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APRIL 2020 // VOLUME 38 // ISSUE 4

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SOUND&VIDEO

CONTRACTOR

R E V I E W S | T E C H N O LO GY | A P P L I C AT I O N S PRODUCT-AT-WORK KVM SYSTEMS

ESPORTS CHALLENGE AV AND IP PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE TECH SHOWCASES *  PROJECTORS *  AV CONTROL SYSTEMS


contents

APRIL 2020 // VOLUME 38 // ISSUE 4

48

FEATURES

24

24

16 | Projectors 30 | AV Control

Daktronics Audio Systems Division manages asymmetry with speakers and amps

Cover Story | e  Sports Challenge

Supplement

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43 | KVM Systems

AV and IP perform under pressure for country’s biggest eSports arena

KVM, REMI, and JPEG XS for eSports

By Chief Editor Cynthia Wisehart

Tech Showcases

The SVC Interview | W  ells Fargo Arena

48 | C lose Up: Riot Games

6 | O n the Circuit

KVM drives emerging applications in

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healthcare, industry and eSports

58 | Open Mic

Sound & Video Contractor, Volume 38 Issue 4, (ISSN 0741-1715) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10036. Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Sound & Video Contractor, PO Box 8608, Lowell, MA 01853. One year subscription (12 issues) is $39. Outside U.S. is $79. Canada Post International Publications Mail (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement No. 40612608. Canada return address: Pitney Bowes International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. ©2020 Future US, Inc.

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on the circuit

Vol. 38 No. 4

April 2020

WWW.SVCONLINE.COM

I

By Cynthia Wisehart

Find me online cynthia.wisehart@ futurenet.com www.svconline.com/proavtoday and www.rebelmouse.com/ SVC_Online

t’s only one tiny part of the strangeness of our times that the cover theme of this month’s issue is Arenas and Stadiums. This happened long before anyone could imagine the world’s stadiums standing empty. Yet, as we went to press we were in the dead center of cancellation news--venues and events, closing and canceling one after another, sometimes hours after confirming that the show would go on. Mammoth Mountain has just closed, so no birthday skiing on Thursday. I’m not whining, it’s just a measure of how fast things change and how no matter what you think you’ve planned, no matter how small or large, it might not—probably won’t—happen. In the case of my personal cancellation, the actual faces of my long-time Mammoth community friends came sharply into view. Their jobs disappeared, literally overnight. That’s what matters. In the news today, as I write this, airport workers at some of the nation’s airports are having to spin up into “health screeners” for thousands of American travelers who are massing at their doorstep trying to get home. As someone who has worked on international jobsites and wrangled those unexpected and relatively insignificant emergencies, I can imagine the people who are no doubt rising up to lead—you know the ones. They’re the people who are making something, anything, work, improvising around bad guidance from the suits, managing, making mistakes, soldiering on, even as scared and angry people are all up in their faces--without masks. A couple of days ago they didn’t even know they would be doing this. No one asked them for “buy in.” So a bunch of them are heroes. And every person who is bearing this anxiety by being a good traveler is also a hero. Repeat that scenario for every public-facing exchange. How we have so taken each other for granted! The people who provide us with services and healthcare, the people who gather with us to worship, or play, or work--did I really thank and appreciate them, and am I part of the solution now? Sucks that it takes a crisis to notice, But now, what is needed from me? In some way, even as we face our own uncertainties and impacted businesses, can we contribute and even create? I’m trying to help my beloved yoga studio figure out virtual sessions, just to distract me from other fears and losses. It’s a small thing—except to my yoga teachers and their rent. So right now, someone needs each of us, and our expertise, someone needs us to be calm if we have that luxury. It’s mentally healthy in the short term to keep contributing. Maybe in some small way we’re building the future where we get to come back together with new ideas, maybe stronger for our losses, certainly more enthusiastic for our opportunities to interact. The reality of shuttered stadiums, arenas, and theaters, and the experience of social distancing is potentially one of the most powerful cases for community any of us will ever see.

FOLLOW US @SVC_Online https://www.facebook.com/svconline CONTENT VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona Content Director Cynthia Wisehart, cynthia.wisehart@futurenet.com Contributors Bennett Liles Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban Design Director Walter Makarucha, Jr. Production Managers Nicole Schilling, Heather Tatrow ADVERTISING SALES VP/Market Expert, AV/Consumer Electronics & Pro Audio Adam Goldstein, adam.goldstein@futurenet.com, 212-378-0465 Sales Prahlad Balasubramanian, prahlad.balasubramanian@futurenet.com, 307-222-6950 Janis Crowley, janis.crowley@futurenet.com, 845-414-6791 Debbie Rosenthal, debbie.rosenthal@futurenet.com, 212-378-0465 Zahra Majma, zahra.majma@futurenet.com, 845-678-3752 SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to www.mysvcmag. com and click on About Us, email futureplc@ computerfulfillment.com, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 8608, Lowell, MA 01853. LICENSING/REPRINTS/PERMISSIONS Sound & Video Contractor is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw, licensing@futurenet.com MANAGEMENT Senior Vice President, Content Chris Convey Group Publisher Carmel King Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE PLC 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036

All contents © 2020 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions. Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation.

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www.futureplc.com

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244


the buzz CASE STUDY / LIVE EVENT

VIRTUAL LIVE VIEW At the Vans US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach, athletes push the boundaries of what is physically possible. In tuning into a live webcast of the event, fans want to experience the look and feel of being at the skate park themselves. The Matrox Monarch EDGE encoder’s ability to receive multiple HD feeds and composite them into a quad-split stream, and B Live’s innovative user interface that allows for seamless switching between multiple camera views of the athletes or director’s cut, provide fans of the Vans Showdown skateboarding competition with just that. In order to give fans a seamless viewing experience, New York City-based live event production company, B from the wire Live needed an encoder that could For more case studies, visit accept four discrete SDI inputs and svconline.com/the-wire.

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deliver a stream as a single quad-split composition. Before B Live purchased its Monarch EDGE encoder, its user interface did not allow viewers to watch multi-camera video with continuity. “Before we got the Monarch EDGE, we were doing things ‘the old way,’” said Jay Kopelman, Director of Digital Engineering for B Live. “That is to say, every time the viewer switches camera angles, it loads a new independent stream. With Monarch EDGE, we are able to feed a single 4K stream into the player. That is why it seamlessly switches on the B Live interface.” B Live’s camera crew captured each competing skater separately. Four 1080p30 video streams, including the three isolated views of skaters and the director’s cut produced on-site by a different team, were sent back to the B

Live office. There, Monarch EDGE received them and encoded these feeds into a single 4K, 20-Mbps stream that was then sent to the B Live platform. On the B Live user interface embedded in the Vans Open of Surfing official website, fans were able to easily decide which skater they wanted to view from the three isolated feeds available in addition to the director’s cut – all from their smart devices or desktops. Kopelman said that B Live is also looking forward to leveraging Monarch EDGE’s upcoming closed captioning support capabilities in addition to continuing to use the device for live events with demanding quad-stream requirements. “One thing I haven’t seen on anything except Monarch EDGE is the 4:2:2 10-bit encoding. It is a hardened platform,” he said. “You know it’s going to keep working.”


the buzz CASE STUDY / SPORTS ARENA

SCOREBOARD SOUND The sound of Toronto Raptors hustling down the basketball court or Toronto Maple Leafs players checking the opponents into the boards have been amplified in an innovative way that utilizes beam capturing microphones. The Toronto arena was the first in the world to install an innovative new technology into the massive scoreboard hanging over the playing surface to better capture the sounds of the game. Those sounds are pumped into the Scotia Club with the potential for distribution to suites throughout the arena to provide additional genuine game atmosphere for fans. Led by Westbury National, one of Canada’s largest professional audio-visual integration and full-service event production companies, and SFM, a leading Canadian product distributor and provider of from the wire customized AV solutions, the origiFor more case studies, visit nal plan was to install Shure shotgun svconline.com/the-wire.

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microphones. While the shotgun microphones provided great sound, the challenge was that once they were installed, getting 42 feet into the air to reach them on the scoreboard and adjust them to switch between basketball and hockey games was just not feasible. Instead the team utilized Shure’s Microflex Advance MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone — a microphone originally designed for office applications. This microphone features directional beam arrays to capture sound from diverse sources. The recording patterns can be customized with software and remotely adjusted to fit the specific needs of the venue. Two Shure MXA 910s are now installed on the bottom of the giant scoreboard hanging over the playing surface. Fans watching from suites aren’t as close to the playing surface, so are sometimes unable to hear the gameplay sounds naturally. This solution provides genuine gameplay audio right

into the speakers of the suites. The microphone technology also helps reject non-essential sounds. For example, the sounds of a crowd clapping on a microphone may detract from the sounds on the court or ice, so the microphones are set to only capture the key sounds from game action, like the puck hitting the post or the basketball players and coaches calling plays. During the NBA Finals games at Scotiabank Arena, the audio from the Shure MXA910 was also being mixed in with the Raptors broadcast team to provide additional quality audio from the court. Shure has been providing quality audio solutions for 94 years, including involvement major sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympics. However, this is the first time the new MXA910 microphone array has been integrated into a professional sports arena.


the buzz CASE STUDY / ESPORTS FACILITY

ESPORTS DISTRIBUTION Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, located in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has fully embraced the rise of collegiate eSports with their world-class oneand-only varsity team – the Harrisburg University Storm. To further bolster their program and team, a future-proofed practice facility was proposed to ensure continued success. This center would allow players to practice competitive gaming in an environment that is tailor-made for the fast-paced on-line gaming world. The 2,300 square-foot training facility requires a user-friendly system to transport AV signals from multiple gaming stations to a large video wall for team members and faculty to successfully practice and from the wire collaborate. With a relatively close For more case studies, visit viewing distance, the installation svconline.com/the-wire.

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needed to be clean and seamless without any display issues or distractions that may potentially impact gameplay during training. In order to eliminate the need for any extra hardware, simplify ordering and troubleshooting, a distribution solution with integrated signal processing, scaling and routing was needed to control and support the installation. To ensure the system would handle the highresolution frame rates of simultaneous gameplay and offer zero-frame latency, a SDVoE 10G system was used. Working with both Harrisburg University’s faculty and selected manufacturers, New Era Technology designed and developed the unique space centered around a video wall system. To fulfill the facilities’ video wall requirement, designers used a 17-panel Barco UniSee wall. The bezel-less panels created a near seamless

display of the fast-paced action. The flexible configuration allowed the players and faculty to display on the wall and automated calibration ensured consistent image quality throughout all training sessions. Aurora Multimedia’s IPX series SDVoE 10G AV over IP solution fulfilled the distribution requirements for this unique application. Thirty-nine IPX-TC2 transceiver boxes and 4 IPX-TC3-WP transceiver wall plates were integrated in the facilities installation. The Transceiver design allowed devices to be configured as encoders or decoders simplifying setup and troubleshooting. Other features such as integrated video wall processing/scaling/routing, the Dante digital audio option to support the gaming stations, PoE for powered network devices, and the exclusive IPX series IPBaseT management software for device control.


the buzz CASE STUDY / ESPORTS FACILITY

TRAINING FOR ESPORTS Complexity Gaming, a premier U.S. esports organization, has opened its new GameStop Performance Center in Frisco, TX. The GameStop Performance Center is a state-of-the-art training facility where players can gain insight and strategy from top esports professionals and learn to compete at higher levels. It is also home to Complexity Gaming’s teams, who practice, train and compete there. Audience Inc., an audio-visual design and installation integrator in the Dallas, Texas area, designed and installed audio-visual systems throughout the Center’s multi-level complex. RGB Spectrum’s Galileo video wall processors power the numerous video walls and displays throughout the complex. Just two Galileo processors drive all the video walls in the lobby, the player lounge, the main public room, as well as displays in training rooms and the locker room. from the wire The project entailed a variety of For more case studies, visit 4K video wall configurations and svconline.com/the-wire.

