Systems Contractor News - September 2021

Page 1

Welcome to the September ISSUE of

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Quantum Ultra II

Videowall Processing Leaps Forward with Advanced Connectivity and 8K-Ready Throughput Quantum® Ultra II represents the next generation of Extron videowall processors, providing advanced connectivity and throughput capabilities. The 18 Gbps HDMI connections on the 4K input and output cards facilitate single-path 4K/60 signals and are HDCP 2.3 compliant. The 8K-ready HyperLane® video bus supports more than twenty 4K/60 sources. Embedded HDMI audio from any source can be routed independently to one or more active canvasses. Features such as portrait and landscape output support, output overlap, bezel compensation, and custom output resolutions ensure compatibility with nearly any display.

4K/60, 4:4:4 on a Single Connection

Audio Management

Quantum IN4HDMI 4K PLUS input cards and Quantum OUT4HDMI 4K PLUS output cards offer the convenience of managing 4K/60 video as a single signal. With four connections per card, they dramatically increase the I/O count per chassis when working with 4K/60 sources and displays.

Quantum Ultra II provides HDMI embedded audio routing when configured with IN4HDMI 4K PLUS and OUT4HDMI 4K PLUS cards. It supports LPCM stereo as well as multi-channel surround sound formats, and an independent audio source can be selected per canvas from any input.

Expanded 8K-Ready HyperLane Bus



The dedicated high-speed video bus built into the Quantum Ultra II processor delivers real-time performance unattainable by other videowall processors. The HyperLane video bus is 8K-ready and now has a maximum throughput of up to 500 Gbps, providing the capacity to simultaneously carry more than twenty 4K/60 4:4:4 sources.

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Quantum Ultra II

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Getting Back to Show Business While the 2021 global music festival

season arrived later than many hoped, sound companies and audio integrators recently got a preview of what to expect going forward with Lollapalooza in Chicago. By Jim Beaugez


24 InfoComm Is Back! It’s been more than 16 months since AV professionals

34 The Latest in Conferencing Microphones

gathered in person to meet at an InfoComm show. We

With many employees returning to offices with

asked AV professionals for their takes about the

hybrid working arrangements, the demand for

long-anticipated return of the in-person show.

flexible and high-performing conference room

By Megan A. Dutta

microphones is rising fast. By Ledetta Asfa-Wossen

28 The Hybrid Workplace: Trends in Acoustics and Audio

36 Bring the Noise

Prior to the pandemic, acousticians and audio systems

audio sector, but for loudspeakers, at least, there

designers grappled with producing quality sound in

remain many constants. SCN explored some of the

conference rooms. As companies put their hybrid

latest trends and how products might evolve post-

work strategies into practice, many of these issues

COVID-19. By Ledetta Asfa-Wossen

remain … and a few new ones are presenting

The pandemic has disrupted many areas of the pro

themselves. By Carolyn Heinze



42 Navigating Transitions

19 Executive Q&A

Now is the time for AV professionals to prove their value to customers by helping them transition their

work and AV.

temporary, ad-hoc solutions cobbled together at the

By Megan A. Dutta

beginning of the pandemic into permanent AV

As the hybrid work model continues to evolve, AV systems, particularly the audio component, have become a focus for improvement. Without intelligible audio, communication is tremendously difficult. By Tom Edge


Life is nothing if not a constant series of transitions.

Yamaha UC’s Meghan Kennelly chats about remote

20 Tech Tales



systems ready for the future. By Matt D. Scott



Vol. 28 No. 9 September 2021 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. Subscribe online at Please allow 6-8 weeks for address changes to take effect. ©Copyright 2021 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A.


SCN // September 2021 //



MEGAN A. DUTTA Content Director


No Place Like Home


Art Editor Rob Crossland

ment. Frankly, I took the job because it was eight stop signs from my

Production Managers Nicole Schilling, Heather Tatrow

house and that sounded like a great commute. My career has allowed me to travel all around the world, something I’d never

tradeshows like ISE in Amsterdam. Throughout all these work adventures, I’ve discovered that no matter where you are, there’s no place like home. And I’m pro AV. No matter where I’ve been, as long as my #AVTweeps are around, I’ve felt at home with family.

TWEET US Why is #ProAV like home to you?

Content Manager Katie Makal Contributors Ledetta Asfa-Wossen, Jim Beaugez, Matt D. Scott, Tom Edge, Carolyn Heinze Group Art Director Nicole Cobban

not talking about home as in where you reside—I mean home as in the world of


Content Director Megan A. Dutta,

events at Peerless-AV, and eventually running its marketing depart-

cities at tradeshows like InfoComm and CEDIA, and I’ve even gone global for



VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona

s some of you know, I began my AV career managing tradeshows and

dreamed I’d be doing. I’ve been fortunate enough to see all of the major U.S.


SEPTEMBER 2021 VOL. 28 NO. 9

So, family, it’s with mixed emotions that I wrap up my last issue of Systems Contractor News. It’s been an amazing four years, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities Future (publisher of SCN) has afforded me—from producing the magazine to creating engaging events to traveling the world with my AV fam. But none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the love and support of you, our readers. Thank you for allowing me to share your thoughts and stories, and for giving me new perspectives on each and every topic we discuss. I leave SCN in the very capable hands of our team—like our content manager, Katie Makal—who will ensure you continue to receive top-quality pro AV news and stories. As I move on to my next adventure, I assure you that the SCN family (and that includes you, dear reader!) will always have a special place in my heart. Please stop and say “hello” at the next AV event, because AV is our home, and there’s no place like it.

FREE SUBSCRIPTION For more than 20 years, Systems Contractor News has been the leading system integration industry magazine, providing timely news, insightful reporting, product information, new analysis, trends reports, and the authoritative source for technology information.


Vice President, AV/Consumer Electronics & Pro Audio Adam Goldstein,, 212-378-0465 Sales John Casey,, 845-678-3839 Janis Crowley,, 845-414-6791 Debbie Rosenthal,, 212-378-0468 Zahra Majma,, 845-678-3752 Andi Tureson SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE

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11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor New York, NY 10036 All contents ©2021 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/ permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.

To claim your FREE subscription, go to 4 SCN // June 2021 //

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QSC Brings Audio Adventure to the World Premiere of Disney’s Jungle Cruise

anaheim, ca—QSC provided the audio system for the world premiere of Disney’s Jungle Cruise, held at the Fantasyland Theater in Disneyland on July 24. A small team of dedicated QSC experts designed, built, and installed the enormous QSC audio system, helping transform the 5,000-square-foot outdoor amphitheater into a state-of-the-art movie theater and setting the stage for moviegoers to travel deep into the heart of the Amazon jungle.

Top 5 Stories on 5. The Healing Power of Sound 4. A V Sales Growth Soars to Near-Record High 3. Samsung Reveals Infinity Screen at L.A.’s SoFi Stadium 2. Federal Circuit Dismisses Shure’s Appeal of District Court Order 1. Diversified Acquires HB Communications

POPULAR POSTS How Live Events Pivoted and Evolved During the Pandemic

Back to Work and School Puts Spotlight on Smart Locks


BY NICK ENGLISH During the pandemic,

Quality Audio in a PostCOVID Workplace BY NANCY KNOWLTON Quality group

“pivot” was a business buzzword in 2020 that

people were spending more time at home, and feeling

audio is fundamental to the collaboration experience

described what we all had to do to stay afloat in an

more connected to their homes than perhaps they

for remote participants. Now that everyone has

uncertain business environment, I challenge all the

ever had before. As they return to offices, they can

experienced remote work, they know the problems

pivots of the past to look to the future and evolve. The

maintain some feeling of connectedness by installing

that poor quality audio can cause: wasted time,

pandemic arrived at the same moment broadband

smart devices. With a connected device and a

disrupted meeting flow, and frustrated remote

internet speeds and videoconferencing technology

smartphone or tablet, homeowners can monitor their

participants. Group and personal collaboration tools

were able to support robust virtual communication.

homes from their school or office, and manage who

are taking center stage for many companies, along

Technology was no longer an add-on, but the main act

can enter with control of the smart lock on the front

with a focus on new collaboration processes.

to stay connected.



Pearl Technology Hosts 2021 Showcase By Megan A. Dutta


n July 19, more than 200 AV professionals gathered at the Peoria Riverfront Museum

ing to the exhibit hall to see the latest pro AV solu-

connect our customers and prospects with cutting-

tions from companies like Absen, QSC, Sennheiser,

edge vendors, and forge solid relationships that will

Shure, and Televic Conference.

last well into the future.”

“We’re thrilled at the results of our showcase event,” said Jeremy Caldera, CTS-D, CTS-I, senior

forTVBU810_lvdr2_300 the Pearl Technology Showcase, flockvicePM president edge to edge 6X9.5.qxp_Layout 1 8/6/21 2:25 Page 1at Pearl Technology. “We were able to




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watched a show in the planetarium, and saw Jurassic “I’d like to personally thank everyone who


attended and made the first annual Pearl Technology Showcase a success,” added Caldera. “We’re looking forward to continuing to create connections that



the museum, where they explored the exhibits, Park in the giant-screen theater.

Made in USA

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In addition to the technology showcase, attendees and their families were treated to a fun-filled night at

matter with our partners, clients, and prospects.”

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Jay B. Myers to Speak at TEDxWestMonroe Jay B. Myers is set to speak at TEDxWestMonroe on Oct. 9 in West Monroe, LA. TEDx is an independently organized event created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to discover “ideas worth spreading.” It brings the spirit of TED to local communities around the world. During the inaugural event, 16 speakers from a variety of backgrounds and professions will each give eight- to 12-minute TEDx talks. Myers’ TEDx talk, titled “Do What Is Right, Not What Is Easy,” will focus on creating and sustaining an effective organizational value system. To learn more about TEDxWestMonroe, visit


NEWS london, uk—Technology from disguise helped transform the West End’s longest running musical, Les Misérables, into a staged concert to accommodate restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Video designers Finn Ross of FRAY Studio and Jonathon Lyle were brought on to adapt the original show’s video design to its simpler concert format through the help of disguise’s previsualization software powered by a disguise solo server. Plas TV Box SCN.qxp_Layout 1 11/10/20 10:50 AM Page 1

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Fred Bargetzi Scholarship Fund to Help Remove Barriers to Education


restron has established the Fred Bargetzi Memorial Scholarship at its late chief technology officer Fred Bargetzi’s alma mater,

the University at Buffalo. Following Bargetzi’s


death in January 2021, Crestron and members of the Bargetzi family founded the scholarship to honor his legacy and empower students at the University at Buffalo to succeed in their education. The interest from the scholarship endowment will be used each year to provide four scholarships to undergraduate students from underrepresented


communities to help mitigate barriers of race, gender identification, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, or veteran status. One


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scholarship will be awarded to a student from each class, and at least two of the four student recipients will be electrical engineering majors. (Bargetzi was an EE major while a student at the University at Buffalo.)

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Students can begin applying for scholarships at the beginning of the fall 2021 semester. “One of Fred’s greatest passions in life was empowering others to achieve their dreams and CED135

understand that anything is possible if you have the mindset and will to accomplish it,” said Dan

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operating officer at Crestron. “We Bargetzi Memorial Scholarship to students by giving them the resources they need to 4-GANG TVB613

advance their education. Fred has inspired a countless number of people throughout his life, and we hope to honor his legacy through this scholarship.”

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Just Add Power Helps Heal Through Music

Matrox’s David Chiappini Dies David Chiappini, executive vice president of research and development at Matrox Video, died unexpectedly on July 26. “It is with great sadness that I announce the sudden passing of our friend and colleague


veterans through the healing power of music and

veterans with the intention of using the medium of

then as an ASIC designer starting in 1996, he

community. This year, Just Add Power is donating

music to help them readjust to life after service and

demonstrated a relentless passion for

10 Epiphone acoustic guitars to the program.

cope with the effects of post-traumatic stress


ust Add Power is continuing its support

and share music with this program as well as

David Chiappini,” said Lorne Trottier, president

for Guitars for Vets (G4V), a nonprofit

those in the AV industry.”

and owner of the Matrox Group. “From his

dedicated to providing relief to struggling

In addition, the company will hold a daily

Founded in 2007, G4V donates guitars to

disorder. G4V operates more than 80 chapters in 40

beginnings with us, first as an intern and

“Serving in various leadership roles at Matrox

drawing at its booth at the 2021 CEDIA Expo, giving

states across the United States, with the assistance

and as chair of the AIMS Pro AV Working Group,

attendees a chance to win one of three LTD EC-256

of more than 200 volunteers nationwide.

David leaves an indelible mark on the Matrox

electric guitars.

This year, during Just Add Power’s fifth annual

community, our network of business partners

“The mission of G4V has been close to our

CEDIA Expo guitar giveaway, attendees will

and customers, and the entire AV/IT sector,”

hearts for many years—almost everyone here

have a chance to win one LTD EC-256 guitar

added Trottier. “David was a rare breed of a

at Just Add Power has experienced the

each day of the show, each with a different

technical and business leader, supporting all

therapeutic power of sitting with a guitar

finish. Attendees must visit the company’s

disciplines and departments at Matrox, and we

and getting into a flow state,” said Taft

booth to enter and be

will continue to build on his legacy and carry on

Stricklin, sales team manager at Just Add

present during the

his vision of pushing the boundaries of video

Power. “This year, we’re doubly proud to

daily 3 p.m. drawing

innovation. David will be deeply missed.”

carry on our tradition of helping to facilitate

to be eligible to win.


