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IE INSTALLATION EUROPE

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News and Contents . NEWS & DATA

Polycom announces Moves at top new Cloud strategy of Revolabs Service providers will be able to fast-track delivery of video-as-aservice Intention is to boost uptake of Polycom video collaboration solutions among SMBs Polycom has detailed its strategy to enable service providers (SPs), such as telcos, to offer Cloud-delivered Videoas-a-Service (VaaS) solutions to customers. As part of the solution, the company has unveiled Polycom RealPresence Cloud, a wholesale carrier-ready offering to enable SPs to quickly bring to market VaaS offerings. RealPresence Cloud solutions are designed specifically for SPs to equip them with the carrier-grade infrastructure, endpoints and services they need to offer businesses of all sizes subscription-based solutions for video collaboration. The new offering is designed to accelerate the penetration and adoption of Polycom video collaboration solutions among small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises that want either a hybrid solution of both premises-based video collaboration

solutions and video on demand, or a pure VaaS solution. RealPresence Cloud solutions encompass a managed multipoint video service that supports a multitude of connectivity options between standards-based room, mobile, PC, and web-based endpoints, as well as Microsoft Lync 2010, IBM Sametime, and endpoints supporting the nonstandard TIP protocol. Several carriers around the world are currently using the RealPresence Platform as the enabler for VaaS solutions. For example, China Unicom has created one of the largest video clouds in the world, powered by the RealPresence Platform, which enables the delivery of VaaS to more than 10,000 business and government organisations throughout China. According to Polycom, this development builds on the company’s goal of making video collaboration ubiquitous; it follows an announcement in 2011 regarding a move towards open standards-based interoperability across the communications environment.  www.polycom.com

. VIEWS

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UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS Wireless unified communications company Revolabs has announced that co-founder and CEO Martin Bodley (pictured) is to become non-executive chairman of the board. Co-founder JeanPierre (JP) Carney has been named the company’s chief executive officer. “I will miss the day-to-day interaction with the team at Revolabs, but I look forward to the strategic focus that I can bring to the company when freed from operational duties,” said Bodley. Since its founding, Carney has been responsible for Revolabs’ sales, marketing, product definition and strategic partnership programmes.  www.revolabs.com

Amsterdam to host AV Networking Congress INDUSTRY EVENT Following the success of similar events in recent years, key manufacturers including Lab.gruppen, Peavey Commercial Audio, Bosch Communications Systems, Yamaha Commercial Audio, Audinate and ASL will be hosting an all-day event on Tuesday 31 January at the Holiday Inn Amsterdam. The 2012 AV Networking Congress

www.installationeurope.com

will provide an opportunity for AV design consultants and pro-audio manufacturers to share their expertise in the rapid convergence from analogue to digital media networks. The congress will be a multi-session panel-based event, covering a wide range of installation application topics, including voice alarm and evacuation systems, stadiums and large venues, digital media in theatres and an introduction to the OCA (Open Control

3 News The latest installation news from across Europe 10 Data Broadband subscribers investing in value-added services 15 The ISE Daily in IE The 2012 show is here at last 55 Product Choice Our pick of the latest new products

Architecture) Alliance – as well as a look at the evolution of digital audio transport, presented by Audinate CTO Aidan Williams. Among the panel of leading independent consultants to take part in the discussions will be Sam Wise of Arup (UK), Richard Northwood of COMS (UK) and Martin Wunderlich (Wunderton).

12 Opinion: AV and IT Vendor evaluation is an important process for integrators 36 The IE Interview Tim Penn of Chief talks technology 58 Q&A Duffy Wilbert, PAMA on the future of the alliance

. MARKETS 21 Green AV Growing demand creates an opportunity 25 IPTV AV must embrace IT to make the most of this market 29 Distributor Focus – UK The market remains buoyant 36 Concert Halls Some of the best installs across Europe

. SOLUTIONS 38 Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik A world-class venue with a high level of integration 44 Palacio de Comunicaciones, Madrid Beam-shaping technology proves the solution 45 Evangelische Kirche, Wahrenholz An updated audio system caters to the needs of a modern congregation 47 Autostadt, Wolfsburg Germany’s first automotive theme park embraces social media 48 Media Centre, St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh The Scottish government’s briefing facility is upgraded 51 Museum Podium Speelklok, Utrecht Overcoming poor acoustics Cover image: Harpa, Reykjavik, courtesy of

 www.avnetworkingcongress.com

Exton/Kristján Maack

IE February 2012 3


News and New Partners

New Partners Philips Vari-Lite has appointed Svetlost Teatar as its distributor for Serbia. Specialising in the installation of entertainment technology for theatres and other related venues, Svetlost Teatar has operations in Moscow, Skopje and Belgrade. www.philips.com www.steatar.rs

Another busy year for BETT Reducing costs and future proofing at the forefront of exhibitors’ thinking From 2013 the show will move to ExCel London By James McGrath

Pixled has been named as the distributor for LED display manufacturer Radiant’s Linx range in key European countries. Pixled and Radiant have been involved in a codevelopment agreement for almost two years, with Pixled selling Radiant’s ‘L-Series’ Linx products badged as Pixled F-37L/F-30L, etc. www.pixled.com

Televic Conference has established a strategic alliance with webcasting specialist Company Webcast BV. The result is Televic Webcast powered by Company Webcast, a solution in the Cloud that adds live webcasting to the conference product range. www.companywebscast.com www.televic.com

Listen Technologies’ EMEA sales distribution will now be managed out of its Bluffdale, Utah headquarters. ListenPoint product group leader Tracy Bathurst and Craig Paller, product group leader for Wireless Listening, will now execute sales and marketing plans for ListenPoint and Wireless Listening worldwide. www.listentech.com

AV connectivity solutions provider Covid is now distributing Rainbow Fish fibre optic HDMI cables. The new product allows for HDMI transmission over fibre optics and supports video formats including 720p, 1080p, 1080i, 3D and 480i. www.covid.com www.rainbowfishcorp.com

Each year the BETT Show promises to showcase the best in UK and international education technology products and services, and 2012’s offering didn’t disappoint. With over 600 suppliers and 30,000 attendees, London’s Kensington Olympia housed an array of technological learning and teaching devices. The market as a whole seemed to be responding to recession-hit budgets by packing more technology into its offerings, as well as helping to reduce installation and maintenance costs. For example, AMX demonstrated how its technology can reduce costs by unifying audio and video networks in schools and universities.

Casio added value and product reassurance by offering a new five-year no-quibble warranty across its projector range. NEC has developed new short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors in the form of the M and U Series respectively. These are suitable for use with existing whiteboards, creating a fully interactive whiteboard and reducing costs of maintenance and installation. And as one of many examples of future-proof solutions on show, NEC presented its 3D-compatible V Series projector in anticipation of 3D entering the classroom. Promethean demonstrated a complete classroom solution from its Activ range, which included the new ActivTable, an ActivBoard 500 Pro and ActivMobile. The latter allows pupils to connect their own smartphone to the network to respond to questions from the teacher. This solution ensures the classroom is a collaborative environment and isn’t purely focused on the IWB at the front of the class.

Creston presented CaptureLiveHD, a solution targeted at colleges and corporate enterprises. It’s said to simplify the process of scheduling, recording and publishing online content for anything from seminars to medical procedures. Next year the show will move to ExCel London and run from 30 January to 2 February – unfortunate timing for those planning to attend ISE 2013.  www.bettshow.com

Uni thanks proAV over MediaCityUK campus EDUCATION AV UK integrator proAV has attracted praise for its work on the University of Salford’s new 100,000sqft MediaCityUK campus. The complex has opened after the completion of a £650 million project to equip its digital learning space with next-generation technologies. Andre Davis, the university’s audio visual & event co-ordinator, thanked proAV for “breezing through the massive project with a noticeably well-managed installation and for being remarkable in the way they faced each challenge”. The integrator was awarded the contract to equip the teaching and research space by main contractor Overbury, and the new campus was formally opened in October 2011.

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Key technologies include an extensive digital management system (DMS), which supports the broadcasting of multiple feeds from a range of data sources to selected displays across the site. In addition, an elaborate digital

signage system, IPTV, forward-thinking wireless connectivity, HD displays and projection equipment, webcams, a sophisticated audio system and presentation displays, including presenter preview PCs, dry wipe boards and glassboards were installed throughout. Jon Corner, director of MediaCityUK for the University of Salford, commented: “Students will now be able to benefit from our fantastic new facilities and they’ll also be able to rub shoulders with some of the best creative and technical minds in the country.” MediaCityUK is home to 20,000 students, 2,500 staff and 10 schools, and is one of Salford’s biggest employers.  www.proav.com

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News and Appointments

Appointments Audio Light Systems has appointed George Purves as business manager. Purves brings with him extensive experience throughout the retail and installation sector, previously holding a senior management role with Linn Products. www.audiolightsystems.com

Harman Professional has named Doug Green as director of sales for the EMEA region, while Harry McGee has joined the company’s mixer, microphones and headphones business unit. Green will be responsible for overseeing all sales activities in the region for Harman brands, including AKG, JBL and BSS Audio. McGee, meanwhile, will lead operations at Soundcraft, Studer and AKG. www.harman.com

Kramer Electronics is starting 2012 with an expanded team in the UK. David Vincent has joined as technical support manager; Mike Long is now area sales manager for the East and West Midlands; and Brendan Kent has has been named junior product manager. www.kramerelectronics.co.uk

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IE, PSNE begin year with expanded teams New staff writers for two Intent Media brands IE also has new-look sales team Installation Europe and sister title Pro Sound News Europe are rocketing into 2012 with the appointment of three new team members. James McGrath (pictured, right) and Erica Basnicki join as staff writers on IE and PSNE respectively, while Ian Graham (pictured, left) comes on-board as sales manager also with IE. James McGrath, 23, has already chalked up invaluable experience at a Nottinghamshire newspaper, a digital marketing agency and with telecoms giant Vodafone. “The Vodafone appointment in particular highlighted the importance of communication technology in helping companies evolve, and this relates directly to one of the exciting technologies on which IE is focused,” he says. James adds that one of his greatest achievements was researching and building nottinghamoncology.co.uk, a website dedicated to a leading cancer consultant. “The website portrayed Dr Stephen Chan’s practice in a professional and insightful way, and brought his vital skills to a much

wider audience. I was very proud to be part of that process.” Ian, 31, began his career at Fresh Produce Journal (“travelling extensively for the glamorous world of fruit and vegetables!”) before moving into live events publishing at titles including Live UK. More recently he has worked with The Festival Awards and the European Festival Awards, and additionally with an unsigned artist showcase event within the live music industry. Ian adds: “These showcase nights were instrumental in furthering the careers of acts including JLS.” Says editor Paddy Baker: “With James’ background in local newspaper journalism and commercial copywriting, and Ian’s talent for sponsorship deals and the wider

entertainment business, I am confident that they will both be strong additions to the Installation Europe team.” Ian completes the new IE sales team following the recent arrival of Les Wood (pictured, centre). New at PSNE, Erica, 31, is an experienced journalist and sound designer. She says her passion for audio began at a very early age when she discovered her grandfather's dictaphone, “and promptly proceeded to record over his legal notes”. Following the pursuit of a Bachelor of Journalism degree in her native Toronto, she then studied at Alchemea College of Audio Engineering in London. “I’m really thrilled to be joining the team at Pro Sound News Europe. Audio is my passion and now I’m able to indulge in it every day, and share with an audience of professionals. What more could a girl ask for? Oh, and I still have the dictaphone.” James, Ian and Les will all be at IE’s Meet the Team event at ISE to be held on stand 9C106 at 4pm on Tuesday 31 January.  www.installationeurope.com

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6 IE February 2012

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News and Comment

Editor’s Comment

For your diary

The product spec ceiling

ISCEx2012 28 February Watford, UK www.isce.org.uk

Is there less focus these days on ‘bigger, faster, better’ products? he approach of ISE has led me to think about the products that have been launched in the past couple of years at industr y tradeshows. It’s struck me that there’s been a recent, subtle shift in the types of developments being presented. What has changed is that numbers – by which I mean top-level specs – are much less likely to take centre stage. Until quite recently, manufacturers were announcing bigger and

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bigger displays, with thinner and thinner bezels (quoting thicknesses down to fractions of a millimetre). Makers of matrix switchers were launching devices with more and more I/Os. Companies making signal transport products were quoting increasing distances that their products work over. Projectors were of increasingly high resolution‌ and so on. Now, I’m not saying that there will be no more development in any of these areas, but I think there has been a noticeable slowdown in this rather inflationary type of progress. Taking all of these types of product in the round, it suggests that the industry has reached a point where the emphasis is no longer on pushing technologies as far as they can go; it’s about pragmatically providing the elements of reallife solutions. It’s a bit like supersonic air travel: Concorde

Visit our stand at Hall 5 Stand 5R92, Amsterdam RAI, 31 Jan - 2 Feb 2012

wasn’t replaced because the cost-benefit calculations didn’t stack up. From a product development perspective, we can expect to see increasing focus on functionality, interoperability, ease of integration, ease of use, value for money – all those good things. (This will be driven in part by software playing an increasingly important role in an evergreater range of products.) So if this year’s products don’t look particularly different from their predecessors, look under the bonnet and you’ll see signif icant changes in more subtle areas. Wise manufacturers have always pursued a policy of designing products to market demand, rather than simply trying to make the next generation product bigger, faster or whatever. But I believe that, now more than ever, it’s the

uses that integrators put products to that will dr ive development in this industry. And that’s exactly how things should be.

CABSAT MENA 2012 28 February - 1 March Dubai, UAE www.cabsat.com

a st month, I wrote about new staff joining Installation Europe, and I’m pleased to bring you more details now (see page 6). If you’re coming to ISE, please drop by the IE stand (9C106) at 4:00pm on Tuesday 31 January for a ‘Meet the Team’ event. We’ll all be there: our newest recruits Ian Graham (sales manager) and James McGrath (staff writer), recent joiner Les Wood (sales executive), and old stagers like Jo Ruddock (managing editor), Michael Mitchell (US sales) and me. I hope to see you there.

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paddy.baker@intentmedia.co.uk Press info: ienews@ intentmedia.co.uk Twitter: @installeurope

The ARC Show 29 February - 1 March London, UK www.thearcshow.com

Digital Signage Expo 6-9 March Los Angeles, US www.digitalsignageexpo.net

CeBIT 6-10 March Hanover, Germany www.cebit.de

Fast Turnaround TV 13 March London, UK www.fastturnaroundtv.com

Simple economics, TM brilliant IDEEA The compact and ultra-efďŹ cient E Series power ampliďŹ ers offer renowned Lab.gruppen performance to a market concerned with spiralling global energy prices and environmental pressures, delivering ample output with very low power consumption, and so reducing the cost of ownership for the end customer. The new install-centric range comprises three 1U two-channel power /.-,+*)('&%/,,%+$#"(-"(/!+$ %/ (--)$'%%$!),,+(+)%$)( % *#+)$!%.-,+*)(%!)#$"," +)' )(!+*)% /'% $)( % !/(%  % #".-,+/$!&% % )(+)'% -" )(% /.-,+*)('% /()% ) !(/"(+$/(+,% )*#+)$!% "!% +$%!)(.'% "% $)!% "-)(/!+$ % )*#+)$#% /$% !-+#/,% #(()$!% (/ % +'% ()#)% -" )(% #"$'.-!+"$% ()',!'% +$%," )(%,"$ !)(.%#"'!%"%" $)('+-%%/%)%'),,/,)%//$!/ )%"(% #"$!(/#!"('%/$%/%!/$ +,)%)$)*!%"(%)$')('%/!%/%!+.)% )$%)$)( % '!/$/('%/()%/$%+$#()/'+$ ,%+.-"(!/$!%/#!"( ".-/#!&% ) +,)% /$% )$+("$.)$!/,,% (+)$,% /.-,+*)(% )'+ $% !/!% ./)'%'"$%)#"$".+#%')$')%" %!)()'%/%(+,,+/$!%

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8 IE February 2012

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Industry Data

A valuable addition Broadband subscribers continue to spend on value-added services, but will this remain the case throughout 2012, asks Steve Montgomery? ow much revenue, on average, does a broadband subscriber generate and how much can value-added services contribute? Point Topic’s Consumer Broadband Value Added Services (BVAS) report looks at the key revenue-generating services purchased by subscribers globally. During 2010, value-added services such as security, voice over IP (VoIP) and IPTV added almost 37% to the basic broadband subscription. In other words, BVAS generated an extra $0.20 on top of the $28 monthly broadband subscription. These figures do not include revenues from online retailing. In aggregate terms, total broadband access revenues increased by 14% from a run rate of $129 billion at the end of 2009 to $157 billion at the end of 2010. During the same period, total valueadded services revenue increased from a rate of $48.8 million at the end of 2009 to $57.5 million at the end of 2010.

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10 IE February 2012

The 2010 numbers represent a slight levelling off in the percentage contribution made by value-added services. BVAS revenues have become increasingly important over the years, with the contribution increasing from 10% at the end of 2003, to 37.9% by the end of 2009.

Increasing importance This trend shows the penetration of value-added services and highlights that competition is reducing margins in the basic broadband business, so that BVAS revenues become proportionately more important. It remains to be seen whether the figure for 2011 will go up after the slight slowdown in 2010, or whether pressure on household budgets is controlling the amount of discretionary spend available for some entertainment services delivered over broadband.