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display sizes. The Galileo processor supported this custom output resolution support and display layout flexibility. In the Center’s first floor lobby, the first Galileo processor drives a 4K 4 x 4 video wall. The wall presents general content about Complexity Gaming and the Center to visitors as they enter the facility. The same Galileo processor feeds a second video wall and adjacent portrait-oriented LCD displays in the Player Lounge, where visitors and players can relax and view esport competitions. On the Center’s second floor, another Galileo processor powers an 18-foot 3 x 5 video wall in the main Public Room, which presents streamed video of gaming competitions as well as sponsored content. The processor also outputs to additional displays in three training rooms and the locker room. The Galileo processors receive direct AVover-IP streams and baseband inputs. Content includes Twitch.tv streams of live gaming

competitions, pre-recorded tournament contests, sponsor promotions, internal marketing messaging, and player gaming schedules. The processors consolidate these feeds and output them to the video walls and other displays throughout the facility. Operators can instantly switch and route input sources, choose from customizable display layouts, and resize and position display windows using the Galileo’s built-in, easy to use GUI or a touch screen controller. The Galileo processor offers the flexibility to rotate output and display content in any size, anywhere on the video wall. Display layouts can be changed instantly to focus on particular areas of interest. Operators can select preset display layouts, switch and route sources, and size and position windows. A unique “wall mimic” features enables the entire wall display or any region of interest to be encoded and streamed for live viewing elsewhere.


TECH SHOWCASE

PROJECTORS By Cynthia Wisehart

In this first quarter, manufacturers have taken some interesting and wide-ranging approaches to the projector platform, adding analytics, software, and connectivity options, as well as features to simplify installation. Some have innovated to reduce size or increase refresh rate (for gaming).

At ISE 2020, Barco debuted their next-gen business strategy with a new cloud-based Internet of Things solution for enhanced projector management. Barco Insights, as the connectivity platform is called, will simplify and facilitate remote monitoring and serviceability. It supports cloud-based storage of projectors’ usage data and light-source run-times. The live dashboards also give real-time information on the operating and environmental conditions of the projectors for more effective device analysis and proactive troubleshooting. Users can securely access the IoT platform on any device with an internet connection. There’s no complex setup and network configuration, no local host PC and no software to install. Rollout of this subscription-based cloud platform will happen in different stages with functionality becoming gradually available throughout 2020. The basic features will be automatically embedded in the UDM projectors for the first two years of usage. This included two new 15K lumens members of the 3-chip laser UDM range, the UDM-4K15 (UHD) and UDM-W15 (WUXGA), which join the large-format UDM-4K22 that began shipping this year, pitched at theme parks, museums, houses of worship and large auditoriums (there is also a WUXGA UDM 22K). The full UDM line can be rigged for permanent installation or rental/staging, and Barco’s Flex2 feature allows brightness level or resolution tuning for a specific show. In February, BenQ introduced what it calls “the world’s first smart projector for business.” The EW800ST DLP short-throw (0.49) has cross-platform wireless screen-mirroring, built-in business apps, and Internet connectivity to support digital collaboration workspaces wirelessly via BYOD, whether smartphone, tablet or laptop and whether PC, Mac/iOS, Android— no software or cables required. With an eye towards a role in signage as well, the EW800ST also supports 360-degree rotation for projection onto ceilings, walls, floors or angled signage. The EW800ST also comes with a USB

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Barco Insights

Barco UDM4K15

BenQ EW800ST


TECH SHOWCASE

Canon XEED 4K6021Z

Type-A port that supports a wide range of file formats — including JPEG, PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. The projector comes with 16 GB of storage and builtin business apps that increase productivity during meetings. With one click to connect, participants can start a video conference with Blizz — a global team collaboration app — remotely access another computer to view files or troubleshoot via TeamViewer, create documents collaboratively via WPS Office, as well as search the internet on Firefox. Through BenQ’s X-Sign broadcasting technology, any connected device can send text, images, and video links to the EW800ST, and everyone in the meeting room will see the message immediately on the projection screen. BenQ Smart Control turns a smartphone into a remote control, a mouse pad, and a keyboard, allowing users to navigate the projector and its business apps directly from their own device. For text/ graphics-based presentations, Infographic Mode — a BenQ exclusive — showcases texts and graphics in detail with high brightness and better color gradation. Built-in dust and lamp-life technology reduces the projectors’ maintenance footprint. It is compatible with BenQ’s Device Management Solution (DMS) and Account Management System (AMS) tools. DMS enables remote and centralized management of multiple digital projectors via a local network, making it simple for IT managers to remotely monitor, control, configure, and update projectors individually or as groups at once. Canon has continued to target the need for compact, lightweight 4K projectors. The XEED 4K6021Z that debuted last year is a high brightness, native 4K laser projector, with dual Display Port connectivity. A LCOS laser delivers 6,000 lumens of brightness at 4K

AV Stumpfl PIXIERA Two

10-bit 4:4:4, while still weighing in at 19kg. Despite the high brightness, Canon says its projector has been packed into a lightweight body, meaning it’s suitable for flexible installations. Using Canon’s LCOS reflective panel technology, this device claims a very high aperture ratio with virtually no gaps between pixels to create fine, detailed images free from the ‘lattice effect’, particularly useful for museums, design and creative installations. A simple spigot lens fitting is compatible with seven interchangeable lenses, including the RS-SL07RST 4K standard zoom lens which offers 1.76x motorized zoom and +/- 73% vertical lens shift. This lens can project images up to 600 inches and can even project onto curved surfaces; maintaining focus in the center of the image when peripheral focus has been adjusted. The XEED 4K6021Z can be installed in any 360-degree orientation, which, combined with its compact size, is ideal for challenging or creative environments. At ISE 2020, Canon collaborated with AV Stumpfl to exhibit an 8K projection solution. On the booth, the AV Stumpfl PIXIERA Two server delivered and managed the 8K content – captured using Canon kit and served to Canon projectors. ISE 2020 saw the show debut of both the Christie Roadie 4K40-RGB and the Mirage SST projector, which were announced at InfoComm last year. With its omnidirectional, quiet, and ultra-compact, fibre-coupled projection head, the Mirage SST 4K 35,000 lumen RGB laser projection system has been designed for tight, challenging environments,

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TECH SHOWCASE

Christie Mirage SST

Christie Crimson HD31

Digital Projection INSIGHT 4K HFR 360 such as domes or themed attractions. The Christie Roadie 4K40-RGB pure laser projector is purpose-built for life on the road and other demanding applications; the Roadie’s “love handles” double as rigging points. In addition, Christie also made a point to demonstrate how their projector ecosystem is about more than projectors. The centerpiece of their booth was a 360-degree 3D projection mapping display with augmented reality (content by Loop Light GmbH). The four Christie D20WU-HS Series projectors were driven by the Christie Spyder X80, the Christie Mystique for automated 3D camera-based alignment, Christie Pandoras Box in 64-bit, and Terra SDVoE AV-over-IP solutions. Christie also announced two new 3DLP Crimson laser projector models with increased brightness (priced the same as its Crimson 25 predecessor). Both Crimson Series WU31 and HD31 models deliver 31,500 ISO lumens, Christie BoldColor Technology, Christie TruLife Electronics and the built-in warping and blend-

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stone of this new system is the separation of the light source, with its associated power and thermal management, to a remote location, which enables a small, compact projection head that only contains the minimal optical and video processing. By sepaDigital rating the projection head from the Projection light source and linking the two Satellite by robust and flexible fibre-optic MLS cables up to 100m long, Digital Projection’s latest innovation offers ing capabilities of Christie Twist. With a Crimson 31 as the source projector, visitors the installer many more options, particularly can also experience Guardian – an optional where space and access are restricted. Given Mystique feature – as it demonstrates how, the modular design of the system, there can without interrupting the viewing experience, be a one-to-many, or many-to-one relationit realigns images that may have shifted due to ship between the light sources and the projecprojectors being bumped or moved. For media tion heads. Digital Projection also continues to win and show control, Christie showed the new attention for INSIGHT 4K HFR 360 MultiPandoras Box V6.4 with 64-bit software. Digital Projection brought a preview of View 3D projector with awards at ISE 2020. projectors based on its Satellite Modular Enabled by ultra-fast frame rates and high Laser System (MLS) to ISE 2020. Satellite resolution, this multi-view solution allows MLS offers a small number of simple building multiple viewers to have a unique viewing blocks that will allow users to address a wide experience relative to their changing posirange of applications, from single projector tions—from a single projector. Aside from installs to complex, multi-channel domes, visualization applications and virtual rides in caves and simulators. One goal of the sys- theme parks, this technology applies to musetem is to make high-end imaging accessible ums, with the ability to enable a virtual tour to the wider AV market, at a cost-effective or interactive with an artifact with a personalprice point. The Satellite MLS will be devel- ized, high-resolution view for each user. Digital Projection also brought it’s 8K DLP oped around WUXGA, Native 4K and 8K resolutions and will also incorporate Digital laser projector to ISE 2020, the INSIGHT Projection’s MultiView technology. The key- LASER 8K, a world’s first when it originally


TECH SHOWCASE

Epson BrightLink 1485Fi

debuted in 2018. Developed in collaboration with Delta Electronics, it provides an ultrahigh 8K resolution (7680 X 4320) of 33-million pixels with 36,000 lumens of solid-state laser-phosphor illumination—obviously pegged at resolution-critical, immersive visualization and large-venue applications. The INSIGHT LASER 8K utilizes DLP technology incorporating 3x 1.38” DarkChip DMD chips. On the software side, it carries DP’s proprietary Smear Reduction Technology, as well as the companies ColorMax technology to ensure color accuracy and black levels. These technologies produce accurate imaging characteristics, suited for matching projectors in tiled or blended applications. A capable selection of zoom lenses, providing extensive lens shift, ensures integrators installing the INSIGHT LASER 8K will have complete flexibility with respect to projector placement in both portrait and landscape. A companion controller software is ideal for use in large installations or where projectors are in multiple locations in a building; the software can dramatically reduce the time required for setup and configuration from a single network-enabled PC. Epson showcased a range of products at ISE 2020k including the laser-powered BrightLink 1485Fi interactive display, the highend 30,000-lumen L30000U, and an all-new ELPLX03 ultra short-throw lens for Epson’s 30K and 25K high lumen projectors. Epson also used their booth to emphasize the broadening projection ecosystem. The company brought a projection mapping experience called “EpsonUnbox” incorporating eight distinct and complex scenes with graphics and

projection mapping effects. Epson also demonstrated Moverio augmented reality (AR) smart glasses in association with Emozionella and Toledo Train Vision and in combination with Epson’s high lumen projectors. A unique heads-up, hands-free high-resolution SiOLED display, it supports options for the arts, entertainment and tourism industries. Also, in January, Epson debuted seven new PowerLite projectors built specifically for the K-12 education environment to increase student engagement and collaboration. The PowerLite E20, X49 and W49 are powerful, budget-friendly classroom projectors; the PowerLite 118, 119W, 982W, and 992F are networkable classroom projectors with premium connectivity and audio. The PowerLite 992F also comes equipped with Miracast and built-in wireless with enterprise-level security for enhanced connectivity. They also allow educators to simultaneously display content from up to four devices with the Epson iProjection wireless display solution with a builtin moderator function. Plus, with Miracast technology, the PowerLite 992F allows educators to easily connect with a laptop, tablet or smartphone and mirror Full HD content including movies, videos, photos and music – all without a single cable. In October last year, Maxell Pro AV completed the transition to take over the Hitachi projector line. Shortly before that Maxell announced an expansion to its Professional Projector line with the MP-WU8701 (7000lm) and MP-WU8801 (8000lm) 3LCD laser projectors. Laser projectors from Maxell offer 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, and when Long Life 2 Mode is used

