IE INSTALLATION EUROPE
audio video lighting
March 2012 £5 €8 www.installationeurope.com
We review the biggest ever ISE show
Oxygène of publicity: Jarre talks to IE
Unified Angles incommunications the architecture
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SHOW NEWS & CONTENTS
Another record-breaking show ISE smashes records for attendees and exhibitors First keynote address stresses importance of integration The industry could not have asked for a better start to 2012, as Integrated Systems Europe broke all records. Exhibitor numbers were up by 15% from 2011, with a total of 825 companies occupying 11 halls of the Amsterdam RAI. Even more notably, the registered attendance figure rose by 17%, to 40,869 over the three show days of Tuesday 31 January to Thursday 2 February. Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events, was suitably upbeat in his assessment: “ISE is now clearly established as the best-attended event of its kind anywhere in the world,” he said. “To be able to post record numbers in every key area against an uncertain economic backdrop is a fantastic achievement, not just for ISE but for the industry it serves. Beyond the statistics, the sheer excitement generated by so many professional people converging on a show full of dynamic new technologies created an atmosphere unsurpassed by any previous ISE.”
Once again Installation Europe played its part in the show, producing the wellreceived ISE Daily, which was put together in an office of the showfloor and printed overnight, ready for distribution at the RAI as well as in hotels and on shuttle buses. IE was also involved in publishing the very popular Official Show Guide, copies of which disappeared rapidly from the show entrances. The ISE Daily team were also involved in supplying news stories for ISE’s Official Visitor Newsletter, which was emailed to show attendees and prospects before and during the event. Among the innovations for the show this year was the ISE Keynote Address. Gerhard Schulz (pictured), senior VP Central Europe for Ingram Micro, delivered the address, during which he exhorted integrators and distributors to add value by working together to create complete solutions. “Systems integration capabilities and businesses will take an increasing stake in the value chain and embrace substantial business opportunities,” he predicted. He drew on the experience of Ingram Micro to illustrate the way in which the AV and IT worlds can work together as
programme into Europe in the year ahead. As main partners of the event, it was great to see an increase in visitor numbers and a higher quality of attendees.” Matt Nimmons, operations director, CEDIA Region 1 “Integrated Systems Europe has developed into a highly-anticipated event on the industry calendar. With record-breaking
ISE 2012 SPECIAL REVIEW ISE News Views, opinions and figures from this year’s event ISE Review Product highlights from the showfloor
. NEWS & DATA 18 News The latest news from the European installation market 22 Data NFC-enabled device market set to grow massively 50 Show Preview: Prolight + Sound 63 Product Choice . VIEWS 24 Opinion: AV and IT Change doesn’t have to be a concern 26 Opinion There was much to see at another busy ISE 28 The IE Interview Jean Michel Jarre on connecting with music 66 Q&A Marcin Zimny of Tommex discusses the Polish installation market the move towards a networked future continues. Rather than relying on sales volume, the IT channel has increasingly had to add value by providing integrated solutions, Schulz reasoned. Beyond this, the next step was to move to providing solutions for specific vertical markets – such as healthcare, education or energy management.
ISE 2012 – HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? “CEDIA’s ISE education programme was a great success. Training is a vital part of CEDIA’s commitment to the industry, and it’s especially important for CI businesses to stay on top of new trends, technologies and best practice in our sector. We were delighted that delegates for our education programme attended in such strong numbers, and we look forward to expanding our education
attendance from integrators and end-users across Europe and the Middle East, a robust selection of industry education addressing topics of emerging importance and onsite certification testing, ISE has become a can’t miss event for everyone associated with the audiovisual industry.” Terry Friesenborg, senior vice president, international development, InfoComm International
. MARKETS 30 Unified Communications Is communication between all kinds of devices close to becoming a reality? 36 Shops and Shopping Centres AV kit is being used for more than just advertising 42 Distributor Focus – Germany The AV sector remains strong 46 Projection Screens Manufacturers speak about the current market . SOLUTIONS 54 iGuzzini HQ, Recanati The lighting manufacturer’s HQ features a high-spec auditorium 58 Opera House, Malmö Embracing new technology 60 Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, Istanbul The Anadolu Auditorium can now host a wide array of events Cover image courtesy of Radvision
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Blackman ‘delighted’ by show attendance Paddy Baker caught up with Mike Blackman, MD of Integrated Systems Events, to get his thoughts on ISE 2012 – and 2013
How did you feel when you learned that attendance had topped 40,000? Obviously I was delighted, but more for practical reasons than symbolic ones. When the financial crisis hit the eurozone over the summer of 2011, our board of directors indicated they would be happy if ISE 2012 maintained its 2011 attendance figure of just under 35,000. To surpass that figure by such a substantial margin was fantastic. Most of all I was pleased for our exhibitors who underlined their faith in our event as a means of growing their business by also supporting ISE in record numbers. Of the new features this year, which did you think were most successful?
The combined Education Zone run by InfoComm and CEDIA really helped to put our on-site training sessions on the map, and that was underlined by the record numbers of people signing up for classes. Our inaugural Keynote Address and Opening Reception were also well attended and warmly received. Do you have any concerns about the show becoming too large – either related to the experience at the RAI or the logistics involved in getting there? While we are now second only to IBC in terms of B2B event attendance at the RAI, the venue does host public shows that regularly attract over 100,000 people, so we are comfortable with its ability to accommodate our future growth. Managing the flow of attendee traffic in a venue will always pose certain challenges and it is something we examine closely each year. In this respect,
I feel it’s a great advantage that our operations office is located in Amsterdam, just around the corner from the RAI – if our staff need clarification on a logistical issue, their answer is only a 10minute walk away. Regarding travelling to and from the RAI, in general the public transport system in Amsterdam works very well, is reasonably priced and efficient. The city is investing billions of euros in new transport links which will benefit us in the years to come.
ISE 2012 IN NUMBERS
40,869 registered attendees
3,000 contractor passes issued
2,000+ registrations for conference, education sessions and pre-show events
380 press registrations
30,000+ net sqm exhibit space
What can you tell us about ISE 2013? Our on-site exhibit space rebooking totalled 28,300sqm – a 5% increase on the equivalent figure last year – and since the show closed that figure has risen to over 30,000. The floorplan is looking very tight and we have options to open up additional space. We expect to make an announcement on this soon. Watch this space!
net sqm space reserved for ISE 2013 at the show
“ISE 2012 was Christie’s busiest EMEA tradeshow to date. We experienced an increase in traffic and quality of leads generated. We believe this is the direct result of an effective, well targeted campaign from the organisers, as well as an innovative stand design showcasing real-world applications, and the industry’s broadest range of purpose-built visual solutions.” Dale Miller, vice president EMEA, Christie
“The real success of each show for us is only measurable after a six-month period. But at ISE, even during the show we could clearly see that it would be a great year. Not only are more integrators choosing to visit us there, but distributors as well.” Tom Van de Sande, marketing manager, Audac
ISE 2012 – HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? “It was the greatest event in AV history. Gathering more than 40,000 professionals under one roof over three days made it worthwhile for any industry insider to take part, see the latest technology, and follow the trends in many disciplines. projectiondesign has never met more prospects at a single event, and that alone makes us already look forward to next year’s event.” Anders Løkke, marketing director, projectiondesign
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“Despite visitor flow being less than when we exhibited for the first time in 2009, we made some very good contacts, particularly in Russia and across the Eastern European region. The quality of the visitors made up for quantity! We certainly hope that the sales leads from the show will convert into business across a wide variety of installation applications." Albert Van Der Hout, European sales manager, Ateïs
“A massive success. We have been bowled over by the results at this year’s
Conferences provide food for thought
ISE outperforms the economy
Digital signage, large events and future trends Conferences continue to be a significant part of the mix at ISE, with three major events happening on-site at the RAI the day before the exhibition started. This year’s DiSCO (Digital Signage Conference), the fourth, focused on retail opportunities, rather than on the broader DOOH market it has previously covered. Conference chair Florian Rotberg of Invidis Consulting said that digital signage has “huge potential” to help ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers compete with e-tailers like Amazon and Asos by allowing them to better reflect the new ways in which consumers are shopping. Olympic matters were high on the agenda at new attraction Dynamic Events, which focused on large-scale entertainment and sporting environments.
Covering an Olympics opening ceremony, or similar one-off event, is a “three hour block of time where nothing can go wrong,” audio designer Scott Willsallen told the conference. Inaugurated at ISE last year, the InfoComm Future Trends Summit once again covered a variety of topics affecting the future of the industry. The key message of the session on audio-video bridging over Ethernet (AVB) is that there are still challenges to be overcome if the technology is to be implemented widely across multiple applications. “For certain applications you can deploy AVB now,” said session participant John McMahon, executive director, digital products at Meyer Sound. “Does it cover every base now? No. But we are on the roadmap [towards that reality].”
show. This year could not have started better for us with our new manufacturing, assembling and distribution premises together with a host of new contacts from the show.” Richard Henton, managing director, Aquavision
the few AV trade shows with a true international scope. It offers an unmatched opportunity to meet with integrators from Europe, Middle East, and even Asia in one place. ISE 2012 was our best edition ever. We look forward to a promising ISE 2013!’’ Franck Facon, marketing & communications director, Analog Way
“ISE has become a key event to Analog Way. The show is one of
he continuing growth trajectory of the ISE show is a major success story. It’s easy to forget that at the start of the 2011 show, The ISE Daily was predicting an attendance in excess of 30,000 (in fact, nearly 35,000 people came). This year, it was the 40,000 visitor mark that was smashed. Adding 33% more attendees over a two-year period is a fine performance at any time, let alone during a period of economic uncertainty, and Mike Blackman and his team are to be congratulated on this. Why is the show such a success? My take is that, even in a less than buoyant market, ISE remains front and centre in people’s minds. The show now has a critical mass that draws in more and more people from across the industry. Its very existence acts as a focus for organised gatherings, such as distributor meetings or customer parties, as well as more informal ‘see you at ISE’ get-togethers among industry peers. There is, however, a recent development that requires
comment. Just as we were putting the finishing touches to this issue, the news broke about Extron pulling out of future InfoComm and ISE shows (see news, page 18). The announcement certainly came as a surprise; however, I do think that Extron is something of a special case: it has a massive product range, and its show stands have long resembled a real-life
that its traditional approach is no longer the most effective use of its resources in territories where it has high market penetration (it has not pulled out of smaller regional shows). ISE’s ever-greater prominence and its importance to the industry is part of the reason why we’ve moved our show coverage to the front of this issue. But a
‘Adding 33%moreattendees over a two-year period isa fine performance’ version of its catalogue, with hundreds of products on view and numerous people on hand to talk you through them. It also spends an enormous amount on its free parties at both events, and organises its show activity to a meticulous level of detail. I don’t subscribe to the rumours circulating online that the decision is due to the company being unhappy with its space allocation at ISE 2013. My gut feeling is that Extron has done a costbenefit analysis and decided
beefed-up news section is only one of a series of changes and new announcements – some small tweaks, some major initiatives – that Installation Europe will be making over the coming months. I don’t want to say too much just yet, as many of them are still in the pipeline, but stay tuned – it’s going to be exciting. Paddy Baker paddy.baker@ intentmedia.co.uk Twitter: @installeurope
March 2012 IE 5
Capturing one display on another: ISE visitors had a real appetite to experience the latest technologies
Display technologies There was a huge variety of display technology on show at ISE – much of it targeted at specific applications
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recommendations for what else a shopper might buy, prompted by the product they have just picked off the shelf – a familiar experience for online shoppers. There were a number of manufacturers presenting transparent digital signage displays for the retail environment. Hyundai exhibited its 22in interactive transparent touchscreen, which, it says, is also designed for hospitality and office environments. Samsung, in a private area on its stand, was showing partners 22in and 46in transparent displays. Philips offered an alternative perspective on transparent LCD displays, showing an automatic drinks dispenser with ‘floating’ buttons on the screen, which the user touched to choose their beverage. LG Display highlighted its 26in Window Display TV, which doubles as a regular window or transparent touch display. The LCD panel features a brightness control function for daytime use, and an embedded LED backlight for night-time use. Also on the LG stand was an OLED-embedded 26in transparent panel with 1366 x 768 resolution. According to the company, this can be produced in 40in to 50in sizes for various public display applications.
Panasonic drew the crowds onto its stand by using its new PT-DZ21K 20,000-lumen WUXGA projector to beam video content onto a colossal 3.9m x 4.5m wall at its stand. The projector series are the company’s smallest and lightest 3-chip DLP models to date, and have a lamp replacement cycle of up to 2,000 hours – making them suitable for large-venue applications such as auditoriums and museums. projectiondesign highlighted the theme of collaboration by sharing stand space with a number of partner companies. Kommerz, a software design company based in Austria, combined its Multi Reality Interface (MRI) technology with a projectiondesign F35 WQXGA projector to create a table-based 3D decision-making and presentation tool. Developed to facilitate the work of project managers and designers, the MRI technology allows the user to manipulate content by moving objects on the table: moving objects closer together on the interactive table has the same effect on the content on the screen. Meanwhile Pufferfish Displays had its PufferSphere M on show, which incorporated projectiondesign’s F32 series of projectors and featured a touchscreen surface. Pufferfish spoke
Philips used a drinks machine concept to demonstrate its transparent LCD display
hether it was products with features developed for particular sectors, displays of technology from partner companies, or interactive demonstrations on stands, applications were clearly uppermost in the minds of the display manufacturers exhibiting at ISE. DiSCo, the Digital Signage Conference which took place the day before the exhibition, put a great deal of focus on solutions to enhance the shop floor experience. On the exhibition floor, digital signage manufacturers were happy to pick up this theme and show their retail solutions. NEC launched Vukunet: a webbased platform designed to link digital signage screens through a simple interface and a connected content solution. This allows owners of screen networks located in public venues to earn revenue by displaying advertisements. Also on its stand was digital signage powered by Leaf Engine – the result of R&D carried out at NEC laboratories. The system is aimed at creating more intelligent digital signage solutions through the development of a distributed middleware layer that offers sensor plug-and-play functionality. The displayed application gave
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(L) Panasonic projected a WUXGA image onto a 3.9m x 4.5m wall (R) Sony used its own Ziris software to manage the content on its stand
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dedicated home cinemas. The new LightStyle LS-12d is a 3-chip DLP model that delivers strong 3D and 2D performance, and is the first projector to ship with the company’s new Dimension Digital Controller, a 2U outboard unit that enhances the 3D performance of Runco products. The LS-12d is supplied with three pairs of active 3D glasses, and can be customised with Runco’s FinishPalette, which includes colour-matching and custom-printing options. In Tokyo last year, Mitsubishi demonstrated the world’s first spherical OLED display with a 6m diameter representation of the Earth. On its ISE stand, the company recreated a 3m diameter slice from this Diamond Vision OLED display, curving out into three dimensions. The display was made of 384mm square modules, with 3mm pixel pitch and light output of 1,200 cd/sqm. Among the products being shown by BenQwas the LW61ST, the company’s first education projector to use the BlueCore light engine. Turn to page 65 for more details. Pyramid showcased the first prototype of the 32in polytouch action table, a semi-transparent white acrylic desk with an integrated all-inone multi-touch system designed for applications in retail, business consultancy and gaming. The table incorporates 150 programmable high-brightness LEDs and a 1920 x 1080 LCD screen. Integrated imagers enable objects or documents placed
The Planar Clarity Matrix is claimed to be the industry’s thinnest, most accurate 3D LCD video wall
on the glass surface to be recognised and registered. Christie launched its JumpStart content management solution, which is designed to make it easy to put high-resolution content onto a multidisplay or tiled digital canvas. Key features are speed and ease of setup, and support for unique display configurations. JumpStart can be used with any digital display with up to four inputs; when used with Christie MicroTiles, it communicates directly with the master External Control Unit, automatically picking the best resolution for the canvas and showing the location of every tile so that content can be easily snapped into position. A highlight of the Paradigmstand was the company’s Display Wall, created with products from partner Scalable Display Technologies. The Wall featured soft-edge blending from multiple short-throw projectors to create a megapixel device that sits on a network. This is a significant development for Paradigm as it opens the door to providing cost-effective solutions to B2B markets, using commercial off-the-shelf components. Sony marked its return to ISE after a few years’ absence with three main themes on its stand: 4K resolution, 3D and interactivity. It gave an impressive demonstration of the 2,000-lumen VPL-VW1000ES, believed to be the world’s first 4K home cinema projector, in
combination with the ‘Reality Creation’ upscaler that converts Blu-ray Disc images to 4K. The projector uses active 3D glasses, but the company also showed autostereoscopic 3D as part of its Ziris product range (Ziris was also managing the content for the entire Sony stand). Also on display were solutions for education – a new market for Sony – including dual-pen interactive whiteboard software. Barco had product launches across digital signage, video walls and projection. The company’s LiveDots digital signage operation launched 10mm pixel pitch Digital City Posters: LED DOOH billboards with integrated media player and remote monitoring software. Turning to video walls, the use of third-generation LEDs is said to make Barco’s walls 33% brighter, or alternatively consume 33% less power at conventional brightness levels. Finally, the company launched the HDX-W18 3-chip WUXGA DLP projector, which features 17,500 lumens brightness, compact design, on-board image processing and control via smartphone or tablet. Interactivity was the main theme on the Prysmstand. The laser phosphor display manufacturer displayed a 2 x 5 tiled digital kiosk with multitouch and gesture capabilities, and an 8 x 4 tile curved video wall enabled for remote multi-touch input. The company can package gesture and touch technology into any of our preconfigured displays and enclosures. Planar Systems was demonstrating the Clarity Matrix 3D video wall, which is shipping now. The company claims this is the industry’s thinnest, most visually accurate 3D LCD video wall system, with ‘exceptional’ 3D visualisation, flicker-free images and superior contrast and brightness, and a wider viewing area than other 3D technologies. The 46in panels can be tiled to create large, virtually seamless video walls that have an install depth of just 93mm, thanks to Planar’s EasyAxis mounting system and offboard electronics. Passive 3D technology is used.
