seats have also upped their expectations. “Intelligible spoken word and music reproduction has become more important as fans have become more discriminating regarding their individual experience,” said Ivey. “While coverage and SPL are certainly important, and the system must perform well to be heard above the noise of the crowd at its peak, high SPL does little good when the content cannot be understood or enjoyed by the fans.” “AVIXA recently released a study indicating that audio is a key factor to satisfaction and, more importantly, to repeat business of the fans who attend events in sports venues,” concluded Palmer. “Audio quality was the element that correlated most with their overall satisfaction. That’s a strong message to any sports venue. Audio should be prioritized at a high level.” *
“ADA standards are exacting and require careful consideration when designing and installing a system,” said Laughlin. “Following ADA guidelines ensures that even those with disabilities can fully experience what the AV system has to offer.” “When most people think of ADA, they think of ramps and access points, but we focus on assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired,” Ivey said. ADA regulations specify the minimum number of assistive listening devices required based on seating capacity. (See sidebar on p. 38 for more information.) Integrators must design a system that is “scaled accordingly, including a distributed antenna system and ample receivers, earphones and charging stations,” according to Ivey. Howden says arenas are generally deploying RF-based listening solutions and must give careful consideration to the frequencies used to ensure reliable operation. In addition, integrators should pay attention to the types of antennas used and where they are located in the venue to ensure optimal performance. “The evolution of Wi-Fi-based hearing assist systems is underway, which adds the networking layer and possible prioritization of these feeds on networks,” Howden concluded. “We will see more ‘bring your own device’ [BYOD] options in the ADA space before long with the proliferation of whole-venue Wi-Fi networks.”
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Gen Z Is Coming to Your Office. Are You Ready? M
illennials are so last year—it’s time to start thinking about Generation Z. Loosely defined as those born after 1995, Gen Z is made up of 61 million individuals in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And according to a report by Dell, Gen Z will make up 20 percent of the workforce by next year. What do you need to know about Gen Z, also known as the iGen, and how to best work with this up-and-coming generation? Keep It Convenient and Future-Forward Gen Z grew up with the world at their fingertips. They didn’t have to pull out an encyclopedia to gain knowledge—all they had to do was Google it. Two-day delivery and other seamless online shopping experiences are the norm for this generation, which drives high expectations about convenience across all facets of their lives, according to a report by Morning Consult. To keep it convenient, Gen Z wants cutting-edge technology in the office—there’s no messing around with that early 2000s fax machine for this tech-savvy generation. Eighty percent of respondents surveyed by Dell aspire to work with cutting-edge technology, and 91 percent said available technology would influence a job choice. Understanding What Gen Z Values Most For the most part, values Gen Z holds near and dear are similar to that of older adults: honesty, reliability, and commitment, according to the report by Morning Consult. However, while the terms are the same, the meanings may not be. People who identify with Gen Z generally believe respect is earned, not given, and are likely to admire someone for their individuality and intelligence. Older adults are more likely to respect someone because they are an authority figure or because they are an elder, says the Morning Consult report. Working on Soft Skills Gen Z grew up swiping iPads before they could talk; they’re not afraid of tech. But when it comes to soft skills and experience in the workforce, they start to get nervous. It could have something to do with a lack of experience in the workplace in general. A recent article from Wharton/University of Pennsylvania says just 19 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds in 2018 reported working
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FOX FROM PEXELS
BY MEG A N A . D UT T A
A Dell report estimates that Generation Z will make up 20 percent of the workforce by next year.
during the previous calendar year. Compared with the 30 percent of millennials in the same age group in 2002 who worked during the previous calendar year, that’s a pretty significant drop. To boot, only 57 percent of the iGen surveyed by Dell feel that their education prepared them for the workforce, and 94 percent have concerns about starting work— but perhaps that last stat is to be expected as entering the workforce has been, and will probably always be, nerve-racking. “There were some soft skills I had to learn on my own such as critical thinking and interacting with team members. That is something that is downplayed when we focus so much on using technology. We lose the interaction that we need to have with teammates and customers,” 22-yearold Jahnavi Muppaneni, who is studying corporate communications and journalism, told Dell. Mutually-beneficial mentoring programs may help Gen Z start off on the right foot in the workplace. More experienced staff members can work with the younger generation on soft skills while Gen Z can assist others with technology training. In fact, 77 percent of the iGen are willing to be technology mentors to others at work, and 75 percent expect to learn from peers on the job rather than online training, according to Dell’s survey.
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Wants from Employers In addition to wanting the latest technology in the workplace, what else does the iGen value or look forward to having? Gen Z most values job security (66 percent), salary (65 percent), and healthcare benefits (60 percent) when it comes to employment. “On average, millennials are six points more likely than Gen Z adults to say factors relating to personal benefit such as salary are very important. When it comes to mission-oriented factors such as environmental responsibility, Gen Z adults are two points more likely to say they are very important,” according to the Morning Consult report. A report by Vision Critical goes so far as to suggest that Gen Z employees will choose a high salary over a better work-life balance. When asked, “When it comes to your ideal job, what matters most to you most?” about 65 percent of Gen Z chose salary and only 38 percent chose work-life balance. That’s a stark deviation even from the closest generation of millennials, who chose 54 percent and 47 percent, respectively. What Now? Truthfully, having a new generation in the workforce today will be largely the same as it has been over the history of workplaces. However, having a better understanding of what is typically valued by each generation can help alleviate any tensions that may arise. *
Systematic Sound LOUDSPEAKER TRENDS FOR 2019 IMAGE COURTESY OF JAMES LOUDSPEAKER
BY MARGOT DOUAIHY, PH.D. A focus on how loudspeakers integrate into end-to-end AV systems, and models that play well with others: these are common refrains in the pro AV industry in 2019. Ease of use, compact designs, and network-readiness are also trending in the diverse loudspeaker category, driving sales and integration choices. INTEGRATION IS KEY AV designers and contractors are increasingly selecting loudspeakers based on how well they integrate into software-driven AV systems, rather than for their individual spec lists alone or sound reproduction qualities. This integration-first emphasis includes choosing loudspeakers that can work in IT-controlled AV systems. “More and more integrators are installing not just speakers but entire AV systems— and IT-related elements even more so,” said Adam Shulman, market category lead for Installed & Rental Systems at Bose Professional Product Management. He pointed to the need to integrate not only the loudspeakers but also amplifiers, DSPs, network switches, routers, phone systems, and VoIP—everything that has to ride together, often on common infrastructure. “People are coming to us and saying, ‘The speakers are great, and I totally get that, but how do they fit into the whole ecosystem? What is the benefit to me when I use all of it together?’” NETWORK-BASED ECOSYSTEM The demand for network connectivity via AES67, AVB, and Dante is indeed increasing. Installers and users are reporting higher-quality audio in lower-priced boxes—even for traveling rigs. According to Brian Gwinner, technical director, Live Events, at Cory’s Audio Visual in Oklahoma City, OK, “Just the fact that you can network into boxes [is useful]. You can change what input goes to what box, plus you have all the control over the network. I see a huge push for this.” For example, with the PreSonus StudioLive series console, the company is pushing into the stage box world with AVB. “Their speakers might even fully support AVB in the future,” Gwinner noted. “We’re starting to see manufacturers become all-in-one solutions vendors. We’re also starting to see audio manufacturers partner with each other, so you’re controlling everything—from the microphone to
This installation features Electro-Voice speakers. According to the Cory’s Audio Visual team, “We chose these speakers for good coverage of the audience, with subs for extra low end to help with high-energy events such as dance and cheerleading. Separate speakers cover the court during practice and other events in the space, like graduation.”
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Now trending: loudspeakers that blend seamlessly into the environment, like this one in a wine barrel.
the speaker output—and you’re staying all-in-one. It could be one company, or an alliance between two manufacturers in partnership. I see a lot of Q-SYS systems and QSC boxes leaving for installs out of our warehouse because they’re designing from an ecosystem.”
IMAGE COURTESY OF CORY’S AUDIO VISUAL
BUT SOME THINGS REMAIN CONSTANT Despite the emphasis on integration and IT system control, the basics of loudspeakers remain constant. Even the migration to Dante, AES67, and other modern signal delivery/integration methods hasn’t resulted in dramatic technological change altering the essentials of loudspeaker design. As Mark Schafle, CEO of James Loudspeaker, explained, “We think at some point the time is going to come where you won’t have to run wire to the speakers. But demand for our wired products is currently on the rise, so we have not seen wireless impact our business thus far.” LOUDSPEAKERS & UX Shulman also observed the fundamental building blocks remaining constant: “The materials have changed, but the overall design of speakers hasn’t evolved drastically.” What Shulman thinks has changed more substantially is the attention paid to UX, the user experience, and industrial design. “Transducers are still largely the same—and there are exceptions to that—but now there’s a lot more attention on identifying, studying, and improving the user experience, for example, during design and installation,” he said. CONSISTENCY & COMPATIBILITY The emphasis on loudspeakers as well-fitting elements in AV systems rather than as standalone elements has added a requirement for loudspeakers within a product family to work harmoniously with each other—and to play well with product members from earlier generations. “You can’t just look at it product by product,” Shulman said. Ceiling and surfacemount speakers have to deliver similar sound reinforcement characteristics to the listener, so that the entire installation blends together as a whole. “With every new product, you essentially have to look back and make sure that it has a similar voicing to the past products so that when you tune the system, you don’t go to the luxury boxes and have something totally different that you have to manipulate to achieve the same sonic signature,” he added.
because you essentially have the sonic characteristics of a surface-mounted speaker, but it’s in the ceiling,” he said. “This solution happened to be an acoustical solution, but the goal wasn’t just to have a bettersounding speaker—it was actually to solve logistical and aesthetic problems.”
