Issue 187 / January 2016
AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD
application p20 Installation L-Acoustics â€“ not just about touring 2016 preview p22 ISE We look ahead to four days in February strategies p38 Signage Can integrators add value with content?
TOUCH THE FUTURE Interactive flat panels on the rise in education p30
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CCS 1000 D Digital Discussion System Compact yet versatile
The all-new CCS 1000 D Digital Discussion System is highly compact, easy-to-set-up, and easy-to-use. Yet it is packed with so many smart features and exceptional versatility that it makes every meeting more productive and highly rewarding. Designed for plug-and-play installation, the CCS 1000 D Digital Discussion System is ideal for small to medium scale meeting areas such as town halls, business centers and courtrooms as well as for rental companies who can use it for their day-to-day mobile set-ups. Find out how you can take advantage, contact your nearest Bosch representative today or visit: www.boschsecurity.com
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Subscriptions to Installation are free to qualified readers. Register online at www.installation-international.com/subscribe Circulation & subscription enquiries Tel: +44 (0)1580 883848 Email: email@example.com Installation is published by NewBay Media Europe, 1st Floor, Suncourt House, 18-26 Essex Road, London N1 8LR, England Editorial tel: +44 (0)20 7354 6002 Sales tel: +44 (0)20 7354 6000 Please send press material to firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Paddy Baker email@example.com
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Contributors: Mike Clark, Rob Lane, Bennett Liles, Chris Mcintyre-Brown, Ian McMurray, Steve Montgomery, Phil Ward, Sam Woodward Special thanks: Nicola Finn, Ginny Goudy, Sara Torpy
© NewBay Media 2016. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owners. Printed by Pensord Press, Wales
Print ISSN: 2050-6104
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Cover image: Courtesy of Steljes
A sister title to SCN
What’s in a name?
he naming of cats is a difficult matter, as TS Eliot once observed – but I reckon that the naming of audiovisual products can be just as troublesome. As we know, Apple, the master of the brand experience, has opted for a simple numerical sequence for its new iPhone and iPad models – although in the case of the iPhone, this is interspersed with ‘S’ models in the gaps between the major releases. How much longer can this go on, do you think? Will there be queues of people outside the Apple Store in 50 years’ time eagerly awaiting the release of the iPhone 31? It must be tempting to give a new product range a simple name that will distinguish it from the competition. If you do, though, you run Paddy Baker, Editor the risk that someone else will launch something similar-sounding email@example.com around the same time. For instance, L-Acoustics launched its X Series @install8ion of coaxial speakers at Prolight + Sound last year, just as Electro-Voice announced its X-Line Advance line arrays. Mind you, Powersoft had debuted its X Series of amplifiers a year earlier, and B-Tech released the System X series of mounts just a few months ago. As long as it’s not your direct competitor, it doesn’t seem to matter too much. In the AV industry, of course, model numbers tend to be functional in nature. They’ll often have a descriptive element – for example, digits will indicate a screen diagonal, or a speaker driver diameter. Some people may gripe at the length and lack of memorableness of the model numbers that our
‘Will there be queues of people outside the Apple Store in 50 years’ time eagerly awaiting the release of the iPhone 31?’ industry works with. From my perspective, though, I’m glad about this; it means that if I need to check that we’re writing about the right product then simply googling the model number is generally sufficient to bring up a page of information about it. I don’t even have to enter the name of the manufacturer. Perhaps it’s to avoid these sorts of issues that some companies don’t follow the numerical route, and take the verbal one instead. Of course, it’s important in these days of search engine optimisation that they employ a unique spelling – such as K-array’s Lyzard, Vyper and Kobra speakers. As one who enjoys a bit of wordplay, I increasingly find myself admiring the creative name choices that some AV manufacturers come up with, particularly when the name also manages to tell you something about the product. Green Hippo, for instance, took inspiration from the world of birds with its AViary video tools, which include Par4Keet and 2Kan. My absolute favourite, though, has to be Nexo’s external framework for its GEO M6 system: it is, of course, the NexoSkeleton. A great name: its only downside is that – as far as I can imagine – it can’t be applied any wider than that single product.
Driving the Creation of Knowledge
03 Install187 Welcome_Final.indd 1
Presentation. Collaboration. Knowledge Sharing.
News & Data 06 Analysis
Global 5G mobile subscriptions poised for growth IPTV continues strong growth worldwide 10 Regional Voices: Italy
People 12 Industry Moves 14 Opinion Rob Lane considers how digital signage is informing retail changes Lutron’s Sam Woodward on why installers must be aware of the limits of wireless Chris Mcintyre-Brown shares why AR/VR is poised for big things across the B2B world 20 Interview Cédric Montrézor of L-Acoustics talks about the X Series and all things installation
Show previews 22 ISE 2016
The latest seminars, events and product launches to look out for in Amsterdam 28 BETT The world’s leading edtech show returns to ExCeL. Discover the highlights here
Features 30 Education
As use of technology in the education sector continues to advance at pace, the role of the specialist integrator becomes ever more crucial 38 Digital Signage With margins on digital signage hardware falling, can integrators add value advising on content?
Solutions 44 Immaculate Heart Of Mary, Refuge
Of Souls, Paravati Four chapels have benefitted from an audio upgrade designed to optimise intelligibility and tackle high reverberation times 46 La Sirène, La Rochelle An installed PA system with the latest sound reinforcement technology was chosen for this leading performance complex 48 Solutions in Brief Including Optocore routing in Poland, Powersoft amps for China’s CLUB:two and the world’s largest OLED displays at Incheon Airport
Technology 51 New Products
Including Lightware, Sony, Bose, K-array and Panasonic
Cables and Connectors
54 Demo of the Month 56 Showcase
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44 14/12/2015 15:10
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14/12/2015 17:45:49 14/12/2015 17:38:16
Global 5G mobile subscriptions poised for growth By Duncan Proctor
esearch from the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report has forecast there will be 150 million 5G mobile subscriptions by 2021. The engine for this upturn in subscriptions is predicted to be South Korea, Japan, China and the US. Through the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G will connect new types of devices, enabling new use cases and the transition will open up industries and verticals to ICT transformation. The report also revealed a significant increase in mobile video consumption, which will drive approximately six times higher traffic volumes per smartphone in North America and Europe (2015 to 2021). North America monthly data traffic per active smartphone will grow from 3.8GB to 22GB by 2021; in Western Europe, the increase will be from 2GB to 18GB per month. With 20 new mobile broadband subscriptions activated every second, global increase in mobile subscriptions is another clear driver for data traffic growth. The latest figures also suggest the number of mobile subscriptions globally matches the world’s current population, and in 2016 there will be 4 billion subscriptions for smartphones alone. Rima Qureshi, Ericsson senior VP and chief strategy officer, commented: “5G is about more than faster mobile services, it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things. ICT transformation will become even more common across industries as 5G moves from vision to reality in the coming years.”
Mobile subscriptions (millions) 1500
Central and Eastern Europe
APAC (excluding China and India)
New mobile subscriptions in Q3 2015 1% (1m)
15% (13m) 28% (24m)
APAC (excluding China and India)
Central and Eastern Europe
AR market to be worth $100 billion by 2020 By Steve Montgomery
ugmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continue to be hot topics in the technology industry. While VR continues to make waves in the press, AR will prove to be the bigger market in time, projected to reach approximately $100 billion in total market worth by 2020. AR smart glasses are forecast to ship 21 million total units in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78% from 2015 to 2020. Total revenues for the AR market will follow a similar trend, with an estimated CAGR of
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73% from 2015 to 2020, split between a number of major verticals, including education, gaming, healthcare, industrial and retail. “We expect the greatest revenues in the healthcare and industrial verticals, together owning approximately 54% of the market, thanks to more progressive technology adoption habits along with strong use case applicability,” said Eric Abbruzzese, research analyst at ABI Research.
Predicted AR market figures
AR glasses to ship in 2020
Annual market growth 2015-20 Source: ABI Research
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11/9/2015 11:14:34 AM
IPTV continues strong growth worldwide By Steve Montgomery
Regional IPTV Subscriber Share Q2 2015
t the end of June 2015, there were 123 million IPTV subscriptions across the globe, according to market intelligence company Point Topic. The growth rate for IPTV subscription numbers was slightly down in Q2 2015 compared to Q1 2015. However the strength of the sector has again resulted in an increase in the proportion of fixed line subscribers who also take an IPTV service, generally from their broadband operator. Net additions of 4.37 million represent the strongest growth since the first quarter of 2014 with an exception of Q1 2015. East Asia, and China in particular, continues to dominate in terms of quarterly IPTV net additions. The remarkable growth of IPTV subscribers in Spain slowed in this quarter. Telefonica had attracted new customers primarily by the upgraded sports packages with more football as well as Formula 1 among others. However the market has returned to the “normal” growth rates it had witnessed before the boom.
America – North, 13.05%
America – Other, 0.42%
Europe – Other, 28.73%
Europe – East, 6.45%
Asia – East, 47.41%
Asia – Other, 3.77%
Source: Point Topic
Open platforms driving growth in smart home automation market By Duncan Proctor
Predicted growth in home automation hardware units
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200 Million units
recent study by Juniper Research has found that home automation hardware, sold as standalone units rather than part of a subscription package, will exceed 300 million by 2020. This would represent growth of over 1,000% from an estimated base of 28 million units in 2015. The reasons for this level of growth include more open approaches, partnerships and falling hardware costs, as well as media and retail efforts to raise consumer awareness. “Open approaches certainly help move the connected home towards a smarter one. However, the consumer still needs to be convinced: that will be the job of retail to solve, and that’s a question of educating both employee and consumer,” noted research author Steffen Sorrell.
100 Source: Juniper Research
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20.07.15 7/20/2015 1:47:43 14:38 PM
10 REGIONAL VOICES
What’s the state of the AV market in the home country of Powersoft, Prase Engineering, RCF and Screen Int? Our latest survey finds out
taly has the fourth largest economy in Europe. However, it did suffer very strongly during the crash of the previous decade, and some of our respondents referred to ‘the current economic crisis’ in their survey answers. Levels of confidence in the Italian installation market remain flat, according to our survey: the majority of respondents saw no change in this, compared with six months earlier. However,
GDP annual growth, Q3 2015 Source: Trading Economics
they were more optimistic about their personal fortunes, with most expecting their company’s revenue to increase over the next 12 months. The vertical sectors believed to be showing the strongest growth were digital signage, retail and education; the least, sports venues, performing arts venues and houses of worship. When it came to issues of concern to respondents’ own businesses, two of these predominated – and it’s perhaps not surprising, given the emphasis on economic conditions mentioned earlier, that both were financially related. The first was ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’ – which one respondent also linked to a general lack of appreciation of the details of projects by clients. The second was ‘credit terms and other cashflow issues’. The risk of not getting paid was a concern
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for some – particularly, they said, as there is little protection to be had in these circumstances. We then asked our readers’ advice for companies trying to break into the Italian market. They advised manufacturers to invest for the long term and be sure to have a direct sales force; additionally, they should look at educating the market in their offering. Integrators were advised to think carefully before making the decision to enter the market – although one integrator commented that “if one goes for the high end market there should not be too many problems”. Finally, we asked our respondents what they would like to change about the way the Italian installation market functions. One rather gloomy answer was: “There’s too many things to change: mentality first of all, and that’s the problem.”
Budget deficit, 2014 Source: Trading Economics
Another drew attention to the lack of consultants in the Italian market: “In Italy the category of consultants is a grey area – there should be a clear category as in many countries.” Perhaps this lack of consultants is a factor in the poor understanding of AV projects mentioned above? Overall then, a somewhat mixed picture – but, to be fair, not significantly more negative than the impression garnered of other countries in these surveys.
What will be the business trend in the following vertical markets?
GREATEST INCREASE Digital signage Retail Education Corporate Museums/visitor attractions Bars, clubs, restaurants Worship Performing arts venues Sports venues DECREASE
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12/4/2015 10:28:19 AM
Atlona continues international expansion
n APG Displays
Three new managerial appointments made in Europe
Michael Hollmen and Kyle Smith
have taken up key executive roles at APG Displays. Hollmen (pictured left) comes to APG’s Orlando branch from GSE Audio Visual where he served as a national account executive, while Smith will be based in Toronto and previously worked at Freeman Audio Visual Canada.
www.apgdisplays.com n Calibre
ollowing the recent opening of its European office based near Zurich, Atlona has announced a trio of managerial appointments that bolster the company’s international sales, support and marketing teams. Chris Brzostowski has joined as account manager UK & Ireland; Alexander Kiflom is now manager international support; and Daniela Santos is manager, international marketing. Brzostowski is charged with managing existing relationships and increasing distribution and sales. He has five years of experience in the AV industry and most recently served as regional account manager for SY Electronics.
Kiflom is responsible for assisting customers and the company’s sales team as well as conducting field training and presentations on Atlona products. Previously, he was a technical support and system engineer at Hetec in Munich. As manager, international marketing, Santos is tasked with strengthening the Atlona brand in key markets, providing partner support and communications and producing marketing events. She has almost 10 years’ experience in the AV market, most recently as marketing manager with Minicom Digital Signage.
www.algam-enterprises.com www.allen-heath.com SQM Digital Signage has announced a partnership with US-based Scala to expand in Poland and the Central and Eastern Europe region. Using the Scala platform, SQM will build and distribute dynamic digital communication solutions with a particular focus on the retail sector. www.scala.com www.sqm.pl
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www.calibreuk.com n Electrosonic
is now senior sales consultant at the Orlando, Florida office of Electrosonic. DiPaula brings a range of audio and video system expertise and his hiring reinforces Electrosonic’s commitment to supporting customers throughout the US. He joins from SPL Integrated Solutions’ themed and entertainment division where he held the position of vice president.
www.electrosonic.com n Loud Technologies
New Partners Allen & Heath has announced Algam as the new exclusive distributor of its products in the French market. To best serve Allen & Heath customers the sales operation will be divided between Algam Entreprises, which will manage sales to rental and staging companies and installers, and Audia, which will represent Allen & Heath to MI stores and audio dealers.
has joined Calibre as sales and marketing associate, China. Based at the company’s Bradford, UK offices, Gao’s responsibilities include conducting in-depth research of the Chinese market, developing the company’s presence and profile in the country as well as expanding OEM relationships.
