Systems Contractor News - April 2023

Page 1

Welcome to the April Issue of

20 Executive Q&A Timothy Mackie demos Yahama UC gear…in his garage? 36 Classic KVM vs. KVM-over-IP G&D’s Jon Litt explains your options. 42 Viewpoint Jennifer Goodyer welcomes you to the AV Renaissance. 36 20 42 ® AVNETWORK.COM APRIL 2023 CREDIT TK YOUR INSIDER BUSINESS RESOURCE FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS TK Elevator Lights Up Atlanta HQ with LED Mesh Display VIEW FROM THE TOP
4 SCN // April 2023 // Vol. 30 No. 4 April 2023 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 2023 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A. CONTENTS People 18 Executive Q&A RTI is celebrating its 30th anniversary with new solutions for integrators. By Mark J. Pescatore 20 Executive Q&A Timothy Mackie makes the case for Yamaha UC…in his garage? By Mark J. Pescatore 22 Beyond the Tech It takes tenacity to solve problems when you’re working against the clock. By Douglas Kleeger Business 26 Fake Products, Real Problems Pro AV manufacturers continue to combat counterfeiters across the globe. By Carolyn Heinze 28 UConn Pulls Double Duty A new control room can produce two live campus sports productions simultaneously. By Wayne Cavadi 30 Aviation Office Gets a Co-Pilot A custom app from 22Miles is modernizing the new offices at Tampa International Airport. 32 Bring on BYOD Experts discuss how BYOD helps simplify content sharing in meeting spaces. By Jennifer Guhl Technology 36 Classic KVM vs. KVM-over-IP Which option is better for your installation? By Jon Litt 38 Follow the Leader With auto tracking, the JVC KY-PZ510 PTZ camera offers flexibility for classrooms and live production. By Chuck Gloman 26 34View from the Top TK Elevator is lighting up its new Atlanta headquarters with an LED mesh display on its test tower. By Michael
Viewpoint 42 Welcome to the AV Renaissance Today’s innovations are changing communications forever. By Jennifer Goodyer Departments 6 SYSTEMS CHECK 8 NEWS 24 NEWSMAKERS 40 NEW PRODUCTS

The Future of AV Distribution is Here

The DisplayNet ® DN-300 delivers an unprecedented level of AVoIP performance, versatility and reliability; at a price point that defines a new industry benchmark for value. Based on the latest SDVoE technology, the DN-300 provides 4K/60 (4:4:4) video distribution with limitless scalability, zero-frame latency and zero image artifacts.

This single unit offers several unique features that provide system designers with exceptional versatility:

 Switchable Transmitter /  Receiver operation

 Dual (copper /  fiber) network interfaces

 Auxiliary H.264/5 video output streams

 Powerful network security features

 PoE+ support

 Silent, fanless operation

 Versatile KVM Routing

 Full-bandwidth USB 2.0 support

DisplayNet also provides software-defined MultiViewer and Advanced Video Wall engines that power a wide range of applications without the expense and complexity of ancillary products. A highly intuitive web-based UI and API greatly simplifies setup and installation, as well as integration into third-party control systems. Contact us today to see how DisplayNet can move your next AV system into the future.

© 2023 DVIGear, Inc. | (888) 463-9927 | Powered by ZERO COMPROMISE – INFINITE POSSIBILITIES


Let’s Get Ubiquitous

In this world, nothing is certain, except death and taxes—and, of course, Dante and maybe NDI. I’m pretty sure that’s what Benjamin Franklin wrote back in 1789.

Very few products or technologies ever reach the level of market saturation and/ or cultural relevance to be designated as “ubiquitous.” Xerox, for example, became synonymous with copy machines; the brand name even became a verb. Back in the archaic days when people used videotape to record television programs or buy movies for home collections, VHS dominated the market. Even today, say “Chyron” to a video production professional and they know you mean graphics, even if they use a different CG.

Zoom came pretty close to ubiquitous status during the pandemic, but I’m not convinced that will hold. The competition from Teams, Meet, Webex, and others has become formidable at this point. The fact that companies tout certification of their products for more than one platform speaks volumes.

You could make the argument that Dante is already there. Launched in 2006, it has basically cornered the networked digital audio market. According to Aidan Williams, Audinate CEO and co-founder, about 3,300 products from close to 500 manufacturers use Dante. Seems pretty ubiquitous to me.

NDI wants to be ubiquitous, too, but it’s not there yet. NewTek unveiled its low-latency, AV-over-IP solution in 2015. Since then, NDI has been building its popularity, partnerships, and ecosystem. (Version 5.5 was announced last August.) Last year, NDI’s Suso Carillo told me the protocol is becoming a de facto standard.

“The ultimate long-term goal is for NDI to become the video standard in the worldwide video industry,” he said. “In the short term, we’re looking to boost adoption in both the broadcast and Pro AV industries, but also explore other verticals where NDI is used, like in healthcare and corporate.”

Is the strategy working? Well, let’s look to JVC Professional Video for an answer. In February, the company announced three new CONNECTED CAM broadcast cameras. CONNECTED CAM was launched back in 2018. This is a mature product line that already features built-in low-latency streaming options, 4K image capture, the works—what feature could they possibly need to add?

NDI, that’s what. And that’s exactly what the company is touting with its latest models. It’s even offering current CONNECTED CAM owners the option to send in their old units for an authorized NDI manufacturer modification. JVC has obviously decided the licensing fee is less expensive than losing potential customers looking for NDI solutions.

Are there other options out there? Of course. There’s more than one way to skin a cat or send video over existing IP networks in real time. SDVoE, IPMX, SMPTE ST 2110—you’ve got plenty of AVoIP options, and they all have their selling points and limitations. Dante has even branched out to get in the AVoIP game, recently announcing its Dante Studio 2.0 software update.

Until such time as ol’ Ben Franklin tells us otherwise, NDI is where many manufacturers are placing their bets. Unlike Dante, however, NDI is facing serious competition from alliances and other manufacturers. It will be interesting to see if any AVoIP protocol can reach VHS status in the coming years.


APRIL 2023 VOL. 30 NO. 4


VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona

Content Director Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D.

Content Manager Wayne Cavadi

Contributors Chuck Gloman, Jennifer Goodyer, Jennifer Guhl, Peter Hansen, Carolyn Heinze, Douglas Kleeger, Jon Litt, Michael Silbergleid

Group Art Director Nicole Cobban Art Editor Rob Crossland

Production Managers Nicole Schilling, Heather Tatrow


Vice President, AV/Consumer Electronics & Pro Audio

Adam Goldstein,, 212-378-0465


John Casey,, 845-678-3839

Janis Crowley, 845-414-6791

Debbie Rosenthal,, 212-378-0468

Zahra Majma,, 845-678-3752

Andi Tureson


To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to and click on About Us, email futureplc@computerfulfillment. com, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 1051, Lowell, MA 01853.


SCN is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw


SVP Wealth, B2B and Events Sarah Rees MD, B2B Tech & Entertainment Brands Carmel King Vice President, Sales, B2B Tech Group Adam Goldstein

Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE US, INC. 130 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor New York, NY 10036

6 SCN // April 2023 //
All contents ©2023 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. MARK J. PESCATORE Content Director TWITTER LINKEDIN systems-contractor-news EMAIL FACEBOOK systemscontractor

Cifarelli Jr. Returns to Roots with C10 Media Acquisition

C10 Media has acquired ANC, a digital signage and video experience company, from Learfield. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company will continue to operate under the ANC name and remain in its current New York and Texas offices. Jerry Cifarelli Jr., C10 founder and CEO, will assume leadership of the company.

The acquisition marks the return of Cifarelli Jr. to the company co-founded by his father, Jerry Cifarelli, in 1997. Cifarelli sold ANC to Learfield in 2015.

“For me, ANC is a return to my roots and builds on a lifelong passion in an industry that I have loved since childhood,” said Cifarelli Jr. “This acquisition brings together the expertise and resources from both ANC and C10 to deliver unique solutions and create new opportunities for our partners.”

ANC creates immersive experiences in stadiums, entertainment facilities, transportation hubs, and retail venues through the design, creation, and operation of dynamic video display systems. Past clients have included professional and college sports teams, large-scale performance venues, and global business centers.

SDVoE Alliance Has Record Year

The SDVoE Alliance announced growth in members and SDVoE Academy Certifications to tally a record-breaking year. In 2022, the organization welcomed 18 new members, including Datapath, QSC, and Yamaha Corporation.

“As system integrators, designers, consultants, and other industry professionals continue to invest in AV-over-IP solutions, the SDVoE Alliance has welcomed new members to support the industry shift,” said Justin Kennington, president of SDVoE. “The simplified hardware architecture of SDVoE products helps to ensure that our members have access to the necessary components to deliver high-performance solutions to meet industry demands.”

The SDVoE Academy, a self-paced online course, has become a resource for AV professionals to take advantage of SDVoE technology. Last fall, SDVoE introduced the SDVoE Certified Design House program, a qualification for Pro AV companies.

Cook Children’s Hospital Adds

Immersive LED Video Wall

Partnering with Dimensional Innovations, Daktronics has manufactured and installed a new LED video wall in Cook Children’s Hospital’s new location in Prosper, TX, which opened in December. The primary function of the display is to provide a “wow” factor for patients and their families, while delivering a calming natural scene reflective of the Texas landscape that slowly changes throughout the day. It will also be used for special events to show presentations, movies, and other messaging as needed. The LED video wall measures approximately 13.5x24 feet and features 1.9mm pixel spacing to deliver full 4K, high-resolution imagery with excellent clarity and contrast.

PSNI Announces New Certification

PSNI Global Alliance has introduced its Strategic Account Specialist (SAS) certification. It is the third accreditation developed by PSNI and involves a comprehensive process to ensure its Certified Solution Providers (CSPs) meet the Alliance’s criteria for pre-installation practices, including customer relationships and engagement, deployment practices, and future growth strategy.

Covering several areas, including customer experience, proven best practices, and relationship building, CSPs are required to train and complete a strategic account management workshop, as well as present to a PSNI panel and build a suitable account plan to earn their accreditation. As of late February, 10 PSNI CSPs across the globe have officially earned their SAS certification.

“The SAS program is a business transformational model that focuses on teaching CSP account managers the critical skills that utilize common value enablers provided by being part of the Alliance,” explained Chris Miller, PSNI executive director. “In a world where everything is quickly being commoditized, it is how you engage with customers and connect with their real needs that is the differentiating factor. PSNI’s Strategic Account Specialist Certification has undoubtedly enhanced our customers experience already.”

“The certification will be useful for the customers that have a global footprint, as they are migrating or thinking about the solutions and integrators that have a global footprint and a roadmap, as well as the ones that are very strategic about the way they operate,” added Kulip Kamat CTS, managing director of All Wave AV. “The SAM certification will help customers who genuinely see the value in long-term business transformations using technology.”

8 SCN // April 2023 // NEWS
Jerry Cifarelli Jr.

SoundPro Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Sound Productions (SoundPro) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. From its chance beginnings as a backline rental company to its current role as a leading supplier of AVL gear, SoundPro has consistently served its customers with stellar service and industry knowledge. The company will celebrate its anniversary throughout the year, and is planning an event to bring team members, valued customers, and vendor partners together in the fall.

Sound Productions was born in 1973 when guitar player and entrepreneur Charles Kitch was working at a music store. The store was contacted by Elvis Presley’s tour manager, asking to rent backline gear for a show in Dallas the next day. When the store owner said Presley would have to buy the gear just like everyone else, Kitch pulled together the required gear to meet the show’s needs. What started as a single gig turned into a 30-day tour with Elvis, and soon led to other requests for backline gear and tech support for some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll.

In the following decades, SoundPro expanded its services to fabricating custom electronic and speaker systems for touring bands, as well as

custom designed installs. When bands and production companies wanted to buy the products they rented, the transition to pro audio sales and repair was natural, and SoundPro started selling new and used gear across the country.

By 1985, the company shifted focus to sales and distribution. In 2012, SoundPro grew into a new location in Irving, TX. A second office in Madison, WI, opened in 2020 to better serve its growing customer base.

Today, SoundPro provides AVL products to diverse customer segments including contractors and integrators, businesses, houses of worship, live productions, bands, DJs, and more. The company’s industry-certified team members possess decades of professional and

personal experience. With people at the core of its values, SoundPro cultivates a culture of accountability, a passion for the industry, and an obsession with providing the best service to their customers.

“We are thrilled to celebrate 50 years of serving customers in an industry that we have so much passion for,” said SoundPro CEO Joshua Curlett. “With our rich company history, we will continue to honor the past while we build a better future for our team members, our vendors, and our customers. As SoundPro continues to grow, I’m truly grateful for those who have taken part in making SoundPro what it is today, and I look forward to what we can do together in the years to come.”