STYLE SUBTLETY MATTERS There was a time when loudspeakers were designed to stand out—to use their physical settings as backdrops and proclaim their existence in black, metal, and wooden textures. Times are changing. Although bold designs or statement pieces are certainly in demand from installers and clients, there is also a trend for loudspeakers to blend and disappear as seamlessly as possible into their settings. Requests for custom-finished loudspeakers are received “every day” at James Loudspeaker, with architects and designers leading the charge, said Schafle. “We had a client with a wood ceiling, so we needed to do that aperture in wood. If there’s marble, we do it in marble. This is true for thousands of different combinations that we have to be ready for.” Bose’s EdgeMax ceiling speakers are designed to deliver the performance of surface-mount speakers using units installed close to the wall-ceiling boundary with almost flush mountings. By employing Bose’s PhaseGuide technology with high-frequency compression drivers, fewer EdgeMax speakers are required to achieve the same coverage provided by a set of conventional dome-tweeter ceiling speakers, according to Shulman. With EdgeMax speakers, “there are fewer holes cut in the ceiling; it sounds better because it’s not a diffused sound field; and there’s less visual impact
SMALLER FOOTPRINTS The example cited by Shulman matches a general trend observed by James Loudspeaker’s Schafle— namely, that designers and customers alike believe that smaller is better. “For the last seven or eight years, James Loudspeaker has been seeing a real trend toward smaller footprints,” he said, “whether it’s in the ceiling or whether it’s in the wall. A big demand is that we also customize that little footprint to match whatever decor the designer or architect creates.” Gwinner agreed. “The biggest trend for me, being on the live event and show design side, would be size and weight,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of venues with ballrooms, and their contracts might have weight restrictions and ceiling restrictions that did not exist 10 or 15 years ago when you bought the product.” Many loudspeaker companies, including d&b audiotechnik, Electro-Voice, Meyer Sound, and L-Acoustics, are investing in midrange products. The Meyer Sound Leopard, and the V-Series and Q-Series from d&b are a few examples. Many lines include 8- and 9-inch woofers with a couple of compression drivers in the 75-pound weight range. The Meyer Sound product is a powered speaker at the 75-pound range, and the d&b and L-Acoustics units are anywhere between 43 and 75 pounds, with amp racks on the ground. They’re all having to output 140-plus decibels maximum as spec. Boxes like the Meyer Sound MILO achieved this
the early 2000s, but now a product has to pack this sonic punch at a third of the weight. SOFTWARE TOOLS HELP The above trends in loudspeaker design and manufacturing are demanding a lot from vendors and AV firms, particularly when it comes to designing and testing new models. “If you have many coverage variant SKUs in a product family, for example, it’s enormously time-consuming to prototype every variant throughout the entire development process,” said Shulman. “You can be much more efficient by shifting some of that to the digital world.” Fortunately, computer modeling tools have made it easier to calculate and tackle many of these measurements for both manufacturers and system designers. These tools also make a real difference when loudspeakers have to be tailored to address a specific venue’s unique acoustics. “With product families offering different coverage pattern options, you can virtually iterate through those to reach a result that very closely matches the needs of the venue long before the system needs to be installed, reducing commissioning time on-site,” Shulman said. Again, when dealing with a diversity of endpoints and myriad audio needs, the one-vendor ecosystem approach might be useful. Gwinner added, “When you’ve got one company that controls the input all the way to the output, if something goes wrong, you make one phone call and you’re talking with either tech support or a salesperson who can handle every aspect of your installation. That’s a powerful tool. That’s why I see a lot of choices being made and installs going in this direction.” Margot Douaihy, Ph.D., is a writer, editor, and storyteller. She teaches at Franklin Pierce University.
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The need to harmonize various loudspeakers within a given generation, as well as with previous generations, is affecting how Bose designs speakers these days. “It’s caused us to look at every new product as if we’re filling in another puzzle piece, as opposed to a different puzzle,” said Shulman.
Paging All Animal Lovers BROOKFIELD ZOO TRANSITIONS TO INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS AND PAGING PLATFORM
elebrating 85 years this summer, the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL, is an iconic attraction in the western suburbs of Chicago. Those who grew up in the area will remember the Seven Seas Panorama (the nation’s first inland dolphinarium), polar bears, and tooling around the 216-acre site in the Motor Safari. The private nonprofit Chicago Zoological Society operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Brookfield Zoo continues to evolve its zoological experience, adding special events, interactive and learning sessions, zookeeper “chats,” and new attractions that make clear, integrated sound communications critical to a superior visitor experience. To support this initiative, the zoo recently rolled out a unified IP-based platform for paging, streaming announcements and music, emergency communications, and mass notification, with solutions from Barix and AMX driving the operation. The complete system was specified and installed by Progressive Communications Brookfield Zoo recently rolled out a unified IP-based platform for paging, streaming announcements, emergency Inc. (PCI), an audiovisual and systems integration communications, and more. company that has been working with Brookfield simplify processes from both an integration and operational standpoint. Zoo for nearly three decades. Most importantly, we wanted to do this over an IP network.” “Our primary goal is to communicate to guests and staff quickly and In addition to seeking the latest network-based audio and control broadly, whether by zone or throughout the entire park,” said Michael solutions to meet their requirements, Brookfield Zoo kept a watchful Owens, vice president, information technology, Chicago Zoological eye on cost-efficiency. Following extensive research, the team Society. “We were looking for a solution that was intuitive and easy to gravitated toward Barix for paging and background music distribution use, with remote programming and management features that would to multiple endpoints. The team deployed a customized Barix AudioSpread solution that addressed both of these needs, while adding Barix Streaming Client firmware on the endpoint devices at each zone to enable AMX control. AudioSpread, a specific firmware integrated in Barix’s new Linux-based devices, includes special addressing software to communicate with the priority notification port of the Streaming Client firmware. According to Joseph Niziolek, CTS, vice president at PCI, the initial architecture used an in-house program to communicate information between a central server and the endpoint players. Early tests demonstrated undesirable delays that would prove detrimental to quickly getting the word out to staff and visitors. “The Brookfield Zoo required multiple priority channels for paging and alerts, and these channels had to move audio in and out without any delay,” said Niziolek. “To achieve our latency goals, we needed to eliminate all reliance on broadcast and multicast addressing for delivery to endpoint players. This essentially allows the audio to cross routers and reach different subnets, ultimately eliminating the delays.” Barix built a customized Instreamer device based on its IPAM400 Progressive Communications ensured that Brookfield Zoo had a seamlessly integrated, IP-networked architecture that incorporates AMX NetLinx NX-1200 network control and modular platform that could act as a server for pages and alerts. The
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CHICAGO ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY
BY SC N ST A FF
additional implementations planned,” said Niziolek. “The IP backbone complete solution includes a Barix Annuncicom PS16 zoned master provides the flexibility and scalability the zoo requires without paging station with “any-to-all” capability, along with several PS1 consuming a lot of bandwidth.” paging devices around the property; a total of 23 Barix Exstreamer Local control is also provided by several RS-232 serial interfaces, 105 decoders are installed at the endpoints, with 40 amplifiers and which were custom-configured with engineering support from Barix. hundreds of loudspeakers. The new architecture removes the delay by “It’s easy to solve problems and manipulate controls, and Barix replicating multiple unicast audio streams to the endpoint players. provided support to customize parts of the software,” Niziolek said. The system also integrates with a mass notification system for “The zoo wanted a homogenous sound for the entire park. The same emergency communications; the AudioSpread solution ensures that song is now synchronized as patrons walk from area to area. Music is these announcements are given immediate priority over music streams. always synched and provides a cohesive audio experience throughout Owens said that the zoo, which did not have a prior public address the zoo.” system, now has the benefit of a seamlessly integrated, IP-networked * LV MtgBrkts_Steel TVBS505/507 09_18.qxp_Layout 1 8/12/19 12:09 PM Page 1 architecture that incorporates AMX NetLinx NX-1200 network control and automation, and Everbridge A and Alertus Technologies mass CEDI Made in USA NON-METALLIC notification and emergency communication solutions. Owens stressed the importance of the extensive planning for the implementaFOR CL ASS 2 LOW VOLTAGE WI R I NG tion, especially in configuring zones through software and Arlington’s non-metallic mounting brackets offer the testing sound quality and best way to install Class 2 wiring! They seat wall plates penetration. “There are hunflush with the mounting surface – LV1 dreds of animal species that for Existing install faster and cost less than metal! Walls are sensitive to sound, and In existing construction, centered LV2 mounting wing screws pull the bracket we are located in the heart securely against the wall. The LV series of a residential community,” LVS1 (LV1 and multiple gang brackets) adjust he said. “The AMX control to fit 1/4" to 1" wall thicknesses. platform gives us tremendous For new construction, the nail or screw-on Nail-on LVN1 flexibility to raise, lower, and LVN series brackets attach to a wood stud. New Construction They cost less than extension rings and mute audio levels in specific LVS2 install faster than mud rings. For screw-on, areas or locations, and also steel stud installations, try the LVS or to adjust and alter the volLVMB series. ume of background music as We also offer a variety of low voltage LVMB2 necessary.” brackets for specialty applications. Niziolek noted that the Barix solution, which operates YEARS on the zoo’s fiber optic ring, Patented 800/233-4717 www.arlingtonlowvoltage.com was straightforward to inte© 2008-2011 Arlington Industries, Inc. LVMB1 grate. The process included some simple configuration RECESSED FOR FLUSH-TO-THE-WALL MOUNTING OF FLAT SCREEN TVs steps to override music during announcements, or to mute or soften sound on the fly. The ™ headend of the system is controlled from the local, on-site CO M B O B OX ES F O R U S E W I T H M ETA L R AC E WAYS police dispatch and monitoring center. Arlington’s recessed STEEL ETROFIT Mounting wing screws PCI has an embedded combination power/low voltage hold box in the wall employee at the location TV BOX™ is the best way to mount a TV flush on a wall. managing its network-based AV systems. Active Barix TV BOX provides power and/or low voltage in one or more of Exstreamer players prothe openings. Plugs and vide synchronized sound so connectors stay inside the box, visitors have the same music without extending past the wall. experience throughout the Designed for use in new park, with paging providing or retrofit commercial construction where metal raceway is used, we have a STEEL TV BOX local and zoo-wide announcefor almost any application! Easy to install, secure installation... ments, including life safety • Steel box; non-metallic paintable white trim plate and public communications • Optional covers for unused boxes distributed to specific areas, zones, or locations. EW 2-GANG “We started with three 3-GANG ORK TVBS505 TVBS507 Barix Exstreamer players and YEARS Mounting screws hold box securely on stud now we are up to 23, with
