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News and Contents

Lawo integrates Innovason Majority shareholder becomes sole owner of console brand Key employees redeployed in new corporate structure Innovason SAS, the French audio console manufacturer, has been dissolved following a lengthy restructuring process. The Innovason brand will continue under the ownership of German manufacturer Lawo, which now owns all the product and trademark rights, and will be managed from the company’s HQ in Rastatt. This follows Lawo’s acquisition of the majority shareholding in April 2008. Marcel Babazadeh, Innovason international sales director, said: “It’s the best of both worlds. Now that the Innovason products have become part of the range offered by Lawo in

Sysco is all at sea

Rastatt, it means that the continuity of the brand is guaranteed. At the same time it benefits from everything that Lawo has to offer with its more than 40 years of experience in professional audio technology.” Along with Babazadeh, a number of former key Innovason key employees have moved across to Lawo, including the ‘father’ of Eclipse, Hervé de Caro, now product manager for Eclipse; Nicolas Gozdowski, who will continue in his role as service engineer; and Benoit Quiniou in R&D. Stressing Lawo’s commitment to maintaining the heritage and history of Innovason, Babazadeh said: “Our focus for the future is on the continued development of the Eclipse platform. The difference is that we will be able to pursue this development

Integrator Sysco AV is celebrating the award of two maritime-themed contracts on the south coast of England. It will design and develop the AV requirements of the Mary Rose Museum, under construction in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and the new Sea City visitor attraction in Southampton. The Mary Rose Museum is due to open in late 2012, 30 years after the hull of the 450-year-old Tudor warship was lifted from the Solent. Sysco will develop AV displays featuring touchscreens, video and multichannel audio to provide vivid insights into life on board the ship. Sea City will celebrate Southampton’s 2,000-year global maritime history, and will open in 2012 to commemorate the centenary of the Titanic’s departure from the port.

3 News The latest installation news from across Europe 10 Data The implications for AV of young people’s TV viewing habits 15 The ISE Daily in IE We look ahead to ISE 2012, which promises to be bigger than ever 41 Product Choice Our pick of the latest new products 47 Sector Showcase Projection screens

. VIEWS with more resources available to us than ever before.” Lawo’s CEO, Philipp Lawo, commented: “I have believed in the brand from the beginning,” he declared. “Now that the brand is fully integrated into the Lawo structure, I am confident that together we can achieve success.”

A total of 190 loudspeakers from California-based manufacturer Spectr Audio have been installed in artificial outdoor Christmas trees throughout



Guatemala. The trees also feature an elaborate LED lighting set-up. The largest tree, which stands at 150ft and is made entirely of steel, sports no fewer than 1.8 million LEDs synchronised to the musical

12 Opinion: AV and IT Introducing creativity into the sales process 29 The IE Interview Paul Malpas on last month’s Reproduced Sound event, which he chaired 50 Q&A Jörg Weisflog of VC systems integrator Dekom on the ability to provide comprehensive services

. MARKETS 16 Digital Signage in Transport Rising passenger numbers mean this market is on an upward trajectory 20 Hotel Guest Rooms Customer technology expectations have disrupted the market 26 Houses of Worship Our market survey uncovers reasons to rejoice

programme. The speakers have been installed in 26 Christmas trees across the country. Models include 140 Spectr SPX1228, 48 SPX118 and two SPX218T subwoofers. They are complemented by more than 120 QSC amplifiers. Spectr sold the speakers to Ultra Industries, a full-service production company that describes itself as “willing to take on unusual events and applications”. Spectr operations director Steve Cook commented: “We are delighted to be involved in this unique application of our products. It is exceedingly rare for a large number of loudspeakers to be specified and installed in outdoor Christmas trees. The reaction has been

. SOLUTIONS 30 Palacongressi, Rimini Italy’s largest new-build conference centre features a high-spec technical set-up 33 GelreDome, Arnhem A multi-use stadium gets a major audio upgrade 36 Abercorn Arms, Stanmore Versatile bar and restaurant gets an innovative digital backbone 49 Archaeological Museum, Baza; Ilie Oana Stadium, Ploiesti

highly rewarding.”

Cover image: ‘Airport TV’ at Vienna airport, courtesy

of NEC Display Solutions

IE December 2011 3

News and New Partners

New Partners South Korean PA and installed sound manufacturer Inter-M is collaborating with Audinate to produce a line of products featuring the latter’s Dante networking technology. The IP over Ethernet technology will be included across Inter-M’s range, from paging microphones to powered speakers.

dBTechnologies has named Signal Audio as its distributor in Denmark, making it the first to offer the new T12 system in the country. As part of the Matrix Group, Signal Audio has connections in the rental, installation, live and broadcast markets.

Netherlands-based Rentall has been appointed exclusive Benelux distributor for SGM lighting – under its newly formed division, Sales-All BV. Sales-All has consolidated the move by purchasing 500 of the new X-5 LED strobes.

Westcoast, a UK supplier of IT products to the computer reseller network, has announced a new partnership with Panasonic System Networks Europe to distribute its range of nextgeneration interactive whiteboards in the UK and Ireland, including the flagship Panaboard UB-T880.

4 IE December 2011

Iosono, AFMG demo virtual sound EASE modelling software and IPC100 processor combined Presentations can be made in modelled venue’s acoustic Spatial audio systems provider Iosono and acoustic specialist AFMG – the company behind the EASE modelling program – have jointly developed a new approach to producing audible demos of virtual acoustical environments. “Architects, their clients, engineers or even movie sound designers will enter into a new world of possibilities to engulf listeners in the sound of a virtual surrounding,” explained Frank Melchior, CTO at Iosono. “Just imagine that a number of listeners can all enjoy an identical acoustical experience at the same time, no matter where they are in the room,”

added Stefan Feistel, manager of AFMG. “Architects will hold their presentations not only with a slideshow of photorealistic pictures but talking live in the acoustical situation of the room simulated in EASE. Designs of concert halls, cinemas, sound recording studios can all benefit significantly by such a solution.” The two companies will employ Iosono’s IPC100 audio processor and dedicated real-time convolution filters calculated by EASE to render a spatially oriented auralisation throughout a large listening area. Using Iosono’s spatial reproduction algorithms, the IPC100 expands the virtual sound field even of small to mid-sized loudspeaker

arrangements, based on wavefield synthesis. When a listener turns their head, they will get the same impression as if they turned their head inside the venue being modelled.

300km of cables for Bolshoi Theatre THEATRE REFURBISHMENT Moscow’s world-famous Bolshoi Theatre reopened at the end of October, following the completion of a challenging six-year refit. The primary goal was thorough renovation of this magnificent opera and ballet theatre, which dates from 1780, and the restoration of its legendary acoustics. Cable manufacturer Klotz a.i.s., based in Vaterstetten near Munich, supplied over 300km of professional audio, video, camera and optical fibre cables to the 1,800-seat theatre. It was a requirement that all audio and video components should have high levels of technical performance and future-proof design. Around 70km

of Klotz Fibre Optic Breakout Cable were installed to power fibre-optic technology; optical fibres in the OS2ZWP (Zero Water Peak) category were used for single-mode applications, while multimode cables have OM3-category fibres. To comply with fire propagation

standards – under test category A in accordance with IEC 60332-3-22 – ultraflame-retardant FRNC cable jackets were used. The project was one of the largest tackled by Klotz in 2010-11. The company was closely involved in the planning and execution phases of the project over a three-year period, working with its local sales partner to ensure onschedule delivery of all cable types. Frederic Kromberg, director of international sales EMEA, said: “I am especially delighted that we and our partners were successful in completing a project as prestigious as the Bolshoi Theatre.”

News and Appointments

Appointments Jon Alkhagen has been named managing director of Lab.gruppen and its subsidiary brand Lake. Prior to this he has spent time at a number of global telecommunications companies such as Allgon, where he was design engineer and project manager.

Saville Audio Visual has announced the appointment of Jason Huggins as education sales consultant based at the company’s north-west regional office in Manchester, UK. Huggins comes from an IT background, having specialised in the education sector for the past six years. He has also held product manager roles in digital signage, videoconferencing and interactive technologies.

Miles Rogers has joined Meyer Sound as EXP applications development manager. Based in California, he will take on a range of responsibilities for the EXP cinema technologies division, including working directly with customers in application development.

6 IE December 2011

Wearable 3D from Epson Multimedia headset promises 3D on the move Video from internal storage, or streamed from web Epson has unveiled its first wearable, portable device for 3D multimedia. Designed for “entertainment and enterprise”, the Moverio BT-100 is designed to allow the wearer to watch multimedia content on the move, while remaining aware of their surroundings. This is achieved through producing an image that is viewed through transparent lenses; the wearer can see out but can view the content in privacy. The headset, which can be worn over spectacles, delivers an image with a

‘QHD’ resolution (a quarter of Full HD), which Epson says is perceived as equivalent to a 320in display viewed from 20m away. It has WiFi connectivity, 4GB SD card and internal 1GB memory. It is controlled by a pocketsized unit, which runs under Android 2.2, offers web browsing and viewing of various video formats including Flash, MPEG-4 and H.264 – as well as 3D. A pair of Dolby Mobile2 stereo earphones is included. Valerie Riffaud-Cangelosi, senior business manager at Epson Europe, said: “This wearable content viewing

device o f fe r s users the opportunity to watch content on the go, without being cut off from their surrounding environment.” The Moverio BT-100 was released in Japan in November, and will be released in Europe in January.

Lifetime warranty from Vision MOUNTS Mount manufacturer Vision is extending the warranty from two years to lifetime on its projector and flat-panel mount products. Vision general manager Stuart Lockhart said: “We’re so confident about our quality we wanted to offer these terms to the channel on an ongoing

basis.” Vendors that add tangible value, such as extended warranty terms, and honour a formal margin structure, are more attractive to integrators and resellers, the company believes. Vision offers a universal flat panel wall mount, which fits all LCD and plasma screens from 15in to 55in, for an enduser price of £26/€30. The brand is distributed by Maverick in the

UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany.

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News and Comment

Editor’s Comment

For your diary

IT’s growing influence

International CES 10-13 January Las Vegas, US

AV-IT convergence is here, and it’s knocking on the door his time last year I was writing about my ‘word of the year’ for 2010, which I decided was ‘cloud’. In a relatively short space of time, it had changed from being a specialist IT term into one that was working its way into everyday use to describe applications or data residing on a remote server and being accessed over the internet. A year on, perhaps cloud technology has been talked about more in the installation


8 IE December 2011

world than actually put into place – although I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before that changes. However, there’s no doubt that the wider subject of AV-IT convergence is a fact of life that simply can’t be ignored. And the announcement that next year’s ISE show will host a keynote speaker – the first in its history – from an IT distributor (see page 15) is one of the clearest acknowledgements that the installation industry has a lot to learn from the IT world. It’s not just about AV people gaining a greater understanding of the technology – although that’s a part of it. It’s also about learning to target vertical markets more effectively, and increasing added value along the way. These are ideas that our IT columnist Bob Snyder has

been covering in these pages for a while now. Looking at the programme for the InfoComm Future Trends Summit at ISE 2012, I see that Bob is giving a presentation entitled ‘AV and IT in the Zettabyte Era’. If that sounds familiar to you, it may well be because Bob covered this topic in IE last year – though I’m sure he will have updated his thinking since then! The description of Bob’s session includes the following statistic: “As video usage increases, the average monthly IP traffic in 2014 will be equivalent to 32 million people streaming Avatar in 3D continuously for an entire month.” Now clearly that statement is designed to grab the imagination (though why would anyone want to stream Avatar for a month?). Nonetheless, it clearly indicates the direction that the

industry is taking in the very near future, and one that we ignore at our peril. As Bob has pointed out in his column in the past, we might feel threatened by the growing influence of IT on our industry; but for people from the IT industry itself, a background of almost constant change is something they have just had to get used to. If it’s something that we will have to get used to as well, then I guess that’s just the price of entry into the more ITcentric AV world. So, as this year draws to a close, may I wish you a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. It looks like we’ll have plenty to occupy ourselves with in 2012 – not least ISE at the end of January. Press info: ienews@ Twitter: iepaddyb

BETT 11-14 January London, UK

CUE 2012 16-18 January Rotterdam, Netherlands

2012 NAMM Show 19-22 January Anaheim, US

SIEL 29-31 January Paris, France

ISE 2012 31 January - 2 February Amsterdam, Netherlands

Industry Data

TV: new demands on AV The role of television and on-demand content will affect the future of AV, writes Steve Montgomery nline content delivery is expanding at a breathtaking pace. New devices, new platforms and new commercial opportunities are all having an impact on our relationship with video; whether that is TV, web-delivered material or on-demand TV. A UK study carried out by Tuned-in on behalf of Thinkbox investigates how these factors are affecting the younger generation and points towards growing trends that will affect the future of audiovisual system installations and the manner in which the workforce will interact with communication and information technology. Focusing on people aged between 16 and 24, the study investigates the role of television and other media in their lives, and in particular the methods used to access and consume it. On average, young people watch 2.6 hours of broadcast linear TV a day; on top of that they consume an average of two hours of on-demand content. Some 58% claim to watch the majority of


10 IE December 2011

their TV via a computer, although the importance of shared viewing is strong with 59% watching most of their TV with someone else. In 2007 the Nintendo Wii brought a new style of gaming which appealed to a broader age range, resulting in an AV paradigm shift. In this study, 69% of all respondents owned a games console. These are now being used to watch on-demand content resulting in a larger reach of TV players, such as BBC iPlayer, 4oD and ITV Player to 16-24 year olds. Around 46% of young people have accessed TV via the web, compared with 34% of all adults.

Multitasking Young people are notorious multitaskers – the most common activities they undertake while watching TV are texting or making phone calls and using the internet. Social media has enabled people to ‘watch together’ virtually, with 30% saying they often talk to their friends online while watching their favourite shows.

Activities undertaken while watching TV (%) Text/phone calls Use internet Nothing else Study Read Listen to music Computer games Console games 0






 Always  Often  Sometimes More than 30% of 16-24 year olds always make phone calls while also watching TV

An emerging trend is that of ‘twoscreening’, where people use a pair of devices at the same time. This is particularly good for advertisers: consumers will often go online to source, research and purchase a product within minutes of viewing an advert. Future installations must include

Source: Thinkbox

integration of all types of access mechanisms and content to be most effective. The trend towards multitasking will affect the way people work and call for new ideas in the deployment and supply of content and services. IE

Opinion: AV and IT

Bob Snyder

Creativity is a ten-letter word Being creative in how you approach the pro-AV market, particularly when it comes to sales, can reap rewards

ro AV is such a creative market that it’s no wonder as an industry we joined in the eulogies for Steve Jobs. The life of the Apple co-founder was celebrated not only for innovation in the marketplace but also for creativity in his approach to the market. In pro AV, we are surrounded by creative products – and our products are those used to express the creativity of others. So why is it that the one place we most fail to use our creativity is in sales, our business lifeline? Looking at our neighbours in IT, we often recognise their faults because we generally remember our encounters with the low-margin, high-volume cowboys. Yet the other side of IT is a value-added IT channel that embraces margin and works conscientiously to adapt its sales approach. Right now that value-added IT segment is concentrating on catching the wave of cloud computing... and to do so, they are revamping all sales approaches. The current wisdom in IT suggests that only one out of every three salespeople they employ will keep their job after this transition.


