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Issue 200 / April 2017

AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD

p20

Full-on Frankfurt We preview this month’s Prolight + Sound

and smart buildings p22 IoT Opportunities for integrators – if you’re quick migration p34 Server DSP on IT hardware – what are the implications?

VIRTUALLY THERE VR and AR break into the business world p30

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ENABLING BRIGHT OUTCOMES


WELCOME 03

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Editor: Paddy Baker pbaker@nbmedia.com

Designer: Tom Carpenter tcarpenter@nbmedia.com

Looking back – and forward

+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: George Boath, Tim Frost, Ian McMurray, Rob Lane, Steve Montgomery Special thanks: Emily Burrows, Kristine Fowler Cover image: VR CAVE for BAE Systems, courtesy of Holovis

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W

e haven’t made a big thing of it, but the sharp-eyed among you will have spotted on the cover that this is our 200th issue. Milestones like this tend to be the occasions for some retrospective reflections; and as I’ve been editing this title since issue 86, which came out in August 2007, I’ve been reminiscing about what things were like back then. At the risk of sounding very old indeed, I think that technology has changed our lives profoundly, and very rapidly, over the past few years. It’s only when you look back at key dates that you realise that some of the technology at the core of our lives, which we can’t imagine living without, has actually not been around all that long. Paddy Baker, Editor Actually, maybe it’s calling 10 years “not all that long” that pbaker@nbmedia.com really puts me in the old camp. So, grandchildren, gather round @install8ion while I tell you about the old times way back in 2007. Mobile phones? Yes, we had those, of course. The iPhone was quite the novelty back then – it had been released at the end of June. The first Android phone didn’t appear for another year or so. What did I have? If memory serves, it was a T-Mobile branded phone with a full qwerty keyboard – must have been the best part of an inch thick. It certainly didn’t have a camera on it, though I think it did do email. Tablets? No – the iPad didn’t come out until 2010. It’s funny to think now that people said things like “it’ll never catch on – it’s just like a big iPhone”.

‘I wonder which technologies that we see as new and a little strange now will become part of the fabric of life in 10 years’ time’

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I wonder which technologies that we see as new and a little strange now will become part of the fabric of life in 10 years’ time. I suspect that voice control will be one of them; however, I wonder whether it will be tightly controlled by a few big players – so that we talk to Alexa, Cortana, Siri or ‘OK Google’ more than we talk to our friends and families – or if it will be more democratised. The cloud is becoming ever more present in our lives even now, and will, I suspect, continue to do so – probably to the point where it becomes entirely frictionless, and the question of exactly where our different services are coming from ceases to have much meaning. Almost certainly tied in with this will be virtual reality and its associated technologies. (Don’t miss our feature on business cases for VR/AR on page 30, by the way.) I can well believe that within the next 10 years we will become very used to carrying out different aspects of our work lives and our social lives in virtual environments. Overall, the pace of technological change is accelerating. Raw processing power, online bandwidth, the ability to integrate different systems and, yes, our openness to shiny new tech are all increasing. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to predict that our tech lives will change more over the next 10 years than they have over the previous 10. Check back in issue 300!


04 CONTENTS

April 2017

News & Data 06 Analysis BYOD usage in meeting rooms Growth forecast in VR headset sales 10 Regional Voices: Sweden

People 12 Industry Moves 14 Opinion Rob Lane on technology transforming high streets George Boath reveals potential epilepsy risks from digital signage content 18 Interview Alexander Pietschmann of Adam Hall talks about how the event technology company is targeting new markets

18

Features 22 Smart Buildings We look at Internet of Things and delve behind the growth forecasts to uncover what the industry believes is the current state of play 30 VR/AR Away from the games and theme park industries, we consider the potential business cases for virtual, augmented and mixed reality 34 Digital signal processing Now that QSC can run Q-SYS on Dell servers, we ask if the rest of the industry will take a similar path and discuss the implications

22

Solutions 38 Sindh Assembly, Pakistan This provincial parliament has had a flexible upgrade of its video and broadcast facilities 40 Cornflake, London A £250,000 home cinema space featuring the latest in immersive cinema sound 44 Worthy Brewing, Oregon A multi-zone audio system utilises multiple DSPs in this brewery 46 Solutions in Brief Including L-Acoustics in Las Vegas, a collaboration suite at Lancaster University and a Stockholm nightclub that doesn’t disturb the neighbours

38

Technology 49 New Products Including Sennheiser, Planar, K-array and Polycom

54 Showcase Large-venue projectors

56 Demo of the Month Tripleplay Bart 3.0

Also inside 20 Show preview: Prolight + Sound 2017

56


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06 ANALYSIS

April 2017

Restrictions on BYOD usage in meeting rooms By Steve Montgomery

T

he ‘BYOD’ trend has been highlighted as having a major impact across the IT world as workers seek to utilise personally owned mobile devices for work related activities. Many companies allow staff to use their own personal devices for corporate activities and make provision for employees to connect to the corporate IT infrastructure. Around 25% of users throughout Western Europe and the US are permitted to use their own devices to share content in meeting rooms. Proportionally, this is slightly higher in smaller organisations and lower in large companies. However, 44% of employees report that their organisation places some limitation on the use of employee-owned devices. This is a result of concerns over the security implications these devices pose and restrictions imposed by IT departments and network administrators in order to safeguard access to corporate networks and business data. The proportion of businesses placing restrictions on personal devices is higher in larger organisations.

Companies restricting the use of BYOD in meeting rooms 60

50

40 Europe 30

US

20

10

0 Small

Medium

www.futuresource-consulting.com

Large Source: Futuresource Consulting

Fivefold growth predicted in global VR headset sales By Duncan Proctor

A

ccording to forecasts from CCS Insight, global sales in VR/AR devices will show extremely encouraging growth in the next five years and beyond. The majority of sales continue to come from smartphone VR devices: 14 million smartphone VR headsets are expected be sold in 2017, rising to 25 million in 2018 and 70 million by 2021– fivefold growth over five years. The value of the segment will rise from $500 million to around $1.4 billion over this period. Dedicated VR headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift deliver significantly higher-quality experiences compared with smartphone VR devices, but sales have been shy of expectations. CCS Insight has adjusted its forecast to reflect this, but still expects VR headsets to hit 22 million units ($7.7 billion) by 2021. CCS Insight’s forecast estimates that the total VR device market (smartphone and dedicated) will rise from $1.5 billion to $9.1 billion by 2021.

The higher cost of dedicated headsets will see them accounting for 85% of total market value despite making up only 24% of unit sales. CCS Insight believes that by 2019 dedicated VR devices will start offering a meaningful revenue

contribution to companies that have commercial products in this area.

www.ccsinsight.com


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08 ANALYSIS

April 2017

Optimising retail with IoT-enabled building technology By Steve Montgomery

T

he Internet of Things is transforming the way building technologies, business data and analytics tools can be integrated to deliver actionable information. In retail, IoT solutions can achieve important business goals, ranging from energy efficiency and sustainability to improved retail equipment performance and in-store customer experiences. Several emerging technologies can be brought together to address business planning and improve the bottom line by keeping shoppers comfortable and directing a new kind of shopping experience. Energy consumption can be reduced by 6%, typically through more intelligent control of retail premises. Additionally, substantial advantage can be gained in business operations, equipment maintenance call-outs and customer service levels through optimisation of services and improved customer interactions.

Evolution of building technologies Legacy

Early Adoption 2010 - 2016

1950s - 2000s Manual Operations

Pneumatic Controls

2016 - 2025 Desktop Power Management

IWMS Local Databases

Innovation

Smart Lighting

Front-End Dashboards

Tenant Services Integrated Security BuildingIntegrated DER

Plug Load Controls Intelligent Waste Management

Spreadsheets Direct Digital Controls

IoT-Enabled Dynamic Buildings CBAS

BEMS

www.navigantresearch.com Source: Navigant Research

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10 REGIONAL VOICES

April 2017

SWEDEN Our survey of the Swedish installed AV market finds fewer reasons for optimism than the corresponding Danish survey last month

I

n contrast to the mood of optimism in our survey of the Danish market last month, the overall sentiment of our Swedish installed AV market survey is rather more subdued. The vast majority felt that general levels of confidence in the country’s installation sector were the same as six months ago – with the small minority split roughly equally between ‘higher’ and ‘lower’. As we often find in these surveys, though,

2.3%

Annual GDP growth rate, January 2017 Source: tradingeconomics.com

the mood was more positive when we asked our respondents about their own prospects – how their company’s revenue would change over the next 12 months. ‘No change’ was the most popular single answer, but only a slightly smaller number were predicting growth. When we asked our respondents to choose, from a list, the business issues causing them most concern, the clear leader – as we find so often – was ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’. “An increasing number of manufacturers are concentrating on web sales,” said one respondent. Another laid the blame squarely at the door of those who deal with public tenders: “Government business only goes on price, and they usually purchase a system in poor working condition. This is mainly due to incompetence in

the evaluation of tenders.” There was less unanimity when we asked whether the total number of players in the Swedish installed AV market was increasing or decreasing. Just under half felt that numbers were rising: “It’s an attractive area to work in,” said one integrator. However, a few felt that the trend was in the other direction: “Too many companies have got too big,” was one comment offered here. We also asked what our respondents would like to change about the installed AV market in Sweden. “Increase competence,” was the blunt wish of one respondent. Another wanted to see “more knowledgeable consultants, and purchasers asking for qualified AV integrators”. If those answers were perhaps a little familiar, the same can’t be said for the predicted business

0.2%

Budget surplus as % of GDP, 2017 (Sept 2016 forecast) Source: Government Offices of Sweden

trends in various vertical sectors. Overall, there was a greater degree of pessimism than in our Danish survey last month, with more verticals predicted to be static or falling than predicted to rise. But there were some surprises in the expected performance of certain sectors: retail, and sports venues polled surprisingly low compared with most countries we’ve surveyed recently, while worship did well.

What do you think the business trend will be in the following vertical markets for installed AV in your country this year?

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


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12

INDUSTRY MOVES

April 2017

d&b audiotechnik names new chief sales officer Company targets development of new market segments and business models

„ CDEC

James Jepson has been named business development director for the North and Midlands, based in Leicester – the latest in a series of hires at CDEC. He was previously Promethean business development manager at TD Maverick, and also has AV and IT experience as Prowise UK field sales manager with a focus on AV education and as channel account manager at Misco.

www.cdec.co.uk „ CIE Group

Adam Kramer and Gosia Kacprzycka

d

&b audiotechnik has announced the appointment of Stephan Greiner as chief sales officer as of 1 March. Greiner also joins the managing board, reporting directly to CEO Amnon Harman. Greiner succeeds Hans-Peter Nüdling, taking responsibility for global sales and sales operations, as well as education, application support, and product services. His professional career spans more than 25 years, having held senior management positions at Siemens, Osram, Everlight, and most recently as VP sales EMEA at international LED manufacturer Cree. Working both in Germany and abroad Greiner brings a global perspective, and has a proven track record of managing sustainable revenue growth. Amnon Harman said: “Stephan’s impressive professional background and passion for

technology will be a great asset to d&b at a time of significant development and innovation. His dedication to creating and strengthening business partnerships, and his expertise in building global sales structures, will be a driving force as we continue to grow and enter new markets.” Greiner added: “The company’s passion to provide the best sound solutions to its customers appealed to me instantly. As d&b has successfully done so in the past, we want to continue to innovate and grow. Our goal is to bring d&b to the next level through the development of new market segments and business models, together with our excellent partner network. I am very excited to be part of the d&b family.”

www.peaveycommercialaudio.com www.audiolink.it Control4 has bought Triad Speakers for $9.6m, acquiring acoustics expertise and a full line of premium speakers. Nearly all Triad employees will transfer, including founder Larry Pexton, as well as R&D, manufacturing and customer services teams. They will continue operating from Triad’s facility in Portland, Oregon. www.control4.com www.triadspeakers.com

www.cie-group.com „ Crestron

Jan Villumsen has been appointed regional sales manager for Denmark and Iceland at Crestron. Villumsen has worked in the AV industry for over 20 years initially with DIS in Copenhagen and has been based out of Dubai since 2002, working for Shure MEA and Arthur Holm. He has worked for Crestron as sales manager for the Middle East since October 2016.

www.crestron.eu „ GDS

www.dbaudio.com

New Partners Peavey Commercial Audio has agreed a new Italian distribution partnership with Audio Link. The deal will enable Peavey to utilise Audio Link’s wide customer base in the region and see the full portfolio of audio solutions, including MediaMatrix, Crest Audio and Peavey Commercial Audio, available throughout Italy, Malta and San Marino.

have joined distributor CIE Group’s AV sales team. Kramer has been named business development manager and will focus on the CYP range of distribution and control systems, while Kacprzycka will form part of the customer service team, specifically on the 2N range of IP intercom, access control and AoIP solutions.

Revolabs has appointed SkyGroup Communications as its distributor for Southern Africa. SkyGroup can now supply Revolabs’ wireless communications technology alongside its videoconferencing, AV integration, and cloud-based communication service, and reseller partners can sell SkyGroup/Revolabs bundles. www.revolabs.com http://skygroupcom.co.za Williams Sound has introduced SDS Music Factory as its new distribution partner in Switzerland. SDS has been distributing AV solutions and systems for live sound, installation and broadcast since 1993 and will immediately implement initiatives to raise awareness of Williams Sound’s products in the Swiss market. www.williamssound.com www.sdsaudio.ch

Darren Jackson has been named as business development manager for the architectural and entertainment sales team at GDS. Jackson has thorough knowledge of the lighting industry, acquired during a career that has seen him work for companies including Chauvet, Lighting Resources and Tryka LED.

www.gds.uk.com „ Tripleplay

Gary Tay has been appointed director for Tripleplay Asia to head up the company’s Asian business, based from its regional headquarters in Singapore. Tay was part of Extron’s team in Asia for more than 18 years, and so comes to Tripleplay with extensive experience in the Asian market, as well as being CTS certified.