of plans to enter new markets in 2012, with initial stages of adapting the technology for deep-sea geomapping already in full swing. The latest version (5.2) of Dataton’s multi-display production and playback system Watchout was demonstrated at the event. The system incorporates the dynamic integration of both 2D and 3D, and brings together independent elements such as stills, animations, graphics, video, sound and live feeds. New features include the ability to access and integrate dynamic video over any standard network solution, rather than having to render video files. Canon’s latest installation projector, the XEED WUX5000, was at the centre of a 4D theatre experience, which used CL Corporation’s (France) simulator to take spectators on a jolting rally adventure. Two of the 5,000-lumen WUXGA devices were used in passive 3D configuration. Combined with hydraulically operated seats and water sprays as the car smashed through standing water, it made for a truly intense rally experience. Also on the stand was a golf simulator; Canon has supplied over 30 projectors for this type of installation over the past 18 months. A display that grabbed attention at Casio’s stand was the MonkeyBook – an interactive virtual book created by MediaScreen, a German projection and presentation technology manufacturer. Content arrived from a Casio Green Slim projector, displayed onto a screen shaped like a book. The user could scroll through the virtual pages of a book and watch videos, zooming in and out if necessary. MonkeyBook has an integrated high-precision camera tracking system and micro PC. MediaScreen says it has been designed for applications from hotel lobbies and exhibitions to museums and even retail digital signage solutions. Residential projector manufacturer Runco presented new products designed for multifunctional rooms – where big-screen entertainment is only one use for the space – as well as
Shown on the ISE 2012 Amsterdam RAI
092.0200 Flat screen enclosure 0D[LQFK
112.0100 Portrait Totem for LCD/Plasma 0D[LQFK
062.7500 Fully electrical Tip & Touch stand 0D[LQFK 0D[NJ
132.0100 Landscape Touch table for LCD/Plasma 0D[LQFK Angle 35 Â°
062.7100 Stand with electrical height adjustment 0D[LQFK 0D[NJ
122.0100 Landscape Totem for LCD/Plasma 0D[LQFK
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here was much that was new among ISE’s audio exhibitors – from large-scale networking products to handy multifunctional products for smaller installs. ISE 2012 saw the European debut of Biamp’s Tesira DSP-based networked media system. This is mainly targeted at the same types of projects that would use the company’s existing Audia system – such as airport, stations or convention centres – but for larger installations. It takes Biamp into the stadium market for the first time. Tesira uses audio-video bridging (AVB) as its primary media transport, and can carry up to 420 x 420 channels in a single chassis if the full quota of eight DSP cards is used. With the use of a CobraNet card, Tesira can also be used to expand an existing Biamp Audio or Vocia system (version 1.4 of which was announced at the show). While Biamp is setting its sights on larger projects with Tesira, QSCis moving in the opposite direction with
its latest launch. The Q-Sys Core 500i and Core 250i provide centralised processing, routing and control over up to 128 and 64 network channels respectively, for smaller venues such as clubs, restaurants and churches. Like all Q-Sys Cores, these systems run under a customised Linux operating system, using Layer 3 Gigabit networking protocols and standard Gigabit Ethernet hardware. A simple GUI provides access to all system design, configuration and control functions. Boschunveiled Omneo, the media network that will form the basis of its future products. This is a single-cable solution combining a media transport component based on Audinate’s Dante with OCS (Open Control Architecture) system control. According to Bosch, it can connect the smallest media networks to the largest – including lifesafety and mission-critical applications. As well as sending multichannel audio streams alongside control data in a synchronised manner, Omneo is also said to reduce the time taken to configure, maintain and expand multi-
site media networks. ISE saw the European debut of the Shure ULX-D digital wireless system for installed applications. This has a dynamic range of 120dB, a latency of less than 3ms and a 20Hz-20kHz frequency range. ULX-D uses AES-256 standard encryption and can be integrated in media control systems from the likes of AMX or Crestron. Up to 17 active transmitters can be used on an 8MHz TV channel and over 60 compatible channels in one frequency band, with permanent signal stability claimed over the entire 100m line-of-sight range. New from Allen & Heathwas GLD, a digital mixing system based on the successful digital iLive series. The GLD80 mixer provides 48 input channels, eight stereo FX returns, 30 configurable busses, 20 mix processing channels, and DSP power. GLD-80 has analogue-style channel processing controls plus a graphical 8.4in touchscreen. Inputs and mixes can be assigned to fader strips through a simple drag-and-drop process. There
QSC’s Q-Sys Core 500i and Core 250i take the Q-Sys networked audio system into smaller venues
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Plenty for the ear
There was a wide variety of new products on display from ISE’s audio contingent
B R I G H T N E S S
Liquid-cooled video walls with 3rd generation LEDs Barco introduces a new generation of LEDs into its video walls. Boosting brightness levels to meet and even exceed lamp-based video walls, this 3rd generation significantly enhances operator viewing comfort, and further expands the usability of LED video walls. Additionally, when operating at today’s standard brightness levels, the new LEDs consume 33% less power than the previous generation. This upgrade is now available on Barco’s complete range of LED video walls, including the OLS series with 3D-stereo.
• 33% less power consumption • 33% more brightness • display sizes from 50” to 80” • 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio • optional 3D
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Technology for you 12 IE March 2012
IP microphone) and runs open DSP software for optimum flexibility. It features an in-built voice announcement store with four hours’ recording capacity, which can be accessed remotely through third-party interfaces. In addition, it offers remote diagnostics for easy configuration and enhanced
features previously only available in high-end products, such as a fully functional web interface to control and configure an audio system from any LAN-connected device. Other features include apps for iPhone and iPad to control the system and the
(R) Allen & Heath’s GLD digital mixer (Below) The Audac MTX88 eight stereo zone matrix
system operations. Audac presented the MTX series, the latest addition to its range of matrix systems, filling the gap for ‘a very costefficient matrix system for a wide area of multi-zone audio applications,’ which the company hopes will become the new standard for multizone audio. Two models were launched – the MTX48 can control up to four different stereo zones while the MTX88 can control up to eight. Besides all the standard functions expected from a mid-market audio matrix, they offer
potential to add control panels and wall audio input units to zones. The MTX also includes two microphone inputs with priority, phantom power, three-band tone control and four line inputs, and four or eight output zones. Funktion One highlighted its range of high-intelligibility, focused-dispersion loudspeakers. The company’s speakers use cone drivers which are claimed to produce significantly less mid-range distortion than compression drivers with metallic diaphragms commonly used within the industry. Where the
company does use compression drivers, the crossover point is a couple of octaves higher than other manufacturers’ speakers. Cone drivers are loaded onto very carefully designed waveguides and Funktion One’s trademark ‘axehead’ devices – which produce different intensities and different dispersions depending on the design. This means that the company can design solutions for difficult acoustic challenges that do not excite the space unnecessarily. Revolabs announced the launch of the FLX VoIP, the first wireless conference phone designed for VoIP networks. Promising high levels of conference call clarity and flexibility, it has the features of the FLX for analogue phone lines (covered in IE November 2011); in addition, features limited to digital switch environments, such as voicemail alerts and ‘do not disturb’, are also available. The phone can be used in small and midsize conference rooms without running cables, and uses independent microphones, speaker and dialler to for flexibility. Microphone options include a one-person lapel mic, a directional tabletop mic for two or three people, and an omnidirectional tabletop mic for six to 10 participants.
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are 20 fader strips in four layers, each with motorised fader, a channel LCD display which can be named and colour-coded, plus a rotary control for direct access to gain, pan and aux/FX sends. The mixer‘s local I/O comprises four XLR mic/line inputs, four XLR line outs, four RCA inputs, two RCA outputs, and digital outputs in SPDIF and AES3 formats. Among a number of launches on the APart stand was the PMR4000R all-in-one music source. This features an integrated RDS FM tuner, internet radio, UPnP and USB media player, allowing users to select music from a variety of sources. The PMR4000R searches for UPnP-servers on the local network and connects to them, so it can find any music file (MP3, WMA, FLAC and WAV), whether it is saved on a local hard disk, networked attached storage, USB stick or a networked laptop. Internet radio stations, once found, can be saved via the front panel for future recall, using the included infrared remote control. Ateis showcased IDA8, a new public address and voice alarm system – a ‘one-box’ solution that is designed to be highly configurable, easy to install and fully compliant. Designed for a host of safety critical environments, it boasts IP connectivity (and features an
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Connectivity, control, accessories Endpoints are of little use without the infrastructure that takes video and audio to them, integrates them into a wider context or holds them in place. All of these areas were strongly represented at ISE
The Crestron stand saw a high level of visitor activity during the show
and CEC are managed, eliminating the need for IR emitters and receivers and many serial cables. The company also announced the expansion of its trade-in scheme for analogue distribution systems to now incorporate any brand of device. Extron exhibited new products across a number of technology areas.
The FOX AEX 108 is an eight-port audio extractor for independent processing and routing of audio signals in a fibre optic system. It takes signals from an Extron FOX series transmitter, extracts a two-channel analogue audio signal for processing, and then re-transmits the original signal to a FOX Series receiver. In this
way, audio signals can be processed independently while maintaining the integrity of the fibre optic signal. Also new from Extron was the XTRA Series XPA 4002 two-channel 800W power amplifier. This compact 1U, convection-cooled amplifier is Energy Star qualified and features Class D Ripple Suppression technology to provide a clean audio waveform. AMX presented its latest range of Enova DGX digital media switchers. The Enova DGX 16 and DGX 32 models are said to offer a future-ready HDMI and HDCP solution that can perfectly scale to any resolution. A wall containing screens of different sizes – from 16in to 60in – demonstrated the technology on the company’s stand. AMX’s SmartScale and InstaGate Pro technologies, combined with built-in NetLinx control, respond to each display’s declared EDID information.
ightware claimed to reinvent the digital matrix switcher with its 25G Hybrid Matrix router, which adds a third dimension of media layers onto the traditional switcher arrangement of inputs and outputs. You can read more in our product section on page 63. Crestron showcased the latest additions to its DigitalMedia range, including the DigitalMedia 8G+ technologies and the DMPS-3000 AV presentation system. DigitalMedia delivers high-definition audio and video, plus Ethernet, control signals and more, over long distances to multiple rooms, all over a single cable. DigitalMedia 8G+ can be used with standard Cat5e, DigitalMedia 8G or CresFiber 8G cable. The DMPS-3000 is a digital AV presentation system in a box – comprising control system, matrix switcher, audio DSP, mic mixer and amplifier. In addition, HDCP, EDID
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in This results in video scaled to optimal resolution without manual setup. ShowKube displayed its range of multimedia products and AV production systems for the events industry. Kshow is a versatile production system that manages multi-projector video, images and audio; it allows the mixing of multiple live video sources and the preparation of show timelines. Klive is a powerful streaming broadcast server that can transmit multiple live HD video streams to any device or to the Cloud, while KStudio Events Platform is a streaming video platform for multimedia content management and planning. Kview is a multi-view media decoder that can handle up to four HD streams at once with videowallstyle playback. Through its distributor Scene Double, IHSEannounced the 48-port Draco Tera KVM and DVI matrix switch. This supports DVI video, together with USB, serial, and analogue or digital audio options. All common DVI Single-Link resolutions up to 2048 x 1152 are supported; even higher resolutions will be added as a future interface option. Blackmagic Design displayed a wide range of signal converters, including some from recently acquired company
Teranex. The Teranex VC-100 was projector controller, which issues demonstrated converting SD video (a commands to projector and screen DVD movie) to 3D HD. This model when it detects a video signal, making can handle up to 280 different kinds everything ready for the presentation to of format conversion, can upscale or begin in seconds. Televic Conference used its T-Cast downscale video and can carry out product to stream live webcasts from frame rate conversion. its stand at ISE. Targeted at councils Control company Neets announced its biggest product and other governmental institutions launch ever. As well as the Neets that need to share their meetings Control – Alfa (a networked with the public, T-Cast allows the control system for large AV audio and video of systems – see IE January, page meetings to be 55), the company announced broadcast live over three other new products. the internet and Neets Control – OsCar is a archived in the versatile, networked Cloud – together multiroom AV control with supporting system for educational information on and corporate speakers, agendas installations; it uses a and presentations. LAN connection for If the internet configuration, connection is monitoring and – dropped during a when desired – live webcast, Peerless-AV’s DS-VW765 mount uses display-specific control of systems spacers to simplify installation content is buffered in multiple rooms locally; once the from a central computer. connection is restored, streaming Complementing this is BraVo, an continues from where it stopped. Lutron launched its Homeworks QS alternative to ‘loose’ IR remotes: its residential control system at ISE. This control panel fits into standard outlet extends the HomeWorks control boxes and is quickly wired using system to all kinds of lighting, Euroblock plug-in connectors. Finally, including dimming of low-energy the company launched the QueBec II
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lights. It also now goes beyond lights and shading control by adding control of temperature and AV components by means of the wallmounted Dynamic Keypad. Peerless-AV highlighted numerous offerings from its mount catalogue. One that has been particularly well received is the DS-VW765, a modular mount for unlimited numbers of displays in a videowall. Spacers between each mount have dimensions that are specific to the model of display being used; this ensures that displays are correctly spaced without the need for calculations or guesswork on site. Other features include eight points of toolless microadjustment, integrated cable tiebacks and security hardware to deter tampering and theft. New from Chief was the VCMU Heavy Duty Universal Projector Mount, which supports LCD/CRT projectors up to 110kg. It provides the same strength as custom VCM mounts but incorporates a convenient universal interface, which can be ordered separately to retrofit existing installs. The newly designed universal interface enables a simple three-step installation process, while the mount features independent adjustments for quick registration.
21 - 24 March 2012. Visit us at Hall 8.0, stand E80, Frankfurt.