Biamp Awards 2021 Charitable Grants

Diversified Acquires HB Communications

Diversified, No. 2 on the 2020 SCN Top 50 list, has acquired HB


Communications (New Haven, CT), No. 13 on the 2020 list.

which recognizes organizations

“I am excited to welcome the team at HB, with their widely recognized

that share Biamp’s vision for us-

industry presence and experience, into the Diversified family.”

“Expanding our footprint in the Northeast is a strategic step in

iamp has named the three winners of its 2021

sustaining the necessary growth to deliver the best possible service for

Charitable Grant Program,

our customers,” said Fred D’Alessandro, founder and CEO of Diversified.

Diversified says that as one of the first major acquisitions in the

ing audiovisual technology and engineering to enhance the lives of

industry since the pandemic, this move demonstrates its continued

those around us. The 2021 win-

commitment to growth, seizing opportunities that are mutually

ners are the Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for

beneficial to its clients and internal teams. Just before the pandemic, Diversified acquired Sensory Technologies

Girls, Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington, and the Or-

Portland, OR-based, Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls is

egon Lions Sight & Hearing Founda- one of three winners of Biamp’s Charitable Grant tion. Selected by Biamp’s charitable

Program for 2021.

in a move the company said offered a strategic expansion of its footprint in the Midwest and Northeast regions. A press release from Diversified about the acquisition notes that HB’s

leadership committee, each organization will receive a $7,000 to $10,000 grant in

complementary solutions portfolio—including audiovisual, broadcast,

support of their efforts to enrich the communities in which we work, live, and play.

collaboration, creative services, digital signage, and managed services—

“Our mission is to connect people through extraordinary experiences, not only in the

is expected to enhance Diversified’s offerings and provide needed

AV industry but throughout our communities as well, and I’m incredibly proud to partner

support to address a growing and changing marketplace. Likewise, HB

with and support organizations that share this vision,” said Rashid Skaf, Biamp

clientele will gain access to additional technology specialties such as

president, CEO, and co-chairman.

security and IT as well as professional resources on a global scale—

For more information, visit

enhancing their operations with a single dedicated technology partner.

NEWS sunbright, tn—Carousel Digital Signage is changing the way Highland Telephone Cooperative communicates with customers visiting its four rural Tennessee facilities. The member-owned telecommunications company, which offers phone, high-speed internet, and cable TV service, recently deployed a Carousel Cloud digital signage network to provide information about its product and service offerings to customers, who can monitor the screens as they pay bills and talk with company representatives.

PTZOptics Joins SRT Alliance obotic camera manufacturer PTZOptics has


The SRT Alliance, founded by Haivision in April

SRT Alliance for Haivision. “We’re pleased to see the

joined the SRT Alliance, an initiative whose

2017, already has more than 500 members. SRT, an

SRT protocol being actively implemented by some of

members aim to overcome the challenges

open source video transport protocol and technology

the world’s most trusted broadcast technology

of low-latency video streaming by supporting the

stack originally developed and pioneered by

providers as its adoption and industry-wide

collaborative development of SRT (Secure Reliable

Haivision, enables the delivery of high-quality and

recognition continues to grow, becoming the de facto

Transport), an open source video transport protocol.

secure, low-latency video across the public Internet.

standard for low-latency internet streaming.”

As part of its overall strategy to provide

“Our customers want to be able to live stream

broadcast-quality cameras and control devices that

without limitations,” said Paul Richards, director of

work on any network infrastructure, PTZOptics has

marketing, PTZOptics. “We are proud to join the SRT

steadily expanded the local area network control and

Alliance in developing an open-source protocol that

distribution options for its entire product line. Now,

will provide security, reliability, and quality for

as a member of the SRT Alliance, PTZOptics will be

low-latency streams on unmanaged networks.”

helping to define the use cases and technical

“With the SRT Alliance, PTZOptics is joining an

requirements for secure livestreaming and video

industry movement to improve the way the world

production over wide area networks.

streams video,” added Suso Carrillo, director of the

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Solutionz Launches Solutionz Security


V integrator Solutionz Inc. has spun off Solutionz Security, a full-service firm offering cybersecurity protections for small and

midsized businesses, the public sector, and enterprise organizations around the world. Solutionz Security originated from a need to provide cybersecurity protection to Solutionz’s customers. Executives at Solutionz saw that

Meyer Sound to Demo Spacemap Go at InfoComm 2021


cybersecurity-related attacks were growing in both frequency and scope. The increase in ransomware demands, supply chain attacks, and threats to internet of things (IoT) devices places even small organizations at risk as hackers exploit backdoors in smart TV firmware or software, telecommunication equipment, and cameras. “If you think about internet traffic that you have through communication, it is no different than data. The same mechanisms that monitor communication, monitor IoT traffic. There is an easy bridge that we are creating over that chasm,” said Solutionz CEO Bill

eyer Sound will take over the 2,643-seat

trajectories can be manipulated in real time using the

Warnick of the logical crossover from an AV-specific

Linda W. Chapin Theater in the Orange

console touchscreen.

cybersecurity division to the need for a sister

County Convention Center at InfoComm

“The introduction of these plug-ins means our

company focused on full cybersecurity programs.

2021 for real-world demonstrations of Spacemap

demo sessions are a must-see for anybody who’s

Go, its spatial sound tool for sound design and live

doing immersive sound, whether in touring,

business development and leader of the initiative to


theater, installed sound, museums, or themed

develop Solutionz Security, said, “There are a lot of

spectacles,” added Boot. “The creative possibilities

layers to cybersecurity. We created Solutionz Security

Sound reinforcement system will be augmented with

are practically limitless, but the initial costs for

to have 100 percent focus on cybersecurity. We took

additional AVB Milan Certified GALAXY Network

Spacemap Go are far lower than competitive

two years to develop our team of partners, experts

Platforms and surround loudspeakers to support the

systems. All you need is a GALAXY processor and

who understand the complexities of cybersecurity

Meyer Sound demos and special guest presentations.

you’re ready to go, using the iPad app or the new

both from the MSP and from the customer’s

console plug-ins—or even both simultaneously,


During the show, the theater’s permanent Meyer

“This is our first major trade show since we introduced Spacemap Go, so we are going all-out to make these demo sessions an InfoComm highlight,”

if you like.” In addition to Meyer Sound’s own staff, hosts for

Shawn Fernandez, Solutionz vice president of

Fernandez described Solutionz Security’s approach: “We are selling more than tools. We come

said Tim Boot, Meyer Sound’s director of global

the demo sessions will include well-known guest

into an organization and address their current

marketing. “Instead of the scaled-down demo room

presenters from touring sound and worship sound.

defense posture. ... The best money spent is the

simulations others have shown, at InfoComm we will

The demo session schedule will be posted on the

money already spent on your cybersecurity. We want

launch a full-blown experience of what Spacemap Go

Meyer Sound website. The theater’s large capacity

to build on your success. We do not come in and say

can do in immersive music concerts and sophisticated

means no advance reservations are required. In

that we need to rip and replace your current solutions

theatrical productions.”

between demo sessions, the Chapin Theater will be

because our product is better. We look at what an

open for hospitality and the ever-popular Tech Bar.

organization has already done, the efforts already put

The Meyer team and guests will demo Spacemap Go’s native control via a free iPad app and plug-ins for

“The concert touring, theater, live venue, and

in. We then assess the gaps that exist, and we

major console manufacturers. The console plug-ins

event production communities are eager and ready to

formulate a plan, prioritizing the largest and most

enable direct control of Spacemap Go functions in the

get back to presenting live events using the newest

risky gaps, and then we solve for that.”

GALAXY Network Platform using the console control

technologies,” concluded Boot. “We’re not holding

surface. Programmed Spacemap Go functions can be

back anything for this show. We want to make it

cybersecurity simple for customers, “Cybersecurity

stored along with the console’s show files for

worthwhile to come to Orlando, if only to see what

does not have be hard. You don’t need a law degree to

streamlined workflow, and on-the-fly spatial sound

we’re doing in the Chapin Theater.”

know when you need the police.”

Warnick emphasized the importance of making


AV Sales Growth Remains Strong Despite Rising Delta Wave


Second-quarter GDP in the U.S. was a mixed bag. At 6.5 percent annualized growth from the first quarter, the growth was strong and lifted the GDP level above its pre-pandemic high. But this figure was below expectations, which hovered close to 8.5 percent. The AV employment index (AVI-E) was the disappointing note in this report. While payrolls continued to expand in July, they did so at a rate lower than in June, as the AVI-E subsided from 62.8 to 55.7. This comes as something of a surprise since sales

VIXA’s latest Pro AV Business Index shows

more of a “good” problem in that it was a challenge for

growth remained so strong and changes in

July marked another good month for the

companies that were experiencing high demand. Still, it

employment trends tend to lag behind trends in sales.

pro AV industry. The AV Sales Index (AVI-S)

is a barrier to growth as work proceeds more slowly and

scored its second-highest figure since the start of the pandemic. At 66.0, the reading was a modest

companies are sometimes forced to turn down work. “From our data, COVID-19 looks like the bigger

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

deceleration from the June mark of 69.6, but it was

reason for slower (though still fast) growth in July,” said

business trends in commercial AV. The report

still comfortably ahead of any other mark set since

Peter Hansen, economic analyst, AVIXA. “We just

comprises two diffusion indexes: the AV Sales Index

the pandemic. In fact, this was the second-fastest

completed a deep dive into supply issues for a third

(AVI-S) and the AV Employment Index (AVI-E). In

growth month since 2018.

quarter Macroeconomic Trends Analysis report, and a few

each case, an index above 50 indicates an increase in

lessons there are clear: one, supply issues are longer

sales or employment activity.

Growth may have been slower than in June, but it was still very rapid. There were two clear business

term, so not affecting July too much more than June.

Visit to access the free

challenges in July: the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant

Two, pro AV companies are managing supply issues

monthly Pro AV Business Index reports and learn more

and supply difficulties. With the delta variant,

well. Some projects are slower, and some prices are up,

about the methodology. For more information about

commenters pointed to its delaying effects on the

but as we show in the report, there are lots of effective

joining the AVIXA Insights Community, visit www.

return of live events and return to office. Supply was

ways to grow revenue despite the difficulties.”

Secure KVM-over-IP Control of Systems via Fiber or CATx Secure KVM-over-IP Control of Systems via Fiber or CATx







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Excellent responsiveness over a LAN or WAN One-to-one to many-to-many configurations

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Operator stations with up to 4 single-view or 2 multi-view monitors

Operator stations with up to 4 single-view or 2 multi-view monitors

SCN333.AD_.indd 9

8/17/21 12:54 PM


NSCA to Host 2021 Pivot to Profit Event in Atlanta


SCA’s 2021 Pivot to Profit (P2P) event is

• Financial Leadership: Navigating Post-Pandemic

Relevant, Stay Ahead—attendees will uncover new ways

expected to be held in person Sept. 21-22 at

• Legal Guidance: Prevailing Wage, Subcontractors,

to shift their businesses, think about how they can

the Atlanta Airport Marriott.

The National Systems Contractors Association

said it expects that P2P will bring together more 200 professionals from communications/AV and security/ life safety integration firms across the United States

Cybersecurity, and More • RMR: As-a-Service, Managed Services, and Strategies • Networked Solutions that Differentiate and Drive Revenue

approach customers in new ways, connect with other leaders, and learn about resources to grow revenue.” Attendees are invited to participate in the NSCA team-building/charity activity taking place Sept. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. NSCA members will team up with

and Canada to learn about new technology delivery

• Integrators’ Evolving Role in School Security

youth from Atlanta’s YMCA, working together on fun

methods and emerging technologies that will have a

• Becoming Relevant to the “Digital-First” Buyer

STEM-related activities to help educate the next

significant impact in the future.

• Business Model Optimization

generation of integrators. To participate, contact

• Insights from the Experts: Moving Business

Emma Oldenburg at or call

Because NSCA has seen many instances of integration companies struggling to make the switch


to a subscription or services model, P2P will kick off

“This might be your first in-person business

319-861-8638. NSCA members can register for the two-day event

with the crucial discussion “The Leadership

conference session in well over a year, and it will be well

for $295; non-members may attend for $495. For

Challenge: Driving Business Transformation,” led by

worth the wait,” said NSCA executive director Tom

more information, contact NSCA at 800-446-6722 or

BICSI CEO John Daniels and PSA/USAV CEO Matt

LeBlanc. “In line with this year’s theme—Stay


Barnette. Daniels will challenge integrators to keep raising the bar by embracing emerging technologies in compliance with new digital and IT regulations. From there, Barnette will offer successful recurring monthly revenue and business model transformation strategies used by security and life safety integrators. Other Pivot to Profit discussion topics include: • New Opportunities with Today’s Technologies

InfoComm Updates COVID Safety Recommendations


VIXA CEO David Labuskes announced up-

Following is the text of AVIXA CEO David Labuskes'

allow us to get back together in person in the safest

dated COVID safety recommendations on


environment possible.

Aug 11. Anyone attending InfoComm 2021

Dear InfoComm and AVIXA community,

will need to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination

This year has been one filled with both highs and

With the rapid pace at which we are receiving information, I want to assure you that the team will be

status, and attendees will be asked to observe 6-foot

lows, and the anticipation of getting back together in

developing safety policies and protocols at the same

social distancing guidelines.

person at InfoComm has absolutely been a highlight

rapid pace. This means you will be receiving proactive

for the AVIXA team. That said, as the Delta variant of

communication about new protocols and safety

on-site testing, vaccine validation, as well as other

COVID-19 surges, I want you to know that we are

measures as they are available. The most up-to-date

safety and precautionary measures that will allow us

actively addressing updated health and safety

information is available at

to get back together in person in the safest

protocols to protect all those in attendance.


