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Issue 198 / February 2017

AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD

EYE IN THE SKY How can UAVs serve the AV world? p28

www.installation-international.com

ISE 2017 preview p22

Four pages for planning your visit to the RAI

Lecture capture p34

End-users describe their experience

Single-brand solutions p38 Evaluating the pros and cons


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WELCOME 03

www.installation-international.com

Editor: Paddy Baker pbaker@nbmedia.com

Designer: Tom Carpenter tcarpenter@nbmedia.com

It’s all about the software

+44 (0)20 7354 6034 Content director: James McKeown jmckeown@nbmedia.com

Senior staff writer: Duncan Proctor dproctor@nbmedia.com +44 (0)20 7354 6037

Production manager: Jason Dowie jdowie@nbmedia.com +44 (0)20 3829 2617

Sales manager: Gurpreet Purewal gpurewal@nbmedia.com +44 (0)20 7354 6029

Digital director: Diane Oliver doliver@nbmedia.com

Account manager: Ollie Smith osmith@nbmedia.com +44 (0)20 7354 6026 US sales – Executive vice president: Adam Goldstein agoldstein@nbmedia.com Head of design: Jat Garcha jgarcha@nbmedia.com

Contributors: Myles Carter, David Davies, Richard Doughty, Ian McMurray, Rob Lane, Steve Montgomery Special thanks: Francesco Fanicchi, Molly Fry Cover image: Stampede/ Fotolia (background)

PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to Installation please go to www.installation-international.com/subscribe Should you have any questions please email subs@installation-international.com

A

s we report in our ISE preview (beginning on page 22), QSC is to demonstrate how Q-SYS can live on standard IT hardware rather than proprietary boxes. The manufacturer will be showing how the Q-SYS Platform can run on a standard Dell server – giving a view of the future when audio, video and control functions will be part of the central IT data processing function in large installations. This centralised approach offers several advantages, including greater simplicity, flexibility and reliability. (I imagine costs could potentially be lower as well, but I guess QSC isn’t ready to talk pricing just yet.) This is a significant example of a growing trend in the Paddy Baker, Editor industry: increasingly, the real value provided by manufacturers pbaker@nbmedia.com lies in their software, so it makes sense to move away from @install8ion proprietary hardware and embrace standard IT platforms. In fact, there’s another example in this issue in our interview with Justin Kennington about the new SDVoE (software-defined video over Ethernet) Alliance on page 18. He makes the point that, in an AV deployment, manufacturers should concentrate on adding value at the points where the signal is modified (encoded, scaled, decoded and so on) rather than addressing the ‘heavy lifting’ of sending it across a network, when that can be done effectively and cheaply by off-the-shelf Ethernet switches. It’s a strong message, and the fact that the Alliance has members in the fields of IT and display technology gives it added weight.

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‘There isn’t a single right answer, and there doesn’t have to be one winner’

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The SDVoE Alliance has set a series of baseline performance characteristics for video over IP, one of which is running uncompressed video; this is an approach that runs counter to, say, that espoused by Myles Carter of Matrox in his opinion piece on page 16, which makes a convincing argument for compression, using the efficient H.264 codec. Is this another protocol war? I don’t think so. All that any of these companies is doing is making the best case for their particular technology. There isn’t a single right answer, and there doesn’t have to be one winner – different types of application will have different budgets, different requirements, and clients will be willing to make compromises in different areas. (Carter talks about ‘reach’ and ‘performance’ in his article, which is a useful way of thinking about some of the trade-offs that are sometimes required.) The market will make its choices, and we’ll see how it turns out in a few years’ time. But in the meantime, I suspect that other exhibitors at ISE 2017 will be showing solutions that eschew proprietary hardware in favour of standard IT boxes. See you in Amsterdam – maybe at Installation’s drinks reception. (Turn to page 24 for details of that.)

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 – gpurewal@nbmedia.com, +44 20 7354 6029


04 CONTENTS

February 2017

News & Data 06 Analysis Touch sensors in AR, VR, and AI applications Matrix switch manufacturers compete over corporate 10 Regional Voices: Spain

People 12 Industry Moves 14 Opinion Rob Lane reveals the challenges brought by the retail revolution Myles Carter on reach versus performance in AVoIP 18 Interview Justin Kennington discusses the aims of the newly formed SDVoE Alliance

18

Features 28 Drones Ian McMurray considers whether drones represent an exciting opportunity for integrators or only have niche appeal for the AV market 34 Lecture capture Following recent breakthroughs in lecture capture and voting technology we ask end-users in universities and colleges how they use them 38 Solution sales David Davies looks at the arguments for and against sourcing all the elements in an installation from a single brand

28

Solutions 42 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida A new ‘Heroes & Legends’ attraction uses 4D theatre technology to explore the history of the US space programme 46 Grünwald Stadium, Munich A new PA-VA system featuring fibre-optic cabling and emergency power supplies has updated this storied venue 48 Solutions in Brief Including an immersive AV display from 55 Optoma projectors in an old power plant and a PixelFLEX roll-up LED video system in a church

42

Technology 51 New Products Including Pioneer Digital, Atlona, NEC and RCF

54 Showcase Assistive listening

56 Demo of the Month Powersoft Quattrocanali

Also inside 22 Show preview: ISE 2017

56


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06 ANALYSIS

February 2017

Touch sensors central to AR, VR and AI growth By Steve Montgomery

H

uman sensor devices are essential in many interactive applications particularly in the worlds of augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. These devices range from types that use camera-based gesture and eye tracking, voice and proximity recognition and sensing to the common touch sensors and pads associated with LCD and other displays of all sizes. Twenty different types of sensors combine to create a market for AR, VR, and AI applications that will be worth $97 billion in 2017 and will reach $160 billion in 2022, according to Touch Display Research. “Facebook/Oculus, HTC Vive, and Microsoft already have established augmented, virtual and mixed reality products in the market. Google’s Daydream View and Sony’s PlayStation VR have just been launched. Apple is expected to release AR devices in 2017-18,” said Dr Jennifer Colegrove, CEO and principal analyst. “In this essential market, the most important components in AR, VR, and AI are touch sensor, voice recognition, gesture control sensors, and motion sensors.”

Sensor revenue forecast ($bn) 200

150

100

50

0 2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Source: Touch Display Research Inc

www.touchdisplayresearch.com

Matrix switch manufacturers look to corporate sector By Steve Montgomery

T

he top three automation system manufacturers, AMX, Crestron and Extron, derive around 25% of their revenues from matrix switching products that are typically used to tie together multi-room systems. These systems have been a major focus of growth and competition in recent years. Globally, the market for matrix switch systems and components is worth several billion dollars, with the largest proportion (35%) deployed in professional AV installations in corporate applications in boardroom and conference rooms. A matrix switch integrates multiple inputs and multiple outputs and allows a selected input to be sent to one or multiple outputs simultaneously. It acts as the heart of a distributed AV system, with various control systems and room-based technologies layered on top of the central video distribution network. Systems are typically specified early on in the decision-making processes in large projects as the complexity of solutions means that manufacturers will typically work closely with end users and integration partners.

Global breakdown of matrix switching ports by vertical

Residential

15% Other

Corporate

4%

35%

Leisure, Hospitality

12% Government Education

15% Healthcare

14%

5% Source: Futuresource Consulting

www.futuresource-consulting.com


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08 ANALYSIS

February 2017

Analysis: global home audio market experiences record year By Duncan Proctor

W

orldwide demand for home audio devices continues to gather momentum, outperforming the wider CE market and recording strong sales figures in 2016. As of December 2016, the category was on track to finish the year on 102 million units shipped and close to $11bn in trade value, according to the latest market report from Futuresource Consulting. “Over the last few years home audio has been the go-to growth category for CE, but 2016 is pushing expectations even further,” said Rasika D’Souza, a senior market analyst at Futuresource. “Against a backdrop of activity from soundbars and Bluetooth speakers, and the success of Amazon’s Echo and Alexa, it’s been a record year that is also building firm foundations for future growth. “Market expansion has been driven by rising consumer interest in music streaming services and music playback on smartphones, with both applying upward pressure on the market

for a wide range of wireless audio products. We’ve also seen the beginnings of a market transformation, with voice interaction poised to place the audio industry at the centre of the smart home revolution.” During 2016, voice personal assistant speakers (VPAs) have come to the fore due to the success of Amazon Echo and the debut of Google Home speakers. The category will quickly be extended, as Microsoft teams up with Samsung-owned Harman to provide a speaker powered by Windows 10’s Cortana, along with a number of Cortana hardware

solutions expected to be unveiled by Microsoft in 2017. Despite the arrival of VPAs, Bluetooth speakers still account for 80% of the global wireless speaker market and are expected to remain a popular solution, particularly in emerging markets, primarily due to the lower cost. In addition, soundbars continue on a growth curve, with Futuresource finding a rise of 15% in 2016.

www.futuresource-consulting.com

Home audio market in 2016

102

$11bn

million units shipped

trade value

Source: Futuresource Consulting

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10 REGIONAL VOICES

February 2017

SPAIN Our survey of the Spanish market reveals some similarities to the Italian market – as well as some differences

I

t’s interesting that we carried out our survey of the Spanish installed AV market a month after our Italian one, as the two countries are showing similar results across a number of areas. Firstly, as in Italy, nearly half our respondents thought general levels of confidence in the country’s industry were the same as they were six months ago; a slight majority of the others believed felt they were higher. There was a more optimistic picture, however, when we asked them how they felt their own companies were faring: just over half believed that their revenues would rise by more than 5% over the next 12 months, with the other answers – lesser growth, no change, and reduced revenue – covered roughly equally.

3.2%

Annual GDP growth rate, Q3 2016 Source: Trading Economics

Asked to choose from a list of issues the one that was of most concern to their businesses, roughly two-thirds selected ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’. “In many cases, customers prefer to pay 20% less for a budget although in the short term they have problems in the installation – sad but true,” lamented one respondent. Another remarked: “Customers ask for a solution, ask for global [brands] and a report for the project. Then when they have the product list with brand and model references, then they look for the best price they

can achieve instead of thinking about the value we provided finding the solution.” Our survey then asked our respondents what they would change about the Spanish installation market if they could. “Competition,” said one. “Their strategy is to get contracts at any price and that damages the market.” Another felt that the most important thing would be “to recover respect for the distribution chain: manufacturer to distributor to dealer to client”. Turning to perceived vertical market trends: digital signage once again was the sector most widely believed to be growing; more unusually, bars, clubs and restaurants came in second place – just as it did for Italy last month. At the other end of the list, houses of worship was the only sector where, on average, the trend was felt to be negative.

€1.25billion Trade deficit, November 2016 Source: Trading Economics

Finally, we asked about the number of players active in the market: the largest proportion felt this was not changing, with ‘increasing’ attracting a slightly bigger response than ‘decreasing’. Two comments here sum up the mixed perceptions: both referred to closure of companies in the economic crisis, but while one thought that more, smaller companies opened in their place, the other believed that the market was not ready for new entrants.

What will be the business trend in the following vertical markets?

INCREASE Digital signage Bars, clubs, restaurants Corporate Retail Education Museums/visitor attractions Sports venues Performing arts venues Worship DECREASE


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12

INDUSTRY MOVES

February 2017

Anna Valley triples size of integration team

„ EAW

AV company adds experience to integration division

Nancy Dias has been named customer experience coordinator at Eastern Acoustic Works in what is a newly created position within its global sales team. Dias is tasked with overseeing the customer service experience of all EAW customers while also providing visibility of that experience to the in-house EAW team.

www.eaw.com „ Genelec

Ole Jensen (pictured) and Jonas Olsen have joined Genelec as international sales director and sales manager respectively, both based in Denmark. The duo arrive with more than 50 years of combined experience across the professional monitor and AV markets, and are tasked with further developing the company’s relationships with customers, distributors, and dealers.

www.genelec.com From left to right: Tom Lewis, Ian Benneyworth, Dean Shipp, Stuart Taylor, Nick Shaw, Sarah Fenton, James Waters and Rich Mackie

A

nna Valley has tripled the size of its AV integration department in just six months following an extensive recruitment drive. The senior roles have been filled by Ian Benneyworth, Tom Lewis and Stuart Taylor, who have all been named project managers. Previously UK operations manager for Pixel Projects, Ian Benneyworth brings 15 years of experience in the corporate, education, retail and home automation AV sectors. Tom Lewis joins from AVMI where he was responsible for ensuring that visual solutions met the functional and creative requirements of the client, and provided ease of use and reliability. Stuart Taylor previously spent a number of years at the McLaren Technology Group where he

was responsible for setting up the AV service department and designing and installing the McLaren Centre for Applied Performance conference facility. The recruitment has also seen a number of technical staff brought in to the integration team. Dean Shipp is Anna Valley’s first CAD manager; he has over 15 years’ experience as a draughtsman in the AV industry, including positions at Electrosonic and AVI-SPL. Anna Valley’s new senior AV technician, Edgar Putans, also comes from Pixel Projects and is a qualified sound engineer who has experience in 3D projection mapping and augmented reality.

www.annavalley.co.uk

„ Music

Van Williamson has been appointed as vice president of installed sound at Music to help the brand and its installation portfolio deliver leading installed sound solutions. Williamson joins from Harman Professional, where he led the company’s global installed sound team, and has been in the industry for more than 20 years.

www.music-group.com „ NanoLumens

Matt Nurre has joined NanoLumens to lead its channel development programmes as the VP of global retail sales. Nurre comes to the display manufacturer from the Retail Design Source in Chicago, a boutique retail consultancy he spent nearly nine years, the last five as president.

www.nanolumens.com „ AVMI

New Partners Panasonic has formed a strategic alliance with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Panasonic Visual Solutions will be the official projection technology of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. As part of a long-term agreement, these Disney properties will have access to the latest Panasonic projectors and lens solutions. http://business.panasonic.co.uk RGB Communications has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with AV signal management and distribution company Absolute. RGB becomes exclusive distributor for the commercial and residential market across the UK, Ireland, and mainland Europe and will help Absolute expand beyond Latin America, where it has been a brand leader. www.rgbcomms.co.uk www.absolute-acoustics.com.br

Stuart Davidson Specialist systems integrator Ikure has been acquired by Saville Audio Visual parent companySEA Holdings limited. This will allow both AV integrators to expand operations in the installation and AV maintenance sectors. Ikure, which has been operating for the last 12 years from offices in Bourne End, has now moved operations to premises in Hawley Lane, Farnborough. www.saville-av.com www.ikure.co.uk Williams Sound has named AVP Sales as its new and exclusive commercial sound distribution partner in Sweden. AVP Sales has a thorough understanding of networked audio and is a distributor of professional audio equipment, representing a number of brands. www.avpsales.se www.williamssound.com

has been appointed as director of Streamline services delivery to support the expansion of the integrator’s service that aims to standardise global AV strategies. Davidson and his team will work closely with customers to capture and apply standards to projects globally in a consistent and cost-effective manner.

www.avmi.com „ Peerless-AV

Thomas Ast has been named as the new area manager – partnerships in DACH, to help drive new business across the region. Ast joins a growing export sales team where he will be responsible for IT system houses, AV dealers and integrators, helping to manage project implementation, while assisting in strategic planning and business development opportunities.

www.peerless-av.com


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14 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA

February 2017

Rob Lane Retail revolution Challenges for the high street and integrators

I

t’s no (Victoria’s) secret that retail is undergoing a period of major change, as the internet continues to influence how we shop, and retailers with a stake in the high street rush to come to terms with what this means for their stores. Perhaps what some in the retail and AV industries have failed to grasp is just how fast the pace of change is becoming; it’s unstoppable and continues to accelerate as we approach the 2020s. Influential retail commentator Walter Loeb recently wrote in Forbes that retail is “undergoing a revolutionary change” and it’s hard to disagree. Loeb believes that in order to survive, retail must accept the influence of technology – the sort that makes shopping easier. In other words, not tech for tech’s sake – something that undermined AV technology’s early steps into stores, where it either didn’t work or was ultimately moribund and unloved (remember all those blank flatscreens?). Loeb believes the use of technology will soon exceed current expectations (tablets, touch displays, beacons) to take in robotics, AI and personal recognition – initiatives designed to combine the excitement of shopping online with a more touchy-feely in-store experience. “Retail is a dynamic industry that is always changing,” Loeb explained in the article. “Technology is reshaping how consumers shop. Retailers that resist the changes coming about will not survive. Those that embrace technology and let the consumer be in charge will thrive.”

in particular, many of us feel uncomfortable when we are approached with a heart-sinking “Can I help you?”. And even for those countries where shoppers have always been more than happy to be approached by shop staff – the US springs to mind – the internet has forever altered the way we engage with the shopping experience.