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14 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA

April 2017

Rob Lane Omnichannel opportunities How technology is set to transform high streets

I

n the February issue, I discussed how retail is on the cusp of huge change. Internet retail is informing a lot of key decisions for the high street – many involving AV – as retailers look to integrate bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences more seamlessly with the virtual. Some call this hybrid retail, others omnichannel retail, but the meaning is the same: a seamless shopping experience across all retail platforms. After writing that piece, I coincidentally started working with two new clients – both Finnish, again coincidentally. Both are looking to exploit the omnichannel retail ‘revolution’. They offer interactive windows to draw customers into store; and cloud-based 3D visual sales platforms dovetailing with in-store VR/4K ‘showrooms’ – typical of the kind of AV that retailers are looking to integrate into their high-street businesses.

wow factor to pull people inside, engage with them and also augment the high-end nature of the goods. AV tech, and the ability to integrate it in an intelligent and meaningful way, is becoming essential to the future of high-street retail. Indeed, according to a white paper by Aspire Systems, the five stages of in-store customer experience (Invitation, Discovery, Evaluation, Fulfilment, Extension) can be brought alive with the right technology, and an understanding of the importance of tech in meeting customer demands is essential in an omnichannel environment.

‘AV tech, and the ability to integrate it in an intelligent and meaningful way, is becoming essential to the future of high-street retail’

Not just chains It’s not just the huge chains that are looking to ring the changes – although they do tend to have the deepest pockets. While the interactive window manufacturer’s first client was a jewellery chain’s flagship store, a one-shop highend hi-fi retailer is considering something similar. Indeed, another client – an established fulfiller of holographic effects – was recently asked to fit out a new spectacles and sunglasses store, set to open in London’s Covent Garden. Again, this is a luxury outlet, but not a multiple-store chain. It’s clear that, in the more premium retail outlets – particularly flagships – there’s a growing expectation that not only will the online shopping experience be replicated or dovetailed in some way (perhaps by a touch table or display where online meets in-store), but that there’ll be a technology

There was certainly evidence of omnichannel tech at ISE this year: touch tables with advanced object recognition to provide premium stores with wow factors and also web-shop overlaps; LFD touch solutions to bring large tablet-like displays into store; mounting solutions for huge videowalls; and more experiential hologram and 3D solutions. Some of the winners of Installation’s own Best of Show awards at ISE had omnichannel possibilities. These included Sharp’s stunning PN-V701 70in 4K videowall system, intended for retail, public display and office use; and Stream TV Networks’ glasses-free 3D display technology, a proprietary combination of hardware and software “working in perfect sync”.

Filling whole walls Another winner that will see use in omnichannel installations was Leyard’s seriously ingenious DirectLight LED Video Wall System. Intended for multiple wall displays, the solution is front-install mounting specifically for Leyard/Planar 27in panels with ultra-fine pixel pitch arrays – allowing for unlimited tiling to create huge LED walls with no bezels. The flexibility and ease of use could see retailers filling whole walls with LED. The ultimate cross-channel tech? Certainly it would fulfil the Aspire white paper’s conclusions. “There is clearly a need for retailers to… invest in technologies that not only create a fantastic in-store experience but also allow shoppers to channel-hop without friction,” says the report. “To connect with the digital shopper, physical stores must function as cross-channel hubs that place the customer at the center of action and provide experience on multiple levels. […Only] when digital shoppers can weave their narrative through an Omni-channel journey, can physical stores go beyond transactions to holistic micromoment transformations!” According to a 2015 IDC Retail Insights study, cross-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. As more and more retailers appreciate just how valuable it is to transform into omnichannel hubs, there’ll be a greater demand for AV tech and more business for integrators – assuming the annual business rate rises don’t bite too hard. All hail the hybrid! Rob Lane is founder/director of Bigger Boat PR. He admits that bricks-and-mortar stores must work harder to lure him off his shopping couch.


16 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA

April 2017

George Boath Warning signs Is the digital signage industry aware of the risks of photosensitive epilepsy?

A

t ISE 2017 in Amsterdam I was impressed by the size, quality and brightness of the displays shown in the Digital Signage hall, and further pleased to see that they are using many of the leading-edge technologies seen in broadcast: high dynamic range, 4K resolution and so on. As the digital signage business uses more full-motion video, as opposed to the simpler animated graphics that are currently common, there are some important good practices – already used in the broadcast industry – to protect viewers from unwanted harmful effects of certain visual patterns, which should be considered by those producing content for these signs.

Avoid harm The most important consideration should be to avoid actually causing harm to those that see the signs. It is not well known that flashing video, flashing patterns and bright red can trigger photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) seizures in a small proportion of the population (1 in 4,000). It is for this reason that broadcast TV has a legal requirement to test that these are below an acceptable threshold – with large fines if video is transmitted that contravenes. (Alternatively an explicit verbal warning must be given beforehand, as is common in news programmes.) While triggering seizures is rare, it does happen from time to time. It most recently occurred in late 2016 in the UK, and there are some better-known examples: • In Japan in 1997, an episode of the children’s cartoon Pokémon triggered over 750 admissions to hospital.

• In the UK in 2012, a TV commercial for Citroen cars caused several viewers to have epileptic seizures and resulted in numerous complaints to regulators.

Causes So, what is it technically that triggers these seizures, and how easy is it to avoid producing offending content? Without going into too much detail, the PSE seizure is triggered by three or more bright flashes or transitions from bright to dark in a 1s period. Moving strong patterns can trigger a seizure, as can rapid transitions from bright red to dark. Examples of offending content could be a typical ‘red carpet’ scene with lots of camera flashes, or a sequence shot driving past a row of trees with the sun breaking through the gaps.

‘Flashing video, flashing patterns and bright red can trigger photosensitive epilepsy seizures’

The PSE phenomenon was originally researched by Professor Graham Harding of Cambridge University, and as a result of his early work the test for content that could trigger this condition is colloquially known as the ‘Harding test’, though it has now been formalised under UK Ofcom Guidance Notes Section 2, Rule 2.12 and Annex 1 and ITU BT.1702.

Testing Checking for potentially harmful content manually is unreliable, subjective and laborious. Fortunately, technology suppliers have developed automated tools that can test for the existence of offending sequences, and identify the locations of these; or they can produce a test certificate to show that the content complies with the regulations, as required by UK broadcasters. Offending material needs to be re-edited and re-tested before transmission. Failure to comply with the regulations leaves the broadcaster exposed to potential legal liabilities. A few QC products (such as Telestream Vidchecker) can automatically alter the flashing patterns so that they are within the Ofcom guidelines. As digital signage adopts more of these high-intensity displays in public places such as sports stadia, shopping malls and public transport, the companies that are delivering content to the displays should be using the same best practices that have been developed by broadcasters to avoid the potentially dangerous effects that some kinds of video content can have on their audience. This would not only position advertisers as good citizens, but will avoid potential legal claims and damage to the their brand image. George Boath is director of channel marketing at Telestream.

www.telestream.net


18 INTERVIEW: ALEXANDER PIETSCHMANN, ADAM HALL

April 2017

Working with a purpose

Adam Hall is a 40-year-old company, rooted in event technology, that has expanded in recent years into the installation space. Paddy Baker talked to its CEO about attacking new markets, succession planning – and how a company that began in Southend is now headquartered near Frankfurt

W

hen you hear the name ‘Adam Hall’, what do you think of? A UK manufacturer of flight cases? A German company that chose an English-sounding name? Or even an American ice-hockey player? These are all aspects of the “diffuse picture” of the company that exists, particularly outside Germany, says CEO Alexander Pietschmann. Here’s the real story. The company was founded in 1975 in Southend-on-Sea, 60km east of London, by Adam Hall – “he really exists!” laughs Pietschmann – and began by making flight case fittings. In 1980, Dave Kirby, an English musician whose band played a lot of gigs on US military bases in Germany, found that “no-one else here was offering parts for building flight cases”. So he founded Adam Hall GmbH, which expanded into other products, including DIY loudspeakers and audio accessories. After a few years, “it got better and better and the German company grew faster than the English one, so Dave bought Adam out and took over.” Adam Hall GmbH is headquartered in Neu-Anspach, about 40km north of Frankfurt. Pietschmann’s connection to the company goes back a long way. “My father Tilo was the first salesman at the company after Dave – he joined in 1987,” he explains. “He’s a musician – I grew up in an artist family in East Germany, behind the

wall – he was like a rock star for the Communists, always on tour in the Eastern Bloc. So that was my connection to music, and after my father entered the company there was always a connection to Adam Hall and to Dave.” Today, Pietschmann Senior is still an Adam Hall salesman, aged 64. At university, Alexander studied business and law, and set up an event company running student parties. “Then we got requests from companies like Pricewaterhouse Coopers and agencies that wanted to advertise in student environments to catch the best talent at an early stage. Then we got connections to companies, and did corporate events, and then it turned into a restaurant and a nightclub in Frankfurt – which of course is nice when you’re young, but after a few years your audience becomes too old to keep coming.”

Product development He sold his company, completed his studies and joined the Adam Hall Group. “I entered the company in 2006, and we were developing more brands. I took care of our branding and product development. In the ten years from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s it was OK to buy products from Asia and put your logo on them, maybe do some quality checks, but I could see that it could not go on like this much longer. You need differentiation, USPs and development power in the product.”

So the company started R&D and marketing departments, and over the next few years created new brands in the event technology and retail markets, such as Cameo (lighting) and Gravity (premium stands). Today, the company’s portfolio also includes loudspeakers, power amplifiers, cables and cable protectors, and stage systems. Overall the Adam Hall Group has more than 7,000 products in its warehouses, and has market presence in Europe, Asia and North America. The company no longer owns manufacturing facilities for any of its brands. “In these times it’s more about design and R&D than manufacturing,” says Pietschmann. In the 1990s the company had a head start building relationships with manufacturers in China and Taiwan because it had already set up purchasing and quality offices there. “We were manufacturing parts, and we asked the people what kind of electronics we could do there.” Back then, he says, not speaking the local language was a real barrier to doing business in the Far East. Moving into electronics manufacturing led to the creation of the Link Dynamics loudspeaker brand, which became LD Systems.

Succession plan In 2010 Pietschmann became a member of the Adam Hall executive board. As part of the


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INTERVIEW: ALEXANDER PIETSCHMANN, ADAM HALL

A brief biography „ Born 1980 in Dresden, Alexander Pietschmann studied commercial law studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt am Main, and graduated as a commercial lawyer in 2006 „ While a student he also founded N&P Entertainment, an event company, which later became a wellknown restaurant and live club (Club Goldfish) in Frankfurt „ After selling this company, he started his career at Adam Hall, where he was initially responsible for law and IT. He also drove the development of a new marketing strategy for the company „ In 2010, he joined the executive management team „ In 2013 he and Markus Jahnel purchased shares from company founder David Kirby as part of an MBO. Pietschmann was then appointed CEO of the Adam Hall Group succession plan, he became CEO in 2013 and his colleague Markus Jahnel took the role of COO. The pair purchased shares from Dave Kirby as part of an MBO, and Kirby stepped by from day-to-day matters, taking the role of executive chairman. “I always say we have a ‘start-again’ atmosphere. Not a start-up, because we were founded in 1975, but a start-again because we have a new generation and new ideas.” Those new ideas have clearly paid off for the ‘start-again’ business. “We can say it’s successful now – when I took over with Markus we were had a €30 million yearly turnover, and now we’re doing €74 million.” Adam Hall’s move into the installation sector came about, like many other developments in its history, from customer requests. “There’s always a connection in these customer groups with installation: rental companies got enquiries from their customers: ‘Can you also do my meeting room?’ Or electrical companies who buy 19in racks from us – they asked us why we didn’t offer in-wall loudspeakers, and so on.” So, four years ago, “we started with a small portfolio to get some experience in this market – and we also took over the exclusive distribution for Audac in Germany and Austria.” He describes expanding into new markets as “a chicken-and-egg problem: people will ask for products, then you say, ‘But do you need technical planning from us?’, or they say, ‘Do you have someone who can come out and help us with an architect?’ or whatever. You need to build up everything in parallel to make an interesting offer for your customers.” The company sells to four customer segments: industrial, rental, retail and now installation. In

many cases, however, products can be marketed to more than one segment, such as LD Systems’ CURV modular array speaker system: “It started in the retail market but we always had installation people in mind, because we saw that these small aluminium cubes are exactly what someone making an installation in a shop or a fashion store would like: he wants to hide stuff, the architect wants it clean and in their colour, it can be controlled from one point, and there are no cables.” The integrated systems business has reached the stage where it is “a serious offer”, he says: it has a dedicated product management team; in-house sales people can help customers with technical planning; and marketing staff can assist with technical specs such as simulation data. “We want to make it clear: we don’t want to offer solutions for stadiums and churches with 20,000 people. What we want to do is small to mid-size locations: restaurants, supermarkets, small sports halls, hotels, smaller clubs.” The main advantage of being in this market space, he says, is that the company can assist integrators with technical planning, and there is more natural overlap with the retail and rental channels: “They also want to have plug-and-play products that are easy to set up.”

‘In the installation market, they want to be 100% sure that what they are choosing works long-term’

That’s not integrators’ only requirement. “In the installation market it’s about margin. They want to be trained on the products. They don’t want any service issues. And it’s a more conservative market – it’s not people adapting very fast to new solutions. They ask more technical questions – they want to be 100% sure that what they are choosing works long-term.” Integrated systems are responsible for less than 10% of Adam Hall’s turnover. “So that’s about €7 million – but we are still growing steadily in this segment,” he says. A major project occupying him at the moment is the creation of the new Adam Hall Experience Center at the company’s headquarters. This will consist of three parts: the first is a showroom area, where products can be tried out live, including training rooms and an 800-seat event theatre. “It’s not just about training on our own products – I want to offer training on things like social media, so an install company, or a rental company, can get some knowledge about how to present their company and make it appear more professional.” Then there will be the R&D department, with testing rooms,

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audio simulation laboratories and prototyping workshops with 3D printers – so concepts can be created quickly and discussed with the customer in the same building. Finally there will be employee areas, including a restaurant (“my restaurant is back!”) and a recreation area with table football, pinball, karaoke – “a little bit Silicon Valley”.