A new model How are these IT value-added sales departments changing? Reseller organisations are re-engineering themselves to be part of the business models of their customers. Not only are they thinking ‘out of the box’, they are graduating from box-movers to service providers (where the boxes are only part of a solution, and a solution is only part of a process). Instead of waiting on the beck and call of traditional lead generation, they are actively targeting the customers they want, engaging these prospects through an understanding of the business models involved, and proposing IT solutions that create opportunities for their clients to move their business forward. There’s a famous cartoon showing two vultures in a tree. One vulture turns to the other and says, “I’m tired of hanging around waiting for someone to die. Let’s go kill something.” You’ll find that cartoon on the wall in some sales departments. Hopefully after this article you’ll find our 10-lettered mantra for sales change hanging there, too. Let’s think of the next-generation of selling as part of your corporate CREATIVITY and add each of these 10 letters as an acronym of change. 12 IE December 2011

 C... Content. Why are we so scared of content? You probably have a webmaster now that the internet has penetrated all aspects of business. Yet today few pro-AV organisations have a ‘content master’. The future is all about content. Forget ‘software drives hardware’, as software is the transportation and content is the true passenger. You will need someone on board who understands content in its different forms: how to create it, how to sell it, how to monetise it. One classic characteristic of the content business is they usually rent or

retailer to add digital signage as it improves the retail business.

‘In the future, it’s not about price but your authority’

contract out services, so you are looking for a bandleader, a conductor, not an entire orchestra. With resources, this person can help sales with the content (sales presentations) as well as figure out how your organisation can best prepare, sell and deliver content services.  R... Reason. Your sales strategy will be based on giving people a reason to buy, not waiting for them to order boxes. Instead of waiting for a traditional customer to order something, you are going to look at the business, figure out what’s missing and propose how AV solutions can create a better business. At its simplest, you could approach a

 E... Evidence. An important tool will be your business cases. In pro AV, we are very good at documenting our installs. Yet we need more out-of-the-box thinking where we can demonstrate not the physical installation but the business results, the benefit from that installation. (Aha, here’s another role for your ‘content master’.) For example, the retailer will want evidence that digital signage will improve business, not just your say-so.

A... Authority. In the future, it’s not about price but your authority. If businesses and institutions will trust you with advancing their business, they must recognise your organisation as an expert. Your content master can show you how to build that authority, but only if you live up to the reputation and develop your expertise. Manufacturer certification is only a first step, but a good first step. T... Training. The reason why most change is never embraced is the simple emotion of fear. The antidote to fear is training. Pro AV is prolific in product training but business training for salespeople is lacking. Training your salesforce to meet change head-on is exactly what Steve Jobs would do.

 I... Imagination. You can’t hit targets you aren’t aiming for. You will need not only to inspire personal imagination but corporate imagination. Think of

the company you want to have three years from now and work backwards to figure out how to achieve it.  V... Vertical markets. By definition, to act as business generators instead of lead followers, you will need to align your expertise with specific industries and vertical markets.  I... Identity. This next-generation approach to selling will grow to be a new identity for your company. Part of your corporate culture will identify yourselves with helping companies grow their business through your AV expertise. That will distinguish you from competitors.  T... Teamwork. The sales organisation for the next generation is less autocratic and more collaborative. Don’t think all this Twitter, Facebook and social networking is not changing the way people do business as well as conduct their private life. The newer generations actually work better when hooked into a neural network instead of a hierarchy. Brainstorm regularly; share success and failure – as Steve Jobs certainly claimed, both will grow your character.  Y... You. Whatever else, the process starts with You. The late Steve Jobs recommended that we all ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish’. Staying hungry means constantly wanting to be your best; staying foolish means to be creative in all you do. In pro AV, we can certainly use some of Steve’s famous CREATIVITY. IE

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Early exhibitor news Multi-format processing Barco will be showcasing the newly launched ImagePRO-II, a combined high-performance video scaler, scan converter, switcher and transcoder. Described as the most advanced multi-format processor for the rental and staging industry, the ImagePRO-II converts any input signal to any output format. Signal interfaces include HDMI, DisplayPort and duallink DVI, all with HDCP support, as well as 3G HDSDI.

Spot announcements Cloud Electronics will be launching two new additions to its PM range of zone paging microphones at ISE. The PM4SA and PM8-SA feature identical functions to the existing PM4 and PM8 models, with the addition of spot announcement capabilities: these give the user access to pre-recorded announcements, adverts, stings, alarm sounds or warnings from a button-push or fired by remote contact closure switches from a timer, PIR or other device.

Compact signage player AOpen will highlight the newly announced DE35-HD digital signage media player – from its flagship Digital Engine range – at ISE. The first AMDbased system in the AOpen range, it follows the uSFF form factor, with dimensions of just 166mm x 157mm x 48mm. It can play Full HD content, supporting up to four displays via DisplayPort, together with one 2.5in SATA III hard disk drive, USB 3.0 and DVI.

Flexible configuration TV One’s C3-340 Series CORIO-matrix is making its ISE debut, offering what the company describes as an industry-first firmware-based video routing, switching and conversion platform. Sixteen AV universal module slots are available; the CORIOmatrix automatically recognises the modules inserted as an input or output module. It can be configured with up to 64 x 64 input/output 3G-SDI/DVI-U connection combinations. TV One says that configurations can be based on end-users’ own needs instead of the router forcing a certain setup and limited configuration.

Bigger than ever for 2012 Paddy Baker, editor of The ISE Daily, looks ahead to Integrated Systems Europe 2012 – which will include new features on and off the show floor n the eve of ISE 2011, Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events, was confident that the show would draw well over 30,000 visitors – comfortably beating the 2010 figure of 28,489 – and speculated numbers might even reach 35,000. Three days later, his hopes had been very nearly realised: 34,870 people came to the show – an increase of 22%. Just as impressive were exhibitor re-bookings: 102% of the 2011 floor space had been sold for 2012 as the show ended. In 2012, ISE will occupy 11 of the 12 halls in Amsterdam’s RAI Centre. A few months ago ISE signed a new five-year deal with the RAI, ensuring that the show will stay in Amsterdam until at least 2016. Hall 8 – one of the biggest halls in the complex – will be available to ISE from 2013, and there is further potential for expansion in temporary pavilion structures. Coming back to the 2012 event, Blackman is in buoyant mood. “We still believe we are on track to host the biggest-ever ISE,” he says. “Our footprint at the RAI will be 10-15% larger than in 2011, which is the kind of growth you associate with a booming economy. That reflects not just the strength of our event but also the strength of our industry and the ability of our audience to adapt quickly to new market and technology trends. In terms of attendance, our region’s strength is its diversity.” He emphasises that ISE reaches far beyond the eurozone: “While the economic woes of southern Europe have been hogging the headlines, many parts of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the CIS and the Middle East have been providing excellent growth opportunities for our industry,” he says. “Our show will always have a distinctly European flavour, but we are now a genuinely global forum for business.”


Upbeat mood Overall, Blackman sees the mood of the industry as “generally very positive”. This is reaffirmed by the exhibitor bookings, he says. “We have seen only a small number of cancellations, and in November were able to confirm Sony’s return to the show as a Gold Sponsor with a very substantial stand in Hall 7.”

There are developments elsewhere on the show floor too. For instance, 2012 sees a Unified Communications hall – Hall 12. Blackman explains: “We have previously branded an area of our show floor as Collaborative Communications, but this market is evolving very quickly and we felt it deserved a hall of its own, as well as a subtle re-branding to reflect market developments.” Another expanding section of the show floor is the Residential Solutions area. “For 2012 we have taken the opportunity to extend it into Hall 7,” he says, “and adding Energy Management as an adjacent feature makes a lot of sense, because in mainland Europe, especially, the multi-room distribution of AV is very closely linked with technologies such as lighting control and home automation.”

Gerhard Schulz, senior VP Central Europe for Ingram Micro, will present ISE’s first-ever Keynote Address

Conferences As in previous years, ISE is sporting a strong conference programme. All events take place (or at least begin) on Monday 30 January, the day before the exhibition opens. New for 2012 is the Dynamic Events conference. This is aimed at the use of lighting, sound, video technology and staging in largescale entertainment and sporting environments. The inaugural conference will focus on international ceremonies – particularly the opening and closing ceremonies of major sporting events – that attract a global T V audience. Keynote speaker is Ric Birch, who has an impressive track record in the industry that spans nearly 30 years. DiSCO, the digital signage conference, returns for a second year. In a new slant to the format, case study presentations will cover both the end-user and supplier perspectives. The result will be a more rounded picture which will cover the client’s concepts and issues as well as with the technologies and products that formed the solution. Also returning for a second year is the InfoComm Future Trends Summit. Subjects on the programme include: high-resolution displays; AV and IT against a background of increasing online video usage; audiovisual systems standards; cloud computing; and audio networking.

As in 2011, Wainhouse Research is holding its Collaboration Summit to coincide with ISE, although the 2012 event is taking place in an Amsterdam city-centre hotel rather than at the RAI. This one-and-ahalf-day event will explore all aspects of multimodal collaboration, videoconferencing and unified communications, with presentations from Wainhouse analysts, channel partners and consultants.

Keynote Address Following the end of the conference sessions on Monday 30 January will be ISE’s first-ever Keynote Address. Gerhard Schulz, senior VP Central Europe for Ingram Micro, will unveil his vision for how the electronic systems integration community can respond to the challenges posed by the transition from analogue to digital. In his ‘Blueprint for Business Growth in the Digital Age’, Schulz will demonstrate how Ingram Micro, the world’s largest technology distributor, has broadened its offering to become not just a supplier of products but a valued partner to manufacturers, integrators and resellers throughout the world. “We searched long and hard to find the right voice to articulate the threats and opportunities posed by

the convergence between AV and IT, and believe we have found the perfect partner in Gerhard Schulz,” says Blackman. “The Ingram experience exactly mirrors the evolution being felt by so many AV and IT companies today – the move from front-office, volume product reselling to the provision of complete solutions that bring more and more technologies into the mix.” Gerhard Schulz adds: “I want to demonstrate to ISE attendees not just how they can add value to their business, but which markets will deliver the brightest growth prospects, and which competencies they will need to acquire in order to service those markets.” Produced by Installation Europe, The ISE Daily is the official newspaper of Integrated Systems Europe. It is put together from an office on the show floor and distributed to attendees at hotels, on shuttle buses and on arrival at the event. The ISE 2012 exhibition runs from 31 January to 2 February at the RAI Centre, Amsterdam; the conference programme begins on 30 January. IE December 2011 15

Markets: Digital Signage in Transport

Moving forwards With passenger numbers set to rise and the market not fully mature, there’s still plenty of growth potential in transportation digital signage, writes Ian McMurray

Key points . Growing passenger numbers are likely to mean that, of all the transportation markets, airports will remain pre-eminent . As major airports are now significant retail locations, it becomes difficult to fully understand market segmentation . The requirements of informational and advertising signage are different, with the former typically having a strong time dependency

. While a distinction is currently made between informational and advertising signage, this looks as if it will become increasingly blurred . Perhaps the fastest growing segment of digital signage in transportation market is for in-vehicle solutions that deliver location-dependent messaging

The digital signage network at Zurich Airport comprises standalone displays, videowalls, and collages

hen aircraft maker Boeing issued its annual market outlook earlier this year, the company said that it expected the number of commercial aircraft to double by 2030 – and that passenger traffic would increase by a factor of three. More passengers are likely to mean more airports – and more airports will mean even greater competition than there is today. As such, airports are likely to focus increasingly on improving the passenger experience, making it easier, less stressful, more enjoyable and more entertaining to travel. It’s no surprise, then, that airports are the most significant users of digital signage in a market sector – transportation – that is largely acknowledged to be second only to retail. It’s no more of a surprise that NEC – which claims that it already has over 25,000 screens installed in airports around the world, including at seven of the ten busiest – recently appointed someone just to develop its aviation business in EMEA. “The aviation industry continues to soar and NEC’s displays are at the beating heart of the airports that are central to the industry,” said Richard Wilks at the time of his appointment. “Displays designed for use in an airport have a variety of rigorous requirements due to their 24-hour operation and multipurpose usage – meaning that reliability and quality are key.”


16 IE December 2011

The company took the opportunity to promote its P Series and XS Series flight information displays, claiming that their slim design, low power usage, network monitoring and control and support for FIDS controllers (Flight Information Display System: the computer system used by airports to display flight information) made them ideal for deployment in airports – and implicitly raising a question about whether the requirements for digital signage systems in transportation differ from those in other market segments.

Unique features “Features such as having three temperature sensors monitoring the thermal aspects of the product ensure elongated lifetime,” says Wilks. “Similarly, sealing the LCD module minimises failure due to dust and moisture ingress. These features are not available in general-purpose digital signage products, and form the backbone of our development strategy.” For NEC, then, there is a definite difference between the requirements of a digital signage display for transportation, and one for other digital signage markets. Panasonic makes a strong differentiation between its digital signage products – especially digital signage screens designed for exterior use – and its other products. “We have a range of displays which are specifically designed for outdoor

signage applications, so are ideal for transportation facilities,” says Enrique Robledo, European marketing manager for Panasonic Displays. “These are our LFP and LFT models which have just launched. When installed outside, it is essential that displays can deliver images that are visible even in direct sunlight. We have also developed weatherproof models – our LFP30 range – which are ideal in bus stops and the exteriors of train stations, airports and so on. For indoor signage applications for use inside transport facilities, for example at information points, we have also developed midrange LCDs.” At LG, it’s much the same, with its Shine-Out screen featuring a

transflective screen to deliver clear images in bright sunlight. Where there is perhaps clearer evidence of product development geared towards transportation is in software – and it’s these developments that are enabling digital signage to become even more pervasive in transportation. Scala helped to develop a system for the P&O cruise ship Azura which acknowledges that an internet connection may be at best unreliable, and at worst not available. “We haven’t designed our solution specifically for transportation as such,” notes Yael Elstein, vice president of marketing at YCD Multimedia, “but we developed a special GPS component for C-nario Messenger that enables our

Check before you check in Probably the most frustrating aspect of flying today is the queue to get through security. That frustration – and the time spent waiting – is only increased by the remarkable number of passengers who don’t appear to know the rules about how much liquid can be carried onboard, and in what kind of container, or how to present their laptop for checking, or to remove their coat. As a consequence, Manchester Airport in the UK found itself disposing of a ton of confiscated items – mostly

liquids – every day. The airport, in conjunction with digital signage provider Pixel Inspiration, developed a multichannel information system to tell passengers about the regulations. The ‘check before you check in’ campaign comprised 97 83in rear-projection screens in the check-in area, running notices that targeted passengers waiting to check in. The screens also carried airport branding and commercial advertising messages.