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TECH SHOWCASE

Maxell Pro AV J Series

projectors can get up to 50,000 hours of operation. Interchangeable lens functionality ensures the projectors fit the need of every type of installation. Maxell’s MP-WU8701 and MP-WU8801 feature blending and warping capabilities via manual adjustment or by using Maxell’s Projector Blending Tool 3 which utilizes a camera and software to automatically NEC NPmake adjustments. The series enables PX2000UL Series projectors for class 4K signal input on HDMI1, HDBaseT and conference room enviand Display Port input terminals. Both ronments. The MP-JW4001 (4000lm/ models feature WUXGA 1920 x 1200 resolution with a 2,500,000:1 contrast ratio. Addi- WXGA), MP-JU4001 (4000lm/WUXGA) tionally, secure embedded networking gives and MP-JW3501 (3500lm/WXGA) laser procustomers the ability to manage and control jectors utliize a new phosphor chip technolmultiple projectors from one centralized ogy, which replaced the phosphor wheel and location to schedule events, transfer images, motor, results in fewer moving parts for better create email alerts, as well as to receive cen- reliability and quieter operation. All are wiretralized reporting and conduct routine main- less presentation compatible. At the end of February, NEC Display introtenance. As we go to press, Maxell announced the expansion of its laser projector lineup with duced the NP-PX2000UL high-brightness the compact, lightweight, budget 3LCD J (20,000lm) single-chip DLP projector with

Elite Screens ELITE OUTDOOR MOBILE CINEMA BUNDLE

Maxell Pro MP WU8801

RB laser; it’s WUXGA (1920x200). It’s pitched at higher education, corporate, museum, theater, house of worship and digital signage applications. NEC believes that the RB laser (red assist) light source can bring a single-chip DLP to near 3-chip quality, but obviously at a fraction of the cost. No word on whether it eliminates the singlechip rainbow effect. The sealed optical engine is important for maintenance cost and downtime. NEC is also positioning it beyond traditional large-format applications in the house of worship, staging, and museum verticals, whether that’s edge-blending, projection-mapping or collaboration. Geometric correction supports a wide range of angles and projection surfaces. Available now. As we go to press, Optoma is on a bit of a tear with entertainment laser projectors. The headline-grabbing UHD50X is a home theater projector, but as “the world’s first 240Hz 4K-ready projector” it deserved a mention

Elite MosicGo

In November, Elite Screens launched the Elite Outdoor Mobile Cinema Bundle, introducing the MosicGo (Movie Music Power Go) UST projector bundles with the Elite Yard Master2. The package incorporates the MosicGO portable outdoor DLP, LED UST projector (with optional built-in battery). The set includes a free-standing tripod and Yard Master2 (OMS58H2) 58” folding-frame, outdoor projection screen, plus wireless speakers and power source. All can be carried and set up by one person. The MosicGo projector by Elite Projector is a line of standalone portable outdoor UST projectors that feature a 3-in-1 design. The bundled DLP projector is a 1000 lumen Osram LED (20,000-hour lamp life) ultra-short throw (UST) projector with a native full HD with 20,000:1 contrast ratio. It is IPX2 certified against water droplet ingression. The builtin Hi-Fi sound system can be used to amplify other audio devices. Wireless speaker connectivity allows end users to wirelessly stream audio though the projector’s 2 x 8w (75Hz-20KHz) wireless stereo speakers. With the integrated power source comes a USB Type-A charging port and a USB-C video/charging port to accommodate cell phones, laptops, and tablets while sharing photos and videos at the same time. An adjustable tripod support and a power cord with (US) Type-B, 15A 3-prong power connection included. The ultralight telescopic tripod attaches easily with the projector to provide ground clearance with variable height settings. The bundled Yard Master2 OMS58H2 is a fast folding and free-standing portable outdoor frame projection screen with a 58” size in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

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TECH SHOWCASE

Peerless-AV HEAVY DUTY UNIVERSAL PROJECTOR MOUNTS Designed for use in applications including corporate, education, home entertainment, retail, live event, museums, and theme parks, the Heavy Duty Universal Projector Mounts (PJR125 and PJR125-POR) support a wide range of projector models, including laser projectors, large venue projectors, and heavy LCD/LED projectors. Offering the largest mounting pattern in the industry, the mounts also accommodate projectors weighing up to 125 lbs., with the PJR125-POR model being the only mount on the market that supports portrait-mounted projectors weighing over 75 lbs. Peerless-AV’s projector mounts feature a low-profile design and simple Hookand-Hang™ feature to help installers when securing the projector and making adjustments. The mounts include six universal legs (four pre-installed) that provide additional support for projectors with more than four mounting holes and are completely adjustable. Both mounts contain a universal adaptor plate that extends up to a 25.5” mounting pattern to accommodate most projector models. In addition, the mounts’ tilt, roll, and swivel features are all lockable to prevent even the smallest shift in image. Plus, cable management allows cables to be routed through the mount and out of sight.

Peerless-AV PJR125

Peerless-AV PJR125-POR

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for its high refresh rate aimed at gaming and entertainment. Previously this year, Optoma had also unveiled three new laser projectors designed for gaming. The GT1090HDR and HZ39HDR, Optoma’s first laser gaming and entertainment projectors, are native 1080p with options in 4000 and 4200 lumens. The 3600 lumen HD28HDR supports up to a 120Hz refresh rate and an 8.4ms response time for fast-paced gaming, as well as an integrated game display mode that boosts shadows and dark scenes for greater visibility of impending obstacles. On the Pro AV side, in January, Optoma unveiled the ZU860 – an 8500 lumen, WUXGA, 4K UHD HDR projector with edge-blending, image warping, interchangeable lenses and IO including HDMI, DVI-D, HDBaseT, and 3G-SI. LAN and RS232 enable control via Crestron, Extron, AMX or Telnet. It’s Optoma’s first WUXGA interchanageable lens projector to support 4K inputs. Integrated image warping, blending, four-corner adjustment and lens position memory simplify complex installations. A variety of premium lens options, motorized lens-shift, zoom and focus with 360° and portrait operation ensure installation flexibility. Panasonic is expanding its 1-Chip DLP laser projector line-up with the PT-RZ790 Series for museums and exhibition spaces and the PT-FRZ60 Series for high school and university classrooms in September. A clear, bright display in a well-lit classroom and minimal noise are essential for an ideal education environment. Similarly, exhibition designers use natural or tailored lighting to enhance their displays, and require quiet projection to welcome visitors into a calming atmosphere. The Panasonic PT-RZ790 Series and PTFRZ60 Series 1-Chip DLP laser projectors are engineered for these environments, serving high-visibility images under lights with almost no noise. At ISE, Panasonic also showcased its upcoming 3-chip DLP laser projector line-up. The SOLID SHINE projectors are

Optoma ZU860

Panasonic PT- RZ790

30,000K and up to 4K resolution. The PTRQ35K (4K) and PT-RZ34K (WUXGA) have light, compact designs (up to 60% the size of the current comparable projector); they are suitable for live events in stadiums and theatres, as well as a range of projection mapping applications. This new product also includes improved cooling systems. Dynamic Digital Control counters red-laser sensitivity to temperature by digitally regulating light output and operating parameters of a dedicated cooling system. At ISE 2020, Sony expanded its laser projector line up with the introduction of six new models, ranging from a 13,000lm high brightness model to 5,000lm mid-range compact models. The high brightness offerings are strengthened with three new WUXGA models: VPL-FHZ131L (13,000lm), VPL-FHZ101L (10,000lm), and VPL-FHZ91L (9,000lm). In addition, the 5,000lm medium brightness models will now include the VPL-PHZ12 (WUXGA), which has a 0.76-inch LCD panel with an incorporated optical compensator to deliver bright images with high contrast of ∞:1 and true-to-life color reproduction. The new VPL-CWZ10 (WXGA) is a portable and compact entry model, which Sony claims as the most compact in the industry. Sony’s laser projector lineup comprises 11 models across different brightness levels from 4,200 to 13,000lm, providing options for a wide range of applications from small classrooms, confer-


TECH SHOWCASE

ence venues to large halls and auditoriums and exhibition facilities, such as museums. All models share the Intelligent Setting function for set up, automatically adjusting the image quality, light source output level, and cooling system for the usage environment. Users can easily change the settings from a choice of preset mode, including: Meeting/Classroom Mode, which emphasizes the visibility of text in bright environments; Museum Mode, which prioritizes low-noise; and Facility Mode for entertainment venues, which reproduces impactful image quality with high contrast. In addition, VPL-FHZ131L, VPL-FHZ101L, and VPL-FHZ91L are equipped with an Advanced Intelligent Setting function with additional Multi-screen Mode, which optimizes color when projecting on multiple units. The new high-brightness WUXGA models combine a wide lens shift function with a short-focus

halls, event spaces, and other locations where projectors are often used together with broadcast equipment. In addition, the latest projectors now support the XTP Systems of Extron Electronics, in addition to Crestron Connected, for simple integration and operation. For the VPL-PHZ12, the major features are a 0.76-inch LCD panel with its Sony VPLincorporated optical compensator to lens. Its wide lens shift capability FHZ131L deliver vibrant images with high con(Max. Vertical ±107%, Horizontal trast of ∞:1 and accurate color repro±60%) enhances usability in a range duction. Images and text can be seen of settings including difficult installaclearly, even in bright environments. The tion conditions, such as when a venue contains beams or piping, or when the screen is lower VPL-CWZ10 adpots a small 0.64-inch panel, than the projector. When combined with the which makes the projector approximately 40% optional short-throw lens, the VPLL-Z4107, smaller (WxHxD = 371 x 100 x 319.3 mm) and installation flexibility is enhanced in venues 35% lighter (approx. 5.7 kg) than conventional where throw distance is limited. 3G-SDI input models (VPL-PWZ10). The projectors will is enabled with a separately sold adaptor. This roll out over the coming months between April makes it possible to operate projectors in city and June of this year.