The right people As CEO, Pietschmann sees one of his key responsibilities as “getting the right people on board”. Fortunately, this seems to be working: “There is less fluctuation [in staff] now. We have some very long-term people – every month we have a 10, 20 or 25-year anniversary – but we’ve doubled our employees, so we also have a lot of young people on board with another approach.” Nowadays young people are more choosy about where they work, he says, and graduates in engineering and related disciplines are not plentiful. However, Adam Hall is one company that people want to work for. He recounts the story of when Adam Hall offered a job in R&D to a young man who then also received an offer from BMW in Munich, where he lived. “I said to our HR manager: ‘What shall we do now? We cannot give more money, and we’re not in Munich’ – and Munich is a nice place.” [It’s over 400km away.] “But he came to us – he moved – and he told me that his project would have been to modify the sound of the doors on the new 7 Series. The car is made from aluminium and they wanted to make the doors sound heavier.” And why did he turn BMW down? “He said, ‘This is not something that I want to tell my kids, at the end of my life, that I did.’ “So it’s changing a lot. Young people don’t work only for money – they work with a purpose. They want to work for something that makes a difference. In our market we have different segments – music and rock ’n’ roll – and we can attract these people to come on board to make these products happen.” Although the company clearly listens carefully to its customers, they aren’t Pietschmann’s top priority. “It’s people who make the business. I always say: first, employees; second, customers – which seems to be a little bit ‘wow, this is hard’, but I’m convinced that if you have happy people in your company, you have happy customers; and if you have happy customers, you have happy owners and a good company.” He’s just as clear about what the company stands for: “The Adam Hall mission – why I come to work every day – is to give more people the opportunity to use technology which is affordable and has a good quality, and to bring more people together to share ideas, music… in the end, emotions.”

www.adamhall.com


20 SHOW PREVIEW: PROLIGHT + SOUND 2017

April 2017

Prolight bound! Spring in the world of entertainment technology means only one thing: Prolight + Sound. Here’s a taster of what will be on show in Frankfurt this month

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his year’s Prolight + Sound will introduce attendees to a new ‘Silent Stage’ concept and show area. The idea behind the Silent Stage is to cut on-stage noise levels to a minimum using, for example, amp simulations, isolation boxes, drum cages and electronic musical instruments. Equally, no monitoring loudspeakers are used and the musicians hear themselves and the other band members via an individually adjustable headphone mix. The advantages of a Silent Stage will be explained and opportunities for implementing the concept illustrated by live demonstrations featuring a presenter and band. Numerous event technology companies are involved and will be showing their products and technologies.

Audio A collaboration between Astro Spatial Audio and Adamson Systems Engineering will allow visitors to experience true object-based 3D audio for live entertainment. The two companies will combine leading technologies to host a series of demonstrations using Adamson Point 8 enclosures driven by Astro Spatial Audio’s

recently launched SARA II Premium Rendering Engine. The Astro Spatial Audio booth will be encircled by 15 compact Adamson Point 8 enclosures and accompanying subwoofers, forming a high-quality audio canvas. AUDAC will present its new bass cabinet named NOBA. With its curved shape, 4mm-thick aircraft-grade aluminium and powerful 8in woofer, the NOBA can deliver an unheard-of low-frequency response for its small woofer size, the company says. Stijn Vandebosch, product manager at AUDAC, explains: “When the idea for developing the NOBA arose over three years ago, we didn’t want to develop just another active bass cabinet to be hidden in the room’s darkest corner.” Fohhn Audio will bring its next generation of beam-steering systems and Class D amplifiers, along with audio solutions from its upcoming Media-Series. The latest generation of Linea Focus beam-steering systems is now equipped as standard with digital AES/EBU and Fohhn AIREA inputs. The systems are also optionally available with digital inputs for Dante and Optocore, as well as analogue inputs. The same digital and analogue input options are also a feature of Fohhn’s brand

What? Prolight + Sound 2017 Where? Messe Frankfurt exhibition centre, eastern section When? 4-7 April, 10:00-18:00 new DI-Series amplifiers. A further highlight is the new Media-Series: twochannel audio systems that can be seamlessly integrated into media stations for optimum speech intelligibility during web conferences. Klotz is set to exhibit a selection of products from its Premade, System and Bulk cable categories. New products at the show will include the OL22P OmniLIVE – PUR – AES/EBU Multicore cable, and the VD083LP, for transmission distances of up to 70m with the PUR outer jacket making the cable suitable for drum storage and abrasion-resistant. The completely redesigned Premade DMX and AES/EBU series will also be exhibited as well as a selection from the new Hybrid Cable range.


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RTS Intercoms will join Optocore to introduce the ROAMEO system wireless intercom system, based on the DECT standard with a protected frequency band. (See Products, p52).

Video and lighting Analog Way will be showcasing the VIO 4K multi-format converter, along with its new set of optional interfaces able to support 4K60 4:4:4, as well as the Ascender 48 - 4K - PL, a powerful multi-screen seamless switcher based on the LiveCore platform. Crestron will be exhibiting a selection of its collaborative, immersive solutions for big and small meeting room applications. Highlights on the stand include the DM NVX Series, which makes it possible to transmit the highest resolution possible 4K60 4:4:4 HDR video over standard 1 Gigabit Ethernet network, with no latency; and Mercury, Crestron’s flexible tabletop meeting room system. In addition, Avia DSPs, which streamline audio programming, commissioning and expansion in meeting rooms and videoconferencing rooms, will be on show. Crestron is also set to display its new modular utility amplifiers, the AMP-1200 and AMP-2100, and new interfaces, DMPS units, and its HD-WP4K-401 multi-window video processor and HD-MD400, a scaling auto-switcher and extender. Christie is to launch an addition to the Pandoras Box show control product line. Pandoras Box Octo Server, as the name suggests, provides up to eight outputs. These can operate at full bandwidth without compromising performance. Two hours of 4K60 uncompressed video can be stored and played back. The addition of the Octo Server means that Pandoras Box servers can now provide a flexible output configuration with between one and eight independent outputs. Each output can be individually warped and blended, allowing for mixedresolution set-ups. All players and servers feature Nvidia Quadro GPUs and Intel Xeon processors. In addition to product demonstrations of its latest lighting and rigging solutions, ETC is also bringing representatives to answer questions regarding lighting control, luminaires, rigging and complete system solutions. On stand E51 in Hall 3.0 will be the recently launched Gio @5 console, which features control of the Eos Ti and Gio consoles. Stand E47 will feature the entire ColorSource range of products, developed for those with limited budgets who want a complete LED lighting system. The QuickTouch and Foundation controls will be exhibited on stand F51 as well as the latest Prodigy P2 hoist, which expands the possibilities of upper stage machinery systems. This is also where visitors can view the latest innovations in Unison Echo and Paradigm architectural control solutions, and the new Sensor3 TPSR app.

SHOW PREVIEW: PROLIGHT + SOUND 2017 eyevis will present a range of new products and upgraded versions from its eyeLCD display series, on a joint stand with SmartMetals Mounting Solutions. From the eyeLCD-QHD-Series will be various displays between 58in and 98in, and the optional IR touch system will feature on two of the displays on the stand. In addition, there will be the latest generation of eyevis’ 4K/ QHD series, videowall LCD displays from the ESN-

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Series, and new front-service options for the LED modules from the ePANEL S Series. The reason for the joint stand is a Totem Display System from SmartMetals, which will feature an eyevis 46in LCD screen designed for airports, railway stations or shopping malls.

http://pls.messefrankfurt.com

HDBaseT, Infrastructure ready Datavideo introduces a new line of HDBaseT products, designed to make your life as an AV installer, integrator or producer much easier. With very limited and low cost cabling you can wire your full setup in minutes. Datavideo delivers you cameras, transmitter/receiver boxes and a complete portable workstation! The HS-1500T is worlds first portable HDBaseT workstation. This suitcase opens up to reveal a full PTZ controller, including presets, and a four channel production switcher with audio mixer. Combined with the ease of installation, this will limit your installation time considerably. The PTC-150T is Datavideos thrustworthy and high quality pan/tilt/zoom camera, but with an HDBaseT sauce. This unit comes complete with a HDBaseT receiver box, thats breaks out to regular HDMI, VISCA control and power input, just in case you need to wire up with a regular workflow. The HBT-10 and HBT-11 are transmitter/receiver boxes that convert all regular HDMI equipment to HDBaseT. This will make it much easier to install HDMI products, and extend cable lengths to 100 meters. www.datavideo.com


22 BUSINESS FEATURE: SMART BUILDINGS

April 2017

IoT: more than joining the Dots? A regular fixture in the pre-show programme at ISE, the Smart Building Conference this year took the Internet of Things as its overarching theme. Ian McMurray delves a little deeper to find out how the two are related

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o you ever wonder about the value of market research – especially the forward-looking type? Whether you turn to Lao Tzu, the sixth-century BC Chinese poet (“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge”) or Nobel prize-winning scientist Nils Bohr (“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future”) it seems that prognostication is fraught with challenges. Take the Internet of Things (IoT), for example. Management consultancy Bain believes the market will be worth $470 billion by 2020. Gartner, on the other hand, forecasts a measly $3 billion in the same timeframe. Business Insider says that $6 trillion will be invested in IoT solutions over the next five years. General Electric ups the ante, claiming that IoT spend in industry alone will top $16 trillion during the next 15 years. Given the disparity in the numbers, what can we learn from the research? In effect, two things. First: the IoT is a sufficiently significant phenomenon that the world and his proverbial wife are predicting its future. And second? Whatever the reality, those are some big numbers. Very big numbers. The fact is that the IoT is coming to an office, factory or home near you – if it hasn’t done already. What does the industry believe is the current state of play?

Abused term “IoT is an abused term,” laughs Bob Snyder, who was content chairman for the Smart Building Conference at this year’s ISE. “Like most tech phrases, it is often bent like a crowbar by vendors hoping to leverage it for commercial value. Of course, IoT already exists – but it is not yet commonplace. Several companies at the Smart Building Conference had case studies they could talk about – like IBM’s Watson IoT. Most people who ‘put down’ IoT expect the same kind of fullblown usage as you see today with the internet itself. We’re a long way from that scenario, but I would guess there are hundreds of IoT installations worldwide in industrial and commercial settings.” Mitch Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, sees things similarly. “The Internet of Things is just the latest buzzword,” he believes. “The concept of connected things has been around for decades. Installers in the custom space have seen many companies provide whole home automation solutions before anything was called IoT. And those were machineto-machine systems with connected devices creating what we now call a ‘smart’ home.” Dave Pedigo, CEDIA’s vice president, emerging technologies, is even more positive. “The Internet of Things is already a reality,” he claims. “According to Statista, there are now 23 billion internet-connected devices worldwide, which is nearly triple the number of internet-

Key Points „ The Internet of Things is still a work in progress – but for many, it is becoming increasingly pervasive „ In terms of connecting smart devices to automate a range of functions, homes are probably ahead of commercial buildings „ The DIY home automation phenomenon is not a threat: rather, it is driving interest in professionally installed solutions „ The differences between smart commercial buildings and smart homes lie primarily in scale and application „ Whether residential or commercial, the IoT is bringing a substantial opportunity to systems integrators and custom installers connected devices five years ago. The growth is exponential and rapidly accelerating. Things are changing so fast that it is almost impossible to humanly comprehend. We think that is exactly the point we are at with the proliferation of smart home devices.” Perspectives can, however, depend on the market served. “Yes,” says Kevin Hague, VP of corporate technology for Harman, “the IoT is an installable reality today – but it is not easy to integrate. Especially in the case of smart buildings, many systems are proprietary and special interfaces have to be built for each of them. This increases costs and slows the pace of IoT adoption for enterprise.”


FEATURE: SMART BUILDINGS 23

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Synonymous? Not everyone, however, is convinced that the IoT and the technology behind smart buildings are all but synonymous. “The IoT market is focused primarily on the DIY sector aimed at self-delivery, whereas the smart buildings market is one which is delivered by technology integrators,” says Philip Pini, residential business development manager at Crestron. “The differences are vast. You can purchase an IoT product from the internet or high-street retailer – whereas smart buildings technology is a purchase via a technology integrator. The principle behind the purchase is the same in terms of a control requirement – but the results can be entirely different.” His point perhaps calls into question the extent to which there is crossover between intelligent commercial buildings, on the one hand, and smart automated homes on the other. Both categories share a focus on lighting, heating and security, for example – but are their similarities more or fewer than their differences? “While the technology for smart buildings and automated homes can cross-pollinate, there are different needs and applications for each,” believes Paul Williams, vice president of product management at Control4. “Both smart buildings and homes require careful analysis of various factors. Commercial buildings require considerations such as operational scope and costs, while residential building needs tend to centre around the homeowner’s preferences and needs. “ Snyder is broadly in agreement with that analysis. “In the conference, we used the phrases smart building, smart home and smart office to distinguish three different types of building environments,” he says. “Smart home can also encompass multi-dwelling units – so it’s not scale that distinguish the two, but the applications. The home invokes your lifestyle – whereas an office serves a utilitarian purpose, one that’s morphing from the traditional business operations to a new and more collaborative generation of work.” “I would characterise ‘smart buildings’ as being commercial and ‘smart homes’ as being personal,” adds Hague. “There are many common elements to each space, such as environment temperature, lighting, blinds and so on. These will easily be consumed by standard IoT commands such as “Turn off the lights” – although there will be some additional layers for security and shared spaces.”

Not yet smart Pedigo sees something of an issue with the nomenclature. “I think that in general, people conflate the term ‘smart’ with ‘connected’. Homes and commercial buildings alike are typically not smart yet – they’re

Case Study

Control4 automates Portuguese garden Everyone talks about the Internet of Things in terms of automated homes and intelligent buildings – but what about smart gardens? A winner of the Control4 EMEA Dealer Awards presented at ISE 2017 – the project won for ‘Most Innovative Use of Control4’ – the Monte Estoril Garden project in Portugal is a new construction added on to a an existing historical home. Because the garden area is so large, the homeowner needed a centralised system that could easily be controlled from one place. Joao Vitoriano from Consexto was the Control4 integrator for the project, and he specified a control system that could be appropriately scaled for an installation of this size. Everything – from the CCTV security system with thermal scan technology to the outdoor lighting, water pumps and waterfalls – is controlled by the Control4 system. connected and programmed by smart people. What I mean by this is that most buildings that have some aspect of automation are built using conditional logic; for example, press this button and this will happen – or if this door opens, turn on the lights. Artificial intelligence will change this as the devices in the structure, residential or commercial, will learn preferences and make informed decisions. “I honestly don’t see a huge difference between commercial and residential other than scale and how they are managed,” he continues. “There are many nuances between residential and commercial, but it is more regarding the client and the magnitude of the job. The technologies on the back end share many more similarities than differences.”

