Welcome to the November ISSUE of
10/19/21 11:45 AM
YOUR INSIDER BUSINESS RESOURCE FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS
2021 INSTALLS OF THE YEAR Celebrating AV Projects That Make a Difference
18 Executive Q&A
AJA’s Nick Rashby sees momentum in the pro AV market.
19 Tech Tales
Biamp’s John Urban discusses the importance of audio intelligibility for distance learning.
Sharath Abraham considers post-pandemic fashion.
We Have the Right Processor for Your Video Wall
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Installations of the Year SCN shares the most impactful pro AV installations in 2021.
By SCN Staff
Features 24 Products of the Year
20 Insight Walters-Storyk Design Group fills us in on the status
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,
of its ongoing leadership transition.
manufacturers were still able to develop substantial
By Mark J. Pescatore
product innovations. SCN celebrates those achievements with the 2021 Products of the Year.
31 Twitch Upgrades HQ for Interactive Work Styles
34 Flexibility Key for Routing Switchers
Twitch AV, Extron, and Diversified collaborated to
By Carolyn Heinze
deliver an AV environment that brings people together at Twitch HQ 2.0.
32 More Like Home
New solutions simplify signal sharing.
36 Adapting to the Evolution of Transport Protocols Manufacturers design digital audio networking
A recovering hospitality industry focuses on creating
products to be flexible.
By Steve Harvey
By Jim Beaugez
18 Executive Q&A
42 Business Casual: Sneakers or Nah?
AJA president Nick Rashby sees momentum in the pro
Sharath Abraham calls for the normalization of
wearing comfortable sneakers in business casual
By Katie Makal
19 Tech Tales Biamp’s John Urban explains that as schools increasingly deploy distance learning, it’s imperative that they also improve audio intelligibility. By John Urban
By Sharath Abraham
Departments 16 ASSOCIATION NEWS 22 PEOPLE NEWS 38 PRODUCTS
Vol. 28 No. 11 November 2021 Systems Contractor News (ISSN 1078-4993) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 130 West 42nd Street, 7th 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 www.MySCNews.com. Please allow 6-8 weeks for address changes to take effect. ©Copyright 2021 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A.
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
SYSTEMS CHECK avnetwork.com
MARK J. PESCATORE Content Director
Technology Can Change Your Dreams
ears ago, I dreamed of installing a grand library in my home office. Hardcover masterworks would fill the floor-to-ceiling shelves. And, of course, there had to be a rolling library ladder to complete the look.
Ironically, my dream imploded at the local Barnes & Noble. That’s where I purchased a
Nook Color, one of the bookstore’s answers to the iPad. Before I finished reading the first
book on my new tablet, that dream library was nothing more than a fond memory. Why would I want to devote an entire wall to books when I could store thousands of titles on a device that was smaller than my hardcover copy of The Hobbit? That’s the power of technology. It can change our plans and even our dreams overnight.
TWEET US What change in technology have you recently embraced?
Technology itself can change pretty quickly, too. For example, it wasn’t that long ago that Skype was the dominant internet-based video calling application, so much so that Microsoft purchased the company in 2011 for $8.5 billion. Now, Microsoft has prioritized Microsoft Teams instead. If you want Skype when you upgrade to Windows 11, you’ll have to download it separately. I’ve been following changes like this in the professional AV and broadcast industries for more than 25 years. Most recently, I’ve been on the PR side of the business, but a handful of you may remember me from my time as editor of Government Video magazine and executive conference chair of GV Expo, an annual event in Washington, D.C. Some of you with really long memories might even recall my byline from Television Broadcast magazine. As I begin my tenure with Systems Contractor News, my thoughts about change have sparked a lot of questions. What will be the next disruptive AV technology? What musthave innovation will change the way your clients communicate internally and externally? Most importantly, how can you help make technological dreams become reality today while avoiding obsolescence tomorrow? In these pages, whether you read them on printed paper or your mobile device, we’ll explore the answers together.
THE SOUND SOLUTION PRECISE DIRECTIVITY AND EXCEPTIONAL FIDELITY
See us at Rocky Mountain AVX 2021! booth #907
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NOVEMBER 2021 VOL. 28 NO. 11 CONTENT
VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona Content Director Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D. email@example.com Content Manager Katie Makal Contributors Sharath Abraham, Jim Beaugez, Steve Harvey, Carolyn Heinze, John Urban Group Art Director Nicole Cobban Art Editor Rob Crossland Production Managers Nicole Schilling, Heather Tatrow A DV E R T I S I N G S A L E S
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130 West 42nd Street, 7th 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. Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation.
Massive Projection Mapping Project in Las Vegas Game publisher Garena marked the fourth anniversary of its mobile battle royale game Free Fire by partnering with Limelight Projection Mapping and WorldStage on a Guinness Book of World Records-ranking event at the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort. Limelight and WorldStage delivered a five-minute video display that was projected onto the façade of The Club Tower of the Tropicana. It covered more than 60,000 square feet and featured more than 1.6 million lumens of light.
Top 5 Online Stories 5. Countdown to InfoComm 2021 4. InfoComm Chooses CLEAR Health Pass App as COVID Vaccination/Test Verification 3. The Latest Trends in Installed Loudspeakers 2. Barco, QSC, Sennheiser Collaborate on New York AV Demo Facility 1. North Carolina at Chapel Hill Opens Esports Arena
POPULAR POSTS Success Comes from Doing What’s Right, Not What’s Easy
Creating Interactive Experiences with Digital Signage
Navigating Transitions in the House of Worship Market
BY JAY B. MYERS Many AV integration firms fail to
BY JASON SHELTON In today’s digital world,
AV professionals to prove their value to customers by
recognize that achieving success is often the direct
information has never been more accessible. Not only
helping them transition their temporary, ad-hoc
result of company ethics, of doing the right thing
do customers expect the same quantity of informa-
solutions cobbled together at the beginning of the
instead of the easy thing. The culture of every
tion to be available to them when they’re in physical
pandemic into permanent AV systems ready for the
successful company includes a significant ethical
public places, they expect the same quality—that is,
component. Any organization that voluntarily
they expect that the information presented to them
follows business ethics has a better chance of
during in-person experiences will be just as interac-
survival and success in today’s competitive business
tive and engaging as when they’re online.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
BY MATT D. SCOTT Now is the time for
Software-Defined AV Distribution
The Future of AV Distribution DisplayNet® delivers the performance of traditional matrix switchers, with the future readiness of AV over IP. By leveraging cutting edge SDVoE technology, DisplayNet offers 4K/60 (4:4:4) video distribution with limitless scalability, zero-frame latency and zero image artifacts. DisplayNet provides unique features such as Software-Defined MultiViewer and Advanced Video Wall that enable a wide range of applications without the expense of ancillary products. Silent operation, powerful Network Security features, versatile KVM Routing and support for Dante® digital audio provide system designers with exceptional versatility. A highly intuitive web-based UI and API greatly simplifies setup and installation, as well as integration into third-party control systems. Contact us today to learn how DisplayNet can make your next AV system future ready.
ZERO COMPROMISE – INFINITE POSSIBILITIES Powered by email@example.com | (888) 463-9927 | www.displaynet.com Dante® is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.
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Christie Supports UCF Themed Experience Graduate Programs
ence and knowledge of Christie’s high-end projection mapping tools.” “Christie is thrilled to not only provide the tools required to be successful in themed entertainment, but to share our expertise as well,” said Larry Howard, senior director of sales, Entertainment, Christie. “As the technology provider to some of the biggest and most innovative attractions in the world, we’re passionate about delivering world-class experiences.
hristie has partnered with the University
students into the world of themed entertainment.
of Central Florida’s new graduate programs in themed experience, providing training
To help students gain the practical knowledge and experience required to work in this field, Christie is
and technology including projectors, media players,
providing technology found in entertainment venues
and show control technology. UCF’s MS and MFA
around the world, including 1DLP projectors, Christie
programs in themed experience, reportedly the first
Pandoras Box media players, and Widget Designer for
such programs in the country, provide hands-on
customized show control. Christie technical product
training for the skills, processes, and concepts nec-
specialists are also providing students with in-person
essary to design and produce themed environments.
and virtual training, as well as support with the
The themed experience programs build on the
And to share that knowledge and excitement with the next generation of industry professionals at UCF is a wonderful opportunity.”
program’s year-end 3D projection mapping project.
strength and diversity of UCF’s theater, art, design,
“We are grateful to Christie for providing this
and hospitality programs. The school is located in
unique opportunity for our students to experiment
Orlando, FL, an international hub of the themed
and learn using their industry-leading systems,” said
entertainment industry, and is supported by an
Peter Weishar, director of the themed experience
advisory council featuring industry leaders from
graduate programs. “The students at UCF are
companies including Disney, Universal, and the
exceptionally dedicated and talented. They are the
Orlando Magic NBA team. With those associations,
future of the themed entertainment industry, and
the graduate programs are well-positioned to guide
they will start their careers with significant experi-
Secure KVM-over-IP Control of Systems via Fiber or CATx
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Multi-headed computers supported
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Secure, encrypted transmissions
One-to-one to many-to-many configurations
Single keyboard/mouse for multiple computers
Operator stations with up to 4 single-view or 2 multi-view monitors
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
Xilica Launches Sonia Cat-X-Based Ceiling Speaker System
ilica has announced Xilica Sonia, a range of networked amplifiers and ceiling speakers for IT-friendly collabora-
tion spaces. The Xilica Sonia series modernizes installed audio systems for the networked architectures common in today’s meeting and learning spaces, and strengthens Xilica’s value proposition as a complete solutions provider for corporate, education, and government customers. The initial Xilica Sonia series includes the Sonia C5, a compact 5.25-inch in-ceiling speaker with a wide, even dispersion pattern that enables fewer speakers in large spaces such as classrooms and legislative chambers. Sonia C5 is powered by Xilica’s new Sonia Amp, a PoE+enabled amplifier with integrated network switch that can power up to eight Sonia C5 speakers in daisy chain. With four individual channels, one Sonia Amp can also power Sonia C5 speakers across four neighboring meeting rooms, creating additional cost savings and deployment simplicity. The Xilica Sonia Series follows the IT-friendly design that began with Xilica Solaro DSPs and the recently-introduced family of Xilica Gio networked endpoints. Sonia Amp’s integrated network switch features a PoE port suitable for serving both power and Dante networked audio to a ceiling-mounted microphone array, such as the Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2, which creates a single Cat-X drop to the ceiling for a full-room audio system. For greater simplicity in installation, Sonia C5 and Sonia Amp are plenum-rated and feature integrated mounting capabilities that allow Sonia Amp to be affixed to the rear of a Sonia C5 speaker, eliminating the need for external amplifier racks. Sonia C5 offers a removable, magnetic, and fully-paintable grille with detachable logo to blend into any space. When paired with Xilica Solaro DSPs, Xilica’s new VoiceMatch technology optimizes room audio and acoustics to ensure highly intelligible speech. “Xilica’s new generation of integrated room audio solutions offers a complete package that provides IT departments with lower total cost of ownership of AV technology assets inside the many spaces that they manage,” said Shaun Robinson, vice president of product management, Xilica.
10 SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
NEWS requirement for presentation and room automation, while supporting the sophistication expected at the global headquarters for a technology leader such as NVIDIA. Discreetly installed beneath the conference table is an Extron DTP CrossPoint 84 4K IPCP SA 8x4 presentation matrix switcher, which provides content switching and scaling. It also includes built-in audio processing and an integrated control processor that streamlines the system. Embedded in the table are a series of TLP Pro 725C 7-inch Cable Cubby TouchLink Pro touchpanels. For participant convenience, the enclosures offer power as well as sets of retractable HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, and
NVIDIA Standardizes on Extron for Meeting Space AV
ocated in Israel, NVIDIA’s network business headquarters is designed to be professionally functional, energy efficient,
technical sophistication and stylishness. For each space, Bynet Data Communication
network cables. SF 26PT SoundField pendant speakers overhead resemble modern light fixtures, enabling them to be hidden in plain sight. NVIDIA is pleased with its AV systems, which blend with the elegant environment of its network business headquarters. “The quality, reliability, and sophistication of Extron’s AV products, such as the pendant speaker and touchpanels, combined with their superior support allowed us to deploy a
integrated Extron products that provide seamless
solid and efficient yet stylish installation within our
and aesthetically pleasing. The AV systems within
AV switching among multiple formats, discreet AV
new headquarters in record time,” said Zeevi
the nine-story building’s many meeting rooms
connectivity, sound reinforcement, and intuitive
Grisario, senior engineer at NVIDIA IT Networking
and conference areas required this same degree of
local and remote system control. Extron met every
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
Neutrik USA Expands to Neutrik Americas
eutrik USA has announced an expansion in
The goal of the organizational shift is to provide
ability to make it easy for customers to conduct business
its operations that includes a new name:
centralized operation for the Americas, with the benefit
with Neutrik, to fully support customers in their
Neutrik Americas. A wholly owned subsidiary
of consolidated sales and support for the entire region.
respective time zones and languages, and to maximize
of Neutrik AG and a member of the Neutrik Group,
According the company, one of the key advantages of
logistics from the Charlotte location.