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SVC AV/IT INTERVIEW EXPERTISE

MULTI-PURPOSE AUDIO With Bennett Liles

oncerts, NHL hockey, arena football, basketball--you name it, they play it--at the Des Moines Wells Fargo Arena. It’s tough to get the venue to sound right for all of this, but Daktronics Audio Systems Division made it happen; David Sturzenbecher, Applications Engineer and Thijs Hammink, Field Engineer have the story.

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SVC: When you say Daktronics, people immediately think of big video screens. But you guys do a lot of very heavy-duty audio jobs and Wells Fargo Arena was certainly one of those. First,

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let’s get some background. David, tell us about the Daktronics Audio Systems Division. David: Sure. The audio division of Daktronics does a lot of design/build projects. We do some vid spec projects, but we really focus on design/build for arenas, stadiums, and a lot of other locations that we can support our video product. We’re really getting a lot of video into malls and green spaces. A lot of those systems need audio backing as well. What was the sound situation at Wells Fargo Arena? They had some existing problems that you had to sort out. David: Yeah. We actually tested every speaker that we took down and there were a significant amount of failed components


within the existing system. Maintenance had been done over the years, but it was just getting time to replace it. There are other areas at the venue, especially throughout the concourses, that the original system just didn’t have any coverage, so our goal was to really fix everything all at one time.

pretty big task. Luckily for that, we had some amazing subcontractors. The other thing is we had to install a subwoofer stack right in the center above the video board so getting a stack of subwoofers in there while avoiding damage to the video board was definitely a big challenge.

The dead spots surely change depending on the particular event setup. You’ve got the sports, the concerts, so many different things and you had to design a system to make all of them sound right. David: Yeah, definitely a lot of events going on. A very small installation window, too, just because of the sheer number of events that go through there. So we really had to be very quick with our installation.

How much of this was pre-assembled elsewhere and brought in for installation, or did you have to assemble all of the various components onsite? Thijs: In this install everything was pretty much built onsite, everything put together and integrated there. Due to a lot of equipment onsite that was existing, we reused racks and reinstalled new equipment into old locations, which is a little bit different for us. For a lot of our installs we try and manufacture the racks ahead of time and ship them fully assembled.

Thijs, tell us, what appeared to be the most challenging part of the physical installation? Thijs: One of the biggest challenges was figuring out how to get the new equipment up to the different locations. The only access to the catwalk where all the amplifiers are is a staircase, and getting all the old amplifiers out and the new ones in was going to be a

You did an EASE analysis before you started all of the gripping and sweat work on this. Did that reveal any special problems for a specific sport or event? David: Yeah, it really did. We do an EASE analysis for nearly all of our installations and we really try to put that engineering

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work up front to make sure that we’re selecting the right components and getting them in the right locations. With this venue, they play hockey there. Hockey dasher boards can provide an acoustical shadow if you have your speakers located too far inside the ice rink and they’re firing out where they get blocked. So for this installation I chose to push those line arrays out a little more so that there wouldn’t be a shadow. They’re essentially located right over those dasher boards. That caused us to create the array that had over a 90-degree vertical coverage pattern to shoot to the seats all the way in the top and then all the way down to directly in front of the dasher boards. You primarily used Electro-Voice XLD line arrays? David: Yeah. These XLD line arrays, they’re not one of the newest Electro-Voice products out there, but they are a very good product that is nice and compact. And that allowed me to get those intermediate angles set properly to get a 90-degree-plus vertical coverage pattern within a rather tight vertical space. One of the complaints from the previous system was that with the speakers blocked the visual of the center-hung videoboard. So that is one of the things that we definitely addressed by our speakers locations to get them up high enough and to make sure they weren’t visually blocking the video screen.

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That’s got to be a real challenge sometimes, maintaining sightlines for the video display from everywhere in the arena and still have the speaker arrays hung where the sound is right. Thijs: Oh, for sure. The trend in centerhung videoboards is bigger, bigger, bigger and as those gain in size they eat up a lot of space that speakers can be placed in. So it does become a balancing act between providing a sound system that accurately covers the venue and putting a videoboard in there that the customer would like. Those EV speakers are pretty small but they handle a lot of power. I think it’s something like 138dB continuous SPL in a very small package. David: They’ve got some output for sure. The venue is pretty symmetrical on one side, but then I think you have a different situation on the other side. David: Yeah. There’s definitely a drastic change in the venue from one side, which really only has two levels of seating. Near to the opposite side it’s definitely three levels of seating and it extends quite high. So it was a challenge to come up with a model for sure. You used a lot of different Electro-Voice components. David: Yeah. There were the XLD speak-

ers. We had EVH fills. There are some fills in the videoboard as well. And I saw that you gave the announcers an Electro-Voice RE-20 mic? David: Yeah, that’s a microphone that we use standard on nearly all of our custom jobs. It’s just a great product and it works really well for announcers and podcasters alike. How much of a time window did you have to get the job done? Thijs: We had about a month to get most of the system in and get it up and running. Normally in tight timelines we like to keep old systems in place as long as we can and up and running until the new system is in place. But that wasn’t really an option in this one mainly due to the fact that all the equipment was going in place of where the old equipment was--so we had to remove all the old before we could put in the new. Were you able to use any of the existing wiring or did you have to just start from zero after you had the old stuff out? Thijs: For a lot of the speaker lines we were able to use quite a bit of existing wiring and analog lines around the facility as well, but where fiber and network is concerned that was all pulled new. They have to be able to switch over very


quickly from one event to another and a big part of that is the amplifiers. Thijs, what amps did you use for this and where did you put those? Thijs: The main bowl system is amplified by Dynacord IPX Series amplifiers. These are located up in the catwalks in some amp racks up there. And then for all ancillary areas we have some QSC CXD amplifiers and they’re located in different data closets throughout the facility. As far as the areas outside of the arena bowl, were there places where the previous sound system did not have direct coverage, or did you just upgrade what was already there? Thijs: There were some areas that had sound coverage, but they had complaints that it wasn’t clear in all locations. And we did add a lot of new speakers in new locations through the different concourses. Why did you select the Dynacord IPX Series

amps? David: The Dynacord IPX Series amps have the manufacturers’ tunings for them – the FIR drive, processing – that really makes those speakers sound absolutely fantastic. You can get that same process in some of the older EV amps but the Dynacord ones are really kind of the wave of the future for the EV-Bosch product lineup. They do have Dante on board as well as kind of an undocumented feature they’re calling Ghost Power; in the event of a power failure, the DSP stays active for about 20 seconds. When power is restored, the amp starts passing audio in about four seconds. That’s quite a bit faster than some of the competitors’ amps that can take over two minutes to start passing audio in the event of a power failure. And when you’re looking at these big venues that have the sound system augment the life safety system, you know every second matters. David: The Dynacord amps also have a really nice Q-SYS plugin. We did use Q-SYS

for our DSP processing in the venue, so with this plugin we can monitor those amplifiers through the Q-SYS platform; we are running redundant Cores on redundant UPSs to really try to mitigate any downtime that there might be. And you used Dante sound distribution. How did you get that set up? Thijs: We’ve got Dante distribution running on redundant star networks. So we’ve got two central core switches that distribute to additional switches located throughout the facility. Those also run the Q-LAN network, so in the different bar areas and interview rooms we’ve got some Q-SYS touch screens and there’s Dante connection points in all those locations as well. Some of the other areas outside the arena didn’t have direct sound coverage before. How did you cover those as far as the speakers you used?

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David: Yes, in the bar areas we really upgraded the sound. We added dedicated systems. As Thijs said, there are dedicated touch screens in there and Bluetooth input jacks, but we also did add some Electro-Voice EVID speakers. We did add some subwoofers for those bar areas to provide some low-end energy and really augment those areas. We also added some speakers to the interview room, and another touch screen there so it can all be run locally as well. In the bar areas, how do they control the sound system there?

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Thijs: Each bar location has their own touch screen and the staff has access to do different source selections based on radio and media players, arena events, or local Bluetooth input. And they can adjust volume and sources as they like.

interview room as well.

They have an interview room there as well. That’s not the same as the broadcast booth is it? David: Oh, no, no. The interview room is basically a room where after an event the coach will come and give his analysis of the game. So we did upgrade the sound in the

Were any changes made in the broadcast announcer’s area? David. Yeah. We supplied a Studio Technologies Dante-enabled announcer’s interface box that seamlessly ties into the Dante network, again with that RE-20 mic that we mentioned earlier. And I think that really did help

Were those ceiling speakers you put in there? David: Yeah. Yep. They’re Electro-Voice EVID ceiling speakers.


bring forth that announcer so it’s nice and clear and crisp. And what kind of mixer did you use for overall control in the arena? David: There are a handful of mixers in this project. The main frontof-house mixer is a Yamaha CL5 that does the main in-venue routing and level control. But there’s also a Yamaha QL5 that routes video signals and does a lot of back-of-house mixes. And then there’s also a QL1 that they have as a portable mixer, but we put in a rack that they can wheel to different rooms. For the different events, whether it be basketball or hockey, sometimes they want to control the sound from the floor, and sometimes they want to control the sound from one of the press booths. So that gives them the flexibility to really control the sound from anywhere. There are actually eight Yamaha RIO boxes that are Dante-enabled in

What was the toughest part of this thing? Was it just the tight timeline or did anything unexpected come up? Thijs: I wouldn’t say there’s a lot that was unexpected, but with a lot of the existing equipment that’s in there – they have a lot of existing video equipment, some existing audio equipment – that all had to get reintegrated, including the patch bays. We ended up having to rewire entire patch bays and everything. That took up a lot of time.

this installation and most of them are around the floor to provide event-level inputs. We do have another one in the control room and then there are two mobile racks. Again, they can push those two input/output racks to wherever they need to tie in some analog sources.

What kinds of projects does Daktronics Audio Systems Division have coming up? David: We definitely are in the middle of quite a few nice projects. We’ve got a University of South Alabama Football that’s currently in the middle of an installation as well as one of our nice clients, Kansas State Football, which we’ll be kicking off here shortly.

