Issue 201 / May 2017
AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD
CONTROL ROOM CHALLENGES Operator-centred designs demand new approaches p26
Picture this p10
High dynamic range explained
AV and broadcast p20
It’s getting harder to tell them apart
Cloud-based services p32 The only way is up
Install awards 2017 Has your project made the shortlist? Turn to page 14
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Editor: Paddy Baker email@example.com +44 (0)20 7354 6034
Designer: Tom Carpenter firstname.lastname@example.org Content director: James McKeown email@example.com
Senior staff writer: Duncan Proctor firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6037
Production manager: Jason Dowie email@example.com +44 (0)20 3829 2617
Sales manager: Gurpreet Purewal firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6029
Digital director: Diane Oliver email@example.com
Account manager: Ollie Smith firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6026 US sales – Executive vice president: Adam Goldstein email@example.com Head of design: Jat Garcha firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors: Ken Eagle, Rob Lane, Ian McMurray, Steve Montgomery Special thanks: Alex Couzins, James Cumpsty, Katie Gray, Stephanie Vlegels Cover image courtesy of Barco
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Online ISSN: 2052-2401
Technology, ﬁlms and life
ne summer, back in my student days, some friends and I went to see the latest James Bond ﬁlm in the seaside town where we were staying. Emerging from the cinema, we chanced upon what I suppose was a very early form of digital signage: a glass case containing a map of the town, ﬁtted with buttons that were labelled with the names of various attractions. When you pressed a button, the corresponding point on the map lit up (whether with a single LED or a torch-style tungsten lamp I can’t now recall). With our heads still full of Bond-ery, we pretended that this was a hightech display in the baddie’s HQ, tracking the progress of a missile, nuclear submarine, or whatever. Ah, the exuberance of youth... Paddy Baker, Editor That just shows the gulf that existed back then between tech firstname.lastname@example.org on ﬁlm and tech in mundane everyday life. More often these days @install8ion you come across the exact opposite: you watch a movie that’s only a few years old and something that was cutting-edge, or even futuristic, now looks hopelessly old-fashioned compared with what is now commonplace. I can only think of one instance when technology in a ﬁlm that I initially thought unrealistic seemed far more plausible on watching again many years later. It’s in Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford’s Deckard is looking though old CCTV footage and progressively zooming in to see ever-greater levels of detail. At the time I thought this didn’t make sense: the zoomed image should be horribly pixellated or grainy. I later realised that, in this far-ﬂung future (2019!), the video could be shot in extremely high resolution, with the CCTV system scaling the output to suit Deckard’s display.
‘In a high-tech age, it’s hard to impress ﬁlmgoers by simply showing them technology’ The holographic projections and wallpaper-style TVs in Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone’s home in Total Recall (1990) I still ﬁnd aspirational; and, of course, it is a legal requirement that any discussion of advanced technology in ﬁlms mentions the gestural interfaces and holographic displays in Minority Report (2002). (Curiously, all three ﬁlms are adapted from stories by Philip K Dick. Is this signiﬁcant, I wonder?) Returning to real-life tech: whenever I see someone with Apple’s wireless AirPods in their ears, I can’t help thinking of the Doctor Who story where ubiquitous entertainment and communication headsets are revealed to have a more sinister purpose: converting the hapless wearers into Cybermen. (Was this a metaphor for easily led technology consumers?) If there’s a common thread to these musings, I guess it’s that, in a high-tech age, it’s hard to impress ﬁ lmgoers by simply showing them technology; it helps if it’s served with a large amount of imagination. But then, of course it was imagination that made us turn that illuminated map in a sleepy seaside town into a giant display in a supervillain’s lair.
Viewpoints 06 Regional Voices: UK 08 Opinion Rob Lane on why acoustics are more important than ever Ken Eagle looks at the challenges that come with the advance of HDR 12 Interview Alessandro Tatini, founder of K-array, talks about the companyâ€™s origins and its distinctive design philosophy
20 AV and broadcast We consider the continued convergence of the AV and broadcast worlds as well as the impact of the transition towards IP 26 Control rooms A look at the evolution of the control room workspace and the new approaches this operator-centric model demands 32 Cloud services To what extent has the growth of cloud-hosted services in the IT sector been replicated in AV?
Solutions 38 Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg This new concert venue has been fitted with a wide-ranging AV system that incorporates a beam-steering sound system, scenic lighting components and seven stage management consoles 42 SSE Arena, Belfast A new Tripleplay Digital Signage and IPTV solution has helped this high profile venue fulfil its ambitions for greater customer engagement 44 Divina Bellezza, Siena An impressive multimedia spectacle utilising projection mapping was staged at this historic 13th century Tuscan cathedral 46 Solutions in Brief Including an InstallAwards-shortlisted arena sound system upgrade in Amsterdam, an energy efficient GDS house and work lighting system and a fully digital audio system install in Romania
Technology 51 New Products Including Riedel, Christie, Merging Technologies and Matrox 54 Showcase: audio consoles
Also inside 14 InstallAwards 2017: Project Awards shortlist revealed
16 Show review: Prolight + Sound 2017 36 Installation Roundtable AVMI panel discussion on digital workplace transformation
06 REGIONAL VOICES
UNITED KINGDOM Now that Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered Article 50, our UK country survey asks some questions about the effect of Brexit on the installation sector
here’s one issue affecting the installation market in the UK that is unique among those we survey: the country has officially handed in its notice to quit the EU. So we decided to ask our selected group of readers about Brexit and their business. First, though, let’s look at a couple of broadbrush measures for the sector. A significant majority of respondents felt that confidence levels were the same as six months ago – with ‘higher’ being the next most popular answer. Around two-thirds of our sample expected their company’s revenue to grow over the next 12 months. We also asked our respondents about what they thought the business trend would be this year across a number of key verticals. The results yielded no surprises: digital signage, corporate and retail headed the list, while growth expectations were muted for hospitality, sports venues and houses of worship. Now, Brexit. Around two-thirds agreed, or strongly agreed, with these two statements: ‘Many product prices have risen as a direct result of the weaker pound since the Brexit vote’, and ‘Overall project costs are increasing as integrators pass on product price rises to their clients’. (For both of these, ‘neither agree or disagree’ was the next most popular response.) We wondered if this pressure on prices was having an effect on the equipment speciﬁed in projects, so our next statement was ‘Rising product costs have led to more affordable brands being speciﬁed in installation projects’.