10 SCN // April 2023 // NEWS
SoundPro provides AVL solutions for a variety of vertical markets.

Smith Transitions to Distribution with Exertis Almo

Dan Smith joined Exertis Almo in January as executive vice president and COO, replacing the retiring Sam Taylor. Although he had been a vice president of sales at LG for almost 13 years, he said the distribution side of the business isn’t much different from the sales side.

“The major pieces of the channel—manufacturers, distributors, and integrators—are all focused on the same key success factors of achieving the best results for end users, optimizing their investment, and simplifying the deployment and usage of products and services,” he explained. “All three groups must work together to achieve end user satisfaction. In a well-functioning channel, we are collaborating on the same actions and goals.”

Smith said people often think of distributors as “pick, pack, and ship,” but the Exertis Almo business model extends to what he called “market enablement.” The company’s goal is not just to sell products and move on, but to help its integration partners thrive. Specifically, he said value-added services are critical to help fill in service gaps, as well as offer new and ongoing revenue streams.

“We are there to provide standard and customized support from start to finish for every AV installation,” Smith offered. “We are an integrator’s one-stop shop for product, design, and installation support for every AV project. For us, it’s simple: Value-added services help deepen our relationship with customers.”

Exertis Almo has had to navigate supply chain issues, too, and Smith said the problem simply needs to be managed at this point. “From a logistics aspect, there is plenty of capacity in the industry, on the seas and on


Experience Continues in April

After a successful show in Dallas in March, the next stop for the Exertis Almo E4 Experience is April 25 in Santa Clara, CA. Two additional stops are scheduled for 2024: Teaneck, NJ, on Sept. 20 and Phoenix on Oct. 18. Registration is open for all three events. The Exertis Almo E4 Experience is a free event that features a showroom packed with Pro AV gear in use, along with a lineup of AVIXA CTS-certified business, technical, and trend sessions.

trucks,” he explained. “However, because there are labor challenges, the in-country logistics system does not have the same reliability we saw pre-pandemic.”

Smith said Exertis Almo puts a lot of effort into offering a carefully selected range of Pro AV technologies and brands. So, what are the hottest products in inventory? “Currently, meeting space [corporate and education] solutions for collaboration are flying off the shelves,” he noted, “along with cloud-based systems and anything with LED technology.”

Dan Smith

Edwards Lifesciences Transforms Conference Center with Video Walls

Sound Image has transformed an executive conference center for Edwards Lifesciences with the installation of two 16x9-foot, Christie 1.2mm LED video walls with redundant Christie E600 controllers driven by a Christie Spyder X80 image processor.

Edwards, a medical technology company, is headquartered in Irvine, CA. For its renovated conference center, the company was looking for a fully redundant space that included a full video production suite as well as self-serviceability. The choice of Christie LED video walls was driven by budget and the unique requirements for the space.

“We looked at a couple other Christie products and solutions as well as other manufacturers, but the customer likes Christie, and I like supporting Christie,” said Jared Shapiro, account executive, Sound Image. “The customer wanted an off-board power supply because of heat concerns they had in this space. This allowed us to move all those BTUs into the rack room where they can be better controlled.”

The front-serviceable Christie LED video wall features an optional remote power supply for installation flexibility, efficient heat management,

and redundancies. The display delivers 4K60 resolution, HDR10 compatibility, built-in Clearview technology, and low-brightness enhancements for incredible visual experiences.

Specified and integrated by Sound Image and designed in collaboration with PLANNET, the conference center has seating for 126 people, with microphones installed at each seat. Six cameras are used at the front and two in the rear of the room, in conjunction with the Spyder X80, which enables multi-window and self-configurable full autotracking during video calls. The use of a Christie Spyder X80 image processor was in part to standardize the technology across Edwards’ campus and to take advantage of its multi-windowing capabilities.

“Spyder has been established across multiple projects throughout this campus, and what I like to do is standardize some of the technologies that we’re using,” said Shapiro. “Spyder is driving the multi-window and auto-tracking functionality, which helped us create clean transitions and multi-window presets.”

The requirement to create a fully redundant

space was unique to the project. While it added complexity to the system, and required significantly more rack space, Sound Image was prepared for the challenge.

“Sound Image is a touring company by heart, and we’ve been in the audio industry for decades,” Shapiro explained. “The show must go on, and we could never cancel a concert because we have technical difficulties. We have that same mindset when we do permanent installations.”

A condensed installation timeline meant that Sound Image was working concurrently in the space with construction crews and carpenters, but care was taken to ensure the project went smoothly. “From pre-sales all the way to commissioning, we had Christie’s support,” Shapiro added. “I adamantly take advantage of Christie’s installation support, as well as all the commissioning services for the Spyder X80. Everyone loves the space, and everything about it—from the audio to the video—is top notch.”

Interactive Kiosks Guide Visitors in New Los Angeles Shopping District

Developers of the newly opened Halo—a dining, shopping, and cultural destination located on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)—wanted to utilize a directory for finding shops, restaurants, and other key landmarks. To that end, Red Dot Digital Media and LightWerks teamed up to create a series of five interactive wayfinding kiosks located throughout the property.

Rather than deploy standard-format kiosks, the team designed slender kiosks incorporating 37-inch slim DynaScan high-brightness displays with custom interactive touch overlays driven by BrightSign media players using Carousel CMS software. Encased in brushed stainless steel, the minimalist, sleek look of the kiosks is the perfect complement to the design aesthetic of businesses and common areas that comprise Halo.

Using the Carousel CMS and custom HTML programming, Red Dot created a library of engaging,

interactive wayfinding content to help visitors locate information about the various restaurants, outdoor spaces, shops, and services located throughout the area. When idle, the kiosks display messaging and information about upcoming events.

Once visitors engage with the kiosk, they can explore a dedicated events page that lists all upcoming events, or they can select a specific destination and the kiosk will display the location of that business on a map. The multi-level maps display location information, as well as an image, description, and hours of operation for each business.

The kiosks also offer a quick-access directory where businesses can be found by category. Red Dot created an intuitive user interface so Halo personnel can easily update tenant details by entering information into a master Google sheet that houses relevant data about each business within the complex.

12 SCN // April 2023 // NEWS
The unique interactive kiosks at Halo offer wayfinding information for visitors. Two Christie LED video walls and a Spyder X80 image processor deliver visuals to the new Edwards Lifesciences executive conference center. CHRISTIE RED DOT DIGITAL MEDIA

Custom LG Displays Power New Insight Enterprises HQ

When Insight Enterprises set out to build a new 200,000-square-foot headquarters in Chandler, AZ, the company’s leaders seized on the opportunity to design workspaces and common areas that deliver immersive technological experiences and demonstrate the firm’s capabilities to employees and visitors. Officially named Insight Way, the company’s new Gensler-designed headquarters showcases its own installation and design prowess with help from LG digital displays that outfit one of the building’s most unique and public tech areas.

“The moment someone enters this building, they are surrounded by innovative technologies,” said Matt Skaff, Insight’s director of information technology. “From the rotating displays and touchscreen tables in the lobby to the digital smartboards found in various meeting spaces, the building’s design offers everything needed for efficient meetings and communication, while also displaying our own systems design knowledge. One of the most unique ideas is the three ‘Boulevards,’ which are hallway installations that feature multiple LG 88-inch UltraStretch displays that brighten when approached.”

The main Boulevard is an entrance hallway just past the lobby, making it one of the most high-traffic areas in the entire building. Knowing this, the company uses the space to highlight employee stories, company successes, value statements, and messages welcoming honored guests.

All three Boulevard hallways feature vertically mounted LG UltraStretch displays that are angled slightly off the wall in a custom cabinet solution, which Insight calls a Prism, giving the space a professional

aesthetic. The Prisms are designed to mimic the letter I in Insight’s logo to further the feeling of a branded environment.

Each Prism unit includes a motion sensor that detects a viewer’s distance, enabling automatic adjustment of the screen’s brightness and contrast to optimize visibility when viewers approach. The special feature ensures the displays aren’t overly distracting to those who pass by, while providing meaningful experiences for anyone who approaches to learn more. For content reproduction, a pictureby-picture feature can divide the screen into four sub-screens, each with its own individual video input, allowing Insight to display multiple different messages at one time.

“These installations are in view all day, every day, so it is critical that we utilize reliable digital displays that will last for years and can be tied in with content systems for easy, rapid content delivery,” Skaff added. “The new drag-and-drop content system we

set up is vastly more efficient than prior office signage solutions, and the technologies have advanced so far that we now have hundreds of displays throughout the building with different sizes tied into a single content system.”

When new internal teams or clients visit the office for the first time, Skaff said they consistently rave about the architecture and the technology, including the “wow” factor when walking by the Prism displays. According to Tom Carroll, director, commercial displays, at LG Business Solutions USA, Insight’s use of technology demonstrates the exciting possibilities that can be achieved by designing creative and unique experiences in virtually any setting.

“In many ways, Insight’s new global headquarters resets standard expectations to include novel technology interactions and a variety of collaborative spaces equipped with remote communications technologies,” Carroll said. “The custom-designed Prisms are both a proof-of-concept and an advertising mechanism that we can easily envision hanging on the walls of corporate HQs, retail spaces, transportation hubs, and other high-traffic pedestrian locations. We’re thrilled that our displays are part of this forward-thinking project and are excited to see what Insight will do next.”

As an added benefit, the auto-brightness function can also reduce total energy costs and extend the working life of the displays. Insight Way was designed to achieve Gold LEED certification and utilizes sustainable technologies to reduce impact, including solar panels, sensor-based automatic window shutters, an HVAC ionization system, and smart temperature and lighting control.

LG’s Stretch displays deliver a unique ultra-wide or ultra-tall HD display that can be installed in any orientation to turn columns, doorway overhangs, and other non-standard locations into attractive and profitable digital signage endpoints. The displays feature a 32:9 aspect ratio and 700 nits of brightness.

14 SCN // April 2023 // NEWS
Three “Boulevards” in Insight’s new HQ feature LG UltraStretch displays. A motion sensor for each display detects a viewer’s distance and automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness. INSIGHT ENTERPRISES LG displays highlight employee stories and company successes.

High School Theater Helps Guests with Hearing Loss Enjoy the Show

During a recent renovation, John Rennie High School, a secondary school in Quebec, Canada, decided to upgrade the audio in its Louise Chalmers Theatre, as well as install assistive technology to accommodate students and guests with hearing loss.

Assistive listening systems retailer Oreille Bionique recommended Listen EVERYWHERE, an audio-over-Wi-Fi assistive listening system, and provided a demo unit for the high school to test in the theater. After a successful 30-day trial, John Rennie High School began the procurement process.

Listen EVERYWHERE streams live or recorded venue audio over wireless networks to smartphones. Users can listen via headphones connected to their smartphone, or by streaming sound from their smartphone directly to their hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Now, students and theater patrons who would like to use the Listen EVERYWHERE assistive listening system can download the Listen EVERYWHERE app on their smartphones, select a channel, tune into the sound in the theater, and listen to clear audio using their own headsets, earbuds, or hearing aids or cochlear implants.

“This means that anyone in the theater who wishes to use assistive listening can access what is being said on the stage with increased ease, enjoy the sound effects, listen to music being performed or played, as well as participate in a presentation,” said Tracey Green, an itinerant educational specialist from the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf, who worked with faculty member Chris Webb to find an assistive listening system for the theater. “By having the audio sent directly to the listener, we can provide a clear audio feed, which overcomes a poor acoustic environment for anyone listening, no matter their needs.”

“Equal access matters, and for those with hearing loss, assistive technology like Listen EVERYWHERE makes the sound accessible,” said Maile Keone, president and CEO of Listen Technologies. “Assistive listening systems make school assemblies, theater productions, musical presentations, and community events inclusive.” // April 2023 // SCN 15
John Rennie High School in Quebec upgraded its Louise Chalmers Theatre audio with a focus on accessibility. LISTEN TECHNOLOGIES Listen EVERYWHERE streams audio to smartphones.

Alcons Provides Audio Answers for Alexandria Church

Anew building for Alexandria Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA, is home to the first U.S. installation of Alcons QRP20 pro-ribbon loudspeaker systems. Launched in 2021, the slim design, natural sound reproduction, and throw of the QRP20 was an ideal audio answer for the church’s fan-shaped auditorium.

Located around seven miles from the center of Washington, DC, Alexandria Presbyterian Church was given planning permission in 2020 to demolish its existing building and build a new 22,794-square-foot home. Worship at the church includes sermons, a praise band playing both contemporary songs and traditional

hymns, and both adult and youth choirs.

The main auditorium needed an audio system that would seamlessly deliver all of these in high quality to every member of the congregation. The clean lines of the architecture also meant that it was desirable to conceal the loudspeakers.

Steve Taub from Taub Sales, Alcons Audio’s mid-Atlantic representative, was invited to do a demonstration by acoustic consulting firm Miller, Beam & Paganelli, the company tasked with designing the technical systems for the new church. Later, local integration company Design & Integration was chosen to handle the install phase.

