Issue 218 / February 2019
AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD
How is AV investment impacting hospitality?
The stage is set
Amsterdam welcomes ISE for the penultimate time
Down to EartH
Community hub reimagined for the next generation
UNLOCKING ITS POTENTIAL AV is redefining smart building deployment
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The new normal
igger and better than ever for ISE has become the new normal for this behemoth of a show. It has got to the point where anything other than record-breaking success would supremely shock. This and next years’ editions will surely provide the sternest test for the show in quite a few years, as a venue that is already bursting at the seams finds a way to accommodate further growth with only minor physical expansion. Organisers have admitted there will be challenges as a twoyear plateau is not part of the ISE roadmap, but you’d be a fool to bet against ISE producing two more barn burner shows in the run up to Barcelona 2021. Duncan Proctor, Acting Editor An interesting wider point about the show’s growth is email@example.com whether it has been so successful because organisers get the @install8ion important elements of the show so right, or would it in fact be a success almost regardless, because of the buoyancy of the AV industry as a whole. What makes me think it’s the former is the conference programme. While at times I’m sure showfloor allocation can feel like herding cats, it’s more an exercise
Managing Director/Senior Vice President Christine Shaw Chief Revenue Officer Luke Edson Chief Content Officer Joe Territo Chief Marketing Officer Wendy Lissau Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance
‘Beyond all the tech innovation and conference agendas, perhaps the most important role ISE plays is that of a networking hub’
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in organisation and keeping vendors happy, whereas the conference programme hinges on correctly evaluating where the industry is and will be. It’s here where the show has come on strides year after year. This takes a great deal of thought to be both what people want to hear about, while also providing fresh insights on topics that might not be on the radar of the majority of attendees. A regular part of the conference programme is the Smart Building Conference, which takes place the day before the show opens, and we discuss a number of topics around smart buildings in our special report in this issue. This includes considering where we are in relation to truly connected smart buildings and how AV is changing the definition of a smart building, as the potential of this area of technology becomes more apparent (turn to page 22 for more on that). Beyond all the tech innovation and conference agendas, perhaps the most important role ISE plays is that of a networking hub. Talking to the CEO of a prominent integrator, following the announcement of the move to ISE, he remarked that the networks people have in the AV industry are much stronger than those in IT. This is directly related to ‘who knows who’ and a lot of those bonds are forged at tradeshows. And as one interviewee in this issue comments “ISE is an opportunity to see the bigger picture”, which I think sums it up pretty well from every perspective.
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14 Special Report: Smart buildings 22 Truly connected?
The ultimate smart building – or, perhaps more correctly, intelligent building – will be one that is capable of self-management of all its systems. We find out how close this brave new reality is
28 Efficiently attuned
As AV technology continues to develop, the definition of a smart building is changing as the growing potential becomes clearer. We investigate the shifting nature of smart building tech deployment
Contributors: Mark Flowers, Rob Lane, Ian McMurray, Steve Montgomery,
Rob Lane on resurrecting the high street with AV Juan José Vila weighs up the pros and cons of ISE’s 2021 migration to Barcelona Mark Flowers presents a bold new tech procurement model
34 Evolutionary Arts Hackney, London
06 AV Technology Awards 2019 14 Show preview: ISE 2019
This community hub has gone through a number of iterations and its latest transformation and audio upgrade has seen it become an entertainment and social centre 36 Andøya Space Center, Nordland An IP-based system provides uninterrupted voice communication across remote Arctic locations in mission-critical applications 38 Cadogan Hall, London A UK-first install for Meyer Sound sees improved clarity and power at this high-end venue 40 Solutions in Brief Including a fairytale theatre production; a cultural centre’s digital corridor; and a French sporting arena’s ‘four node’ AV system
50 Last Word
Simon Sainsbury of buk Solutions reflects on the changing nature of our industry
Simon Sainsbury, Juan José Vila
43 New Products
Including Aten, Clevertouch, d&b and NEC
Special thanks: Joe Cross, Nick Dimes, Louise Strickland
Cover Image: Siemens Building Technologies
With the hospitality sector thriving and buying more AV than ever, how is this impacting the customer experience?
06 AV TECHNOLOGY AWARDS 2019
Something for everyone A new addition to the AV calendar, we have big plans and a broader remit for an event that unites the best bits from the Install Awards and the AV Technology Europe Awards
rought to you by Installation and AV Technology Europe, the AV Technology Awards debuts this year, bringing a combination of the prestige the Install Awards has built up over half a decade, with the excitement that was generated by the inaugural AV Technology Europe Awards, which was held during ISE last year. We’ll be hosting the awards at the Millennium Gloucester in London on Thursday 20th June. The aim of this combined and restructured event is to hit every part of the AV industry and provide an opportunity for integrators, end users, manufacturers and distributors to all celebrate their successes together. The focus will be on projects and teams, but with entry criteria widened to include submissions from up and down the AV supply chain. Products and solutions are also a big part of the event, with entries closely linked with successful projects and we will be adding to the Hall of Fame, a category that has been a big part
of the Install Awards for the last five years. Entries will open after the dust has settled from ISE and can be made by a single company or combined with the other stakeholders involved. As always there’ll be an independent panel of judges on hand to vet entries. Here’s a rundown of the award categories: Projects • Education Project of the Year • Corporate Project of the Year • Hospitality Project of the Year • Retail/DOOH Project of the Year • Venue Project of the Year • Visitor Attraction Project of the Year Technology • Display Product of the Year • Collaboration Product of the Year • Projection Product of the Year • Signal Management Product of the Year
• Audio Product of the Year • AV Accessory of the Year Teams • Integrator of the Year • End User Team of the Year • Manufacturer of the Year • Industry Newcomer of the Year • Distributor of the Year Hall of Fame • Outstanding Achievement by an Individual
Sponsorship opportunities To find out more about sponsoring this event, please contact Andrew Leggatt firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6029 www.avtechnologyawards.com
08 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Retail looks to AV for its survival Bricks and mortar outlets need an AV boost
ith the high street under siege from all sides, AV technology is becoming more important than ever for the survival of retail. The continued and expanding popularity of online shopping is being further exasperated by online giants such as Amazon, which are opening their own high street outlets. Add to that the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit, the effects of years of austerity and its subsequent real-wage stagnation, and bricks and mortar retailing is struggling like never before. The impact of online shopping upon the high street isn’t a new phenomenon, of course. At the beginning of the first online retail revolution in the late 90s I was editor of a leading consumer electronics magazine, and witnessed the doom and gloom among CE retailers. The same dealers – those that survived – would now give their eyeteeth for the sort of revenues they enjoyed then. The internet’s attack on the high street was a mere scouting party back then. Today, of course, it’s chalk and cheese compared with 20 years ago, and things are incredibly difficult for high street retail, even without additional factors such as Brexit. And although most retailers have their own online outlets, the internet is now the first choice among most shoppers, making it difficult for the high street to survive.
platforms – offering an opportunity for the high street to remain relevant and fight off the siege. The high street needs to adopt new mindsets around retail methodology and in-store technology, accepting and embracing the influence those interactive AV technologies that make shopping easier and more enjoyable for consumers, bringing the internet shopping experience into store.
‘Bricks and mortar retailers need to come to terms with a revolutionary change in retailing: hybrid or omnichannel retail’
This sort of AV tech combines the immediacy, excitement and comfort of shopping online (usually at home) with the tactile, touchbefore-you-buy experience of the in-store retail experience – with the added benefit of making shopping on the high street more of an ‘event’. The key is to let shoppers take charge while exciting them and making the process of buying as easy as it is at home. Today’s high street retailers must utilise exciting and practical technologies to enhance bricks and mortar shopping while reflecting and also dovetailing with the online shopping experience.
Revolutionary change Bricks and mortar retailers need to come to terms with a revolutionary change in retailing: hybrid or omnichannel retail. Combining the high street shopping experience with that of the online one, this retail revolution looks to create a seamless shopping experience across all retail
Bridge the gap Smart technologies need to be employed to bridge the gap between internet devices and the high street, allowing the internet shopping journey to continue in-store – enabling online to be an extension of the high street and vice versa.
Bricks and mortar stores must fully connect with online shoppers, placing the customer at the centre of the action, in control, providing retail experiences on multiple levels. Sophisticated window displays should entice customers into stores with interactive technology that mirror the online experience. This means more of a move towards experiential marketing in retail, with AV acting as a very powerful tool for creating immersive and exciting shopping experiences – as well as improvements in back-end tech, to help with efficiencies. There’s now a growing expectation that not only will the online shopping experience be echoed in some way – perhaps by a touch table or display where online meets in-store – but that there’ll also be some sort of technological wowfactor to pull people into stores. It’s clear that AV technology, and the requirement for it to be integrated in an intelligent and meaningful way, is now essential to the future of high street retail. There’s a clear need for retailers to invest in technologies that create a fantastic in-store experience, allowing shoppers frictionless movement between online and in-store. Perhaps in the future internet shopping will be merely the gateway drug for most shoppers, with the high street providing the mainline hit. Certainly if bricks and mortar retail is going to stand a chance against online and the squeeze from other economic pressures, AV is going to play a major role in its survival. Rob Lane is founder/director of Bigger Boat PR Ltd and has been writing about AV technology since the mid 90s
10 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Juan José Vila Hola Barcelona
The positives of the show’s migration in 2021 far outweigh the negatives
ack in April last year, I wrote a column for this fine magazine singing the praises of ISE, gently concluding with a look at some of the challenges that would have to be met by the show’s organisers over the next few years. Of these, the overcrowding of both the Amsterdam RAI site and the city’s available accommodation during the exhibition were my greatest concerns, and I pondered whether, despite Amsterdam’s convenient location and overall popularity among exhibitors, it might be time for the show to consider a relocation. Of course, we all know what came next. In early July, ISE’s organisers announced that they would be moving to Barcelona from 2021. As I knew there would be, there are positives and negatives to this decision. Because Barcelona is at the Southwestern end of Europe, most ISE visitors from 2021 will have to come by air. To attendees from the Americas and Asia who have always had to fly anyway, this is not a concern, but the days of visitors from countries with strong AV markets like France, Germany, the Scandinavian and Benelux territories and the UK ‘nipping’ to ISE by car for a couple of days are surely over.
justice in one or even two days any more, goes the argument… so you might as well fly in and stay for a few days. And although ISE will be less easy to reach from Northern Europe, it will become much more accessible to the 50 millionstrong population of Spain, and AV companies in Southern France, Northern Italy and Portugal. There are plenty more outright wins, too. The show’s new venue, Fira Barcelona, is big – well over four and a half times the size of the RAI in terms of bookable exhibition space – and already has an established track record of hosting successful large events such as the Mobile World Congress. The city itself also has way more (and way more varied) accommodation to offer than Amsterdam. So Barcelona spells the end for the overcrowding at ISE that has been such
‘Barcelona spells the end for the overcrowding at ISE that has been such a problem over the past few years’
a problem over the past few years. Because demand for space at the show has been
Speaking personally, however, it seems that every concern thrown up by the move to Barcelona is completely outweighed by the benefits of the relocation. As ISE’s organisers have pointed out to me, the number of visitors undertaking quick ‘one-night-only’ visits to the show by car has been in steep decline anyway since the exhibition became the largest AV trade event in the world. You can’t do the show
suppressed by the limitations of the current site, and there have been many companies unable to book space at the RAI, it seems reasonable to assume that ISE will grow considerably in size as soon as it moves to Barcelona. Although that raises the prospect of the duration of the show extending further in future, so that attendees will still have time to see everything, it has to be a net win that assures the future of the event.
Trade fairs that expand massively year-on-year are never the ones to be cancelled.
City of contrasts Last but not least, one of the biggest advantages of the new arrangement is surely Barcelona itself. Plenty of adjectives can be used to describe it, many of them apparently contradictory: it’s cosmopolitan and modern, but simultaneously classic and historic, romantic but still businessoriented. It’s a study in contrasts, characterised perhaps by the famous pairing of opera and rock that was Montserrat Caballé singing about the city with Freddie Mercury for the Olympic Games, itself a massive catalyst for transformation that helped to make Barcelona what it is today. There’s so much to attract visitors, who are rarely disappointed – excellent food, weather, architecture, cultural opportunities and a truly diverse population – so while it’s the perfect place to do business, you’ll never be short of something to do after your work is concluded for the day. Given that there will often be 20 degrees of sunshine during the day even in February, you can eat in a bar by the city’s mediterranean beach if you want, and even if you finish late, this is a town where getting dinner at midnight is not a problem. If I had to sum up the change, I’d say that 2021 will be the first time I could seriously recommend packing sunglasses for a trip to ISE. And what’s not to like about that? Juan José Vila is COO/CMO of WORK Pro/Equipson
OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Mark Flowers CTS Reforming expenditure
How workspace as a service is changing the procurement model
or a long time, our industry has spoken about the convergence of AV and IT. In reality, we are now living in a world of IT consumerization, where personal and business devices coexist in the workplace. The question is: why do we continue to pay for our business devices up front, while our personal devices are broken down into bitesized monthly payments?