Responses were more varied here – in fact they were split roughly equally three ways between ‘agree’ or ‘agree strongly’, ‘disagree’, and ‘neither agree nor disagree’. So it seems fair to conclude that higher-end brands are suffering, to a limited extent, in the UK currently. Other thoughts about Brexit were about the present situation and the recent past, rather than speculation about the future. “Our biggest concern as an integrator is sterling weakness and steep inﬂation in the products that we provide,” said Graham Cording, MD of Smart Presentations. Another respondent said that, following a period of indecisiveness over projects after the referendum result last June, “the market seems to have recovered somewhat, but project costs
Annual GDP growth rate, January 2017 Source: tradingeconomics.com
have increase due to sterling devaluation hitting imported equipment.” So at this stage, it seems that the UK installation market craves a strong currency and clarity about the future, so that decisions can be taken with conﬁdence. However, with a general election in the offing, and the two-year Brexit negotiation period just starting, it remains to be seen if the market will get its wish.
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 Retail Education Museums/visitor attractions Performing arts venues Worship Sports venues Bars, clubs, restaurants NO CHANGE
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08 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Rob Lane Acoustically sound Why acoustics are more important than ever
s anyone with a modest grasp of acoustics will tell you, the purest venue for a one-onone conversation is outside. In the correct conditions, there is zero reverberation time (RT) outside, which means that when someone speaks, the sound immediately dissipates, allowing the next word to be heard without being ‘infected’ by reverberation from the ﬁrst. Sure, other factors outside can introduce additional problems – wind, birdsong, road works – but in the purest sense, outside is where it’s at, acoustically. So, how does RT affect and infect the inside of buildings – where the majority of us do our talking and? Of course, it depends upon a number of factors, including ceiling height, size and shape of room, substance of the room’s walls, furnishings and so on, but the smaller the room, the trickier the acoustics. This is because most research has focused on large auditoriums or small recording studios – not videoconferencing or hi-ﬁ demo rooms.
diffusers, more generally seen in recording studios and hi-ﬁ demo rooms (try not to visualise egg boxes!) – and it’s easy to see why RT is such an issue in today’s UC-heavy workspaces. “Acoustics should be a major priority for anyone building a collaboration space, but it’s fair to say though that it is often neglected by some,” Wayne Mason, EMEA UCC general manager & practice lead at Westcon, told me. “Our pre-sales consultants are always thinking about RT and how a room might be affected by glass tables and hard walls. They always ensure that dampening is speciﬁed and that the human voice is optimised.”
‘One might assume that acoustics would be at the forefront of any decisions regarding technology. Unfortunately, architects and interior designers often have other priorities’
UC and acoustics With uniﬁed communications such a huge part of AV these days, one might assume that acoustics would be at the forefront of any decisions regarding technology. Unfortunately, architects and interior designers often have other priorities: when you consider that AV has, for many years, been a secondary consideration, it’s not really surprising that acoustic design treatments take second or even third place also! Working environments are often packed with highly reﬂective materials like glass and metal; add tables and AV kit, and acoustics in a boardroom can be very problematic indeed. Add to that the fact that interior designers are generally not fans of acoustic treatment kit – such as baffles and
Although Westcon doesn’t sell acoustic treatment equipment, the company always brings in acoustics specialists and is set to ramp up its pro audio requirements and specialisation. With the demand for UC continuing to grow, as more and more facilities managers are tasked with creating tech-heavy boardrooms and huddle spaces, it’s clear that other UC specialists need to also place more importance in acoustic treatments.
Marylebone. Renowned for its approach to selling hi-ﬁ components and systems (based on client relationships), it boasts one of the best listening rooms in the UK – and it’s set to get even better. KJ has been in discussions with Artnovian, which ‘pushes the boundaries of acoustic engineering’ with an array of attractive acoustics treatment products. Artnovian has proposed a series of treatments that would make a stunning-sounding demo room even more stunning. The proposal includes attractive bass absorption panels in the corners of the room, sound diffusers/ absorbers on the walls, and further diffusion designs above to maintain the ‘energy’ of the room by ‘acoustically raising’ the ceiling. “The sound diffusers/absorbers will help with the central imaging, taking care of the ﬁrst reﬂection point but not destroying the life of the sound –not a full-range broadband absorber, in other words,” Chris Adair, CEO of KJ Cinemas, a division of KJ West One, told me. “In the ceiling there is diffusion to maintain the energy in the room – very important with domestic hi-ﬁ in particular; you don’t want the room to sound dead.” Even if it were realistic to install a boardroom or a home cinema in the acoustic-friendly outdoors, the challenges to audio engineers would be myriad. In the acoustic-unfriendly indoors those challenges multiply, ironically as more technology and technology-facilitating hardware is speciﬁed. If acoustic design isn’t front and centre, across all pro or consumer AV projects, it’s pretty clear – loud and clear in fact – that it should be.