Kling & Freitag has named two new distributors. ProAudio is now the manufacturer’s exclusive distributor in Bulgaria while Lebanon’s Less db has been charged with developing the K&F distribution network in Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan. www.kling-freitag.de www.lessdb.com www.proaudio.bg Sound Technology is now distributing Tempest wireless intercom products in the UK and Ireland. Tempest offers a wired-intercom feature set with the flexibility of wireless operation. Systems are compatible with all major two-wire and Matrix intercom systems and provide a transparent, reliable RF interface to the wired world. www.soundtech.co.uk www.tempestwireless.com
has been promoted to the position of Mackie product manager after nearly a decade in customerfacing sales and training positions within the Mackie organisation. In his new position, Rundle will be involved in all aspects of product development, research and market analysis.
www.mackie.com n Renkus-Heinz
has assumed the role of president of Renkus-Heinz following the resignation of Roscoe Anthony in December. The co-founder and CEO has said he will accelerate the investments required to bring several recently identified product initiatives to market.
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11/27/2015 12:32:35 PM
14 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Rob Lane Signs of evolution
Display signage is informing retail changes
ith another festive purchasing season just over, and Christmas fading to a chestnut-tinged memory, what better time to look at how stores are currently utilising display solutions in this era of massive evolution for the retail channel? Retail’s evolution is, in part, being driven by the über-success (no pun intended) of Amazon, but it’s interesting that the online retailer itself recently opened its own high street bookstore, cognisant that consumers prefer to have physical contact with some potential purchases before buying. In-store and online are becoming interchangeable, co-existing in a way we’ve never experienced before, with innovations such as Click & Collect blurring the lines. This also means bringing a little more of what’s great about online shopping into stores, and that translates to more sophisticated digital signage experiences for consumers. Cost considerations and revised working practices are informing these changes too. Retailers, of course, realise that people make many of their purchases online but still enjoy browsing and seeing physical products. As a result, store designs and digital branding are being created to allow customers to buy into a lifestyle, with more digital signage and broader access to the physical product – perhaps the main driver for going into a store in the first place. “There’s increased pressure for retailers to impress, with standard displays and static content not quite making the cut,” Mark Childerhouse, senior account manager, Pioneer Digital, tells me. “Bespoke LED designs, interactive panels and virtual or augmented
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reality set ups are all popular ways of recapturing the shopper’s attention and making a brand stand out on the high street.” Interactivity, of course, is key, with high street outlets looking to replicate the touchscreen experience of shopping on a tablet, while keeping the physical product front of stage. “The success and effectiveness of signage increasingly depends on interactivity – shoppers are getting less and less impressed or wowed with simple moving images,” opines Christopher Parker, senior product manager, visual solutions, Sharp Europe. “People are getting more selective in their choices and how they allow their attention to be grabbed, and often find posters or large displays easy to ignore due to their lack of interactivity.” And as interactivity grows in popularity, so larger, more impactful display solutions are demanded also. LED is beginning to eclipse LCD as the display solution of choice, as it allows for the creation of large, bespoke digital canvases, which are coming increasingly affordable as LED prices fall. “From a creative perspective, LED offers so many possibilities,” comments David Sumner, product manager (Digital Media Services), at UK integrator AVMI. “We’ve already seen some genuinely inventive uses of the technology – for example transparent and curved LED integrated with the architecture and store fittings – and they are now available with ‘dot-pitches’ suitable for store environments that require short viewing distances. However, screens are not just there to make the store look pretty; retailers want them to work harder by being more closely integrated into the shopper journey.”
Retailers are beginning to offer a greater variety of in-store ordering options through POS systems, such as interactive mirrors. Curved displays, multi-touch and panels that can display full HD images and videos are becoming popular, as are zero-bezel weatherand vandal-protected touch monitors, often incorporating infrared or projected capacitive touchscreen overlays. Many LED and LCD manufacturers are now offering integrated large-format displays with built-in computer capabilities – so-called System-on-Chip (SoC) – with some supplying this as standard. Removing the need to pair screens with a discreet media player provides significant cost savings to retailers, so more and more of them are jumping on board or are expanding their established digital signage areas. Dedicated digital signage media players will remain relevant for the foreseeable future, however, as many integrators are reluctant to consider using SoC solutions for driving 4K videowalls or LED canvases. “As the channel becomes more established, many retailers are demanding more ‘intelligence’ at the screen and this often requires more processing power than the SoC screen can provide,” Sumner explains. That’s sure to change, of course, and as the use of displays in retail outlets continues to evolve and broaden, we can expect further technological developments either driving or being driven by high street shopping habits. Founder/director of Bigger Boat PR Ltd and longtime business/tech journalist, Rob Lane loves high street shopping, Amazon, Christmas and Uber!
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11/25/2015 10:20:23 AM 22/10/2015 15:26
16 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Sam Woodward Beware the wireless hype
Wireless control has many benefits, but installers should also be aware of its limitations
y the end of this decade, one in three UK households will have become a so-called ‘smart home’, while the global smart home market will reach $100 billion by 2018. The future is clearly connected and many people are turning to one family of technologies to support this revolution: wireless control. From our laptops and TVs to our heating and lighting, everything is becoming more interconnected; home automation is one of the biggest global trends right now. There is strong demand from consumers for the integration of innovative smart devices – particularly in the lighting industry – into their everyday lives. And while using them is often as straightforward as pushing a single button, installing modern interconnected systems brings with it a series of new challenges and opportunities for installers.
‘Many manufacturers’ spec sheets indicate a device’s range using an ‘up-to’ distance, which is often measured under ideal conditions’
Advanced lighting solutions nowadays enable users to control light and window-blind levels individually throughout the whole house straight from their smartphone, or even their wristwatch, regardless of whether they are actually at home or not. Within the home, the key is convenience. Whether using wall-mounted keypads, or a variety of wireless devices, from smartphones or tablets (connected via WiFi) or dedicated lighting control
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interfaces (connecting using other protocols, such as Lutron’s patented ClearConnect), the user’s smooth and swift interaction experience should be the same regardless of whether it is wired or wireless. To achieve this, it might sound as if all installers have to do to set up smart lighting solutions is substitute cables with wireless technologies but, despite the hype, this isn’t necessarily always the best way to go.
Not all are equal Although they all share the common characteristic of connection without cables, not all wireless devices are created equal. Many use the busy 2.4GHz part of the radio spectrum, which is often prone to connection issues as it’s shared by WiFi along with many control protocols (including the majority of Zigbee devices) and even microwave ovens. Media streaming often saturates available bandwidth and so maintaining a 100% reliable connection from a phone or tablet is often not possible. Other lighting control protocols (such as ClearConnect) overcome this challenge by using an entirely different frequency, which doesn’t suffer from interference in the same way, and is tightly controlled to use minimal bandwidth. However despite the availability of such reliable communications, it’s always advisable to have a wired solution in place as well. The eventual inevitability of a user’s smartphone having a flat battery should not lock them out of the ability to control their lights. Deploying wireless technologies also brings an additional cost saving benefit for installers, who will need to buy fewer cables, and less containment, which would have been required to put wired connections in place. Likewise,
there is a considerable labour saving with wireless systems.
Guaranteed range? However, before installers can recommend new products to their clients, they need to ask themselves a series of questions. One aspect of wireless products to be rightfully sceptical of is the claims over a product’s wireless range. While many manufacturers’ spec sheets indicate a device’s range using an ‘up-to’ distance, which is often measured under ideal conditions such as direct line of sight, you should choose instead those products where the manufacturers give installers a guaranteed connectivity range in real-life conditions. Many factors, including the materials in a house’s walls, the furnishings, or even the presence of people, who will absorb radio signals, can impact radio range reliability. While the world is clamouring for wireless as a quick fix for retrofit installations, installers need to build their knowledge about the technology to make informed and sensible decisions when setting up lighting systems for their clients. The success of a project will still largely depend on the quality of the wired infrastructure to which the products will ultimately connect. However, despite all these advancements there is no such thing as a completely wireless future for our industry. Sam Woodward is customer education leader, Europe and Africa at Lutron Electronics.
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11/25/2015 9:55:44 AM
18 AGENDA: ON THE HORIZON
Chris Mcintyre-Brown VR, MR and AR innovators: a quick tour
Virtual reality and related technologies are poised for big things across all sectors of the B2B world
n our work looking at virtual reality and related technologies*, we have highlighted a number of factors stimulating adoption in B2B applications across multiple industries. But first, some definitions. Futuresource defines virtual reality (VR) as an experience that fully immerses a user in an alternative reality through the use of a head-mounted display (HMD); mixed reality (MR) uses headsets or glasses to layer virtual elements over the existing world without fully immersing the user; augmented reality (AR) also layers virtual elements over the real world, but is viewed through a mobile device. VR, MR and AR provide a vast opportunity for both B2B- and B2C-focused businesses. These rich, interactive video formats can convey product and service propositions in a more compelling and engaging way than 2D content. Advances in technology and falling component costs have made VR available to the mass market. In addition to consumer headsets, manufacturers have also distributed developer kits to drive education in the design and creative communities, helping develop expertise in content creation while also increasing consumer and B2B awareness.
Aeronautics, retail, architecture Virtual reality in the B2B arena is not new: immersive caves, simulators and power walls have been around for many years. For example, aeronautical manufacturers have used digital CAD packages since the 1990s and are moving towards ever more sophisticated 3D modelling. Now, these 3D assets can be extended into a virtual world. At Boeing, CAD assets have been taken into a virtualised training environment to teach new
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engineers skills before they ever reach the physical aircraft. That same asset can be used by designers to amend designs and provide spatial awareness for ergonomic testing. It can also be an important tool in the sales process, lifting the design off the page (or out of the screen). AR or MR can blend new and older assets to become part of a training or sales tool, and repurpose them again to serve as an interactive video display or corporate communication training tool.
input and amend designs before construction takes place. Again taking this a virtual step further would enhance engagement by town planners or investors in the virtual world. HMDs will be a powerful differentiator for higher-end brands, and the technology is already there. In many instances, it is really more a period of waiting for the installed base of consumer HMDs to build, along with awareness, before businesses invest seriously in VR extensions.
Meeting of minds?
â€˜Head-mounted displays will be an incredibly powerful differentiator for higher-end brands or businessesâ€™
There are also interesting opportunities in retail. Take for example kitchen or bathroom suppliers. VR can add not just a wow factor but a sense of scale and perspective, zooming in to highlight product USPs. Many retail stores already have online 3D packages where consumers can personalise designs by inputting simple dimensions from their homes. AR can further complement this environment: Ikea customers can already bring a virtual piece of furniture to life using AR via its catalogue, getting the ability to view the furniture in the home. It seems likely a more immersive VR and MR experience will follow. In construction and architecture CAD already allows planners to speed up the planning process, visualising what a project may look like prior to development and provide the opportunity to gain
It is interesting to think about how the worlds of consumer entertainment and B2B verticals might merge in terms of the VR, MR and AR production and the tools, encoding, products and creative processes used. They might seem like separate industries but they could cross-pollinate, especially with some VR and AR playback products and technologies and content becoming more mainstream. While the potential offered to the consumer is attractive, B2B application arguably offers more immediate and often more lucrative opportunities for these early innovator developers. In B2B, VR, MR and AR all have their place: choose any vertical and there is a potential usage model for them. * The new Futuresource Global Market Report Virtual Reality is now available. Chris Mcintyre-Brown is associate director, displays & broadcast equipment at Futuresource Consulting.
We make interpreting
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20 INTERVIEW: CÉDRIC MONTRÉZOR, L-ACOUSTICS
Phil Ward talks to L-Acoustics’ director of application, install, and finds that the home of the V-DOSC loudspeaker system has harboured a commitment to point source and fixed installation from the very beginning How does the new X Series develop L-Acoustics’ installation offer? The X Series takes over from the XT range, and especially the XT(i) range that produced installation-specific versions of the speakers as opposed to the mobile, or ‘production’ versions. We think of the X Series as a major advancement into the install markets: most of the coaxials – apart from the stage monitors in the range – are sold into installation. We felt that we should have unique products in this sector, which nevertheless combine the best of both worlds. The X Series has more SPL, more stability, but also we needed a complete range of accessories that could be adapted to the ever-widening applications in this area.
So the key to this range is its versatility? Exactly. L-Acoustics has been making loudspeakers for the theatre and for performing arts centres since the company started in the 1980s – everyone knows L-Acoustics for the V-DOSC – but before this large-scale touring system we started out in the theatre business. We specialised in multi-coloured speakers for
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the proscenium arches of traditional Paris theatres, so we’ve been doing this type of install product for 30 years now. Installation represented the first ever sales.
‘The real competition comes from video and lighting companies! They get the lion’s share of the budgets’
How have you adapted as this sector has grown? We’re still very strong in performing arts venues, but there has been steady expansion into house-of-worship and sports facilities, especially, and latterly we’ve expanded into the realm of PA/VA. This includes airports, such as Dubrovnik – where there is an L-Acoustics rig for the gate announcements and so on – and more and more into cruise ships. These are markets that led us also into weather-resistant
solutions, so to go from the XT range to the X Series is not just to move from one type of performance to another but also to move into completely new markets that need much better protection for the speakers. There has been a long development of new coatings, new paints and everything.
Is this reflected in the new woodwork facility in Alsace? Of course. We’ve been recruiting people from outside pro audio, from the car industry and elsewhere, people with wider industrial knowledge, and we’ve completely changed some of the manufacturing processes. When we built the new facility, we took the opportunity to add more techniques into making the speakers.
And how has the ‘VA’ side of things been added to your manufacturing? Not so much in the speakers themselves, but in the electronics. We’ve integrated a lot more of this over the past six or seven years, as well as building an R&D team dedicated to it. With the electronics, we’ve integrated the features you
A brief biography n Born in Dunkerque, northern France, Cédric Montrézor studied the science of cinema, sound and music at Louis Lumière University in Paris n He spent several years working with different audio companies in the Paris area. His credits include mixing and sound design, as well as professional training in sound engineering. He is also a classically trained saxophonist
INTERVIEW: CÉDRIC MONTRÉZOR, L-ACOUSTICS However in the US there is often still a big gap between PA and VA. This year we did three NBA arenas, and in each one they have chosen to separate the PA and VA systems. There are K2 systems for large-scale productions during the games, and different systems for voice evacuation and so on. China, and to some extent other Asian countries, still have a tendency to follow the US practice on this, installing separate systems.
Will networking help? n He joined L-Acoustics in 2003 and established the fixed installation team there; he is responsible for finding new installation markets around the world for L-Acoustics solutions need to comply with a VA system. Basically it means better control and monitoring of the systems, as well as managing the signal in more detail and improving fault management. It derives very strictly from the latest specifications in EN54 and EN60849, for example. The situation is complicated by the fact that, while these regulations were set for standard high-impedance boxes, the stadium owners and purchasers like FIFA want high-quality, lowimpedance systems like ours for better quality entertainment at events – and the regulations have not been developed for them. So there is a grey area, and we now work with Roland Hemming and other specialists to address PA/ VA, ‘evac’ and other EN54 issues to ensure that our systems will fulfil all the requirements.