‘Buildings are typically not smart yet – they’re connected and programmed by smart people’ Dave Pedigo, CEDIA

Pedigo’s remarks hint that the Internet of Things is, in fact, something of a misnomer insofar as it implies only that devices are connected to the network. The distinction that needs to be drawn, of course, is that a true IoT device includes one or more sensors. Those sensors may respond to sound or light or movement or temperature or touch or the presence/absence of power – but it is those sensors that cause something to happen.

That, however, isn’t the end of the story. By definition, a sensor is collecting and transmitting data. Millions and millions of sensors generate so-called Big Data. Data, used appropriately, creates information – and information, used appropriately, creates action. The real value of the IoT – and this is equally as true for smart homes as it is for intelligent buildings – is not only the extent to which it can automate mundane aspects of our lives but, more importantly, in how it enables us to make better decisions about the environment in which we live and work. The real value of the IoT will come when we learn to use that data – and for that, as Hague points out, we will likely need help. “IoT is really the ‘end points’, and bringing smarts to each end point will require cloud services and, most likely, AI and machine learning technologies,” he explains. “IoT is the ‘do’ and AI is what will bring the intelligence to how we use the data we collect.”

Good for the industry Regardless of exactly where we are, however, there seems to be agreement that awareness of, and interest in, the Internet of Things has been good for the industry – especially those focused on smart homes. “Thanks to the rise of the IoT, we’re finding that more and more people know what home automation is all about,” says Koen Dekyvre, international sales manager at Basalte. “It helps them to better understand the concept of a fully integrated home automation system, how it works, what the advantages are in terms of comfort and energy, the flexibility, the scalability and so on – and how it could be something for them. It’s helping to set home automation as a standard for every future project, instead of traditional electrical wiring.”


24 FEATURE: SMART BUILDINGS “The Internet of Things is already dramatically changing the way consumers think about technology,” echoes Williams, “and we’re seeing that in the increasing rates of adoption of technology like smart home devices by consumers. That demand is also growing in the installed space, with more homeowners looking for whole-home automation systems to simplify their lives. One-off room and device control will no longer be enough to satisfy homeowners.”

‘Installers should learn more about cloud computing – web services – and how IoT devices communicate with these services’ Kevin Hague, Harman

Pini’s point about DIY home automation solutions is an interesting one. While Lambrecht and Williams welcome the newfound consumer awareness of what’s possible – what will be the result of that awareness? Ideally, for the industry,

it will drive them to seek out a CEDIA member, for example – but could it equally drive them to Amazon, eBay or the local electronics store or DIY shed?

Perceived threat “There is a natural perceived threat that manufacturers will make products that will disenfranchise custom installers,” responds Pedigo. “However, this is not the reality. CEDIA’s Size and Scope of the Residential Electronics Industry Study has shown that average job size, the number of projects and the number of control and home networking projects continue to increase. In five years, interoperability will be just as challenging as it is today, and that is where CEDIA can step in – ensuring installers have the training and skills to deliver exceptional experiences.” “While we do not consider DIY solutions a threat, we do recommend that integrators and custom installers ensure that they are staying abreast of the latest trends and offerings for customers and make recommendations based on these expanding opportunities,” adds Williams. “The emergence of new technologies and capabilities – like Amazon Echo voice control, for example – allows our installers the ability to offer

April 2017

a new and exciting way to upgrade a Control4 system to make a client’s connected home more personalised, comfortable and hassle-free.” For Snyder, the DIY phenomenon is a positive one. “Anything that gets the consumer involved in smart home and smart office will create future opportunity for more professional solutions,” he says. “Personally, I don’t see this as a threat,” agrees Pini. “If anything, I see it as an introduction to the integrated market for a lower price point with limited functionality. I have seen an increase in the knowledge of those talking to Crestron in our London showroom, asking questions about control. This is because of being exposed to some form of IoT device.”

Opportunity In this brave new world of connected devices – whether we call it the IoT or not – what is the opportunity for the systems integration and custom install industry? “Of course, it’s an attractive market,” smiles Pedigo. “Our members have been skilled experts at delivering connected experiences to their homeowner clients since the 1980s. The reality is that people are going to continue to buy


26 FEATURE: SMART BUILDINGS electronics and put them in their homes at an incredible rate, so demand for the skillsets that custom installers have is only going to increase.” “This is a market that CEDIA members already understand, and residential is in many ways ahead of commercial smart buildings,” says Snyder. “But there are opportunities at all levels. Commercial AV integrators ignore smart building at their own risk. They work in what’s known as the ‘built environment’. Talking about AV today without knowing what is going on in smart building and smart office is like talking about the airplane industry without talking about airports and air controllers.” Hague appears to implicitly agree that commercial integrators may not yet be as far advanced as their counterparts in the residential space. “Once we move into the world of voice control and IoT everywhere, smart buildings will require more devices to be installed and configured,” he thinks. “Installers should start to learn more about cloud computing – web services – and how IoT devices communicate with these services. Also, expertise in securing IoT networks and how IoT devices can interoperate are key skills.” That there is an attractive market opportunity seems to be universally agreed. What, though,

April 2017

are the secrets of success? How can systems integrators and custom installers turn the opportunity into profitable business?

Catching the waves “The secret to being successful in technology integration is catching the waves of changing technology at the right time,” believes Snyder. “The companies who will succeed are the ones who look carefully at the trends like smart building now and decide what role they want to play. That’s now

– not five years from now when the transition will be crowded with players. “Not every integrator is the same size, nor do they all target the same size and type of customer,” he goes on. “There are different opportunities. You pick the game and the cards you want to play. “AV integrators can profit from smart building because as an industry we are familiar with the problems of integration – and that problemsolving is profitable.”

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April 2017

Pini agrees that it’s necessary to stay abreast of developments in the market. “The consumer market changes rapidly, and the controls market has to adopt the changes as quickly as possible,” he says. “It’s important to focus on emerging technologies such as voice control, and offer simple, easy-to use control methods for what can be complex systems.” Klein, however, urges some degree of caution. “Invest in technologies that work and know them inside and out,” he asserts. “Avoid the newest shiny object that’s not tested or proven in the field, but stay abreast of new developments to stay ahead of customer requests. Help customers understand how to keep their devices or systems secure and develop programmes that give you the chance to go back in and offer assistance with diagnostics, maintenance and support.”

lights, and an August door lock to see how the devices work, and how they integrate with the cloud or smartphone.” Pedigo returns to the topic of off-the-shelf devices, and the opportunity they present. “There are so many DIY devices available

Less expensive, more complex

to consumers – but many are still looking for someone to install the products for them,” he considers. “We call this Do It For Me (DIFM). The DIFM approach is not going anywhere, so the secret is for installers to not see the growth of IoT as a threat, but to be prepared to work with a range of products, including those that might be perceived as more entry-level or DIY.” He has an ally in Klein.

“The big secret with the IoT is that the devices will eventually become less expensive,” says Hague. “However, the installations will become more complex – not from a wiring standpoint, but from a configuration and management standpoint. This means that installers should learn how IoT devices work. For instance, go out, buy a Nest thermostat, Amazon Echo, Philips Hue

‘The Internet of Things is already dramatically changing the way consumers think about technology’ Paul Williams, Control4

“A 2016 survey from iControl revealed that customers who had their smart home solutions professionally installed had higher levels of satisfaction than those who chose DIY solutions,” he notes. “While the number of DIY devices on the market has certainly been increasing, the majority of customers still fall into the Do it For Me category. This brings new opportunities for the installer to both educate the consumer on smart home technology as well as using systems, such as security, as an entrant to bring more devices into the home.” In the future, we won’t talk about smart homes – because all homes will be smart. In the future, we won’t talk about intelligent buildings, because all buildings will be intelligent. Whatever the Internet of Things is or becomes, it’s certain that the AV industry will have a significant role to play in turning it into a reality for homes and businesses around the world. And that’s a prediction that can be made with 100% certainty.

www.basalte.be www.cedia.co.uk www.control4.com www.crestron.com www.harman.com www.zwavealliance.org


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30 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: VR/AR

A new reality for AV Virtual, augmented and mixed reality aren’t just for games players and theme park visitors. Michael Burns looks at where the business cases are – and explores the opportunities for AV professionals

I

mmersive technology is becoming increasingly common. We’ve all seen or used the distinctive head-mounted displays (HMD) used for virtual reality rides or console games, or enjoyed the antics of Pokémon Go hunters seeking augmented reality beasties. But outside of entertainment, where are the strong business cases for AR, VR and mixed reality (where digital and real-world objects coexist)? The answer is, suitably enough, all around us. “Ultimately we increasingly live our lives through a lens, so the use of AR – providing computer inputs layered on the physical world – isn’t a massive leap,” says Caspar Thykier, CEO and co-founder of AR app company Zappar. “It just needs the right context, content and of course call to action.” “We’re really just scraping the surface at the moment of what’s possible with mixed reality,” says Maximilian Doelle, chief prototyper and founder of innovation studio Kazendi. “The fact that only recently a global health service company used Microsoft HoloLens to turn health screenings into an interactive game called BioBall shows how imaginative mixed reality projects can be. A personal favourite is the HoloElection app for Deloitte Digital.” [See case study box, page 31.] Ventuz Technology focuses mainly in the marketing and entertainment industry, where its software suite is mainly used. “But we see great potential for AR and mixed reality in any environment that requires collaborative work on

digital content,” says CEO Erik Beaumont. “With real-time graphic software tools such as Ventuz, teams would be able to, for example, work collaboratively on digital prototypes, like new car models or engines. The scenario is not unknown; imagine a group of people wearing HoloLens glasses gathered around their digital prototype. With the integration of interactive technology, they would be able to make changes to the model right then and there, that would be visible to everyone instantly. Visualisation is key for many of these development processes, and this technology might prove a significant improvement.” “Property marketing is an industry seeing the immediate benefits from virtual and mixed reality,” says Amelia Kallman, head of innovation at creative technology agency Engage Works. “With the ability to map to your surroundings, property and architecture applications on Microsoft’s HoloLens can immerse you inside future environments, allow you to customise models and collaborate on plans, teleport you to different locations, and let you see views so real that you’ll get vertigo. “These technologies are also really disruptive for education, giving professors and experts the ability to reach students in far locations, and students who may not have the resources to physically attend or pay for prestigious schools,” she adds. “By training in VR to do things like surgery, organisations can save time and money, and potentially save lives.”

April 2017

Key Points „ The scope of applications for virtual, augmented and mixed reality is very wide: education, construction, property marketing, set design, field service, healthcare and live events are among the possibilities discussed here „ It’s not just about the visuals: multisensory environments are crucial for a fully compelling experience „ Head-mounted devices aren’t always the best option for viewing virtual content, particularly for group interactions: CAVE environments or interactive displays may be more appropriate „ Live VR streaming is seen as a growth area – and one with potential for systems integrators willing to learn the technology and work with specialist partners Field service “We have huge numbers of people all over the planet installing, maintaining and upgrading cell towers and equipment,” says Steve Plunkett, CTO of Ericsson Broadcast & Media Services. “We’ve been looking at how we can use AR as a field service tool so that you don’t have to carry around a laptop and a huge amount of technical manuals, and also so you can share what you are seeing with an expert back at base. So you still have skilled technicians in the field, but if they need more data, first of all they can pull back to the AR device. If they then need to stream a video, they can then fire that back to somebody who can look at it and then get them more quickly to a resolution. It’s very interesting.” Doelle says the construction industry relies heavily upon visualisation, yet remains dominated by pen and paper. “It is ripe for disruption, and mixed reality can achieve this. At Kazendi, we


FEATURE: VR/AR

www.installation-international.com

developed Spatial Explorer, an app for HoloLens that rapidly creates detailed 3D scans and texture maps of the space around it. For construction, this means that building or space surveys can be carried out more quickly and effectively. Risk markers can be left real time, and by using a live stream, construction workers can use request for information (RFI) processes instantaneously. This promotes a faster problem-solving mechanism.” London’s Royal Opera House (ROH) is a major believer in the power of VR and mixed reality. It’s been a pioneer in terms of 360° production, but now the technology is being brought to bear behind the scenes. Building on an existing previsualisation workflow process for set lighting design that takes place in a CGI environment, lighting visualiser James Simpson has been using Microsoft HoloLens to create an AR lighting project, mixed with the real world. “James maps the 3D space [of the stage] with Microsoft HoloLens, then maps the CGI sets into that space,” says Tom Nelson, creative producer at the ROH. “He can walk around that set, he can move elements of it. He can even share it with a director for them to see where different performers would be placed in that scene. “We’ve now moved that into a true VR experience,” continues Nelson. “Imagine a director and their set designer and lighting designer, being in this experience together, able to change the textures and lighting in a set. And the most exciting thing for us, because we’re an international organisation, is what if those people were on different continents? That technology exists and Microsoft HoloLens is interesting in partnering with us to explore that.”