Internet influence This is a hugely important point. The influence of the internet on high street outlets means that the customer is, more than ever, right. In the UK

Use and benefit First of all, as we’ve said, technology should have a use and a benefit. It should be relevant to customers and staff and avoid the lowest common

‘The online journey must continue in store – and vice versa – rather than crunching to a halt at the door’

But alongside his doom and gloom analysis, Loeb champions stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom’s, which have integrated magic mirrors and smart fitting rooms into stores, with the latter also bringing in-store personal shopping onto the web, and predicts a resurgence of high street shopping by 2020, including more outlets from internetbased retailers. Why? Well, presumably we’ll begin to feel more comfortable shopping away from our devices again, as retailers start to get the mix of physicalmeets-internet-meets-tech right. But what else, apart from not asking customers if they need help, should retailers be doing to keep the high street alive?

denominator. For instance, displays shouldn’t merely show video; they should incorporate sound, lighting and touch too. They should also react in some tangible way to the consumer’s presence, as well as feeding back and suggesting other purchases – all without being too pushy or too obviously targeting. This latter point is one of the biggest challenges facing retailers: how to utilise data in store in the same way it is utilised online – to suggest products based upon somebody’s buying history, for instance – without annoying people. Tech should enhance the shopping experience rather than complicate it. The online journey must continue in store – and vice versa – rather than crunching to a halt at the door, where the branding isn’t the same as online and there are no smart technologies to bridge the gap between device and store. This is where window display tech is crucial, to entice people into stores at the same time as keeping their backs to the competition on the high street. But again, there must be a reason why there’s a display in the window and an interactive element to replicate the online experience and provide reasons for people to actually step in store. This highlights the importance of all-weather touch displays and new in-window touch technology. Technology, and the need to integrate it in an intelligent and meaningful way, is essential to retail’s future. AV integrators need to ensure they’re up to speed with what’s important now and in the future if they’re to take their slice of the retail pie. Rob Lane is founder/director of Bigger Boat PR.


Content anywhere using your existing network Existing 1Gb network

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16 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA

February 2017

Myles Carter Striking the right balance The demands of performance versus reach in AV over IP

W

hile there is a lot of market attention given to the topic of AV over IP, a large number of AV customers find the information overwhelming, questionably accurate, threatening, contradictory, or just lacking relevance to their needs. In AV, some products offer ‘extension and switching’, while other products are focused on campus-wide and multi-site deployments and must – by definition – live on low bandwidth. How do you compare two products when they can use the same, similar, or entirely different core technologies? Let’s look at some some defining characteristics of AV over IP.

significant distances. With regard to performance, we can divide the market into solutions that can and cannot deliver 4K and full HD content. Many competing technologies can deliver 4K and full HD video with synchronised audio, including those designed to work on IP. This is where compression comes into play.

Compression landscape As certain uncompressed and lightly compressed technologies cannot break the reach barrier, there are some combinations of resolution, quality, low latency and processing performance that favour uncompressed core technologies. Similarly there are a few use cases where light compression technologies offer greater reach than pure uncompressed video.

Reach vs performance When assessing AV needs and selecting solutions, it’s important to think about two elements: • Reach: How widely the technology touches intended audiences, reach incorporates the number of devices that can be simultaneously extended, types of compatible devices, distances that can be covered, ability to provide AV capabilities on wireless devices, and interoperability and open standards that reduce vendor lock-in. • Performance: The fidelity at which the original source AV material is reflected to the viewer, performance includes resolution, latency, image quality, real-time processing (including scaling), compositing, cropping, special effects and more. Looking at reach, no AV technology other than IP has the infrastructure in place to handle objectives such as streaming wirelessly on premises, nor can anything else be deployed to provide AV in campus and multi-site projects where the AV can reach

‘For the next several years, H.264 will be the gold standard’

High-efficiency codecs, like H.264 and H.265, have been implemented in certain AV products that really strike a balance between the elements of reach and performance. H.264 is excellent for mitigating heavy transmission bitrates for audio-video sources while still preserving overall quality. The simple fact that H.264 is mature and is widely available on all popular browsers, computers and handheld devices makes it the de-facto ‘maximum reach’ solution in the market. H.264 can perform similarly well on the performance dimension when implemented with that intention. ‘Mass market’ H.264 is typically designed for video,

and the majority of H.264 streaming video is in 4:2:0 – perfectly adequate sampling for motion video. However, advanced H.264 products can deliver all of the performance characteristics defined above. This includes transmission of high-fidelity content like YUV in 4:4:4 (no colour space compression for maximum pixel fidelity). Almost every single frontier of performance has been reached in H.264 today, all achievable at 10% of the bitrate of light compression technologies. Perhaps latency is a feature where advanced compression faces a practical limit, with the best achievable latency being one frame (17ms at 60Hz, 34ms at 30Hz). Matrox’s erformance-oriented H.264 products offer around 50ms glass-to-glass latency. Comparing them with traditional AV offerings, today’s H.264-capable products can also handle realtime best-of-breed scaling and offer cropping at the source and destination. Even advanced processing including multi-source compositing can now be handled in real time, directly within the source encoder or at the advanced H.264 decoder. For the next several years, H.264 will be the gold standard, yet there is no doubt that continuous advancement is ushering in next-generation codecs such as H.265, which will continue to grow in terms of both reach and performance. In terms of striking the best balance between getting signals to eyes and representing top quality, H.264 and its highefficiency compression technologies in general are not only strong contenders, but are the de-facto standard for AV-over-IP transmission. Myles Carter works in media relations at Matrox.

www.matrox.com


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18 INTERVIEW: JUSTIN KENNINGTON, SDVoE ALLIANCE

February 2017

A platform for driving growth The SDVoE Alliance seeks to drive the adoption of AV over IP with HDBaseT-like levels of performance. Paddy Baker spoke to Alliance president Justin Kennington, director of strategic and technical marketing at chipset manufacturer AptoVision, about the Alliance’s philosophies, technologies and targets What’s the thinking behind the SDVoE Alliance? The fundamental idea here is that we are trying to move the industry conversation beyond the idea of the most important question being ‘what is the transport?’ What we want to do almost is to take the transport for granted. We’ve gotten to a place, certainly reflected last ISE and InfoComm, where everyone seems very interested in moving AV over IP, and very many manufacturers have solutions to do that. I think we’ve reached a point of confusion in the industry: everyone seems to agree that video over IP is a good idea and it’s what we should do, but with all these different approaches, no-one’s very sure how this is going to work. So what’s your approach? What we’re trying to do with SDVoE – softwaredefined video over Ethernet – is first and foremost to establish a baseline transport of video over IP, to define some baseline performance characteristics that we require – meaning HDBaseT-level performance characteristics: zero latency, zero compression – because those are requirements needed in pro AV that are a challenge to achieve over Ethernet but can be done now. But more than to define that transport, we want to acknowledge that once we’ve moved away from older-style matrix switches – where the functionality and even the logical partitioning of the video network is defined exclusively by its physical architecture – we can create a technology that can move content over Ethernet, process and shape it, and provide a very clean, easy-to-use software API for managing the transport, the switching and the processing. And the idea, which I think is reflected in many other communications technologies well outside of pro AV, is once we’ve created that platform of hardware and a software-layer interface, now the industry of manufacturers and software developers can really exercise their creativity. They can spend less time and effort thinking about the very excruciating details of how to build hardware, how to design a matrix switch, and instead focus on how to use software to create good user experiences. In the old matrix ecosystem, the value from a manufacturer is concentrated in the matrix

switch; it’s very complex to design the firmware and basic controller software that makes a matrix switch tick. Meanwhile the endpoints – HDBT transmitters, receivers and extenders – are basically commodity devices: you can buy extenders for $200. If you look at the new ecosystem as we see it through the lens of SDVoE, we’ve taken all the value out of switching and put that into commodity off-the-shelf Ethernet gear that we can buy from any number of manufacturers. That’s because all we really need in terms of transport is just dumb heavy lifting – moving a load of bits from point A to point B – and frankly it’s the kind of heavy lifting that the IT industry is so much better to address than the AV industry is. And that’s reflected in the

prices of equipment: you can buy a 48-port 10-gig Ethernet switch for $5,000 at retail; a 48-port HDBaseT matrix switch is a $30,00040,000 item, and it doesn’t have the same kinds of flexibility as the Ethernet switch, or the advantages of size and power consumption; or the low and falling cost. There’s no value that an AV manufacturer can add when it comes to the raw switching and moving of bits. Where we can add value as an industry is any time we touch the real AV signal. In the SDVoE ecosystem, the value has been pushed out to the edges of the network, to what we call processing nodes. These are encoders and decoders that modify video signals by scaling and making videowalls; or modify audio signals by cross-routing them by downmixing


www.installation-international.com

INTERVIEW: JUSTIN KENNINGTON, SDVoE ALLIANCE

SDVoE Alliance members The founding members of the SDVoE Alliance were announced in January, after this interview took place. They are: „ AptoVision „ Aquantia „ Christie „ Netgear „ Sony „ ZeeVee Collectively, the members bring expertise in chipsets (AptoVision, Aquantia), switches and storage (Netgear) and AV endpoints (Christie, Sony and ZeeVee). There are already 35 SDVoE products on the market, and installations in sectors including healthcare, enterprise, entertainment, hospitality, retail, houses of worship, government, military, industry and security. them or any other sort of processing. Once we’ve created those high-value processing nodes plugged into this commodity network, we need something to control it. That’s where our API comes in. It provides an interface to the other key value the manufacturers will bring in the future, which is the software that creates the user experience. So the API becomes the interface between where the value is: the processing nodes and the user-facing software. What does this mean for the market? I think the overall result of this will be to significantly lower the barrier to entry for new players. Today it’s incredibly expensive to decide you want to become a new matrix switch manufacturer – you’ll need tens of million dollars in R&D investment in dozens and dozens of products before you can start to compete with entrenched established players. And because that barrier is very much lower, we’ll see AV as an industry being able to extend its reach further into more niche applications that we couldn’t afford to go into from an R&D perspective before. I think we’ll see entirely new classes of AV application, and frankly I don’t even know what those are. When iOS and Android were created as software platforms built on some hardware, they didn’t know it would create airbnb and Uber; developers spotted market opportunities and started building the applications that users could enjoy. And that’s what I expect to happen here. Can you say some more about the confusion that exists today in this area, and how the Alliance and its baseline performance characteristics will help to solve it? Across the board everyone wants to have an AV over IP story, but everyone’s story is a little bit different: some think it should be H.264 for

low bandwidth but compromised latency, some think AVB/TSN is the right solution despite its requirement for specialised network switches. Any time that you’re looking at a video over IP solution you’re going to have to make some engineering trade-offs between video quality, bandwidth consumption and latency. Even if you go outside of video over IP and look at HDBaseT, the compromise they’ve chosen, which is a useful one, is perfect video quality, zero latency, but what I call infinite bandwidth: it can’t run across your network, it’s a dedicated cable that carries one stream of video. I think that pro AV will continue to demand that kind of performance in terms of video quality and latency – and in terms of all the sphere of video over IP technologies that are out there, SDVoE is the only one that can truly offer zero compression, perfect image quality and zero latency. So that’s why we wanted to build an alliance around it. AptoVision’s offering, which of course has ties to SDVoE technology, is a chipset available to any manufacturer, so that they can create a video over IP solution that reaches the high performance requirements of pro AV.

‘There’s no value that an AV manufacturer can add when it comes to the raw switching and moving of bits’

Tell me more about the API. SDVoE also offers the kind of processing capabilities that are so often needed in pro AV. These days a system that’s completely successful in all environments needs digital video upscalers and downscalers, with frame rate converters; our processing technology includes composting and multiview, it includes videowall capabilities. More and more, integrators think of their AV systems as a collection of sources outputting content in different formats, to a collection of displays of different shapes, sizes and pixel counts. We want to offer them the processing capability to match up those sources to those displays with an easy interface. Getting the content from point A to point B is absolutely necessary, but it’s so much less than the total of everything we have to do today. The idea of the SDVoE programmable API is to make it very easy to control these powerful processing engines and create user experiences without months or even years of custom development for every task.