Even better listening In the consumer AV world, one hi-ﬁ outlet that understands the true value of acoustics is the highly respected KJ West One, in London’s
Founder/director of Bigger Boat PR, Rob Lane likes to dampen the sound of a navvy’s jackhammer by placing a goosedown pillow over his head.
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10 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Ken Eagle Getting heads around HDR High dynamic range represents a major advance in image display, but it comes with challenges
DR is a very exciting development for the AV industry. It provides information about brightness and colour across a much wider range than standard dynamic range (SDR). The result is greater detail, due to enhanced contrast levels and more vibrant images created from a wider colour gamut throughout the image, from the very brightest to the very darkest objects. Rather than simply ‘brighter’ and ‘darker’ that viewers have been used to with SDR for many years, HDR shows that level of brightness or darkness in the differences in colour and detail. Even with HDR content on lower-resolution displays, viewers tend to choose HDR as the better picture. But while the pictures speak for themselves, there is a lot of information in circulation that is both incomplete and confusing. In video, ‘high resolution’ is frequently used as a way of saying ‘better’. But higher resolution is not the most important factor to the human eye when evaluating image quality. Colour and contrast are what make a picture really stand out, what make it seem more ‘real’. This is what HDR delivers, through increasing both the contrast spectrum (dynamic range) of every pixel and the colour range (gamut) that each is capable of reproducing. (HDR refers both to the technology used to capture moving images and that used to display them.) HDR is a standard feature of cinema and TV cameras. With AV displays that can accommodate and display the extra image information, the industry now has to develop the signal transfer infrastructure to handle HDR transmissions.
Bandwidth One of the primary issues that integrators need to consider is bandwidth. Handling HDR data requires
more than 11 Gbps (up to 18Gbps), so only AV equipment compatible with HDMI 2.0 has enough headroom. But this comes with severe limits of just a few metres on transmission distances. Even then, only equipment meeting the recent HDMI 2.0a or 2.0b specs supports HDR metadata, making the correct choice of source, display and components in between absolutely critical. AV equipment will also need to support HDCP 2.2, the current protection scheme on most content.
‘Only equipment compatible with HDMI 2.0 has enough headroom. But this comes with severe limits on transmission distances’
One such solution is the new Atlona Centum 301 CEA, which utilises HDBaseT. Using VESA Display Stream Compression (DSC), a visually lossless technology, it applies extremely light compression (1.5:1 or less) to the 18Gb HDR signal, allowing transmission of HDR over a single category cable up to 100m, while ensuring pristine image quality.
HDR ‘format wars’ Another challenge facing integrators is that HDR is not a universal format; there are currently four standards. The two best established are the proprietary Dolby Vision and the more openplatform HDR10. The main differences? Dolby Vision supports up to 10,000 nits peak brightness, with a current peak brightness target of 4,000 nits, and 12-bit colour depth; while HDR10 supports up
to 4,000 nits peak brightness, with a current peak brightness target of 1,000 nits, and 10-bit colour depth. In short, Dolby Vision currently has slightly (and potentially considerably) higher video quality. Alongside Dolby Vision and HDR10 are the newer Hybrid-Log Gamma (HLG), developed mainly as an HDR format for live video, and Advanced HDR, aimed at broadcast media and upscaling SDR video. However, while integrators need to be aware of the different formats and to match the correct AV components for their clients, manufacturers are producing equipment that embraces a number of formats, although Dolby Vision requires a playback device with the Dolby Vision hardware chip. Currently, quality HDR content is still fairly thin on the ground, making the increased cost in hardware and cabling more difficult to justify. HDR media players, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles are helping to the bridge the gap, but it will take quality streaming HDR content to really get purchasers embracing the medium. Although HDR currently presents challenges for integrators, it brings signiﬁcant beneﬁts – including the potential for increased revenue that HDR’s easily demonstrable qualities offer. Integrators who are prepared to face the technological challenges of selling, installing and supporting HDR now can differentiate themselves from the competition and have a head start with this exciting new technology. The biggest drawback to HDR really is that, once you see it, you won’t want to go back. Ken Eagle is director of ﬁeld training and technical sales at Atlona.
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INTERVIEW: ALESSANDRO TATINI, K-ARRAY
‘Something a bit crazy – as usual’
Since the company’s distinctive ﬂat panel array speakers were released just over a decade ago, K-array has been known for taking a different approach to loudspeaker design. Paddy Baker talked to its founder and president of R&D about the company’s origins, design philosophy and what makes it stand out from the rest
s a loudspeaker manufacturer, K-array been in business since 2006, but the company was founded in 1990. At that time, says Alessandro Tatini (known as Alex), founder and president of R&D, “we were a small local rental company, doing some installation work, especially in churches and conference rooms.” There were three people in the Florence-based company then: Tatini, his father and Massimo Ferrati (today, company president and CFO). From the very beginning, the company designed and built some of its own products, including microphones and ampliﬁers. “Around 1994, an Italian pro audio company saw some of those products installed, and they asked us to produce those products with their brand,” explains Tatini. That was the ﬁrst step to becoming a manufacturer, although for the next few years, until around 2000, the company “did a lot of R&D for a lot of Italian and also foreign pro audio companies”. Around this time Tatini recruited two other people to the R&D team. “Around 1996, 1997 we became more of a real production operation, and we started to do some
production of mixers for an Italian brand, and some speakers and mics.” Another major milestone was in 2000 when the team started developing and manufacturing products for its own brand, XXL. “This was related mostly to the MI market, and had 90% of its turnover in Italy and a few per cent in other European countries.” They ran this for eight years before selling it to another Italian company.