“As both the AV and acoustic designers, we had to ensure the acoustics of the room would be appropriate for its intended use and then select speakers accordingly,” said John Paganelli, partner at Miller, Beam & Paganelli and the project’s acoustic consultant. “We were impressed with the performance of the QRP20. The high-frequency pro-ribbon tweeter delivered exceptional clarity and intelligibility. We thought it would be a good fit for the design, and the small size

allowed them to be concealed in the walls on each side of the stage, maintaining the uncluttered interior decor.”

Available in a standard 90-degree horizontal coverage pattern (QRP20/90) and wide dispersion (QRP20/120) versions, the QRP20 is a full range, two-way point source column system, with high-Q directivity for increased projection control. It’s loaded with the RBN401 4-inch pro-ribbon driver on a “Morpher” lens, mounted in a D’Appolito speaker configuration with four, 5-inch custom-design woofers in a sealed cabinet.

Designed as a vertical array for both permanent and portable applications, the QRP20 is ideal for acoustically challenging environments or applications where intelligibility over distance is required.

Complementing two QRP20/120s, Paganelli chose a pair of BF121 compact, high-output subwoofers for tight and accurate bass response with very low distortion. The system is powered by a Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controller.

“I have always been a fan of pro-ribbon drivers, and Alcons uses them very well in the QRP20s,” said Paganelli. “The speakers sound great and have a lot of capability for their size. The customer is very happy, and the Alcons system is the perfect complement to their brand-new house of worship, both in terms of sound and appearance.”

16 SCN // April 2023 // NEWS
Alcons QRP20 pro-ribbon column loudspeakers deliver high-quality audio across the fan-shaped Alexandria Presbyterian Church.

Moderate Pro AV Growth Continues

With the economy slowing and the return to in-person boom mostly exhausted, Pro AV growth seems to be settling into a moderate expansion phase, according to AVIXA’s latest Pro AV Business Index. After February’s AV Sales Index (AVI-S) reading of 56.6, three of the last four months have been within a half point of 57.0. This level is above the no-net change mark of 50, but it is lower than historic norms for our industry.

Comments from survey respondents elaborate on why Pro AV is at this level. Several point to growing steadiness in month-to-month sales after a frenzied

2022. For some, that meant contraction in February simply due to randomness.

Supply remains the most significant challenge, though the situation continues to slowly improve. Economic fears are also a factor, both in the form of already realized weakness and hesitancy to invest due to fears that things could get worse. That said, given the continued revenue growth, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.

March began with an old-fashioned economic bump: a bank run. Modern regulations and insurance schemes have made such occurrences rare, but on March 10, a confluence of several factors—concentration in the recently hurting startup, crypto, and tech sectors, as well as a large percent of deposits uninsured, losses on excess assets, etc.—led to the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the United States.

Such failures are concerning; Silicon Valley Bank is the second largest bank ever to fail. But realistically, these failures are unlikely to lead to any systemic crisis. For one, the traits that hurt them—especially their tech sector startup concentration and high percentage of uninsured deposits—are fairly unique. Major banks are far more diversified and hold far more insured deposits, while other undiversified banks are in healthier sectors.

Beyond that, the relevant U.S. institutions (the federal government, Federal Reserve, and FDIC) have

stepped in to guarantee the uninsured deposits. This should stop the future “get my deposits before it’s too late” waves that cause bank runs and collapses.

The AV Employment Index (AVI-E) continued to exceed the AVI-S in February, as it registered 58.8. As in January, this reflects that employers are continuing to catch up on hiring after a busy and difficult-to-hire 2022. It also reflects a lower rate of contraction.

In a steady state, month-to-month randomness means many businesses have down months. But payrolls contract far more rarely. The outsize strength of employment is not a Pro AV-only phenomenon.

February showed payrolls are still the bright spot of the current economic environment. The economy added 311,000 jobs, and labor force participation increased enough to lift the unemployment rate from 3.4% to 3.6%. This is about as good a report as could be expected, as it shows strength in the form of the huge payroll expansion and easing tension in the form of the increased labor force participation.

The Pro AV Business Index report is derived from a monthly survey of the AVIXA Insights Community, a research community of industry members that tracks business trends in commercial AV. For more information about joining the AVIXA Insights Community, visit

Peter Hansen is an economist at AVIXA.


A Piece of Cake

RTI Celebrates 30th Anniversary with New Solutions for Integrators

: How long have you been with RTI, and what are your responsibilities?

Bill Hensley: I began consulting with RTI in the spring of 2020 and joined full time that August. I am focused on increasing awareness of RTI solutions while building the programs, communications, and tools to help RTI dealers create more opportunities and win more business.

: How is RTI celebrating its 30th anniversary?

BH: We’re celebrating by bringing to market the solutions that will pave the way forward for integrators’ businesses to be more profitable and efficient, and that will strengthen customer relationships. This includes control solutions that ensure increasingly functional, intuitive spaces—no matter the environment, user, or equipment. That said, we’ve occasionally paused to share some anniversary cake with our partners.

: What are the short and long-term goals for your company?

BH: RTI is always focused on helping integrators grow their businesses. In the short term, we have some software updates that will add value to every product we make. Ongoing, it’s all about developing exceptional control and AV distribution solutions in both the residential and commercial space.

: RTI is well positioned in both the residential and commercial worlds. When it comes to product innovation, which area tends to lead more?

BH: What we’ve found by looking at the market is that residential dealers are increasingly securing commercial projects where control and automation is desired. Our product innovations, such as creating an ecosystem and portfolio of products that include video-over-IP with native video control inside the control system, reflect this shift. There are a number of ways to meet budgets while exceeding expectations. We work in both commercial and residential; sometimes the spark comes from commercial, sometimes from residential, but we’re seeing more and more overlap.

: What are some of the commonalities between both markets, and are your solutions interchangeable between them?

BH: Take a peek into any conference room

or media room and what you’ll see is a plethora of components that all need some sort of operational control, whether it’s lowering a projector screen, adjusting the lighting and shades, or selecting the appropriate source. Our solutions are built around enabling customers to achieve a seamless control experience—no matter the component, no matter the application.

RTI’s mission is to make it easier for dealers to program, connect to, and control any component. That’s why our large and continuously growing library of drivers available for RTI projects is a major focus for the company. New and/or updated drivers release every Friday, which we call “Driver Friday,” and that’s just the ones done by our internal team. The network of independent driver developers is always writing drivers for residential and commercial integrations.

: Your Integration Designer software is all about customization. How important is customization for integrators?

BH: Integration Designer is the RTI control application programming platform. It provides a single platform to achieve the full customization for which RTI is renown. The latest version, Integration Designer 11, minimizes programming tasks for the fastest customized installation ever. Integrators can modify the auto-generated pages, create their own custom interface, or even use a third-party template. It delivers the flexibility and efficiency integrators need on projects, while the new Coral user interface provides an intuitive experience in any application. The stunning UI template and auto-generated pages are important for residential integrators, but Integration Designer 11 still enables the full customization that commercial customers demand.

: What was the thinking behind your automation solutions for houses of worship?

BH: Worship is not unlike the conferencing application where control solutions are used to make it easy to start meetings at the touch of a button. Often, it’s the case in the worship space where the AV

Bill Hensley

Position: Head of Global Marketing Company: RTI

Overtime: When I find time, I enjoy writing and recording music.

crew is made up of non-technical volunteers, and there’s lots of sensitive equipment that needs to be powered up in just the right order. Rather than relying on a list of complicated steps, an integrator can program a button on a touchpanel that initiates a macro with the proper sequencing needed for sensitive audio gear.

Our KX4 delivers a simple approach to proper on/ off control and room control by combining an in-wall touchpanel and hard-button input with a built-in control processor. So, an integrator could program a sequence macro that would prevent not only the painful feedback of equipment when turned on out of order, but also the damaging inrush that can fry thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment.

: Automation for the “smart” office: What are some of the ground rules companies should follow?

BH: Like any project, integrators have to start by listening to the customer. What do they need the room to do right now? At the same time, a wise integrator will ask what companies may want three, five, or more years down the line. This encourages an immediate project that develops into an ongoing relationship. For example, they might want to add more rooms with control. By knowing that now, an integrator can begin to the lay the foundation for that growth by pre-wiring and saving the customer money in the longer term.

: Many instructors are notoriously hesitant toward using technology. How do you get faculty buy-in for control systems?

BH: The beauty of a control system is that it can take learning and worrying about new technology off instructors’ plates. After all, they are there to impart wisdom and expertise to students. Again, let’s use the KX4 as the example. An instructor can walk into the lecture hall with, let’s say, a projector or interactive display, camera, speakers, lighting, and more. But they don’t have to worry about all this technology to help them present. All they need to do is push the button on the panel to initiate the presentation mode and achieve optimal lighting, turn on the camera, switch to the right inputs, lower the projection screen, or turn on the display and speakers. Once they do that, they’re set. This can also cut down on help desk tickets and streamline the workflow, so tech staff don’t need to rush around setting up every class.

Integration Designer 11 18 SCN // April 2023 //


Clarity in Collaboration

With Demos from His Garage, Mackie Makes the Case for Yamaha UC Solutions

: How long have you been with this company, and what are your responsibilities?

Timothy Mackie: In September 2013, I joined a wireless microphone manufacturer called RevoLabs. That company was then acquired by Yamaha in 2014. Yamaha Unified Communications was born out of that acquisition. As senior field systems engineer, I am responsible for design support, technical sales training, and product demonstrations. I work closely with our distributors, dealers, and integrators to make sure they fully understand our solutions. I also perform live remote and in-person dealer and end user product sales demonstrations, and forge relationships with industry consultants and system architects to keep them fully aware of the latest Yamaha UC advanced technologies and our competitive advantages.

: How has your background prepared you for your role?

TM: Having a background in both Ethernet network design as well as AV systems has been highly beneficial, as conferencing AV systems are shifting from analog or analog and digital combinations to full digital solutions. I started in the AV industry in 1984 working for a high-end AV retailer and car stereo shop in Silicon Valley. That was an amazing learning experience and where I learned basic audio principles and practical applications of acoustics.

: On YouTube, I saw you turned your motorcycle garage into a microphone demo area. What made you think of that, and how is it working for you?

TM: The pandemic forced us to think outside of the box regarding customer product demos, inspiring me to turn my garage into a microphone demo area. It has worked well beyond expectations. Being able to demonstrate the audio performance on the far end, which is critical to conferencing, has been paramount. In many regards, it has been more powerful than bringing the product on site. Virtual demos allow our customers to hear how they would sound with Yamaha’s microphones: clear, uninterrupted, and echo-free. Interacting with so many customers using multiple cameras and viewing angles within my shop has also been a lot of fun.

: Unified communication seems to be a big push for Yamaha. What are the essential features you need in a collaborative system for a professional workspace?

TM: You need good microphone and speaker playback coverage for all participants with clear, highly intelligible audio for both far-end and local in-room participants. Excellent processing with dynamic echo cancellation and active dereverberation is an absolute must for today’s conference rooms and meeting areas. Familiarity and ease of use from room to room or environment to environment is the key to comfortable, fast setup, productive meetings.

Timothy Mackie

Position: Senior Field Systems Engineer


Yamaha Unified Communications

Overtime: In my spare time, I like to road race Yamaha motorcycles. I also restore them, including some very rare vintage Yamaha grand prix race machines.

elements of the human voice, combined with natural sounds rather than engineered noise, it achieves the same result as traditional sound masking at a lower overall sound level. This is a huge deal for those folks who work in these environments.

Integrators should be targeting a variety of end users in addition to the traditional commercial customers, such as healthcare facilities, traditional office areas, lobbies, and open collaboration spaces. There are also non-traditional facilities like airline clubs, auto dealerships, or anywhere with sensitive sales conversations taking place. The applications of this technology are far beyond the traditional markets.

: What Yamaha UC product is your favorite?

: So, what’s the better choice, a tabletop microphone or ceiling-mounted microphone?

TM: The closer you can get a microphone to a participant the better. This is always true; however, each microphone type has its own benefits and applications. Dynamic multi-beamforming ceiling microphones are an excellent choice for training rooms, classrooms, and larger environments where cost-effective coverage of large numbers of participants is needed and changing seating arrangements are in play. A combination of tabletop and ceiling microphones is advantageous in many applications as well. DECT wireless microphone systems are amazing and always feature in designs where there just can’t be any wires at all. The choice comes down to each individual application—and helping our customers sort out these decisions is a big part of my job.

: How does a speech privacy system work, and who should integrators be targeting for potential installations?