19

At the time of this conversation you haven’t announced the founding members of the Alliance. But what types of companies are you are looking to get involved? We expect all of AptoVision’s existing customers to sign up for this, because it gives them a very strong position in the market: a nice message to grab onto, and to present a unified front across all of them to the industry. However, there are some very impressive names on our founding members list, and what’s very interesting is that they are not all AptoVision customers. Some of them I expect will never be AptoVision customers because they do not make AV distribution gear. We have players from other areas of the IT industry, from the chip manufacturing community and from the display community. Some of them from the IT space don’t have any significant sales in the pro AV channel, but they see this as a great opportunity to open an entirely new market to them. This diversity is important to me personally because I wanted to have an ecosystem approach to the alliance. If it’s just AV box manufacturers – and I’m talking about my customers now, I have a lot of love and respect for them – then I think that weakens the story, as it’s just a lot of guys trying to sell boxes. But as an ecosystem and as a platform, we’re trying to drive change thorough the whole industry. I think that diversity of perspective gives us a strong likelihood of better ideas and gives us better credibility as well, when people realise how broadly thought out our ideas and concepts are. If the membership is open to other chip manufacturers, does that mean that SDVoE is a methodology, rather than something that ties in AptoVision product specifically? That’s a good way of thinking about it – it’s about a methodology. We don’t specify how you’re going to achieve the solution, but there are certain capabilities and performance standards that you need to adhere to: zero latency, uncompressed video quality and so on. Certainly you’ll be able to buy chips capable of SDVoE and not buy them from AptoVision. What do companies give to become a member, and what do they get back? Like any of these alliances, there are membership dues. Beyond that, we will be sponsoring presence at all the big tradeshows, and we’ll ask the alliance members to participate in those, through manpower, through equipment, to offer demonstrations. One of the most important aspects in my opinion is we do plan to build a significant training and certification programme for users –


20 INTERVIEW: JUSTIN KENNINGTON, SDVoE ALLIANCE OLD ECOSYSTEM: CENTRALISED VALUE

February 2017

OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NEW ECOSYSTEM

y

Hardware

HDBT extender

Proprietary matrix switch

HDBT extender

Hardware

Processing node

Ethernet Switch

Processing node

Middleware

Little to none “Dumb device”

Complex system level configuration and controller firmware

Little to none “Dumb device”

Middleware

Distributed control and configuration

Generic Ethernet configuration

Distributed control and configuration

Software

None

Tools to setup system and switch

None

Software

Differentiation, value, and investment are focused on proprietary, centralized matrix switches (dark blue). These investments have zero direct impact on user experience, and represent a huge barrier to new players.

Unified control of content, device management and user interfaces

Differentiation, value, and investment are pushed out to distributed endpoints and unified software (dark blue). This platform-centric approach means investments are smaller, and can be focused directly on user experience.

The SDVoE philosophy is based around delivering value via processing nodes at the endpoints, rather than centrally at the switch

installers and designers. We plan to debut that training at ISE this year. I was previously at Crestron, where I was in charge of their DigitalMedia product. I got a lot of exposure to the industry’s transition from analogue to digital, and I learned very quickly how the industry can benefit from being trained on how to operate a new technology. I think there’s a lot of thirst in the designer and integrator community for learning to deal with IT systems in greater depth than before. We’ve been interacting with IT systems for some time, but now we’re really pouring our heart and soul into the IT side of things. There’s even some nervousness and fear for some people that if they don’t learn how to do this, they could be worried about their job. I want the opportunity to teach people that this doesn’t have to be scary or hard – to teach them about the ways to design and manage video networks in this new paradigm.

‘I want to get SDVoE to that plateau of productivity in one to three years’

To your question of what will be asked of the membership, it’s to assist in large ways with this training. Our partners from the IT space will be very valuable – they already have courses and curriculum for the IT side of things; we’ll want to incorporating some of that into our training, shaped more to the AV industry; we want to be as hands-on as possible – people will provide gear, training, and curriculum as the member companies collaborate to deliver courses. And of course we’ll have ad campaigns and general outreach to the community and I expect members to benefit from that. I want to get to a world where consultants,

who generally aren’t willing to specify Brand X over Brand Y, will specify our technology. Today many specs say, ‘I want an HDBaseT system’. I want consultants and integrators to specify SDVoE systems – and that’s another way that the member companies will benefit, because they will be the only ones eligible to meet that spec. Do you have any plans to create externally recognised standards around SDVoE – such as IEEE or InfoComm ANSI standards? We have some ideas on that topic, but it’s early days. The board of directors will be considering this in the first year of the Alliance. As our message is primarily on software, we’ll have some debates on the degree to which we want to standardise things other than software. Have you learned any lessons from other technology alliances in the industry in how you formulated your approach? One example comes to mind. When AVB first came out, they didn’t want to focus on the value they could bring out to, and in from, worlds outside pro AV: they wanted to focus on the pro AV manufacturers in their alliance and not really talk about the IT side of the house, and the value that technology can bring to non-AV applications. In contrast to that, a key factor for us has been to bring in the perspective and the knowledge of players outside the AV industry. More and more the lines will be blurred between where is it AV and where is it IT. Rather than try and maintain two sides of the fence, I want to embrace them both and push them together. In your press notes, you’ve included a slide of the Gartner hype cycle – in which the analyst places a wide range of new technologies on a time curve that includes categories such as ‘the peak of inflated expectations’, the ‘trough of disillusionment’ and the ‘plateau of

productivity’. Why did you put that slide in, and what is your target timescale for SDVoE adoption? According to Gartner, software-defined anything is just about to hit the trough of disillusionment! They give it two to five years to mainstream adoption. Our goal here at the SDVoE Alliance is to accelerate our way through that trough and get to productivity. I put that slide in to show that these trends are larger than AV. The fundamental idea is that although hardware is required and critical, it’s less and less important. More and more, you design hardware that’s flexible and fast, and let the software figure out what it needs to do. We see that trend in high-end data centre computing and long-haul networking; I want to bring that trend, which has already started to be successful in those places, to AV. So we want to be a little ahead of the curve; that’s where I like to live. That’s why I sat through analogue to digital as a transition; that’s why I left DigitalMedia to come drive this thing. I think the trend is there, the inevitability is there. I want to be in front of it, and I want to get SDVoE to that plateau of productivity as quickly as possible. I want to turn that two to five years into one to three years. That’s a timeframe I would consider a great success if we can drive the bulk of the market over to SDVoE technology. That’s a pretty huge statement, I understand: we’re talking about a multi-billion dollar space with some entrenched large players. But I think the pull of this platform approach is so powerful, just because of what it is – it can’t be resisted. Those that embrace it are either going to remain leaders or become new leaders, and those who reject it are going to be left behind.

http://sdvoe.org


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22 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017

February 2017

What? ISE 2017 Where? Amsterdam RAI When? Conferences 6-10 February Exhibition 7-10 February

Are you ready? With ISE 2017 just a few days away, here’s the last of our three show previews – covering exhibitors, conferences and show events – to help you plan your visit Audio 4EVAC will presents its Compact 500 Voice Alarm system. The Compact C500 offers a lean design footprint and makes for cost effective installation and operation. Comprising selfcontained compact ‘Wall-mounted Control’ and ‘Indicating Voice-Alarm’ panels, the C500 provides advanced digital audio distribution on a networked VACIE solution. It offers the implicit simplicity of a standalone conventional system, but with the added power and benefits of Global Network Topology. Allen & Heath’s dLive C Class

Allen & Heath’s dLive C Class, a new compact range of Surfaces and MixRacks, is making its European debut at ISE. dLive C Class is founded on XCVI, the same 96kHz FPGA core that drives Allen & Heath’s flagship dLive S Class mixers, and also shares its DEEP processing architecture. The new range includes the first 19in-rackmountable dLive surface, the ultracompact C1500. C Class opens up the dLive platform to a wider spectrum of AV, installation and live event roles. Ashly Audio will be showing the Ashly digiMIX24, a versatile, compact 24-channel digital mixing console that features professional

inputs/outputs, integrated signal processing and effects, iPad Remote Control integration, user-friendly software, and intuitive mixing via the live control surface. It is aimed educational and worship facilities, auditoriums, gymnasiums, performance spaces and project studios. Audac will be showing the PRE116 and PRE126 models, an update to its pre-amplifier series, which feature a front side mini jack input and a Bluetooth module. The PRE-series was already known as a six-channel ‘foolproof’ preamplifier, found in education, hospitality and government facilities, but with the evolution of technology and music distribution over mobile devices, Audac has sought to expand the series with these compatible components. Bose will be marking its entry into the audio conferencing market with ControlSpace EX. This includes the EX-1280C conferencing processor and three under-table Dante endpoints. The company claims the new solution simplifies design and installation for large meeting rooms. Additionally, ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers will be demo’d on the stand. According to Bose, DeltaQ array technology improves sound and vocal clarity by providing selectable coverage patterns that direct more sound energy to the audience by allowing directivity, or ‘Q’, to vary with each array module. Crest Audio, a division of Peavey Commercial Audio, will be showing the new Tactus Digital Mixing System. The modular touch-screen based mixing system is said to kick off a new revolution in live performance digital mixing. Tactus consists of both hardware and software

components, incorporating the Waves eMotion LV1 software. The Waves eMotion LV1 mixer application runs on a Windows PC or Mac with one, two or three multi-touch screens. ISE visitors will have the opportunity to see d&b audiotechnik’s latest installation-specific loudspeakers, 24S and 24S-D. Launched with the 21S-SUB in October 2016, this system resets the performance level of the elegantly redesigned xS-Series to offer a truly full-range, all-in-one solution. The system is designed to suit to the dynamic needs of nightclubs, live performance venues, houses of worship and multipurpose centres. Electro-Voice will be showing a new wave of products in the X-Line Advance family, including the X1-212/90, a compact 12in vertical linearray loudspeaker system for small and midsized applications including houses of worship, corporate events, clubs and entertainment venues. Though approximately a third smaller in size than systems typically used in these environments, the X1 is designed to deliver superior audio performance and higher output, says the company, meaning fewer units are required to achieve desired results and lowering install costs. Martin Audio’s new BlacklineX passive series represents a reinvention of the original multipurpose Blackline Series, launched in 1999. This immediately found favour not only as installation boxes in nightclubs, bars, commercial spaces and houses of worship, but also as portable sound reinforcement and stage monitoring solutions for live bands, DJs and corporate


SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017 X 23

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events. The BlacklineX Series comprises four two-way systems, from the ultra-compact X8 to the powerful X15, and three subwoofers, including an unobtrusive slimline model. QSC will be demonstrating how its existing Q-SYS software can run on standard Dell server hardware. This is intended to give a glimpse into the future, when larger installations will use centralised IT data processing for audio, video and control functions. Decoupled from proprietary hardware, the Q-Sys Platform uses Intel processing, Linux operating system services and IEEE networking protocols. ISE 2017 is the first major European trade show where Yamaha will be exhibiting the newly updated MA2030a and PA2030a compact power amplifiers. With extra functionality, the new models are now optimised further for commercial installations. Yamaha says that the compact, rugged MA2030a and PA2030a power amplifiers are ideal for smaller projects, both supporting low impedance and high impedance speaker systems, with an interface that has been carefully designed for easy everyday use. Set-up is quick and easy, requiring no computers or complex procedures, and no special skill or experience is needed for day-to-day operation, the company claims.

Digital signage and displays

Away from the show floor Once again, there are plenty of conferences and networking events taking place at ISE. SMART BUILDING CONFERENCE Once again providing a day of thought leadership on the eve of the show, the topic for this year’s Smart Building Conference is ‘IoT Makes Smart Buildings Even Smarter’. The finale will be the ISE Opening Address, given by architect Ole Scheeren, at 18:00. Monday 6 February, 08:30-19:30 Forum/Room E102/Ruby Lounge AUDIOFORUM Organised by Connessioni in cooperation with AES and supported by ISE, as well as Eighteen Sound and Powersoft, this year’s AudioForum will focus on audio from the electronics perspective; processing, DSPs, software and firmware for design, monitoring and set-up.

Monday 6 February, 10:00-17:00, Room G001/G002 DIGITAL SIGNAGE SUMMIT For the first time at ISE, the Digital Signage Summit will presenting a half-day DSS conference. Experts from across the digital signage industry will gather to produce insight and expert opinion while discussing cutting-edge projects and leading technologies. Wednesday 8 February, 10:00-14:00, Room E102

Absen HDV series

Absen’s HDV series, designed for the corporate market, is being unveiled for the first time in Europe at ISE 2017. With a depth of 65mm, the panel boasts quick and easy front access to simplify and speed up maintenance. Three models boast brightness of up to 1000 nits and a refresh rate of 3840Hz, with pixel pitch ranging from 1.25mm (for the HDV1.2) to 1.92mm (HDV1.9). Each HDV module is imbued with the strength of its distinctive honeycomb cellular design, to aid flatness and prevent warping across its 160° ultra-wide viewing angle. Among the five new projectors being announced at ISE by Digital Projection are two new lamp-free models for its 3D-capable E-Vision range, offering picture-in-picture as well as edge-blending and geometry correction as standard, alongside a real-time clock for automation. The Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 4K-UHD is a single-chip DLP projector,

WOMEN OF INFOCOMM NETWORK WIN’s ISE 2017 networking event includes speed networking, the launch of WIN Career Empowerment Alliances, and the sharing of an industry event calendar to facilitate future meet-ups – plus cocktails and canapes. Wednesday 8 February, 17:00-19:00, Emerald Room

adding a 7,500-lumen option with 4K resolution. The new E-Vision Laser 10K adds greater brightness to the range, delivering 10,000 lumens at WUXGA resolution. imotionINK, a new product line based on e-paper technology, will be on show from Infinitus. The outdoor digital signage vendor is presenting two units – the imotionINK 13.3in module and its videowall alternative imotionINK

SPORTS VENUE TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT This year’s Sports Venue Technology Summit at ISE explores the latest technologies and processes underpinning the modern connected stadium. SVTS looks at the latest developments to enhance the in-venue experience and highlights addresses the broadcast innovations bringing an increasing number of sports events to fans all around the world. Thursday 9 February, 09:30-13:30, Room E102 ISE STAND DESIGN AWARDS Organised and independently judged by EXHIBITOR magazine, these first-ever ISE stand design awards will recognise the most effective show floor booths across three size categories. Criteria include communication, use of space, navigation and impact. Thursday 9 February, 15:00, Audio Solutions Theatre FUTURE AV PROFESSIONALS Designed to help the industry recruit welltrained junior staff, this programme contains an introduction to the industry, a guided show floor tour, and a small ‘Job Fair’ where students can contact exhibitors and inform themselves about career possibilities. Friday 10 February, 10:00-16:00, various locations M2D NETWORKING RECEPTION The M2D event will welcome manufacturers looking for new distributors, and distributors looking for new product lines to add to their range. Attendees are promised a convivial atmosphere geared to facilitate networking and contact building. Friday 10 February, 15:00-16:00, Café Amsterdam

2 x 13.3in – as an independent solution and as a solution integrated within a classic ‘bus stop’ sign. These displays can be used for simple visual communication, such as passenger and visitor information. Extremely low power consumption and integrated 3G and WiFi allows these displays to be placed in locations without mains power. Depending on usage, power can be sourced from battery or even solar panels.