Are we moving towards a resolution of this expensive anomaly? In Europe, we are seeing installs where they choose a PA that’s eight times more powerful than the evac system, and then they realise that the intelligibility is so much better on the largescale system. So the attitude is ‘why should we use the other system at all?’ Eventually, most venues will realise that paying to install a smaller system alongside the larger system, which can handle all of the audio at a much higher performance level, makes no financial sense. The Middle East countries are also following Europe on this trend, being more willing to integrate PA and VA in one system that, quite naturally, is optimised for better sound quality. The X Series is ‘derived from everything we know about the installation market’
Network audio is on the agenda now, which is why we signed up for the AVnu Alliance. All future electronics will integrate AVB. This will be the L-Acoustics solution.
What are the advantages of AVB over anything else? When we looked at all the different protocols, we wanted to pick one that is driven by standard organisations, open to developers. AVB technology offered us the possibility to add network audio to our platforms with no dependency on third-party or specific components, making it more affordable for our clients. On the performance side, it offers superior levels of reliability thanks to clock distribution to switches and stream reservation protocols. This doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the other providers of network technology, but we wanted a protocol that we could develop ourselves at this stage – AVB is more open source than any of the others. Even without that, we think it’s the right way forward for the next 10 years, being driven within IEEE’s Ethernet standards, and not around them.
Is it a way of distinguishing L-Acoustics from some of the competition? The real competition does not necessarily come from other audio manufacturers, but from video and lighting companies! They get the lion’s share of the budgets. We have to offer a technology that brings a special experience to the audience, so we concentrate exclusively on the vertical markets we want to address, and on developing the speaker, the directivity and the accessories that will help the end-user and the sound designer achieve what they want to achieve. There is always that in mind during the development process.
Apart from the X Series, what else in the portfolio covers installation? The X Series is derived from everything we know about the installation market, from terminal blocks to U-tilt brackets, but can also be used in production. By the same token, the ARCS series can be considered an installation-ready product: below a certain scale, a speaker can be used in fixed installation. In fact up to Kiva, with its very integrated rigging, most of the development has been driven by installation. Beyond that, we’re at a point where we’re moving into touring, starting with Kara. Even then, there are two versions of Kara: one for production, used in conjunction with K1 or K2 using all the necessary rigging; and one more cost-effective version, keeping all the same acoustic properties but rigged only once – Kara(i).
How long have you been at L-Acoustics? I joined in 2003 as part of Paul Bauman’s team, and at that time he was the technical support manager – just one guy, so you can see how we were a much smaller company back then! He was an expert in the touring business, and when I saw the potential that we had in the installation market I suggested we develop product features, and more business support, in this direction. We already had this business in France, as I said especially in theatres, but I realised we had to make it international. I then got the opportunity to develop this side of the business in all of the territories where L-Acoustics is represented.
Where did the journey to L-Acoustics start? I had been a musician in Paris but, like everyone else, eventually I was faced with the choice between paying to go out gigging around the clubs and actually making a living! I went to a media college where I studied audio postproduction for movies, as well as working in sound reinforcement and production at various places. I was always really interested in how the sound systems were put together, wherever I went. For my sound design thesis I looked at simulation software, including the L-Acoustics package, and when I got the chance I was not afraid to tell Christian [Heil] that the L-Acoustics software needed some improvements. It must have been the right thing to say, because he offered me an opportunity to join the company…
You’re a jazz musician, and you play the saxophone. So it would be really cool if L-Acoustics was installed in…? Le Baiser Salé, near Chatelet, or New Morning. Those are Parisian jazz clubs that really retain an authentic feel. Now that’s an application…
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22 SHOW PREVIEW:
What? ISE 2016 Where? Amsterdam RAI When? Conferences and education 8-12 February Exhibition 9-12 February
ISE 2016: now with 33% extra Running over four days for the first time in its history, ISE returns to the Amsterdam RAI next month bigger than ever. Here is a selection of what will be on show – and we’ll have another preview in our February issue You won’t be surprised to hear that ISE 2016 is bigger than ever this year - as the event has grown consistently during its 13-year history. ISE 2016 will once again occupy the entire Amsterdam RAI: Halls 1-12, plus the Diamond Lounge and the new Amtrium building. The soldout showfloor contains 43,000sqm of space 11% more than at last year’s ISE. And, of course, this year the exhibition has been extended to four days. “The fact that the four-day ISE is sold out indicates that it was the correct decision to expand the show and it is a vote of confidence from our exhibitors and partners,” explained Integrated Systems Events’ managing director Mike Blackman. “We are certain that it will deliver a richer experience for everyone who attends.” Added to the programme since our last issue is Friday’s Closing Keynote. This will be given by Dr Michio Kaku, who as well as being a recognised
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expert in Einstein’s unified field theory, uses the latest scientific research to predicting trends affecting business, commerce and finance. The keynote will begin at 9:00, half an hour before the show opens on Friday 12 February. Also new for ISE 2016 is the Drone Arena. Hosted by Stampede Global, this new area will welcome leading drone manufacturers, and will deliver a programme of presentations and demonstrations. Now let’s turn our attention to the showfloor.
AUDIO Amina Technologies is launching what it describes as a multi-tapped toroidal transformer with a vibration-free multiple line connector system. This, according to the company, is in response to the increasingly rapid turnaround required in projects such as retail refitting. There are five tappings available on the 100V
product, ranging from 5W to 40W. An integrator simply connects the high voltage line to whatever power tapping is required, before the product is permanently sealed into the wall or ceiling cavity ready for plastering. There are a number of sectors utilising invisible sound solutions including high-end retail environments, spa facilities and clean room spaces such as hospitals and exclusive restaurants. Ampetronic has announced its D Series audio induction loop system will be presented at ISE. Test tones are built-in and the driver can be controlled from any device over the network or via a WiFi router. The amplifiers are efficient Class D drivers with digital display and touch controls, and full menu for detailed configuration. The D Series changes the way that venues can manage, maintain and control their hearing
IN INSTALLATION 23
ISE panel discusses the disruptive role of IT The organisers of the ISE show are continually looking to the industry to see what new markets it should be speaking to – and in discussions, the IT space came up again and again. So ISE 2016 will be heavily targeting this sector, and putting in place reasons for IT integrators, manufacturers and suppliers to attend. As part of this initiative, the show team held a roundtable in Amsterdam in December to discuss how the AV and IT markets are working together – or not… As well as several journalists, the attendees at the roundtable included industry executives whose companies work across both sectors, with extensive experience of what can be classed as ‘AV’ and ‘IT’ projects. These were Kevin Morrison, executive vice president, AMX/Harman; Clint Hoffman, VP of marketing, Kramer; and Carl Rijsbrack, head of events at Barco. So what were the main discussion points? loops. The network can monitor driver and loop condition and monitor loop performance, sending reports direct to Loopworks via a cloud service. Venue operators can also be alerted to potential problems with a loop by email, and driver upgrades can be installed remotely. Auro Technologies and Triad Speakers are exhibiting on the same stand, showcasing a variety of immersive 3D audio formats including Dolby Atmos. Triad is demonstrating the high-performance Gold Monitor, a system that includes the InWall Gold Monitor as the main LCR and a combination of the InWall Gold MiniMonitor and the angled baffle InCeiling Gold MiniMonitor for surround and height channels. A number of subwoofers are also employed featuring the company’s DSP RackAmp. Auro processors combined with Triad’s height channel-enabled loudspeakers can achieve immersive audio with both 3D auro-encoded and non-3D legacy audio content. Bosch will showcase the Paviro PA-VA system and its Compact Sound small-format speaker series.
The Paviro PA-VA system will be on the Bosch stand
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Moderator Mike Blackman, ISE managing director, asked how quickly the two sectors are coming together, and whether it an easy convergence or a battlefield. Morrison stated that Harman’s recent acquisition of network company SVSi was a step towards this and now that the “big guys” such as Dimension Data and Deutsche Telecom are getting involved in the AV sector it is happening and happening fast. Is there a battle about to ensue? Nobody seemed to like the word ‘convergence’, but all of the panel agreed that there will be some fall out with Hoffman quoting: “IT always wins every convergence!” This trend is happening, said the panel, because of the need for collaborative products, systems and solutions. To achieve this the industry needs high resilience, high redundancy and open standards and they can only get this from working with the IT world. In return, the
IT world is asking its AV counterparts to do this with maximum uptime and in a secure manner. The panel discussed the personnel involved in both markets. Hoffman gave the example of how he had previously worked with ‘Tim’, the AV manager at a major corporate who was in charge of over 3,000 meeting rooms; now Tim’s role doesn’t exist and Hoffman speaks to the CIO or head of IT instead. The role of the CIO was discussed: it involves a lot more facilities and real estate management than the traditional AV manager, and the panel agreed that this could only increase the amount of opportunity for the AV sector if they are to work together. Summing up a three-hour discussion into this small space isn’t easy but let’s end with a quote from Barco’s Rijsbrack: “AV people have special eyes, IT people have special fingers. They need to work together to make this all work”.
Paviro is EN54-certified and designed to be quickly specified and efficient in its power consumption. Its modular system architecture makes it suited to small and medium installations such as offices, regional airports and hotels. The solution meets a number needs producing strong audio as a sound reinforcement system, ensuring reliability as an evacuation system and clarity as a PA system. The Compact Sound speaker series includes subwoofer and satellite speakers for surfacemounting, subwoofer and satellite speakers for ceilings and a pendant satellite speaker. Dan Dugan Sound Design is showcasing the Dugan Model M, Model N automatic microphone mixers and the Model K control surface. Designed to manage live microphones in unscripted talking situations, the Model M and N work in conjunction with standard audio mixing consoles. Model M has MADI I/O, both optical and copper, and the Model N has Dante I/O, primary and secondary. Both provide 32 channels of Dugan auto-mixing at 96kHz or 64 channels at 48kHz and are PoE capable. The Model K is a control surface for all networkable Dugan products. There are manual, automatic and mute keys for each channel, plus rotary encoders for setting weights and other values, and LCD displays for the channel names and parameter values. Hacousto International’s 4 EVAC Compact 500 voice evacuation system is being launched at ISE. This is the latest addition to the 4 EVAC range of commercial voice alarm control and indication solutions. EN54 compliant, it delivers digital audio distribution technology using a networked VACIE (voice alarm and indicating equipment) solution. Based on a distributed boxed amplifier concept, the Compact 500 features a variety of compact, self-contained and wall-mounted
control and indicating voice alarm panels that create a flexible and easy to control platform. It drives two high priority live-stream audio channels and one serial data channel (RS485) over a redundant global network loop into global Compact 500 systems. The X series and upgraded Ottocanali series amplifier lines are being showcased by Powersoft. The X 4 and X 8 power amplifiers share a system of channel routing, power supplies and DSP. They also natively support AES3, two redundant Dante digital streams and analogue inputs, providing up to four different selectable input sources per channel. Both amplifiers share
Still time to enter ISE 2016 Best of Show Awards
NewBay Media will once again be recognising the most innovative new products on show in Amsterdam with its ISE 2016 Best of Show Awards. The awards are open to any company showing a product at ISE 2016 that is new since the 2015 event. Awards will be given by Installation, Tech&LearningUK, Audio Media International and PSNEurope. Entrants may submit a product for consideration by one or more of these publications and may submit multiple products. A panel of judges from across the pro-AV spectrum will vet products live on the ISE showfloor and winners will be presented with a Best of Show certificate during the event. In addition, all entrants will be featured in a Best of Show Digital Edition sent out after the show. www.newbay-awards.com
24 SHOW PREVIEW: Save the date: Meet the Installation team at ISE 2016
Installation will once again be holding a Meet the Team drinks and networking event in Amsterdam. Join us on stand 7-Q160 at 15:00 on Thursday 11 February for drinks, nibbles and the latest news from the team. To reserve your place email firstname.lastname@example.org. the same power density capable of delivering up to 5,000W at 2 ohms per channel. The upgraded Ottocanali series consists of three 8-channel power amplifiers delivering up to 12,000W at 4 ohms suited for multi-zone applications in mid to large-scale installs, where space saving is also a requirement. The Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) series from Yamaha has been designed specifically with ease of installation and use in mind. It provides a complete system solution for situations where there isn’t an experienced audio operator available to manage the system, including restaurants, retail outlets and transport hubs. The first Yamaha CIS products include matrix processors, multichannel amplifiers, ceiling speakers and surface mount speakers. Using Dante technology and Yamaha’s YDIF cascade bus, users will be able to share audio and connect with all Yamaha CIS products, as well as other professional audio products on a digital audio network. Powersoft will show the Ottoconali and X series lines
DIGITAL SIGNAGE ISE will be the first major European showing of B-Tech’s System X mounting systems. The solution is available in ready-to-go kit form, or modular components for custom requirements, and is supported by an online configurator tool. According to B-Tech, the design of the System X range suits a number of applications such as videowalls, digital signage and menuboards. When used with multi-screen applications, the aesthetic quality and premium finish of the range provides a wide variety of configuration combinations for any videowall. BrightSign will be showing its new BrightPlates online template-based sign creation service, BrightAuthor presentation creation software and BrightWall seamless videowall feature for frame-accurate synchronisation. For an annual subscription, BrightPlates offers customers access to a range of ready-to-use
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IN INSTALLATION templates for a variety of verticals including menus, education, retail and corporate. The templates are customisable to match customer branding and other requirements and can accommodate images, video, text and live media content. BrightWall uses a drag-and-drop tool that uses a common clock to achieve frame-accurate synchronisation. Additionally, BrightSign partner Cisco will be on the stand to demonstrate the integration of the Cisco StadiumVision Director with BrightSign player hardware. NEC has added the MultiSync X555UNS and the MultiSync X555UNV large-format videowall displays to its portfolio. Both 55in displays target retail advertising and digital-out-of-home applications. The two models come with an ultra-narrow bezel and only 3.5mm between the displays in a videowall configuration. They use S-IPS panels to ensure picture quality at off viewing angles in both landscape and portrait, which is particularly in sectors such as retail, broadcast, and transportation installations. The videowall displays use local backlight dimming to adjust to the displayed content with darker areas of the image driven by a dimmer backlight and lighter content can locally leverage the backlights to their full capabilities. Nexcom is showcasing a variety of digital signage players on its stand including a highperformance OPS player, its NDiS B535 fanless digital signage player, and the NDiS B325 compact 4K media player. Its OPS player brings clearer passenger information to large displays at airports and stations. Powered by sixth generation Intel Core processor i5-6440EQ, the NDiS M535 delivers personalised, up-to-date information and 4K video. The NDiS B535 fanless digital signage player runs a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700TE or i5-6500TE processor, built-in Intel HD Graphics and support for 32GB of DDR4 2133 memory with its dual socket configuration. Lastly, the NDiS B325 compact 4K media player combines a compact fanless design and wide operation temperature range and is pitched at long-term, non-stop, semi-outdoor environments such as bus stations or shops. Peerless-AV is introducing a new range of indoor and outdoor totem kiosk solutions for digital signage applications. The products are being shown alongside new mounting solutions as well as recently enhanced flatpanel wall mounts, videowall mounts, Modular Series, trolleys and stands. Its new indoor, floor-standing portrait kiosk enclosures feature curved, smooth surfaces with a smartphone façade. Available as a standalone or fully integrated with display, media player and
The System X mounting solution is new from B-Tech
other components, the kiosks are manufactured to be easy to install, sleek, compact and affordable. They also support the latest ultrathin LED displays and touchscreen panels from 40-75in, and can be custom finished with a range of aesthetic options to fit the environment or promote brand strategy. Planar’s UltraRes Series 4K LCD display line is available in 98in, 84in and 75in diagonal models for high-resolution commercial applications. The UltraRes Series includes built-in Planar MediaPlex Plus Processing for enhanced versatility and control of multi-source viewing. It also offers support for native 4K resolution at up to 60Hz that can be driven via single-cable HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2. Designed for commercial uses, the series has high pixel density and enterprise-level features ideal for high-impact, interactive digital signage in retail stores, corporate lobbies, airports and museums. Multiple sources can be viewed in dual, triple, quad or picture-in-picture (PiP) layouts. Images can be precisely controlled and adjusted, and content can be scaled up and down within any layout.