Case Study

Mixed reality in the US election For the 2016 US presidential election, Kazendi created the HoloElection app for Deloitte Digital. Chief prototyper Maximilian Doelle explains: “The app is an anchored holographic 3D map depicting the USA that brought voting data to life. Users could see state names, the number of electoral votes, income per capita and population. We were able to program the app to show the representation of the electoral votes by the time the morning papers broke the news. “The real advantage of mixed reality is that it doesn’t disengage the user from the real world. Perhaps in the case of the election results, we wish it did,” he adds, wryly. by spatial audio, standing on a motion platform which syncs perfectly with the visuals and with SFX in the form of a breeze, and begins a series of tasks, given to them by a coach. Using VR to save lives through the creation of multisensory immersive environments is an incredibly compelling business case.” Greg Taylor, general manager at digital agency Tigerspike Next, also sees immersive technologies becoming more prevalent in enterprise systems. “More specifically VR will start to revolutionise healthcare, particularly in areas such as pain management, with devices already being used to help burn victims,” he says. “Placing patients into

‘These technologies are also really disruptive for education’ Amelia Kallman, Engage Works

Extra perception However, Stuart Hetherington, CEO of sensory experience designer Holovis, feels that for highend visualisation, R&D, compelling training and simulation, a headset is not enough: multisensory environments are essential. “Creating true virtual reality needs more than just visual immersion,” he says. “All of a person’s senses must be catered for, including spatial audio, perfectly synched motion and multi-sensory SFX. This can be achieved in a CAVE, where all four or five walls feature projection and the user sees the virtual world in 1:1 scale with real-time media, wearing head-tracked glasses so the environment moves to their true perspective. Recently we have been combining these two approaches, with users wearing an HMD but entering a high-end simulation environment, so all the other senses are immersed. “Our Near Miss Simulator [shown in ISE 2017’s Immersive Technology Zone] is primarily a training tool for people working at height, but it can be used to recreate any dangerous or non-compliant working environment. The person enters the fully immersive world, wearing an HMD, surrounded

31

an alternate icy and cold ‘reality’ has been proved to reduce pain experienced during skin-grafting procedures by up to 90%, according to research conducted by the University of Washington. VR is also being used to rehabilitate paraplegic patients suffering from a chronic spinal cord injury, helping to reactivate limb function.”

Future reality That’s all happening right now, but it’s just the tip of the virtual iceberg. “We think within a decade pretty much every event or happening of any interest in the world will be live streamed in VR,” says Alx Klive, CEO of 360

Designs, which offers live 360º production services to brand-name clients in sports, music and events. “There will be professional streams, and social streams, combinations of the two. People will jump around events globally in VR, as quickly as a tap of the headset. Venues will require infrastructure to cope with the bandwidth, and some may want to have permanent live VR installations, so they can produce their own events. When venues realise they can grow their revenues beyond their physical attendee capacity, things will get interesting. Venues have the potential to grow revenues dramatically, since there is no upper limit to the number of virtual attendees.” “Brands are already starting to buy marketing real estate inside virtual applications,” says Kallman. “I believe in the future this will be where a lot of advertising, subtle and direct, takes place.” “The use of virtual training looks set to increase, using a CAVE to deliver mission-critical lessons that people need to know before they are faced with the real thing,” says Hetherington. “BAE Systems is championing this within its new Aerospace Academy with a CAVE designed, built and installed to a turnkey specification.” This features LearnView, a proprietary software suite developed by Holovis to create traditional classroom-based lessons as a 1:1 scale visualisation, with real-time media and interactive tasks to complete. “LearnView uses the Holovis InMo framework to translate training material into something that can be visualised and interacted with in the virtual space. This allows training to take place in the CAVE presented as a range of scenarios, from wiring an aircraft to the design of major infrastructure.” “Good-quality connectivity is key for all of these things,” says Plunkett. “You can have an application on a mobile device, like Pokémon Go, which puts the data into the app and uses GPS to decide when to trigger it. In some of the more sophisticated use cases, it is about a real-time media exchange.


32 FEATURE: VR/AR That’s more significant with VR because the 360º nature of the stream, and 4K resolution is a whole different problem. AR resolution can be much, much lower and much more realistic.”

Get your HMD on So how can AV integrators and professionals get involved, and make this happen?

‘A global health service company used Microsoft HoloLens to turn health screenings into an interactive game’ Maximilian Doelle, Kazendi

“The equipment to do quality live VR right now is quite expensive, and requires considerable specialist expertise,” says Klive. “This represents an opportunity for system integrators who are willing to learn how to do it now, and work with a specialist partner to sell the solution to larger clients.” Hetherington says the AV industry is already

April 2017

playing a crucial role in the development of highly realistic multisensory environments. “Innovations in visual display technology, from projection to ultrafine pixel-pitch LED displays and immersive audio configurations, are all driving these developments, allowing people to see that HMDs aren’t always the best option – especially when teams need to work together to examine specific details, something that can’t be achieved without the group all sharing the same user experience.” “For the AV market, we see great potential in AR and mixed reality,” agrees Beaumont. “There are many ways to tap into this area aside from holo glasses. Some of our customers use transparent interactive screens that are connected to motiontracking technology. This way, a screen can be moved around an object or room, and the content adjusts according to the screen’s position. If this is combined with content that is interactive, intuitive and informative, these installations are likely to make users stick around for a while on your exhibition booth or in your showroom. For companies who haven’t worked with AR technologies, this might be a good first step.” “The tools are available today and the technology works,” says Thykier, “[though] it would be great if someone could find a seamless way to properly remotely capture images from a device on

to a big screen with zero latency and no need for an HDMI cable! Apple TV is good but even that could be improved upon.” He offers two pieces of advice for companies looking to get involved. “The biggest issue is that when people are made aware of the potential of AR, VR or MR – let’s call them XR collectively – they see so many opportunities that they forget to focus on one and start the journey. Our mantra is think big, but start small. “There’s also the issue of understanding within an organisation who should be responsible for the overall XR strategy and execution, as it touches so many departments across innovation, procurement, consumer products and marketing. So it requires C-level buy-in and a project lead to truly capture the value in this potentially transformational technology.”

http://360designs.io www.engageworks.com www.ericsson.com/ broadcastandmedia/ www.holovis.com www.kazendi.com www.roh.org.uk www.tigerspike.com www.ventuz.com www.zappar.com


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34 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

April 2017

Brave new world? QSC has prompted discussions regarding the evolution of DSP technology by demonstrating how its Q-SYS software can run on standard IT hardware. Is the rest of the industry likely to follow suit, and what will be the implications? Duncan Proctor reports

Key Points

I

n the run-up to ISE 2017, QSC announced that the company’s Q-SYS software could be decoupled from its proprietary hardware and migrated to a scalable, standardsbased IT platform, in this case off-the-shelf Dell servers. The announcement was followed up at ISE with an industry-first demonstration with fourth-generation Q-SYS software on a standard high performance Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 server. While certainly significant, this revelation is the manifestation of a specific aspect of AV-IT convergence that has been percolating through the industry for some time: manufacturers moving away from proprietary hardware to software running on standard IT hardware. That said, the move looks set to have far-reaching consequences for DSP technology and the pro AV world as a whole. QSC believes the move makes sense, particularly for larger installations utilising data centre processing, and that the rest of the industry will follow suit, though the precise timescale is up for debate. “QSC is excited to be the first manufacturer in the industry to introduce a solution where audio, video and control (AVC) processing can now live on standard IT hardware,” says TJ Adams, QSC’s director of installed systems product management. “For QSC, we realised nearly 10 years ago there wasn’t a ton of value to building

proprietary processing hardware. I emphasise processing because we do believe there is value in building AV I/O hardware endpoints, because of the special applications that only AV manufacturers really have expertise in building. “For us, we saw a lot of value in taking advantage of an already established, powerful generic processing platform that offered capabilities well beyond AV-specific processing. All of which came at a lower price point with development typically faster than most proprietary offerings.”

‘We realised nearly 10 years ago there wasn’t a ton of value to building proprietary processing hardware’ TJ Adams, QSC

Challenges Karl Christmas, senior product specialist, Yamaha Pro Audio, agrees that the move is a logical one. “Adapting audio and control software to run on a central server using standard hardware is

„ QSC’s initial development is a manifestation of a broader trend within the industry „ Migrating to IT servers would offer significant cost savings, but could potentially also entail a degree of risk for integrators and end-users „ Developments are likely to be driven by customer demand, but timescales are uncertain currently effectively a natural step in the evolution of the audio software industry,” he says. However he raises a number of questions: “One of the major potential disadvantages is that, if there is a problem with the system, does the end-user contact the manufacturer of the server or that of the software? Will the two manufacturers collaborate closely enough so that any service outages are minimised? What happens when the server or software manufacturer wants to update its product?” Richard Bugg, Meyer Sound digital products solutions architect, agrees with the premise. “For audio signal processing, once the conversion to digital has been done, there is nothing unique about the hardware needed to do many of the signal processing or automation functions.” He too has some words of warning: “The


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36 FEATURE: DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

benefit of using a third-party manufactured general-purpose computer comes with a cost and risk, though. Mass-produced products often get into a race to the bottom, and if you are dependent on a feature or function that is not key to the off-the-shelf device, you can easily find yourself in a shorter lifecycle for your product as you have to redesign to accommodate changes made outside of your control or influence.

‘If there is a problem with the system, does the end-user contact the manufacturer of the server or that of the software?’ Karl Christmas, Yamaha Pro Audio

“The other challenge is with quality and reliability. In high-end professional applications, reliability is critical. You may be able to tolerate a short outage of a computer in an office application, but to lose even 15 seconds of audio at a concert or live event can be a disaster.” Trent Wagner, senior product manager at Symetrix, points out that there is a significant development burden entailed in changing platforms. “Companies with a large amount of intellectual property dependent upon application-specific chipsets will have to migrate to, or start fresh with, Intel standard platforms,” he says. Biamp executive VP Graeme Harrison adds: “There is the obvious task of porting algorithms to a different hardware platform (x86 or ARM processors, analogue devices, or Texas Instruments’ DSPs), followed by the

ever-important latency issues between the processors and the chosen OS layer.” “One of the main challenges for our industry is shifting our mindset from how we’ve always done things,” says Adams. “Our industry has many legacy purpose-built ‘box’ solutions based around proprietary processing schemes. These have to be supported and maintained by those manufacturers, as their primary products are already built around this older technology and have significant momentum. Porting all that rich knowledge and implementing their technology into developing processing solutions targeted toward off-the-shelf generic processing will likely prove to be a difficult transition; but I believe it will happen.”

Adoption timescale The AV industry as a whole doesn’t always embrace new ideas and fundamental change easily. However, the expectation is that this kind of system will become the norm over the next few years – though the timeline is hard to predict. “As we gain more market adoption in the coming years, there will be more pressure for other manufacturers to develop their own flavour of off-the-shelf processing,” states Adams. “It won’t be overnight, but it will not take too many years either.” Meyer Sound’s Bugg predicts a timescale of one to three years. It should be pointed out that QSC is yet to announce a product, but the company is looking at a release date near the end of the year. Wagner suggests: “In the next few years, we’ll see higher-end and larger-scale systems become even more converged with respect to AVC technologies and they will likely be handled by larger and more centralised servers instead of being divided among multiple dedicated AVC processors across many racks. It’s the I/O points that will be distributed and made more simple. It may take several more years for the shift to trickle down to smaller systems.”

April 2017

Business models It remains to be seen the effect this approach will have on business models, but Adams proffers: “We believe we will still see the older ways persist for years – selling hardware and software together as a whole product: a DSP, control or video box. However, eventually there will be progressive end-customers, consultants and integrators that will want to push the envelope even further and request to license software only; targeting their own provided IT hardware as well as coming up with new ways that they want to work with us as a vendor.” “Business models will be profoundly affected in the end,” comments Harrison. “What QSC showed doesn’t require any changes as you are still buying a box from an audio manufacturer, but the logical extension of this is buying generic hardware from a PC manufacturer and software from an audio manufacturer, with the emphasis on buying the software – something our industry has been resolutely opposed to up until now.” Wagner predicts: “It will definitely affect every department at the manufacturer’s level, but in a simple way; it’s just a change in who sources certain pieces of hardware and from where. “Until every device in a system is networkenabled and utilising the same protocols, there will still be a need for hardware; an endpoint, on/off ramp, or node to get AVC signals in and out of the system, or simply on and off the network. Whether that I/O hardware is a simple widget-type adapter, wall panel, or large format rack-mount device, it will likely become very simple, specific, and commoditised – potentially to the point of being non-system or non-manufacturer specific.”

www.biamp.com www.meyersound.com www.qsc.com www.symetrix.com www.yamahaproaudio.com


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38 SOLUTIONS: SINDH ASSEMBLY, KARACHI

April 2017

PAKISTAN

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

Installed Video

Parliamentary protocols A provincial parliament needed to update its video and broadcast equipment, while still maintaining compatibility with some of its older infrastructure. Tom Bradbury reports on the installed solution

W

ith more than 160 elected members, the Sindh Assembly in Karachi is one of Pakistan’s largest provincial governments. The Assembly has filmed all of its parliamentary sessions since 2010, which include the passing of bills as well as ‘lijlaass’ meetings to discuss public health, education and local administration issues. As its existing video systems could only handle SD content, the Assembly turned to system integrator Tahir Iqbal of Integrated Media to design and install a flexible audiovisual solution that would not only upgrade its facilities but would also encompass expansion into a new building. “Many organisations in Pakistan, both public and private, are in a similar position; shifting not only from SD to higher resolution formats but also from tape to tapeless,” explains Iqbal. “However the additional challenge for the Assembly was that we needed to make sure the old and new systems could be seamlessly integrated, to allow members access to any archived video materials they required.”