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News and New Partners
New Partners Audico Systems has been named as Televic’s distributor in Finland. The agreement reinforces the presence of Televic Conference in the Scandinavian region and fits Audico’s long-term strategy to address new market segments in the pro-audio business. Pictured (L-R) are: Bart Deschodt, general manager, Televic; Mikko Tenhunen, project sales manager, Audico; Harri Leiva, managing director, Audico; Richard Cazin, export manager Northern Europe, Televic. www.audico.fi www.televic.com
Philips Selecon and Strand Lighting has appointed Gobo – Highlight A/S as its new distributor for Demark. The company, which has a main office and warehouse in Copenhagen and a sales and administration office in Aarhus, is well respected in the region for its sales and projects in the theatre, television, architectural and rental markets. www.lighting.philips.com www.gobo.dk
Among new UK distributorships announced by Paradigm AV are the DaLite and Projecta product ranges, along with Chief mounts — all part of Milestone AV Technologies portfolio. “This will not only enable us to extend into the low-cost end of the screens market, but along with dnp, enable us to provide a solution for every market application, whatever the budget,” said Paradigm AV sales director Mick Perrone (pictured). www.rearpro.com www.milestone.com
TD Maverick has signed an agreement to distribute the InFocus Mondopad in the UK, building on the long-standing relationship that Maverick has with InFocus for its projectors. The Mondopad is said to be the first all-in-one giant tablet designed for business-class video conferencing and collaboration. It is a 55in full HD wall tablet that combines multi-touch collaboration applications with Cloud-based videoconferencing (see page 65 for more details). www.tdmaverick.eu www.infocus.com 18 IE March 2012
Extron pulls out of InfoComm and ISE shows Decision ends 25 years at association’s shows Will concentrate on customer training and support Extron Electronics president Andrew Edwards has announced that the company will no longer exhibit at the InfoComm and Integrated Systems Europe trade events. The company is to focus its resources on activities of direct benefit to its customers, including additional training facilities and expanded customer support. Extron has been a long-time exhibitor at both events, having been at every US InfoComm show since 1986, and at ISE and its predecessor since 1999. “We have enjoyed and appreciated what InfoComm USA and ISE have become,” said Edwards in a webcast.
He continued: “Extron is built on a philosophy of training and education, and each year thousands of you attend Extron Institute worldwide. Much of the effort that previously went into preparing for and exhibiting at InfoComm USA and ISE will now go towards making Extron training and support even more accessible.” Randal Lemke, executive director and CEO of InfoComm International, commented: “Extron will remain a member of InfoComm International and will exhibit at our other events around the world… The space reserved by Extron [at InfoComm and ISE] will quickly be taken by other exhibitors. In addition, InfoComm 2012 will be our biggest show ever held in the United States. “Our association has produced trade shows continuously since the 1940s and
we have seen many exhibitors come and go. We wish Extron the best of luck with their new business strategy.” ISE had not issued a comment at press time. Edwards’s statement stressed that Extron is in a strong financial position, having had a record year in 2011 that saw over 75 new product introductions and 425 new recruits, taking the company’s total workforce to over 2,000. Last year also saw the company open training and demonstration facilities in Washington DC, London, Paris and Frankfurt. The company has completed construction on new training and support facilities in the US at its Anaheim headquarters and in Raleigh, and plans to open new training facilities in Dallas, New York and Toronto. www.extron.eu
World’s first 3D opera realised with IOSONO 3D AUDIO After mixing the world’s first 3D audio movie Immortals, IOSONO audio technology has been chosen for another world premiere: Neither, the first 3D opera. Written by Morton Feldman and Samuel Beckett, Neither is staged by Berlin-based artist group phase7 and is not a typical opera. The original orchestra is replaced by a digitally programmed virtual orchestra, allowing 3D sound to float through the audience. The only person on stage is Norwegian soprano Eir Inderhaug, who sings live in the centre of the audience. “IOSONO’s 3D audio technology has been well received by the cinema and
event industry and it’s great to see and hear what it can do to a piece of opera,” said Olaf Stepputat, CEO of IOSONO. The core of IOSONO’s 3D sound system is the Spatial Audio Processor IPC
100, which manages all loudspeaker channels and can adapt to any size venue. “The IOSONO 3D system was essential to give this opera a new sound and it worked perfectly,” phase7 founder Sven Sören Beyer stated. Christian Steinhäuser, musical director of the project, added: “For me as a musician, IOSONO opened up completely new ways of interpreting the music. It was much more than a mixing tool, but an inspiring instrument to turn opera into a new experience.” Neither premiered at the European Center of the Arts HELLERAU in Dresden on 2 March. www.iosono-sound.com
Peavey and Martin team up for Prolight +Sound EVENT INSTALL Peavey Electronics and Martin Professional will once again jointly provide a complete audio and lighting setup for the Agora stage, the main performance space at Prolight + Sound, later this month. The joint sponsorship will be celebrated with a special Agora Stage event on the Thursday evening of the show (22 March). Live entertainment will commence at 18.30, with performances from jazz-metal fusion combo The Alex Skolnick Trio and the Peavey All Stars. The Alex Skolnick Trio supported Rodrigo y Gabriela on their 2010 tour, and count Metallica’s Robert Trujillo among their fans. Peavey’s commercial audio division will supply all live audio for both stages over the four-day event, from the mixing desks to the front-of-house PA and
monitoring system. Equipment includes the Peavey Versarray 212, powered by Crest Pro amplifiers, with control coming from the company’s MediaMatrix technology. Lighting will be dominated by the Martin EC series LED video screen, in combination with a host of Martin MAC moving heads, including its award-
winning MAC Aura. Control will be handled by a Martin M1 console. Pictured are industrial funk band TackHead, playing at the Agora Stage sponsors party in 2011. www.pls.messefrankfurt.com www.peavey.com www.martin.com
© 2011 Shure Incorporated
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News and Events
For your diary
InfoComm renames provider programme
Light & Building 15-20 April Frankfurt, Germany
Audiovisual Solutions Provider is â€˜Certifiedâ€™ once more Verification checklist to be introduced
InfoComm International is changing the name of its programme designed to recognise companies that invest in certification and education for its employees. The Audiovisual Solutions Provider programme has changed its name back to the Certified Audiovisual Solutions Provider programme. Other changes to the programme will be made effective 1 July. â€œIn addition to new logos, there will be a greater marketing investment to promote the designation to key
PLASA Focus 17-18 April Leeds, UK www.plasafocus.com/leeds
132nd AES Convention 26-29 April Budapest, Hungary www.aes.org
PALME Middle East 1-3 May Dubai, UAE www.palme-middleeast.com
purchasing and end-user communities, and a new Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification Checklist that companies can elect to use,â€? said Duffy Wilbert, InfoCommâ€™s senior vice president (pictured).
The checklist is intended to provide owners, consultants, and integrators with a comprehensive and singular source of tests to determine if the AV system achieves the clientâ€™s goals and that it performs in accordance with the best practices of the industry. By providing this list to the audiovisual industry, InfoComm says that it is establishing a set of guidelines to help industry professionals and their clients communicate effectively about their expectations for system performance. The organisation plans to obtain ANSI accreditation of the checklist this year, and may modifiy it for current best practices at that time. www.infocomm.org
Polycom extends mobile platform to phones
High End 3-6 May Munich, Germany
VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS Polycom has announced RealPresence Mobile for smartphones. It is described as a secure, enterprise-grade video software solution that allows mobile device users to connect with immersive video rooms, group/desktop systems,
ShowWay 5-7 May Bergamo, Italy www.showway.com
laptops, tablets, and smartphones in HD quality. This follows the announcement last October of Polycomâ€™s mobile software application for tablets, which now include the iPad 2 and various Android devices. â€œPolycom RealPresence Mobile puts video collaboration in the hands of
potentially millions more, allowing anyone to visually collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners, regardless of their physical location,â€? said Andy Miller, CEO of Polycom. RealPresence Mobile will be available in early March on the Apple iPhone 4S and â€˜soonâ€™ on Android 4.0 smartphones. www.polycom.com
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20 IE March 2012
News and Appointments
Lee Dodson has been appointed vice president of business development for Nortek Inc companies TV One and Magenta Research. He joins from Premier Mounts where he served as president. Prior to this he spent 10 years at Extron and 12 years at Sony. In his current role he will be driving adoption of the Voyager and CORIOmax systems. www.magenta-research.com www.tvone.co.uk
Helvar has named Peter Rowledge at its new UK sales manager, with responsibility for maintaining the existing client base and growing Helvar’s presence in new markets. Rowledge has almost 20 years of experience in technical sales.
and assume responsibility for sales support and design services across the region. www.meyersound.com
Saville Audio Visual has strengthened its AV/IT integration team with the appointment of Simon Toleman as operations manager for the south of England, based at the company’s offices in Farnborough. With over 20 years industry experience, Toleman’s portfolio includes a period as project manager with the Leisure division at Electrosonic. He has also spent five years running his own AV installation company in the United Arab Emirates. www.saville-av.com
Matthew Buck has joined Crestron as commercial account manager. Prior to this he spent time at Polar Audio where he had responsibility for key accounts in the south-east of England. In his new role he will work to maintain and establish good links with new and existing clients.
Rob Smith has been promoted to the position of sales manager of Electrosonic’s Cultural Entertainment and Leisure (CEL) business for EMEA. Smith joined Electrosonic in 2010 as client account manager for the CEL team; he has 20 years of experience in the AV sector. Electrosonic’s CEL business provides a complete set of audiovisual services, including custom-designed audio, video and control systems and on-site service solutions.
Henry van der Helm has joined Simulation Displays as business development manager, heading up Paradigm AV’s new wholly owned subsidiary. Before joining Simulation Displays, van der Helm worked in a similar sector for Pro Systems International; prior to that he was VP of sales for Panoram Technologies.
As part of its continued growth plans, Polar Audio has appointed Stuart Leader as business development manager for the AV and integration markets. Leader has 16 years of industry experience, including time at Crestron and Sanyo. At Polar Audio he will be responsible for supporting the company’s existing client base, developing new business and taking new technologies such as Biamp’s AVB (Audio-Video Bridging) to the AV and integration markets.
Meyer Sound has made a trio of personnel changes: Todd Meier has been promoted to digital products manager; Michael Creason (pictured) has been named design services manager; and Miguel Lourtie is now European technical services manager. Meier has been charged with guiding the continued growth of Meyer Sound’s digital systems, while Creason will lead a Design Services team that works with audio consultants and Meyer Sound dealers. Lourtie, meanwhile, will supervise the company’s technical support team in Europe www.installationeurope.com
Turning Technologies has named Gary Morrison as general manager EMEA. In his new role, Morrison will be responsible for managing Turning Technologies’ European offices, channel partners and the further development of its European, Middle Eastern and African markets. He joins from Qwizdom UK. intl.turningtechnologies.com IE March 2012 21
The missing link Demand for NFC-enabled devices is forecast to grow massively, with events such as the Olympics driving interest, writes Steve Montgomery
Number of NFC-enabled phones shipped worldwide, 2010-2016*
ear field communication (NFC) capability in mobile phones and other devices enables them to communicate with each other when they are in close proximity. According to a new report by IMS Research, The World Market for NFC, 35 million NFC-enabled phones were shipped worldwide in 2011. Significant market events and the enablement of other cellular handsets will drive that number to nearly 80 million by the end of 2012, rising to 918 million by 2016. “The market for NFC through 2012 looks promising,” predicts Don Tait, senior analyst at IMS Research. “Sales of NFC-enabled cellular handsets are projected to accelerate during the next 12 months to reach 80 million handsets. Showcase events such as the Olympic Games in London will help to promote the technology and its benefits. For instance, NFC will be available at the Olympic Park, with
22 IE March 2012
Everything Everywhere, Telefónica UK, Visa Europe and Samsung involved in the project.” While the driving force for NFC adoption is undoubtedly its capability as a convenient payment mechanism for low-value transactions, there are major opportunities to use the technology for other marketing and information purposes. NFC provides a mechanism to link consumers with the online world through their personal phone or tablet and hence to digital signage and other networks for specialised and personalised interaction. Their own screen and keyboard can be used as an input device to send and retrieve data with remote networks and transaction systems. This opens up opportunities for local interaction with viewers of display systems and greater personalisation of services. In 2011 just 0.7 million NFC-enabled handsets (2%) were paired with other devices. This is
800 600 400 200 0
2012* 2013* 2014* 2015* 2016*
In 2011, 35 million NFC-enabled phones were shipped globally (*= forecast) Source: IMS Research
set to rise by 2016 to almost 400 million (45%). This presents enormous opportunities for new services based around mobile contactless payment and local device interconnection between laptops, tablets and other personal devices. Passive devices, such as smart posters and product tags, have the ability to store data that can be read by an NFC-enabled device simply
by holding it in close proximity. Received information on products, pricing, availability and other facets can then be used for further activities. NFC will be able to link a consumer’s transaction history to their physical location, thereby enabling highly targeted personalised advertising that advertisers crave. IE
Opinion: AV and IT
Change and survival Why worry about change when you could be embracing the boom in demand for AV integration? n pro AV we worry a lot about Change. That’s Change with a capital ‘C’ as if change were a cancer. We worry about so many changes... We worry about the change from analogue to digital. We worry about IT integrators stealing the business. We worry about Asian producers destroying margins while giving us service headaches. We worry about Cloud solutions that might circumvent us. We worry about vendors going direct. We worry about mergers and acquisitions that might swallow our suppliers or enlarge our competitors. Some worry can be healthy in business, but often you hear this worry turn into the lament: will AV integrators survive? For me, that always triggers echoes of that disco hit, the Gloria Gaynor song, I Will Survive. Of course, we will survive. AV integration is not only here to stay, it is booming. Walk into a non-integrated conference room and you’ll find a pile of remote controls: one for the display, one for each source device (a videoconferencing unit, a transport deck, such as CD deck, Blu-ray, VHS-DVR, satellite receiver, or others). Someone would have to turn on each device, the display, and the audio – and then adjust each to the proper input and levels. In the integrated room, on the other hand, there’s one button to turn it all on and one to turn it all off. All of those controls are probably on a touchscreen with remote access, controls and security. This integrated room’s control system talks to everything. Without a control system, anything more than a single user would require an AV tech or engineer (depending on complexity) to be present in the room. An installed touchscreen simplifies even a complex system into an easy, userfriendly simple interface. A simple example, yes, but AV is not in any danger of extinction because integration is booming: fewer and fewer companies are willing to live with disparate technologies or deal with a big pile of remotes. Survive? While you are lamenting, other AV companies are growing by 20+% a year. Probably you should be turning away more work than you can handle, or raising your hourly rates to weed out undesirables and pick your preference of clients.
Keeping up There’s more work than we can handle out there. For example, there are a gazillion rooms... conference rooms with technology, conference rooms without 24 IE March 2012
technology, standalone videoconference rooms, integrated videoconference rooms and specialised rooms such as divisible spaces and auditoriums. Then there are the subcategories such as private, public or special rooms. And AV provides the in-room support and setup. (Where it gets ugly is when something breaks, reaches end-of-life, requires renovation or relocation, or an upgrade – then it’s suddenly a question of who owns the room, even though everyone knows who owns it when it has to be set up properly.) And beyond the corporate ‘room’, there are many other market segments in AV that also cry out for an integration of technologies and devices. These include classrooms, conferencing, live events, architainment, and so much more. How will we survive, you ask? Probably by changing from a passive AV organisation to a proactive company that shows companies how AV can grow their business. The key is to embrace change, not fear it. Expect change and then work to stay relevant. And teach your clients how to embrace change. When you think about it, AV has always been confronted by Change. We’ve always had to adapt or die. We have been through a litany of changes: 78s to LPs to CDs, VHS to DVD, 8track to cassettes, tubes to solid state, 8mm slide projectors to video
projectors, through-hole to surfacemount, DVD to Blu-ray, 2D to 3D, CRT to LCD, and so on... It’s an alphabet soup of Change: VGA, DVI, SDI, HD-SDI, HDMI, RCA, BNC, TRS, XLR, TCP/IP, ISDN... We’ve faced compression/decompression, encoding/decoding, arrays, clusters,
‘AV integration is not only here to stay, it is booming’ horns, steerable column arrays, networked audio, powered speakers, holograms, videowalls, motorised mounts, intelligent lecterns, in-wall speakers and more.