TM: Speech privacy, while similar to sound masking, features advanced technology and a more surgically installed application, meaning that it can be targeted at either large or specific areas. Utilizing Yamaha’s unique Info-Masking technology, made from

TM: The ADECIA ceiling solution for sure, featuring the RM-CG Dante-enabled ceiling microphone and dynamic multi-beam tracking technology. The distributed architecture and intelligent processing mean that users no longer need to use a traditional digital signal processor (DSP). Simply select the microphones for your room or space and pair it with the RM-CR controller for echo-free, crystal-clear audio. For over 90% of today’s rooms and spaces out there, you no longer need a traditional DSP. With ADECIA solutions, once everything is plugged into the Ethernet switch and the switch is powered up, you are just a handful of clicks from world-class audio and your first videoconference meeting.

: What makes Yamaha UC products different from other UC products?

TM: Yamaha is unique in the level of automation we are bringing to the UC space. Yamaha leads the way with artificial intelligence in audio processing and advanced algorithms. Our ADECIA solutions are true 100% power-over-Ethernet, which means just a single cable type for everything—and it leverages existing Ethernet infrastructures. The auto-routing, auto-tuning, and intelligent intuitive interface allows the technicians that are mounting the equipment to achieve world-class audio before they move to the next room. The mixing, tuning, and configuring is all done within the system with a few simple mouse clicks. The game has changed.

20 SCN // April 2023 //


Problem Solving Against the Clock

It Takes Tenacity to Accomplish the Impossible

Many years ago, I faced an insurmountable task for a high-profile project. Through a combination of cleverness and tenacity, I was able to make it happen. And it all started with a bit part in a music video.

I started my business as a sound contractor, designing, installing, servicing, and renting sound systems. (A shout out to Sam Ash, with whom I partnered with for about 15 years.) I had been working for Billy Joel and his production folks putting in sound systems at their offices and homes. That’s when they asked me to act in one of Billy’s music videos.

Initially, I said no but eventually acquiesced. I spent two grueling days filming, one day on a 350-foot garbage scow leaving Manhattan and the other at various locations. Yes, you can see me early in the “The Night is Still Young” music video. When Billy opens a door, I swing from a crossbeam and follow him. Later, you can see me as a factory worker next to a Richard Gere lookalike walking out of the factory.

Let Me Do That

This was near the beginning of the music video era, and I noticed the production assistant was doing the sound. After the video, I asked him to let me handle the sound next time. After all, I had the time, the training, and the equipment.

A few weeks later, I got the call. For two nights, I shot the “Walk This Way” video (with Run DMC and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry) at the Capital Theater in New Jersey. It was my first gig running sound professionally for a music video. I spent two important days hanging out, making friends, and coming through with everything they needed. I became well known, first call for most projects coming to New York.

Fast-forward to August 1988. Pink Floyd was at New York’s Nassau Coliseum for five nights, and they were filming a movie of their release and tour, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. I was actually planning to attend one of the shows.

A recording truck had been hired for the production. I had worked on some of these large multi-camera shoots, where I would have to run as much as two miles of cabling to hard wire communication, typically Clear-Com. In this case, they used Motorola walkie talkies for communication between the cameras and the director. There were 20 cameras at least, and the director needed to talk to each camera

operator and tell them what to


On the early afternoon of the first show, I got a call from one of the production folks with whom I had previously worked. They did not get/could not get their headsets that worked with the Motorola walkie talkies. Think of what a helicopter pilot wears—big, double-muff headpiece with a noise cancelling mic. If I remember correctly, they would not be able to get them for a few days and needed me to provide them.

I owned some 36 of these radios, but I did not have the headsets. I was well connected, though, so I called everyone I knew, from film houses to sound guys to communication distributors, with no luck. (Remember, this was the 80s.) After a few hours, I checked in, and they still had not found anything. I told them not to worry—I would get something together and be there in a few hours.

Shot in the Dark

My mentor and friend, Bernie Zuch, and I discussed this. I rented a lot of equipment from him, including the walkies I owned. He said he did have single ear earpieces that would connect to the Motorola radios with an adapter. Of course, this would be useless—the concert would simply be too loud—but I figured there had to be a way to make this work (in the next two

hours, mind you).

And then I got it. What they needed looked like shooting muffs, the double earmuffs you use at the gun range to protect your ears. There was a gun store nearby, so I called them. I bought 30 double earmuffs, and then I bought 30 earpieces from Bernie.

I got there in time and it worked. While not a perfect solution, this was a (video) shooting emergency. The director had to be able to direct the cameras; the production could do without having the camera operators talk back for the night. You can imagine the cost of a 60-person crew, rental equipment, etc., and the wasted money if they could not film that night.

There was a combination of factors here that enabled me to accomplish this task. First and foremost was tenacity. Second was my years of experience in the audio/sound industry, and familiarity with all different types of equipment. Third was just my nature as an engineer, always looking to make something work.

When you’re in the field, you learn to be clever. Whether you’re using the right cable or even the right piece of gear for what you are doing is not as important as getting the job done. The show must go on, as they say.

There is a difference in this world between those who survive and those who thrive. When faced with an obstacle, what would you do? Say you just can’t do it, get someone else, or keep pressing until you find a solution? Let’s fill our industry with those who thrive—be tenacious and clever and know your trade. Here’s to your success!

Doug Kleeger, CTS-D, DMC-E/S, XTP-E, KCD, is the founder of AudioVisual Consulting Services. Contact him with questions or comments at

22 SCN // April 2023 //
Back in 1988, I had to recruit these gun range shooting muffs for a different kind of shooting project.


Rep News

Rep Report

Two more distributors in the PowerHouse Alliance are now carrying the BLUSTREAM product line.

PIONEER MUSIC COMPANY services the Midwest, while 21ST CENTURY DISTRIBUTING serves the Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee markets.

HP MARKETING has transitioned to new ownership. Veteran vice president of sales, ANDY CONNORS, has bought out Steve Johnson, long-time owner and CEO, who retired. It marks the fifth ownership/leadership transition in the 49-year history of the company. HP Marketing represents Pioneer DJ, Perdue Acoustics, Lowell Manufacturing, Pensar LED, König & Meyer, DPA Microphones, and Harman Professional. It also has developed strong distribution partnerships with Exertis Almo and ADI.

VISION2 MARKETING WEST has expanded its partnership with HARMAN Professional to include Las Vegas and Hawaii along with Southern California. V2 West has also added Jon Garner to its South California team, Corey Ferren to support efforts in Hawaii, and Jim Chase to lead integration sales in the Las Vegas territory.

Industry veteran KATHY SKINSKI has joined INFILED as vice president of sales for North America. Skinski has more than 25 years of experience in the technology and media industries, with roles at top media giants including ABC, WarnerMedia, and Time Warner Cable. Prior to joining INFiLED, she was recruited to lead the broadcast, media, and virtual production unit at Planar Systems, where she established an exceptional track record developing new partnerships, alliances, and managing the North American sales team.

FIELDLINK has appointed JEFF GREER as president. The firm’s managing partners, Joe Rosenfeld and Mike Schiano, helped create the role, and will report to Greer as they work together to scale the rapidly growing business. Most recently, in his role as vice president of operations for a national systems integrator that he helped grow to the $600 million dollar level, Greer was a client for FieldLink.

The Board of Directors of CLEARONE appointed DEREK GRAHAM as CEO in January. He had filled the role of interim CEO since May 2022. Graham joined ClearOne in 2003 as a lead engineer and rose through the ranks. He has overseen the development and

introduction of multiple generations of professionally installed audio and videoconferencing, video streaming, wireless microphone, digital signage, and camera products. He has also authored 13 patents, including many patents that are critical to ClearOne’s success.

RGB SPECTRUM is expanding internationally, and has appointed KEN PEFKAROS, a 20-year veteran of the company, as a sales director for Europe. He has a wealth of experience within the industry, as well as expansive knowledge of the RGB Spectrum product portfolio. Currently based in San Francisco, Pefkaros will be establishing a new office in Paris later this year. The company also announced that BILL HILDEBRAND has come out of retirement to serve as director of sales for North America. He spent nearly 14 years in sales at Planar Systems, and previously held positions with Gateway and Quantum Technologies.

JENNA SILBERFELD has joined PLANAR’s recently expanded U.S. sales force as a member of the Metro New York Team. Based in New Jersey, she will leverage her professional network and extensive industry experience to help bolster the company’s presence in the region.

Grass Valley Expands Leadership Team

Grass Valley has added three industry veterans to its leadership team in an effort to reinforce its accelerated business transformation. TIM BANKS has been named chief revenue officer, along with MAREK KIELCZEWSKI as chief technology officer, and JIM KIRKLAND as senior vice president global delivery and support.

With more than 25 years of experience in the media and entertainment space, most recently as vice president of sales EMEA at Grass Valley, Banks had been in the interim CRO role for about six months. Over his years at Grass Valley, Banks has established an exceptional in-region sales and pre-sales presence, and has achieved impressive rates of revenue and market share growth.

Kielczewski comes to Grass Valley with more than 20 years of industry experience in running engineering organizations in the broadcast, media, and entertainment segments. Prior to joining Grass Valley, Kielczewski co-founded TVCoins, a streaming media startup, and previously served as CTO of SeaChange, where he led the consolidation and transformation of the global R&D organization. Kirkland brings more than 15 years of experience of senior customer-fac-

Jenna Silberfeld Derek Graham Kathy Skinski Jeff Greer Bill Hildebrand Ken Pefkaros
24 SCN // April 2023 //
Andy Connors

With more than a decade of experience in the AV industry, Silberfeld joins Planar from Samsung, where she served as a channel account manager for commercial displays and signage. She previously served in sales support at Crestron.

Industry veteran JOSEPH M. CONOVER has joined CHRISTIE as its new director of sales for live entertainment and events for the Americas. Conover comes to Christie with more than 30 years of experience, most recently with Panasonic, where he led strategic development and immersive partnership efforts for North America. Based in Los Angeles, Conover will be responsible for immersive entertainment venues and live events, and will oversee the company’s rental and staging partners.

ATLONA has welcomed STEVE BOGART as business development manager for the education market in North America. His extensive AV/IT experience and sales insight will bring value to customers navigating a quickly changing technology landscape. An important support component of his position will be the relaunch of Atlona’s educational alliance program, Ed Tech VIP, which provides financial incentives to education customers along with design assistance, evaluation gear, technical support, and more. Bogart recently had roles at HARMAN and WolfVision.


Based in Phoenix, MARK PLAYDON is the new western regional sales manager for UTAH SCIENTIFIC. He will oversee sales and customer management in the Western United States and Canada, regularly visiting

potential and existing customers throughout the region to assess their needs and provide product and system recommendations. Playdon started his career in 1993 as a systems design and installation engineer for FOR-A. Before joining Utah Scientific, he worked as a director of broadcast sales for JVCKenwood, where he managed all direct account sales west of the Mississippi.

ing positions to his new role, having worked in service and pre-sales in Omnibus, Miranda, and Grass Valley.

“I’m delighted that Grass Valley’s leadership is strengthened by the experience and market knowledge that Tim, Marek, and Jim bring to the team. They will be pivotal in reinforcing GV’s customer-centric culture and leading our ongoing business transformation,” said Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO and executive chairman at Grass Valley.

Joseph M. Conover Steve Bogart From Left: Tim Banks, Marek Kielczewski, Jim Kirkland Mark Playdon // April 2023 // SCN 25

Fake Products, Real Problems

Pro AV Manufacturers Continue to Combat International Counterfeiters

Back in December, L-Acoustics celebrated a victory.

Headquartered in Paris, the professional audio systems manufacturer had just obtained prison sentences for loudspeaker counterfeiters operating in Guangzhou, China. Five individuals were arrested for fabricating and selling fake L-Acoustics products. They were found guilty of counterfeiting a registered trademark and received prison sentences of up to three years. Chinese authorities also seized counterfeit signs, molds, and other evidence during the arrest.

Laurent Ostojski, L-Acoustics senior legal counsel and head of its Anti-Counterfeit Task Force, explained that this case was a bit unusual, since it was the Chinese authorities that alerted the manufacturer to the problem. In criminal cases like this, the manufacturer must coordinate with, and rely on, local authorities to move things forward.

Most times, L-Acoustics learns of potential counterfeiting activity through its own monitoring efforts, its customers, or its global distribution network. These cases are generally handled as civil lawsuits; the company has more control in civil cases because it leads the investigation. It then works with attorneys on the ground to pursue legal action, if necessary.

Define ‘Win’

The main goal of pursuing legal action against counterfeiters, Ostojski noted, is to remove fake products from the market and put counterfeiters out of business. “Winning” a counterfeiting case is not a revenuegenerating exercise.

“Of course, we try to get remedies because it costs money to initiate a lawsuit, [but] most of the time, the money we get as a remedy is lower than the money we had to invest,” Ostojski explained. A win, then, is usually when the company is reimbursed for its legal expenses.

Counterfeit products are a problem for a number of reasons. In Pro AV, counterfeits don’t deliver the same performance that both AV integrators and their clients expect. They can also pose a safety threat: Faulty wiring could produce a fire hazard, for example, or a low-quality rigging apparatus could cause equipment to fall on performers or audience members during a show. And if producers are unable to present a genuine certification of conformity for their rig during a safety inspection, they risk having their entire production shut down.