Global market In 2006, they decided to return to their roots in installed sound and rental, “and to try to design products that looked to a global market, not just to the Italian market”. The aim was to produce high-performing products at reasonable prices. “We were aware that you cannot produce cheap in Italy, there’s no way to do that – so we decided to focus on quality and innovation.” K-array’s ﬁrst major product was the original KH4, a the ﬁrst slim array speaker, just 6in deep. Tatini says it acted as “a kind of calling card for us” for around ten years – production was only discontinued last year with the introduction of a new line. In 2008 Sennheiser started distributing K-array
“almost all around the world” – which Tatini describes as “a very proﬁtable collaboration”. This continued up to a couple of years ago, when Sennheiser decided not to distribute any more third-party brands, he says, but “we kept a very nice relationship with the guys there, including the two Sennheiser brothers.” The result was that 60% of K-array’s turnover changed its distribution network in the space of two months. “The period 2015-16 was challenging for us on the sales side. But today the situation is really better, because we don’t have kind of just one big customer, but a lot of independent distributors, with whom we have individual relationships. We’re growing at almost at the same rate that we were accustomed to when we started with Sennheiser, so we are really happy.”
Fixing something How did the ﬂat panel array come about? There was a need for innovation at that time, says Tatini. “The market was full of regular standard line arrays. That doesn’t mean bad quality, but the approach was almost the same for all the brands. We understood that for there to be
A brief biography Together with his father and Massimo Ferrati, Alex Tatini founded K-array in 1990 as a rental company in the Florence area The company began designing and manufacturing equipment for other companies in the mid-1990s, and created its own brand, XXL, for the MI market in 2000 After selling XXL, the company returned to its roots in installation and rental in 2006 and produced the KH4 slim array panel K-array was distributed by Sennheiser in many markets around the world between 2006 and 2015. Today, the company has numerous distributors worldwide another one like that couldn’t make any sense.” The market only needed another product if “it could ﬁx something relevant out there”. They still had strong connections to the rental market, and so talked to sound engineers and PA engineers about any needs and so on, trying to understand which of their needs had not been met. “We learned that the weight and size of a line array element were really critical in a lot of applications. We understood that focusing the energy towards the audience was already a need, but at that time it was not that easy to do it electronically. We decided to approach it in a different way from other companies that were creating a cardioid pattern using a back speaker and DSP processing” – because that approach adds complexity and cost. “We decided to try to ﬁnd a way to ﬁnd a way to use the back energy produced by the main speaker itself. Being out of phase can create a cancellation in the area you need. So we started to play with the shape, and with sound-absorbing material, and we created a kind of a natural cardioid element. “It’s still a challenge today to be in the ﬁrst league of touring systems because it’s rideroriented, but already at that time we were being compared to ﬁrst-class systems: in performance, we were up there, and with half the normal weight and size.” “And with Sennheiser we understood that we were unique, our uniqueness was really a jewel, especially in the installation ﬁeld. So the idea of reducing the size of the product and keeping the performance up there was something that was great for architects and designers, so we decided to focus our attention there. That’s why for almost ten years we didn’t create any other product for the live sound market, for concert applications. Three years ago we decided to restart the design of the new line of line arrays.”
INTERVIEW: ALESSANDRO TATINI, K-ARRAY Other line array companies must have had the similar conversations with customers about weight and size, but no-one else came up with what K-array produced. Can he think why that should be? “There’s a choice I believe that needed to be made, and nobody took the courage to make it,” he says. A ﬂat array element can’t produce frequencies as low as a conventional cabinet, “which is why we created powerful subwoofers that go up to 120kHz to close the gap”. Passing these frequencies to the subwoofer “in our opinion is a great advantage because when you have these lower frequencies on the main clusters, you have two cylinders spreading energy on the stage, where you don’t want it at all.”
Developments We’re talking at Prolight + Sound, where the company is showing many of its new and current products. For the installed market, these include the Anakonda ﬂexible array speaker, which is presented in an appropriately snake-like form at the front of the stand; the small Kobra and the tiny Lyzard line array elements; and the new Domino compact fullrange speakers. K-array’s latest offering for the live market is the Mastiff stage monitor, and it also has a number of portable systems. So what are the priorities now in terms of product development? “Oh my god – we have many developments!” he laughs. “We are working in a lot of directions, both for installations and for live sound. We renewed the whole line two years ago, and this year we completely redid the stage monitors, but there is still something cool that we are working on for the live market.
materials we are continuously searching, not only for the transducers, but also for the chassis,” he says. “I think we are most unique in the market in using stainless steel as a structure.” “We use aluminium, not only because we like to play with expensive materials, but because it’s a perfect heatsink. The box itself becomes the heatsink of the loudspeaker. In the design, the magnets are in contact with the frame – there’s a special part to transfer the heat.” Regarding transducers, “there’s a common idea that a speaker is a speaker and everything that’s possible has already been done. That’s not what we feel, honestly.” Overall, he says, there is no single secret to K-array’s speaker designs, “but maybe there are 10 secrets, and each one increases the performance by 1dB and adds half an octave to the range”. He agrees that software is becoming more and more important in loudspeaker development, although he admits that “it’s something I’m not that deeply involved in. But I love to speak with the ‘nerds’ in the R&D department developing ﬁrmware and software – I love their language, though I don’t understand it all. “Compared to ten years ago we are putting much more effort in that direction. Today it’s an important element of the R&D.”