Adapting to change What does AV do when technology changes? We make and install new kit that will meet the new expectations. So what if your biggest client now has more soft-endpoints than hardware endpoints? You’ll still have the same people calling you for support and help. “Please make it all work together.” That is what your clients ask now. And they’ll continue to ask that in the digital age. We AV folks have needed to reinvent ourselves two or three times
each decade. Now we need to realise that whatever we are doing at this moment is already obsolete and it won’t last much longer. It will, of course, Change... Analyst group Plimsoll noticed in the UK that although the IT market was growing only 3-4% in 2010-11, 187 out of nearly 1,000 IT integrators increased sales by an average of 22% over the past year. Talk about beating the odds... Another 162 saw sales drop by 13% in the same period, so there were almost as many losers as winners on opposite ends of the success spectrum – and the rest were stuck in the middle again. Plimsoll didn’t claim to understand why some failed and some succeeded, but it noted that growth was not just being achieved by the largest companies in the market. Firms grew with £500,000 turnover as well as up to £50 million-plus turnover. My bet is that the IT integrators who succeeded were the ones who not only embraced change but also sought out the business opportunities that change brings. AV will survive as long as humans have eyes and ears and wish to communicate, or be informed, or be entertained. You’ll survive in AV if you help your clients understand what they want and how to cost-effectively achieve it. Do this and everything else will work out just fine. Change may be a tough master but we don’t need to be its slave. IE www.installationeurope.com
Mind the gap Tales of bezel wars, layers of glass and curvy displays at another successful ISE show Bezel specmanship
was determined not to cover ISE in this month’s piece. However, after an exhausting three days (and nights) in Amsterdam I could not resist the urge to talk about what an amazing event ISE 2012 was. The number 4 tram line to the RAI convention centre just did not know what had hit it, with over 40,000 people descending on what now seems to be the world’s largest pro-AV event. I met customers and designers who all left excited and invigorated by the technology choice, the new innovations, and the buzz and energy spilling out across all the 11 halls. The biggest moment for me, as I entered Hall 9, was realising that Samsung has transformed from being a follower into a technology leader – a status that it seemed to be struggling with. A request for information resulted in a barrage of form-filling and seeking out a series of product specialists to answer every question. I was amused to observe that one of the fastest-emerging technology powerhouses in the world resorts to taking your business card and stapling it to an enquiry form. The booth featured a chaotic mix of products, markets and application
‘We are witnessing the very first wave of large-format glass-based embedded displays’ demonstrations: tablet computers next to the latest outdoor displays; coffee tables that interact; and huge videowalls that have been ruggedised for hot, cold and outdoor applications. The Samsung product range is massive but a lot of the technology is relying on smaller artisan partners and integrators to make sense of and create the niche markets that will add together to drive the huge volumes that Samsung clearly needs to stay viable. The booth also had much talk of ‘layers’ and ‘glass’. These factors are driving many of the trends in large area displays. Corning, the maker of Gorilla glass – well known as the shiny front of iPhones and iPads – is working with companies like Samsung to embed more of the technology in the glass. This is changing the form factor of displays forever – truly thinner bezels, new form factors and even waterproof displays are all becoming possible in 26 IE March 2012
LG was just one of the manufacturers claiming to have the smallest bezel on its displays
Among the manufacturers at ISE with transparent displays, Samsung showed its 21in see-through screen as a retail cabinet – overlaying graphics and information over the objects on view
displays greater than 21in wide. Layers are becoming important as a way of featuring technology – adding a touchsensitive layer, a lenticular 3D viewing layer, or a different backlight layer. In short, we are witnessing the very first wave of large-format glass-based embedded displays.
Added transparency Another novel application for such products is the transparent display. Hidden away in corners of booths or in whisper suites were a variety of amazingly creative applications of transparent display technology ranging from Philips’ animated beer fridge to eyevis’ augmented display cabinet. Samsung has recently made a 21in and a 46in early production version to show its partners, and was highlighting the 21in displays in its whisper suite as a retail display cabinet – overlaying graphics and information over the
objects in the display case. Exhibit designers and architects that I saw at the show were beside themselves with possibilities for transparent display, ranging from ideas of labelling aquarium tanks with virtual reality overlays to museum display cabinets becoming touch-sensitive and able to tell stories about their contents using maps, scans, graphic overlays and multimedia. Samsung may have no idea what it has started by finally releasing the transparent LCD technology in an OEM version for its partners. The company is also apparently going through the journey that will lead to acknowledgement that size isn’t everything. But, for now, size seems to be its corporate ambition, with rumours circulating that next year the company will have booked an entire exhibit hall for itself. If that’s true, I will have to pack an extra box of business cards…
The technology companies just cannot resist indulging in a bit of tradeshow specmanship. This year was categorised by claims on the size of the join between displays: whether they be flat panel LCD, rear-projection cubes or tiles, the focus is on the join or gap. I suppose it makes a change that manufacturers are boasting about how small something is. But this is disappointing really, as many of the products have amazing colour performance from their LED light sources, more brightness than is needed for most applications and varying resolutions up to more pixels than most applications could ever need. LG, Hyundai, Samsung and others all claimed the smallest bezel or join. Sharp was rather sensibly pointing out that the ratio of join to image depends on the surface area of the display, and demonstrated a novel mirror strip that fits between its LCD flat panels and reflects the light from the adjacent display. It does not remove the gap but it makes it ‘active’, showing the same colour and luminance as the adjacent display – to even a well-trained observer the join appears to disappear. Christie’s MicroTiles continued to dominate a sector that they invented, but eyevis has come up with a number of different mechanical arrangements for concave and convex curved walls. It strikes me that big manufacturers are really going to need events like ISE. Wave after wave of new technology needs to be harnessed in different ways (and markets) to provide sufficient volumes to make production viable. Innovative large-scale displays fit into niche markets, which are driven by individual designers and architects, and dominated by small integrators and installation companies. To connect with the niches, manufacturers need a forum where they can get feedback from these artisans, and artisans can see what’s coming and start imagining how on earth to use it all. ISE is going to go from strength to strength. Mark your diary for 29-31 January 2013 and remember to pack your business cards. IE
Further reading . www.corning.com – click on ‘A Day Made of Glass 2’ YouTube: search for ISE 2012 transparent display Wikipedia: Samsung Electronics
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The IE Interview
Jean Michel Jarre
Emotional connections Launching a new audio docking system, electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre talks to Paddy Baker about how the march of technology has distanced listeners from the heart of music How did the AeroSystem One come about?
The idea came around five or six years ago when the partner in charge of the company approached me to see if I would be interested in devising and designing a range of audio products. As a musician, as an artist, being – among everyone else – a victim of the crisis of the music industry, I instantly saw something interesting in the fact that an artist could be involved, and should be involved, in the way people are consuming and getting music. I think one of the reasons for the crisis of the music industry is that, step by step, we’ve all been emotionally remote from the quality of sound and the audio experience. We went from vinyl to CD being worse than vinyl, and MP3 files being worse than CD… We’ve traded quality for convenience, haven’t we?
That’s right. At the same time, the hi-fi system, being the centrepiece of our living rooms, became replaced by tiny plastic speakers in our laptops. It was interesting to try to contribute to what could be the sound system of the future. So we discussed with my sound engineers in studios and for the live tour, and tried to use our experience to devise something that could be affordable. You are a pioneer of electronic music – but with advances in technology it takes much less effort to create something along those lines today. Has something been lost because of that, do you think?
Progress gives you a lot of advantages but you are always losing something along the way. What you gained is the fact that everything became so handy. I remember when I started making electronic music my mum saying to me, “Why didn’t you choose the violin? You could go everywhere with a violin. With your big analogue synthesisers, you need a plane to move all this.” These days with a Mac or an iPad you can compose, arrange, produce and distribute your music. So we became entirely nomadic, like a painter or a writer. 28 IE March 2012
Jean Michel Jarre and his new AeroSystem One docking station
Jarre’s 1986 concert in Houston was then the largest outdoor concert in history
On the other side, we have regressed quality-wise, both in audio and visual technologies. Even a plasma screen these days is not as bright and crisp as a good cathodic tube. The past 20 years have been quite dark and difficult for visual and audio art forms. The future is necessarily going to be much better. As I said, we’ve become emotionally remote from the quality of sound, and the quality of visuals. I think it’s the reason why people are so keen to go to live performances and live concerts. In a sense, it’s going back to the physical impact of sound on your body – an experience. You don’t really have that with tiny speakers or tiny headphones. And the emotional connection with the performer is greater live.
That’s right. In a sense, you had that, funnily enough, with vinyl, because vinyl was something very organic. Because of the cover and the visuals, you had a kind of special relationship with the artist. You had something which was perceived as coming on a much more personal level from the artist. Nowadays, with a CD being just a poor piece of plastic, or even worse an MP3 file, it’s abstract. I’m always amazed that when you download an album on iTunes, you have this poor PDF of the CD booklet. I dream about having a Minority
‘We have regressed quality-wise, both in audio and visual technologies’ Report kind of experience [mimes moving large pictures in the air with his hands], where you could have something really exciting. We are in a very odd period at the moment. I think over the next 10 or 20 years it is going to improve a lot. The same conversation that we could have in 10 years from now would be fairly different – I hope! There’s been a lot of recent growth in projecting onto buildings, which is something you were at the forefront of. Do you still follow that?
Yes, because a lot of those companies were founded by guys who used to work with me! I’ve always been interested by the relationship between music and architecture, and between lights and images and architecture. When I started outdoor concerts, I got these big guns used by the German and American armies, and used them to project slides made of very thick glass. We’ve gone from that to 3D mapping with computers. In Monaco recently, for the concert I did for the
wedding of Prince Albert, I did something like 3D without glasses, using mapping and 3D with some very interesting video techniques. But it’s the same thing that we were talking about before – the fact that these days there’s a kind of frustration with the audio and video techniques that we have at home. What I described for audio is the same for the visual world: today an LED screen is far worse than a good cathode ray tube. I think CRTs are better at hiding their deficiencies.
Exactly. But if you take the last Sony Trinitron of the 1990s and you put that beside a plasma screen or an LED screen of the same size, the tube is still far, far better. Even if the tube is not perfect at all. But for me, all this technology belongs to the previous century. I think 4K is going to be good, as long as it’s filmed properly and it’s lit properly. It’s really strange… for example, I don’t consider Bluray an improvement. You watch Gladiator or The Matrix on Bluray and you see all the skin and mistakes and dust and all that – and it looks fake, it’s strange… I know what you mean – it’s the texture…
Yes, the texture is artificial. Again, I think this is something that will be improved in the next few months and years, I hope, with different technology.
And the last thing is 3D – I’m a big fan of 3D, I did the first concert in 3D, that was 18 years ago for Apple, and I did the first DVD in 3D. I must say that I’m not a great believer in 3D with glasses; the real next step will be 3D without glasses. You and I don’t have the same vision, so having the same glasses is nonsense. So do you think the best image technology currently is projection?
Yes. The problem is projection needs total darkness, so it’s a compromise. In daylight I would go for plasma, at nighttime definitely video projectors. Do you have an idea in your mind of what the audio and video experience should be like in 20 or 30 years’ time?
I think we are there now when you look at cameras for photos. The best digital cameras are as good as film cameras; I would say they are even better, because you can do much more with them. But that’s not the case still for cinema, and it’s not the case for audio. The dissemination is still very poor. We have to focus our attention as artists, producers and manufacturers to provide equipment at the level of the quality of the content and the quality of our eyes and ears. Our ears are far, far better than anything available on the market to broadcast sound. And that has to be adjusted. IE
ONLINE EXTRAS . Read more about the AeroSystem One in IE Residential: http://tinyurl.com/IEResJarre Visit www.ie-residential.com or type the tinyurl into your browser www.installationeurope.com
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Markets: Unified Communications
UC: a work in progress Unified communications promises a utopian ideal of all kinds of communication between devices. But, asks Ian McMurray, how close is that ideal, and what needs to happen for it to become reality?
Vidyo’s Panorama telepresence solution can support up to 20 screens on a variety of devices
ay back in 1971 in the UK, an iconic TV commercial for Martini appeared to suggest to enraptured male viewers that its seductive star was available “any time, any place, anywhere”. It was, of course, no more than a dream for those viewers (who happily overlooked the fact that the slogan sounded great but didn’t stand up to linguistic scrutiny). “Any time, any place, anywhere” is also the dream – or at least, part of it – of unified communications (UC). But what are its chances of becoming a reality? ‘Unified communications’ is, of course, one of those concepts that seems self-explanatory – but its definition is, for good reason, sometimes difficult to articulate with precision. “There is no common definition of unified communications: someone even tried to sell me a UC-enabled refrigerator the other day,” laughs Andy Nolan, UK & Ireland general manager for Radvision. “But seriously: it is widely accepted that UC is an evolving concept whereby individuals have access to many types of communication including voice, presence, videoconferencing and IM/chat, and integrating this with data collaboration
30 IE March 2012
According to LifeSize, three key technologies drive UC: those that store contact information and channels; the underlying protocols that enable communication across devices, platforms and channels; and technology that knows the best approach for contacting individuals
and access to company databases. UC is not a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.” “The beauty of UC is that it can be as simple or as complex as a business requires,” adds Chris Barrow, advanced technologies marketing manager at Avaya. “It can range from having your desk phone and mobile linked through a single number, to deploying the full suite of enterprise communications and collaboration tools, from voice, videoconferencing, IM and email, to productivity-boosting features such as
visual voicemail, multi-party conferencing and integrated presence.” “By definition, unified communications brings together a host of existing communication channels,” says Michael Stephens, general manager, UK & Ireland at LifeSize Communications. “As a result, the key technologies that drive unified communications are the ones that deliver the ‘unification’ aspect. This includes the likes of Microsoft SharePoint and similar platforms that provide a central repository that stores all the available contact information and channels for a user. The second key technology is the underlying protocols, such as SIP [Session Initiation Protocol], that enable unified communications to take place across devices, platforms and channels. The final technological piece to the UC puzzle is that of ‘presence’ – the ability to know the status of an individual, and hence the best approach for contact, is a key aspect of a solid UC delivery.” “Typically, large organisations face challenges dealing with legacy platforms and investments, and in the current financial climate there is no room for ‘rip and replace’ strategies,” points out Simon Farr, head of marketing, unified communications
Key UC products In any discussion of unified communications, the names of three products crop up regularly. Microsoft’s Lync is positioned as the company’s UC offering. Aimed at the enterprise, it includes instant messaging, VoiP, presence, audio calling, video calling and videoconferencing. A key attraction is its integration with the other Microsoft products widely used in the corporate environment. SharePoint is Microsoft’s webbased collaboration software which is designed to deliver centralised document management with organisation-wide access. IBM has a UC offering in the form of Sametime. Its functionalities are broadly comparable with those of Lync.
and collaboration at BT Global Services. “Fundamentally, we see the cornerstone of a UC solution as voice, and consolidating voice infrastructure is a key start point on the journey. Video is also a key driver, as HD www.installationeurope.com
Markets: Unified Communications
. As new technologies come
The issue of interoperability is obviously fundamental to the success of unified communications â€“ so it comes as little surprise that this is being addressed by UC vendors. UCIF, the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum, was formed last year, with the goal of â€œmaximising the value of UC through interoperabilityâ€?. It includes Polycom, Microsoft, HP, Radvision, Ericsson and LifeSize among its high-profile membership,
Also announced last year, the Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC) is an initiative led by Polycom that focuses on video collaboration. Its tag line is â€œAny network. Any vendor. Any deviceâ€?. Members include AT&T, BT and Orange. While videoconferencing is a market in its own right, it is also an essential subset of the UC market â€“ raising the question of whether the interests of UC would be better served by a single interoperability standards organisation.
challenging is that, inevitably, what it is and what it can be are continually redefined by emerging technologies. Prior to January 2010 â€“ when the original iPad was launched â€“ for example, who could have foreseen the influence of tablets? â€œTablets and mobile solutions are having a large impact,â€? notes Mike Chapman, director of product management at VBrick. â€œPeople expect that anything they can do on their desktop, they can do on their tablet. Any video asset they can search for, access, and watch on their desktop, they should be able to interact with in the same way from their tablet. The UC vendors are working hard to roll out clients that function well on tablets and are developing their base capabilities so
that their products are compatible.â€? â€œBusiness has moved beyond the desktop,â€? says Andy Chew, senior director, collaboration at Cisco UK & Ireland. â€œThe PC is just one of many collaboration environments. With the rise of mobility and BYOD [Bring Your Own Device], collaboration solutions should incorporate mobile devices as extensions of the corporate network so mobile workers can be productive anywhere.â€?
along, what unified communications is, and can be, is changing
. Tablets and smartphones are rapidly becoming key elements within UC in response to growing workforce mobility and the â€˜BYODâ€™ phenomenon
. While there have been numerous evaluations and pilot projects, full-scale roll-outs of UC are still few and far between
. True interoperability remains a problem area, although this is being addressed by organisations such as UCIF
. The potential business benefits of unified communications are compelling â€“ reinforcing the commitment of UC suppliers to rise to the challenges
adoption has demonstrated, and the adoption of video on the desktop is set to grow. Readying the IP infrastructure is crucial, and web collaboration, messaging and mobility are also key capabilities.â€? One of the reasons that defining unified communications can be
Consumer demand Daniel Weisbeck, vice president of EMEA marketing at Polycom, has an alternative perspective. â€œRather than iPads and Android tablets having an impact on the UC market, it is better to say that UC is impacting tablets,â€? he
â€˜UC can be as simple or as complex as a business requiresâ€™ Chris Barrow, Avaya
says. â€œTablet makers know that the mobile experience will always be pushed by consumer and business demand for easy-to-use tools, easy-to-find content and access to anyone at any time on any device. Consumers expect more from the mobile experience and UC, especially videoconferencing, is the obvious service which consumers expect to have.â€? Stephens notes that itâ€™s not only tablets, but also smartphones, that have helped spur a new push in unified communications, with Farr pointing out the challenges of application support and data security that these new devices bring.