SMART BUILDING On the Divus stand, its new Touchpanel is being showcased. Billed as a synergy between AV technology and building automation, the Touchpanel allows all home technology to be controlled centrally with a wall-mounted panel. It enables fast access to various functions including lighting, temperature regulation and
Why not have it all?
audio players reinvented...
Experience them at ISE 2016 Internet
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26 SHOW PREVIEW: intercom communication. It is possible to control all intelligent functions of the home via a smartphone or tablet with the Divus Optima app (iOS and Android) that communicates with the Divus KNX Server. Additionally, networking through the KNX Server allows users to manage a central music library that is accessible through the Divus Touchpanels installed within the building.
The VIO 4K multi-format converter from Analog Way
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS/ COLLABORATION AVEX is aiming to provide the technology for more effective meetings with the Quarta meeting table, which will be showcased at ISE. It utilises a combination of fully integrated AV facilities, comfort and ease of use to aid meetings. Quarta balances design and functionality, featuring screens recessed beneath toughened glass, which are said to make sharing presentations and documents easy. The tables can also be equipped with videoconferencing and be supplied in a range of finishes. On the Nureva stand will be the Span ideation system, which uses a cloud-based softwareas-a-service (SaaS) model to bring paper-based ideation into the digital age. Teams easily create shared digital canvases to populate with ideas as they’re used to doing on a wall. Familiar, flexible ideation tools (digital stickies, images, sketches and so on) are used to make collaboration, sharing and iteration easy and intuitive. The WM210i model creates an ideation environment well suited to smaller collaboration teams undertaking more focused ideation work. The system’s panoramic projector transforms any 3.1m wall into an expansive, interactive workspace where team members can simultaneously work on the canvas via touch or device. Sonic Foundry will be showcasing Mediasite Join, a cloud-based videoconference capture solution, which the company says automatically transforms video calls and meetings into engaging, searchable on-demand video. Mediasite Join from Sonic Foundry
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Users add Mediasite Join as a participant to their videoconferences, and the service automatically records everything said and shown. It then transcodes, indexes and publishes recorded videoconferences to Mediasite alongside all their other video assets. Mediasite Join supports Cisco, Polycom, Tandberg and Lifesize as well as expanding the capabilities of existing videoconference systems with interactive, dual-stream content, intelligent publishing, video search and navigation. TDMaverick is inviting visitors to its stand to experience Microsoft Surface Hub and see firsthand how the collaboration device can improve group productivity in business. The TDMaverick stand features both the 55in and 84in variants of the Surface Hub, delivering what it describes as the power and versatility of a custom Windows 10 experience along with the simplicity and consistency of a large, digital canvas with unique pen and multi-touch capabilities.
VIDEO/SIGNAL MANAGEMENT The VIO 4K is a new multi-format converter from Analog Way, which enables the conversion of a multitude of signals Dual-Link DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI into an array of output signal formats up to 4K 30Hz 4:4:4. The VIO 4K also offers management of digital and analogue audio signals. Designed and built to provide versatility, the VIO 4K includes two slots for optional cards for video processing that can handle formats up to 4K 60Hz 4:4:4, and another slot for an optional audio card with XLR plugs. With all options, the VIO 4K features nine inputs and three outputs. Any card added is independent and has its own processing. Holographic optical projection screens (HOPS) will be on show on the Infitec stand. The
transparent, interactive and 4K capable HOPS projection screens provide high-quality imagery to transform information into a sensory experience for the customer. Infitec claims high-quality image reproduction of the HOPS is guaranteed with the holographic optical elements, which redirect the projector’s light efficiently to the viewer in such a way that even under bright daylight, images remain sharp. All Infitec displays can be optionally combined with interactive touch systems so that users can get individual and customised information passed to the various target groups. Interactive content can be transmitted by a PC to the projector and the interactive HOPS rear-projection display. Pakedge is debuting the WK-2 gigabit access point (AP), which the company claims offers a higher channel capacity than N-based APs and supports twice as many users. It supports 802.11ac (5G WiFi) with a 3x3 multiple I/O array, and with channels up to 80mHz wide the WK-2 is capable of processing up to four times as many signals per channel. The WK-2 is PoE+ powered, therefore it does not need to be plugged into a power outlet, which allows integrators more freedom in deciding where the AP is placed, and reduces the amount of wiring necessary. All Pakedge access points are Connect+ certified and capable of leveraging information from other Pakedge devices on the network to optimise functionality. For Tempest, ISE will mark the European launch of its new Typhoon projector enclosure range. Typhoon is suited to permanent outdoor installations and rental environments where protection from oil fog is a critical need. Although initially designed around the new Christie Boxer projector, Tempest has now adapted its design to accommodate other projectors. Typhoon can be used around the world on any supply, 200-25VAC, 50/60Hz and is available as standard in black or silver, as well as custom colours to special order.
A stunning renovated church with unique acoustics. A fine-dining experience bathed in a waterfall of sound from the lively mezzanine bar above. The perfect balance of warmth and energy. All delivered by the XY Series: versatile professional speakers that guarantee superb sound and complete coverage throughout venues of every size.
visit www.pioneerproaudio.com to learn more about our GLOBAL installations. venues include Sound Nightclub LA, Sankeys Ibiza, UshuaĂ?a, Pikes and Bierfabriek #madeintheUK
The Jane & Upper Room Bar | antwerp | belgium
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28 SHOW PREVIEW: BETT 2016
What? BETT 2016 Where? ExCeL London When? 20-23 January 2016
Educating the masses The UK’s leading education technology show returns to London in January, with a host of manufacturers launching and demoing new interactive and collaboration solutions for classrooms and lecture halls
ett 2016 includes a number of new features. The Hands on Learn Live Tablet Academy Take Over will provide visitors with the opportunity to use a range of products, and have one-to-one conversations in an intimate workshop environment. Trade@Bett is a new ‘event within an event’ that helps education suppliers meet, network and develop business opportunities with resellers and distributors from around the world. Meanwhile, the STEAM Village will play host to a number of organisations supporting learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. Popular returning features include the Bett Arena, where headline names address the big topics in education: this year the programme includes a TED prize winner, Professor Sugata Mitra, looking at child-driven education and learning; an opening address from Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, UK; and a discussion forum ‘The great disruption debate – the future of ed tech’. Turning to the showfloor, Barco is exhibiting at Bett for the first time in 2016 with a focus on its interactive collaborative learning solutions. Barco will offer a campus-wide BYOD solution enabling interactivity, collaboration and wireless presentation in learning spaces for primary, secondary, and higher education. For Crestron, Bett provides the opportunity to showcase AirMedia, which enables students to wirelessly present their findings to a classroom using any source or format, including their personal connected smart device. Crestron will also be showing its DMPS3-4K-150-C, a product
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Vivitek’s NovoPRO presentation system
it claims is the only end-to-end solution that delivers the ultimate 4K viewing experience. Extron will show its MediaLink Plus Controllers, the new DTP CrossPoint 4K Series, and its SMP 351 streaming and recording processor. MediaLink Plus Controllers are fully configurable Ethernet controllers that are suited to handling common AV functions such as input switching, and Ethernet control of AV devices. The DTP CrossPoint 4K Series is a new series of 4K scaling matrix switchers available in four I/O configurations. The SMP 351 is a streaming and recording processor for capturing and distributing AV sources and presentations as live streaming or recorded media. Featuring up to five input connections, it allows users to create lectures and presentations by combining two high-resolution signals, a background image, and metadata into layouts delivered live over a network or replayed on demand. Toshiba will focus on solutions that enable learning in any location, including the Portégé Z20t, a hybrid device that combines the features of a tablet and a laptop. Its integrated Intel WiDi allows teachers to stream their own or a student’s work onto a whiteboard to encourage interactive learning.
Elsewhere, Vestel returns to Bett with a lineup including interactive flatpanel displays, screen curved TVs and large-format displays. The new 65in, 75in and 84in interactive flatpanel displays enable teachers to engage with more of their students thanks to the 178° viewing angle that can be seen from any seat in the classroom, and offer improved visibility even in sunny or well-lit rooms. The models also include multi-touch features ranging from four- to 10-point touch functionality. The displays can be quickly installed and adapted to suit the space available in the classroom as wall-mounted or standalone solutions. They can also be designed with builtin PC functionality, compatible with an Intel PC module, and can be used on site and with a wide range of software programs. Vestel’s new big screen 78in curved LED TV creates a more immersive viewing experience and reduces glare from the screen, making it suitable for well-lit assembly halls and theatres. Designed with the option of 4K UHD resolution, it displays material with definition and clarity ideal for presentations and signage. The TV also has an HDMI 2.0 port and numerous USB ports to stream 4K UHD content from external devices as well as downloading and playing content back via USB, so that any photography or video projects can be easily shared and displayed. The optional built-in DTS TruSurround HD provides higher standards of audio, ensuring that dialogue as
Vestel’s 65in interactive flatpanel display
The Cynap wireless presentation and collaboration system from WolfVision
well as ambient sound can be more clearly distinguished. Lastly from Vestel, its largeformat commercial displays are being showcased to highlight the benefits of digital signage for schools and universities. The models range from 32in to 84in and offer 4K UHD as well as full HD resolution options. They are equipped with edge-lit LED technology to ensure lower power consumption rates; Vestel claims as little as 95W for the 47in model. Each display is designed for long-term uninterrupted use, with a panel life of 50,000 hours, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures and high humidity levels. Staff can schedule a host of signage functions via PC, as the displays offer a multi-screen management system, coming with industry standard RS-232C control. Vivitek is launching NovoPRO, a collaboration solution that enables instant wireless connectivity to a projector and wide device compatibility for up to 64 simultaneous participants. The aim is to better connect teacher and students in a classroom to one presentation system allowing them to interact and share visual content. With NovoPRO, anyone in a classroom that’s using the system can connect to a projector and instantly share and collaborate. The system allows teachers and students to connect from tablets, phones or laptops using WiFi. Additionally, NovoPRO has a split screen view, which simultaneously displays content from up to four participants. As well as being able to connect up to 64 users, any device display can be projected in real time for video streaming and file sharing. Key functions such as on-screen annotations as well as web browsing are all enabled to increase participation and collective creativity. Vivitek’s mix of digital projectors for education offer teachers ease of use and reliability in the classroom, and the NovoPRO is compatible with all Vivitek projectors. The interactive
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education portfolio also features 3D technology and is available with short-throw and ultra-shortthrow projection lenses to avoid shadows on the screen and efficient use of classroom space. WolfVision will be bringing its new vSolution Cynap wireless presentation and collaboration system to Bett. Cynap is a multifunctional knowledge-sharing solution for education and business, which enables users to access, display, record and share digital content of all types, from a wide range of sources. Cynap is compatible with all iOS, Android, Windows and Mac devices, and wireless BYOD functionality allows up to four devices to share information simultaneously on-screen, with up to 4K UHD output resolution. With support for AirPlay and Miracast, and with content arrangement to optimise on-screen space, information of all types is mirrored onto any display, ready for instant sharing and distribution. On board HD recording of all multimedia presentation and lecture content is provided. In addition, unlimited numbers of students on the same network as the presenter can use WolfVision’s vSolution Capture app to receive and record a direct stream of presentation or lecture content direct from Cynap. Students can personalise their own individual copy of the recorded stream by adding notes and annotations in real-time, further enhancing the value of their own recordings. When there is a requirement to also incorporate ‘live’ materials into presentations or recordings, Cynap can be used in combination with a WolfVision Visualiser System, enabling a combination of digital and analogue content to be shown onscreen simultaneously.
30 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: EDUCATION
CDEC installed a Clever Tabtouch at the Phoenix Academy, Telford to facilitate sharing
In the past year or so, some remarkable changes have become apparent in the market for AV technology for primary and secondary schools, as Ian McMurray discovers
n IWBs are out: large flatpanels with touch technology are in
n The importance of WiFi and BYOD in enabling collaborative learning is growing
here was a time, in British schools, when, if a teacher wanted to get your attention, he would aim a piece of chalk – or even a blackboard duster – at your head. Since such practices were judged – probably rightly – to be somewhat barbaric, teaching has sought other ways of engaging pupils. Originally invented by Xerox in 1990 (although the distinction of being first is claimed by SMART Technologies, which probably did more than any company to popularise them), interactive whiteboards (IWBs) were commonplace in schools by the early 2000s. The education technology phenomenon can perhaps be said to have begun at that point. And, for many years, the IWB reigned supreme. Over the past year or two, however, something of a revolution has taken place.