Markets: Digital Signage in Transport

customers to display location-based advertisements and information – which enables highly targeted marketing.” C-nario was acquired by YCD Multimedia in October.

Segmentation To talk simply about digital signage in transportation, however, is to miss an important point. There are two distinct sub-segments to the market: information and advertising. Here, differences begin to emerge. “When it comes to informational digital signage in transportation, the timeliness of the message is critical,” says Howard Smith, director and chief technical officer, Dynamax. “Because the information displayed needs to be updated in almost real time several times a day, the entire system supporting this type of installation must be highly reliable in every aspect: internet connection, software and displays reliability.” “When it comes to advertising in a digital-out-of-home environment, the ads usually run for the entire length of a campaign,” he continues. “One doesn’t need to update them several times a day. And with ‘store and forward’ – which both of our solutions support – the content continues to be played even when the network connection has failed: the urge for reliable network connectivity is not as high as in the case of time-sensitive communications.” “In most cases, timetables and wayfinding systems need to have integration – a feed connection – to a database of some sort from which the content manager can pull up-to-date instant information,” adds Damon Crowhurst, who is director of business development and services, EMEA at Scala. “For advertising, in most cases the ads are uploaded and put in a playlist which will run for a certain period – so no constant feed connection is needed.” Elstein sees things differently – if only slightly. “From the application aspect, there is no difference, but the content is different,” she says. “In addition, informational digital signage is usually connected to external systems and dynamic feeds such as RSS for weather, stock prices, news and so on, and to the organisation’s systems. Advertising networks sometimes require special software modules that can meet their workflow needs for, for example, automatic scheduling, review and approval process, billing and reports.” There is, however, perhaps an exception to the rule that timeliness of advertising signage is less important, as Mark Weston, distribution channel manager UK & Ireland, LG Electronics, points out. “Advertising can be equally time-sensitive,” he says. “For example, in a retail/quick-service restaurant environment, a special offer or advertising promotion can be timed to the minute when moving, say, from breakfast to lunch menus or even having a half-price half-hour.” That

‘We are promoting the concept of a unified visual communications platform’ Richard Wilks, NEC

time-sensitivity, of course, is more likely to be a function of the playlist rather than a real-time update. The differing requirements of the two segments – information and advertising – perhaps explain why, historically, the two have largely been kept separate. That may be changing, however. The industry appears to agree that advertising that adjoins informational displays will, by definition, attract more attention – and therefore be more effective.

“The future is that they should be combined,” argues Crowhurst. “By creating important functional content on a frame in the screen and dedicating another frame – next to the functional frame – to ads, you will create a much more captive audience.” “Combining the two is better than separating ads from information,” echoes Elstein. “Passengers are looking for the information, and see also the ads. Having the relevant information on the same screen as the ads actually triggers passengers to watch the ads.” NEC, it seems, may be ahead of the game. “We are promoting the concept of a unified visual communications platform into the airport and train operators,” says Wilks. “Whether the information to be displayed is sourced from the airport operations database or from the media owner, the display and underlying embedded PC platform should not care. Airport operators are starting to understand the benefits of flexibility that a unified visual communications platform can bring. Whether displaying time-critical data such as departure information, passenger wayfinding or a brand’s advertisement, to the airport or train operator these are all critical to achieving a good passenger experience and have an equal value. The impact is that, at different times of the day, a display should take on a specific role. For example, a display at a departure gate may just be showing a gate number or flight – but while the gate is


Vienna connects with passengers Vienna Airport is one of the main hubs connecting all parts of Central and Eastern Europe; it is also one of the few European airports to be listed on the stock exchange. It handles around 20 million passengers each year. Deployed around the campus are some 500 displays. The airport decided to introduce Airport TV which would broadcast news – which is transmitted directly by the Austrian news agency APA – information and offers from the shops and restaurants in the airport, as well as the latest weather and regional information about Lower Austria. The five-month selection process for the new system included extensive

checking and testing – including for picture quality and colour authenticity, as it is essential that the logos of the airlines and partner companies are displayed correctly. The airport recognised that the screen it chose for the Airport TV project – the NEC P Series – included functionality such as picture-in-picture, which, although it was not needed at the time, ensured that the airport’s managements could keep its future options open. NEC subsequently won the business to replace 30 older public displays, which were used as guidance systems and gave the passengers the latest arrival and departure times. IE December 2011 17

Markets: Digital Signage in Transport

not in use, the display could be showing advertising, or airport or airline promotional material.”

Expansion continues Given the leading role airports have taken in digital signage, it would be easy to believe that the market is now starting to reach maturity. Crowhurst doesn’t agree. “The market is not mature yet, because there is a lot of expansion possible by integrating more timetable connections and destination/ audience-driven content based on flights,” he says. Continued expansion, together with the fact that ‘traditional’ signage still accounts for the large majority of an airport’s advertising income, means that there is still plenty of room for growth. The extended ‘dwell time’ of passengers at airports make them preeminent among transportation hubs in terms of advertising opportunities. Robledo sees potential outside the departure lounge. “We believe that future growth in digital signage for transportation will come from the outdoor market,” he says. “Demand for outdoor signage is growing, so manufacturers are developing more and more weatherproof products to meet these needs. This market is growing as

these displays enhance the passenger experience by providing them with the most up-to-date information, both inside and outside transport facilities.” Whether undercover or outdoors, it is certainly the case that train stations, bus stations and so on are becoming increasingly fertile hunting grounds for digital signage solutions providers. They have perhaps been less so, historically, because the commercial imperative to maximise revenue from their real estate has been less. It is also true that train stations and bus stations are both less large and less complex, reducing the requirement for signage. However, it’s looking increasingly as if ‘the next big thing’ in the transportation market may be digital signage in vehicles themselves. “There is definitely high potential for digital signage in these new environments, as long as the three main principles of digital out of home are respected: measurability, targeting and location,” says Smith. “There are already interesting examples of digital screens on vans. The originality alone attracts attention: all that’s then needed is that the content is relevant and eye-catching, and the screens well placed. With ads in taxis and buses, GPS is a useful tool to trigger location-specific advertisements.”


Digital signage at the core in Larnaka From the outset, it was decided that a state-of-the-art media showcase programme would complement the new €450 million, 100,000sqft, three-storey terminal at Larnaka International Airport. This digital network was the main challenge of the project, taking into account that the airport is the biggest infrastructure project ever deployed in Cyprus. Larnaka International Airport is used as a hub by passengers travelling between Europe and the Middle East, and Cyprus’ status as a major tourist destination means that the number of travellers has steadily risen to more than 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity for which the old airport was originally designed. Its new terminal can handle 7.5 million passengers per year. It has 16 jet ways, 67 check-in counters, eight self-service check-in points, 48 departure gates and 2,450 parking spots. The new advertising programme is run by Ad Airport Media and Clear Channel Interspace Airports. The programme combines traditional media with one of the largest digital networks ever 18 IE December 2011

deployed in Cyprus, consisting of more than 330 screens powered by more than 40 Scala 5 Players. Minicom Digital Signage’s solution, the DS Vision 3000 series of HD media distribution and screen control, was chosen to maintain the network’s high video quality when distributing it via Cat6 over long distances and controlling the displays remotely through RS-232. This was necessary because the Scala players are located in several secure, air-conditioned rack rooms spread across the airport, and the same channel is being played on numerous displays simultaneously. Within each of the five baggage carousels a video cube is located, consisting of 30 40in LCD screens in 3 x 3 and 2 x 3 configurations. The digital screens’ impact is furthered due to all five cubes playing a synchronised message on all sides simultaneously, giving passengers a 360º view of the brand advertised in the entire area at the same time. The Scala player software synchronises the content on each of the cubes to display a unified message.

Bus company EMT Madrid has installed digital signage systems based on C-nario Messenger software across its fleet

Mode-AL and Visionpoint Technologies developed a transportable digital signage system to promote Jameson Irish Whiskey in duty free shops

“Passengers are a captive audience,” notes Elstein, “so the market potential for mobile digital signage is very good.” She goes on to point out the inherent attractiveness of locationbased digital signage, because of the substantially increased relevance it can have to its audience. And it’s not just trains, buses and taxis. ONELAN has enjoyed success with ferries, with installations for Tallink, Fred Olsen, Stena and Irish Ferries. Given that airports are close to becoming retail destinations in their own right – destinations that can rival some of the most popular shopping malls – it can be hard to distinguish where one digital signage market sector ends and the other begins. A transportable digital signage system developed by mounting company Mode-AL and Visionpoint Technologies to promote Jameson Irish Whiskey in duty-free shops in airports around the world, for example: is that retail or transportation? Weston believes that duty free shops still represent significant potential – but where will those numbers be counted?

“Transportation is a sector that forms part of the digital-out-of-home environment; thus the same rules apply for it as well,” notes Smith. “For interactivity to reach its objectives, one must resort to it either in high dwelltime locations or in places where viewers would normally have the chance – and the will – to stop and interact. Airports, train and bus stations or taxis are good examples. QR codes or mobile applications encouraging viewers to interact with the screen should work well in

The future

‘The market potential for mobile digital signage is very good’

A combination of factors looks set to ensure continued growth for digital signage in the transportation sector. Increasingly it seems as if the direction is towards combining informational signage and advertising signage – something which will attract more pairs of eyes, and therefore be more compelling, and more profitable. Beyond this: growing passenger numbers means growing numbers of pairs of eyes to be attracted. Add to this the increasing emphasis on precise targeting of messages through locationbased systems, and it’s hard to see any slowdown in the deployment of digital signage in transportation. And there’s more. With waiting times unlikely to get any shorter, what better way of spending time than interacting – via gesture, touch or mobile device communication – with a digital sign?

Yael Elstein, YCD Multimedia

locations where people are spending their time waiting, especially since smartphones are the device of choice in these moments of forced idleness.” Digital signage is, as Wilks points out, all about improving the passenger experience, and advertising needs to be part of this without interfering with the passenger journey. So long as digital signage solution providers recognise this fundamental requirement, digital signage in transportation looks likely to continue its upward trajectory. IE

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Markets: Hotel Guest Rooms

Plugging the gap With customers expecting more from their hotel room technology, installing the right kit and using it in the most effective manner can benefit both guests and hoteliers, as Adrian Pennington reports

Philips’ MediaSuite offers guests interactive services via a wealth of online NetTV apps without a laptop

Key points . Pay TV revenues are dropping as guests consume media on their own devices . The smart TV is becoming a highly desirable feature for guests and hotel chains alike . Hotel technology needs to be flexible, robust, simple to use and able to provide the same high quality guests expect from their own technology

. The technologies are often established but their application for this environment is still being explored

. The future promises an increased personalisation of the hotel experience

he impact of connected devices on the consumer market has been well documented in terms of the plate-shifting challenge to traditional media delivery and revenue models. Less well established, but equally challenging to incumbent operations, is the impact of new media consumption on the hotel trade. Today’s guests, who are used to ever increasing levels of technological functionality in their homes and offices, have high expectations when it comes to their hotel room experience. In particular, guests want to be able to keep up to speed with social network sites and consume media on mobile devices – from laptop to smartphone – while on the road. This challenges the in-room information and entertainment suite, which is centred on the TV. “The market has fundamentally changed,” says Wouter Staal, senior global marketing manager for Philips Hotel TV. “Where we had two segments for in-room entertainment, now the top of


20 IE December 2011

the market is shifting away from the high-end pay TV model and the low-end, due to the easier accessibility of the technology, is moving upwards. The market, however, has not yet followed up on this, leaving a gap in the 2-4 star market. The hotel industry’s traditional pyramid model, which featured a limited number of five-star residences at the top and the volume market spread out beneath, has condensed to present a massive mid-market. “It started three or four years ago when people began to bring in their own content either on a laptop or streamed from the internet; they could better understand the value of content and preferred not to spend €15 on the latest blockbuster,” says Staal. “The whole business model slowly but very surely evaporated. There are some hotels, at airports in particular, which still make good business on pay TV movies and adult content but it is a niche market. The traditional model is almost dead.” The lifespan of a TV set is around seven years and with about 7 million hotel rooms

globally the market for set renewal numbers about 1 million a year. That’s good business for TV set manufacturers, if they can come up with the right product.

Ask the industry Philips’ response has been to gather a selection of industry experts, including Christophe Causero (Accor), Neil Schubert (Marriott) and Bryan Hammer (Starwood), to brainstorm a solution. Their mission was backed by research conducted by Philips, which indicated that over half (55%) of the 10,000 travellers questioned would prefer to stay in a hotel which offers smart TV over one which does not. What’s more, 92% indicated that they would use the interactive TV service more than twice a day. The result of this research is MediaSuite, an internetenabled LED TV range (32, 40, 46 and 55in) which allows hoteliers to offer guests previously inaccessible interactive services via a wealth of online NetTV apps without the need to unpack a laptop or netbook.