24 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017 LEDBlade is the name of a new LED strip visual technology system and the company that makes it. LEDBlade creates depth of space or three-dimensionality; it enhances edges, expands the visual area or links together to create any geometric design. LEDBlade adds extra dynamic to the video design toolkit. Demonstrated on the stand will be the original LEDBlade Stripe, as well as the first chance to see the new LEDBlade Curve. On view at the Leyard stand will be the Leyard DirectLight Series of fine-pitch LED videowall displays. The new series expands upon the success of the Planar DirectLight LED videowall family by enabling ultra-slim, front service installations in more indoor environments. The Leyard DirectLight Series includes a choice of four fine pixel pitch models from 0.9 to 1.8mm. They feature an adjustable wall mount and 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. LG Electronics will strengthen its OLED product offering at ISE 2017, showcasing its newest displays for commercial applications, alongside new developments in digital signage and display technology for various industries. The company is promising a jaw-dropping video wall comprised of 55in panels featuring one of the narrowest even panel bezels on the market, enabling a seamless viewing experience. This will be flanked by two of LG’s Ultra Stretch displays to create a truly immersive welcome onto the stand. Samsung’s quantum dot Smart UHD displays

More than two years in development. Mitsubishi Electric’s new narrow pixel pitch display will be on display. Designed specifically for control room and other demanding indoor visualisation applications, the 130in full HD display is composed of individual LED units measuring 480mm x 540mm. The display offers direct view LED, delivering an impressive light output and contrast from a 90mm depth slim form factor. The new screen is based on a 1.5mm pitch, 3-in-1 SMD LED package. Nexcom International’s NDiS B426 edge server, featuring GPU-accelerated system responsiveness, aims to give bricks-and-mortar retailers a firm grasp of their customers’ interests through smart

retail insights. The server can identify traffic flows, measure customer engagement, and find behavioural patterns, offering retailers valuable information to optimise shelf assortment, craft marketing strategies and increase in-store sales. The NDiS B426 can interpret real-time video footage captured by up to six full HD in-store cameras and incorporate cloud services to create a clean presentation of analysis results. The recently launched ZU510T ProScene WUXGA 5,500-lumen compact laser projector will be on show on the Optoma stand. Designed for 24/7 operation and with 30,000 hours of life – said to be 50% longer than competing products – the projector has been independently tested and certified with a IP5X dust resistance rating. The ZU510T has a 1.8x manual zoom, ±30° vertical, ±30° horizontal, with four corner keystone correction and a range of I/O options including 3x HDMI, VGA, HDBaseT, audio in, mic in, VGA out, audio out, RJ45, RS232, 12V trigger, and two powered USB ports. New launches on the Peerless-AV stand include a 75in indoor digital signage kiosk, and the new 49in High-bright Xtreme outdoor display. The Xtreme Display features a 1500-nit high-brightness panel, capable of producing clear, sunlight readable images in any outdoor environment, according to the company. Peerless-AV claims that Xtreme is the only outdoor display that is dust tight, fully immersible in water and completely impervious to grime, ice or insects. It also claims it has the widest operating temperature range of any outdoor display (-40˚C to +60˚C). Samsung is introducing the first quantum dot technology-powered and high dynamic range (HDR) supported Smart UHD displays at ISE 2017. In a move that Samsung claims has ‘changed the game for customer engagement’, the new Q Signage displays can showcase one billion colours with greater accuracy. The HDR-compatible quantum dot displays further balance light and dark brightness and preserve gradation to offer improved depth and realism compared with standard dynamic range (SDR) alternatives. The Q Signage additionally generates an ultra-wide viewing angle in both portrait and landscape orientations. SiliconCore will launch its Quick Connect range at ISE. The new product features a new truss framing system so that tiles can quickly interlock into the desired size and shape. It is being showcased via a Peony 2.6mm pixel pitch display, presented in a 3x5 tile formation – delivering an image area of 1.5m x 2.5m with a 115in diagonal measurement. Other pixel pitches available include the Lily 5.2mm and Tulip 3.9mm. The latter is available in an outdoor version, and this will also be showcased on the stand.

February 2017

Silicon Core’s Quick Connect range

Unilumin’s narrow pixel pitch Intelligent Upanel indoor LED display supports a rather unusual servicing method: the LED modules are removed with the assistance of a smartwatch. An ‘intelligent’ front access design means that when an installation smartwatch is brought close to the module, it pops out, ensuring zeroLED-damage. Once an old module is replaced by a new one, the system will automatically calibrate it to sync with the rest of the display. The unit also has double power and signal supplies for failsafe operation.

Education technology ISE 2017 sees the addition of a dedicated hall for education technology for the first time. Angekis will show two new 1080p PTZ cameras, the Blade and Curtana models. Both are full HD USB 2.0 output videoconference cameras, with RS232 connections and 10 presets. The Curtana has a wide 105º field of view without distortion; the Blade’s features include 10x optical zoom, excellent low-light capabilities, FECC, reverse mountability and 3D noise reduction. Interactive touchscreen technology manufacturer Avocor will showcase its new AVX display series. The range delivers UHD image

Come and have a drink with Installation on Thursday In a change from the previously announced details, Installation will host its ISE 2017 networking drinks on Thursday 9 February at 16:30. Come to our stand (7-Q160) and meet the Installation team over drinks and canapes. We’ll bring you up to date with our latest news, including details of the 2017 InstallAwards. You can also meet representatives of AV-iQ and NewBay’s US brands. Spaces are limited, though, so please RSVP via email to osmith@nbmedia.com.


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26 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2017 clarity, with 20 precise and fast points of touch using high-resolution InGlass touch technology. An integrated Microsoft Windows 10 operating system offering an instantly recognisable interface. Initially shipping in 75in, the panel will also come with an active pen, allowing for increased pressure sensitive input, side buttons to enabling switching between functions as well as an integrated sound bar for an improved audio experience. ISE 2017 will see the European launch of the next generation of FrontRow’s ezRoom classroom AV systems. The new systems are meant for schools that want not only voice or media amplification, but also advanced connectivity for AV control, remote management, or integration with IP-based paging and bells. ezRoom systems now feature a dramatic boost in audio quality, a programmable Smart Button for the teacher microphone that can be used for alerting, improved microphone coverage, new voice command control options, and digital feedback suppression, all in an architecturally appealing enclosure that’s built to order before shipping. Veo Stream – a complete hardware and software solution for recording and streaming events, conferences, and training courses – is being launched by Veo-Labs. Based on Veobox hardware, this solution is embedded in a complete mobile rack with two monitoring screens, audio mixer, full HD professional SDI box camera and wireless microphone. The user has just to connect a laptop, the camera, and start the reach media recording and streaming session.

Veo Stream from Veo-Labs

Signal management Adder will be previewing its new CCS-PRO8 command and control KVM switch for the first time. This allows operators to control up to eight machines across eight displays using just one mouse and keyboard. It is said to be ideal for improving ergonomics in a control setting where space is at a premium or management of multiple computers from one station is required.

Featuring FreeFlow technology, the Adder CCSPRO8 enables users to move from one display to the next simply by moving the mouse across screen borders.

Adder CCS-PRO8

Dataton will be showing WatchPax 4, a portable addition to its range of media servers. With an A4-sized footprint paired with four outputs, WatchPax 4 is a dedicated server that is optimised for playback of multidisplay shows created in Dataton’s WatchOut production and playback software. The product is targeted at a range of applications, including signage, live events and fixed installations. Units can be placed close to display sources, stacked, or mounted in a standard 19in rack for extra flexibility. Guntermann & Drunck will present new systems transmitting KVM-over-IP as well as installations supporting classic, dedicated cabling. The new DP1.2-Vision-XG KVM extender extends computer signals up to 10,000m, transmitting 4K or even 8K video at 60Hz pixel by pixel, using up to four synchronous video channels. Dedicated transmission takes place over fibre optics to provide sufficient bandwidth for uncompressed DisplayPort signals, video, keyboard/mouse, RS232, USB 2.0 and audio. RGBlink will show MSP 200PRO, an all-in-one AV generator and monitor toolset with advanced video testing and monitoring features. All functions are controlled from the integrated touchscreen for easy operation and navigation. The touchscreen menu enables video source selection, output resolution setting, EDID setting, Genlock configuration, Time Code display, graphical signal analysis, as well as onboard video monitoring. Tripleplay has worked with long-term technology hardware partner Amino to launch a low-cost, solid-state set-top box for delivering 4K digital signage and IPTV. The new Amino 4K STB offers HEVC content delivery, a protocol that makes delivery of UHD media content up to 60% more efficient. Also on show will be several newly released solutions at ISE, including the Mobile Media App (MMA), Media Video Player (MVP) and the low latency Tripleplay HD Encoder, as well as efficiency improvements to the Digital Media Platform. tvONE is launching a new streaming media and 4K playback module for its CORIOmaster video processor at ISE 2017. The new module allows digital video from the cloud or the internet to be seamlessly blended with local media and AV connections and presented

February 2017

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.

together on a videowall in any desired configuration. It offers dual channel 1080p60 streaming media as well as file playback, via USB3.0, of any resolution up to UHD/4K on the main channel and 1080p/60 on the secondary.

Unified communications/conferencing Four new wired Dicentis devices are to be released at ISE 2017, expanding Bosch’s IP-based conference system portfolio. The Dicentis multimedia device offers a 7in touchscreen interface for accessing and sharing meeting content and offering internet access. The system is capable of connecting a network of up to 750 conference devices and seamlessly integrating with other systems sharing the network such as IP video streams or content management systems. ISE 2017 will see Crestron presenting its new Skype Room System in partnership with Microsoft. This brings an HD audio-video experience to small and midsize meeting rooms and spaces, as well as conference rooms. The system comprises a touch controller that manages the Skype Meeting; HDMI and Crestron DigitalMedia inputs and outputs; six USB ports to connect audio devices, a camera, and other accessories; and a Cresnet port to add an occupancy sensor. Cloud-based VC company StarLeaf will show the StarLeaf Ensemble, a new integrated meeting room solution. Offering plug-and-play installation, it includes 4K displays and a choice of a cloud-connected or Skype for Business integrated video endpoint. Customers can also choose a dual or single screen configuration, making the solution appropriate for spaces from huddle rooms to boardrooms. The Ensemble is also available with StarLeaf’s cloud-connected meeting room system, the GT Mini.

www.iseurope.org


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NOT

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28 BUSINESS FEATURE: DRONES

February 2017

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Having made its debut at InfoComm 2015, the Drone Pavilion is fast becoming a fixture at major AV shows, having made two appearances in the USA and about to make a second at ISE in Amsterdam. Ian McMurray wonders if there’s something in the air

D

rones – or unmanned aerial vehicles, if you prefer – have, let’s face it, had a pretty bad rap over recent years. The armed forces have been vilified for their use. They’re said to have caused numerous aviation nearmisses. And now, it seems, they’re being used to smuggle drugs and phones into prisons. Stampede, however – the company behind the Drone Pavilion at ISE, InfoComm and other trade shows – is convinced that drones have a real future in the AV industry. “We’ve returned to ISE because the reaction from European integrators and end users was overwhelmingly positive last year,” says Kevin Kelly, president and COO of Stampede. “If you come to our pavilion, you’ll immediately see the excitement in the eyes of the attendees. At ISE 2017 we’re showcasing an even broader range of drone offerings that span a larger range of applications, from the simple to the extremely complex.” He notes that Stampede’s network “is twice the size it was last year since our acquisition of Just Lamps”. However, some integrators don’t – yet – share Kelly’s enthusiasm.

Camera that can fly “I visited the Drone Pavilion at ISE 2016, and wasn’t convinced there was an opportunity,” notes Gareth Lloyd, group communications manager at integrator Saville Audio Visual. “I think people are trying to force the technology to be something it isn’t. I think one thing that is missed is that, to all intents and purposes, a drone is just a camera that can fly – so where would you need a camera that can fly in a typical AV integrated system? It’s not much use in a boardroom or a lecture theatre, I would suggest, and the existing technologies already tick the box quite nicely. “It’s definitely a case of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole,” he smiles. Lloyd is not the only sceptic. “From a network installation side, they would be useful to be able to view external cable routes over rooftops and so on that you normally can’t access on a site survey,” adds Derek Pyle, installation manager at CDEC. “With AV, I’m not sure what the application could be, since I can’t see any use on surveys.” Others, however, are intrigued by what drones might bring.

Key Points „ Drone legislation around the world is complex and in a state of flux, but is expected to achieve clarity in the coming months „ Any prospective drone operator needs to be intimately acquainted with where drones can and cannot be flown „ In the US at least, integrators are reportedly successfully expanding their solution offering with drone video systems „ There is already in place an infrastructure of expertise and support that is vital in enabling integrators to enter the drone market “The reason we haven’t got involved with drones so far is that they we couldn’t see how they might fit with our business model as an integrator,” explains Bryan Edwards, head of technical sales at Reflex. “However: as an organisation, we try to be very open-minded about what the future might hold so we have invited Stampede to support our end-user event


30 FEATURE: DRONES

February 2017

next month. We’ll be very interested to see and hear our customers’ reaction.” But what of those companies who focus on specific market areas beyond boardrooms and the like? On security, for example, or control centres? Both would seem likely to be able to leverage the potential of drones. “I’ve only ever seen one application where a drone was deployed,” says Frankie Bellavia, head of sales, security at distributor Midwich. “A perimeter detector had been activated on a private estate which had 24/7 man guarding. We may possibly see applications in high net worth private homes, but not really in the corporate sector due to public space issues.”

‘Drones can provide rapid “eyes on target”: transmitting real-time video to the home owner and central station’ Ron Fleming, CEDIA

Niche sector “It’s currently a niche sector and, ultimately, we see the need for it to be scrutinised by the Data Protection Act and Civil Aviation Authority,” he continues. “Once legislation is clearly defined, that would have an impact as to whether we would consider drone technology as part of our portfolio. “You may see the use of drone technology in the utilities sector, mainly for use in area surveillance, land survey or perimeter fence integrity assessment,” Bellavia concludes. Barco, with its extensive control room experience, is a company that immediately comes to mind for such applications. Hans Dekeyser is the company’s VP, strategic marketing I&G, sees a fit. “Our solutions take in sensor information from a wide variety of devices,” he says, “and our technology and market focus is on the ingestion, processing and distribution of that information. Video streamed from drones is one of many. Moreover, as far as the display of a Common Operational Picture is concerned, drones are an interesting addition to the sensor spectrum in that they not only receive video or pictures but can also, depending on the technology, intercept communication signals, recognise faces, trace and identify people and objects, record behaviour and report on anomalies. This opens good perspectives in civil security and surveillance applications.”