A thing of the past “Interactive whiteboards are now becoming a thing of the past,” according to Toni Barnett, managing director of integrator CDEC. “Moving with the times, we have much better technology now that enables teachers to connect their tablet or mobile device wirelessly to screens via integrated software. This eradicates the need for a physical connection and means teachers can move around the classroom and engage with their pupils rather than being constrained to their desk.” “That said,” she continues, “interactive
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whiteboards do still serve a purpose in some educational establishments and are still put to good use.” “IWBs are not so popular these days,” echoes Jon Garaway, education sales, NEC Display Solutions. “They’re being ousted in favour of UST projection and screen technology which offer more flexibility for future-proofing.” “Advancements such as ultra-short-throw models have completely revolutionised the teaching experience when using projection,” claims Phil Clark, head of projection at Casio
‘Interactive touchscreens have taken the market by storm more quickly than anyone anticipated’ Toni Barnett, CDEC
UK. “These can typically generate an image of around 80in from a distance of just 27cm, meaning that never again will teachers have the light shining in their eyes!” Certainly, education is one of the most important markets served by UST projectors. “Schools are targeted with equipment and software which directly address their needs,”
n Focus on cost of ownership/sustainability is driving demand for LED/laser-based projectors n Educators are becoming more confident with technology – but are uncertain about making the right choices Garaway continues. “UST projection was developed specifically for the education market to recognise the needs of small classrooms accommodating a larger number of children.” “Yes, IWBs are still used today,” says Lucy Meredith, product marketing specialist at Panasonic Visual System Solutions. “However, dominating the market now are interactive screens, which make it easier than ever to bring interactivity and content sharing to teaching. Interactive screens provide learning content on high-quality, HD displays that require minimal set-up time and very low power consumption. Interactive displays allow the teacher to use the latest state-of-the-art technology.”
The new economics That change is partially being driven by the new economics. “As the price point between interactive whiteboards and interactive flatpanels has narrowed, schools have quickly switched to the newer technology
both for the benefits of functionality and image as well as the aesthetic qualities,” believes Helene Podmore, head of education solutions at distributor Steljes. “The removal of the requirement to hold or quickly purchase replacement projector bulbs at high cost, as well as some of the other cost-saving benefits of this newer technology, also make it a popular choice.” Meredith too sees a desire to move towards technologies with lower cost of ownership. And that, it seems, is something of a sea change in educational AV technology. There is a recurring theme in the industry that, driven by the growing pervasiveness of technology in everyone’s lives, and our familiarity and comfort with it, the rules are changing. “Increasingly, what schools want most of all is the latest thing,” notes Adrian Robertson, managing director, Scotland for integrator AVMI. “The last six months has seen a big swing towards screens. There is a real appetite for flatpanels that’s really surprised us. Budgets are tight within education departments – yet despite this, clients repeatedly, when offered low-cost IWB solutions, opt for more expensive interactive screen technologies. “Once upon a time, it was all about software,” he continues. “Now, it’s all about hardware. Growing numbers of schools are investing in very large flatpanel displays that are, in effect, dumb – they’re being used in a traditional IWB role but, interestingly, also as collaboration tools interacting with students’ own devices.” He notes, however, that growing numbers of these screens are starting to feature Android, making them more capable. The shift away from software specifically designed for education is easy to trace. “The increased number of online resources, free apps and functionality within cloud- and web-based tools all benefit teaching and learning,” notes Podmore, “whether they were specifically designed for education or found to be useful for that market sector.”
a more exciting, collaborative learning environment. Interactive touchscreens have taken the market by storm more quickly than anyone anticipated. That’s something we’ve definitely witnessed. It’s estimated that around 70% of schools now use touchscreens and tablets as a learning tool, so the use of these technologies in everyday learning is becoming the norm.” In fact, some commentators believe that responsiveness to touch is one of the key buying criteria for new equipment – and a significant contributor to the demise of the IWB. If ‘interactivity’ is high on the list of educational priorities, so too is its close cousin ‘collaboration’. “We have seen a rise in classroom technologies being geared towards making the classroom a collaborative working environment,” notes Clark. “This is being driven by the rise of BYOD and everyone working from mobile devices and feeling comfortable with those operating platforms. This has led to a rise of connectivity options being presented by display manufacturers allowing everyone to connect to and take control of the master display.”
Keep in touch
Many of the screens being installed may indeed be “dumb” – but they invariably have a feature that is fast becoming a ‘must have’. “Now, more than ever, with the advent of Windows 10, the future is surely about touch,” claims Garaway. “Teachers are looking to engage their pupils – and the interactivity that is made possible with touch is vital to that engagement.” “There’s been a definite shift in AV technology in schools in recent years,” says Barnett. “Yes, it was present a few years ago, but not on the scale that it is now. Schools have realised that interactive technologies are not a distraction, but a valuable teaching tool that can create
Certainly, mobile devices and ubiquitous networks have seen a rapid rise in popularity over the past year or so – driven, in large part, by their extensive usage in the out-of-school environment. Schools are unquestionably looking to embrace technologies that are familiar to their users rather than to follow their own technology path. “There are many solutions that are specifically aimed at schools and learning establishments, although the interactive touchscreens for education are of course a similar concept to the technology that we are already using in our homes,” explains Barnett. “The fact that
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SSI helps school minimise costs There is increasing awareness in educational circles that, when it comes to AV technology, cost of ownership is more significant than initial purchase price – and that’s leading to the installation of growing numbers of LED- and laser-based projectors, such as the NEC PX6020UL. Typical of such schools is Swindon Academy in England, which has benefited significantly from the zero maintenance of solid state illumination as well as elimination of the need for frequent purchase of expensive new lamps. children and teachers are already using these devices means that it’s easier to adapt to using them for education. We have listened to what our clients want and have been able to bring a range of new and innovative products to the education market, including the Clever Tabtouch, a revolutionary wireless AV system that moves away from the expected solution for in-classroom displays to a tablet/mobile device and touchscreen combination promoting easier collaboration between teachers and students.” But if schools are becoming ever more hardware-oriented, they’re also becoming more aware of environmental issues – and the projection industry has an answer that combines both environmental friendliness and cost saving. “Sustainability has also moved to the forefront,” believes Clark. “Pressure is being put on education establishments at all levels to try to reduce their carbon emissions. That pressure has seen schools looking at their total cost of ownership and willing to make the simplest of switches to different platforms or procedures to bring this down over the course of a year and improve sustainability performance. Switching to laser and LED projector models, for example, has been proven to make a real difference to the total cost of ownership and energy bills.” “A major development for AV in education has been the number of institutions swapping lamp-based projectors for LED/laser light source projectors,” says Meredith. “The costs of moving across from lamp-based projectors to laser light source projectors can be a problem, but the industry is working hard to make clear the longterm investment benefits of the switch to laser.”
Holistic view Taking a less short-sighted view is a phenomenon that Robertson has also observed. “It used to be that we quoted on price,” he
32 FEATURE: EDUCATION explains. “Now, we find ourselves quoting on cost of ownership. Schools are taking a much more corporate approach to their AV purchasing: they’re taking a much more holistic view.” Meredith also sees evidence of the growing crossover between how schools and businesses operate. “There are a lot of synergies between the types of technology manufacturers produce for the classroom and meeting room,” she says. “For instance, our LFB70 range of multi-touch displays allow up to four people at a time to annotate directly on the screen and share the results by email direct from the panel, while Miracast allows for easy sharing of a PC, mobile or tablet screen on to a display or projection. These have uses in both the boardroom and classroom.” That shift towards flatpanel displays – especially in larger formats – is providing new challenges for integrators. “In many ways, installation and integration of AV systems for schools is simpler now than it used to be,” notes Robertson. “However: installing a large screen is very different from installing, for example, an IWB. Schools have had poor installs in the past with cables everywhere and boards placed in weird and wonderful places. Now, we offer electrical sockets and
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IWBs, like this one installed at Keyham Lodge School in Leicester, still have their place but are diminishing in popularity
data points/speaker systems and induction loops – meaning that we often have to involve electrical or sound engineers.” “And,” he goes on, “with screens weighing up to 135kg, an installation is now a three-man job – when it used to be a one-man job. Plus, with that kind of weight being hung on the wall, there are also often structural implications. We’re having to be much more scientific, with more planning and better surveys.” Barnett doesn’t necessarily agree that installations are becoming simpler – but
otherwise, she sees a similar scenario. “Because of the popularity of AV and IT solutions in schools, and the competition in the market, general installation costs have been driven down over the past few years,” she says. “However, with the technology getting more complex and screens larger, there has been an increase in labour costs as it generally takes more people and/or more time to do an installation as a lot more is involved. System design is getting more complicated – but then wireless technology is catching up, so we are
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34 FEATURE: EDUCATION able to offer more and more solutions to suit all budgets.” Podmore picks up on the theme of the installation challenges for integrators. “As with previous technologies, factory trained installer courses are recommended to ensure that all safety and installation requirements are met,” she says. “The interactive flatpanels are usually a little heavier than interactive whiteboards, with implications for school buildings. However, a broader range of mounts, brackets and stands means that the technology can be fitted to suit the requirements of individual schools, classes, teachers or pupils. This includes adapting the installation to ensure a wheelchair can fit right up to the screen, to height-adjustable solutions or those that can be used outside of the building or in other non-teaching areas.”
Valuable consultants Budget is, inevitably, still a sticking point in the education market – and is the primary defining factor in what a school will install. While that creates pressures, it also creates opportunities, as Robertson notes. “Schools now believe they need the latest AV technologies – and they’re no longer constrained to a choice between one IWB manufacturer and
another,” he says. “What that has meant for us is that increasing numbers of schools are coming to us and asking how they can make most effective use of their available budget, and whether to invest in interactive screens or projectors, how to get the best out of IPTV and digital message systems. Surprisingly, even the smallest schools now have a dedicated formal presentation suite in the main school hall used for community events. We’re now looked on much more as valuable consultants in helping them navigate through the choices and help them make the most of the available technologies.” If anything, the role of expert, skilled integrators has become even more important in the education market – a fact that Garaway is quick to recognise. “In general,” he believes, “there are few challenges which cannot be overcome if the school engages a knowledgeable and experienced integration partner.” There’s little doubt that the enormous opportunity presented by the education market for both manufacturers and integrators has seen it become fiercely competitive – and Robertson believes that shake-out is imminent. “In the early days, the market attracted a large
A dissenting voice In a recent press release, BESA – the British Educational Suppliers Association -– noted that the classroom hours during which British schoolchildren were exposed to information/ communications technology rose from 50% in 2014 to 53% in 2015, and were forecast to increase to 58% in 2017. The organisation noted that this was “despite” a recent OECD report questioning the value of classroom technology. What did the OECD say? It claimed that “schools have yet to take advantage of the potential of technology in the classroom to tackle the digital divide and give every student the skills they need in today’s connected world”. It went on to claim that school systems need to find more effective ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning to provide educators with learning environments that support 21st century pedagogies and provide children with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world.
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36 FEATURE: EDUCATION number of what we would describe as ‘hang and bang’ merchants,” he smiles. “Now, many schools are experiencing the fall-out of paying that low price at the outset – installing consumer TVs from high street stores rather than professional-grade screens, for example – and those companies are now finding it increasingly
to be held as they once used to. The lesson planning software that was a key feature of the IWB is progressively being supplanted by IPTV, streaming, and PowerPoint. Yes, PowerPoint – once deemed too difficult for the average teacher to master.
‘Now, more than ever, with the advent of Windows 10, the future is surely about touch’ Jon Garaway, NEC Display Solutions
hard to find work. At AVMI, we’re on a mission to professionalise the education AV industry – and that’s certainly resonating with our customers.” There’s evidence, then, that the education market is maturing. It is becoming increasingly tech-savvy, increasingly comfortable with technology – which means that, to some extent, it is becoming less reliant on being shown what to do: teachers no longer need their hands
The market has also been through a rapid learning curve – notably, in developing an understanding of the fundamental differences between purchase price and cost of ownership: schools have been ‘burned’ in their attempts to get the most from the least. Most industry commentators see that curve continuing: the technology vector – large flatpanel screens, wireless networks, BYOD and so on – seems set, at least for the near future, with no substantial shifts foreseen. Robertson makes the point that AV technology is now as central to the way schools work and teachers teach as it is in many commercial environments: educational establishments cannot now, in effect, function without it. A dead screen, or a failed WiFi network, will almost certainly mean that a planned lesson cannot take place. AV in education is now, in effect, mission-critical – with everything that
means in terms of reliability, availability and responsiveness of support. That puts pressure on manufacturers and integrators alike – but is also unquestionably a significant opportunity. As schools embrace technologies that could be described as more mainstream, it might seem that education will progressively become less of a specialist market for the AV industry. As ever, though, it’s vital to remember that it’s not about the technology – it’s all about the application, and those who bring knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of schools will thrive. A flatpanel display in a classroom may look the same as a flatpanel display in a boardroom or in an airport departure lounge – but it’s being used for an entirely different purpose, in a very different environment. There is, of course, another advantage – to pupils at least – for flatpanel displays in schools. They’re much too heavy and unwieldy to throw at your head.
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38 BUSINESS FEATURE: DIGITAL SIGNAGE
Android free-standing digital posters from All See offer plug and play operability with content uploaded via USB
Key Points n Integrators can become involved in digital signage implementations of any size n Open standard software packages are available to create content; proprietary tools are more generally used in content management
n Integrators need to develop skills across the whole spectrum of digital signage customer engagement
With margins on digital signage hardware falling, can system integrators add value to installations and generate ROI by advising on content creation and implementation? Steve Montgomery finds out
n Corporate and education applications differ from retail and advertising and require different skills portfolios
he concept of digital signage has grown and developed over the past decade from virtually nothing to a major business. It has enabled the rapid and massive commercial growth of dedicated suppliers of hardware and software and attracted the attention of the largest display manufacturers, as well as enabling large advertising agencies to steer their corporate strategies away from static ‘analogue’ posters towards a digital future. However, and it is painfully clear to many in the industry, the road has not been easy. Supplying a system that is capable of delivering impactful, immediate and relevant images and sound is just one element. An even larger, and more fraught, area of activity lies in the creation and distribution of the audiovisual content to run on screens. “Designing and deploying a digital signage network with the wealth of available media players, displays and mounting options is a reasonably straightforward process these days. Integrators are offered a wide range of evercheaper solutions for every type of indoor and outdoor requirement and products have become far more robust and reliable,” points out Eddie Bance, sales and marketing director of Harp Visual Communications. The downside is that margins have fallen along with the costs of the equipment as competition increases. “The real opportunity these days lies in
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structuring a network so that it operates dynamically and is totally robust and reliable,” he says. “For one-off signs with local management and content uploading this is obviously not an issue; the commercial opportunities for integrators to become involved are more prevalent in multi-site networks. There is no basic rule-of-thumb: it’s not really the size of the task but the diversity and complexity that would force the issue. Often networks require area-specific templates, for example betting shops with local racetracks, or local branding and offers.”