Buyers of counterfeit products aren’t immune to legal action as well. In most countries, owning or renting fake products is illegal. “People can be sued just because they bought a pair of fake products—that’s something that we are not afraid to do,” said Ostojski. “Of course, we try to focus on the counterfeiters—going directly to the root of the problem—but we have already acted against companies that bought fake products to put them on the market. So [when it comes to] integrators buying fake products, the mere fact that they own fake products is counterfeiting in most countries.”

At Shure, a solid distribution network helps to curb counterfeiting, explained Abby Kaplan, vice president of global retail sales. Depending on the region, customers may purchase genuine Shure products directly through a distributor or online through Shure or an authorized channel partner. “The number one thing is to setup a robust, vetted partner community of resellers and distributors that are authorized,” she explained, “and we put all of our effort into directing people to buy from those authorized sources.”

Kaplan conceded that the online landscape makes monitoring counterfeiting activity more complex, but Shure maintains a network of e-commerce partners that are authorized to sell its products. “There are some [sites] around the world that are mostly the purveyors of counterfeit goods, and we try to educate [customers] to beware of those types of sites,” she said.

Monitoring and Mapping

The International Trademark Association (INTA), headquartered in New York City, focuses on supporting trademarks and complementary intellectual property. It has a global membership of brand owners, and its Anti-Counterfeiting Committee is made up of 350 members worldwide.

Christina Mitropoulos, director of external relations and head of INTA’s Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, noted that large brands (luxury handbag manufacturers, for example) have in-house teams that are dedicated to anti-counterfeiting activities. She said smaller brands tend to outsource their anti-counterfeiting efforts, either to a specialized law firm or a tech provider that will monitor for counterfeiting activity online. At L-Acoustics, production volume isn’t nearly as large as that of a luxury handbag brand. But as in-house senior legal counsel, Ostojski spends about 50% of his time fighting against counterfeiting.

While counterfeiting spans the globe, Mitropoulos said the major hubs continue to be China, APAC, and South Asia. Once manufactured, though, these products travel around the planet.

“It’s been very interesting to see, with our membership, how counterfeits travel from one end of the world to the other—and the routes that they take,” she said. “And because this is such a global issue, it’s very difficult because the regulations or laws in one region are different in another part of the world. Keeping up with the frameworks that are in place globally is definitely a challenge.”

Some INTA members have teams that are dedicated to intelligence gathering, so they can map these routes. According to Mitropoulos, it’s one thing to target the point of counterfeit manufacturing— but engagement along the entire supply chain is important, too. This means that organizations like INTA and their membership must work with border officials around the world

L-Acoustics celebrated a victory last year when counterfeit products were destroyed and five individuals were convicted of counterfeiting in Guangzhou, China.

to educate them on their role in combatting counterfeiting, especially if they’re located in a hub that’s used for the transit of counterfeit products.

Some regions have prioritized intellectual property and their own anti-counterfeiting measures over the years, but Mitropoulos said other countries continue to be less proactive. “When we are interacting and engaging with officials in [some] parts of the world, there is definitely a learning curve,” she added. “But it seems, overall, that there is a willingness to at least try to address the issue. How that actually plays out differs around the world.”

Red Flags for Pro AV Counterfeits

Often, it’s possible for B2B customers and end users to determine whether the product they are procuring is a counterfeit. Here are a few common red flags to consider.

• Price. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

• Inventory quantities. Pro AV is a niche market driven by companies that, in general, manufacture high-quality products in a limited production environment.

“When you come across a company claiming that they have hundreds or even thousands of each product [in stock], there may be a problem,” observed Laurent Ostojski, senior legal counsel and head of the Anti-Counterfeit Task Force at L-Acoustics.

• Bad spelling. Many counterfeits are produced in countries where English (or the language the authentic manufacturer uses) is not the primary language. “When you look at the product, sometimes you will notice spelling mistakes,” Ostojski noted. “Genuine companies pay a lot of attention to all the product markings, especially because some of the markings we put on our products are mandatory under national laws.”

When buyers source products from authorized retailers, distributors, and online marketplaces, the need for identifying these red flags disappears, according to Abby Kaplan, vice president of global retail sales at Shure. She encourages integrators and other Shure customers sourcing Shure products to utilize its dealer locator, which is accessible through its website.

“If a customer has a question, or maybe a nagging feeling about who they’re purchasing from—maybe it’s a new source that they’ve never bought Shure from before—reach out to us,” she said. “We’re happy to let you know if it’s an authorized source or not.” // April 2023 // SCN 27
From left: Abby Kaplan, Laurent Ostojski, and Christina Mitropoulos

UConn Pulls Double Duty

New Control Room Can Produce Two Live Sporting Events Simultaneously

Staying ahead of the game to enhance the fan experience is not simply about the brightest lights and largest scoreboards. In today’s sports world, the latest in-venue broadcast capabilities and audio systems are equally important.

The University of Connecticut is no slouch when it comes to sports. Now, with the help of design and systems integration firm Metinteractive, the Huskies are ahead of the game technologically speaking as well. Metinteractive delivered AV and broadcast integration to the UConn Athletic District Development, a recent program that improved outdated campus sports venues.

UConn in Complete Control

Between the soccer and baseball stadiums is the new Rizza Family Performance Center, which houses the video production control room for on-campus sports. The control room is a blend of Pro AV technology, but the centerpiece items are the Ross Carbonite switchers, Ultrix router, and graphics systems, as well as the Q-SYS system for audio amplifiers and DSP. Also in the production mix are Hitachi SK-HD1200 cameras, Clear-Com intercoms, ElationLogic control and coding solutions (a brand also owned by Metinteractive), and HP Aruba networking.

What is particularly impressive about the control room is that it was designed to produce two live events simultaneously. “The two halves of the room are similar, but not 100% identical,” explained Jeff Mele, CTO, Metinteractive. “But there are separate switches, separate replay systems, separate graphics systems, separate scoring systems, all tied with a common network infrastructure and common communication system.”

Of course, a double control room designed to juggle multiple sports didn’t come without challenges. “It’s an

A and B-side double control room, where you have to have the agility to shift which sport is coming out of which side of the room, because there’s plenty of overlap,” Mele said. “It was always anticipated that softball and soccer would play out of one side and hockey and baseball the other side, because there wouldn’t be collisions in some of those. But with the whole COVID era and the cancellations of the season, even up through this year, it’s caused mayhem with the schedule for the teams.

“And there are unexpected conflicts in time where you might have to run softball and soccer at the same time. That happened a number of times from a technology standpoint,” he continued. “It’s a very complex network infrastructure, and a very complex intercom infrastructure, because communications is clearly a key component when your control room is up to half a mile away from some of your venues.”

The decision was made to connect the multiple venues via fiber. According to Mele, there was no other option. “In current sports applications, I still see mistakes happen where consultants will specify coaxial cable just for the in-house cabling, let alone going building to building,” he explained. “Part of the problem with that is your distance limitation is pretty fierce. So, the strategy inside the buildings these days is all about running fiber. As an example, the hockey arena—bringing that online, we ran 72 strands of single mode back to the control room.”

One System for All

As with most college athletics operations, there is a slew of different hands in the control room for broadcast production, including students with a range of experience levels. Metinteractive knew they needed to design a system that could be easily controlled by a wide variety of end users.

“We use a diverse group of people—students, full-time staff, and even freelancers at times,” explained David Kaplan, assistant athletics director of video and production services at UConn. “The system is extremely user friendly for all the different people we bring in.”

“David Kaplan is an amazing producer, and they’ve got a great assembly of cohesive people that worked on making UConn’s games a great experience,” said Mele. “But there are those moments where things happen, and they need assistance. And if we had to, we could fundamentally run the whole game remotely. Most of us [at Metinteractive] have come out of live production, so we understand the gig of having to be able to turn stuff on and hope to God it’s all going to work. And that makes us very well adapted for dealing with clients like this, because they need somebody who’s not going say, ‘Oh, we’ll have to send you a quote for that,’ or ‘We’ll have somebody get back to you within two hours.’”

You may be familiar with another iconic sports name that resides close by in Connecticut. When ESPN wants to air a game from the UConn, there is no reason

UConn baseball games can be easily streamed to ESPN for broadcast. The new UConn control room provides coverage of two on-campus sporting events simultaneously.

for anyone to come on site. The system is designed to push streaming content to ESPN, which is another example of how easy this complex system makes things on the athletics department.

Thus far, the system has been a success. Mele, who has led Metinteractive’s recent string of successful installations for Major League Baseball, offered advice for the future of gameday integrations. “Most of our projects this past year, we have been in control of our own destiny,” Mele offered. “From a network standpoint, I highly suggest that projects don’t go the way of trying to converge networks with the rest of the facility—not because of a technological reason, but because of an aptitude reason. What goes into what we do from a networking perspective is far more complicated than what the average IT person is dealing with on a day-to-day basis. IT folks are dealing primarily with intercommunication and security, whereas we’re dealing with multicast traffic, precision time concepts that don’t really mean much to the typical, day-today IT person.”

While Daktronics took care of the videoboards, Metinteractive amped up the acoustics on the field. According to Kaplan, the sound is “absolutely fantastic” and has exceeded expectations. An EAW outdoor speaker system pumps up the fans, but there were also

some fun technologies, like systems to analyze baseball and softball players’ swings, that enhance the team experience as well. Metinteractive has also equipped the new Toscano Family Ice Forum for the men’s and women’s hockey team with a d&b PA system, among other technological solutions.

“For us, within the last two years, we’ve put up new soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and now hockey venues,” said Kaplan. “Metinteractive has been involved in all of those from an audiovisual standpoint. Due to their work, we’ve had some great shows and are looking forward to build in the new arenas.”

Hometown Home Run

All parties involved are happy with the installation, but even more so with the relationship built between the school and integrator. Especially for Mele, whose family grew up a fan of the Huskies, this project was a little bit more rewarding.

“We certainly believe in all of our clients, but there will be something to be said for the hometown advantage here,” said Mele. “There’s a little extra tilt on this when you’re dealing with your own home team—and especially being a state institution. But it’s all a matter of just making sure you want all your clients to have a great experience.”

“During the design phase and installation, Jeff and his group were always available to us, helped guide us along when needed,” Kaplan explained.

“Now that we are producing shows in the venues, they are always available and coming on site when needed. It’s been a great partnership. Sometimes installations come and the companies go. And I don’t think it’s just because they are a Connecticut company; they are willing to be there well after the installation and help in any way they can.

“I’ve talked to other people in Major League Baseball and hockey arenas around the country. We didn’t just hire them because they are Connecticutbased. We hired them for their expertise and the value they bring after the installation.”

Hitachi cameras are used for campus sports productions.

Aviation Office Gets a Co-Pilot

22Miles App Modernizes Hybrid Employee Experience at Tampa International Airport

In early 2022, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority began the move into its new home at SkyCenter One, a luxuriously appointed office building located at Tampa International Airport (TPA) that’s connected to the transportation hub’s main terminal via a 10-minute tram ride. The move represented an opportunity for TPA to create a sleek new corporate workspace and modernize its employee experience with new tools to support remote and hybrid work.

The Aviation Authority, which operates TPA, occupies three of the building’s nine floors, a total of more than 90,000 square feet of office space. Officials didn’t just intend to open a new nerve center for TPA at SkyCenter One; they wanted to create a modern hub for activity-based work, with more than 280 hot desks and meeting spaces. They also wanted to smooth the transition for TPA employees by making it easy to navigate their new workplace, request help from facilities, and collaborate with each other.

Also, the TPA isn’t alone at SkyCenter One. The building houses its own conference center, as well as tenants ranging from real estate offices to health insurance providers to cybersecurity companies. SkyCenter One needed a solution that could guide visitors and contractors around the site while prioritizing the security of the building’s occupants.

Any solution would also need to be eco-conscious. SkyCenter One is Tampa Bay’s first LEED Platinumcertified building. The architects, owners, and

tenants had no desire to dilute their commitment to energy efficiency with, for example, a building-wide deployment of large-scale digital signage—but the occupants needed the advantages that a strong visual communications system offers.

More Than Reservations

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority worked with integrator AVI-SPL to design audio and visual systems throughout its new office space. A key aspect of the solution was a custom enterprise iOS app, Sky Reserve. Powered by the 22Miles Content Management System (CMS), Sky Reserve allows anyone with a TPA corporate iPhone to access their digital workplace experience, whether they are onsite or working remotely.

AVI-SPL and 22Miles hosted a series of meetings with hardware vendors and the client to identify the right solution for the project. “Working with 22Miles in the discovery portion of the project was just what was needed for a solution to the client’s complex needs,” said Rebecca Criswell, account manager for AVI-SPL. “Their experts joined us for several conversations to discuss the solutions and alternatives, stayed right on top of dates and timelines for completion, and became a part of our success team.”