Full solution Integrated Media was tasked with a full AV solution that can fulfil video requirements within the new 13,500sqm complex and the original Assembly building, approximately 600m away, as well as for national broadcast. “There are a number of videowalls and repeater screens throughout the new facility where live sessions are screened. However, the Assembly also provides a feed from key sessions to the national broadcaster, Pakistan TV, as well as to

private television channels,” explains Iqbal. “So when we started to design and specify a solution we had to balance the onsite audiovisual needs of a government complex, run by a small in-house team, alongside those of the national broadcaster.” With this in mind Iqbal selected a solution built around Blackmagic Design, with a Blackmagic Design ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K at its heart. “The previous system didn’t allow the team to use downstream keyers for adding graphics and effects to its video feed. In particular, the Assembly wanted to add a ticker across the bottom of the programme feed to provide a professional, live news feel to the production, so the ATEM’s downstream keyers and digital video effects are powerful upgrades to the AV system.” Integrated Media installed four Sony robotic PTZ cameras around the Assembly’s main hall; these are controlled remotely by one of the AV team to capture debates and rulings. Outputs from all four, together with audio, graphics and logos, are fed into the ATEM in the Programme Control Room (PCR) to produce the live programme. This mix is then captured by an UltraStudio 4K and taken over Thunderbolt to a Mac Pro for live editing, before being delivered out to broadcast partners. Two 40in Samsung LED-lit displays have been installed in the PCR. One is on a broadcast table specially built for the project by Integrated Media, and is used for multiview. The other, on a floor stand, shows the programme-out signal. The live programme feed is distributed via a Mini Converter SDI Distribution 4K to 3 x 3 and 4 x 4 videowalls (previously installed) built from 46in Philips borderless LED displays. The feed is also

„ AJA UDC mini converter „ Apple Mac Pro A1481 „ Apple MC914 27in Thunderbolt cinema display „ Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K „ Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel „ Blackmagic analogue to SDI mini converter „ Blackmagic SDI to analogue mini converter „ Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K 2 „ Blackmagic Decklink Studio 4K capture card „ Blackmagic Mini Converter SDI Distribution 4K „ Cisco SRW2024 Gigabit Ethernet switch „ Samsung F6400 40in LED TVs „ Sony HVR-1500 HDV/DVCAM video tape recorder „ Sony BRC-H900 HD PTZ cameras „ Sony RM-BR300 camera remote control

Audio „ Behringer Xenyx 1204USB audio mixer „ Genelec 8020 CPM-6 monitors

About the integrator „ Integrated Media is a technology solutions and integration services provider with experience in AV, IT, telecoms, security and surveillance installations „ It has offices in Karachi (head office) as well as Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan and Kabul in Afghanistan „ In addition to installation work, it also rents out video cameras and production equipment and supplies crew for video shoots transmitted to repeater screens for the Speaker, Viewing Gallery and press room.

Co-existence Iqbal explains that a patch panel facilitates signal distribution into the older Assembly building, where government officials also require a feed from the live sessions: “It was a critical element in the design that the old and new systems could co-exist and integrate seamlessly. The patch acts as the primary router between the two buildings, and a central Ethernet switch provides the bridge between the old and new file types. The team can then quickly retrieve and access archive material as required


SOLUTIONS: SINDH ASSEMBLY, KARACHI 39

www.installation-international.com

Audio set-up Audio from the sessions is controlled by a previously installed 160-channel Bosch communication system, which includes tabletop microphones, column and bracket speakers and headphones throughout the Assembly auditorium. The audio mix is produced by a Behringer audio console in the PCR. After fine-tuning and adjustments for broadcast quality, the audio from the auditorium is synced with the ATEM to feed into the final programme mix. The press room and PCR are both fitted with Genelec 8020 audio monitors for crystal clear audio. from the previous system.” In the old assembly building, the signal needs to be downconverted so that it can be used by the older equipment there, and by news-gathering vans. Accordingly, Integrated Media installed AJA UDC and Blackmagic SDI-to-analogue and analogue-to-SDI and converters in the old control room. Tape has not been completely eliminated from the Assembly’s infrastructure. Because the client wanted some sessions to be recorded on tape, and to have an archive on DVCAM, the project also

included the installation of a Sony HVR-1500 video tape recorder. Integrated Media also facilitated training the Assembly’s in-house AV team, who have been impressed with the Blackmagic Design solution. “Our daily task of providing a concise and clear representation of the Assembly’s debates and decisions has become much easier,” states Asim Ahmed, technical controller at Sindh Assembly. “The solution fits our needs in terms of providing excellent coverage of the sessions to anyone that needs it while also giving us the professional capabilities necessary for our television partners

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for broadcast purposes in order to keep people throughout the province up to date with the latest developments in government affairs.”

www.aja.com www.apple.com www.blackmagicdesign.com www.cisco.com www.integrated.media www.genelec.com www.music-group.com www.samsung.com http://pro.sony.eu

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40 SOLUTIONS: CORNFLAKE, LONDON

April 2017

UNITED KINGDOM

The £250,000 home cinema If your customers regard getting the ultimate experience as more important than budget, how do you wow them with a new home cinema system? Tim Frost sees what one London integrator has just achieved

W

hen you are established in the top end of the install market for the highest spenders you need to keep up with the latest developments. Clients demand integrated systems of extremely high quality that meet a family need – music anywhere and everywhere, dedicated music and video games rooms, plus local and remote control of lighting and temperature. While this is all essential, the trophy product for many of the super-rich is the home cinema – and the emergence of the next generation of immersive cinema sound with Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D has simply upped the ante. Enter Cornflake, a London-based installer of high-end integrated systems over the last 30 years. It has created a new home cinema space which, the company notes, is a not so much a home cinema as ‘a cinema at home’ – with a price tag of £250,000. Cornflake has taken some interesting decisions, notably going for Meyer Sound speaker systems used in commercial cinemas and fi lm production rather than more traditional systems based on hi-fi speaker technology. At its London facility, Cornflake can show every aspect of integration

for the most sophisticated systems. “Our business has changed from supplying amplifiers and speakers to fully integrated systems. We do everything from lighting control and design, data, TV, communication, media distribution security and CCTV,” says Cornflake’s sales director, Helen Cowans. “The systems are for multiple people using multiple systems at the same time,” adds Cowans. “We want to show them how they can use technology and give them ideas that they may not have thought about. “ Cornflake had a high-quality 5.1 Dolby cinema room, but the market is changing, says director Gary Lewis: “What we had was great, but we had to up our game. A lot of clients are expecting more and it is getting harder and harder to impress them. Over the last couple of years there’s been a lot of changes in audio formats, content availability – it has stabilised a bit now and over the past couple of months we have been working on this new room.” Cornflake enlisted the help of Neil Davidson, MD of Genesis Technologies, to design the new room, which is 4m x 6.5m x 3m high and has seating for 10. The screen covers the entire end

Installed Audio „ Meyer Acheron Designer screen channel speakers „ Meyer HMS-5 compact cinema sound speakers „ Meyer Sound X800C twin 18in subwoofers „ Trinnov Altitude32 16-channel processor

Video „ Kaleidescape Strato move server „ JVC DLA-Z1 4K laser projector „ DT Screens Dynamic multiway masking screen „ CATS Packs acoustic insulation and calibration „ Carlucci di Chivasso Cohesion CA1338/053 acoustic fabric wall; the side walls and ceiling are pure interior design, with no speakers visible – they are all behind acoustically transparent wall coverings.

Significant difference The most significant difference in this system compared with most home cinema installs is the use of Meyer Sound speaker systems. The system is set up as an Atmos 9.2.4 (three


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42 SOLUTIONS: CORNFLAKE, LONDON

April 2017

About the integrator „ Cornflake specialises in home automation and custom installation – encompassing audio, home cinema, lighting, window shades, security, telecoms and IT „ Many of these, controlled from an iPad interface, are demonstrated in the ‘Smart APPartment’ experience centre in its central London showroom „ Other services include a dedicated training suite for property developers and commercial housebuilders, and a ‘Concierge’ remote monitoring and maintenance service for clients „ Director Gary Lewis is a former chair of CEDIA Region 1

screen and six side speakers; two sub-bass; four ceiling speakers) fed from a Kaleidescape server and passed through a Trinnov Altitude32 processor. This can feed the room with Dolby Atmos or Auro-3D soundtracks. “Our research made us go for the Trinnov because that can do both Atmos and Auro-3D,” notes Cornflake client sales manager Peter Miller. Dolby’s offering is the one that most clients naturally talk about as the next step forward, he says. “We are format agnostic, But we listen closely to our clients and a lot of the feedback from them is that they want Atmos.” Behind the screen are the three Meyer Sound Acheron Designer speakers and an X-800C twin 18in subwoofer, all built into a solid baffle to radiate into 180º space. Behind the side wall panels is a total of six Meyer Sound HMS-5 compact speakers, with four more in the ceiling. There is a further X-800C behind the rear wall under the JVC DLA-Z1 laser projector, which is getting its one of its earliest public outings as a production unit and looking very crisp. The speaker installation places the HMS-5 behind the wall panels; as the speakers are angled, the room loses nearly 0.5m on each side, which is relevant for those looking to build a similar room, or dig one underground. All the speaker systems are active, with built-in amplifiers and DSP, which has two impacts on the installation. The first is on quality, with the integrated DSP tailoring phase, power and other characteristics exactly to the requirements of the drivers. The second is an entirely practical one. With a 5.1 install, a rack room could still comfortably house all of the home’s lighting, media sources

control electronics as well as the cinema processor and five or six amp channels, but a 9.2.4 system would need up to 15 amplifier channels. “We are looking to go the active route for the control, the phasing and the timing,” explains Miller. “As the rack is used for the whole house, things need to be shrunk down. The active Meyers need just a PSU and a controller, so that is using just 3U of rack space in total.” The original plan was to have the two twin-18in subs behind the screen, says Davidson, “but I moved one to the back to address the problem of standing waves in small rooms – something that doesn’t really happen in larger spaces.” The 3.8m 16:9 screen covers the end wall and has a small but important addition: active masking, top and bottom, that glides almost silently into position to give the projection crisp edges, whether it’s 16:9, 2.35:1 or wider still – just like at the movies.

Buying an experience It is these touches that make the difference, says Lewis. “Customers are not buying a laser projector and a screen and speaker; they are buying a cinema experience and that is where the value is. You cannot take shortcuts; the design and the masks are just as important as anything else in the installation.” The move to installation-type speakers with their long-throw drivers and compression horns – normally anathema to audio purists – shows that Cornflake is looking at the system from the cinema perspective rather than as an extension of surround hi-fi. “When we looked at traditional CI brands we

couldn’t find a brand in the CI market that would give us the punch,” says Davidson. “I met up with Meyer Sound who wanted to break into the European CI market, although I didn’t know who they were at the time.” The manufacturer’s original entry into the market came about rather by chance. “We weren’t looking at doing this,” explains Andrew Davies of Meyer Sound technical sales support, “but we’ve been asked by film people like Francis Ford Coppola, who wanted a system at home to do the same as we had done for him in the studio.” Replicating the commercial cinema sound requires delivering a lot of energy into the room, which is where installation speaker systems come into their own. They can deliver the power and level comfortably without overdriving, distortion or compression – especially important when movie soundtracks are more ambitious than ever and delivered at 96kHz/24-bit. High-quality professional installation speaker systems will outperform hi-fi based systems when working towards replicating the cinema experience in a home system, says Davies. “Apart from the number of channels, what you need is the dynamic range to keep up with the current formats, so the headroom is really important.” And by easily sustaining levels of 100dB during the demo with zero sign of strain, this concept has shown that it certainly delivers – albeit at a price.

www.cinema-ats.com www.cornflake.co.uk www.dt-screens.com www.genesis-tech.eu http://uk.jvc.com www.kaleidescape.com www.meyersound.com www.trinnov.com


From the publisher of Installation, AV Technology and SCN.

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Tech&Learning UK audience includes: • Business managers • ICT managers / technicians • Head teachers / deans • Heads of department / faculty • AV resellers and integrators

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Editorial:

Gurpreet Purewal +44 (0) 20 7354 6000 gpurewal@nbmedia.com

Heather McLean +44 (0) 7986 473 520 heather@mclean-media.com


44 SOLUTIONS: WORTHY BREWING, BEND, OREGON

April 2017

USA

Well crafted This brewery and restaurant required a zoned system to feed customised audio to multiple spaces across a number of levels

E

stablished in 2012 and located in Bend, Oregon, Worthy Brewing has the capacity to brew 60,000 barrels of craft beer and features a beer garden-patio with hop plants for on-site hop-breeding research. Facilities include the 20-table Hop Mahal banquet space, which serves food sourced from local suppliers; and the Beermuda Triangle, an extension of the main dining room accommodating another 60 guests. Additionally there is the newly opened Star Bar on the mezzanine level. The focal point is the Hopservatory, a separate column structure featuring a spiral staircase topped by a small observatory with a telescope. Visitors can view the stars and enjoy tours hosted in conjunction with the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver. You enter via the Transporter Room at the base of the column, which is equipped with three TV kiosks and decorated with space and garden themed art and a mosaic floor.