Technological steps We have seen some significant technological steps forward over recent years. Plasma moved to LCD (which in turn is moving to OLED/QLED), while full HD is being replaced by UHD. Perhaps one of the most significant steps has been the introduction of the network into the AV space. We are now able to utilise existing network infrastructure to distribute our signals and, importantly, we’re able to embrace the IoT. Until recently, we’ve relied on purpose built hardware devices with (sometimes) complicated coding to control and monitor our audio visual estates. Now, we have the ability to check the status and remotely control anything connected to the network, from anywhere in the world This gives us the power to offer a truly managed service, tailored to our client’s needs. Gone are the days when a meeting starts 20 minutes late because of a technical challenge. Gone are the days where we spend an unnecessary amount of time diagnosing a fault, only to find that the power cable was disconnected. Of course, electrical equipment can develop faults and products may, from time to time, need to be physically replaced. However, now we can change our reactive approach to a more
proactive one. We can review how our products are performing, stay ahead of any meeting disrupting challenges, and help influence future technology decisions.
Service While the way that we support our customers has evolved, our initial interaction should remain the same. We still require the same discussion at the beginning of the process, where we review what our client hopes to achieve and, importantly, why. Only then can we move onto the technology conversation.
‘We’re changing the model from buying equipment for a room, to securing a Service Level Agreement’
Once you have met the technical requirement, according to the application, we can discuss what services to ‘wrap around’ the solution. It’s important to identify the criticality of the environment so that you can align the Service Level Agreements. For example, while a meeting room can afford to be non-operational if an alternative is available, a digital signage network in a retail environment will likely require an immediate response.
Procurement Having identified the technology and created a managed service, we arrive at the topic of procurement. How a project is financed has a correlation with the size of the overall
investment. We estimate that Operation Expenditure (OPEX) is on average five times Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), so let’s make use of the additional funds. By spreading the cost over a longer term, we can often afford to make decisions based on the right solution. Creating a Workspace as a Service model that utilises the OPEX and incorporates hardware, software, integration and managed services will allow us to define the overall project cost. All this before an order is placed. From here, we can start to break down the overall costs into something more palatable. For example, we can attribute a cost per room per month. We can even surmise a cost per meeting, based on expected usage. Ultimately, we’re changing the model from buying equipment for a room, to securing a Service Level Agreement. From our perspective as the integrator, we’re able to closely follow the utilisation of technology over a longer period. It really ensures that we keep the technology conversation going, long after the initial installation, which helps frame the future decisions of how rooms are used and how technology plays a role. From the perspective of our distributors and vendors, it can be seen as a huge positive. By maximising the overall project budget, they’re likely to see bigger orders. Returning to the original question – why do we pay for our business devices up front? The answer is we no longer need to. Mark Flowers CTS is strategic vendor manager at Ricoh Europe
14 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2019
Ten things not to miss at ISE 2019 With plenty going on at ISE, aside from the show itself, here’s a few things to make a note of
Smart Building Conference Taking place on the day before the show opens, the Smart Building Conference is a one-day event that explores the latest technologies, business strategies, market research and workflow case studies through presentations from smart building experts. This year‘s conference will show how to make existing buildings smart and how professionals can make the latest generation of smart buildings. The theme, ‘Making Buildings Smart, Making Smart Buildings’, examines how all stakeholders can work together to use technology to make buildings smarter and better for everyone.
AudioForum AudioForum will investigate the concept of sound environments and settings. It will explore the relationship between quality sound propagation, architectural and environmental acoustics, the listening experience, acoustic wellbeing and related psychological implications. The conference will appeal to professionals with technical training as well as those from the world of architectural and environmental design. It will also interest those who manage environments and spaces within hotels, schools and universities, public buildings, sports arenas and cultural centres. AudioForum is produced ISE media partner Connessioni, in collaboration with the Audio Engineering Society.
ISE Tech Tours On each day of ISE, specially curated tours reveal the details behind AV and integration projects located in and around Amsterdam, including why, how and where technology is used and the core design principles involved. Destinations for the tours include: This is Holland, Sir Adam Hotel and THE BUTCHER Social Club. The first tour is between 1-6pm on Monday, 4th February, taking VIPs to these three destinations in North Amsterdam, opposite Central Station. On Wednesday, 6th February at 10-2pm, the Tech Tour visits the ‘Anatomical Theatre of Wonder’, where Tinker Imagineers take visitors back six centuries of science in just six minutes at the updated Theatrum Anatomicum at Rijksmuseumboerhaave in the city of Leiden.
Projection mapping on the nhow Amsterdam RAI ISE and the RAI Amsterdam are combining to produce an exciting projection mapping display on the façade of the new nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel, adjacent to the exhibition and conference centre. Specially created content will be projected onto the nhow Amsterdam RAI Hotel from 5-8pm each day throughout the week of the ISE show. The projection mapping showcase will be delivered by ISE 2019 Technology Partner and media server and digital display specialist Green Hippo, working alongside hire and production experts LANG, a long-term ISE Platinum Sponsor and Technology Partner. ISE Technology Partner Panasonic is supplying the projectors.
SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2019
Opening Address Master projection designer Bart Kresa will present the Opening Address on the day before ISE 2019 opens its doors. Kresa has over 20 years of industry experience and the BARTKRESA studio has won numerous event and themed entertainment awards. His primary mission is to craft unparalleled projection experiences around the world through light, story, and design. His company, with design teams in Japan, Poland, and the US, caters to an array of visual styles for a wide variety of architectural spaces, amusement parks, sporting events, or musical festivals.
XR SUMMIT The XR Summit ISE is a half-day B2B strategy conference focused on VR, AR and MR. The latest technologies and solutions for vertical market sectors will be explored through a mixed programme of keynotes, presentations and panels. XR Summit ISE will take place on Tuesday, 5 February in the Hotel Okura, and will explore the latest in VR, AR and MR technologies, business strategies, and solutions and how they are impacting and empowering the AV business.
Digital Signage Summit Taking place on 6th February at the Hotel Okura, Digital Signage Summit ISE will explore how digital signage and retail technologies can enable retailers, brands and corporate customers to offer engaging digital experiences. The summit will also provide insights into sensor technologies, IoT and digital storytelling through analysis and strategies. The event will look at how customers are demanding engaging experiences. DSS ISE showcases experts and customers delivering market insights and presenting best practice.
AGORA AGORA is a new event, focussing on sporting venue technology, the latest developments in the industry and future projects. It will explore the benefits of the latest technology, trends and techniques â€“ analysing the impact that technology has and will have at modern stadiums and sporting venues around the globe. Through panel discussions, case studies and expert keynote speakers, AGORA will provide insight that will help to increase knowledge and performance for stadium and sporting venue projects in the future.
attractionsTECH BY blooloop This is a half-day conference focused on the technology transforming visitor attractions. It includes insights from leading operators about where they see the future, and case studies from the tech companies at the forefront of innovation. The summit will explore how stateof-the-art technology is enabling theme parks, museums, water parks, zoos and cultural and heritage attractions to develop increasingly sophisticated and immersive experiences. VR, AR and MR are creating richer guest experiences and helping to turn attractions into destinations themselves. attractionsTECH will be held at the Hotel Okura.
Closing Keynote Visual artist and creative director Tupac Martir will give the Closing Keynote at ISE 2019. Martir is the founder of Satore Studio, a London-based multidisciplinary design and creative production group with clients as wide-ranging as BMW, Ralph Lauren, Elton John, BeyoncĂŠ and the British Museum. In his presentation he will explain and demonstrate how the Satore Studio team uses technology to create unforgettable live events. In a first for ISE, the Closing Keynote will feature live language interpretation available free to attendees. The Closing Keynote will take place in the Forum at the RAI Amsterdam at 12pm on Friday 8th February.
16 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2019
We’ve compiled insights from across the AV spectrum to gain a fresh perspective from those attending and exhibiting at the show
Logitech What new solutions will be the focus of your presence at ISE? Logitech’s biggest news since ISE 2018 was the announcement of Logitech Rally, a modular videoconferencing solution for mid-sized and large meeting rooms. This year’s show will be the first time that the full system is on display at a major European industry event, and we’ll be excited to show attendees its impressive functionality.
How do you think the last two editions of the show at the RAI will compare to the show after it moves to Barcelona? Amsterdam has became synonymous with ISE for Logitech, so we are sure there will be a hint of nostalgia during the last two shows as we reminisce on all the good memories and friendships we’ve made at the RAI over the years. That being said, ISE has become the go-to industry event for everything UC, AV, digital
signage and more, so the fact the show has outgrown the RAI and has needed to move to a bigger space is a great credit to its continued success and importance. While we can’t know for sure what ISE 2019 will hold, we are sure that both ISE itself and the vendors that attend will continue to go from strength to strength.
Anne Marie Ginn, Head of Video Collaboration, Logitech EMEA calls as simple and seamless to join as possible.
What key trends in video collaboration do you expect to see a lot of? This year, we expect to see AI and machine learning being further integrated into video collaboration, vastly improving the end user experience. We also expect to see increased presence from cloud platform vendors at the show. Solutions that offer flexibility around different room sizes are also likely to be a big feature at this year’s show, alongside those that continue to take the complexity out of videoconferencing for end users, making video
Is there anything outside Logitech’s immediate technology area that you are particularly excited to see? A recent area of interest for us has been digital signage and interactive screens – video enabled interactive screens have the potential to be very effective collaboration tools. As such, we’ve been interested by the development in this space, and we’ll be watching closely to see what improvements vendors make to their offerings to help drive adoption.
Holovis What will be the focus of your attendance at ISE this year? This year we’ll be attending ISE to primarily meet with our key manufacturers, suppliers and partners. ISE brings about a unique chance to meet all the global teams in one place as the whole industry converges on Amsterdam. This presents the rare chance to meet everyone together, rather than segregated in their separate territories, which leads to more connected conversations and quicker decision making. We’ll also have a team of engineers at the event scouting out new technologies and innovations and bringing back the information to share with our team. We will also be attending relevant conferences and key speaker sessions relating to the industries that we operate in, such as AttractionsTECH from Blooloop, Digital Cinema Summit for our new business Extended Cinema and the Digital Signage Summit.
What innovations are you most looking forward to seeing at the show? Our installations tend to focus on complex projection in a variety of environments from planetariums and dome theatres to immersive tunnels, flying theatres and dark rides, as well as CAVES and Powerwalls for enterprise visualisation
work. Therefore we’re always looking for the latest projection technology and are specifically interested in the development of multiview systems and auto realignment software. We have a dedicated team of audio engineers who will have their ears to the ground to find the latest design, control and management solutions. In addition, there is always something new to be found in the LED halls and within the unified communications zone.
How strong do you feel the show’s relationship is to the technologies Holovis operates in? Do you think this will change when the show moves to Barcelona? We have been very privileged to work alongside ISE for the last two years to curate their first two XR Technology Zones and saw a growing interest in these technologies and solutions from the ISE audience. I think this will definitely continue to grow as the XR and AV industries are seeing more and more overlap and traditional AV integrators are following in our footsteps of learning how to apply these next generation solutions to their projects. I think increased floorspace in Barcelona will definitely help this area of the show to grow as it finds a proper home on the show floor.
Dave Elliott, Business Development Manager, Holovis
Do you think ISE can continue to grow at the same rate over the next couple of editions? ISE has certainly proved to stand the test of time and, while these next few years may prove challenging, the industry has dealt with a lot since the show launched in 2004. The team are doing a great job at keeping on top of the trends and welcoming in new forms of AV, such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality and showing end users and integrators alike how they can be utilised. The conference programmes are also phenomenal with world class speakers drawing in the crowds and giving access to insight that can’t be found anywhere else.
SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2019
AVMI How do you quantify whether an ISE show has been successful? Coming away with a refreshed view on technology and trends marks a successful ISE. At AVMI we commit a lot of time throughout the year meeting with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure we are on top of emerging technologies. ISE gives us the opportunity to see the whole AV landscape in one place and reflect on our approach, ensuring we are providing our customers with informed advice and guidance. It’s always refreshing to bring back news of potential partners or technologies we were not previously aware of, and make plans to evaluate these in detail before adding to our portfolio.
What will be the focus of your attendance at ISE this year? ISE is an opportunity to see the bigger picture, and therefore we endeavour to bring back news of developments across our industry. We are sending a team of attendees to ISE, each with targeted areas of interest to investigate and bring back the latest news or contacts and
share with the wider team. We are then able to review and make onward plans to continue investigations into technologies or partners of interest in detail.
What trends do you expect to see emerge or be developed this year? The continued growth of LED technology in the corporate market should see a step change in the products we see and the features that are included. We expect to see LED product becoming less bespoke, and more productised, with integrated enterprise features supporting management and maintenance. The Internet of Things will play a big part in enabling our customers to use technology and better analyse the environmental or technology choices that are made. As our customer base moves towards cloudbased applications, we expect many more collaboration and presentation technologies to follow suit. We expect traditionally hardwarebased technologies to move towards software and ‘As a Service’ offerings.