Neutrik Americas will now service all the Americas
the reorganization is improved responsiveness for
from its Charlotte, NC, facility.
customers. Key on the list of company priorities is the
As part of the expansion, Neutrik Americas now offers English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French language sales and support services from its Charlotte headquarters. The goal is to provide ease of communication with customers throughout North, Central, and South America. “We moved to Charlotte in 2010 in anticipation of this journey,” recalled Peter Milbery, president of Neutrik Americas. “At that time, we purchased a facility and adjacent land of significant size near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport to accommodate the logistics of this expanded territory. Now, as we begin this journey—coordinating various businesses, languages, trade shows, compliance requirements, logistics, and so much more—we are committed to making Neutrik Americas easy to conduct business with. We have hired champion-league employees who speak the languages of this entire region, and have every intention of providing world-class service and support for everything Neutrik encompasses.”
Hall Technologies to Move to Dallas Hall Technologies is moving its headquarters to Dallas as of Dec. 1. The move follows efforts over the last year to reimagine the company. “Hall set an aggressive plan to rebrand and evolve the company,” said Jason Schwartz, CEO. “One of the main reasons we selected Texas is because it’s a distribution hub. For our U.S. customers, this means expedited shipping, and that our products will now be in our customers’ hands within two days. That helps our clients keep projects on track, on budget, and on time.” “We’ve been setting the building blocks for this over the past year, with numerous key players being added to the team, the rebranding, and new technology being launched,” added Hal Truax, vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ve built a rock-solid foundation for tremendous growth and opportunity. I’m excited to see our trajectory.”
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
New Custom Solution Delivers In-Store Marketing Platform
joint effort of four companies—Broadsign,
Broadsign OOH marketing platform, SageNet
attractive to brands looking to extend omnichannel
developer of an out-of-home marketing
SageVIEW digital signage ecosystem, Seneca displays
messaging to the point of purchase,” said Karim Kanji,
platform; Gable, a visual solutions company;
and media players, and design, fabrication, and
sales director, Broadsign, who is leading the initiative.
SageNet, solutions provider for managed network ser-
project management from Gable. The combination
“We’ve teamed with Gable, SageNet, and Seneca to
vices, cybersecurity, and digital signage solutions; and
provides a comprehensive offering to help retailers
deliver an in-store marketing platform that’s easy to
Seneca (an Arrow Electronics company), a digital sig-
improve the shopper experience and unlock new
deploy and manage. Retailers can use it to drive more
nage hardware developer—will provide an end-to-end
revenue from omnichannel advertisers eager to
innovative shopping experiences and new revenue,
digital marketing platform for multibrand retailers.
extend audience messaging to the point of purchase.
while brands can take advantage of in-store display
Integrated programmatic advertising technology
inventory to reach their core audiences.”
Retailers can harness the solution’s robust toolset to automate the delivery of tailored messaging across
opens up new monetization opportunities by making
“Retail brands today are constantly looking for
in-store displays, extend omnichannel messages into
in-store display inventory easily accessible to brands
ways to create a seamless integration of digital during
the store, and use customer loyalty and other data to
and CPG companies via a broad range of supported
the purchase process in the aisle. Together, Broad-
inform contextual storytelling that influences con-
global demand-side platforms.
sign, Seneca, and Gable create a sustainable and
sumer purchases. Localized content and stock-level
“Retailers often have untapped in-store space
maintainable solution while allowing retailers and
triggering are supported, as well as personalization on a
that’s prime for digital displays and access to cus-
brands to focus on the outcome, not on the individual
per-screen basis to serve ads at the point of sale.
tomer data that can be used to make the shopping
pieces or how to support the technology,” added IV
experience more dynamic. At the same time, in-store
Dickson, vice president of digital experience,
marketing networks have become increasingly
Tailored to each retailer’s specific needs, the custom solution, at its core, features the complete
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
JAM Industries Rebrands as Exertis|JAM
ollowing the recent launch of Exertis North
partners,” said Frenkel. “Our name is changing to
America, JAM Industries has rebranded
align globally with our sister Exertis companies, but
as Exertis|JAM under the leadership of
our core culture remains the same one that has
Stuart Frenkel, who moves up from executive vice
While sales now exceed $450 million annually,
JAM president and CEO Martin Szpiro has assumed
Exertis|JAM remains an employee- and customer-
a new role as president and CEO of Exertis North
centric company comprising 18 divisions. In the
United States, Exertis|JAM businesses include
“Over the course of an amazing 50-year journey,
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
American Audio & Video, American Music & Sound,
we have grown to become North America’s leading
Ashly Audio, Davitt & Hanser, U.S. Music Corp., The
distributor of pro audio/lighting, consumer
Music People, and KMC Music. In 2018, the company
electronics, and musical instruments because of the
was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Compa-
relationships we have created, nurtured, and
nies by Deloitte.
expanded with our manufacturer and reseller
made us the leader we are today.”
president and CFO to president and CEO. Longtime
relative to most of the index’s
Pro AV Sales Miss Expectations
AV payrolls continued to grow steadily, as the AV
history. For example, in 2019,
employment index (AVI-E) measured 60.8 in
only two months saw faster
September, right in line with the August mark of 61.3.
growth rates. Going forward,
Employment growth has not hit the same highs as
AVIXA analysts are confident that
sales growth yet; while the June-August period
the index will show accelerating
marked the fastest growth in AVI-S history, the AVI-E
sales growth, with a higher AVI-S likely in October. Supply chain challenges have not eased, as issues
remains in more normal territory. AVIXA analysts see this as a predictable result based on their major
such as a weeklong Malaysian chip factory closure due
annual employment research project. In that study,
to a COVID-19 outbreak continue to disrupt global
workers revealed that they were less busy than in
supply lines. It is as important as ever to monitor your
prior years, indicating that our industry had extra
supply lines, including tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers if
capacity already on payroll. Record high growth rates
possible. COVID-19 continues to pose closure risks to
remain a real possibility but are unlikely this year.
factories and ports around the world, most especially
The Pro AV Business Index report is derived from a
n AVIXA’s latest Pro AV Business Index, pro AV sales
in Southeast Asia. If your monitoring can help you
monthly survey of the AVIXA Insights Community, a
growth underperformed expectations. The AV
identify a problem before your competitors, your
research community of industry members that tracks
sales index (AVI-S) came in at 62.6 for September,
company will have the easiest time adjusting.
business trends in commercial AV. The report
a drop from 68.2 in August. The survey respon-
“Now more than ever, businesses should be
comprises two diffusion indexes: the AV Sales Index
dents highlighted a number of challenges, with the
seeking to quantify the reliability of their supply
(AVI-S) and the AV Employment Index (AVI-E). In
pandemic and supply chain issues among the most
chains,” said Peter Hansen, economic analyst, AVIXA.
each case, an index above 50 indicates an increase in
frequent, along with many forms of uncertainty.
“How are you measuring the biggest associated risks?
sales or employment activity.
How are you measuring its resiliency? How is that
Visit www.avixa.org/AVindex to access the free
ents observed positive trends in return to live events,
resiliency changing over time? Supply chain issues
monthly Pro AV Business Index reports and learn more
preparation of offices, and other sources of AV
are going to get better over time, but not overnight.
about the methodology. For more information about
spending. And while the results mark a slowdown
Careful and accurate monitoring will remain vital for
joining the AVIXA Insights Community, visit www.
from August, the September 62.6 AVI-S is still high
months to come.”
The story was not all negative, though. Respond-
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10/19/21 PM PM 10/4/202112:57 5:58:20
AVIXA Names Recipient of the Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement Award
he late Fred Bargetzi, former chief technology officer of Crestron, is this year’s recipient of AVIXA’s Mackey Barron Distinguished
Achievement Award. The Mackey Barron Distinguished Achievement
via ethernet (e-Control). “I only experienced Fred from afar. But even in
Young AV Professional, Event Design of the Year, and
scape of our industry,” said AVIXA CEO David
Harald Thiel Volunteer of the Year awards.
Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD. “It was easy to see his intellect and innovative contributions to the industry
member by AVIXA. The award’s namesake Mackey
over the course of 30 years. But if you looked deeper,
Barron, founder of HB Communications, spent more
you found the impact of his passion and contributions
than six decades as a pioneer and leader in the pro AV
across an entire generation of thousands of engi-
neers, inventors, and creators. For his contributions in the past—and perhaps more importantly the
Crestron veteran, was instrumental in guiding the
impact that he will have for generations ahead—it is a
evolution of the pro AV industry into the world of
true honor to present the Mackey Barron Distin-
digital transformation and IoT through his leadership
guished Achievement Award. I only wish we’d had
and technology invention. When he started his career
more time to hear his laughter, experience his energy,
at Crestron in 1990, the company produced hard-
and reap the rewards of his generosity.”
button panels and monochromatic touchpanels.
Fred Bargetzi’s Mackey Barron Distinguished
Under Bargetzi’s leadership, the control industry
Achievement Award will be celebrated at InfoComm
blossomed to its current state of control via many
2021 in Orlando, FL, on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. on
devices, including personal ones. Bargetzi’s name is
the Technology Innovation Stage.
on 22 patents that have defined the pro AV industry’s transformation from analog to digital, such as control
of the Year, Educator of the Year, Women in AV,
that, his brightness shown clearly across the land-
Award is the highest honor bestowed on an industry
The 2021 recipient Fred Bargetzi, a 30-year
include the Adele De Berri Pioneers of AV, CTS Holder
During the ceremony, all the winners of AVIXA’s 2021 AV Professional Awards will be revealed. They
AVIXA Shares Details About InfoComm 2021 Virtual Experience
n addition to the in-person InfoComm 2021
AVIXA’s market intelligence team, and product
Event, a select number of InfoComm 2021 conferenc-
show on Oct. 27–29 in Orlando, FL, show
announcements and demonstrations. The AVIXA
ing and collaboration sessions and all of the D=SIGN
producer AVIXA will also host
Women’s Council Keynote
sessions will be available to view on demand. These
a virtual experience that will
presentation by Sara Potecha,
sessions explore topics like designing flexible
include livestreamed content from
author of West Point Woman: How
collaboration spaces, interactivity and touchscreens
Character Is Created and Leadership Is
in a post-pandemic world, security and privacy for
Learned, will also be broadcast live.
digital signage networks, and much more.
