Issue 197 /January 2017
AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD
Maverick decades p18 Two Sidwick reﬂects on past, present and future 2017 preview p20 ISE What to look out for in Amsterdam next month planning p36 Proper ...prevents poor project performance
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IDEA GENERATION Why huddle rooms suit millennials’ ways of working p28
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Cover image: Huddle space at BBDO, courtesy of Crestron
A sister title to SCN
Who’s listening to the Echo?
was tempted, though I didn’t succumb, to buying an Amazon Echo Dot when it was offered for a knockdown price in a Black Friday offer recently. Voice control might be a gimmick a lot of the time, but there are times in the home environment when I can see it could be really useful – when your hands are otherwise occupied in the kitchen, or doing some DIY, for instance. (See page 14 for an opinion piece from Universal Electronics on voice control, by the way.) Besides, the entry-level Echo Dot seems like a good way to dip a toe in the waters of voice control with minimal risk. There is, though, a murkier side to all this. Devices that immediately respond to voice commands have to be always on and always listening, so that they immediately spring into action Paddy Baker, Editor when they hear their name being called. So purchasers are email@example.com installing a web-connected microphone into their homes, which @install8ion is listening to them all the time. Not only that, but the recordings are automatically transcribed and stored – and not anonymised. Many recent technology developments around lifestyle have involved a trade-off between added convenience and a loss of privacy – and it’s down to the individual consumer to decide whereabouts they feel comfortable on this particular spectrum. I’m not picking on Amazon here, they’re just an example; and I may well use a voice-activated personal assistant at some point
‘Devices that immediately respond to voice commands have to be always on and always listening’ in the future. But with reports of hacking of company databases and even politicians’ emails surfacing more and more often, I think end-users have every right to be cautious – and it’s incumbent on manufacturers to be as upfront and unambiguous about the uses to which they put our data and the steps they take to secure it. Remember: even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop webcam with electrical tape. There’s a valedictory feeling in the air here at Installation Towers – and not just because I’m writing these words as December’s working days recede into the distance. This issue, we’re bidding a fond but sad farewell to Joanne Ruddock, who has been managing editor on Installation for nearly nine years. Jo has been a huge asset to the team – a meticulous organiser, a skilled project manager, a highly competent editor and an excellent writer. In addition to her input on Installation, I’ve really valued her major contributions to Tech&Learning UK and the ISE Daily. And on top of that, she has done an amazing job across a number of other titles in what is now NewBay’s Business Entertainment Group. We will feel her absence, but we wish her the very best of luck with her new content management business, and look forward to working with her in this new role.
Installation is part of NewBay’s extensive portfolio of professional AV brands: TECH&LEARNING UK Technology for engaging minds To enquire about marketing opportunities in any of these brands, please contact Gurpreet Purewal – firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 20 7354 6029
News & Data 06 Analysis Flat panel display revenue to increase Generation Z viewing habits changing 10 Regional Voices: Italy
People 12 Industry Moves 14 Opinion Rob Lane gets feedback on the Microsoft Surface Hub Menno Koopmans looks at the progress of voice control 18 Interview Jon Sidwick discusses his 20-year journey with Maverick, and his InfoComm work
Features 28 Huddle rooms Ian McMurray looks at the impact of millennials and whether huddle spaces are good for the AV industry 36 Project management How can integrators navigate the complications that come with AV installs and ensure that projects donâ€™t get derailed?
Solutions 40 Moesgaard Museum, Denmark This refurbished museum has made a success of its bold new, interactive approach to exhibitions with the help of a partnership with Panasonic 44 Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford An array of AV systems have delivered broadcastquality video and facilitated a collaborative approach at this university school 46 Chaillot National Theatre, Paris This theatre has designed and installed a 3D sound system to provide a consistent soundstage 48 Solutions in Brief Including, NanoLumensâ€™ landmark Auckland rail station install and an elaborate K-array loudspeaker system in Dubai
Technology 51 New Products Including Roland, Leyard, BenQ and Audinate
54 Showcase Microphones
56 Demo of the Month Atlona Omnistream
Also inside 20 Show preview ISE 2017
26 Show preview Bett 2017
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Flat panel display revenues to increase in 2017 By Steve Montgomery
hile it unrealistic to expect an increase in unit demand this year in view of an overall sluggish global economic outlook, the market revenue for ﬂat panel displays is expected to grow signiﬁcantly following a rebound in panel prices along with an increased demand for premium display products. Year-on-year unit growth rate of the ﬂat panel display market is projected to remain low at 0.3% in 2017. In contrast, display area demand is expected to grow 6.6%, and market revenue is expected to grow 9.3%. Revenue growth is being pushed by an increased supply of premium products that has raised the overall average selling price. Demand is increasing for premium products, including larger-size displays for TVs and desktop monitors, tablets and high-deﬁnition panels, including UHD displays. There has also been a demand switch to active-matrix organic lightemitting diode (AMOLED) panels in smartphones, and for oxide and low-temperature poly silicon panels in mobile PCs and desktop monitors.
Flat panel display demand forecast ($bn) 120 117 115
Source: IHS Markit
* = forecast
Shifting viewing habits of Generation Z highlighted By Steve Montgomery
esearch conducted by Futuresource Consulting into digital media consumption and its influence on the habits of the so-called Generation Z has revealed some key insights into how children aged between three and 16 divide their leisure time between traditional and digital pastimes. The study, of children across the US, UK, Germany and China, showed that video-ondemand services are gaining market share rapidly over live TV in this age group. “There is an ever-increasing engagement with mobile devices. A third of children use them to consume video every day, and this rises to 40% in the US,” commented Carl Hibbert, associate director of media and entertainment at Futuresource. “This appetite has an effect on the type of content watched; with ‘snacking length content’ of one to five minutes proving most popular for the over-fives so they are getting through a lot of content.” Smartphone and tablet use doesn’t stop while watching TV; around half of children
use them concurrently. Playing games and chatting online are the most popular activities. A quarter watch online video on sites such as YouTube. “This potentially highlights a real lack of
focus or engagement with content across devices,” added Hibbert.
Percentage of 3-16 year olds citing live TV as most frequently watched TV/video platform
...but SVoD gaining share SVoD as most frequently watched platform 27.0% 3.4% China
USA Source: Futuresource Consulting
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Google to beneﬁt from IFPD market growth By Duncan Proctor
s a result of the shifting competitive landscape within collaboration solutions, Futuresource Consulting believes the interactive ﬂat panel display (IFPD) market will experience signiﬁcant growth over the next few years. Fragmentation in the collaboration solutions market has happened over the past two years because vendors of displays, software, videoconferencing hardware and wireless presentation devices have been working in isolation. However, the common standards used by many of these companies allow for their independently developed products to be integrated, creating a complete solution. A key development has been the growth of the IFPD market, which Futuresource predicted would grow by 34% year-on-year by the end of 2016, reaching 916,000 units. By 2020, this ﬁgure is expected to reach 1.2 million units,
indicating a 2016-20 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.2%. This is part due to the evolution of the IFPD, which has become an all-in-one display solution that allows VC, interactivity and content sharing, bridging many of the gaps between VC players, display vendors and wireless presentation solution providers. Another factor has been the increasing awareness of such solutions thanks to the marketing and launch of Microsoft’s Surface Hub. Hoping to take advantage of this is Google, having announced the Jamboard – a 55in 4K IFPD aimed at the corporate market. Jamboard is currently only available to business customers of G Suite on a private beta testing basis but is expected to become available to the public by mid-2017. Unlike its Chromebook product that went to market via third-party OEMs such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, Google is in partnership with BenQ, which
IFPD market growth
22% CAGR 2016-20
Source: Futuresource Consulting
acts as Google’s exclusive enterprise partner. Jamboard is designed to facilitate collaboration in the corporate space using Google Hangouts, permitting up to 50 participants in a ‘Jam’ session. Video calling is possible with Jamboard featuring an integrated HD camera, speakers and microphone. Its interactive functionality supports both pen and ﬁnger touch and content sharing is permissible in a Jam via iOS and Android devices.
From the publisher of Installation, AV Technology and SCN.
From primary through to higher education, Tech&LearningUK engages with those responsible for AV & IT technology throughout the UK education sector. Tech&LearningUK reaches 16,000 decision makers and inﬂuencers in the UK and provides manufacturers and service providers with the perfect marketing platform for targeting this growing market.
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10 REGIONAL VOICES
ITALY It’s all change in the Italian political world, but the country’s installed AV market looks to be somewhat more stable
ollowing his failure to gain public support in a referendum for sweeping changes to the country’s constitution and parliamentary system, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi resigned in early December. Observers said this was likely to plunge the eurozone’s third largest economy into chaos. The defeat was a predictable one, as Renzi’s popularity had been declining for some
Budget deﬁcit, 2015 Source: Trading Economics
time and the plebiscite was seen by many as a vote of no conﬁdence in the PM. Meanwhile – in fact, shortly before the nation made its way to the polling stations – we have been carrying out our own poll of players in the Italian installed AV market. The respondents to our survey appeared to be nearly all either optimistic or equivocal, with few naysayers. Nearly half thought general levels of conﬁdence in the country’s industry were on a par with what they were six months ago, while the majority of the remainder believed them to be higher. There was a similar picture when we asked them how they felt their own companies were faring: a small majority felt that their revenues would rise over the next 12 months, but around a third thought that incomes would be ﬂat. Asked to choose from a list of issues the one
that was of most concern to their businesses, nearly all of our respondents picked one of three answers. Equal ﬁrst on the list were ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’ and ‘credit terms and other cashﬂow issues’, with ‘falling margins’ not far behind. Few respondents chose to add a comment to their answers, but one of those who did said: “In general, I often see a very low quality of installation, mainly due to a low level of education of technical staff employed.” If these thoughts sound familiar, so too do our respondents’ wishes for the one thing they could change about the way the Italian installation market works: greater protection of dealers by manufacturers, and a way to raise awareness of
Annual GDP growth, Q3 2016 Source: Trading Economics
technology among end-customers, were among the comments we received. There were some unusual results, though, when we asked about vertical market trends. Digital signage often tops the list in these national polls; but bars, clubs and restaurants put in a strong showing in second place – and education, which is generally a good performer, was second from the bottom here.
What will be the business trend in the following vertical markets?
INCREASE Digital signage Bars, clubs, restaurants Corporate Performing arts venues Museums/visitor attractions Retail Sports venues Education Worship NO CHANGE
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Dataton names its ﬁrst CEO
Lars Sandlund has taken up the newly created position
Philippe Vitali has been named marketing and communications director. Vitali joined Analog Way in 2014 as integration and application software director. Prior to that he served as business unit manager in a leading global supplier of precision instruments. Based in the company’s French headquarters, he will be responsible for the brand’s global strategy and product offering.
www.analogway.com AV Stumpﬂ
Picture: AV Stumpﬂ
is now global marketing manager at AV Stumpfl. In this newly created role, he will be responsible for campaigns, brand partnerships, communication strategy, product marketing and events.
fter seven years at Dataton, Lars Sandlund has been appointed to the new role of CEO where he will be charged with implementing the strategic expansion of the Swedish manufacturer. Prior to this he was COO, responsible for the daily operation of the company. “I’m looking forward to leading and developing Dataton, with its admirable reputation for innovation, great products and its proud 43-year history. My goal is to ensure that Dataton maintains and reinforces its top position in the market for at least the next 43 years,” commented Sandlund. Dataton has expanded significantly over the
last five years – appointing new sales partners, moving to purpose-built headquarters and doubling the number of staff on the R&D team. “We are committed to creating products that are the best in the business and for that you need the best people in the business,” Sandlund underlined. “The pace of the AV industry has never been faster than it is today and growth is essential to keep us at the forefront of technology, driving development. I’m excited to lead that process.”
is the latest addition to the B-Tech team in Düsseldorf. He has been charged with using his many years of experience in the AV channel to strengthen the company’s focus in the DACH (GermanyAustria-Switzerland) region.
www.btechavmounts.com Core Brands
Neal Ellsworth has taken up the newly created position of product manager, new initiatives. In this role he will lead efforts to create new categories of products and new products within established categories. He joins from SnapAV, where he was product line manager for affiliate products and film screens.
New Partners After years of serving as the brand’s largest valueadded distributor in North America, Optoma has appointed Stampede Europe as a key distribution partner for its range of DLP business projectors in the UK. The announcement follows Stampede’s expansion into Western Europe with a UK-based headquarters earlier this year. www.optoma.co.uk www.stampedeglobal.com Out Board has appointed Nordic Pro Audio to distribute the TiMax SoundHub audio show control spatial processors and TiMax Tracker performer tracking systems throughout Denmark. www.nordicproaudio.com www.outboard.co.uk
Invision Europe will now serve as RTI’s exclusive distributor in the Netherlands. Part of Invision UK, Invision Europe will provide direct access to RTI’s full range of control and automation solutions, along with dedicated services designed to support dealers. www.invisioneu.com www.rticorp.com LTP Integration, part of the PAI Group of Companies, has announced a new partnership with Anolis UK, an architectural lighting division of ROBE. LTP Integration will provide design, integration, sales and support for interior and exterior architectural lighting schemes across the UK and Europe. www.anolis.eu www.ltpintegration.com
www.corebrands.com Martin Audio
Dan Orton has been appointed product group manager, a new position within Martin Audio. His duties will include management of both the product portfolio and product support team while delivering improved territory application support and monitoring. Prior to this Orton worked in a variety of engineering development and application engineer roles with both Turbosound and L-Acoustics.
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14 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Rob Lane Getting to the Hub of things Is Microsoft Surface Hub all we hoped?
ust over a year ago (Installation, October 2015), I wrote about Microsoft Surface Hub and how – delayed shipments aside – the industry expected big things from it. Revolutionary; game-changer; next big thing; fundamental step-change: just some of the acclamatory comments made to me about the Hub by those with a stake in its success. Now, two years since it ﬁrst unveiled (January 2015), and a year since it started shipping (January 2016), how has it been received? It’s fair to say it has had a somewhat bumpy start, with those initial shipping delays making way for stock shortages (resolved in September 2016, when Microsoft fulﬁlled all outstanding orders and the Hub moved into stock surplus for the ﬁrst time), price increases, and – it’s reported by some – technical glitches. Microsoft’s own research study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, was released in February 2016, perhaps a little early in the Hub’s life cycle given the shipping delays. Forrester interviewed several Surface Hub early adopters, “to better understand the beneﬁts, costs, and risks associated with a Surface Hub implementation”. Results were favourable, perhaps unsurprisingly, with improved meeting productivity – speciﬁcally for initiating meetings with remote participants and handling post-meeting tasks; reduced meeting room equipment costs and no printing costs; improved results from client meetings held in Hub-enabled rooms, leading to more and larger sales; and improved collaboration and business impact.