Further, Labuskes said, “We are also evaluating

environment possible.”

In light of recent recommendations by the Centers

We are nearly 70 days from the kickoff of the show.

for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), InfoComm

As you can remember, 70 days ago safety procedures

2021 will now require masks to be worn by all

were remarkably different than they are today, and

participants including attendees, exhibitors, vendors,

they are likely to differ by October 23, 2021. Please

and AVIXA staff regardless of COVID 19 vaccination

know that we are doing everything in our power to

status. We have reinstituted a 6-foot social distancing

bring the community together as safely as possible for

guideline across the show including the exhibit hall,

those who can and want to be there in person.

meeting rooms, and education sessions. We are also

I look forward to seeing you at InfoComm 2021.

evaluating on-site testing, vaccine validation, as well

David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD

as other safety and precautionary measures that will



Staying Connected Yamaha UC’s Meghan Kennelly Chats About Remote Work and AV

Meghan Kennelly Position: Director of Global Marketing and Communications Company: Yamaha Unified Communications

By Megan A. Dutta

to get a great view of the department and overall

Overtime: Outside of work, Kennelly enjoys traveling

business. It has helped me see firsthand the tasks

and seeing new places. She also enjoys spending time

that go into the day-to-day operations and has

with her 1-year-old mini aussie-doodle, Sully, who runs

contributed to me becoming the leader I am today.

the household.

: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?

: What are your short- and long-term goals?

MEGHAN KENNELLY: My role as director of global

MK: Personally, my short-term goal is to complete

marketing and communications is to share

my master’s degree in digital marketing, which I hope

short time, and I hope to continue to build our profile

information about Yamaha Unified Communications

to accomplish by the end of the year. Long-term, I’d

in the market.

products and services to the channel and end users.

love to continue to learn and grow within marketing,

From overall company branding to product

maintaining leadership roles that help develop those

positioning, I help create messaging and strategies

under me.

that clearly dictate the value and benefits our

At Yamaha UC, my short-term goals are to

: Where do you see the unified communications and collaboration market heading? MK: With the pandemic forcing people to find new

solutions bring. Together with my team, I create

continue to grow awareness of our ADECIA line. My

ways to communicate, unified communications and

programs and tools to grow Yamaha UC and engage

long-term goals are to get to a place where our UC

collaboration is now a household topic. People are

our network of partners.

line of business is just as popular as the music and

seeing the benefits of it much more frequently, both

motor lines.

in their personal lives and professional lives. Going

: How long have you been in this position? MK: I’ve been at Yamaha Unified Communications

forward, there will be greater demand for high: What is the greatest challenge you face?

quality and easy-to-use devices that organizations

just under five years. I started as a marketing and

MK: A challenge we face is increasing awareness of

will need to implement to allow the type of

communications manager and grew into my current

Yamaha UC in the unified communications space.

collaboration and flexibility people have become

role as director of global marketing and

While we are a well known brand for our larger lines,

accustomed to.


not many people know that we are in the UC space—

Now more than ever, we must think about how

and have been for quite a while. In Japan, Yamaha’s

people can stay connected, no matter where they

UC solutions have been around for over a decade. Our

are—at home, in the office, abroad—and what tools

your role?

130-year history of sound knowledge and technology

are required.

MK: Having moved through multiple positions in the

is something I strive to make known, as it is a true

marketing department at Yamaha UC, I’ve been able

differentiator for us. We’ve made great progress in a

: How has your background prepared you for

: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Yamaha UC? MK: While I can’t share the specifics, I can say that we’ll continue to evolve and grow our ADECIA audio solution line to offer additional customization options. In addition to that, we’ll continue to focus on bringing new products and technologies to the market that will aid in transitioning employees and students into new hybrid spaces. : How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer? MK: In addition to the innovative and superior sound technologies Yamaha is known for, one thing that systems contractors can count on with Yamaha is our quality. Systems contractors don’t want to gamble with products that can lead to install problems, additional on-site tech visits, or replacements. It can cost a great deal in lost revenue, time, and future opportunities. With a .001 percent manufacturer fail rate and automatic technologies (like auto tuning, auto configuration, and dynamic voice tracking) that

Yamaha will continue to evolve its ADECIA audio solution line to offer additional customization options. The ADECIA ceiling microphone and line array speaker solution helps overcome challenges with implementation, configuration, and room acoustics by providing all components required for installation and automatic technologies that reduce setup time, cost, and complexity.

remove variables and solve the problems that frequently lead to these errors, our solutions are a no-brainer. // September 2021 // SCN



By Tom Edge

aesthetic issues as well with gooseneck microphones because they’re large and don’t blend into any décor.


Alternatively, button-type

ith more professionals returning to the

microphones (or boundary

office, conference rooms are starting

microphones) have been used in these

to see use again, though the meetings

applications because of their lower-

that take place are usually of the hybrid variety, with

profile aesthetic. Situated on the

some colleagues in the office but most collaborating

tabletop, these microphones have a little

from at home or another remote location. As the

more distance from participants’

hybrid work model continues to evolve, AV systems,

mouths than a gooseneck microphone,

particularly the audio component, have become a

but they are able to provide good audio

focus for improvement. Without intelligible audio,

performance. However, they are

communication is tremendously difficult.

susceptible to tabletop noises (coffee

The quality of the audio remote participants receive depends in great part on the microphones in the room—not only what kind of microphones are used but where they are placed in the room. The first place people can go wrong is using the


Selecting the Right Mic for Your Conference Room

cups, finger tapping, typing) and can be inadvertently obstructed by objects. That brings us to ceiling microphones. Admittedly, I have been hesitant to specify ceiling microphones

wrong type of microphone. The key to choosing the right

within meeting spaces for many years. In

one is understanding how it will be used. Only when you

the past, this type of microphone

understand the application can you define your

suffered from lower audio performance

performance targets and figure out which microphone

for reasons including high ceilings and

on a speaker’s shirt or lapel, wireless lavalier mics

within the given budget best suits your needs.

environmental interference. Older, less sensitive

have the benefit of location near the speaker’s

I have long believed the best type of microphone

During the past year, most professionals have grown accustomed to using earbuds and headphone mics in meetings.

ceiling microphones were really challenged by high

mouth, but their disadvantages include degraded

for a meeting setting is the head-worn kind. Head-

ceilings, which put them further from speakers’

performance when the speaker turns their head,

worn mics sit close to the speaker’s mouth and stay at

mouths than they were able to handle, and proximity

susceptibility to picking up clothing noises, a higher

a consistent distance, providing what I believe is the

to ceiling HVAC ducts, which made them prone to

price point, and more demands for charging/power.

best and most consistent audio to participants both in

mechanical noise interference.

the meeting room and away from it. Unfortunately,

Fortunately, technological innovations over the

The performance of handheld microphones relies entirely on the skill of the speaker. If the user

participants have generally been reluctant to wear

last few years have vastly improved the quality of

is well practiced in holding the microphone a

headsets during meetings—until the COVID

ceiling microphones. My opinion about their

consistent distance from their mouth, they work

pandemic, that is, which turned most of us into

suitability for conference rooms changed when

well. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most

remote workers and opened our ears to the

manufacturers started offering multi-element

meeting participants.

importance of sound intelligibility during meetings.

options, which combine the coverage of multiple mics

During the past year, most professionals have grown

into one package. Their strength is their ability to pick

still provide the best performance, and probably

accustomed to using earbuds and headphone mics in

up sounds from identified directions while rejecting

enjoy a wider level of acceptance, I acknowledge that

meetings, which could gain this type of microphone a

sound from other directions, and they are often

wider acceptance moving forward.

“steerable,” or able to actively change those

The next best mic option for audio performance is

As much as I believe that head-worn microphones

the multidirectional beamforming microphones offered by several manufacturers provide

directions. Coupled with digital signal

high-quality performance and seem invisible

the gooseneck microphone. The flexible gooseneck

processing that has improved ambient

to meeting participants. Within the physical

stand holds the microphone close to the speaker’s

noise reduction, ceiling mics have

constraints for good performance relating to

mouth, providing a consistent audio experience for

become a viable alternative for me.

ceiling height and locations, I believe these

the listeners. This option is a little less forgiving than

What doesn’t fit the bill for a

the head-worn mic in that it won’t pick up audio as

conference room microphone? Wireless

well if the speaker turns their head away from the

lavalier microphones and handheld

microphone or moves back in their seat.

microphones. While these are

Gooseneck mics are mounted on the desk or

effective tools in some

types of microphones will become ubiquitous in conference rooms and collaboration spaces. With over 25 years of experience in the AV industry, Tom Edge serves as associate

podium in front of the speaker, which takes up space

contexts, they generally

on the tabletop and may interfere with the placement

have more negatives than

of laptops, papers, phones and other items necessary

positives in a conference

Washington, D.C., office

to meeting participants. There is often pushback for

room environment. Placed

director for SM&W.

Tom Edge


SCN // September 2021 //

principal and


KEN EAGLE has joined HALL

Rep News

TECHNOLOGIES as vice president of technology, where he is responsible for enhancing the product portfolio, leading

Nelson Solares

four manufacturer’s representative firms to support U.S. customers.


the engineering team, and Ken Eagle

DVDO has appointed


launching solutions that will

Haley Tuohy

transform the ways people

PROFESSIONAL SOLUTIONS. In this role, Tuohy is

and LIENAU AV ASSOCIATES will provide

communicate and do business.

responsible for establishing, building, and

immediate coast-to-coast coverage for DVDO’s

Eagle has more than 20 years of

maintaining relationships with key customers across

full lineup of professional-grade cameras, AV

pro AV experience with

North America. Prior to joining Harman, she spent

switches, splitters, matrices, extenders, and

companies including Atlona and

nearly four years at Sennheiser. Harman has also


Digital Projection. Hall has also

hired DANIELLA PETERS as national sales manager,


production audio.

Daniella Peters

AUDIO-TECHNICA has appointed system solutions provider LVX MARKETING as its

regional sales manager for the TOLA and LATAM regions; he will manage current accounts and grow


manufacturer’s representative firm for the

Hall’s reach through strategic customer acquisition.

entity formed in July with the

states of California, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Solares is also responsible for managing Hall’s

combination of the ACT

manufacturer reps in the territory.

Lighting, RapcoHorizon, and AC

OPTEC DISPLAYS has welcomed three

Power Distribution brands—has

manufacturer’s rep firms—REFLEX



senior vice president of sales.

FORCE & ASSOCIATES—to sell the company’s

PPDS has appointed BRUCE WYRWITZKE director of digital

David Johnson

signage sales. His areas of focus

Johnson will focus on supporting the sales team as

include retail, hospitality, food

they integrate the multiple disciplines of the

and beverage, education, public

company and identify cross-sales opportunities. He


venues, broadcast, security, and

will also liaise with lighting designers to help them

TECHNOLOGY as its manufacturer’s rep for the

house of worship. Based in

realize their creative visions, and work with the

territory including Southern California,

Monument, CO, Wyrwitzke joins PPDS with nearly 20

entire ACT family to identify and execute long-term

southern Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.

years of pro AV experience.

goals to better serve the market and grow the

Bruce Wyrwitzke

LED display products.

business. JENNIFER ONYSZCZAK has been

Jennifer Onyszczak

hired by DRAPER as regional


driving sales of Maxhub UC

sales manager for the

AMNA SHAHZADI to join its

products, obtaining video

Midwestern United States.

growing research and

conferencing certifications from

Onyszczak replaces BRIAN

development design team.

key industry organizations,

KUNZ, who retired after holding

Shahzadi has a B.S. degree in

managing the company’s

the position for 18 years.

Onyszczak has more than 17 years of AV industry

electrical engineering from the Amna Shahzadi

University of Alberta.

experience, most recently as Midwest regional sales

ecommerce business for UC Charles Montoya

products, and helping develop

new Maxhub UC products.

manager for ADI Global/Herman AV Group. Her


previous AV experience includes time with AVI

expanded its

ATLONA CEO and co-founder

Systems and AVI-SPL.

U.S. sales

ILYA KHAYN will depart the


company on Sept. 15, nearly three


years after Atlona’s acquisition


by Panduit. JAMEY SWIGERT,


Peter Butler

Callum Hall


made two

Naomi Rivas

hires: PETER

STEVE FITCH to the company. As a regional account

Jamey Swigert


manager for Planar, Rivas manages the company’s

assume the company’s top leadership role as


sales efforts in Northern California; she brings nearly

executive director.

HALL. Butler

25 years of AV industry marketing and sales

Steve Fitch

currently director of AV sales and business development, will

joins as business development director, tasked with

experience, most recently having served as a channel


improving efficiency and profitability, identifying

sales manager for Samsung. With nearly 20 years of

TVU NETWORKS as Northwest

new opportunities in the marketplace, and addressing

experience in the AV industry, Fitch also joins Planar

regional accounts manager,

potentially beneficial additions to the company’s

as a regional account manager. Based out of Long

North American sales. Based in

portfolio. Hall, whose responsibility is audio sales,

Island, he will manage the company’s sales efforts in

Seattle, Russell comes to TVU

will serve as the first point of contact for customers in

the New York metropolitan region.

Networks with a varied Douglas Russell

the company’s sales operations.

audiovisual background, having

MAXHUB has appointed CHARLES MONTOYA to the

held senior-level engineering positions at Amazon

HALEY TUOHY is now senior manager for the end

newly created position of director of sales for UC

Prime Sports and Keycode Media, and having been a

user business development team at HARMAN

products. In this position, Montoya is responsible for

field engineer at Raytheon.