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TECH SHOWCASE

AV CONTROL SYSTEMS By Bennett Liles A-Neuvideo ANI-8WP

We can talk about power, signal distribution, acoustics, mics and cameras but where things get most interesting is in that critical interface between AV systems and humans. In an era that has introduced wireless collaboration, AV over IP and increasingly serious security challenges, the ongoing task of AV control has been to keep system control simple while adding more layers of complex capability backstage. The broad range of devices seen here can meet those needs when the system is expertly matched to the job at hand. The ANI-8WP Wall-Plate Control System from A-Neuvideo fits a single gang wall box and uses PoE for easy installation. Capable of eight direct macro commands and an additional eight macro commands in the WebGUI, the ANI-8WP offers a total of 128 separate commands. The commands can be date and time scheduled and the relay function can raise and lower projection screens, matrix switchers and any Telnet supported device. The buttons’ LED intensity is adjustable and the device comes with 56 button labels. Alcorn McBride has an interesting angle to system management in the V16Pro show controller with its timeline programmable features and wide assortment of input/output

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and activate any number of externally triggered events. It is accompanied by a large library of control protocols to AMX MTallow easy integration into any show 2002 system for precise synchronization of audio, video, lighting and other effects. AMX has a wide choice of control solutions and the MT-2002 Modero G5 20in. Tabletop Touch Panel is one of their most versatile. The G5 graphics engine and Quad Core processor run a built-in web browser and document viewers on its panoramic capaciports. Using its dual Ethernet ports, serial interface, MIDI, SMPTE time- tive multi-touch screen. Administrators can code and real-time clock, the unit can execute select custom modes and set security levels. an array of functions in a scripted sequence In-Plane Switching (IPS) delivers the widest viewing angles and accurate color reproduction on the screen. The MT-2002 ATEN is designed for boardrooms, lecture VK2100 halls, conference rooms and auditoriums where its low profile provides the ultimate in unobtrusive functionality. The ATEN VK2100 works with ATEN Configurator and the ATEN control system app to connect all of the AV devices in a single room or large facility. The VK6000 ConAlcorn figurator enables system configuration McBride and then the app connects the user on any V16Pro


TECH SHOWCASE

Atlona ATVGW-HW

Barco Overture

iOS, Android or Windows mobile device or tablet. AV, lighting, conference systems and even HVAC can be set up for control. Each individual user profile provides a customized GUI that is password protected. Atlona recently began shipping its updated 2nd generation Velocity IP-enabled AV control platform and new scheduling touch panel. Velocity 2.0 offers a flexible new architecture to support various rooms and application requirements. The platform integrates with Atlona’s own Omnistream and Omega products, as well as leading soft codec platforms, asset management and remote and cloud monitoring/management. At the center of Atlona’s room control system is the ATVGW-HV hardware server gateway for AV system control, room scheduling, and AV asset management. With its dual Gigabit Ethernet ports for isolating a dedicated AV LAN from the facility or corporate network, the

Atlona AT-VSP-800 control systems introduced by Aurora at Infocomm 2019, the QXC-44 has a wide selection of ports for control of projectors, players and other AV devices as well as relays and sensor inputs. The unit can run software tools such as Core Studio that are server supports industry standownloadable from the dard network protocols. It is Aurora customer portal. accessible by web browser for Among the unit’s features setup and management. Availare an internal web server, able as the VGW-HW-3, VGWIP control engine, WACI HW-10, and VGW-HW-20, the Event Manager, status device is capable of handling Black Box LEDs and a front panel keyboard. anywhere from three to 20 rooms AVS-CTRL8 Barco’s Overture is an enterprise using the Atlona Management Sysclass software based AV monitoring and tem. The updated Velocity System control solution that can handle anywhere platform includes the free Velocity Cloud Lite for simplified remote configuration from a few to a thousand classrooms, conferand management. Also announced, the AT- ence facilities or auditoriums. Reports and VSP-800 8” room scheduling and AV control statistics can be examined to keep abreast touch panel, also shipping. With integrated of equipment usage and alarms can be set to bezel LED lighting, the panel is ideal for lob- notify administrators of any malfunctions. bies, hallways, or meeting space entrances The interface is template based for quick and that require a quick and easy way of visualiz- easy installation and setup. These capabilities ing room availability at a distance in schedul- have been enhanced with the recent release of the new Overture Insights application. ing applications. The AVS-CTRL8 wall plate control panel One of four new Linux-based ReAX IP from Black Box Network Services can operate a range of devices via RS-232, RS-485, IR, and relay control on any of eight Aurora QXC- separately assignable buttons. The whole unit with its black metal finish 44 fits into a single gang wall box and each button has a customizable label through programming software down-

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TECH SHOWCASE

Crestron CP4N

loadable from Black Box. Up to 99-unit programmable control panels can be looped and controlled together and the backlit brightness of each panel is adjustable. At ISE, the company also announced the ControlBridge, a complete multisystem and room control system for control rooms and building automation. Using a single touch panel to control KVM, AV, and other in-room devices, users can program room temperature, control video wall solutions, turn lights on and off remotely, or launch a preset room configuration with the touch of a button to prepare a room for a presentation. Crestron CP4N is a rack-mountable control system with Crestron’s powerful 4‑Series control engine and numerous integrated control ports. The 4-Series multicore CPU enables a sizable speed and performance over Crestron 3‑Series control processors--supporting the increasing demands of advanced automated systems that incorporate disparate technologies and need scaleable, secure integration across the wide range of devices and manufacturers. The modular CP4N allows programmers to develop and run independent, device‑specific programs; each device can be individually optimized and changes can be made without affecting the whole system. On a dedicated Crestron Control Subnet, the CP4N can auto-configure the entire subnet, includ-

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audio, video, lighting, motorized shades, thermostats, door locks, sensors, security systems, and other equipment, including third-party. Built-in SNMP V3 support enables integration with third-party IT management software; native support for BACnet provides a direct interface to HVAC, security and other building management systems. Long a prominent name in residential AV, ELAN has the market for small to medium sized AV system Black Box projects with their gSC2 system conControlBridge troller that is designed to optimize ing device discovery and IP address operation on the Linux platform. The assignments. A separate LAN port progSC2 has connections for two RS-232 vides a single-point connection, requiring devices, two ELAN sensors, four IR emitonly one IP address for the entire control sys- ters, two dry contact relays and it includes a tem. The LAN port allows for interconnectiv- USB-A port. Compatible with all g! Ethernet ity between devices on the local subnet and drivers, the controller has WiFi, PoE and it can other devices, systems, servers, and WAN/ be operated through a wide range of touch paninternet connections outside the local subnet. els, keypads, hand-held remotes, PCs, Macs For secure applications, the entire Control and smart devices running iOS and Android Subnet can be isolated. GUI support includes operating systems. Crestron touch screens, wireless remotes, and In February, Extron introduced the new mobile device apps, as well as remote man- IPCP Pro xi Series high performance conagement through Crestron Fusion software trol processors. They incorporate up to four and the Crestron XiO Cloud service. In this times more memory and claim significantlyway, installers and users can remotely provi- enhanced processing power for increased sion, monitor, and manage Crestron devices deployment speeds and improved runtime across an enterprise network; the system can functionality. In addition to increases in be pre-loaded and has unlimited scalability performance, these new processors feature via Microsoft Azure. CP4N integrates with advanced security standards and Gigabit Ethernet, which ensures compatibility with multiple TouchLink Pro touchpanels and Network Button Panels using a standard network infrastructure. The IPCP Pro xi Series can be configured using Global Configurator Plus or Global Configurator Professional software or programmed using Extron Global Scripter. For enterprise-wide applications, GlobalViewer Enterprise can provide centralELAN gSC2 ized AV resource monitoring, management,


TECH SHOWCASE

HRS Enterprise ONE

Hall Research CNT-IP-264 with Tablet

Extron IPCP Pro xi

and control over a computer network. In addition, the IPCP Pro xi Series supports Extron LinkLicense. These compact control processors come in quarter rack and half-rack sizes, and the DIN rail mount option for additional mounting flexibility. FSR offers a range of specific AV system operation solutions within the FLEX-LT product line of combination display and control processors. These can be flush mounted or contained in the T6 FLEX Table Box. Using the 3.5in. touch screen, users can select input sources, adjust volume, activate lights, raise/lower projection screens and perform many other tasks. The built-in scheduler can automatically shut off devices and send alerts to support personnel. The Hall Research CNT-IP-264 controls a video over LAN network composed of FHD264 encoders and decoders. Through its embedded web server with GUI it can list and identify all of the transmitters and receivers IDK SWCwhile also providing con2000 trol of other gear such as

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TVs and projectors using custom user-created control buttons for Serial-over-IP or Telnet. There is also a scheduler for activating commands on time of day. High Resolution Systems offers a built-in web browser and their System Designer software with the HRS Enterprise ONE AV control system. The unit’s Quad Core processor,

FSR FlexLT200

64GB SSD and 2GB internal memory run a feature packed system including a drag-anddrop scheduling calendar, 2 USB ports, HDMI display connection and network Interfaces for IR, RS232, and contact closures. Users can connect to the controller through HRS native iOS and Windows apps. For operating the IDK America MSD Series, FDX Series, and IP-NINJAR Series products, the SWC2000 push button controller works via LAN or RS-232C. The unit can be used on a desk or rack mounted and up Key Digital KD-MC1000 to 10 commands can be linked to one button. Up to 32 commands can be linked to each panel. All of this is done on a web connected computer that can also be used to backup and restore control commands. The KD-MC1000 Master Controller from Key Digital is the first major control system built from the ground up using Apple’s iOS devices. It features 6 MCP35 multi-function I/O ports that can be set up as IR in any direction, bi-directional RS-232, voltage


TECH SHOWCASE

Kramer Electronics SL-280

level output, voltage sensor input, PCM audio sensor input or composite video sensor input. There is also one relay/contact closure port and one Zigbee wireless port. The unit connects directly to LAN on an RJ45 and initial setup/firmware upgrades are done through USB. Kramer Electronics designed the SL-280 32 port master/room controller to use bidirectional RS232, IR with learning capability, GPI/O and relay control. It can operate on LAN and be set up to control a wide range

of devices through the rear panel terminal block interfaces. The whole system occupies a single rack space and there are front panel LEDs for indication of port state and system status. The SL-280’s processor speed is 1GHz and it uses a 512MB RAM along with 4GB flash memory. Last month, PepperDash, the AV industry’s largest control software development firm, announced the release of its “Essentials” core control software framework as an open source project. PepperDash Essentials is a Crestron

PRO Control ProLink.z

framework capable of running a wide variety of system designs out-of-the-box and can also serve as a standardized plug-in architecture to augment SIMPL# Pro and SIMPL Windows programs. When paired with the PRO Control Pro24.z, iPro.8 remote or the Pro Panel app for iOS, the ProLink.z processor provides

Innovative AV Control, now with room scheduling Control multiple AV Systems from a single networked processor

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TECH SHOWCASE

RDL RU2-CS1

RTI VXP-82

QSC Q-SYS Platform

SDVoE Crestron Control Module

control over complex AV environments along with sophisticated condition sensing. This model has two voltage sensors and six IR output ports, an integrated 2.4GHz Zigbee antenna, Ethernet RJ45 and two 2-way RS-232 ports. Tablets, smartphones and PCs can work seamlessly with it and the interface is customizable using Pro Control’s wizard-based software. Touting the extensive versatility of a software AV control solution, the QSC Q-SYS Platform brings sound, video and control into one unified environment known as the Q-SYS Ecosystem. This provides AV bridging, acoustic echo cancellation, scripting, scheduling and integration of third party hardware. Users and system designers can easily use the Q-SYS Designer Software to configure the whole AV control plan for small conference rooms all the way up to major enterprise installations. The Radio Design Labs RU2-CS1 computer AV control interface operates eight open-collector outputs and eight separate 0-10 VDC outputs for external

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device control. Eight inputs are also available for sensing external switch or transistor closures. All of this is controlled from a computer running a terminal application or other user software. Front panel LEDs show active outputs, active status inputs, transmit and receive data, errors and power. RTI has introduced its ultimate solution for conference rooms, classrooms and lecture halls in the VXP-82 8x1 all-in-one presentation switcher and control processor, with its AV control, switchSP Controls SP-TP7

ing, video scaling and audio mixing. All of this is housed in a 2RU rack unit that also has HDBaseT communication. Along with its many other features using VXP-R and VXP-T extenders, the VXP-82 has six routable IR ports, two RS-232 ports, three relays, three voltage triggers and three voltage sense inputs. SDVoE has released a module for Crestron control systems: Certified SDVoE Design Partners can easily architect and deploy SDVoE systems of any size while offering a familiar user experience. The SDVoE module works with any 3-series Crestron control processor to enable video matrix switching and independent audio routing, as well as advanced SDVoE features like video wall and multiview. Harnessing the power of the SDVoE API, this single driver works with any SDVoE manufacturer’s products. The SDVoE module is available for free download from the SDVoE Academy by SDVoE Alliance members and certified SDVoE Design Partners Current users of SP Controls PixiePro control units can easily upgrade their systems with the SP-TP7 touch