Higher ROI AVI-SPL, one of Microsoft’s strategic partners for
Surface Hub, released its whitepaper even earlier, in January. Like Microsoft’s, AVI-SPL’s study also looked at the Hub’s cost savings and business beneﬁts, focusing on how it delivers a higher ROI than other solutions in terms of cost, improved meeting efficiency and employee productivity. It makes a strong business case for deploying Hub “to meet the business requirements for an intuitive, fullfeatured group collaboration solution”. AVI-SPL shows that the Hub delivers the best value in terms of price and also offers capabilities that other solutions cannot. The whitepaper also concludes that the Hub provides additional “business process value” and helps organisations “support other organisational strategic goals”, such as BYOD or a more mobile workforce. Simon Fagan, director at Maverick UK, one of Microsoft’s European distributors, was also enthusiastic when he spoke to me in 2015, calling the Hub “revolutionary… a fundamental step change in integrated technology”, and adding that it will allow videoconferencing and sharing to screen from home workstations to become commonplace.
On the ground But early, pre-shipping praise and hot-offthe-blocks whitepapers aside, how is the Hub doing on the ground, right now? AVMI, another of Microsoft’s chosen strategic partners, has recently been ramping up its Surface Hub sales/ hire and marketing, and Jason Turner, AVMI business innovation director, is a huge fan. “For me where the device stands out is the ability to get the meeting started from the
moment you walk in the room,” he told me. “Up and running within seconds of touching the screen. Walk up and use: it is exactly that.” Turner reckons that, typically, the time taken to set up meeting rooms is between eight and 15 minutes on average: the “normal user experience” of a meeting space. “The Hub is only limited by what you want to do with it or the applications you want to use on it,” he says. More than 18 months on from its stuttered launch, it’s perhaps still early to say just how successful the Microsoft Surface Hub has been, or whether it will live up to all the hype and expectation. However, the signs are good that is may indeed be a game-changer, in terms of shaking up workplace collaboration as a disrupting technological application. It remains to be seen if Surface Hub is the product of choice after the dust settles on this mini revolution. What’s clear is that – as is the case in today’s world of Brexit and Trump– things are unlikely to be ever the same again. Rob Lane is a journalist and founder/director of Bigger Boat PR Ltd. He’s enthusiastic about technological disruption, less so about radical changes in Western society.
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16 OPINION: ON THE HORIZON
Menno Koopmans Keep talking Voice control’s dominance has only just begun
elevision watchers used to demand remote controls that had a button for every feature on their television, from simply changing the channel to adjusting the screen display format. Nowadays, they aren’t demanding buttons at all, and instead they’re looking to control their TVs via the sound of their own voice. Although perceived as a relatively new concept within the tech industry, voice control has actually been around for a few decades now. The automobile and telecoms industries in particular have a history of experimenting with it in various forms over the years, but this has mostly been limited to within a B2B environment. The technology over the years simply hasn’t been advanced enough to match the high standards of the consumer, and so the overall impression of voice control was one of confusion rather than convenience. Thankfully, voice control has come on leaps and bounds since then, and we’re now at a stage where the quality and accuracy of voice control has improved to such a degree that manufacturers are ﬁnally starting to realise the beneﬁts that the technology holds for both themselves and their consumers. The sheer importance of voice control should not be underestimated: it is the most intuitive technology we’ve ever seen for remote control. The need for remembering all manner of channel numbers and button combinations is no longer necessary, and instead users can simply ask for the channel they want or the desired volume level as if they’re chatting to an old friend. It’s simple, effective and rapidly increasing in popularity, with major TV brands starting to
place voice control at the very heart of their user interfaces.
Beyond the TV However, most critically for manufacturers in the B2B space, the technology also opens up a whole world of residential opportunities beyond the realm of the television. There’s no doubt that voice control is the next big step forward in home automation, and so it will be playing a major role in the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). Whether a consumer wants to turn down their heating or turn on the coffee machine, it’ll be voice control that’s used to control all of these different connected devices at once, and that will inevitably result in a rise of remote control usage.
‘It is the most intuitive technology we’ve ever seen for remote control’
However, the process of incorporating voice control into a business’s product offering isn’t without its challenges. Despite the very advanced level that voice control has now reached, there’s still a considerable number of sceptics, many of whom will be deterred from the technology after bad user experiences in the past. For this reason, it’s crucial that businesses do their best to educate their customers around the evolution of voice control and reassure them of its simplicity. As with any new technology, it’s also important not to assume all users have sufficient knowledge to use voice control
properly. There needs to be clear education and instruction around how to use the technology, as well as the tasks and functions that it’s capable of. The living room can be a challenging place acoustically, with multiple people sitting around the room and noise coming from all angles, and so the microphone needs to be able to clearly capture the voice of whoever is in charge of the remote. This will often require sophisticated audio processing and very precise placement of the in-built microphone. Voice control’s evolution into a sophisticated, multi-channel command system brings huge potential for businesses, but with competition coming from all angles, it will also force manufacturers to think creatively about how they incorporate it into future products in order to stand out. Menno Koopmans is senior VP subscription broadcasting, Universal Electronics.
18 INTERVIEW: JON SIDWICK, MAVERICK
Twenty years and still growing
From small business roots to being a major pan-European organisation bridging AV and IT, distributor Maverick has seen signiﬁcant growth and success. Ian McMurray talked to Jon Sidwick, vice president, Maverick Europe Why did you join Maverick? Having previously been with a reseller, I joined Sharp, helping develop their LCD and projector business. I really enjoyed the experience of working with a large blue-chip multinational – over the 11 years I was there, I learned a lot about how a large organisation should work, and being exposed to a very different culture was fascinating. But: having seen two distinct parts of the AV business, I decided I wanted to experience a different part – and distribution was the obvious next step. It was a natural progression for me. That’s how I ended up joining Maverick who, at the time, were just six people. To be honest, it was both daunting and energising at the same time. Every decision that needed to be made, you made it yourself – and you knew that whatever you decided would make a real difference to the company. What have you achieved as a company since then? Remarkably, I’m celebrating my 20th year with
Maverick in 2017 – ten of those with Maverick itself, and ten as part of Tech Data, Maverick’s parent company. Today, Maverick turns over more than €300 million, and we’ve grown to being present in 16 countries. And we’re growing fast: next year, we expect to be a €400 million company. Over those 20 years, we’ve managed to create some very successful companies. Vision designs and manufactures excellent AV installation accessories. Hotlamps is, so far as I know, one of the last multi-country replacement projector lamp companies. PSCo came out of Maverick, as did Stampede and Design Integration, all successful businesses. Has everything you’ve done been a success? No business grows as fast as we’ve done without a few mis-steps along the way, and we’ve had a few. One example was when we created Pro Installation to address the education market, as there was a lot of BECTA funding
washing around at the time. But that funding dried up. We were probably about a year too late to the market. My attitude has always been, though, that it’s better to try and fail rather than not to have tried in the first place. I’d rather be criticised for doing something than for not doing something. And our successes have far outweighed our failures. How has your Maverick career developed? One of the reasons I’m still at Maverick is that it feels like I’ve had a new job every three or four years – and that’s a function of how we’ve been growing. In the early days, the team and I were all about establishing Maverick as a business in the UK – but we’ve scaled to become a European business. Now, recognising that many major integrators – such as AVI-SPL and Whitlock – operate worldwide and are looking for consistency of service delivery across countries, we’re growing our presence in North
A brief biography Jon Sidwick spent a decade as head of LCD sales at Sharp before joining newly formed distributor Maverick Presentation Products He has driven Maverick’s international expansion – the distributor now sells across 14 countries in Europe His involvement with InfoComm includes two years on its Leadership Search Committee; in November 2016 he was appointed to the Board of Directors – the only European currently to hold this post America, where we’re leveraging Tech Data’s AV team. We have plans too in the Paciﬁc Rim. Our major vendors – the likes of Cisco, Logitech and Microsoft – are also all looking for a single point of contact with their key vendors. How do you see the industry today? Our industry has always been about delivering exceptional experiences, and that isn’t changing. High-end AV may not be the largest part of the market, but it’s still growing rapidly. Yes, customer expectations are higher than ever but our industry is responding. Increasingly, we’re living in an ‘experience economy’: wherever consumers go, whatever they do – go to a museum, go shopping, go to a football match – they expect it to be an ‘experience’ – and, as an industry, that’s what we’re uniquely good at. The exceptional growth, and the larger part of the market, is coming in collaboration systems – which is why we’re seeing a lot of venture capital investment in that area. To take advantage of that, I think integrators need to take on board two things. One is that what we all bring with us – and it’s too easy for us to forget how good we are at it – enormous skill in understanding how to deliver great images and great audio, and that’s an ability that IT integrators don’t have. That doesn’t apply any less in huddle spaces. The other is that the nature of the market opportunity is changing. Now, the opportunity isn’t so much about a one-off €20,000 boardroom – it’s about twenty €3-5,000 huddle spaces. We need to be just as excited about that. Those opportunities are out there: we’re regularly talking to major organisations, each of which is looking to equip literally thousands of meeting rooms around the world. You distribute the Microsoft Surface Hub. How’s that going? The Microsoft Surface Hub has been fantastically successful for us. We only started shipping it a few months ago, but it’s already our best-selling product in revenue terms. There are two really important things to understand about the Hub. The ﬁrst of these is the total
INTERVIEW: JON SIDWICK, MAVERICK familiarity of the user interface. People talk about ‘simplicity’ in collaboration systems, when what they should be talking about is ‘familiarity’. Research has shown that, with traditional conferencing systems, it takes an average of 12 minutes to set the equipment up before the meeting can actually begin. Now, it just takes a mouse click: users just ﬁnd it intuitive and comfortable. For the same reason, users like Skype – it’s something they know – which is why SRS [Skype Room Systems] from the likes of Logitech will become massively popular. The other thing to understand is just how much the Surface Hub legitimises the whole idea of collaboration systems. There’s hardly a major organisation anywhere in the world that isn’t a Microsoft customer – and Microsoft is a brand they feel very comfortable with, especially in the IT organisation, to whom it’s pretty much worth its weight in gold. What we’re seeing, and we as an industry need to embrace, is a transition from products
‘It’s too easy for us to forget how good we are at delivering great images and great audio’
to platforms. The question now, when talking to an organisation, is very much “How do you work?” I saw a wonderful example recently when I visited the new Barco HQ in Kortrijk. There, in common with many other organisations, they found that, when people get together in the cafeteria, they’re very often having informal, ad hoc meetings. So what did Barco do? Fit out the cafeteria with collaboration systems. What do you see as being important for the AV industry in future? There’s no doubt in my mind that IoT, VR and AR will be extremely signiﬁcant to our industry in the future. People say “but the IoT is already here” – but it really isn’t. There’s so much more we can do with it, and I think it can be a huge accelerator for the AV industry, in areas such as smart retail solutions. You’ll see the ﬁrst evidence of Maverick’s IoT capabilities at ISE 2017. VR and AR can be similarly transformational in terms of what can be done with education and training. The key here is to understand that only 5% of what’s involved with VR/AR is about the headset – the other 95% is all about what’s behind it. At Maverick, we’ll be looking to be a bridge into the necessary skills. You were recently elected to the InfoComm Board of Directors. What’s behind that?
First, I’m passionate about the AV industry. It’s a great industry to be in, and one that’s given me a lot. I believe that it’s essential, for the AV industry to be relevant and to grow, that we have a strong, successful InfoComm. It has a huge role to play in how the industry develops, how we equip ourselves to take advantage of what the future holds for us and how we continue to deliver those exceptional experiences that are what we’re all about. I wanted to give something back to the industry, and being an InfoComm board member seemed like a good way of doing that. Second, we need InfoComm to be truly international in its scope, and InfoComm is fully aware of that. I’m hoping that my European perspective can help it achieve its goal of being a truly worldwide organisation. Third, I think we at Maverick have an excellent understanding of what’s going on in the industry – a view of the new world that is dawning as AV and IT converge – and I’m hoping that sharing that understanding can be helpful to how InfoComm moves forward. How has the industry changed over the past 20 years? One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the industry over the past 20 years has been in terms of scale. Back in the day, I probably knew the children’s names of the 20 or so resellers I worked with. It was very much a relationshipsbased business. Now, Maverick has 30,000 customers across Europe. The other has been the entrance into the industry of companies who were never previously associated with AV – I’m thinking of Cisco, Logitech and Microsoft, for example. When you get companies like that coming in, you know you’re part of a market that’s incredibly attractive to participate in. What are your plans for the future? I still think of Maverick as my baby. I’ve been on a wonderful journey with a great team, some of whom are still with us and some of whom have gone on to be very successful elsewhere. It’s given me a real kick to see the people I’ve worked with develop and grow and have brilliant careers, and to perhaps have played a part in that. In the near term, there’s still so much to achieve with Maverick, it’s hard to think of doing anything else. And I truly believe that these are the most exciting times we’ve ever known in the AV industry. Perhaps it might be good one day to go back to being a part of something small – but that won’t be any time in the next few years.
20 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017
What? ISE 2017 Where? Amsterdam RAI When? Conferences 6-10 February Exhibition 7-10 February
Gathering momentum In our second of three ISE 2017 previews, we offer some more highlights in various areas of the showﬂoor – as well as news of the Opening Address
ntegrated Systems Events recently announced that the Opening Address at ISE 2017, on the eve of the show (Monday 6 February), will be given by awardwinning architect Ole Scheeren. He will share his vision of contemporary architectural and urban development and explore how technology and architectural design combine to inﬂuence the creativity of each discipline. Principal of Buro Ole Scheeren, which has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin and Bangkok, Scheeren is its chief designer and leads the company’s strategic development. His current projects include the Guardian Art Center, near the Forbidden City in Beijing, 1500 West Georgia in downtown Vancouver, and MahaNakhon, Bangkok’s tallest tower. The Opening Address will be followed immediately by the ISE 2017 Opening Reception.