The discussions resulted in a custom app combining a space reservation solution, digital directories, and integrated wayfinding. TPA employees can use the app to reserve a hot desk or meeting room, get turn-by-turn directions to any space in the building, and locate colleagues in real time.

Integrations with other enterprise systems make the app even more valuable. With Office 365 integration, employees can verify their co-worker’s availability, reserve a meeting space, schedule a videoconference, and send an invitation to all participants with just a few clicks in the app. TPA employees can also submit maintenance requests directly through the app.

Sky Reserve prioritizes both ease of use and security for TPA employees. The app uses active directory single sign-on, giving workers access to all resources they need from a single login. AVI-SPL also installed Embrava desk-booking smart sensors throughout the TPA offices. The 22Miles CMS integrates with the Embrava system, eliminating the need to check in or out of a reserved space manually: As long as employees have their phones, the system knows they are there.

SkyCenter One visitors such as contractors, conference delegates, or tenant customers get their

own custom experience. Instead of a native app, they can access a browser-based HTML5 app with a simple QR code scan. Powered by the same 22Miles CMS backend, the app offers a building directory with wayfinding and turn-by-turn navigation.

Who, What, Where, When

The solution has not only eased the TPA’s transition to a new hybrid office, but also enabled its decision makers to better assess their workplace needs and collaboration practices on an ongoing basis. Through the reporting capabilities of the integrated 22Miles and Embrava systems, facility managers have a truly accurate portrait of who is using the space, as well as how and when.

Over time, this will allow TPA to continuously improve SkyCenter One by furnishing offices and meeting rooms with the systems common to the most in-demand spaces, creating more independent or collaborative spaces in alignment with worker behaviors, or expanding or contracting their physical footprint in response to actual usage. The single, centralized 22Miles backend makes it easy for facility managers to make changes and propagate them instantly to all employees and visitors.

Sky Reserve has also positioned facility managers to be more responsive and prepared in the face of an emergency or public health concern. Using the 22Miles CMS, facility managers can disable or enable a space on demand. For example, they can efficiently restrict bookable spaces to increase social distance, remove spaces from inventory to be disinfected, and perform employee contact tracing to enable anyone with potential exposure to be swiftly notified.

As the new home of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, SkyCenter One offers employees and visitors alike the resources they need, right at their fingertips. Through expertly integrated enterprise systems, facility managers have the centralized ticketing, data, and administrative access to provide exceptional support, plan for the future, and respond to extraordinary circumstances. This is a modern workplace built on a technological foundation that can evolve to serve its occupants’ needs for whatever comes next.

AVI-SPL installed Embrava desk-booking smart sensors, which are integrated with the 22Miles Sky Reserve app.
30 SCN // April 2023 //
The Sky Reserve app can reserve a hot desk or provide turn-by-turn directions to any space in SkyCenter One.

Bring on BYOD

Meeting Spaces Simplify Content Sharing with Personal Devices

The modern conference room is built on the ability to share content, including shared documents, videos, and slide presentations. As a result, organizations are moving away from stationary proprietary presentation and conferencing systems—and embracing the BYOD (bring your own device) movement.

“In the past, where multiple contributors needed to share from their portable devices, implementation had been clumsy at best, with USB drive file swapping or cable sharing for laptop sources, and no practical way to include content from tablets and smartphones beyond emailing files and links to the host,” said Jonathon Ferry, vice president of product education and experience at Key Digital.

BYOD systems leverage the power and comfort of personal devices and give participants the freedom to present and share information seamlessly. “Think about how many times you may have accessed your workplace apps on your smartphone, then multiply that across your organization,” offered Lauren Simmen, director of product marketing at Creston. “The scope of BYOD becomes very apparent.”

Eliminating the need to be tied to a dedicated computer or transfer files, BYOD delivers an intuitive solution that allows presenters to share with confidence and ease, reducing the headaches caused by using a fixed system and avoiding the potential roadblocks of stationary technology. Switching to BYOD systems can also reduce the overall expense of maintaining and updating dedicated computers,

which can be challenging with the high usage of these spaces and limited IT staffing resources.

Disadvantages to not embracing BYOD include higher overall costs, relying on software updates, and being stuck using only specific hardware or vendors. “Closed systems are very limiting, and the process of sharing content—the steps of finding a collaborative means of communication [email, Dropbox, etc.], loading it onto the proper device in a closed system, and then either instructing the guest on using the native device or controlling the sharing of content yourself—is pretty laborious,” said Simmen. “And what if your machine doesn’t have the right program to open the content in question? The ability of a BYOD collaborator to call up a file on their tablet and send that content right to a display saves time and frustration.”

Making Connections

Unless you have a wireless system, most BYOD systems will need a myriad of AV connections to support laptops, mobile devices, and other equipment. With the ability to support a wide selection of devices, BYOD systems are configured to accommodate various connection types.

A significant transition within BYOD spaces is USB-C, which is growing in widespread acceptance and can transmit data and power through a single cord. “A modern system with a USB-C connection will allow the presenter to walk in with a laptop, connect, and supply power,” explained Garth Lobban, director of marketing, Atlona. “It will send video and audio out and receive video in. For example, a presenter that walks into a room designed with an Atlona AT-OMEMS42 system can immediately take control of any USB

peripherals connected to the device, such as cameras and speakerphones.”

Built-in tabletop enclosures can help keep cables organized while reducing wear and tear from daily use. Extron Cable Cubby enclosures, for example, can provide easy pass-through for cables, but also allows them to retract automatically with the simple push of a button, decreasing the stress caused by messy wires and cords.

Those looking to not worry about cable management can look to wireless BYOD. Many organizations are now investing in well-engineered wireless systems so participants to share content from any location, making proximity to wiring or worries about organizing them a non-issue.

With systems becoming more reliable and robust, wireless BYOD empowers organizations to think outside the box and increase connectivity within smaller or less frequently used spaces. This is useful as businesses makeover traditional office spaces to support hybrid workers.

Meeting rooms may be the first thing to come to mind when discussing BYOD. Still, BYOD can easily transition into another trending topic, BYOM (bring your own meeting), where portable devices are used to participate in videconferences where remote users use Unified Communications (UC) software.

“While these UC meetings often use a dedicated conference computer to run the meeting and use cameras, microphones, and speakers to communicate with the remote users,” said Joe da Silva, vice president of marketing for Extron, “there are options in which a laptop or other portable device can host the UC meeting, connecting to the room’s camera and microphone to show all the room participants to the remote attendees.”

Extron’s MediaPort 300 or MediaPort 200 bridges the connection between room cameras and audio systems, allowing remote users to hear everything from the local meeting room and vice versa. “A logical progression will be to extend presentation and collaboration spaces to incorporate both local and remote users for more comprehensive, efficient, and seamless collaboration,” da Silva added.

Be Our Guest

Classrooms and educational settings are also starting to embrace BYOD, allowing educators to utilize personal devices to share content and enhance their lessons. With many educators working out of shared classrooms, BYOD offers the flexibility to connect wirelessly to the classroom system to deliver content through their preferred devices.

BYOD also allows guest speakers, or even students, to have the ability to present from their devices and preferred platform. This is also a selling point for corporations hosting outside consultants, contractors, and salespeople. “The ability to share and work together on those digital assets that the guest has brought into the building—with as little friction as possible—makes

BYOD systems allow meeting participants to use their personal devices to present and share information seamlessly.

for a terrific experience,” said Simmen. Laptops are still the leading technology used in BYOD. Still, as systems continue to evolve, mobile devices will play a more vital role as smartphones can support major codecs and connect wirelessly. Jason Pavao, field sales engineer with Yamaha Unified Communications, envisions major players like Teams and Zoom incorporating value-added services like real-time document editing and sharing. “It is not enough to just have the platform for connectivity,” he said. “By leveraging the cloud, platforms will enable true collaboration.”

Integrators are also starting to incorporate new technology coming to market that capitalizes on wireless USB connectivity, including USB-enabled mics, speakers, and webcams. This increases the spaces’ ability to connect directly to professional-

grade conferencing cameras and audio systems through the user’s device, creating a comprehensive, all-in-one conferencing solution.

For those that don’t want to be confined to the four walls of a meeting room or classroom, BYOD will genuinely allow them to reimagine what it is to meet. “Now that hybrid work is the new normal, different types of meeting spaces are beginning to emerge,” said Simmen. “Areas like lounges or casual sitting areas are now commonly used as meeting points. BYOD can bring the meeting to those spaces where dedicated conferencing solutions aren’t always feasible.”

Secure Entry

Traditional wired BYOD systems that connect solely to a local display system are innately secure unless the presenter connects the local network or LAN to

the internet, making wireless systems more of a concern. Risk can be mitigated using technology like Extron’s ShareLink Pro wireless presentation system, which can encrypt content or require an access code to connect securely to display and share content.

IT departments must implement plans and policies to control user access within these open systems, helping to keep user data and information safe. “Unless IT departments ensure that personal connections cannot interface with the corporate network, employees logging into their personal e-shopping accounts or emails can be at risk for stolen information,” explained Pavao.

A dedicated presentation computer with enterprise logins may be the more sensible option for organizations where security is paramount, or the average user does not have personal devices. Hybrid options, outfitting spaces with a dedicated computer and BYOD connections, or making some rooms BYOD and others native are options many companies are considering.

From left, Lauren Simmen, Jason Pavao, Joe da Silva, Jonathon Ferry, and Garth Lobban

View from the Top

TK Elevator Lights Up Atlanta HQ with LED Mesh Display

If you want to make a statement—a big, bold, and bright statement—there’s probably no better way than placing a large LED display on a part of your building. That’s exactly what TK Elevator (TKE) did for its new headquarters in Atlanta, which opened in February 2022 and features an eyecatching LED mesh display on the tallest elevator test tower in North America.

“TK Elevator chose our unique location in The Battery Atlanta in order to raise brand awareness and also to make our home in a vibrant community,” said Sasha Bailey, TKE senior director, communication, North America. “Once the site was chosen, we worked on ways to maximize our exposure, and the LED mesh became a focal point within our project team, which included global architecture and design powerhouse Gensler.”

Let Me See

The massive project came together in five months. The basic idea was a digital display that could be seen from outside of the building but would not disturb those working inside. It's the same concept as mesh banner advertising placed over bus windows, which displays messages outside the vehicle while allowing passengers to see outside the windows.

According to Kurt DeYoung, chief revenue officer for Nanolumens, the Brand Design division of Gensler Architecture collaborated with Nanolumens to outfit TKE’s new 420-foot Innovation and Qualification Center (IQC) with an LED mesh canvas that displays the TKE logo, brand messaging, and animations. TKE tests its new elevator technologies in the IQC using 18 elevator test towers.

“At 420 feet, the IQC and test tower is the tallest building in Cobb County, so it is very visible,” said Bailey. “Factor that with one of TK Elevator’s key principles—transparency—and it became a winning idea with an eight-story blank canvas to tell our story and be part of our community.”

The display is built from 11,000 square feet of Nanolumens CLRVU LED mesh installed on the interior of the IQC building, directly behind the glass windows. To assemble the IP65-rated display, TKE brought in AVI-SPL’s Experience Technology Group (XTG), which was formed as a business by AVI-SPL in January 2022.

“Everyone realized that this was going to be a complex project,” said Julian Phillips, senior vice president and managing director for the XTG. “While Nanolumens was engaged by the design firm, TKE

brought us in to support the project, which included the lobby showroom in the main building and the mesh LEDs on the three sides of the building.”

Let’s Hang

“It’s just so large,” said DeYoung. “From a resolution perspective, there’s not that many LEDs, just a few hundred thousand, but it’s visible all the time. The scale was massive and it was complicated. It was a team effort of vision and functionality that was really an engineering project.”

Put simply, the mesh was mounted inside the glazing by Atlanta Rigging Systems and hosted structurally by the curtain wall mullions, the slender vertical members that form the division between the windows. But it’s actually a bit more complex than that.

“There are 18 different assemblies, including nine different LED bar widths ranging from 460-1,340mm and two different heights for each width, with assemblies that are 9-bars and 11-bars per assembly,” explained Doug Dieringer, director of engineering for XTG. “The LED spacing on each bar is 20mm, with bar spacing of 75mm. The input resolution of 1682x1669 is squeezed 1:3.75 for a virtual resolution of 1682x445 in order to appear in the correct aspect ratio when played back on the building and mullion gaps, as they represent gaps in the content requiring offsets at each daylight opening, which are the individual panes of glass. The ‘TKE Grid’ shows the input template with blue lines filling missing pixels at the mullion gaps.”

Of course, once something is put in place, you have to be able to maintain it. Each assembly has removable—pin hinges on both sides, so they can swing out from the glass from either side or be removed completely by removing all four hinge pins. Dieringer said this allows for unfettered access to the curtain wall glass for biennial cleaning.

