Systems Contractor News - November 2021

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Welcome to the November ISSUE of

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10/19/21 11:45 AM



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.

42 Viewpoint




Sharath Abraham considers post-pandemic fashion.

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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.

personalized experiences.

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

AV market.

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



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 Please allow 6-8 weeks for address changes to take effect. ©Copyright 2021 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A. // November 2021 // SCN




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

FACEBOOK systemscontractor

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.


See us at Rocky Mountain AVX 2021! booth #907 4 SCN // June 2021 //


VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona Content Director Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D. 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

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

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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 //

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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-

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SCN // November 2021 //

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 //

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

Business Unit. // 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 //


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 // 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 //

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

Stuart Frenkel

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 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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WINNER WINNER // November 2021 // SCN


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.

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 //


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

your role?

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 //

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.


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 // November 2021 // SCN



WSDG Begins Next-Gen Leadership Transition By Mark J. Pescatore

: What is your

Molho: Our next-gen

leadership style?

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

technology, travel

creative design work and

in charge of day-to-day operations. Molho joined

extensively, speak five

impressive problem-

WSDG in 1994 and has been a partner since 1998.

languages, and as a

SCN spoke with Storyk and Molho about the next

committed “people

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 //

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.


Rep News

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

Alexandre Pecqueux

Caroline Martel

(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

Dave Shoemaker

Kelly Prince

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


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

Cheryl Walton

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


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

Rod Sintow

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

Ross Burling

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

Mike Watjen

strategic advisor, leading the ideation, planning, and

most recently served as a field application engineer in


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

To support

and become an essential component of AR and xR

the growing



James Roehrl

Kevin Szamlewski

staging markets. Before starting Larry Lipsie

at INFiLED, Lipsie held senior

sales positions at LG and Absen.

demand of

TIM ROOT has joined NUREVA


in the newly created role of vice

and narrow-

president, strategy, where he

turer BRIGHTLINE welcomed


will focus on leveraging Nure-


va’s collaboration-enabling

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

Tim Root

extensive product experience, having held various

its platform and products. Root’s understanding of

Dennis Dillinger

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 //

company’s long-term vision for

solutions. Dillinger previously worked with Brightline as


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

standard configuration

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 //

The Stem Ecosystem provides


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

unifying cloud-based

PowerLite 805F ultra-short throw

platform for remotely

laser projector offers low

provisioning, monitoring,

maintenance, intelligent

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

Introducing Arranger,

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

easy-to-build user

displays, ActiveScene makes use

interfaces with no

of previously underutilized space.

programming skills

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


pounds. // November 2021 // SCN



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 //


Most Innovative Video Display LG Business Solutions USA LG Direct View LED Ultimate Business Display

Most Innovative Video Processing Datapath Aetria

Available for both

allows integrators

indoor and outdoor

and end users to

installations, LG’s

design and configure

DVLED Ultimate

complex control

Business Displays are

room systems,

designed to simplify the

including multiple

entire process of

video walls. Aetria’s

ordering, delivering,

power makes

installing, and calibrat-

content sharing easy

ing displays for a wide

to control. This is an

range of commercial

ambitious solution

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

Kramer VW-4

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

any business/retail

80 percent. The hardware-based solution and closed system increases reliability

environment. Its

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

provides native

wire-free installation? The

DCI-4K resolution

Agility battery motor option

and extreme

with the Tensioned Designer

brightness. It

Contour or Designer Contour is


ideal for no-fuss installations

Sony’s compre-

or retrofitting historic build-

hensive laser

ings. This lithium-ion battery

projection lineup

motor option lasts over 200

and combines

cycles on a single charge via

powerful features

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 // November 2021 // SCN



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

Peoria, IL

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 //


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.


Subaru Park

Boston, MA

Philadelphia, PA

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. // November 2021 // SCN



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

Redding, CA

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 so virtual attendees can also be accommodated.


SCN // November 2021 //

routes and DSP functions via virtual mixers.


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

conference table.

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. // November 2021 // SCN




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 //


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

Matt Wilson

Joe King

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

remain difficult.”

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. // November 2021 // SCN



Flexibility Key for Routing Switchers New Solutions Simplify Signal Sharing By Carolyn Heinze


Ken Eagle, vice

Paul Harris

Alex Peras

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

Aurora Multimedia

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.

Hall Technologies

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.

extremely creative.”

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 //

to 64x64, XTP’s modular frames feature a 50 Gbps backplane, and new input and output boards allow for


Ken Eagle

Chris Kopin

Joe da Silva

Laurent Masia

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 // November 2021 // SCN



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

Andrulis noted.

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

years ago.

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 //

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


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

Trent Wagner

Brad Price

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. // November 2021 // SCN


IPMX, or Internet Protocol Media Experience,

Macnica and an AIMS board member, lays out the IPMX roadmap.


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

SCN335.AD_.indd 6

Paired with software innovations from meeting

Cloud remote management software.

10/19/21 10:18 AM


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


one hand.

THE WHAT ELSE: Spark 4K repre-

people counting and face


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


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

and open-ceiling

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


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,


and SubSynth.

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


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

five-channel digital

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 // November 2021 // SCN



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

a problem.

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 //

Irvine, California (949)-270-5325



STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION (REQUESTER PUBLICATIONS ONLY) 1. Publication Title: Systems Contractor News 2. Publication No.: 15093 3. Filing Date: 22/26/2021 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly

NEW PRODUCTS TECHNOLOGY Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months

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NY 10036-8002; Contact Person: Cindy Cardinal, 847-4384577 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: Future US Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher: Carmel King, 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 100368002; Editor: Megan A. Dutta, 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002; Managing Editor: Katie Makal, 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002 10. Owner: Future US Inc. (Future PLC), 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders: None









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17 Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requester Publication is required and will be printed in the November 2021 issue of this publication.

13. Publication Title: Systems Contractor News

18. Signature of VP, AV Technology Group: Carmel King, September 22, 2021. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).

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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

of pandemic.

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 //

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.

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