‘The cost of purchase is still number one on the agenda’ Wouter Staal, Philips Hotel TV

NetTV offers hotel guests online access to local and international news (from CNN and euronews), weather updates, stock information and social media like facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition, Philips has created dedicated hospitality apps with instant access to, for example, City Info and World Clock. Philips has adapted the

product for guest protection (when logging out of the hotel, all cookies related to social media sites and credit card payment are reset). “With MediaSuite you don’t need a set-top box as before. This saves €150 per room, which spread across a hotel chain is a very significant saving,” Staal points out. “The cost of purchase is still number one on the agenda, then we have to convince clients to look at the lifetime cost of the solution – some chains are better at understanding this than others. It’s clear that sustainability is also very high on the agenda, in part because it saves cost and because guests seem to appreciate environmental programmes.” Showcased to hoteliers across Europe since March with rollout commencing this month, MediaSuite has a full order book, Staal says. Although not naming those chains that have expressed an interest, Philips currently supplies big brands such as NH, Rezidor, Marriott, Accor and Starwood. “They have seen the benefit and want to try out this hybrid solution

Markets: Hotel Guest Rooms

and upgrade to an internetenabled model.� Bryan Steele, MD of consultancy Jireh-Tek and Hotel Technology Next Generation advisory board member, says: “I think NetTV will bring access to some of the internet sites that are difficult to deliver. [Bandwidth issues aside,] NetTV is really starting to address the commercial and financial challenge of getting this sort of application and capability into hotels cost effectively.�

Keeping busy Hotels are wrestling with how they maintain rack rates, add revenue opportunities and embrace technology to attract the digitally savvy generation that acquires media from many different sources. With VOD/IPTV and highspeed internet access reducing

in revenue, so the smart TV is an important change to the guest room. At revenue-earn level the hotel can use it as digital signage, pointing the guest to opportunities in the complex and highlighting external brands with which they have a partnership relationship. On a connected front all social media are available, as is catch-up TV streaming. Currently the guest can connect their devices to a media hub to display on a large screen or hear audio through a good sound system; the challenge is how 3D is embraced in this setup, and whether this has to be via a separate screening room rather than a standard guest room. “We recognise that hotels are using more technology to enable a higher level of service,� says Michael

Stegmann, Crestron director of hospitality. “The modern hotel standard presents new challenges to manage and integrate it all, so Crestron provides a solution that brings all systems and technology together on one platform with a simple user interface.� With an integrated solution, hotel guests can access and control temperature, lighting, shades, music and televisions from a single touchscreen or their personal mobile devices. Hotel management can monitor and manage the centralised AV and lighting controls for all areas of the hotel, from any device, and a local Crestron touchscreen. Crestron enterprise management software provides audio/video and environmental management with room scheduling and remote help desk assistance.
















Claridge’s receives five-star treatment from Crestron Located in the heart of Mayfair, Claridge’s attracts a discerning clientele wishing to explore the highlights of London’s shopping district, city and the leafy tranquility of Hyde Park. This interplay of 1920s chic and modern-day technology presented a challenge to Custom Controls when the company was charged with installing a Crestron AV system in the flagship rooms of the hotel. As Dave Chester of Custom Controls explains, this was a job where subtlety was favoured above audiovisual grandiloquence. “Working in the iconic Claridge’s hotel presented a special set of challenges,� says Chester. “The system also had

to be designed around the fact that many elements of penthouse apartments are listed, which made installation particularly challenging.� The client’s brief required an intuitive system whereby guests could easily control the AV source and distribution across the penthouse suites, which are both comprised of two bedrooms and a living room. Custom Controls’ solution was to specify TPS-6X touchpanel controllers from Crestron. The design finish of the units sits well with the art deco style feel and with a fully customisable GUI, Chester was able to design a bespoke Claridge’s-branded interface which can be instantly mastered

without instruction and is graphically led to overcome any language barriers. From the controls, guests are able to navigate the AV setup to control the LED displays, Blu-ray, Sky-HD and hotel TV which is all supported by a substantial audio setup. To further reduce the impact of the installation, Custom Controls discreetly installed a dedicated control server to each room thus removing cabling between the two spaces. The finished installation has been praised by hotel staff for its sympathetic nature; it also satisfied their concerns that any AV hardware would confuse and tarnish the feel and design of the rooms.

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Markets: Hotel Guest Rooms

Crestron believes integrated solutions covering access, temperature, lighting, shades, music and more are the way forward

For Brian Chapman, also director of hospitality at Crestron, the glue in all this is the connected solution, “simple, efficient user interfaces available on screen, via touchpanels and third-party devices”, he says. “All room operations should be on one interface and linked to concierge services, so that a

London theatre can be previewed and booked online or via a call.” “The client always wants more,” he adds. “If two people are sharing a room, they may have laptops, iPads and mobile phones, and they want them all to be on the WiFi network. They want to use bar-scanning

technology to have a room booking confirmed and then bypass check-in and use the phone as a method of entry into their designated room. They want their social media to be available to them on the large screen and they want the best reproduction the room or hotel chain will allow.”

The flip side is, what does the hotel want? Chapman suggests that in times of everincreasing energy costs, it wants to manage the guest better in terms of their use of heating, ventilation and lighting. Simple use of room sensors can set back all of these elements, saving the hotel in some cases 30% on costs while not impacting the guest stay. “The contrast is that the hotel wants to offer a great experience but it also wants to make a green statement better than simply ‘if you want to reuse your towels, please hang them up’,” Chapman says. “They want a dashboard that gives them multiple views of room status and energy usage.” These technologies tend to have been tested in commercial environments before they arrived in the guest room. The change for the hotelier, according to Chapman, is that they all want to sit on an IP network, so that floor/room switch design is important to keep costs down. “Video and audio distribution is in the digital domain for its transport; lighting control sits on a

network; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning is network interfaced,” he says. “Many hotels are requesting a broader level of integration in addition to AV and lighting, such as in-room amenities, security, HVAC and building management systems that impact hotel operations and the guest experience.”

Adding value Where does all of this leave the integrator? The standard guest room is price sensitive, so the installer has to show it has a range of simple cost-effective solutions. “It is difficult for the integrator to add value in this arena,” says Chapman. “More and more manufacturers are going direct to create themselves as the brand standard for a hotel group. The skillset for the integrator is good project management, well-oiled logistics for just-intime installation and excellent after-sales care to ensure maximum room availability.” TeleAdapt has an alternative solution to the same issue – allowing guests to interact with social media and internet

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Markets: Hotel Guest Rooms

The HFl5573_D1 is available as 32, 40, 46 and 55in versions as part of Philips’ Hotel TV range

services, but by enabling more efficient use of their own devices in room. Its MediaHub HD offers a single panel for maximum in-room media connectivity from Bluetooth for wireless music streaming and iPod docks, or DVD players, requiring just a single HDMI connection to the TV. “There is a strong demand from hotels to offer iPad/iPhone/ iPod connectivity and charging,” reports Matthew Needham, group marketing manager, TeleAdapt. “Hotels have a requirement to allow guests to play games and use the internet but they want to stop them attacking the back of TVs hung on a wall or fixed to a desk. Installation is straightforward – it really is plug and play.” MediaHub HD’s autosensing feature senses any

TeleAdapt’s MediaHub HD offers room control from a single panel

device with a HDMI port to play through the TV. Guests can plug in multiple devices at a time and even toggle between inputs. On the market since 2009 it has already been installed across Marriott, Novotel and Intercontinental hotels among others. “When coupled with a TeleAdapt-integrated hospitality TV brand, hoteliers eliminate the need to use onscreen prompts, input buttons or channel mapping to access the MediaHub panel,” says Needham.

video communications infrastructure around a fully integrated product. Hoteliers can create their own TV station delivering video content via a schedule, just like a traditional broadcast network. With Vision2 On-Demand guests can access and play-back any video content stored in the Vision2 Archive.” Integrated technology has become the new standard in

Unique offering State-of-the-art entertainment systems, on-demand services and high-speed internet have now become the minimum requirement for hotels, with progressive brands using technology as the platform on which they can deliver a unique point of difference. But with hotel rooms becoming increasingly highspecification, the challenge to hoteliers is how to ensure these systems are accessible and controllable by a transient clientele. “AMX brings the home technology experience to guests through the provision of intuitive control of in-room AV and environmental systems, as well as the ability to easily access hotel services,” says AMX sales director Jonathan Mangnall. Imagine giving guests the ability to choose what to eat from an electronic menu on an AMX touchpanel, indicate how they want their food prepared or check nutritional information. Guests can also order hotel guest services such as spa or concierge, as well as access other services provided by outside suppliers and take advantage of VoIP functionality and intercom functions – all from an easyto-use interface. “AMX’s Vision2 system provides hotels with a sophisticated, fully integrated and yet simple-to-use IP video delivery solution, allowing them to build a complete 24 IE December 2011

‘Many hotels are requesting a broader level of integration’ Brian Chapman, Crestron

hotels, controlling every aspect of the property including lobbies, boardrooms, banquet halls, restaurants, guest rooms and suites. The technologies are often established but their application for this environment is still being explored. The future promises an increased personalisation of the hotel experience. Mangnall asks us to “imagine harnessing RFID technologies to give frequent and returning guests their own profile, enabling in-room systems to automatically adjust to their own, pre-determined settings on their arrival. All this is possible, but the market is only just realising it.” IE

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Markets: Houses of Worship

Reasons to rejoice? Bringing contemporary AV to the often ancient spaces occupied by houses of worship constituted an important driver of business for pro-install throughout the Noughties. But, wonders David Davies, is this sector continuing to thrive as attendance levels and the economy fluctuate? he emergence of the modern ‘super-church’ and the need to accommodate an increasing number of duties beyond conventional worship are frequently pinpointed as the principal reasons behind the strength of houses of worship pro-install over the past 10 years. The tendency for newly built, multi-thousand-capacity venues to demand AV systems that equal or surpass those of many small/mediumsized theatres and concert venues has obviously brought great rewards for manufacturers, distributors and installers. But HoWs of a more ancient vintage have also added to the workload, with many seeking to address their increasingly multi-disciplinary usage patterns (and acoustic ‘issues’) with sophisticated new systems. But with attendances still the subject of dramatic variation worldwide, is the HoW sector as dynamic as it was five years ago? After all, HoWs can hardly fail to be affected by economic tribulations: congregations will surely find it harder to donate towards upgrade initiatives in such straitened circumstances, while access to the usual credit facilities will also come under pressure. This development has been particularly apparent in the US, where nearly 200 religious facilities suffered bank foreclosures between 2008 and 2010 – up from eight during the previous two-year period (source: CoStar Group Inc, The Wall Street Journal Jan 2011). With its increasing ability to deliver highly focused sound for speech and music, pro-audio has been a particular


Market trends . There is continuing demand for high-end audio systems (line array, beam-steering array, DSP) in new and established houses of worship . Projects are often slower to reach the commissioning stage, with ever-greater scrutiny of budget and specification . In the present economic climate, expectations of market growth are fairly modest for 2012 beneficiary of HoW momentum. IE’s market focus indicates that this remains the case, although the benefits are certainly not restricted to sound suppliers. New projects may receive greater scrutiny from their originators than ever before, and the race towards the all-important final signature might be more protracted in the current climate, but the HoW sector still yields plenty of reasons to rejoice.

A 40-speaker RCF installation at San Marco Church in Venice includes 10 VSA 2050 digitally steerable vertical line arrays

Graph 1: Percentage of business derived from HoW projects (% of respondents in each group)

Graph 2: Predicted percentage change for participants’ own business in the HoW market – full year 2011 vs 2010 (% of respondents in each group)

Market data

 Less than 10%: 39%  Between 10% and 40%: 52%  More than 40%: 9%


The extent to which HoWs contribute to survey participants’ overall business in the installation market varied considerably – from a mere 1% to more than 25%. The average percentage was 11%. An alternative extrapolation of the data culled from this initial question can be seen in Graph 1. The majority of contributors chose to focus their comments on the general European market, although a small – but not insignificant – minority also

 Decline by 0-30%: 0%  Stay approximately the same: 29%  Increase by 0-30%: 71%

Distance will

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26 IE December 2011


Markets: Houses of Worship

drew on their experience of the Middle East and Asia. Perhaps reflecting the current mood of uncertainty in the wider economy, the average level of confidence in the HoW business was a solid 3.1 out of 5. In a far from untypical observation, Audica Professional sales and marketing director Derek West described HoW as being “a generally more conservative market, but one which takes a longerterm view of investment. It is also less affected than other sectors by shortterm financial and political issues.” “This segment is a growing market,” said RCF’s Kenneth Bremer, providing one of the most upbeat assessments of the HoW market. “We also see much more confidence in bringing new technologies into the installations, as well as larger investments.” While HoW might feel less influence from external issues than some other market segments, it is clear that participants’ recent experiences of the sector do vary. Accordingly, expectations of change regarding individuals’ own business in the sector for full-year 2011 (vs 2010) were less than consistent, ranging from 0% to +30%. The average was a creditable +7% (Graph 2). In the next part of the survey, respondents were asked to rank a series of factors in terms of the effect they are likely to have on business in this sector going forward. Confirming expectations, more affordable technology and the overall economic situation scored highly; despite their elevated purpose, HoWs can hardly ignore the bottom line. Green issues placed last in an enquiry whose full results can be seen in Graph 3. Participants were then invited to consider a list of technologies, in terms of the likely change in how much they are used in HoWs in full-year 2011. Reflecting audio’s important role in powering HoW pro-install, networked audio was expected to undergo a significant boom in popularity. Automation, touchpanels and lighting control were among the other

technologies earmarked for a further uplift in adoption (Graph 4). Several contributors suggested other technological trends that would be particularly apparent when 2011 comes to be considered in retrospect. One anonymous participant highlighted an across-the-board focus on higher quality visual display solutions, while West pinpointed the availability of “improved audio quality from more compact and aesthetically more acceptable designs”. Surely reflecting the increased emphasis on long-term effectiveness of investment, futureproofing and networking capability emerged as the requirements expected to be most important to installation clients in this sector over the next couple of years (Graph 5). Solutions to challenges presented by installations in listed buildings, and practical advice for HoW system operators who may have little or no expert training in using AV technology were among the subjects mentioned as being deserving of further exploration by Installation Europe. In addition, RCF’s Bremer highlighted the scope for an article about larger worship spaces’ conversion from traditional audio systems to the latest digital technology. “It could be interesting to read about [what difference] the new systems have made,” suggested Bremer.

Graph 3: Current relative importance of various factors to business in the HoW market (1 = least impact, 6 = most impact)

More affordable technology Overall economic situation Legal/compliance issues Competitor activity Government spending/taxation Green issues 0







Graph 4: Predicted change in use of technologies in the HoW market (% of participants in each group) Networked audio Automation Touchpanels Lighting control Digital signage Projection Plasma/LCD displays 0





 Much less  A little less  No change  A little more  Much more

Summary Excluding those that have little or no requirement for musical performance, many mid- and large-sized HoWs now feature high-quality, versatile audio systems. Digital signage and higher-end visual technologies have also made a real impact on some of the larger facilities. While project turnover has slowed, rewarding activity is continuing, with mainland Europe appearing particularly fruitful in 2011. Expectations for next year might be relatively low-key, but in the current climate, growth of any kind surely counts as a good result. IE

never tear us apart

Graph 5: Predicted relative importance of various requirements to installation clients in the sports stadium sector over the next 2-3 years (1 = least important, 5 = most important) Futureproofing

Networking capability

Total cost of ownership

Keener pricing

Maintenance contracts 0






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MX-FR17 in a 8x8 Dual-Link matrix configuration

IE December 2011 27


create a sensation Check out the new features in award-winning Dataton WATCHOUT™ multi-display production and playback software. Highlights of version 5: – 3D effects: position and rotate media in 3D space – 3D content: stereoscopic production and playback – Enhanced live interaction: direct control from inputs – Dynamic image server: stream live data in your show – Multiple displays per computer: more cost-effective

Soldier of Orange: WATCHOUT stage backdrop. Image courtesy Blitz Communications. Photo Joris von Bennekom.