Ron Fleming, VP of business development at CEDIA, also believes that drones may well have a place. “It’s a rapidly-evolving category and several new start-ups – Sunflower and Galileo, for example – are focusing on the residential and light commercial security market with features like perimeter motion detection and automated flight patterns,” he says. “The appeal for clients is not hard to understand. Drones can provide rapid ‘eyes on target’: transmitting real-time video to the home owner and central station, while capturing images of individuals, vehicles and so on, are all well within the capabilities of these new drones.”

Staple feature “As this technology advances, the regulatory environment will also evolve,” he goes on. “Thus far, it’s been at a slower pace. But as long as airspace safety and privacy concerns are not compromised, there is little doubt that drones could become another staple feature in the whole home security solution.” A different perspective on how to view the drone opportunity is provided by Kelly. “It’s important to not think in terms of markets when you think about drones as a business,” he believes. “Integrators should think about

the customers and the verticals that they sell into now. Government, for instance, is already using drones for applications like search and rescue, public safety, and security. Education is using drones for research, STEM, aerial cinematography, and security. Corporate is using drones for construction and surveying, as well as in security. Integrators can also add services to the suite of products they offer and these managed services add recurring revenue to the integrator’s business plan.

‘In the US we are seeing AV integrators successfully adding drones to their customer offering in every vertical’ Kevin Kelly, Stampede

“In the United States we are seeing AV integrators successfully adding drones to their customer offering in every vertical market we serve, bar none,” he goes on. “US AV integrators


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32 BUSINESS FEATURE: DRONES who add drone video systems are increasing sales to their current customers in addition to new customers they never had before. In other words, drones are actually bringing them new customers — and that means that the category is growing the traditional AV audience, which benefits everyone.”

Permission required Fleming’s reference to safety and privacy leads inevitably to a discussion of the need for training and an understanding of the legislative environment surrounding drones. “For operators to conduct any form of commercial activity – and an operator can be a company or one man and his drone – a Permission for Commercial Operations must first be awarded by the UK Civil Aviation Authority,” clarifies Bob Gillan, director of training at 3iC, a company that provides a broad range of services including consultancy to help its clients investigate and develop market opportunities. “This is fundamentally pretty much the same within the EU. The EU does not yet have harmonised legislation which covers drone operations – and indeed, commercial operations have been known to be banned in some states. “An operator must receive appropriate training by a UK CAA-accredited National Qualified Entity, such as 3iC,” adds Gillan.

‘Every day, we’re surprised by a new deployment of this aerial technology’ James Heron, Carriage Return

To reinforce Gillan’s point, it’s important to understand that the legislation around drones is currently in a state of flux (and not, in fact, only in the EU as the growing interest in, and popularity of, drones is causing law-makers to take a closer look around the world). EASA – the European Air Safety Authority, which functions similarly to the UK’s CAA and the US’s FAA – recently published a consultative document on the subject. One commentator – admittedly speaking on behalf of the hobbyist community – declared that “the Prototype commission Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft Operations will destroy the European drone industry”. There are also operational considerations that a prospective drone operator needs to take on board. “According to the CAA’s CAP 722 Unmanned

Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance document, for visual line-of-sight work, a drone can operate at a maximum distance of 500m from the pilot at a maximum height of 400ft,” continues Gillan, noting that it is standard aviation terminology to mix metres and feet like this. “There are also minimum distances stipulated from which the pilot may not reduce. A drone cannot be flown closer than 50m to a structure or person unless they first have permission. A pilot may not fly within 150m of any assembly of more than 1,000 persons or to a congested area used for commerce, industrial or residential purposes without permission.”

Not rocket science If that all sounds somewhat off-putting, at least flying a drone is relatively straightforward, according to Gillan. “It really isn’t rocket science,” he laughs, “and the modern platform is extremely stable and generally will hold position using GPS even if the pilot removes his hands from the controls.” Someone who has successfully mastered the subject and who is an enthusiastic proponent of the opportunity provided by drones is James Ross Heron, formerly a director of media server developer Green Hippo. He has now established Carriage Return, where he plans to use handheld and portable technology alongside drones for video journalism and a new approach to marketing services. He has personal experience of the environment Gillan describes. “The rush for everyone to open a drone-based business is fraught with red tape,” says Heron. “You must demonstrate an understanding of airspace, weather, the means by which you check potential hazards such as military activity and the safety of the general public. The rules are changing regularly as the numbers of drones rise. Nobody really knows how the rules will go and we really will have to wait and see what happens.” Stampede’s Kelly is confident that the situation will be rapidly resolved. “Regulatory agencies always set the pace for the way a new technology is implemented,” he points out. “The key for us as an industry is to achieve complete clarity in understanding a route to the legalised usage of drones in every market application. This clarity has been provided, finally, in the United States and is in the works in other major markets around the world. I have no doubt that 2017 will bring a clearer path forward for all of us to follow. Our focus has to remain on how to safely implement this new technology with a professional class of fully trained drone operators that separates our operators from the amateur or hobbyist drone operator.” If Kelly’s confidence turns out not to be

February 2017

misplaced, and despite the reservations that integrators continue to harbour on the subject, it’s hard not to wonder what the future might hold.

Exciting “One of the elements that makes drones exciting is that, every day, we’re surprised by a new deployment of this aerial technology – one we didn’t see coming,” smiles Heron, who gives as examples the rise in outdoor LED screens and large scale projection leading to expensive site surveys, where drones can help moderate the cost as well as gaining accurate results and measurements; the tough challenges 3D projection teams face in acquiring 3D models of structures; and festival work, where he sees an opportunity for drones to undertake daily visual structure checks. “I’m actually quite excited to see what the AV industry will do with this emerging technology,” he continues. “Just don’t go and buy one from Maplins and give it to your marketing assistant. Firstly, what you’re planning is probably illegal, and secondly, an expert will get the results you need in much less time.” If Heron is excited, Kelly is passionate. “Too many integrators are simply missing the opportunity because they are not being presented with the full plan on how to integrate drones into their business model,” he believes, “which is how we’ve helped them succeed. The key thing for integrators to understand is that drones are the delivery mechanism of a complete video-based solution that allows them to expand their business offering at a time when commoditisation is shrinking their margins on other sales.” “Drones are definitely coming their way,” agrees Gillan. It’s hard not to be compelled. Those who are already involved are enthused and excited by what they see. Yes, initial scepticism and cynicism are to be expected when any new technology appears. Ken Olsen, for example, the founder of one-time-great minicomputer manufacturer DEC, famously remarked in 1977 that “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”. Something is indeed in the air – and if the revolution isn’t quite here yet, it may be closer than we think.

www.3ic.co.uk www.barco.com www.carriage-return.com www.cdec.co.uk www.cedia.co.uk www.midwich.com www.reflex.co.uk www.saville-av.com www.stampede.com


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34 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: LECTURE CAPTURE

February 2017

Giving learners another chance Key Points „ The earliest adopters of lecture capture in the UK began around a decade ago, but take-up has increased rapidly in the past three or four years „ Different educational establishments use lecture capture in different ways – so clients may need guidance from integrators in deciding what their requirements are „ Further education colleges do not use the technology as widely as universities, but competition for apprenticeship contracts with employers may help here

Richard Doughty speaks to end-users within universities and colleges to find out how they started using lecture capture and voting technology, the different ways in which these tools are used, and their plans for the future

T

he ability of universities and colleges to record, stream and archive lectures for their students has rapidly increased over the past three or four years. Breakthroughs in lecture capture and voting technologies have made the systems easier to use and seen large increases in student and staff take-up. One of the UK’s leading higher education institutions in lecture capture is Essex University, an early adopter of the technology. A key reason for this is its long-standing commitment to equal opportunities and support for students with learning difficulties. Up until 2010, Essex had been relying on banks of analogue audio cassette recorders hardwired to around 15 lecture theatres – until cassettes became obsolete and students were no longer familiar with them. In 2011 a computer science postgrad student created a stopgap solution, which captured digital audio and delivered to students as an MP3 file. By then, infectious student enthusiasm had turned into expectation of audio and screen capture. Lecturers initially feared lecture capture would affect attendance; in fact, evidence shows recordings make little difference to this. Tessa Rogowski, assistant director of IT services, says: “We call it ‘listen again’ rather than ‘lecture capture’.” The challenge was clear: Essex had to meet student demand and get staff onside. After a six-

month period trialling three different products, software from US-based Panopto was chosen – and remains the solution today. Interest in the product is now growing across mainland Europe, following initial uptake in the US and UK, according to EMEA general manager Peter Ingle. At Essex, more than 200 teaching spaces provide audio recordings of all lectures from 06:00 to 21:00 and capture video, slides and computer clips used as support materials. “A professor will

‘The idea of lecture capture is not to replace lectures but to be an effective learning tool’ Susan Barfield, Newcastle University

walk into a room and deliver a lecture in the normal way,” says Rogowski. “Each learning space or room has a PC in the background scheduled to record from when the lecture begins to when it’s due to end. We then insert that lecture into a student’s online learning material. They have it so good!”

Driven by academics Lecture capture at Newcastle University, another early adopter, follows the same principles as

„ Regular use of lecture recordings does lead to improved exam results, a study has shown Essex, although its main drivers have been academics, not students. “We wanted to offer our students more so we ran a pilot in our medical school in 2008,” says Susan Barfield, customer media support officer. “And it just took off. We started using it in the main lecture theatres, and by 2013 we were hosting around 200 venues and now our students are wanting more and more.” Newcastle streams events and occasional public lectures, but not regular lectures. Says Barfield: “The idea of lecture capture is not to replace lectures but to be an effective learning tool. We want students to be able to interact with academics.” Students can access recordings via the university’s Blackboard virtual learning environment, which is fully integrated with Panopto software. Lecturers, meanwhile, need do nothing, as lecture recording is scheduled to start at five minutes past the hour. If they don’t want to record a session or a group discussion, they can program that manually from the lectern. At Bath University, making lecture capture technology more accessible was the number one issue for the students’ union for two or three years. “It was what they wanted to do more than anything else,” says service manager Rob Hyde. ”And we’ve implemented it since then.” Growth has since been exponential, with usage up 50% each year over the past three years. One of the problems for integrators is clear direction about what a university actually wants its


www.installation-international.com

lecture capture technology to do. Stuart Dockerill, an account manager for AVMI in Scotland, says: “The challenge is helping the client make their mind up. There is a lot of equipment out there but it’s nailing down what is the best approach. Many of our clients go down the Echo 360 route.” He also says a current trend for major customers is to try developing their own apps for lecture capture and voting systems.

Voting technology Voting technology, which checks that learning has happened and encourages interaction between students and lecturers, runs in parallel with lecture capture programmes. Essex University uses a separate system of voting, currently handing out battery-driven handsets before a lecture. (Keeping these charged is an issue, says the university’s Tessa Rogowski.) Lecturers can stop in mid-PowerPoint session and get instant feedback on whether students have understood, while students may realise from the response shown on screen that they are struggling and need to listen again or do more study. New technology increasingly encourages students to use their own mobile devices to vote. “You can ask any questions you want such as flicking up a picture of a torso and asking, say,

FEATURE: LECTURE CAPTURE 35 which annotated position on the picture locates the appendix,” says Rogowski. Newcastle uses the Turning Point response system, dishing out dongles when needed in all of its 200 teaching spaces. It’s more about students using their own devices, such as iPhones or iPads. “We’ve had Turning Point probably longer than lecture capture,” says Barfield. “Bring your own device is a growing trend – most students have their own devices so it makes sense to use them.” Newcastle is rolling out the Ombea voting technology system that allows students to vote with their own smartphone, tablet or laptop. Ombea software also integrates with PowerPoint. Academics at the university are also seeking to introduce more dynamic questions: for instance, they are trialling ‘flipped classrooms’ by making recordings prior to a lecture, for students to work through before they attend the lecture itself. In one Newcastle project an academic used lecture capture software to help students prepare presentations; they recorded practice versions and then carried out peer assessment. There was a notable increase in the standard of their work after students had seen their own behaviours and how they presented. Meanwhile, Coventry University has bought into a response system from Canada-based Top Hat

“because it uses students’ own devices – you don’t need sophisticated kit,” says Coventry’s e-learning developer, Amanda Hardy. ”Students can use it to vote in live sessions. And lecturers can use it asynchronously, assigning questions as tasks to be answered on a student’s phone or other device before the next lecture.” Lecturers can load up Top Hat with a PowerPoint presentation and then present it in another session, while students using their phone app can view the presentation from their phone as well as on a room screen. “It’s more fully featured than just a voting system and is really where things are going,” says Hardy.


36 FEATURE: LECTURE CAPTURE Besides carrying prepared numeric, sorting and matching questions, the software allows lecturers to create a hotspot on an uploaded image and invite students to click on the image before displaying a heat map showing where they have clicked. Other useful features include an ongoing Twitter feed specifically set up for that lecture group to encourage peer-to-peer discussion.

College picture Move away from universities to further education (FE) colleges, and the picture differs. Without the budgets of the betterfunded universities, many colleges have gone down the free software route by adopting Google Hangouts to capture lectures and communicate, and Google Forms to facilitate student/lecturer interaction. However, in the UK, the FE sector could soon provide a larger market for lecture capture and videoconferencing suppliers. New funding arrangements for apprenticeship courses kick in from April this year, in which employers apply for government funds to allocate the college they think best suit their apprentices’ training needs. Colleges will now have to compete for employer contracts. Tyrone Knight, Northbrook College VLE administrator, agrees with the suggestion that colleges using lecture capture and videoconferencing widely could be more attractive to employers wanting to get the most out of their apprentices in the workplace, and particularly help students needing extra help outside normal college times.

‘Each learning space has a PC scheduled to record from when the lecture begins to when it’s due to end’ Tessa Rogowski, University of Essex

Hardware plans Hardware manufacturers in the lecture capture market are also developing their offerings. Matrox is looking to build on its H.264 video streaming technology and its increasingly successful Monarch recorder range. Last July it launched the Monarch LCS, a twoinput lecture capture appliance built for the classroom. “It synchronises the teacher’s video, their spoken words, slides and other media shown on screen,” says technical marketing manager Dan Maloney. “Users can decide the layout of their screen.