TECH SHOWCASE

URC MRX-30

panel. Working with the company’s NRC (Networked Room Controller), the touch panel can be wall mounted or installed in an equipment rack, tabletop or lectern and show off its anodized brushed aluminum bezel. It can be powered on PoE and future functionality additions will be handled through its existing audio outputs and built-in IR receiver. The TCX9 TekController from TEKVOX features a 9in. diagonal 1920×1200 resolution HD touch screen with a wide viewing angle as well as its Windows 10 IoT powered control processor. The unit can be remotely managed through its LAN connection and each panel includes the GUI designer, control interface application and device license as well as a set of screws and brackets for mounting on podium, table or wall. There are also USB and HDMI connections for an optional mouse, keyboard, and monitor. Universal Remote Control can provide the MRX-30 Advanced Network System

West Pond Technologies RX-50

TEKVOX TCX9

Controller with its powerful quad-core processor, two-way operation of Total Control along with compatible third-party devices and dual programming options. This model also integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to allow voice activation. It can store and execute complex control and automation commands and is capable of off-site programming. Included are relays,

12VDC power outputs, infrared control and RS-232 ports. The West Pond Technologies RX-50 Managed Display Controller allows remote operation of TVs with internal tuners by sending commands through the existing coax wiring. Momentarily connecting its USB port to the MX headend equipment registers the product. The RX-50 auto-discovers the appropriate control channel to provide its remote software control. The unit can be used to operate a display, a set-top box or other devices that can be reached through coax.

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ESPORTS CHALLENGE AV and IP perform under pressure By Cynthia Wisehart

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t’s difficult to imagine an application better suited to bring out the best in AV systems. The esports ecosystem encompasses arenas, production headquarters, and virtual access points across the globe; it brings together professionals and amateurs, live events, streaming, and broadcast. It requires advanced technical systems — high resolution, low latency, multi-platform distribution, seamless routing, and a high-impact, immersive guest experience. The systems must be among the most responsive and flexible available to suit the application.

I

Most esports venues are multi-purpose spaces, they serve multiple kinds of events, they must scale up and down in size and equipment, they must support the technical fluidity that goes with gaming and its highenergy game brands and footage. Often, audiences and participants are remote; many competitions tour. The technical systems are innovative, reflecting diverse technical stakeholders. Those who design and use these systems may not see things in a traditional AV or broadcast paradigm, but a blending of digital media disciplines. From a business standpoint, esports is also an emerging market. Universities are adding teams and facilities; professional sporting franchises like NBA and NFL are going virtual, the market is poised for potential success. Some estimates put it on its way to being a $1 billion industry this year. (Though of course any business that relies on physically gathering people together can’t count on estimates made even a month ago). The Esports Stadium Arlington is the largest dedicated esports facility in North America, at 100,000 + sq. ft. It was built in the former Arlington Convention Center in Arlington’s Entertainment District through a financial partnership with the City of Arlington and

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$10.6 million into the former Arlington Convention Center to transform it into a stadium that offers the most immersive spectator experience in the live esports event market.   For example, besides a state-of-the-art competition space, Esports Stadium Arlington features a Gaming Center with 50-plus gaming stations open to the public seven days a week, as well as retail and social spaces, food and beverage, premium hospitality offerings, broadcast and production studios, and ultramodern team training facilities. The spaces are supported and interconnected with AV systems throughout the facility. The project was completed in just six months. Architect Populous enlisted Shawmut as its construction partner, with systems integrators including SimplyNew to build out the technology for the venue’s media and IT architecture, broadcast studio, and A/V, and Infinity Sound handling audio and facilitywide video distribution. The stadium and

Mayor Jeff Williams with additional partners including founding member NVIDIA, and the US Marine Corps. The principals in the project include Esports Venues, LLC, an arm of Infinite Esports, which is owned by Texas Rangers co-owner/ COO Neil Leibman. The City of Arlington’s agreement with Esports Venues, LLC includes an initial 10-year lease with a 10-year renewal option. Arlington’s renovation and equipment investments would be repaid through annual lease payments, event revenue, stadium naming rights revenue and other opportunities associated with catering to the esports industry. Arlington is already home to an active, engaged gaming community at the University of Texas at Arlington.   The build out was a collaboration among award-winning sports and entertainment architecture firm Populous, the City of Arlington and Esports Venues, LLC, invested

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events are managed by NGAGE Esports, one of the nation’s leaders in the field of entertainment marketing. NGAGE Founder Jonathon Oudthone, who is now President of Esports Stadium Arlington, helped lead the design, build and management of the venue from the start. With a 10-year background in esports himself, including as a player, he says modularity was the #1 philosophy behind the design and the technical bar was set very high. To serve the wide variety of competitions, the main stage can accommodate events ranging from 1 v 1 to 7 v 7 and up to 100 game stations for battle royale competitions. The venue can also host conferences and corporate events outside of esports. Seating can be scaled from 250 to 2,500 spectators. The competition arena features 85-ft-long LED board. The main stage LED, player pod displays, and the pre-event lobby LED display are driven with Ross Video products, including a Carbonite Mosaic video processor, XPression Tessera real-time 3D graphics render engine, and DashBoard control system. The arena also features an immersive, 5.1 surround sound system built on a Dante IP audio network, designed and integrated by Grand Prairie, TX-based Infinity Sound. Tom Jones, VP of Engineering, Jerry Hawley, sales manager and Jerry Tidwell, project manager describe the assignment as quite similar to any of the critical listening environments they build—like an auditorium, performing arts space or concert hall. It’s an immersive environment that needs a full-range sound. The audio components include two JBL CBT line arrays, more than a dozen QSC WL2082-I-BK arrays with supporting subs, a collection of QSC E110 and E112 speakers, and a range of QSC CXD amps, which interface with the Dante network via a QSC Core. The audio console is a Yamaha TF1, also on the Dante network. Dante Domain Manager Gold knits it together. Beyond the arena, the Gaming Center is integral to the facility, as the local industry seeks to build a robust esports community in Arlington. Gamers from throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area can come in seven days a week (12 p.m. – 2 a.m.) to play all the latest games on more than 50 gaming stations — NVIDIA-powered PCs with 240-Hz G-Sync


monitors or PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One consoles — while engaging with other local gamers, with full access to food, beverage, and retail. In addition to daily pay-to-play gaming, ES Arlington hosts weekly and monthly meetups, tournaments, and other events inside a mini arena in the Gaming Center to further enrich the community experience. Also contributing to that goal, the Team Area focuses on training and provides players with a communal space comprising eight “Team Rooms,” spaces for players to strategize and practice; a “Player Lounge,” where players can relax and socialize; and media and staff areas, where coaches can supervise their players remotely. Throughout these spaces, Infinity Sound installed a Contemporary Research IPTV distribution system to serve Samsung televisions and other endpoints. At the heart of this distribution system are the Contemporary Research QMOD HDMI-2 and QMOD-SDI

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2 HDTV modulators/IPTV encoders, and the related display controllers—a solution that Infinity Sound turns to often for more traditional installations. Sources include a range of content from all over the world as well as local content from the arena’s many production cameras. Oudthone explains that one of the key aspects of this distribution network is managing what to show in each room. For example it’s imperative that coaches who are managing their arena teams live from back of house, see only the angles that show their players and don’t have undue advantage by seeing other teams’ screens. At the heart of the production part of the operation is a 4M/E Grass Valley Karrera K-Frame S-Series switcher (64 inputs/32 outputs), as well as Grass Valley Densité and enterprise-class NVISION 8280 routing systems. The camera arsenal includes Sony PTZ cameras, Blackmagic Design cameras (and ATEM subswitcher), Grass Valley with big Canon 66X zooms and the first delivery of Canon’s first 4K compatible medium telephoto broadcast lens. Eight Grass Valley LDX 86N 4K-capable cameras are on hand for in-arena coverage: two handhelds, three longlens cameras, a jib, and two studio cameras. The longlens cameras are outfitted with the new Canon UHD-DIGISUPER UJ 66X9B box zoom lenses, the camera manufacturer’s first 4K-compatible medium telephoto broadcast lens. Focal length on the telephoto end was a priority for ES Arlington, and it was the first facility in the world to receive the new Canon lenses, which offer 66X magnification and the operability of a 2/3-in. HD field lens along with telephoto-end focal length of 600mm (1,200mm when using the built-in 2X extender). The equipment room houses 19 racks of gear, and more than 200,000 ft. of fiber and copper cabling has been laid throughout the facility. ES Arlington also has full encoding capability to all streaming broadcast platforms and is fully compatible with a mobile unit should the client require it.

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Arenas need robust video distribution to back of house, digital signage and ancillary spaces such as training and observation rooms. At Esports Stadium Arlington, a Contemporary Research system distributes content from multiple sources including live content from the arena’s PTZ cameras and control room, as well as streaming and internal marketing sources.


KVM SYSTEMS KVM DRIVES EMERGING APPLICATIONS

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KVM SYSTEMS

KVM FOR MONITORING

leading children’s hospital in the Midwest uses an 80-port compact KVM matrix switch at the heart of a state-of-theart monitoring system for epilepsy patients. Designed and installed by Micromed, a global provider of neurophysiology solutions, the system enables 24/7 monitoring of patient rooms from a centralized epilepsy monitoring control room as well as nursing stations. The hospital operates the largest and most comprehensive pediatric neurosciences program in Wisconsin. The hospital’s in-patient facility includes 22 patient rooms equipped with high-definition video cameras and advanced patient neuromonitoring capabilities. For the design of the new facility, Micromed sought technologies that would give doctors and nurses the ability to monitor patients from a central control location. It was important that medical teams feel immediately comfortable with the system, so it needed to be as easy to operate as possible with minimal training. “The KVM switches and extenders are a key differentiator for Micromed and an essential element in the turnkey solution we offer to hospitals and neurophysiology practitioners. At this particular hospital, the IHSE equipment has turned out to be the ideal solution to meet the requirements of its new facility,” said Jeremiah Johnston, operations and

A

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field support manager for Micromed. “Not only does the KVM system reduce the amount of equipment needed in the epilepsy monitoring control room and patient rooms, but hospital staff can access recordings from either. This allows them to share the workload when they are at their busiest and deliver the level of care that each patient deserves.” The advanced KVM system allows clinical staff to control cameras remotely and access all patient monitoring equipment throughout the day and night to ensure the safety and continuous care of epilepsy patients. In the epilepsy monitoring control room, observers use personal workstations — each equipped with a keyboard, mouse, and two monitors — and wall-mounted screens that deliver latency-free access to all central computers and monitoring cameras throughout the hospital. Medical staff are able to view and control the monitoring system and cameras remotely. In addition to the 80-port Draco tera compact switch, the IHSE solution includes Draco vario and Draco compact extenders. The switch and extenders, together with computers and support equipment, are installed in a main server room to maximize reliability and security. Together with the room-based equipment, the system supports several portable monitoring trolleys that can be quickly set up wherever needed and controlled remotely.