VW tour, Poland: 3D mapping with WATCHOUT projection on car, wall, and floor. Image courtesy MOOV, Poland.

The IE Interview

Paul Malpas

Sound theory – and practice From the latest installation techniques to the diplomatic minefield that can often be the sound consultant’s lot, the IoA’s Reproduced Sound conference offers an annual insight into the ever-evolving world of acoustics. David Davies spoke to event chair Paul Malpas

Now in its 27th year, Reproduced Sound from the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) is positioned somewhere between an academic conference and an audio solutions showcase. Prioritising the easy exchange of ideas about theory and practice, the event continues to draw an international audience to its periodically shifting UK location. Event chair of Reproduced Sound for the past two years is Paul Malpas, whose two-decade career in acoustics began with a position at Arup in 1990. He remained with the globally renowned acoustics specialist until 2007, when he joined Richard Northwood at Consultancy on Media Systems. After a period as an associate director of the reestablished acoustics team at Capita Symonds in 2009, he decided to venture out on his own and form Engineered Acoustic Designs. Overseeing the Reproduced Sound programme, says Malpas, makes it possible to “stay in touch with what is happening across the industry and have the opportunity to meet leading experts in a variety of different areas.” Subtitled ‘Engineering or Art?’, the 2011 event took place at the Thistle Hotel, Brighton, from 16-18 November. Notable among a typically diverse schedule was the inaugural UK demonstration of Meyer Sound’s much-discussed electro-acoustic architecture, Constellation. It was this session that provided the starting point for IE’s interview with Malpas. Many of our readers will have experienced Constellation in a trade show environment. In what ways was it beneficial to organise the more concentrated kind of demo witnessed at Reproduced Sound?

It’s one thing to host a system

showcase on a tradeshow floor and impress people; it’s quite another to put it in a quiet space and have people apply a more critical eye. In the case of Reproduced Sound, I think it was very valuable to experience the system in a room that was physically a bit shorter than was ideal. Our audience of consultants and specifiers always find it useful to be able to see where the limitations of any given system might reside, rather than to simply see it in the best possible light. I am really glad that John Pellowe [Constellation project director] and the rest of the team at Meyer Sound were able to see the value of this sort of setting. Audio and its role in ensuring audience safety was a recurring theme of the Applications and Engineered Sound strand. What were the primary conclusions drawn by Electro-Voice’s Oliver Sahm and Protec’s Jim Gilroy in their presentations?

Oliver’s session (‘Sound reinforcement systems in stadiums: a comprehensive task for safety, operation and acoustics’) addressed the very tight balancing act relating to the achievement of speech intelligibility in large spaces that require highly specialised configurations. The specification of voice alarm capability was a theme continued in Jim’s subsequent presentation (‘When entertainment meets life safety’). The maturity of the UK and world audio businesses in the value and implications of achieving speech intelligibility requirements has been in no small part down to my predecessors at Reproduced Sound. Added to this now are tough requirements being applied via EN54 on the robustness of voice alarm products, as compared directly with their fire alarm counterparts. As in all that we talk about at Reproduced Sound, collaborative design is the key to guarding against undue compromise around the design team table.

Glenn Leembruggen of ICE Design Australia presenting one of the sessions on room acoustics

Non-technical issues pertaining to the day-to-day life of the consultant also received an airing – hence Marshall Day Acoustics’ Larry Elliott and Daryl Prasad discussing the ‘need for diplomacy in acoustical consulting’...

Larry came over from New Zealand for this session, and it was fantastic to have him here. Daryl highlighted those instances in which it is not too difficult to envisage a suitable

‘Collaborative design is the key to guarding against undue compromise’ solution, but where that might differ from the idea the client or the design team had in mind. Drawing on specific examples, they explored the ways in which the customer can gradually be drawn towards the best possible solution. Rather than try to answer the question they have asked, you need to help them recognise and understand the question they should have asked. Are there any other sessions that you would pinpoint as having been especially revealing?

Peregrine Andrews from Moving Air gave a fascinating presentation about the sound

of sports broadcasts, and in particular those elements which are sometimes flown in for reasons of practicality or to enhance the overall experience. For example, the difficulties of capturing cross-country skiing mean that sound teams might have to rely on a stock recording of the skis’ ‘swishing’ noise. This might seem to be a false application, but is it any more ridiculous than putting a mic inside a ball or capturing the inner creaking of the beam in gymnastics? Nobody would be able to hear that without the use of specialised mic’ing techniques and technologies. The message seemed to be, if it adds to the experience and the drama of the sport, it has a place. From Prolight + Sound to AES, there are plenty of conference events which examine acoustical issues. What are the factors that make Reproduced Sound unique?

It’s really a combination of elements. Firstly, the residential aspect; we’re all here on-site in the one hotel and that is conducive to a more collaborative atmosphere. I always say that the after-hours

discussions that go on long into the night can be as important as the presentations. Secondly, there is the size of the event; attendance ranges from 80 to 130, and that is a nice, manageable number. Thirdly, it’s an inclusive conference that attracts a diverse audience of people, all of whom seem to be open to sharing and discussing ideas in a positive context. I first came to Reproduced Sound when I was still fresh out of Salford, nearly 20 years ago, and I learned a lot from the sessions in my early career. I still find it useful two decades later, and I’m sure that’s the same for a lot of other delegates. It’s rare to encounter an event that blends an academic level of detail with – for want of a better term – ‘real world’ considerations, and I think that’s what we have achieved here with Reproduced Sound. IE

. Next year’s edition of Reproduced Sound will take place from 14-16 November – once again at Brighton’s Thistle Hotel.

ONLINE EXTRAS . What changes is Malpas is considering for the next Reproduced Sound? IE December 2011 29

Solutions: Palacongressi, Rimini

Catering for all


Italy’s largest new-build conference centre, newly opened, features a high-spec technical setup ensuring it’s a flexible, multi-use venue, writes Mike Clark AMPHITHEATRE SET-UP The Bosch simultaneous translation system includes 33 IR radiators

The Amphitheatre has two arrays of nine EV XLE181 elements

Four acoustically transparent Euroscreens have been placed halfway up the seating The evac system includes Bosch LBC 3201/00 loudspeakers Two motorised Panasonic cameras for coverage of the rooms are flown from the roof

Six EV ZX1i-100 frontfill speakers have been built into the stage, along with four ZX3 monitors

naugurated on 15 October, Rimini’s Palacongressi was built with an investment of €117 million by Società del Palazzo dei Congressi (member company of Rimini Fiera Group). Italy’s largest new-build conference centre was designed by Professor Volkwin Marg of Hamburg’s Studio GMP. Its 39 conference rooms can seat up to 9,000 people and feature a flexible technical set-up able to be rapidly configured to suit any event. The supplier of conference furnishings and systems was Cefla Impianti, (one of the four business areas of Cefla of Imola) which has built complex civil and industrial plants and systems for over 75 years and has realised key mechanical, electrical and special systems at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and other important theatres. Designer and works manager for Rimini Fiera, Luca Mamprin, AD of IN.TE.SO. Ingegneria, explains: “As well as main contractor Cefla Impianti, AV subcontractors were Bosch, Decima, EVR Media for video and audio installation, and Simontech for AMX control.” Luca Galli, PA & congress product manager with Bosch Security Systems, adds: “Bosch supplied Cefla with the conference and evac systems. I managed the works order, supported by Texim – our supplier and partner on the project – and Bosch audio and congress product specialist Fabrizio Altomare.”


30 IE December 2011

As well as the huge evac set-up, an impressive Bosch simultaneous translation system was installed, consisting of 33 IR radiators, 200 Integrus digital receivers and 28 booths cabled for two 32-language DCN IDesks. Wherever they are, translators can follow events in any room on their video monitors and send their translations wherever required.

Flexible spaces Müller-BBM was responsible for the acoustic design of the entire venue, including the challenge of ensuring sufficient sound abatement to hold events simultaneously in the large halls divided by mobile partition walls, as well as good speech intelligibility in the various sized rooms. Texim’s Moreno Zampieri explains: “The 4,700-seat Piazza Hall can be divided into various rooms, each with its own speaker platform and signal source access points; the mixer can be positioned as required. The 1,600-seat Amphitheatre and most smaller rooms can be used for two independent conferences or for a single event, so audio access, control and outputs must be combinable.” All rooms except the Piazza can operate with a sound engineer or automatic mixing: either IRIS-Net feeds stage signals to the room’s mixer or they’re fed to NetMax, which handles them automatically. Audio and video can be transmitted between all the rooms, so speakers can

answer questions from another room or vice versa. “The countless channels’ routing was crucial,” continues Zampieri, “and multichannel transport is via CobraNet, whereas overall control is via Electro-Voice’s IRIS-Net power software. IRIS-Net compatible devices are 27 EV NetMax N8000 and over 40 power amps. The entire system can be easily upgraded to AVB technology.” Regarding speakers, the Amphitheatre has two arrays of nine EV XLE181 elements, six ZX1i-100 frontfill speakers built into the stage and four ZX3 monitors. The Piazza Room has 56 XLE181 and 16 ZX3; the venue also hosts 21 Midas Venice 160 mixers, two Verona 240 mixers and 17 Klark Teknik Square ONE splitters.

Visual impact Valerio Piccinin, responsible for EVR (Udine) at the time of the installation, describes the video system: “The signal distribution and processing system is native 16:9 Full HD, with the possibility of two 4:3 projections if necessary. The General Control room connects all the halls’ control rooms via multi-mode fibre dedicated to transmitting RGBHV signals in HD and composite video, via Communication Specialities transmitters and receivers.” In the Piazza Room there are eight 800 x 450cm Euroscreens. When the room is divided into four identical parts, each has two side by side, with two Eiki HDT20 Full HD 6,500 ANSI

lumen projectors. Different video content can be projected across all eight and there are eight motorised Panasonic cameras: four for HD coverage of the rooms, and four composite for translators’ monitors. “All the signals between the hall and its control rooms are transported via Cat5,” says Piccinin. “The system is supervised with an AMX integrated controller and commands given with Modero touchpanel.” The Amphitheatre has two motorised 600 x 450cm Euroscreens on-stage and four acoustically transparent 500 x 281cm models halfway up the seating to ensure all attendees see even the smallest presentation details. The former have two Eiki HDT20 projectors, the latter four NEC NP-4100 5,500 ANSI lumen models. The cameras are the same as in the Piazza (two of each) and the AMX control set-up is also identical. The AMX system is the hub for the complete control of the rooms, so numerous control facilities have been integrated in the set-up designed by Simontech of Cernobbio. This includes video equipment (matrixes, graphic mixers, cameras and projectors); audio channels (NetMax); projection automation (lifts and screens); theatrical and architectural lighting (with every possible layout of the Piazza); room automation (curtains, windows and control room blackout) and switchboards to switch equipment racks on and off.

Solutions: Palacongressi, Rimini

Company founder Marco Simonetto explains: “As well as developing the drivers for interfacing with external systems and equipment, we also realised the logic of enabling perfect control of the rooms’ various layouts. Complete control is available via the touchpanels in the rooms and via a position in the General Control Room; a single supervision touchpanel can control any room and any device simultaneously with the in-room panels.” The video control hardware includes a series of Kramer matrix switchers and scaler switchers (the Piazza control room alone has eight VP 727).

Theatre lighting Decima Italia of Padua was responsible for designing and supplying the theatre lighting for the main rooms. Guido Orlandi, designer of the control system, explains: “The system is based on ETC NET3 Ethernet communication for the large rooms. These rooms’ dimmers are modular, extractable and redundant dualprocessor units and have diagnostic functions that send info and alarm messages for each channel over the network, readable on the PC alongside the operator and in the General Control Room.” The dimmer rooms (kept at a constant temperature of 25°C) host 322 3kW and 62 5kW ETC Sensor dimmer circuits and 78 3kW ETC SmartPack circuits. Orlandi continues: “The largest rooms have both Ethernet and DMX 512A signal distribution, ensuring that, in the event of a fault on one, signals will reach their destination. The consoles are ETC Ion with manual wings (Piazza and Amphitheatre), SmartFade ML and SmartFade 1248.” ETC fixtures were also chosen: 52 Source Four Profile Spots and 32 S4 Revolution motorised modular Profile Spot/PCs. Other PC fixtures are 20 Luci della Ribalta Tono 2kW, mounted

Installed Audio . Electro-Voice XLE181, ZX1i-100, ZX3, FRi52/64 SL8.2 Evid CB2 loudspeakers . Audac Q4 4-channel 600W amplifiers . Electro-Voice P3000RL, P1200RL, P900RL amplifiers . Midas Venice 160, Verona 240 consoles . Electro-Voice NetMax N8000 system controllers . Klark Teknik Square ONE splitter . Electro-Voice APD4+ antenna distributors . Bosch LBC 3201/00 ZX1i100, ZX3, FRi152/64, FRi122/64 loudspeakers . Bosch Praesideo amplifiers

Control . Kramer VS 3232 audio matrix . Communication Specialities Fibrelink TX/RX . AMX NetLinx NI-3100 integrated controller . AMX Autopatch Octaire, Modula, Precis, CatPro RX/TX, Modero touch panels . Kramer video matrixes, scalers, switchers VP 727, VP 437xl . Bosch Integrus IR radiators, receivers, DCN IDesk-L, DCN-NCO-B network controllers

Video . Euroscreen Big Flat, Cine Pro, Major, Compact screens . Eiki LC-SXG400 HDT20 projectors . NEC NP-4100 projectors . Panasonic WV-CS950, AW-HE100 cameras

Lighting . ETC Source Four Profile Spots, Revolution Profile Spot/PC fixtures . Luci della Ribalta Tono PC fixtures . Selecon Pacific profiles . De Sisti Magis, Leonardo Fresnels . ETC Sensor, SmartPack dimmers . ETC Ion, SmartFade ML, SmartFade 1248 consoles . PLS Split7/RDM DMX splitter

on Lighting Innovations motorised yokes, whereas conventionals are 10 Selecon Pacific profiles, 60 De Sisti Magis Fresnels and 64 De Sisti Leonardo Fresnels. As will as being involved with the project’s initial consultants, Flavio Migani is a founding partner of AlterEcho, the company responsible for the maintenance of the venue’s AV equipment and networks. He explains: “Following the philosophy of controlling everything via touchscreen,

The vast new centre cost €117 million and can seat up to 9,000 people Picture: Marcus Bredt

thanks to AMX (AXB-DMX512) DMX interfaces, six channels of lighting can be controlled, as well as controlling the audio via the module in the NetMax, with an automatic eight-channel mixer. It’s therefore possible to control simple events’ lighting and audio with two touchpanels.” A NetLinx NI-3100 interacts with the AMX touchpanels and has a dedicated power supply so, even when all the other hardware is switched off, it remains on and all the racks can be

switched on from any control room or via WiFi using a hand-held device anywhere.” The systems installed, and above all the interconnection between conference and control rooms, form a truly hightech structure that can be easily and rapidly customised – a combination that makes Rimini’s Palacongressi unique and able to host any kind of production. And it’s all immersed in the ‘Green Beam’, a huge park just a short walk from the beach. IE

IE December 2011 31

Solutions: GelreDome, Arnhem

Powering up A major upgrade to the GelreDome’s sound system has upped the audio ante at this high-tech stadium, writes Tom Bradbury n the 13 years since it opened, the GelreDome in Arnhem has made its mark as one of the Netherlands’ premier multipurpose venues, hosting events from the Euro 2000 football tournament to the annual musical fiesta Symphonica in Rosso, whose headliners have included Marco Borsato, Sting, Diana Ross, Paul McCartney and Lionel Ritchie. In concert mode it can accommodate up to 35,000 people in the round; in its sporting life it’s the 26,000-capacity home of Dutch premier league football club Vitesse. Utrecht-based event specialists The Production Factory (ProFac) act as technical consultants for shows playing in the GelreDome, a role they also performed during its original design phase. Either way it remains one of Europe’s most flexible and high-tech stadiums with a retractable roof and a fully retractable, climate-controlled pitch. On the day of IE’s visit the pitch had been rolled away to its outdoor home alongside the venue, and replaced with 6,000 cubic metres of sand and gravel to host a weekend of Monster Jam mega-truck performances for a total of 50,000 people – a noisily vibrant illustration of the venue’s versatility.