IP telephony continues to be the most popular value-added service Source: Point Topic

The general trend since 2003 also reflects the fact that more people are doing more things via their broadband connection. Point Topic estimates that each broadband line supports, on average, two value-added services, up from an average of 1.72 per line at end 2009, and 0.53 at end 2003. In terms of revenue earned, VoIP was the most valuable service with VoIP

revenues (not including Skype) running at a rate of just over $17 billion at the end of 2010 and 120 million VoIP subscribers. These revenues come from subscribers using ‘full service’ VoIP services, with the IP service offering a substitution for a public switched telephone network (PSTN) service. IE 

www.point-topic.com

www.installationeurope.com


Opinion: AV and IT

Bob Snyder

Enter the Matrix AV integrators should consistently evaluate their vendors’ performance if they are to make the most of their relationships and experience

any of our readers make the effort to visit ISE, to see new products and meet new manufacturers and suppliers. Yet most AV system integrators have little or no system in place to consistently evaluate them. Manufacturers, on the other hand, constantly evaluate their distribution partners – benchmarks driven by evaluation and performance. At least twice a year, you should take a day to build your Vendor Vector Matrix. ‘Vendor’, in IT lingo, is a term that AV will adopt more and more. ‘Manufacturer’ is insufficient in an industry where manufacturer, software publisher and service provider become important. And ‘vendor’ differs from ‘supplier’ because a supplier could sell you staples and office pens. A vendor refers to any third-party product, software or service that you contract to re-sell. For a distributor that could be their ‘product lines’, but more and more in AV we’ll be selling services and software so ‘manufacturers’ and ‘product lines’ will yield to a more all-encompassing word like ‘vendor’. Probably many of you evaluate what percent of sales and what percent of profit your manufacturers and service providers contribute. And that’s great as both are Key Performance Indicators. Yet these two simple vectors simply are not enough to capture the whole dynamics of a vendor relationship. We tend to bump along and pick up opportunities – like hunters taking game. Instead, we should be more like farmers, carefully picking our crops, growing them, and always conscious of crop rotation and market value. For any integrator, including a distributor, the ‘vendor’ relationships you have are really no different than the hand of cards you may hold in a card game. In real life when we pick up something, like a product line, we tend to hang onto it because... well, because we are hanging on it. In business, particularly a business that integrates products and services from different vendors, you need to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em; you also need to know when and how to pick ’em. That’s where your Vendor Vector Matrix comes in. In mathematics, a matrix is a rectangular array of numbers, symbols, or expressions. The individual items in a matrix would be called its elements or entries. But in our case we will use ‘vectors’ instead of elements.

the company profitable? Are its sales going up faster than its industry segment average? Is it a take-over target? For example, any RADVISION partner in videoconferencing would have been able to predict its sale by watching its quarterly results and news of a fallen HP deal. If you can predict it early enough, you can prepare for its impact on your business.

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12 IE February 2012

Continuing commitment

‘Elements’ are too two-dimensional and too static to capture the magnitude and direction of your vendor partners. In IT, Gartner Research is famous for its proprietary ‘matrix’ known by its brand name: the Magic Quadrant. Gartner defines each industry segment by using a Magic Quadrant that shows which vendor has momentum and leads the direction of that particular sector.

‘You should always want to know where your next step could go’ So if you were to build a matrix of the vectors or tendencies that matter in a relationship between you and your suppliers, what else would you evaluate? We mentioned ‘contribution’, that is, how much sales and profit each vendor brings you. There are other factors that affect (and therefore predict) what will happen in the future in any given vendor’s contribution in sales and profits. Here are some suggestions:  Innovation: Does the vendor innovate often and add more reasons to buy their product? Is it a leader or an also-ran?

 Product line expansion: Where is the vendor’s product range going? Will it be entering into competition with any of your other vendors? Will they be demanding full range loyalty and penalising you for anything less?  Partner programme: Does the vendor offer a formal programme of co-operation that clearly marks out your commercial interests as well as theirs?  Logistics: Is the vendor good at getting you what you want on time?  Training & certification: Is the vendor offering free training? Do you have to buy certification?  Pricing & payments: How stable is their vendor? How flexible are their payment terms?  Brand: Is it a known name and therefore easy to sell? Does it add a halo to your own company reputation?

Relationship: How easy or difficult is it to work with this vendor? Does the salesperson working with you change too often?



 Commercial status: How is the vendor faring? Most of you don’t keep track of your vendors’ business success and that could be a costly mistake. Is

Many of these points are common sense. In fact, when a company is young and its founder has only two or three vendor relationships, the founder probably keeps track of all these factors without even realising it. Twenty years later and now with 12 product lines, circumstances have changed. You need to install a formal process that captures these types of detail each six months, a process that puts it on paper with a ranking scale that allows you to evaluate from the last to the newest vendor review. Each review zeroes in on the details that help you decide on your own commitment to your vendor, to focus your energies on the most rewarding relationships, to consider dropping lines. (Yes, fire your unprofitable or problematic vendors. It’s for the best. Believe me, they would fire you if the shoe was on the other foot.) Part and parcel with this exercise, you will need to consider the context of the industry segment of each vendor. For example, if it’s a video security vendor, how fast is the entire market growing? Where does this vendor fit in to the overall market? Who are the competitors and which partners have they chosen to be your competition? And that should lead you to another important question in the vendor evaluation process: what other products or segments would be compatible and even desirable to further sales? For example, if a rental AV company takes on the distribution of displays should you consider adding a line of display mounts? It makes no sense to go heavily after display sales without making money from the mounting. You should always want to know where your next step could go, based on each vendor’s vectors that show you where your vendor is headed (not where the vendor is today). Much of this Vendor Vector Matrix can fit on two sheets of paper and you won’t have anything more valuable than those papers. IE www.installationeurope.com


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The industry’s flagship event With ISE just around the corner, The ISE Daily team continues its preview of what to look out for s we mentioned in last month’s preview of ISE 2012, the showfloor promises to have more space and more companies (nearly 800 in total) showing their wares. There is also a significant education programme. CEDIA and InfoComm are presenting courses under the ISE Education Zone umbrella throughout the show, for varying levels of ability. For instance, new entrants to the industry, or those looking to diversify, might be interested in CEDIA’s Introduction to Residential Custom Installation (10:30-13:30, Tuesday 31 January) or InfoComm’s Introduction to Acoustics (11:30-12:30, Wednesday 1 February). Those wanting to keep up to date with more recent developments might consider CEDIA’s Embracing the Cloud (15:45-17:15, Tuesday (repeated Wednesday) or InfoComm president Greg Jeffreys’ session on the ANSI/INFOCOMM 3M-2011 standard on projected image contrast ratio. Both bodies are also offering the opportunity for ISE visitors to acquire qualifications while at the show. InfoComm has a limited number of seats available for the Certified Technology Specialist online examination at the show. CTS is the only ANSI-accredited ISO/IEC 17024 credential in the AV industry. CEDIA, meanwhile, is hosting its EST2 Certification Exam on the afternoon of Thursday 2 February, preceded in

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. What? Integrated Systems

Vox Pop We ask: What would you say has been the biggest change in your area of technology since the first ISE in 2004?

Each year we are seeing more and more manufacturers that are focusing on working with web services for their devices. We have been building web servers in our Audac amplifiers for over 10 years now, and saw the huge advantages from the beginning: no extra cables, no software updates, controllability from any device with a browser. Tom Van de Sande, marketing manager, Audac the morning by a revision session. EST2 is the baseline technical certification for anyone working in residential technology design and installation. Alongside the CEDIA and InfoComm sessions is a diverse programme of manufacturerpresented sessions from exhibitors such as AMX, Crestron, Extron and Kramer Electronics. These are free to attend. Finally, for those interested in Unified Communications and 3D, the IMCCA Theatre and the ISE 3D Theatre have a full programme of sessions. For full details, check the ISE website or, once you arrive at the RAI, pick up a copy of the ISE 2012 Official Show Guide. Now, here are some more showfloor highlights for you…

Europe 2012

. Where? Halls 1-7 & 9-12, Amsterdam RAI

. When? Tuesday 31 January 09:00-18:00 Wednesday 1 February 09:00-18:00 Thursday 2 February 09:00-17:00 (DiSCO Conference, Dynamic Events and InfoComm Future Trends Summit take place on Monday 30 January) www.installationeurope.com

Audio Audac is launching the MTX series of multizone audio matrix systems at ISE. The new range offers two different models with similar features, except that one can control up to four stereo zones, while the second can control up to eight. MTX matrix systems contain features that, says Audac, were previously only available in the top-range products. These include: a web interface to control and configure an audio

system from any device connected to a LAN network; iPhone and iPad control apps; the ability to add control panels and wall audio input units to zones; and the ability to connect a paging console. Biamp Systems is giving international distributors and consultants their first opportunity to get an up-close look at Tesira, the company’s first DSP-based networked media system to employ AVB (audio-video bridging) as the primary digital media transport. Tesira is an enterprise-wide solution made up of intelligent network modules designed to share and boost performance. It is equipped with modular scalable inputs and outputs, DSPs and networked end-points, providing system design capabilities for unlimited scenarios, including centralised, distributed and hybrid-type applications. Integrators have the option of customising Tesira with up to eight DSP cards (16 DSPs) in a single chassis and a maximum of 420 x 420 audio channels over a scalable digital media backbone (AVB). On its stand, d&b audiotechnik will display speakers from the xS and xA-Series, part of its White product range. The 4S, 5S and 8S are designed

The biggest change in our area of technology has been competition. The market has opened for new brands that can provide much higher quality/price ratio in virtually all AV segments. The biggest winner of this change has been the end-user who has got more choice, not only in the high end of the market, but especially in the middle segment, where we successfully launched our brand Avtek in 2006. Tomasz Kliczkowski, vice president, Avtek Vidis Short-throw projection technology. It brings the most benefits to the education sector, providing a new learning and teaching experience. Thanks to the short projection distance, the technology also opens new possibilities for interaction on interactive whiteboards as well as on interactive tables. All these make the learning

process more effective and more enjoyable for students. Adams Lee, sales & marketing director, BenQ Europe The biggest change in technology for us in the custom integration space is the increasing dominance of IP (internet protocol), both wired and wireless, as the preferred method of getting data, information, music and video from A to B. Renny Vos, marketing & communication manager, BMB Electronics Core computer components have massively improved in performance, providing a much more capable core hardware platform. The introduction of solid-state disks and multi-head GPUs has also provided an exceptional price/performance ratio. Adam Neale, director, 7thSense Design The biggest change is enterprise-class high-definition video communications over IP, which LifeSize takes a lot of pride in as a pioneer of a market development. Today we are seeing further changes through the adoption of low-cost highperformance solutions including IaaS, mobility and Cloud services. Andreas Wienold, vice president of sales EMEA, LifeSize IE February 2012 15


Technology for you

specifically as stand-alone two-way be CAL column array loudspeakers, which feature full-range loudspeakers for the permanent installation market and proprietary DSP algorithms for digital beam steering and beam can be supported by the dedicated splitting. 12S subwoofer. Seeburg acoustic line, In addition d&b has once which focuses predominantly again taken room E103, on the development and where it will host a system production of professional integration presentation loudspeaker systems for several times each day and mobile and permanently demo speaker combinations installed applications, is from the two series. unveiling the first model from Meyer Sound will be its brand new L-Series, the showing its low-voltage L16j. This is a very slim installation loudspeakers, column loudspeaker designed which it says provide high for particularly demanding SPL, markedly improved applications in acoustically sonic dynamics and clarity problematic rooms. The and reliable performance manufacturer claims that due with the time and cost to its optimised waveguide savings of Class 2 wiring. and special curving, the L16j is Visitors wishing to learn particularly suited for about the implementation of homogenous reproduction of these 48V audio systems may speech as well as music, at attend the InfoComm distances of up to 25m. education session entitled The company says the Low Voltage Audio Systems: Raising the Bar, Seeburg will unveil system can be easily extended and adapted by presented by Meyer’s its first L-Series member – the L16j linking multiple L-Series European technical speakers together. It is services manager, Miguel planned that by this summer, six Lourtie, on 31 January at 16:00. L-Series models will be available. Also on the Meyer stand will

Video Christie will be exhibiting a range of projectors from 4,200 to 35,000 lumens, from XGA to 4K. The recently launched J Series will be showcased on stand, delivering 3D mapping. Designed from customer feedback, the J Series enables customers to use existing accessories such as lamps, stacking mounts, projection lenses and M Series input cards. Also demonstrated will be Christie’s ‘Reassuringly Inexpensive’ E Series, as well as its extensive LCD range of projectors, including the latest LHD700 and LX1200. Da-Lite is showing its newly developed silver material for front projection 2D and passive 3D projection. Silver Lite 2.5 is the newest screen surface in Da-Lite’s line of front projection materials. A multi-purpose front projection surface that the manufacturer claims has been fully optimised for passive linear and circular 3D applications, it is also said to be an excellent 2D screen material. Also on display will be Dual Vision – a flexible projection fabric capable of both front and rear projection – which now has a

Draper Europe will show its Euroscreen products

viewing half-angle of 65°, replacing the previous 50° halfangle fabric. Projection screen manufacturer Draper Europe will be showing off its new large-venue projection screens during ISE. Its new Euroscreen products use an elastic white front fabric, with a gain of 1.0, to weld the screen surface either horizontally or vertically,

leaving an almost invisible weld impossible to detect during projection. The large screens are said to offer superior surface flatness and a projection area of up to 600cm wide. Flexible Picture Systems is introducing the IA-200 EB, the latest model in its Image AnyPlace series of video scalers for image warping and blending.

Pathfinder A/D

16 IE February 2012

Switches analogue & digital signals

Connected by only three cables

Integrated in a table installation module

Engineering made in Germany

TLS Communication GmbH Email: info@tls-gmbh.com Internet: www.tls-gmbh.com www.installationeurope.com


in

LED and the distance between The company says that the new each of the strips. This patentproduct is dedicated to achieving pending system can be serviced maximum cost effectiveness in and maintained without edge-blending applications that changing the glass. do not require geometry On its largest-ever ISE booth, correction for curved surfaces. Optoma will premiere a number The manufacturer says the IAof products. The ProScene 200 EB allows pro-AV integrators EH7500, a WUXGA 6,500-lumen to create seamless, invisible projector, has full motorised lens blends with off-axis projectors; shift and five interchangeable lens and that the included edgeoptions. Two EH7500s will be blending utility software enables used on the stand to create an full control of multiple projectors edge-blended image more than for projector wall applications of 6m wide. The ZW210ST is a shortany size. throw model that can display a Leurocom will be displaying 60in image from 68cm Mediaglass, a new away. Its hybrid light integrated source glass/LED system dispenses for large area with lamps facade displays. and uses less The multilayer than 0.5W in laminated glass has standby. built-in LED strips with It can project integrated RGB Optoma’s ProScene EH7500 photos, videos multichip LEDs that and can be controlled presentations from an SD card or individually via video signal with USB memory stick without 48-bit colour depth. conversion, and can mirror The pixel matrix can be desktops from tablets without individually adjusted to the video output either wirelessly or project and place of installation via a USB connection. via the distance between each

projectiondesign is revealing its new F35 AS3D, which it claims is the world’s highest resolution active stereo 3D DLP projector. It boasts 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution at full 120Hz refresh rates, and displays uncompressed 3D with more detail than any projector in its size, price and performance category. projectiondesign claims it creates the best and most lifelike 3D experience available anywhere. The F35 AS3D features a wide range of high-resolution projection lenses and incorporates projectiondesign’s RealColor colour management suite for on-site calibration. On its stand, the Norwegian manufacturer will major on the theme of collaborative working. Visitors are promised several live demonstrations as well as collaborative working examples from all over the world. Sony’s F-Series of business and education installation projectors increases to six models with the introduction of the VPL-FH35. Designed for larger and more demanding venues requiring brighter projections and advanced

New from projectiondesign: the F35 AS3D 3D DLP projector

features with WUXGA resolution, it delivers long life, low maintenance and powerful performance. The VPL-FH35 installation projector offers a large throw ratio for replacement business, impressive horizontal and vertical lens shift capabilities and side-byside content from two different inputs. It incorporates BrightEra inorganic TFT 3-LCD panels developed by Sony to deliver improved panel light resistance, higher resolution, high brightness and increased panel reliability. Vaddio is to launch AutoTrak 2.0 – a new automated camera tracking system designed for

educational and corporate training facilities – at the show. Using this system, the instructor simply wears a lanyard beltpack that emits infrared light received by an IR PTZ camera. Video is sent from the IR camera to the tracking camera. The result, says Vaddio, is a smooth, accurate panning motion that follows the instructor as he/she walks around the presentation area. The system also eliminates the need for a member of staff to follow the instructor’s movements. Other products on show include the newest member of the ClearView family, HD-19 highdefinition PTZ camera with