Growing the network Mike Gibbs, consulting systems engineer at Appspace, agrees: “Integrators can get involved in any size of deployment. It’s more about how the signage benefits the viewer experience and what return the publisher of the content can achieve from it. From the integrator’s point of view, the ability to produce a system that can be replicated and expanded helps greatly in generating return on investment.” Simon Carp, product manager at Onelan, points to another consideration: “Without a considered content strategy the messaging on screen will quickly become part of the wallpaper and be ineffective. With screens everywhere, people will not look at any that don’t show relevant content. To increase the chances of success the system
n Partnerships with digital agencies and other service providers can be invaluable in delivering full services
should be configured to allow several people to contribute content while ensuring layout design, although scheduling and content publishing would be restricted to the system administrator. Sharing the task of content generation means more updates and more relevant content can be offered to the viewer.” It generally falls to the integrator of the system to provide and set up that infrastructure in the first instance, using proprietary and common tools. Content creation tools that enable end users to produce, publish and distribute new content to their estate of screens are a fundamental element of the commercial offering. Gibbs adds: “The method and production of content is a major consideration as it will affect the system implementation in many ways. To what extent the integrator gets involved really depends on their skills and the commercial model that can make or break even the best install. If the customer has a clear view on the content strategy the integrator can offer services to build and implement content assets within the CMS, but this relies on a clear understanding of the customer strategy. When that is not fully developed, perhaps because the end user is not conversant with the ways it can be related to their business model, a specialist consultative approach is needed. This is not about the tools available, but requires more knowledge
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40 FEATURE: DIGITAL SIGNAGE and understanding of digital signage as a communication tool and medium.”
Creative thinking Content creation can be handled by a wide variety of standard graphic tools. Large brands, particularly those in the retail sector, operate sophisticated and capable graphic design departments that use these tools to create material for their online presence and co-ordinate with national TV advertising. That content regularly becomes the source of material for their point-of-sale digital signage network. “For traditional integrators, content creation and management may be a little out of their comfort zone so they may need to source an outside agency or employ an additional member of staff or freelance designer, depending on the scale of their plan,” Thomas Fraser-Bacon, marketing director at Allsee Technologies believes. “There are many content creation tools available on the market such as Adobe Creative Suite which includes packages that can help design static content as well as moving graphics or movies. Beyond these, pieces of proprietary software provided by system vendors, such as scheduling software or an online CMS, help manage the distribution of content onto the screen network.” Integrated digital signage systems are invaluable across a wide range of applications.
‘It is not just about data, it is about being smarter with our creative endeavours and delivering messages that are relevant to time, audience demographic, location and mindset’ Neil Morris, Grand Visual
Dave Oades, managing director of Sedao, points out: “The major benefit of a system like ImageFlyer lies in the ability of end users to create and update a network of screens quickly, easily and effectively. For really engaging signage in corporate, healthcare, educational and hospitality markets the content needs to be dynamic and include a number of elements including welcome messages, live TV, recorded video and site news. Template-based systems enable end users to add their own styling and branding and then continuously update content by simply copying text or images into folders. This offers opportunities to integrators in setting up the system in the first place: creating
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McDonald’s catches shoppers’ attention with the ‘See one, want one’ campaign Continuing its campaign to promote the Big Mac, McDonald’s launched an innovative, live, oneday digital out-of-home stunt. As people walked below a giant Outdoor Plus billboard situated on a busy London junction, tantalising thought bubbles featuring the flagship burger magically appeared above their heads and appeared to follow them along the high street. The digital activation used Grand Visual’s Agent platform to enable live interaction between a tablet device and the digital billboard and was controlled by on-site operators. With the tagline ‘See one, want one’ the campaign generated interest not just from the passers-by targeted, but from onlookers watching their antics with amusement. the initial layouts on behalf of the user and configuring the system, rather than in future administration and content creation and update. “In retail applications content is more likely to be based on single-screen video playback, often drawn from the retailer’s adverts and promotional videos. However, the retailer or brand will often pass ongoing network management and content transmission to a third party, which is an ideal opportunity for the integrator. They can then manage the whole system as one package: looking after hardware maintenance throughout the entire estate as well as administering content pushes and monitoring the performance of the media players.”
Spreading the network Digital signage networks today are becoming more complex and more widely spread, and content and brand owners are demanding more accountability. With increasing complexity comes greater likelihood of local faults, resulting in expensive service callouts, leading operators to lose faith in the operational status of the network and leaving brand owners and retailers disappointed by blank screens at the point of sale. Integrators need to be able to rely on the equipment vendor, particularly when the displays are deployed over a geographically widely spread area. Physically visiting individual sites to correct operational faults is expensive, and as with many technologies, it is often the simplest problems that cause the most difficulties. Bance explains: “The majority of digital
signage devices are based on the Windows operating system, which as we all know, is not robust or intended for standalone operation in remote media players running 24/7. As a service provider, you need to be absolutely sure that the underlying computer image is configured correctly for the host device: it must inhibit the numerous dialogue messages on the screen that expect user response and must be able to recover to a known operational condition should there be a lock-up. Ideally this can be done by remote re-booting back to an initial condition.” Deployment of a digital signage network is no longer simply a question of installing remote players and screens and then sending new content while ensuring it is played out; there are several additional considerations that need to be taken into account. “As with most of these experiential marketing tools, it’s the code behind the screen and how the screen’s content is managed that makes the magic happen out front,” explains Martin Ayrton, managing director of FTP Concepts. “This is becoming more complex as innovative technologies become available and create greater levels of interactivity. It is essential for the integrator to consider the full system workflow in order to scope out a system that meets the expected user demand. As an example, a kiosk installation in Manchester city centre, deployed as the ‘Citylive’ project, incorporated touchscreens and face recognition software. Messages and adverts were displayed according to the makeup of the audience who were invited to respond with selfies uploaded onto a Facebook page. At its peak a picture was uploaded every 90
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42 FEATURE: DIGITAL SIGNAGE seconds. The content management and network management systems had to be designed to cope with that, and had the additional complexity that the council wanted to be flexible so they could offer advertisers targeted packages according to customer behaviour and external events, such as the weather.” This is a clear indication of the depth of knowledge and skills that AV system integrators must develop to maintain a leading status in the field. As digital signage evolves to encompass greater levels of interactivity, targeting and accountability, digital agencies are becoming increasingly involved in a wider range of tools that enable them to deliver additional services around signage. They need to understand the capabilities of the technology before coming up with great ideas. ‘Programmatic creative’ is a term applied to this and is a hot topic with the creative industry. “The Benadryl DOOH campaign, featured a programmatic approach, which made the messaging more contextual and relevant,” says Neil Morris, founder of Grand Visual. “Rather than a blanket two-week booking, geospecific messages were only displayed when the right factors were met, making them more appropriate to the environmental conditions
The DOOH campaign for Benadryl featured a programmatic approach to make the messaging more contextual and relevant
and ensuring that there was little wastage. It is not just about data, it is about being smarter with our creative endeavours and delivering messages that are relevant to time, audience demographic, location and mindset. It is programmatic that can’t be blocked or ignored, it is relevant, dynamic and creative and where the future of this industry lies.” This is precisely where integrators can add value: by manoeuvring themselves into a position to be able to advise and guide these types of organisations, the ones with direct access to the paying customer, in the ‘art of the possible’. “Increasingly CMS businesses like Appspace are providing these services in conjunction with integrators as digital agencies also start to take this more seriously,” Gibbs confirms.
Gone are the days when digital signage integrators simply provided a system to a customer, fitted it and then left after a brief explanation of how it should be operated. To be successful, they must now provide a far greater range of services and become fully conversant with the ever-widening scope of interactive and engaging public messaging; or at least team up with knowledgeable and competent partners who do.
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44 SOLUTIONS: IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, REFUGE OF SOULS, PARAVATI ITALY
Acoustic treatment in the cupola reduced reverberation time from 12s to 2.4s
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
Hear the word High reverberation times had to be tackled, as well as the right audio equipment selected and installed, to optimise intelligibility throughout the four chapels in this sanctuary, writes Mike Clark
challenging audio installation was recently completed and inaugurated in the sanctuary of The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Souls, built in the small southern Italian town of Paravati. The sanctuary is centred around the tomb of Natuzza Evolo, who was widely regarded as a mystic, and is believed to have received the stigmata and to be able to speak directly with the Virgin Mary. An idea of the important role played by Evolo, founder of the Cenacles of Prayer, can be had by the fact that six Italian bishops and more than 100 priests celebrated her funeral mass in 2009, which was attended by 30,000 mourners. The sanctuary includes four chapels, in which the majority of the equipment was installed; Toni Soddu, founder and CEO of Grand Acoustics, was responsible for the design, choice of the necessary material and equipment and the supervision of all the installation work. An Italian audio industry veteran, Soddu explains: “This is the largest installation I’ve worked on to date, but other projects of this type have included an auditorium and rehearsal room of the Centro Giovani in the Tuscan town of Piombino and the acoustic treatment of the Val di Cornia parks conference hall. Giuseppe Laruffa
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Installed Audio n Lab.gruppen PLM 12K44/SP loudspeaker management system n Lab.gruppen IPD 2400 digital amplifiers n Lab.gruppen C28:4 four-channel amplifier n VDL Studio mic preamplifiers n LSS ST17 micro vertical line array speakers n LSS PP4 compact loudspeakers n LSS MIL 130 compact 2-way speakers n LSS PP4J-16 and PP4-10 mini line arrays n LSS 4x4in custom polypropylene enclosures n LSS 100V ceiling speakers n BSS Soundweb London BLU-806 8x8 DSPs n AKG DHT 800 D7 BD1 handheld mics n DPA d:vote, d:screet and d:fine mics
of LSS Advanced Loudspeakers, whom I have known for many years, introduced me to the client and my ‘interface’ with the Natuzza Evolo Foundation for the installation work was Father Michele Gordiano.” Soddu’s brief was to provide a set-up with the most modern technologies available that was user-friendly and would last through time. The first step was to run a series of meticulous on-site equipment tests to ensure high-quality speech intelligibity. All the loudspeakers in the various areas are by Italian manufacturer LSS Advanced Speakers Systems, based in Polistena (Reggio Calabria), and were chosen for correct speech reproduction in environments with medium reverberation times.
Audio simulation During audio prediction and simulation work, Soddu used Ivie Technologies’ IE-45 audio analysis system, for its Real Time Analyzer (RTA) and Sound Pressure Level (SPL) functionality, with RTA and RT-60 software. The most urgent acoustic problems to be addressed were those of the cupolas. In the two small chapels (Confessions and Almighty), reverberation time (RT) at 1,000Hz was 7s with a
The smaller chapels’ systems include an LSS PP4J-16 mini line array
SOLUTIONS: IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, REFUGE OF SOULS, PARAVATI 45 About the installer n Environmental acoustics consultancy and design company Grand Acoustics was recently founded by Sardinian audio industry veteran Antonio ‘Toni’ Soddu and is the latest venture by the eclectic audio industry veteran n Producer of PA test CDs, experienced FOH, monitor, broadcast and recording engineer, Soddu is also stage manager on important events such as Rome’s May Day concerts, Hong Kong’s Clockenflap festival and the Arena stage at Umbria Jazz Festival n In 2012, he was one of the founders of Alto Stage Management, a company providing services for festivals, corporate events, broadcast, Olympic Games, as well as large-scale events of a religious and civil nature long decay in the centre part of the rooms. To solve this, a circular panel with a diameter of approximately 6m was installed with the upper side, positioned approximately 1.2m below the cupola’s surface, covered completely with 2m x 1m x 100mm sheets of sound-absorbing material with a density of 30kg/m3. The entire surface of the cupolas got the same acoustic treatment, and was covered with a design reproducing the wood of the original structure. Thanks to this stratagem, the final RT was 2.6s at 1,000Hz with optimum speech reproduction. The same procedure was carried out in the Main Chapel and Natuzza’s tomb. In the latter, before treatment, RT was around 12s at 1,000Hz and there was noticeable turbulence between 100 and 350Hz. Using the same system as in the small chapels, but increasing the diameter of the flown centre panels to 20m and covering the entire cupola with the same material, the RT obtained was just 2.4s, with a great improvement in the mid-low frequency range. In the Tomb, the ORV sound-absorbing material was mounted with a false ceiling to match the sanctuary’s all-white design. A total of approximately 2,000sqm of the sound-absorbing material were installed: ORV Manufacturing’s Fiberform 62T 2SL 100% thermo-bonded polyester fibre (PET) sheets were installed. Completely recyclable and with Class 1A flammability, Fiberform was the first polyester product used for insulation and soundproofing on Italian and European railway carriages.
Speaker choices As far as the loudspeakers are concerned, the main chapel features a micro vertical line array with 12 LSS ST17 modules, divided into three sections of four elements each, powered by a Lab.gruppen PLM 12K44/SP 4-in, 4-out powered loudspeaker management system with the latest (version 6.3) Lake Controller release. In addition, two LSS custom polypropylene front fill speakers are driven by a Lab.gruppen IPD 2400. This two-channel digital amplifier is widely deployed throughout the Sanctuary’s chapels and features 2 x 1,200W/4 ohms, internal DSP with 40 real-time parametric EQs, high- and lowpass filter, input delay, output delay, crossover and limiter. The main chapel also has a delay
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system, consisting of eight LSS MIL 130 compact 2-way speakers. There are four more MIL 130 enclosures on monitor duties on the altar and both delay speakers and monitors are driven by more IPD 2400 (two and four units respectively). The Sanctuary’s smaller Confession and Almighty Chapels have identical sound systems, comprising an LSS PP4J-16 mini line array divided into two sections of eight speakers and another pair of LSS 4 x 4in custom polypropylene enclosures (400W each) recessed in the altar steps. Sound in the room hosting Natuzza’s tomb has a set-up with two PP4-10 line source column enclosures, each divided into two sections of five loudspeakers, driven by an IPD 2400, plus a delay system featuring eight PP4 compact wide-range point source speakers, driven by two more IPD 2400. The Sanctuary’s internal walkways are covered by 14 more PP4 enclosures, driven by a pair of IPD 2400, whereas the porticos are covered by 32 recessed LSS 100V ceiling speakers driven by a Lab.gruppen C28:4 fourchannel amplifier. The majority of the LSS speakers installed are off-the-shelf models, but two (the PP4J-16 and the delay speaker recessed in the steps) were designed and built specifically for the project and will soon be added to the manufacturer’s catalogue. As well as the Lab.gruppen units’ Lake Contour on-board EQ-delay, signal processing is courtesy of four BSS Soundweb London BLU-806 8 x 8 units. The Sanctuary’s stock of microphones includes eight AKG DHT 800 D7 BD1 handheld digital transmitter microphones and 24 DPA models: eight DPA d:screet podum mics; eight DPA d:fine headsets and eight d:screet miniature models. Eight VDL Studio microphone preamplifiers complement the set-up. Regarding the work prior to the choice of power amps, microphones and signal control units, Soddu explains: “Comparison tests were run using various brands. Soundweb’s BLU-806 was immediately seen to be the best, with the software most suited to this type of use. After testing four other leading microphone brands, DPA gave me what I was looking for, and A:B tests were also run between the Lab.gruppen amplifiers and another world-famous brand.”