70 Innovation © 2008-2016 Arlington Industries, Inc. Patented. Other patents pending.
STEEL TV BOX KIT R
800/233-4717 www.arlingtonlowvoltage.com SEPTEMBER 2019 //// SCN
Creating a Better Meeting Culture CULTURE TRIP RADICALLY IMPROVES MEETINGS WITH YAMAHA AUDIO SYSTEM
ased in London’s Mayfair, but with offices and freelance contributors located around the world, Culture Trip is a fastgrowing travel, media, and entertainment business that creates stories to highlight what is special about a place, its people, and culture. Yamaha VXL1 line array loudspeakers and an MTX3 matrix processor form a key part of a new audio system that has radically improved the company’s meetings. “We want to inspire people to plan their trips, go beyond their cultural boundaries, and connect with the world around them,” said Culture Trip CEO and founder Kris Naudts, MD, Ph.D. “We aim to bring the world to everyone and bring everyone closer together.” The staff regularly gathers for town hall meetings in a 1,600-squarefoot space at its headquarters, where senior staff speak, employees report back on project progress, and video linkups are made with other sites. With such a fast-growing business, it was obvious that the existing Culture Trip’s modern offices needed a modern audio system; integration firm Flipside audio system had become inadequate for these meetings, so company delivered. IT director Perry Spanyol looked for a replacement that would stand the representative from Flipside. “Given the fact this office had the usual test of time. He spoke to James Cooper, managing director of Flipside, relatively low false ceiling, we pretty quickly arrived on the idea of a location integration firm. installing three of Audio-Technica’s Engineered Sound microphones “The goal was to make our AV consistent with the investments that in an array across the presentation area. This would mean we could we have made elsewhere—to make the audio clearer, more professional, create a section of floorspace from which any individual or group could easier to use for all, and look the part,” said Spanyol. “Flipside came highly be picked up and amplified out through the system, something made recommended. It was immediately obvious that they were professional, possible by the MTX3.” knew their stuff, and were very understanding of our needs.” “The vocal reproduction of the VXL series is impeccable. They Having previously completed a number of installations with Yamaha can really throw sound, with very wide audio solutions, Cooper knew on his first horizontal coverage, but their narrow visit to Culture Trip that Yamaha’s new vertical dispersion makes them crystal clear VXL series line array loudspeakers would over a very long range,” added Cooper. be an ideal solution. “The meeting space As well as the inputs from the microphone is a fairly large area to fill with sound and array and handhelds, the MTX3 takes feeds an especially hard task when the most from computer and Skype. Several further important thing is intelligibility,” he said. input points are provided on wall panels “As soon as we saw it, we knew that less around the room. “Besides the physical would definitely be more and we went inputs, the MTX3 has a ton of processing straight for the Yamaha VXL series.” power,” Cooper continued. “It includes four He added, “It also became obvious that channels of Dan Dugan automixing, which is we’d need to deliver a system that was exactly what we needed for the microphone as close to automatic as possible. Any array. It constantly monitors and adjusts the presentation could be delivered by one or levels of the three microphones to share the a group of people, and having to deal with Trip’s new sound system is powered by a Yamaha XMV4140 system gain and avoid any feedback issues.” multiple wireless microphones was just a Culture multichannel power amplifier, with system management by a Control for the system is via a userpain.” Yamaha MTX3 matrix processor. friendly DCP1V4S surface-mount panel. All Cooper and his team specified a a member of the staff has to do is switch on the input groups they want Yamaha system comprising a pair of VXL1W-16 loudspeakers powered to use and adjust the master volume. by a XMV4140 multichannel amplifier, with system management “There are a hundred different types of companies out there that can by an MTX3 matrix processor. Two Audio-Technica System 3000 all make recommendations on AV installs, so it can be quite daunting,” handheld microphones are complemented by an array of three Audiosaid Spanyol. “Flipside [was] genuinely 10 out of 10, and we absolutely Technica hanging mics. Though it may seem simple, the system delivers love the system. It has only been installed for a short time, but we’ve remarkable flexibility and audio quality. already had great comments from the offices that the sound is 100 “What was slightly harder was trying to work out the best way to percent clearer.” deal with the dynamic nature of the microphone requirements,” said a * FLIPSIDE
BY SC N ST A FF
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BY C A RO LYN HEI N ZE
Assistive Listening Dials In W
Barix’s AudioPoint Pro server distributes the output from AudioPoint 3.0 to over 2,000 concurrent listeners via multicast over professionally designed mesh Wi-Fi networks with QoS (Quality of Service) management and the necessary network bandwidth. Brader noted that as the listener count increases, so, too, does the work involved in configuring the Wi-Fi network. “There are a few parameters that need to be set. Many solutions are good for 12 or 15 listeners, so it’s perfect for a few people in a museum or even at home, but when you want to go beyond that number, you have to take care of the network.”
ith smartphones capable of communicating with just about everything, it’s no surprise that technology developers are applying them in the realm of assistive listening. Not only does this setup eliminate much of the hassle associated with dedicated devices, it also enables facilities to reach a wider audience. “The solutions on the market with dedicated receiver devices that run on radio frequencies or even infrared technology require lots of maintenance: you have to collect these devices after the event; you have to clean them; you have to make sure they’re loaded; and if you do it properly, you have to replace the cushions on the ear pads. There’s a lot of maintenance, and if you want to rent them for a single event, it’s expensive,” said Reto Brader, CEO at Barix, developer of IP-based audio communications solutions. “With this high-end computer that is in everybody’s pocket these days, of course we’re using the mobile device as an assistive listening receiver and then feeding it using standard technology—Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.” Recently, SCN explored some of the latest solutions in the marketplace. Here is what we found. Barix Barix’s AudioPoint 3.0 audio-to-mobile platform leverages IP audio and a Wi-Fi network for live presentations and digital signage applications. A unicast stream enables near-lip sync audio streaming to a user’s mobile phone via a free iOS and Android app. The encoder hardware in AudioPoint 3.0 will support up to 250 listeners (depending on the software). “Our second-generation system worked on multicast, and many networks limit the amount of traffic [available] for multicast,” Brader explained. “Our version 3.0 is based on
Listen Everywhere is a Wi-Fi-based system designed to support thousands of listeners and over 50 channels.
unicast: there is a point-to-point connection between the encoder and the users.” This configuration requires integrators to ensure that the Wi-Fi network supports low-latency links: “That’s being done by having it support the QoS settings––there is a flag that gives you priorities on the packets. Professional Wi-Fi encoders have the capability to set this, and our data sheet [specifies] which [packets] we have flagged.”
Williams AV’s WaveCAST Dante assistive listening system delivers wireless audio to personal devices via a free app.