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18 IE February 2012

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CORIOgraphy NEC Display Solutions, is being introduced to Europe at ISE, and Signal holds the promise management of a simpler On display Sony’s F-Series includes the VPL-FH35 business model from ABtUS with lower costs. It Singapore will is an automated ad delivery be the OPT-HDX11 series, the platform that links screen owners company’s latest range of fibre with advertisers, and can turn any optic extenders. Similar to its internet-connected screen into an HDMI over Cat5 extenders, the advertising channel, opening up new products offer a greater many more ways for advertisers distance of extension than is to reach their audience, and generally available at present. The latest series is able to extend creating new revenue streams for screen owners. a Full HD 1080p source over Vukunet is bringing some level 650m. A Full HD 1080p signal of standardisation to the industry, can be displayed at the destination offering what NEC says is the first with no delays, while the physical universal inventory management, properties of the fibre optics also advert delivery, billing and help prevent any EMI/RFI disturbance, lightning and pressure payment, and reporting system. It can drive ads to any DOOH extremes that would severely affect network, regardless of content copper cables. The ABtUS fibre management system. optic extenders also come with IR, keyboard, mouse and RS-232 control pass-through. Residential Distributor Syscomtec is Imerge will show its new MS1-3D embarking on a new business media server – the first hardware relationship with RGB Spectrum, revision to the MS1 series under in support of which Syscomtec is Prism Sound’s ownership. This highlighting RGB Spectrum’s new can archive and play 3D DVD and MediaWall 2900/1900 processors. Blu-ray movies in 1080p quality Said to be unique among display without requiring a mechanical wall processors, the MediaWall disc auto-changer. Described as 2900 and 1900 are based on a much more than just a 3D custom, high-performance upgrade to the MS1-HD server, the architecture rather than a PC, MS1-3D integrates four zones of which RGB Spectrum says delivers analogue audio, and so combines faster updates, more display a movie server and a multi-room flexibility, robustness and security. audio server in just one box. The company claims that real-time Other features include a display of inputs is guaranteed multiple language user interface under all conditions, without and an iPhone and tablet dropped frames. controller app that allows full control of the MS1-3D over a wireless network. Digital signage Movie server manufacturer NEXCOM will be showing its Kaleidescape will show the M700 latest multimedia computing Disc Vault, designed to simplify solutions for digital signage at ISE. the process of adding movies and New products making their debut music to a Kaleidescape System. at the show feature Intel or AMD Up to 320 discs can be loaded at technology and are therefore said once into the M700 Disc Vault’s to possess superb graphics carousel, where their contents are capabilities and offer a lower the quickly copied with no additional total cost of ownership. The Intel Atom-based NDiS 126 action on the part of the user. Once copied, a Blu-ray Disc must is a compact 1080p media player remain in the disc vault to enable which supports Full HD content playback of the digital copy from up to dual independent display. the server, while DVDs and CDs The NDiS 127 uses AMD's new may either be ejected or left in the Embedded G-Series T56N APU to vault. achieve “exceedingly low� power consumption. The NDiS OPSM50, based on a 2.50GHz Intel Other technologies dual-core processor, complies with Crestron will be demonstrating Intel’s Open Pluggable its new Fusion EM software. This Specification (OPS), and is is described as a complete energy designed to simplify installation, management solution for upgrade and maintenance of large- organisations of any size. Fusion scale digital signage applications. EM tracks the organisation's Vukunet, the new digital outcarbon footprint while enabling of-home advertising engine from temperature set points, lighting SmartShot technology.

www.installationeurope.com

levels and demand response settings to be easily scheduled and controlled. It can also turn off lights automatically and reduce HVAC use in unoccupied spaces. Fusion RV software, which provides AV, help desk, meeting scheduling and technology management, is the upgrade path from Crestron RoomView SE, while the all-new Fusion EM provides energy management and tracking. The two front-end components coexist on the same server platform and share the same architecture. Mode-AL will be showing its ECS range of soundproofed 19in rack enclosures, designed to enable essential equipment to be used front of house without irritating noise from fans and other components. As well as achieving 36dB acoustic suppression across the audible range for any installation, the enclosures are said to be attractive and unobtrusive, while also providing ventilation and cable access. They are available in a choice of finishes and feature lockable smoked glass doors front and rear, with airtight gaskets to prevent sound spill. Suggested application areas include recording studios, boardrooms and conference centres. Smart-e is launching a series of digital equipment for presentation/boardroom solutions and training facilities. Consisting of a selection of wall and floor plates, as well as a boardroom presentation system, the point-to-point audiovisual equipment has been designed to provide a total digital solution for use in classrooms, theatres, conference and seminar rooms. All the new equipment has HDMI V1.4 features, is HDCP compliant, and can accept RGBHV resolutions up to 1600x1200, analogue stereo audio together with remote power.

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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.

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 sales.europe@tvone.com

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Markets: Green AV

Channelling new energy As end user demand for more environmentally friendly products grows, integrators can use their knowledge and knowhow to add significant value to their offerings, writes Ian McMurray

Power consumption in Mitsubishi’s LCD displays has been reduced by up to 40% as a result of energy-saving features such as dual-light sensors and power scheduling functions

InfoComm’s STEP Foundation

hat climate change is happening is largely undisputed: there can, for example, be little argument about the shrinkage of the polar ice caps as a result of the earth warming. Where there is dispute, however, is concerning the cause of climate change. A vociferous minority claim that it is a natural phenomenon, experienced many times over the earth’s 4,578 billion year history and is a result of changes in solar activity, ocean currents, changes in the earth’s orbit and so on. The majority opinion is that the change is largely man-made, a function of the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity over the past 50 years. According to the UK government, the source of 65% of greenhouse gases is the use of fuel to generate energy, and 21% are as a result of carbon emissions

T

Using a Neets panel that consumes less than 0.5W, it is possible to minimise standby power in any room by programming in exactly when to shut off everything

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from transport. Perhaps more importantly, it estimates that about 40% of carbon emissions in the UK are the result of decisions taken directly by individuals. The implication is that climate change is something that each of us has the ability to significantly impact. It is undeniable that the AV industry runs on energy – the energy used to create AV products, to install them, to use them and to maintain them. So what is the industry doing to make a contribution – to make itself greener? Inevitably, there is an element of ‘chicken and egg’ in the situation. Should the ‘greening’ of the AV industry be led by end-user demand – or should equipment manufacturers be proactive in developing, and integrators proactive in promoting, greener solutions?

On the list Sampling a few end users reveals a somewhat mixed situation. “Green is one of our specification criteria,” says Owen Ellis, who is head of multimedia engineering EMEA at Morgan Stanley, “but it could be higher up the list.” “It’s among our top five criteria,” notes the executive responsible for productivity and collaboration technologies at a global financial institution, “and it’s getting higher in that ranking. Our formal policies are currently under development, but agreed principles are being employed.” “We don’t look at green considerations in any aspect at the moment,” says a senior executive at a $60 billion

Key points . Green is gradually assuming greater significance in end-user decision making

. AV products are using less power – and their manufacturers are becoming more environmentally aware

. InfoComm’s STEP programme has the potential to make green AV a science rather than an art

. Green isn’t just about products – it’s about business processes

. Integrators probably have the most significant role to play in driving AV to be more green

multinational organisation. Deborah Jones, who is AV/IT sales manager for London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, is more positive. “Green is important in our list of AV requirements,” she says, “for both ourselves as a venue and for the majority of our clients.” She cites the centre’s recycling of stage sets, the use of lowvoltage LED lighting and recycling of radio microphone batteries each year as examples of its commitment to the environment. “Green isn’t really a major issue for our target customers, if I’m honest,” admits Roland Dreesden, managing director of integrator Reflex. “The intention and desire is there, but I feel it

The STEP (Sustainable Technology Environments Program) Foundation was formed in June 2011 and has four Sustaining Members: CompTIA, InfoComm International (ICI), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Building Industry Consulting Service International, Inc. (BICSI). The Foundation’s mission is to promote sustainable technology practices; the vision is to have STEPrated projects establish the technology industry benchmark for sustainable energy and materials practices. “The STEP Guide is a 200-page document that lays out the philosophy, rationale and example of each STEP credit. In doing so, InfoComm has, in essence, developed the AV industry’s definitive work on sustainable AV,” notes Allen Weidman, sustainability officer at InfoComm International (pictured). A number of pilot projects are in hand; these will be used to validate and refine the rating system as well as to provide information and data to start the educational programmes.

comes to a halt because the availability of products and technologies with green credentials is limited. It can be hard to implement green and to do the right thing.” VR Solutions is an integrator headquartered in Australia, but with customers in the Middle East. “It’s only been in the past two or three months that our customers have really been asking about this exact topic,” says managing director Mike Bosworth, “and requesting green rating credentials of products that we supply.” It would probably be fair to say that end-user demand for green solutions is, at best, patchy – but it’s equally apparent that it’s growing. IE February 2012 21


Markets: Green AV

Extron offers a complete family of Energy Star-qualified power amps

“Yes, the green issue is becoming an ever increasing consideration,” notes Marc Coleman, sales director at integrator Impact. “Traditional considerations centred around efficiencies such as carbon tonnes saved on travel. More often, it is about the control and optimisation of power consumption. An increasing trend is to look at the green credentials of the manufacturers – in other words, to look at the product provenance in relation to materials used, how they are sourced and the manufacturing process itself.” Both Coleman and Dreesden note the importance of manufacturers – that not only must their products be capable of helping to deliver green solutions, but also those products must be made according to green principles. Certainly, at ISE, there looks to be no shortage of new products touting their increased

energy efficiency, with LED-backlit screens being a prime example. OLED technology promises to reduce screen power consumption further. IMCCA is an organisation that represents the videoconferencing industry. “Green is becoming an increasingly important issue to IMCCA members, both vendor and end-user members,” says Carol Zelkin, its executive director. “IMCCA vendor members help their customers become more green by offering products that support green efforts and demonstrating how, in some cases, minor changes to the way things are done, or which products are selected, can have a major impact on being more environmentally conscious.” She goes on to note that conferencing and collaboration technologies are inherently environmentally friendly,

CASE STUDY

Screens chosen to lower power consumption One of Europe’s leading financial institutions worked with integrator Impact and distributor PSCo to install a striking videowall into its London headquarters. A 5 x 5 combination of NEC 46in ultra-narrow bezel videowall screens was installed in the building’s reception, where Impact is the AV managed services supplier. The videowall replaced an LED display that had been in situ for over 10 years. “The LED display our client had in their entrance before was using a huge amount of power, and the bank’s inhouse sustainability team were concerned about the environmental impact of the technology, in terms of the amount of heat it gave off and the 22 IE February 2012

power it consumed,” said Rob Benton, Impact corporate account manager. “The LCD solution is more efficient in terms of power and the infrastructure required around the installation.” The videowall is driven at a very high resolution by five DVI feeds, displaying HD content using software from Nexus. Departments across the organisation are able to book the screen for certain times to display their own content, and the bank is currently developing a bespoke content application which will display Bloomberg newsfeeds, global news, weather and up-to-date travel details, along with other useful information. Presentations and photographs are also displayed during corporate events in the atrium area.

with one financial services firm reporting that its telepresence usage has taken the equivalent of 600 cars off the road each year. Representing the professional audio industry is PAMA. “Sustainability has gone from being an issue to being a standard part of doing business for most PAMA manufacturers,” says Duffy Wilbert, executive director at the organisation. “This is driven by the customers where sustainability has grown from interest to demand.” “The impact is on two fronts,” he continues. “How we make our products, source our materials, dispose of waste is the manufacturing front; the other is the retail/selling front, which includes packaging, shipping and collateral support.” Actions implemented by PAMA members include looking at how inventory location and its proximity to the end customer can reduce transportation, and moving more product information online instead of printing it. “However,” he points out, “there is still continuing demand for printed materials at the integration companies.”

Great responsibility Even if end-user demand is not yet compelling, it becomes apparent that many AV equipment manufacturers are taking their environmental responsibilities increasingly seriously. Taking them equally seriously is InfoComm. “Green is out, sustainability is in, and the AV industry has been unaware of the potential market impact of either one,” says Allen Weidman, sustainability officer at InfoComm International. “Sustainability is good for business but only if business is part of the process – and we, the AV industry, have not had a seat at the sustainability table in the past. We need one for the future of our industry.” InfoComm has devised STEP (see box, page 21), a programme that is designed to help all industry participants not only achieve, but measure, more sustainable installations. “STEP is designed to fill a void not addressed by other ‘green building’ rating systems,” continues Weidman. “These existing rating systems have not included audiovisual, communications, information technology, security or building automation systems. The STEP program is intended to engage all stakeholders to accomplish our sustainability goals. “As important as STEP is to our membership, so is the opportunity to serve as a thought leader and knowledge manager for our members,” he goes on. “That is, providing the information that will help our members compete in the new green marketplace by serving as their eyes and ears in areas of codes, standards, regulations, market trends and product innovations. We will be emailing, blogging and communicating through newsletters and social media as a means to get the information to those who need it.”

The programme is, of course, a step in the right direction… If there can be a criticism, it is only that awareness of it outside the US does not seem to be high. “I had never heard of it,” says Ellis, “but now I’ve researched it, I’m amazed that no integrators or manufacturers have mentioned it to us before.” “I’ve just been made aware of it,” echoes Bosworth. “Where can I find out more?” Jones is, however, aware of it. “As members of InfoComm International,

‘It can be hard to implement green and to do the right thing’ Roland Dreesden, Reflex

we are aware of this programme,” she says. “As it is fairly new, we haven’t yet looked at how it could be integrated into our own systems, but we’re watching out for the reaction from both the AV and IT industries.”

The next step While CEDIA does not have an equivalent to InfoComm’s STEP programme, that’s not to say that the organisation hasn’t been proactive in promoting green not only to its own members, but also to the wider market. “CEDIA member companies are very aware of energy conservation issues and work with a number of other trades to ensure that all subsystems can be fully integrated within, and controlled by, a home’s electronic system,” says Matt Dodd, education chair at CEDIA. “To reflect this trend and generate a higher profile for reducing energy consumption in our homes, we have launched a new category within the CEDIA Awards 2012 scheme entitled Best Integrated Energy Management Solution.” “Also,” continues Dodd, “in 2010, CEDIA introduced its RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) training course – ‘Using Technology to Manage Energy in the Home’ – for architects and the building industry. This customised CPD course shows how the custom installation industry can take a proactive approach to implementing simple energy-efficiency measures in households across the UK through systems controlling heating, lighting, cooling and power in the home.” End users are starting to want green. Manufacturers are starting to produce www.installationeurope.com


Markets: Green AV

green. The link between the two is, of course, the integrator whose job it is to understand the customer’s business goals and be sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to propose appropriate solutions. “There are a number of fairly simple steps that can allow integrators to add significant value in creating greener system in terms of technology and support,” points out Coleman. “Power consumption of every piece of equipment must be considered and combined to provide the least overall power consumption. Control of the system is a crucial component when reducing power consumption. To be able to monitor power and switch off equipment can provide significant financial savings to a customer and a reduction in environmental impact.” “As an organisation, we use and promote the use of remote monitoring and control,” he continues. “It helps provide quicker response times and reduces the environmental impact of dispatching vehicles to site when it’s not necessary.” “The devil can lie in the detail,” says Dreesden. “There are obvious things you can do – and then there are the less obvious things. Choosing the right screen material, for example, can enable you to propose a less power-hungry projector – and you can encourage the customer to use the projector’s eco mode. Training is vital if the customer is to get the most benefit from the installed

Eight things integrators should be doing . Purchasing: buy from suppliers who take their environmental responsibilities seriously

. Providing advice: helping end users make better-informed decisions

. Promoting green solutions: making customers aware of what’s possible

. Being green: saving energy in every aspect of the integrator’s business

. Recycling: it’s often greener not to leave this to the manufacturer

. Remote services: can save significantly on travel

. Maintenance: well-maintained equipment operates more efficiently

. Training: help customers use their systems to minimise energy consumption With thanks to Roland Dreesden, managing director, Reflex

parts and returns minimises travel to and from the company’s headquarters. Engineers – and others – also have remote access to the company’s systems to minimise the need for travel. Weekend working has been reduced in order to minimise energy consumption – and light switches are labelled so that engineers returning to the office late at night can turn on only the lights they need rather than all of them. Even in Reflex’s company kitchens, its commitment to green practices can be seen in the elimination of disposable cups and plastic spoons, and the regular defrosting of refrigerators.

The future

‘The green issue is becoming an ever increasing consideration’ Marc Coleman, Impact

system’s ability to use the minimum amount of power – so is regular maintenance. Where you site equipment can have an impact on heat dispersion, and thus the amount of energy needed to provide cooling.” Dreesden is especially proud of the numerous actions his company has taken to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation (ISO 14001 provides a framework to assist organisations in developing their own management systems to reduce their impact on the environment). Pairing engineering teams on the basis of where they live allows for greater car sharing, while establishing a central London facility for www.installationeurope.com

The AV industry is unquestionably moving towards more sustainable, more environmentally friendly installations. End users are starting to attach more importance to it: whether for conscientious or financial reasons is irrelevant. Manufacturers are addressing those concerns with greener manufacturing processes and lower energy products. The industry seems to be in agreement, however, that the key role lies with integrators. It is up to them to understand the broad scope of what it takes to create greener installations – and to promote the benefits of greener AV to the end-user community. Ellis sums it up. “Our industry already does a lot when it comes to green,” he says. “I’m not sure it should do more – but could it do more? Definitely.” IE 

www.cedia.co.uk  www. extron.eu www.imcca.org  www.impacteurope.com  www.infocomm.org  displays.mitsubishielectric.eu  www.necdisplay.com  www.neets.dk  www.pama.org  www.psco.co.uk  www.reflex.co.uk  www.vrs.com.au 

IE February 2012 23


A new dimension in versatility

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Markets: IPTV

Coming on stream As the number of sectors utilising IPTV grows, installers must embrace the world of IT if they are to grab a share of this expanding market. George Cole reports To manage a massive increase in student numbers the University Hospital Aachen has equipped its lecture theatres with state-of-the-art video broadcasting technology from Teracue

nternet protocol television (IPTV) is often used in the telco and cable TV sectors to deliver TV services to homes. But IPTV is increasingly being used in the business, corporate and education sectors for a wide range of applications, including live and recorded TV, corporate video, video-ondemand and digital signage. IPTV can be used to distribute information, entertainment and training content to a wide range of devices, from large-screen stadium displays to televisions, and from desktop PCs to tablet computers. Rainer Link, responsible for international sales and marketing at Teracue AG – broadcast and IPTV systems, says: “We are seeing widespread IPTV applications in a mix of sectors that includes corporate, education, government and military installations, broadcast, entertainment, hospitality and digital signage.” Philip Dodds, business development director, Vision2 Group, AMX Europe, agrees that IPTV is being used in many applications. “The advent of IP networks throughout most organisations enables the simple and effective delivery of video across the LAN [local area network],” he says. “One of the sectors currently evaluating and implementing IPTV systems is the medical arena, especially in the area of operating theatres. Quite often, we will see several cameras being used in the operating theatre, and IPTV allows the streaming and recording of medical

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operations in high definition, so that students and doctors can learn from the experts.” Dodds adds that schools and universities are using IPTV for distance learning, such as watching live streams or accessing video-on-demand content. “We recently implemented a classroom recording system that helps students with learning difficulties understand and copy how to complete a food preparation exercise,” he says. “The teacher performs a task, which is recorded and made available to the students as a video clip.”