AUDIO QSC will show its AV-to-USB bridging solution, which combines professional-quality video with QSC’s audio expertise to deliver a superior user experience for computer-based
videoconferencing and capture for both installed conference PCs and BYOD scenarios. The solution includes Q-SYS PTZ-IP cameras, TSC7t Touch Screen Controller and I/O USB Bridge. This fully networked solution eliminates the need for HDMI and USB extenders by keeping all Q-SYS appliances on the network. QSC’s AV-toUSB is said to be the only solution in the market that allows users to connect multiple cameras with multiple bridging endpoints simultaneously, creating a true many-to-any matrix without the need for additional hardware. Lectrosonics will show the new DBa digital belt pack transmitter, as part of the DSW (Digital Secure Wireless) microphone system. Featuring 24-bit/48kHz digital audio, the DBa is designed for use in theatres, touring and other demanding applications. The compact and light weight but rugged machined metal construction ensures durability in tough environments, while AES-256CTR encryption technology, ensures privacy for use in corporate boardrooms, shareholder meetings, and government facilities. Lectrosonics’ DBa beltpack
The DBa features wideband tuning (470698MHz), a highly linear RF output stage for reduced intermodulation distortion and a true 50mW transmission RF power for excellent range and resistance to dropouts. The main focus of the Merging Technologies stand will be the recording and delivery of immersive audio content to a wide variety of users. The latest versions of its Ovation Audio and Event Server, backed up by the Pyramix Virtual Studio recording and editing engine, provide for virtual room panning that is format agnostic. On the networked audio solutions side, Merging will be showing a new AD card for its Horus and Hapi RAVENNA/AES67 interfaces. The AKD8D and its DP Premium version covers sampling rates from 44.1kHz to DSD256 and DXD; there are signiﬁcant improvements to the preamp stages and the overall dynamic range and harmonic distortion. Pliant Technologies is showing its latest SmartBoom LITE communications headset. This is said to offer exceptional audio quality, advanced features and design enhancements, including SmartBoom technology, which allows the adjustable mic boom to act as an on/ off switch for quick muting.
Best of Show Awards – and Installation drinks NewBay will once again be recognising the most innovative new products on show in Amsterdam with its ISE 2017 Best of Show Awards. The awards are open to any company showing a product at ISE 2017 that is new since the 2016 event. Awards will be given by Installation, Tech&Learning UK, PSNEurope, Audio Media International, AV Technology, Digital Signage and Residential Systems. 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. For more information and to enter the awards visit www.newbay-awards.com
Installation will host its ISE 2017 networking drinks on Wednesday 8 February at 18:00 this year, the event will see the presentation of special ‘Editor’s Choice’ Best of Show Awards. If you’d like to attend, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a place on the guest list The SmartBoom series of headsets is designed for comfort, ﬂexibility and durability. The closed back, on-ear headsets feature a single-ear lightweight design with enhanced acoustic isolation. The mic boom is ﬂexible and has a dynamic noise-cancelling cardioid microphone optimised for voice communications.
DISPLAYS/DIGITAL SIGNAGE A completely overhauled player range from BrightSign is making an appearance at ISE 2017. Each of the seven slim new players integrate H.265 and including HEVC playback features and an M.2 interface for WiFi antennae or an M.2 solid-state drive. The top two product lines, XD and XT, offer a hardware accelerated H.265 video decoding engine capable of 4K HDR 10-bit video playback. Version 4.6 of the BrightAuthor software enables a new feature on the HD, XD and XT players called Mosaic Mode, which allows a multitude of lower resolution videos to be played in multiple video zones that add up to the total resolution decoding power of the players’ video decoder. Specialising in trade fair and digital signage solutions, dimedis is showcasing new touch-sensitive rental information columns for the ﬁrst time at a trade fair, in partnership with Basys and wedo. The columns are equipped with a 55in touchscreen and come with a complete implementation package that includes the kompas digital signage software and the kompas wayﬁnding digital route-planning software. The information columns can be laminated with customised ﬁlms. dimedis is also presenting the kompas wayﬁnding intuitive software on an interactive column like those used at the Abu Dhabi Mall or the NeuerMarkt shopping mall in Germany. Joining Mitsubishi Electric’s range of DLP videowall cubes at ISE 2017 is the WE120. Available in WUXGA (16:10) or Full HD (16:9) resolution, WE120 offers a minimum of 100,000 hours of continuous operation in
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Our overriding aim is to put together a KVM system tailor-made to your needs. This involves exceptional levels of consultation from the outset – and exhaustive attention to detail during and after construction. Investing in a G&D system will provide your business with tangible advantages now and into the future. Let’s make that ﬁrst connection. Contact us today.
BrightSign’s new signage player line-up
all brightness modes. At 11.3 years of 24/7 operation, this is by far the longest rated lifespan of any DLP cube on the market, and its nominal power consumption of 77W makes it currently the industry’s most power-efficient. The proprietary air-cooled projection engine requires no servicing, and integration is simpliﬁed thanks to the Display Port 1.2 input. The inclusion of an Intel OPS slot, makes the 120 Series displays suitable for IP based-systems.
22 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017 A new Content Marketplace containing over 500 pre-built pieces of digital signage content, including layout backgrounds, pre-built applications and widgets, is being launched at ISE 2017 by signagelive. The company is also revealing a suite of developer APIs for network and content management, bespoke player development and real time content triggering as well as a UI accessible via tablets and containing a wealth of new features. Signagelive supports the latest near field communications, beacons and mobile technologies, which enable real-time triggering of pre-cached content on a range of conventional and smart signage displays. This facilitates the development of interactive applications. Ventuz Technology’s recently launched Ventuz 5.2 software, including complete virtual reality integration, is being demonstrated at ISE. The content creation toolset allows users to design 3D real-time graphics that can be adjusted to ﬁt VR requirements. The toolset offers animation functionalities, dynamic data input and output and extensive import options for 3D models, including a live-link to Cinema 4D. Users can create content for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, including the existing VR controllers. To address interest and growth in the space of interactive videowalls and large touch tables, Zytronic is showing its force sensing technology for large format interactive touchscreens. The company will demonstrate PCT and MPCT touch sensors with force sensing in ATMs, kiosks, game terminals and interactive videowalls to differentiate between a soft and hard touch. Zytronic’s approach is based on a measurement of the surface area of an applied touch, which changes the measured capacitive signal levels at the relative touch location on the sensor. This eliminates the need for a piezoelectric or other layers on the glass to measure applied force or pressure.
SMART BUILDING Developer Busch-Jaeger says its new ControlTouch KNX can be deployed anywhere from detached houses to large residential complexes, offices and commercial properties. ControlTouch KNX transforms iOS and Android smartphones and tablets – and even the Apple Watch – into remote controls for all KNX system building functions, allowing a building and all its
InFocus’s giant Mondopad
KNX components to be controlled completely free of ﬁxed control elements and panels. It also means that a KNX infrastructure can be controlled remotely. Lighting, blinds, and entire scenes can be controlled with just the swipe of a ﬁnger. ControlTouch KNX also allows access to IP cameras, Sonos wireless speaker cabinets and Philips hue lighting. Designer and manufacturer of professional lighting control systems Lite-Puter is to highlight its recently launched PLCMobile app, which allows smart portable devices to control lighting, curtains, and air conditioning. Available for both iOS and Android, the app allows scenes to be scheduled, thereby enabling the simple control of multiple lighting ﬁxtures simultaneously. The app also features timer, alarm and emergency response functionality to put the user in control even when away from home. The company says that the ORBIT LED driver meets the standard required to achieve a professional dimming curve: it remains nonﬂickering when only in 1% of dimming output.
Busch-Jaeger’s ControlTouch KNX
InFocus is to show a new line of giant collaboration touchscreens, Mondopad Ultra, for the ﬁrst time in Europe at ISE 2017.
The touch-enabled screen combines an HD videoconferencing system, an interactive whiteboard, a 4K presentation screen, audio conferencing, and a powerful PC. Mondopad is designed to allow team members in multiple locations to see and hear each other while brainstorming on a shared whiteboard. Users can collaboratively edit documents by drawing directly onscreen to enable real-time collaboration and more effective meetings. Documents can be saved to the Mondopad for future access, stored to the network, or emailed to anyone directly from the device. Aimed squarely at the rapidly growing market for collaboration solutions, Intel Unite combines an Intel Core vPro processor-based mini PC with the company’s software. It is designed to deliver virtually seamless collaboration from any location; fast, simple meeting starts; and to use existing wireless networks within the business to connect PCs to existing displays, projectors or interactive whiteboards. Peer-to-peer sharing capabilities allow users to collaborate outside the meeting room, and each can interact with the content and annotate the image, and quickly and easily share ﬁles. Meeting organisers share a unique, rotating PIN with users to allow them to join a session quickly. On show from Polycom is RealPresence Trio,
MINI is a registered trademark of BMW AG
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The maximum weight load varies per product.
24 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017
Polycom’s RealPresence Trio
described as the ﬁrst smart hub for group collaboration that transforms the three-point conference phone into a voice, content-sharing and video system for any team environment. The hub provides one-touch integration with calendars while allowing participants to easily pair mobile devices or laptops and share content in HD quality. The addition of a simple webcam turns the RealPresence Trio into a full visual collaboration solution. The product is designed to have broad interoperability and deep integration across multiple UC platforms, including Skype for Business and Microsoft Lync and BroadSoft.
VIDEO/SIGNAL MANAGEMENT AptoVision will be showing BlueRiver NT1000, the latest in its of AV-over-IP chipsets, which can transport uncompressed, zero-latency Ultra HD/4K HDR over Ethernet. AptoVision claims the NT1000 can reduce material costs for AV over IP encoders and decoders by up to 50%. Purpose built for AV/KVM switching and extension applications, the HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliant BlueRiver NT1000 can transmit true 4K/60Hz (4:4:4) video with zero frame latency over 100m of CatX or 30km of fibre. AptoVision claims support for the complete range of signal types including audio, GbE, USB 2.0, RS-232 and IR, all of which can be routed independently. Blackmagic Design is demonstrating Teranex AV, a new broadcast-quality standards converter designed speciﬁcally for AV professionals. Teranex AV features 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0a inputs, outputs and loopthrough, along with AV-speciﬁc features such as a still store, freeze frame, and hi-ﬁ audio inputs. Latency is as low as 67ms. The still store can capture a video frame in any format and hold it in memory, even when the power is cycled. Customers can preload corporate
logos or graphics to display between presenters at conferences, or for outputting sponsor logos at concerts and events between acts. Exterity is showing a range of new and updated products that aim to extend its footprint of integrated IP video and digital signage solutions. The ArtioSign digital signage solution has been extended with new scheduling and management features, and integrated with IP video. The fully integrated ArtioPortal mobile solution makes it easier to deliver high-quality TV and video to mobile devices. The AvediaStream 4K Encoder is an end-toend 4K solution that Exterity claims will provide integrators and end-users with an easier way to manage the distribution of UHD content. Exterity also claims to be the ﬁrst IP video manufacturer to offer the latest version of HDCP Professional technology, in its AvediaStream encoders. Visionary Solutions is introducing new products supporting the distribution of 4K UHD video over standard IP networks. The E4000 encoder and D4000 decoder deliver visually lossless, ultra-low latency UHD video over Gigabit Ethernet without the constraints of traditional matrix switch systems. Visionary’s PacketTV and PacketAV products allow 4K UHD, 1080p HD or lower resolution content to be deployed to a vast number of screens over any standard GbE network, even sharing space on existing enterprise networks, using standard network protocols and devices. A single network can carry audio, video, and data and installation doesn’t require expensive proprietary components or 10GbE switches.
RESIDENTIAL SOLUTIONS The newest member of Earthquake Sound’s MiniMe family is the MiniMe P63 subwoofer, standing just under 9in tall. It includes one 6.5in premium long throw active driver and two 6.5in passive radiators; the latter increase the
capability and efficiency for ultra-low frequency
ISE Daily Installation will once again be running the ISE Daily, the official newspaper of ISE 2017. Written by a team of journalists reporting live from the showfloor, the newspaper is put together in an office at the RAI and printed overnight for distribution at the show, as well as in major Amsterdam hotels and on shuttle buses. The same team is also responsible for the Official ISE Newsletter, sent out before and during ISE 2017. For advertising details, please contact Gurpreet Purewal or Ollie Smith – see staff panel on page 3 for contact details. reproduction, allowing users to achieve a louder, more powerful bass without requiring more power from the amp. Keeping the issue of limited space in mind, the MiniMe P63 offers a 5.2V USB power adapter, allowing the subwoofer to charge or power any other USB compatible devices. It is said to work well with 2.1, 5.1 or 7.2 surround systems. Wall-Smart will show its broader range of ﬂush wall mounts to include solutions suitable for new construction for drywall/concrete, as well as solid board and retroﬁt installations. The mounts are completely ﬂush with the wall, paintable and serviceable. Solid board mounts are made for installations in solid surfaces like wood, glass, marble, partition walls and others. These mounts have depth calibration and are completely ﬂush with the solid surface they are installed in, to provide a seamless integration. Also on show will be retroﬁt mounts, created in response to demand from installers who are not able to do any drywall or paint work, or are upgrading to new technology.
What are you looking for in a lecture capture solution? Affordable Easy to operate Simple to integrate
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matrox.com/monarchlcs/installation Matrox is a registered trademark and Matrox Monarch LCS is a trademark of Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd. All other company and product names are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of their respective owners.
26 SHOW PREVIEW: BETT 2017
What? Bett 2017 Where? ExCeL London When? 25-28 January 10:00- 18:00 (15:00 on last day)
Tech to change education With its focus on game changers, Bett 2017 looks to be a strong draw for all those interested in the world of education technology
ett, the leading education technology show, returns to London’s ExCeL centre on 25-28 January for its 2017 edition. This year, the focus is on game-changers within education – the people, products and organisations that create an impact on the way teaching and learning takes places across the world. There’s a wealth of features at the show. Potential game-changing businesses will be spotlit at Bett Futures, a platform designed to nurture emerging edtech start-up companies. It is returning to Bett following a successful launch in 2015 and impressive growth last year. Practitioner-led ‘Learn Live’ seminars and workshops will address key issues in contemporary education – providing useful insight into the latest research, practices and policies affecting education worldwide. The STEAM Village will once again play host to a number of organisations supporting learning in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. It’s an interactive space for visitors to try out STEAM solutions and products while considering how they can be assimilated into the classroom to enhance education. The Bett Arena offers sessions that mix practical advice, insight, inspiration and tools. For 2017, speakers include Heston Blumenthal, Sir David Carter, Elspeth Finch and returning keynote speaker Sir Ken Robinson.