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Listen Technologies Assistive listening products manufacturer Listen Technologies offers Listen Everywhere, a Wi-Fi-based system designed to support thousands of listeners and over 50 channels. Listeners receive audio on their smartphones and tablets through a free app in facilities that are equipped with Listen Everywhere hardware. Facilities may customize the app to incorporate their own branding; they may also upload advertising, coupons, and information about promotions, as well as links to meeting agendas, class notes, and menus. Listen Everywhere is configured for use in indoor arenas and airports, and with other ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) assistive listening systems such as ListenRF, ListenIR, or ListenLOOP. “Listen Everywhere allows users to engage with their personal devices as they already do every day, but now they actually have that direct hearing link to that personal device,” said Doug Taylor, chief product officer at Listen Technologies. Williams AV Williams AV’s WaveCAST Dante assistive
listening system delivers wireless audio to personal devices via a free app. Rob Sheeley, president and CEO of the company, said that one of the things that makes this solution unique is that it incorporates a professional audio DSP. “It’s got real professional audio inputs and outputs; it’s got the ability to be optimized for speech intelligibility, music, or for assistive listening. You can tweak it to match the facility and the environment,” he said. Up to four WaveCAST systems can be configured on the same Wi-Fi network, delivering audio to up to 45 listeners via unicast or 200 in multicast mode. WaveCAST Dante is based on Audinate’s Dante Ultimo UXT chipset that supports AES67 and SMPTE 2110. It can be controlled by Audinate’s Dante Controller for setup and management. Williams AV also offers the FM+ Dante, which incorporates WaveCAST server technology into the manufacturer’s FM assistive listening system to deliver both FM and Wi-Fi audio, depending on the listener’s preference. Sheeley explained that this solution accommodates users who prefer the simplicity of an FM system, as well as those who desire the discretion of receiving assistive listening audio
through their personal mobile devices. “It’s less intrusive, and they can set it up [discreetly] and use their own headphones or earbuds, and not have to worry about people seeing them using an assistive listening device,” he said. The FM+ also provides facilities with increased flexibility, since they no longer have to choose between providing Wi-Fi or FM-based systems; with this solution, they can provide both. As its name suggests, the FM+ Dante features a Dante audio input. Like Brader, Sheeley touted the flexibility of Wi-Fi assistive listening solutions; however, he urges AV integrators to pay attention to how the system is configured to ensure they are achieving optimum
performance. “Know your Wi-Fi routers: different routers have different capabilities,” he said. “Make sure you select and [configure] a Wi-Fi router system that’s capable of supporting the amount of calls that you expect to handle with this.” And once again, the more listeners there are, the more complex Wi-Fi network configuration becomes. “With our Wi-Fi system, we can handle 45 unicast receivers at one time, and when we go multicast, we can go up to 1,500,” Sheeley explained. “Multicast will always be a more robust way to deliver audio to multiple users, but it requires a little bit more work on the IT side to make sure that all of the equipment is multicast-enabled.” Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.
Speech Easy Broadcast solutions developer ENCO offers enCaption4, a real-time, automated speech-to-text engine designed for captioning live presentations. Available as an on-premise or cloud-based solution, it will process speech through a single microphone for a single location, or distribute captions across the enterprise from a cloud server. enCaption4 features NDI compatibility for video production and streaming applications; with this solution, users in these environments no longer need to employ specialized encoding hardware for captioning.
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Barix’s AudioPoint 3.0 audio-to-mobile platform leverages IP audio and a Wi-Fi network for live presentations and digital signage applications.
audio processors and amps
BY MA RY BA K I J A
Dive Into Audio Processing JUMP IN THE DEEP END OF AMPLIFIERS AND AUDIO PROCESSORS
udio processors and amplifiers might not be the flashiest part of an installation, but they’re critical to a superior sound experience. Enabling technologies of these key components have advanced in much the same way that other pieces of the system have—which is to say quickly and significantly, as manufacturers have made great improvements to the size, weight, and long-term performance of these devices over the past decade. Even though they’ve upped the ante in many ways, manufacturers understand that the specifics of most installations are still determined by time. “Designers and integrators want products that are quick and easy to configure and install, and can easily expand to address a client’s growing or changing needs,” said Phil Sanchez, market development specialist at Yamaha Commercial Audio. Daniel Saenz, amplifier product manager at QSC, agreed. “They are looking for audio solutions that are simple to install and maintain,” he said. “In addition, they are looking for solutions that offer features driven through software, offering more flexibility and scalability options while maintaining less hardware.” Part of the process of ensuring a quick and easy installation is improving software options, which is a focus at QSC. Saenz continued, “For example, QSC’s FAST [Flexible Amplifier Summing Technology] optimizes for either higher voltage loads or higher current loads.
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Available in four- and eight-channel models, QSC’s CX-Q can deliver a total maximum power of up to 8,000 watts. Low impedance, 70V, or 100V direct drive are available on all channels.
Its FlexAmp technology enables asymmetric output channel loading, allowing integrators to distribute customized output power levels to each channel. Together, these technologies provide the integrator the ability to distribute power where it’s needed, offering more flexibility from a single amplifier.” An example of a QSC network amplifier featuring both FlexAmp and FAST technology is the CX-Q Series. Available in four- and eight-channel models, the CX-Q can deliver a total maximum power of up to 8,000 watts;
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low impedance, 70V, or 100V direct drive are available on all channels. Additionally, users can simply drag and drop to integrate the amps with Q-SYS, providing audio transport, control, and rich status data. Some of the emphasis on hardware and software improvements is a byproduct of technological innovation in the underlying network infrastructure. “Not every system wants to be networked, but the number of networked systems has dramatically increased in recent years,” said Chuck Larson, Symetrix
audio processors and amps
technical support. “Dante is still a major player, but AES67 seems to be gaining traction.” Phil Sanchez from Yamaha said the increase has led to changes in how work is done. “Network audio protocols such as our Yamaha Digital Interface [YDIF] solution or Audinate’s Dante protocol are having a tremendous impact on workflows, from design to implementation,” he said. “The need for individual products to seamlessly connect and work together is paramount, and network audio has greatly improved these capabilities.” Symetrix’s Larson said that one of the biggest concerns is cost versus value, as computerized digital signal processors are expected to get progressively more powerful and less expensive simultaneously. He noted that Symetrix has invested in “providing the proper best-in-breed solutions utilizing the most appropriate hardware families,” which translates into a better value for the integrator. “In conferencing applications, our Radius NX 4x4 AEC-2 is an incredible value, especially when used for networkbased microphones [Dante and AES67] with telco or USB interface to the outside world. We try to account for variables such as time saved creating network routing offline, and time saved in system commissioning thanks to accurate, stable algorithms, resulting in fewer post-install service calls.” The Radius NX features a SHARC dualcore processor that enables a Composer Super Matrix, placing the burden of large matrices in one core while freeing the second core for all general-purpose signal processing, making it possible to design very large and complex systems around a single Radius NX. Another option for complex and growing systems is Yamaha’s PC Series, which combines a 20x8 input matrix with Dante connectivity, and has options for system design flexibility and expansion. For example, incoming analog sound can be output to a Dante network, allowing the system to be used as a four-channel Dante input rack. In systems with no mixer or signal processor, the 20x8 matrix function supports effective and flexible routing, making it possible to perform audio signal processing using the new amplifiers’ internal processor. Minimizing the time it takes to create that networked system is a big part of a product’s value. “The cost of labor can greatly impact the profitability of a job,” said Yamaha’s Sanchez. “Specifying a product that meets the client’s needs and is easy to program, configure, and install not only helps the integrator save time, but it can help the client save money. Intuitive
The Radius NX 4x4 and Radius NX 12x8 1U rackmount audio signal processors by Symetrix each support 128 (64x64) channels of redundant Dante network audio and deliver high-quality audio, including ultra-low-noise preamps with digitally controlled 3 dB gain steps.
programming and GUIs, lighter form factors and improved networking capabilities have helped to streamline workflows.” While complex systems can be necessary, it’s important not to overcomplicate things when they should really stay simple, said Noel Larson, vice president of marketing and business development for Ashly Audio. “Needlessly complicating things is self-
“The more an integrator understands the customer’s needs and expectations, the better they’ll be able to choose the appropriate solution for a given project.”
defeating,” he said. “It could lead systems to go down—no one needs that! Choose the right-sized solution for the mission. I see it over and over again: people get enamored with very open architecture, lots of DSP modules, and matrix routing when really they just need the bartender to adjust the volume of the TVs.” His advice is to take stock of the kinds of projects you’re looking to work on and find a manufacturer that’s designing the right
solutions for those jobs. And if it’s something simple, make sure your solution isn’t overcomplicated. “For processor amplifiers, the needs are ease of use and setup,” he said. “The reality is that the ability to install effectively and have observability over a device are critical. The solution needs to just work and be easy to monitor if issues arise.” Ashly Audio’s mXa-1502 mixer amp is an example of that simplicity. It’s a complete solution in a box that provides four zones of mixing and DSP, plus two 150W programmable mic preamps and a complete DSP suite, all in a single rackmountable unit. Plus, as Ashly’s Larson explained, the company “decided to build the web server in the product, so there’s no longer a need for separate apps. Accessing our internal software through any browser on any device provides the ability to remotely monitor and operate the system. This opens up ongoing support offerings that not only save money in terms of rolling a truck but also improve customer partnerships—and potentially the integrator’s bottom line— through ongoing service contracts.” With audio processing, as with any other part of an installation, what it ultimately comes down to is paying attention to what the end user is really looking for. “The more an integrator understands the customer’s needs and expectations,” said Symetrix’s Larson, “the better they’ll be able to choose the appropriate solution for a given project.”*
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Ashly Audio’s mXa-1502 gives users multizone music distribution, paging, sound masking, and automatic mixing for a wide range of environments. It provides four zones of mixing and DSP, plus two 150W programmable mic preamps and a complete DSP suite, all in a single rackmountable unit.
BY MEG A N A . D UT T A
CEDIA 2019 Preview C
EDIA Expo 2019 is just around the corner. This year’s show takes place Sept. 12-14 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. All the typical AV products for the home will be on display, but manufacturers will be showcasing plenty of products for the pro AV segment as well. “CEDIA Expo has had a deep-rooted connection with the AV industry for the last 30 years. The success of CEDIA Expo would not have been possible without the support of pro AV brands making an early commitment to the industry, showcasing the most innovative products for the trade,” said Brian Pagel, executive vice president, Emerald Expositions, the company behind CEDIA Expo. “Our goal is to embrace the rich heritage of the pro AV channel by creating an immersive experience that highlights today’s trends and tomorrow’s technologies.” SCN spoke with leading manufacturers to put together this sneak peek at the pro AV products that will be on display at CEDIA 2019.