The main chapel features a micro vertical line array with 12 LSS ST17 modules
Unique experience Soddu concludes: “This was a unique experience. Normally, on this type of installation, the project starts out with a design, after which a cost limit is established before the actual installation work is carried out, the entire system fine-tuned and with some final tweaking the result is achieved. In the case of the sanctuary, and its large spaces, I had the rare opportunity of testing the equipment under real working situations, thanks to the monthly meetings held with the Foundation. Microphones, amplifiers, digital controllers and wireless systems were run in a real dynamic situation. Tests were initially run without any acoustic treatment and, thanks to the acoustic treatment and the correct calibration and fine-tuning of the hardware chosen, I managed to achieve the results I’d hoped for.”
www.akg.com www.bssaudio.com www.dpamicrophones.com www.grandacoustics.it www.ivie.com www.labgruppen.com www.lss.it www.fondazionenatuzza.org www.orvmanufacturing.it www.vdlanalogics.com
45 SOLUTIONS: LA SIRÈNE, LA ROCHELLE
This performance venue retired its Nexo line array system to make way for new Nexo sound reinforcement equipment Picture: Julien Branco
In order to stay ahead, the focal point of this leading performance complex has upgraded its installed PA system with the latest sound reinforcement technology, reports Tom Bradbury
e Cap, the flagship venue within the La Sirène performance complex in La Rochelle, has been fitted with an upgraded installed PA system with highperformance loudspeakers from Nexo. Using new equipment budgets from last summer, the technical team led by technical director Christian Parrot selected new technologies in sound reinforcement to produce a range of musical styles and DJ performances at the venue. La Sirène, opened in 2011, is located in the west of France and is one of the country’s leading art and performance complexes. The architecturally distinctive centre is dedicated to contemporary pop music, and the creative space includes five rehearsal studios as well as performance facilities that include a 400-seat nightclub and 1,300-capacity auditorium. Since opening, La Sirène has had a close relationship with manufacturer Nexo, reinforced by an equally durable relationship with installation/rental company Melpomen.
High performance Parrot and his engineers decided to replace the existing Nexo GEO D tangent line array system from Le Cap with Nexo’s next generation of loudspeaker designs.
46 Install187 Solutions 2_Final.indd 1
“We were very satisfied with the GEO D system performance,” says Parrot, “but we wanted to stay poised at the cutting edge of new technology so we went to evaluate the new STM Series of modular line array. Nexo had just introduced the smallest module in that high-performance series, the M28, which is a 2 x 8in compact with an intercabinet angle of 15° and great SPL output.” With a Nexo GEO S12 line array in its nightclub, and Nexo PS Series full-range cabinets in all its rehearsal studios, La Sirène was already familiar with the technicalities of Nexo’s equipment. After several demos of the STM technology, the technicians were comfortable with the modular approach which has the M28 handling 60Hz-20kHz and additional bass response of 63-200Hz provided by a number of B112 bass cabinets, flown at the top of the array. STM S118 subs complete the system. The Melpomen team, led by Thierry Tranchant, undertook a thorough installation and optimisation of the system, which resulted in an elegant system configuration of six M28 plus three B112s per side, with six S118 subs on the floor. “We quickly noticed the extreme finesse and presence of the new cabinets,” says Parrot.
Installed Audio n Nexo M28 loudspeaker modules n Nexo B112 bass cabinets n Nexo STM S118 subwoofers n Nexo 45N12 stage monitors n Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi4 consoles
About the installer n Melpomen is a French audio, video and lighting company that provides a full range of rental, sales and installation services n It has three offices in Paris, La Rochelle and its HQ in Nantes n It joined professional audio services provider SSE Audio Group in 2001 n In 2011, Melpomen took over the lighting rental company MES Eclaires, also based in Nantes “For the audience, it delivers sound quality that is comfortable to listen to; the bands and engineers are satisfied with its output and operational performance, and our technicians are impressed with its efficiency.” “This is really the high end in terms of sound reinforcement,” explains Jean Jacques Vias, Nexo’s sales director for France. “La Sirène is one of the first SMACs [contemporary music centres] in Europe to use STM M28 for a fixed installation, but it’s the ideal choice for a venue with such a diversity of artists and material.”
www.la-sirene.fr www.nexo-sa.com www.soundcraft.com
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48 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
National concert venue fits advanced Optocore routing system Optocore signal distribution and routing has been installed at the new National Forum of Music (NFM) in Wroclaw, as part of what is believed to be one of the biggest and most advanced technical implementations in Poland. The NFM houses a 1,800-seat concert auditorium and three smaller chamber halls (ranging from 250 to 450 seats). Optocore provided the mic preamp front end in the form of eight multiple X6R-FX interfaces connected to 22 X6R-TP DualMic devices via the SANE protocol. Two sets of four X6R-FX and 11 X6R-TP DualMic modules are in use in the main hall and five DD2FR-FX MADI interfaces handle the FOH, monitor mixer, OB vans, ProTools HDX
www.optocore.com recording and MADI-Analogue-AES converter. Four separate gain controls are provided to 120 mic inputs – and up to four mixing desks can control gain individually.
In addition, two further DD2FR-FX Optocore devices distribute MADI between the different auditoriums. In total, the Optocore system provides 768 inputs.
Powersoft amps provide the ‘punch’ for bar-club EVER Club, billed as a combination of lounge bar and nightclub, has installed an audio system featuring Powersoft K3 amplifiers driving EAW Avalon CLUB.two loudspeakers. Located in the business district of the Chinese city of Ningbo, EVER Club embodies the local culture that values “art, quality and relaxation”, and serves a broader demographic than just the affluent urban crowd. The system was designed and installed by EZPro International, and the team decided to use four EAW CLUB.two cabinets to configure the main PA system. The loudspeakers were flown 3.5m above the floor, all pointing to the centre DJ area from four corners to deliver a vibrant audio experience. An EAW UX8800 DSP unit provides the loudspeakers with optimised digital processing, including EAW Focusing settings.
Airport gets world’s largest OLED displays LG Electronics has unveiled the two largest OLED displays in the world at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport. Each sign consists of 140 55in curved OLED panels, resulting in displays that measure 13m high by 8m across. The manufacturer worked closely with French design firm Wilmotte & Associés to develop the massive structures that are hung in the main terminal of the airport.
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The two curved displays feature a variety of content and because OLED displays do not require LED backlighting, the displays are light and flexible, allowing them to be suspended with minimal support. “These OLED displays perfectly complement the advanced technology that our airport has become known for,” said Park Wan-su, president and CEO at Incheon International Airport.
Sarner deploys AV Stumpfl for immersive exhibits Sarner has created and installed a multimedia installation utilising AV Stumpfl media players and 700 graphic panels and content for over 100 AV productions at the new National War Museum in Malta. Sarner worked with design consultants Forward Architects Joint Venture and main contractor Camray to tell the story of Fort St Elmo’s history, including Malta’s pivotal role in World War II. “As visitors walk through the museum they are told the stories of the people, battles and ages in chronological order using visual displays and interactive elements,” explained Ross Magri, managing director at Sarner.
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Yamaha audio backbone at multi-use stadium The Continental Arena, in the Bavarian city of Regensburg, features a Yamaha audio system as part of its technology infrastructure. Opened in July 2015, the Continental Arena has replaced the city’s 89-year old Jahnstadion as the home of football club SSV Jahn Regensburg, which plays in the Regionalliga Bayern (Germany’s ‘fourth division’). As well as being a football ground the 15,200-capacity stadium can host other sporting events and concerts. It features two ‘Business Clubs’ and four ‘Lodges’, which host a wide range of business and leisure events, all with a panoramic view of the stadium’s pitch. The Yamaha package features 36 P7000S power amplifiers, an MTX5-D 34x16 matrix mixer/signal processor, 01V96i digital mixing console with Dante-MY16-AUD interface card and three R-series Ro8-D output units. The Yamaha system routes audio to a distributed compact line array system from another manufacturer, flown from points all around the stadium’s roof.
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PRODUCT OF Lightware THE MONTH MMX6x2 matrix switcher
It’s… a compact, feature-rich and versatile matrix switcher series designed for smaller meeting room and classroom environments.
What’s different? For user convenience, Lightware has added what it says is a unique Event Manager tool, which takes care of all the necessary control in a smaller configuration by performing pre-defined actions in response to device status changes. Hence, says the company, in a less complex environment there is no need to invest in additional control solutions.
Details: With six video inputs and two video outputs – four HDMI 1.4 and two TPS (HDBaseT)
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inputs, plus two independent HDMI outputs which both have mirrored TPS (HDBaseT) outputs – the MMX6x2-HT can handle 4K UHD and 3D signals. It has four audio connectors for audio insertion and two audio outputs for de-embedding purposes. PoE 48V remote powering is available on all TPS ports (both input and output) for simple, cost-effective installations. The MMX6x2HT220 standalone matrix switch has two variants, one with a single mirrored TPS output (HT210) and one with just HDMI outputs (HT200). To avoid spending time entering the same settings into several identical units, the Lightware Device Controller application allows
users to clone configuration settings in a few easy steps and restore them in an unlimited number of other MMX6x2-HT devices. The TPS Cable Diagnostics Tool within the Lightware Device Control software helps to identify potential twisted pair cable issues in a TPS-capable system, and provides a realtime overview of the estimated cable lengths and the quality of the link. The TPS Cable Diagnostics feature is available for Lightware’s TPS devices and the MMX6x2-HT series.
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52 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS n Polycom RealPresence Trio
The update to Polycom’s iconic conference phone, the RealPresence Trio features voice, video and collaboration. It includes patented technologies, including Polycom NoiseBlock audio technology, which eliminates extraneous noises, as well as HD content sharing and video. The product has broad interoperability and deep integration across multiple UC platforms including Skype for Business, Microsoft Lync, Genband and BroadSoft. The voice quality of RealPresence Trio solution has been certified by Cisco as being compatible with Cisco Unified Communications Manager v10.5. www.polycom.com
better whites, colour gamut and an upgraded contrast ratio that is said to match the quality of the recently introduced VPL-FHZ60 and VPLFHZ65 laser models.
n Bose Panaray 802, 402 Series IV
Details: With 4,100 lumens of colour
Suitable for indoor or outdoor deployment, these two speaker models are updates to Bose’s Panaray series of sound-reinforcement speakers, first launched 25 years ago. The small (338 x 520 x 335 mm) lightweight (13.6kg) Panaray 802 Series IV loudspeaker is available now and features a wide 120°V x 100°H Articulated Array design, and a 52Hz low-frequency response that can eliminate the need for subwoofers. The smaller 402 model has a 120°V x 60°H Bose Articulated Array design, and LF response to 73Hz, covering the entire vocal range. It measures 592 x 206 x 202mm and weighs 7.3kg and is available early 2016. http://pro.bose.com n Cloud MPA-120, MPA-240
It’s… a replacement for the world’s first 3LCD laser light source projector, the VPL-FHZ55.
What’s different? This new model delivers
brightness, the VPL-FHZ57 is designed for a wide variety of environments, including educational institutions, corporate, medical and visitor attractions. The new model delivers WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), clear, crisp and bright presentations in any lighting condition, edge blending, wide range vertical/horizontal lens shift, a variety of energy-saving settings, and up to 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation. Because it does not have a conventional lamp, the VPL-
Available: This month http://www.pro.sony.eu/laser
ST screen family
What’s different? According to dnp, the ST family overcomes the weakness of ultra-short throw projectors, by enhancing contrast in rooms with high levels of ambient light. Each model incorporates optical lens technologies optimised for different viewing environments.
n Vaddio’s ClearSHOT 10 USB
Details: Based on circular fresnel technology,
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FHZ57 can be positioned freely at any angle, on its side or even upside down, and is also easier to operate than a lamp-based projector. The VPL-FHZ57 has a built-in HDBaseT port, enabling easier connectivity and reducing total system costs by using fewer cables, signal extenders and receiver boxes, and decreasing the risk of failure points. Sony has also broadened its line up of C-Series installation projectors with the launch of the VPL-CH370 WUXGA. Designed for large classrooms or meeting rooms, the VPL-CH370 features 5,000 lumens and optional wireless for wider connectivity capabilities.
Two ‘refreshed’ Cloud mixer-amplifiers, the MPA-120 and MPA-240 provide output of 120W and 240W respectively at low impedance, 100V, 70V and 25V. New features include a new balanced auxiliary output, a new utility output and a music-on hold output, both with mic/line level controls. The Mic 1 input can be configured as a transformer-isolated telephone input for tele-paging applications. This is in addition to the features of the previous models which include six line inputs and four mic inputs with VOX priority over music signals. www.cloud.co.uk
Described as offering enterprise-class performance at an entry-level price, this PTZ camera with plug-andplay USB 3.0 capabilities has been designed to work seamlessly with videoconferencing software such as Skype forBusiness, WebEx and Google Hangouts. Features include simultaneous uncompressed USB 3.0 and IP (H.264) streaming outputs, allowing the camera to be controlled and operated from anywhere in the world. www.vaddio.com
It’s… a newly extended family of short-throw projection screens that now includes three models.
the Supernova STS Screen optimises the image for standard viewing angles, so people who are seated centrally in front of the screen can enjoy the best possible image quality. The screen is protected by a surface coating that makes it suitable for touch applications. This model can be used with the projector mounted either below or above the screen and is available in 16:9 up to 100in. Optimised for wider seating arrangements such as classrooms and auditoriums, the new
Supernova STW Screen incorporates a black/ white lenticular lens structure that absorbs incident light from above and has a horizontal half-gain of 85°. The optical filter requires the projector to be mounted below the screen. This model is available in sizes up to 110in in 16:9. Finally, also incorporating dnp’s black/white lenticular technology, the Supernova STE Screen is designed for edge-blending images from several projectors seamlessly onto a wide screen. The material is available in sizes up to 181in in 32:10 and up to 231in in 46:10 format.
Available: Now www.dnp-screens.com
TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS 53
n Sharp PN-E803
KU26, KU44, KA14 It’s… the final three of 15 products released by K-array in 2015.