Seminar picks Here’s our pick of the seminar sessions. • Wednesday 25 January, 12:00 - 12:30 Wall to Wall Learning – Developing Collaboration and Showcasing Student Digital Creations This session outlines how to utilise education technology to liberate the digital creations of students out of the hidden depths of their
online or server-based folders to showcase them on a day-to-day basis in the heart of the school and beyond. Location: Learn Live – Primary • Thursday 26 January, 12:20 - 12:55
Getting to know you: Showcase sessions from emerging edtech start-ups Two-minute showcase sessions from some of the world’s most exciting edtech start-ups, offering a ﬁrst glimpse of the next big classroom tech trends. Location: Bett Futures • Saturday 28 January, 10:30 - 11:00 Demystifying virtual reality: Exploring VR’s potential to transform teaching and learning Virtual reality’s value as an educational tool is becoming apparent. This session will explore VR’s potential to provide immersive learning experiences and give a window into how some schools are using VR now. Location: Bett Futures
Showﬂoor highlights Solutions for distance learning, classroom breakout space, active learning interaction and lecture presentations will be highlighted on the Crestron stand. These include the CaptureLiveHD system, which streams or records live lectures, including the presenter and the content; and the HD-MD400-C-E auto-switcher and extender which, when combined with Crestron’s Airmedia presentation gateway, provides a cost effective BYOD. Additionally, the 3-Series 4K DigitalMedia Presentation System 50 will also be available for visitors to try for themselves. This works seamlessly out of the box with up to four Crestron Connect It Cable Caddies, and when paired with
Airmedia, uses the built-in Crestron .AV Framework technology to connect every visible device in a room on to a managed network. Clevertouch is promising a busy stand at Bett, featuring live tutorials and demos of the latest technology and software innovations. Visitors can explore the new LUX interface – with superfast Android and what the company says is the smoothest and most intuitive user experience to date. Cleverstore 2.0 enables apps to be integrated seamlessly into lessons, with advanced subject ﬁltering and new language options. The allnew Lynx 5 presentation software (or the Lynx app in Android mode) can be used to create inspiring lessons for the whole class. Visitors to Nureva’s stand at Bett will be able to learn about the Nureva Span visual collaboration system – and watch teachers demonstrating a 6.15m-wide version. Span transforms a wall into an expansive, digital workspace. It uses a solid-state projector to beam on to a wall an intuitive cloud-based canvas that is simultaneously accessible from personal devices. Users can create, share and edit ideas and information by working directly on the wall or on their own devices via the Span app. All changes made on the wall or from a device are instantly visible to all users. We understand that the company will also be announcing a new product in the Span family. Sony’s Bett 2017 line-up is designed to enable educational institutions to create and present engaging content that inspires students to work collaboratively both on and off campus. Among the equipment on display will be projectors, lecture capture solutions, high-quality cameras and BRAVIA professional displays. The new Vision Presenter collaboration solution has been developed to help educators make greater use of active learning methods, with the ability to share multimedia like videos, presentations and web content, and quickly connect from mobile devices or USB – and enabling students and teachers to discuss their work on a main screen in front of the class. NewBay will be holding its Best of Show Awards at Bett – exhibitors can ﬁnd entry details at www.newbay-awards.com.
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28 BUSINESS FEATURE: HUDDLE ROOMS
Here, there – and everywhere Once upon a time, so-called huddle rooms didn’t exist. Now, they not only exist – they seem to be everywhere. But, asks Ian McMurray, is that good news for the AV industry?
hey’re narcissistic, have a strong sense of entitlement, love praise and are inveterate job-hoppers. Or: they’re family- and teamoriented, seek and value feedback, prize efficiency and are achievement-oriented. Remarkably, these are descriptions of the same group of people. We’re talking about millennials – or, as they’re also known, Generation Y: those who were born (deﬁnitions vary) between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. While there may be doubt about exactly what their deﬁning characteristics are, there is no doubt that they’re having a signiﬁcant impact on the workplace – not least because they are, by all accounts, its fastest-growing demographic. Let’s take the positive view. They enjoy working with others, and value meaningful interaction. They like to get things done in the most effective way possible. As such, it’s hard to see millennials signing up for the concept of the traditional corporate-style meeting: that’s just not how they prefer to work. Oh, and, one more thing: millennials have grown up with technology. They are not, however, according to many commentators, techsavvy: rather, they are tech-dependent. Given the above, we should probably have anticipated the rise to prominence of the so-called huddle room.
Growing demand “Demand for huddle room installations is growing,”
explains Marco Landi, president, EMEA at Polycom, who believes that it is indeed millennials who are driving their adoption. “According to Wainhouse Research, there may be as many as 50 million huddle rooms worldwide, suggesting that lots of different enterprises are seeing their potential. As conferencing technology has advanced, so have expectations; the traditional ‘bowling-alley’ boardroom setting is perceived increasingly as unnatural, so the tendency is to move away from this.” “According to Wainhouse Research and Gartner, demand is growing,” adds Lieven Bertier, global marketing manager, collaboration at Barco, whose company offers its ClickShare solution for the huddle room market. “For instance, the number of huddle rooms featuring conferencing is expected to double from 2015 to 2016, to a total of 10-20% of all meeting rooms. At Barco, we are certainly seeing that enterprises have a lot more smaller rooms to equip, whereas the number of boardrooms and integration rooms, for example, is remaining stable.” Landi makes a clear distinction between traditional meeting spaces and the new breed – but what are the characteristics of this upcoming phenomenon? “A huddle room is an open collaboration space where employees can have casual, impromptu meetings,” says Jonathan Mangnall, VP of sales – EMEA at Harman Enterprise. “They’re often
Key Points Millennials are becoming the key organisational demographic – and huddle rooms reflect how they like to work The huddle room opportunity isn’t just a large corporate one – it’s about small and medium-sized businesses too There will still be a need for more formal meeting spaces: huddle rooms should be considered as incremental to these Despite their emphasis on simplicity of installation and use, huddle rooms still provide a real opportunity for integrators to add value spur-of-the-moment, initiated when employees need to pull aside for a longer discussion.” “A huddle space lacks formal corporate structure and is used for meetings that could last no more than ten minutes,” adds Michael DiBella, director - collaborative solutions at Kramer Electronics USA. “They are ad hoc in nature and promote more creative thinking. The beauty of the huddle room or space is it can be anything you want it to be. Therein lies its appeal.”
Must-have resource “Huddle rooms are small, interactive and high
FEATURE: HUDDLE ROOMS 29
occupancy working spaces that users can frequently drop in and out of,” believes Stijn Ooms, technology director, Crestron EMEA. “The huddle room is rapidly becoming a must-have resource to better support dynamic collaboration between local and remote knowledge workers.” There is widespread consensus, then, that huddle rooms represent a new, informal way of working. They are designed to encourage spontaneity, interaction and collaboration. A common trait seems to be that they cannot be booked in advance. Those are not the only attractions, however – there are also practical considerations. “With office space costing a premium in many cities around the world, the average workplace seems to be growing smaller,” notes Ooms, “and therefore the need for meeting rooms to be more ﬂexible is increasing.” “Many offices are shared or open-plan, meaning that meetings and calls can sometimes be disruptive for others,” Landi points out. “Having the freedom to ﬁnd a quieter place can help prevent distracting other people from their work, while simultaneously making the most of the spaces available in the office.” “The attraction is part of the natural ﬂow of workplace change,” notes Brady O Bruce, chief marketing officer at InFocus. “We see considerably more open seating and modular office space, especially with the injection of the millennial workforce and the inﬂuence of leading companies, such as Google, Apple and Amazon. Huddle spaces follow that collaborative vein and having additional spaces is becoming more important as individual work spaces become less private and conducive to smaller meetings.”
More affordable All of these requirements and aspirations would, of course, have been challenging to fulﬁl without appropriate technology – but, as ever, the AV industry has responded with a broad range of offerings designed to facilitate both local and remote collaboration. Many of these are, inevitably, a repurposing of existing solutions designed for more traditional meeting environments – or at least, a logical development of them that makes them more accessible, easier to use and, crucially, more affordable. At its simplest, a huddle room has at its heart a large, wall-mounted, interactive ﬂat panel display which is the focal point for the gathering. The other essential element in the space is the provision of some way of allowing participants to share on to that large screen what is on their personal screen – whether laptop, tablet or phone. Among the most recent entrants to the market is NEC Display Solutions, which will launch its InﬁnityBoard at ISE 2017.
Saville helps students collaborate The name ‘huddle room’ is perhaps a little misleading: the term ‘huddle zone’ is becoming increasingly popular as collaboration spaces proliferate. And, while the focus is invariably on the technology, how these areas are furnished makes an important contribution. A case in point is Edinburgh College’s SPACE room, for which UK integrator Saville supplied not only the equipment but also Academy Collaboration desks, each of which will accommodate up to five people. The room actually comprises three individual huddle zones, and each is equipped with a 46in monitor to which students can share their laptops or tablets. The three hubs are interlinked to allow the lecturer to select any connected source at any desk, with the source able to be displayed on all of the screens as well as the lecturer’s SMART 8070i screen. “NEC’s modular InﬁnityBoard is designed to allow meeting participants to get started immediately with intuitive and easy operation,” says Daniela Dexheimer, product manager at NEC Display Solutions Europe, “while perfectly fulﬁlling a company’s need for a powerful and scalable workspace.” The system is offered with a choice of interactive screen sizes, wireless presenting
‘The beauty of the huddle room or space is it can be anything you want it to be. Therein lies its appeal’ Michael DiBella, Kramer Electronics USA
functionality – and can be upgraded to include, for example, videoconferencing facilities. Recognising the informal, ad hoc nature of the new meeting experience, growing numbers of solutions aimed at the huddle room are portable. A case in point is the RealPresence Trio from Polycom – a long-time player in the videoconferencing market – which is designed to be easily taken from one room to another.
Intuitive operation Intuitive operation and rapid start-up are key design elements which distinguish huddle room
solutions from their boardroom predecessors. “Often, meetings only become productive after the ﬁrst 10-15 minutes because the technology does not work properly or it is simply too confusing for employees to manage quickly,” smiles Ooms. “That’s why Crestron developed the HD-MD-400-C-E, which can be deployed with minimal installation capability, and absolutely no programming. It was designed with exactly this type of pop-up huddle space in mind.” Ooms’ reference to “minimal installation capability” may start alarm bells ringing within the integrator community. If huddle room systems are so simple to install, deploy and use that meeting participants can do it themselves – what kind of opportunity do they represent , if any? Landi, for example, notes that “the ideal huddle room system is one that doesn’t require any installation at all”. Others see it a little differently. “From a technical point of view, huddle rooms are no different,” believes Mangnall. “After all, these are still technologically complex places, with a range of disparate technologies to integrate and make accessible to many different people, including those who want to bring their own devices into the space. That said: more thought is required as to how users will use the space and integrators have to be careful not to over-complicate, while still allowing the rooms to be part of a wider system. Integration is neither easier nor harder, just a different set of considerations. Once designed, the nature of the spaces mean that they should be quick to deploy and easy to scale.”
30 FEATURE: HUDDLE ROOMS
Ooms too notes that there is often a requirement to integrate huddle room systems with the broader corporate infrastructure.
to create add-on business with, for instance, audio systems.” “Although a huddle room is much simpler to
of what’s in there. But it doesn’t mean the technology being employed isn’t sophisticated. Largely, however, integrators look for solutions
“For Crestron, it was vitally important that the HD-MD-400-C-E could be put to work on a larger scale,” he explains, “rather than simply managing the display of information in one room alone. We engineered this product as a networkable solution across a collection of huddle rooms.”
install – in terms of cabling, for example – the key
that integrate and work with everything, from
is to match the technology with the expectations
any type of device to any type of platform.
of the user,” adds Stuart Carter, installation
InFocus spends a lot of time making sure our
‘The custom design of huddle rooms provides the opportunity for system integrators to achieve a higher margin compared to a simple meeting room installation’ Wolfgang Haunschild, NEC Display Solutions Europe
Higher margin Wolfgang Haunschild, product marketing manager at NEC Display Solutions Europe, also sees the opportunity for integrators to add value. “The fact that the huddle room delivers more capabilities means that there is, on the one hand, a greater level of effort needed in terms of system integration,” he says. “The room design – furniture and lighting conditions, for instance – needs to be considered to support videoconferencing, plus the correct set-up of the audio equipment to achieve the best acoustic solution.” “On the other hand,” he continues, “the custom design of huddle rooms provides the opportunity for system integrators to achieve a higher margin compared to a simple meeting room installation. In addition, there is the opportunity
technology manager at UK integrator Saville. “Should it be VC-based? Would it beneﬁt from a more interactive IWB-style screen? Different organisations will require different styles and speciﬁcations for the technology which lies at the heart of the zone.” “Yes,” echoes Bruce, “a huddle room is likely to be less complicated from a technology standpoint, at least in terms of the volume
products are also device-agnostic.” Magnall is entirely positive about the outlook. “Huddle users may be liberated from the physical constraints of the boardroom, but there are still technical considerations to contend with,” he points out. “By implementing control, automation and conferencing systems in huddle spaces, it’s possible to ensure that the technology is easy to set up, manage and use. AV control and automation systems simplify the operation of AV equipment in huddle spaces, so users and administrators feel comfortable operating the technology and conﬁdent that it supports their needs.”