Main markets Colin Farquhar, CEO of Exterity, says that, for his company, the main IPTV applications are in corporate television (such as banks and finance houses), education (schools, colleges and universities) and the hospitality sector. “We’re also seeing IPTV being deployed in large public spaces, such as airports and football stadiums,” he adds. Mike Cuckow, sales director EMEA and Asia-Pacific at Cabletime, observes: “IPTV is being used in the accommodation sector, such as university blocks, military bases, specialist hospitals and hotels. Stadiums are another sector, and a lot of WAN [wide area network]-based corporates are also using IPTV.” Don Hewitt, customer solutions manager at Harris Broadcast Communications, notes: “From our perspective, the two main sectors for

Key points . IPTV allows organisations to distribute live and recorded television, video and digital signage over an existing IP network

. Corporates, educational institutions and the hospitality industry are major users of IPTV, as are public spaces such as airports and stadiums

. IPTV enables television and video to be viewed on a wide range of network-connected devices including desktop PCs, televisions, tablets and multi-screens

. IPTV offers new opportunities for AV installers, but it’s vital to have sufficient IT expertise in-house

IPTV are hotels and sports stadiums, which use it for digital signage. For hotels, IPTV-based digital signage represents an important window to customers in the form of highly branded internal information channels. These channels allow hotels to promote their services to guests in a far more engaging way than the standard ‘slide show’. As new sports facilities and stadiums are constructed,

there is a greater need to engage, inform and entertain fans. IPTV represents a very cost-effective method of distributing content while maintaining quality. This is especially true when IPTV and digital signage are integrated into a media platform.”

Gaining support There are a number of drivers behind the growth of IPTV, including the fact that many networks support the protocols required for IPTV, including IGMP (internet group management protocol), which is used for multicasting. Potential cost savings and simplicity are also strong drivers, says Link. “Today’s IP-based networks make it very easy to place video applications on them, so most of the time it is not necessary to invest in a dedicated technology, traditional AV distribution or extensive cabling,” he explains. Farquhar notes: “Traditionally, organisations used an analogue TV distribution system, modulating TV content onto coax, or perhaps some form of digital transmission over coax or Cat5 cabling. As soon as you put content on a network, it’s more accessible. Whereas in the past, I might bring two channels into my building and display the content (such as news channels) on a couple of TV screens, now I can distribute content to every room, and potentially every device connected to the network, whether it’s a TV or a PC or some other display device. That’s an exciting development.” IE February 2012 25


Markets: IPTV

video delivery infrastructure has limitless scalability.” “IPTV gives you the ability to take a digital signal from the roof and put it onto your network with no loss in quality,” notes Cuckow. “People can watch web TV on their PC in the workspace without consuming additional internet bandwidth. This reduces costs, and gives you the ability to control what TV is watched over the network and by whom. Factors like these make IPTV a very attractive prospect to organisations.” Some companies are using IPTV to consolidate their business, adds Cuckow, for example, using a single head-end to feed video streams to the company WAN. If the company later decides to close branch offices and gather employees into a single building, the IPTV system becomes a LAN-based service. Another IPTV driver is the advent of Cloud-based media, says Cuckow: “People are used to storing a mix of media in the Cloud at home – such as videos, photographs and music – and they want the same level of access in the office, which IPTV can provide.”

Exterity’s Colin Farquhar with the company’s IPTV receiver offering

IPTV means organisations can get even more value out of their IT infrastructure; in the hospitality world, IPTV can be used to deliver combined services like TV and internet, and improve the quality of the delivered content, adds Farquhar. “In many hotels, the TV signal is degraded by noise from air-conditioning systems and appliances,” he says. “IPTV allows

you to deliver a much cleaner signal to the end-user. Being able to use the existing infrastructure is very convenient for large public spaces, like airports and stadiums.” Dodds adds: “We’re seeing all new office builds being specified with an IPTV element, as this technology takes advantage of new IP network infrastructures being installed. The

same goes for offices being refitted, updated or refurbished, where an updated network infrastructure is being implemented in place of the old analogue UTP cabling. It means support teams need only concern themselves with one network infrastructure, which ensures much more cost effectiveness. One of the other main advantages is that an IP

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Growth expectations Those involved in the IPTV business see much scope for growth in the market. “We estimate that the global IPTV market will grow from around $750 million in 2011 to $1.4 billion in

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Markets: IPTV

CASE STUDY

installers who have recognised this fact and who have invested in training, know-how and staff are way ahead of the competition.”

Embracing IT

‘An IP video delivery infrastructure has limitless scalability’ Philip Dodds, AMX Europe

2015,” says Farquhar. “Most video distribution systems are moving to IPTV. The growing use of iPads and other wireless network devices in the corporate sector is also creating additional demand for IPTV.” Link says that since 2005, Teracue has seen a constant growth in IPTV, thanks to its ability to offer flexible, scalable and cost-efficient AV distribution and transmission technology. “Most market sectors will see a shift from the old traditional analogue implementation to IP-based video delivery,” says Dodds. “There will definitely be an expansion of IP video delivery in all market sectors. Education is likely to carry on expanding its use of video. In education, it’s not just about supporting Windows PCs any more; the explosion of use of Apple devices has led to IT teams having to ensure their infrastructures support these as well.” “There are a few factors driving the IPTV market for digital signage. Not only is the decoder a low-cost alternative, but the infrastructure and cabling of a new build-out are also cheaper,” says Hewitt. “Gigabit Ethernet is a common network speed, so there is plenty of bandwidth to multicast HD video and there’s lots of flexibility.” With the IPTV market expected to show significant growth, is there an opportunity for AV installers to move into the sector? “It is an exciting opportunity for AV installers,” says Hewitt. Link agrees: “There is a big opportunity for IPTV with AV installers, but AV installers have to grow their knowledge of IT and networking technology, otherwise, IT people will take over the AV skills. Streaming is based on the network, and whoever controls the network controls the streaming. AV system integrators today need to speak and understand IT and network language in order to participate; otherwise they won’t be able to compete. The AV www.installationeurope.com

“Many AV installers still shy away from too much involvement with IP,” notes Dodds, “so there is a considerable opportunity for those willing to get to grips with understanding and implementing IPTV solutions to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Even just understanding and being able to articulate the relative benefits of IPTV will at least open conversations with clients. An IPTV system can also be a door opener to more traditional AV solutions and lead to further opportunities. Many IPTV systems can be more or less plug-andplay; the critical issue is ensuring that the client IP network is ready and configured, but there’s plenty of documentation available to help in the planning and installation.” Cuckow agrees that there is a big opportunity for AV installers to move into IPTV, but urges caution, not least when it comes to ensuring that a client’s LAN is IPTV-ready. “Anyone can provide the tools and a tick-list to assess LAN readiness [for IPTV], but the big flaw to this approach is that the client may not fully understand the LAN they’ve got, or it might be owned by a third party, who simply ticks the boxes without doing

‘IPTV represents a very cost-effective method of distributing content while maintaining quality’ Don Hewitt, Harris

the checks,” he says. “Then the AV VAR walks into a nightmare. The same problem can hit an IT VAR, but the difference is that they will have the inhouse resources to fix the problem.” That’s why, he adds, it’s important for AV installers to employ staff with IT fault-finding skills: “Some AV VARs want a long-term relationship with a client and will bend over backwards to accommodate their needs. But this costs them money while others put a clause in their contract which states that if the

Scalable IPTV setup for German broadcaster German broadcaster RTL II wanted a system that enabled its employees to watch satellite TV channels at their desktop. This would allow staff to keep an eye on competitor channels, keep up with breaking news stories and watch internally produced programmes and videos. The company also wanted to distribute live sporting broadcasts, so that employees would not miss major events, such as the World Cup. Its IP network is used for accessing email, the internet and business applications. RTL II had considered using its existing coax RF ring main TV distribution system, but this would have been expensive to extend and wasn’t scalable. It also would have involved using a separate cabling system, and the coax system didn’t integrate easily with desktop PCs – all workstations would have required a dedicated TV tuner card.

network is not ready, it will charge the client. This has the advantage of concentrating the mind of the client, and as a result, they are more likely to check the readiness of the LAN.” “There’s definitely an opportunity for AV installers,” says Farquar, “but it’s important to remember that there are different levels of IPTV deployment. For example, we installed a system at Heathrow airport, which involved a close working relationship between integrator, reseller, installer and the IT department. This type of installation requires a high degree of IT knowledge and experience, and it’s unlikely that any AV installer would want to jump into a project like this, unless they were partnering someone. One way would be to start small, say, delivering a single IPTV channel to a single end-point, and  

Instead, Exterity installed an end-toend IPTV system that includes an AvediaStream DVB-S TV gateway, which takes the satellite feed and transfers it to the IP network. Video feeds from cameras or other broadcast equipment can be connected to an AvediaStream Encoder and watched on the IP network. Each desktop PC uses AvediaCentre PC Client to view live and recorded content. The PC client software is centrally managed, and so can be remotely installed and configured for every PC. The resulting IPTV system streams both SD and HD content to more than 200 desktop PCs, and RTL II employees can access 50 digital satellite and internal channels alongside their email, web browser and business applications. This scalable setup has greatly reduced the cost of a desktop TV service, and simplified network management.

from there, you can rapidly move onto larger and more complex projects.” Exterity runs the StreamForce training programme for IT companies to gain knowledge of video, and for AV companies to learn about IPTV. “The key is to walk before you can run,” says Farquhar. “There are significant opportunities for AV installers but, equally, there’s a need to take the appropriate steps and get the right training, support and assistance, so you can get some successes and grow a set of skills. IPTV isn’t a black art, but as soon as you start putting things onto a network, many organisations become very sensitive because the network carries all their data and they want to be confident that the people giving them advice have a good understanding of what they are doing.” IE

www.amx.com  www.cabletime.com  www.exterity.com www.broadcast.harris.com  www.teracue.com

ONLINE EXTRAS: CASE STUDY . Allen & Overy, London: The international law firm opted to use 20 MediaStar Evolution Encoder Units from Cabletime to distribute live TV around its London office www.installationeurope.com IE February 2012 27


Markets: Distributor Focus – UK

Steady state A determination to deliver new technologies and assist customers struggling with the adverse economic conditions is helping to keep the UK distribution market relatively buoyant. David Davies reports on a sector whose prospects remain bright as 2012 gets underway onditions are somewhat challenging but, all things considered, they could be much, much worse. That was the overriding impression conveyed by the distributors, consultants and other industry observers who spoke to IE for its latest UK market focus. Indeed, given the prevailing economic mood, there is some sense of surprise that activity levels have remained fairly buoyant. A handful of companies even reported a modest-to-encouraging upturn for full-year 2011. This robustness on the part of distributors appears to have several root causes. Firstly, there is a general recognition that customers are increasingly in need of comprehensive, integrated solutions; few would argue with the suggestion that a straightforward box-shifting operation no longer cuts the mustard. Secondly, a great many distributors are emphasising the necessity of looking towards new, emerging areas of technology – from cutting-edge lighting solutions to interactive displays – and undertaking the research necessary for them to get up to speed. Thirdly, the general acknowledgement of economic pressures on customers is prompting some distributors to devise new finance packages capable of making the difference between a sale and a no-sale. Customers’ desire to deploy eco/energy-sensitive solutions is also having a positive impact on the market, while a return to more specialised distribution channels is another primary strand of what is, on the whole, a cheeringly upbeat portrait of the UK market.

C

attributes RGB’s success in this area to the popularity of the Savant home automation and building control systems. Available from RGB as of April 2011, Savant appeals to higher echelons of the market “where money is still available”. Conversely, there are signs of struggle in the public and commercial sectors. Retail appears to be particularly badly hit – an observation that is fully in line with a glut of gloomy headlines over the past 12 months. For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that 375 UK retailers went into administration in Q2 alone – an increase of 9% on the same period in 2010. “The commercial market is where we are finding it particularly tough right now,” observes Innocent. “Retail is struggling, the public sector doesn’t have any money, and the City isn’t spending either.” Not everyone concurs with this sentiment. John Midgley is managing director of Polar Audio – distributor of Aviom, beyerdynamic, Biamp and Renkus-Heinz, among other esteemed audio brands – and observes that “bluechip companies, including banks”, constitute one of the strongest sectors at present. Elsewhere, the renovation/ refurbishment of companies’ existing facilities and associated energy-saving schemes are offering respite in a more

Hans Kolberg has a regular preventative maintenance contract with a large house of worship in Hampshire, UK, to ensure its heavy investment in ‘intelligent audio’ is firmly protected

to access even low levels of credit, it is hardly surprising that large-scale projects are fairly few and far between at present.

Ringing the changes Commercial vs residential The strength of the French CI sector compared to some other areas of the business was one of the key themes of last month’s country report. In the UK, too, it appears to be an especially bright spot in the market as the retail and commercial spheres continue to evince reduced levels of confidence. “The custom install market is still a very strong sector, along with the opportunity for professional audio into the professional AV market,” says Darren Lewitt, AV director of Midwich, a leading force in UK distribution comprising eight specialist companies. Lewitt’s sentiments about CI are echoed by Gordon Innocent, chairman of RGB Communications, which works with brands including Barco, Canon, Kramer and Stardraw.com. Highlighting the strength of “high-end custom install”, Lewitt partly www.installationeurope.com

‘We have a very progressive approach to credit’ Sid Stanley, Maverick UK

pressurised commercial sector. There are also some reports of companies investing in videoconferencing technology – a development that indicates a determination to achieve longer-term cost savings as a result of reduced travel expenses. But with many businesses struggling

While distributors report reasonable levels of activity, the more challenging operating conditions – not to mention the fear of what might be around the corner – are prompting some manufacturers to review their distribution arrangements. One symptom of this is an increase in the number of companies selling directly to resellers. “For us, the biggest changes have been AMX going direct to resellers as of January 2010 and projectiondesign as of January 2011,” says RGB’s Innocent. “Manufacturers will – like us all – do whatever they think is necessary at the time to hit their targets.” James Knight – church relations manager, UK, for AV engineering specialist Hans Kolberg – also observes a tendency by some brands to cut out their distribution partners. It’s clear that he harbours reservations about the

Key points . An increasing number of manufacturers are now selling directly to resellers

. Credit terms are frequently reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure maximum flexibility

. The residential market is helping to offset a depressed commercial sphere

. There is an increased focus on providing complete solutions

trend on practical and product-related levels: “There are certain brands in the UK that have stopped going through distributors – calling them ‘unnecessary middlemen’ – and have tried to ‘go it alone’ to take more margin, which has resulted in the release of new products which don’t necessarily fit into their current portfolio, in a desperate bid to attract attention. All the distributors IE February 2012 29


Markets: Distributor Focus – UK

Midwich is the exclusive UK distributor of the Samsung SUR40 surface table solution

that we work with do a great, honest job and support their brands really well with marketing, post-sales support and application engineering – so it really makes us wonder… why do certain brands with little distribution experience think they can do better?” There were also multiple allusions to a longer-term shift away from general distribution models. Midwich’s Darren Lewitt pinpoints “a migration back towards adopting a specialist-only

30 IE February 2012

distribution channel. Hitachi, NEC, Casio and Panasonic have consciously decided not to use IT distributors (which includes broadline distributors with small AV divisions). Over the past two or three years, most of the tier one vendors have walked away from general distribution models in favour of a more specialist channel.” Lighting and control solutions developer GDS is among the manufacturers to have embraced a

more specialist approach, and recently announced that a network of established companies – including Hawthorns, Northern Light, Stage Electrics and White Light – had been selected to distribute its product range in a development that took effect on 1 January 2012. The ability of customers to experience reduced lead-times and access in-house expertise are expected to be among the benefits of this revised approach. In addition, Matthew Lloyd, managing director of GDS, says the UK dealer model will mean the company “can expand more internationally while maintaining the UK market”. Sid Stanley, head of Maverick UK – which works with brands including Draper, Promethean and Samsung – believes that the “two-tier distribution model is becoming increasingly important both to vendors and resellers. We are seeing vendors generally wanting to move from direct to in-direct models as they look to make savings.”

Emerging technologies This impression of a distribution sector that is more fluid than at any time in recent years is further underlined by Mark White, UK/Ireland regional manager for lighting solution provider ETC: “There has been some shifting of dealer/distributors, usually as a result

of companies going out of business or being unable to supply finished reliable goods in a timely manner.” For Midwich, the “tougher” conditions have meant an increased emphasis on “solution selling” and the targeting of new technologies. The whole area of interactivity, says Lewitt, has been particularly rewarding, and has even prompted the creation of a dedicated interactive division. “The future looks bright with an array of solutions just arrived, including the new Microsoft- and Samsungdeveloped surface table solution, and a number of interactive displays from Sharp, NEC, iiyama and Samsung.” The desire to offer the latest and greatest solutions is reflected in many of the new contract wins of which our featured distributors are most proud. Lewitt, for example, cites Midwich’s UK exclusive with Samsung SUR40 to sell the aforementioned surface table solution. “It is a 40in touchscreen that makes it possible for people to share, collaborate and explore together. It can process more than 50 simultaneous touches and recognises fingers, hands and other objects placed on the screen. Featuring PixelSense technology, which gives LCD panels the power to see without the use of cameras, it is far less bulky than its predecessor,” enthuses Lewitt. In general, however, many people who spoke to IE for this feature

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Markets: Distributor Focus – UK

‘The custom install market is still a very strong sector’ Darren Lewitt, Midwich

declined to talk about specific recent contracts or projects on the grounds of confidentiality.