‘The market was full of regular standard line arrays… the approach was almost the same for all the brands’
For installation, “every day there’s something new being developed. I believe in R&D we are working on 12 or 13 projects in parallel. Some of them are in the research period; some of them are really in between; and a few of them are in the development period, where we are working on the industrialisation of the project.” Part of the research effort includes “something a bit crazy, as usual. Maybe it will become something in a few years. From all this crazy stuff, about 10% becomes a product. Some of it never sees the light of day.” We talk a little of other developments in speaker technology and materials. “In terms of
Can he look into a crystal ball and say anything about either how K-array will be in, say ﬁve years’ time? He explains that the company generally creates a “a three-year programme and a ﬁve-year dream, so I roughly know where we want to go.” While some details must remain conﬁdential, he drops an intriguing hint: “We will move a bit along paths that are normally not ours, but we are looking at strongly. We will evolve as a company and as a manufacturer.” And will K-array still be as different from the competition as it is now? “Yes, I can say deﬁnitely that for the next ﬁve years, that’s still the idea. It’s in our DNA. There’s an Italian saying: ‘It’s hard to get an artichoke from an apple tree’ – there’s no way it can happen.” So K-array looks set to continue to defy convention. “I believe also it’s the key to our small success, so we need to stay focused on that.”
14 INSTALLAWARDS 2017
Install awards 2017
Pick of the projects Now a ﬁxture in the AV industry calendar, the InstallAwards are back with the fourth edition taking place on Thursday 29 June in a new central London venue. Here we reveal the shortlist for the six project awards
he InstallAwards 2017 will take place on 29 June at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington. The event is returning to an evening format, and will feature presenter and stand-up comedian Jimmy McGhie as host. We will be recognising the most innovative projects and products from the past 12 months, and will also be focusing once again on the people and teams behind the projects. For this year’s ceremony, the Team Awards return and we will be naming another Rising Star from the industry. Introduced last year, the Installation Hall of Fame is back with another three inductees to be named. A slight change from last year means the winners of the Project Awards in each of the six categories will face each other to compete for the new Project of the Year Award. The awards will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts from a broad range of disciplines. Thank you to everyone for entering and best of luck to all those on the shortlist.
Focus 21 – Bayer’s Green Park UK HQ CDEC – UCAS HQ
Best Education Project ● Hewshott International, Reﬂex, Polar – University of Hertfordshire Science Building ● Saville Audio Visual – Sheﬃeld Hallam University Lecture Theatre ● Antycip Simulation – Glasgow School of Art ● Pure Audio Visual Ltd, Axis Communications – Royal Oldham Hospital ● ZeeVee – NTNU ● GV Multimedia – The Oculus, University of Warwick Best Retail/DOOH Project ● Absen Europe – Starterre ● Engage Works – Monsoon/Accessorize ● Embed Signage & AVMI – Roche Bobois, Harrods ● Eclipse Digital Media – MATALAN ● ADI.tv – The Beacons ● Viewsonic – Fnatic BUNKR
Best Corporate/Industrial Project ● Snelling Business Systems – IET Savoy Place ● Holovis – BAE Systems Academy for Skills & Knowledge ● Hewshott International – David Malcolm Justice Centre ● proAV – Aviva – Project Swan, London
Best Hospitality Project ● K-array – Nobu Hotel Eden Roc Miami ● Lairds of Troon – Firth Pavilion ● LG UK – Creams Café ● Soluis Group – Stadium Project Virtual Reality Suite ● Visual Systems Sales – Brain Box Room
14-15 Install201 InstallAwards_Final_Digi.indd 1
Best Venue Project ● Powersoft – Queen Elizabeth Hall Antwerp ● d&b audiotechnik – Amsterdam ArenA ● Tripleplay – SSE Arena Belfast ● LG UK, SSUK, Bristol Sport – Ashton Gate Stadium ● Riedel Communications – Olympique Lyonnais Stadium ● Shure Distribution, QSC, Autograph – Perth Concert Hall Best Visitor Attraction Project ● Sarner – Cittadella Visitors’ Centre ● Holovis – The Don, Bollywood Parks Dubai ● Casio Projectors UK, LCI Productions Cheddar Gorge Caves ● Bravo Audiovisual – Viking Ship Museum, Oslo
COMING SOON... We will be announcing the product, team and people awards shortlists soon – please keep an eye on our newsletter, website and social media over the next couple of weeks for ﬁnalists in: Star Product Awards People and Team Awards ● Installer’s Choice: In-House Team of the Year ● Marketing Team of the Year ● Distribution Team of the Year ● Rising Star Hall of Fame ● Grand Prix ● Outstanding Contribution Award ● Lifetime Achievement Award
1 ADI.tv – The Beacons 2 Bravo Audiovisual – The Viking Ship Museum Oslo
6 Focus 21 – Bayer’s new Green Park UK headquarters
On the night
7 Holovis – BAE Systems Academy for Skills & Knowledge
This year’s edition features a brand new venue and host, and takes place in the evening.