D-Tools System Integrator
D-Tools System Integrator (SI) software caters to the unique and diverse needs of systems design and installation firms. SI helps manage key aspects of an integrator’s business— including sales, comprehensive system design, project documentation, and project management—to streamline business processes, leading to improved operational efficiencies and increased profitability. Booth 1343
can be customized to suit any décor. The perfect way to add a discrete zone of audio to any Sonos home, this plug-and-play solution brings enhanced sound and style to Sonos. Booth 2943
Luxul Apex XAP-1610 Wireless AP
The Apex XAP-1610 AC3100 MU-MIMO dualband wireless access point (AP) delivers data rates up to 3167 Mbps and supports up to 128 wireless devices. 4x4 technology means it’s capable of four spatial streams to communicate with either more devices at once or over more streams. Wave 2 technologies include beamforming, which allows the AP to effectively direct streams to wireless devices for more efficient connections. Booth 905
Modus VR is billed as the world’s first VR design software for media rooms and, soon, conference and huddle spaces. With the latest version, AV integrators can deliver a VR experience to clients that expe-
Digital Projection Satellite MLS
Digital Projection will be offering an exclusive sneak preview of its innovative Satellite Module Laser System. This RGB laser-illuminated prototype separates the light source to a remote location, enabling a small, compact projection “head” that contains the optical and video processing with virtually silent operation. By separating the projection head from the light source and linking the two by fiber optic cables, Digital Projection’s MLS offers the installer flexibility, particularly where space and access are limited. Booth 2543
Leon Ente SoundTile
Leon’s Ente SoundTile may look like a piece of art at first glance, but behind its grille are two channels of referencegrade audio by Leon and power by the Sonos AMP. Chosen artwork is printed directly onto perforated metal that
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dites the design process and increases sales opportunities. Modus VR lets clients experience their desired rooms virtually, before construction even begins. Booth 4343
PowerShades PoE Motor
PowerShades is debuting what it calls the “industry’s first line of Power Over Ethernet (PoE) automated window shades for both commercial and residential applications.” PoE is ideal for new construction where integrators are already installing Cat 5. With no electrician license required for installation, PoE can save customers money, as well as offer reliable communication over RF without the expense of proprietary wiring. In addition to the PowerShades booth, the PoE Motor will also be on display in the PowerHouse Alliance booth (2137) at CEDIA. Booth 3428
technology SoundTube Entertainment IPD Hub2
Designed for use in any contemporary environment, the T4x remote control’s sleek design offers superb ergonomics, a high-resolution 4-inch capacitive touchscreen, and fully programmable soft-touch buttons. Setting the standard for wireless control, the device is packed with features including grip sensors, Wi-Fi, dual RF, and more. Booth SR12
SoundTube Entertainment’s IPD-Hub2 brings IP-based PoE technology to offer an alternative to traditional audio distribution systems. The IPD-Hub 2 uses Dante infrastructure and Attero Tech unIFY software to provide performance monitoring and EQ/DSP control to individual speakers in the system from any computer with a network connection. Booth 3925
Samsung The Wall
Samsung’s The Wall is a modular microLED display that delivers what Samsung describes as a revolutionary viewing experience, with pure black, true color and Samsung’s AI picture enhancement. With extraordinary picture quality and clarity, The Wall offers an immersive
SurgeX Security Plus II Large Format UPS Line
The SurgeX Security Plus II Large Format Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) line has an isolation transformer to provide 100 percent clean and stable power in any residential or commercial environment. AV systems on generator power or in frequent outage areas are kept online by the UPSs to prevent lockout and enable safe shutdown. Booth 3643
Theory Audio sb25
and exclusive experience, delivering memorable content and creating powerful customer connections. Its slim depth with a seamless, flush surface will enhance any environment’s aesthetic. Booth 1013
Sonance Professional Series
Sonance says its Professional Series line of in-ceiling, pendant, and surface-mount loudspeakers is a game-changer for commercial audio, delivering cleaner aesthetics, better performance, and consistent tonality, allowing seamless sonic integration in a project. New for CEDIA is the PS-S210SUBT dual 10-inch subwoofer, designed for placement under banquettes, on walls, or on joists. Booth 2507
Sony Crystal LED Display
The high image quality of Sony’s immersive super-size Crystal LED display system is the result of its superior contrast ratio and color reproduction. Thanks to its seamless and modular design, the system can be scaled to accommodate virtually any size or resolution, making it an ideal option for professional and residential applications. Booth 2513
The Theory sb25 is a compact, high-output, wide-bandwidth, on-wall, multipurpose loudspeaker. Used with the required Theory ALC-1809 96 kHz/32bit digital amplified controller, the sb25 is designed for premium residential and luxury commercial installations. The system features full matrix bass management and automatic audio ducking capabilities. Booth SR-7
Torus Power Wall Mount Models
Designed for larger projects that require clean power for multiple dedicated 20 amp circuits, the Torus Power Wall Mount models accept a 240V or 208V main feed and output clean, isolated power to multiple 120V output circuits. Features include automatic voltage regulation, eight independently controlled zones, series mode, and transient voltage surge suppression modules for the protection for sensitive electronic components. Booth 2533
Vanco International Evolution EVOSKILLZ Designed for both residential and commercial installations, Vanco says its EVOSKILLZ is the first product on the market that can automatically embed audio from a secondary source onto an HDMI cable, sense and switch audio, and maintain uninterrupted 4K video. Booth 643
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RTI Flagship T4x Handheld Remote Control
technology Audio-Technica MicroSet Microphones The What: Audio-Technica is now shipping the BP892x, BP893x, and BP894x MicroSet headworn microphones—updated versions of its BP892, BP893, and BP894 models. The What Else: Audio-Technica’s high-SPL BP892x MicroSet microphone features a subminiature omnidirectional condenser capsule that delivers extremely intelligible, natural audio with a flat, extended frequency response suited for stage and television talent, lecturers, and worship leaders. The ultra-lightweight and inconspicuous BP892x hooks securely behind either ear and can be worn for hours without fatigue. For stability and comfort, the included AT8464x dual-ear adapter kit converts the MicroSet to a dual-ear-worn unit. The BP893x MicroSet, with its unobtrusive 0.2-inch boom, is a high-SPL omnidirectional condenser headworn microphone that offers inconspicuous, under-the-ear placement, along with clear, natural vocal pickup. Its lightweight, low-profile design makes the microphone well suited for use by stage and television talent, lecturers, and worship leaders. The high-SPL, low-profile BP894x MicroSet subminiature cardioid condenser headworn microphone hooks behind either ear for a secure, comfortable fit and delivers a flat, extended frequency response, resulting in extremely intelligible, natural audio. The microphone features a rotating capsule housing with talk-side indicator for polar pattern placement and provides rejection of outside noise, with high gain-before-feedback when used with live sound systems and stage monitors. The Bottom Line: The line offers a number of improvements over its predecessor, including detachable cables and more secure ear loops for comfort and fit. All models will be available with a variety of terminations for wired, Audio-Technica, and third-party wireless systems, and in black or beige.
Sharp 4K Aquos Board Interactive Display Systems
The What: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA), a division of Sharp Electronics, has launched three 4K Ultra HD resolution large-format Aquos Board interactive display systems with built-in wireless and whiteboard functionality utilizing its embedded SoC (system-on-chip) controller. The What Else: The 85-inch Class PN-L851H (84 9/16” diagonal), 75-inch Class PN-L751H (74 1/16” diagonal), and 65-inch Class PN-L651H (64 1/2” diagonal) interactive displays are built for users who need the ability to deploy easy-to-operate, high resolution meeting communication. The 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160) display
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allows meeting participants to see details and small text, making it useful for professional settings where precision is important. The displays’ InGlass touch technology provides a semi-flat surface that allows for more comfortable writing with a more accurate touch response. The Sharp Touch Viewer application, which runs on an optional Windows PC, allows for easy manipulation of different types of files, including Microsoft Office applications, videos and web pages. Since the LCD panel recognizes up to 20 touch points, multiple people can use their finger or touch pen to add input to projects. On-screen content, including handwritten notes, can be shared simultaneously with up to 50 devices. The Bottom Line: The built-in controller allows the user to operate the whiteboard without the need to connect to a dedicated PC. The Sharp Display Connect wireless software allows the screen of any Windows PC or Android mobile device to be wirelessly projected.
Da-Lite Updates Fast-Fold Deluxe Screen
The What: Da-Lite has updated the design features of the Fast-Fold Deluxe Screen System to enhance its portability in rental and staging applications. The What Else: A new leg-to-frame locking mechanism accommodates a variety of user skill levels for intuitive and efficient setup and teardown. All parts on the screen frame and leg are completely self-contained, offering toolless convenience. Fast-Fold Deluxe is now available with HD Rental, a foldable and optically enhanced screen surface for high-resolution projectors. Radio frequency welding technology is applied to the binding of the surface to improve durability and aesthetics, creating a clean transition from border to viewing area. The Bottom Line: The Fast-Fold Deluxe Screen System and HD Rental surface are covered by a comprehensive five-year warranty. HD Rental has achieved GreenGuard Gold certification. All Da-Lite surfaces are eligible for the Screen Green program, which allows customers to send in old surfaces to be recycled.