SCN // September 2021 //


XXXXX XXXXX By Jim Beaugez



The last time AV professionals gathered together for InfoComm was in 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

InfoComm Is Back! Planning for Your InfoComm 2021 In-Person Experience By Megan A. Dutta


t’s been more than 16 months since AV professionals gathered in person to meet at an InfoComm show. Some of us haven’t missed

a show in 10, 15, or even 20 years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, we were all forced to skip a year. Well, good news, #AVTweeps, InfoComm is back!

Free Exhibit Hall Pass InfoComm is giving our readers a free Exhibit Hall pass to the show! Use VIP Code “FUTURE” to redeem your free pass. Visit to learn more and register.

SCN // September 2021 //

Tips for Newbies: I tell newbies every year to wear comfortable shoes. Also, spend a little time in the smaller booths on the outskirts of the halls—there is always new and interesting tech there.

23–29 for the show’s return. We spoke with AV

Amanda Eberle Boyer, General Manager, AV Chicago

veterans to get their take on the show. Here’s what

Why I’m All In: As a former

they had to say.

AVIXA staff member, the 2021

AV professionals are set to gather in Orlando, FL, Oct.

Jeremy Caldera, CTS-D, CTS-I, Senior Vice President, Pearl Technology

show is the first time I will be at the show as an attendee. I will truly get to experience InfoComm in a new way! I cannot wait to meet with industry peers (in person!), hear how they are

Why I’m All In: I can’t wait to

using new technology and their insights about where

see the new products and the

our industry going, look at new tech from exhibitors,

way technology is evolving in

and be inspired by what others are doing. Innovation

response to the pandemic. And, of

and creativity have been catapulted during the

course, I’m excited to see colleagues and friends.

pandemic and I cannot wait to see what is coming

Show Strategy: My plan is to spend more time on the show floor this year, and focus on developments from our key manufacturers in order to build on our


current offerings.

next! Show Strategy: I look forward to packing as much as I can into my time at InfoComm. I have started my


list of sessions I want to attend and am building a show floor tour for myself so I can make sure I hit all the booths I am interested in. The key with the education sessions is to plan ahead. I must note that I cannot wait for the AVIXA Women’s Council breakfast, a must attend for me. Tips for Newbies: If AVIXA offers a first timers

“Attending the show is a marathon, not a sprint. Prioritize what is important to you and then build in the rest as you are able.” —Amanda Eberle Boyer

orientation, try to attend. It’s a great way to meet fellow #AVTweeps who are new to InfoComm, learn the layout of the show floor, and get a good idea of the various events. I would also suggest stopping by the AVIXA booth to connect with their staff—they will also have great tips to share with you. Attending the

Zoom call. Show Strategy: Several of my teammates will be

or three pairs of sneakers that you can rotate will give your shoes time to dry out when you’re not wearing

show is a marathon, not a sprint. Prioritize what is

attending sessions to maintain their CTS

them. Your feet will smell better and your shoes will

important to you and then build in the rest as you are

certifications in parallel to visiting booths. Our

be more comfortable. Resist the urge to wear anything


strategy for the show floor is to correlate key

with a heel or a shoe that’s even mildly

technologies that are going into our projects, and

uncomfortable. Your feet will thank you later.

Javid Wahid, Director of IT, Spinitar

consider our clients’ interest in the most recent

Why I’m All In: This year at

efficient route that brings us to all the relevant

Dave Hatz, Vice President of Technology, RoomReady

InfoComm, I’m looking

manufacturers on the show floor.

Why I’m All In: Relationships are

innovations. From there, we will map the most

forward to checking out AV

Tips for Newbies: The booths can be quite noisy,

such an important component

monitoring and analytics

making it difficult to hear presenters. Get

of being successful in any role.


comfortable with raising your hand and saying “I

Over the past 18 months,

can’t hear” or “I don’t understand.” Everyone around

we’ve managed to maintain

concentrating on monitoring and analytics, I will also

Show Strategy: As I’m really

will likely allow you to move forward, or help you

the relationships through

seek out classes focused on those topics.

understand whatever is confusing.

remote collaboration, but I’m

Tips for Newbies: There will be a lot to see on the show floor—don’t spend too much time in one booth. That way, you can explore all the available options.

Victor Valliere, General Manager, CCS Presentation Systems

Hope Roth, Lead Programmer, Riordan Brother Integration

excited to get back to in-person events. Show Strategy: I typically put together a pretty focused agenda of which companies I want to see on the first day. I’ll target medium-sized companies

Why I’m All In: The pandemic

first, saving biggest companies for Day 2—

led me to reassess my travel

particularly in the afternoon, when everyone else has

schedule, and to make some

started to get tired. I try to limit scheduled meetings

Why I’m All In: I am looking

changes at work so I can be

and formal booth tours on the last day so I have time

forward to experiencing the

home more for my family. But

to walk the entire floor, focusing on the smaller

energy generated by live

I’m all in for continuing to attend

booths. I know a lot of people write off the last day of

InfoComm events. I’m also

InfoComm every year. Why? Because

the show, which works well for me. It’s less busy and I

excited to reengage in face-to-

it’s my best chance all year to learn from, and enjoy

find everyone is more willing to have deeper

face networking.

the company of, some of the smartest, most dynamic

conversations because there isn’t a line of people

folks in the industry.

waiting to see the new product.

Show Strategy: This year, I will focus


sessions that discuss new market strategies and

Show Strategy: This year, it’s going to be more

Tips for Newbies: I have three tips for new

demonstrate the evolution of new technologies. I

important than ever to have a plan ahead of time. I

attendees. First, when you go into the big booths,

typically schedule booth tours throughout the week

like to make a list of my must-sees and map out

always ask questions to determine if what they are

with key strategic partners.

where those booths are located. It’s also helpful to

showing is a real product or a concept. Ask questions

have a list of “would-like-to-sees” in case plans get

about when it will be available and what it will cost.

share is to participate. Introduce yourself and enjoy

upended and I find myself with extra time on my

While you likely won’t get direct answers to some or

the power of networking.

hands. I’m fortunate to have an education package,

all of those questions, you can read between the lines

which will let me drop in on many of the training

and make a more educated determination about how

sessions; I will still plan my classes out ahead of time.

long it will be before you can actually order and

I put everything into my work calendar so I can check

receive the product.

Tips for Newbies: The biggest piece of advice I can

Mark Peterson, Principal and AV Discipline Lead, SM&W

it easily, and so I get reminders. You don’t want to

Second, unless the product is actually shipping,

Why I’m All In: This will be the

miss a meeting or a valuable training because you

anything you see can change. That can be exciting,

first time in over a year to get

didn’t realize what time it was.

and frustrating if you start planning on using a

my hands on the most recent

Tips for Newbies: Pack day clothes and evening

product before it’s ready.

technology advancements. I

clothes, and make sure you have extra shoes. Not

Finally, make sure you take time to walk around

am excited to see direct view

because you need to dress for clubbing at night, but

and look at the smaller booths. This is where some of

LED, microphones, speakers, and

because it’s hot and humid and you’ll have been on

the biggest value can be found. Many of these

artificial intelligence built into camera framing, as

your feet all day. You’ll feel so much better if you have

companies do one thing really well, and InfoComm is

it’s difficult to evaluate the end user experience over a

something fresh and dry to change into. Having two

your best way to get exposed to them. // September 2021 // SCN



Tim Albright, Chief Marketing Officer, CTI

Solution Providers (CSPs) haven’t attended a large

year is a chance to reconnect, in

Rebecca Sullins, CTS-D, CTS-I, Senior Design Engineer, Clair Global Integration

real life, with all our industry

Why I’m All In: I can’t wait to

events like the PSNI Supersummit, but being

friends and colleagues. Virtual

be in person at InfoComm 2021,

together, in person, to network and catch up will

happy hours, chats, and Zooms are

mostly because of the isolation of

make our relationships stronger.

fine, but there’s nothing like grabbing a coffee—or a

the last year. It’s so important to experience

gin and tonic—with a friend and catching up. Being

technology in person. You can look at specifications

the booths of PSNI’s Preferred Vendor Partners (PVPs)

able to see the technology in person is also a huge plus.

all day and all night, but you also need to experience

like Kramer, Shure, and more. Ahead of the show, I’ll

You can’t really assess the quality of a speaker, new

the sound, the immersion, and the feeling of it.

make appointments with these PVPs according to

Why I’m All In: InfoComm this

display, or other hardware virtually. Show Strategy: Education for me takes place on

Show Strategy: I always try to avoid

tradeshow together since ISE 2020, and I can’t wait until we’re all in the same room at our annual breakfast. We’ve been keeping in touch with virtual

Show Strategy: At this year’s show, I’ll be visiting

their booth location to maximize my time on the show

overscheduling. You have to leave some flexibility in

floor. My evenings will be spent networking with our

Tuesday. I love the Technology Innovation Stage, and

your day in case you see something that piques your

PVPs and CSPs at various events.

that’s where you’ll find me during lunch. It’s a way to

interest. So I always make sure to plan around the

get new and fresh ideas in between interviews. We try

very important educational sessions I want to attend,

wear comfortable shoes—this may sound basic, but

to hit the main booths in a grid. Friday is a chance for

but avoid cramming my schedule so full I can’t stop

water and a good shoe make a huge difference in how

us to visit the smaller companies in the back. You’ll

and smell the roses, so to speak.

you’ll feel after a long day on the show floor or night out.

find some really great ideas in those 10x10s.

Tips for Newbies: The best advice I can give is to

Tips for Newbies: Hydrate as much as you can and

shoes that are not brand new. Buy those shoes now

show with lots of noises and lights. It can be a lot to

Jeff Irvin, Principal, Spinitar

and sleep in them. Take blister Band-Aids just in

take in, and it’s really easy to lose yourself. I would

Why I’m All In: I am looking

case. Finally, pace yourself. Absolutely plan your day

recommend picking some large landmarks. Go to the

forward to seeing all of our

out and figure on more time than you’d think at each

booths of the companies you know and use often. But

industry friends we haven’t

major booth. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy.

between those booths, make sure to look around, talk

seen for a long time.

to the smaller manufacturers, and learn about some

Relationships are key, and the

new technology. Also, make sure to take breaks. After

opportunity to restore/renew those

a while on the floor, stop, sit, take a breather, and

relationships is what I’ll enjoy the most. For instance,

take in what you’ve seen so far. You can get burned

the annual PSNI breakfast will bring leaders together

out pretty quickly.

from more than 90 CSPs worldwide to talk shop.

Tips for Newbies: My first tip is wear comfortable

Kris Begnaud, Vice President of Sales, Data Projections Why I’m All In: InfoComm has been an annual summer

be very careful not to get overwhelmed. It’s a huge

Where else can you get an opportunity to connect with

spend time in Orlando in late October. I am excited

Hailey Klein, Director of Marketing and Communications, PSNI Global Alliance

about reconnecting in person with those I’ve known

Why I’m All In: I am so

and worked with over the years. InfoComm is the best

thrilled to be able to see all of

opportunity in AV to network with manufacturers,

my AV friends in person at

fun, try to build in a little sleep if you can. The days on

colleagues, and customers in one place.

InfoComm 2021. PSNI’s Certified

the floor can be very long!

tradition in our industry for a long time, so it will be interesting to see what it’s like to

AV industry leadership other than events like InfoComm? Show Strategy: I map out who/where/what I want to see well in advance of the show. Walking into the exhibit halls without a plan is terribly inefficient. Tips for Newbies: While the nightlife is loads of

Show Strategy: We plan to send a mix of folks from each of our offices who represent either design or sales to get different perspectives on the latest solutions and technology. For the education sessions, we look for topics that are not only relevant to the technology that we sell, such as networked AV, but

Join SCN for an Exclusive Preview of InfoComm 2021

those that are related to managing our business, such as “How to Effectively Manage AV Staff.” For either

At the all-new InfoComm Sneak Peek virtual event—to be held on

the show floor or the sessions, the goal is to divide

Thursday, Sept. 23—Systems Contractor News and AVIXA will give the

those attending and gather as much info as possible

AV industry an inside look at InfoComm 2021.

to share with the team. Tips for Newbies: Take advantage of the

During the single-day virtual event, attendees will get previews of InfoComm education sessions on topics like digital signage trends,

opportunities in the education sessions and network

emerging audio solutions, and classrooms of the future. The event will

as much as possible on the show floor and at social

also feature sneak peeks from manufacturers about new products

events in the evenings. It’s great to meet and learn

they’ll be launching at InfoComm, in addition to virtual networking

from folks who likely face the same problems and


challenges that you do every day. It is impossible to see everything on the show floor, so narrow down your areas of focus—such as videoconferencing solutions for soft codecs, LED video walls, AV over IP, etc.—and map out what you want to see.


SCN // September 2021 //

InfoComm Sneak Peek is free to attend for qualified integrators, consultants, content creators, technology managers, and the like. To register or learn more, visit For sponsorship opportunities, contact Adam Goldstein at



As gatherings in enclosed rooms are discouraged, more employees are taking calls from their desk, which makes it likely meeting participants will be exposed to extraneous noises. Acoustic fencing technology offers one solution to this problem, alleviating these distractions from the call itself so that participants on the other end don’t hear them.