3 Casio Projectors UK, LCI Productions – Cheddar Gorge Caves
8 Lairds of Troon – Firth Pavilion
4 Embed Signage & AVMI – Roche Bobois, Harrods
9 Powersoft – Queen Elizabeth Hall Antwerp
5 Engage Works – Monsoon/Accessorize
10 Visual Systems Sales – Brain Box Room
Millennium Gloucester Hotel 4-18 Harrington Gardens Kensington London SW7 4LH Nearest Underground station: Gloucester Road
When? Thursday 29 June 2017
Order of events Here is the schedule for the evening:
Dress Code: Black Tie
For tickets and table bookings, please contact Maeve Nicholson email@example.com +44 (0) 203 871 7378
To find out more about the different sponsorship packages available, please contact Gurpreet Purewal firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 207 354 6029 Ollie Smith email@example.com +44 (0) 207 354 6026 Additional event information can be found here: www.installawards.com
16 SHOW REVIEW: PROLIGHT + SOUND
Prolight takes ﬂight While 2017 won’t go down as a vintage year in Prolight + Sound history, there was still plenty of exciting new technology on display. Paddy Baker reports from the Frankfurt show
s ever at Prolight + Sound, there was plenty of activity on the loudspeaker front, so let’s start there. New from Martin Audio was the Wavefront Precision Series of multipurpose line arrays. Comprising the WPC (2 x 10in LF) and WPM (2 x 6.5in LF), the new line arrays have been designed to bring Martin Audio’s signature sound, coverage consistency and control “at a much more compelling price point,” according to R&D director Jason Baird. Wavefront Precision introduces the idea of ‘scalable resolution’, where the number of ampliﬁer channels can be varied.” Managing director Dom Harter explained: “Simply put, the more boxes with dedicated ampliﬁer channels, the higher the resolution and scale of coverage control achievable. This means even at the lowest level of resolution the results are still fundamentally better than traditional line array, at no extra cost, and at the top end of resolution users can enjoy many of the beneﬁts that MLA systems provide.” The highlight on the Adam Hall Group stand was MAUI P900 powered column PA system, unveiled by the company’s pro audio brand, LD Systems. It’s a near-production concept PA system developed in collaboration with Porsche Design Studio. “We are introducing a brand new kind of design into the industry,” said Alexander Pietschmann, Adam Hall CEO. The system includes class D ampliﬁcation and Lynx DSP technology and to shape the beam, SonicGuide and WaveAhead technologies. It has been ﬁtted with 50 mid-high transducers in the columns, and two bass woofers in the base. Additional features include stereo Bluetooth streaming, stereo line input and a dedicated output for system pairing.
CODA Audio launched its new three-way Arrayable Point Source System (APS) at the show. According to the company APS is a revolutionary approach to reinforcement systems for medium-sized applications, combining the userfriendliness of a point source with the arrayability of a line array. APS aims to addresses the limitations of traditional point source systems by offering ﬂexibility and performance standards. CODA believes that for many medium sized applications, point source solutions cannot provide enough sound pressure while a line array might be oversized and expensive. Luke Jenks, who joined CODA as US managing director last autumn after 20 years with Meyer Sound, said: “We feel we achieve unique results.” He added that the company is investing in markets including Germany and the USA. New from L-Acoustics was Syva. Known as a segment source system, Syva features six 5in medium-frequency speakers and three 1.75in high-frequency diaphragm compression drivers, loaded by DOSC waveguides in a J-shaped progressive curvature. Suited to medium-throw applications, it is designed for professional sound reinforcement and high-end residential applications that require high ﬁdelity and SPL with minimum visual impact. As well as being an ampliﬁer manufacturer, Powersoft is also a technology developer for loudspeaker manufacturers. The company’s power modules have been used in many active loudspeakers over the years. The two latest power modules in its range, the MiniMod 4 and LiteMod 4HC, were on display at the show. One Powersoft customer is Funktion-One, which launched the BR132, a massive impressive 32in bass reﬂex speaker, at the show. It utilises
Powersoft’s high power M-Force linear transducer and M-Drive ampliﬁer along with Funktion-One’s own cone, surround and enclosure technology. It is particularly effective in applications requiring deep, strong and well deﬁned sub-bass at close range. The ﬁrst installation, for which the product was created, is at New York club Output. Audac presented the new NOBA bass cabinet, with a distinctive curved shape. Because of its 4mm thick aircraft-grade aluminium cabinet and its powerful 300W 8in woofer of, NOBA can deliver an extremely low frequency response for its small woofer size. It is available in passive and active versions.
Consoles, microphones Yamaha announced that its compact TF consoles now come with 8-channel Dan Dugan automixing. These are the most affordable consoles on the market to offer this feature, available in a ﬁrmware upgrade. “This will make it very interesting to events professionals, corporates, education – any application with multimixing,” said Karl Christmas, senior product specialist. DiGiCo revealed a new DiGiCo S App for controlling S Series consoles straight from an Apple iPad. Remote users can connect wirelessly to the console, select any available console bank, and control functions such as channel setup, mix, EQ, dynamic, auxes, bus routing and more – all without being tied to the console. On show from Cadac was the CDC seven, which you can read about in our Showcase (pp54-56). Microphones now: manufacturer Audix is perhaps best known to installers for its ‘workhorse’ M3 tri-element hanging ceiling microphone. Although, like most microphone companies, its heritage is in the MI industry, sales and marketing VP Chris Doss told us: “The future
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18 SHOW REVIEW: PROLIGHT + SOUND of the company is in installed sound and wireless products. There is huge potential for us to expand into the installed space – especially in areas that are currently underserved.” The show saw the ﬁrst press event for new DPA Microphones CEO Kalle Hvidt Nielsen, who was appointed six months earlier. Previously he was with measurement microphone company Bruel & Kjaer, the company from which DPA was originally spun out. He said he had been “surprised at the level of passion among our customers – musicians, TV networks and audio technicians.” To mark the company’s 25th anniversary, he announced a world tour of more than 25 cities, which will offer DPA product training to customers.