PA refresh However, those 13 years had begun to make their mark on the extensive public address system, installed for the GelreDome’s opening by TM Audio. The audio mandate back in 1998 was for a system capable of providing emergency paging for all applications, a complete concert system for in-theround events such as Monster Jam, a plug-and-play delay system for visiting shows and the general provision of speech and entertainment during sporting events. While those requirements haven’t fundamentally changed, other circumstances have. Not only were spares for the original amplifiers no longer available, and the networking protocol has been superseded, the venue’s growing portfolio of event types

Installed Audio . Powersoft Duecanali3904 amplifiers

Control/Processing . Peavey NION MediaMatrix . Peavey MediaMatrix N-Control system . Peavey MediaMatrix NION n6 Network Input/Output Node . Peavey CAB 4n CobraNet Audio Bridges . HP ProCurve Switch 2610-24 . HP X121 1G SFP LC SX transceivers . Dell PowerEdge R210 remote server

The GelreDome hosts a diverse range of events, including Monster Jam mega-truck performances

had created a need for greater flexibility in the PA system’s power and networking control. Time for a major upgrade all round. Mark van Acker, head of the GelreDome technical division since April 2004, comments: “We have about 60 events a year, including 20 football games, and the rest are concerts and events like Monster Jam. We use the audio system all year round and every artist can rent it from us to provide their delays – they can bring their own but a lot of times they use our stuff. And of course it’s used during football games. For events like Monster Jam and football, we bring in ProFac to look after the system.” He continues: “We were looking for a good partner for the new installation of a very large number of amplifiers and the control system. TM Audio was our partner originally – the company was a good partner then and their technical proposal was good this time too; the whole package and price made sense all round. The amplifiers we had were 13 years old, like the stadium, and when they needed repairing there were no spare parts anymore. Also, the old system was analogue and all on copper, so if there was a system issue TM Audio had to come here to sort it out on the day of an event. Now it’s a fibre opticbased system and any diagnostics can be done by them remotely in real time over a VPN network.” The two most critical areas requiring new thinking were the

About the installer . TM Audio supplies and installs AV equipment to clients across Europe . It has two sister companies – Lightco and Pixel Source – and supplies products from brands including Allen & Heath, Furman, Renkus-Heinz and XTA

. Other recent projects include Qatar Football Stadium and Metropool nightclub in Hengelo amplifiers and the control network to support them. The original installed loudspeaker system of 36 RenkusHeinz CE-3 MH cabinets and 36 CE-3 low cabinets is flown in a ring of 18 clusters from the roof, while 14 more CE-3 MH cabinets can be deployed for speech and paging at pitch level. The clusters for the long stand can also be rotated to change the system from a dedicated delay format for end-on concerts to an in-the-round format.

Reliable delivery TM Audio project manager Olaf Landzaat comments: “We decided to use a NION MediaMatrix system for the control, matrix and DSP power for routing. Then we were looking for a reliable amplifier that could deliver a lot of power in a small space, with integral DSP and networking, so that it could handle any speaker system that might be installed in the future. “The end of that thought process was to use the special abilities of the Powersoft Duecanali Class D amplifier

– it can deliver two times 1,950W at 4 ohms, so you can basically connect any speaker you want to it, in just 1U of rack space, and with their switch mode power supply and Powersoft’s other technologies it sounds superb. It’s also very green, in that its design makes it highly efficient and consumes much less power per watt of output – which is increasingly important to end users these days, especially when they’re running a system on an almost daily basis.” Prior to installation there was a hurdle to be overcome, he explains, because of the need to seamlessly interface the network-ready Powersoft amplifiers with the NION system. Here, the Italian manufacturer proved more than willing to provide the solution. “The problem we had was just that, at that time, there wasn’t a NION control block to allow us to monitor the Powersoft amplifiers from within NION,” explains Landzaat. “So we talked to Powersoft and they were very happy to help by creating a dedicated IE December 2011 33

P8 architecten - © Liesbet Goetschalckx

Niko Home Control





Solutions: GelreDome, Arnhem

software plug-in for the MediaMatrix system so that we can control and monitor the amplifiers. That was important as it also meant the complete system met the regulations for a voice evacuation system, because that is one of its key roles.” The installed system now consists of 68 Powersoft 3904 2 x 1,950W twochannel amplifiers with integral loudspeaker DSP and AES I/O. They’re racked in three separate locations, one large double rack in a cavernous back of house space shared with giant airconditioning ducts, and two single racks mounted on a narrow catwalk that spans the width of the stadium’s roof. Here, the Powersoft package of high power in a small and light device proved a big asset, according to Landzaat: “We wanted to locate the racks as close as possible to the loudspeaker positions to minimise cable runs. The fact that we could squeeze so much power and so many channels into just two racks meant they could be accommodated on the catwalk without extensive building works.” In the control room, TM Audio added the Peavey MediaMatrix NION n6 Network Input/Output Node, along with four CAB 4n CobraNet Audio Bridges and a Peavey MediaMatrix N-Control system with two NIO-8ml 

Powersoft amps were chosen for their efficiency and ‘green’ appeal

The audio system is used year round for football matches, concerts and events

8Mic/Line Input Analog, two NIO-8o 8 Line Output Analog and eight fourchannel audio out modules. The network itself runs on five HP ProCurve Switch 2610-24 with 10 HP X121 1G SFP LC SX transceivers, with a Dell PowerEdge R210 as the remote server. User control is via a 15.6in touchscreen

in the NION rack which provides comprehensive I/O selection, routing/ zoning and overall EQ, as well as monitoring. Landzaat concludes: “The solution really works because we have a great amplifier that doesn’t have coloration – it is an honest amplifier, and the high

damping factor has made a big difference to the bass end of the speaker system – it sounds tighter in the low to mid frequencies despite the reverberation in a stadium, and more open and clear in the high frequencies. And your speech intelligibility is better – all good things for the client.” IE

Solutions: Abercorn Arms, Stanmore

Multifaceted multimedia A reliable, innovative digital backbone was a must for this versatile venue, which includes lounge, bar and restaurant areas. James Christopher reports ormerly a popular Mitchells & Butlers pub, the landmark Abercorn Arms in Stanmore, north-west London has recently been purchased by Red Klove. Following a comprehensive, multi-million pound upgrade, it has now reopened as a beautifully designed bar/restaurant, offering cocktails, pan-Indian cuisine (with an African twist) and end-to-end screen entertainment in high definition. The new Abercorn opened its doors to reveal a spacious world of wooden floors, cream leather seats and magnolia and maroon walls. In addition to its comfortable lounge and circular bar, there is a 280cover restaurant at the rear, a separate 120-seat banqueting area upstairs and two glassencased private VIP dining areas for 10. With a large beer garden and terrace to the side and rear, these are perfect ingredients for a multipletrading operation. But it needed an inspired digital backbone to glue the signal distribution together. Walk into any of the nine zoned lounge and dining areas today and you will be confronted with a superior audio and visual media experience that would do any home cinema proud — designed and installed by the Sound Division Group. This was the owners’ goal when they first trawled the internet to search for specialist technical services — and discovered the north London-based solution providers. Their requirement was for cutting-edge technology to route multiple sources, with 3D capability, so that in addition to attracting the wellheeled Asian community to the venue’s formal dining facilities, it could operate as a more casual sports bar on weekends, showing a multiplicity of football matches and other sporting events. Different feeds would be provided to seven newgeneration, super-thin glassfronted Samsung displays, with LED-backlit HD screens; these include one of the latest Samsung D8000 3D Smart


36 IE December 2011

The venue has a total of nine zoned lounge and dining areas

TVs, installed in the VIP lounge area. The four largest 55in displays are elegantly recessed into the walls and placed strategically around the main bar lounges to create maximum impact. Meanwhile, a 46in screen has been deployed in the private bar and 37in displays can be found in each of the two private dining rooms. All take digital satellite, digital terrestrial and DVD inputs, which required Sound Division to design a cabling infrastructure around HDMI over Cat6 at the top end and VGA for simple computer presentations. But it is the two retractable large 16:9 format projection screens, measuring up to 11.5ft, with an 8.5ft drop, which dominate, providing large-format viewing theatres for patrons in both the downstairs dining room and upstairs function suite. These display impressive HDMI picture quality from matching Optoma EH1020 Full HD projectors.

Managing the matrix With DJ plug-in facilities and a portable PA system for live entertainment in the upstairs banqueting suite, alongside

About the installer . Sound Division was established in 1990 as a specialist sales service for clients requiring professional audio and lighting equipment . The business has grown to encompass the installation of AV solutions, equipment hire and DJ services . Clients in the installation sector include Graze eatery at London Zoo, retailer Jack Wills and Mark’s Bar at Hix in Soho . Sound Division is a recommended installer for products from AKG, Martin Professional, Samsung, Sennheiser and more various MP3 and CD formats, the audio switching and routing matrix needed to be as comprehensive as the video. Thus Sound Division founder David Graham took the decision to bring in his networks specialist Dean Osborne to design an easy-tooperate GUI across the nine zones, and enlist BSS Audio and Kramer to provide technical support for their respective disciplines and ensure that the BSS environment interfaced with the Kramer HDMI video matrix switcher via serial command to provide full AV integration. Each output of the Kramer HDMI is converted via Cat6 adapters, while the Kramer switcher interfaces via serial command with the BSS Soundweb environment.

Summarises Osborne: “It was a case of integrating the two platforms and making the AV work as one system in the most cost-effective and easy-tonavigate way possible. Kramer has excellent technical support and the company provided all serial codes for each command; these we programmed in as a parameter preset in Soundweb.” Sound Division’s building blocks were two six-way Kramer VS-66 HDMI 6 x 6 matrix switchers and two Soundweb London BLU-100 fixed 12-in/8-out digital DSPs, which provide all zoning, equalisation, presets and system protection — with a series of cost-efficient BLU-BOB and BLU-BIB I/O expanders increasing the matrix capacity. Having worked with BSS

Soundweb tools for many years, Osborne knows that Soundweb London offers so much more than the original Soundweb ‘Green’ boxes: “Whereas you would once tend to run out of processing power, with Soundweb London BLU you are never likely to hit that brick wall. It has four times the power, and a lot of the processing objects are more efficient.”

Maintaining control This high level of control is necessary in a multipurpose venue, and the giant Samsung 19in touchscreen control panel — which even includes onscreen EQ adjustment — is duplicated on a second laptop PC in the manager’s office on the second floor. This enables the sound and visual sources

Solutions: Abercorn Arms, Stanmore

The flexible space can host formal dining or act as more casual sports bar

Installed Audio . JBL Control 24CT, 24CTM, 24CTMPlus, 26CT and 19CS ceiling speakers . Cloud CXV225 and CXA850 power amplifiers . BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 DSP . BSS Soundweb London BLU-BIB and BLU-BOB break-in and break-out expansion units . Yamaha EMX501C mixer . Electro-Voice ZX1 compact 200W portable speakers . Shure PGX24 handheld diversity radio microphone system . Shure PGX1 and WL93 lavalier microphone


Control of the system is via a 19in Samsung touchscreen

. BSS Soundweb BLU-3 and BLU-6 programmable control panels . BSS Soundweb BLU-8 programmable zone controllers . Kramer VS-66HDMI 6 x 6 HDMI matrix switcher . Kramer VM-2HDMLX 1:2 HDMI splitter/amplifiers . Kramer VP-434 VGA-HDMI scaler . Samsung 19in touchscreen

CORIOgraphy ‌ let your imagination dance

CORIOmatrix ‌ anything in, anything out

Video . Samsung 55C6505 (55in), 46C6530 (46in) and 37C6530 (37in) LED-backlit LCD TVs . Samsung D8000 3D Smart TV . Optoma EH1020 WXGA projectors . Sapphire electric projection screens . LG BD390 Blu-ray DVD players 

being distributed throughout the premises to be closely monitored. Sound reinforcement consists largely of distributed JBL Control series ceiling speakers, with over 60 speakers installed throughout the venue and run in both low impedance and 100V line configurations, dependent on the number of speakers in each zone. The brief to Graham’s team was that the loudspeakers should offer great sound quality and be unobtrusive — and white grilles recessed into a white background are about as invisible as you can get. These are powered by a combination of Cloud CXA850 and CXV225 power amplifiers. Situated in the front lounge are multiples of JBL Control 24CT Micro+ (8in) and 26CT (10in) speakers, with further multiples of Control 24CT Micro+ and Control 24CT in the main restaurant and a similar solution in the two private dining booths. The added bonus for private guests is they can have their own iPod playlists, while the local BLU-3 wall controller will provide them with their own local level control. The first-floor function suite 

which can be used by corporate and private clients alike, as well as the ancillary upstairs areas — including a self-contained private bar — take a similar approach, with the larger JBL 24CTM model installed. Additional JBL Control 19CS 8in bass ceiling speakers provide low-frequency extension, warmth and depth of sound for private clients, at the same time allowing a louder party atmosphere to be created by DJs or live performers onstage. Located discreetly behind the food dispense station is a BSS Soundweb London BLU-8 touchpanel for local source select and level control for all of the upstairs areas.