KVM SYSTEMS

KVM REMOTE

elgium-based Fluxys is responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of 4000 kilometers of high-pressure gas pipelines and related storage. To provide the best work environment for their dispatchers, Fluxys decided to renew the front-end of their dispatching system entirely to improve noise and heat and increase productivity. Fluxys’ control room featured a less-than-optimal workspace. Most computer systems were placed in the control room, next to each dispatcher’s desk, producing a lot of heat and noise and cluttering their workspace. Fluxys wanted to revamp the control room and shift all the computer systems into the data center. This is where they took an opportunity to upgrade their KVM extenders. They selected the Matrox Extio 3 Series IP KVM extenders. All the computers that were once found at each dispatcher desk have now been moved one floor below the control room, at distances between 50 to 100 meters (164 to 328 feet), to a secure and heat-and-noise-controlled data center. Each computer is connected to an Extio 3 N3408 transmitter, and all signals are extended over a single fiber optic cable to the dispatcher’s desk where the quiet and compact Extio 3 N3408 receiver appliance powers the keyboard, mouse, and four DisplayPort

B

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screens. Fluxys is in a good position to transition smoothly from its current point-to-point to a networked configuration in the near future, as Extio 3 readily supports both types of configurations. At the company headquarters in Brussels, every dispatcher desktop (six of them) is now equipped with two Extio 3 N3408 receiver units to support eight screens displaying data from three types of proprietary systems. Extio 3 extends all signals and provides seamless remote desktop to the dispatchers for these time-critical applications. High availability of systems is also important for Fluxys’ dispatching operations. To this end, Fluxys has set up a back-up center. In this location, the dispatcher clients and Extio 3 units are deployed in an exact replica of the setup at the Fluxys headquarters. Should something happen to the primary systems, this disaster recovery setup allows the dispatchers to shift to the back-up center and resume operations. “The Extio 3 IP KVM extender standalone appliances were straightforward to install and proved their stability,” says Tim Deleeuw. “Our IT staff are pleased with the final, delocalized setup, while dispatchers enjoy a decluttered, streamlined workspace with increased comfort, ergonomics, and productivity.”


KVM SYSTEMS Michal Konkol

RIOT GAMES: MODERN WORKFLOW he popularity of eSports has reached fever pitch status with global viewership at an all-time high and showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, estimated revenues for multiplayer, often teambased, video game competitions are expected to exceed $1 billion this year, potentially doubling by 2022. In addition, traditional sports organizations, such as The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLS, are getting in on the eSports action with leagues or competitions focused on games of these genres. So eSports venues have been popping up worldwide.

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As a result, competitions that were once only streamed on Twitch and YouTube are airing on traditional outlets like NBC, ESPN and ABC, and entertaining in-person fans. In the process, eSports are becoming a bigger part of the sports economy ecosystem. These venues have specific technical needs and require a level of signal distribution, responsiveness, resolution, and distribution flexibility that actually goes beyond what is required of stadium AV for traditional sports. One of the companies at the center of this emerging and powerful market is video game pioneer Riot Games. The LA-based company recognized the potential of eSports early on and has been helping develop the audience, establish leagues, and invest heavily in major competitions. In fact, the most-watched live eSports coverage in 2018 was Riot Games’ League of Legends (LoL), a multiplayer online battle arena


KVM SYSTEMS Michal Konkol

(MOBA) game with 113 professional teams and over 850 salaried athletes. Overseen and operated by Riot Games, the full series of the tournament garnered a total audience of 347.4 million on Twitch and YouTube, and more than 23,000 fans packed into Incheon’s Munhak Stadium in South Korea for the final 2018 event, LoL Worlds. At Riot Games HQ in Los Angeles, a central team designs and manages broadcasts for most of the big international events as well as the shows around North America and beyond the studio. The Riot Games facility in L.A. was built around IHSE’s KVM platform for on-air control. There is a technical operations center, two control rooms, two audio controls, machine room, large analyst-desk studio with a couple of sets and the arena studio. For remote shows, the team uses one control room to produce the world feed, and then all the other regions build their shows on top of that. The facility uses a 64-port IHSE Draco KVM matrix and Draco extenders, which connect the machines in the machine room to workstations in control rooms and elsewhere throughout the facility. That means the machines can remain in a climate-controlled environment where they won’t overheat and still get video, audio and control to wherever it’s needed. The count is constantly changing, but usually hovers around 50 to 60 computers and user stations connected at any time—so that’s always pushing that matrix to its limit. The IHSE KVM provided them a platform that was easy to use and manage. New computers can be added and be running on the KVM matrix in 10 minutes or less. For the users, it feels like the computer is directly attached to their workstation; they don’t notice it’s hundreds of feet away, so it’s a seamless experience. Having a system that is easy to deploy is especially helpful for the team on roadshows because of the tight schedule. Riot has a second

matrix they sometimes take on the road with us, but often the IHSE extenders can operate without the matrix, so the travel team can carry a road case all racked up with the KVM extenders--just run a few Cat 5 cables to plug the extenders into. When the kit rolls back home, the extenders plug right back into our matrix. Riot broadcast engineer Kris Johnson says the dual-purpose functionality is another great benefit of the IHSE system. “We get more for our investment, and we can travel with a much lighter kit and fewer people. “The IHSE system is also flexible and easy to expand. For example, most of our systems use twisted-pair Cat 5 cables, but we recently implemented a couple fiber extenders for our on-air commentators, whose stations now have telestration that can’t operate over Cat 5 at that distance. “As for support, I couldn’t imagine a better working relationship.” Riot also maintains 23 other offices worldwide, including the LoL European Championship Studio in Berlin, all interacting over a worldwide broadcast infrastructure. As a result, Riot has been employing

JPEG XS and Remote Production In using Nevion’s software-defined media node Virtuoso, Riot Games became one of the first organizations in the world to use the ground-breaking JPEG XS encoding technology. This year’s League of Legends Word Championship, which took place in Paris last November, involved two remote production sites: the English language show was produced at Riot’s European headquarters facility in Berlin (over 620 miles from Paris), while the world feed was produced in Los Angeles (around 5,600 miles away). For the event, Nevion Virtuosos provided the reliable, low latency video transport needed between Paris and the production locations, using the media node’s JPEG 2000 and JPEG XS encoding media functions running in the same units. While the former encoding technology is well established, the latter is a brand-new standard. JPEG XS achieves high-quality compression with ratios up to 10:1 at sub-millisecond latency, i.e. a fraction of a video frame – allowing gaming fans and players watching at home to see the action faster. For this production, the JPEG XS compressed video was transported using SMPTE ST 2110-22 over WAN (wide area network). “The video signal looked quite amazing considering it was being sent from our studio in Santa Monica, to the venue in Europe and back through another return XS receive path into the studio,” says Michael Caal, Riot Games Technical Broadcast Manager. “Very crisp.”

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KVM SYSTEMS REMI or ‘at-home’ remote audio and video production workflows for several yearsd. This is to help support LoL’s free-to-play game-as-a-service (GaaS) model—a model that allows for the easy blending and multi-purposing of a business model that encompasses both amateur and professional athletes. The GaaS model enables Riot Games to keep its fans engaged through constant improvements and updates, charging only for premium content. To support that cloud-based model, the company has built out a worldwide private network, the Riot Direct WAN, which interconnects its servers and offices with a broadband pipe. Part of that ISP’s bandwidth is reserved for production traffic, which is what allows Riot to remotely produce and broadcast events at venues around the world. Central to the system are Calrec’s IP-enabled consoles, which, for Riot, includes the Calrec Artemis console in the broadcast audio production room in Berlin, as well as a Calrec Brio, which serves as a monitor console for the players at that facility. The company also deploys a CEDAR system, to eliminate distracting crowd noise from players’ headsets. With all aspects of Riot’s broadcast production, the focus is on constant evolution and iteration in the service of efficiency and resilience. Just as broadcast producers have had to find unique workflows and presentation solutions for individual traditional sports, so too must video game developers looking for ways to best present their specific competitions. For example, the company will produce the same event 15 times per tournament and never once do it the same way. The reason being is that there’s always a way to improve, always a change that’s going to deliver more value. Like the competitions themselves, Riot’s LoL broadcast production is a team sport, and one of the key players is the IT department. When

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an international event is planned, the company’s network engineers create a direct pathway between a POP (point of presence) at a nearby Riot Games office from the Los Angeles POP over the enterprise WAN. Riot’s network engineers handle all the planning, routing, switching, InfoSec data security, monitoring and management of the infrastructure for each event. They also contract with local or regional service providers to connect over the last mile to the venue. As Riot shifted its production formation to an “at-home” (aka in the studio) paradigm, the company knew it would need to begin a transition that would ultimately eliminate remote trucks from its workflow. With Riot’s L.A. facility serving as the central station of its productions, everything from audio mixing and on-site camera control to director shot calls and video playback are routed through the site. While players are looking at their own game on their individual screens, three observers at Riot L.A. can position themselves anywhere within the game, following along and selecting action for replay in the broadcast from within the system, without disturbing the competitors, in addition to also feeding segments to EVS for replay. Recently, an international feed of a major championship tournament in Asia was generated using a switcher and audio room in L.A., which was subsequently distributed to every international partner. In this instance, Riot’s English-language announcers even called the action from a studio in L.A. rather than from the arena. However, some functions are still handled locally at the individual venues. This includes redundant IFB mixes for the talent and competitors, who are on Dante-enabled wired packs from Studio Technologies, which also feed to the on-site console for fail-safe production. In addition


KVM SYSTEMS to these tools, Riot uses Calrec’s new REMI audio products, such as the RP1 remote production unit with DSP, which allows latency-free IFBs to be generated at the remote site and subsequently controlled from a Calrec Artemis mixing console at the L.A. facility, which utilizes an in-house Riedel system for VoIP communications with the remote locations. With 10 cameras dedicated to the two competing five-person teams, each event garners roughly 30 or more inbound live 1080p60 video and 40 audio input signals to L.A., with an additional 10-15 outbound video feeds for various purposes. During finals, which include opening ceremonies featuring live entertainment and musical performances, audio fills a 64-channel MADI stream. Riot developed this groundbreaking at-home production infrastructure while simultaneously adopting a Haivision transport to significantly reduce bandwidth requirements. What once required 8.7Gb using JPG2000 compression over SONET lines has been reduced to 1.3Gb and now handles additional paths and encoders. During the on-site production portions, audio is sent through a router and into a Nevion multi-format contribution codec, which encapsulates the MADI stream. In L.A., the incoming signals are routed to the Nevion decoders then into the Calrec mixing console. Video signals are con-

verted to baseband and fed into the switcher, similar to the format of a production truck. Working with IP transports also requires the production to carefully manage firewalls and potential IP address conflicts. When two back-toback shows are leapfrogging, relevant production components must be on a separate address for each show. In some cases, Riot uses a 10.22 network, the class A block of IP space reserved for private networks worldwide, but the two productions can’t be tied together over the same address. So, for the second show, paths are assigned to different addresses, and the audio engineers subsequently manage their own switchovers. Of Riot’s 18 or so eSports distribution partners, only the four with the largest audiences can de-embed the multiple stems, ISOs and other sources necessary to build their own shows. Additionally, although surround formats are supported by Twitch and YouTube, events are currently produced in stereo as most partners can only take a two-channel mix, which are pulled from the Internet. People then watch the events on a variety of devices, including phones. In this way, Riot is breaking down the walls of traditional sports broadcast workflows, which will result in more shows, games outlets and viewers.