Other audio, video Optocore announced the release of the SFX7 Network Interface Controller, a total network solution suitable for all manufacturers and professional integration clients. The module, designed to be built into third-party product boards, will offer ﬂexibility, interoperability and integration for any product – all on ﬁbre, and fully IP-based. The controller features 1,000 channels of audio plus data for advanced control. As a full IP system it will offer the built-in Ethernet switch to create one large IP network with all other nodes – without any external equipment. Designed for simple plug-and-play operation, it will also provide the lowest latency on the market. Optocore’s application engineer manager Maciek Janiszewski said: “Any product can be integrated with the most powerful audio network in the world – and that includes the complete Optocore portfolio as well as other manufacturers’ products equipped with the module.” d&b audiotechnik released two new software features: Array Veriﬁcation, and the ArrayCalc Viewer app. Part of the latest version of the R1 Remote control software, Array veriﬁcation can be used to identify the position of a loudspeaker in an array, allowing it to be compared to the simulated set-up in ArrayCalc. Any cabling issues can be found, and corrected, quickly and efficiently. The ArrayCalc Viewer displays all ArrayCalc data for positioning and ﬂying a d&b system on smartphones and tablets, making sharing of optimised project designs easier. At the Manufacturer’s Forum, new CMO David Claringbold, former director of Sydney Opera House, gave a presentation entitled Sound Futures, which explored how sound connects us to our world, our art and our ideas. Out Board, developer of the Timax spatial audio platform, moved into the VR marketplace with the new TiMax SoundHubVR. This addresses a speciﬁc need for mobile, tightly synchronised,
20 INTERVIEW: RÉGIS CAZIN, GRÉGORY
Catching up with APG
specialist, even if I am an electronic engineer. So I could understand what makes good sound, but what I discovered that in terms of market is it’s very special – it took time to understand that. You have networks of relationships, you have brands with known names, loyalty and existing partnerships: people know a brand for years: unless that brand makes some major mistakes, they will continue to work with them. And they don’t want to take any risks. So it takes a long time to establish a new brand, a new technology.” Active Audio was growing but, for these reasons, not as quickly as he wanted. Growth from external sources was considered: in fact, Active Audio’s name came up in internal discussions as early as 2014, but “it was too early,” he says.
CAZIN, GRÉGORY DAPSA
new arrangement s. “The compatibility of the now built-in DSP ampliﬁ companies and managemen ers, to cover the full t and philosophy is spectrum of customers’ really, really strong,” says Dapsanse. needs.” Cazin says: “I’m still amazed to see so many Assembly synergies – much more than I expected at the The companies share beginning before knowing APG deeply.” another philosophy First, when it comes to the actual there’s the obvious one of having the building of the boxes. sales All assembly, for both force working across brands, is in France. both brands. As far as Component sourcing distributors are concerned, for APG is 90% from France, Cazin notes: “The less for Active Audio. idea is to keep the two networks separated, “Assembly, we want to keep in France,” insists but with mutual know-how, Cazin, “but we have and of course if one to save some purchasing can aid the other, it will be done.” However, costs and so probably for in APG we will have to territories where one ﬁnd other suppliers.” brand is not represented , it is hoped the other “We had an exclusive brand’s distributor partnership with PHL, will [a driver manufacture step in. “They are not obliged to do r close to Paris] – and this, but it is that was very practical an opportunity.” for us,” reveals Dapsanse. “For the next step, it makes There are also technical sense to open the synergies to be door to other manufacture gained: “In the ﬁeld Synergies of digital signal processing, rs – in Italy and Germany – that will give us which becomes more The two parties made opportunity to be and more important contact last November, more in the competitive.” pro audio industry, at the JTSE show. Right from the start, I can say that Active Audio is he really strong in that says, the idea of the “But we want to keep ﬁeld” – and so it can two companies working that ‘Made in France’ share feel,” emphasises its knowledge and together just made Cazin. “With Nexo speed up APG’s product sense: “Everything and was so L-Acoustics [here], development in that obvious, the synergies we really have an area. were so readable.” industry to Cazin do this, so let’s do invited the APG team There’s more too, it!” he hints: “It’s too early to visit Active Audio to tell at you what, because Nantes “to put all What about the market the info on the table. it’s just at the beginning, focus? While Active It was but Audio is totally committed we have ideas for clear at the end of products that could the day we had much to the installation merge the more market, with products technologies of both synergy than I could companies.” such as the StepArray have imagined on my own.” digital steerable array Cazin comments: “My ﬁrst analysis and the Ray-On column of APG loudspeaker, APG’s was they have great loyalties are around knowhow, they have 60% a rental and touring good image in terms and 40% installation. of sound. People are ‘The compatibility of the companies very loyal to the APG brand, “Over the last ﬁve years we focused and they love the and management and philosophy a lot on APG the rental market. sound.” However, But now we think “the customers also it’s time think is really, really strong’ to extend our market there is a lack of innovation in theatre, sports for new products halls, houses of worship… and, I would say, a There are a lot of good lack of communicat ion for examples of markets the last two, three, we could address four years.” He points together to with Active Audio, “a lack of leadership” because more and as a fundamental more we issue see in ﬁxed installation for APG in recent years – the “lack of markets, for new venues, a real there is a requirement boss giving the direction, That’s not to suggest for PA messaging any blurring of the giving some targets and a high-powered sound brands. “In terms of to achieve”. market and products, systems. Consider the we Asian market, there want to keep the markets Cazin has shifted responsibilit is a particular market as they are now,” ies around for the casinos, hotels says Cazin. Broadly within the company, with bar rooms, restaurants, speaking, low-power producing a clearer karaoke... we can supply loudspeakers, generating structure with more speciﬁc individual the whole thing. up to 95-105dB SPL That makes sense are typically Active responsibilities. (Putting for integrators and Audio products; high-power a positive spin on sound the designers: that they speakers are APG’s old APG, he characterise territory. can get the same global s it as “a democracy”. ) support