“We’re very excited to bring elements of InfoComm 2021
Each day will wrap up with a
beyond the walls of the conven-
highlight reel of the show’s events.
tion center,” said Rochelle Richardson, CEM, AVIXA’s senior vice president of expositions and
This year’s digital experience
Premium and Elite Members and $89 for all others.
will include an InfoComm Virtual
The pass provides access to the InfoComm 2021
Post-Show Event Nov. 9–10,
livestreamed content, the Virtual Post-Show Event,
events. “The virtual experience will allow people
featuring interactive sessions and one-on-one
from around the world to join us online to catch
appointment scheduling with InfoComm exhibitors.
highlights of the products and solutions being
For those who cannot attend the show in person, a virtual-only pass to InfoComm 2021 is $59 for AVIXA
As part of the InfoComm Virtual Post-Show
and on-demand content until Nov. 30. To register for the virtual-only InfoComm package, visit www. infocommshow.org/virtual.
showcased at InfoComm 2021.” The InfoComm virtual experience on Oct. 27–29 will feature a livestreamed InfoComm Morning Show each day that includes interviews with key speakers
Health and Safety at InfoComm 2021
and industry experts. There will also be a livestream
AVIXA is committed to the health and safety of exhibitors, attendees, partners, and staff amid the COVID-
of the Technology Innovation Stage, where 25
19 pandemic. For the most up-to-date information on InfoComm 2021’s health and safety guidelines, visit
sessions will be presented covering pro AV solutions
trends, a state of the industry presentation from
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
PEOPLE EXECUTIVE Q&A
AJA President Sees Momentum in Pro AV Market Nick Rashby Also Sees Bright Future for Virtual Production
Nick Rashby Position: President Company: AJA Video Systems
: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer? NR: Live streaming and production have quickly become standard in pro AV workflows, and just as in broadcast, equipment must be reliable and
By Katie Makal
furiously behind the scenes to develop and ship
dependable so your live feed doesn’t buffer or go dark
products that our customers need and want.
midstream. For systems integrators, selecting gear that you can trust is paramount, and that’s where AJA
: What is your position, and what are your
: Where do you see the pro AV industry heading?
equipment can position you for success. All AJA
NR: In the next few years, I expect to see momentum
technology comes standard with stellar customer
Nick Rashby: As president of AJA, my job includes a
for AV over IP continue to build, especially as
support and industry-leading warranties that will
wide range of responsibilities, from marketing to IT,
emerging technologies make it simpler to deploy. I
ensure you never have an awkward moment with your
human resources, technical support, and customer
also anticipate the demand for streaming across AV
client when it comes to your workflow.
service. I also work closely with our CEO, Dave
environments to continue growing steadily, alongside
Sampson, on strategic decisions.
stream quality improvements. Although more
that supports your needs now and into the future, so
common in the media and entertainment industry at
even if you’re not thinking about 4K/Ultra HD or HDR
this point, virtual production is starting to take hold
now, our solutions give you the tools you need to work in
NR: I’ve been working at AJA for 18 years and have
in the AV industry, so that will be an exciting
HD now and offer the support you might need to keep
served as president since 2007.
development to watch unfold.
pace as the industry evolves over the next few years.
: How long have you been in this position?
The team at AJA works hard to develop technology
Furthermore, AJA has devoted a lot of resources in : How has your background prepared you for
: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see
the last year toward building out our solutions that
from AJA Video Systems?
support remote workflows, which seems to be a trend
NR: Before I started at AJA, I was the kind of
NR: AJA is gearing up to make some exciting
with staying power. For more details about our remote
professional who would have used AJA gear. I worked
announcements before the end of the year that I can’t
tools, I encourage you to check out our remote
in production, mostly on feature films and TV series
talk about just yet, so stay tuned and be sure to
workflow solutions page, accessible here: www.aja.
in Los Angeles as an assistant cameraman. Then I
regularly check our website and social channels.
moved to the Bay Area, where I started selling video equipment and side-hustled in video production and post, largely for corporate video projects. In 2003, I landed in Grass Valley, OR, in a sales role at AJA, and in 2007, I was appointed president. Throughout my time here, my background in production and post has come in handy more than a few times. It’s easier for me to relate to our customers and the challenges they face because I’ve experienced them firsthand. I understand the demands in production and post environments, and use that knowledge daily to identify the best ways we can help our customers. : What are your short and long-term goals? NR: At this moment, my focus is on helping the company navigate these uncertain times, and at the same time, continuing to create products that answer our customers’ ever-evolving needs. Long term, I’m keeping my eyes open for opportunities that can help AJA continue to develop and grow our product portfolio and industry presence across verticals. : What is the greatest challenge you face? NR: Keeping our staff healthy and safe during a global pandemic is our top priority, but we’re also working
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
On Oct. 12, AJA announced it had taken an equity stake in data analytics software developer Diskover Data and simultaneously launched AJA Diskover Media Edition Software, (pictured), a data search and analysis toolset that allows media and entertainment professionals to search, find, and analyze media files originating from on-premises, remote, and cloud storage.
TECH TALES PEOPLE
TesiraFORTÉ X 800 is a meeting room DSP from Biamp featuring multiple network and analog audio connection points, with eight channels of Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) assignable across any digital or analog input.
Improving Networked Audio for Schools By John Urban
high audio fidelity within these environments so students stay engaged and understand the content.
installation time. From the network aspect, port count on network
Additionally, schools are doing their utmost to
switches and cost per port is a significant way to look
istance learning has been around a long
keep students and staff healthy and safe. For in-room
at project costs; the more ports that you’re using, the
time, but recent events have made it
systems, there is increased demand for sharing
higher the system costs. Some of Biamp’s products,
mandatory for schools at every level to
information wirelessly to minimize physical contact
like the new TesiraFORTÉ X line or TesiraCONNECT,
be able to conduct all manner of school business
with potentially contaminated shared devices like
can power all the devices in a learning space so only a
remotely when needed. Distance learning is fast
keyboards and mice.
single port is required on the infrastructure switch for
becoming a permanent option at many schools—at
control and monitoring of the entire room.
for institutions to improve their networked audio
Keeping the Focus on Education, Not on Technology
When working with schools, the vendor’s mission
Biamp’s Crowd Mics—an audience engagement tool
should always be for the technology to blend seam-
that allows students to use their smartphones as a
state-of-the-art AV systems in place, many did not.
lessly into the background—allowing educators to
microphone that connects with the room’s loud-
When the pandemic hit, the priority was installing
stay focused on teaching instead of on their AV
speakers—creates a consistent audio experience in
any system that worked. Now, 18 months later,
which students can be heard clearly from anywhere in
least as a hybrid option—so it has become important
While some colleges and universities already had
schools—both higher ed and K-12—are looking to
Classrooms increasingly require flexible, high-
We’ve seen some universities expanding their audio capabilities even further. Using a product like
the room. Remote participants can also use their
install technology that can improve audio intelligibil-
performance microphones and loudspeakers. The
smartphones similarly to speak to the rest of the class
ity and meet all their needs in a more permanent
latest ceiling microphones provide voice tracking
or text questions to the instructor.
(Beamtracking, a Biamp trademark) technology that
Know What Schools Are Looking For
maintains a consistent audio quality for remote
An Eye Toward the Future
participants regardless of where the person speaking
The past year and a half clearly demonstrated that the
The best way to service schools is to understand
is situated. For example, if a teacher is facing
future of education requires greater emphasis on AV
their needs. Sound quality is first and foremost,
away from the microphone, perhaps
solutions, whether students are in the classroom or
but easy installation, ease-of-use, and
writing at the whiteboard or moving
joining remotely. New modes of learning require a
contactless functionality are all important.
around the room, remote attendees still
much more robust AV system design than in the past,
Schools’ IT departments are taking on more
experience consistently clear audio. An
and these AV investments will provide a seamless
responsibility, and they might not be
added benefit of Beamtracking
classroom experience no matter where students are
familiar with the newest AV technology. A
microphones is that they don’t require
good partner must help them understand
lobe aiming, saving significantly on
John Urban is product marketing manager at Biamp.
the competitive offerings. Academic institutions have a huge need to
As distance learning becomes a permanent part of the school experience at all levels, improving audio intelligibility is critical.
build out their classrooms with remote learning capabilities, from advanced UC systems with integrated lecture capture to an instructor in the room teaching the entire class remotely. There’s an increased need for high speech intelligibility and John Urban
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
WSDG Begins Next-Gen Leadership Transition By Mark J. Pescatore
: What is your
Molho: Our next-gen
partners, recent grad
Molho: Having begun my
interns, and youthful
alters-Storyk Design Group, an award-
career as a musician,
new hires all bring a
winning architectural acoustic design
producer, and sound
fresh perspective to their
and integration firm, is in the process
engineer, I am grounded
work. Their enthusiasm,
of a leadership transition. While founding partner
on a wide range of
energy, and imaginations
John Storyk remains very much involved in the firm,
disciplines. I understand
are reflected by their
Sergio Molho, director of business development, is
creative design work and
in charge of day-to-day operations. Molho joined
extensively, speak five
WSDG in 1994 and has been a partner since 1998.
languages, and as a
SCN spoke with Storyk and Molho about the next
generation of WSDG leadership.
person,” I take a genuine
John Storyk, WSDG founding partner
Sergio Molho, WSDG partner and director of business development
interest in the lives of my : Tell us a little bit about your role at the
solving ability. The level of established expertise and the learning potential of every
business associates and my clients. Sharing my
employee, coupled with their skills at collaborating
enthusiasm for new projects with our staff is one of
with clients to devise solutions, help to make WSDG
Storyk: My role at WSDG is mentor/educator/coach/
my favorite occupations. Back in the day, WSDG
an invaluable partner/service company for even the
architect/acoustician/sounding board—and occasional
worked hard to avoid being branded as strictly a
most demanding clients.
“decider.” I’ve been fortunate to be able to share the
recording studio design firm. That effort has led us to
knowledge I’ve acquired over 50 years of hands-on
develop a widely diverse clientele. We all thrive on the
experience, and it’s gratifying to remain useful to our
opportunity to begin a project at the design stage and
conflict in the office?
global team. We’re a multifaceted company of more
see it through to the final item on the punch list.
Storyk: One reason I’ve been committed to teaching
than 65 acousticians, engineers, interior designers, systems designers, and integrators. Our clients are
: Have you experienced any generational
is I’ve found it a fertile ground for intern candidates. : Forty percent of your next-gen partners
Many of our original interns have found full-time
global and they come in all sizes. My role at WSDG
are under 40. From your perspective, why is that
employment with WSDG and matured into full-blown
remains as multifaceted as our project list.
important to the company?
partners. Others have grown into highly skilled employees, and we’ve rewarded a number of them with 1 percent co-ownerships of the company. Generational conflict—what’s that? : As part of the next generation of WSDG leadership, what have you learned from working with the company’s older leaders? Molho: When a new project comes in, even if it appears cutting-edge, chances are someone in our organization has done something like it before. From there, we can quickly sort through potential pitfalls or learning curve moments and take advantage of that shared database of knowledge. : What does the future of WSDG look like to you? Molho: Diverse! We have participated in incredibly varied projects. WSDG’s future will continue to reflect advances in technology and changes in needs and styles. Storyk: I don’t know what WSDG will be doing 10 or 20 years from now, but I do know it will be demanding,
Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, the 430,000-square-foot National Museum of Qatar consists of a series of interlocking discs that resemble a desert rose. In order to best present its collection of immersive multimedia exhibits within the museum’s unique shape, audio design firm Idee und Klang contracted WSDG to create a 3D acoustic model of the space and make recommendations regarding appropriate speaker usage and placement to maximize the effectiveness of the audio and minimize audio spill.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
creative, and innovative. We may be building studios on Mars or designing acoustically perfect rooms under the Pacific Ocean. Whatever the client wants, WSDG will be up for the challenge.
ATLONA has promoted longtime northeast regional sales manager ADAM GRIFFIN to director of sales and business development following Jamey Swigert’s promotion to execuAdam Griffin
tive director. Griffin will report
to Swigert and lead all North American inside and
ATLONA has appointed NAVATECH MARKETING to its network of residential AV manufacturer’s representatives, with an
exclusive focus on the Rocky Mountains region Denis Dumouchel
(CO, NM, WY, UT, MT, southeast ID, and El Paso, TX).
channel sales activities for Atlona’s commercial and
In addition to the U.S. restructuring, SOLOTECH also
residential AV markets. One key objective is
announced a new leadership structure in Canada,
Recently launched UK manufacturer OPTIMAL
bringing the Atlona and Panduit teams closer
naming DENIS DUMOUCHEL president of Solotech’s
AUDIO has appointed ATENDI as its exclusive
together for sales and business development
Canadian sales and systems integration division,
distributor in Norway.
initiatives, which Griffin says will help all customers
ALEXANDRE PECQUEUX as vice president, innova-
more effectively bridge AV systems with IT
tion and operational excellence, and CAROLINE
MARTEL as vice president, service, operations and KEVIN HOLLINGSWORTH has
transformation. SOLOTECH recently announced
joined ANALOG WAY in the new
a new leadership structure in the
USAV, a division of systems
position of national sales
United States to help drive
integrator consortium PSA, hired
manager – government. Most
growth and expansion. To
CHERYL WALTON, CTS, as
recently, he spent five years as
capitalize on the recent acquisi-
director of business develop-
tions of Pro Sound & Video, SEAL,
ment. Walton, who has 16 years
Miami StageCraft, and PSSL, the
of experience in the AV industry
director of business development Kevin Hollingsworth
Cyviz, Hollingsworth served as
company appointed DAVID
and most recently served as a
director of business development for Level 3 Audio
SHOEMAKER president of
regional account manager at Herman Pro AV, will
Visual and sales engineer at DataView Systems and
Solotech’s U.S. sales and
focus on expanding communication and support
CineMassive Displays, all in Atlanta.