IE March 2012 31
Markets: Unified Communications
BMA brings employees together The BMA, a trade union and professional association for doctors and medical students and a publisher of medical journals and information, comprises 143,000 members worldwide. With its videoconferencing users having grown to nearly 1,000 desktops, 140 UK home workers and 25 employees in other countries, it began looking for a new VC system that would make collaboration faster and easier to achieve. Superior high-definition capabilities for data sharing, support for current and future endpoints and a single desktop solution for Mac and PC clients were identified as critical components, as was seamless integration with legacy infrastructure. The Radvision system implemented comprises endpoints including SCOPIA XT1000 and XT1200 HD (pictured) videoconferencing room systems and SCOPIA Desktop for video
It’s not just the advent of tablets. As in so many other areas of the audiovisual market, the Cloud is becoming an increasingly significant factor – but as with tablets, it seems as if the Cloud enables new types of capability on the one hand, while on the other adding new issues of complexity and incompatibility. “The biggest changes we will see will be with regard to the deployment model,” says Fraser Dean, sales director at Vidyo UK. “As with all other enterprise applications, the market will demand that UC services be delivered as virtualised applications from either private data centres or Cloud computing service providers.” “There are two parts of the whole solution that are still evolving: mobile capabilities and Cloud-based/hybrid services,” says Chapman. “But for Cloud-based services, there are some mismatches when compared to onpremise. As an example: in Lync, conference recording wasn’t initially
communication on PCs and Macs. Infrastructure included the SCOPIA Elite MCU as the centrepiece of the deployment for multi-party conferencing, PathFinder for firewall traversal for H.323 systems, and a SCOPIA ISDN Gateway. The SCOPIA iVIEW Management Suite provides a single access point for managing all videoconferencing devices, including Radvision and thirdparty endpoints along with infrastructure devices such as MCUs and gateways. iVIEW’s integrated gatekeeper provides call control, comprehensive traffic and bandwidth management and simplifies connecting for users.
‘Collaboration solutions should incorporate mobile devices as extensions of the corporate network’ Andy Chew, Cisco
offered on Office 365 [Microsoft’s Cloud-based hosted offering] – but it was offered on-premise. Another example is SharePoint: a SharePoint page may have additional third-party capabilities embedded on it and single sign-on is a key requirement. This can be a challenge in deployments that combine Cloud services and onpremise products.”
Tablet integration The integration of tablets will unquestionably help the dream of unified communications become a reality – but, today, it appears that the market is, if not in its infancy, then certainly in its adolescent phase. “Many multinational corporations are piloting advanced solutions from the likes of Microsoft and Cisco, but the reality is there is a lot of fragmentation and a huge legacy to deal with,” notes Farr. “In a greenfield-site environment, some of these solutions are fantastic – but in our market there
is a lot of integration and engineering needed to truly unify communications.” Nolan echoes his thoughts. “UC solutions remain fragmented,” he says, “but are improving and evolving rapidly. Today, we do not have a definitive set of solutions that provides a truly unified user interface to communicate across multiple devices and media types.” “Deployments are migrating from trials and proofs of concept to key business processes,” adds Chapman. “The market is definitely past the point of ‘What does unified communications do?’. Customers are now asking more specific questions like ‘What is the best solution?’, ‘How does it fit within my infrastructure?’, ‘What is the business case?’ and ‘How can the capabilities be expanded?’” There is, then, work still to be done – and more new technologies to look forward to. “In 2012, we will see an even greater demand for high-end collaboration tools,” says Barrow. “[Global market intelligence firm] IDC forecasts that by 2015 there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers – a massive mobile workforce for businesses to accommodate. As a result of this, we’ll see an increasing number of businesses
A winding road The road ahead for UC is not a straightforward one for many reasons: not least among them is that a massive proliferation of end devices does not sit well with the data integrity and security so vital to the ability of corporate IT managers to sleep well at night. That’s not without its own challenges, as Chew points out. “A comprehensive strategy for security is essential to any business looking to achieve their collaboration goals, especially given the trends toward mobility, consumer devices, and social software,” he says. “At the same time, the value of a UC solution increases with wider participation and information sharing, and too restrictive a security policy will limit user adoption. What is needed is a flexible balance between control and access that protects enterprise resources while encouraging open communication.” Against a general background of enthusiasm about what the future will bring, however, Dean sounds a note of caution, pointing out that the UC industry still has much to do if it is to
moving towards the UC ideal as they try to equip people to work as efficiently from home and on the move as they would in the office.” For these mobile workers, 4G/LTE will bring comprehensive, secure, higher-bandwidth, all-IP based mobile broadband – substantially adding to the attraction of tablets and smartphones within the UC environment. “We are at an apex of ubiquitous video, and 2012 will see a lot of exciting developments which will result in video being used on a scale never seen before,” says Polycom’s Weisbeck. “We expect continued growth of immersive rooms, and growth of emerging markets for video solutions on mobile devices, in social media business tools and through Cloud-hosted video and platform services. 2012 will also see the first true open standards business-to-business video exchange across the world’s leading service providers via the OVCC.” (See box, Operability standards, page 31.)
package which forms the basis of any installation Choose a 5m, 10m, or 15 cable package to match Add any other modules or cables you need NEW plug-in cables
motorised faceplate Avoids having cables strewn across a boardroom Comes with selection of VGA, USB, and RJ45 modules
IR learning module Child’s play to program. Duplicate codes from one to another
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>[ndj]VkZViZX]c^XVa fjZhi^dcVWdjiVcn d[djgegdYjXih!_jhi ]dedca^cZVcYVh` 9VkZ#=ZÉhdjgK^h^dc >chiVaaVi^dc:c\^cZZg VcY]ZÉhi]ZgZid]Zae
Markets: Unified Communications
FMCG company turns to Cisco for UC Boyne Valley Group is one of Ireland’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies. The company now uses Cisco’s Unified Communications over a combination of high-speed fibre optic, gigabit Ethernet and leased lines to bring multiple sites together under one network. Cisco 1861 routers provide redundancy and protection from downtime, while 110 Cisco IP phones and SIP call routing removes the need for leased lines. Power-over-Ethernet switches deliver low-maintenance connectivity to warehouses and administration areas, with voice traffic running over a network subnet to protect call quality. Wireless RFID and voiceactivated order picking has improved
truly fulfil its potential. “I think it is important to identify what unified communications actually should be and where the real benefit is from the user’s perspective,” he says. “Unified communications should not mean settling for a bundle of mediocre services from a single vendor for the purpose of making it easy to access all of the services through one client. Unified communications is about integrating the various
efficiency in the warehouse, and wireless telephones allow workers to move freely around the warehouse and be more contactable. Boyne Valley is able to partition its network to give staff working at its remote sites separate voice access. There is also scope for the company to set up separate data VPNs (virtual private networks) for customers and newly acquired businesses as required.
communication modalities with workflow for a given user and application in a way that makes them more productive than if the communication tool existed on its own with no relation to other tools in the user’s environment. One size does not fit all. Quality should not be sacrificed for the sake of convenience. Rather, unified communications should be the bringing together of best-of-breed communications tools,
‘UC solutions remain fragmented, but are improving and evolving rapidly’ Andy Nolan, Radvision
irrespective of vendor, and making them easily accessible where and when the user needs to access them in the course of normal workflow.” “‘Any time, any place, anywhere’ communications exist today,” he concludes. “What is missing is ‘any way’. No single tool today delivers on this promise for all modalities, which is why a flexible, software-based platform is required to enable the integration of the best-of-breed tools for each of the modalities.” It would seem that unified communications is something of a
moving target. By the end of this year, it will be very different from how it looked at the end of 2009, with new technologies allowing organisations to envisage new communications paradigms – but with the downside of delaying deployment while those new technologies are assimilated by the key vendors. It also brings with it significant challenges in deployment, given the complexity of most organisations’ existing communications infrastructure, given its potentially pivotal role within an organisation – and given that 100% interoperability has not yet quite been achieved. UC is unquestionably now far more than a dream. It is, for the most part, not yet the reality that it will become – but it is becoming more of a reality with each passing month. And: the reality that unified communications can – will – become is an exciting one. As Polycom’s Weisbeck succinctly points out: “We are witnessing the next revolution of technology on human interactions.” IE
www.avaya.com www. globalservice.bt.com www.cisco.com www.lifesize.com www.polycom.com www.radvision.com www.vbrick.com www.vidyo.com
IE March 2012 33
Markets: Shops and Shopping Centres
More satisfied customers AV has an increasing role in retail environments – not only for in-store advertising, but for safety and security as well. Gez Kahan takes a look and a listen
Key points . Digital signage and tailored audio have been shown to improve retail sales and enhance the experience for customers and staff. The technology, however, is fairly new, and many potential applications are only just being explored
. The same technology is often equally applicable to safety and security requirements, though clients may need education before they appreciate the full benefits
. Market pressures will probably lead to convergence, though there remains the issue of certification – fire alarm, safety and evacuation systems have to comply with stringent regulations that ordinary AV systems don’t
. There is even potential for retail AV to go beyond security and into the realms of surveillance
Complete videowalls can be created with the content spreading – and moving – across multiple displays
n an ideal world, every salesperson would be like Joe Girard. Girard worked at an ordinary car lot selling cheap family saloons, in the midst of several other ordinary car lots selling rival brands to the 30,000odd inhabitants of Eastpointe, Michigan (motto – ‘A Family Town’). And he sold them so well over a 15year period, averaging more than three new cars per day, that he was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as ‘The World’s Greatest Salesman’. One of Girard’s dictums could be paraphrased as ‘Practically everyone who walks into a shop is in the market to buy something. All you have to do is find out what it is’. It’s one of the points retail trainers attempt to hammer home to their staff, and in an ideal world, shop staff would listen more than they talked, qualify their potential customers better and make more sales. Then perhaps retailers wouldn’t need AV systems to help maximise their potential profits… But even a Joe Girard can’t look after a whole queue of punters at the same time, so AV steps into the breach, informing, entertaining and above all keeping the punter in store until the next member of staff becomes available. And modern technology has become sophisticated
36 IE March 2012
sometimes used for advertisement or signage, but rarely in control rooms. “However,” Winck adds, “the same technology is used today for smaller units that are dedicated to creative applications in shops – for example, our omniSHAPES, or Christie’s MicroTiles. These provide the same advantages as their larger DLP cube relatives – seamlessness, servicefriendliness, long-term usability in 24/7 operation, etc. Our new omniSHAPES can also be built into convex or concave shaped videowalls and can have different screen shapes, which allows the customer to produce even more creative display surfaces.”
enough for ‘intelligently programmed’ AV – which will often be far more intelligent than the junior who sees customers as an unwelcome distraction from the important business of gossiping, texting and Facebooking – to be a reality. If only it were that simple, though. Trouble is, while most people who walk into a shop might be in the market to buy something, there will be a handful who are in the market to steal something. So the punters need not only to be informed and entertained, but watched. The question is, can the same system do both – and also handle safety duties such as alerts and emergency evacuation?
Keeping the customer on message
Smile, you’re on TV “Since both purposes require similar features – image quality, resolution (depending on the viewing distance) and long-term operation – the products which come to be used are more or less the same,” says Max Winck, who looks after marketing and PR for eyevis, a German manufacturer of large screen systems. “Screens with smaller diagonals – ie desktop monitors – are not very likely to be used for advertising. But all other professional large-screen LCD monitors and professional seamless LCD monitors can be used both for
Portable signage, such as the Brightsign TD1012 wirelessenabled unit, is becoming increasingly popular with retailers
signage/advertisement or in a control centre.” He notes that DLP cubes are a typical control room product and perfect for 24/7 operation. But they’re pricey and the wrong shape for most signage applications. Plasmas or projectors, on the other hand, are
There’s always an issue of how to present both information and advertising in a way that keeps the interest without risking information overload. It’s obvious enough that emergency messaging has to override all else, but in normal operation both aspects need to share the screen. Rolf Bésard is sales manager for Barco’s dZine digital signage systems. “Our digital signage can be used for advertising and promotional clips in combination with information about traffic, weather, news and security information against pickpocketing,” he says. “But you need to combine this information on the same www.installationeurope.com
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Markets: Shops and Shopping Centres
screen so visitors will still look at the screen for the updated news, traffic info and so on… and at the same time they will see the advertising. “And, of course, dZine does have several installations where the fire alarm system will inform the digital signage server that the current information needs to be overruled with evacuation information, in which case each screen will receive specific information about the nearest exit.” Whether the twin uses – advertising and security/safety – are better run as standalone or as a single integrated system is a moot point. As Serge Konter, marketing manager at SpinetiX, a Swiss manufacturer of media players for digital signage, puts it: “Signage can be used as an extension of video security systems – but it should be installed and managed by a professional security integrator.” And while a failure in an advertisement display would be regrettable, in a safety system it would be unforgiveable. “As a vehicle for sales messages, our retail customers report in-store digital signage quickly pays for itself,” begins Pierre Gillet, BrightSign’s VP Europe. “There is certainly potential for the same screens to be used to deliver safety and security messages. More
Multi-store radio station uses Barix audio over IP Penny FM is an instore live audio retail radio station delivering music, advertisements and national-scale promotions to all 300 stores in the Penny Market Italy discount chain via Barix audio over IP. The Barix solution delivers quality audio to all stores without monopolising network bandwidth, using three Barix Instreamer encoders and leased lines to send audio streams to a server farm. Barix Barionet IP control devices build unicast streams for each store at the server farm and deliver the streams over an MPLS network. The Barix Replicator application, running on the Barionets, delivers main and backup streams to Barix Exstreamer IP decoders at the stores, which decode the streams for playout over their corresponding loudspeakers. Johannes Rietschel, CEO of Barix,
‘Signage can be used as an extension of video security systems’ Serge Konter, SpinetiX
and more digital signage systems support a live text feature that would allow store staff to use the screens in an emergency – for example, reinforcing any alarm with messages to assist customers in an evacuation. Clearly, this can never be the main form of communication, unless the screens and the associated communications network is supported by back-up battery to ensure continuing operation in the event of a power cut.” Unsurprisingly, he adds: “BrightSign’s TD1012 is a battery-
backed digital signage screen and potentially an ideal solution.”