Planar VM Series LCD Video Wall Line
The What: Leyard and Planar has added four models—two 55-inch and two 49-inch options—to the Planar VM Series line of LCD video wall displays. Featuring some of the industry’s smallest bezels, the new models broaden the Planar VM Series offering and add state-of-theart tiled bezel performance. All four additions to the Planar VM Series are Energy Star 8.0 certified, ensuring customers receive an energyefficient video wall solution. The What Else: The two 55-inch models—the Planar VM55MXM and Planar VM55LX-M—feature an 0.88 mm tiled bezel width and native full HD resolution. The Planar VM55MX-M offers 700-nit brightness to support high ambient light environments. The Planar VM55LX-M model delivers 500-nit brightness, ideal for slightly dimmer viewing environments. The two 49-inch models, which also feature native full HD resolution, empower organizations to deploy a wider variety of video wall sizes and configurations to suit more diverse spaces. The Planar VM49MX-X offers 700-nit brightness and a tiled bezel width of 1.8 mm. The Planar VM49LX-U offers 500-nit brightness and a 3.5 mm tiled bezel width. The Bottom Line: Planar VM Series LCD displays provide a video wall solution with an all-in-one design for demanding requirements of 24x7 mission-critical applications and high-ambient-light environ-
technology fessional line of Dante endpoints and end-user controllers, including wall-mount and mobile device control using ControlSpace Remote.
Attero Tech Axon A4FLEX
ments. Planar VM Series is ideal for digital signage applications in retail, hospitality, universities, sports bars, corporate lobbies, casinos, and museums.
The What: Now available, the Axon A4FLEX networked AVC interface is a compact and scalable mic/line connectivity solution for AES67-networked AVC systems. With four mic/line inputs (two of which are flex I/O and can be outputs), USB and AES67 audio and control interfaces, logic inputs and outputs, and a two-channel power amplifier, the A4FLEX is equally suited to be the heart of a huddle space, small conference room, or I/O extension to a wide variety of DSP platforms. The A4FLEX can be a key part of conferencing and presentation systems in corporate, higher education, hospitality, and courtroom venues. The What Else: The Axon A4FLEX can be powered over the network by PoE+ or locally using an optional +24V DC power supply. Its two Ethernet ports can be used to daisy-chain multiple units; alternatively, the second Ethernet port can be set up to provide a control system interface in which the control system has complete access to the audio network but all non-control-related traffic is suppressed on the control port.
Bose Professional ControlSpace EX Processors
The What: Bose Professional is now shipping new ControlSpace EX processors: two designed specifically for conference rooms (EX440C and EX-12AEC) and one for general purpose applications (EX-1280). The What Else: With an open-architecture, all-in-one design, the ControlSpace EX-440C conferencing processor facilitates high-quality microphone integration and audio processing for small to medium conference rooms. Various inputs and outputs allow for flexible configuration: four mic/line analog inputs, four analog outputs, onboard VoIP, PSTN, USB, Bose AmpLink output, eight-channel acoustic echo cancelling (AEC), and 16x16 Dante connectivity. The ControlSpace EX-12AEC conferencing processor provides a cost-effective, robust expansion for conference rooms using ControlSpace EX conferencing processors, with an open-architecture design, 12 acoustic echo cancellers (AEC), and 16x16 Dante connectivity, The ControlSpace EX-1280 is an even more powerful “big brother” to the existing family of Bose ESP open-architecture digital signal processors. It is a robust processor designed for a variety of applications—from small, self-contained projects to large, networked systems. Leveraging advanced signal processing and a floating-point open-architecture DSP, the EX-1280 processor has the precision and power to create dynamic, yet predictable audio installations. The ControlSpace EX-1280 processor offers 12 mic/line analog inputs, eight analog outputs, Bose AmpLink output, and 64x64 Dante connectivity—featuring high-quality audio processing and expansive digital connectivity. Installers can connect compatible Bose CC-64 and CC-16 controllers, ControlCenter digital zone controllers, and ControlSpace Remote clients for seamless and approachable interfaces that clients can trust. The Bottom Line: Bose ControlSpace Designer software simplifies the setup process for all three processors. Installers will benefit from the software’s expansive signal processing library, with automatic mic mixing, multiband graphic and parametric EQs, Bose loudspeaker libraries, signal generators, routers, mixers, AGCs, duckers, gates, compressors, source selectors, delays, logic, and advanced Dante device control. These new models are compatible with the Bose Pro-
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The unit’s audio signal processing includes input and output EQ, matrix mixing, and dynamics control. The AES67 network audio interface supports 8-in by 8-out, so when multiple A4FLEXes are used in a room, much of the signal processing and routing usually done in the main DSP can be handled locally, freeing up DSP resources. Included mounting ears enable under-table use, and a 1U rack shelf is optionally available for cleanly rack-mounting up to three A4FLEXes. The Bottom Line: Combining four studio-grade microphone preamps, logic I/O, a USB audio interface, and a two-channel power amplifier in a 1/3U form factor, the A4FLEX is an ideal solution for huddle rooms. When paired with an enterprise DSP, the A4FLEX can be the only in-room interface needed for larger conference spaces.
Philips GoBright Integration
The What: GoBright has certified Philips Professional Display Solutions’ 10-inch multitouch displays as being fully compatible with the GoBright platform. If a certified Philips display is purchased, the GoBright app can be downloaded via the Philips app store, integrating the meeting room management platform into the display. The What Else: The IT- and facility-friendly GoBright platform includes features such as an easy and GDPR-proof digital self-registration solution for visitors entering the building, and the ability for staff to check availability and book a meeting room. The Bottom Line: The agreement between the two Amsterdambased companies sees the Philips 10BDL3051T multitouch 10-inch T-Line display become fully certified and fully compatible with the GoBright platform for the first time. More Philips models are to be added in the coming months.
KUDO Platform v2.8 The What: KUDO has released v2.8 of its platform, a cloud-based solution for multilingual meetings and live events. The What Else: The product now features the integration of KUDO in the client’s own website. The KUDO Embedded Multilingual Widget takes the form of a full video window fitted with KUDO’s built-in language selector. More important, the widget removes any limitation on the number of users who can follow a program live. Once it is running on a client’s website, the multilingual video feed can be accessed, with negligible delay, from virtually any browser. Users now have an enhanced “gallery view,” where all meeting participants can be seen at once. The new version—both the web-based and the mobile application—is also localized into eight languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and key European languages, with others coming soon. The Bottom Line: The KUDO v2.8 suite of features provides a fresh look at the meeting space, with an innovative mix of technology and human language talent to bridge language and geographic barriers.
Audinate, NXP Dante Design Kit for i.MX 8M Mini
The What: Audinate and NXP Semiconductors have collaborated to introduce a new reference design kit for the NXP i.MX 8M Mini QuadLite SoC, providing Dante audio-over-IP to OEMs as on-chip software. The What Else: Solutions developed for standard computing hardware platforms such as ARM are increasingly becoming the most cost-effective and flexible way to design and deliver AV products, shifting the industry from purpose-built hardware. Powerful, compact multi-core applications processors such as the i.MX 8M Mini QuadLite are capable of delivering Dante connectivity across entire families of products with lower costs and greater versatility. With minimal additional hardware and low marginal costs, Dante Embedded Platform gives customers immediate access to thousands of available Dante-enabled products from hundreds of OEMs in countless installations. The Dante Embedded Platform Reference Design Kit for NXP’s i.MX 8M processors will be validated by Audinate for Dante performance, and lets OEMs design for Dante with confidence. The i.MX 8M Mini QuadLite processor offers four Cortex-A53 cores, one Cortex-M4 core with flexible memory options, and a variety of highspeed connectivity interfaces, ideal for AV-over-IP applications. The Bottom Line: The Dante Reference Design Kit for NXP i.MX 8M Mini QuadLite processor is expected to be available in the fourth quarter.
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The What: The TableMIC microphone is engineered to reduce distracting noises that arise in the conference room. Its solid metal base construction, acoustical fabric wrap, and padded rubber feet diminish table vibration noise. The What Else: The top of the TableMIC features a capacitive touch control surface for silent operation. The ability to enable and disable button functionality during configuration can further simplify the end user’s videoconferencing experience. With full 360-degree coverage from three unidirectional condenser microphone elements, a single TableMIC microphone provides coverage for most meeting rooms. Each of the three unidirectional cardioid microphone elements in the microphone is equipped with integrated echo cancellation and digital signal processing (DSP), including equalization, filtering, and automatic gain control (AGC). The DSP in a companion product, such as the Vaddio AV Bridge Matrix Pro or EasyUSB Mixer/Amp, provides an AEC reference from the far end and applies it to individual mic elements, so conference calls are clear on both ends of the conversation. The Bottom Line: With its plug-and-play design, installation is simple: just connect a standard Cat 5 cable between the TableMIC microphone and EasyMIC-compatible Vaddio equipment. Power, control, and audio are carried over the single cable. TableMIC supports cable lengths of up to 100 feet between the microphone and EasyMIC ports. TableMIC microphones work with Vaddio products designed with an EasyMIC port.