Multi-zone audio Each of these spaces has different AV solutions, so Tony Sprando, owner of local systems integrator, Audio Visual Bend, designed a multizone sound system for Worthy Brewing that is managed with three Symetrix Jupiter series DSPs. “We’re using two Jupiter 8s and one Jupiter 4,” confirms Sprando. “One Jupiter 8 distributes music from a Pandora Mood player, and it feeds the Beermuda Triangle bar, the bathrooms on the first and second floors, and the mezzanine

level. By using the Jupiter 8 to create multiple zones, instead of the more common approach of having one big zone, the client can have customised music and applications in every space, and we don’t need a volume control in each room.” The second eight-in, eight-out Jupiter 8 is for the Hop Mahal banquet hall. “The banquet hall is a wing addition where they can have meetings and presentations,” explains Sprando. “Although it’s one big space, we divided the front and rear of the hall into two zones to eliminate feedback issues and enable custom volume settings. We’ve also provided multiple inputs for microphones, laptops, a cable box, and so on.” Sprando dedicated the four-in, four-out Symetrix Jupiter 4 DSP to the Hopservatory building. “The Jupiter 4 manages three zones because the dome observatory, the control room, and the kiosks in the Transporter Room are completely different applications. You have people mingling in the Transporter Room at the bottom level, watching the three TVs. The second zone sends music to a control room to keep the person there from getting bored. The third zone provides spacey pre-recorded music you can enjoy in the observatory while looking through the telescope. I’m using a BrightSign media player for streaming content, video, images of outer space, and the pre-recorded music.” The Audio Visual Bend team installed Symetrix ARC touchpanels in the control room, as well as Symetrix’ ARC-WEB browser interface, and

Installed Audio „ Symetrix Jupiter 4 and Jupiter 8 DSPs „ Symetrix ARC touchpanels „ Symetrix ARC-WEB browser interface

Video „ BrightSign XD1132 media player

About the integrator „ Located in Bend, Oregon, Audio Visual Bend has more than 60 years’ experience. It specialises in customising AV equipment for individual projects „ The company conducts AV installs in corporate, education, home cinema, digital signage, and houses of worship „ Audio Visual Bend also handles acoustic treatments, including soundproofing and acoustic panels every zone is broken out with a name, so the brewery staff can easily call up the Pandora app or BrightSign player, change the channel, and control the volume. “The Symetrix programming interface is beautiful and simple, and it looks and works the same as it does on the ARC control panel,” says Sprando. “I don’t have to send my guys for a week of training. “Symetrix makes setting up and using their DSPs easy, which also cuts down on installation costs. We specialise in commercial AV, and we use a lot of Symetrix DSPs because Symetrix gets it.”

www.avbend.com www.brightsign.biz www.symetrix.co


46 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF

April 2017

USA

Immersive L-Acoustics system for $90m Las Vegas venue MGM Resorts International’s new Park Theater on the Las Vegas Strip has added an L-Acoustics K2 loudspeaker system to become the city’s largest and most technologically advanced venue to utilise immersiveness in its theatrical design. The $90m theatre can seat 5,200 in its standard layout, or 6,300 when expanded. Montreal-based Scéno Plus specified a true LCR system consisting of two hangs comprising 16 K2 enclosures and six K1-SB subwoofers per side, with dialogue/lead vocals routed through a centre cluster made up of 14 Kara boxes and four ARCS II outfill enclosures. Created in Soundvision, the system design offers an immersive, fullrange (35Hz-20kHz) audio experience evenly and consistently across every seat in the house thanks to the K2’s PANFLEX horizontal steering.

www.l-acoustics.com

UK

Pure AV fits Lancaster University with collaboration suite Pure AV’s new collaboration suite at Lancaster University accommodates up to 35 students around five Top-Tec Synergy Quad workstations. The existing lectern, projector and AMX control system were retained: the brief required the bespoke programming of the control system and user interface to be combined with the Kramer Via collaboration system. Each desk has a 42in Panasonic TH-42LFE8 display with HDMI and VGA input for laptops. A Kramer Via Connect Pro provides wireless device connectivity, and local source switching and display control are managed via an eight-button AMX control pad situated at each student desk. Students can work in groups, connecting to the display screen with their own devices.

www.pureav.co.uk

NORWAY

Renkus-Heinz brings consistent audio to Oslo Airport The new Terminal 2 complex at Oslo Airport is set to fully open to the public this month after 10 years of development, kitted out by Caverion with 160 Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers. The system needed to handle PA/VA duties, general announcements and background music. After careful consideration, Renkus-Heinz TRX62H two-way complex loudspeaker systems were selected for the task. In total, 100 of the units have been installed throughout Terminal 2 as well as eight IC16 and two IC24 ICONYX

digitally steerable line arrays. Rounding out the installation are four CDT520 complex conic horns with CoEntrant drivers and 24 CFX12S 12in high-performance subwoofers. The equipment was supplied via the long-term distributor of Renkus-Heinz in the region, Benum Nordic, and successfully integrated during the closing months of 2016.

www.renkus-heinz.com


SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF

www.installation-international.com

47

SWEDEN

Yamaha system strikes a balance at Stockholm nightclub AV specialist Watt & Volt has redesigned the audio at Stockholm’s Underbara nightclub. Located in a former cinema in the basement of a block of flats in the SoFo district, Underbara had previously been subject to regular complaints about noise levels; but a comprehensive renovation, also with the audio redesign, has allowed the venue to maximise the club experience while not disturbing the locals. On entering Underbara, there are several Yamaha VXS5 full-range loudspeakers, powered by a compact PA2030 power amplifier, covering the venue up to the main dancefloor. From here the main audio system comprises four DXR12 and four DXS15 powered loudspeakers, managed by an MTX3 matrix processor and controlled by a pair of wall-mounted DCP1V4S panels.

www.yamahaproaudio.com

UK

Christie projectors in new refugee exhibition

www.christiedigital.com

SWITZERLAND

SiliconCore scores hat-trick at FIFA World Football Museum Three 3m x 2m SiliconCore Lavender 1.2mm LED displays, each 2400 x 1350 pixels, are a highlight at the Sportsbar 1904, a central hub of activity within the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich for both museum visitors and the general public. The displays show a complex range of content, including up to 16 matches being streamed simultaneously. As the venue’s layout can be changed for evening conferences, the screens need to show additional content such as FIFA showreels, advertising and presentations.

A centralised management system means content can be updated easily by the in-house team, enabling additional revenue streams to be maximised through advertising. Selected here by integrator AVS Systeme, the Lavender 1.2mm LED display was the first with a pixel pitch this fine, from any manufacturer, to feature front-service access.

www.silicon-core.com

A new exhibition at London’s Barbican uses thermal images from a military camera and Christie M Series 3DLP projectors in a video installation on the journeys of refugees. The Christie projectors show the luminous footage in remarkable detail and clarity, at an enlarged size. The camera’s telephoto capability can pick up staggering details of the human form from a great distance; the Christie M Series can render that level of detail because it is designed to maximise every facet of the video pathway. Projecting along the wall are three Christie HD10K-M dual-lamp projectors. When enlarged in a three-channel display over the curved wall of The Barbican, even a human hair filmed from hundreds of metres appears crisply articulated.


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

Global

www.newbaymedia.com LONDON – NEW YORK


TECHNOLOGY

Kit you need to know about

PRODUCT OF Sennheiser THE MONTH Digital 6000

It’s… the latest member of Sennheiser’s professional wireless microphone range. What’s new? It brings the benefits of the long-range mode of the benchmark Digital 9000 system to a two-channel receiver. Details: The Digital 6000 series comprises a two-channel receiver (available in two different versions), a bodypack and a handheld transmitter, and a rackmount 19in charging unit. The receiver’s switching bandwidth of 244 MHz (470-714 MHz) is covered by three transmitter versions (470-558MHz, 550-638MHz and 630718MHz). Up to eight receiver units can be daisy-chained without the need for an additional antenna splitter; the multi-channel system will work with a single pair of antennas. System latency is 3ms. The system uses true bit diversity to maintain reception quality. According to Sennheiser, this is a more effective technique than switching diversity or true diversity; the last two use either the RF signal of a single antenna or the audio signal of a single reception path, while true bit diversity combines the information

content of both reception paths for an optimum signal. A Link Quality Indicator on the receiver informs the sound engineer of any issues. If the signal gets temporarily corrupted to such an extent that the transmission error correction can no longer repair it, the intelligent error concealment of Digital 6000 steps in, employing intelligent learning algorithms to replace the corrupted part. Digital 6000 has been designed to keep additional investments as low as possible: existing antenna infrastructures can continue to be used, as the system works with standard active and passive wideband UHF antennas, with the highly frequency-selective input filters being contained in the EM 6000 receiver. Digital 6000 is compatible with Digital 9000 in long-range mode and with the EK 6042 digital/analogue camera receiver. For data security, Digital 6000 features switchable AES256 encryption, with the transmitters also supporting the proprietary encryption of the Digital 9000 system. The Digital 6000 transmitters use the same high-performance rechargeable accupacks as their Digital 9000 counterparts. The SKM 6000

handheld transmitter features Sennheiser’s standard capsule interface; it can therefore be used with any microphone head from the evolution wireless Series, the 2000 Series, and also with the special 9000 Series heads. Integration into analogue and digital workflows is seamless. Frequencies can simply be placed in an equidistant grid – which is helpful to users in congested RF environments. Additionally, Digital 6000 is fitted with an automatic frequency set-up function. Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager (WSM) software can be employed to control and monitor the wireless system. A new, user-friendly menu control with a bright white OLED display gives a quick overview of the RF signal, link quality, audio signal, battery status, frequency, transmitter name and encryption. Several home screens provide easy access to further information, without the user having to navigate through submenus.

Available: Now www.sennheiser.com


50 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS „ Aquavision MirrorVision+ Now available off the shelf, the most popular sizes from Aquavision’s Bespoke range: 833mm x 550mm, 1028mm x 670mm or 1300mm x 815mm – portrait or landscape. Behind the MirrorVision+ glass, a 16in or 22in LCD Aquavision TV (in a choice of models) is hidden – undetectable when switched off. Aquavision says it achieves a perfect balance between the conventional reflective ‘silver’ mirror and the minimally reflective glass required for TV viewing. MirrorVision+ is fully waterproof to IP66 and manufactured with forward projection heated screens to avoid misting. www.aquavision.tv „ Extron WAP 100AC This ceiling-mounted dual-band wireless access point is engineered for heavy network traffic and demanding business environments. Available in an EU and a US version, it supports 802.11a/n/ac on 5GHz and 802.11b/g/n on 2.4 Hz, as well as PoE+ standards. Four internal highgain antennas maximise network performance and expand device network connectivity. It can be used to provide wireless access to devices running the Extron Control App. www.extron.com „ Helvar Illustris A Bluetooth-connected touch-sensitive panel in glass or plastic, Illustris controls Helvar lighting systems and DALI Type 8 colour devices for humancentric lighting applications. It can connect to Helvar’s SceneSet app, which allows remote operation via a smartphone or tablet. A choice of different fascia graphic layouts is available, including a scene control panel, a full-colour control panel, and a colour temperature control panel. It is designed to fit most UK/DIN/EU back boxes. www.helvar.com „ Platinum Tools ezEX-RJ45 This tool enables installers to terminate RJ-45 cables on site. It consists of the EXO Crimp Frame and two interchangeable dies that work with ezEX-RJ45 and EZ-RJ45 connectors to accommodate variations in cable and conductor diameters from different cable manufacturers. Terminating a cable is simply a matter of feeding the individual conductors through the connector and then closing the frame, which crimps them and cuts them flush. The connectors are rated up to 10Gbps. www.platinumtools.com

April 2017

Planar MX46HDX, LX55HDX It’s… two new LCD videowall modules in the Clarity Matrix range.

What’s new? These modules have a tiled bezel width of just 1.7mm, half the size of previous-generation models. Details: The new models also feature Clarity Matrix ColorBalance, an innovative colourmatching tool, which makes it easy to achieve consistent colour and brightness across the entire videowall. The 46in Clarity Matrix MX46HDX offers the highest pixel density of all Clarity Matrix models, and is suitable for applications with a close viewing distance or touch interactivity. The 500-nit brightness, 55in Clarity Matrix LX55HDX offers high performance, 24x7 reliability and easy installation, at a lower price point than Clarity Matrix MX models. It is suitable for indoor environments with controlled ambient light, such as surveillance and security

command centres. Both models are integrated with the Planar EasyAxis Mounting System, which is optimised for extremely narrow bezel widths and offers perfect panel-to-panel alignment. The displays also have an installed depth of less than 3.6in. Optional Planar ERO technology provides an optically bonded glass front that increases the ruggedness and optical performance.

Available: Now www.planar.com/Matrix

K-array Domino It’s… K-array’s new full-range speaker line. What’s new? These three compact stainless steel speakers with plug-and-play capabilities don’t require presets and can be driven by any amplifier. Details: The largest and most powerful of the line, the punchy-sounding KF212 (pictured) is comprised of a 12in coaxial transducer with a titanium dome and a 12in passive radiator. With a depth of 20cm, the KF212 it is suited to clubs, lounges and live concerts. The mid-sized option, the KF210, has a 10in and a 3in neodymium magnet woofer coaxially mounted, in addition to a 10in passive radiator. It has selectable impedance and wide vertical and horizontal coverage. Less than 12cm deep but with a maximum SPL of 109dB, the KF26 consists of a 6in and a 2in neodymium magnet woofer coaxially mounted, plus a 6in passive radiator to extend the bass response. It has a selectable impedance (8/32) and 90° horizontal and vertical coverage.

The passive KF26 can be transformed into a self-powered speaker by inserting the KA1-FF amplifier accessory. Wall brackets are included, while other product-specific tools are available for purchase, such as flush mount recessing frames. Available finishes are 24K gold plate, brushed or polished stainless steel finishes, and standard black and white.

Available: Now www.k-array.com


Now available

DIGITAL 6000

Compromise is not an option when everyone is counting on you.

Better performance, quicker setup, immediate payoff: Digital 6000 was developed to exceed the expectations of audio professionals and business managers alike. Our new professional wireless series delivers reliable performance in even the most challenging RF conditions. Intermodulation is completely eliminated by Digital 6000, enabling more channels to operate in less space. Discover more: www.sennheiser.com/digital-6000

Digital 6000 utilizes groundbreaking technology from our agship Digital 9000. Dependability is guaranteed by our renowned Long Range transmission mode and proprietary audio codec. Digital integration is seamless with AES3 and optional Dante output. Monitoring and control of the two-channel receiver is at your ďŹ ngertips, with an elegant, intuitive user interface.


52 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS „ Lifesize Live Stream

RTS ROAMEO

The latest addition to the cloudbased Lifesize application is a simple, flexible and secure solution to live-stream company meetings, executive updates, training sessions through Lifesize HD cameras and phone systems. Lifesize Live Stream enables an unlimited number of virtual meeting rooms to simultaneously live-stream events, with up to 10,000 viewers and 50 videoenabled sites per event. A real-time Q&A feature lets viewers ask questions directly from the live streaming page. Events can be recorded for later sharing. www.lifesize.com

What’s new? Offering full professional intercom keypanel functionality in a beltpack format, it brings the most advanced professional-grade long-distance wireless communications to RTS intercom systems.

„ Ecler eIC5154

Details: Operating like a wireless keypanel,

It’s… a wireless intercom solution based on the licence-free DECT standard.