Credit and support In another development set to help keep business moving, some distributors are also reviewing their approach to finance. Many now offer a range of packages to their customers, while there is also an increased emphasis on collaborating closely with installers to help optimise the delivery of cost-effective solutions. “As an independent we have always

been less able to offer the sort of extended terms that the major brands appear to offer,� admits Polar Audio’s Midgley. “However, by working closely with both our suppliers and integrators we are able to ensure that products are available in a just-in-time fashion, thereby ensuring the maximum use of the applicable credit terms. We are also offering more support to our integrators with design, programming and project support to ensure costeffective solutions.� Credit, says Stanley, is “a key offering for TD Maverick [Maverick is the specialist AV division of Computer 2000, which is part of Tech Data]. This year, for example, to assist resellers in the education peak we extended credit terms and raised credit limits to help resellers fuel the seasonal peak. We have a very progressive approach to credit.� Midwich also maintains a flexible philosophy regarding credit. “We have always been able to review credit on a case-by-case basis,� says Lewitt. “Offering a range of finance solutions to help ease pressure, including enduser billing and leasing solutions and bespoke credit facilities, is very important to our customers.� Simultaneously with the need to ensure sufficient credit flexibility, distributors are confronting increased stress in terms of margins. “Margin pressure has been constant since the start of the first recession, but more

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recently there has been considerable pressure post-contract award to costengineer projects,â€? says Midgley. “Yes, pressure on margins is a growing factor,â€? echoes Stanley, “but in this market the value you deliver is reflected in the margin you retain. The investments we have made to date have therefore allowed us to earn the margin we planned for.â€? Investment with regard to reseller support is also helping to stabilise business in these unpredictable times. Maverick’s Stanley says that a number of initiatives have contributed to the company’s “more than double-digit growthâ€? since 2010. “However,â€? he adds, “the area that has really worked for us is our investment in business development heads who spend time with resellers supporting them and better enabling them to sellâ€?. As client requirements become increasingly specialised and demanding, the need to guarantee this kind of 360Âş support will surely only become more acute.

“market forces will shake that out in the time-honoured fashion�. Gordon Innocent, meanwhile, expresses frustration at “what is, in the main, a fact of life for us distributors: if we do a bad job we get replaced; if we do an average job we get added to; and when we do a great job the manufacturer takes all the credit and takes over.� Hmm – is there anyone who can envisage that changing any time soon? Such caveats aside, however, the majority of contributors appear to be relatively satisfied with the current shape of the UK distribution market. Bearing in mind the prevailing economic circumstances, there is a sense of relief – surprise, even – that trading conditions remain as positive as they do. Nonetheless, there is also a feeling that this is no time for resting on laurels, hence the enhanced levels of support and flexibility being offered to customers and resellers. These and other initiatives will help the sector to navigate whatever flows its way in 2012. IE

Looking forward The general mood of positivity reflected in this feature doesn’t mean that there aren’t some concerns about the way the market is developing. ETC’s White observes that there are “often too many dealer/distributors in the shrinking market�, but is confident that



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IE February 2012 31


Concert Venues

Sound solutions Simon Duff rounds up some of the best and brightest concert hall audio installations across Europe rchitectural advances, new delivery mediums and changes in social media will all help shape how concert venues will function in the coming years. They will need to be affordable, flexible and environmentally friendly. For sound, this means that triple-usage systems covering

A

PA, VA and networking technology are needed for visiting touring systems to utilise a house system and reduce touring costs. Acoustically, buildings will become more intelligent. Users may have access to surfaces that can change between being absorbent, then reflective and

maybe controlled electronically in a dynamic way. Steering sound and pinpointing targeted areas and zones are also key factors for consideration, as is the ability, in many cases, to disguise audio technology, and be flexible, while still satisfying the aural requirements of a space.

Further innovation may come in the form of online diagnostics for sound systems. So, for example, a digital console could be worked on online, anywhere in the world, by a manufacturer in their offices. Right now it seems to be an expensive proposition to be effective but it’s in

everybody’s interest, including the manufacturers, that it does. Food for thought indeed. In the meantime, have a look at these success stories: we’ve asked some big names from the world of concert venue technology to share their favourite recent showcase installations with us.

THE SAGE GATESHEAD, UK: MULTIPURPOSE VENUE INVESTS IN MIDAS Demands at The Sage range from small school concerts to large conferences and orchestral events to world-class amplified artists. “We first came across the Midas PRO series almost three years ago, when we used a PRO6 on a large surround-sound opera, Skellig,” says The Sage Gateshead’s head of technical operations, Chris Durant. “It was obvious that this was a product that would more than meet our needs when we required an upgrade, and would reinforce our reputation as one

of the best sounding music venues in the world.” The various I/O boxes available as part of the Midas digital system mean that Durant’s team have been able to come up with solutions for all of these, as well as applications that were previously impossible. He adds: “We were able to justify investing in a PRO9 which, offering 88 inputs, means we should never run out.” Richard Ferriday, brand development manager at Midas Klark Teknik, says: “When a concert venue at the level of

The Sage Gateshead is installing an audio system, they need equipment which is going to complement the exceptional acoustic properties of the performance space. Everything in the signal path, from capture to delivery, has to be able to provide the audience with a world-class audio experience. Anyone who attends a music event at The Sage will not fail to be impressed by the efforts of everyone, from the building architect to the mix engineer, who strive to create one of the finest live aural experiences out there.”

 www.midasconsoles.com

HELSINKI MUSIC HALL, FINLAND: KIVA SYSTEM PROVIDES EVEN COVERAGE The 1,700-seat Helsinki Music Hall plays host to the Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra among others. Their music reaches the audience’s ears through a KIVA WST line source system, installed by L-Acoustics’ Finnish distributor Starlike. “The objective was to maintain even SPL and smooth tonal balance for all sections,” says Starlike’s Pauli Molnár. “An L-Acoustics line source system was deemed to be the ideal choice as the modularity of its curvature ensures

excellent homogeneity of coverage, even tonal balance and adequate SPL.” The system is configured as front, rear and side sound sources located in the ceiling, flown on the canopy at a height of 15.5m above ground level. The central cluster provides definition and clarity for the furthest members of the audience. Two hangs of nine KIVAs have been flown from the canopy, providing even coverage for the front audience areas until intersecting with the existing front fills. A further two hangs of eight KIVAs are flown at the

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same height to cover rear audience areas, while two hangs of six KIVAs at the same height cover the side audience. Two SB18i subwoofers behind the front line arrays provide 360° directivity for various applications while minimising low-frequency energy on stage. Stéphane Ecalle, marketing director at L-Acoustics, says: “The results obtained on this complex project highlight the importance of employing the right combination of sound designers, sound design tools and sound system to ensure success.”

 www.l-acoustics.com  www.starlike.fi

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32 IE February 2012

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Concert Venues

KODÁLY CENTRE, HUNGARY: YAMAHA CONSOLES TAKE CENTRE STAGE The culmination of the Hungarian city of Pécs’ 2010 tenure as a European Capital of Culture was the opening of the Kodály Centre, a new concert and conference venue. Budapest-based Interton Electroacoustics installed Yamaha audio equipment throughout. The specification includes PM5D, M7CL-48ES, LS9-32 and DM2000VCM digital mixing consoles; MG206c and MG166c analogue consoles; five SB168-ES stage boxes; HS80M, HS50M and HS10W powered reference monitors, plus MY16-ES64

and MY16-EX EtherSound interface cards. “The PM5D is the main front of house console, while the M7CL-48ES is used primarily for monitors, where it can be placed in four different positions. It can also be used as the FOH mixer,” says Interton design engineer Ferenc Volár. “There is a full EtherSound network throughout the building, so it’s straightforward to move the consoles if required, and it makes the use of the SB168-ES stage boxes very versatile.”

The LS9 is used for smaller conferences in the main hall, while the analogue consoles are used in the conference and rehearsal rooms. Meanwhile, the studio, which features the DM2000, is mainly used to record concerts from the main hall via EtherSound. With the Kodály Centre’s sound receiving praise from eminent Russian violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov, who performed its first public concert, it provides a truly lasting legacy from Pécs’ year as a Capital of Culture.

 www.interton.hu  www.yamahacommercialaudio.com

sub,” adds Jones. “The potential power of something like a B2 is not needed. It’s the extended and musical low end down to 37Hz that matters. For something like a jazz performance on double bass that’s essential.” Inevitably it’s the room acoustic that gives voice to any installed PA system. “What’s interesting is that the room has a variable acoustic, there are curtains hidden behind the structural pillars, and these can be deployed to suit the needs of a variety of acoustic performance styles,” says Jones.

 www.dbaudio.com  www.orbitalsound.co.uk

KINGS PLACE, UK: D&B AUDIOTECHNIK CHOSEN FOR HALL ONE The first concert hall to be built in central London since the Barbican in 1982, Kings Place in Kings Cross opened in October 2008. A concert hall with a 420-capacity auditorium, it has received many plaudits for the outstanding acoustic environment created with Arup Acoustics. The sound system installation was carried out in collaboration with d&b partner Orbital Sound. The main FOH system comprises d&b Q7, E8 and E0 loudspeakers with B2 and E15X subwoofers, and E12

loudspeakers for monitoring, all driven by D6 and D12 amplifiers. Steve Jones from the d&b applications support department comments: “Curiously it was one of those projects where we had to convince the client to use fewer boxes than they envisioned.” For a relatively small room the presence of subwoofers might surprise some, but again the rationale is clear. “The system is augmented in the low end by a well concealed recess to each side of the stage where we’ve positioned a B2-SUB and an E15X-

THÉÂTRE MAC-NAB, FRANCE: NEXO SOUND REINFORCEMENT FOR POPULAR VENUE Nexo GEO S12 line array cabinets have been chosen by Théâtre Mac-Nab, based in the French town of Vierzon, near Orléans. Installed by rental and installation specialist XB Diffusion, the system is a perfect example of Nexo’s sound reinforcement solution for a 500-capacity auditorium. The theatre is named after 19th century singer Maurice Mac-Nab, a native of Vierzon. Now in its 12th season, this dynamic venue punches well above its weight, booking wellknown artists and hosting an eclectic programme of classical music, variety,

drama and more. Technical director Jean Marc Bondeux recently commissioned a new sound system, capable of handling such a diverse artistic menu. XB Diffusion has given Théâtre Mac-Nab a versatile solution, a Nexo GEO S12 line array system that lives inside the auditorium for most of the year, but can be removed and taken outside for the theatre’s summer festival. The system deploys Nexo’s NXAMPs and Yamaha stage boxes to exploit the networking functionality of EtherSound.

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For the house system, XB Diffusion verified its design using Nexo’s NS-1 prediction and modelling software. The outcome was left and right hangs of GEO S12 (five S1210 plus one S1230 per side) with two RS15 subs a side. This part of the system is powered by two NXAMP 4x4s. Jean Jacques Vias, sales manager at Nexo, says: “Many venues of Mac-Nab’s size are looking for a system like the Nexo S12 to service a rich mix of musical genres, including the benefits of networking capability at an affordable price.”

 www.nexo-sa.com  www.xbdiffusion.fr

DVIDL-OPT extender pair: Dual-Link DVI over 2 multimode fiber transmitter and receiver. 1/4 rack width, Advanced EDID Management (-TX200), TMDS Reclocking (-RX100). Zero frame delay. Supports 120 Hz 3D signals. Neutrik OpticalCON connector.

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IE February 2012 33


Concert Venues

OSLO OPERA HOUSE, NORWAY: 21ST CENTURY ACOUSTICS BY RENKUS-HEINZ Oslo’s Operaen is the city’s first purpose-built opera house. Internally, its designers’ triumph has been to create a modern venue that embraces the multipurpose demands of both classical and contemporary music worlds. The main and rehearsal halls feature a sound reinforcement system based around Renkus-Heinz self-powered and externally powered loudspeakers, with Yamaha DME64 digital processors.

It provides a choice of switchable configurations to suit the type of performance. Signal routing to the main loudspeaker arrays, located in left and right movable loudspeaker towers, can be configured to effectively create two ‘systems within a system’, with the upper loudspeaker cabinets handling vocals and the lower cabinets handling instruments, to maximise separation and clarity. There is also a flown centre cluster to provide an L-C-R sound

image across the stage. The main room, which seats 1,370, has an adjustable reverb time of between 1.2 and two seconds, and movable curtains are provided to cover the gallery areas when unoccupied. Two Renkus-Heinz ST4/4-2T fullrange cluster cabinets per side, and a pair of centrally flown ST4/4-2T, form the main L-C-R system, plus one ST4/9 per side as front fill, augmented by four DR18-2 subwoofers.

 www.renkus-heinz.com

METROPOOL, NETHERLANDS: FLEXIBLE SYSTEM BASED AROUND DIGICO CONSOLES During 2011, Dutch live venue Metropool moved to a new threestorey industrial unit. Covering an area of 2,862sqm, the concrete shell contains two concert auditoriums, a café terrace, rehearsal rooms and offices. Utrecht-based TM Audio won the tender for the sound system. Although the specification for the main FOH desk was analogue, making it possible to accommodate any visiting engineers

that might still require this option, TM Audio’s Jaap Pronk designed a flexible system, based around DiGiCo SD8s, that ensured the analogue cabling lines catered for touring productions, while offering the standard AES-EBU digital formats via the stage boxes. With standalone SD8s, each of which sports an Overdrive software upgrade to provide dynamic EQ, multiband compressors, 24 graphic EQs and an expanded matrix, in the

monitor positions, and a house SD8 with a 48-channel mobile connector that can travel between the respective FOH positions, Michiel Toenink, the venue’s head of production, uses an RME MADIface to multitrack the shows if required. “We wanted a digital desk because of the cost advantages. The SD8 was very intuitive. It also has a logical setup and contains more I/Os than anything at the same price point.”

 www.digico.biz  www.tmaudio.nl

director for Koko. “With huge brand visibility, JBL became central to that plan, as part of a Harman family installation.” Koko’s technical manager, Tim Hamper, was attracted to the VT4886’s compact footprint and clarity. “This is way superior to what we had before and I’m looking forward to an even higher level of performance when we install the new V5 presets. The new amps sound like a studio monitor.”

 www.harman.com  www.jbl.com  www.soundtech.co.uk

KOKO, LONDON: HUGE HARMAN UPGRADE FOR ICONIC VENUE London venue Koko is famous for hosting Madonna’s first-ever gig in the UK capital. The 1,500-capacity venue has opened a new chapter in its history by substantially upgrading its existing Harman audio system featuring JBL Professional loudspeakers and Crown Audio amplifiers, commissioned by Sound Technology, Harman’s UK distributor. This included an upgrade from JBL SRX enclosures to six VerTec VT4886 sub compact line array elements which

now sit atop eight VerTec VT4880 fullsize arrayable subwoofers. These supplement the club’s existing leftright clusters of eight VT4888 midsize line array elements per side. At the same time, Crown I-Tech amplifiers have been upgraded to Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers. “Our vision when we opened was to revolutionise live music in the UK by transforming this into the capital’s hottest address,” comments Larry Seymour, nightclub operations

ONLINE EXTRAS: CASE STUDIES . Visit the IE website for more, including Soundcraft Studer at the Moscow Conservatory and Meyer Sound at the Danish Mantziusgården Culture Centre www.installationeurope.com

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IE February 2012 35


The IE Interview

Tim Penn, Chief Manufacturing

Success on a global scale The vice president – international of mounting and display solutions manufacturer Chief and ISE Advisory Board member talks to James McGrath about industry-leading technology How did you first come to be involved in the AV industry?

There are definitely roots in the fact that I’ve been a musician all my life – I started out as a recording engineer in university. For eight years after university I worked as a light and sound engineer, recording engineer and producer; and even have engineering credits for a few big artists such as Prince and the Pointer Sisters. Then I decided it was time for a change – I wanted to see a little more sunshine than most sound engineers normally do! So I started working for Electrosonic, an audiovisual company that has offices in Minnesota and California and headquarters in the UK. I was there for four years and held a number of different roles that involved installation work, videowall programming, training and tradeshows. I then went off to graduate school, got an MBA in International Management and moved on to AMX holding a position there for eleven-and a-half years before moving to Milestone in January of last year. How does working with Milestone compare with working for AMX?

As you probably already know they’re both a part of Duchossois holding company, and both are fantastic brands involved in industry-leading technology. But while the products are very different, the core values, approach to the customer and drive to be the leader in terms of technology are very much the same. My role at AMX was international and so is the role I currently have at Milestone, so overall it was a relatively easy transition. To what extent and how does Milestone compete with low-cost low-value manufacturers?

We tend to be industry leaders, and often come up against what we call ‘fast-followers’. So while we do compete with those types of manufacturers, we are a premium brand, building technology into our products that commands a premium price. We work diligently to make sure the 36 IE February 2012

customer experience of all our products is very different than some of the low-cost producers. So, yes, I do think we compete against them, but when you look at the market as a whole, it’s obvious to see where industry leaders are competing on a different level to low-cost low-technology producers. We’re doing a great deal to ensure our products maintain quality and value, and we’re experiencing success on a global scale even in less developed countries. The business is growing: we’re getting new integrators all the time and we’re adding retail partners. There are definitely more competitors out there for us, but we’re still continuing to build on our success in the space we’ve always been.

Tim Penn– a brief biography . Tim Penn has worked in AV for 25 years

. He started his career as a recording engineer and producer

. He holds an undergraduate degree in Business Management, and an MBA in International Management from The Thunderbird School of International Management

. Prior to joining Chief he worked for AMX in both Dallas and London as managing director and vice president for international market development

. He joined Chief in 2011 as vice president – international

How significant do you think the synergies are between Milestone brands Chief and Sanus?