Stuart Davidson, technical services director, AVMI
How will the move to Barcelona change your approach to the show? The benefits we gain from seeing the technology at the show will remain unaffected by the move, but the team are certainly looking forward to the additional opportunities that will become available with the different climate. The difference in travel time will be a consideration for us as it will affect our costs for attending the show with additional accommodation costs, and time out of the business.
QSC What new launches and innovations are you exhibiting at this year’s ISE show? At this year’s ISE show, QSC is excited to showcase native, low latency video streaming capabilities for the Q-SYS Ecosystem. The NV Series network video endpoints allows integrators to distribute HDMI video anywhere over a standard gigabit network. Attendees can see it in action in our QSC Conference Room Experience. We will have the first public preview of Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager. This realtime demonstration will showcase how the enterprise can reduce AV support costs and increase AV uptime with remote monitoring and management capabilities. Our stand will also be equipped with a QSC Coffee house to showcase our new Premium Business Music solutions in a real-life setting.
How do you think this year’s ISE will compare to previous years? Over the last year QSC has gone direct in Germany and the UK and have worked hard to create more awareness for our brand in those regions, and build new relationships
to help drive demand for QSC solutions. In previous years, QSC was simply known as an amplifier company, but we have quickly become recognised as a full systems solution manufacturer for all audio, video and control needs.
Aside your stand, what are you most looking forward to at the show? As usual, ISE is an ideal opportunity for us to connect with a majority of our customers and clients under one roof. QSC has worked hard these past 18 months to expand its presence in Europe with a new headquarters in Germany, a showroom in London and a training centre in Weybridge. We really look forward to harnessing the excitement at ISE to really illustrate our true commitment to the EMEA region, and see our expanded team be able to engage with even more industry innovators than ever before.
What do you think have been the keys to the continued success and growth of the show? This industry continues to evolve and the
Markus Winkler, SVP, EMEA South Asia and managing director QSC EMEA last few years not only have we gained a new set of integrators and designers, we are also welcoming the end user community who are now tasked with managing audio, video and control assets across their enterprise. ISE is the best opportunity for those newcomers to experience what audio, video and control technology is available and learn from industry veterans. This is truly one of the exciting pieces of the show for QSC, especially as our Q-SYS Ecosystem specifically caters to the needs of IT.
18 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2019
Shure What new launches and innovations are you exhibiting at this year’s show? Shure will be showcasing the Microflex Complete Wireless (MXCW) Conferencing System; we’re thrilled that this system is now available. A premier solution in our conferencing portfolio, MXCW offers wireless freedom and flexibility for conferences, meetings, and events within government, corporate, hotel, educational facilities, and more. Ideal for environments that require quick, intuitive setup and breakdown, the all-in-one conferencing solution is dedicated to providing exceptional audio quality, network security, and ease of use. Additionally, we’re looking forward to discussing Designer 3.1 and SystemOn Audio Asset Management Software.
What are some of the technology trends you expect to see at the show? The year, we’ll continue to witness the growth
and emergence of enterprise IT - and we expect it to evolve at a rapid pace. We’ll see more and more solutions that cater to these sort of environments as well as opportunities for AV in the workplace. Today, enterprise IT aims to cover all aspects of a company’s networked system. Therefore, smarter solutions that control each phase of a product’s lifecycle will be essential - we’ll see a lot of this at ISE. Standalone products are no longer developed to serve just one purpose. Instead, it’s all about introducing a holistic solution that serves a variety of purposes, with the goal of providing end users with seamless control and flexibility.
How successful was last year’s show for you and what do you hope to achieve this year?
Rob Smith, senior director, integrated systems sales for Western Europe at Shure
2018 was wildly successful, with our booth busy all the time during the show. Shure firmly
established itself as a destination brand in integrated systems and at ISE. We’re expecting 2019 to be even bigger and better, with a fresh new approach to the event and even more exciting new products to show.
powerful LEDs that are just half the width of a human hair. By doing this, the contrast on Crystal LED is more than 1,000,000:1 – well beyond that of a traditional LED. Further, precise colour reproduction, high refresh-rates and outstanding picture quality make for breathtaking visuals. However, one of the most exciting aspects of Crystal LED beyond the image is its scalability. With a modular, bezel-less design, multiple panels can be tiled together to seamlessly create a huge variety of super-size displays. This makes Crystal LED the perfect choice for large-scale screens such as those in theme parks, museums, architectural or automotive designs and corporate lobbies. We’re very excited to be showcasing the largest Sony Crystal LED system to have been shown in Europe at ISE this year, with a spectacular 8K x 4K display.
Carl Standertskjold, segment marketing manager, Sony
Sony How do you measure success for the company at a show the size of ISE? The scale of ISE is unmatched in Europe, but that alone doesn’t make attendance an instant success. At ISE we focus on meeting with new and existing customers to discuss the challenges they face, to share insights on the state of the corporate and education sectors and to update them on our latest innovations. Our philosophy at Sony is that we work very closely with partners, customers and members of the industry to develop solutions that solve real-life challenges. ISE is one of the many opportunities during the year where we have these conversations with a wide range of people. Alongside this, ISE also provides an invaluable function to strengthen our reputation in the market. We focus on meeting with several publications to demonstrate new features or products, share case studies of interesting projects customers have worked on over the past year and offer interviews with our senior executives. In recent years, social activity has grown in importance too and we closely monitor and contribute to the conversations taking place online beyond the show floor.
How big of a leap forward is Crystal LED? Crystal LED is significantly ahead of other display solutions for several reasons. On the technical front, our engineers created a canvas that is over 99% black by developing ultrafine and ultra-
What other solutions will be the focus of Sony’s presence at the show? The innovative new stand design we’ll be showing at stand 1-N20 has been purpose built to showcase a wide range of new and existing solutions. We’ve been working closely with higher education institutions over the past year and we’re thrilled to be exhibiting new technologies at ISE that will help further transform and enhance Active Learning experiences. We’ll also have new customer case studies highlighting the success
organisations have had creating collaborative learning environments using solutions such as Sony’s Vision Exchange and Ubicast. The future of smart workplaces will be another key focus - visitors will see first-hand the cuttingedge updates to our TEOS family of workspace solutions including new control workflows (such as with a new universal sensor) and a new employee mobile application for room booking, meeting room control, and screen mirroring. And, as always, we have a few surprises in tow that we can’t really talk about just yet…
20 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2019
The stage is set With everyone primed and ready to descend on Amsterdam this month for the penultimate time, we find out from managing director Mike Blackman what they can expect
ow will this year’s show compare to other years? It’s gonna be bigger and better than ever before. I know I make the same claim every year, but it’s true. It always is. So, in its 16-year history, this will be its biggest ever. We’ve been very fortunate that ISE has become a date in the calendar and the stage for many of the world’s leading manufacturers to unveil their latest products. If you’re in the channel and want to keep up to date, then ISE is absolutely the place to be to understand and to see what’s happening, what’s new in the market and what’s coming.
How do think the show’s appeal has grown outside Europe? Last year, I met a lot of US-based integrators at the show and asked them what they’re doing here. They explained that because business is moving so fast, they need to be at InfoComm in June and at ISE in February to keep themselves ahead of the market.
What’s going on with the conference programme this year? I’d really advise participation in the conferences. We have some fantastic speakers in all of the conferences and we’ve been very careful to bring in people that are neutral about what and how they are presenting and ensuring that what they discuss is relevant and informative.
How are you tackling the issue of space? One of the well documented issues is that we have been running out of space, but we have found ways to actually extend the building. We have some new exhibitors for 2019 and you’ll really see a lot of new things from them.
The extension of the building has given us the additional space we needed for now, which has helped us manage the waiting list, so we have added another 50-60 exhibitors in there. This satisfies our customers and adds an even wider choice for those in attendance, so it’s a win-win. Another thing that we’ve done to extend things even further is include the Okura Hotel, which has allowed us to extend the conference programme. We have been getting increasing demand from our exhibitors to bring more and more vertical markets to the show. So, we’ve created some additional conference facilities over at the Okura and everyday we’ll be running half-day conferences, two of which will be making their debut at the show, which will be the Digital Cinema Summit and the Hospitality Technology Next Generation. You will see a slightly bigger show in 2020. Where we have our concerns is the ever-growing audience. We’re an industry that’s reaching out into so many sectors now. We’re touching every mode of working, every mode of life and living and more and more people are interested and saying: how will this affect me? Will this affect me? How can I prepare for it? How can I take my business forward?
You’ve also updated the ISE app to help people get around. We hope the app really helps people getting around much more efficiently. However, I do recommend to everybody to take a floor map around with them. We have the show guides and a floor plan and the app. It can be difficult to navigate ISE without those, and they will help make that journey more efficient. For the next two years, we’re trying to do as much as we can to ease the issues and
make the experience more enjoyable. Amsterdam has been a wonderful home for us. But we’ve ran out of space for both visitors and the attendees, so we have to look at the comfort and safety factors.
What changes have you made to encourage people to stay the whole week? What often happens is manufacturers show a lot of new things at the beginning of the show, so everyone wants to be there when the new ideas are being presented. That means that the show is very crowded on those first few days. What we are saying is that it’s all going to still be there on the Thursday and Friday and you’re going to get a lot more attention from the exhibitors and much more time from them on those days because they will be able to dedicate more time. On top of that we’re doing a lot more on those days. When we first started out, we put all the really exciting things at the beginning. But we’ve learnt to spread them out and help to expand the experience. ISE is so big and you need more than four days to get around and see all the different things you want to see, but this will help. Above all, we want you come and enjoy the show. There are a lot of social activities going on. ISE is not just an exhibition, it’s an event. There are a lot of things happening all around the show. The show floor, in the conferences, the seminars, the training and education. It’s the parties, the meetings and the networking on and off site all around Amsterdam and the show. Come and join the party – we look forward to seeing you.
22 SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS
Systems integrator Vanti created a new smart HQ for UBM that encompassed everything from automated HVAC to improved space utilisation
Truly connected? The ultimate smart building – or, perhaps more correctly, intelligent building – will be one that is capable of self-management of all its systems. Ian McMurray finds out how far away we are
key indicator of progress is perhaps to look at jobs that are now commonplace that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Offshore wind farm engineer, for example. SEO specialist. Drone operator. Web developer. Blogger. (Is that even a job?) You can add to that list corporate social responsibility manager. He or she is the person responsible for ensuring that a company’s moral practices are sound. That can mean responsible sourcing of raw materials. It can mean ethical manufacturing. And it can mean minimising a company’s environmental footprint. That, in turn, means reducing energy consumption – which means minimising the use of power in systems such as heating, lighting and cooling. That need – driven, perhaps, as much by its bottom line impact as by a desire to save the planet – gave rise firstly to what were called building automation systems (BAS) and then to intelligent/smart buildings that used a range of sensors to measure key parameters and adjust the relevant systems in response.
Rapid growth It’s an industry that, unsurprisingly, has not only grown but grown rapidly – and continues to do so. MarketsAndMarkets, for example, believes it will grow sixfold from $5.71bn in 2016 to $31.74bn by 2022. That’s a CAGR in excess of 33%. Alwyn Howie, head of enterprise solutions at Siemens, has slightly different figures – but they’re no less compelling. “The smart buildings market is growing at quite an aggressive rate,” he believes. “Globally, the market is growing from $18bn to an estimated $34bn by 2023 – based on several industry reports. Europe equates to 24% of the market, with the UK, Spain, Germany and France the key growth regions.” Also seeing growth is Danish company UbiqiSense. “We deliver sensors to smart buildings, and it appears there is a healthy appetite within our customer base to make investments in making buildings smarter,” notes Christian Bjerrum-Niese, who is head of sales and business development. “Since our sensor products are enabling whole new means of extracting information about building
Key Points n The smart/intelligent building market is growing rapidly – as much as sixfold between 2016 and 2022 n Today, individual systems within a building remain islands, but there is widespread acknowledgement that this should and will change n The self-managing building is still some way away – and may, in fact, never become a reality because of user resistance n IoT is seen to be a key development, with IoT devices bringing new opportunities to smart buildings usage, we are seeing only a low degree of competition and also limited disruption. It is the confidence in working with a new technology that is limiting this greenfield market, and we expect to see continued, rapid market expansion in the coming years.” No less enthused is Simon Ward, who is director of sales, UK and Ireland at Distech Controls. “The market for smart commercial buildings is definitely growing and people are becoming more interested in what the technology can offer,” he says. “But: there is still a question mark over what smart
SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS 23
buildings actually means. The aspect of having connected systems is understood – but taking that a step further into IoT, that’s where we find there is more learning to be done. However, we are seeing more end users enquire about smart buildings as they are beginning to understand the benefits of the technology for them and their buildings. It’s about justifying what the technology can provide – its ROI, in basic terms.”
block in the creation of a truly intelligent building is the integration of all the systems within it – something which has, traditionally, been hard to achieve in an industry that has seen a plethora of not-necessarily-compatible communications protocols – such as BACnet, KNX and Modbus establish themselves.