Big Brother is shopping with you… That Gillet uses the word ‘potentially’ is one indicator that the technology is
explains that “by giving reliable, direct connectivity through Penny Market’s existing IP network infrastructure, network bandwidth costs are minimised, and the lack of media server and PC infrastructure requirements nearly eliminates maintenance”. The station, says Penny Market’s network and security manager, Mirko De Dominicis, “adds a touch of personality to the shopping experience through dedicated programmes tailored to the customer with the right balance of entertainment and information. It increases point-of-purchase sales while generating new revenue streams through advertising.”
new enough that all its possible applications have yet to be explored – or even dreamt of by end users. “The fact is, technology enables much more than resellers can currently ‘sell’ to the market.
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Markets: Shops and Shopping Centres
To standardise communications with customers, hundreds of 3 Italia mobile phone stores are using a digital signage system delivered via SpinetiX HMP100 media players
Shopping malls embrace DOOH While individual shops want to promote their own wares, managers of shopping centres have a broader remit. They want to maximise traffic and spend throughout their malls – and are, of course, ultimately responsible for evacuation whether at closing time or in the event of an emergency. That brings outdoor displays into play, both outside the centre to help draw people in and in open spaces inside the centre. One of the first to use Infinitus’s imotion DOOH units in this way – networked, as distinct from as standalone display/information points – was BTC City in Ljublijana. Here the goal is to promote products and services, sell
Digital signage is a complex affair, and customers often have trouble grasping some of the concepts that an experienced reseller can offer,” says Dikran Tawitian, marketing manager for Infinitus, a Slovenian manufacturer of outdoor LCD displays under the imotion brand name. “Like most other suppliers of such systems, we are finding our way into the shopping mall vertical through different applications such as DOOH advertising and retail promotional spots. Obviously the process is not yet advanced enough to think of such systems as safety and security mechanisms.”
Finding the way When the intended customers do fully grasp the concept, the technology will be able to perform. But will it be retailers and shopping malls that do the grasping? “Of course digital signage has a great capacity to act as a safety and security system,” adds Tawitian. “With cameras installed at this height, surveillance can be right on the ground, and potential threats would find it very difficult to evade the system. Imagine ‘Big Brother’ security functionality in a city such as London. With facial recognition, it would be possible to trail people around the city, with cameras pointed straight at the face.” 40 IE March 2012
advertising space, communicate all the options that the location offers and in general to persuade visitors to stay within the shopping centre area for a longer period of time. The installation at the entrance to the WestEnd shopping mall in Budapest again serves for both promotion and safety, being designated as the official life-saving point in case of an emergency. Infinitus has also just announced an imotion installation in Casablanca, Morocco, outside a new mall intended to cater for 14 million visitors per year. The unit, in front of the mall’s IMAX movie theatre, will primarily promote current and forthcoming movies.
others. For example, visitors in the waiting area can be reminded not to smoke or use cameras on arrival, without disturbing staff at the counter area dealing with customers.” Zoning, as well as directional audio, can also play its part.“When talking specifically about network audio equipment, we typically see three deployments,” says Johannes Rietschel, CEO of Exstreamer manufacturer Barix. “First, a ‘Branded Retail Radio’ stream that contains location-specific advertising, or messaging, sent from an ad insertion server. When not playing advertising/informational messages, the Exstreamer is playing a branded radio channel that is reinforcing the brand image of the retailer, but also providing the
It is, he admits, “a bit of a scary thought, but it is possible – and as a matter of fact it has been presented to the Moscow municipality”.
Now hear this… But it’s not only a matter of screen and signage. Audio also has a role to play. “Making a solid business case for new digital signage installations is a big issue within the whole value chain,” says Kari Mettala, CEO of Panphonics, a Finnish firm specialising in directional audio for digital signage. “By using the installation to deliver safety as well as sales messages the case can naturally be made stronger. “Implementing directional audio into digital signage installations creates a tenfold increase in awareness when compared to advertisements without sound, leading to added value for advertisements, thus increasing ROI for all parties. Adding audio to safety and security messages would certainly deliver a similar increase in impact, and greatly reinforce any onscreen safety demonstration, for example.” And, again, there’s the issue of information overload to consider. “The beauty of highly directional audio such as Panphonics solutions,” Mettala adds, “is that specific messages can be delivered to a specific audience without disturbing
‘Implementing directional audio into DS installations increases awareness tenfold’ Kari Mettala, Panphonics
customer with a great environment, where they enjoy being. Studies have proven the beneficial effects to the retailer of a properly produced background music channel in terms of increased sales, happier staff and reduced aggression. “The receiving device in this case may also monitor a priority channel while playing the main radio feed. Should a message be received, the audio output is switched gracefully to the higher priority message.
“Meanwhile, paging stations that support multiple zones can be integrated onto the same network infrastructure, allowing for sophisticated responses to emergency situations throughout a shopping mall, department store, hotel complex and so on. That being said, fire and evacuation systems require certification to meet the relevant standards required by law, something which is not required of an AV system.”
Integrated solution The technology exists, therefore, to integrate the advertising, information, safety and security functions within a retail AV installation, but it is not yet commonplace in practice. Is it likely to become so? “Technology is all about convergence, and market pressures are always on the manufacturer to add more and more features, while reducing prices,” says Rietschel. “This looks set to continue, so manufacturers will be looking for new ways to differentiate themselves in future. Secondly, the way that industry is set up, safety/security are seen as distinct areas of expertise, separate from the marketing/ customer experience sphere – in part for traditional reasons, and in part because of the legal certification requirements I alluded to earlier. It won’t necessarily be a quick process to change how things are done, but we have been providing our audio over IP equipment to more than one major multinational corporation for inclusion in certified systems for several years now.” How long, then, before shoppers are watching and listening to displays while the displays watch and listen to the shoppers? Which is, of course, what retailers have been trying to get their staff to do for years. IE www.barco.com www.barix.com www.brightsign.biz www.christiedigital.com www.eyevis.com www.infinitus.si www.panphonics.com www.installationeurope.com
Markets: Distributor Focus – Germany
Standing firm After an impressive resurgence last year, current indicators suggest that the German economy is set to face renewed challenges in 2012. Fortunately, as David Davies reports, these concerns do not appear to be impacting too severely on the country’s pro-AV distribution sector
The recently completed upgrade to Volkswagen’s Autostadt Wolfsburg complex features the world's largest installation combining the Dynacord P64 and Dynacord Promatrix DPM-4000 digital audio matrixes
he powerhouse of yore has lost its lustre. That, at least, is the suspicion as Germany contemplates a 2012 that is expected to be significantly more challenging than even the most sceptical of observers would have predicted six months ago. The country has hardly been immune to the tribulations of the past few years, as GDP contraction of 5.1% in 2009 indicated (source: CIA World Factbook). The impression that year was that the great German boom was finally at an end, the country’s formidable industrial heartland no longer able to ensure its passage through any storm. Economic reforms and substantial stimulus packages did serve to bring about a modest resurgence in 2011, with GDP growth of 2.7% suggesting that the country had successfully arrested the possibility of a serious decline. But in the latter half of last year, the tremendous problems confronting the eurozone – to whose survival Germany is absolutely fundamental – have seen the mist descend once again. At the time of writing, the very real possibility that Greece might exit the
42 IE March 2012
‘We are successful and growing in every single market segment’ Klaus Schöpper, dBTechnologies Deutschland
euro is threatening to bring the crisis to a new pitch – and one that could even precipitate a continent-wide depression. Germany is integral to the latest rescue package, and the pressures that this will exert on its domestic economy are difficult to underestimate. The extent to which the country’s
fortunes are connected to those of Europe as a whole have been readily acknowledged by economy minister Philipp Roesler, who recently admitted that “economic growth in Germany is only possible with sustained growth in Europe. That’s why we must make decisive and credible steps to overcome the euro crisis.” Simultaneously, there are growing fears that the austerity measures directed from central government may now be inhibiting prospects of a domestic revival. The upshot of all this gloom is that few observers expect Germany to achieve growth of more than 1% in 2012 – hardly a ringing endorsement of its rulers’ current fiscal policy. The fear of what may be around the corner was not entirely absent from the comments of our featured contributors, but in general the impression is that Germany’s pro-AV sector is remaining busy and upbeat. Strengthening distribution networks and maintaining a clear focus on the changing requirements of customers appear to have stood many in good stead. Similarly, recognising that there may be a need for more flexible credit
and contractual terms seems to have played a role in keeping business moving. “Despite the gloomy news in newspapers, we see that our industry is not as affected by the economic crisis as others are,” says Robert Hesse, vice president sales pro sound & intercom EMEA, Bosch Communications Systems, in a sentiment that is echoed by many others. “[At the same time] our market is not based on market influence, but instead on our excellent distribution network, our in-house R&D performance and our latest product launches.” These upbeat sentiments are echoed by Klaus Schöpper, sales manager Germany in the commercial audio & installed sound department of dBTechnologies Deutschland. “For our installed sound and commercial department as the German distributor of RCF and dBTechnologies, the business is still growing,” he says. “We expect some interesting projects to [come onstream] this year and are working closely with our customers, which helps to build more confidence in our work and products.” www.installationeurope.com
Markets: Distributor Focus – Germany
Graph 1: Growth experienced during 2011 (% of respondents in each group)
Graph 2: Growth expectations for 2012 (% of respondents in each group)
0-20% growth: 57% 20-40% growth: 38% 40%+ growth: 5%
0-20% growth: 75% 20-40% growth: 20% 40%+ growth: 5%
Market indicators In an impressive performance given the prevailing economic conditions, the vast majority of those who spoke to IE revealed that they had experienced an upturn in activity levels during 2011. Increments of more than 20% were by no means rare, with several companies alluding to truly formidable growth in excess of 40%. Existing customers retained their loyalty, while many companies also reported an encouraging number of fresh enquiries. Commonly cited market drivers included new developments in audio technology, not least networking. Jürgen Scheuring from technology developer UMAN Universal Media Access Networks cites the impact of AVB (audio/video bridging) and networking adoption in general, while another contributor – who asked to remain anonymous – suggested that “networking is having a motivational effect on the entire audio landscape, with performance venues, in particular, keen to make sure that they keep up to speed with the latest developments”. Other areas of audio are also strong, however, with Schöpper highlighting “DSP-controlled steerable speakers as one strong technology. [In addition there is demand for] audio/remote network options in larger installations, and [products to ensure compliance with] EN54.” Hesse, meanwhile, alludes to the continued vibrancy of Bosch’s speaker business, as well as recent gains in market share across all of its other product groups (amplifiers, mixers, signal processors, microphones and intercom matrices). “Germany remains our strongest market,” says Hesse, pointing out that Bosch services dealers via its own sales organisation. “The German market is very demanding, hence we believe that our customers deserve to have direct contact with our own employees.” Further strengthening Bosch’s customer responsiveness, Hesse alludes to the recent launch of the Straubingbased ASA (after-sales service) initiative. “Our pro sound and intercom brands benefit from this professional organisation, which is another example of Bosch investment in customer satisfaction,” he says. www.installationeurope.com
dBTechnologies Deutschland is one of several other companies to indicate that they keep their service offering to customers under continual review, with recent developments including the engagement of a specialised service organisation. “We can offer many options for payment to our customers, ranging from different credit terms to leasing, so there is always a good solution for our customers and also for ourselves,” notes Schöpper. “In 2011 we decided to improve our service again and went along with an experienced special service company, a move that will help to solve any problems in a short time-frame.”
Green power The general trend towards delivering products that help with energy conservation was among the other consistent themes of our contributors’ responses. Needless to say, this is a development that encompasses the full span of AV technology – from power amplifiers to the most elaborate installed lighting systems.
Key trends . All contributors to this feature indicated that their activity levels had increased during 2011; there is a general expectation of further increases in 2012 despite the wider financial climate
. Pro-AV, it is commonly felt, is somewhat immune to the effects of the economic tribulations currently afflicting many other market segments
. There is some evidence of a movement towards direct distribution, but it is not as pronounced as in some other European territories
. High-specification audio, including networking capability, are among the current drivers of market growth
. The Integrated Systems Europe and Prolight + Sound trade shows continue to provide important annual focal points for Germany’s pro-AV distribution sector
IE March 2012 43
Markets: Distributor Focus – Germany
Schöpper is one of several observers to allude to the growing demand for green power and the burgeoning desire to reduce the power consumption of amplifiers and speakers, as well as the use of raw materials such as neodymium.
Sector trends One of the recurring themes of recent market overviews has been the tendency of some manufacturers to address their distribution arrangements and, in some cases, to begin to go to the market directly. In the present climate of uncertainty, the desire of companies to review existing practices and ensure that they optimise the performance of their brands is quite understandable, but it is to be expected that some observers question the longterm wisdom of such changes.
Opinion garnered for this latest country focus suggests that Germany isn’t immune to these developments, with UMAN’s Scheuring noting that “the general trend seems to be that bigger manufacturers try to distribute directly”. Whatever the precise motivation in each instance, there have certainly been plenty of changes in terms of individual manufacturers’ distribution arrangements of late. Audio suppliers, in particular, seem to have been exerting considerable effort in finessing their distribution policies. To select a mere trio of examples from recent months: Cloud Electronics appointed S.E.A. Vertrieb & Consulting GmbH as the exclusive distribution channel for the full range of Cloud audio mixers, zoners, multichannel amplifiers and audio
distribution systems throughout Germany; loudspeaker giant Outline enlisted The Audio Specialists (TAS) to serve as its exclusive distribution partner for both Germany and Benelux; and Powersoft revealed details of a new partnership for the German market between Lauuser & Vohl – the amplifier brand’s distributor for the past few years – and TRIUS that will see the two companies collaborating on Powersoft support and sales. As brands across the pro-AV spectrum seek to further consolidate their position in one of Europe’s most pivotal markets, it is to be expected that 2012 will bring forth further partnerships and fresh alignments.
Recent projects Not surprisingly given the
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The church of St Severin in Cologne is a recent installation featuring the RCF VSA2050, a steerable DSP column speaker from dBTechnologies Deutschland
present conditions, bread-andbutter work – bars, restaurants, schools and the like – tends to dominate general discussion of recent projects. It stands to reason that landmark installs with national (and international) profile have been rather harder to come by, but in general the view on current activity levels is fairly upbeat. “We were very fortunate to win a substantial amount of reference projects recently, including sports arenas, train stations, airports, clubs, hotels and TV stations,” says Bosch’s Hesse, adding that “each project where our products are installed makes us feel proud”. Schöpper alludes to a multitude of applications for the extensive RCF product range, including evac and congress system deployments, meaning that “it’s not easy to pick out one special contract win!” Instead, he affirms that “we are successful and growing in every single market segment, and that, I think, is the most important thing – that we are on the right path and can offer a solution to our customers for every type of project.”