Opportunity? There is, then, value to be added by integrators – but for those not already addressing the market, is there a worthwhile opportunity? “For Kramer, huddle spaces have become one of our top installations by a long shot,” says DiBella. “We have a diverse product portfolio
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32 FEATURE: HUDDLE ROOMS that can accommodate installations like this, led by our VIA wireless collaboration solution. Integrators are unquestionably making money by taking advantage of the growth in huddle spaces. Those spaces are going to be the standard room installation for a long time to come.” Saville’s Carter is no less enthused. “We are seeing increasing demand especially on larger projects, across all verticals and especially in the corporate and higher education sectors,” he notes. “I think the demand will increase as organisations see the beneﬁt in turning communal spaces into valuable meeting room areas, and thereby making informal meetings more opportunistic. Booking a particular meeting room just to have an informal review of a few slides or perhaps a brainstorming session can kill the ﬂow before it has even started. The modern generation of instant screen sharing combined with an attractive and more relaxed environment is more appealing, easier to use and can be the catalyst to sharing, creating and capturing ideas.” For many integrators, meeting rooms have long been an important market. However: there must be some trepidation that all-singing, all-dancing conference rooms and boardrooms will give way to much smaller, much less expensive facilities – even if there will likely be many more of them. Are those fears founded? “There’s a trend towards more rooms in the enterprise, with the ratio between huddle rooms and traditional meeting rooms changing in favour of the former,” believes Bertier. It is, of course, easy to think of huddle rooms as purely a large corporate phenomenon – but, in fact, as Haunschild points out, it’s possible to think of them also as mainstream meeting rooms appropriate for smaller companies. “According to Futuresource, over 50% of all the meeting rooms in Europe are located in small- and micro-sized companies,” he says, “and 45% of those rooms are for six or fewer people. The research says that, while there will be 8% growth in meeting rooms over the next three years, the number of interactive displays
Understanding the huddle room The deﬁnitive, and oft-quoted, source of information on the huddle room phenomenon was published by Wainhouse Research (sponsored by Polycom) entitled Understanding the Huddle Room. It characterises what a huddle room typically is and is not as follows: What it contains • The typical huddle room has only basic furniture (a small table, a few chairs) and perhaps a speakerphone or PBX phone on the table. • In some cases, these might also be equipped with a standard dry erase or ﬂipchart. • A small percentage of huddle rooms include a ﬂat panel display mounted on the wall and a VGA/HDMI cable (or connection plate) to allow users to present from their notebooks. • A well-equipped huddle room with a ﬂat deployed in meeting rooms will increase by 30% – a strong indication of the rapid movement towards the collaborative meetings that huddle rooms enable.”
Continuing signiﬁcance Polycom’s Landi has a similar view, both in terms of the continuing signiﬁcance of traditional meeting spaces and in terms of the opportunity that exists with smaller organisations. “The rise of huddle rooms does not necessarily mean that there will be a decline in demand for other meeting or conferencing rooms,” he explains. “However, smaller businesses generally don’t have the space or budget to install a big videoconferencing environment, so the market has adapted and created solutions that help SMEs access the productivity and efficiency gains that were historically limited to large enterprises.” “What’s happening does not mean a major decline in ‘normal’ meeting rooms,” says Carter, “as they will always be needed for the larger more formal meetings that have presentations or are designed for speciﬁc uses such as videoconferencing. The emergence of the huddle zone will help free up these meeting rooms for the more important meetings. Meeting room space is at a premium and they are always very heavily booked especially in a busy corporate world.” “We have worked on huddle rooms in many small to medium-sized business, as well as enterprise-level companies,” adds Bruce. It looks, then, as if the huddle room is an almost entirely incremental opportunity for the AV industry – manufacturers and integrators alike – and one that exists across all types of organisation and discipline.
panel display might also include a wireless presentation system to allow users to present from their notebooks or mobile devices (review WR’s coverage of wireless presentation systems for more information about these solutions). • An ‘advanced’ huddle room might support integrated audioconferencing and even videoconferencing (either using a standalone VC system or USB audio/video devices that connect to a user’s notebook PC). What it does not contain • An AV equipment rack • An AV control system • Ceiling speakers • Table microphones • Acoustic treatments on the walls • Controllable/dimmable lighting • Motorised drapes and/or blinds
Transcending verticals “All markets embrace the huddle space,” concludes DiBella. “Creative departments such as marketing, sales and HR were among the early adopters who became the key drivers for this kind of ﬂexible space. But: based on its success and low investment, we’re seeing it spread to more conservative departments like accounting. Huddle rooms transcend verticals. It won’t be long till millennials comprise more than 50% of the workforce. Regardless of job function or vertical, this is how they meet – and spaces will be built to accommodate their preferences.” Despite the cynicism of some who believe the huddle room phenomenon is some kind of marketing construct, ﬁendishly devised by manufacturers in order to expand the available opportunity, it becomes clear that nothing could be further from the truth. Everything about the concept of huddle rooms hangs together – from the changing physical nature of office space to the rise of the millennial as a force in corporate culture, from the increasing corporate emphasis on ﬂexibility and agility to the growing focus on collaboration as a way of working. Yes, AV technology has responded – is responding – to the opportunity, but it didn’t create it. Huddle rooms are the real deal, and likely to be a signiﬁcant factor in the AV industry for some time to come.
www.barco.com www.crestron.com www.harman.com www.infocus.com www.kramerav.com www.nec-display-solutions.com www.polycom.com www.saville-av.com
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36 BUSINESS FEATURE: PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Keeping on track Major AV installation projects are complex and wide-ranging, involving a large number of partners and numerous risk factors. How can integrators ensure that projects don’t get derailed? Steve Montgomery reports
rofessional AV integrators are well aware that installing a large AV project is fraught with problems. The more they need to work with and depend on third parties, the greater the potential for complication. Communication, trust and reliance on external contractors, architects and clients means that there are a multitude of ways in which a project can go wrong – usually at the last minute – but often the onus to recover from issues falls on the AV integrator. In many cases AV integration is the ﬁnal part of a major new construction of office or education facilities or entertainment or sporting facilities. “The majority of large-scale projects suffer delays along the way, yet the ﬁnal go-live date is often ﬁxed, either by a scheduled event, like the Olympics or World Cup, or because of client commitment,” says Roland Hemming, consultant at RH Consulting. “The AV integration task is nearly always compressed; it is usually the last in a very long chain of jobs, and if everyone else is late, it falls on the AV integrator to recover the situation.”
Documentation Documentation is needed on all projects as a fundamental requirement: if it is not submitted to a satisfactory level, this will generally prevent ﬁnal project sign-off and payment. It therefore makes sense to prepare it early, before the installation team arrives on site, and use it for guidance as well as a communication tool with other trades. “Good documentation is critical to every project,” continues Hemming. “It speciﬁes exactly what is proposed in visual and written form and provides the basis with which to communicate with all other parties. “Another complication is that at the end of the project some of the AV team will have moved on to other projects and lost interest. So the motivation and commitment to providing good documentation at that stage is low – another reason for doing it as well as possible earlier.” Paul Stevens, senior project manager, Reﬂex, agrees: “Keep your customer and supplier relationships in mind when it comes to documentation and communication. I don’t just mean the overall client and suppliers. Everyone
Key Points The AV integration timescale is nearly always foreshortened by delays in prior building services High-quality documentation aids communication and is a prerequisite of every project The project manager is the lynchpin and must have good managerial skills to co-ordinate all parties as well as manage problem resolution Value engineering enables changes to be made between original project specification and final delivery, to accommodate changes in desire, equipment obsolescence and functionality enhancement Problems and issues must be recognised and dealt with at the earliest opportunity and with a realistic approach to prevent escalation and final project failure
involved within a project is, in some way, a customer and a supplier to each other, including your own team of colleagues. Those that receive information from others are clients and those that provide the information are suppliers. Everyone in the process deserves detailed, accurate and professional communications. “The risk with poor documentation and communication is that assumptions are made, which result in mistakes, below-standard performance, deliverables not being met and additional costs being incurred. Good documentation and communication is vital to a successful project. My guide is to provide information in the format I’d like to receive it.” It is the role of the project manager to ensure the smooth running and eventual success of the project. “The project manager is the lynchpin in every project, controlling all aspects of the installation and ensuring everyone is aware of what they have to do, as well as liaising with other contractors and the client,” says Ron Lewis, AVI-SPL’s director of process management. “The most important aspect of that role is communication: building an effective team and ensuring that each member understands their individual role in the project; to organise resources and enable effective communication among and beyond the team.” An effective mechanism, Lewis believes, is the use of standard procedures based on previous successful projects: tried-and-tested procedures that have worked in the past. Within AVI-SPL these have been developed over years of experience. “We constantly use and re-use plans containing the basic task elements from previous projects and adjust to meet the speciﬁc requirement, which allows us to move quickly and minimise problems.”
FEATURE: PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Constructive pessimism On an oil rig, the role of the safety supervisor is one of constructive pessimism: to consider the worst-case scenario in order to anticipate what might go wrong, and how potentially lethal situations can be prevented. Jim Trodden, now retired, was responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of workers on a North Sea rig: “The industry motto is to ‘develop a case of chronic unease’, which is an application of negative thinking that gives a positive response: to imagine problems and envisage how to avoid them.” An interesting aspect of this is that a failsafe condition for one party, such as cutting off electrical power in the event of a problem during an installation programme, might have enormous consequence to others, for example should all the lights go out. While adverse events are generally not as lifethreatening in the AV installation sector, risk and its associated assessment and consequences to a project can be quantiﬁed and better managed using similar techniques. Lewis again: “Risk assessment is linked to a generic set of deﬁned procedures. We have a series of known risks that are consistently encountered; typical problems that we come across during installations, such as absence of furniture, restricted or non-access to working areas, non-arrival of critical devices etc. We have developed a risk register that is used on each project to develop plans to recover a situation, should a particular problem occur. This allows project managers to instantly invoke alternative strategies and communicate them to the team, thereby preventing the situation in which the team has to be assembled and the course of action discussed and agreed upon: activities that are timeconsuming and inefficient.” Hemming also recommends this strategy: “A
recent major contract involved a risk register that contained over 2,500 individual items, each with an individual recovery procedure to mitigate risk. It is not simply a case of solving the problem in hand. Each one may have signiﬁcant knock-on effects, so being able to think beyond that immediate issue and stop it stopping the task string is essential in recovery. For example, not having a piece of furniture may prevent the installation of some equipment, which may affect wiring and then programming and testing of the system in that room, causing a back-up of tasks further down the line. Recognising this and enabling tasks to be performed as parallel independent operations when necessary can keep the overall project on track.” This procedure also allows better reporting
‘It is not simply a case of solving the problem in hand. Each one may have signiﬁcant knock-on effects’ Roland Hemming, RH Consulting
through the creation of checklists and status reports. In his case Hemming used a system of green, amber or red ﬂags on task items to indicate levels of concern. Simon Colling, HEFE manager at CDEC, strongly believes that identifying and warning about potential problems is critical to the success of projects. “Project reporting includes logs that provide full visibility and complete transparency of the status of all tasks. In our case we ﬁnd that
a weekly-distributed Excel spreadsheet serves the purpose well, with individual tabs for areas of activity. Everyone can be made aware of what is happening across the whole project.” He does, however, admit that this takes commitment: “On one particular project we were constantly being held up by the employing contractor, and despite consistently reporting the issues and potential risk to the project timescale, found that they were not actively engaging with us – mainly because they were not reading the logs. Unfortunately they were not well versed in AV technology so were not able to assess the implications. Ironically it is often easier to deal directly with the end customer, particularly in the education sector, as they have dedicated AV/IT support teams who do understand it.”
project, and it is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that this happens,” explains Patrick Stewart-Blacker, managing director of Visual Acuity. “We have seen situations in which the IT architecture, or the IT team, won’t support the deployment of AV distribution systems over the in-house IT network, either because
‘Everyone in the process deserves detailed, accurate and professional communications’ Paul Stevens, Reﬂex
IT buy-in Communicating with the customer or client is an essential part of the project manager’s role. This is becoming more problematic as AV converges more with IT. “As more and more AV systems become IT-centric, for both content delivery and system control, there is a growing need for the IT department to ‘buy in’ to a new solution. Consequently it is essential for the right people from the client side to be involved in the planning and implementation of these types of
of bandwidth, security or logistic reasons. Finding out early what type of equipment and technology is acceptable can be a project-saver, but needs to be addressed.” Budget and functional expectations are another critical area that require direct communication and client endorsement. “We have moved away from functional to feature speciﬁcations based on speciﬁc equipment capabilities when consulting about system
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requirements,” he says, “since it narrows down an unjustiﬁed and unachievable level of expectation. Although it can open up the claim that we are not being equipment-agnostic, it prevents the expectation that the system will be able to do everything the client wants, and more. It also prevents ﬁnal installations looking like a toyshop: many separate devices with a mix of functions that are not fully integrated together.” While many projects, especially larger ones, are strictly speciﬁed through detailed tenders, in practice the ﬁnal delivered system may be somewhat different. An aspect of this is ‘value engineering’, a term that has many connotations. Hemming explains: “Value engineering is a term created by the construction industry. What happens is that early in the project someone estimates budget lines for each element. Then the prices come in. Value engineering is the process of trying to make the quotations match that previous estimate. From a ﬁnancial perspective this seems ﬁne, but this piecemeal approach doesn’t force the budget holders to take a step back and check that they are still achieving the aims and objectives of the project in its entirety. We’ve seen systems value engineered where the replacement system is worse than what was there originally.” Once a contract has been awarded, vendors and suppliers should work together to identify
CEILING ARRAY MICROPHONES
areas in which the result can be improved above the original concept and speciﬁcation. AV integrators can advise on new technology and identify areas where features envisaged by the user are not feasible or practical. Another consideration is change brought about either by a shift in the desires of customers or, equally likely, through the obsolescence or upgrading of equipment – something particularly pertinent in the rapidly evolving AV industry. Stevens comments: “One instance I can remember is during a classroom install. Seven months after the scope of works, there was a speciﬁcation change to the hardware. We’d allowed for futureprooﬁng the infrastructure and connectivity but the fast pace of developments of AV hardware – in this particular instance interactive technologies – meant that the speciﬁcation of kit changed, with the result that the installation had to be amended.”