February 2017

Case Study

Tripleplay delivers at QMU Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh has more than 6,000 students, many of whom are remote learners. The university selected Tripleplay’s media video player solution TripleChoice to stream and record live TV and lectures, while also enabling the digitisation and upload of central media resources and personal learning-based media content. QMU media services manager Jim Bain comments: “Tripleplay combines a secure and encrypted video-on-demand solution with a high-definition IP television system, all delivered from the same user interface. Almost more importantly, the Tripleplay system includes a reporting system to ensure we know what is watched, where, when and for how long, and also the ability to restrict content access to selected IP networks, geo-locations or users.” QMU has also chosen to integrate the Tripleplay solution into its Blackboard virtual learning environment. This enables resource lists and individual video clips to be searched and viewed within Blackboard as items of course material. Owing to Tripleplay’s flexible delivery and transcoding methods, QMU can deliver video content via a thin-client environment into classrooms and to workstations all across campus. The installation also recognises that today’s students consume content in a variety of ways. Bain explains: “With new Tripleplay Mobile Media App we can watch, record and upload content directly from our mobile devices; essentially making them mobile lecture capture devices.” The installation was shortlisted for Best Education Project in the 2016 InstallAwards. “It can be integrated into video management systems such as Opencast and Kaltura, and learning management systems such as Moodle. This can all be done online so there’s no need to transfer files after the lecture.” Extron, which counts Coventry, Edinburgh and the University of Manchester among its key UK clients, has been in this sector for 15 years. It aims to expand its software publishing capabilities beyond the main virtual learning environments like Blackboard and Moodle to other services. It is also looking to research optical character recognition, with a view to producing software that can search PowerPoint content and find recordings based on the slides. Extron’s Andrew Evans, product marketing manager for streaming products, says: “We have had good success with our SMP 351 recorder for the last couple of years it’s been in the market. We’re now growing the lecture capture side by adding software to our portfolio. We’re not just doing recordings but managing, indexing and making them searchable.”

Impact Lecture capture is undoubtedly spreading as students and teachers understand its value, but what about any long-term academic impact? At least one remarkable three-year study proves how useful lecture capture can be.

In 2012 the University of Manchester published a paper documenting student performance at a series of lectures given on the same day of the week and by the same people. The results revealed that use of lecture capture (purely audio podcasts in this case) did improve exam results when students regularly used the lecture capture recordings. Significantly, the report also stated: “As few as 6% of participating students missed at least one lecture, knowing that the podcast would be available.” Their insatiable demand for all their lectures to be captured suggests a constantly growing global market for this educational niche of the AV industry. The future looks good.

www.avmi.com www.bath.ac.uk www.coventry.ac.uk www.echo360.com www.essex.ac.uk www.extron.com www.manchester.ac.uk www.matrox.com www.newcastle.ac.uk www.northbrook.ac.uk www.ombea.com www.panopto.com www.tophat.com www.tripleplay-services.com www.turningtechnologies.co.uk


Install awards 2017

SAVE THE DATE! 29th June 2017

Join us for the 4th annual InstallAwards on Thursday 29th June, Central London The InstallAwards offers a mix of networking, celebrating and most importantly recognising the achievements of the AV market across the globe. Join us for a three course meal, awards ceremony and after party!

ENTRIES OPEN SOON www.installawards.com If you would like more information or to sponsor this event please contact Ollie Smith osmith@nbmedia.com Tel: +44 (0)20 7354 6000

Get social!

Peter McCarthy pmccarthy@nbmedia.com Tel: +44 (0)20 7354 6000

@install8ion

#InstallAwards


38 BUSINESS FEATURE: SOLUTION SALES

February 2017

Single group or multi-brand? Among the integrator community opinions vary considerably regarding the desirability of sourcing all products in a solution from a single brand family – but what are the true pros and cons? David Davies sought perspectives from two leading manufacturers – as well as a prominent integrator Core Brands – ‘Seamless, connected solutions’ Core Brands engages in the audio, control and power management business segments which serve the residential, commercial and professional market spaces. Its brands include ATON, ELAN, Furman, Panamax and SpeakerCraft.

‘It’s essential not to mistake quantity for focus’ Joe Lautner, Core Brands

According to Joe Lautner, director business development, “the convenience of a single point of contact can benefit integrators, with regard to both convenience and programmes. In our US market, Core Brands sells directly to dealers, and our Dealer Rewards Program provides substantial benefits to integrators who carry more products from our brands. Outside of the US, we sell through distributors and, depending on the market, they carry many or all of our brands. We work with them

to be the in-market single point of contact for dealers – both for products and for training. And our cross-brand solution still provides benefits. For example, our Auriel multi-room audio and control chassis is based on the ELAN Control Platform. This made it easier for us to integrate Auriel’s new internal audio streaming into the new ELAN 8, which in turn, makes it easier for dealers to install.” However, Lautner emphasises that “it’s essential that any multi-brand or ‘group’ approach does not mistake quantity for focus. We spend a lot of time listening to our integrators and distributors, and creating solutions that help them deliver the best possible connected home to their clients.” Understanding how various needs correlate and then delivering solutions that enable reduced installation time and fewer integration issues is pivotal, says Lautner: “For example, take system controllers, distributed audio controllers and amplifiers – three categories that are very important to us. Our expertise in these categories informs the design of our power conditioning products so that the conditioners do the best job at improving the longevity of the controllers and performance of the amps. Again, it’s not about just ‘covering the bases’, but providing seamless, connected solutions.”

Harman Professional – ‘Giving integrators confidence’ Harman Professional Solution is a leading manufacturer of professional audio, video, lighting and control systems from brands including AKG Acoustics, AMX, BSS Audio, JBL Professional, Martin, Soundcraft and Studer.

‘Integrators are looking for something that is designed to work together’ Paul Chavez, Harman Professional

Explaining the benefits of a ‘one-group’ approach, Harman Professional Solutions’ director of systems applications, Paul Chavez, says: “Integrators want to implement systems as quickly, efficiently and reliably as possible. If they have systems that are already compatible and engineered to work together it gives them confidence they can be installed and operate without a lot of tweaking. Ultimately, this means they save time and can be more profitable.


40 FEATURE: SOLUTION SALES Additionally, systems that can be implemented faster and more reliably won’t require as many service calls because they are more stable.” In any case, maintenance can be eased by taking a seamless approach to brand selection: “When programming a system and tying multiple pieces of equipment together, the ability of remote monitoring to see what needs to be fixed is a major benefit. This ease of use will make servicing a system fully integrated much simpler and faster to diagnose and repair.” In terms of general demand from integrators for one-group solutions, Chavez believes that “we are still in an age of high complexity of incompatibility. Integrators will always have the challenge of customising the system for the enduser, but not having to put together unlike pieces that aren’t really designed to work together will save significant time. Integrators are looking for something that is designed to work together so the implementation can focus on the customer and less about getting the pieces to work together.”

Feltech –‘The right product for the job in question’ Based in St Albans, UK, award-winning integrator Feltech offers a wide range of services in the audiovisual systems, broadcast, systems design,

February 2017

installation and maintenance sector. The Feltech team specialises in turnkey audiovisual solutions, from concept through to design, equipment supply, installation and maintenance.

‘We are not keen on being boxed into selecting everything from one supplier on the basis of cost’ Nevil Bounds, Feltech

For key account director Nevil Bounds, it can sometimes be desirable to take all the products from a single brand family, but in reality it is not a common occurrence. “Of course the manufacturers would love you to do that,” laughs Bounds. “And incorporating products from one group can be useful in the sense that you are going to know how they all work together; the process of integrating them all can be fairly seamless. However, our approach is – wherever possible – to select the right product for the job in question.

We are not keen on being boxed into selecting everything from one supplier on the basis of cost. That’s not to say that it cannot be advantageous to be working with a distributor or client who has a good relationship with a certain vendor, and a valuable discount may come out of that. But generally the approach has to be that you look at each specific requirement in each specific project, and then find the very best solution… always. “The market is changing at the moment, and there is a fair bit of consolidation taking place whereby more brands are falling under the auspices of two or three big groups. I am sure that can be beneficial in some cases, but personally I wonder whether it is possible to be an expert in so many different areas of technology. It’s OK if you obtain the necessary expertise, but I am not convinced that that is always the case. “As a company our strategy will continue to focus on delivering a bespoke approach for each project – and that includes the new areas of the market into which we are expanding, such as the development of managed services and edit suite facilities, where we have seen a great deal of activity lately.”

www.corebrands.com www.feltech.com www.harman.com

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Thinking. Inside the box.


42 SOLUTIONS: KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX

February 2017

USA

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

Space odyssey A new exhibit explores both the history of the US space programme and the nature of heroism – using technologies that include a 4D theatre and a Pepper’s Ghost illusion. Tom Bradbury reports

W

hat was it like to embark on the first human journeys into space? That’s what the recently opened Heroes & Legends attraction at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida aims to convey. By focusing on the pioneering efforts of the Mercury and Gemini astronauts, it provides background and context to enrich the guest experience across the entire visitor complex. AV installation, integration and show programming for the new attractions was provided by Electrosonic, which has previously worked on several attractions at the visitor complex, including the Lunar Theater at the Apollo/Saturn V Center and Space Shuttle Atlantis. “We worked closely with designer Falcon’s Treehouse on this latest project, which includes a 4D multi-sensory theatre, as well as a host of other interactive exhibits and show areas,” says Electrosonic project manager Christopher Cooper.

Multimedia heroes Visitors are greeted by a bas-relief of the Mercury 7 astronauts on the facade of the building. They enter and ascend a ramp where ‘What is a Hero?’ unfolds. The seven-minute multimedia presentation addresses what makes a hero – not only astronauts but greats like Martin Luther King Jr and author Mark Twain. A pair of ceiling-mounted Christie DWU851-Q projectors display live-action footage on

two asymmetrical widescreens. Diamond-shaped tiles around the room feature graphic imagery and hero portraits; models of rockets fill the centre of the room. During the show lighting effects reveal three hidden features: a bicycle, a full-size model robot from Lost in Space, and a school desk to complement the presentation. Next, visitors see space exploration ‘Through the Eyes of a Hero’, in the 4D multi-sensory theatre. Fourteen Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors, in stereoscopic pairs, project a star field onto a roughly 220º screen before the show begins. Then the seven-and-a-half-minute video show, complete with wind effects, gives visitors a sense of the danger and excitement of the first manned space missions through the spoken-word experiences of astronauts Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and Jim Lovell. Electrosonic outfitted the Christie Boxers with custom Jenoptik lenses to accommodate the projectors’ placement close to the screen surface as well as the wraparound, concave shape of the screen itself.

In orbit Visitors exit onto a mezzanine with a MercuryRedstone rocket suspended from the ceiling. They descend to the ground floor to ‘A Hero Is…’, featuring a host of interactive exhibits and space programme artefacts. The former Mercury Mission Control Center is on display with a world map tracking John Glenn’s

Installed Video „ Christie DWU851-Q 1-DLP 7,900-lumen WUXGA projectors „ Christie DWU951-Q 1-DLP 8,900-lumen WUXGA projectors „ Christie Boxer 4K30 3-DLP 30,000-lumen 4K projectors „ NEC MultiSync P703 70in monitors „ 7th Sense Delta 2, Nano, Nucleus and Infinity media servers „ Middle Atlantic MRK racks

Audio „ QSC AP-5102, AP-5122 two-way speakers „ QSC AD-S6T, AD-S8T ceiling speakers „ QSC AD-CI52T/ST surface mount speakers „ QSC Q-SYS Core „ QSC SPA2-60 and Q-SYS amplifiers

About the integrator „ Electrosonic has offices in six US locations: Livermore (San Francisco), Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York City and Orlando „ The Orlando office provides service and systems engineering support to Florida’s theme park and tourist industry „ On this project, Toni Losier and Andrew Kidd were the account executives and Tony Peugh was the senior programmer first orbital flight in 1962. It features two Christie DWU851-Q projectors flanking the tracking board and an array of QSC point source speakers overhead. Nine stand-alone pods detail the attributes of a hero: Inspired, Curious, Passionate, Tenacious, Disciplined, Confident, Courageous, Principled and Selfless. Visitors entering a pod trigger an IR camera and IR emitter, which prompt a touchscreen where they can call up video about artifacts related to the attribute.


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44 SOLUTIONS: KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX Before leaving the area, visitors see the actual Gemini IX-A capsule offering two distinct views of the space-flown vehicle. On one side they look through a Plexiglas window to the interior designed for two astronauts. On the other side they peer through a custom viewing portal to see a holographic Pepper’s Ghost effect showing astronaut Gene Cernan on a dramatic spacewalk. Electrosonic achieved the impressive visual effect with a Christie DWU851-Q projector and MirrorView angled, mirrored glass. “The projection looks like an astronaut tethered and floating by the capsule,” says Cooper. “In addition, archival footage and other media is mapped to the contour of the capsule and reflected off the glass.” The US Astronaut Hall of Fame completes the attraction. A large bronze statue of Alan Shepard, the first American in space, is a focal point at the entrance. The room’s walls are covered with plaques recognising the 93 inductees to date. Its centrepiece is a 10ft-diameter cylindrical rearscreen projection surface featuring five Christie DWU951-Q projectors. Overhead are angled 70in NEC monitors; five touchscreen kiosks ring the projection surface. A montage of images comprises a loop appearing on all the screens; visitors at the kiosks can select their favourite Mercury 7 astronaut for a simulated photo op.

Electrosonic employed an array of 7th Sense media servers for Heroes & Legends and the Hall of Fame, including Delta 2, Nano and Nucleus units as well as two custom Infinity servers for the 4D theatre. The integrator also configured a single control room with a row of five full-size Middle Atlantic MRK series equipment racks.