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KVM SYSTEMS

PRODUCTS ADDER TECHNOLOGY ADDERLINK INFINITY 4000 SERIES Adder calls this the world’s first dual-head high performance 4K IP KVM matrix over a single fiber. The ALIF4000 delivers pixel- and color-accurate, video, as well as audio and USB to single or dual 4K screens. Full compatibility with the existing INFINITY range means the ALIF4000 can be phased into an existing network without disruption, downtime or the cost of rip and replace.

AURORA IPX-TC3 SERIES Utilizing Aurora’s IPBaseT technology, this is a 4K60 4:4:4 10G IP box or wall plate based on BlueRiver NT+ platform. The IPX-TC3 Series can uniquely be set up as either a transmitter (encoder) or a receiver (decoder) to make installation, inventory, and troubleshooting easier. It also includes an option slot to add other IP capabilities, like ExtremeUSB (USB 2.0 over IP) or Dante audio, for a more complete distributed system. Audio, video, data, and control can be sent securely to one or many IPX-TC3 transceiver units using off-the-shelf 10G fiber or Cat ethernet

switches. When the IPX-TC3 is set up to be a transmitter, the two HDMI inputs become a source switch and the HDMI output becomes a potential loop out. When set up as a receiver, a user can select the local HDMI inputs or an IP source. The audio can be de-embedded at any location, break away, and/or be sent to or received from a Dante-enabled device. The USB 2.0 option is also flexible, working as a KVM and/ or a high-speed data transfer (480Mbps) for memory sticks. This range brings new capabilities to SDVoE-based products including dual fiber, dual OSD, copper/fiber selectable version, 4K60 4:4:4 three- Gang wall plate, and 10G PoE, integrated server control.

BLACK BOX EMERALD UNIFIED KVM PLATFORM The Emerald Unified KVM platform, which provides flexibility and network security essential to state-of-the-art KVM extension and switching. The low-latency, high-performance Emerald 4K and Emerald SE transmitter-receiver pairs

FUTURE PROOF VIDEO DISTRIBUTION AND CONTROL w i t h

A V o I P

f r o m

HDMI & USB over IP

H a l l

R e s e a r c h

Versa-4K

Extend & Switch multiple HDMI Video and USB to unlimited displays Low latency video and audio on 1Gig network switch Versa-4K Sender

Input resolutions up to 4K 60 HZ 4:4:4 Supports USB touchscreen and KVM peripherals Bidirectional IR, RS232, and auxiliary stereo Create video walls of up to 16x16 panels

Versa-4K Receiver

Smart Controller for AVoIP

Polaris-1

Supports 32 simultaneous user connections Perfect for control of large venue AVoIP Create zones or rooms each with multiple displays Upload zone maps or photos showing location of displays Speciic users can be allowed access to certain zones Programmable names for Zones, Inputs (encoders), and outputs (decoders)

SERVING YOU SINCE 1984 A New Wave in Connectivity

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KVM SYSTEMS connect workstations with remote computers and servers over distances up to 10 kilometers over single-mode fiber, or even farther over IP, while the Emerald Remote App facilitates convenient anywhere-anytime access without the need for additional hardware receivers. With robust capabilities for reliable extension and switching of video, audio, USB, and serial signals across any number of physical and virtual servers, Emerald lowers users’ cost of ownership, enables greater workflow optimization, and helps them preserve existing IT investments.

DRACO VARIO ULTRA 240/60 KVM EXTENDERS FOR SUPER SLOW-MO REPLAY IN ESPORTS AT ISE, 2020, IHSE USA highlighted its new Draco vario ultra 240/60 KVM (keyboard, video, and mouse) extenders, which incorporate synchronized sequential frame rate conversion (SSFRC) to achieve the world’s first super slowmotion replays for eSports gaming events. Designed in collaboration with EVS, the extenders enable real-time recording of 240 Hz gaming streams for later review and analysis of events. In addition to super slo-mo action replay, the new devices enable direct broadcast of eSports events in 60 Hz via on-air transmission. Also, the signals are compatible with large-screen display video processors and can be switched using Draco tera KVM matrix switches. This creates an ideal arena videowall management system with the ability to provide dynamic control and raise the level of excitement during live events.

G&D CONTROLCENTER-IP This matrix KVM-over-IP system works over standard network components, so customers can now scale their IT structures even more flexibly and easily. Using leading-edge technologies, the ControlCenter-IP extends real 4K signals over IP. The system is designed for pixel-accurate video transmission for DisplayPort 1.2 signals for resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz. In addition to resolutions for DP 1.2, the company also offers modules for DVI singleand dual-link as well as DP 1.1 with support for all common resolutions. For this, G&D use their in-house compression method, which allows the loss-less transmission of video signals.

HALL RESEARCH ULTRA-4K The ULTRA-4K is a dual-head HDMI and USB 2.0 KVM extender over one CAT6 cable to 100m. The ULTRA-4K sender provides two HDMI inputs and one USB port for connection to a host PC. The sender provides local HDMI outputs as well as a two-port USB hub. The remote receiver connects to the sender using one Cat6 cable. The sender provides three RJ45 outputs so more than one receiver can be connected to allow access to the PC from multiple remote locations. When more than one receiver is connected to the same sender, all receivers show the same

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PRODUCTS two video screens and keyboard/ mouse data from either remote location are automatically routed to the PC based on user activity. The entire system is transparent to the PC and does not require any driver or software to be installed. The ULTRA-4K receiver provides two HDMI video outputs, dedicated keyboard and mouse ports (with auto switching), and a 4-port USB 2.0 hub for connection of other USB devices such as touchscreens, printers, etc. The system supports video resolutions to 3840 x 2160 (UHD/4K) and applications requiring 2560 x 1600, 2560 x 1440, and 1920 x 1080 resolutions.

MATROX EXTIO 3 IP KVM EXTENDERS These award-winning exterders provide 4Kp60 4:4:4, dual 4Kp30 4:4:4, or quad 1080p60 4:4:4 desktop-quality video at 5% of the bandwidth required by most other products currently available in the market. Featuring best-inclass multi-display resolution support, broad flexibility, and advanced security features, the Matrox Extio 3 high-performance KVM extenders are designed for a fast and secure remote desktop experience. Configurable as a point-to-point or networked KVM, Extio 3 extends all audio, video, USB2.0, and RS232 signals over a single fiber-optic or CATx cable. Compatible with standard GigE network switches, Extio 3 delivers a scalable KVM matrix switching solution over IP, where any system can be securely accessed from any remote operator station—maximizing information flow for improved collaboration and decision making.

TVONE MAGENTA PATHFINDER KVM The brand new Magenta Pathfinder claims zero mouse latency for 4K60 and HD performance with thousands of end points, using standard Cat6 or fiber optic network systems and standard IT network switches. Cross-Click allows users to view and control up to 16 PCs at a single workstation. WindowView allows users to split a 4K monitor into a quad view to control and view multiple PCs using only a single keyboard and mouse. Combine Cross-Click and WindowView on a single workstation to create a powerful, efficient and clean workflow. Other advanced features include support for multi-head desktops and the ability to create user groups and individually defined rights to manage access to key data, along with best in class security options like no ‘backdoor’ access and USB lock out. tvONE is offering Magenta Pathfinder in two configurations. The Pathfinder 800 series offers DisplayPort 1.2 support at 4K60 at 4:4:4 at a data rate of up to 10Gbps and the Pathfinder 500 series offers DVI-I, HDMI and VGA support at a 2K60 with HDCP1.4 at a data rate of 1Gbps. The striking magenta-colored finish represents tvONE’s matching donation towards breast cancer research for each unit sold.


OPEN MIC

HOW TO BE HEARD Achieving Intelligibility in Conference Solutions By Brad Price, Senior Product Manager at Audinate

nyone who has sat through multiperson conferences using any number of cloud-based services is familiar with the problems of basic intelligibility. Too often users find themselves accidentally using the built-in microphone of a laptop instead of an external device or are attempting to understand a group of people at the other end as they shout through a tiny, distorted speaker that is stuck at the far end of a long table.

A

Static conferencing setups can help to keep connections stable, but many companies and users stick with a BYOC model that means multiple laptops are being connected and disconnected from conference room equipment all day. When there are problems, the IT department can’t help because they can’t “see” into the myriad USB and analog connections and configurations that are causing trouble. Now someone has to hurry to the conference room and fix a problem that arguably shouldn’t exist. What we all-too-commonly see in today’s conference room is, unfortunately, just a collection of things. It is a hodgepodge of analog and USB endpoints without a semblance of true management. People will buy a device, plug it in, and hope for the best. When they work, they operate on an island – with microphones indifferent to what speakers exist in a room, for example. No wonder intelligibility is a challenge. There is no true observability, control, or management in this setup. In most scenarios like this, there is likely no ability to make things better even if all devices are fully understood and effectively configured. It is a troubling state of affairs – especially when a business meeting is on the line. The answer, thankfully, is a democratized approach to AV that includes IT at its core. Networked AV provides a better way to manage these connections. Instead of relying upon entirely local devices such as USB microphones and speakers, all endpoints are part of a common network that is managed by IT. Administrators can quickly see if any given AV device is properly communicating to any com-

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puter, and correct problems right away from their desk without having to visit the conference room itself. USB connections are inherently limited to short distances – but not so with networked AV. Multiple microphones and speakers can be placed anywhere around the room for maximum intelligibility without stretching cables or requiring that a laptop sit in the middle of the table. Want to add more endpoints for even better sound? No need to run more special point-to-point cables, simply connect endpoints to any port on the network and they are ready to use. USB connected devices also inherently speak only to one another. While that’s good for simplicity, it severely limits what a system can do. Networked audio breaks that distribution barrier and allows many devices to connect to a common source, enabling messages to be heard anywhere in a facility with no splitters or signal matrixes required. From one huddle room speaker to an entire building, networked audio can scale with the click of a mouse. That’s great, you might say - but how will users configure this stuff when they arrive in the conference room, laptop in hand? Here is where the work done in networked AV to automate discovery and configuration comes into play. When a computer is connected to the network in the conference room, pre-configured software can automatically detect and connect the “right” devices with no need for additional hardware. If a connection is changed inadvertently, a call to IT can remedy the problem in seconds. The software required for this task is already being rolled out in several conferencing tools, dramatically reducing the complexity of connecting networked audio devices. As businesses require more and more face-to-face communication, the urgency of high-quality, low-friction conferencing will continue to increase. Networked AV opens doors to better, more flexible, more supportable audio for everyone. In turn, this supports business operations and makes the people who power enterprises more effective. One of the biggest AV changes that can be made to enterprise today is in the conference room. Seek out partners building audio and video solutions that work with the network for your next conference room, improve your efficiency at work, and leave the dated USB devices behind.


9000

Profile for Future PLC

Sound & Video Contractor - April 2020  

Sound & Video Contractor - April 2020

Sound & Video Contractor - April 2020  

Sound & Video Contractor - April 2020

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