The Hybrid Workplace: Trends in Acoustics and Audio By Carolyn Heinze

“Over the years, everyone was so focused on the

was.’ When they go back to the office, I think people

video and not as focused on the audio, but if there’s

will be much more sensitive to that now than they


a glitch with the video, the call is going to be fine. If

were before, and they’re starting to think about the

rior to the pandemic, acousticians and

the audio is awful, however, the call is dead because

technology that they need to invest in.”

audio systems designers grappled with

it’s the primary way we communicate,” he

producing quality sound in “fishbowl”

explained. The struggle to hear and be heard while

Associates (DNA), an audiovisual and technology

conference rooms—spaces featuring glass walls,

conferencing from home underlined just how

consulting firm based in Orange County, CA,

concrete floors, perpendicular angles, and

important audio is.

relayed that one of the biggest trends he’s seeing is

furniture with hard surfaces. As companies put

Having experienced working from home for the

Joey D’Angelo, president of Joseph D’Angelo and

the creation of conferencing “rooms” within an

their hybrid work strategies into practice, many

last few months has many considering how to

open office plan, but without the traditional

of these issues remain … and a few new ones are

reconfigure in-office meeting and conferencing

four-wall configuration. Instead, organizations are

presenting themselves.

spaces so they deliver better experiences for remote

exploring partitions (usually ones able to

One of the positive outcomes of our collective

participants in a hybrid work environment. “People

accommodate a video display) that define a given

work-from-home experience is that people have

were forced into having meetings using virtual tools

meeting space within a large, open area.

become more aware of the need for a quality audio

and they had to figure it out—they were forced into

Unsurprisingly, this configuration creates speech

experience during conference calls, noted Rob

adopting them,” Gilfillan said. “In doing that, they

privacy issues. “We’re trying to solve these

Gilfillan, president of Cenero, an AV systems design

realized, ‘Wow, this is a really bad experience when

problems with microphones that have directed

and integration firm headquartered in Malvern, PA.

you call into a room. I never realized how bad it

lobes and cut-off points, and it takes a lot of


SCN // September 2021 //


their technological makeup has not, Gilfillan noted. “The trend has been that every huddle space will be outfitted with USB video and audio devices, because conferencing in those spaces will be a constant moving forward,” he said. He added that management platforms such as AppSpace, which feature analytics, monitoring, and reporting, give tech managers and other stakeholders insight into how these spaces are being used as the hybrid workplace evolves. “People are looking at being able to aggregate data to make

From left, Joey D’Angelo, Mark Higgason, Rob Gilfillan

better business decisions about their meeting spaces in terms of the rooms that are being booked,

testing, and trial and error,” he said.

coworker who may be much louder in conversation

their size, who’s booking them, and how these

than another—the sound is still there, but it’s

spaces are being used. The huddle spaces are going

where people are participating in

unintelligible and it’s not really distracting,” he

to change based on that data.”

videoconferencing from their desks, and thus are

said. These solutions also mask noise coming from

exposed to extraneous noise such as ringing

the HVAC system, and can be used for background

workplace, D’Angelo believes that once the

telephones, visitors to the office, and the chatter of

music and paging as well.

pandemic subsides, an increasing number of

These challenges spill into the open office space

neighboring colleagues. Acoustic fencing

Higgason also pointed to technologies like

While the current focus may be on the hybrid

companies will require their employees to spend

technology offers one solution to this problem,

Shure’s Microflex microphone series that allow for

most of their time at the office. “People were

alleviating these distractions from the call itself so

more precise audio capture in spaces where, once

working really hard [from home] during the

that participants on the other end don’t hear them.

again, ambient noise is a problem. “This newer

pandemic because they wanted to keep their jobs

generation has really allowed us to focus on areas

and keep their companies strong,” he said. Post-

masking solutions—such as those offered by

that we want to pick up coverage from and reject the

COVID, he argues that productivity—particularly

Biamp’s Cambridge Sound—deliver speech privacy

areas we that we don’t,” he said. “Even with bad

that of remote workers—will decline, driving

in open spaces featuring a lot of ambient noise and

acoustics, we can still make something far more

organizations to make their remote work policies

chitchat, noted Mark Higgason, executive vice

workable than we could previously.”

more restrictive. “I think it will be a boon for the AV

For those working in an actual office, sound

president and partner at Encompass AV, an

Huddle spaces are another area of focus for those

industry because these companies will have built all

audiovisual systems design and integration firm

returning to the office. With the need to distance

of these less dense office buildings, and they’re

based in Elk Grove Village, IL. While he

people from one another, the concept of cramming

going to need more, and there will be the need for

acknowledges that sound masking isn’t a new

three to five meeting participants in a small room is,

renovations and changes and new buildings. I think

concept, it’s one that’s being re-examined by

for the moment, frowned on. For now, many of

it’s a win-win for the AV industry.”

organizations as they roll out their hybrid work

these spaces have been reduced to mini-offices,

Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.

strategies. “You’re not actually quieting anything.

reconfigured for one or

What you’re doing is making human speech

maybe two people. While

unintelligible at a distance. You may still hear the

capacity limits may have

mumble of a coworker on the phone, or one

changed in these rooms,

Standardizing the Virtual Workforce After a long spell of cobbling together remote work technologies, there is an argument that companies will begin standardizing the systems used by those who continue to work outside of the office, according to Rob Gilfillan of Cenero. In this model, organizations will list the make and model of the cameras, microphones, and USB devices they want their employees using for conferencing in an effort to control the quality of these calls. “Everyone is sick of being on a call with someone who just opens up their laptop and tries to use the microphone and speakers on that laptop, and they’re in a Starbucks with a lot of people around and shoddy bandwidth, and there is all this noise,” he said. At the same time, Gilfillan noted that it’s wise to specify USB peripherals that are certified by the conferencing platforms that clients are using. “If, say, a USB microphone isn’t certified [by the platform in question], it might not deliver a great experience,” he said. // September 2021 // SCN

29 // September 2021 // SCN




The stated policy at Lollapalooza, the first large-scale music festival held since the COVID-19 pandemic began, was that attendees would need to show vaccination records or a negative COVID test to enter the festival grounds.

Getting Back to Show Business Music festivals are back. Are you prepared to deal with the new normal? By Jim Beaugez

enclosed areas. All of which is to say, 18 months into

his company works, such as Outside Lands, which

the COVID-19 pandemic, audio professionals

will feature Lizzo, The Strokes, and Tame Impala


returning to the job for festival season are having to

on Halloween weekend in San Francisco’s Golden

hile the 2021 global music festival

figure out how to handle pandemic safety precautions

Gate Park.

season arrived later than many hoped,

in real time.

got a look at what to expect going forward when Lol-

state to state, and city to city, so this can be

lapalooza drew an estimated 100,000 concertgoers

challenging in terms of on-site

about handling that kind of stuff,”

to Chicago’s Grant Park on the last weekend of July.

logistics,” said Michael Maxson,

said Osmond, echoing Maxson.

Organizers say nearly 90 percent of attendees

director of strategic applications

sound companies and audio integrators

“COVID has affected every state and region of the

“Health guidelines vary from country to country,

country differently, so everyone has had different protocols or different levels of how they’re going

Festival headliners may have

showed proof of vaccination prior to entry, while

at Meyer Sound. “We have seen

more influence over the backstage

others provided proof of a negative COVID-19 test

the entire event ecosystem

and onstage safety precautions

taken within 72 hours of their entry to the event. Still,

working creatively to prioritize

than organizers or hired crews,

with the highly contagious delta variant of the

the health and safety of crews,

added Osmond. “I think that a lot

coronavirus sparking a surge of infections in the

artists, and fans alike.”

of what you’ll see when it comes

United States, the four-day festival had to pivot

Josh Osmond, director of

to festivals is that any headliner at

midway in response to new guidelines from the

operations at Bay Area-based

a festival, if they have a specific

Chicago Department of Health advising people to

UltraSound, said that while some

COVID protocol, they will probably

wear masks in indoor spaces, regardless of

common protocols such as

be able to implement it on that

vaccination status.

masks, proof of vaccination, and

given day across the board,” he

proof of a negative COVID test

said. “On top of that, I think

and staff and attendees masked up in the

Festival organizers complied with the directive,

are being enforced by venues and

you’re going to see a lot more

merchandise shop and help tents. Crew members

promoters, he has not seen

were required to wear masks, too, when working in

official language from festivals


SCN // September 2021 //

sanitary stations and more Michael Maxson

hand-washing stations backstage.


You’ll probably see stations where you can get a free mask and free gloves.”

“The reason festivals are so significant is because you can do a festival

Add the uncertainty about when and where COVID

in a bubble, to some extent. You can’t do a

outbreaks will occur to the lack of a consensus among

tour that way,” said Curbishley. “With

states and regions as to what constitutes a proper

tours, you’re playing in front of 20,000

pandemic response, and festival organizers are stuck

different people every night, and you’re

between putting bands and crews to work and avoiding

getting on buses and traveling to different

becoming responsible for creating a super-spreader

towns, staying in different hotels. You

event. For now, these standard precautions—

can work from a backstage bubble, but

requiring masks and showing proof of vaccinations or

you’re still mixing with 60 local crew

negative COVID tests—form the core of the safety

members on the stage. That kind of thing

measures that are enabling the shows to go on.

is tough to manage. Festivals, we’re

“If you can’t keep your people safe, you can’t work, so there’s lots and lots of work that has been

Josh Osmond

hoping, will be easier to police.” Audio crews will likely play a direct role in some

noted, so at any given time there is one set of

going on with that, but it is difficult,” said Mickey

forms of protection, particularly in keeping shared

microphones in use, another set of microphones in

Curbishley, president of the live production group at

equipment sanitized, said Osmond. “We clean the

staging, and a third set that has just come off the stage.

Solotech. “The obvious way to protect yourself is to

microphones more often now,” he said. “If the

“There’s time to do it. I think that’s one of the

protect your breathing space, but also to keep a

equipment is being shared by multiple groups,

things that will start to happen to more often, finding

distance, and having to do that at a festival, you can’t

they’re going to have to have a sanitary supervisor

ways to keep the shared equipment more sanitary,”

control the audience. But the crew—regardless of

[who ensures that] mics come off stage and get

concluded Osmond. “And you may see more bands

what happens, you’re going to be on top of each other,

sanitized and wiped down before they get put on for

traveling with their own microphones and things

and you’ve got to load trucks together. Maybe you’ve

the next band.”

along those lines, just to make sure

got four people in a truck instead of six or eight, but you’re still in a truck and you’re working, sweating,

UltraSound typically provides up to a three-band microphone complement per stage for festival gigs, he

that what they’re using is what they always use.”

breathing heavily. The good thing about it is most of the work is outdoors.” Some festivals have reimagined their events to reduce the chance of COVID transmission among staff and festivalgoers, Maxson noted. At Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the Montreux Jazz Festival— which traditionally hosts a mix of indoor and outdoor events—moved proceedings onto a


lake stage this year for a socially distanced

“The reason festivals are so significant is because you can do a festival in a bubble, to some extent. You can’t do a tour that way.” — Mickey Curbishley

and completely outdoor experience. “Other large-scale outdoor festivals such as Outside Lands moved the date from August until October in hopes of a safer environment in the fall,” he added. “Some summer tours and festivals pushed their dates closer to the fall season in the northern hemisphere, jamming calendars for September and October, or they just pushed until 2022,” when they hope the level of COVID-19 infections will be lower. Among the major U.S. festivals scratching this year is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest), which had postponed from its usual April dates to October but announced the cancellation of 2021’s edition in mid August. Across the Atlantic in England, where the cancellation of the Glastonbury Festival caused many in the industry to doubt there would even be a 2021 festival season, the sold-out Reading and Leeds festivals went down as scheduled in August. The Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas and Bonnaroo in Tennessee are still scheduled to take place this month.

The Montreux Jazz Festival, which traditionally hosts a mix of indoor and outdoor events, moved proceedings onto a lake stage this year for a socially distanced and completely outdoor experience. // September 2021 // SCN



single wall-mounted loudspeaker,” said Stephen Gardner, owner and president of SASS. “There were some corporate executives interested in the rooms, which are quite large—and we needed to jump in quickly to put a plan into action.” A longtime installer of Bose commercial sound systems, Gardner loaned the hotel a small system to improve the audio quality and capabilities while the SASS team began considering the AV infrastructure upgrade. Even with the temporary Bose system in place, audio was stretched to its limits considering the large spaces it worked to fill—which led to an accelerated decision-making process by hotel execs. Gardner quickly set his sights on an AV over IP architecture, given the variety of spaces and the distance between some locations. “We wanted to build one system that could feed all of these different spaces,” he said. “We wanted to establish a flexible input and output strategy that we could easily scale. That’s not really possible with a legacy matrixed system, where you are limited by fixed I/O counts and dedicated endpoints.” Gardner guided the client toward Atlona’s

An IT-friendly 42U equipment rack at the Hilton Greenville integrates two 48-port Cisco network switches and all pertinent audio equipment, including an OmniStream 238 IP-to-analog audio bridge, a Bose ControlSpace EX-1280C conferencing audio processor, and a Sennheiser EW 500 G4Series wireless antenna system.

Hospitable Integration SASS Turns to AVoIP to Feed AV Environments at the Hilton Greenville

OmniStream Pro family instead of a more expensive option suggested by another firm. While both solutions offered the flexibility for signal distribution the hotel required—along with the system expandability he sought—OmniStream’s interoperability with Gardner’s audio choices was significant. There was one other factor in OmniStream’s favor: Gardner had his eye on bringing the hotel’s AV control on the network, which he could most easily achieve with Atlona’s Velocity IP-enabled control platform. “I come from the analog world, but the AV universe is all rapidly moving to IP,” said Gardner. “We don’t want our end users to be stuck.

By SCN Staff


business meetings, and small conventions, as well as

OmniStream and Velocity together offered Hilton

privately hosted events.