‘There is a broad consensus that interoperability and connectivity standards are key if we are to capitalise on the potential for smart buildings globally’ Oliver Iltisberger, ABB
Continuum Ward implicitly raises an interesting point. For many, the terms ‘smart buildings’ and ‘intelligent buildings’ are interchangeable – but master systems integrator Vanti believes a distinction needs to be made, describing a continuum from smart buildings to intelligent buildings – with the latter leveraging technologies such as machine learning to become capable of self-optimisation. Vanti’s Mike Brooman, however, neatly summarises where the smart buildings market is. “We’re no longer being asked ‘What is it?’” he smiles. “Now, the question is ‘How do I get one?’” In 2019, then, what is the state of the market in terms of that continuum? Are we even close to truly intelligent buildings? A vital building
“There is a broad consensus that interoperability and connectivity standards are key if we are to capitalise on the potential for smart buildings globally,” acknowledges Oliver Iltisberger, managing director of ABB’s smart buildings business. “As smarter
solutions continue to develop, we believe that interoperability will remain key, with a strong focus on ensuring that different products and solutions can operate together in harmony. The ideal solution would be that all products can be easily combined regardless of which brand or business they are developed by.”
Plethora of protocols “There are, and will continue to be, a plethora of systems integration protocols,” explains Brooman. “In terms of providing best of breed technology to end users, integrators and their chosen building technology platforms will need to support as many of these as necessary to create the in-building experience. It is highly unlikely one protocol will ‘rule them all’ in the short to mid-term.” That doesn’t sound promising. Bjerrum-Niese, however, sees some signs of a transition. “Our customers most commonly request BACnet interoperability, and KNX to a lesser extent. We see no demand for Modbus at all,” he says. “But: we’re also seeing new demand for interoperability with the wireless bearer protocols being used in IoT – WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRaWAN, Sigfox and NB-IOT.
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Hall 3 booth 3-B90 and 3-B100
24 SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS “We’re repeatedly hearing from customers and industry commentators that there is a continued demand to break the incumbents’ proprietary communication protocols by means of adoption of open standards,” he goes on. “Customers have witnessed in other industries how open, standardised interfaces are breaking monopolies, increasing competition and boosting innovation and there is an expectation that the market for smart buildings may equally benefit from open interface standards.”
Sleek sensor design allows for discreet deployment in office buildings Picture: Ubiqisense
Open connectivity Howie has a similar experience. “I wouldn’t say a new standard is emerging, but more of a drive to increase the ease of connectivity/ interoperability,” he notes. “Most tier one hardware manufacturers are adopting an open connectivity policy.” “Years ago, this was a big challenge,” he continues. “The IT industry is still at the forefront of driving the standards – and especially the importance of cyber protection. As more and more ‘edge’ devices connect to smart buildings, including employees’ BYOD options, ensuring cyber protection to the corporation and individual is key.”
‘IP-based systems for AV, control and pretty much everything else are now more or less the norm’ Keith Jones, designflow
With that somewhat mixed landscape, it comes as little surprise to find that we still seem to be some distance from a situation in which building systems are truly integrated. “The definition of smart buildings would need these systems to be connected,” says Brooman. “Currently, most building systems are unaware of each other – that is, they don’t provide additional functionality to users when they are ‘joined up’. However, an increasing number of systems have well-developed interfaces and APIs to allow other systems or whole-building technology platforms to ‘hook in’ and read/ write/update data or control functionality.”
Unified approach Ward picks up on the theme of APIs and their potential. “There has been a siloed approach to different systems in the past – but this is changing,” he claims. “Systems integrators, specifiers and end users are all beginning to see the benefit of having a whole system approach
for their buildings. Such integration can now be achieved directly with the use of a RESTful API interface. REST – REpresentational State Transfer – is a standard way to enable IT web services to interact with software applications. With this level of integration, taking a unified approach will ensure that we can actively enhance and maintain the system infrastructure during the building life cycle.” “On the whole,” agrees Howie, “building systems are still islands. The market tends to segregate base sub systems into one bucket, and additional technology such as network services/external apps into another bucket. IoT platforms such as MindSphere will help bring all points of data to align systems.” MindSphere is the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens that connects products, plants, systems, and machines, designed to enable users to harness the data generated by the IoT with advanced analytics.
“Our vision for any smart building is that it’s intelligent enough to respond to the needs of its users,” says Iltisberger. “To be truly smart, buildings need to be joined up – and connectivity and interoperability are key to unlocking this potential. If solutions don’t ‘talk’ to each other and operate in isolation, then you won’t reap the benefits that a truly smart building can deliver. That’s why having a common operating platform – like ABB Ability – and joined up solutions are so important.” In all the discussion of the interoperability standards that will enable the intelligent buildings of the future, there is, perhaps, surprising little talk of a seemingly obvious solution – an omission that Keith Jones, a partner at system design and documentation services company designflow, rectifies. “IP-based systems for AV, control and pretty much everything else are now more or less the norm,” he points out, “and should definitely be
Current connectivity standards KNX is a royalty-free open standard administered by the KNX Association, which has over 400 members. KNX devices - commonly connected by a twisted pair bus – can manage lighting, blinds and shutters, HVAC, security systems and more. Over 7,000 products support KNX. BACnet is specifically designed for building automation and control networks. Developed under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), BACnet is a standard in more than 30 countries, and an ISO global standard. Both provide for communication across an IP network.
26 SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS the standard to design towards.”
Vanti sees a continuum from smart buildings to intelligent buildings
Tightly intertwined It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the smart/intelligent buildings industry given, as Jones says, AV’s headlong rush to embrace IP – with the broadcast industry in close attendance. The omission of IP from the conversation is even stranger, given that few disagree that the futures of smart/intelligent buildings and the IoT are tightly intertwined. “The IoT – coupled with clever engineering – has been the key driver in allowing smart buildings to become a reality,” says Iltisberger. “IoT and greater connectivity has developed closer links between humans and the buildings we inhabit, giving us stronger control over all elements, from switching off lights in empty offices to making sure that buildings are secure.” “The IoT has already delivered a huge leap forwards in the technology behind building control,” he adds. “For example, an increasing number of IP devices and sensors – from those that measure temperature, brightness and CO2 metrics – have led to new technology that improves the management of energy usage.” “We are a strong proponent of IoT within smart buildings,” confirms Bjerrum-Niese. “Technology cycles in the building sector are notoriously long. Instead of just being relevant to smart buildings under planning or construction, inexpensive IoT devices allow for refurbishment of existing buildings with short-term ROI.” Brooman, however, has an interesting perspective. “IoT goes hand-in-hand with smart buildings,” he comments. “The IoT on its own is a tool for implementing great in-building experiences – but it’s not the silver bullet for making buildings smart.”
occupancy comfort and well-being.” “Big data/AI with automation through predefined agreed criteria applications is an exciting area,” enthuses Siemens’ Howie. “Selflearning and self-managing buildings will be the promised land. Building managers, operators and service suppliers struggle with delivering accurate and proactive delivery to keep the buildings running at day one condition. Big data/AI can and will help to deliver constant learning and improvement for all parties as smart buildings evolve.” “Harnessing big data is key to understanding how smart buildings are performing,” echoes Iltisberger. “But, it’s how you use this data that is key. What we’ve done at ABB is to take this big data and turn it into easy to use, bite-size intelligence for facilities and building managers. So, they can easily see from their app if there’s been a security breach, if the heating system isn’t working in a meeting room or if the lights have been left on, before it becomes a major issue.”
Exciting times Silver bullet? That raises the question of whether there is indeed a silver bullet. As the journey continues towards its destination of truly intelligent buildings, many see wide scale sensor deployment, big data, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics having a key role to play. Sensors will routinely and automatically collect huge amounts of data, with AI technologies helping to make sense of that data – providing vital feedback, either internally within the system or externally to a building manager. “Big data, automated analytics, pervasive wireless sensing and cloud services are together radically changing the quality of information that can be collected, processed and analysed in real-time to enable better services provision,” says Distech’s Ward. “It means we can make more informed decisions about the operation of a building and that covers energy and cost savings as well as
There’s the promise, then, of exciting times ahead – but Vanti’s Brooman thinks we’re still some way away. “Proper big data and AI deployments in buildings are both a long way off,” he says. “Again, these are being marketed as silver bullets to solve people’s problems. However: ask anyone who has tried to implement either solution in a building: “Were you able to get good quality, meaningful data?” Other than in a set of very rare cases, the answer is ‘no’ because the necessary infrastructure and software platforms have not been put in place to facilitate data extraction.” The smart/intelligent buildings market is, then, one that is in transition – and that unquestionably holds significant potential, given its forecast growth. Is it an opportunity for integrators thinking of diversifying? designflow’s Jones believes it is. His company has historically focused almost exclusively on offering its system design services to
integrators in the residential market – but 2019 sees it broadening its reach to helping design commercial projects. “For integrators, it can be a difficult field to break into as commercial projects generally require a lot more documentation and discipline than residential,” he says. “This side of things is actually something that we help a lot of our clients out with: our job is to specify, design and document projects for integrators.”
Expertise needed “There is,” nods Ward, “a lot of expertise needed to install and integrate a smart building.” For Howie, it’s all about sales, technology and project delivery skills. “Understand your customers’ business needs in order to create a compelling case for your solution; be prepared to adapt to evolving technologies; and be aware that, often, you’re not just delivering systems – you may be transforming the customer’s operation,” he advises. Of course, the smart buildings industry is far from alone in seeing the huge potential of combining sensors, big data and analytics – but finding itself unable, as yet, to move from potential to implementation. That, in turn, means that the truly self-managing building is unlikely to be with us for some time. And, even if the technology were in place, plenty believe that there will be many organisations who will continue to want to have a real person in charge of their buildings – even if the tools at his/her disposal are far more sophisticated than is the case today. It looks as if, unlike switchboard operator, lamplighters and copy typists, the building manager’s job is safe for the foreseeable future.
www.abb.com www.designflow.co www.distech-controls.com www.siemens.com www.ubiqisense.com www.vanti.co.uk
28 SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS
Lutron has launched its Vive wireless lighting control system to enable existing commercial buildings to increase energy saving and comfort levels
Efficiently attuned As AV technology continues to develop, the definition of a smart building is changing as the growing potential becomes clear. Steve Montgomery investigates further
s the world wakes up to the fact that resources are finite and our actions today are likely to affect the health and wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants in years to come, people are beginning to take note of the negative consequences of their actions. The causes and effects of global warming, wastefulness and sustainability of precious resources rank highly on the agendas of individuals, corporate organisations and governments around the world. Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings contribute around 40% of the total in developed countries and have been steadily increasing over the years. Many countries are now introducing legislation to reduce carbon emissions. Organisations are increasingly paying attention to the effects they are having on the environment with many publishing detailed sustainability reports describing how they are combating it. Some are even going so far as developing carbon-neutral buildings. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and limit their adverse effects on the
environment, advanced building monitoring and control systems are being developed and installed widely. These semi-and fully-automatic systems serve to manage essential building services to reduce overall consumption; mainly from the power-hungry heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. As a consequence, major industrial organisations like Siemens, Honeywell and Schneider, are involved in creating ‘smart buildings’ in a colossal market which, it is estimated, will be worth around $33 billion within five years. One of the key objectives of adding intelligence to a building is to increase energy efficiency and that is greatly helped by controlling devices so that they are switched off, or placed in a low power standby mode, when not in use; whether they are air conditioning systems, lights or video displays. The potential to power-down AV equipment is something that building owners and facility managers are starting to realise is possible. “We take for granted the ability to control lighting, audio and visual equipment and it is
Key Points n It is estimated that the smart building market will be worth around $33 billion within five years n A key stage in any smart building deployment is to get the different systems to communicate and work together n Universal building integration is not limited to large new build properties, it is also possible in smaller retrofit installs n The proliferation of sensors means that there is an abundance of data, which enables optimisation of operation and in streamlining the performance of a building
something that AV industry practitioners have been doing for years in integrated systems,” says Sam Woodward, customer education leader for Lutron. “However there is less awareness amongst the building industries and service providers and the people who manage the heavy services. When we point out to them that all these devices have the ability to be managed remotely and integrated into wider control systems they become interested and are keen to adopt these ideas.”
SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS 29
Owning the ceiling Lighting supplier, Lutron are well-placed to help guide and advise the construction industry. Woodward continues: “The lighting integrator effectively ‘owns the ceilings’ – their devices are spread right around the buildings and there is tremendous potential to incorporate additional functionality into the lighting infrastructure.” Lighting control systems usually include sensors in every room that detect the presence of people within the vicinity and feed that information back to the lighting controller to dim the lights in unoccupied areas. It is that knowledge and capability that can be leveraged further. “That information about whether a room is in use is useful to other service controllers. Heating and ventilation can be turned down and ancillary equipment, like amplifiers and projectors, switched into standby.” The trick is finding a way to communicate
‘If people feel that the building is attuned to what they are doing, they feel more stimulated and motivated’ Kevin Madeja, Snelling Business Systems
that information to other controllers. Fortunately there is a standard for building automation and control, known as BACnet, that is predominant in the construction industry and is widely used, understood and flexible. As an ISO standard it has been adopted around the world and is supported by all the major suppliers of building service equipment. “BACnet enables a building to be operated on one large system with all independent devices able to communicate with each other over a common protocol,” says Woodward. “It is a set of communication rules that allow data to pass between devices and simplifies the system integration process making it cost-effective to build more sophisticated systems tailored to the specific facility, complete with better monitoring capabilities.”