hugely impressive 17% on 2011 – most are also keenly anticipating the next significant stop on the annual trade show calendar: Prolight + Sound, which takes place at Messe Frankfurt from 21-24 March. As that show will doubtless further exemplify, a steady flow of highly creative and cost-sensitive solutions is doing much to keep pro-AV healthy in what is undoubtedly the most challenging economic phase for many decades. This focus on innovation may prove to be especially beneficial over the coming months as the eurozone could experience the greatest challenges of the latest crisis period. The impact on Germany of such an outcome is hard to predict, although in the short-term it is very unlikely to be positive. But while the country is going to experience more turbulence as it tries to negotiate renewed stability for itself and the eurozone, its AV sector appears almost certain to remain a beacon of activity and dynamism for the entire European region. IE
www.boschcommunications.com www.cloud.co.uk Understandably given current www.dbtechnologies.de events, few people are making www.dynacord.com especially bullish predictions www.laauser.com about 2012. In general, though, www.outline.it most observers are expecting www.powersoft-audio.com activity levels to remain strong. www.rcf.it Encouraged by the phenomenal www.sea-vertrieb.de success of this year’s Integrated www.umannet.com Systems Europe – which www.theaudiospecialists.eu delivered a final registered www.trius-audio.com
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Markets: Projection Screens
A picture of the future
At ISE 2012, we took the opportunity to catch up with some projection screen manufacturers and talk to them about how they are responding to current challenges in the market. James McGrath reports PROJECTA SHIFTS EMPHASIS ONTO LARGER SCREENS Small screens won’t feature on Projecta’s list of priorities in 2012; emphasis has instead shifted firmly onto the largerscale product. “The smaller screen segment of the market is shrinking,” said marketing communication manager Marco Adriaans. A major factor contributing to this squeeze is growing competition from LCD screens, which are continuing to improve in size and quality while prices fall. Adriaans says that quality and
customisation are two factors that will make the premium projector screen brands stand out from the low end of the market this year. “We always have a higher-end product that sets us out from the less well-manufactured screens that are sold cheaper,” he said. The trend towards bespoke solutions is reflected in the introduction at ISE of two new ceiling recessed products: the Tensioned Descender Large Electrol and the Descender Large Electrol. The Tensioned Descender Large Electrol is
available up to a width of 450cm and the Descender Large Electrol is available up to a width of 500cm. The Tensioned Descender Large Electrol may be built to custom sizes and aspect ratios in sizes up to 4.5m widths. The case of the Tensioned Descender Large Electrol may be specified in any colour for optimal integration into any interior. Adriaans told us how Sony’s stand crew at ISE 2012 accidentally ripped one of its screens the day before the show. Projecta – now part of the Milestone AV
family – was able to manufacture and deliver a new screen within four hours. “I suppose that’s one of the benefits of manufacturing in Europe!” he smiled. n www.projectascreens.nl
DNP LOOKS AT CONTRAST
DRAPER KEEPS AN EYE ON THE GREEN AGENDA
The emphasis was on contrast at the dnp stand, with the company having developed a high-contrast screen, following the recent InfoComm standard on measuring contrast ratio. InfoComm’s Projected Image System Contrast Ratio standard sets out to help installers improve environments where projectors are used, through the measurement of contrast in installation-specific terms. “Contrast is key,” said Anker Haldan, area sales manager at dnp. He pointed out that the company’s Supernova Flex Core delivers up to seven times higher contrast and brightness than previous models, enabling it to display a quality picture even in a well-lit space. “Viewing experience is improved with this screen when used with the right projectors,” reiterated Haldan. “When a working or learning environment is dimly lit, it may reduce a person’s ability to concentrate on a task and can lead to nausea. This screen can handle larger amounts of ambient light.” Haldan went on to describe how Russia is an emerging market for dnp due to economic growth there. The
Draper has kept two key industry developments in mind in its approach to 2012: the new InfoComm STEP standard and a surge in growth from the education segment of the market. InfoComm’s Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP) was detailed at ISE, and is a voluntary system for rating sustainability of information communications technology in the built environment. Its unveiling coincided with the introduction of Draper’s Euroscreen Xpert, which is 100% PVC free, and manufactured without using hazardous materials. “Schools want to know that children aren’t adversely affected by the materials in their classrooms, and we’re producing screens to help prevent children from coming into contact with potentially harmful substances,” said Penny Rutherford Sitler, advertising manager. Draper has also been experiencing a swell in the rental market for application specific screens, and outlined its new, quick-assembly screens: the StageScreen, a largevenue truss screen, and its smaller
company has several installation projects in the pipeline in that country, especially in education. “On the whole, the education segment and the technology within that sector is on the up – in particular projector technology. The UK has been the driving force in the education market, with higher education facilities and schools requiring more screens for ongoing installations,” he commented. “There’s a lack of demand for the smaller screen in the present market,” said Haldan. Consequently dnp has discontinued its 72in line and aims to put more emphasis on larger customised screens in the future. n www.dnp-screens.com
counterpart, the FocalPoint. The screens themselves are designed in a modular fashion and erected using inventory pieces of various sizes, depending on the screen size and the shape of the projected image. Draper enjoys an extended supply chain with manufacturing bases in the US and Sweden, meaning it can satisfy demand from ample stocks located on both sides of the Atlantic. n www.draperinc.com
STEWART FILMSCREEN LOOKS TO DISTRIBUTORS US-based manufacturer Stewart Filmscreen has an office in Denmark, but says that its European distributors hold the key to its success in 2012. “We have a great distribution set-up in Spain, France and the UK, and that means our screens reach the people they need to,” said Rune Steffen Nielsen, director of European sales. One installation product helping to maintain the company’s stance in the market is the StarGlas60 rearprojection black screen, which is said 46 IE March 2012
to offer contrast levels eight times higher than any competitor’s product. Its most prominent features are two layers of glass, which provide protection even in harsh public installations. Excellent for passive 3D applications, StarGlas60 boasts a high level of soundproofing between the projector and audience. It is targeted at applications in boardrooms, showrooms, malls, schools and more. The company is targeting a number of market sectors this year. For
residential markets, it is offering training schemes to inform integrators about how the screens can be used most effectively. The company sees growth in 2012 in cinema markets, but Nielsen said that screen and projector manufacturers have a duty to provide technology that adds a little extra to viewing experiences and so draws audiences back. n www.stewartfilmscreen.com
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midasconsoles.com © 2011 MUSIC Group IP Ltd. Technical specifications and appearances are subject to change without notice and accuracy is not guaranteed. MIDAS and KLARK TEKNIK are part of the MUSIC Group (music-group.com).
Markets: Projection Screens
AV STUMPFL SEIZES NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN RENTAL Targeting opportunities in the rental market, an area the company didn’t previously cater for with its product range, AV Stumpfl is sustaining sales growth as well as expanding its facilities. The company has recently announced a 3,000sqm extension to its premises in Austria to enable it to enhance both technology and logistical operations. And with AV Stumpfl currently involved in a renovation project at the Allianz Arena’s visitors centre in Munich, 2012 is looking to be a prosperous year for the manufacturer. An area that has seen an upsurge in customer interest is the rental market. “Mobile projector screens are in high demand and we have seen growth in the rental market over the past years,” said Rudi Hradli, marketing director.
However, mobile screens weren’t previously part of the company’s product range. “Before, our customers were buying the screens, and although designed for installations, they were using them for rentals. This made their job difficult because the screens weren’t produced to be moved around all the time,” explained Hradli. To make constant dismantling and rebuilding of screens easier, AV Stumpfl developed a tubing system to make screens easier to transport, and a technique to prevent the screen material from crinkling. For instance the Vario 32 and 64 models both use a modular building block frame and can house a range of screen sizes. Made from lightweight aluminium, they are designed for portability. Another growing market sector for
the company is education, especially with interactive projector displays becoming more popular. Unlike some other manufacturers, AV Stumpfl is not especially concerned by cheaper competitors; Hradli said that customers he has lost have always returned later. “If a
system integrator needs to contact us, then we are available. Often with the lower-cost manufacturer you don’t get that sort of support once the product has been purchased,” he explained. www.avstumpfl.com
SHEER WEAVE, NOT PERFORATIONS FOR ELITE SCREENS
The world is digital
It’s time to evolve
market: “Projectors are getting better and prices for them are reducing, meaning there is a greater demand for projector screens.” However, he did indicate a fall in spending in the EU in comparison to the US. European companies, he said, have become more conservative in their spending in the face of economic conditions. Asked about low-cost competition from the Far East, Rodgers said that Elite Screens has years of experience in the processes involved in manufacturing screens, and without that sort of understanding, high quality is unobtainable. “Chinese manufacturers try to replicate, but can’t – performance separates our products from theirs. “We embed 100% quality into each of our products and we make certain of this with our own evaluations and third-party evaluations.”
Elite Screens demonstrated its Curved 4K highresolution acoustically transparent screen at ISE. The screen features a sheer weave material that allows sound to be dispersed through the projector screen without the need for perforations. It is suited to image resolutions greater than 1080p, making it a future-proof solution. David Rodgers, marketing manager, told us that while the screen is currently priced out of the consumer market, the intention is that it will eventually become affordable. One trend remarked on by Rodgers was a drop in demand for speciality projector screens because of advances in projector technology. “Good projectors make our job easier, the projector does all the work,” he said, adding that matte white screens had become more popular. Rodgers was confident about the outlook for the
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IE March 2012 49
Show Preview: Prolight + Sound
Preparing for Prolight Following on from the success of ISE, hopes are high for this yearâ€™s edition of Prolight + Sound. We round up some of the early news from the show isitors from across the globe are preparing to descend on Messe Frankfurt for Prolight + Sound/Musikmesse 2012. As well as a host of product launches, this year will also see a variety of product presentations and seminars. The Media Systems Congress runs across all three days of the show and covers topics ranging from â€˜Room acoustics for dummiesâ€™ to â€˜Networks for lighting control systemsâ€™. The Manufacturers Forum features industry-leading speakers discussing key topics. Highlights include RenĂŠ Berhorst of MA Lighting debating â€˜Lighting desks, PC solutions and the future of lighting programmingâ€™ and RenĂŠ Rodigast of the Fraunhofer Institute discussing â€˜Sound surround â€“ surround sound: Practical applications of 3D surround soundâ€™, both on Wednesday 21 March. On the showfloor, Audient, which will be sharing a booth with microphone manufacturer Sontronics, will be showcasing its latest analogue recording console, the ASP4816. Said to have all
Expectations are high for 2012
the benefits of a large-format recording console in a compact form, the main input channels feature Audientâ€™s Class A preamp and four-band EQ. It also boasts 40 faders, 16 bus routing, six auxes and two dedicated cue sends. Christie will be supporting two of its partners, Videlco and Vision Tools, at
21 - 24 March 2012. Visit us at Hall 8.0, stand E80, Frankfurt.
this yearâ€™s show. Videlco has developed a console suited for Christieâ€™s range of video processors: Vista Spyder and Christie Spyder. The 42 CONTROLS Single Point of Control (S.P.O.C.) console, which Christie is distributing, is a media controller centralising the control of multiple third-party systems including projectors, media servers and video processors. Vision Tools, meanwhile, will focus on MicroTiles. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see Jumpstart, Christieâ€™s new content management system. d&b will be highlighting additions to its Black line of loudspeakers as well as showing its xS and xA-Series from the White range of cabinets. Elements from the established T, J and E-Series within the Black range will be displayed alongside the newly introduced E4 and E5 speakers. Also new, but being kept under wraps, is the V-Series. dBTechnologies is set to unveil a selection of products in Frankfurt, including the upgraded Opera DX line. Opera DX has been augmented with in-
. Where? Messe Frankfurt, D-60062 Frankfurt am Main
. When? 21-24 March 2012 9.00-18.00
. How much? â‚Ź28 in advance/online ticketing â‚Ź43 on arrival â‚Ź15 for students
house developed digiproG2 power amps and other state-of-the-art features which improve performance. More details will be unveiled at the show. dB will also launch three new DVA Subs aimed at the rental and installation markets, including the DVA S1521N â€“ a powered 21in subwoofer boasting 1,500W RMS power â€“ and the DVA S2585N, a compact subsystem featuring a cardioid layout designed for utmost directivity. New from Humantechnik is the Digi-Wave, a digital mobile radio communication system with a transmission frequency of 2.4GHz. The lightweight solution provides 14 channels for unidirectional transmission, and up to four
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 HTWSPĂ„LYZHSSPUJVYWVYH[PUN3HINY\WWLUÂťZ0+,,(Â?0U[LSSP+YP]L,ULYN` ,MĂ„JPLU[(TWSPĂ„LY[LJOUVSVNPLZ *LY[PĂ„LK HZ ,ULYN` :[HY JVTWSPHU[ , :LYPLZ WV^LY HTWSPĂ„LYZ HYL L_[YHVYKPUHYPS` LMĂ„JPLU[ IV[O PU[LYTZ VM UL[ VWLYH[PUN LMĂ„JPLUJ` HUK [`WPJHS J\YYLU[ KYH^ ;OPZ YLK\JLK WV^LY JVUZ\TW[PVU YLZ\S[Z PUSV^LYSVUN[LYTJVZ[VMV^ULYZOPWÂśHRL`ÂşZLSSHISLÂťHK]HU[HNLMVY JVU[YHJ[VYZHUKH[HUNPISLILULĂ„[MVYLUK\ZLYZH[H[PTL^OLULULYN` Z[HUKHYKZHYLHUPUJYLHZPUNS`PTWVY[HU[MHJ[VY *VTWHJ[ Ă…L_PISL HUK LU]PYVUTLU[HSS` MYPLUKS` HTWSPĂ„LY KLZPNU [OH[ THRLZZV\UKLJVUVTPJZLUZL&5V^[OLYLÂťZHIYPSSPHU[0+,,(
50 IE March 2012
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Show Preview: Prolight + Sound
show two new product series. The DVM194 series contains four components for installation, live and studio applications. The 0.25-19in housing design allows integration into Sommer Cable’s SYSBOXX housing system and into all common housing systems pursuant to DIN 41494, enabling a combination of connecting units and active electronics. A four-channel two-bus mixer, 2 x 75W power amplifier, two-way headphone amplifier system with aux input, and a 3.5in display module are currently available in this series. Also new is the DVM120
series, which contains six problem fixers and audio tools for live and studio applications. Tannoy, Lab.gruppen and Lake will again be exhibiting at Prolight + Sound. Highlights will include the Frankfurt debut of the latest evolution of Lake’s LM Series of digital audio system processors, LM 44, along with a sneak preview of the new developments with Lake Controller software. Also on show will be Tannoy’s VLS Series passive column array. Heading up the touring front will be Lab.gruppen’s PLM Series, including the PLM 20000Q, which couples the
world’s most powerful fourchannel amplifier platform to the industry-leading digital sound manipulation features of Lake Processing. Void Acoustics will launch the Incubus Club System, incorporating the Air Array, Hyperfold and Incubus Subs. The Air Array is the mid-high element of the club system delivering high-level, highfidelity sound. The low-mid section of the Air Array consists of two hyperbolic horns fed from a split manifold driven from four very high power 12in transducers. Each transducer features a heat sink system to reinforce reliability and reduce
Humantechnik’s Digi-Wave digital mobile radio communication system
power compression levels. The Hyperfold 4 x 15in upper bass enclosure is derived from the Void pyramid horn system, originally incorporated for the Para flex 640 system; this new configuration is said to increase the bass intensity to an unprecedented level. IE www.pls.messefrankfurt.com
Martin Audio’s MLA Compact is aimed at fixed installs and mid-sized tours
channels for dialogue applications with bidirectional transmission. Users can switch from unidirectional to bidirectional communication with the push of a button. KV2 Audio is set to launch the Club Series of slimline speaker systems for entertainment venues. The SL412 loudspeaker uses four 12in low- to mid-range components and the horn assembly from the VHD1.0 with a single 8in mid-range and 3in large-format NPVD compression driver. The SL2.15 is a 2 x 15in subwoofer specially designed to output maximum bass response from its shallow cabinet design. Martin Audio will be presenting the world tradeshow debut of the MLA Compact. This uses the same technology as the company’s Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array and targets fixed installations and medium-scale touring applications. The company says that a 12-box array can easily deliver full rock SPLs in a 5,000-seat venue, whilst a 24-box array will approach the output of many ‘full-size’, but less efficient systems. Horus, a new I/O system, will take centre stage on the stand of Merging Technologies. Horus has been designed as a high-quality standalone converter; however in RAVENNA mode it becomes an IP ‘node’ fully configurable from one Ethernet cable. It allows routing on an eightchannel granularity level of up to 128 channels of MADI, 24 channels of AES/EBU and 24 channels of analogue to/from Ethernet. Under the Cardinal DVM brand, Sommer Cable will www.installationeurope.com
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IE March 2012 53
Solutions: iGuzzini HQ, Recanati
INSTALL OF THE MONTH
R & 3D
A leading Italian lighting manufacturer is looking to make an impact with its new headquarters’ facilities, which comes complete with a high-tech conference room/auditorium area, writes Mike Clark The eight languages of the Sennheiser simultaneous translation system can be split as required between the two rooms
About the installer . Based in Ancona, on the Italian Adriatic coast, Videoworks S.p.A. has branches in Milan and Viareggio
The room, which can be divided to hold multiple events, features a Da-Lite Cinema Contour fixed frame main projection screen and a smaller tensioned Comm-Tec Electric Master screen with Da-Lite projection surface
Guzzini is a leading Italian lighting manufacturer, whose fixtures are to be found in key architectural and street lighting applications worldwide, as well as in airports, stations and other locations. Established by members of the Guzzini family over half a century ago, the company has grown to boast a sales network in 64 countries, receiving accolades and awards for its products’ innovation, design and eco-sustainability. The company recently expanded its 150,000sqm headquarters in Recanati (in the Marches region of Italy) with the addition of the striking new four-storey Light Laboratories, designed by Genoa architect Maurizio Varratta under the banner of sustainability and energy efficiency. In fact, the International Initiative for a
54 IE March 2012
Sustainable Built Environment’s Sustainable Building Challenge Protocol for assessing buildings’ ecological performance resulted in a rating of 3.5, the highest received to date by an office building in Italy. As well as an R&D department, offices and showroom facilities, the building, for which the acoustic design was by Munich’s Müller BBM, also hosts a high-tech auditorium/ conference room with an impressive array of AV technology, installed by system integrator Videoworks.