Building changes Often problems will be unforeseen but caused by uncommunicated changes to the fabric of the building. One integrator recalls a recent example: “The architect had made design changes and added a bulkhead just where our projector was due to go. This resulted in a change to projector and screen speciﬁcations, with the knock-on
effect of restocking fees, costs for revisits and squeezed timescales and proﬁtability for this installation contract.” Even the best-speciﬁed and managed projects can encounter problems. Early and open dialogue between the parties to resolve the issues, rather than apportion blame, usually leads to a better outcome. It should be in everyone’s best interest to deal with them quickly and efficiently, as Mark Tildesley, collaboration director at AV distributor Maverick, sums up: “We understand that there are often problems with projects. The nature of the AV installation sector at the end of the chain means that they are likely to have
dire consequences – sometimes resulting in highly visible failures that can prevent opening of a facility on time. We aim to support our customers and endeavour to resolve situations with whatever is possible ﬁrst, then establish the reasons why and how, no matter whose fault it actually was.”
www.avispl.com www.cdec.co.uk www.reflex.co.uk www.rhconsulting.eu www.tdmaverick.eu www.visual-acuity.com
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40 SOLUTIONS: MOESGAARD MUSEUM, AARHUS, DENMARK
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
New age This reimagined Danish museum has added a new Stone Age exhibition, which brings the total number of Panasonic products featured within it to over 100. Duncan Proctor paid a visit to see how this extensive kit list is helping tell stories and recreate scenes from early human history
he Moesgaard Museum on the outskirts of Aarhus was opened in its current form in October 2014 as an exhibition building and meeting space that features dedicated exhibits presenting different stages of human history. The 15,500sqm structure was designed by Henning Larsen Architects and contains archaeological and ethnographic exhibits, meeting and conference rooms, as well as a café and shop for visitors. In addition, the unique architecture of the building is topped off with a grassy roof, from which visitors can view the sea, the forest and the landscape that surrounds Moesgaard Manor. Built at a cost of 393 million Danish kroner (around £45m), the museum attracted over 50,000 people in its ﬁrst month alone, more than the previous museum attracted in a full year. Its status as a specialised museum also allows its archaeologists to carry out research at home and abroad. The internal team at Moesgaard Museum, led by Pauline Asingh, curator and head of new exhibitions, and Johan Ahrenfeldt, exhibition technology manager, took an innovative approach through a technology partnership with Panasonic. They wanted to go beyond the traditional format employed by a large number of museums, often displaying objects in isolation.
Instead the team chose to present an animated picture, and tell a story incorporating the people who handled these objects on a day-today basis. “The ambition behind the new building and the new exhibitions is to tell stories for man about man, and to create cultural-historical exhibitions which are experienced through the use of the senses, rather than understood by the mind,” says Pauline Asingh. The team was responsible for the entire creative direction for the project along with an engineering team from Panasonic, who offered advice on the feasibility of what had been speciﬁed. The exhibition covers different stages of human history in Denmark, each period has its own dedicated exhibits starting with the Stone Age, through the Bronze, Iron, and Viking Ages, concluding with a look at more modern societies and their cultures. This approach sees traditional exhibits combined with projected images and animations to create ‘scenographic environments’ that re-enact typical scenes from the period and immerse the visitor.
Stone Age The latest addition to the museum is the Stone Age exhibition, which leads on to the Bronze, Iron and Viking Age sections. This new
Installed Video (All Panasonic) PT-RZ470 3,500 lumen laser projectors PT-RZ570 5,000 lumen laser projectors PT-RZ670 6,500 lumen laser projectors PT-DZ680 6,000 lumen lamp projectors PT-DZ780 7,000 lumen lamp projector PT-DZ870 4,000 lumen lamp projectors PT-DX100 4,500 lumen lamp projectors PT-VZ570 4,000 lumen lamp projectors TH-42LF7 LCD displays TH-43LF8 LCD displays TH-55LF6w LCD displays TH-65LE7E LCD display TH-70LF60 LCD displays TH-80LFC50 LCD display exhibition includes 17 Panasonic projectors and two displays, taking the number of Panasonic AV products to over 100 (67 projectors and 34 displays), making it the biggest such installation in Europe. The Stone Age exhibition includes a number of individual, immersive exhibits, starting with a boat scene that featured four Panasonic PT-RZ570 ceiling-mounted laser projectors. The scene recreates ﬁshermen paddling through
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42 SOLUTIONS: MOESGAARD MUSEUM, AARHUS, DENMARK
the water, with their shadows reﬂected in the water through projected animations augmented by sound affects and artefacts. One additional PT-RZ670 projector with an ultra-short throw lens provides the accompanying wall animation of ﬁshermen in the distance offering a sense of the scale. The next Stone Age exhibit is the ‘climate changes’ display, which includes another three Panasonic laser projectors, also ceiling-mounted and concealed from view. The projections are onto an uneven surface and depict the shifting landscape as temperatures change following the Ice Age with the ice receding to reveal grasslands, rivers, and mountains. The ﬁrst human settlements are also depicted on a vertical projection screen at the far end of the display case, signalling the onset of the Stone Age in Denmark, again placing people at the centre of the narrative. The high contrast capability of the Panasonic projectors makes it possible to display the animations on to unconventional surfaces and show the passing of time and shifting landscape. Another highlight from the Stone Age portion of the exhibition is the Neolithic clay pot exhibit, which tells the story of how people in the Stone Age believed in the cycle of life, speciﬁcally how sacriﬁcing items and bones would bring them back later. The installation consists of two PT-VZ570 lamp projectors and a PT-RZ470 laser projector (all ceiling-mounted) mapping video on the inside of the pot. Visitors can see the story unfold by looking through viewing holes in different parts of the pot, and audio is synced in speakers for Danish and in
headphones for English. The ﬁnal exhibit from the Stone Age period is the ‘life size archaeologist’, which has a scientist from the museum presenting ﬁndings at a Stone Age settlement surrounded by artefacts, aiming to place the objects and the audience in the ‘right’ place, making the content more interesting and relevant. The installation is made possible by edge blending two PT-RZ670 laser projectors with DLE030 UST lenses, wall-mounted to show the landscape and the archaeologist, alongside one PT-RZ470, ceilingmounted, recreating mythological drawings in the ﬁreplace.
Realising the brief “We wanted to integrate the AV design into the overall creative process, and to design ambitious exhibitions,” says Johan Ahrenfeldt, exhibition technology manager. “This is when you appreciate and rely on the type of partnership we have with Panasonic, to make sure that the ﬁnal result is worthy of the level of investment.” The solutions central to the success of the project are principally the Panasonic laser projectors, many of which are-ceiling mounted; the others utilise ultra-short throw lenses. The use of UST lenses allowed the projection distance to be shortened by approximately 60% compared to regular short throw lenses. The high contrast of the laser light source also made it possible for the team to design animations projected on to shapes and surfaces that would traditionally be off limits. The choice of projectors also helped reduce running costs and maintenance frequency.
Added to this, a variety of Panasonic displays (up to 80in) have been used across the museum for wayﬁnding and digital signage, as well as in support of exhibits displaying and describing in detail individual scenes as well as the wider context. Moesgaard has also used a touchscreen overlay to increase interactivity on a number of exhibits, often combining the touchscreen with dynamic HD video content. The rest of the tour leads visitors through the Bronze, Iron, and Viking Ages with notable highlights including an Iron Age battle scene in the ‘War Room’. This exhibit features ﬁve PT-DZ680 projectors with short throw lenses, and utilises reverse projection and inbuilt edge blending software to recreate two animated armies on opposite curved walls. The armies face each other with a walkway for visitors in between. It is made more immersive with sound effects, beginning with a horn indicating the start of the battle, followed by the sounds of swords hitting shields and arrows ﬂying across the battleﬁeld. The depiction of the infantry, archers and cavalry puts the visitor right in the midst of the battle with arrows raining down and onrushing soldiers enveloping the scene. “The new building fulﬁls the vision that we have been working towards for many years; to have a museum where we are able to create those exact exhibitions which we feel will give three generations a shared museum experience,” says Jan Skamby Madsen, managing director of Moesgaard Museum.
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44 SOLUTIONS: BLAVATNIK SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT, OXFORD
Sharing experiences Educating the next generation of public policymakers at a new School at the University of Oxford involves a high degree of discussion and collaborative work. Facilitating this approach are AV systems that enable creation and distribution of broadcast-quality video. Paddy Baker reports on the winner of Best Education Project at the InstallAwards 2016
ounded in 2010, Blavatnik School of Government, which provides masters and doctoral education alongside short courses for professionals and public policymakers, is the newest department of the University of Oxford. The School is named after American philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, who donated £75 million to found the institution. Its permanent home opened in 2015: a brand new building designed by influential architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron. The School’s approach to classroom learning about policy-making involves exploring the experiences of its students, who come from all around the world. The building was therefore designed to promote open discussion and collaboration, so students can learn from each other’s experiences. The AV brief reflected this: enabling classroom interactions while ensuring the systems are befitting the stature of an Oxford University school of excellence. The brief also mandated standardised and future-proofed network-based infrastructure with expansion capability, as well as the ability to create broadcast-grade video content.
Room variety The School comprises two main lecture theatres, four divisible seminar rooms, eight formal break-out rooms, one boardroom, one multimedia room, the Forum (a large reception area with seating for informal lectures) and a central control room. The brief also covered a fully functional office suite for Leonard Blavatnik. The AV specification was devised and commissioned by consultant Hewshott International, and implemented by integrator Snelling Business Systems. The central control room receives and controls AV feeds from all teaching spaces – lecture theatres and seminar rooms. Because of the international backgrounds of students, and conference attendees, these spaces are also equipped with individual language translation and control booths. Two virtual production studios were established to capture content including lectures, conferences, speaker series, presentations and presentation audio. These studios are capable of mashing content for broadcast, similar to newsroom broadcasts, for which Blackmagic ATEM production switchers were installed (making the School one of the
Panasonic AW-HE130K cameras Panasonic AW-HE40HWEJ cameras Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E 4K Production Studios Blackmagic 40 x 40 Smart Videohubs AMX Nx-1200, Nx-2200, Nx-3200 Netlinx controllers AMX 4.3in, 7in and 10.1in Modero S touchpanels Cabletime Mediastar MPEG-2/H.264 encoders Cabletime Mediastar media players NEC 42in, 55in, 58in, 80in and 90in LED-backlit LCD displays NEC 6200-lumen WUXGA LCD and laser projectors LG 24in HD monitors Iiyama E2280HS-B1 22in HD LED/TFT monitors
Audio Bose Panaray line arrays Bose F1 subwoofers Genelec 8030 monitors Renkus-Heinz Iconyx column speakers Tannoy iW210s in-wall subwoofers Tannoy CVS 4 Micro ceiling speakers Tannoy VX8.2 8in Dual Concentric + Bass speakers Williams Sound interpreter control consoles
very few education establishments to support this equipment). This is also one of the ﬁrst university buildings to use 6G HD/SDI video cameras entirely throughout (infrastructure is 8K video capable for the future).
Live streaming Cabletime’s MediaStar solution enables live streaming from the two main lecture theatres and the four ﬂexible seminar rooms onto the 27 newly installed screens throughout the School. Four blade encoders were housed in the chassis to support local media sources, and two mobile encoders provide ﬂexibility to stream content on to displays in any room in the building. (Lectures can also be recorded for subsequent viewing.) Steve Royans, business development director at Snelling Business Systems, says: “The client speciﬁcally required us to ensure live streaming and content distribution infrastructure is ﬁt for purpose, in a building expected to host live events with eminent personalities from across the world and at an Oxford institution. More importantly, it had to be reliable and scalable as and when required with future physical modiﬁcations to the building.” MediaStar also enables the School to deliver
SOLUTIONS: BLAVATNIK SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT 45
About the installer Founded in 1954, Snelling Business Systems is run today by a charitable trust Its head office is in Wymondham, Norfolk; it has a southern office in Uxbridge, greater London Managing director Toby Wise was interviewed in our June issue – http://bit.ly/2b3iXBn live TV channels across all screens – BBC Parliament is of particular interest – and to create digital signage and tickers for internal use. This ability to acquire, store, schedule and stream media content is managed centrally through the fully integrated MediaStar Media Manager software that sits at the core of the system. Royans comments: “We approached Cabletime for an integrated suite of software and hardware products to create a comprehensive and fully managed IPTV, streaming and signage system. Utilising an installed TCP-IP infrastructure allows for the delivery of almost unlimited channels of video media and information from one part of the building to any other; to an unlimited number of displays, TVs, tablets and phones within network reach.” Outdoor broadcast points are also included in the infrastructure so that, for example, news
channels’ broadcast vans can hook up to the Schools’ broadcast equipment to relay live content to their respective stations. All audio systems are run on Dante networks. While the brief prescribed not more than five different platforms for content distribution, the deployed infrastructure has met the specification using just four: JPEG2000, H.264, Dante and AVB. This allows the School to standardise future equipment specifications, while making its infrastructure more flexible and reducing operating and maintenance costs.
www.amx.com www.blackmagicdesign.com http://pro.bose.com www.cabletime.com www.hewshott.com www.iiyama.com www.lg.com www.nec-display-solutions.com http://business.panasonic.eu www.renkus-heinz.com www.snellingbiz.com www.tannoy.com www.williamssound.com www.genelec.com
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46 SOLUTIONS: CHAILLOT NATIONAL THEATRE, PARIS FRANCE
Theatre sound in three dimensions A Parisian theatre has designed and installed a 3D sound system that gives a consistent soundstage throughout the seating areas. Tom Bradbury ﬁnds out how it was done
3D sound system, comprising components from Amadeus, Solid State Logic (SSL), Lab.gruppen and Sonic Emotion, has been installed at Paris’s historic Chaillot National Theatre. The four companies joined forces to design a bespoke electroacoustic sound reinforcement system, which has already been used in contemporary dance productions at the theatre. Amadeus envisaged a new sound reinforcement system for the 1,270-seat Jean Vilar Hall that would go beyond traditional formats such as stereo or 5.1, or conventional speaker systems. The solution uses waveﬁeld synthesis (WFS) – a process that creates a soundstage by preserving the spatial information (distance and direction) relating to the sound sources used. “This technique allows us to replicate the sound ﬁeld’s physical properties. Wherever they are in the theatre, the listener keeps a coherent perception of the sources’ localisation,” explains Marc Piera, Chaillot National Theatre’s sound department manager. The Jean Vilar Hall’s seats are arranged in sections, different sizes and slopes (16°, 23°, 25° and 35°). The control room sits 12m above the ground. The spectator area is 33m deep and 34m wide. WFS makes it possible to create acoustic waves that appear to originate from virtual sound sources. To do this, the system uses a large number of loudspeakers, each controlled with a delay and a gain to form a wave that appears to emanate from the desired location. This process
is repeated for each source in the sound scene. The technique creates a coherent sound ﬁeld over an extended area, preserving the ﬁdelity of the spatial image wherever listeners are located.
Amadeus PMX4-type loudspeakers Amadeus PMX 15, UDX 15, UDX 12 active loudspeakers Amadeus MAESTRO subwoofers SSL Network I/O SB 8.8 and SB i16 Dante stageboxes SSL Live L300 console Sonic Emotion WAVE II 3D sound processor Lab.gruppen C10:8X power amplifiers Lab.gruppen IPD 2400 power amplifiers with DSP Lab.gruppen C88:4 power amplifiers Lab.gruppen NLB 60E NomadLink remote control A fourth ‘Surround’ line, made up of six Amadeus UDX 12 active coaxial speakers (12in LF, 2in HF) with remote bi-ampliﬁcation, is hung from the second technical bridge. A bass reinforcement system is set up on the ﬁrstlevel technical bridges, on the left and righthand sides: it comprises six Amadeus Maestro subwoofers, each hosting two long-excursion speakers, loaded by a folded hyperbolic horn. Completing the sound system is an SSL Live L300 digital mixing console, used with four SSL Dante stageboxes: two Network I/O SB 8.8 and two Network I/O SB i16 (with eight and 16 analogue inputs each respectively). These feature SSL’s SuperAnalogue technology.