Domain management There is still a need for individual control devices to manage their domains. This can be done, in the lighting case for example by local controllers that use the Dali protocol. However it relies on that controller having BACnet compliance, specifically an associated Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement (PICS). For AV components that do not have
this capability it is possible to link their control interface – often a proprietary IP command set – via a BACnet gateway device. There are several vendors of appropriate programmable devices. The next stage is to assemble all the independent service providers working on a project and get them communicating with each other so that their services can, in turn, communicate and work together. This is a process that Woodward promotes by introducing proponents to each other at the earliest stage in a building design project allowing them to explore the possibilities for full integration and develop solutions. The general awareness of possibilities offered by smart technology has been improving recently. Kevin Madeja, Snelling Business Systems’ technical director, reports that there has been a raised level of interest over the past six months. “If people feel that the building is attuned to what they are doing and is configured to their needs based on their schedule and activities, they feel more stimulated and motivated. We are in a good position to offer that: the user experience is precisely what AV integration is about.” Nic Milani, executive director for commercial product marketing at Crestron makes the point that: “With the current level of technology and ability to communicate the question often posed by building operators is ‘why isn’t every building smart?’. Sadly, the answer is that the commitment is often not there to achieve this. In large construction projects there are too many individual trades with separate specialists all concentrating on their own specific part for them to willingly combine without external effort. In any smart building deployment there will be several systems around, and they will all need to talk to each other, sometimes through intermediary devices, so there is often a ‘turf war’ going on; particularly when individual operators are focused on their section. Each is prepared to work with others but wants to protect their system, which is natural since it is their responsibility.”
can take decisions and instruct other devices.” This means that collaborative partnerships are important as Milani goes on to explain: “We have established working relationships with major building service suppliers like Johnson Controls and will support the projects they are involved in, as required, and without the need to take a leading role. This enables integration with the BMS and control of subsystems beyond the capability of a single system, so enhances the operation of the installation.” Universal building integration is not limited to large new build properties. It is equally possible and desirable in smaller retrofit installations. Many systems now use standard IP network wired or wireless communication which negates the need to lay dedicated control wiring. They can also interact with users to give them local control of services using applications on their personal devices. A current trend is to establish a humancentric approach for building operation. “The general movement toward intelligent buildings is applicable to both new and existing ones, with the ultimate aim of increasing interior comfort for employees and visitors and increasing productivity as a result,” says Rob Sinclair, account manager for building and performance sustainability at Siemens. “The operation of the building should be considered as an integrated whole. Occupancy and temperature sensors can be linked to the building management systems to control
‘We take for granted the ability to control lighting, audio and visual equipment and it is something that AV industry practitioners have been doing for years in integrated systems’ Sam Woodward, Lutron
Unique position Success is often achieved when there is a committed building owner or leading consultant who make it a priority and drive integration of the separate systems. Milani adds: “The situation is changing, despite having failed for the past 10 years or so, as the world wakes up to what is possible and people are becoming more aware of the importance of sustainable business practices. We are in a fairly unique position in that our control systems can be used as a sub-system to the main BMS, receiving commands and controlling local devices. Or as a controller in command of a larger system that
individual areas and locations to achieve the best operational mode for that time; whether by adjusting lighting and heating according to ambient conditions, switching equipment on prior to use or controlling window shades.
Adaptive systems “Work habits are changing; people work out of the office and move around to a greater extent, so the control system has to be adaptive and reflect those conditions, providing the most comfortable and efficient environment. This has to be balanced with energy usage; it is not
30 SPECIAL REPORT: SMART BUILDINGS
strictly correct to concentrate on reducing energy use to the absolute minimum at the expense of personal comfort.” The proliferation of sensors means that there is an abundance of data. This is invaluable in monitoring the operational and health status of equipment enabling optimisation of operation and aiding maintenance and in streamlining the performance of a building. It can also be taken a stage further through amalgamation with other information from occupants’ personal devices over Bluetooth or wireless. This is highly valuable information. A universal dashboard can show instantaneous energy consumption as well as long term trends over single buildings or whole industrial complexes. It can also provide information to staff and engage them in managing energy efficiently. Analysis of the usage of rooms can be very useful to building operators. For example by considering the average occupancy of a set of meeting rooms over a period can indicate whether there are too many or too few and expensive real-estate can be repurposed accordingly. It is also useful to detect wastage and raise alarms. “Sub-metering of individual devices enables an organisation to gain insight into where energy is used in a building and by what, helping to identify where energy is being wasted,” says Jonathan Luke, CEO of SenseLogix. “EnergyLogix hardware collects data across a wide variety of utilities including electricity, gas, water, heat, air and renewable generation and
monitors both temperature and humidity. It can collect and collate data from different assets including lighting, plant, IT servers and racks, data centres, equipment, switchboards and final distribution and display it on a single, easy to use interface.”
Tremendous opportunity There are many opportunities for AV integrators to become involved in these projects and expand their operations more widely. “There is a tremendous opportunity open to AV integrators,” says Milani. “They can engage with customers and elevate the smart building concept. They can use their integration and IT skills to embrace new solutions that include HVAC and energy management taking them beyond the AV control, lighting and security areas they are already familiar with.” He firmly believes that the technology available today is appropriate and sufficient although it is necessary to approach opportunities with caution: “We should be discerning about who we work with and aim to use available resources wisely; to provide standard solutions and to simplify installations in order to reduce risk and lower complexity.” AV integrators have a part to play in the exciting and expanding world of building automation; should they choose to take it. The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is a leading international industry organisation that promotes advanced technologies in homes
and buildings. Its 380-strong corporate members and 27,000 industry contacts are leaders in advancing integrated home systems and building automation worldwide and include most of the major organisations active in the sector. In a recent white paper entitled ‘Creating a New Deal for Buildings’ the organisation investigated the building automation market and concluded that: “We believe that the relationship between building owners and building vendors is currently broken, especially in the area of how building automation systems and rapidly multiplying IoT devices are used to improve the value and utility of facilities.” The paper goes on to suggest solutions: “We believe that by enhancing this relationship, both enterprises and people who occupy buildings will reap significant benefits. It is time for vendors and owners to take action, and demand that the design and construction process enable owners and occupants to benefit from the type of technology, products, and services that can unlock the full potential of buildings for the 21st century and beyond.” Opportunity indeed.
www.caba.org www.crestron.eu www.lutron.com www.senselogix.com www.siemens.com www.snellingbiz.com
32 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: HOSPITALITY
Experiencing better hospitality With the hospitality sector thriving and buying more AV, Rob Lane investigates how this is impacting on customer experience
recent AVIXA report (2018 Market Opportunity Analysis Report – MOAR) stated that the hospitality sector is thriving due to a shift in consumers spending on possessions to spending on experiences. And that hospitality companies are investing in AV solutions to differentiate and compete with their rivals. As a result, is the experience that hospitality companies provide for their guests improving? “There are two sides to this story,” explains Dan Watson, senior consultant at PTS Consulting. “In the majority of cases, the bar is being raised from a user functionality point of view; simple systems to operate that always work. As a result, AV systems are becoming simpler. “On the other hand, some clients want to maximise revenue by creating truly flexible spaces. There is often a downside to this however: in flexible spaces AV systems are unnecessarily complex, often requiring trained personnel to setup and operate the systems.” Certainly, for most modern hotels the customer engagement process starts before the arrival of the guest, with the use of email, social media and apps and allowing hotels to promote themselves and local facilities, so preparing for guest arrival – while collecting valuable data about guest preferences at the same time. “Investment in automation and technology to enable the hotel to use information to personalise the experience that the guest has during their stay
is one way that hotels can create superior levels of engagement with their guests,” says Andy Truswell CTS-D, systems integration manager, Pure AV. “Greeting the visitor with an in-room environment tailored to match the purpose of the visit, with lighting and entertainment set accordingly, or prioritising information provided through the hotel TV around the areas of interest revealed in the pre-visit communications adds to the quality of the experience.”
Higher expectations Part of this improvement in experience is due to higher consumer expectations: the expectation that they will have access to the same quality of interactivity and solutions as they do at home – and this is also driving hospitality’s need for better AV. “Guest experience is really being driven by consumer behaviour and the need to provide equivalent or better connectivity and usability as one would expect at home,” opines James Keen, group marketing manager, Tripleplay. “We’ve gone through the laggard stage of the free WiFi adoption curve and now guests have access to that – and hotels are in general offering good levels of connectivity. They are now exploring, in-depth, the methods by which they can add value and generate a ROI.” Emma Bigg, director of Octavius RE consultants, agrees: “In hotel rooms, there is also a lot more investment in AV tech to enhance the experience – I think this is driven by the customers being more tech savvy and having access to better quality
Key Points n As people have access to more interactive technology at home, customers have greater expectations when staying in a hotel n The customer’s experience starts when they make the initial booking n There are many potential opportunities around voice control and AI in hospitality home entertainment equipment in their homes. They are also taking more time to allow for the integration of mobile devices so customers can personalise a space/room by listening to their own music or being able to view their own TV, even allow them to create a personal environment to work out. “Being an audiophile the biggest step-up I see is in getting audio quality right. There seems to be a shift in understanding that high quality audio can transform a mediocre experience into an amazing experience without the customer really knowing.” Operators also understand the power of networked solutions. This allows content to be changed or refreshed very quickly so that systems become more responsive and agile. “There is more investment in channels to facilitate this responsiveness and because of this type of deployment the hardware become more scalable and easy to adapt as a space evolves,” says Bigg. Customer expectations have certainly changed radically in recent years, putting pressure on hospitality groups to up the AV ante, regardless of what the competition are doing, or whether or not the sector is booming.
“If I have it at home and I’m paying a reasonable fee for my hotel room, then I want access to it during my stay,” comments Keen. “I think people judge by their own personal circumstances, budget and experience; so the expectations on a 5, 6 or 7 star hotel are vastly different from that of a 2, 3 or 4. In general though, people want reliable and simple to use technology. So, in our circumstances, people want good quality TV streams, they want a stable VOD delivery system and they want access to their bill via the in-room TV.”
Create your own experience Mobile devices have had a hgue impact, with customers expecting to integrate smartphones and tablets with in-room tech. “Within the hotel bedroom environment, we see continued demand for the ability to connect personal devices to the in-room system,” explains Trusswell. “To some extent, this is driven by the technology that we surround ourselves with at home, and many of the hotels are now having to introduce bigger, better quality in-room AV just to meet guest’s expectations.” “We love our mobile devices, we like to be connected, we like to create our own experiences – we expect technology to feature as part of our journey through the world or sometimes have a digital detox just for fun,” adds Bigg. But hoteliers are also looking at ways of extending interactive AV out of room, to increase customer engagement and hence improve the customer experience still further. “Many of the hotel customers that we work with at Pure seek to use AV as a tool to extend communication and engagement beyond the in-room environment to within communal areas,” says Truswell. “This can be seen in the introduction of increasingly dynamic digital signage solutions in the restaurant, lobby and transitional areas, used not only to support wayfinding and information transfer but also able to act as an interactive gateway to the access of venue services. We also see increased interest in app-driven content that encourages immediate engagement with promotional and advertising content on the screens.” In communal areas the creation of areas of zoned audio offer guests the ability to wirelessly connect personal devices, adding a layer of interaction and personalisation that increases engagement. Of course, this level of sophistication in technology is not yet ubiquitous, particularly in smaller hotels – many of which still offer the most basic of AV technology, especially within meeting room and conference spaces. “In meeting spaces, simple projection and flat panel installations are still in demand,” explains Truswell. “In these circumstances the critical requirement is for flexible systems that are easy for the customer to use and straightforward for the venue to manage.” However, in larger hotel meeting and conference rooms, there is growing demand for upgrades to
TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: HOSPITALITY 33 infrastructure to cope with digital signals and the introduction of HD displays. “Twickenham’s South Stand Conference Centre and the InterContinental hotel at the O2 Arena are two examples of this kind of project,” continues Truswell. “An upgrade to the existing infrastructure significantly improved the quality of the services.” There are a number of technologies that are key to this broadening of the customer experience. Already typical in the bedroom environment, guest-driven technology is now becoming more commonplace in reception and communal areas, with self-service check-in points, zoned audio and interactive wayfinding signage giving the guest greater control of and interaction with the environment around them.