Vaddio TableMIC Microphones
technology Epson 9,000-Lumen Pro L Laser Projectors The What: Epson is now shipping its 9,000-lumen Pro L laser projectors. The white Epson Pro L1490U and black Epson Pro L1495U, which join the Pro L large-venue laser projector lineup, feature a full range of inputs, edge blending, and 10 optional powered lenses (one standard lens included), making them ideal for conference rooms, auditoriums, and live events. The What Else: The Pro L1490U and Pro L1495U offer WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution with 4K Enhancement Technology supporting up to 4K resolution. Offering 9,000 lumens of equal color and white brightness, the projectors deliver stunning imagery for impactful presentations, videos, digital signage, and more. The new models’ laser light source and electrostatic air filter provide virtually maintenancefree operation for up to 20,000 hours. Plus, with a brightness lock feature, users can securely set the maximum brightness level to meet brightness needs across a range of environments.
match subwoofer output with the main speakers for premium performance and sound. A three-position EQ switch allows amplifier output to be tailored to any Nuvo in-ceiling or in-wall passive subwoofer. The wall-mount NV-SUBAMP100-xx amplifier offers a convenient two-conductor connector to power an optional wireless receiver. The rack-mount NV-SUBAMP200-xx and NV-SUBAMP500-xx feature 12V DC trigger inputs and outputs, allowing them to control or be controlled by external devices. The NV-SUBAMP500-xx adds digital signal processing (DSP) for a variety of listening modes and an easyto-navigate front screen. An IR input allows for simple use with control systems. The Bottom Line: Legrand’s family of Nuvo subwoofers and amplifiers is available now.
Extron NBP 1200C Cable Cubby
In a sleek chassis available in both black and white, the new models combine advanced projection and installation features to deliver premium projection that blends discreetly into virtually any environment where powerful displays are required. The units additionally offer dynamic projection capabilities with built-in edge blending, image warping, and curved-surface correction technologies for a variety of applications; and connectivity that supports inputs including 3G-SDI, HDBaseT, HDMI, DVI-D, VGA, 5-BNC, and Stereo Mini. The Bottom Line: The Epson Pro L1490U (MSRP $13,700) and Pro L1495U (MSRP $13,700) projectors are available now. The projectors are also available without the standard lens—Pro L1490UNL (MSRP $13,400) and Pro L1495UNL (MSRP $13,400). The laser projectors come with a limited warranty of three years or 20,000 hours, whichever comes first, and next-business-day replacement, including free shipping both ways.
Legrand Nuvo Passive Subwoofers and Amplifiers
The What: Legrand has introduced the family of Nuvo 8-inch inceiling and in-wall passive subwoofers and matching digital amplifiers. Optimized for small, medium, and large home theaters and audio installations, the three compact single and dual subwoofers deliver a powerful low-frequency impact, while the wall- and rack-mount amplifiers are packed with convenience features for maximum versatility. The What Else: For smaller installations, the NV-SUBIC8 in-ceiling subwoofer features a round magnetic grille (with an optional square grille available) and an infinite baffle design for maximum placement flexibility. The NV-SUBIW8 and NV-SUBIWDUAL8 in-wall single and dual subwoofers are designed for medium and large projects, respectively. Both units feature a sealed cabinet constructed of durable MDF for a distortion-free bass experience. The NV-SUBIW8 offers a square magnetic grille, while the NV-SUBIWDUAL8’s grille is rectangular. All three subwoofers are backed by a lifetime warranty. Up to two NV-SUBIC8, NV-SUBIW8, and NV-SUBIWDUAL8 subwoofers can be deployed with their matching amplifiers: the 100W NV-SUBAMP100-xx, 200W NV-SUBAMP200-xx, and 500W NVSUBAMP500-xx, respectively. All three units feature signal-sensing power activation, unfiltered LFE/RCA stereo inputs for connecting to most modern receivers, and variable crossover and phase control to
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The What: Extron’s furniture-mountable NBP 1200C Cable Cubby enclosure features a network button panel integrated directly into the lid. It conveniently combines intuitive AV control, connectivity, and power, and works with all Extron Pro Series control systems and HC 400 Series products. The What Else: This fully customizable, easy-to-use control panel works with a control processor to perform a variety of AV system functions such as display on/off, input switching, volume control, and more. The flip-up button panel has 10 customizable, soft-touch buttons that are backlit for easy operation in low-light environments. The NBP 1200C enables integrators to deploy a contemporary, furnituremountable network button panel with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity and power. The Bottom Line: The NBP 1200C can be customized using the Cable Cubby Builder, an interactive tool that guides users through the process of selecting AC power modules, AV connectivity, cables, and installation accessories. As you build your Cable Cubby, a bill of materials is prepared automatically. When you’re finished, the Builder allows you to review your Cable Cubby and make any last-minute changes before placing your order.
KanexPro High-Speed HDMI-Certified Cables
The What: KanexPro has unveiled a line of certified premium highspeed HDMI cables, including Super Slim Certified Premium HighSpeed HDMI Cables, Certified Premium High-Speed HDMI Cables, Active Fiber High-Speed HDMI Cables, Active Fiber High-Speed DisplayPort 1.4 Cables, and Active 18G High-Speed HDMI Cables. The What Else: KanexPro’s Super Slim Premium High-Speed 18 Gbps Certified HDMI Cables, available in 3-foot and 6-foot lengths, provide high performance in tight spaces. The 36/34AWG cable simplifies wire management while enhancing air flow through racks and cabinets. The Super Slim Premium 18 Gbps HDMI Cable supports HDMI resolutions up to 4K (3840 x 2160p @ 60 Hz), including 3D and multiview video. Supporting HDR, HDR10, and Dolby Vision Dynamic Range
technology ogy. It encompasses additional and enhanced cable testing as well as an authentication and verification program. The cables are tested to ensure they support the full 18 Gbps bandwidth from the HDMI 2.0b specification plus an EMI test to ensure cables minimize interference with wireless signals.
combined with SA-CD, DVD-Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio standards, the Super Slim Premium 18 Gbps HDMI Cable is suitable for 4K and HDMI display transmission. The Premium High-Speed 18 Gbps Certified HDMI Cable, available in 15-foot and 25-foot lengths, is a CL2 in-wall rated cable designed to run in-wall, between rooms and for extended reach between displays and mounts. Engineered to provide high-performance speed and resolutions, the Premium High-Speed 18 Gbps HDMI Cable supports HDMI resolutions up to 4K (3840 x 2160p @ 60 Hz), including 3D and multi-view. Additionally, the Premium 18 Gbps HDMI Cable supports HDR, HD10, HLG, and Dolby Vision video standards with HD multichannel up to DTS:X and Dolby Atmos audio standards. KanexProâ€™s Active Fiber High-Speed DisplayPort 1.4 Cable enables high-quality transmission through active fiber (AOC) at 20 meters, 30 meters, and 50 meters. The Active Fiber DisplayPort 1.4 Cables support the DisplayPort 1.3 specification, which provides up to 32.4 Gbps bandwidth, and features for DisplayPort 1.4, including high dynamic range (HDR). The Active Fiber DisplayPort 1.4 Cable delivers uncompressed full-bandwidth transmission to 32.2 Gbps by incorporating HBR3, featuring 8.1 Gbps per lane, up to 50 meters to guarantee compatibility with 8K performance display requirements. Designed for 4K UHD with HRD content, the Active Fiber High-Speed HDMI Cables deliver uncompressed, fullbandwidth 18 Gbps HDMI content in lengths, including 20 meters, 30 meters and 50 meters. Featuring plenum (CMP) fire safety, the Active Fiber HDMI Cables are approved for use in air duct spaces of commercial and residential building. The Active Fiber HDMI Cables support HDR, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision, plus HD multichannel up to DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, SA-CD, DVDAudio, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby TrueHD. The Bottom Line: The Premium HDMI Cable Certification Program is the program from the creators of HDMI technol-
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ad index COMPANY Arlington Industries
PAGE CONTACT 18, 45,59
B&H Photo/Pro Audio
TOA Electronics, Inc.
The Video Show
Hitachi America Ltd
Leyard and Planar
SPL…18; AVIXA…20, 37, 39; Baker
Audio Visual…37, 38; Barix…44. 45,
50; Beale Street Audio…10; Biamp…38;
AMX…44, 45; AQAV …24; Ashly
Audio…53; Audio-Technica…48; AVI-
Bose…42, 43; CEDIA…20; ClearOne…16; Community Loudspeakers…37, 38;
Conference Technologies, Inc.…37;
Cory’s Audio Visual…42; d&b
ASSISTIVE LISTENING Barix
ENCO51 Listen Technologies Williams AV
50 50, 51
AUDIO DISTRIBUTION SoundTube Entertainment
AUDIO PROCESSING Ashly Audio
audiotechnik…43; Dell…40; Digital
Da-Lite56 Digital Projection
Video Networks…16; Diversified…14;
Dolby Labratories…24; Electro-
Voice…42; ENCO…51; Holosphere…16; Integrated Systems Events…20; James Loudspeaker…42, 43; L-Acoustics…37,
39. 43; Listen Technologies…50; Meyer
Sound…26, 43; Morning Consult 40;
NSCA…24; PreSonus…42; Progressive
Signage Federation…24; Digital
Communications…44, 45; QSC…32, 42, 52; Shure…16; Sixth Sense Solutions…10;
SMPTE…24; Symetrix…52, 53; Williams
AV…38, 51; Yamaha…30, 48, 52, 53;
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technology Datapath WallControl 10 Management Software Update The What: Datapath has released updates to its WallControl 10 video management software, broadening control scope as well as offering mobile control over the same IP network. With web interface capability, plus a KVM control function for connected PCs, Wall Control 10 v1.9 offers additional features that provide considerable end user benefits. The What Else: The software update allows for browser-based control of the video wall for the first time. Automatically scaling to any PC, tablet, or smartphone types, this brings WallControl 10 power and flexibility to any device. Users are now able to discover and connect to available walls on a server and open and close layout files with a single click. Video walls can be made to be managed on an IP network or not, ensuring maximum control and security. An office receptionist or department manager, for example, could be given the ability to change content on a display from their smartphone, but sensitive content on other video walls would not be accessible. A prime feature on Datapath’s new WallControl 10 v1.9 is the ability to control keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) to source. Using Datapath Agent software, a host of unmanned source PCs delivering content can now be accessed from a WallControl 10 client on the same network, allowing AV and/or IT operators the ability to control and manipulate sources from their workstations. The Bottom Line: Available on Datapath’s VSN and iolite range of video wall controllers, WallControl 10 allows users to easily control output sources such as IP feeds, video captures, and local applications. These sources can be controlled by WallControl 10 when the most elaborate and complex wall scenarios are required.