Same sound everywhere Denis Desanglois, the theatre’s technical manager, says: “ We implemented a WFS-based system prototype and asked the companies we were working with for their feedback. Some technicians were totally initially disoriented, but eventually everyone was happy, technicians and artists alike. The sensations of listening are completely different, wherever you are in the hall, you experience the same sound, that’s pretty amazing.” “We even integrated a 24-speaker ramp in the front end of the stage, to avoid the usual ‘sound hole’ in the ﬁrst row of seats!” adds Desanglois. This line of passive coaxial loudspeakers that are 4-ohm variants of the Amadeus PMX 4 model (4in LF, 0.4in HF), form a large-scale ‘soundbar’; they are distributed 75cm apart across an 18m width, and cover the ﬁrst row. The second line of speakers, which covers the ﬁrst two-thirds of the raked seating area, consists of 11 Amadeus UDX 15 active coaxial speakers (15in LF, 2in HF), with remote bi-ampliﬁcation. These loudspeakers are evenly spaced across a 23.5m width and at 9m height. A third line (pictured), with 11 Amadeus UDX 12 active coaxial speakers with remote bi-ampliﬁcation, is hung at 9m across 23.5m (identical spacing between each of them), and placed at 9m height. This line covers the rear third of the seats.
Audio over IP Philippe Guerinet, director of international sales for SSL and manager of SSL France, says: “We were impressed by the warm welcome received by our SSL Dante solutions in the live and broadcast sectors… [Audinate’s] approach is innovative, reliable and affordable in every aspect; the Chaillot National Theatre install is an excellent illustration of this.” He adds: “Audio over IP allows us to put the stageboxes where needed, with minimal and redundant cabling, and to connect on the network all kinds of Dante-enabled gear: Amadeus sound reinforcement system, SSL L300 console, SSL Network I/O stageboxes, and every other ancillary equipment needed. “This network approach notably allows us to solve classic problems, like signal distribution without adding any TDM routers; there’s no loss, nor noise induced in the audio signals, and latency is particularly low. Last but not least, the technical solutions chosen by the theatre ensure total ﬂexibility and an astonishing audio quality, for a surprisingly affordable budget.”
www.amadeus-audio.com/en/ www.labgruppen.com www.solidstatelogic.com www2.sonicemotion.com
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)RU\RXUORFDO.UDPHURÉ?FH Tel +44(0)1296 330011 I firstname.lastname@example.org I www.kramerelectronics.co.uk ÂŠ 2016 Kramer Electronics, Ltd. All Rights reserved.
48 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
NanoLumens chosen for landmark rail station Two 6mm NanoSlim LED displays from NanoLumens have been installed at Britomart Transportation Centre in Auckland. The ‘Britomart Towers,’ as they are called, are a pair of 2.7m wide x 4.8m high digital displays that are prominently situated in the hub that combines a bus interchange with the country’s busiest metro station. Situated on either side of the main commuter escalators, the displays, which show synchronised content for maximum impact, are seen by 35,000 travellers every weekday. The station is located in a former Edwardian post office, which has been extended with expansive post-modernist architectural elements. NanoLumens was required to provide speciﬁc product certiﬁcation data for the display technology, including power consumption and ﬁre ratings, to satisfy Auckland Transport’s environmental criteria. The manufacturer worked with outdoor media company QMS Media and media consultancy
Digital Place Solutions on the project. “Together, we created a dramatic 21st century digital advertising platform within the architecturally signiﬁcant Britomart
Transportation Centre – and we did it without interfering at all with the iconic architecture of the hub,” says Almir DeCarvalho, vice president of strategic accounts at NanoLumens.
K-array hits the tweet spot K-array KT2 Tornado loudspeakers have been selected for an elaborate installation at the City Walk Dubai urban living complex. Simulating an enchanted forest, the entrance to the children’s level at the mall contains a display lined with fabricated hollow tree structures where the client intended to replicate the sounds of birds tweeting and autumn breezes blowing without affecting the creative set-up. Integrator Redwood Technologies chose K-array solutions for the installation; distributor Procom Middle East supplied 18 white KT2 Tornado loudspeakers. These are compact
2in ceiling-mounted point sources that also provide the DSP parameters for the application. The discreet speakers blend into the design, providing high-quality audio without obstructing the overall display. “The installation of more conventional ceiling speakers was simply not possible,” explains Nathan Williams, director at Redwood Technologies. “Anything surface mounted would have ruined the natural feeling of the space.”
POLARaudio supplies Mackie control surface to private venue Melomania, a private ‘invitation only’ event space for up to 200 guests, was recently opened by manufacturer Cambridge Audio below its London HQ. The venue has a fully equipped DJ booth, PA system and a stage that often hosts the company’s house band. The band had previously used a Mackie DL806 digital mixer with iPad dock for rehearsals and mid-size gigs. When the venue opened, POLARaudio supplied a larger mixer, the DL32R, which the band subsequently enhanced with the
UK’s ﬁrst Mackie Axis DC16 Control Surface. This brings another level of customisation and speed as well as superior visual feedback. Sam Meredith, QA engineer at Cambridge Audio and the band’s lead singer, explains: “As great as using the iPad app is to be able to walk around the room making adjustments to the mix, any sound engineer knows that there’s nothing like having some physical buttons and knobs in front of you to control everything. This is why we jumped on the DC16 when we heard about it.”
SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF 49
Signage strikes right note at Bell Centre
L-Acoustics scores at basketball arena
A Navori Labs QL Professional digital signage engine and Matrox Maevex H.264 encoders and decoders are driving fan engagement for sports and live events at the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens ice-hockey team. The system – recently expanded in time for the 2016-17 NHL season – powers dynamic video, animations, graphics and rich data to hundreds of displays around the venue. Of the various options investigated, Maevex was the only AV-over-IP platform capable of delivering synchronised signage content to multiple displays via one encoder. Visitors now see a more widespread mix of appealing content in up to 4K resolution – entertainment, information and sponsored – the last of which provides Bell Centre with a measurable ROI for the signage network.
The 24,000-seat Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky has been equipped with the largest L-Acoustics K2 speaker system ever used in a ﬁxed installation. The system consists of six K2 arrays: two 13-box K2 arrays covering the east and west sides of the venue, with four 12-box K2 arrays covering the corners. The corner arrays also have four L-Acoustics K1-SB subwoofers ﬂown behind each of them. In addition, 12 ARCS II enclosures are hung underneath a new video scoreboard to cover the court below, while another set of six ARCS II are used as delay speakers for the uppermost six rows of the arena. Finally, 38 ultra-compact 5XT speakers are used as underbalcony ﬁlls. The complete system is powered by a total of 40 LA8 and LA4X ampliﬁed controllers.
SOUND RIGHT WHERE IT’S NEEDED
System designers love the focussed dispersion of NEXO speakers. It gives them the tools they need to achieve perfect coverage in any space. The new ID24 achieves smooth, full-frequency sound and high output from a cabinet measuring just 309mm wide, with a unique, user-rotatable horn providing unprecedented control over HF directivity. With an ‘a la carte’ selection of colours, grilles, directivity and connectivity, and compatibility with a wide range of mobile and ﬁxed-installation hardware, ID Series delivers precision sound, right where it’s needed.
Thinking. Inside the box.
Save the Date IBC2017 Conference 14 â€“ 18 September 2017 Exhibition 15 â€“ 19 September 2017 RAI, Amsterdam
Where the entertainment, media and technology industry does business
Kit you need to know about
PRODUCT OF Roland THE MONTH VR-4HD
It’s… a compact, portable high-deﬁnition AV mixer.
What’s new? The VR-4HD integrates a digital audio mixer, video switcher, multi-viewer touchscreen and USB video/audio streaming interface into a standalone device. Details: The mixer has three dedicated HDMI input connectors compatible with a variety of equipment and offering support for 1080p/1080i/720p video resolutions. A fourth input includes a scaler to support both video and computer resolutions and also supports analogue RGB and component input, as well as HDMI. This means older devices can be used as sources without the need for external conversion equipment. HDCP is supported for input of copyprotected content from devices such as Blu-ray Disc players. “The VR-4HD is a portable live HD production
solution ideal for schools, churches, council meetings, corporate events, sports, training or any other live event,” says Christian Delﬁno, VP of product management for the Roland professional AV division. “Whether being used to produce an online broadcast, support a presentation or even as the hub for a multi-input teleconference system using standard online chat software, the VR-4HD’s all-in-one hardware design and audio digital signal processing capabilities, including Auto-Mixing function, make it easy for a single operator to achieve professional results.” Its 18-channel audio mixer features Roland’s DSP offering three-band parametric EQ, reverb, a compressor/gate on the mic inputs and level/ multiband EQ on the master mix. Recording or webcasting from the VR-4HD is achieved by connecting to a PC or Mac using the built-in USB 3.0 connection. Up to full 1080/30p uncompressed resolution video can be outputted from the VR-4HD.
Additionally, main audio is included on both HDMI program and preview outputs, as well as via XLR and RCA connectors, and AUX audio output from RCA connectors is also provided. The balanced XLR main audio output is suitable for connection to professional PA equipment, and the AUX audio output can be used for sending monitor signals to presenters on stage. The VR-4HD features a control layout with broadcast switcher cross-point switches for key and transition operations and a touchscreen interface. User-assignable buttons allow customisation for quick access to functions needed for a particular application. The VR-4HD’s rugged construction ensures long-term reliability even under the most demanding conditions.
Available: Now http://proav.roland.com
52 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS Audinate Dante Analog Output Module This is a small form factor PCB that manufacturers can use in a variety of small footprint enclosures to build Dante-to-analogue endpoints. It supports one RJ45 Dante input and one or two balanced analogue outputs. Any audio available on the Dante network can be routed via the outputs to an amplifier, powered speaker, mixing console, DSP or other analogue audio device. www.audinate.com/daom Canon XEED 4K600STZ Weighing in at just 26kg, the latest addition to Canon’s 4K installation projector range can project accurately onto curved or domed surfaces, even in portrait mode or using multiple blended images. Suggested applications include simulators, museums and digital signage. Canon’s long-life 6,000-lumen solid-state light source technology lasts up to 40,000 hours in ultralong life mode, and is said to deliver outstanding 4K HDR images. www.canon-europe.com Biamp AMP-A460H This four-channel power amplifier is designed for small to medium-sized conferencing, telephony, or VoIP environments. It features four 60W channels at 8 ohms; bridged in pairs, it can provide 120W at 8 ohms or 120W with constant voltage (70V/100V) direct drive. A balanced analogue line-in allows simple integration with any Biamp TesiraFORTÉ model. www.biamp.com
Leyard DirectLight Series It’s… a new family of ﬁne pitch LED videowall displays.
What’s new? The DirectLight Series expands upon the product family originally launched in 2015 by enabling ultra-slim, front service installations in more indoor environments, delivering high resolution with sub-1mm pixel pitch clarity and providing enhanced reliability features. Details: The Leyard DirectLight Series includes a choice of four ﬁne pixel pitch models from 0.9 to 1.8mm, and comes with an adjustable wall mount, full front-service access, as well as a remote power supply with optional redundancy, full hot-swap capability and the ability to reduce the number of required power circuits. Each 16:9 display features precise pixel pitch values to achieve Full HD, 4K and 8K resolutions.
In addition, the larger 27in diagonal display size covers 68% more area than the previous version, requiring fewer displays per videowall and featuring an easy-to-handle design. Leyard LED Control Software provides image adjustment and control capabilities.
Available: Early 2017 www.leyard.com
Linea Research C Series
Arthur Holm UnderCover This retractable monitor solution has been designed to be integrated into conference room furniture. When activated, a Full HD aluminium touch monitor appears out of the desk, together with a microphone, pushto-talk and mute buttons, speaker, power socket and connectors. The product cover slides down into the table and can be veneered. The monitor’s movements are remotely controllable. www.arthurholm.com
It’s… three 4-channel and three 8-channel ampliﬁers, all of which offer full-featured DSP control.
What’s new? This series is speciﬁcally targeted at installations, and offers an optional Dante interface.
other ampliﬁers in their class. Ampliﬁer set-up is achieved using Linea Research’s System Engineer software. The units can be seamlessly integrated into new or existing control architectures thanks to additional third-party control via the built-in contact closure, fault relay, and RS232, RS485 and TCP/IP interfaces.
Details: Housed in a compact 2U chassis with a tamperproof front panel, C Series ampliﬁers can operate on any supply voltage from 100V to 240V. Their efficient design is said to ensure lower current draw and thermal dissipation than
Available: Now www.linea-research.com
TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS 53
iiyama ProLite TF6537UHSC-B1AG
Designed for 24/7 operation, this slim 65in 4K display offers high colour accuracy, high brightness and superior viewing angles. Advanced projected capacitive multi-touch technology allows up to 50 simultaneous touch events. It features an anti-glare coating, and 6H scratch resistant 5mm thick touch sensor glass, and can be orientated landscape, portrait or face up. http://iiyama.com
It’s… a 4K UHD touch-enabled corporate collaboration device produced in association with Google.
What’s new? Jamboard is a 55in 4K touchenabled whiteboard that features G Suite software (formerly Google Apps for Work). It’s designed for huddle spaces, conference rooms and also distributed teams, using Google Hangouts as its videconferencing platform.
Details: Users can sketch out plans or ideas and share them in real time with colleagues around the globe via other Jamboards or the mobile and tablet apps. Jamboard features a built-in HD camera, speakers and WiFi. The board is mobile and connects with a single cable. Material created on Jamboard lives in Google Cloud, so can be shared after the meeting or revisited later on. The touch display is said to respond more quickly than any other touchscreen of its size
– even faster than a tablet. It includes a stylus and eraser, neither of which requires batteries or pairing, and it automatically recognises which of these tools is being used. Other userfriendly features include handwriting and shape recognition.
Available: March 2017 www.benq.com
Caymon WPR406, WPR409
IN2120x Series It’s… a new series of cost-effective networkenabled projectors.