systems integration division. In
provided to USAV integrators and driving member-
addition to his primary respon-
ship growth. Walton also spent 10 years at Kramer
SHARP NEC DISPLAY SOLU-
sibility for profitability and
Electronics US, where she held various sales manage-
TIONS has welcomed ROSS
growth, Shoemaker is responsi-
ment positions and worked with the industry’s top
BURLING as business develop-
ble for defining Solotech’s
ment manager for the UK and
business strategy in concert with
at Cyviz, Atlanta. Before joining
Ireland. He will work closely with
KELLY PRINCE, who has been
MIKE WATJEN has rejoined
appointed chief technology
WORLDSTAGE as director of
officer. Prince is responsible for
LED, heading the department
NEC’s dvLED business. Ross brings 22 years of
the overall technical expertise
where he previously served as
experience working in the LED business, most
and the development of solu-
senior LED engineer. Watjen has
recently with Concept Sign and Display, a leading UK
extensive experience in both
LED systems integrator.
tions that suit the needs of Solotech’s clients.
channel and end user sales teams to support the growth of Sharp/
Additionally, ROD SINTOW has been appointed
strategic advisor, leading the ideation, planning, and
most recently served as a field application engineer in
INFILED has hired LARRY LIPSIE
positioning of new strategic business initiatives in
NanoLumens’ LED visualization solutions division.
as senior regional sales manager.
collaboration with Philip Giffard, global president,
WorldStage has long supported and pioneered LED
He will cover the Central and
sales and systems integration.
display technology as it transformed from an
Western United States for both
emerging technology to enter mainstream production
fixed installation and rental and
sales and technical support. He
and become an essential component of AR and xR
staging markets. Before starting Larry Lipsie
at INFiLED, Lipsie held senior
sales positions at LG and Absen.
TIM ROOT has joined NUREVA
in the newly created role of vice
president, strategy, where he
turer BRIGHTLINE welcomed
will focus on leveraging Nure-
DENNIS DILLINGER back to the
company as global product
technologies to implement the
manager for desktop lighting
LED displays, DAKTRONICS has moved JAMES ROEHRL into a new AV sales role covering the North
Video lighting systems manufac-
Central and Great Lakes regions. Roehrl has
extensive product experience, having held various
its platform and products. Root’s understanding of
display product sales roles at Daktronics for 18
the collaboration market and his network of
western regional sales manager. Most recently, he
years. In related news, KEVIN SZAMLEWSKI has
relationships in the industry will support his role in
spent more than four years as the district manager for
joined Daktronics as a sales representative, serving
advancing Nureva’s product and go-to-market
western states for Yamaha Commercial Audio. He has
sign companies, businesses, and high schools in
strategies. Root has held similar leadership posi-
also held sales management roles with RGB Spectrum
parts of Illinois and Wisconsin.
tions at Poly and Revolabs (acquired by Yamaha).
and Premier Mounts, among others.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
company’s long-term vision for
solutions. Dillinger previously worked with Brightline as
BUSINESS PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR
2021 SCN Products of the Year Innovations Offer Better Solutions for Integrators Most Innovative Audio Hardware ClearOne BMA 360 Camera Tracking technology is an
Most Innovative AV Installation Accessory C2G Retractable Universal Mount 4K HDMI Dongle Adapter Ring with Color Coded Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, and USB-C/C2G30029
advanced beamforming microphone
C2G’s Retractable Universal 4K
array ceiling tile that delivers superior
HDMI Dongle Adapter Ring is
audio performance and deployment
the perfect addition to any
ease. It’s an ultra wideband,
meeting space or wherever you
frequency-invariant beamforming mic
need to be connected. The
array with uniform gain response
across all frequency bands. With 6G
includes the adapters to
Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) and
connect nearly any device to an
FiBeam technology, conference
in-room display while sup-
participants experience natural and
porting up to a 4K video
full-fidelity audio across all beams and
resolution. This adapter ring has color-coded HDMI to DisplayPort, Mini
within a single beam.
DisplayPort, and USB-C dongle adapters, as well as a customizable integrated
The BMA 360 with Voice Lift and
Shure Microflex Advance MXA710 Linear Array Microphone
pull tab. Backed by a lifetime warranty.
Microphone is designed for
Tripp Lite DisplayPort to HDMI over Cat 6 Extender Kit, KVM Support, 4K 60 Hz, 4:4:4, PoC, HDCP 2.2, 230 feet (B127A-1A1BDBH)
high-quality audio capture
Transmitter/receiver kit extends a 4K
in premium AV conferenc-
signal via Cat 6 cable from a DisplayPort
ing environments. The
source to an HDMI display up to 230 feet
sleek linear form factor
away. Supports UHD resolutions up to
allows for placement
4K @ 60 Hz (4:4:4) for crystal-clear
virtually anywhere in a
video. Power over Cable (PoC) technol-
meeting space including on
ogy provides power to either end via Cat
a wall, around a display, on
6 cable. DIP switch selection allows
the ceiling, or in a confer-
bi-directional IR or USB function for
ence room table. Available in two lengths and three colors, the MXA710 includes
controlling the source. Compliant with
proprietary Shure IntelliMix DSP and Autofocus technology that provides all the
the Federal Trade Agreements Act (TAA)
processing needed for echo-free and noise-free conference audio.
for GSA Schedule purchases.
Most Innovative Collaboration Product Middle Atlantic Products FlexView Conferencing Cart with HuddleSHOT FC
Shure Stem Ecosystem
Another exciting product collabora-
AV/IT users with the freedom
tion from Legrand AV! This solution
to mix-and-match devices to
from Middle Atlantic and Vaddio was
create the perfect setup in any
meticulously designed to include all
meeting, allowing anyone to
the necessary components for a
easily design, install, and
videoconferencing system in small to
manage collaboration spaces.
mid-sized collaboration spaces. The
Stem Ecosystem solutions are
FlexView Conferencing Cart with
backed by a robust platform of
HuddleSHOT FC makes installation
tools designed to make the
and usability a breeze for installers
process of adopting new technology, or leveraging existing technology, effort-
and end users alike, not to mention specification with one part number. Did we
less. Stem Ecosystem solutions include wall and table speakerphones, a ceiling
mention it’s only one part number?
microphone, a dedicated control device, and a central hub.
The Microflex Advance MXA710 Linear Array
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
The Stem Ecosystem provides
PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR BUSINESS
Most Innovative Digital Signage Product Epson America PowerLite 805F Full HD 1080p Ultra ShortThrow Laser Projector
Most Innovative IoT Product Crestron Electronics Crestron XiO Cloud
Delivering exceptional illumination, Epson’s
PowerLite 805F ultra-short throw
platform for remotely
laser projector offers low
and managing devices across
software, and powerful projec-
an enterprise or an entire client base. This revolutionary platform enables
tion to unleash impactful
organizations to simultaneously configure and deploy an unlimited number of
experiences practically anywhere. Leveraging
Crestron products, thereby reducing installation time by up to 90 percent.
Epson’s 3LCD laser technology, Full HD resolution and up to 5,000
Crestron XiO Cloud is a
lumens of brightness, it delivers up to 130 inches of true-to-life images with 360°
Liberty AV Solutions Arranger
placement to transform a variety of spaces. Built-in content management
software and a compatible creative content projection app allows users to easily
an AV software server
create custom content and amazing effects.
application designed to
Sharp NEC Display Solutions ActiveScene
configure and manage AVoIP endpoints and
A game-changing solution that
AV systems with
transforms glass into dynamic
displays, ActiveScene makes use
interfaces with no
of previously underutilized space.
With Avery Dennison’s Vela
required. Just as
smart window film, ActiveScene
important as the software is the powerful and reliable hardware host—Arranger
can be retrofitted to any glass
is designed to fully leverage the powerful capabilities of all Digi IP hardware. One
surface. Controlled electronically,
software platform to build, manage, and control all Digi IP and AV devices on a
the film becomes opaque on
network for many vertical applications.
command, creating a canvas for a unique AV projection. ActiveScene can turn glass storefronts into advertising displays, conference room walls into privacy screens or video canvases, glassfronted museum vignettes into engaging history lessons, and more.
Most Innovative Emerging Technology AtlasIED Atmosphere Ambient Noise Compensation and X-ANS Sensor
Most Innovative Mounting Solution Chief Tempo Flat Panel Floor Support System (AVSFSS) When installing AV into corporate environments today, installers are limited in the number of site visits and
The Atmosphere X-ANS ambient noise
the amount of personal contact they
sensor from AtlasIED uses patented
can have, making inspections and
adaptive filtering technology rather than
remediation difficult. Additionally,
a microphone to accurately measure the
requests to increase collaboration with
noise level of a commercial environment
dual-display videoconferencing are on
and adjust automatically without picking
the rise. The low-profile Tempo Flat
up voice. The information is transmitted
Panel Floor Support System uses the
to the audio processor as data—not as
floor instead of the wall to support
voice programming—lending more enhanced security and volume adjustment
displays, eliminating the need for wall
accuracy than conventional ambient noise sensors that simply send audio to the
inspection and remediation for time
processor for analysis and compensation.
and cost savings across large rollouts.
Crestron Electronics Crestron and Microsoft Teams Panels Crestron and Microsoft Teams
RP Visual Solutions Wallmate T-UP
Panels allow workers to easily
Wallmate T-UP is a single-panel
navigate their day with a superior
on-wall mount that can be mounted
level of options, performance,
on top of drywall, concrete, or block
and responsiveness. The ability
walls. It features an up-down swing
to gather, share, and act on room
with lift assist to access removable
scheduling data in real time helps
peripheral plates for easy equip-
keep employees and manage-
ment assembly and service.
ment efficient and compliant
Wallmate T-UP supports displays of
with reconfigured safety
75 to 100 inches and up to 250
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
BUSINESS PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR
Most Innovative Signal Management Product Vanco EVMX88PRO The Vanco Evolution 4K 8x8 HDBaseT Audio and Video Matrix sends up to 8 HDMI signals to up to 8 HDBaseT outputs, with mirrored HDMI outputs for up to 16 total outputs. It transmits 4K @ 60Hz, 4:4:4, and HDR up to 131 feet/40 meters over Cat 6. It can also send audio or ARC to up to eight zones via digital optical outputs.
VuWall TRx 3.1 Centralized Management Platform TRx 3.1, VuWall’s next-gen platform, is unique in combining AV-over-IP distribution and advanced multi-video wall and KVM management. TRx is a unified centralized platform used to configure, manage, and distribute virtually any source type to any display with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface. TRx ensures interoperability in a multi-brand AV-over-IP infrastructure. TRx even allows users to easily create customized control panels to run on any mobile device, without any programming.
Most Innovative Streaming Product PTZOptics PT-Superjoy-G1
Most Innovative Videoconferencing Product
The Superjoy camera control joystick offers serial and networkbased control of PTZ cameras, allowing users to adjust pan, tilt, and zoom, and fine-tune settings including focus, iris/ shutter, and red and blue gain. The Superjoy is configurable with up to 255 camera presets, including nine push-button “quick presets.” It also features four customizable buttons that can be programmed to trigger “super presets,” sending commands via HTTP, UART, TCP, or UDP to practically any network-based device.
Visionary Solutions PacketAV Duet Wallplate Encoder
Mersive Solstice Conference Solstice Conference is a new class of Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) room solutions
The new PacketAV Duet Wallplate Encoder is an HDMI over IP wall plate
that delivers agnostic room conferencing and enhances collaboration between
with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. The PacketAV Duet Wallplate
on-site and remote participants with Solstice’s rich, multi-participant content
Encoders provide powerful 4K UHD video and Dante/AES67 audio embed-
sharing. By leveraging the conferencing applications running on users’ laptops—
ding/de-embedding, with internal VLAN tagging capability to separate
including Zoom, Teams, and Webex—and providing wireless connectivity to the
audio and video network traffic as needed over a single gigabit Ethernet
room display and audio-video peripherals, Solstice delivers a touchless, easy-to-use
(PoE) port, now with built-in, bi-directional Bluetooth wireless audio
room system that is completely driven by users’ own devices.