Portable PA The DJ/Live/iPod input point at the stage allows a nicely matched portable PA system for added sound reinforcement to be plugged in as necessary for meetings and corporate presentations. This comprises a Yamaha EMX501C 12-channel powered audio mixer (with SPX FX), a pair of conferencestandard EV ZX1 compact 200W portable speakers, Shure wireless PGX24 handheld microphone systems and a

matching pair of Shure wireless WL93 tie clip lavalier mics. Thus hi-fi quality sound is perfectly distributed throughout the venue — from DJs playing largely Western music and private clients bringing more ethnic Asian music. However, for the most part the audio is supplied on hard drive as digital background music files by 8Track Music Solutions. Abercorn’s owner, Mitul, is delighted with the impact this has created. “David Graham’s team has done an excellent job. I outlined what I wanted — the different sound zones, TV zones and signal sources — and his project designer worked out the system that I needed and what components were best fit for purpose. The GUI is the most easy to operate there is, and a lot of work has clearly gone into designing it.� “This proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding contracts we have undertaken,� responds Graham. “The importance of good teamwork, and a client that really understood what he wanted, was of paramount importance — and had a major impact on the delivery of this advanced AV solution.� IE































DVI-U The Universal I/O compatible with


The Video Processing Specialists TV One Ltd., Unit V, Continental Approach, Westwood Industrial Estate, Margate, Kent CT9 4JG, UK Tel: +44 (0)1843 873311 Fax +44 (0)1843 873312

Stand 3C106


E&OE. All Copyrights and Trademarks are acknowledged

IE December 2011 37

Solutions: Archaeological Museum, Baza / Ilie Oană Stadium, Ploieşti

Burial is brought to life A 3D projection – in slightly cramped surroundings – is proving a major draw at this Spanish museum Installed Video . Christie Mirage DS+6K-M projector . Traulux Deep Impact Lite media player . Volfoni active 3D glasses

for an active system based on the Mirage M series, because of the image quality these products offer, their compatibility with a wide range of image formats and the low maintenance costs.”

Challenging layout Like the projector, the screen is mounted at an unusual angle because of the shape of the space

he Archaeological Museum and Interpretation Centre in the Andalucian town of Baza have recently reopened after a revamp and extension. Espai-Visual won the tender for the museum project, and brought on board the Projects Workshop at the University of Barcelona, as well as Charmex


Internacional to supply the AV and IT equipment. The centre boasts an exact replica of the Dama de Baza, an Iberian painted limestone sculpture dating from the 4th century BC, which was discovered in the necropolis of ancient Baza. One of the museum’s main draws is a 3D projection that imagines the

final moments of the sculpture’s burial. This uses a Christie Mirage DS+6K-M stereoscopic projector – a 3chip DLP, 6300 ANSI lumens model with SXGA+ resolution. José Luis Álvarez, manager of Espai-Visual, says the quality of the attraction was paramount. After rejecting a passive circular 3D system, “we eventually went

The projector is positioned in the building’s elliptical dome at an inclination of around 45º to the floor, and projects onto a 220cm (W) x 240cm (H) screen that is itself inclined at 30º to the floor. The greatest challenge here was the short distance between the lens and the screen, as well as the difficulty in anchoring the projector. “Our technical department had to design a special support to fix the projector and at the same time to ensure its mobility,” Álvarez points out.

The projector’s geometric image correction feature was used to fit the content onto the angled projection surface. The stereoscopic content comes from a Traulux Deep Impact Lite player, integrated by Charmex Internacional. For the 3D it uses a synchroniser and Volfoni glasses. The projection is screened at 1400 x 1050. Espai-Visual is happy with the result. “The projector’s performance is excellent, every bit as good as we had hoped for,” says Álvarez. “We have been dying to get our hands on one of Christie’s projectors for years, and I can safely say it really makes all the difference.” Lorenzo Sánchez, director of Baza Archaeological Museum, is equally happy with the installation: “I’m delighted with the quality of the projection. The definition is amazing. It is undoubtedly the most striking display in the whole Interpretation Centre.” IE 

A modern milestone The rebuilt Ilie Oana Stadium in Romania boasts an increased capacity and a modern audio setup lie Oana Stadium, current home of football club FC Petrolul Ploiesti, has reopened with a seating capacity of 15,500. The new construction replaces the former Ilie Oana Stadium, which was completed in 1937 and demolished in 2010. Now regarded as one of the most modern stadium complexes in Romania, it has already been appointed by UEFA to host the group matches and semi-finals of the Champions League football tournament. It meets all UEFA requirements and features topclass media facilities with two TV studios, nine transmission platforms and much more. An audio design devised by FBS Lines in conjunction with the RCF project department includes 24 RCF P6215 and 28 RCF P4228 speakers to cover the tribune sections. Amplification is via


Installed Audio

RCF kit, including P6215 and P4228 speakers, is installed throughout the stadium

All RCF . P6215 and P4228 speakers . DPS 3000 and HPS 2500 power amplifiers . DX 4008 digital loudspeaker management units . M1033 CD-USB MP3 FM tuner

six RCF DPS 3000 2-channel and eight RCF HPS 2500 2channel power amplifiers, while control is from two RCF DX 4008 digital loudspeaker management units and an RCF M1033 CD-USB MP3 FM tuner.

Major investment A FBS Lines spokesperson described the project as “simply a milestone installation. Everything has been working according to the plans and we have ended up with a superb solution for the

Ilie Oana Stadium. We are receiving many positive comments about our work. It has been great to see that the investment into a modern audio system solution is on the same high level as all the other segments that are within the stadium construction. It was important for us to be part of this project from the beginning and it also [demonstrated] that we could supply the optimal solution. I am sure

that this installation will add future references to RCF in our country.” With several kilometres of 4 x 4 cable installed throughout the Ilie Oana Stadium the RCF system is now at work. So just like the recent RCF fitout at

the Juventus Stadium, the crowd attending the matches of FC Petrolul Ploiesti will experience balanced audio when watching their team’s effort to score some goals. IE

ONLINE EXTRAS: VIDEO . To watch a video of the RCF installation visit IE December 2011 39

FOCUSED ON THE DETAILS In developing the CBT Series, JBL engineers focused on the requirements most critical to your project - Coverage, Consistency, Sound Quality, and Clarity. Designed from the ground up with a host of technical innovations you would expect from JBL, the passive CBT Series speakers achieve the performance of higher cost active systems. Easy to use and affordable, they're at the forefront of intelligent sound design solutions. Models show without included grilles. All models available in black or white.

Consistent Coverage One key to providing superb sound quality at every seat is consistent vertical coverage. The CBT’s patented Constant Beamwidth Technology™ focuses more of the sound directly on the audience. Fewer out-ofcoverage reflections result in a higher direct-to-reverberant ratio and more direct sound at the listeners. And the consistent coverage within the listening area results in a consistent SPL and frequency response, without the hot spots typical of other systems.

Discover the details of Constant Beamwidth Technology at or © 2011 Harman International Industries Incorporated

Consistent SPL Level Throughout the Room Asymmetrical Vertical Coverage of the CBT 70J-1's sends higher sound levels toward the back of the coverage area for more consistent overall SPL, further ensuring a great sound at every listening location. With JBL designed components for greater fidelity, the CBT Series speakers deliver clearer music and more intelligible speech.

Exceptional Versatility Their tall, slender design, variety of sizes and multiple mounting options, allow for inconspicuous installation into a wide range of architectural styles. Based on the application, you can choose Switchable Broad or Narrow Coverage Patterns. Versatile in both sound and function, the CBT Series speakers provide remarkably high sound levels from speakers that are barely visible, making them the intelligent solution for sound reinforcement and permanent installation.

Product Choice

New this month We present our choice of new products for the installation market Polycom


UC Board



It’s… A whiteboard solution that allows users to leverage existing video display screens and mobile devices for interactive video collaboration across a wide range of professions and industries.

It’s… A dual-arm moving projector yoke designed for live events, theatre productions and staging applications in small to mid-sized venues where space is at a premium.

Details: Said to be the first integrated video collaboration whiteboard technology of its kind, the UC Board is a cost-effective solution combining a plug-and-play receiver and stylus for ease of use in a compact portable design. It incorporates a compact infrared sensor that attaches to a whiteboard or LCD screen, allowing the wireless stylus to be used as a conventional pen or marker. The software natively integrates with Polycom’s latest RealPresence Room HDX solutions

Details: The YK50 is the newest addition to Christie’s Nitro Solutions family of yokes and projectors. Smaller than the YK100 (single-arm yoke) and YK200 (dual-arm yoke) models, it is designed for use with the LX700 and LHD700 and can be used as a moving light or moving video projector. In these applications it delivers 7,000 ANSI lumens output, making it suitable for houses of worship, museums, trade shows and nightclubs. Like other models in the range,

to share content “naturally, efficiently and easily”. Participants in a video meeting can also share content and write, annotate or highlight key points on top of a presentation for everyone to see in real time. Said to be easy to install and significantly more costeffective than solutions requiring specialised fixed equipment, the

UC Board can be set up in minutes via direct USB connection to a Polycom HDX system in the room. And also: The UC Board can also be used to record and stream whiteboard content using Polycom RealPresence Platform solutions for applications such as training and education.

the YK50 is ‘server agnostic’, allowing continued use of existing equipment. The server can also be changed without affecting the luminaire. Precision control (via DMX512) is possible using a single lighting console and there’s a choice between XGA and HD video resolutions. And also: The YK50 employs high-resolution DC servo motors for movement accuracy, repeatability and low backlash.

IE December 2011 41

Every 2 minutes someone faces losing their home...Happy Christmas

‘I work and am trying to make a better life for my daughter but this is taking away our future. I am at my wit’s end and see no way out.’ Becky, 26 and Tiarna, 4.

Becky and her partner were looking forward to the arrival of their daughter, Tiarna, when they were forced to leave their home. After a spell of homelessness they were moved into a cramped, one-bedroom flat, where they are still trapped four years on.* Please make a company donation today and help families like Becky’s, who face losing their homes. In return for your generosity, this December, we’ll publicly say ‘thank you’ to your company in our full page advert in Metro, seen by over two million people.†

Visit or call 0344 515 2067 now. Kindly supported by

*Becky and Tiarna are currently being helped by Shelter. To read more real-life stories like theirs, please visit †

T&C’s apply. Contact for more details.

RH4141.8. Registered charity in England and Wales (263710) and in Scotland (SC002327).

Product Choice Outline



Manager KIOSK

It’s… Outline’s Advanced Technology Audio System Initiative (ATASI) centred on iMode technology – as incorporated in the MiniCOM.P.A.S.S. active line array system and iSM floor monitors. Details: iMode embeds a Linuxbased CPU with integrated DSP chip, parameter control software, web server and power amplifier within each speaker cabinet, streamlining setup and control by eliminating the outboard gear

between the console and power amplifier. The benefits of ATASI are said to cover every aspect of a live sound installation. Through iMode the audio signal travels directly to the enclosures, reducing installation time and costs. All system parameters can be addressed through any webenabled device and therefore accessed from within the auditorium, an office – or even from home. This means, for example, that an engineer can tune the floor monitors directly from the stage.

It’s… Programmable software for interactive kiosk applications.

And also: iMode is tamper-proof, as everything the system needs to operate is enclosed in the cabinets and password protected.

Details: Manager KIOSK is a kiosk application generator providing media control of interactive applications in museums, theme park attractions, etc. Medialon describes it as the ideal solution when links to other controls and external systems are required without the need for C++ or Flash programming. The new software benefits from Medialon Manager’s control

programming environment, graphical user interface and easy programming tools. And also: Manager KIOSK includes a fully programmable web browser and media player.



Make room for even more flexibility.

NuVo whole home audio systems are the most flexible of their kind – with Essentia®, Concerto® and Renovia® all compatible with the keypads of your choice. So now your customers can mix and match, and have lots of room to roam. Visit

It’s… A range of LED drivers, digital dimming ballasts, sensors, motorised blinds and controls designed as an end-to-end solution scalable to any project. Details: Said to offer guaranteed compatibility irrespective of the installation, EcoSystem is designed to work on multiple levels. For large-scale installations where light control is required across floors, buildings or campuses, the system can be combined with Lutron’s Quantum total light management solution. For smaller installations, it can be used alongside Energi Savr Node QS controls allowing easy integration of occupancy sensors, daylight sensors and digital controls with EcoSystem’s ballasts and LED drivers. The EcoSystem LED Driver and EcoSystem H-Series digitally addressable fluorescent ballasts provide smooth, continuous, flicker-free dimming from 1% to 100% and can operate each fixture individually, or as a group (with up to 100 groups). And also: The EcoSystem LED Driver has a 50,000-hour lifetime rating and can be configured to meet a wide range of requirements including voltage and current levels (respectively) from 8V to 40V and 200mA to 2.05A – up to 25W.

Whole Home Audio

IE December 2011 43

Product Choice AMX


HydraPort Connections

Converter & Scaler AD/D

It’s… An addition to AMX’s HydraPort system introducing three low-profile options for connecting laptops and portable devices to lecterns, desks or tables. Details: The flush-mountable six-module, nine-module and 12-module units are said to offer all the versatility of the HydraPort system at an “extremely costeffective price point”. The HydraPort connection modules are fully configurable, allowing installers to easily meet to the AV

and power needs of any room environment. These include individual HDMI, RGB+Audio and DVI+Audio connection modules, Ethernet and USB pass-through modules and power modules meeting regulatory standards for US, UK, EU, Australia and India. And also: The HydraPort Connection Preview is an easy-touse web application to guide installers through the process of building a connection port for a deployment.

It’s… A converter and scaler for use with projectors and other digital devices. Details: The TLS Converter & Scaler AD/D is designed to convert analogue input signals to digital signals to facilitate connection of DVI devices such as projectors, TFTs and LCDs to analogue sources such as the VGA output of a graphics card. Supplied with its own remote control, the Converter & Scaler AD/D is designed to provide

automatic recognition of all common VGA resolutions up to 1920 x 1200. And also: It is housed in an 118mm x 42mm x 148mm aluminium cabinet and powered via external 100-240 VAC/5V DC power supply.


F35 AS3D

Flat Speaker.

Sparkling Sound.

It’s… A 3D single-chip DLP projector said to offer the highest resolution of any comparable model.

THE ONLY FLAT CEILING TILE SPEAKER IN THE INDUSTRY WITH BUILT-IN STEREO SEPARATION Constructed with a central driver and four pivoting tweeters that direct the sound based on the room environment, Kramer’s COMPLETE K-OVERAGE ESD™ provides unmatched true 180° Equal Sound Dispersion (ESD) sound response in a suspended ceiling device for the professional and educational markets and replacing the need for multiple standard speakers. Available in stereo or mono models and in full tile and half tile size configuration

International customers: For further product information, visit for your local distributor. In the UK: Tel: +44(0) 1296330011 E-mail: Website: © 2011 Kramer Electronics Ltd. All rights reserved.