Greenville the best of both worlds for a genuine AV

The SASS team was tasked with upgrading AV

over IP environment.”

otel properties often represent a diverse

systems in the divisible ballrooms and conference

sampling of what’s happening in commer-

rooms used mainly for these purposes. The existing

Simplified Programming

cial AV integration. While hotel instal-

AV environment was sparse at best. Video was

Gardner stressed that Atlona’s professional

lations are technically all considered part of the

limited to basic projectors, while some audio

programming environments ultimately helped

hospitality vertical, specifics of the AV use cases

components could support announcements and

him bring together a very complex AV distribution

there vary quite a bit between venues, from boutique

simple presentations. A control system had been


independent hotels to the largest global chains.

installed at some point, though it was rarely used and

A hotel project today will often encompass AV for

never effectively.

several different applications, including meeting spaces, convention spaces, leisure activities, dining,

“They had a sound board temporarily placed in each space, with some wireless microphones and a

“There was very intense programming when it came to building this system, and I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say we pushed the envelope,” Gardner said. “In the hotel’s West Wing alone, we

retail, and entertainment venues. The possibilities truly seem endless for the systems integrator. The team at Security Automation Sound Services (SASS) found themselves focused more on the corporate and business side when they began work on the audiovisual integration project at the Hilton Greenville in Greenville, NC. With five meeting rooms and 43,194 square feet of event space, the hotel is a popular destination for corporate gatherings,


SCN // September 2021 //

“There was very intense programming when it came to building this system, and I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say we pushed the envelope.” —Stephen Gardner




Control panels allow users to easily manage audio, projection, and other AV systems at the Hilton Greenville.

Atlona OmniStream decoders were added in a variety of places to better suit delivery to endpoints, like the Epson Cinema 660 projectors and Screen Innovations 160-inch screens in the Hilton Greenville’s ballrooms.

accommodated microphone and video feeds in three

Some were installed in ceilings near Epson

amplifier in the rack brings in the various antennas

spaces that can be divisible into four, five, or six

projectors, and others within an existing 42U

from the system’s power amplifier.

rooms depending on what is happening in the hotel.

equipment rack that was rewired and reused for this

We’re also feeding endpoints in the Greenville

project. The IT-friendly rack also integrates two

all worked closely with him and his team to customize

Room, which is a more upscale room for small

48-port Cisco network switches and all pertinent

the system and provide the flexible programming

conferences, and then there are four rooms on the

audio equipment, including the OmniStream 238, a

environments he needed. He also had high praise for

other side of the hotel.”

Bose ControlSpace EX-1280C DSP, and a Sennheiser

Screen Innovations, noting that the company made

EW 500 G4Series wireless antenna system.

the installation easier by eliminating the need for

Gardner noted that Atlona has established a “click-and-play” system that is easy to use. While he

OmniStream’s integration with the

Gardner noted that Atlona, Bose, and Sennheiser

flush-mounting screens.

pushed the envelope on the programming side, he

ControlSpace EX-1280C DSP was especially critical

said Atlona’s environment made the process easy to

to execute Gardner’s vision, which would include

programming. We couldn’t simply cut-and-paste the

manage overall. Most importantly, the system is doing

Bose loudspeakers.

same setting for every space because each was

what the previous one could not, even for audio alone. “There are partitions in each of West Wing

“Bose uses Dante exclusively. Before we brought

“We really had to think through the

unique,” Gardner concluded. “This was especially

in OmniStream, it would not talk to the existing AES

true when it came to the HDMI video feeds, the

ballrooms, and they could never take advantage of

audio streams moving through the spaces,” said

microphone system, and the DSP flows. These

pushing unique content to divisible spaces,” Gardner

Gardner. “Now, the OmniStream 238 brings the

companies made a very challenging programming

said of the legacy system. “The existing control

audio signals into the Bose, which has a 64x64 I/O

and integration project a lot more seamless than it

system was supposed to accommodate that, but it was


difficult for the end user to comprehend. Ultimately it sat there mostly unused.”

could have been.” 1_3p loop.qxp_WIRE BUSHINGS 1 4 pg 7 09 4/8/21 12:46 PM Page 1

The DSP moves the audio to Bose FreeSpace DS

“Velocity changes everything on the control side

100F loudspeaker systems,

when it comes to ease of use,” Gardner continued. “If

which were deployed in a

it’s a single room, we’re just worried about master

70-volt configuration to

volume on the touch panel. And when they link the

accommodate the longer

rooms, they can easily pull in HDMI video feeds and


direct them to two or more spaces. Velocity keeps the complex very simple.”

“The FreeSpace system



replaced these enormous wedge-shaped speakers

Network Convergence

that were just cancelling

The OmniStream Pro architecture includes a mix of

each other out because of

OmniStream 111 WP Wallplate networked AV

how they were spaced and

encoders, OmniStream 121 (single-channel) and 122

positioned,” said Gardner.

(dual-channel) networked AV decoders, and

“The audio integrity is now

OmniStream 238 IP-to-analog audio bridge devices.

perfect for these spaces.”

The SASS team installed two wall plates in each of the

The Sennheiser system

six West Wing divisible spaces—one in the front of

improves presentation

the room and one in the back—and one in the

audio. Configured as a

Greenville Room, with a second in storage if needed.

redundant A/B system, the

Front and back wall plates were installed in the four

wireless Sennheiser

remaining rooms on the other side of the hotel.

solution includes high-

The team added OmniStream decoders in a

quality handheld

variety of locations to better suit delivery to

microphones and a mix of

endpoints, which included Epson Cinema 660

single- and dual-channel

projectors and Screen Innovations 160-inch screens.

receivers. A distribution // September 2021 // SCN


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Biamp’s Parlé family of microphones includes the TCM-X ceiling, TTM-X tabletop, and TCM-1 pendant. Each microphone includes Beamtracking technology—ceiling and tabletop models have four 90° zones, while the pendant has three 120° zones—providing full 360° coverage of a meeting space. The TCM-X actively tracks and intelligently mixes conversations from around the table, allowing far-end participants to experience the conversation as they would a face-to-face meeting.

number of remote participants in meetings. Even as

specifically the MXA710 Linear Array and MXA910

people begin to return to offices, many meeting

Ceiling Array, meets this customer need by allowing

attendees are still not present physically. To ensure

vmicrophones to be positioned unobtrusively on

ith many employees returning to a hy-

that remote team members are not disadvantaged,

ceilings and walls.”

brid office arrangement, the demand for

companies are carefully evaluating their meeting

conference room microphones is rising

room technology to create the best experience for all

Intelligent and Secure

participants,” Fitzsimmons added. “Ensuring that

Looking forward, Jensen anticipates large conference

remote attendees can hear in-room contributors is an

rooms will continue to be used for smaller meetings

forward with regard to videoconferencing. Pretty

essential part of hybrid collaboration, and so

to support social distancing.

much everyone has had time on a video call. Global

microphones and room acoustic performance in

acceptance of the technology may be a stretch, but we

general are being scrutinized more than ever before.”


at an unprecedented rate. “The pandemic has moved us all quite a bit

are pretty close,” explained Dave Garlett, key account

“As a result, microphones will need to be adaptive and intelligent, covering more ground as necessary based on the size of the meeting, without

manager and consultant liaison at Audix. “That said,

What’s Next?

we are seeing an inversion of the corporate use case.

The increasing demand to deliver requisite

Before the pandemic, the typical videoconference

technology fast and cheap inevitably places pressure

room was generally a luxury for corporate leadership

on integrators to make good recommendations and

to 2020, many companies had been hesitant to shift

or executives. The rooms had large budgets—$25,000

deliver them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

to software-based codecs because of security

to $150,000, typically. In these rooms you would find

What does the future hold for conference

concerns,” said Jensen. “However, the pandemic

a local group of users, say six to 16 members, reaching


expedited adoption of software-based codecs, and

out to an individual or a small far-side group.” Another significant trend has been the need for

necessitating any preconfiguration from the end user,” he said. Security is another essential consideration. “Prior

“Conference room microphone technology will

required businesses and conferencing technology

evolve in several different directions. The use of array

manufacturers to address security issues promptly

more unified communication. “We’ve experienced

microphones will likely continue to dominate, and

and preemptively. Our Microflex Ecosystem devices

strong demand for conferencing solutions throughout

vendors will continue to innovate microphone form

offer unique Shure Audio Encryption between Shure

the pandemic,” said Chris Fitzsimmons, product

factors as they identify new customer needs,”

devices, so users can have peace of mind knowing that

marketing manager at Biamp. “In particular,

Fitzsimmons said. “Additionally, UC platform

solutions that pair with the UC platforms our

vendors’ vision of the conference room will continue

customers are deploying more widely in their

to evolve, driving manufacturers to innovate and

organizations in response to the need for effective

deliver microphone solutions that customers are

remote or hybrid work environments.

seeking to complement their UC environments.

Complementary solutions to platforms such as

Microsoft recently laid out a very strong vision for the

Microsoft Teams and Zoom continue to drive

future of hybrid work and it will be interesting to


watch how hardware manufacturers respond to it.

Digital Array Microphones

Different companies are working on solutions for similar customer needs and will arrive at different

When it comes to conference room microphones,

answers. Integrators also have an opportunity to align

Fitzsimmons asserted that digital array microphones

those different answers into solutions that are

of various types rule the roost.

optimized for their own customers.”

“Biamp’s Parlé Beamtracking microphones are an example of how beamforming technology is evolving into an even smarter solution that actively tracks

Like in many areas of pro audio, ease of use remains a persistent theme for optimum efficiency. “Aesthetics and design are playing a key role in how

voices as people talk and move around a space,” he

end users interact with their technology. End users

said. “This supports a much more agile meeting room

want the technology to turn on right as they walk in the

than a fixed-beam solution, which would need

room. They want any interaction with the technology to

reprogramming to account for changes in room usage

be minimal—or entirely touchless,” shared Troy

modes. It also makes for a more rapid room

Jensen, senior manager, global accounts, Shure.

deployment because there is no need to steer or program the mics after installation.” “The pandemic has driven massive growth in the


SCN // September 2021 //

“Moreover, they want the tech to be discreet and, in many cases, off the conference room table,” he continued. “Shure’s Microflex Ecosystem solution,

Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 provides high-quality touchless audio for voice and videoconferences. Featuring automatic dynamic beamforming technology, TruVoicelift, and advanced zone control, TeamConnect Ceiling 2 combines the advantages of a boundary microphone and a microphone array. This ceiling microphone offers the ability to set a priority zone and up to five exclusion zones for more targeted audio.


From microphones to DSPs to loudspeakers, the Shure Microflex Ecosystem offers a broad portfolio of networked audio solutions that can be precisely tailored to a user’s needs for superior collaboration experiences in any room.

Innovation and Interoperability

interoperability, according to Missall. “As an audio

While innovation has suffered in some

manufacturer, Sennheiser has worked hard to partner

technical sectors as a result of the

with other AV ecosystems to seamlessly integrate our

pandemic, the opposite is true when it

technology with theirs, giving customers multiple

comes to conference room technology.

solutions for their needs, and the ability to scale as

Another impact has been the importance of

“We have seen a clear shift in the industry as meeting and classroom

needed.” With hygiene being an important factor for all

technology now must be inclusive to

organizations in the wake of COVID-19, there is the

allow in-person and remote

added need to eliminate AV integrations with shared

participation. To ensure inclusivity and

microphone and headphone technology. Missall

give all participants a consistent

referenced Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2

experience, audio and video technology

microphone array technology as an example of how

has become incredibly important, and

beamforming and TruVoicelift technology are being

communications are secure, enabled with one click,

with it there have been some crucial innovations in a

used to maintain social distancing as they eliminate

and at no extra cost.”

short period that are on their way to becoming

the need for multiple mics.

It’s an area many other manufacturers are focused on, too. “Conference room audio devices

industry standards,” said Missall.

In many respects, COVID-19 has pushed IT to the

“Visually, there are more cameras in conference

forefront of design, and integrators and consultants

must allow remote access for device maintenance,

spaces and classrooms that are able to auto-switch

are now being forced to adapt, learn, and design IT

updates, and monitoring—which usually means

and focus on who is speaking or presenting at the


being incorporated into an enterprise network. As it

given time. With this, as audio is the primary

is now plugged into the larger network, we have

communications interface, there is no longer room

offer managed services, bringing together hardware and

increased our focus on security within our product

for subpar audio quality in hybrid environments,” he

cloud platforms. This not only creates another revenue

groups,” said David Missall, insights manager

added. “Sound quality must be held to a high

stream for integrators, but also benefits the end user,

consultant and technical application engineer

standard, and audio levels of each participant

who gets access to instant technical support should a

manager, Sennheiser.

regardless of where they are sitting must be equal.”

need arise, reducing downtime,” concluded Missall.

Whatever your conferencing challenge, MAXHUB is the solution. MAXHUB’s collaboration ecosystem enables your business to realize the full potential of UCC technology that are optimized for use in conference and education.

“We’ve seen a rising trend where integrators now

Irvine, California (949)-270-5325




the market and adapt. “Earlier this year, we were addressing some uncertainties surrounding average event size,” said Ecalle. “Even as concerts and festivals slowly return at full capacity across the globe, it is too early to tell. Integrators and other manufacturers are adapting to the changing situation. Overall, it appears to be evolving in the right direction.” Ecalle said a key area of focus for L-Acoustics over the next few years is the development of high-end residential systems for private live entertainment and livestream events. “Our professional solutions are well suited to and can be adapted for that market,” he said. “Outside of that, the conversion of venues and movie theaters to accommodate livestream events has opened new gaps to fill in terms of loudspeakers and sound design. Last but not least, we expect to see L-ISA Immersive

The band Aerosmith celebrated its 50th anniversary with a residency in Las Vegas dubbed Deuces Are Wild (which was curtailed by the pandemic). In a collaboration between Aerosmith, THX, and L-Acoustics, MGM’s Park Theater was outfitted for an immersive concert sound experience for fans. L-Acoustics installed 230 speakers around the venue (about 190 more than a typical concert of this size) and sound engineers employed L-Acoustics L-ISA to direct up to 96 sound objects (instruments, vocals, and sound effects) in 3D space around the audience.