High impact The building makes a big impact even from the outside, with its LED-lit double skin facade and green roof, and the auditorium is up to the same high standards. The room is 24m long and 10m
wide; it can accommodate almost 300 people in the stylish Poltrona Frau seating, or can be divided into two rooms measuring approximately 12m by 10m, each holding around 130 attendees. Videoworks system engineer Carlo Bellocchio followed the project from its conception, through design and on-site work management to co-operation with the company’s help desk for any after-sales matters. He states: “The brief we got from the client was fundamentally twofold – the room had to be a multifunctional multimedia facility suitable for use for smallscale events, such as in-house courses, and for large conferences with attendees from abroad. Secondly, we had to ensure that participants felt they were
. The company specialises in the design, realisation, installation and after-sales assistance of multimedia entertainment systems, integrated AV systems, networking and CCTV systems . It also creates unified multi-conference systems for high-profile clients in three sectors: conferencing, yachts and smart homes
actually part of the presentations or events staged, and the high-end technology had to ensure the utmost impact.” The main problem to be solved to achieve these aims was the positioning of the projectors and the screens, since the room can also be divided into two independent rooms for smaller events thanks to a mobile acoustic wall made from soundabsorbent timber acoustic panels mounted on a metal frame. This meant that there was a considerable reduction in
the space for the positioning of the main projector, which had to project on to a large screen that is moved according to room format and the type of events staged. This hurdle was overcome by choosing a projector that, as well as being suited to 3D projection, was able to be fitted with a 1.1:1 lens with the possibility of having various lens shift positions that could be remotely recalled. “This means that, according to the event being held in the rooms, the image can be positioned at the necessary screen level.” As far as the specific equipment chosen by Videoworks to satisfy the client’s requirements is concerned, Bellocchio indicates two particularly worthy of note: “One is the Crestron modular DigitalMedia switcher, which can handle a multitude of signals in various formats over various distances with a single integrated system, including the distribution and extension of the signals on fibre and STP cables.” Signals are HDMI, VGA for PC connections, highdefinition HDMI signals from the video sources, HDSDI signals from the cameras and standard definition analogue signals for the AUX connections. The Videoworks engineer continues: “The other interesting unit is the 3D video projector, a Christie www.installationeurope.com
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Solutions: iGuzzini HQ, Recanati
projection system is imported from its native operating environment – the cinema – to be used in a corporate conference room enables the company to also stand out for excellent quality and an extremely high impact from the point of view of corporate marketing.” IE
Installed Audio . Biamp AudiaFlex CM with Cobranet . Biamp AudiaEXPI 4 input expanders . Biamp AEC2HD input cards . Biamp OP2 output cards . Duran Audio Axys Intellivox DS-180-2 and DS-115-2 array speakers . Tannoy DI5A speakers . Tannoy VS10BP subwoofers . Sennheiser gooseneck and wireless headset mics . Sennheiser SDC 8200 AO analogue output unit . Sennheiser SDC 8200 ID PC 131 headsets . Sennheiser SI 29-5 modulators . Sennheiser SZI 1029-10 EU radiators . Sennheiser HDI 1029 PPL16 stethoset receivers
A Christie Mirage WU12K-M 3D DLP projector has been installed for use with customised glasses
Control/distribution . Crestron PRO2 dual bus control system . Crestron 3 COM port, Ethernet and relay control cards . Cisco wireless access point . Cisco Ethernet switch . Extron DXP 48 HDMI digital matrix switcher . Opticis M1-203H optical extender
Video . Christie Mirage WU12K-M 3D projector . Christie DWU670-E 6k ANSI Lumen projector . Da-Lite Cinema Contour projection screen . Comm-Tec Electric Master Screen . Cisco C40 HD codec with dual video . Panasonic AW-HE50S cameras . Panasonic AW-RP50 camera controller . Gefen GTV-HD personal video recorder . Crestron Digital Media 32 x 32 matrix . TV-ONE C2-750 scaler . Sharp LC-19LE320E 19in LED speaker table monitor . Samsung EX2220 LED monitor
Mirage WU12K-M 3D DLP projector, which features 10,500 ANSI lumens, WUXGA resolution and up to 10,000:1 contrast, providing cinemaquality active 3D, which attendees can watch with customised iGuzzini glasses.” The room’s second projector is another Christie unit (6,000 ANSI lumens) with native WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution and interchangeable powered 2.0-4.0:1 zoom lens. The main projection screen is a Da-Lite Cinema Contour fixed frame screen with a custom 600 x 375cm high-gain projection surface; the smaller (332 x 187cm) model is a tensioned Comm-Tec Electric Master screen with Da-Lite projection surface. The 3D projector is mounted at the end of the room with the other halfway down, right after the partition wall. The room’s video setup is completed by a quartet of Panasonic 0.3in HD integrated www.installationeurope.com
www.apple.com www.biamp.com www.christiedigital.eu www.cisco.com www.comm-tec.it www.crestron.com www.da-lite.com www.duran-audio.com www.extron.eu www.gefen.com www.iguzzini.it www.opticis.com www.panasonic.net www.samsung.com www.sennheiser.com www.sharp.eu www.tannoy.com www.tvone.co.uk www.videoworks.it
motorised cameras, controlled by a Panasonic remote camera controller; videoconferencing requirements are catered for by a Cisco 1080p HD codec with dual display. Video sources are a custom 3D playout workstation complete with dual output card stereoscopic player software, a Gefen highdefinition personal video recorder and a Full HD 3D Blu-ray/DVD player. As far as audio is concerned, two Duran Audio Axys Intellivox DS-180-2 beamshaping arrays are wallmounted behind the speakers’ table with two DS-115-2 arrays on the wall midway down the hall. The same goes for the floor-mounted Tannoy VS 10BP compact bandpass subwoofers, which are hidden behind the room’s wall panels, which have acoustic vents. When the room is divided, an appropriate configuration preset is called up on the Biamp AudiaFlex digital audio platform, which, as well as routing facilities, also features mixer functions, EQ, filters, crossover, dynamics, delays and more. The facility’s Sennheiser digital interpretation system, with three five-channel FM modulators and a pair of high-power radiators, features an SDC 8200 ID interpreter unit in each of the two booths overlooking the conference room. Control is courtesy of a Crestron dual-bus control system and an Apple iPad WiFi LCD with custom GUI and a wireless access point plus two Ethernet switches (all Cisco). Bellocchio concludes: “Compared with previous systems we have designed and installed, the aspect that distinguishes the iGuzzini project is the great flexibility with which, in a room that
can be used as a single venue or two smaller ones, a large number of high-definition sources can be freely allocated exactly where they are required. Then there is also the fact that the eight
languages of the simultaneous translation system can be split as required between the two rooms, enabling two events requiring translation to be held simultaneously. Obviously the fact that a 3D
IE March 2012 57
Solutions: Opera House, Malmö
The future is now Despite being almost 70 years old, Malmö Opera House is keen to embrace the latest technology. Erica Basnicki visits to check out its most recent acquisition Just two transmitters – installed on the light bridge above the stage – are required to provide ample coverage for one of the biggest stages in Europe: 25m wide, 25m high, for a total area of 600sqm
Installed Audio . Sony DWX digital wireless system . DiGiCo SD7-T console . d&b Q-series loudspeakers . TTA Stagetracker FX performer tracking system . Aviom A-16II personal mixers
For the current production of Les Misérables, 46 cast members wear DPA mics and Sony beltpacks. The four lead characters wear two of each in case of a fault
almö is in the process of transformation. The city, the economy of which was once based on the shipping and construction trades, now attracts new biotech and IT companies, the change brought on in a large part by the construction of the Öresund Bridge. Opened in 2000, the bridge connects Malmö to Copenhagen in Denmark, and forms a link between Scandinavia and Central and Western Europe. Seemingly embodying Malmö’s spirit of transformation, Bengt Frienholt, technical production manager of the Malmö Opera House, is something of a pioneer. Under his direction, the Opera House was the first to install and use a Stagetracker FX real-time performer tracking system from Total Theatre Audio (TTA). It is also the first to install and use Sony’s new DWX digital
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wireless microphone system. “Someone has to start. The Malmö Opera House has always been the first to embrace new technology, so it’s very special to work with them: they want the best,” comments Ronny Sjöstrand of Swedish systems contractor and distribution company Arva Trading, which installed both systems. Upgrades to the Malmö Opera House happen on an ongoing basis; a DiGiCo ST7-T console was installed in the summer of 2011, replacing a Solid State Logic C100. The latter has moved to the studio housed within the massive theatre building. All the old copper wiring within the Opera House has been replaced with fibre optic cable, and there are already talks of supplementing the current PA system – comprised entirely of d&b Q-series loudspeakers – with two additional
clusters for both the main and delay systems in order to take better advantage of sound localisation with Stagetracker FX.
Regulation kit Ultimately it was the European initiative to reallocate wireless microphone frequencies that led Frienholt to investigate Sony’s new system, as the Opera House’s former analogue wireless system (also Sony) was no longer suitable. Sweden was one of the first countries in Europe to implement the new frequencies, and has already completed its digital switchover. In response to the frequency changes, every theatre in Sweden was required to modify its audio systems. In Stockholm, the Royal Opera House hosted a blind audio test, pitting several
candidate wireless systems against each other. All except the Sony were analogue systems, and according to Sjöstrand the DWX setup was the clear winner in terms of sound quality. “I have never heard anything sound like this, in over 25 years of working in sound,” he enthuses. “We get a new speaker system, it sounds good. A new console; it sounds good. But this is something that’s blown me away.” Back in Malmö, Frienholt – not afraid to embrace new technology – was curious: “I knew that Sony was working with a digital system. Sennheiser was also working on a digital system but it’s not out yet. So I talked to Ronny about Sony and he said they were very close to having a system out, and we were sent a prototype to check it out; it sounded very good, so we decided to order it. We had a Sony analogue system before so we knew that the quality of the equipment would be very good.” The prototype one-channel system was installed and tested in the summer of 2010. Convinced they had found the right product, the Opera House had the full 50-channel system installed. A Sony team flew in from Japan to make adjustments to each of the units so that they were broadcasting on the appropriate frequencies. It took two full days to test the system, as it was the first major installation they had worked
Solutions: Opera House, Malmö
About the installer . Arva was founded in 1979 as Arva Ljud. A decade later, in 1989, the company became Arva Trading AB. Today it is a supplier of top-end pro-audio equipment, with offices in Stockholm and Malmö . Its core business is the distribution of professional equipment and advanced audio systems, mainly to the studio, broadcast and PA/live markets in Sweden . The company also performs planning and installations
. Brands represented by Arva include d&b, DPA, Optocore and Sommer Cable The Sony DWX digital wireless system is currently in use 12 hours a day – for rehearsals as well as performances – and has experienced no drop-outs or other issues
on. According to Frienholt, the installation process was surprisingly problem-free: “I think it went better than I thought it would, that was a surprise!”
Making the switch Although initially impressed with the sound quality, Frienholt admits to being somewhat nervous about switching from analogue to digital: “I was scared about the digital system at first because in an analogue system, if we get a bad connection between the transmitter and the receiver then the noise goes up a little bit, but I can save the production even if there are a few problems. With a digital system, it either works, or it doesn’t work. I was a bit scared about that, but we have never had a problem.” The new system was first used for Singin’ in the Rain, which debuted in August 2010. It’s currently being used for the Malmö Opera House’s production of Les Misérables, as well as in rehearsals for the upcoming production of Carmen: approximately 12 working hours a day. According to Sjöstrand, there have been no issues: “We’ve used this system for one and a half years and – I’m crossing my fingers right now – we’ve never had any drop-outs. One and a half years of shows, every night, no drop-outs. It’s fantastic.” Sony’s DWX digital wireless system is based on WiDIF-HP (Wireless Digital Interface – High Profile) technology, which transmits 24-bit/48kHz digital audio with a frequency response of 20Hz to 22kHz, and a low system latency of 3.4ms – reportedly the fastest audio codec in the world – without any signal degradation. Unique to the DWX system is the Cross Remote function, which allows the transmitter to be controlled over a wireless remote connection using the 2.4GHz frequency band. Engineers are www.installationeurope.com
able to monitor the transmitter’s status as well as control many of its parameters from a remote receiver. At the Malmö Opera House, just two transmitters – installed on the light bridge above the stage – are required to provide ample coverage for one of the biggest stages in Europe: 25m wide, 25m high, for a total area of 600sqm. They are powerful enough to broadcast a signal through the massive concrete walls at the wings of the stage. Frienholt commented: “We would never be able to do this with an analogue system, never.” The current production of Les Misérables is equally impressive. Behind the scenes are nearly 40 orchestra members using 16 Aviom A-16II personal mixers and headphones for monitoring. On stage, the production features a whopping 70 cast members, 46 of whom wear microphones – all of them DPA. The four lead characters wear two microphones and two wireless belt packs each in case of a technical fault. So far, none of the secondary microphones have had to be used. Since the DWX system was installed at Malmö, both the Göteborg Opera (Gothenburg) and the Royal Opera House in Stockholm have followed suit. It is, nevertheless, Malmö leading the way. The team are currently working with DiGiCo on potential upgrades to the SD7 console, after which they will resume testing the Stagetracker FX system, add more loudspeakers, and then – most likely – more upgrades. Sjöstrand explains: “I discuss this a lot with Bengt; ‘What is the latest? Where are we going in the future?’ and we try to find out. Sometimes we are right, and sometimes we are wrong, but most of the times we are right.” IE
www.arva.se www.aviom.com www.dpamicrophones.com www.malmoopera.se www.sony.co.uk
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Solutions: Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, Istanbul
Completing the spectrum The Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre has experienced much change over the years, and still continues to adapt even today. James McGrath looks at the venue’s latest developments stanbul is a city steeped in history, not least because it served as the capital of the Roman Empire between 330395. Located in Turkey’s largest city is the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, whose origins coincidentally hark back to a pursuit that one associates with the ancient Romans: wrestling. Domination of Turkish wrestlers at the 1948 Olympic Games and European Wrestling Championships led to the foundation of a construction project intended to sustain the country’s assault on the sport and enable the city to hold the 1949 Championships. The Istanbul Sports and Exhibition Hall, as it was originally known, was erected under the supervision of Italian architect Pietro ViettiVioli, and was subsequently
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used as a sporting venue for over four decades. Nearly 50 years later, the centre widened its remit when in 1996 the UN held its largest conference of the 20th century – the Habitat II summit – at the facility. The centre’s emphasis continued to move away from sport to a global meeting space with the addition of the Rumeli Fair and Exhibition Centre in 2000. Further diversification was encountered more recently.
Live events The main hall at the centre, the Anadolu Auditorium, has been acoustically treated so that, “frankly the room is suitable for more than just speechbased events, even if this is its prime function,” according to Berkant Kuru. Kuru is owner of Turkish live event supplier
The Anadolu Auditorium is now capable of handling a wide variety of events, from conferences to live music concerts
Solutions: LĂźtfi KÄąrdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, Istanbul
Spectrum Show Technologies and Production Services, which has a history of renting audio solutions to the centre, and was called in to specify and install a permanent solution. With live music events also on the schedule at the Anadolu Auditorium â€“ located in the very heart of the building â€“ a flexible audio setup was necessary to uphold the centreâ€™s conference status but also to cater for zealous contemporary pop fans with a thirst for booming sound.
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