34 SCN // April 2023 // TECHNOLOGY
From left: Julian Philips, Doug Dieringer, and Kurt DeYoung The TKE tower’s LED mesh display can display brand messaging and other content.

During the project’s concept design phase, Nanolumens’ Special Projects Group (SPG) made several modifications so the mesh control boxes and cable runs would become part of the architecture and not be visible. Traditionally, each section of mesh has 20 LED bars with power and data running through it. The SPG reconstructed the CLRVU display to sister up with the window mullions and hide the power distribution alongside the bars to be more aesthetically pleasing.

Content Creation

“TKE has a full-time content creator on staff to help us manage not only the LED mesh content, but also the digital experience in our visitor showroom on the first floor of the facility,” said Bailey. “The tower imagery changes depending on the timely and relevant content that we can provide. For instance, recently we added a Martin Luther King Jr. Day recognition to our playlist.”

The master control room is located at the top of the mesh on the 24th floor, with show control for the mesh handled by TouchDesigner with a BrightSign failover. “If the Seneca PC running TouchDesigner


system will automatically fallback.”

High-end displays aren’t only visible outside the building at TKE. Other smaller Nanolumens LED installations include a video wall at the mezzanine level that overlooks the elevator shaft and the city, with a pair of displays and a BrightSign player, plus displays in three conference rooms.

The showroom in the lobby is intended for lobby visitors and those having a meeting with TKE, who can take them into a specific area of the showroom or on a full or partial tour. “It’s a mix of analog and digital, like a museum showing the workflow of mechanical devices,” DeYoung explained. “A Crestron controller handles how the scale models work, with a Navori Labs CMS system feeding content to another BrightSign system. Content is in a loop but has cut-in ability from touch enabled monitors.”

There are six segments in the showroom, each featuring a different part of TKE’s activities, such as construction, modernization, and maintenance. “One segment has a Nanolumens display with L-Acoustics immersive sound,” Dieringer noted,

Classic KVM vs. KVM-over-IP

Which Option Is Better for Your Installation?

Deeply rooted in the Pro AV industry, KVM systems provide an ideal basis for the flexible, distributed switching of computer signals. They are used very successfully in control rooms and numerous other areas. For years, AV and IT applications have been merging more and more. KVM systems offer an excellent basis for operating various heterogeneous systems on a homogeneous user platform and thus gradually become the backbone of the entire IT infrastructure.

Generally, we distinguish between classic KVM systems and KVM-over-IP. The distinguishing criterion is the choice of transmission technology.

Are the signals transmitted directly, dedicated (proprietary) between the modules, or would you like to use an existing network for this purpose? And what technology is the better choice for your application? What are the differences, benefits, and challenges, and what should you be looking for when choosing a KVM system for your project?

With KVM systems, computers can be removed from the operators’ working environment, such as a control room, and housed in access-protected and air-conditioned areas. From the equipment room, fiber optics, CAT cables, or IP structures extend the computer signals back to the workplace.

KVM also allows users to be separated from each other by enabling them to work on other premises, while still getting full access to all the systems they need. Thanks to KVM, operators have uniform access to the most diverse systems.

The Video Signal

The most important difference between classic KVM and KVM-over-IP is the type of connection technology. Classic KVM uses dedicated cabling, meaning that a dedicated network is usually set up for these systems. This way, the available bandwidth can be optimally utilized without other network-capable devices taking up bandwidth for themselves. Operators benefit from optimum performance combined with the best possible image quality and a perfect user experience.

Plus, thanks to the standard connection technology, already existing in-house cabling can often still be used or even extended. Classic KVM systems also ensure fully secure access because of the complete control of the transmission medium.

One of the most important requirements for every KVM transmission, whether classic or over IP, is the video quality. The transmission of video signals must be pixel-perfect and as latency-free as possible, with high performance and without sharpness reduction.

The most important difference between the various classic systems lies in the video transmission. Some systems transmit the available information precisely and in real time. Here, transmission takes place uncompressed. Uncompressed KVM extender systems work as a kind of transparent intermediary between computer and workplace: Incoming information is output unaltered at the other end.

Uncompressing systems require a high bandwidth to transmit the incoming video signals from the computer’s graphics card to the monitor. Transmission is precise, transparent, and absolutely lossless. However, a higher video resolution also requires a higher bandwidth, which in turn can only be provided by a more powerful, more expensive system.

Classic, compressing KVM systems guarantee very high video quality thanks to their video compression, but also offer numerous other advantages. By compressing video signals, the systems require a lower bandwidth and allow for more cost-effective components. In addition, the matrix compatibility makes it easy to expand the systems quickly and easily at a later point. Due to the usually simpler cabling, they are often also more flexible in their application.

Especially in control rooms where uncompromising image quality, pixel perfection, and latency-free operation are essential, uncompressed systems or a

pixel-perfect compression offer users significant advantages and a much better visual result compared to other “visually lossless” compression methods.

IP-Based System Basics

IP-based KVM systems have been gaining in importance for years. Many AV applications benefit greatly from the use of IP. Using existing cabling, switches, and routers not only saves costs, but also provides operators and administrators with flexibility and ease of use. Almost all components are plug-and-play devices, making it even easier and more comfortable to install and operate the system.

In addition, IP networks are becoming more and more powerful. Control rooms designing their network infrastructure for 10 Gbit, 40 Gbit, or even 100 Gbit bandwidth are no longer an exception. This means there is usually sufficient bandwidth to easily scale IT installations and implement them over IP.

Transmission is compressed and IP-based over Ethernet networks. For existing infrastructures with a smaller bandwidth, several KVM devices can be bundled, depending on the application requirements. Here, the bandwidth per route can be reduced to approximately 300-500 Mbit. So, even a network with limited uplinks based on 1 Gbit can be sufficient to operate small KVM installations over IP.

Another advantage of IP-supported structures are duplex-capable IP networks. Therefore, the cabling can be used in both directions when transmitting KVM packets. This provides further flexibility, so cabling can be saved in cross-building installations, for example.

36 SCN // April 2023 //
Classic KVM systems have dedicated cabling and fully secure access.
Whether you use KVM-over-IP or classic KVM, systems must be adaptable and scalable to ensure a safe investment for the future.


Security Concerns

Especially with KVM-over-IP, the issue of security is essential. Access to a network from the outside via the internet or, even easier, from the inside poses a risk. Using the appropriate software or operating systems, it is possible to scan the entire internal network for security holes.

Usually, such an attack is targeted at the weakest link in the chain. These can be so-called “man-in-themiddle” attacks, for example, where the entire network traffic is forwarded to a third party. Therefore, separating and segmenting networks is an important tool to protect the actual application from cyberattacks.

In KVM-over-IP systems, keyboard and mouse data, as well as audio and video data, must also be encrypted to prevent unauthorized users from tapping data transmissions and thus gaining access to internal information.

Especially for system-critical applications, the

use of VPN, VLANs, and secure encryption is necessary to avoid unauthorized access. Here, input data, primarily from keystrokes (such as logins and passwords), is critical. Secure encryption and regularly exchanging the security key at the shortest possible intervals so that it cannot be read out over time are absolutely essential.

Make Your Choice

KVM-over-IP provides an optimal basis for flexible, distributed switching of computer signals, and facilitates the spatial separation between users and servers. It also allows users to be separated from each other by enabling them to easily work in other locations, while still giving them full access to all the systems they need. Thus, operators can use KVM technology to access their remote computers and work in real time and at full performance.

Whether you use KVM-over-IP or classic KVM,

systems must be adaptable and scalable to ensure a safe investment for the future. Only in this way they can adapt to changing conditions and be expanded as the system architecture grows.

KVM-over-IP offers many opportunities to organize work and workflows in a resource-saving and cost-efficient way. The technology enables flexible, reliable, and highly secure infrastructures, creating user-friendly systems that are intuitive to use and easily scalable as needed.

It is simply not possible to generally recommend one or the other, because each project is based on individual requirements and framework conditions.

Classic KVM has its own advantages and is still a good choice for many projects. But depending on the application, it may be worth comparing classic KVM systems with KVM-over-IP.

37 // April 2023 // SCN
Jon Litt is the managing director of G&D North America. KVM-over-IP enables flexible, reliable, and highly secure infrastructures.

Follow the Leader

New JVC PTZ 4K Streaming Camera Includes SMART Auto-Tracking

In the video realm, 4K cameras have replaced most of the 1080p cameras. Now, if you need a camera for the conference room, classroom, church, or webcasting, JVC jumps out front with its remote KY-PZ510 camera.

Behind the 12x optical zoom (3.4-41.6mm) f/1.8 -F3.7 lens is a 1/2.8-inch CMOS 8.4-megapixel low-light sensor offering a 4x, 8x, and 16x digital zoom, with shutter speeds ranging from 1/601/10,000 of a second. You can white balance the camera manually or automatically, and the 3D digital noise reduction will clean up potentially grainy images. The camera boasts an 80-degree field of view, which is plenty wide for a most applications.

You have three options in compression: H.264, H.265 (HEVC), and Motion JPEG. The KY-PZ510 allows streaming in UHD, HD, and SD at 1-60fps. The video bit rate ranges from 32 Kbps to 60 Mbps, and the AAC audio bit rate is 96 and 128 Kbps.

At the top of the JVC KY-PZ510 camera is a large tally lamp. From left to right on the front is a built-in microphone, green standby lamp, informational display, power lamp, and another microphone. The left and right of the base unit houses vents for the internal fan. Between the restore/reset and power switches on the rear panel is a line of terminals: HDMI and 3G-SDI outputs, mini 1/8-inch Line In, RS-485, USB-C, RS-232 I/O, LAN (PoE+), and DC 12V power supply input.

The KY-PZ510, which is available in black or

white, also ships with an infrared remote control, ceiling mounting bracket, AC power adapter, and an RS-232C cable. Once activated, the camera transmits NDI, SRT, RTMPS, and RTSP protocols using IP video streams. You can change the camera’s positioning with the remote control or from the web interface.

In Your Sights

The JVC KY-PZ510 camera may be used as a UVC USB camera when connected to a computer via a USB 2.0 port or as a streaming camera. In both configurations, you have a choice between HDMI or SDI live video output to connect to a monitor, video switch, or other equipment.

For PC users, it’s basically plug and play. End users need almost no training: If you can use a remote or plug in a USB or Ethernet cable, you can handle the basic operation of the KY-PZ510.

The most advanced feature is the SMART Auto Tracking, which recognizes and follows a subject. You use the remote to choose the person of interest. The catch is that you can select only one person for the camera to follow. It will not follow multiple people, so choose wisely.

While teaching a class live and on Zoom, I wanted the camera to follow me as I moved around the TV studio and demonstrated equipment during the lecture. Using the KY-PZ510 camera for the first time,

38 SCN // April 2023 //
The rear panel of the KY-PZ510 provides numerous connectivity options. JVC’s KY-PZ510 4K PTZ camera features SMART Auto Tracking, which recognizes and follows the subject.


I plugged in the included AC adapter and wanted to attach a USB cable (not included) from the camera to the Mac desktop computer in the classroom. Unfortunately, the Mac only has Thunderbolt interfaces— and even though it has a USB-C port, the camera needs a USB-A connection to the computer. Thankfully, my Windows 10 HP PC (and its USB-A ports) provided an easy solution. (Note, JVC let me know later that an USB-C to USB-A adapter will work on the Mac.)

I also used the camera’s HDMI port to connect to a flatscreen monitor in the classroom, and it brought out the true majesty of the camera’s 4K resolution. I have never seen such detail in a PTZ camera.

Watch Your Bits

I believe most users will prefer using the JVC KY-PZ510 as a streaming camera, either 4K or at a lower resolution. In the past, I’ve tried to use a PTZ camera on our university’s network, but the firewall had always prevented it. While I appreciate the university’s aggressive blocking, I really wanted to test the camera’s streaming capabilities, so I took it home.

The first step is to connect to your network via an Ethernet cable. Turn the camera on and it begins its “opening dance,” where the KY-PZ510 pivots, tilts, and turns as it goes through its startup procedure. The network IP address is then displayed in blue letters as it scrolls across the screen beneath the camera. Type that address into Google Chrome and you’ll be rewarded with the camera’s GUI. From here, you can configure the camera to send a video stream to your distribution platform (YouTube, Facebook, etc.).

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll also need to use Google Chrome. Thanks again to JVC’s Dwayne Kersey, as he gave me access to the JVC SRT Portal to test my camera’s SRT feed. Entering the SRT Portal’s IP address and the other relevant parameters into their GUI, the camera video stream was recognized and I was in business. If I had a PC at home, the whole process would have been easier.

The image appeared on JVC’s SRT Portal, but the video was choppy and pixelated. Not a problem—I changed the bit rate to one that was suitable for the available bandwidth (my home internet upload speeds don’t match the university), and the video appeared as it should with only a slight lag. By lowering the resolution slightly from UHD, I had my streaming video.