A cost-effective in-ceiling speaker from Ecler’s ESSENTIALS range, the eIC5154 is certified to EN54:24. Featuring a 5in woofer in an ABS body, it features clip-type input terminals and a power tap selector that enables it to operate at 0.38W, 0.75W, 1.5W, 3W or 6W at 100V. Sensitivity is 92dB at 1W/1m. www.ecler.com

ROAMEO can be fully integrated into all existing wired digital RTS matrices. The system consists of the TR-1800 beltpack, the AP-1800 access point and accessories including charger, holster and pole-mount kit. The system allows users to address either individuals or specified groups. ROAMEO’s cellular structure can cover a wide area with superior audio and seamless roaming between the individual cells. The coverage area can be expanded by adding further access

„ Polycom

Nexo

RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex

Promising lifelike videoconferencing at an affordable price, RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex and offers Skype for Business and combines HD audio and an 18ft videowall with three 4K UHD display screens. Remote participants are life-size, and their voices are clear. It can be customised to suit different spaces and budgets. www.polycom.com „ Vision

Optical HDMI cable

Shipping now are two new HDMI cables, 30m and 50m long. They use thin and flexible multi-mode optical fibre, so the external diameter is only 2.5mm x 5mm. Vision’s fibre cables are wrapped in strong, heat-resistant synthetic Aramid fibres – also used in ballistic-rated body armour fabric. The cables come with a lifetime warranty. http://visionaudiovisual.com

April 2017

points, while additional wireless beltpacks can be directly addressed as part of a wired RTS matrix intercom system. Users can choose a codec with a higher emphasis on voice quality (G.722 full bandwidth), or one that makes more efficient use of the radio spectrum with a higher number of beltpacks (G.726 narrow-band). Connection to a digital matrix is easily established via a single Ethernet cable. In addition, the system can use standard IT infrastructure, which ensures easy installation and low maintenance costs; the access points can be daisy-chained.

Available: Spring 2017 www.rtsintercoms.com

NeMo 2.0 It’s… the new version of Nexo’s NeMo system management software.

What’s new? Although NeMO was first launched on the iOS platform in 2013, this new version sees every feature now replicated on macOS, so that users have the choice of going wired or wireless. Details: The new functionality of NeMo 2.0, says Nexo, will transform operational control of its systems. Users can monitor the electronic parameters of amplifiers over a wireless network, in real or past time, and store the data as a log. Advanced sensing functions in the NXAMP, which help protect loudspeaker cabinets, are easier to exploit. The macOS version features an offline mode: users can create offline devices, edit their settings and later match them to online devices. Using custom control panels, users can create interfaces

which offer an ‘extraordinary’ level of control. NEXO NeMo version 2.0 now embraces NEXO’s new DTD Controller, allowing the remote control of one or several DTDs simultaneously, including preset, patch, EQ, compressor, gain and delay editing, as well as level monitoring.

Available: Now http://appstore.com/mac/nexonemo


CALL FOR

ENTRIES

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Deadline for entries is Monday 24 April If you are interested in sponsoring the awards please contact sales@ibc.org

IBC.org/innovation-awards


54 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE

April 2017

Large-venue projectors There’s little consensus among manufacturers as to what defines a projector as a ‘large-venue’ model: the selection here comprises models with a brightness range from 5,000 to 32,000 lumens, and weighing anything from 6kg to 100kg. Ian McMurray reports

Smaller, lighter weight Designed for professional, simulation, visualisation, signage and large-screen applications where image uniformity is a critical concern, the Digital Projection INSIGHT Dual Laser projector delivers 27,000 lumens at 4K resolution with a native contrast ratio of 2,000:1. Its weight of 100kg, the company says, is around 40% of that of competing 4K projectors. The INSIGHT Dual Laser is 3D-capable, offering both sequential and dual pipe formats. Dual flash processing and dark time insertion are said to offer greater flexibility and comfort when projecting in 3D, and the system can be synchronised for active glasses. Featuring Digital Projection’s ColorMax

One of the EB-L1000 series of corporate and higher education projectors, Epson’s EB-L1505U is a 12,000-lumen 3LCD WUXGA model (with ‘4K enhancement’). Native contrast ratio is 2,000:1. Laser-illuminated, with a custom mode that can mean 56,000 hours of operation, the EB-L1505U is equipped with an inbuilt camera for accurate image calibration. It benefits from 360° installation flexibility, so can be placed virtually anywhere, thanks to vertical ±45° and horizontal ±30° keystone correction and a new range of motorised lenses, including optional ultra-short throw. technology for accurate matching of projectors in tiled or blended applications, together with scaling and edge-blending, the INSIGHT Dual Laser can be controlled via the Projection Controller PC Application, enhancing its accessibility and ease of use.

www.epson.eu

www.digitalprojection.com

Smallest 30,000+ lumen projector The new five-member UDX large-venue projection platform has just been launched by Barco. With combinations of 4K and WUXGA resolution and either 32,000 or 22,000 lumens, the company says that the UDX is by far the smallest integrated cooling 30,000+ lumen projector available. Customer feedback was, Barco notes, fundamental to its design. Driven by a 30,000-hour laser phosphor light source that gives it significant installation flexibility and featuring 3-DLP technology, the UDX platform also implements ‘Pulse’, Barco’s new low-latency 4K electronics subsystem,

Offering 360° flexibility

making it suitable additionally for broadcast and live events. It supports the TLD+ lens range, which offers a lens shift of 130° up and down, making it an attractive option for existing Barco rental and staging customers.

www.barco.com

Dual lasers deliver 8,000 lumens

The BenQ LU9715 is an 8,000-lumen WUXGA resolution projector driven by 1-chip, dual-colour wheel DLP technology and a dual BlueCore laser light source rated at 20,000 hours, or 45,000 hours in eco mode. With a claimed contrast ratio of 16,000:1 (100,000:1 when Dynamic Black functionality is used), the LU9715 supports a range of eight all-glass lenses. Three picture modes – bright, presentation and cinema – are available to optimise the on-screen image.The projector features a liquid cooling system for superior reliability in 360º and portrait installations, and is suitable for 24/7 operation.

www.benq.eu


TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE 55

www.installation-international.com

Projector combines 4K resolution, 20,000 lumens Christie says it has designed the Boxer Series to give customers choices and performance upgrade paths, minimising initial outlay and longer-term cost of ownership. Among the range is the Boxer 4K20, a 4K resolution 20,000-lumen 3-DLP technology projector. With four mercury lamps for failsafe operation, the Boxer 4K20 features Christie Twist technology for inbuilt warp and blend functionality, while the company’s TruLife processing is said to maximise image quality. A high bandwidth multi-input card (HBMIC) provides versatile connectivity, with preview capability and fast syncing or switching between inputs. 4K 60Hz over a single cable and direct fibre input is possible for up to 10-km runs when used with a Christie Link transmitter. At 73kg and rugged in design, the Boxer 4K20 is designed to be easy to transport.

www.christiedigital.com/emea

Brightest projectors in the range The brightest projectors in the Panasonic range, at 31,000 lumens, are the recently announced PT-RZ31K series with laser phosphor illumination. Described as being exceptionally compact and with a lightweight body, they feature WUXGA and SXGA+ resolution together with the company’s proprietary SOLID SHINE laser technology which is designed to deliver long-lasting bright and immersive pictures with 24/7 continuous operation without colour degradation. The range is compatible with Panasonic’s existing 3-Chip DLP projector lenses, allowing operators to utilise lenses in their inventories. The units’ Real Motion Processor uses frame-

www.nec-display-solutions.com

http://business.panasonic.eu

Designed with installers in mind Featuring the company’s SuperColor and SonicExpert technologies for colour and sound enhancement, the ViewSonic Pro8530HDL delivers full 1080p resolution and 5,200 lumens of brightness. Other members of the Pro8 Series include models with WUXGA and WXGA resolution. All feature vertical lens shift, 1.6x zoom, a

Projectors are filterless Said to be the first filter-free laser projectors, the NEC PA803UL and PA653UL feature a fully sealed optical engine that allows brightness to remain high without the risk of dust-based ingress and image degradation. The two models deliver 8,000 and 6,500 ANSI lumens respectively, and are designed to give highly flexible installation possibilities, with 360º positioning support in any direction. They also feature motorised zoom and focus and interchangeable lens options. Resolution in both cases is WUXGA, backed by 4K60Hz image signal processing and Rec2020 colour conversion. They are designed for environments such as museums, meeting rooms and high-end education, as well as the rental sector.

creation technology, which Panasonic says reproduces extremely smooth video images with minimal motion blur. They also benefit from an airtight optical block and hermetically sealed dustproof image devices. The laser light source also allows for flexible installation, with vertical, horizontal and tilting 360º projection.

sealed engine, and horizontal/vertical keystone correction with 4-corner adjustment. They also come with PortAll, an enclosed HDMIMHL connection compartment that supports streaming media from wireless HDMI dongles/MHL connectors and also fits HDBaseT set modules such as ViewSonic’s HB10B transmitter/receiver. According to ViewSonic, the Pro 8 Series has been developed with installers in mind, with features including a tool-free bilateral opening top cover, 4-in-1 power button, centred lens, power cable locking system and a rear cable cover. Connectivity includes four HDMI inputs, VGA, S-Video, RCA, Ethernet and RS232.

www.viewsoniceurope.com

Two lamps provide flexible operation

Eight lens options available

The WU1500 dual-lamp WUXGA projector is the brightest in Optoma’s ProScene range, delivering 12,000 lumens. It features twin lamps that can be operated together to deliver maximum brightness, or alternatively the ‘lamp relay’ function can be used to alternate between individual lamps. Capable of being installed at any angle along its horizontal axis, the WU1500 can also operate in portrait mode. HDBaseT connectivity is also provided.

Vivitek recently expanded its growing family of large-venue projectors with the launch of the 7,500 ANSI lumen 4K-resolution DK8500Z. This uses a laser light source to deliver 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation. It offers motorised lens shift and a lens position memory function. Installation flexibility is maximised by the availability of eight optional lenses, ranging from 0.38:1 to 5.31-8.26:1 throw ratio. These, together with built-in edgeblending, warping and portrait-mode projection with 360º, make the DK8500Z appropriate for a wide variety of installations.

www.optomaeurope.com

www.vivitek.eu


56 TECHNOLOGY: DEMO OF THE MONTH

April 2017

window for corporate video, its own internal information, and live RSS feeds of news, travel or weather updates.”

Signage editor

Tripleplay Bart 3.0 Paddy Baker is shown the latest software for updating Tripleplay systems, which puts the emphasis ease of use and visual design

A

t the Reflex Tech Day in March at the Business Design Centre, London, I was given a demonstration of Tripleplay’s new Bart 3.0 software by Adele Thornton, account manager with Tripleplay. Tripleplay’s Media Video Player (MVP) is an enterprise video delivery platform that can be used for digital signage, IPTV, video on demand and more; and Bart 3.0 is the application that is used to access and customise it. “One of the ways we differentiate ourselves is that it’s not just about content on a screen –

it’s content relevant to you, at that time,” she explained. “So if I work in a university working and I’m in a particular faculty, I’ll only see information relevant to my faculty; similarly if we were pushing this out to student desktops, they’d only get the information that was relevant to them.” The example of the MVP used in the demo was designed for a hospitality provider, but it can be tailored for any company, with its own logo and background images. “So this could be a corporate organisation with a preview

One of the new features in Bart 3.0 is the 3Create visual signage editor. This enables signage screen layouts to be designed in seconds, even by non-technical staff. Thumbnails of all the available assets are shown in a column on the right-hand side of the screen. To create a screen layout, simply drag and drop the desired elements onto the preview area on the left of the screen. These can be rearranged and resized until the desired layout has been achieved. Content for these layouts can be updated using the Quickdrop function, which has been improved for this software release. “It’s essentially like a shortcut on your desktop. You don’t need to know about MAC addresses, IP addresses, or which boxes are talking to which screens,” explained Thornton. “If I’m a receptionist, for example, if someone gives me a link to some content, I don’t need to worry about what size or format it’s in – I just open up my Quickdrop link, drag and drop the file, and I see the change in a second.” The new content is added to the layout that the Quickdrop link is associated with. A wide variety of file types are supported here, including images, videos, PowerPoint and even live streamed content. Also new in Bart 3.0 is a more visual treatment of the node hierarchy. Set-top boxes and other devices can now be added or reassigned via drag-and-drop without having to go into the system back-end. In summary, said Thornton, “it’s more visual and easier to use. We’ve hidden away some of technology and made it more about users, so there’s less of a need for training.”

www.tripleplay-services.com


PLANYOUR MONTH AHEAD

This month’s pick of what to read, visit and learn takes in a major trade show in China, a vertical solutions showcase in London, plus interactive audio and advanced AV integration

PICK OF THE MONTH

InfoComm China LEARN

Forum and InfoCommAsia University Seminars, which combine classroom learning with handson experience. www.infocomm-china.com

READ

will be new to the show. The associated Summit programme includes the IT Forum (looking at the next generation of VR), the Digital Signage Asia Forum, the Smart City Forum, the Smart Hotel

ATTEND

Held in Beijing, this year’s biggest-ever InfoComm China will host more than 300 exhibitors, 52 of which – from China, USA, Japan, the UK, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong –

NEC Showcase 2017

Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio

Advanced AV Integration Principles

Running on 17-18 May as part of London Digital Signage Week, NEC Showcase will present fully integrated AV solutions tailored to match the specific needs of many vertical sectors. This year’s venue is Victoria House, London WC1 – centrally located for excellent transport links and access to the capital’s diverse attractions.

What does it mean to interact with sound? How does interactivity alter our experience as creators and listeners? Where does interacting with audio fit into our understanding of sound and music? New in paperback, this book explores the full range of interactive audio in video games, performance, education, environmental design, toys and artistic practice.

Run by CIE AV Solutions with CYP, this free one-day course for AV integrators and home automation pros takes place in Nottingham on 27 April and in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Shepperton on other dates in 2017. It covers HDMI, UHD, HDBaseT, AV-over-IP distribution and signal control.

www.showcase-nec.com

https://cie-group.com/news/cie-av-academies


ULTRA-COMPACT MODULAR LINE SOURCE Packing a 138 dB wallop, Kiva II breaks the SPL record for an ultra-compact 14 kg/31 lb line source. Kiva II features L-Acoustics’ patented DOSC technology enhanced with an L-Fins waveguide for ultimate precise and smooth horizontal directivity. WSTŽ gives Kiva II long throw and even SPL, from the front row to the back, making it the perfect choice for venues and special events that require power and clarity with minimal visual obtrusion. Add to that a 16 ohm impedance for maximized amplifier density and a new sturdy IP45 rated cabinet, and you get power, efficiency and ruggedness in the most elegant package. www.l-acoustics.com

Installation April 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world

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