What’s different? The new products comprise small and slim subwoofers and a combined mixer/processor/amp, all designed to complement existing K-array equipment. Details: Designed to extend the low range in small to medium-size rooms, the KU26 marks a further scaling-down of K-array’s compact subwoofers. This model comprises one 6in neodymium transducer and one 6in passive radiator. With a frequency range of 45Hz to 300Hz, the KU26 is intended to accompany the K-array Lyzard, Vyper and Tornado speakers. Made entirely of steel, the KU44 thin subwoofer has been created to complement the Slim Array Technology incorporated in its speakers. It is a compact, arrayable bass element designed to combine with mid-high speakers. The line source sub has a frequency range of 50Hz to 150Hz
and comprises two 4in neodymium transducers and two 4in passive radiators. Installing a line array of KU44 subs beside or behind a line array of Kobras creates a full-range sound source with true line array characteristics down to 50Hz. Finally, the KA14 is a versatile amplifier, easily adaptable for small applications that do not require a lot of power. Responding to the need for a simple solution for those who do not have a lot of additional resources, the KA14 is a complete system with a mixer, processor and amplifier. It features four fully independent and configurable output channels (4 x 300W @ 4 ohms).
Available: Now www.k-array.com
It’s… Panasonic’s latest range of
What’s different? The displays boast new features that are claimed to significantly improve the reliability of digital signage applications, including failover and failback.
Details: The LF8 and LF80 display series are professional-grade panels capable of 24/7 operation. With high brightness levels of 700 and 500cd/sqm respectively, they are available in 42in, 49in and 55in sizes.The displays also have a wide viewing angle, and feature a bezel of 6.5mm and a depth of 56.8mm. Unlike the LF6 and LF60 series, which the new models replace, the LF8 and LF80 are equipped with a failover and failback function, which means the display immediately switches to an alternative input if the primary signal is interrupted. Panasonic has also added a USB media player, USB for settop box power supply and a USB cloning function.
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n Shure Microﬂex MX392 As its name suggests, Shure’s Microﬂex MX392 Bottom Exit Boundary Microphone features a cable exit at the bottom of the device; this allows the cable, which is attached and unterminated, to be hidden under the furnishings of conference rooms and boardrooms. The MX392BE is a surface-mounted condenser mic that delivers a ﬂat frequency response across the speech range, enhancing intelligibility. Interchangeable cartridges provide a choice of cardioid, omnidirectional and supercardioid variants. www.shuredistribution.co.uk n Toshiba
Panasonic professional displays, designed for 24/7 operation.
Designed for 24/7 digital signage applications in reception areas, meeting rooms and retail environments, this 80in Full HD LED-backlit LCD monitor features Sharp’s UV²A technology to deliver vivid colours, bright whites and extreme dark blacks. The design features a slim profile (96mm at its thickest point) and ultra-thin bezels. Weighing 57kg, it can be easily handled and installed in both portrait and landscape. www.sharp.eu/visual-solutions
The LF80 is compatible with Panasonic’s DIGITAL LINK technology, a version of HDBaseT that can transmit video, audio and control signals up to 100m with a single LAN cable. Enrique Robledo, marketing manager at Panasonic, says: “The upgraded functions are what make this display range so impressive. The ability to play out content without the need for an external player and the failover functionality are making it easier than ever to create and maintain great digital signage. “Our free multi-monitoring and control software also allows users to check on the status of over 2,000 displays. This can be upgraded to the early warning software (ET-SWA100), which anticipates maintenance requirements, adding further resilience to the display network.”
Available: Now http://business.pansonic.eu
Targeted at retail, hospitality and corporate environments and available in four sizes (43in, 50in, 55in and 65in), the TD-E2 Series of full HD LED-backlit LCD displays offers 16/7 operation. Brightness of 450 cd/ sqm and a wide viewing angle of 178º combine to ensure immersive, eye-catching digital. Suitable for landscape or portrait orientation, the displays can also be tiled in up to 5 x 5 configurations to create larger videowalls for a bigger impact. www.toshiba.eu n Allen & Heath
The ZEDi-10 and ZEDi-10FX analogue consoles combine a compact mixer with a 24-bit 96kHz 4x4 USB interface, which enables multitrack recording and playback to a Mac or PC or to an iOS device (using a Camera Connection Kit). The units have ﬂexible source routing options to adapt to different workﬂows. They feature four mono channels with separate XLR and TRS jack sockets, one stereo channel and a second stereo input for reverb returns or playback. Additionally, the ZEDi-10FX includes an in-house designed FX system which encompasses multi-FX models, combining reverbs, delays, doublers, chorusing and other modulators to create a dynamic and varied suite of studio-quality sound effects. www.allen-heath.com
54 TECHNOLOGY: DEMO OF THE MONTH
The 5,000-lumen WUX500 is aimed at a broad range of applications
This month, the demo comes to us as we put a recently launched WUXGA projector through its paces. Paddy Baker reports
HDMI + USB + LAN Extension with HDBaseT 2.0 TM
Extends uncompressed HDMI to 100 meters Extends Ethernet, bi-directional IR and RS232 control signals Extends USB 2.0 and has integrated 2-port Hub in the Receiver Perfect for KVM extension
ormally, we use this page to write about product demonstrations that we attend: the manufacturer invites us to see (or hear) the product in a (more or less) live setting. On this occasion, though, the product came to us, rather than vice versa – we were sent a Canon WUX500 projector to review. In fact, we received two projectors, so that we could try out the model’s daisy-chaining capabilities. Released last May, the WUX500 is a WUXGA 5,000-lumen projector aimed at a wide range of applications, including education, engineering and design, boardrooms, conference centres, control rooms and visitor attractions. The right-hand side of the projector has all pretty much all the connectivity you might want: HDMI, HDBaseT, LAN and USB, as well as DVI and component. There’s no internal speaker, but there are audio in and out terminals. The projector’s control panel is located just above these ports, but the supplied remote control was, unsurprisingly, much more convenient to use. The LCOS technology generates sharp, well-defined images – in fact, a colleague from our events division who came into the room during the test spontaneously remarked on how good the image quality was. Among the material we tested on the projector was the red carpet video from the 2015 InstallAwards, which came up pin-sharp – even though we were only projecting onto a painted wall rather than a projection screen. Picture adjustment is available via lens shift (up to 60º upwards, 10º left or right) and through keystone correction, which can be applied to the four corners of the image as well as horizontally and vertically.
Supports virtually all PC and HDTV resolutions including 4K (UHD)
Receiver powered from sender via PoH
One neat feature is that up to nine of the projectors can be daisychained together with network cables, and can display content without a computer. We were able to replicate this in a small way with our two-projector set-up, and Canon supplied some suitable wide
SERVING YOU SINCE 1984
A New Wave in Connectivity
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portrait images on a USB stick. We set the right-hand projector to slave mode, and the left to master. (In more complex set-ups, the master is always the one projecting the top left-hand corner of the image.) Edge-blending is a feature that isn’t always present in smaller WUXGA projectors, so it was good to see it in the WUX500. Via the remote control one can define the position and width of the blending area, and then adjust white, red, green and blue colour levels individually to achieve the desired result. In fact, it’s even possible to subdivide the blending area into three sections, which can be adjusted individually. Another very useful feature is the projector’s WiFi capability, which enables content from
HD video from the InstallAwards came out pin-sharp
up to five devices to be shared wirelessly. The transmitting device needs to be running Canon’s NMPJ software – but note that this is only available for Windows, so you can’t use it with an iPad or an Android phone, for instance. Wider wireless connectivity would certainly boost its appeal in BYOD environments. Alternatively, the projector can display content from devices cabled into the local WiFi router. It’s the image quality that makes this projector. When it was released, the press material contained this quote from Andreas Herrnböck, the company’s European business development manager projector, visual communications: “The Canon XEED WUX500 was designed to meet increasing market demand for an easy to install, WiFi connected compact installation projector that offers exceptional image quality.” On this evidence, we’d say: mission accomplished.
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56 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE
CABLING AND CONNECTORS
Manufacturers ensure signal transmission across a number of applications with solutions that, in addition to durability, also offer versatility and custom options, write Duncan Proctor and Bennett Liles
Sommer Cable combines water safety and durability The Aqua Marinex Mikro 25 from Sommer Cable is able to withstand huge water pressure from permanent underwater usage. Internally, the wires have been stabilised and fitted with two tight mesh screens insulated against each other. The cable can be used for standard PA applications, and although it is slightly less flexible than conventional PVC cable, it is more durable. This AES/EBU cable ensures audio transmission as well as triggering visual effects. The Aqua Marinex has a sea- and freshwater resistant outer jacket and water-absorbing, pressure-compensating protective banding for
reliable underwater performance in a variety of environments, such as water parks and sporting events. There is also added protection from the two tight CU mesh screens. A particular advantage of the Marinex is that it offers maximum technical safety under tough operating conditions. It also has durability and functional endurance when exposed to moisture or dirt as well as temperature fluctuations, and its second isolated screen provides added protection.
The DisplayPort to HDMI cable from Vision offers the ability to convert DisplayPort (DP) to run over a 10m or 15m HDMI cable. This is particularly useful for displays and projectors, as most of these do not include DP inputs and DP-to-DP cables arenâ€™t long enough for the typical installed projector cable run.
Procab aids installation with LSHF cables The new range of low smoke and halogen free cables from Procab includes audio, video and data cables, which all have a Flamoflex outer jacket compliant to the IEC 60332-1 fire and flammability standard for public installations. The Flamoflex material also meets the IEC 60754-2 Low Smoke Halogen
Vision offers greater range with support services
Free standard, and the ASTM E 662 standard for smoke density. In addition to meeting these standards, the material provides the cables with a smooth and durable outer jacket, aiding installation and pulling.
Vision emphasises support for the customer with an onsite three-year warranty.
Atlas Soundâ€™s passive summing cable Atlas Sound has come up with an ingenious solution to a common problem in amplifier installation. Made especially for its AA amplifiers, the AA-YSUM passive summing cable allows two mono sound signals to be derived from one stereo output on a three-position Phoenix/ Euroblock connector. The 1m cable can sum the stereo sound signals from adjacent units in a rack through its internal three-resistor network. This simple device enables AV installers to use all of the stereo inputs on an amplifier and send them to any other device in a true additive mono mix.
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Aurora Multimedia Kramer provides flexibility over long distances promotes versatility Among the cables and adapters offered by Aurora Multimedia are a number that make the company’s own products more versatile and easy to use. For users of the DIDO Pro quad image scaler, DIDO Jr and DIDO LT, the CA00221 adapter cable allows breakout of the DVI connector to DVI-D and RCA. The CA0020-1 adapter cable can also be used with those systems to break out the DVI connector to DVI-D and VGA, while the more generic CA0054-1 allows a VGA signal to breakout to YPbPr and composite video on colour-coded female RCAs.
Kramer Electronics has a long-distance HDMI cable that needs no extenders or extra power supplies. It is the CP-AOCH plug-and-play HDMI
active optical cable (AOC) and it supports 4K/ ultra HD resolutions over long cable runs, up to 97m. It also supports multichannel audio, Dolby True HD and dts-hd Master Audio. Consisting of four optical fibres and six copper wires, the thin, flexible (6mm bend radius) cable is easy to run and operates on HDMI bus power. The AOCH is plenum rated with pull strength of 50kg. It is available in lengths from 10m to 100m.
Neutrik cable optimised for channel routing www.auroramultimedia.com
Data stream consolidation from Gefen Gefen supplies a wide variety of adapters for HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort, including the HDMI to DVI Adapter; HDMI Mate Adapter with Mono-LOK; Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter; and Mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort. Gefen’s HDMI Mono-LOC cables provide a secure, fixed way of connecting source to display. They support HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), which consolidates video, audio and data streams into a single HDMI connection. They also incorporate a dedicated data channel into the HDMI link.
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The new etherCON Cat6A line from Neutrik includes a cable carrier complete with a Cat6A RJ45 connector, feed-through D-size chassis connectors, and IDC-termination D-size connectors. The chassis connectors are available in three finishes: nickel, black and a weatherised version for an IP65-rated connection when mated to the cable carrier. The etherCON Cat6A is fully downward-compatible with Neutrik’s etherCON Cat5. The etherCON Cat6A is PoE+ compliant to 802.3at Type2. Its opticalCON QUAD cable is based on the proven opticalCON DUO connection system but with four channels it is optimised for point-to-point interconnections and multichannel routing applications. The
new 10-pin data and power XLR connector is for transmitting data over four twisted pairs at Cat5e performance plus up to 16A of power at 50V using two dedicated power pins. The cable connectors for the new 10-pin XLR line are based on Neutrik’s latest-generation XX series.
Crestron brings customisation with compact connector The FT-600 FlipTop Basic from Crestron is a compact and configurable connector pocket with a black anodised or brushed aluminium finish. It mounts in any flat, horizontal surface up to 4.5cm thick and opens with a finger touch. The FT-600 can be fitted with up to six Crestron CBLR2 cable retractors. Alternatively, it can have up to four FTA-CP Connector Plates and up to four 120V (NEMA 5) outlets, or up to two international AC outlets. The combination is completely customisable.
PLANYOUR MONTH AHEAD
Our pick of what to see, do and discover in the weeks ahead, including the first four-day ISE, Focusing on Glasgow and the rise of wearable tech
PICK OF THE MONTH
Installation is once again producing the official ISE Daily newspaper which will be distributed each day of the show. To find out more contact Gurpreet Purewal on email@example.com.
will have their own dedicated areas on the showfloor, while education sessions will be held by InfoComm and CEDIA throughout the event. Pre-show, AudioForum and the Smart Building Conference will take place on 8 February.
The first four-day ISE show kicks off on 9 February and promises to be bigger than ever, with an 11% increase in exhibitor space compared to 2015. Audio, Digital Signage, Residential Solutions, Smart Building and Unified Communications
Wearable Systems and Body Sensor Networks: From Modeling to Implementation
PLASA Focus Glasgow
By Giancarlo Fortino et al This book provides up-to-date research and development on wearable computing, wireless body sensor networks, wearable systems integrated with mobile computing, wireless networking and cloud computing.
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PLASA Focus heads to Scotland on 20-21 January for two days of seminars, networking and product demos. Industry-leading speakers and technical sessions will combine with the latest innovations in entertainment technology at the SECC, while exhibitors include Robe, Yamaha and Bosch Security Systems. www.plasafocus.com
The biggest light festival ever to hit the UK capital arrives on 14 January. Produced by Artichoke, the four-day event will see iconic destinations in the West End and Kingâ€™s Cross transformed with neons, videomapped projections, interactive installations and other extraordinary light works. www.lumierefestival.com
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A BUSINESS PRESENTATION FOR 300 PEOPLE, WITHOUT MICROPHONES. Constellation delivers flexible acoustics for business.
Experience Constellation at ISE, Hall 1 Stand M-100, and learn more at meyersound.com/constellation.
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AV integration in a networked world