Pass the Test

In the old days (and they weren’t that long ago), a camera operator would have to follow the action of the speaker. With the KY-PZ510’s PTZ controls and tracking capabilities, you have the perfect “smart” camera. The KY-PZ510’s remote control is helpful with its zooming ability—you now can easily show in close-up what you’re discussing without moving the object closer or farther away from your computer’s fixed camera.

It still amazes me that you can stream high-quality

video and sound so easily with just an internet connection. Using the KY-PZ510 PTZ is an easy way to stream to Facebook, YouTube, or almost anywhere.

Right before I packed up the KY-PZ510 to ship back to JVC, I had one final opportunity to test it. Our department was doing a faculty search, and each

candidate was required to teach a class on campus. When I recorded one candidate lecture, the camera flawlessly tracked her movements as she taught—and using the remote, I was able to zoom in or out as needed. The candidate did not get hired, but the camera passed with flying colors.

39 // April 2023 // SCN



JVC NDI-Compatible HC500 Cameras

JVC has introduced its first NDI-compatible broadcast cameras, the GY-HC500UN, GY-HC550UN, and GY-HC500SPCN. The NDI-compatible versions ensure that facilities can seamlessly incorporate the cameras within their existing IP infrastructure for live video with tally and IP remote control capability. Current HC500 Series users can also have their cameras upgraded by JVC to implement the new NDI capabilities. All HC500 Series cameras feature a one-inch 4K CMOS imager and integrated 20x zoom lens with built-in ND filters and manual zoom, plus focus and iris control rings. Additional features include a high-resolution LCD screen for menu navigation, LCOS viewfinder, dual XLR inputs, 3G-SDI and HDMI video outputs, M.2 drive slot for external SSD recording, and built-in streaming and connectivity options. The GY-HC500SPCN model includes the unique ability to provide sports graphic overlay with real-time updates via the Sportzcast/Genius Sports SCORELINK devices.

The first 8K distribution product from Vanco’s Evolution line, the EVSP8K22 Evolution 8K HDMI 2x2 switching splitter has two HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs. Users can split one source at a time to two displays, and switch between sources using the front panel button or included IR remote. The EVSP8K22 supports video resolutions up to 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz over four channels of 10Gbps FRL for 40Gbps bandwidth. The EVSP8K22 was designed to allow signal switching and splitting while preserving advanced video functionality. It supports optional HDMI features required to deliver high-performance graphics from real-time sources such as gaming consoles and computers, and supports a wide range of HDR formats. The compact design and easy installation make the EVSP8K22 a flexible solution for a variety of projects including gaming, videoconferencing, education, and more.

Snap One Strong In-Cabinet Slide Out Racks

switch or locally should the switch not support PoE++. The unit can lower the amplifier power output subject to PoE capabilities. Other features include support for combined or independent LAN and Dante connections, DSP with a 31 band EQ, audio delay for lip sync correction, and control via front panel, IR, RS-232, TCP/IP, web GUI, or 12V trigger.

Sony SRG-A40 and SRG-A12

ClearOne CHAT 150 BT

With simple, instant connection to personal computers, mobile devices, or Bluetooth-enabled desk phones, the CHAT 150 BT group speakerphone provides users with an affordable way to upgrade home offices, executive offices, and mid-size meeting rooms with BYOD convenience and superior audio clarity for audio conferences and video meetings. Featuring a steerable microphone array with first-mic priority, the CHAT 150 BT speakerphone intelligently activates the microphone closest to the person speaking, reducing interference from ambient noise. Other features include Full Duplex Distributed Echo Cancellation, advanced noise cancellation, and automatic level control algorithms to ensure highly intelligible, natural audio capture and playback. It also supports NFC tap-to-pair and includes a wired USB connection for broad device compatibility. The CHAT 150 BT weighs just over one pound and works with popular collaboration platforms including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet, and others.

The new Strong In-Cabinet Slide Out Racks simplify access with a revamped design that’s more spaceconscious and doesn’t require sacrificing rack space for a slider base. The wide range of sizes (from 8-42 RU) makes these racks easy to integrate into any room and project, while the 300-pound capacity and premium steel hardware of each model guarantees long-term performance. Each model features a slide out with locking 180-degree rotation, and both the slide and rotation can be unlocked using convenient foot pedals that enable single-person operation. The rotation can be locked into three different positions for optimal accessibility. Strong is also focused on convenience and flexibility with the optional rack top, adding pre-cut knockouts on top for cable entries, and ensuring that all cable management channels are easy to access and provide a clean, sleek appearance.

Sony has added to its PTZ camera lineup with two new 4K models with built-in AI analytics. The SRG-A40 and SRG-A12 automatically (and consistently) track and naturally frame presenters, regardless of movement or posture, for seamless content creation and control. The new PTZ Auto Framing technology features automatic operation for quick object tracking and rediscovery, as well as multiple framing options. A tally light helps users easily identify which camera is actively in use. Both cameras feature the Exmor R CMOS sensor and support 4K 30p and Full HD 60p. The SRG-A40 offers Clear Image Zoom technology, which digitally doubles the optical zoom, while the SRG-A12 provides up to 12x zoom. Both cameras offer 3G-SDI, HDMI, and IP connectivity (NDI|HX through optional license), plus PoE++, RTSP support for remote viewing, and SRT for stable video streaming.

LEA Professional Sharkware

Developed in part based on integrator and customer feedback, Sharkware is LEA Professional’s first application software. Sharkware allows integrators to work both in offline design and online mode on a systems amplification configuration to ensure a more seamless, accessible, and flexible user experience with all LEA Professional Connect Series amplifiers. Free to download and available for both Windows and Mac, Sharkware includes amplifier grouping, offline design, granular user access control levels, locked speaker tunings, and a graphical EQ. It also incorporates key features from LEA Professional’s existing Web UI tool, allowing users to monitor the status of every amplifier connected to the network as well as the status and performance of individual channels. In addition, Sharkware allows users to view and adjust channel settings such as input settings, load monitoring, and more for all LEA Professional Connect Series amplifiers.

Blustream NPA70DA

With a 2x35W digital amplifier (1x70W mono) or 70V/100V high-level constant voltage output and Dante audio integration, the NPA70DA networked audio zone amplifier delivers advanced audio integration within a commercial or residential AV installation. The NPA70DA can be powered via PoE++ from a compatible network

40 SCN // April 2023 //

Studio Technologies Model 545DC and Model 545DR

The new Model 545DC and Model 545DR intercom interfaces allow users to utilize analog partyline (PL) intercom circuits with Dante Audio-over-Ethernet (AoE) applications. A PoE Ethernet connection is all that’s required to make either unit part of a sophisticated, networked audio system. The Model 545DC supports two single-channel PL intercom circuits and is directly compatible with Clear-Com singlechannel analog PL products. The Model 545DR offers one two-channel interface and works directly with the RTS TW series of two-channel analog intercom circuits. Both can interconnect with Dante-supported devices such as matrix intercom systems, digital audio processors, and audio consoles. The interfaces are also compatible with Studio Technologies’ line of Dante-enabled user belt packs, intercom stations, and intercom audio engines. Both units are housed in durable, lightweight aluminum 1/2 RU enclosures for desk or tabletop use, but optional rack mounting kits are available.



PPDS Philips Tableaux

NewTek Flex

With the Flex control panel, operators can take direct control of PTZ devices, audio connections, audio and video mixing, and talkback—all connected with NDI. With these controls built directly into the panel, it significantly reduces the margin for error. With the addition of audio I/O, Flex instantly expands the on-board I/O of any TriCaster, with the option to add external sources directly to the NDI ecosystem. For years, operators have been physically tethered to video switchers with fixed cable runs and complex setups. Flex simply connects to a network with NDI and can have control of any video switcher on that network, giving operators production freedom. Not only can the panel connect to any switcher on a network by using NDI, Flex also offers operators all they need for distributed productions by working with all current TriCaster models.

No plug? No problem. The full-size and full-color Philips Tableaux advanced color ePaper (ACeP) signage displays can deliver 24/7 vivid content while running entirely unplugged. Available in 25-inch 16:9 and 28-inch 32:9 stretched variants at launch, Philips Tableaux displays are an energy-saving solution for businesses looking to digitize paper-based signage, delivering messaging such as store hours, menus, or promotions. Perfect for any environment, including in spaces with limited or no access to power sources, the Tableaux range only requires connection to an electricity source when content is being updated, and immediately revert to zero power upon completion. Content updates can be managed manually or remotely using PPDS in-house or third-party professional display control and management platforms.

& ROAD CASES To Advertise in the SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS CLASSIFIEDS, Contact Zahra Majma at For the latest industry news and information, visit us online at FURNITURE

Welcome to the AV Renaissance

Today’s Innovations Are Changing Communications Forever

The recent high demand and widespread integration of AV technology in our everyday lives grants me permission to declare that we are officially living in the exciting era of an AV Renaissance. Just like the more widely recognized European Renaissance beginning in the 14th century, its creation was a consequence of a pandemic coinciding with revolutionary innovations in technology.

Hindered by the limitations inherent to the resources of the time, the European Renaissance came to an end, making room for the Reformation and Enlightenment movements. But with the nature of the ever-evolving technology linked to our current AV Renaissance, I don’t see an end in sight for our industry.

Isolation Breeds Creativity

A pandemic strong enough to affect the social, economic, and cultural aspects of a society seems to be a vital ingredient to create a Renaissance movement. Although we are fortunate to have modern medicine—so we didn’t experience the same population loss we would have in the medieval times of the European Renaissance—the requirement to isolate, quarantine, and distance ourselves from others seems to be the match that lights the fire of creativity and innovation.

Also, during the Renaissance, the invention of paper and advancements in technology made it possible for education to reach more of the population than ever before and open the world of communication. These two factors seem prevalent in our current age, with businesses and institutions having to close their doors and pivot to remote work and distance learning.

It may not have been as revolutionary as the invention of paper, but the adoption and integration of AV solutions in more homes and workplaces has advanced mass communication to a new level. AV manufacturers and install engineers successfully verified the old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” when they began rapidly deploying AV products and solutions to battle the challenges of quarantine, remote work, and distance learning. Advancements in unified communication technology made AV not only accessible but necessary.

Artistic Expression

However, it wasn’t all just business and solutions. Although the access to mass communication and education was made possible by paper, the true historic and cultural impact from the Renaissance was through artistic expression.

With isolation and seclusion, creativity and exploration were booming in the AV art world. From drone art shows to immersive experiences to virtual museum walk-throughs, AV made art appreciation at a distance possible. AV artistry and popularity grew during the pandemic, creating immersive works meant to be felt in real time that were only possible because of the advancements in technology within our field.

When society was ready to reopen, it truly felt as if there was a rebirth to our art world. Now, the innovation and societal recognition of AV art seems to be at an all-time high.

The European Renaissance is synonymous with the great art patrons of the time, such as the Medici family. It’s not too much of a stretch to think our

industry’s manufacturers and engineers could be the patrons of this era, stepping up to the plate to support and assist the growing need for AV innovations for art, culture, and enterprise.

Practical Applications

When advancements in technology positively affect the ease of communication, it crosses over to all aspects of our everyday life. Creativity and the art movement aside, the AV industry stepping up to provide the technological solutions required to meet the demands of distance communication, work collaboration, and education is what truly makes the industry worthy of the recognition of sparking an AV Renaissance.

In education, when colleges needed microphones and cameras in classrooms to ensure distance learning students were participants, not just observers, the AV industry had solutions to support these efforts. Although distance learning has been around for decades, the transition from optional to absolute necessity for all levels of education, even K-12, allowed the AV industry to deliver the “printing press” technologies that would change the way future generations access education.

Regarding religion, historians noted that the Renaissance caused a societal reflection on these institutions, revealing that the ways of the past were no longer adequate. Thanks to the technological advancements and scientific discoveries of the time, they were able to change and advance religious structures and systems. Similarly, although many houses of worship took advantage of streaming and broadcasting their message before the pandemic, it became no longer a choice but a requirement during lockdown and social distancing.

What makes a Renaissance so monumental is how the movement can change our way of life as we know it even centuries into the future. Although many companies are now welcoming back their employees to the office, many companies have either switched completely over to remote work or are testing hybrid arrangements. Previously, many of these companies never had the infrastructure to support working from home in any form. However, because of the substantial investments companies made in the proper AV technologies, effective and efficient operational business infrastructures have been adopted.

In short, much of the world used to view AV products as a nice-to-have commodity to possibly help make their lives easier or more entertaining. The pandemic has ushered in an AV Renaissance, and it is changing the way we live forever.

42 SCN // April 2023 // VIEWPOINT
Jennifer Goodyer is a sales manager at RT Sales and founding board member of WAVIT. EVA GARIS
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.