Vaddio IntelliSHOT ePTZ USB Camera Vaddio’s IntelliSHOT professional USB camera makes video collaboration and streaming classes easy and effortless. Whether auto-framing people around a conference table or tracking the classroom instructor, the IntelliSHOT ePTZ camera delivers stunning, foolproof performance. Free remote management and advanced auto-framing configuration allow integration partners to remotely fine-tune system performance for every environment. Its 30x zoom supports use in larger spaces. Room audio may be connected with the built-in audio mixer for an all-in-one videoconferencing system.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR BUSINESS
Most Innovative Video Display LG Business Solutions USA LG Direct View LED Ultimate Business Display
Most Innovative Video Processing Datapath Aetria
Available for both
indoor and outdoor
and end users to
design and configure
Business Displays are
designed to simplify the
entire process of
video walls. Aetria’s
installing, and calibrat-
content sharing easy
ing displays for a wide
to control. This is an
range of commercial
applications. The new
that integrates both
models come in 25 size
the delivery process
configurations, from 81
and the manage-
inches to as large as 589 inches (49 feet), as well as aspect ratios in both 16:9 and
ment of complex AV environments, making it suitable for small to very large
32:9 ultra stretch formats.
installations. With built-in diagnostics and security, Aetria monitors all
Samsung Electronics America The Wall, Model IWA
Aetria from Datapath
connected components to ensure smooth and secure operation.
Engineered for longevity
and configured for
This video wall driver presents a scalable and secure solution without the
flexibility, The Wall
excessive cost. Designed for configurations from 2x2 to 8x8, one video input and
(IWA Series) makes a
four HDMI outputs deliver an easy-to-configure, scalable solution, negating the
lasting impression in
need for a 4x4 driver to create a 4x2 wall, which can deliver cost savings of up to
80 percent. The hardware-based solution and closed system increases reliability
and security, with plug-and-play wired connectivity that requires no adjust-
colossal screen meas-
ments once in place.
ures in at over 1,000 inches, while remaining completely customizable in a variety of positions and easier than ever to install thanks to new wireless docking connections. Unmatched in brightness control, contrast, and color precision, The Wall is a one-of-a-kind microLED display that delivers top performance for a limitless entertainment experience.
Most Innovative Video Projection Solution Da-Lite, a Brand of Legrand AV, Tensioned Designer Contour with Agility Battery Motor Option
Sony Electronics VPL-GTZ380
Want the benefits of an electric
flagship projection system
screen and the flexibility of
wire-free installation? The
Agility battery motor option
with the Tensioned Designer
Contour or Designer Contour is
ideal for no-fuss installations
or retrofitting historic build-
ings. This lithium-ion battery
motor option lasts over 200
cycles on a single charge via
micro USB port, with wireless
and benefits. It delivers stunning
handheld remote operation and
imagery and an immersive viewing experience highlighted by 10,000
up to 16K-ready screen sur-
lumens brightness, 16,000:1 contrast, DCI-P3 wide color gamut, HDR support,
faces. Realize cost savings
quiet operation, and installation flexibility. The projector, compact for its class,
immediately as it is operational
boasts a superior visual experience at any distance and in varying lighting
out of the box.
Sony’s VPL-GTZ380 4K SXRD
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
BUSINESS INSTALLATIONS OF THE YEAR
2021 SCN Installs of the Year Integrators Create Personalized User Experiences
021 has been a tough year for pro AV installations, with integrators forced to work around COVID-19 restrictions while crafting personalized experiences for their clients. SCN once again celebrates the firms
that went above and beyond to create ultimate user experiences. A special year requires special consideration, so this year the judges awarded 11 installations as worthy of special recognition.
SCOR Headquarters New York, NY USIS AudioVisual helped deliver a reimagined HQ designed for the hybrid workforce. As one of the first built projects to demonstrate how a postpandemic workplace can function, the design of SCOR’s NYC headquarters provides each employee a strong sense of belonging, whether they are
First United Methodist Church
working in the office or as part of the company’s agile workforce. The 75,0000-square-foot, two-floor fit-out delivered technology and spaces
aligned with the global reinsurance company’s goal of dynamic work
Pearl Technology executed an audiovisual upgrade to the video production
environments to facilitate collaboration, complete with audiovisual
studio, recording studio, podcast studio, and sanctuaries at First United
systems designed and integrated by USIS AudioVisual. The design/build
Methodist Church. Technologies involved included the installation of Allen &
project delivered AV for multiple flexible spaces, including 26 conference
Heath D-Live Mixing Consoles and monitoring, Panasonic cameras and
rooms, four multi-person phone rooms, a boardroom, CEO offices,
controllers, Blackmagic Design video switching, Shure microphones, and
marketing office, guest executive offices, a divisible room, reception area,
Luxul network switching.
and café with town hall system.
First Americans Museum of Oklahoma Oklahoma City, OK The First Americans Museum of Oklahoma takes visitors on an immersive tribal village storytelling experience with a unique suspended and curved dvLED video wall that wraps around the center of the museum. Peerless-AV designed a custom fabricated mounting system with the flexibility to accommodate the curvature of the wall, which cantilevers out 6 feet, giving the effect of floating in the air, and to support the 600-pound combined weight of the 192 Absen displays. The installation was highly challenging; one slight misstep in the curvature would throw off the entire structure. Peerless-AV’s SEAMLESS team was instrumental in calculating the radius and providing a mounting system that allowed precise fine-tune adjustment and exact placement of the dvLED panels at every single point.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
INSTALLATIONS OF THE YEAR BUSINESS
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
Harlem School of the Arts
San Diego, CA
New York, NY
Solotech rose to the challenge of designing, supplying, and installing a full
The Herb Alpert Foundation funded The Renaissance Project, an ambitious $9.5
production system for The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, home of the San Diego
million restoration designed to update the Harlem School of the Arts’ aesthetic
Symphony. The Solotech team selected an L-Acoustics audio system for its clear
and architectural footprints. The renovation of the entire 45,600-square-foot
and uniform sound, high-resolution bass frequencies, and high power output.
complex replaced the 40-year-old building’s original two-story Brutalist-style
The installed fiber optic signal distribution by Optocore sends audio to multiple
brick exterior with a double-height glass wall angled at 5° off the vertical,
DiGiCo consoles and stage racks. The video system is a mix of fixed and PTZ Sony
analogous to the Appel Room that WSDG helped create for the Jazz at Lincoln
and Panasonic cameras, routed through Blackmagic video switchers to three
Center complex. Facing Harlem’s St. Nicholas Ave., the design from WSDG
Planar 3.9mm LED screens. Solotech used a complete ETC solution with IQ
establishes a unique acoustically “tuned” environment as a vibrant multipur-
Sensor Racks, with DMX controlled Paradigm, Mosaic, and Gio consoles. The
pose performance space in the building’s original 3,500-square-foot main lobby
Rady Shell’s Meyer Constellation System, in a first-ever outdoor installation,
for Harlem School of the Arts students. The space serves as a focal point for a
provides variable electronically enhanced acoustics on stage.
multiplicity of musical, dance, and theatrical presentations.
Concepts, a luxury clothing retail store (a concept created by Amazon), has
Subaru Park is home to the Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer team. This
combined authentic skateboarding roots with the brand’s ability to convey a
state-of-the-art facility was built in 2010 on the banks of the Delaware River on
narrative and translate their identity through an immersive audiovisual retail
the outskirts of Philadelphia. As the 10th anniversary approached, the produc-
experience designed and executed by the crew at CommLink Integration.
tion team set out to update the park with the latest AV for motion graphics,
Brands and products employed to help deliver the conceptual narrative at
video, and stats. The Union team partnered with CTI from start to finish to
Concepts include Sonos, Sharp NEC displays, BrightSign, AVPro Edge video
decommission the original system and install updates throughout the stadium.
matrix, Symetrix audio DSP, UniFi network hardware, and a Latitude custom
They opted for Ross creative systems, Sony and Wave Central cameras, Netgear
switches, and Laguna branded stations. New televisions in concessions keep fans connected.
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
BUSINESS INSTALLATIONS OF THE YEAR
Dublin City Council 5555 Perimeter Drive, Dublin, OH The City of Dublin selected New Era Technology as its technology partner for the new build of the Dublin City Council. The city needed a hybrid solution to adapt to COVID-19 protocols, including an immersive streaming and conference experience for virtual and on-site attendees. After a year of planning and two months of installation, features include hybrid conferencing (Cisco Webex Pro), custom Cisco and Crestron video integration for active participants, custom video routing
Redding Electric Utility’s Emergency Operations Center
and touch-10 programming, and
Televic Conference Solutions. Four
Redding Electric Utility’s operation center doubles as the city’s EOC during
gallery monitors, one projector, two
emergency conditions or events of magnitude. Vistacom engineered this EOC to
86-inch conference room displays
receive and display real-time data from REU’s SCADA network, 360° advanced IQ
(with Cisco integration), and a 3x3
FireWatch cameras, a multi-spectral smoke sensor system, the geographic
Samsung video wall concluded the
information system (GIS) for location referencing, and unmanned aerial vehicles
project. The integration of Cisco and
(UAVs) in the field to monitor weather or large-scale events. Additionally,
Crestron is distinctive; the solutions
city-wide radio communications and calls are ingested through the intercon-
combined create a cohesive experi-
nected AV and unified conferencing system, and live information can be
ence for virtual and local attendees for
streamed to social media channels and media outlets alike, enabling critical
years to come.
access with first responders and partnering agencies. Essentially, the EOC enhances situational awareness for REU operators, with the best possible viewing experience and easy observation of multiple data streams and seamless content visualization.
Walmart ATX Studio Bentonville, AR Walmart Academy’s new collaborative and distance learning system from Diversified is designed to engage instructors and participants. Looking to deploy a modified version of a room originally designed and implemented at Harvard, Walmart wanted additional automation to maximize system efficiency and enhance ease of use. Utilizing Barco WeConnect as its connection platform, with capabilities for 72 direct remote participants and unlimited “observer” participants, sessions can be managed by as few as three people. The enhanced automation includes a camera tracking system that relies on facial recognition and microphone triggers to automate camera switching. A video wall for monitoring the system and operator monitors simplifies controlling video
Chop Shop Chicago Chicago, IL As virtual events became a necessity, so did the need to offer high-quality professional content. No longer could executives, event emcees and other presenters get away with a poorly lit basement, subpar audio, or a poorly composed camera. AV Chicago realized these needs and worked to develop a solution. In partnership with Chop Shop Chicago, the team at AV Chicago reimagined the event space at Chop Shop with a state-of-the-art, broadcastquality production studio. The space is completely tunable based on the needs of the event, whether attendees will be physically present at Chop Shop, remote, or a mix. While the Studio at Chop Shop provides a safe space for in-person attendees, it’s integrated with the virtual event platform here.live so virtual attendees can also be accommodated.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
routes and DSP functions via virtual mixers.
CONFERENCING & COLLABORATION BUSINESS
Twitch AV, Extron, and Diversified collaborated to deliver an AV environment that brings people together at Twitch HQ 2.0.
Conference rooms include an Extron OCS 100C occupancy sensor in the ceiling. It works with the control system, automating room functions such as turning on the lights and display when someone enters the room.
Extron Collaborates with Twitch to Enable Interactive Meetings at Twitch HQ 2.0
witch builds communities by providing a platform for millions of people to
fied installed Extron SW4 12G HD SDI four-input switchers and DSC 3G HD A scalers
come together live every day to chat, interact, and make their own enter-
to provide local switching and signal conversion to HDMI for input to the matrix
tainment. To help their employees brainstorm and work in fluid combina-
switcher. DSC HD 3G A units convert output signals back to SDI for devices con-
tions of teams, the meeting rooms at the new regional headquarters in New York,
nected at an SDI wallplate. A locking cabinet with rack-mounted system compo-
referred to as HQ 2.0, include high-performance AV presentation systems. Each
nents, such as the matrix switcher and the NAVigator system manager for the NAV
system also supports overflow capabilities. System control is powerful, yet intui-
Pro AVoIP devices, is at the back of the room.
tive and easy for employees to use without requiring assistance. Also, the support
The chosen DTP CrossPoint matrix switcher provides an integrated DSP audio
team can monitor and operate any system from a remote location if necessary.
processor with AEC, as well as a control processor. However, the large quantity of
Working side by side with Twitch AV Support, AV integration firm Diversified
audio sources required the use of an Extron DMP 128 C AT DSP processor. An XPA
deployed a standardized solution using products from Extron.