Bring the Noise By Ledetta Asfa-Wossen


Hyperreal technology gain traction in the install and rental market, with smaller, more distributed array configurations.”

Power-to-Size Ratio Along with new gaps to fill, the pandemic has also created growth amid the uncertainty. During the past 12 to 15 months, Meyer Sound has experienced a surge in demand for its small to

consider the full design of the system,” Saenz said.

medium-sized sound reinforcement products,

“With that, COVID-19 has underlined the need for

according to Tim Boot, Meyer Sound’s director of

more loudspeaker options that offer remote, ideally

global marketing.

he pandemic has disrupted many areas of

network-based diagnostics so AV teams can

the pro audio sector, but for loudspeakers,

troubleshoot room issues without having to send

loudspeaker, which offers the same technologies as

at least, there remain many constants. SCN

people on site.”

our ULTRA-X40 loudspeaker, but with smaller

explored some of the latest trends and how products might evolve post-COVID-19. “I don’t see the application of loudspeakers changing that much, but the role of loudspeakers in

The uncertainties brought about by the pandemic

“Take our ULTRA-X20 compact point source

drivers, and in a lighter, more compact package,” he

have inevitably made it hard for many companies to

said. “We launched the ULTRA-X20 at ISE in February

really hit the gas on innovation.

of last year, and then the world shut down a month

“In the past year, COVID-19 has forced players in

later. Yet the product has continued to do incredibly

the system and the interaction in the system has to

our industry to slow down their R&D activity. The

well because it speaks to the increasing need for a

evolve,” said Daniel Saenz, QSC’s amplifier and

overall pace of product releases has slowed, so it’s

powerful compact loudspeaker that you can use in

loudspeaker product manager. “For integrators, time

tough to single out overall trends that have emerged

many different applications. It can be a main speaker,

is money. Manufacturers will need to provide

across the past 18 months,” said Stéphane Ecalle,

it can be a fill, it can be a distributed install speaker.

loudspeaker solutions that make installation and

L-Acoustics’ global director of product marketing.

It’s kind of a jack-of-all-trades speaker, and that

deployment quicker and easier. For example,

type of product is doing really well right now.”

control platform with QSC loudspeakers can take

Elevating Livestream and Residential Events

advantage of built-in advanced voicings filter sets to

However, Ecalle remains optimistic. After all,

pandemic may have accelerated it. “Even

easily enhance performance and the speed of

the key to navigating uncertainty is to listen to

pre-COVID-19, we’ve seen demand for

integrators who use the Q-SYS audio, video, and

installation with optimal results.”

Better Interaction Going forward, Saenz stressed, loudspeakers can no longer be considered a standalone product. The pandemic has emphasized the need for unified loudspeaker systems that can be easily integrated and managed remotely. “It’s important to remember that loudspeakers are a piece of the greater audio, video, and control system. They shouldn’t be considered a separate part of any room design. With more AV teams working remotely, it’s critical to work through any issues and


SCN // September 2021 //

But Boot is quick to note that this is not exclusively a COVID-19 trend, though the

products that do more, particularly in QSC’s latest range of AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers includes ceiling models with a Snap-Fit magnetic grille and a patented X-Mount Surface Mounting System for surface models to reduce installation time.

LOUDSPEAKERS TECHNOLOGY Meyer Sound’s Leopard-M80 narrow coverage compact linear line array is designed for focused coverage and long-throw applications. It’s a variation on Meyer Sound’s Leopard design that provides a precisely controlled 80° horizontal pattern instead of the 110° coverage of original model.

traditional, large-format loudspeaker systems, with promoters like Live Nation now planning an increasing number of tours and large-scale events for 2022. “If you plan more events, production companies need more equipment to support them, and that’s much more about traditional, large-format loudspeaker systems. I expect we’ll see that demand and houses of worship,” he said. “Our new authorized e-tailer Sweetwater gives us direct access to a broader market of musicians and

increase. Ultimately, the demand for performance will never go away. People are always going to be looking for high-performance, high-quality products.”

portable applications. COVID showed us that the

audio professionals. For them, we’ve been bundling

rental companies were using whatever inventory they

the ULTRA-X20 with our USW-112P compact

concluded, “The demand for ease of use is going to

had to support whatever events were being created—

subwoofer as one of a few ‘power couples’ aimed at

increase, because ease of use translates to a cost to

whether that was a drive-in concert or church

improving ease of setup for a new consumer base that

end users in regard to how much labor they have to

services in a parking lot. We had a customer in Mexico

might be purchasing a Meyer Sound product for the

bring in. Software is also going to be a big part of the

deploy a large-format line array for a small event

first time.”

way we deploy systems, and we’ll see software

simply because the socially-distanced audience

Boot is also positive about the continued need for

Looking into a post-pandemic crystal ball, Boot

become more deeply integrated.”

covered so much space. We’re in an era where we need to have flexibility with our systems and be ready for anything.”

Changing Requirements Boot added, “We’ve seen production requirements changing, even before COVID-19. Video increasingly drives the requirement for more compact sound systems, for example. And there are considerations for truck space, and space on stage. There’s a benefit to being very compact, and that’s always been an advantage for [Meyer Sound products], being self-powered and having loudspeakers with exceptional power-to-size ratios.” As an example, he pointed to Meyer Sound’s

Daniel Saenz

Stéphane Ecalle

Leopard-M80, a narrow-coverage variant of the Leopard compact line array loudspeaker. “It’s much smaller relative to its output. That’s a benefit for production companies. There are fewer racks on stage, fewer boxes in the truck. The Leopard-M80 fills out the Leopard family, along with the regular Leopard and the 900-LFC Low-Frequency Control Element. It’s a killer system. The Leopard-M80 reinforces our commitment to that product line, and we’ll continue to pursue that kind of very compact power.”

Back on Track Manufacturers are exercising caution while new opportunities arise to adapt and innovate, but in


many respects, it’s business as usual. “As all of the segments of the industry recover, the demand for the traditional types of loudspeakers—large-format line arrays, smallformat line arrays, point source speakers—is going to increase, because pre-COVID, globally, pro AV was growing. We’ll get back to a traditional growth state, for sure,” added Boot. “Coming out of the pandemic, the pent-up demand for live experiences is spurring demand for new and upgraded sound reinforcement systems among touring musicians, regional sound companies, // September 2021 // SCN


See us at InfoComm 2021! booth #5143 Audio Demo Room #W222A

Tim Boot


ViewSonic ViewBoard 52 Series Interactive Display with Built-In Soundbar

Switcher, the first of the company’s

THE WHAT: The ViewBoard 52 Series is

streaming capabilities.

a 4K/UHD interactive whiteboard

V-Series line of multichannel HD video switching products with built-in THE WHAT ELSE: With features

display with an integrated soundbar

tailored for modern hybrid production,

designed for use in classrooms.

the V-160HD allows users to connect with live audiences in Full HD with

Dual-pen capability, 33-point touch,

comprehensive HDMI and SDI I/O and simultaneously stream to any web platform

Ultra Fine Touch, and palm awareness technology combine for a naturally smooth

via USB-C. The V-160HD also features an eight-layer video effects engine, a

writing experience, supported by two 15W front-facing speakers and a 15W

40-channel digital audio mixer, and integrated PTZ camera control, plus advanced

subwoofer for amplified student engagement.

cue management and live show automation tools.

THE WHAT ELSE: The ViewBoard 52 series comes in 65-, 75-, and 86-inch sizes,

With its extensive connectivity and real-time processing, the V-160HD is ready

operates on Android 9.0, and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome, and

to take on nearly any production. Eight HDMI sources and eight SDI sources can be

Linux, with full-touch input functionality for all connected BYOD devices.

mixed in Full HD, even with mismatched frame rates and color spaces. Built-in

A highlight of its exterior design is the Multimedia Sound Bar, which delivers

scalers are provided on four of the HDMI inputs for interfacing with computers,

high-quality audio to the room. It comes with USB-C front-facing inputs for easy

tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, and legacy 4:3 devices. Seven total

connection to BYOD devices, and places functional keys and I/O ports in a direct

outputs—three HDMI, three SDI, and one USB-C—are available to feed program

line of sight. Along with its new user interface, teachers can access frequently used

displays, auxiliary monitors, multiview producer displays, streaming software,

features within a control area, eliminating the need to move back and forth.

recorders, and more.

The soundbar features two 15W front-facing speakers and a 15W subwoofer that

THE BOTTOM LINE: Compact, portable and easy to operate, the V-160HD

fills the room with rich, full sound. The built-in eight-microphone array with audio

combines the hardware features needed to flawlessly execute live productions with

detection and noise cancellation capabilities enables in-class or remote lessons to

the livestreaming capabilities found in computer-based systems.

be broadcast with excellent sound fidelity, helping teachers deliver better teaching results. Along with myViewBoard, a visual learning platform that provides a

Audinate Dante Domain Manager v1.2 THE WHAT: Dante Domain Manager version 1.2 improves how AV and IT managers

comprehensive suite of applications, the ViewBoard 52 series delivers advanced

use and maintain their Dante-based AV networks

communication, collaboration, and engagement. ViewBoard Cast delivers the

and supports a more flexible range of purchase

efficiency and productivity of group collaborations. Students can share screens


from their BYOD devices through myViewBoard Display, a browser-based wireless

THE WHAT ELSE: Dante Domain Manager is

presentation tool, without downloading any apps. Another highlight,

now available in three editions. The silver edition

myViewBoard Manager, offers efficient remote management of multiple displays.

includes two Dante domains and 20 Dante nodes,

THE BOTTOM LINE: With a user-centric design in mind, the fully integrated

the gold edition offers 10 Dante domains and 100

ViewBoard 52 Series is engineered to improve the classroom and learning

Dante nodes, and the platinum edition supports up


to 50 Dante domains and 250 Dante nodes. All editions are expandable to accommodate growing needs for Dante nodes or

AWS Elemental Link UHD

Dante domains. Additional nodes may be purchased at any time in packs of 20, 50,

THE WHAT: AWS has announced the general

or 100, which provides additional domains. Features previously reserved for

availability of AWS Elemental Link UHD, an

platinum customers are now available as add-ons to the silver and gold editions.

HEVC encoding device that enables the

THE BOTTOM LINE: Dante Domain Manager version 1.2 is available for

connection of a live UHD video source to

immediate download. Existing customers can take advantage of new editions if

AWS Elemental MediaLive for video

they have a support and maintenance agreement in place. All Dante Domain

processing in the AWS Cloud.

Manager licenses are perpetual and non-expiring.

THE WHAT ELSE: AWS Elemental Link UHD features high-performance HEVC encoding for UHD video feeds (up to

ClearOne Versa Mediabar

2160p60 with 10-bit color depth), in addition to the features included in the AWS

THE WHAT: ClearOne’s Versa Mediabar,

Elemental Link HD encoder. Link UHD and Link HD devices ship fully configured to

an all-in-one audio and video capture

the user’s AWS account, and can be controlled and monitored remotely using the

device, combines the elegance and

MediaLive console. Users connect the device to power, an IP network, and an SDI or

simplicity of a soundbar with the power

HDMI video source, and the video is automatically accessible in the MediaLive

of ClearOne’s intelligent audio capture and 4K camera technologies.

console in less than a minute, according to the company.

THE WHAT ELSE: The all-in-one device features a built-in 4K Ultra HD camera

THE BOTTOM LINE: With Link UHD, users can create HDR outputs, including

with a 110° field of view and a four-element microphone array with 360° voice

HDR 10 and HLG, in MediaLive channels to enable a high-quality picture for a range

pickup and intelligent DSP that provides acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) and

of streaming applications, from enterprise events and live sports to music, fitness

automatic noise reduction. The camera combines electronic pan, tilt, and zoom

classes, education, training, and healthcare. All AWS Elemental Link devices work

functions (ePTZ) with artificial intelligence to enable auto-framing and people

with AWS Elemental MediaLive, part of AWS Media Services, a suite of cloud-based

tracking that keeps the speaker in view even if they move around the room.

services that streamline video creation, transport, packaging, storage, monetization, and delivery.

Roland V-160HD Streaming Video Switcher THE WHAT: Roland Professional A/V introduced the V-160HD Streaming Video


SCN // September 2021 //

The Versa Mediabar also features a built-in speaker with Bluetooth connectivity that allows it to serve double duty as a fully featured conferencing solution or a Bluetooth speaker for impromptu calls using any Bluetooth device. These attributes make the Versa Mediabar an ideal companion for cloud-based collaboration applications such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet,


and ClearOne’s COLLABORATE Space. THE BOTTOM LINE: The Versa Mediabar supports standard UVC commands for control, making it well suited as an addition to existing systems, while dual wall and display mounting options deliver freedom of placement and movement.

Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K

phantom power and Hi-Z inputs and pro-grade Neutrik connectors) and sophisticated Bluetooth 5.0 features. THE BOTTOM LINE: Suitable for both installed and portable applications, this all-in-one column P.A. is ideal for DJs, musicians, entertainment venues, corporate presenters, rental companies, and houses of worship.