AI, machine learning and voice control “Across the board there is high interest in live streaming, media rich content (and technologies for relaying this content), and of course customer interactivity,” says Watson. “When you look at the user journey – right from making the initial booking, through to the event itself – the booking and payment processes need to be seamless; automated responses and communications are to be minimised. So ultimately the creation of personalised experiences via AI and machine
‘If I have it at home and I’m paying a reasonable fee for my hotel room, then I want access to it during my stay’ James Keen, Tripleplay
learning is inevitable.” “We’re seeing hotels hitting the natural refresh cycle for a lot of the early adopters of IPTV systems,” says Keen. “With it comes the need for a fully up-todate platform, including customisable user interface and the latest in bring your own device (BYOD), bring your own content (BYOC) and, as I like to call it, bring your own subscription (BYOS).” “I see a lot of hotels and food and beverage brands really thinking about audio quality and paying attention to the subliminal effect audio content and quality can have on guest experience,” says Bigg. “I also see people looking at how digital content and music work together to create a more immersive experience. So I see an uptake in better quality speakers and amplifiers, thinking more about holistic control systems that can handle audio and video processing to bring together the technology in one easily manageable package.” One area that is yet to take hold is voice control and AI. “Voice control is still in its infancy,” explains
Watson. “But I do think it has great potential within certain areas of hospitality, such as hotels and conference centres. Voice control is just another form of user interface. In its current form, it is much less reliable than physical user interfaces – there are lots of horror stories around misinterpretations of commands, etc. However with the use of AI, anomalies can be blocked. Security is also a hot topic when looking at voice control.” Others are more optimistic. “Interest in the deployment of virtual assistants using voice control is accelerating as voice control becomes a more familiar feature of the home entertainment environment,” comments Truswell. “It is a clear demonstration of the influence of home-based technology on the development of AV within the hotel bedroom space.” Keen adds: “It will improve accessibility and help enable the frictionless user experience everybody is striving for. This will undoubtedly be driven by the hotel room’s similarities to the home environment and, again, by the guest’s expectation for an experience similar to what they can achieve domestically. TVs that incorporate technologies such as Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo will start to be tried and tested in hotel environments, and we’ll probably see the emergence of more ‘human free’ check in/out hotels, which then means there is a deeper requirement for technology integration from cradle to grave.”
Yet to explore Looking further ahead, Bigg expects to see more immersive technologies adding to the customer experience. “We have already seen some crazy immersive dining restaurants and bars pop up. But as the range of technology available to deliver this type of experience – which can also be enhanced by AR or VR – expands I think we’ll see more creative use of them. I am also interested to see how Haptics could make things more interesting.” There are certainly a lot of AV tech opportunities that hospitality is yet to explore going forward. However, as hotels spending is operated on a per room, per day basis, buying decisions are likely to remain cost focused for most and adoption of new, experienced-based tech may be some way off. “Hoteliers will sweat their assets for six or seven years in most cases,” says Keen. “So they are often cutting or bleeding edge adopters as they can’t afford to be behind the curve too soon after investment.” This of course means that early adopting hotels may find themselves left behind and those who invest in appliance-based solutions rather than software can find they’re not offering up-to-theminute tech quite so quickly after deployment.
www.ptsconsulting.com www.pureav.co.uk www.tripleplay.tv
34 SOLUTIONS: EVOLUTIONARY ARTS HACKNEY, LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
Picture: Maria Zhytnikova
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
Down to EartH Installed Audio
Originally built as a cinema, this community hub has gone through many transitions over more than 80 years and has now been reimagined for the next generation, writes Olivia Brady
he Savoy Theatre opened in 1936 and functioned as a cinema until 1984. It was then converted with the addition of a false ceiling going from the balcony to the stage. The former stalls became a Snooker Hall, while what was the balcony remained boarded off and unused. The Theatre’s foyer was converted into shops in the 1990s and the staircase that originally served the balcony was removed. The old stage area was converted into a restaurant. In 2014 the Snooker Hall was transitioned into a function room while the rest of the building lay derelict. In 2017, Hackney Council granted planning permission to Auro Foxcroft and his team for its conversion into EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney). The hope is to continue the venue’s spirit as a forum for socialising and entertainment, which includes being the base
for local charity Community Music, as part of a previously announced partnership and initiative declared by Auro Foxcroft to offer children and young people training and opportunities in music, arts and other creative disciplines. Adlib’s installation division are part of the team which has helped to deliver Europe’s first installed L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound system at EartH, a vibrant new arts centre for live music, mixed arts, and performance. Adlib worked closely with client Auro Foxcroft and his team, with support from L-Acoustics’ sales manager, Paul McMullan and applications engineers, Jeff Woodford (installation) and Sergey Becker (touring) to specify and install the 360° L-ISA system with the aim of delivering an all-round audio experience for audiences and artists alike. EartH is the brainchild of Foxcroft,
n DiGiCo D2 Racks n DiGiCo SD12 mixing consoles n L-Acoustics ARCS Wide loudspeakers n L-Acoustics Kara loudspeakers n L-Acoustics KS28 subwoofers n L-Acoustics LA4X amplifiers n L-Acoustics LA4X-CE amplifiers n L-Acoustics LA8 amplifiers n L-Acoustics LA12X CE amplifier n L-Acoustics L-ISA Processor n L-Acoustics P1 AVB processor n L-Acoustics SB18 subwoofers n L-Acoustics SB28 SB28 n L-Acoustics Syva loudspeakers n L-Acoustics X8 enclosures
About the installer n Adlib provides sound, lighting and video equipment to buy, hire or install anywhere in the UK and Europe n The company has its head office in Liverpool and a new facility in Glasgow n Its team has grown to over 120 staff members and it is one of the few companies supported by ISO9001, ISO14001, and OHAS18001 management standards champion of Hackney nightlife and founder of Shoreditch venue Village Underground, a commercially successful, sustainable and community driven initiative that also provides
SOLUTIONS: EVOLUTIONARY ARTS HACKNEY, LONDON 35
affordable workspaces for artists and creatives. For this project, Foxcroft and his team wanted to restore the abandoned space to its former Art Déco splendour.
L-ISA configuration Adlib director John Hughes explains: “… initially, when we first made contact with Auro, we were looking at a standard left-right configuration for both upstairs and downstairs spaces.” However, when Foxcroft met McMullan and Woodford from L-Acoustics on site, they highlighted how perfect the venue was for an L-ISA configuration. “After a visit to hear L-ISA in action in Highgate, the EartH team were amazed by the technology and convinced that it was the solution for their venue,” says Hughes. “L-Acoustics were incredibly helpful and the resulting audio system was very much born from a collaborative approach.” The old cinema’s balcony – which had been closed off and left derelict for 30 years after a final screening of Scarface in 1984 - is now a eye-catching 750-capacity theatre and concert hall space. The downstairs area has been reinvented as a lively, multi-purpose club and social area, and a new restaurant will be opened. Together these three spaces will be the heartbeat of an animated performanceorientated environment. The Adlib team already has a very strong relationship with L-Acoustics and were asked to join this project to share their extensive knowledge and experience in providing high quality, dynamic sound systems, which meet touring and professional specifications and can cater for a variety of artists.
Upstairs, downstairs The ground floor club-style venue demanded high SPL, and excellent low-end response for the DJ-led music programme. In the new theatre space upstairs, however, the brief was a lot more ambitious and complex; this is where Auro wanted the immersive system to support a diverse programme ranging from spoken word, dance and performance art to jazz, rock, electronic, and all genres of music. L-ISA is a multichannel platform, suited to bringing immersive sound into experiential venues. It is designed to connect the audience to the sonic experience, bringing clarity so both audience and performers feel like they are part of a more intimate experience. The theatre’s L-ISA loudspeaker configuration comprises a frontal system, supplemented by surrounds and overheads providing a 360° mixing environment. The L-ISA Scene configuration features five hangs of seven KARA loudspeakers, spaced evenly across the stage in line with the proscenium arch. Low-end response is
Picture: Maria Zhytnikova
augmented by four KS28 subwoofers flown in an end-fire configuration. The surround system features 12 Syva co-linear loudspeakers, four each mounted on the side and rear walls, plus eight X8 overheads, which are flown from the ceiling to provide elevation to the mixing environment. Lastly, there are 10 X8s installed as lip fills, which are fed from the aux send of each object within the L-ISA Controller. Audio from the FOH consoles runs via MADI to the L-ISA Processor, which outputs on MADI. The signals are then converted to AVB and distributed to the 18 LA4X and one LA12X amplified controllers driving the system. “This is a very straightforward and immersive L-ISA system with side, rear, and overhead extensions,” comments Rob Crossland, Adlib project manager. “As more venues move to L-ISA, this approach will allow touring productions to move between similar systems without re-working their entire show every night.” He adds that they were fortunate with the room’s straightforward shape – once a balcony when the cinema was first constructed in 1936 – and that there were no other levels or nooks and crannies to deal with as is sometimes the case with vintage buildings. This made it easy to model in Soundvision, which handles L-ISA configurations seamlessly. On the L-ISA system, Crossland continues: “We’re only really scratching the surface of the system while we learn more about its scope and depth. As mix engineers start exploring the possibilities, I think we’ll hear some spectacular results that just couldn’t have been achieved
with a conventional approach.”
Shared consoles Adlib also supplied two DiGiCo SD12 consoles to be shared between venues - selected as it has on-board integration with the L-ISA technology via the L-ISA Desk Link, and has a mix of power and flexibility. In addition, an Adlib line system and an L-Acoustics stage monitor package comprising 12 X15 HiQ monitor wedges and two SB18 subs powered by LA4X amplified controllers were supplied. A stereo KARA system, one SB18 and four KARA per side, is installed in the club on the ground floor, supplemented by four SB28 subwoofers and four ARCS WiFo delays. A comprehensive microphone stands and cables package from Adlib completed the specification. Day-to-day, EartH’s house audio team of Luca Romani and Alessandro Melchior will be running the systems and providing support for visiting engineers utilising the L-ISA platform, they were also heavily involved in the equipment specification and installation. They’ve been trained on optimising the system and the finer points of Immersive Hyperreal audio, as well as receiving supplementary on-site training on the esoterics of KARA, and the overall system management software, L-Acoustics Network Manager.
www.brightsign.biz www.egoluce.com www.epson.eu www.k-array.com www.sensoimmersive.com
36 SOLUTIONS: ANDØYA SPACE CENTER, NORDLAND NORWAY
Andøya Space Center Mission Control Picture: Rolv Valle
Arctic explorers IP-based system provides uninterrupted and extremely reliable voice communication across remote locations in mission-critical applications. Duncan Proctor reports
he Andøya Space Center is located two degrees north of the Arctic Circle in northern Norway and is the site of ClearCom’s northernmost installation. There has also been an install at a separate rocket launch site several hundred kilometers away at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Established in 1962, Andøya Space Center is a solution provider for sounding rocket, balloon and remotely piloted aircraft operations. A sounding rocket is designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. The new Clear-Com installation is based around the HelixNet digital network partyline system with LQ IP interfaces, and was chosen to overcome challenges including audio quality and long cable runs, as well as introducing flexibility to the system configuration and taking advantage of IP technology.
Multi-channel comms The Andøya Space Center’s existing intercom system featured analogue two-wire and four-
wire technology. “As the activity at Andøya Space Center increased, we had a need to expand the intercom to enable multi-channel communication over long distances – anywhere from a few kilometres locally here at Andøya to several hundred kilometres to Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard,” says Halgeir Wold, project manager documentation, Andøya Space Center. “The intercom system had grown ad hoc, with some cable runs of up to 1,500m. This eventually generated so much noise and crosstalk on the lines that it became a problem for us.” With previous experience of Clear-Com’s analogue solutions, the team once again turned to the communications specialists to discuss their requirements, which included the possibilities for intercom over IP. “We have had comprehensive communication with Clear-Com’s representative, Soundware in Norway, throughout the process and they helped us to specify what we needed,” says Wold. “We borrowed a demo system to do some testing and were satisfied that the system based on HelixNet and LQ IP interfaces would provide the
clarity and flexibility required.” Rolv Valle, product manager, Soundware says: “During the proof of concept stage, Soundware demonstrated the combined flexibility of HelixNet and LQ, which further improved the audio quality of the Andøya Space Center’s digital system.” The main HelixNet system is installed at Andøya Space Centre headquarters at Andenes, which houses important functions including Mission Control, Telemetry Control and Launch Control. The system includes three HelixNet HMS-4X master panels and several LQ IP to fourwire and IP to two-wire interfaces, plus remote panels, speaker stations and wired beltpacks.
Andenes over IP The Svalbard operation features a HelixNet master panel and an Encore Partyline system connected via four LQ IP to two-wire interfaces, which in turn are connected to the system at Andenes over IP. An additional two HelixNet speaker station panels are located at two research stations in Longyearbyen – the EISCAT
SOLUTIONS: ANDØYA SPACE CENTER, NORDLAND
Svalbard Radar, a Northern Lights observatory, and the Kjell Henriksen Observatorium. These panels are also connected over IP directly to a HelixNet HMS at Andenes. “A rocket launch is not something we take lightly, and uninterrupted communication with high quality is critical to us during these times,” states Wold. “All communications in connection with a launch, including countdown, now takes place on the Clear-Com system. The combination of HelixNet and LQ IP interfaces have given us a significant improvement in the quality of the intercom. We are now far more flexible because we can configure a HelixNet panel here at the office, and then send it to the location it will be used. The user at the remote site simply has to connect it to the network and we are up and running right away. It cannot be any easier than that! Plus, the sound quality is also significantly improved and all the users give us very good feedback on this. “We have tried to keep the number of panels to a minimum by distributing the important communication to the PA system at the site, to locations where one may need to keep track of what’s happening such as corridors, break rooms and canteens,” continues Wold. “That way one can keep track of what’s happening without
The village of Bleik seen from the Alomar Lidar Control Picture: Rolv Valle
Halgeir Wold at Telemetry Control Picture: Rolv Valle
necessarily being in front of a panel.” Users can also connect to the system remotely via the Agent-IC mobile app for Android and IOS, hosted by the LQ panels, so they can move around the facility or maintain communication when the road is closed in connection with a rocket launch. Wold concludes: “Overall, the system has made our everyday life easier. The flexibility we have to move a HelixNet panel from one location to another, or reconfigure our setup over a web interface, is really a big improvement. I have full control of the system from my office, without having to send personnel out in the field.”