What’s new? The IN2120x series combines 3D-capable picture quality with rich sound, high brightness and strong contrasts. Thanks to the optional LightCast key, the projectors also enable users to control presentations wirelessly from mobile devices, making it a versatile and interactive tool.
Details: InFocus has announced three models: IN2128HDx (1920x1080, 4000 ANSI lumens), IN2126x (1280x800, 4200lm) and IN2124x (1024x768, 4200lm). 3D capable, they feature BrilliantColor DLP imaging with a six-segment colour wheel, and offer a contrast ratio of up to 15,000:1. The LightCast key enables wireless display of screen contents from any Android, Windows, Chrome OS or Apple iOS/OSX device. InFocus claims it is the only provider that currently offers a standardised solution supporting wireless
An easy to set-up and maintain IP video encoding solution, ZyPerHD encoder and decoder modules and off-the-shelf Gigabit Ethernet switches allow for the distribution and switching of H.264 video, audio and data signals. HDMI 1.4 with HDCP encryption is fully supported. ZyPerHD units can be deployed on the same IP network with ZyPer4K encoders and decoders, allowing for mixed resolutions within a single architecture. www.zeevee.com
presentations not only for Airplay but also Miracast and Chrome. The projectors also feature a built-in 4GB memory, to which assets can be transferred, enabling PC-less presentations. They are equipped with integrated 10W loudspeaker, which can also be supported by a subtitling function. A remotely controllable dimmer function (‘eco blanking’), makes the audience transfer their attention to the presenter or teacher – and can increase the lamp life to as much as 5,000 hours. All three models can process 3D signal sources such as PCs, Blu-ray Discs or DVDs. The integrated ﬁle viewer can display text, audio, photo and video ﬁles in a wide range of formats.
Available: Now www.infocus.com
These six- and nine-unit equipment racks are designed to stand out from the crowd: they’re finished in white. The company believes that this blends in much better with the office environments in which they are to be used. www.caymon.eu
SENSE, SCENE, SHINE, SHADE
Four interactive glass products from a new manufacturer, intended primarily for retail, corporate and public usage. SENSE combines a transparent insulating glass unit and interactive touch surface; SCENE is a non-interactive version, offering projection only; SHINE functions as a regular mirror until the display device is switched on; while SHADE (pictured) can be toggled between transparent and opaque settings. www.seloylive.com
54 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE
Microphones With the latest wired and wireless microphones, manufacturers are offering improved voice clarity, while also increasing install ﬂexibility and expanding coverage area, writes Duncan Proctor
Shure boosts productivity with speech clarity The Microﬂex Advance MXA310 Table Array microphone from Shure aims to provide consistent voice clarity for everyone in a meeting, and is particularly suited to huddle spaces and meeting rooms. It is designed for meeting spaces where the number of attendees varies and an uncluttered table is preferred, as one table array captures up to six people in discrete listening areas. The new toroid polar pattern rejects overhead noise from HVAC, projector fans and other sources and optimises voice clarity and volume. The MXA310 is highly suitable for corporate standardisation as it can be conﬁgured for any room or table set-up and it requires only a single data cable to transmit audio signals, power (PoE), control and network connection. Microﬂex Advance improves communication by providing technology that enhances speech
intelligibility and delivers consistent sound clarity for AV conferencing. The MXA310 Table Array microphone is less intrusive than traditional microphones, as one microphone covers a group of up to six people in four zones on a Dante network over Ethernet. The coverage geometry can be set for up to four areas in 15˚ increments, and polar patterns can be speciﬁed for each conﬁguration including cardioid, supercardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, bi-directional and a patentpending toroid pattern.
Audio-Technica offers Dante networkability The ATND971 is said to be the world’s first wired Dante-enabled microphone, bridging the gap between audio and IT, transmitting both audio and control data over Dante. This offers the installer the ability to integrate audio with overall system control via Cat5e/Cat6 cable over a standard IP network, making the task of setting up a network much simpler. A simple Ethernet connection allows the ATND971 to communicate across a network
of Dante-enabled devices; the microphone’s programmable user switch offers control of any of those devices at the push of a button. The ATND971 is suited to boardroom and meeting environments and can take control of functions such as video camera pan and tilt, and even room lighting presets. Powered by network PoE, it also features Audio-Technica’s UniGuard RFI-shielding technology and UniSteep low-cut ﬁlter for high-quality audio from source. Advantages that this model has over analogue alternatives, thanks to its Dante compatibility, include low latency and ease of conﬁguration, as well as minimising cable runs. Additionally, the fact that Dante’s digital signal isn’t degraded by electromagnetic interference or high-frequency attenuation also makes it suited to all areas of pro audio, from broadcast and live sound to AV.
Earthworks expands coverage area with IM Series The IM Series puts the focus on high intelligibility; the polar pattern delivers the same clarity regardless of where a speaker is in relation to the microphone. This polar pattern also means that, according to Earthworks, the coverage area of one microphone from the series is the equivalent of three competitor mics, which also means less DSP and fewer cables. The technology within the microphones includes a new approach to the design of the models, with extended high frequency response, fast impulse response and diaphragm settling time. These technologies enable the mics to be far more accurate, with much higher intelligibility and no signiﬁcant high frequency losses at the sides of the microphone. Suited to installed sound applications, the microphones have been designed with aesthetics in mind and to be unobtrusive in conferencing rooms. For integrators, the IM Series simpliﬁes overall system design, as a single mic can cover a wider area while maintaining intelligibility, meaning fewer mics are needed for an install. In addition, the microphone is DSP agnostic, so the integrator is not limited in what processor they are able to use. This gives them more freedom to design the best overall system for their client.
TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE 55
Revolabs combines ﬂexibility and security The Elite wired microphones from Revolabs are a line of tabletop and gooseneck microphones for use with any installed audio solution. They can be used separately or in tandem with wireless microphones to increase the maximum number of microphones available in one space. The microphones can also be integrated with postprocessing and mixing appliances to support uniﬁed communications and other applications requiring audio support. The range includes directional and omnidirectional tabletop and gooseneck microphones with or without on-microphone mute option and status indicator light. It also features audio equalisation, optimised for speech to increase the success of installations. Additionally, the administrator has mute control at the processor and optional mute button with status indicator light for individual control at the mic. Revolabs also claims the microphones set new standards for signal-to-noise ratio and
the supported frequency range. The tabletop, wearable and gooseneck can be mixed and matched, and are available in three colours: black, white and brushed nickel. Elite wired mics are particularly suited to environments in which wired and wireless microphones are used in tandem, increasing the maximum number of microphones available in a space and combining wireless ﬂexibility and wired security.
Electro-Voice offers easy switching The PC Desktop from the PolarChoice series is a free-standing tabletop microphone with dualsection gooseneck. Available with in 5in, 12in or 18in models, the PC Desktop also includes easy switching between four polar patterns – omni, cardoid, supercardoid and hypercardoid. It also utilises Electro-Voice’s RF Shield technology, which maximises protection from destructive RF and GSM interference. Additionally, PolarChoice technology delivers high-quality installed sound convenience, reliability and performance. The PC Desktop is designed for versatility and error-free set-up. Its four switchable polar patterns are strategically designed for installation-speciﬁc applications. Selection and deployment is as easy as choosing the best physical design for the situation and setting the polar pattern switch for the appropriate coverage. Should installation conditions change, a switch of the pattern is all it takes to meet the new requirements.
Three-phase optimisation from Audix
The Audix M3 tri-element microphone provides smooth, evenly dispersed coverage with its three-phase coherent hypercardioid capsules optimised for human speech. The M3 also offers a high sensitivity rating and what is claimed to be the lowest self-noise of any tri-element microphone, resulting in a high dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio. Microphone height adjustability is accomplished by providing a standard 1.2m cable with adjustable ceiling mount, and Audix can also supply custom cable lengths when ceiling heights are above 3.5m. The silicone jacketed mic cable provides a kink-free hang from ceiling to mic; Audix has a plenum-rated junction box to maintain plenum requirements above the ceiling. A growing trend the M3 responds to is that of reconﬁgurable seating in conference rooms, where more ﬂuid meetings are taking place and tables and chairs may need to be moved. Traditional hard-wired table mics are ineffective in these cases but high-performing ceiling mics, such as the M3, are suited to these environments and applications. In addition to its natural sound and small form factor, the 360° coverage is very forgiving when seated or standing positions can change.
56 TECHNOLOGY: DEMO OF THE MONTH
Into the virtual matrix Paddy Baker visits Atlona’s European HQ to see a demonstration of the company’s virtual matrix technology, which runs over Gigabit networks
or Atlona, using IP networks for video is a logical progression – it’s the next on the list after data, voice and audio, which are already well established in these environments. IP video, meanwhile, is used in some specialised applications such as hotel IPTV and networked CCTV, but has not yet gained a substantial foothold into the commercial AV market. Advantages offered by video over IP include scalability and future-prooﬁng, so a system can expand as the need for it increases without having to jettison old equipment; and reduced capital expenditure, because it uses standardised IT networking equipment and can often share the existing infrastructure. Running on Gigabit networks, using industrystandard switches, Omnistream can be thought of as a ‘virtual matrix’. The range is targeted at applications including corporate, government, education and military environments. It can be used to send signals around a large room, from room to room, ﬂoor to ﬂoor or even building to building on a LAN. (It is not intended for WAN use.) It uses the VC-2 HQ codec, which provides light compression with very low latency; uncompressed video would travel faster, but would not provide such a scalable solution. Another key advantage of Omnistream is its dual-channel design. Encoders and decoders that can handle two channels in parallel not only
reduce the overall cost per channel, they can also be used to provide redundancy of signal and also power (since Omnistream supports power over Ethernet).
Straightforward set-up In November, I travelled to Atlona’s European headquarters in Zurich for a demonstration of Omnistream. The set-up was a straightforward one: two sources – a Brightsign digital signage player and a laptop were connected via HDMI to a dualchannel encoder; two Cat5e network cables connected this to a Cisco ST300 switch – a 10-port Gigabit PoE model costing less than €300, according to Reto Spörri, senior sales engineer AVoIP. This arrangement was mirrored on the output side: two network cables to a dual-channel decoder, and HDMI to two displays mounted side by side. We watched some video of scenes of Venice – relatively slowly moving images, but with a lot of detail – delivered from the Brightsign player and the laptop through the Omnistream set-up. These were H.265 4K (3840 x 2160), 30fps, 8-bit, 4:4:4 – and looked good. There were a few slight compression artifacts (colour banding and ﬂicker) that Spörri assured me were the result of the H.265 compression, not the Omnistream processing. To gauge the system’s performance with data, we looked at an Excel spreadsheet from the
laptop. This wasn’t as impressive as the video – coloured backgrounds and coloured text were not as sharp as one might have liked. “I think it’s usable even though it’s not perfect,” Spörri said – a judgement I agreed with. I then watched a latency test. In addition to the equipment already described, there was an HDMI matrix under the table that sent one source direct to the screen, the other via the decoder-encoder set-up. Spörri challenged me to say which display was showing which signal. Looking from one display to the other, it wasn’t possible to detect any lag between them, so I took a photo with my phone and scrutinised it. The last two digits of the timecode on each showed a transition from frame 27 to frame 28 – but the 7 was more prominent on the left and the 8 slightly stronger on the right. So the Omnistream signal was on the left-hand display, but the latency was much less than a frame – and seemed in line with the 9ms ﬁgure that Spörri quoted me earlier.
Redundancy He then demonstrated Omnistream’s redundancy features. The behaviour of each encoder can be set via its web interface using Atlona’s AMS software: Spörri used this to set both output channels to the primary source, so the back-up source (which was sending identical content) was not being displayed. When he pulled out the cable from the primary source, the screen went blank for a couple of seconds, and then the video re-appeared. He then reinserted the primary source cable and pulled out the back-up source cable; because the backup was still being shown, the screens went blank again until the primary source appeared a couple of seconds later. Spörri explained that signal priorities can be set using the AMS software: for instance, the user can decide whether the encoder should revert to outputting the primary signal as soon as it is re-established, or whether it is preferable to keep showing the back-up signal without another interruption. Overall, I was impressed by Omnistream – the compression is very efficient and visually lossless, and seems a small price to pay to enable the use of Gigabit networks. Redundancy is handled very neatly, too. The range currently comprises five SKUs: two encoders (single- and dual-channel), two decoders (ditto) and a dual-channel Dantenetworked audio interface. Its European debut – featuring a later software version than I was shown here – will be at ISE 2017, and it will be available from February.
Award-winning sound from small-format loudspeakers.
RoomMatch® Utility loudspeakers Bose® RoomMatch Utility loudspeakers bring the award-winning sound of RoomMatch arrays to smaller 2-way point-source designs. Available in a variety of sizes and coverage patterns, these high-SPL loudspeakers can be used for many retail and restaurant applications, and as specific zone fill and floor monitors for houses of worship and performing arts centers. The line of products features the Bose EMB2 compression driver to reduce distortion and deliver consistent tonal balance. Available in Black or White.
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PLANYOUR MONTH AHEAD
Our pick of what to see, do and discover in the weeks ahead, including education technology on show in London, PLASA in Scotland and Female Innovators at Work
PICK OF THE MONTH
PLASA Focus Glasgow LEARN
This year the show has an added relevance because VisitScotland is implementing a plan to develop the £3.5 billion events industry. http:// glasgow.plasafocus.com
well as showcasing the latest innovations in live entertainment technology. As with all PLASA shows, it is a very social event with plenty of opportunities to network with your peers.
PLASA’s popular regional event returns to Scotland on 18-19 January. It will once again host product demonstrations, technical workshops and a free education programme as
Female Innovators at Work
Bett returns to ExCeL London from 25 to 28 January with a focus on game-changers within education, looking at the people, products and organisations that are creating an impact on teaching and learning across the world. See our preview on page 26.
Danielle Newnham Twenty female innovators and entrepreneurs, including CEOs, founders and pioneers in areas such as e-commerce, business intelligence and online education share their insights, instructive anecdotes, strategies, and advice on developing careers in tech.
‘How to implement AV solutions for large venue signal management with many devices’ will cover commonly used solutions for venues that require many inputs and outputs, focusing on modular matrix devices. Signal management, conversion and common challenges will also be discussed.
Know the Code!
See all of Communityâ€™s Outdoor loudspeakers and download our Sports Sound Design Guide at: communitypro.com/products
Tychy Municipal Stadium, Poland