44 IE December 2011

Details: With up to 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution at full 120Hz refresh rates, the F35 AS3D is designed to display fully uncompressed 3D, offering “more detail than any projector in its size, price and performance category”. It features a wide range of specially designed highresolution projection lenses and incorporates projectiondesign’s RealColor colour management suite for accurate on-site calibration and enhanced colour accuracy. The projector offers brightness levels up to 7,500 ANSI lumens, a range of configuration options plus seamless switching between 3D and 2D. Additional benefits include user-adjustable Smear Reduction Processing designed to reduce motion artefacts in highspeed imaging. And also: The F35 AS3D is said to produce “natural and precise” colours and image quality guaranteed over any number of projection channels.

Out of the box performance. Out of this world reliability. Switch. Extend. Distribute. Whatever the signal type or transmission medium, analog or digital, fiber or UTP, solutions from Magenta Research provide unmatched performance and reliability for the extension, switching and flexible distribution of pro AV signals. MultiView™ Series: Still the industry’s top choice for AV signal distribution over UTP, with an unmatched distance reach of 2,000 feet. Combine with the Mondo Matrix™ III for full matrix switching options to 256x512. Voyager: Fiber-optic-based signal delivery system that handles both analog and digital video (including HDCP) with switching solutions from 8x8 to 160x160 and even larger! Infinea: A suite of products designed to effortlessly extend and distribute DVI or HDMI video over UTP and fiber.


MAGENTA RESEARCH LTD +1.860.210.0546 |


Tel. +45 33 85 40 40 ·

They were nervous at first but then everyone relaxed. Touchscreen Conferencing™ had taken the edge off the meeting. Participants felt able to speak up, though no one felt the need to shout. The agenda progressed without a hitch and even the really difficult issues seemed less divisive. They shook hands and went home.

Touchscreen Conferencing ™

Sector Showcase

Projection screens Whether you’re after high gain, borderless images, screens that can also be written on, or versatile two-in-one solutions, our round-up of some of the more recent offerings from projection screen manufacturers has something for you dnp takes Supernova Flex into volume market

Screenline’s Galileo proves that two into one will go

By producing a simpler, more affordable version of its award-winning Supernova Flex product, dnp has entered the volume market for retractable screens. The Supernova Flex Classic is aimed at the mid-to-high end of the market; while it is primarily intended for boardrooms and meeting rooms, the company suspects that it will also find a following among movie or game aficionados in the home market. Half the price of the model that it is derived from, it features a simpler housing and suspension system – it has a dark grey drop above the screen, rather than being suspended by wires. As well as reducing the screen’s cost, this design change makes it simpler to install. Optical performance is exactly the same as that of the Supernova Flex – the world’s first optical screen to break the 15:1 contrast barrier. It uses the same highcontrast filters to absorb ambient light, enabling extremely clear images – both on- and off-axis – even in high-brightness conditions. Images have up to seven times more contrast and twice the brightness compared with projection on conventional front screens. This makes darkening the room unnecessary, even when ambient light

Italian manufacturer Screenline reports growing interest from European systems integrators in its Galileo double-surface projection screen. Although the product has been available for two years, it has taken time for the market to understand the high levels of flexibility that Galileo offers, claims the company. Galileo’s most innovative feature – believed to be unique – is that there are two independent projection surfaces within the same box, which can be operated separately. This arrangement offers solutions that would be impossible with standard products, says Screenline. The product makes projects possible that require two different projection solutions in the same place. For instance, the system can accommodate two screens of different aspect ratios – typically 16:9 and 21:9 – one of which is used at a time, depending on the material being shown. Alternatively, by choosing two screens of the same size and format placed back-to-back, both screens can be used simultaneously when frontprojected from both sides with either the same or different material. A third option is

levels are high. The retractable screen is operated by remote control, and the noiseless electrical motor ensures that it slides up into its housing quickly and easily. The housing, which is coloured white as standard, can be wall- or ceiling-mounted. The screen is available in 84in, 100in and 118in 16:9 versions, and in a 100in 16:10 version.

to use front and rear-projection simultaneously. The final option is to fit a projection surface plus an obscuring cloth. The latter can be embellished by a decoration printed from any artwork file, such as a company logo. Other competitive differentiators cited by Screenline include the high-quality design and reliability of the Somfy’s motors and electronic control unit, along with the pleasing aesthetic design of the casing. For applications requiring the screen to disappear when not in use, Galileo is also available in an in-ceiling version.

Projecta’s Tensioned Descender Electrol stays flat Draper’s Premier electric screen eliminates puckering around tensioning tabs It goes without saying that – unless you’re working in the realm of projecting onto buildings – a flat projection surface is essential to provide a clear, undistorted picture. Especially for larger projection screens, tab tensioning is a popular means of ensuring that the projection surface remains completely flat and wrinkle-free. Draper’s Premier electric screen uses an automatic tab tensioning system that is claimed to deliver high quality at a lower cost than many other tensioned electric screens – even less versatile models. It is guaranteed against tab separation for five years from the date of manufacture – in addition to a general one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Draper has recently changed to a new tab tensioning system that it says marks a significant improvement in tab tensioned screen design. This new system eliminates the puckering that is often seen around the edges of tab-tensioned screens from various manufacturers – including Draper. The projected image is framed by standard black masking borders at the sides and a 12in (300cm) black drop is standard. Premier can be mounted to the wall or

ceiling, and even recessed into the ceiling. Durability is provided by a rugged steel case. The in-roller motor is mounted on vibration insulators for smooth, silent operation. It is available in a range of viewing surfaces to suit the application, with many control options, including plug and play, low-voltage controller and quiet motor. Premier can be obtained in in 4:3, 16:10, 16:9, 15:9 and ‘AV’ aspect ratios. The largest available size is 488cm x 366cm.

In its tensioned projection screens, Projecta places much emphasis on ensuring flatness not only at the time of installation, but over many years and in different environmental conditions. One reason for selecting a tensioned projection screen is that it can withstand changes in temperature and humidity better than a non-tensioned product; in addition, a more resilient material will result in a longer product lifecycle. Projecta’s Tensioned Descender Electrol is among the company’s products that use nonsupported vinyl materials specifically designed for two-piece projection. The projection screen surface is tensioned in all four directions by a teardrop-shaped aluminium extruded slat bar and nylon tensioning cables on each side to match with the curves of the screen sides. The parabolic shape of the projection surface is cut according to special computer calculations; the curvature is different for every screen size. The curvature calculation is also said to hold future tensioning into account, so the screen material will stay flat over years to come. The Tensioned Descender Electrol is a

ceiling-recessed projection screen, so it completely disappears from sight when not in use – a highly desirable feature in many commercial applications. However, thanks to the company’s Easy Serviceability System, the motor and screen surface remain accessible for adjustments or maintenance when the screen is installed in the ceiling: the bottom panel, with the motor and screen surface, can be lowered from the case while remaining connected. The case and projection surface are fully customisable: they can be made any size, and the case is available in any colour for optimal integration with any interior decor. IE December 2011 47

Sector Showcase

AV Stumpfl’s Fullwhite can float images in space

In the world of LED and plasma displays, manufacturers seem to be falling over each other to announce thinner and thinner bezels around the edges of their products. In the world of projection, however, having a border around the outside of a cloth screen seems to be something that people have just accepted – until now. AV Stumpfl’s Fullwhite is a screen with a borderless projection area and a highly stable frame. It’s suitable for fixed and mobile installations that call for invisible technology and purity of design. The modular frame units connect together on the sides rather than at the corners. One-piece corner units manufactured to precision tolerances lend stability to the frame. The units connect by means of clamp connectors that fit inside

the hollow frame. Overall, says AV Stumpfl, the patent-pending plug-in frame design is as stable as a one-piece system and allows for nearly every frame size. The projection surface is tensioned over the frame and fixed to the rear of the frame with hookand-loop tape or clips. Various invisible mounting options are available. Universal mounting fittings can be positioned individually within the rebate behind the screen, making it possible to mount the screen on a wall, or fly it from the ceiling – so that the projected image seems to float in space. Pictured is a 11m x 3m Fullwhite screen at the 2010 Bregenzer Festspiele, an annual Austrian performing arts festival.

Versawhite is a projection and writing surface

Sometimes you need to be able to cater for people who are dipping a toe into the water of new technology while still wanting to use the old. A case in point is whiteboards in schools, conference rooms, boardrooms and training facilities: these may need to serve both as projection surfaces (traditional or interactive) and as writing surfaces for dry-erase markers. However, regular whiteboards are not designed for use with projectors: they have no colour neutrality, and the writing surface is either too glossy (creating too much glare) or too matt (making full erasure of markings difficult). Step forward Elite Screens, which claims to have solved the problem with its Versawhite material, which is coated with a highly durable scratch-resistant optical

nanotech resin. It is colour neutral, glarefree and easy to erase on. Offering a 1.1 gain, Versawhite can be used with interactive and short-throw projectors. It is available in three formats: the traditional whiteboard (Whiteboard Universal) comes in 58in and 77in 4:3 models and a 94in 16:9 model. Alternatively, it can be supplied as a pliable material designed for converting empty wall space into a combined projection screen/whiteboard. These ‘instant whiteboards’ attach via an adhesive backing (in the case of the Insta-DE, pictured) or by a ferromagnetic backing (for the Insta-DEM). They come in 52in and 84in 4:3 models, 85in102in (16:9), 78in-95in (16:10), plus a 48in x 120in conventional presentation model.



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48 IE December 2011

The No.1 show for professional AV and electronic systems integration presented by

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ISE 2012 is the place to be for thought leadership, market intelligence, and open, honest debate. With pre-show conferences, dozens of seminars from InfoComm and CEDIA, and extensive manufacturer training, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to education. If there are lessons to be learned for the future, you’ll hear them at ISE 2012.

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Unity of purpose

The ability to provide comprehensive AV services will help to fend off competition from the IT sector, says the CEO/co-founder of this Hamburg-based VC systems integrator Vidofon (which became Dekom earlier this year) was established in 2001. How mature was the videoconferencing market at that time, and how long did it take the company to carve out a niche?

I would say that it was very immature, because there were no real VC specialists in the market at that stage – only general AV integrators. In addition, while there was a good level of knowledge about ISDN, a lot of people in the industry knew nothing about IP. We jumped on the IP train very quickly, but it took a while for [customer demand to catch up]! In October 2001, we had three customers, no cashflow, and I was driving a pizza delivery van at night to pay my bills. Fortunately, business began to pick up quite quickly thereafter, and by 2003 we had started to make a mark on the German VC sector. In recent years, the company has established a presence in many parts of Western Europe. What have been the key turning points along the way?

The purchase of Dekom in January 2010 was very significant. It brought a further

22 people into the business – Vidofon had 30 at that point – and since that time our total staff has grown to 76. An issue surrounding the European registration of the Vidofon brand led us to change the name of the whole business to Dekom in May this year, and that has proven to be a good decision; Dekom has a long history of highquality AV integration projects and enjoys a high level of name recognition. We have also recently acquired our long-term external marketing and graphics agency, Digitage, and that has really added to our capabilities. Take the example of a large company that has implemented HD VC for the first time, incorporating extensive infrastructure and 20-50 end-points. Ownership of our marketing agency allows us to provide customer deployment campaigns, commitment campaigns, specially branded user guides, and more. Meanwhile, our international presence has been strengthened by subsidiaries in Spain and, as of this year, the Netherlands.

customer A is using brand Y, and customer B is using brand Z, and a call between the two fails, you need to be able to work out why. It’s simply not satisfactory to say, ‘Oh, I’m just not familiar with that system.’

‘VC has become a strategic tool for all kinds of companies’

More and more companies with a background in IT are exploring the VC market. Which factors/services will help you to fend off the competition?

What are the principal brands that Dekom deploys in its VC projects? And to what extent is a multi-brand approach important to your business?

The largest portion of our projects is based around Cisco and LifeSize, but we are also deploying Polycom and Radvision Technology in our work. From a manufacturer perspective, this multi-brand approach can make things difficult as, clearly, each company wants you to buy the most product from them. But from a customer perspective, it is essential because it allows you to provide the solution which has the best price/ performance ratio for any customer. Knowledge of multiple systems also helps with trouble-shooting. If

In what ways has the motivation behind investment in VC systems changed over the decade of Dekom/Vidofon’s existence?

For the first five years, cutting travel expenses was the main reason for buying a VC system. But since then, it has only been one part of what customers wish to achieve. In particular, for nearly all clients today it is more important to get decision-makers and knowledge-carriers to the table without the need to fly or unnecessary loss of time. Decisionmakers and knowledge-carriers all have extremely busy schedules and getting them face-to-face can be very difficult, which means that VC has become a strategic communication tool for all kinds of companies, including SMEs and large enterprises.

It is true that a lot of companies are now moving into VC worldwide, but they are frequently unable to offer the very deep know-how regarding the smart use of VC infrastructure or the high-level AV integration – including audio, lighting and more – that we can provide. Our documentation, language skills, managed service capability, international presence and manufacturer-neutrality will also stand us in good stead. Business grew more slowly in 2009-10 as a result of the economic situation, but we have experienced double-digit growth throughout the last decade and 2011 was another very strong year. If the current pattern continues into 2012, we will be more than happy! IE

. Jörg Weisflog was speaking to David Davies.

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Subscriptions to Installation Europe are free to qualified readers. Register online at Installation Europe is published 12 times a year by Intent Media London, 1st Floor, Suncourt House, 18-26 Essex Road, London N1 8LR, England Circulation and subscription enquiries Tel: +44 (0)1858 438786 Fax +44 (0)1858 434958 Intent Media 2011, Tower House, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9EF, UK Editorial tel +44 (0)20 7226 7246 Sales tel +44 (0)20 7354 6000 Editor Paddy Baker Managing editor Joanne Ruddock Designer Claire Brocklesby Sales manager Yolanda Ayora Sales executive Les Wood US sales representative Michael Mitchell +1 631 673 3199 Senior production executive Alistair Taylor Production executive Florence Beaumont Digital content manager Tim Frost Intent Media is Publisher Steve Connolly Managing director Stuart Dinsey Contributors Mike Clark, David Davies, Gez Kahan, Nigel Lord, Ian McMurray, Steve Montgomery, Blair Parkin, Adrian Pennington, Bob Snyder Special thanks this issue a member of Jerry Gilbert, Mike Lethby © Intent Media 2011. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior the Periodical Publishers Association permission of the copyright owners. Printed by Headley Brothers, UK 50 IE December 2011


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