THE WHAT: Blackmagic Design has expanded its Blackmagic Web Presenter family

Samsung The Wall, 2021 Edition

with a 4K model, which combines all

THE WHAT: The 2021 model of Samsung’s The Wall MicroLED display gives

the features of Blackmagic Web

businesses greater flexibility to

Presenter HD but upgrades to an H.264

showcase content via new AI processing

hardware encoder for native Ultra HD

technology and upgraded 120 Hz frame

resolution streaming. Like previous

rates. Samsung’s microLED

generations of the technology,

manufacturing process mass-transfers

Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K simulates a USB webcam when connected to

micrometer-scale LEDs onto flat

computers; and the USB webcam feature supports 1080p HD or 2160p Ultra HD

modules that fit together like tiles,


seamlessly linked together to create a

THE WHAT ELSE: As a self-contained streaming solution—which includes a hardware encoder, software for connecting to streaming platforms, and network connections—it is able to stream directly via Ethernet to YouTube, Facebook,

uniform visual canvas that can be scaled to whatever dimensions are required for the project. THE WHAT ELSE: A Micro AI Processor instantly analyzes and optimizes every

Twitter and other platforms. Setup is easy, as the Web Presenter Utility software

frame of video to deliver high picture quality. By using up to 16 different neural

lets customers select the streaming platform and update the streaming key.

network models, each trained in AI upscaling and deep learning technology, the

Users need only connect an SDI video source such as a live production switcher or a camera, then connect to the internet via the built-in Ethernet connection. For redundancy, may also stream by connecting a 5G or 4G Apple or Android mobile

Micro AI Processor can optimize picture quality to any size up to 8K resolution, enhancing contrast and removing noise. The Wall can be configured horizontally for up to 16K resolution with a 15,360 x

device to use mobile data. Blackmagic Web Presenter will auto detect when a phone

1,080-pixel arrangement. Its massive screen measures in at over 1,000 inches,

is connected and switch its internet connection to use it. Customers can select

creating a completely expansive canvas for showcasing content.

Ethernet or phone priority, which makes phone internet backup fully automatic. Blackmagic Web Presenter includes a 12G-SDI input with support for all HD and

The Wall’s Black Seal Technology blankets the screen uniformly, creating a seamless canvas for purer black levels with enhanced depth for greater contrast

Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60. The included 12G-SDI loop output allows

and precision detail. Ultra Chroma technology produces narrower wavelengths that

customers to loop video through more than one Web Presenter, if necessary, to

create RGB colors twice as pure and more accurate than conventional LEDs,

stream to multiple services.

according to the company.

The device features Teranex conversion technology on the SDI input. The device

THE BOTTOM LINE: Installation is simplified with new wireless docking

takes the incoming HD or Ultra HD input signal and automatically converts it to

connections and endless design, resulting in a cabinet depth twice as slim as the

1080p HD or 2160p60 Ultra HD, depending on the model, which is then sent to the

previous model. With modular technology, The Wall can be installed in a variety of

hardware H.264 encoder for streaming.

positions, including concave, convex, ceiling, hanging, inclined and L-type. Plus,

THE BOTTOM LINE: Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K is available now from

installers need to adjust just once per cabinet with Factory Seam Adjustment,

Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for $695.

eliminating module-by-module adjustment.


Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Compact -RDI Models

THE WHAT: Joining JBL Professional’s PRX line of portable column P.A.s, the PRX

THE WHAT: Renkus-Heinz expanded its Iconyx Compact Series with the addition of

ONE all-in-one powered P.A. features an acoustically optimized column array

the -RDI lineup, whose models offer improved interoperability and flexibility with

featuring a 7-channel digital mixer, DSP, and Bluetooth functionality. The

Dante audio-over-IP functionality. They also bring new control options with

associated JBL Pro Connect app offers simplified management of the PRX ONE

integration into Crestron’s remote control solutions and environments.

system. THE WHAT ELSE: PRX ONE meets the needs of a broad range of portable and

THE WHAT ELSE: The -RD1 lineup—which consists of the ICC 12/3-RD1, 24/3RD1, 36/3-RD1 and 48/3-RD1 models—completes the company’s Iconyx Compact

installed applications, delivering the requisite audio power, acoustic

Series portfolio, which was launched in 2020 as a response to integrators seeking

performance, and functionality in a compact package that weighs 56 pounds.

coherent and steerable sound solutions in problematic acoustic spaces. With its

The system is able to deliver 130 dB of wide, full-bandwidth SPL with

compact footprint, the series brings performance and directivity to spaces where

consistent front-to-back throw with its custom-engineered 12-tweeter

even the classic Iconyx arrays might be too large.

column array, which features JBL’s A.I.M. (Array Inumbration Mechanics)

According to Renkus-Heinz, the -RD1 versions allow for quick, cost-

acoustic design, a 12-inch bass-reflex woofer, and a built-in 2,000-watt

effective, and easy integration using Audinate’s integrated Dante Ultimo chip.

(peak) Class D amplifier.

The Ultimo platform is perfect for the smaller-footprint Iconyx Compact

Performers can dial in great sound fast using PRX ONE’s suite of

Series, whose small size also requires more space-constrained network

professional-grade Lexicon and dbx processors and eight customizable

devices featuring a lower channel count. The -RD1 ICC family supports all the

presets. Built-in effects include reverb, 8-band EQ, delay, compression, and

features that have driven widespread adoption of Dante technology: auto-

dbx DriveRack Inside technology, featuring AFS Pro Automatic Feedback

discovery of devices, label-based routing of signals, true plug-and-play

Suppression. Triple Tier DSP control offers multilevel user experiences

operation, and high audio performance over standard networks.

based on knowledge level. Users may connect microphones, instruments, mobile devices, and wireless rigs using PRX ONE’s versatile I/Os (featuring dedicated


SCN // September 2021 //

THE BOTTOM LINE: The very narrow profile allows the Iconyx Compact Series to blend into nearly any environment, while exceptional directivity helps control even the most challenging acoustics. This brings the premium


spaces and provides more opportunities for integration in the house of worship,

C2G USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station Kits

corporate, transportation, education, and government markets.

THE WHAT: Ideal for quickly setting up

performance of beam-steered line arrays to even the most architecturally sensitive

workstations at the office or in the home,

Clear-Com Arcadia Central Station

C2G’s new USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 docking

THE WHAT: Arcadia Central Station from

station kits take the guesswork out of

Clear-Com is a scalable IP platform that

connectivity by providing a single connection

integrates all wired and wireless partyline

point to give end users more screen space and

systems, including Clear-Com’s

access to more devices—transforming their

FreeSpeak family of digital wireless solutions and HelixNet Digital Partyline. The system can license up to 96 IP ports in a single RU device, with further licensing add-ons anticipated in the future, making Arcadia the intercom centerpiece for a vast range of applications best served by partyline workflows. THE WHAT ELSE: Arcadia represents an evolution in partyline workflows for

laptops into full desktops—while saving them time by bundling the necessary cables. THE WHAT ELSE: C2G offers four docking station kits for any laptop and setups of any complexity. Available models include the C2G54476 USB-C 3-in-1 Mini Dock Kit for Chromebooks and other USB-C enabled laptops, the C2G54479 USB-C

Clear-Com. The platform combines digital, analog and AoIP intercom technologies

6-in-1 Mini Dock Kit for USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptops, the C2G54477

into a single integrated system. Arcadia is appropriate for a wide variety of

USB-C 7-in-1 Dual Display Dock Kit for USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptops,

applications—from the Broadway stage to a growing community congregation to

and the C2G54478 Thunderbolt 3 10-in-1 Dual 4K Display Dock Kit for Thunderbolt

the largest and most complex live events—in part due to its flexible licensing-

3 enabled MacBooks and laptops. THE BOTTOM LINE: Instead of plugging multiple devices into a laptop, the

based model that allows future expansion. THE BOTTOM LINE: Arcadia Central Station integrates all of Clear-Com’s

keyboard, mouse, monitors, and storage devices can be permanently plugged into a

partyline systems together in a single, compact 1RU package. With the flexibility of

C2G docking station, which connects to the laptop via a single USB-C or

a licensing-based model, functionality will increase over time.

Thunderbolt 3 cable. The docking station kits bundle all necessary cables.





You won’t need this...

Supports logo inser�on, text overlay, and SCTE 35 compliant cue tone inser�on

… when you use quiet cooling products from Active Thermal Management

Able to upconvert incoming SD streams to HD, and scale down SNMP, REST, SOAP support for remote management and monitoring Event streaming via ISP’s or CDN’s


Cool off at



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To Advertise in the SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS CLASSIFIEDS, Contact Zahra Majma at // September 2021 // SCN




By Matt D. Scott


ife is nothing if not a constant series of transitions. I’m currently watching it with my young children, who are moving between life

stages faster than I can believe. When my oldest was born, it seemed to me that he’d be a baby forever. It wasn’t long before he became a toddler ... and then he began to talk and our lives changed. A few short years later and he’s a 6 year old who can easily convince you he’s a young man. He made the transition from toddler to boy right in front of my eyes, yet it continues to surprise me daily. I often still think of him as an adorable baby, or an entertaining toddler who kept us on our toes. I’m told that the next 10 years will go by even faster, and I’ll hardly notice as he transitions from pre-teen to teenager to driving age. I don’t think I’m alone as a parent in hoping time will slow down a touch so I can enjoy every moment. If you’ve stuck with me this long, you’ll be wondering what this has to do with technology. I’ve

Are you checking in with your clients to ensure their AV solutions are working? That they’re not still relying on ad-hoc solutions cobbled together at the beginning of the pandemic?

been reflecting on transitions recently as we’ve watched so many of our house of worship clients

aforementioned “legit solution.” Let’s go with

struggle with evolving their businesses in the face of a

“workable solutions” instead.

world-upending pandemic. That’s really what

Most of these solutions were expected to be

So where has our industry been? Many church executives finally realize the value of supporting digital environments for their congregations, and we

transitions are: the changes that happen as a

temporary. Heck, most of the solutions that even

haven’t been there to help them plan the transition

situation evolves.

professional integration firms provided were

that will allow them to supply a better streaming

hamstrung by product scarcity and limited budgets

product. MacGyver or not, at some point you have to

houses of worship had to navigate the transition to

with expedited timelines. It’s sounds like I’m throwing

move past chewing gum and dental floss.

providing services virtually via online platforms. And

the industry under the bus—and I might be, but only a

then they had to figure out how to accommodate the

little. The COVID-19 pandemic created a just-make-

months has been discussing boosting production

needs of parishioners gathering in person without

it-work situation for most, but the ingenuity of most

value and/or upgrading to a more volunteer-friendly

slighting those worshiping virtually. Many struggled,

integrators was something to behold.

production solution that can help them grow their

Last year, like businesses in every other industry,

some failed, and a select few downright excelled. It was the most exciting time I’ve seen in the house of worship market in years. Facilities that didn’t already have a broadcast or

But if we’re being honest, there are a bunch of

Every HoW facility I’ve talked with in the last few

digital congregation. When I ask who they’ve talked

facilities that are still trying to work with the

to or if their integrator has reached out, I’m hearing

temporary solutions they cobbled together in April of

what I expected—crickets.

2020. And that’s not necessarily terrible, but by now

Integrators have an opportunity to really prove

digital platform had to build one from scratch in a

most facilities have transitioned to servicing both

our value to the HoW community—and other

time when both virtual worship expertise and

in-person and remote congregations, often

markets—by helping them transition to permanent

inventory were scarce. Delivery systems evolved from

simultaneously. And they’ve made this transition

installed options. But we’ve got to reach out and talk

simple iPhone video to “legit solutions.” You’ll notice

using those temporary solutions. They certainly don’t

to our clients in this space and not assume they are

the air quotes, and I really want you to image my face

want to give up on their remote congregation, but they

satisfied with the ad hoc solutions they put together

as I say “legit solution.” That look I’m giving you is

can’t have a camera in the center aisle 15 feet away

more than a very long year ago. This market is ripe

extreme doubt about the quality of the

from the speaker while there are people in the pews.

with opportunity—even more than in the SD-to-HD transition decades ago. We can help, but we’ve got to

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a just-make-it-work situation for most, but the ingenuity of most integrators was something to behold.” 42

SCN // September 2021 //

get back to church. Matt D. Scott has worked in the pro AV industry since an early age, getting his start with live event mixing when he was 12. In 2001, he opened Omega Audio Video, which provides both commercial and residential audiovisual installations.

Quantum Ultra II

Videowall Processing Leaps Forward with Advanced Connectivity and 8K-Ready Throughput Quantum® Ultra II represents the next generation of Extron videowall processors, providing advanced connectivity and throughput capabilities. The 18 Gbps HDMI connections on the 4K input and output cards facilitate single-path 4K/60 signals and are HDCP 2.3 compliant. The 8K-ready HyperLane® video bus supports more than twenty 4K/60 sources. Embedded HDMI audio from any source can be routed independently to one or more active canvasses. Features such as portrait and landscape output support, output overlap, bezel compensation, and custom output resolutions ensure compatibility with nearly any display.

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Quantum Ultra II provides HDMI embedded audio routing when configured with IN4HDMI 4K PLUS and OUT4HDMI 4K PLUS cards. It supports LPCM stereo as well as multi-channel surround sound formats, and an independent audio source can be selected per canvas from any input.

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The dedicated high-speed video bus built into the Quantum Ultra II processor delivers real-time performance unattainable by other videowall processors. The HyperLane video bus is 8K-ready and now has a maximum throughput of up to 500 Gbps, providing the capacity to simultaneously carry more than twenty 4K/60 4:4:4 sources.

Source 1

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Source 2



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SCN333.AD_.indd scn_2021.indd 2 8

8/17/21 2/11/21 12:33 4:17 PM PM

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