February 2017

www.electrosonic.com www.christiedigital.com www.qsc.com www.nec-display-solutions.com www.nassal.com www.7thsensedesign.com www.middleatlantic.com


TOGETHER DIGITAL – PRINT – EVENTS GAMING – MUSIC – AV – PRO AUDIO – CONSUMER ELECTRONICS VIDEO & BROADCAST – EDUCATION

www.newbaymedia.com LONDON – NEW YORK


46 SOLUTIONS: GRÜNWALD STADIUM, MUNICH

February 2017

GERMANY

Installed Audio „ Dynacord DPM-8016 Digital Matrix Managers „ Dynacord DPA series multi-channel power amplifiers „ Dynacord DPC 8015 paging console „ Electro-Voice EVH-1152D/PI loudspeakers „ Electro-Voice EVH-1152D fibreglass loudspeakers „ Electro-Voice EVF-1122S/PI loudspeakers „ Electro-Voice TK-150 100V transformers

Stadium’s second century A stadium more than 100 years old has been brought up to date with a new public address and voice alarm system that features redundant fibre-optic cabling and emergency power supplies. Christopher James reports

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local landmark in Munich, the multipurpose Grünwald Stadium was built in 1911. While its former residents, the main squads of local football teams 1860 Munich and Bayern Munich have moved elsewhere, Grünwald today is home to the men’s 1860 Munich II and

women’s Bayern Munich squads. To bring the facility into compliance with the German Football Association (DFB) safety rules for electroacoustic emergency warning systems, the city of Munich, the stadium’s owner, recently ordered an upgraded sound system. The equipment chosen for the task

included Dynacord electronics and ElectroVoice loudspeakers. In the planning phase, specialised retail partner ELA-Technik Karl Wagner worked with the Dynacord and Electro-Voice support team in Straubing, Germany, on the design of the new system. The project team used computer simulations to make the best loudspeaker selection and optimise their positioning to cover the 21,272-seat stadium. The job presented numerous challenges. With only four feasible locations for the central electronics, it was apparent that long cabling runs would be required. In addition, only the existing structure – metal or wooden

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SOLUTIONS: GRÜNWALD STADIUM, MUNICH environment of Grünwald Stadium. This system design enables the use of long cable runs (up to 150m) that are required to reach the control room locations, using a pair of 10sqmm loudspeaker cables. With its fully redundant fibre-optic digital network controlled and supervised by IRISNet software, and the emergency power supplies for the system’s Dynacord power

amplifiers, the new system is believed to be virtually failure-proof – and has given the stadium high-quality sound as well as reliable emergency communications electronics.

www.dynacord.com www.ela-wagner.de www.electrovoice.com www.mtg-systemhaus.de

roof beams – could be used for loudspeaker locations. The team quickly decided on a 100V loudspeaker system from Electro-Voice, with all control rooms networked together via a Dynacord Promatrix 8000 system using a redundant fibre-optic topology to ensure fail-safe operation. The physical installation was performed by Munich-based MTG-Kommunikations-Technik.

Master controller Each of the four control centres houses a Dynacord DPM-8016 digital matrix controller, one of which acts as a master to the three sub-centres. The control rooms also house the system’s Dynacord Promatrix DPA amplifiers, which are equipped with emergency power supplies to ensure total system reliability. The new security master control room is used by police and fire department personnel while events are taking place at the stadium. A Dynacord DPC 8015 paging console is located in this room, allowing live announcements and also programmed with multiple recorded announcements to handle any public safety situations that might arise during an event.

Horn-loaded speakers All primary loudspeakers around the stadium are horn-loaded Electro-Voice EVH-1152D models. For the main north and south grandstands, they are paired with EVF-1122S front-loaded loudspeakers from ElectroVoice, mounted together beneath the roof to cover the lower seats in accordance with the computer model. In the open seating areas of the east and west stands, strategically spaced EVH-1152D loudspeakers provide full coverage. These have weatherproof fibreglass enclosures. To meet the technical requirements of the installation, all Electro-Voice speakers throughout the facility are fitted with ElectroVoice TK-150 transformers, converting them to high impedance for use in the 100V

47

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48 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF

February 2017

USA

Roll-up LED displays installed in church An unusual roll-up LED video system, using FLEXCurtain HD from PixelFLEX, has been installed at the First Baptist Church in Thomasville, Georgia. FLEXCurtain HD is a lightweight and flexible LED video screen suited to for high-resolution video playback and video effects. It can be driven by any DVI output. Following a sanctuary renovation, the church required a solution that would enable the use of a dynamic LED video system for contemporary services while discreetly hiding it for traditional ones. With the renovation now complete, the finished system operates as easily as a group of roll-up window shades, with the simple push of a button.

www.pixelflexled.com

UK

MobileConnect helps RSM delegates to hear better A Sennheiser MobileConnect assisted listening system has been installed in the Guy Whittle Auditorium at the Royal Society of Medicine at 1 Wimpole Street in central London. The RSM initially investigated MobileConnect (see page 55) as it was unable to install induction loops in the 300-seat auditorium. “You can choose from four channels and it has a very intuitive Personal Hearing Assistant, where you adjust the audio to suit your individual needs,” says 1 Wimpole Street AV manager Kevin McLoughlin. The system has also been used to stream a separate French-language audio channel at an event, and to provide audio for the BBC News Channel on the building’s digital signage.

www.sennheiser.com

GERMANY www.optoma.co.uk

Powerful projection Fifty-five Optoma ProScene DLP projectors have been used to create an immersive audiovisual display that fuses industrial archaeology and contemporary art, in an old power plant in Leipzig. Kunstkraftwerk chose 33 EH503 full HD projectors fitted with short-throw lenses, 19 EH415ST short-throw models and three EH500 5,200-lumen models, driven by Watchout media servers, to project onto unrendered walls and floors spanning 1200sqm. Some of the original power plant infrastructure has been incorporated into the

mapped and blended finish. The EH503 is one of a few projectors that have a full lens shift range when using a shortthrow lens. Throw ratios were crucial here, as mounting of the projectors had to work around the original gas piping on the ceilings. The ability to mount some of the projectors in portrait mode was also helpful. The result is a projection that runs continuously over eight hours per day, seven days per week, with virtually no maintenance required.


TAJIKISTAN

Martin in Central Asia – again Moscow-based integrator Muztorg.PRO has installed a Martin Audio loudspeaker system in the LOFT nightclub, which opened in the Tajik capital Dushanbe at the end of 2016. Here, modern technology and a friendly vibe combine to create an attractive space for local and international artists, musicians and DJs. The main system includes five W8LM Mini Line Array elements, plus a W8LMD downfill on each side of the stage. Several Blackline Plus F12+ speakers have also been used as infills and for karaoke zones. The punchy, deep low end is provided by WLXGS hybrid subwoofers, while stage monitoring and dance podiums are covered by Martin Audio LE1200S monitors. A hybrid Dante and MADI signal infrastructure is used throughout the venue, and control is via BSS Soundweb BLU processing. This is not, however, the first Martin Audio club install in Dushanbe. That accolade belongs to the luxurious Versal Club, whose success made such a positive impression on LOFT’s owners.

4 – 7. 4. 2017 Frankfurt am Main

Let’s master it.

www.martin-audio.com

Tickets and information: prolight-sound.com

UK

4K makeover for iconic London lights The iconic lights in London’s Piccadilly Circus are to be upgraded to a massive curved display capable of 4K video reproduction. Planned for the spring of this year, the display will be manufactured by Daktronics. The 8mm pixel pitch display will cover the existing digital footprint – 17.6m high by 44.6m wide – and will curve around the corner of a building, like the current displays. It will feature variable content zoning, to show multiple content items simultaneously or one large piece of content. “We’re humbled to be selected for this project and to bring updated technology to one of the most well-known digital billboard locations in the world,” says Patrick Halliwell, Daktronics UK sales manager.

Media Technology & System Integration This is the industry showcase for perfectly integrated and networked systems comprising an array of individual components from the areas of sound, video and lighting as well as system and network control engineering. Discover the trends of tomorrow, pioneering solutions and fresh ideas at Prolight + Sound 2017. Experience innovation and expertise at the most important date in the event industry calendar. info@uk.messefrankfurt.com Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

www.daktronics.com


How IoT Makes Smart Buildings Even Smarter Full day business conference with twin-tracks on commercial and residential technology and applications

This year‘s one-day conference will show how the IoT (Internet of Things) will change the way we work, the way we live, and reveal the new services now possible within today‘s buildings. Join the world’s leading smart building experts and thought leaders in Amsterdam, the day before ISE 2017 begins.

Exhibition, Conference, Networking

More than 200 delegates

Monday, 6th February 2017 9am to 5pm Amsterdam, RAI, The Netherlands

For more information and registration visit: www.smartbuildingconference.com

Award Winning Architect: Ole Scheeren


TECHNOLOGY

Kit you need to know about

PRODUCT OF Pioneer Digital THE MONTH Chromebox for Meetings

It’s… two real-time collaboration bundles based around Google’s G Suite, for rooms accommodating two to 20 people. What’s new? A direct partner of Google, Pioneer Digital is offering a range of hardware bundles based to bring the tech giant’s remote collaboration tools to meeting rooms of all sizes and budgets. Details: Starting at just over £1,000, the small-to-medium room bundle features an Asus i7 Chromebox; a 46in or 55in professional LG display with a Peerless-AV SmartMount; a Logitech webcam; an Phoenix condor beamforming microphone array (mounted below the display to reduce clutter on the desk) with echo cancelling box; wideband-frequency speakers; a Barco Clickshare CS-100 unit; and an SY keypad to select inputs on the main display. The Chromebox, which runs Google’s Chrome brower, is “a miniature version of a PC, and no less powerful,” according to Paul Childerhouse, managing director at Pioneer. “It’s also much cheaper than an i7 running Windows in a NUC environment,” he adds. The medium-to-large room bundle features

a number of enhancements to suit larger spaces: a 65in LG display; a PTZ camera; an AMX 6-module HydraPort table box for connecting portable devices; and a ClickShare CSE-200. Optional accessories for both solutions include the Mersive Solstice POD collaboration solution; the Revolabs FLX UC500 conference phone, the Yamaha YCV1000 speaker/microphone; a Sennheiser conference wireless microphone and speaker set; a Mimo 10in touchscreen; and the Joan e-ink meeting room display. The system, which includes a one-year Chrome for Meetings subscription, supports up to 15 video calls and 25 voice calls simultaneously. Anyone with a Google account has access to the main body of apps, which include Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Docs and Drive. Meetings are set up using Hangouts: invitations can be sent to anyone in the user’s Calendar (this contrasts with Skype, for instance, which has its own dedicated address book) or just to those within the user’s .com domain, depending on the security settings chosen. Meeting attendees can opt to join in via video call or just by voice – saving on bandwidth if they’re travelling somewhere with a poor

data signal. Documents, spreadsheets and presentations can be opened in Drive and worked on collaboratively in Google Docs (dedicated apps are increasingly available for a other file types, such as CAD drawings). While it’s possible for documents to be pulled into the videoconference, they can also be accessed separately via a browser – every element of a Hangout has its own URL. Any participant can share their screen in Hangouts by adding the command g.co/present to the start of the address. Text chat between participants is also supported. According to Google, its Chrome solutions are designed for speed, security, simplicity and scalability. System updates take place automatically in the background, so that every device on the network is always running the same versions of OS and apps (although this can be adjusted in system settings). The OS can also run on devices of other form factors, including Chromebit dongles, Chromebook laptops and Chromebase all-in-one desktops.

Available: Now www.pioneergroup.co.uk/pioneer-digital


52 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS „ Crestron Avia DSPs This is a complete line of DSPs consisting of five models, each utilising Avia Audio Tool software, designed to simplify audio programming, integration and expansion in meeting rooms and videoconferencing applications. Available immediately, the top-end model is the DSP-1283, which provides AEC on all 12 channels, supports audio conferencing via VoIP and POTS, and USB connectivity for videoconferencing via a Crestron RL2 Skype for Business solution. www.crestron.com

„ Adder CCS-PRO8 Previewing at ISE this month, the CCS-PRO8 command and control switch allows operators to control eight machines across eight displays using one mouse and keyboard. Scheduled to be available later this year in Q3, the CCS-PRO8 is said to be ideal for improving ergonomics in a control setting with limited space or for management of multiple computers from one station. www.adder.com „ Extron Control for Android

February 2017

Atlona AT-UHD-CLSO-840 It’s… an eight-input, four-output 4K HDMI and HDBaseT matrix switcher.

What’s new? The 8x4 switcher features 100m signal extension and is ideal for videoconferencing, multiscreen presentations and education usages. The CLSO-840 offers both local and remote inputs and outputs for flexibility across AV formats and connectivity options, providing a powerful matrix solution for classroom, corporate, and hospitality environments. Details: The new matrix is equipped with five HDMI and three HDBaseT inputs, two HDMI outputs and two HDBaseT outputs. It integrates into an audio system with DSP, through an independent 8x4 audio matrix that routes de-embedded HDMI audio to analogue audio outputs, with gain control and EQ also available. There are also four analogue audio inputs,

each dedicated to embedding content onto a corresponding video output. Other advanced features include PoE on the HDBaseT inputs and outputs, allowing use of Atlona UHD-EX Series or HDVS-200 Series HDBaseT transmitters and receivers, and eliminating the need for separate power supplies for remote components.

Available: Now www.atlona.com

beyerdynamic TG 500

Extron Control is an AV control system that gives users access to Extron control systems directly from an iPad and now from Android devices, with immediate availability. Extron Control automatically loads the user interfaces present on many Extron control products without a lengthy set-up and customisation process. Features include the ability to add and switch between rooms, and auto-reconnect, which recalls the previous session even after the app is closed. www.extron.com „ KanexPro Active Optical Cable The Active Optical Cable (AOC) technology utilised in this HDMI cable accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fibre between the connectors to extend HDMI signals with zero loss or latency. Also available in 30 and 50m runs, the AOC 100m HDMI 2.0 cables with Ethernet deliver UHD with a bandwidth of 18 Gbps. www.kanexpro.com

It’s… a professional wireless system available in five sets with an individual receiver and two removable antennas.

What’s new? The new system is the successor to the Opus 600 series and can be used licence-free almost anywhere in the world, depending on the frequency band selected. It can be used for performances on smaller stages, theatre productions, speeches or presentations. Details: The TG 550 Vocal Set features the TG 500H-D handheld transmitter with a TG V50 capsule (dynamic capsule, cardioid) and is ideal for singing, whereas the TG 556 Vocal Set comes with a TG 500H-C handheld transmitter with a TG V56 capsule (condenser capsule, cardioid), making it better suited to presentations. With an operating range of up to 120m, the TG 500 allows for greater freedom than comparable systems. The switching bandwidth is up to

40MHz, and when all four frequency bands (518-548MHz, 606-636MHz, 794-832MHz and 1.780-1.810MHz) are used, up to 72 channels (18 compatible frequencies per band) can be operated simultaneously, thus making the TG 500 system suitable for larger installations. Each of the five TG 500 sets is available for use in one of four frequency bands, so there are 20 different sets to choose from in total.

Available: May 2017 www.beyerdynamic.com


TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS 53

www.installation-international.com

NEC Display Solutions PA Series projector range.

Details: The series incorporates the latest version of NEC’s Scaler Chip, which can simultaneously manage 4K/60p input, as well as sharing signal output with multiple daisy-chained connected projectors. Additional developments include colour space conversion with Rec2020 to Rec709 specification support, along with HDR10 media profile and 3D support. These capabilities are further supported with a variety of inputs and

outputs including HDMI and HDBaseT-Out. Installation flexibility has been upgraded so remote adjustments can be performed with the motorised zoom, focus and shift as well as the free tilt and portrait mode installation capabilities. Picture sharpness processing has been upgraded with the implementation of NEC’s fourth generation Sweetvision engine.