They are both strong brands aimed at different segments of the market. Chief is focused on the custom and commercial install markets, while Sanus is a consumer brand. We have engineers working on each brand, but they’re part of the same company so they’re constantly sharing information. The same can be said for the sales side of operations; all our commercial sales personnel know all of our consumer sales personnel and they’re exchanging information and opportunities all the time. Obviously the two different brands are their core job, but sharing ideas develops both brands individually. Are you optimistic that ISE will continue on its growth path?

I believe the ISE show is just the right combination of the commercial and custom install segments of the industry. The commercial segment of the market will continue to bring in new exhibitors and new speakers in what I would call the developing parts of the industry – digital signage being one of those parts. We will continue to see more attendees from an even broader range of countries and the show will

‘The high and low end of the markets are definitely moving away from each other’ continue to attract manufacturers from around the world. What do you think are the main reasons for the success of ISE?

From a manufacturer’s perspective, the show offers a great opportunity; people arrive from all over the world, and so as a global manufacturer in our industry I think it’s the best show to attract the greatest variety of people from different countries. As I mentioned before, ISE is continuing to look for emerging segments in the AV industry and it’s creating opportunities for manufacturers and attendees who come to the show. The show continues to innovate in that way and I think that’s very good.

Overall ISE has a very strong brand, as well as very well done tradeshow marketing both for exhibitors and attendees. From a tradeshow experience – and I’ve been to a lot of them – ISE is still the best tradeshow I attend each year. Does your position on the Advisory Board of ISE help with your current role?

It does in the sense that the board is really focused on the show, so any time you have the chance to see how something is becoming successful – as ISE did and continues to be – you can always take some of those elements and apply them to certain parts of your own business. It was a great opportunity to be on the Advisory Board – it’s an opportunity to learn and you should always take advantage of those opportunities.

What are your plans for 2012?

Growth will feature heavily in our plans in 2012. We will continue to expand our international presence by looking for new integrators and distribution partners from around the world to support this activity. Milestone acquired the Da-Lite company last year and with that came not only the Da-Lite brand, but also Projecta and Procolor, both of which are manufactured in Europe. We’re continuing to bring the Milestone and Da-Lite teams more closely together working on things from a sales perspective; we’re also starting to talk about some clever new product ideas that will take advantage of both of our technologies. I think it’s going to be an exciting year. IE  

www.chiefmfg.com www.milestone.com

ONLINE EXTRAS . Does Tim Penn think the gap between the top and bottom ends of the mounting and racking market will widen or narrow? www.installationeurope.com www.installationeurope.com


Visit C r ISE 20 estron at th e 12 St Regis ter fo a n r free d 1 at cre F6 stron.e u/ISE2

012

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Solutions: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik

Fire and ice A world-class facility opened recently in the Icelandic capital, featuring a wealth of AV and lighting technology and a high degree of integration. Paddy Baker paid a visit

INSTALL OF THE MONTH

Sound reinforcement in the main Eldborg hall is provided by a Meyer Sound line array system

There are four Midas PRO9 consoles at Harpa, making it the largest PRO9 installation in the world

n recent years, Iceland has attracted international media coverage for two main reasons. The first is the country’s contribution to the music world; it certainly punches above its weight, given that its population (just under 320,000) is comparable to that of a single city, or even a large town. Iceland’s other recent claim to fame – or perhaps notoriety – was the role played by its banks in the global financial crisis in 2008. As it happens, both are significant in the story of the genesis of the Harpa concert hall and

I

convention centre, which overlooks Reykjavik’s harbour. The venue opened in May 2011, and has seen performances by perhaps the country’s best-known musical export, Björk, as well as the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera, to which it is now home, and other international attractions such as jazz pianist Jamie Cullum. But when national bank Landsbanki crashed at the end of 2008, when the building was an empty fourstorey shell, that might have been the end of the Harpa

Installed Audio . Meyer Sound MICA line array . Meyer Sound M’elodie line array . Meyer Sound 600 HP subs . Meyer Sound CQ-1 . Meyer Sound UPJunior . Meyer Sound Galileo loudspeaker management . Tannoy Q-Flex . Midas PRO9 consoles . Allen & Heath iLive R72 consoles . Allen & Heath iLive T80 console . Clear-Com intercom . Ateïs voice alarm system

Lighting . ETC Congo lighting consoles . ETC Congo jr lighting consoles . ETC Congo Light Servers

38 IE February 2012

. ETC Wireless Focus Remotes . ETC Remote Video Interfaces . AMX 19in touchscreens . ETC Source Fours . ADB Warps . Selecon Aurora Cycs . Selecon Rama fresnels . Robert Juliat Aramis followspots . Martin TW1 washlights . Martin MAC III Performance moving heads

Video . Barco FLM HD20 projectors . Barco RLM-W8 WUXGA projectors . Da-Lite 6m projection screens . Gerriets 10m projection screen . AMX control systems . AMX/SpinetiX digital signage players . Stinova DS scheduling software

story. Fortunately the Icelandic State and the City of Reykjavik, which had been partners on the project since signing the contract in 2002, agreed that the development must continue. Construction started again in February 2009 after a halt of just a few weeks. Exton, one of Iceland’s leading audiovisual companies, was hired as a consultant on the project by Portus, the company in charge of the development. Exton partner Sverrir Hreidarsson explains: “Our task was to make sure that the final result was not only consistent with what was asked for, but also that it was a viable solution for our local market. We continued as consultants working with Portus and with Artec Consultants [a New York firm specialising in performing arts spaces]. Then in 2007 we stepped down from consultancy and Harpa started creating the tenders for the job.”

Long-term plan In 2008, Exton successfully bid for the tenders for sound and communication and production lighting. It was the only company that bid for both, something that Exton founding partner Kristjan Magnusson believes was

crucial: “We put a lot of emphasis on it – we said, you should select one contractor to work with not just on these bids, but for the future, because he will be involved in developing the building for the next 10 years. The system we have designed is very integrated: all the control systems are integrated into touchpanels, for example. It’s much harder to do this if you have separate contractors, and you also have the possibility of finger-pointing [over whose fault something is]. So we made it financially interesting for them to have one contractor for both. And it saved money for us as well.” In 2010 the company won three additional tenders, for the AV systems, digital signage and additional production lighting – following the decision to house Icelandic Opera in the venue, alongside the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. In purely financial terms, the Harpa project is about three times the size of Exton’s next largest job (the Hof concert hall in Aykureyri in northern Iceland). The sheer scale of the project, and high degree of systems integration throughout Harpa, necessitated a large amount of

planning to ensure the different systems work together properly, says Exton founding partner Gunnar Gunnarson: “For instance, IPTV is distributed right across the network, but you don’t want a problem in one hall to take down the whole system – so you have to plan for that.” There are two separate IP networks throughout the complex: one for sound and communication (including AV), and one for production lighting. Gunnarson describes the latter as a “relatively simple system connecting dimmers, desks and DMX nodes and house lighting control”. Overall, there are 275 IP addresses within Harpa. There is a high level of systems integration throughout the complex, with many different systems communicating with each other, explains Magnusson. Within the main concert hall, for instance, he says: “We let the Ateïs voice evacuation system talk to the Galileo loudspeaker management systems via the AMX control system, and at the same time the Clear-Com intercom system comes into the same loop. So for that part of the building those four systems are all tied together. www.installationeurope.com


Solutions: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik

Façade has volcanic inspiration

Harpa’s striking main façade was designed by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, working with Henning Larsen Architects. The distinctive 12-sided shape of each of the three-dimensional steel and glass modules is inspired by volcanic basalt. During the day, the various angles in this south-facing structure reflect sunlight and images of the city in kaleidoscopic fashion. At night,

“The same goes for the lighting system: the ETC consoles are talking to the architectural lighting control system which is also talking to the AMX system. It gives you another control layer on top of the control desks, so a novice operator can come in and switch on the lights for the symphony orchestra without there being a lighting desk operator on site. It gave us a simple system to install, but very sophisticated controls.� This was over and above what was specified in the tender, he adds. “The original tender was for discrete buttons for each circuit of lighting – except for what the lighting console controlled. We decided to follow the idea of having a completely integrated system. We had to persuade Artec that this was the way to go in the future. We had to push for it, but in the end I think they were happy with it.�

Braving the elements There are four main concert/conference spaces at Harpa – named after the four elements of earth, air, fire and water – ranging in capacity from 195 to 1,800 people. The main concert hall is called Eldborg, which means ‘fire castle’ and is the name of a volcanic crater in the west of Iceland. Appropriately furnished in a bright red decor, the hall, which is the permanent home of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, can seat around 1,500 people www.installationeurope.com

illumination comes from red, green and blue LED modules in each brick; the colour and intensity of each module can be individually controlled, providing moving light effects across the exterior that can be seen from afar. The design of the north, west and eastern façades is based on various two-dimensional crosssections of the 12-sided modules.

on four levels, and (depending on the production) additional seats behind and to the sides of the stage platform can be used to raise the capacity to 1,800. The sound systems were designed by Kari Eythorsson, a former Exton employee who now works from San Francisco on a freelance basis, who I talk to by phone subsequent to my visit to Harpa. I start by asking him about a sentence on Exton’s briefing notes about him: “Do not dare ask him to use anything other than Meyer Sound.� As one might suspect, it was a tongue-in-cheek comment, but he generally does turn to the Californian manufacturer’s product first, based on a mixture of admiration and practicality. “I know Meyer Sound equipment like the back of my hand – I’ve used it ever since I started with Exton [at the end of the 1990s],� he explains. “They are an amazing company, with a lot to admire – both in terms of people that work there and the products that they make. They have been a good partner to Exton. Meyer Sound is mature in the Icelandic market – there is all the knowledge about their equipment and good spare parts inventory. “Having said that, there are a lot of other very admirable loudspeaker manufacturers out there, and they all deserve respect for having brought new things to the market. I would do shows with other gear than Meyer Sound!� Artec had initially specified

point sound sources – based on the work that Eythorsson and Gunnarsson had done during the project’s consultancy phase. Eythorsson explains: “We placed a bid that was exactly what the tender asked for, but we also did an alternative to that – we consolidated a lot of devices and made things simpler so that devices could be shared between the halls and so on. Probably the biggest parts of that pie were the speaker system and the mixer system. When we got the tender we said, ‘Let’s see what else we can come up with.’ So we kicked it around a bit, talked to Meyer Sound, they came up with a proposal, that proposal was amended, and eventually accepted. “We wanted to do something that was a bit different, using the latest available tools at our disposal,� he says. “Working in a space like this does have some challenges – of course the room is primarily designed for an orchestra, so it’s easy to make the case that a line array might not be the perfect solution. You do not have the horizontal control that you would have from a point-andshoot speaker system – that was the main challenge. “For example, when you hang line arrays in a left and right configuration, if you have side balconies the arrays are closer to them than to the back of the hall that you are trying to cover as well.� How do you solve that problem? It’s to do with placement, he explains – placing the line arrays so that the balconies are in the area where the sound is starting to fall off – and accepting that the SPL at the balconies must be a little higher than at the back of the hall. The choice of equipment was relatively straightforward, he says: “There was a specified SPL goal and a coverage goal: we needed to reach a certain SPL figure in a uniform way around the hall, so the equipment basically specified itself from there.� The Eldborg hall is the only one of the four main spaces within Harpa to have a permanently installed speaker system – and even that is winched away out of sight for acoustic concerts. The sound reinforcement system in Eldborg is built around three clusters of Meyer Sound loudspeakers. Flown left and right clusters consist of 10 Meyer Sound MICA curvilinear speakers, with five 600-HP

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IE February 2012 39


Solutions: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik

subwoofers flown behind them; a flown centre cluster, covering the entire hall, comprises eight MICA cabinets, seven CQ-2 speakers for side- and downfill, one UPA-1P speaker for downfill and two CQ-1 cabinets covering the chorus balconies behind the stage. Seven UPJunior speakers, recessed in the stagelip, and another four in the balconies, provide auxiliary fills, as do another two CQ-2 boxes for stacked left/right frontfill and image pull. Loudspeaker processing is carried out by a Meyer Sound Galileo system. For acoustic concerts, the speaker clusters, which hang from motorised winches, are pulled up out of sight. A concealed announcement system, consisting of Tannoy QFlex units and recessed ceiling speakers, is deployed when the line arrays are not in use. Audio mixing and distribution is handled by the largest installed Midas and Klark Teknik digital network in the world – based around four networked Midas PRO9 live audio systems. Ingvar Jónsson, technical manager of sound engineering at Harpa, explains:

“We are usually running the PRO9s as front-of-house, monitor and recording systems. We often use 60 or 70 channels, almost filling up the 80 channels available on each system. There are usually two companies recording, the national radio broadcaster and Studio Syrland, a local recording studio, which is usually multitracking, using the Klark Teknik DN9650 network bridge from AES50 to MADI. We also have a Klark Teknik DN9696 highdefinition audio recorder, and we often multitrack the Iceland Symphony Orchestra with that. “When we have a high channel count, one of the PRO9s is used as a premixer with the portable rack, then we have a FOH, monitor and recording console. In a fortunate bout of timing, Exton was able to specify the PRO9 before it had been officially launched; its channel count was sufficiently high for the venue’s requirements. “The original system we looked at would have already been outdated when we opened the house last spring, so the decision to go with Midas was a really good

one,” comments Jónsson.” From a user point of view, the Midas system has been completely reliable since we opened.”

Chamber music The hall’s acoustic design was carried out by Artec, and uses a number of techniques to vary the hall’s acoustic behaviour. By far the most significant is the use of external reverberation chambers, which can almost double the space by operating the 99 motorised concrete doors that connect the chambers to the main hall. “We haven’t had as much time as we would have liked to work with the chambers, so we are still figuring out how best to use them,” admits Jónsson. “We are aiming more at lowfrequency absorption, rather than high-frequency, because the curtain will take care of that down to about 500Hz.” Eythorsson says he was surprised by how these chambers behaved: “When you think about using amplified sound in these kinds of spaces, your intuition says you want to have the least amount of reverberation in the room. These chambers are designed

They may not be much to look at, but the acoustic chambers around the sides of the Eldborg hall have a major role to play in adjusting the acoustic properties of the space

to increase the volume of the room and so increase the reverberation. But what we found was that we did not get the best results when the doors were closed. When you listen to, say, the sound of a kick-drum in the room, and the doors to the chambers are adjusted by increments of one degree, it’s quite amazing what it does to the sound. It’s like you’re tuning the room

around the PA. “My intuition said that these things would work either closed or open, but it doesn’t work that way. If you go from 20º to 21º to 22º – suddenly you have a tight kick drum. Then you go to 23º, 24º, 25º – it’s loose again! It was absolutely mindboggling to me – it was the biggest surprise in the project – how powerful a tool these mechanical controls are.”

Meet the IE team at ISE Come and meet our team, including some new faces, over drinks and canapés on the first afternoon of the show

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Solutions: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik

The digital signage system uses AMX/SpinetiX players, scheduled with Stinova software

Other mechanical means of varying the hall’s acoustic behaviour are the use of motorised banners inside the hall and in the reverberation chambers, whose position can be adjusted; and a 10-tonne canopy, in two sections above the stage, which can be raised and lowered. Gunnarson describes the lighting setup in the halls: “Production lighting is based on ETC dimmers and sensors. For house lighting control we have the ETC Paradigm, and an AMX interface for the 19in touchscreens, that’s communicating on Ethernet between the systems. The Paradigm sends feedback into the AMX that levels have been changed, and mimics that on screen. Then we have the lighting desks on the same network, and they can control the house lighting as well. “The lighting system is basically as Artec described it, except that we used AMX as a user interface instead of dedicated buttons. We have the AMX system turn on different modes in the halls – to lock out entry stations and things like that.” This approach provides greater versatility in operation; also, says Gunnarson, it’s easier to change an AMX user interface (using software) than to change dedicated buttons. In the Eldborg there is an ETC Congo lighting console, which can handle 6,000 channels (with an ETC Congo Light Server for back-up). An ETC Wireless Focus Remote handheld unit and an ETC Remote Video Interface control allow control and programming respectively to take place away from the console. For stage lighting, there are 480 dimmer channels, plus a further 168 non-dimming channels. Among the 290 fixtures are ETC Source Fours, ADB Warps, Selecon Aurora cycs and Robert Juliat Aramis followspots. In addition, there www.installationeurope.com

are 34 Martin TW1 and 32 Martin MAC III Performance moving heads. There’s also a 20,000-lumen Barco FLM HD 20 projector – one of three in the complex. As might be expected in a building of this size, there is a digital signage system mainly in the public areas, comprising around 40 screens. This is used for wayfinding and room identification, as well as to promote forthcoming events, special offers in restaurants and the involvement of sponsors.