About the installer n Soundware Norway is based in Oslo and serves the broadcast, music, film, video and post production industries n The company is part of a large international group with several other affiliates within pro audio, film and video
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38 SOLUTIONS: CADOGAN HALL, LONDON
Installed Audio (All Meyer Sound) n LINA loudspeakers n 750-LFC low-frequency control elements n LINA/MINA multipurpose grids n UP4-XP loudspeakers n 900-LFC subwoofers n MPS-488 power station n RMServer remote monitoring system
About the installer
Obvious choice In the first UK installation of Meyer Sound’s LINA system offers improved clarity and power to this high-end venue. Tom Bradbury reports
n the latest phase of a long working relationship with one of London’s premier performance venues, Autograph Sales & Installations have supplied the UK’s first permanently-installed Meyer Sound LINA loudspeaker system to Cadogan Hall. Located just off Sloane Square in the heart of Chelsea, the hall was opened in 1907 as a New Christian Science Church. Acquired by the Cadogan Estate in 2000 it later became the permanent base for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and its busy programme now encompasses all sorts of music, performance and cinema – in fact this expanded inclusion of a broader range of musical styles was the principal driver behind the upgrade, replacing the Meyer Sound M1D loudspeakers previously supplied by Autograph.
Four zones This latest project follows previous collaborations with Autograph, which included the supply of a new Yamaha digital audio mixing system and venue-wide Dante data network. A QSC Q-Sys DSP core was already in place
from these works and is now also the central controller for the new loudspeaker system, providing the four zones per side required to cover the main part of the hall effectively. The main PA hangs comprise eight Meyer Sound LINA modules each with a single 750-LFC subwoofer at the top of each array, while two additional 900-LFC subwoofers are deployed on the stage wings, according to the needs of the performance. Six compact UP4-Ps are variously located as stage lip fills (covering only the front row) and unobtrusive stage holdback, while an RMServer provides real-time system diagnostics and monitoring. Harry Spillett is the venue’s production manager and comments: “Autograph were an obvious choice for this project. I have had a good working relationship with them for many years and was confident that the suggested system and quality of the install would fit the Hall well. The after-sales care has always been very good and this project was no exception.”
Final part “The installation of the new LINA array and
n Autograph has been involved in theatre sound design since 1972 to provide a modern approach to live sound reinforcement n Autograph Sales & Installations was then established in 1982 and is one of the UK’s leading sound companies for sales, installations and design of pro audio n The company, based in North London, offers skills as specifiers, designers, suppliers and consultants
associated Meyer cabinets marks the final part of a staged upgrade to our auditorium sound system,” says Spillett. “We wanted to improve upon the clarity and power offered by the previous system to help cater for the broad range of larger shows the Hall now presents. The LINA array allowed us to significantly improve the performance of the system while maintaining minimal visible impact for orchestral performances or shows requiring the use of our projection screen. “We have been able to remove our former ground stacks freeing up valuable stage space and releasing restricted view seats. The new front fills ensure the sound image is locked to the performers on stage and the new 900-LFC cabinets are in a league of their own!” Spillett concludes: “We have had only positive comments from touring engineers of all genres and I look forward to mixing more shows in the Hall myself.”
40 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
Step into Andersen’s fairytale land A bold theatre production depicting Anderson’s Fairy Tales at the Museum of Moscow needed incredibly bright projectors to bring the fairytale land to life while also competing with both the stage lighting and an LED screen installed on the stage. The corridor leading to the main hall was transformed into a mystical forest using rear projection with an Optoma EH320USTi ultra short throw projector and an EH500 projector. The short-focus optics and high brightness of the EH460ST and WU515ST projectors were ideally suited to project onto the nine-metre high walls in the hall. The scenery of trees and houses, made of white projection grids, were brought alive through projection mapping with the WU515T projector. The play, which premiered on 22nd
December 2018, combines complex visual special effects and video projections. The scenery, LED screens, projection and new
theatrical technologies transformed the venue into a magical world and combined creative ideas with new technologies.
FRANCE www.nexo-sa.com www.yamahaproaudio.com
Flexible arena gets ‘state-of-the-art’ sound
Picture: Aldo Amoretti
Located close to the southern French city of Aixen-Provence, the Arena Pays d’Aix has become a popular destination for sport and entertainment throughout the region. Local integrator Société Texen recommended a Dante-networked Yamaha and Nexo system, which is centred on four ‘nodes’ installed throughout the venue, each comprising a system rack with a MTX5-D matrix processor, XMV series amplifiers, 24 port switches and, where required, Tio1608-D i/o racks. All areas apart from The Cauldron feature Yamaha loudspeakers, including VXC5F-VA and NS-IC400 speakers, VXS1ML and VXS3FT compact surface mount models. In The Cauldron, 30 Nexo GEO S12 loudspeakers deliver high quality sound to sport and event audiences.
Picture: Max Colson
Barbican space becomes digital corridor Two Christie HS Series laser projectors and Christie Pandoras Box media player have been used to create a digital corridor at London’s Barbican. The commissioned space is a twostory slanted wall in the main foyer that can be seen from several floors. The images are managed and controlled by Pandoras Box to match and complement the architecture. This is the first co-commission with the Lumen Prize. Recognised as the world’s leading
award for digital art, The Lumen Prize is co-curating projection-based art using Christie technology for the Barbican’s public spaces. The commissioned space is a multi-story slanted wall in the main foyer and uses two Christie HS Series 1DLP projectors and Christie Pandoras Box to match the real architecture of the Barbican. Despite the pebble-style wall and high ambient light, Christie technology met all requirements.
SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
Insurer modernises HQ offices In honour of its 175th anniversary, UniVersa Insurance sought to modernise the executive floor of its corporate headquarters in Nuremburg, Germany. This project included a complete remodel of all private offices, as well as executive meeting rooms, and other common areas located on that floor. A significant element of this remodel involved renewing the ageing AV technologies. Biampâ€™s Tesira solution was selected to provide flexibility and support both audio and video on the same network. Each of the three meeting rooms on the executive floor includes an adjustable-height touch interface with a webcam mounted on top, with video feeding back into the AV system. The rooms also include several tables that can be combined or used separately,
depending on the number of people in a meeting and the type of activity that will be taking place. The tables feature built-in HDMI connections, and are designed to conceal
the roomâ€™s technology. To accommodate movement of the tables, all devices can be unplugged from the floor and reconnected to other connection points throughout the room.
Bosch system unites hospital campus Design and integration company Walker Engineering has recommended Bosch Praesideo digital PA and emergency sound system to serve the new Walter Tower and unite it with the rest of the sprawling Houston Methodist Hospital campus. Mission-critical urgency was the driving force in the upgrade of the existing systems. Using Praesideo for networked digital distribution was an instant success. Missed calls were now getting through, solving the majority of problems with the system. Legacy amps and loudspeakers could still be used, saving Houston Methodist considerable money while putting the infrastructure in place to convert failing components to Bosch Praesideo as the opportunity arose.
Victorian theatre gets royal upgrade EM Acoustics EMS-61 loudspeakers and mounting hardware along with a DiGiCo SD9T digital mixing system have been specified for an upgrade at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The Grade II-listed Victorian theatre is an acclaimed contemporary producing house with a capacity of 460 on three levels and is focused on new writing and community engagement.
The quality and fidelity of the audio system is crucial in such a venue. And the EM Acoustics components were selected as part of ongoing efforts to upgrade the in-house system, due mainly to its price point and being based on an industrystandard platform.
Kit you need to know about
PRODUCT OF Mackie THE MONTH DRM Series
It’s… a new flagship loudspeaker series What’s new? The new range offers the company’s best combination of power, control and DSP processing. Details: DRM loudspeakers offer sound quality and reliability for a wide range of applications including install, houses of worship, bands, rental and more. The units feature up to 2,300W of power, cutting-edge DSP, and built-in full colour displays. Available in the 1,600W 12in DRM212, 1,600W 15in DRM215, 2,300W 15in three-way DRM315, 2,000W 12in DRM12A array, and 2,000W 18in DRM18S subwoofer – and all models are available in passive boxes. The speakers are driven by Class-D amplifiers with next-gen system protection. Universal power supplies (100-240V) feature Power Factor Correction technology that regulates incoming
voltage for peak performance even with unstable AC power. Within each unit is Mackie’s Advanced Impulse DSP module. Precision crossovers, transducer time-alignment, and tuned FIR filters overcome inherent physical attributes that can contribute to poor sound, especially at high SPL. The result is clear, punchy sound typically experienced only with massive touring systems. The DRM Control Dashboard features a highcontrast, full-colour display on the back panel for quick and easy setup. With single knob control, the user can navigate to the desired settings quickly. Full-range models offer three-band parametric EQ, venue specific voicing modes, alignment delay, user presets, and system lock. The subwoofer features a variable crossover, cardioid mode, and more. Custom high-sensitivity woofers and titanium diaphragm compression drivers housed in braced plywood cabinets are designed for consistent
performance in demanding applications. On the exterior, each DRM is covered in a touring-grade textured coating and paint that is made to last. The unique ported design of DRM cabinets allows for responsive bass, while simultaneously helping to keep the amplifier cool. DRM Series Loudspeakers offer all the configuration options you would expect for professional applications. Equipped with M10 flypoints, dual angle pole mounts, and available line array configurations for maximum versatility. Both the DRM212 and DRM215 feature angled cabinet designs to allow for use as high-powered floor monitors.
44 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS n Aten CM1284
Meyer Sound M-Noise
It’s… a test signal for loudspeakers Aten has added a new product to its Multi-View KVM product series – the CM1284 is a four-port USB 4K HDMI Multi-View KVMP switch. It simplifies multi-view operations by offering dual 4K viewing and boundless switching on the console side, which meets the growing demand for multi-view functionality and realtime monitoring. www.aten.com/gb/en/
Bose PS404D and PS604D
Bose has expanded its line of PowerShare adaptable power amps with two new models: the Dante-integrated PS404D and PS604D. The new PS404D (400W divisible into four channels) and PS604D (600W divisible into four channels) amps feature integrated Dante networking for increased connectivity flexibility, while giving installers the freedom to place the amplifier away from the source. http://pro.bose.com
n Clevertouch ‘The Complete Classroom’ Launched earlier this year at BETT, ‘The Complete Classroom’ solution is an allin-one teaching ecosystem that gives teachers everything they need to enact a digital transformation within their own classroom. The solution is designed to save time planning and creating lessons, giving teachers more time to teach and inspire. All functions are instantly accessible with one click from the LUX interface – a secure, walk-up-and-use display, designed for teachers who don’t have time to battle with technology. www.clevertouch.com
n d&b audiotechnik DS20 At ISE 2019 d&b is set to unveil its first MILAN-enabled product – the DS20 audio network bridge. This and the company’s other new products will be showcased at ISE’s Pro Audio demo rooms E105 and E106. Guests will have the chance to join d&b sessions, including Soundscape sessions and the daily news session, where d&b will introduce the R90, and the DS20, with further focus on Soundscape. www.dbaudio.com
What’s new? It promotes standardised measurement of the maximum linear output of a loudspeaker system. Details: A mathematically derived test signal that effectively emulates the dynamic characteristics of music, M-Noise enables a more accurate measurement of the linear peak SPL of a loudspeaker in any application requiring reproduction of musical content. The formula for generating M-Noise was derived following spectral analysis of a wide variety of music programme material. In particular, the analysis measured the varying crest factors in music, and how these measurements compared to pink noise (crest factor is the difference between the average and instantaneous peak levels of a signal). It was discovered that the crest factors of music and pink noise were similar at frequencies
below 500Hz, but with music exhibiting a steadily rising crest factor at higher frequencies. M-Noise can be used to determine the linear peak SPL of any loudspeaker system, regardless of manufacturer, size or design. However, the accuracy and consistency of results will depend on the type and quality of the test equipment and adherence to the proper measurement procedures. M-Noise was introduced to many audio professionals as a concluding point of the Heyser Memorial Lecture by president and CEO John Meyer at the 145th AES Convention in New York.
Available: Now www.meyersound.com
NEC Display Solutions UN Series
It’s… 10 new videowall display models What’s new? The range meets the needs of a wider range of sectors including retail, DooH, leisure, transportation, control rooms, and signage.