2001 70V audio amplifier works in concert with SF 26PT SoundField 6.5-inch
“We chose to work with Extron because they embody our mission and values
two-way pendent speakers to create a distributed audio system. The speaker’s
here at Twitch to empower communities to create together,” Kevin Little, AV
unique single-cable suspension design allowed them to be flush-mounted to the
support engineer at Twitch. “We know through collaborative efforts with them that
ceiling beams without an extraneous support system.
Extron is a community, truly working hard to create solutions that work for us.” Rooms include the company’s standardized selection of sources and displays.
A custom interface on the Extron TouchLink Pro touchpanels makes it easy for any user to start, join, and end a meeting or event. Commands range from simply
Each space provides DTP matrix switching or point-to-point presentation systems
selecting a source to activating the videoconferencing system and controlling sound
that work within Twitch’s infrastructure and organizational requirements. The size
levels. In the event space, a TLP Pro 1025M 10-inch touchpanel is wall-mounted
and use of the space determined the number of sources and displays as well as the
near the main display. To provide similar functionality in the boardroom and
type of system installed. Systems include wired and wireless connectivity, easy
conference rooms, a TLP Pro 725T 7-inch tabletop touchpanel is located at the
collaboration using an Extron HC 404 system, session recording, superb sound
reinforcement, and videoconferencing capabilities. As an example, the All-Hands event space on the 19th floor includes a 3x3 video wall at the front and a confidence monitor mounted on the front-facing side of the
From concept to commissioning and training, the HQ 2.0 project took a little over a year to complete. “Extron understood and listened to our needs and our unique situation of being
first column. An Extron DTP CrossPoint 108 4K IPCP MA 70 10x8 presentation matrix
an affiliate of Amazon. They became part of our team, helping with room system
switcher with built in 4K scaling facilitates AV signal switching and distribution. For
designs and interoperability so that the devices are understandable to Twitch AV
convenient overflow using professional AV over IP, Extron NAV E 101 encoders and
support and easy to use for our Twitch employees. Additionally, Extron partners on
NAV SD 101 decoders support the displays installed near the north and south entries
our values of Playing Co-Op, Working Backwards, and Moving Boldly by helping
over Twitch’s network.
with solution standardization at a higher level. They think outside the box, so
Portable HDMI devices can be connected to the system using any of the DTP T
solutions fit Twitch. From their local support teams on up, Extron is an invaluable
HWP 4K 331 D one-gang wallplate transmitters installed on the front and rear walls.
partner. Twitch AV can count on the Extron community to continue to support our
To support Twitch’s custom SDI I/O wallplates and integrated SDI sources, Diversi-
strategies well into the future,” added Little.
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
BUSINESS HOSPITALITY AV TRENDS
Guests at Treasure Island in Las Vegas, NV, can catch every touchdown at the Golden Circle Sportsbook, which recently doubled in size to offer room for 750 guests in a spacious 12,000 square feet. McCann Systems helped bring the space to life with industry-leading audiovisual technology, including almost 85 feet of LED ticker displays. A 380-square-foot main LED display (1.9mm pixel pitch) wraps Golden Circle like a ribbon and clocks in at over 76 feet in length. Additionally, a 22-foot continuation of the LED spans the main bar. The space has columns dotted throughout, so McCann Systems and Treasure Island strategically wrapped 65-inch displays around them so patrons won’t ever encounter a poor sightline. Almost 50 HD units can be controlled as a group or individually to provide any source of content. Finally, more than 60 betting carrels can be individually tuned to catch a race, game, or custom content.
More Like Home
A Recovering Hospitality Industry Focuses on Creating Personalized Experiences By Jim Beaugez
suggests businesses are struggling to recover despite
some reopening measures,” he said. “Existing hotels,
audio- and video-related technology. “An experiential lobby, ambient music in the
he travel and hospitality industries have suf-
which are reopening very slowly after two years of being
hallways, digital signage and wayfinding, and lounges
fered mightily through the COVID-19 pan-
dormant, are reluctant to spend money on either new
and restaurants with screens are all part of an
demic, with U.S. hotels posting their worst
systems or upgrades that may be necessary, especially
immersive AV experience,” said Matt Wilson, director
for properties with aging AV systems.”
of marketing at McCann Systems. “Making entrance-
numbers on record in 2020. The industry closed out the year with an anemic occupancy rate of 44 per-
Nationwide, hotel chains are working to recover to
ways and lobbies areas that guests want to be in and
cent and more than 1 billion unsold room nights for
pre-pandemic guest numbers, but with fewer hotel
feel connected to is pound-for-pound the best use of
the first time ever, according to data from STR.
employees. As labor shortages continue, many proper-
AV or LED displays in a hospitality situation.”
“The pandemic has ravaged the hospitality
ties are learning to do more with less—and that could
Pre-pandemic, the boutique hotel boom relegated
industry,” said David Schwartz, founder and CEO of
mean a coming uptick in technology investment for
many of those mass-communication tactics to the
Essential Communications. Schwartz has had a
hotel common areas. For example, Schwartz has seen
sidelines—instead of LEDs, display screens and
front-seat vantage of the situation in New York City, a
steady growth in the construction of screening rooms
wayfinding kiosks, these properties are more inclined
perennial top destination for travelers.
that hold up to 100 people, which the hotels rent for
to use concierge services to give guests a personal
presentations and private screenings. But lobbies
touch. The hospitality industry’s reemergence from a
remain the most popular hotel space for installations of
period of relative dormancy coincides with continued
“Sixty percent of NYC restaurants have permanently closed due to the pandemic, and data from Yelp
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
HOSPITALITY AV TRENDS BUSINESS
growth in personal
is currently low.
technology, and has drawn
“There’s some skepti-
attention away from
cism about something that
common areas and toward
can hear you,” he said. “I
the guest rooms.
think hotels have been
“Where I have seen and
somewhat reluctant to put
provided AV improvements
those types of devices in
the most is in guest
their guest rooms for fear
rooms,” said Schwartz.
that the guest thinks
“This really is the place
someone’s always listening
where hoteliers tend to
to them. ‘Even though it’s a
spend the most money. It
remote control, and it can
makes sense; options for AV have expanded expo-
hear me and interpret what David Schwartz
nentially. I’ve seen turntables in rooms, and you can get records from the front desk.” The menu of options grows from there, from
I’m saying, is it always listening to me?’”
burden of security risks. “The challenge for hotels is erasing all that data
Despite the catastrophic losses hotels have endured over the past 20 months, hotel brands have
after a guest checks out,” said Schwartz. “It can get
had ample time to retool and plan for renovations and
80-inch TVs with soundbars to bedside alarm and
cumbersome, and there are also security concerns
upgrades to their properties.
entertainment sets with Bluetooth connectivity.
from both the guests’ credentials and personal data,
Personalized experiences are where hospitality
and from the hotel side and their responsibility to
starting to see a lot of people look at technology
groups are investing, but not quickly enough, said
maintain and secure guest and credit card informa-
maybe a little differently,” said King. “They’ve had
Joe King, vice president of commercial displays at
tion. Until it can be made both easy and secure, it will
time to study and look at different things during their
PPDS (formerly Philips Professional Display
downtime, so I think it has changed the outlook at the
Solutions). “I go back to the days when you would drive by the
With the hotel experience increasingly relying on
“As hotels recover from the pandemic, you’re
[hotel] brands as to how they have to address
the guest’s own preferences and resources, though,
technology, and that’s for the better. I think as we go
Holiday Inn on the interstate and [the sign] said ‘Free
how far down that road brands will go remains
three or four years down the road, a lot of stuff that
HBO’ or ‘Room Service,’” said King. “When you
unclear. According to King, enthusiasm for voice
came out of the pandemic is going to be that hotels
checked into a hotel, you got something that you
activation, the next logical amenity for guest rooms,
are going to invest more in technology.”
didn’t get at home.” Now, the tables have turned, he said. Guests have a nearly infinite number of entertainment options at home, while hotels are having to play catch-up. The majority of hotel brands still offer conventional set-top-box cable TV services, while nearly half of U.S. households have already cut the cable cord in favor of over-the-top streaming services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Netflix, as well as networkowned apps from ESPN, Disney, Paramount, and others. These apps make it easier for guests to watch programs that they would get in their home markets, such as sporting events. “Next week when I’m in Dallas, the [Atlanta] Braves are going to play the [Philadelphia] Phillies, and what I typically end up doing is watching it on either my laptop or my tablet,” said King. “Wouldn’t it be great if I could watch it on the 50-inch in the hotel room? I think people are starting to wonder, ‘Why can’t I do what I can do at home in my hotel room?’ That’s where we’re starting to see some people look to invest.” Smart TVs are one solution that major chains are implementing through AV integrators, and the growth potential appears significant. IHG, which owns Kimpton, Holiday Inn and other hotel brands, currently provides smart TVs in less a quarter of their rooms, while half of Marriott rooms are equipped with smart TVs. But using the apps through a smart TV in a hotel room isn’t free; guests log in with their personal credentials, and both the guest and the hotel carry the
Following PPDS’ return to the hospitality market in April of this year, the manufacturer, exclusive global provider of Philips professional TV and digital signage products, announced the launch of its biggest hospitality display to date, with the 4K UHD Philips MediaSuite 75-inch connected pro TV. Designed to bring more immersive experiences to hotel rooms, this latest addition to Philips MediaSuite range will be on display in the Philips Professional Display Solutions booth at InfoComm in October. This 75-inch model—joining the 43-, 50-, 55-, and 65-inch variants—has been launched in response to customer feedback (including hoteliers and end users) and growing trends within the hospitality market for larger, connected, remotely managed TVs inside hotel rooms.
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
TECHNOLOGY ROUTERS & SWITCHERS
Flexibility Key for Routing Switchers New Solutions Simplify Signal Sharing By Carolyn Heinze
Ken Eagle, vice
president of technology at he demand for simplifying the deployment,
Hall Technologies, argues that perhaps the most
configuration, and operation of routing
interesting feature of the EMCEE200 is that it offers
34-port multiformat digital matrix switcher with
and switching solutions has manufacturers
USB 3.0 4K capture, which allows users to livestream
interchangeable inputs and outputs. “Again, you can
without additional hardware.
build it according to whatever fits your application,”
developing solutions that, on an increasing basis, are designed to automate the process. Companies
“It has the ability to capture and livestream video
Kramer also offers the VS-34FD, an 8K-ready
Kopin said. “And the backbone of it is 8K-compatible,
are also answering the call for more flexibility, and
right from all of your sources in the room, whether
so as we’re building more cards for it, we know we
the desire to be able to achieve more with less gear.
that’s your computer, local cameras, or a media
have the infrastructure [for 8K] as 8K becomes more
player, and take that feed directly out of the presenta-
In combination with making routers and switchers easier to configure, manufacturers are addressing
tion switch and route it directly to Zoom, or YouTube,
how users’ needs have evolved as a result of the
or Facebook—take your pick,” Eagle said. “And this is
pandemic. “A lot of the products that we’re going to
all done out of one seamless box.”
Earlier this year, Aurora Multimedia, manufacturer of
be introducing and showing this year are focused on
Eagle also points to Hall’s Versa 4K, a 4K video and
the IPX Series of 10G AV over IP solutions, announced
the new world and the new way of doing things; for
USB over IP solution for large projects. “It’s a very
the IPX-TC3A Series of encrypted 4K60 10 Gbps AV
handling things locally, as well as for the people who
powerful AV over IP solution that delivers very
over IP transceiver box and wall plates. Based on the
have to work remotely,” said Paul Harris, CEO and
high-quality video and audio [quickly] around the
SDVoE platform, these solutions feature redundant
CTO at Aurora Multimedia Corp. “A lot of the products
network,” he said. “It enables campus-wide deploy-
fiber and selectable copper fiber in a single unit. The
we’ve developed this year solve [these] problems.
ments, large-screen video applications like video
series incorporates Aurora’s IPBaseT technology,
And they make it easier by bringing everything to one
walls, and digital signage rollouts.”
which supports seamless switching, USB 2.0, Dante/
device that can help you get to where you need to be.” Here are a number of developments we’ve seen in this product category over the last few months.
AES67 8-channel, 1 Gbps Ethernet, and control. Aurora also offers the HT Pro Series of 4K60 4:4:4
Kramer’s ASPEN-32UFX is a 32-port SDI matrix
HDBaseT transceiver wall plate and box solutions,
switcher with interchangeable inputs and outputs. Its
capable of transmitting uncompressed 4K60 4:4:4 18
open architecture offers users more flexibility to
Gbps HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 video over a single cable.