Peerless-AV and Volta Electric Vehicle Charging Station Displays
The What: In partnership with Volta, Peerless-AV has released a new generation of electric vehicle charging stations. The new kiosks provide a seamless, simple, and free charging experience that fuels transportation while inspiring positive change in the adoption of electric vehicles. The What Else: The latest generation of its electric vehicle charging station features a slim airfoil-like silhouette with a design focused on both user experience and community impact. Throughout the charging process, the station communicates real-time status updates to users using emotive and intuitive external lighting. The station includes dual displays built to meet the needs of brick-and-mortar locations seeking amenities that increase consumer traffic. The Volta charging station features Peerless-AV’s 55-inch Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Displays. The ruggedized, optically bonded, and fully sealed weatherproof design offers protection against extreme
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outdoor conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, dust, insects, and pressure washing. The Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display is equipped with ambient light sensors to automatically and gradually adjust the screen’s brightness based on the surrounding conditions, providing a clear, crisp picture in direct sunlight. The Bottom Line: New charging station locations are confirmed and coordinated using data modeling to map current demand and predict future growth. With stations in nine of the nation’s top 20 electric vehicle markets, regional networks are thoughtfully expanded to lead local electric vehicle market penetration. With this new generation of free charging stations installed around the U.S., Peerless-AV and Volta say they are “looking forward to continued innovation and making communities better by using technology as a force for social change.”
Hall Research UHB-SW2 Extender
The What: The UHB-SW2 extender comprises a 2-gang wall plate transmitter with a low-profile receiver. The wall plate provides autoswitching VGA and HDMI inputs as well as a USB port for connection to a host computer. The What Else: The system uses HDBaseT 2.0 technology for data integrity and reliable operation. HDMI input supports 4K/60 4:4:4 HDR with up to 18 Gbps bandwidth. VGA and its associated audio inputs are converted to HDMI and scaled to be displayed on any TV or projector. The UHB-SW2 can extend the signals over a single Cat 6 cable to a distance of 120 feet for 4K @ 60 Hz or 220 feet for 1080p video. USB and RS-232 control signals are also extended. For convenience, the receiver provides power to the wall plate via the Cat 6 cable, and it provides two USB ports for connection of any USB 1.1 or 2.0 device at the receiver. Interactive touchscreen displays, memory devices, keyboard/ mouse, and webcams can be connected to the receiver. Auto-switching video selects the last connected input (HDMI or VGA); however, the wall plate includes a push-button to directly select either input. The Bottom Line: The UHB-SW2 is ideal for commercial AV and educational (K-12) installations.
tvONE CORIOview Update
The What: tvONE has added new features to its CORIOview 4K multi-window processor. Enhancements include support for rotated displays, cloned outputs, EDID manager, and a new multiuser HTTPS SSL security interface. The What Else: CORIOview now rotates outputs in portrait or landscape at 0°, 90°, 180°, or 270°, making it ideal for small control rooms or digital signage applications. Additionally, the new cloned output functionality on dual-output modules minimizes removes single points of failure. HTTPS SSL connectivity together with a real-time, RESTful API provides effortless multiuser control and keeps information safe. Custom EDIDs can be uploaded and managed using a simple interface within CORIOgrapher, ensuring that content will be displayed correctly no matter the source. Up to eight windows can be displayed on screen in preset layouts, which can be selected from the front panel, CORIOgrapher control software, or a controller using tvONE’s realtime API. Layouts can also be user-configured and stored for instant recall. The Bottom Line: CORIOview is an ultra-compact, 4K multi-window processor that can take inputs from up to eight separate sources for HDMI (4K or HD), DVI, 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, HDBaseT (4K or HD), and streaming video depending on the configuration of its modular design, and output them to HDMI (4K or HD), DVI, 3G-SDI, or HDBaseT (HD). This makes CORIOview a versatile product for a range of environments.
viewpoint Networking and Connecting People, Not Computers THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF DEVELOPING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS B Y B RA N DY A L VA R A D O
or some, the idea of meeting new people is nerve-racking and makes them sweat. I find it exhilarating. My back story as a military brat may have something to do with that fact. You see, I moved a lot as a kid. Meeting new people and making friends came with the territory. I can talk to anybody. For me, making new friends and meeting new people was a method of survival. As an adult working in marketing and business development, I’ve really been able to hone those skills I acquired in my childhood. In a business environment, I’ve found that meeting and connecting with people can be fun ... and also bit frustrating at times. Communication is undoubtedly the key element, but there are a few rules of engagement I’d like to share. These networking do’s and don’ts have proven successful for me, and I hope they will for you, too. Do your homework. Sometimes you get a glimpse of who’s attending an event beforehand. I have unabashedly investigated people and companies on LinkedIn prior to an event. This helps steer you into gaining good connections versus spending time with folks you may not want to do business with. Do arrive early. I try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the event starts so I can scope out the venue. Position yourself near the front middle of the room for optimal exposure. Go where the horde is congregating. Do present yourself well. Posture, smile, and presence is key. We’ve all heard the phrase “a smile that lit up the room.” Guess who’s doing well at that networking event? The one who’s never fully dressed without a smile. I’m a sucker for a killer smile—it shows someone is approachable and inviting. Be aware of your body language. Don’t cross your arms in front of you or exude any posturing that conveys a negative stance. Use a mirror to practice your open, inviting stance. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. You probably already have an elevator pitch for your company—make one for yourself, too. Practice your introduction until you’re comfortable enough to give it to anyone. And make it clever and memorable. I’ll often introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Brandy.” And the person usually responds with “Randy? Sandy?” My response is, “I’m Brandy, just like the alcohol.” It’s a unique way to get someone to remember my name. Do enlist a wingman or wingwoman. Did Dorothy go down the yellow brick road by herself? Heck no. She knew there is power in the pack. If I’m new to a networking group, I find a board member or senior person within the group to help introduce me around. I’ll boldly ask, “Can you introduce me to anyone? I’m new to this group.” Be sure to follow up afterward
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with a big thank you. Don’t be boring and ask stereotypical questions like, “What do you do at Company X?” Think outside the box. “I wonder if we’re having rubber chicken tonight. What do you think is on the menu?” Ask open ended-questions to which the answer can’t be just yes or no. Do actively listen. We all need to learn to listen to understand, not listen to respond. Comprehend what someone is trying to convey. Look into his/her eyes, and at their body language as a sign of interest. Don’t take over the conversation. Don’t interrupt or be impatient. Pause, pay attention, and use active listening skills. Be focused on understanding, not responding. Also listen without trying to fix—most people just want to be heard and get their point across. I’ll often
“Did Dorothy go down the yellow brick road by herself? Heck no. She knew there is power in the pack.”
summarize what I’ve heard as a way to show them I’m paying attention. Do spill the beans. It’s okay to share personal info as a means to create rapport. But set boundaries. No one wants to hear the details of your prostate exam. Don’t turn the conversation into a hard sell—there’s nothing worse than a sharky salesperson. The goal is to develop rapport or create a common interest. Unless they are genuinely interested in hearing more about your company after your pitch, steer clear of that conversation. Don’t limit yourself to connecting with just one person. Time is money, so use yours wisely. If someone is monopolizing your time, excuse yourself, and promise to connect at a later time. Even better, ask them to join you in working the room.
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Do follow up, follow through, and keep in touch. My biggest pet peeve is when someone goes to a tradeshow and makes seemingly great connections, then goes back to the office and does nothing—no call, no social, no email. Why? You are letting money and prospects slip through your fingers. At the very least send a generic email, but better yet, send something personal. Follow through with information you promised to send them, and keep in touch. I try to reach out at least quarterly. You’d better believe that if you don’t stay “sticky and relevant” in their minds, your competitor will! Don’t be deterred by rejection. Rejection can come in many forms—lack of eye contact or non-verbal cues at the event, or ignoring postevent follow-ups. It’s okay, it happens. Move on and stay open to new ideas. Do get social. Connect with your new associates on LinkedIn with a clever note about where you met. If my new friend has a Twitter, I follow her and ensure I comment on relevant tweets. If she’s new to the industry, I’ll introduce her to my community of #AVTweeps to help her develop a social presence with other AV professionals. Don’t forget to pay it forward. Connect people who you think have a common business purpose. By facilitating new relationships, you are making yourself “sticky and relevant.” You’re putting yourself in the position to be the first one somebody calls when they need a resource—never out of sight, always on their minds. I find networking to be rewarding on a number of fronts; I’ve gained so much knowledge from people I’ve connected with over the years. My advice: use networking as an opportunity to educate yourself about new ideas. Maybe you’re looking for career opportunities, maybe you’re looking to expand your knowledge base, or maybe you’re just looking for new friends in the AV industry—networking can help with all of those things. Consider these tips on your next networking adventure, and let me know if you’re seeing more success in connecting. Lastly, shoot me a line—let’s connect! Brandy Alvarado is business development manager at Mad Systems and chair of the AVIXA Women’s Council.
Systems Contract News - September 2019