Details: From digital advertising to transport hubs, retail to control rooms, organisations are demanding displays which combine compelling visual quality with large visual surfaces. The new NEC UN Series has been engineered to meet this multi-industry demand. The new videowalls are available in 10 different models, making it easy for organisations to find the perfect model to match their specific needs. Every videowall features outstanding visual performance and powerful calibration capabilities thanks to the integrated SpectraView engine, which enables users to make fine adjustments to picture quality to match individual demands and provides homogenous colour reproduction across each display and the entire wall. SpectraView also makes it faster and simpler to install, ensuring
system integrators benefit from lower costs and quicker set-up. The UN Series also provides strong readability, even in bright conditions, with up to 700cd/sqm brightness and an advanced anti-haze filter that eliminates reflections, and a minimal inactive screen area eliminates distortion between individual screens. Each model has been specifically designed to meet a range of user priorities, ranging from low lifetime costs for long-term, mission-critical applications, to the most vivid colour reproduction for uses such as advertising and entertainment. The first two models, the UN462A and UN462VA, are available now, and will debut alongside two further displays – the UN492S and UN552S – at ISE 2019.
Available: Now www.nec-display-solutions.com
46 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS
n Extron SF 26PT This two-way pendant loudspeaker is now shipping, designed for high performance or music playback in highceiling and open-ceiling applications. The SF 26PT joins the SF 3PT pendant speaker, with an architecturally clean design. The SF 26PT is available in black or white and is paintable to fit in with any décor. It offers both direct 8 ohm and 70/100 volt operation and is voiced similarly to the Extron SF 26CT.
n PixelFLEX EF Series An economical and efficient LED video display, EF Series tiles are fully front serviceable. The EF Series also offers custom upgrade capabilities to meet the specifications for right-angle and curved displays, and is available in a 3.9mm, 5.2mm or 6.25mm pixel pitch. With multiple cabinet sizes and built-in alignment pins to guarantee proper alignment of panels.
Acoustics RevNet LZ220 and CV140 Additions to the RevNet line, the two RevNet PoE++ Amps offer the convenience of Dante input with both low-impedance and constantvoltage output options. The low-Z RevNet LZ220 offers two channels of 20W output each while the RevNet CV140 provides one constant voltage channel with 40W output. Units are connected to a Dante audio network via an ‘Ultra High PoE’ 60W PoE++ switch output.
www.revolutionacoustics.com n SDVoE Alliance M4300-96X
The M4300-96X is the world’s first Ethernet switch with integrated HDMI input and output modules. This eliminates the need for standalone encoders and decoders to support in-rack video sources, simplifying design and installation and reducing overall system cost. With this introduction, IT and AV are combined at the integrated product level, rather than purely at the infrastructure level.
It’s… a flexible high-spec lamp projector What’s new? Equipped with Amazing Colour technology, users can select the best setting for the content. Details: Meeting rooms, classrooms and professional environments can now have brighter, sharper imagery with the new easy-to-install, high-specification EH512 lamp projector. This 5,000-lumen high brightness projector from Optoma is suited to complex installations that need lights on projection. The new EH512 offers flexibility with a range of features – from networking and wireless capabilities to horizontal and vertical keystone, four corner adjustment, large zoom and vertical lens shift. It is equipped with a large 1.6x zoom, vertical lens shift and a built-in geometric adjustment feature. This is ideal for uneven walls or awkward installations with difficult angles enabling installers to quickly and simply warp each corner
to create a perfectly rectangular image. The projector includes an integrated 10W speaker and a wide range of inputs for a quick connection to a laptop, PC, Blu-ray player or media streamer. It also allows users to present cable free from a USB stick using the built-in document viewer or show wireless presentations from a mobile device using the optional USB wireless dongle. Full support is provided for Crestron, Extron, AMX, PJ-Link and Telnet LAN commands, which allow almost all aspects of the projector to be monitored and controlled remotely across a network.
HDL 26-A and HDL 28-A It’s… two line array enclosures What’s new? The new models have the latest version of RDNet for optimised control.
Details: The HDL 26-A is a development of the HDL 6-A and is a double 6in device with a 3in compression driver (rather than the 1in CD found in the HDL 6-A). Replacing the 1,400W amplifier is the uprated and newly developed 2,000W Class-D amp. The smallest member of the HDL family allows extended bottom end and a pristine sound for a variety of applications. Also new to the series is the HDL 28-A, which builds on the success of the HDL 10-A, suitable for a wide range of applications, both indoors and outdoors. Because the woofer is a 2x 8in device, with 2.5in voice coil and a 2,200W Class-D amplifier, it is capable of far more bottom end, pristine mids and low distortion, with an emphasis on vocal intelligibility. By using more powerful
woofers, this has led to a significant extension in the low end, while the larger compression drivers will deliver a higher SPL and less distortion for increased intelligibility – essential on professional applications. With the addition of the RDNet Networked Management protocol, the advantages of having these speakers on the network are significant. RDNet 3.2 will allow design of the arrays inside the management software, recognising and connecting them immediately when turning on the devices. While the new Bass Shaper function will allow adjustment of the line array low frequencies, the Air Compensation function will now correct the system response in real-time.
48 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE
Audio consoles This fleet of consoles contains an array of comprehensive options for specific and flexible sound applications
Allen & Heath offers higher fader count Launched last summer, the SQ-7 is the 33-fader flagship console in the SQ series, which also includes the compact SQ-5 (17-faders) and SQ-6 (25-faders). SQ-7 fits into almost all applications where you’d expect to find a digital console, from AV and corporate events through to live productions. It’s higher fader count means it’s particularly well suited to installation in live
venues (including education) and houses of worship. It includes a 48-channel/36 bus mixer based on a 96kHz engine that delivers audio quality and very low latency (<0.7ms). The onboard FX engines and DEEP per-channel processing mean it’s often a ‘single-box’ solution as operators don’t require additional outboard processors.
There’s a range of remote I/O options via the Slink port allowing expansion up to 48 mic inputs, and it’s compatible with leading audio networking standards too, so it can be integrated via Dante, using the 64 channel I/O port and option card.
Cadac delivers compact performance The CDC five is a compact console that combines audio performance and operational simplicity, designed for smaller fixed installations as well as corporate and touring applications. Launched at PL+S 2018, the CDC five runs 96k/24-bit audio and can provide up to 48 inputs and 24 assignable busses, plus LCR and monitors in FoH mode; or 30 assignable busses when operating in Monitor Mode. It features a single 23.5in touchscreen with 28 encoders and 16 faders, plus dual banks of user assignable buttons. The rear panel includes 16 analogue inputs, eight analogue outputs and eight digital
inputs and outputs, as well as an integrated 64 x 64 Waves card. It has dual MegaCOMMS ports, enabling additional MegaCOMMS processing/ interfaces to be connected, and is powered by an internal PSU. The CDC five’s GUI has evolved from the CDC
six/CDC seven-s to include a swipe down feature on its 23.5in touchscreen. This brings up the control screen functions normally found on the separate 6.5in control screen of its larger siblings. The advantage of the CDC five over other comparative consoles is the audio quality and a total through-system propagation delay, including all console processing and A-D/D-A conversions, of 37 samples.
TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE 49
AXIS combines power and innovation Mackie AXIS Digital Mixing System delivers flexible solutions and intuitive workflow for professional live and installed AV applications. With full Dante integration, AXIS modular system combines the power of the DL32R 32-channel digital mixer with the innovative DC16 control surface, delivering what is claimed to be a new standard in sound mixing workflow. With 32 remote-controllable Onyx+ mic preamps and 16 outputs and built-in DSP, AXIS is ideal for medium and large-channel count live sound production and system integration applications. Dante connectivity between mixer and control surface enables additional networking capability for system-wide integration. The DC16 control surface delivers an tactile mixing experience that aims to outpace mixers costing twice as much.
Unmatched visual feedback is provided by large, full-colour channel displays that deliver critical information with clear colour, crisp icons, and highly-legible fonts. This is in addition to the high-resolution screens of the iPad, at the heart of the AXIS system. AXIS provides a surface-to-wireless workflow, allowing users to switch between DC16’s
Yamaha update supports theatre sound RIVAGE PM Series Firmware Version 2.5 from Yamaha was released in October 2018 and includes enhanced support for theatre applications. This update adds a new Theatre Mode, which facilitates not only scene changes, but also costume and actor changes with four banks per channel that can be used to store different EQ and dynamics settings for each individual performer. In Theatre Mode, rather than storing EQ and dynamics settings in the console’s ‘scenes’, only the bank number is stored so that any adjustments made will apply to all scenes that use the same bank. This can be particularly useful when multiple actors are cast in the same role or when a substitute must be used, allowing fast, flexible changes on a daily basis if necessary.
The V2.5 update also supports Audinate Dante Domain Manager, providing greater sound system security and scalability when a RIVAGE PM system is used at the core of a Dante audio network. This particular update follows consultation with a number of influential sound designers in Europe, the US and Japan. Further refinements aimed at theatre sound design and all other RIVAGE users will be forthcoming.
hardware controls and comprehensive wireless mixing. The integrated SmartBridge houses up to three iPad devices, delivering simultaneous control over multiple channels and smart sensing that knows when an iPad is in place.
SSL reveals most powerful options The SSL Live L350 and L550 consoles represent a further evolution of SSL’s Live console range and its two most powerful models. The new L550 features a total of 288 processing paths, 36 Matrix outputs and 48 VCAs, assignable to any of the 36 + 2 faders on the control surface. L350 features a total of 216 processing paths, 36 Matrix outputs and 36 VCAs in a compact 24 + 2 fader frame. Both consoles can be augmented with USB Remote Fader Tiles or be connected to remotely from another console, a laptop running SOLSA remote control software or tablet running the TaCo control app for a flexible and expandable work surface. The L350 and L550 replace the L300 and L500 Plus in the current SSL Live console range and are showfile compatible with all other SSL Live consoles. All existing SSL MADI and Network I/O Dante stageboxes can be deployed with any combination of SSL Live consoles for complex productions.
50 LAST WORD: SIMON SAINSBURY, BUK SOLUTIONS
“Nothing stands still in this industry” A microcosm of what is happening across the AV channel, buk Solutions has undergone a rebranding and now re-focused its offering on a broader product and services portfolio. MD Simon Sainsbury provides insights on the changing nature of its business
hat were the main factors behind the rebranding? It felt appropriate to launch our new name and logo in our 30th anniversary year, giving us the opportunity to celebrate our heritage and achievements. The rebrand also enabled us to implement wider changes, including the addition of new distribution partnerships and improving the company’s ability to rent and sell products from a more diverse range of suppliers. It is important to add that we are also offering enhanced complementary event services as part of our rental portfolio which includes consultancy, interpretation and translation. There have been a number of companies rebranding over the last year or so – what do you think this says about the changing landscape of the AV industry? Nothing stands still in this industry and with the increasing migration of AV moving from analogue to digital, we all need to be equipped and ready
to adapt to the changing face of the market and technology. The inevitable convergence of AV with IT has meant the products and skills needed to deliver the benefits have changed. We, and others in our field need to amend and tailor our product and service offering to reflect these changes. Those that make that change successfully will continue to thrive. You have also expanded your range of services and products. Yes, we announced our expanded product range shortly after our rebrand which allowed
‘The inevitable convergence of AV with IT has meant the products and skills needed to deliver the benefits have changed’
us to upgrade our offering to our clients. One of the key benefits was that it enabled the team to sell products from a more diverse range of manufacturers – not just Brähler. Our customers can now purchase almost any product offered by any of the brands the company is working with, including Crestron, Polycom, Sony and Blackmagic. This is an exciting development in the history of the company, bringing us increased flexibility and enabling us to explore a wider variety of solutions that meet our customers’ exact AV requirements. We are continuing to offer next generation hardware such as multimedia microphones, language interpretation systems, voting keypads and AV equipment from a number of brands. How challenging is education and specifically the universities sector to operate in? Through collaborative work with some of our partner organisations, including Sanako, we
have produced advanced learning and teaching resources for a large number of students across the UK. We have installed some of the most advanced equipment available, most recently delivering projects at the University of Leeds and Queen’s University in Belfast. Working within this sector does come with some challenges. The tendering process for these types of projects are often very long and having to work around term dates restricts you to only working during academic holiday periods. This therefore creates very strict deadlines. Our work also requires us to occasionally work with the universities existing IT departments, adding another level of communication to proceedings, which can slow down a project. The company is looking to train and develop its recently expanded team. What elements do you think contribute to worthwhile training for your staff? We are committed to the training and development of our staff. Maintaining our credibility and prestige in the conference technology and technical event management industry is vitally important to us. With our new brand and a number of great projects coming up, it is a very exciting time for buk Solutions with further growth planned. Developing our employee’s technical knowledge and ensuring our technicians possess on-site event management skills is an area we really focus on with our staff. We make a concerted effort to get our conference technicians involved in as many aspects of our services as possible. We provide them with a wide variety of opportunities and expose them to a range of different events, so they can consolidate and grow their skill-set and gain an insight into the extent of the services we provide for our clients. Simon Sainsbury is MD of buk Solutions