Hall Technologies’ new EMCEE200 4K Multiview
adapt the unit to their specific and often evolving
There is a Dante option for two or eight channels, and
Presentation Switcher will process up to four 4K60
needs, said Chris Kopin, executive vice president of
an ARC (Audio Return Channel), which enables the
video sources simultaneously. Featuring a dedicated
technology at the company.
units to be fed to Dante or to the local line output.
confidence monitor as well as presentation HDMI
“You decide which connector is an input or an
outputs, the EMCEE200’s modular expansion slot
output—we’re not fixed to any particular size,” Kopin
design gives users the flexibility to add expansion
said. Depending on the project, the ASPEN-32UFX
Joe da Silva, director of product marketing at Extron,
cards when required, depending on the application.
could be configured to feature one input and 31
noted that the manufacturer’s portfolio of fixed
Additional features include Picture-in-Picture (PIP)
outputs; 31 inputs and one output; two 8x8 matrix
format, hybrid, and all-in-one presentation switch-
and Picture-over-Picture (POP) capabilities, a
switchers in one box; 16 2x1 switchers, and so on. “It’s
ers has been updated.
built-in dual mic mixer, and a variety of audio
a completely open architecture, which I think is
embedding and de-embedding options.
For example, Extron’s DXP 4K PLUS Series of HDMI matrix switchers, with audio de-embedding, now supports resolutions up to 4K60 4:4:4. This line features models in sizes that range from 4x2 to 16x16. da Silva also highlighted the company’s XTP switchers: “XTP Systems offer a hybrid matrix switching approach that features local connectivity and extended transmission capability using a single Cat-x or fiber optic cable to paired transmitters and receivers,” he said. With models ranging from 4x4 up
IHSE Draco tera flex KVM matrix switches are available in three housing variants (1U, 2U, 4U) with between 16 and 160 ports. All ports can be used flexibly as inputs or outputs. 8-port expansion modules can be mixed between Cat and fiber optic types, with either 1 Gbps or 3 Gbps bandwidth.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
to 64x64, XTP’s modular frames feature a 50 Gbps backplane, and new input and output boards allow for
ROUTERS & SWITCHERS TECHNOLOGY
Joe da Silva
often associated with multicast video applications. Built-in profile matching, for example, offers integrators a list of prebuilt profiles of popular AV over IP products, eliminating the need for manual inputting and configuration. The switchers also include Auto-LAG and Auto-Trunk features, which enable integrators to link multiple units together seamlessly. Laurent Masia, director of product line manageExtron’s DXP 4K PLUS Series of HDMI matrix switchers now supports resolutions up to 4K60 4:4:4. The product line includes models ranging from 4x2 to 16x16.
ment for managed switches in Netgear’s ProAV Engineering Services division, said that the M4250’s development was a result of feedback the company was receiving from AV integrators. “The
uncompressed 8K HDMI switching and distribution. Extron’s DTP Systems category has been updated as well, with the IN1800 Series and DTP2 CrossPoint
well as control, to make sure that we can make the
value proposition is that integrators [can assign]
entire ecosystem work together.”
the protocol they want—Dante to port one, Aurora Multimedia to port two, for example,” he said.
models now supporting 4K60 4:4:4 switching and
signal extension. “Our all-in-one presentation
Netgear’s AV Line of M4250 IP switchers was designed
tivity, the configuration of the V-LAN, the trunk-
switchers and matrix switchers combine several
to facilitate installation for AV-centric integrators.
ing, and the multicast, everything is fully
Extron industry-leading technologies to deliver
Featuring the company’s IGMP Plus technology, the
automated so that there is no more configuration
switching, extension, [and] control, plus audio
M4250 aims to deliver out-of-the-box functionality,
needed. It just works.”
amplification and DSP processing in a single-box
doing away with the complex configuration process
Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.
“When that’s done, the switch-to-switch connec-
solution,” da Silva noted. Models that feature control functionality have also been upgraded to include Extron’s latest quad-core control processors.
Crestron Released in 2019, Crestron’s DMV NVX AV over IP switcher is designed for applications that require the delivery of content feeds to a matrix of different displays. The platform has undergone several updates over the last couple of years, including the introduction of the DM-NVX-E760 encoder, which offers AVoIP bridging that allows for integration with HDBaseT solutions, as well as models supporting AES67, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and PoE+. “The DMV NVX is for installs that require some
Above: Kramer’s ASPEN-32UFX 32-port SDI matrix switcher features interchangeable inputs and outputs. This allows users the flexibility to easily adapt the solution to their specific project requirements.
Below: The VLX-TC1 Series IP streaming solution uses Aurora’s IPBaseT technology, which synergizes various IP/AV standards to work together as one. Models in the line can be set up as either a transmitter or receiver, making installation, inventory, and troubleshooting easier.
inputs to many outputs, or many inputs to some outputs,” explained Alex Peras, director of product management, UC, and corporate development partnerships at Crestron. He added that the company is also updating its transmitters and receivers to support the latest audio/video formats, as well as the latest security standards. “We’re also bringing in USB routing, because now it’s audio, video, and USB, as
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
TECHNOLOGY NETWORKED AUDIO
Adapting to the Evolution of Transport Protocols Manufacturers Design Digital Audio Networking Products to Be Flexible By Steve Harvey
o borrow an axiom from an ancient Greek, the only constant in digital audio networking is change. More accurately, the constant
is not so much change but rather evolution—of network protocols, of applications, and of customers’ needs. As a result, manufacturers of networked products have to be nimble, constantly releasing new products and upgrades in response to the demands of the market and of the media itself.
Dante AV is a new AV solution for standard 1 Gbps networks that allows manufacturers to add networked video to the Dante audio-over-IP platform. The first Dante AV-enabled video over IP cameras, encoders, and decoders were released by manufacturers Bolin Technology and Patton Electronics.
According to one estimate, there are as many as a dozen different ecosystems supporting the transport
The new series, which supports AVB and Dante
with the network. At its simplest, it enables quick
of audio and video over an IP network. As a conse-
network connectivity and offers PoE+ device power,
and easy music playback through the network,
quence, manufacturers typically support one or more
introduces Launch, Biamp’s one-touch automatic
whether in a conference room or an installed P.A.
protocols according to market demand.
device discovery and tuning feature.
system: “Just pair your phone, hit the playlist, and
“The one that is best is the one that makes the
“You connect all your devices to it, hit the
go,” said Brad Price, Audinate’s senior product
customer happiest. And we measure that by their
button, and it detects everything, configures
willingness to purchase our products,” said Joe
everything, and programs itself. It even acoustically
Andrulis, executive vice president of corporate
profiles the room, tunes the system to the acoustic
together with the format’s power delivery. “We can
development for Biamp, which supports the
characteristics of the room, and gives you a report.
do pass-through power from the network to a
CobraNet, AVB, Dante, and AES67 protocols.
That simplifies installation,” Andrulis said.
device, so you can run your iPad off PoE through the
“No customer’s needs are satisfied by the
The automated setup levels the playing field,
protocol alone,” he added. “All it does is facilitate
evening out the differing skill sets of those installing
the transport of the media to the destination.
the equipment, or any differences in the environ-
Keeping a common protocol just makes it easier to
ments into which they are being integrated. “A
integrate components together.”
company deploying these globally doesn’t have to
During the past year or so, as some businesses took a pause during the pandemic, Biamp released a
worry about variability,” he said. In the 25 years since CobraNet was introduced,
marketing manager. Another new adapter offers USB-C connectivity
AVIO,” he said. Most AV-over-IP solutions are LAN-based, Dante with Dante Domain Manager brings the level of control and security that AV and IT professionals require for the businesses they support, making deployment and maintenance easier and more effective than nonnetworked, legacy technologies in conference rooms. As businesses increasingly seek ways to engage people and employees from afar, high quality, IT-managed communications are going to be front and center.
number of new audio networking products. Most
one network protocol after another has appeared on
notable among those were the latest additions to the
the market, each with varying success in terms of
working as a single subnet of a network, Price said.
company’s flagship open-architecture meeting
adoption. None has yet caught on quite like Audi-
“That limits how far it can go but makes all kinds of
room processors, the new TesiraFORTÉ X series,
nate’s; the company boasts the availability of more
sense when you look at the standards on which it’s
than 3,000 Dante-enabled devices from more than
based,” he said. But Audinate figured that there
500 different manufacturers.
were ways to leverage those standards to more
“What’s neat about those products is that they are much more powerful and much smaller—30
Audinate also expanded its product portfolio
easily create multiple subnet crossings, which they
percent smaller—than previous versions. They’re
during the pandemic, with launches including a
did with Dante Domain Manager (DDM) a few
mounted in a new kind of environment, like confer-
Dante AVIO Bluetooth adapter that pairs with any
ence rooms, so they’re more streamlined,” he said.
enabled device to provide bidirectional connectivity
The creation of subnets via DDM enables networks to scale over greater distances while remaining transparent to users. “You don’t even have to touch any hardware; you do it in software,” Price said. “It lets you break your install into separate groups—domains—so that you can have separate things going on that cannot interfere with each other. They are all on one network and the
Biamp TesiraFORTÉ X 400/800/1600 products are conference room DSPs featuring multiple network and analog audio connection points. With 4, 8, and 16 channels of Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), respectively, users can choose the model that supports the number of microphones required for the room. TesiraFORTÉ X is designed to be used primarily with Biamp’s beamforming microphones, PoE amplifiers, and speakers. A system including these elements and a UCroom system, display, and camera will provide a complete technology solution for a UC-enabled conference room.
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
administrator can see them all, but it’s as if you have separate Dante networks running.” As the AV industry has continued to transition from purpose-built hardware to software-based
NETWORKED AUDIO TECHNOLOGY
before 5G’s capabilities might be leveraged, but meantime, of course, anyone with an enabled device can provide an onramp to the communications network. “The use of 5G and similar wireless technologies is not widespread yet,” Wagner said, “but they are also more likely to be used for non-time-critical applications such as wide area distribution, monitoring, notification, management, and control, where latency and bandwidth variations are Joe Andrulis
not as much of a concern.” Speaking of evolution, AIMS, an industry consortium promoting an
products, Audinate saw an opportunity to deliver
network audio transports including AES67 and
open standards approach to IP-based media environ-
full Dante networking functionality more cost-
Dante, plus generic media streaming and QSC’s own
ments, is building on the SMPTE ST 2110 broadcast
effectively and flexibly on products powered by
Q-LAN protocol, he noted.
standard, which integrates AES67 for audio transport,
Linux and ARM processors. At ISE 2019, the com-
“QSC co-developed Software-Based Dante for
and AMWA’s NMOS APIs to develop a network
pany announced an initial cooperation deal with
the Q-SYS Ecosystem with Audinate,” Wagner said.
protocol more suited to AV industry requirements.
QSC, which was soon followed by agreements with
“All currently shipping Core processors include an
The AIMS Pro AV Working Group involves SMPTE,
other manufacturers. Products with the Dante
8x8 channel capacity from the factory. With Soft-
AMWA, the Video Services Forum (VSF), and the Joint
Embedded Platform—Dante-as-software, if you
ware-Based Dante, integrators are not constrained
Task Force of Networked Media (JT-NM), which
will—are now making an appearance, Price reports,
by hardware as they can license additional channel
together represent more than 70 member companies.
including StreamUnlimited Engineering’s SDK for
capacity to meet their specific application require-
its residential products.
ments or expand a system already deployed. Dante is
launched in 2019, will offer a unified set of open
now fully integrated into the Q-SYS audio, video, and
standards and specifications for multivendor AV over
going forward, I think, because it’s a less expensive
control workflow, offering device discovery, syn-
IP intended to simplify system installation and
way to do it. You don’t need to put up the money for
chronization, control, and management for Dante
administration, increase quality, and dramatically
the hardware. You don’t need to change the
audio alongside native Q-LAN, AES67, and other
accelerate adoption. A whitepaper recently penned by
physical design of your box. You simply load the
generic media streams.”
Andrew Starks, director of product management for
“We’re going to be seeing a lot more of that
code, test it, and go,” Price said.
Much has been made of the promise of 5G for
QSC has been busy of late, too, introducing
audio transport in the industry press, potentially
Q-SYS NS Series Gen 2 network switches, Attero
extending networks over
Tech by QSC I/O endpoints, Q-SYS NV-32-H (Core
far greater distances.