Each screen has its own AMXbranded SpinetiX player. “We put in a control layer on top of that to handle the scheduling, which uses software from Stinova,” explains Magnusson. The signage system is in some ways complemented by the IPTV system. An AMX IPTV system takes streaming video from encoders in each of the halls and distributes it around 36 screens, distributed mainly in backstage areas, dressing rooms and offices. Any of five streams can be

selected on each display. During my visit to Harpa, I’m lucky enough to attend two very contrasting concerts in the Eldborg hall: a Christmas concert by Icelandic group Frostrósir (the Frost Roses), featuring orchestra and choir, which shows the Meyer Sound

system off to great effect; and a performance of Handel’s Messiah, using only the hall’s natural acoustics. Both sounded great – which just shows how a well-designed auditorium and a well-designed sound reinforcement system can be mutually beneficial. IE

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Solutions: Palacio de Comunicaciones, Madrid

Shaped sound tackles reverb Reverberation in a large covered space was a major acoustic issue until beam-shaping loudspeakers provided a solution – and opened the way for other work in the same complex. Paddy Baker reports

(L) The Galeria de Cristal, with one of the Intellivox DS1608 beam-shaping arrays (left of picture); (above and R) the Salon de Plenos, featuring the DSX280

Installed Audio All Duran Audio . Intellivox-DS1608 beam-shaping speaker arrays . Intellivox-DSX280 beam-shaping speaker arrays . Axys Target U-16 line array . Axys Flex U12-G2 loudspeakers

adrid’s Palace of Communications, built in the early 20th century, was originally the headquarters of the city’s postal and telephone services. In the early 21st, it became the home of Madrid City Council, which decided to convert parts of the palace – some for Council use, and some to be opened to the public for cultural activities. One of the latter areas is the Galeria de Cristal (glass gallery), a large L-shaped space that was originally open to the elements but has recently been fitted with a modular glass roof. However, before live events could be held here, there was a serious problem to overcome – it suffers from an enormous reverberation time (over 14 seconds), something to which the roof is a contributor. “I was walking alone here once, and it sounded like someone was walking behind me,” says Sandra Serrano, managing director of Duran Audio Ibéria. After previous attempts to tackle this acoustic problem had failed, integrator Audiotel contacted Barcelona-based consultancy Audioscan, which in turn called in Duran Audio. Initially, the manufacturer carried out tests with two Intellivox-DS1608 highpower beam-shaping loudspeaker arrays

M

44 IE February 2012

either side of, and just in front of, the stage area, at one end of the L-shape. Each is an array of 16 custom-designed, 4in speakers driven by an eight-channel Class D amp. The arrays serve to steer the sound away from the walls, greatly improving clarity and intelligibility. Using its AXYS DDA modelling software, Duran Audio had predicted a Speech Transmission Index (STI) of more than 0.5; during the test, the actual figure was 5.4 over the test area. The success of the test led to these two speakers being permanently installed. The arrays use Duran’s Digital Directivity Synthesis (DDS) technology, which the manufacturer describes as “an advanced, versatile array control optimisation concept”. Using DDS, the desired direct SPL distribution in a hall or space is used to calculate the optimum output filter for each array channel. Following this successful outcome, the company was invited back to extend the speaker system to cover the whole of the Galeria. This resulted in three more DS1608 arrays being installed in the other section of the L: a pair near its centre, and a single one towards the far end. The system produces a continuous SPL over a distance of about 70m. As the columns are slender and white, they

blend in well with the background. Different presets have been created for the different uses that the area is put to – such as music and speech.

Council chamber Having established a successful working relationship with Audiotel, Duran Audio was invited to suggest a solution for another part of the Palacio complex: the newly completed City Council chamber (Salon de Plenos) – previously a postal sorting office. Here the recommendation was for two Intellivox-DSX280 units to carry the sound from a Bosch conferencing system. Products in the DSX range have the same dimensions as their DS equivalents, but include a small horn array. This extends the frequency response to 18kHz, producing a wider coverage angle at high frequencies and, according to Duran, a more ‘hi-fi’ sound. Each DSX280 contains 14 4in loudspeakers and four 1in dome tweeters. Once again, the STI predictions and results proved impressive – the resulting STI ranging from 0.62 to 0.70 around the seating areas. That wasn’t the end of the Dutch manufacturer’s involvement at the Palacio, however. One more room

required sound reinforcement – the new auditorium. What was required here was a more conventional solution, a small highly efficient line array. For this, Duran Audio Ibéria modelled the auditorium utilising the Axys Target U-16 line array. These each contain a vertical slot diffraction HF horn coupled to a 1in neodymium compression driver, along with 6.5in low-mid drivers. They also contain the same DDS technology as the Intellivox range. In the auditorium, three U-16 boxes hang on each side. Front fill is provided by Axys Flex U12-G2 units. The Flex U12-G2 is a two-way unit consisting of a 6.5in driver and a soft dome tweeter. All of the speakers in the Palacio complex are on an IP network, so that they can be managed centrally, or even remotely. “The Palacio de Comunicaciones is a great project for us to be involved in,” says Max Lindsay-Johnson, international sales and marketing manager at Duran Audio. “Not only is it a high-profile building in the Spanish capital, it also provides a showcase for three different Duran Audio products.” IE  

www.audioscan.es www.duran-audio.com www.installationeurope.com


Solutions: Evangelische Kirche, Wahrenholz

Spreading the word A Protestant church in northern Germany has updated its audio system to meet the demands of a modern congregation, writes James Christopher

Tannoy V12 and V6 loudspeakers line the nave

he Evangelische Kirche (Lutheran Protestant Church) in the parish of Wahrenholz in northern Germany holds a variety of events over and above traditional services – live music and gospel have been heard alongside spoken-word sermons – and an audio system that could cope with such demands was needed. The previous setup, installed in the mid-1960s as a ‘speechonly’ system, was not designed for such varying use, so when the church had a gospel event, for instance, an external PA system had to be rented and set up – a method that was both costly and labour intensive. To solve the problem. installation company Klartext was called in to specify a new setup that could cope with all of the requirements of a modern and forward-thinking house of worship.

T

About the installer . Klartext is focused on the creation of sound systems for churches, convention centres, schools and more . The company also offers solutions for digital signage systems in retail outlets, traffic signs and billboards . It employs nine staff and is based in Steinheim

www.installationeurope.com

system installation ‘as tested in February’ – however, by that time Tannoy had launched its VX Series, the successor to the V Series range. As the church did not want to switch to different speaker types that had not been tested with the room, Klartext and Tannoy located two V12 and two V6 for the lower nave, and recommended the use of the new VX6 for the galleries. Thus, the look of the new system was not spoilt by different speaker generations on the same floor. Not wishing to ruin the aesthetics

of the church, Klartext painted the (originally black) V6 and VX6 speakers so they would blend with the wooden columns to which they are mounted. Volker Gringmuth of

Installed Audio . Tannoy V6 and V12 speakers . Tannoy VS15 BP subwoofer . Allen & Heath iDR 8 digital audio matrix . APart Champ One amps . APart Champ 2 amps . AKG gooseneck mic . Audio-Technica AE 5100 mic

Klartext comments: “We completed the installation within two days in late 2011, and since then, many sermons, music performances and gospel services have been held at the Evangelische Kirche, with the combination of both VX and V Series always performing perfectly to the customer’s fullest satisfaction.” IE 

www.akg.com www.allen-heath.com  www.apart-audio.com  www.audio-technica.com  www.klartextgruppe.de  www.tannoy.com 

Due to its wooden construction, the room has good natural acoustics, with a warm reverb that sounds neutral over the acoustic spectrum. Because of this, the installation didn’t need beamsteering or line-array speakers to achieve clear speech reproduction, but it still required something that would allow for an impressive music performance. Needing a solution that would take all of this into consideration, Klartext engineers turned to Tannoy’s V Series range. In February 2011, Klartext travelled to Wahrenholz to set up a testing system for a Sunday service, using Tannoy V12s as the main speakers, supported by V6 delay speakers and finished off with a VS15 BP woofer placed near the altar. The test system was controlled by a TDX1 digital controller, with the V12 in stereo operation and the V6 delay in mono setup (as the fourth output was used for the sub). Klartext used both AKG and Audio-Technica condenser microphones for different locations, to test their aptitude for the room, and they all worked well. Before and after the service there was a thorough testing by the customer using different types of music played from CD. The results were positive – even the musicians among the testing crew were impressed with the system which provided clear audio throughout the room. In August, the order was placed with Klartext for the V IE February 2012 45


Solutions: Autostadt, Wolfsburg

Auto connect Germany’s first automotive theme park is bringing people together with a new project that combines audiovisual technology with social networking, writes Tom Bradbury Seven 4 x 4m large square screens are arranged like a polygon in Socialsphere

utostadt in Wolfsburg opened in 2000 and was Germany’s first automotive theme park. It’s constantly being changed and updated and is now offering a new application devoted to the opportunities of online communication using social networks. Socialsphere, a new attraction that was opened in June 2011, is an interactive project on an area of some 300sqm within the customer centre – the space where people collect their new cars and have the opportunity to try out some new experiences while waiting. The experience centre itself offers entertainment for the whole family, but this newly designed zone is particularly aimed at the younger generation. Within the Socialsphere, social networks become accessible. Seven interactive visualisation zones take visitors on an interactive journey to new communication methods, allowing a playful and spatial approach to the new types of communication on the world wide web. The Socialsphere consists of seven stations with titles such as ‘Panoramas’, ‘Snapshots’, ‘Quizzes’ and ‘Tag Cloud’, showing graphically designed pages which allow easy and playful handling of new media.

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www.installationeurope.com

The installation, which was carried out by Diskowski Marine Electronics, uses seven Christie DS+10K-M 3-chip DLP projectors. The seven 4m x 4m screens that make up the Socialsphere are arranged like a polygon, and each screen can be controlled via an interactive ‘Infoterminal’. All control units as well as the source equipment are installed in a central technical facilities room, and the operation terminals feature touch monitors via which visitors can navigate interactively through the application. Glass fibre cables were installed specifically for this project to ensure rapid data transmission. The technical media department’s team at Autostadt GmbH opted for the M Series 10,500 ANSI lumen projector with SXGA+ (1,400 x 1,050) resolution based on the positive experiences they had already had when working with Christie products. What turned out to be decisive was the relationship between procurement cost and operating costs, as well as operating security – crucial for devices such as these which are in use for more than eight hours on 364 days a year, logging approximately 4,500 annual operating hours.

Visitors navigate through the application via ‘Info-terminal' control units

Installed

About the installer

Video . Christie DS+10K-M projectors

The projectors were fitted onto purpose-built wall mounts high above the audience with a projection distance of some 6.6m. In order to achieve the required image format of 1,050 x 1,050 pixels per screen, the image was shifted extremely. To precisely reproduce the square image format, Christie Twist technology was used. Now embedded in the M Series, it can warp and match images easily. To fix the projectors, Christie’s own stacking frames were used, which made it easier to configure the whole system and saved time as it was possible to align the projectors in all axes. Three technicians were usually on site for a period of approximately two months in order to install the whole Socialsphere, including the control and audio technology. It proved to be useful that Diskowski has experience of working at the Autostadt since 2006. Apart from projects in the Autostadt, Diskowski Marine Electronics AG predominantly equips marine vessels, including major cruise ships. “It is also there that we use

. Diskowski Marine Electronics specialises in equipping ships with video/audio entertainment systems, from cinema systems and broadcast studios to security and surveillance kit

. The company offers a full service from conception and design to fabrication, testing and installation

. Recent commissions include projects for SeaTruck Ferries, the German Navy and Disney Cruises

. Aside from marine projects, clients include hotel chains, education establishments and private clients

Christie projectors again and again. It’s simply that they provide a first-class image,” says André Dohse, board chairman of Diskowski Marine Electronics, in conclusion. IE  

www.christiedigital.eu www.diskowski-marine.de IE February 2012 47


Solutions: Media Centre, St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh

Fulfilling the brief

Installed Audio . beyerdynamic MPR211 microphone . beyerdynamic Opus 650 radio microphone . Polycom C16 SoundStructure . Polycom HDX mic array . Soundcraft EPM12 mixer

After more than a decade of service, the AV set-up in the Scottish government’s media centre was in need of a refresh, writes Tom Bradbury

Media 1 now features a dnp New Wide Angle rear-projection screen and an enhanced audio set-up

t Andrew’s House, the headquarters of the Scottish government, is where journalists are briefed on government announcements via the facilities in the Media Centre. This being the case, it is essential that the media can acquire clean audio signals, that those in the centre can hear everything with clarity, and that archive recordings can be made. It was this need that led to the recent upgrade of some of the key audiovisual components in the centre. Electrosonic was charged with refreshing essential

S

presentation equipment in Media 1 (which seats 70), Media 2 (a small briefing/meeting room), a preparatory Green Room supporting Media 1 and 2, a back-projection room, and a control room. The centre now has the ability to run presentations, record proceedings and relay images to an adjacent room.

Refreshing change Media 1’s automatic/manual audio system has been equipped with two Polycom C16 SoundStructure units for principal routing and mixing, along with

Video . Barco RLM W8 projector . dnp New Wide Angle projection screen . Roku Brightsign HD video player . Vaddio Wallview 50 camera . Extron MGP picture-in-picture processor . Extron DXP84 and CrossPoint 450 matrixes . SMART Technologies/NEC SB8070i display . NEC 46in LCD monitor . AMX NI-4000 controller

a Soundcraft EPM12 for manual control. Media 1’s stage lighting is LED based and controlled by an Artistic Licence preset control panel. Each Media 1 speaker position is equipped with an beyerdynamic MPR211 controlled pick-up line array microphone. A Polycom HDX mic array (for overall pick-up) and beyerdynamic Opus 650 radio mics are also on hand. Media 1’s most important display is the rear-projection screen which is built into the stage setting. The screen is a dnp New Wide Angle model, used in conjunction with a Barco RLM W8 projector behind it. The room is flanked by three Vaddio Wallview 50 remote controlled cameras. Other video inputs include two Roku Brightsign HD video players. The system also includes an Extron MGP picture-in-picture processor to allow the presentation of multiple images. The projector receives its images as DVI from an Extron DXP84 matrix.

Lighting . Artistic Licence control panel

Media 2 contains one Vaddio Wallview 50 remote controlled camera, as well as an interactive 70in LCD monitor (SMART Technologies/NEC SB8070i), which can be used to relay proceedings from Media 1. There is also an NEC 46in LCD monitor in the Green Room. Carolyne Thomson, Scottish government project manager, said of Electrosonic : “They listened to what we wanted to achieve and they came up with some very good ideas. They worked hard and we are happy with the results, which exceeded our expectations.” IE



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Solutions: Museum Podium Speelklok, Utrecht

A new tune A beautifully renovated museum boasting Europe’s largest collection of street organs has transformed its central space into a live performance area, attracting top Dutch artists, writes Tom Bradbury

The nave area was previously unused due to its poor acoustics Pictures: ML Media 2011

edicated to Europe’s largest display of what are broadly known in English as street organs, the Museum Speelklok was founded in 1956 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In 1984 the museum acquired a large church, whose beautifully restored interior houses the street organ collection in large side galleries, with smaller pieces displayed in cabinets on a balcony. Visitors are given a guided tour with explanations of each organ’s backstory. Some of the pieces – which range from hand-cranked barrel organs to vast, room-filling, mechanically driven multiinstrument extravaganzas – rate among the world’s first and finest digital instruments. They are programmed by the equivalent of computer punch tape, a long strip of tough paper dotted with differently shaped holes that the organ’s ‘tape reader’ translates into instruments, notes, ‘channel’ volume and so on. Says Dirkan Haspels, head of events at the museum:

D

www.installationeurope.com

“During the guided tours, the instruments are lit up – they start to play. You could say that we’re the museum for mechanical music. We have a very broad collection of automatically playing musical instruments. As there are not a lot of museums that specialise in this field, we’re the biggest of our kind in the world. “All the instruments we have are real instruments, there’s never a loudspeaker: you always hear a string or a bell, an organ pipe or whatever. Throughout the history of this museum we have very much been against all sorts of amplifiers and loudspeakers, because that is the enemy of what our instruments did beforehand. When amplifiers and loudspeakers were invented, the instruments in our collection sort of lost their value because very small loudspeakers could make the same sound and many other sounds as well. So from the beginning there has never been a loudspeaker in this museum.”

Installed

About the installer

Audio

. TM Audio imports, supplies and installs professional audio systems to a wide range of customers

. Renkus-Heinz ICL-R digitally steerable columns . Renkus-Heinz IC215 subwoofers . Renkus-Heinz CF121M2 monitors . Allen & Heath iDR8 digital mix processor . DBX 1046 quad compressor . Denon DN-C620 CD/MP3 player . XTA GQ-600 graphic equaliser . Yamaha 01V96 console

However, all that changed recently as the result of an inspired idea to utilise the vacant nave as a live performance space called Museum Podium Speelklok. Prior to this these central areas was rarely used due to their poor acoustics and the fact that it proved a prohibitively expensive area to heat. A Renkus-Heinz IC Live PA, installed by TM Audio, is now helping to address the many acoustic issues. Museum Podium Speelklok was created to let well-known Dutch artists perform in combination with the magical self-playing instruments of the museum’s collection. As the venue’s website puts it: “Every

. Key areas of business are theatres, clubs, festivals and the rental sector . Along with sister companies Pixel Source and Lightco, TM Audio recently moved to new offices in the building of the Ampco Flashlight Group, Utrecht performance is unique and never [to be seen] again. These exciting daring crossovers will give an extra dimension to Museum Speelklok, on top of visiting the exhibition and the Restoration Workshop.” A few years ago the museum team hit on the idea of offering items from its collection for live collaborations with musicians. Continues Haspels: “We found that co-operating with musical artists to create shows using instruments from the collection brings a whole new audience to the museum. We did it on stages, in theatres and at festivals – including the Lowlands, which is a big one in Holland.