Available: Now www.nec-display-solutions.com

„ RCF Media Series RCF is adding two new models, M1001 and M1201, to this passive speaker series and is also now making each speaker available in white. The speakers range from 5in up to 12in and are multipurpose two-way fullrange speaker systems suited to small to medium-size projects, for distributed systems, or to complement the RCF Compact or H Series Models. www.rcf.it „ Apart Audio

SD12 It’s… a new digital mixing console.

Details: There are 72 input channels with full processing and 12 Control Groups (VCA). SD Series Stealth Core 2 software makes the console compatible with all other SD Series sessions. Also included are a suite of remote control options, such as the iPad SD remote app, which offers remote control, expansion and show control. Offline software, meanwhile, allows for session preparation and online remote.

CM Design Series

This new loudspeaker range shares the technical and acoustic specifications of the updated CM Series, and features four models – the CM1008D, CMX20DT, CM608D, and CM20DT. The thin edge grille and integrated neodymium grille-fixing magnets provide easy integration in a variety of environments, making installation easier. www.apart-audio.com

DiGiCo What’s new? The SD12 includes dual 15in digital touchscreens, which provide 24 channels in one view, dual operator mode and the ability for the right-hand screen to be the Master. Advanced connectivity is available via optional DMI cards, including a Dante module, which can be plugged straight into the back of the console, and a Waves module can also be fitted to take advantage of the SoundGrid platform.

CPD4800

The newest addition to the CPD series of power amplifiers is the CPD4800, which is the fifth model in the range and the most powerful. The 2RU Class H amp delivers 4,800W when bridged into four, and weighs only 23.5kg, giving it the best weight-to-power ratio in the series. The CPD4800 also includes the same parallel, stereo and bridge mode switching found in the rest of the line-up, but features five-way binding posts to ensure easy installation into many types of set-up. www.wharfedalepro.com

It’s… a five-model installation

What’s new? This compact projector series features five LCD models with XGA, WXGA and WUXGA resolution delivering enhanced image brightness and contrast, wider colour space with HDR, and noise reduction for large venue and installed applications.

„ Wharfedale Pro

„ Peerless-AV Xtreme Outdoor IR Touch Overlay

On the back of the console is a standard local I/O format. There are eight local mic/line inputs, eight local line outputs and eight AES/ EBU in/out for local digital sources, as well as two MADI ports, plus a UB MADI connection for recording at 48kHz.

Available: Now www.digico.biz

As a touch overlay for outdoor signage, the Xtreme Outdoor IR is scalable, weatherproof, and easy to install, making it suited to hotel resorts, amusement parks, stadiums and event venues. The overlay is available with Peerless-AV’s 49in and 55in Xtreme Outdoor Displays or can be purchased as an interactive upgrade option for existing 49in and 55in Xtreme displays and kiosk solutions. www.peerless-av.com


54 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE

February 2017

Assistive listening Manufacturers are putting compatibility and networkability front and centre with these next generation assistive listening devices, writes Duncan Proctor

Increased voltage capacity from Univox

The SLS-1, 3, and 5 light loop amplifiers from Univox’s Class D Tech series deliver dynamic performance and clear sound to a number of applications in a compact design. The Class D Tech design includes multiple parallel amplifier stages to create the highest possible performance. The SLS-3 and 5 amplifiers have advanced current, temperature and power protection, which makes them durable regardless of loop load, and even when short circuited. They also feature an upgraded balance between available current and voltage due to the Class D technology combined with optimised construction for modern loop design. This

has also resulted in increased voltage capacity, while keeping a high current capacity at real loads. The SLS-3 and SLS-5 are suitable for different room sizes and can cope with higher impedances than earlier models. In addition, the self-diagnostic system can isolate system errors, indicating which systems are operational and which need to be adjusted. The built-in signal generator, which is part of the self-diagnostic system, can also be used to set the output level.

www.univox.eu

Williams Sound adds DSP and Dante

The DL210 NET D 2.0 is a next-generation Digi-Loop DSP dual-channel loop amplifier with Dante in a standard 2RU 19in rackmount. Its network control capability provides remote system set-up, operation and monitoring via laptop or tablet. DSP audio processing offers flexible, powerful software control of mixing, equalisation, compression and more. Class D pulse-width amplifiers maximise efficiency, and the Digi-Loop’s amplifier design offers dual 12A rms loop outputs for perimeter loop(s), single array(s), dual loop, or phased-array configuration. A 70-100V input provides connection to a distributed speaker/paging system, ensuring

announcements are heard by loop users. The DL210 features magnetic signal couples directly to devices equipped with T-coils such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or optional loop receivers. It is also suitable for phasedarray or dual-loop systems. Additional features include USB jack to provide firmware upgrades to the amplifier via a computer, fault warning and active protection against shorted or open circuits and overheating, as well as adjustable output delay for multiple amps in large venues.

www.williamssound.com

Listen Tech provides compatibility options

The LR-5200-IR receiver from Listen Technologies provides high-performance audio in a compact device that is claimed to offer best-in-class pick-up and range. From the ListenIR iDSP line, the receiver has four selectable four channels at frequencies 2.3, 2.8, 3.3 and 3.8MHz. The LR-5200-IR can also offer venues an option when adding or expanding systems as it is compatible with any new and existing system, including all competitors. The built-in rechargeable battery technology makes the LR-5200-IR an economical and environmentally friendly solution, reducing the costs of operation and ownership. Each unit features a micro-USB connection, which in addition to being used for quick battery charging, also allows for fast firmware updates, set-up, and programming. The integrated neck loop and lanyard with DSP loop driver makes the LR-5200-IR easy to wear and operate by listeners with T-coil equipped hearing aids. The OLED display in each receiver provides information on channel status, battery level and more. Environments particularly suited to this iDSP model include houses of worship, theatres and cinemas, as well as public spaces such as transport hubs.

www.listentech.com


TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE 55

www.installation-international.com

Ampetronic delivers full networkability

Ampetronic’s D14-2 Class D networkable DSP hearing loop amplifier is a dual-output driver, with both drivers featuring capacitive touch front panels with intuitive menus, and built-in test signals. They are also fully networkable with a WiFi-accessible standard browser-based control panel for remote set-up, monitoring and email alerts. The D14-2 outputs 14A rms per channel

with ample voltage headroom, making it sufficiently flexible for a range of applications including lecture theatres, sports venues and transport hubs. The added power of the D14-2 provides a solution for installations in environments containing very high levels of metal, something that was previously not possible without the use of combiners. Multi-stage filtering ensures compatibility

with other system equipment and global EMC regulations, ensuring installation can be performed with total confidence. The D Series also boasts dual-slope metal loss control that caters for a wide range of metal loss frequency characteristics.

www.ampetronic.co

Contacta brings Sennheiser embraces BYOD with mobile app modular flexibility MobileConnect is an assistive listening app that enables lowlatency transmission of audio content to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in a diverse range of venues. Sennheiser’s WiFi-based system utilises a real-time audio streaming server and the MobileConnect app to provide assistive listening, audio description, language interpretation channels or audio for silent screens. It embraces BYOD, allowing users to use their own mobile devices on the MobileConnect WiFi network. The system is based around a ConnectStation, a central unit for integrating different audio streams and transmitting them via WiFi access points to personal mobile devices.

www.sennheiser.com

The HLD9 large-area hearing loop is a modular hearing loop driver for perimeter or phased-array configurations, suitable for applications such as theatres, conference facilities, sports arenas, and concert halls. As a Class D driver it manages power efficiently, so it emits very little heat from its compact packaging. The driver includes advanced communication capabilities, making it user friendly and enabling remote set-up and control of levels, as well as system and performance monitoring.

www.contacta.co.uk


56 TECHNOLOGY: DEMO OF THE MONTH

February 2017

can also save the customer money on the installation – as a complete solution there is less auxiliary equipment needed. Other advantages from the perspective of an integrator include the scalability of the platform and the competitive price point at which it has been positioned.

Software update

New opportunities Ahead of the launch of Powersoft’s new Quattrocanali amplifier series at ISE 2017, Duncan Proctor visits the company’s Florence headquarters for a presentation and demonstration

P

owersoft has been carefully adding to its amplifier line-up over the last few years, developing the install arm to stand alongside its strong touring offering. This latest product launch for fixed installs completes the set, adding a four-channel series to its current two and eight-channel models and filling a gap in the company’s portfolio for small to medium sized applications. This new line has been designed and pitched to open up a number of new markets and allow the manufacturer to meet the needs of a broader range of customers, while also correcting the perception by some of Powersoft being synonymous with high-power applications. Furthermore, the company will be well placed to take advantage of strong growth throughout the installation market with an attractive range of potential verticals, from hospitality to sporting venues, all looking to upgrade sound systems and considering ROI and performance, not just identifying the cheapest available option. The Quattrocanali series consists of three models: 4804, 2404, and 1204. They are available in standard versions and also with DSP+Dante to form a complete solution, and potentially as part of a larger Dante network.

The flexibility of the platform means it is suitable for a wide variety of environments including bars and restaurants, as well as retail outlets and fitness centres. In addition, mission critical security applications can benefit from the reliable system architecture of each amp. Both DSP+Dante and non-DSP versions offer channel and master volume control, with DSP+Dante versions also having in-depth control via the Armonía software and featuring four Dante input channels. Each model benefits from Powersoft’s switchmode power supply with power factor correction, as well as smart rail management and bridgeable switch-mode fixed-frequency Class D output circuit topology, all within a compact 1RU form factor. The 1204 in particular, which features 300W per channel, is seen as the model to open up new opportunities in applications such as leisure venues and retail spaces, where the priority is audio quality and ease of use. Three application examples referenced during the presentation included a paging installation scheme in a shop, a classroom with zoned Lo-Z loudspeakers, and a Hi-Z loudspeaker bar application. While the channel count is limited, Quattrocanali is still able to provide the flexibility to work with both Hi-Z and Lo-Z systems. It

Armonía software provides the user with remote access to all the amplifier functions from a decentralised location, reducing the need for personnel on station. The latest update (2.9) of the Armonía Pro Audio Suite accompanies the launch of the Quattrocanali amps. It now has an enhanced operator view to improve ease of use, and can be exported to tablets, mobile devices, and can also be accessed via a web app. Powersoft is aiming to simplify the user experience and help different levels of staff manage increasingly complex sound system designs. The customisable software enables system designers and operators to have remote control and monitoring of all Powersoft products – the library includes all Powersoft amplifiers from the last 20 years. It also has online or offline system set-up and tuning, realtime management and monitoring of all vital functions from a remote PC via a single GUI. The fully customisable interface integrates all devices in one screen, so that everything can be monitored easily. Additional features include damping control and limiters. Active DampingControl provides compensation of speaker wire losses, and Powersoft’s TruePower limiter keeps amplifier output power to safe levels depending on the varying load impedance over frequency. The new access manager feature allows the administrator to set permissions (guest and admin) to allow two levels of access – so while everyone can monitor the system, only administrators can alter settings. Also revealed during the visit was the launch of a Duecanali 1604 amplifier in both standard and Dante networked versions, to supplement the current models in the two-channel series. The 1604 is expected to be selected mostly to add to existing systems, but it is also aimed at larger two-channel install applications. The amplifier is able to drive low impedance loads and 70V/100V distributed lines selectable per channel. It also provides more than 16 different possible output configurations including Lo-Z, Hi-Z, bridge mode, and parallel mode. Powersoft has modified its manufacturing process, opening a new assembly line specifically for the Quattrocanali series – which means all the new models are available to ship immediately.

www.powersoft-audio.com


Save the Date Conference 14 – 18 September 2017 Exhibition 15 – 19 September 2017 RAI, Amsterdam

IBC2017

Where the entertainment, media and technology industry does business Join over 1,800 exhibitors showcasing the latest technological innovations, 400+ speakers delivering the latest industry insights and 55,000 attendees providing unlimited networking opportunities at IBC’s 50th annual conference and exhibition. Add dates to your diary IBC.org/savethedate Follow us on social media for the latest news and updates #IBCShow

IBC.org


PLANYOUR MONTH AHEAD

Our pick of what to see, do and discover covers sound and communications, broadcast and AV convergence, deciphering moving image jargon and creating AV system designs

PICK OF THE MONTH

ISCEx 2017

LEARN

to learn, engage and discuss commercial audio solutions in an intimate, non-imposing environment. The ISCE’s annual networking dinner takes place on the preceding evening. www.iscex2017.org.uk

READ

amplifier design, ultrasonic PA system monitoring and restaurant acoustics – is complemented by an exhibition of the latest products from more than 20 audio manufacturers and distributors. ISCEx 2017 is designed to provide opportunities

VISIT

Professionals from the worlds of audio system design, integration, project management and sales will be coming together in Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire on 8 March for ISCEx 2017. A full day of seminars – on topics including digital

BVE 2017

BKSTS Illustrated Dictionary of Moving Image Technology (4th edn)

AV Design 1: Environment

From 28 February to 2 March, ExCeL London hosts the UK’s leading entertainment and media technology event – focusing on the broadcast, production and post-production sectors. In recent years, the show has broadened to include the connected media, AV systems integration, live production, VR and creative sectors. www.bvexpo.com

Author Martin Uren explains terminology and acronyms encountered in the broadcasting and moving image industries. Contains over 3,300 definitions from film, TV, audio, multimedia technologies, computing, networks and telecoms, and defines nearly 700 acronyms in a quick look-up section.

This InfoComm training course runs from 21 to 23 March in Hemel Hempstead. The course explores the project phases and documentation associated with AV system design, as well as the physics affecting the surrounding environment, such as human ergonomics, display and projection needs, and sound reinforcement. www.infocomm.org


Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet Chapel, US

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This isn’t about new loudspeakers. It’s about bass lovers and partygoers, sports supporters, music fans and absolute clarity connecting congregations; it’s about dynamic daily programs and tireless listening for everyone, every time. It‘s not about the new 24S/24S-D point source loudspeakers and 21S-SUB taking the performance of the LQVWDOODWLRQVSHFLÀFG E[66HULHVWRHPSRZHULQJQHZOHYHOVLQFDELQHWVGHVLJQHGIRUHDVLHUDHVWKHWLF LQWHJUDWLRQ,W¶VDERXWVROXWLRQVWDLORUPDGHWRWDVNG EDPSOLÀHUVVRIWZDUHDQGDFFHVVRULHVDOOSHUIHFWO\ LQWHJUDWHGIRUKLJKO\H˂FLHQWYHUVDWLOHVROXWLRQVwww.dbaudio.com

Welcome to System reality.


Installation February 2017 Digital Edition