Capable) endpoints, and Q-SYS Core Nano/Core 8
There are significant
Flex processors, according to Trent Wagner, audio
technical and commercial
product manager, QSC. The company supports
challenges to overcome
The Q-SYS NS Series Gen 2 offers a range of enterprise-grade, Netgear-manufactured network switches that have been preconfigured specifically to meet the performance requirements for Q-SYS, AES67, and Dante. With a primary focus on Q-SYS audio, video, and control (AV&C), these network switches provide an out-of-the-box solution for Q-SYS integrators and IT support staff building standalone AV networks.
avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
IPMX, or Internet Protocol Media Experience,
Macnica and an AIMS board member, lays out the IPMX roadmap.
TECHNOLOGY NEW PRODUCTS
reduction algorithm and AI Denoiser deliver disruption-free meetings. The AI Denoiser’s intensity can be set to low, medium, or high, so users can tailor how aggressively they want it to subdue noises in their own space. THE BOTTOM LINE: The Shure AI Denoiser for IntelliMix Room is included in the latest IntelliMix Room DSP software version 3.1, which was released as a free software update on Sept. 15.
Shure IntelliMix Room with Denoiser
service providers such as Microsoft Teams and
THE WHAT: The v3.1 update of Shure’s IntelliMix
Crestron Flex Video Conferencing Platform
Room DSP software adds the company’s Denoiser
THE WHAT: Crestron is enhancing the Crestron Flex
meeting participants can easily contribute and
feature, a machine-learning program trained to
platform with new intelligent video support from
productively collaborate. The Crestron Flex plat-
separate speech from noises. AI training occurs only
partners Jabra and Huddly to facilitate equitable and
form ties it all together, providing purpose-built
in Shure labs, and improvements to the algorithm are
productive meetings both in the oﬃce and at home.
devices for every space and application, while
delivered through software updates. THE WHAT ELSE: While noise reduction
THE WHAT ELSE: As businesses shift to a
Zoom Rooms platforms, room systems with intelligent audio and video features ensure all
delivering a consistent user experience throughout
hybrid-ﬁrst environment, where seamless collabo-
the organization. By standardizing on Crestron
algorithms can reduce the impact of light and
ration between dispersed teams is a top priority,
Flex, enterprises can deliver a successful meeting
consistent background noise like air conditioning, the
one of the biggest challenges has been ensuring
experience across the oﬃce, from the largest board
IntelliMix Room Denoiser protects meetings from
every person in the meeting has an equal seat
room to rotating hot desks and huddle spaces, as
random audio distractions that are typically
at the table.
well as easy scalability and support via Crestron XiO
challenging to avoid. When paired, Shure’s noise
Paired with software innovations from meeting
Cloud remote management software.
10/19/21 10:18 AM
NEW PRODUCTS TECHNOLOGY
THE BOTTOM LINE: The addition of
with less than 1 millisecond delay. Spark 4K uses
DSP, Bluetooth 5.0 functions, and full app
intelligent video integration to the Crestron
the 5 GHz frequency for less sensitivity to line-
control into a rechargeable battery system
Flex platform offers several features
of-sight obstructions, and smart frequency
that weighs 42.5 pounds and is designed to
that enhance the videoconferenc-
hopping to automatically find a clear
ing experience, including
be carried with
THE WHAT ELSE: Spark 4K repre-
people counting and face
THE WHAT ELSE: JBL EON ONE MK2’s
framing, full-room view,
sents Teradek’s response to the
geometrically optimized, C-shaped array of
whiteboard sharing, and
growing demand for practical and
eight 2-inch tweeters works in combination
high-quality video transport solu-
with a 10-inch woofer to deliver smooth,
tions. As light as a baseball and as
even response down to 37 Hz. The array
small as a cassette tape, Spark 4K’s
provides wide horizontal dispersion and
transmitter and receiver units
deep vertical throw to ensure loud, clear
THE WHAT: The SF 28PT
complement most AV gear and
sound anywhere in the room.
two-way pendant loud-
workflows. Its versatile design for
speaker provides impact-
tabletop or camera mounting makes
robust 1,500-watt (peak) amplifier that
ful music or program
it a compact and robust multifunc-
ensures clean, distortion-free sound at any
playback in high-ceiling
tional video solution. Dual-power-
volume level. Variable Power Performance
ing options and internal battery
technology automatically optimizes
life of more than two hours provide
performance for either AC or battery power,
Extron SF 28PT Pendant Speaker
THE WHAT ELSE:
mobility without compromising
Featuring a silk dome
Driving EON ONE MK2’s acoustics is a
providing 4 dB of extra headroom when
signal integrity. Its
tweeter and 8-inch woofer, the SF
connected to AC power.
multicasting abilities send
The EON ONE MK2 is engineered
28PT brings studio quality sound to pendant
multiple video feeds to receivers that
for versatility and ease of use,
speaker applications. Taking inspiration from
are HDMI-compatible with comput-
offering pro-grade processing with
modern pendant lighting, the SF 28PT offers the
ers/laptops, projectors, switchers,
an innovative triple-tier interface
same architecturally clean, patent-pending design
monitors, TV screens, and LED video
that lets users choose beginner,
as the rest of the Extron pendant family.
intermediate, or advanced control.
The included Extron-exclusive PendantConnect
THE BOTTOM LINE: Key features
The system features Lexicon effects
speaker cable combines the speaker wires and steel
include dual-powering options
like reverb, chorus, and delay, in
support cables within a single outer jacket, provid-
for backup battery redundancy,
addition to a suite of dbx DriveRack
ing a finished installation that is clean and secure.
lightweight design, signal status and
technology, including AFS (Auto-
The UL listed SF 28PT offers both direct 8 ohm and
pairing with the Launchpad desktop
matic Feedback Suppression),
70/100 volt operation.
and mobile app, and multicast
parametric EQs, limiters, delays,
THE BOTTOM LINE: The SF 28PT is available in black or white and can be painted to fit in with any décor.
Teradek Spark 4K
JBL EON ONE MK2 Column P.A. THE WHAT: The JBL EON
THE WHAT: Teradek, a member of the Vitec Group’s
ONE MK2 battery-pow-
Creative Solutions division, introduces Spark 4K, a
ered portable column P.A.
zero-delay wireless transmission system for 4K video
from HARMAN Profes-
delivery and presentation in 4K workflows. It allows
sional Solutions packs a
users to transmit video signals up to 4Kp30 via
HDMI, at a distance of up to 500 feet line of sight,
mixer, Lexicon and dbx
Your Trusted Audio Visual Connectivity Supplier. 800.638.6104 avnetwork.com // November 2021 // SCN
TECHNOLOGY NEW PRODUCTS
I/Os on the five-channel digital mixer include
requirements when flipped down in Perfor-
three Neutrik XLR combo jacks, one Hi-Z input, and
mance mode. It effectively cuts out ambient
a 1/4-inch balanced pass-through with independ-
sound in open-plan offices and loud, busy
ent volume control and speaker delay. Two channels
indoor areas. The headset’s eight-microphone
of true 48V phantom power are included for support
array works with Jabra’s triple chipset-powered
of condenser microphones.
algorithm to distinguish between the user’s
THE BOTTOM LINE: The system can be controlled
voice and the noise around them for audio
by the new JBL Pro Connect app, which provides
communication. It also includes a “busy light”
remote access via Bluetooth 5.0 to every function and
that’s visible from all sides to indicate the
preset from a phone or tablet for up to 10 units.
user is concentrating on the task at hand and prefers not to be disturbed.
Jabra Evolve2 75 Headset
Jabra Xpress software makes it easy for IT
THE WHAT: Jabra announces the release of the
teams to oversee deployment, update firmware
latest in its Evolve range of enterprise headsets, the
and manage settings remotely. Up to 100 feet of
Evolve2 75. Designed to support the needs of hybrid
robust wireless range and dual connectivity to
working environments, the Evolve2 75 offers Jabra
computers and mobile devices gives the Evolve2
Advanced Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), an
75 extra flexibility. Evolve2 75 boasts extended
eight-microphone array for audio clarity, and
battery life, charge-and-talk technology, and
ergonomic features for extended wear times.
new fast-charging capabilities.
THE WHAT ELSE: Adjustable Jabra Advanced
THE BOTTOM LINE: Optimized for all leading
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) allows users to customize how much (or how little) of their surroundings they hear. A HearThrough button
UC platforms, the Evolve2 75 connects colleagues having to take the headset off.
on whichever platform they prefer. The headset
This new headset’s mute and auto-answer-
also offers data-capturing capabilities so IT
allows background sound to be returned to the mix
enabled microphone boom arm is 33 percent
departments can make more informed decisions
when necessary so users can talk with others
shorter than on the previous Evolve 75 design. The
and troubleshoot any issues before they become
around them or hear announcements without
arm is engineered to meet Microsoft’s Open Office
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. 40
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
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LEFT TO RIGHT: Allbirds, Nike Air Jordan One, Converse Chuck Taylor, Common Projects
Business Casual: Sneakers or Nah? By Sharath Abraham
that look similar. Allbirds has a pretty good selection of shoes you can wear with different outfits. The price ranges from $98 to $115. These can go with just about any outfit if you get basic colors, and according my in-laws, they are the most comfortable sneakers ever. Converse Chuck Taylors are classic and possibly
months we’ve been away. Have things changed so
the best known sneakers of all time. They go well
drastically that I’m never going to wear dress shoes
with just about anything, including a tuxedo. A
to a business casual event or meeting? Not at all. I
classic pair of nice black Chucks with white soles
lowly but surely, we are all returning to
still have my nice oxfords, boots, and loafers that I
can be a staple of any wardrobe.
work in communal offices and meeting
wear occasionally. I just want sneakers to be
with people in person again. With that in
accepted as an additional option.
changes in ourselves as well as our workplaces,
business casual category? For one, there are so
trying on all of our clothes to see if they still fit
many different brands and types of sneakers these
after what has likely been a less active 18 months
days to suit any circumstance. And two, they tend
maintained. If you’re wearing an amazing outfit but
to be supremely comfortable.
your once-nice sneakers are dirty and disheveled,
mind, many of us are having to confront physical
While I can’t make any promises about your
Why should sneakers be included in the
Style Tips I have some additional tips about wearing sneakers with work outfits. Your sneakers should always be clean and well
they’ll detract from your overall look. Simple is
clothes, it’s generally true that your feet don’t grow
once you’re out of high school, so your shoes are
Here are some sneaker options I believe are
and tones that can go with everything—then again,
probably still good to go. I’m going to use this space to
acceptable in the business casual category.
don’t be afraid to rock statement sneakers occasion-
plead the case that sneakers should be part of a
Air Jordan Ones (hightop or low), which can be
always safe, so I recommend sticking to basic colors
ally, if you’ve got some. (Just make sure they’re
business casual wardrobe—but not all sneakers, of
paired with nice tailored pants and or jeans and a
clean). I clean my sneakers with products from a
course. Just the “nice” ones. I’ll make the case for
blazer. These Jordans sell out on release days, but
brand called Jason Markk, but if you’re less particular,
men and women here. Sneakers worn by people of any
you can find them on eBay, StockX, or GOAT
you can just use some Dawn or Tide in some water and
gender can look fabulous.
sneaker exchanges. Prices can range from $180 to
a toothbrush. Don’t forget about the laces.
Most offices today don’t have an exact definition of what’s acceptable as business casual workwear;
$400. Common Projects leather sneakers have a very
Just like the AV industry, fashion will continue to change with the times. If we start normalizing
the definition changes depending on your industry
clean look and are also comfortable. You can pair
and location. In my experience in the AV industry
them with a suit, blazer/pant combo, and
wearing sneakers to business casual events,
over the last decade or so, business casual footwear
blazer/jeans combo. These sneakers
these events less business and more
for men generally means wearing oxfords or loafers,
usually are priced around $440, but
casual. In the meantime, you can
but the status quo changed quite a bit in the 18
you can find styles from other brands
that may just be the thing that makes
probably catch me at the next event with some fresh Jordans on!
Simple is always safe, so I recommend sticking to basic colors and tones that can go with everything—then again, don’t be afraid to rock statement sneakers occasionally. 42
SCN // November 2021 // avnetwork.com
Sharath Abraham, CTS, is an engineering manager at AVI-SPL. Before that, he was a technical director at Crestron Electronics. Abraham was featured in the 2020 class of SCN: The Nine, and holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems: Computer Networks.