“Because lots of the instruments we have can be programmed by our own specialist arrangers, we can make an organ play what we want it to play. They can strip music to an organ, a barrel organ, a pianola or a musical box or whatever. “For us the shows were a great success because lots of new audiences came to see and hear the instruments and said ah, an organ doesn’t only play Tulips from Amsterdam or the Amsterdam Canals or whatever – they can also play new music like hip-hop and jazz. And that opened their eyes.” The next, logical step was to bring the performances IE February 2012 51


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Solutions: Museum Podium Speelklok, Utrecht

Four Renkus-Heinz ICL-R digitally steerable columns sit atop matching IC215 2 x 15in self-powered subs

covered by four Renkus-Heinz CF121M2 12+2in selfpowered monitors. Additional kit includes a Denon DN-C620 CD/MP3 player with AES, an XTA GQ600 2 x 30 band graphic equaliser and a DBX 1046 quad compressor. On occasions when an organ needs amplifying, multiple overhead mics are deployed to pick up every nuance, and a variety of mostly Shure microphones is available for mic’ing both performers and, when necessary, the museum’s collection. TM Audio project and application engineer Olaf

Landzaat comments: “Mic’ing an organ is interesting, because basically what you have is a complete band in 2sqm; you need to amplify it like a band, only you’re missing the vocals. The band is inside a small box so it is difficult to amplify it because all your microphones have to be placed very close together; you have a lot of different instruments producing a lot of different frequencies, so you need a lot of instrument mics to get it right.” He adds: “The IC Live dealt

with the remaining acoustical issues – because it is a church, it has a very bad acoustics for amplified performance. With conventional loudspeakers you get a lot of reflection so you can’t hear speech or musical instruments clearly. With the IC Live you can programme them to create your focus points, and you can manipulate the beams to reduce reflection. That is basically the main reason why we use them, to get as good speech intelligence and sound as possible.” IE



www.allen-heath.com  www.dbxpro.com  www.denon.co.uk www.renkus-heinz.com  www.xta.co.uk  www.tmaudio.nl  www.yamahacommercialaudio.com 

to Museum Speelklok itself. Having secured funding of €1.5 million from the Dutch BankGiro Lottery, the first practical move was to acoustically treat the space to reduce its huge reverb time.

Technical transformation That achieved, attention turned to technical matters. “Then we started to transform this part of the church into a concert hall,” continues Haspels. “A lot of people advised me because I have no clue how this sort of thing works, so there were acoustics people, lighting and, of course sound system people. Several sound systems were put inside the church to test. The system that we chose – I wasn’t the only one to choose; there were different people who came to listen – is the one that you can see right now. In fact it is quite hard to see, which makes me happy; just two little columns and some subs underneath. It is only since the system has been in here that it has been possible to be on stage, to have a microphone and to talk, and to have 500 people listening without any problems. We’ve tried that many, many times before with lots of different systems and it never worked, so we’re very happy now.” The IC Live system consists of four eight-channel RenkusHeinz ICL-R digitally steerable columns, configured as one double stack per side, mounted atop matching IC215 2 x 15in self-powered subwoofers. These take their signal via RHAON (RenkusHeinz Audio Operations Network) from a 16-channel Yamaha 01V96 console 16in/32m with an Allen & Heath iDR8 digital mix processor. The stage is www.installationeurope.com

IE February 2012 53


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Product Choice

New this month We present our choice of new products for the installation market, many of which will be at ISE 2012

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

Crestron

Crestron Connected www.crestron.com

It’s… A new initiative that provides the framework for a distributed Cloud-based control system. Details: Collaborating with leading

manufacturers of commercial and home electronics products, Crestron is embedding its control platform intelligence in a wide selection of source equipment and

display devices such as Blu-ray Disc players, flatpanel HD TVs, and audio/video receivers. Products with Crestron Connected inside can be easily connected to any home or enterprise network using standard Ethernet cable. They can also be monitored, managed and controlled from any web-enabled laptop computer or mobile device, with no programming required. According to the company, Crestron Connected is an easy to implement out-of-the-box solution: users need only open a secure web page and every device on the network is instantly

Arthur Holm

FaitalPRO

Dynamic 3

Ferrite

www.arthurholm.com

www.faitalpro.com

It’s… A retractable monitor designed to be integrated into meeting, board and conference room tables and reception area desks. Details: Dynamic 3 is available in two versions – manual and motorised – and provides horizontal and vertical movements and a tilt of 180º. It incorporates an electronic board capable of detecting the screen position and flipping the image accordingly. The system can integrate a keyboard and mouse as options as well as microphones for audio conferencing applications. The 180º motorised rotation function allows the screen to be seen from

different angles and so enables information to be shared with several people. The monitor can be stored with the screen facing up or down and a motorised tray is included to optimise space. And also: Available in 17in and 19in versions, Dynamic 3 can be manually or remotely controlled via AH Net.

displayed. Crestron Fusion RV is then used to monitor, manage and control all electronic components in any room at any location around the globe. Integrators and IT managers can get instant text or email notifications if, for example, a projector lamp fails or a device loses power. And also: Devices that feature Crestron Connected can connect directly to the network from its Ethernet port. With plug-and-play and auto-discovery support, the need to program a central processor to translate different languages is effectively eliminated.

It’s… A complete range of woofer and mid-woofer drivers incorporating traditional ferrite magnet construction. Details: The Ferrite range offers 31 new speakers as a lower-cost alternative to FaitalPRO’s existing neodymium models. The 12HP1030 (pictured), 15HP1030 and 18HP1030 are 12in, 15in and 18in woofers with demodulated ferrite motors offering maximum power handling of between 1,000W and 1,200W (nominal). All incorporate two non-adjacent symmetrical spiders with variable height waves for maximum control on the entire excursion even at the highest power levels.

The 12HP1010, 15HP1010 and 18HP1010 offer slightly lower power handling of between 700W and 1,000W (nominal). The 12FH510, 15FH510 and 18FH510 are lower again in terms of power handling – at 500-600W – but like other models in the Ferrite range offer sensitivities up to 98dB. And also: Ferrite models are designed for use in a range of enclosures including line arrays, entry-level horn systems, frontloaded reflex designs and subwoofers.

Clockaudio

CW-200

Community

DP6 www.communitypro.com

It’s… A pendant speaker from Community’s Distributed Design range of ceiling and surfacemounted models. Details: Using similar components to the D6 ceiling model, the DP6 pendant speaker is said to offer superior sound quality and exceptional intelligibility. A true coaxial loudspeaker with an HF compression driver, the DP6 incorporates Community’s Carbon Ring Cone technology and a Tru-Phase high-frequency waveguide for consistent, wide dispersion up to 16kHz. Uniform voicing makes it possible to combine models from the entire Distributed Design range of ceiling, surface and pendant mount loudspeakers in a single installation offering consistency from zone to zone. The DP6 is equipped with a built-in autoformer, allowing the speaker to deliver full output and performance with 70V or 100V distribution lines. An easily accessible selector switch on the face of the loudspeaker makes it simple to choose between 8-ohm or 70V/100V operation, while the integrated rear cover conceals wiring and hanging hardware for a clean installation. Two 4.5m tensile galvanised steel wire rope suspension cables with integrated spring clips are included. And also: Available in standard black and white finishes, the DP6’s contoured, contemporary pendant form factor is said to be suitable for restaurants, bars, hotels, ballrooms, casinos, retail and commercial establishments.

www.clockaudio.com

It’s… A plug-and-play dual-channel wireless conferencing system. Details: The CW-200 is described as an affordable, easy to deploy and operate solution for elementary, occasional or portable conferencing applications. The system comprises two boundary microphone transmitter units and a dual-channel UHF receiver. The receiver and transmitter are operable over 32 selectable www.installationeurope.com

frequencies for each channel and feature auto scan and lock to provide interference-free transmission on the available frequencies. Adjustable ‘NoiseLock’ squelch and RFI shielding technology reduce environmental RF noise and signal interference. The transmitter units incorporate two half-cardioid electret capsules to provide coverage for two to three delegates at the table. Infrared upload from the

transmitters to the receiver sync power on/off and frequency selection settings. And also: The multi-function LCD displays on the transmitter

unit enable monitoring of frequency selection and signal conditions, and controls on the receiver can be locked out. IE February 2012 55


Product Choice Teracue

TV One

Chief

ENC-300-Portable

1T-CT-651/1T-CT-652

Raxxess series

www.teracue.com

www.tvone.com

www.chiefmfg.com

It’s… A compact hardware encoder for digital signage streaming applications.

It’s… A HDMI over single Cat5e/Cat6 system comprising transmitter (1T-CT651 – pictured) and receiver (1TCT-652).

It’s… Three new additions to Chief’s rack product line.

Details: The ENC-300-Portable offers MPEG-4 streaming and IPTV encoding of digital signage players, allowing HD content to be sent live over the IP network or the internet. The H.264 SD/HD video encoder processes DVI with analogue audio and HDMI with embedded audio signals. Streaming of video resolutions up to Full HD format is possible. In digital signage applications, the output of a digital signage PC player is captured by the ENC-300 encoder, allowing advertising and infotainment content to be

transmitted to hundreds of television sets or to PC users. In hotel casinos, for example, selected digital signage content from the casino can be provided as additional television channels in hotel rooms via the IPTV system. And also: Playback of HD signage content is possible on cost-effective standard IPTV set-top boxes, such as the Amino 140 series. An individual video data stream can be sent to as many end devices as required by using multicast stream transmission.

Details: Coupled together, the units employ HDMI v1.4 capability and TV One’s HDBaseT 3Play technology to allow transmission of uncompressed, 1080p highdefinition television signals over a single Cat5e or Cat6 cable. HDMI v1.4 signals – including 3D and 4K x 2K formats – are supported, and the system will allow DVI signal transmission with appropriate DVI-to-HDMI cable adapters. In addition, embedded

Brähler

Canon

DCen mini

XEED WUX5000

www.digimic.de

www.canon-europe.com

It’s… A DIGIMIC control console suitable for small microphone systems for management boards, supervisory boards and discussion sessions with recording facilities. Details: The system is designed to accommodate up to 25 microphone stands but can be expanded using the DExt (extension) power supply to support additional stands. The control console may be used in configuration-free mode, making it ready for operation ‘out-of-thebox’ without a computer. It offers three key operation modes – AUT3, Float, VOX – and includes a highlight with its voice-controlled microphone activation feature.

56 IE February 2012

A chairman controls the system via the microphone unit and can intervene in the debate via the mute key. The system can also be remote-controlled via LAN or directly via PC, including both wireless and tablet-controlled operation. Together with the DIGIVOTE interactive voting software, DCen mini allows interactive opinion polling directly via a PowerPoint presentation and provides for integration of wireless VD30 DIGIVOTE units. And also: DMicControl software enables individual microphone control via a touchscreen showing a geographical layout of the delegate microphones.

7.1ch LPCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio capability is standard. The 1T-CT-651/1T-CT-652 system can achieve signal distribution distances of up to 100m (325ft) for uncompressed 1080p signals without signal degradation. And also: Both units feature TV One-task locking power connectors to enhance overall system mechanical security.

It’s… A new addition to Canon’s high-performance XEED installation projector range. Details: The WUX5000 combines 5,000 lumens brightness with a range of Canon lens options and features designed to make installation as easy as possible. The unit is compatible with three different lenses: a standard zoom lens for most typical installations, a telephoto zoom lens for larger environments and a wide single-focus lens, which can be used for rear-projection applications. All are interchangeable with the WUX4000 and offer image sizes of between 40in and 600in, a maximum throw distance of 48.5m

and virtually no reduction in brightness, even when using the long zoom or single-focus lens options. LCOS panels combined with WUXGA resolution provide seamless images without ‘rainbow’ and ‘lattice’ effects.

Details: The G1 Series gangable rack (pictured) and the W1 and W2 Series on-wall racks continue the Raxxess series’ aim of offering extra rack space and easy installation. The G1 Series gangable rack includes features such as pre-welded ganging nuts and easily accessible hardware, giving installers the ability to gang racks after components are loaded. Other user-friendly features include adjustable front and rear rack rails and optional doors that are reversible. The W1 and W2 racks securely attach to any type of wall. W1 Series hinged wall racks swing out from the wall on either side for easy access to cabling, while the W2 Series is rated to hold up to 150lb. And also: Complementing this series is a full line of accessories that can be used universally across all rack solutions. The line includes thermal management accessories like the new 1U fan panel and filtered fan to protect equipment from dust.

And also: The WUX5000 incorporates a motorised lens shift, allowing the installer to reposition the display using either the projector’s control panel or the remote control handset. Images can be adjusted to within 0.5 pixels vertically and horizontally.

www.installationeurope.com


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ISE 2012 attendees represent every link in the communications business value chain. With manufacturers, distributors, integrators, specifiers and technology managers from over 100 countries walking the show floor, you’re bound to meet new contacts to help you grow your business. If they’re industry people worth knowing, you’ll find them at ISE 2012.

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Q&A

Duffy Wilbert, PAMA/InfoComm

Strength in numbers

The executive director of the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance discusses the group’s evolving role and its involvement in the Future Trends Summit at ISE 2012 How did you come to be involved with PAMA as its executive director?

I am senior vice president of member services for InfoComm, and about two years ago PAMA approached us and explained their desire to expand and move forward. They asked InfoComm to provide some management services and we agreed, although PAMA is still a completely separate organisation with a separate board and a separate budget. My own background prior to InfoComm includes 14 years at Sony Corporation, latterly as head of business operations for the pro group. This experience means that I have a pretty good understanding of how manufacturers work! What can we expect from PAMA’s Future Trends Summit panel session, ‘The Future of Audio Networking: Reality & Potential’, at ISE on 30 January?

The focus will be on the future and expansion of networking beyond just audio networking. While PAMA is an audio manufacturers’ alliance, issues surrounding interoperability and

networking go into numerous other areas. So I think you will hear plenty of discussion about likely developments over the next few years and how, for example, audio and video are going to be brought together. We have a great line-up of panellists, namely: Matt Czyzewski, vice president business development, Biamp Systems; Richard Zwiebel, vice president systems strategy, QSC; Graham Hammel, director system development and integration group, Harman Pro; Klas Dalbjorn, product research manager, Lab.gruppen; and John McMahon, executive director digital products, Meyer Sound. How do you perceive the emergence of AVB (audio/video bridging)? Do you sense an emerging consensus about its role in the future of networking?

Many of our members are proponents of AVB and have signed on to that, but there is still some debate both within PAMA and elsewhere about what form

‘There is still some debate about what form the AVB platform should take’ the platform should take. Don’t forget that PAMA represents 15 audio companies – very large ones, for sure, but there are probably at least 500-600 audio companies worldwide. Dealing with interoperability extends far beyond a small group, and that’s where the challenge lies. Aside from networking and interoperability, what are the main issues preoccuping PAMA members?

There is certainly a lot of discussion about new standards, like EN54 in Europe and NFPA 72 in the US. People want to find out how they are proceeding and what impact they are likely to have. Sustainability is another

major focus with issues such as standby power consumption on audio amplifiers.

ONLINE EXTRAS

Does PAMA elicit the input of integrators during its research projects?

. Duffy Wilbert discusses PAMA’s focus on IP infringement issues http://tinyurl.com/IEDuffyPAMA

We recently undertook a survey on interoperability that went out to over 36,000 people, and I would estimate that about 50% of those were integrators. Moreover, integrators constituted about 90% of the respondents. The project provided an opportunity for their opinions to come through, and it’s clear that there is a desire to know what the common language is going to be that will get the audio amplifier to talk to the video system, and how we will control that. Questions from the survey have fed into the panel session taking place at the Future Trends Summit. Do you expect PAMA to expand further in the future?

I think the group will continue to grow as time goes by. IP issues aren’t likely to go away, while the continuing proliferation of standards will have an impact on how products are made and how they perform – so there will remain a need for this kind of unified front. We also have a proactive approach towards recruiting new members. While it’s great as executive director to go out and talk to companies, the value proposition for PAMA is when someone from company A goes and talks to company B and explains the value that they are getting from their involvement. Ultimately, more companies equals more strength in numbers, as well as helping to improve the value of the conversation. I’ve been impressed by the level of co-operation I’ve witnessed in PAMA. While each company is very protective of its own business, its own IP, there is undoubtedly a great realisation of the need to work together to continue to promote pro audio. That has to be good news for the industry as a whole. IE

. Duffy Wilbert was speaking to David Davies.  

www.pamalliance.org www.iseurope.org

Visit www.installationeurope.com or type the tinyurl into your browser

Advertisers index Active Audio 28 AKG 9 Albiral 40 apantac 44 ASL 35 Ateïs 4 Audipack 42 Barco 17 BenQ 46 Black Magic Design 13 Bosch 26 Braehler 23 CEDIA 52 Clear-Com 48 Crestron Front cover, 37 Dexon 3 DIS 6 Faital 30 Fast Turnaround TV 54 Fohhn 43 Gefen 42 Hetec 23 HumanTechnik 28 InfoComm 50 InOut 18 Integrated Systems Europe 57 Kramer 53 Lightware 2, 32-33 Meyer Sound 11 Mitsubishi Electric 24 QSC 5 Rane 49 RGB Spectrum 10 Sennheiser KG 14 Sennheiser UK 34 SmartMetals 7 Sommer Cable 39 Soundcraft 20 Taiden 59 Tannoy 8, 31 Televic 45 TLS 16 TOA 41 TV One 19 Vision 56 Vogel’s Outside back cover

Subscriptions to Installation Europe are free to qualified readers. Register online at www.subscription.co.uk/cc/ie/mag1 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 2012, 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 paddy.baker@intentmedia.co.uk Managing editor Joanne Ruddock jo.ruddock@intentmedia.co.uk Staff writer James McGrath james.mcgrath@intentmedia.co.uk Designer Claire Brocklesby claire.brocklesby@intentmedia.co.uk Sales manager Ian Graham ian.graham@intentmedia.co.uk Sales executive Les Wood les.wood@intentmedia.co.uk US sales representative Michael Mitchell +1 631 673 3199 mjmitchell@broadcast-media.tv Senior production executive Alistair Taylor alistair.taylor@intentmedia.co.uk Production executive Florence Beaumont florence.beaumont@intentmedia.co.uk Intent Media is Digital content manager Tim Frost tim.frost@intentmedia.co.uk Publisher Steve Connolly steve.connolly@intentmedia.co.uk Managing director Stuart Dinsey Contributors George Cole, David Davies, Simon Duff, Nigel Lord, Ian McMurray, Steve Montgomery, Bob Snyder Special thanks this issue a member of Sverrir Hreidarsson, Winnie Leung, Max Lindsay-Johnson, Sandra Serrano © Intent Media 2012. No part of this publication may be the Periodical Publishers Association reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owners. Printed by Headley Brothers, UK 58 IE February 2012

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IE February 2012