from two In his new role Dapsanse APG’s next product French companies launch will be the is still in charge of supplying Uniline the whole system… Compact, at Prolight product strategy, but not product developmen that could be easier + Sound – a developmen to t t. manage, to design, that, Dapanse stresses, “It was too much,” to integrate. That confesses Dapsanse. predates Active is part of the Audio’s strategy.” One director is in charge involvement. Its predecessor of purchasing , the Uniline – a modular and manufacturing, There’s plenty more line array range that and there is another to get excited about can be with the new arrangement scaled to suit small responsible for R&D venues all the way : Prolight + Sound – “and we are building will see up to a both brands sitting large festivals – was schedule of product on the booth of their launched ﬁve years launches for the next new ago. 36 German distributor, “After a few years months,” says Cazin. AHA Audio. (Dapsanse without launching In addition, as part a main quips, of a “When people ﬁrst innovative product, new investment plan, hear APG speakers, we decided to come recruitment has already they say, back to ‘A-ha!’”). development... So started within the What’s more, Active this was the task R&D function. “That’s Audio – which still of 2015 – very has its own development going back to the important, because DNA of APG.” if we want to develop agenda, of course – will we debut an EN54-certiﬁ need to add new products, He continues: “So ed loudspeaker. we are there with so we will increase new products in non-convent the development The curtain goes up forces.” Cazin says in Frankfurt. Mesdames ional line array, with he is et messieurs, take your our modular concept, committed to this expenditure, and seats: but be ready and also an important it could to give Active Audio and APG extension of the electronics even increase if sales a standing ovation. outperform expectation range. Now we s. will have a complete Both men are enthusiastic range of electronics about these www.apg.audio with external processors, simple ampliﬁers but www.activeaudio.fr also
Just over a year ago, Installation talked to Régis Cazin and Grégory Dapsanse about their plans for French loudspeaker manufacturer APG, following the establishment of A the strategic alliance with Cazin’s company Active Audio. Prolight + Sound provided an opportunity to catch up with the duo. “In a way it’s been like we expected; in another way, it’s been different,” said Cazin. He explained that sales had been lower than expected initially, as a consequence of some earlier business decisions, “but now we are recovering from that low curve. We have restructured and enriched the commercial team… we have a team of sales engineers that is always on the road doing demos. “With products like the Uniline Compact, it’s been amazing. When we showed the product last year we were sure of the quality of the system, but every time we do a demo of the system it has the ‘wow’ effect and the customer wants to have it... The Uniline Compact is APG’s new ﬂagship product, its performance and ﬂexibility makes us very conﬁdent in the future.” Dapsanse added: “After one year, I can say that we are on the right road, because all the feedback we have is very positive. I think we have recovered the former positioning of APG: working close to the professionals, willing to understand their expectations, their needs and so on.” A major change involves the technical teams from both companies. “We have taken the decision to move the industrial part of APG [from Paris] to Nantes [in Brittany], to merge the technical teams in R&D and manufacturing,” said Cazin. He gave an example of how each company’s expertise can beneﬁt the other: “We have a smaller subwoofer, SB110; these are made for Active Audio, smaller subwoofers than APG customers need, but the know-how has come from APG – so it’s branded Active Audio. Symmetrically, we are working on DSP software which is not in the knowledge of APG but is in the DNA of Active Audio, so Active Audio engineers are working with APG engineers to do something that both couldn’t have done alone. It is very interesting to see that.” Active Audio has just taken a majority sharehold the two manufact ing in APG. Paddy urers to ﬁnd out what’s Baker and Dave Robinson behind the deal and talk to how both sides expect to beneﬁt PG Audio’s Grégory
Dapsanse admits Nantes-based Active that the French manufacture Audio has acquired r’s 60% independent European of APG’s shares, and press conferences Régis Cazin, Active audio distributor. While, at trade expos – CEO, says Dapsanse, the has joined APG in particularly Prolight Paris, becoming CEO plan had always been + Sound – have of both to develop APG through companies on legal always been conducted completion of the technical innovation with a little deal and international developmen (expected at the end “theatre”. Here’s the of March). new loudspeaker t, by 2015 he and product, his colleagues felt that here’s an enthusiastic Cazin explains: “I really it was time “to ﬁnd user to say a few wanted to keep the another way to manage the existing shareholders favourable words, company”. and then – plop, glug-glugas shareholders because they are operational glug, chink-chink – have a drop of zesty people, and I need them to organic More fun develop APG and wine and a piece of the company.” These exquisite soft cheese. include An entrepreneur, Régis Dapsanse, who has Playing to the audience? been with the company Cazin has been a part Oui, monsieur! of several start-ups since 1994 and is But, in the past couple moving from executive and also has experience of years, the VP for in taking over (and R&D, innovation and dramatics have had turning around) “distressed’ marketing to the to stop. APG Audio role of had businesses. Before marketing and business been losing its way joining the audio industry, and needed a new development director; script. he managed companies Philippe Frarier, one A fresh face to direct of the founders of the action, if you making electronics APG in will. for transportation systems. 1978, who moves Welcome then, to from CEO to the position the opening show He joined the audio of a whole of industry when he industrial director; new season. And took over at Active the head of Active and Jean-Luc Moncel, in 2008; Audio, the an the idea of working electroacoustic consultant steerable column somewhere “more loudspeakers and with long-standin fun than installation g the defence industry” links to the company. specialist, is in the director’s chair. appealed to him. The company had been APG Audio had been Prolight + Sound will founded in 2002 by independent since set the stage for his friend what Xavier Meynial, who 2004, following a managemen the companies are he calling an “equity says was more of t buyout from alliance”: a researcher than a SCV France, which businessman. at the time was the largest Cazin says: “I enjoy good sound but I was not a
20-21 Install190 Interview
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low-latency immersive audio locked to multimedia VR content, in a compact package designed for theme-park ride cars. The Agora stage area outside the exhibition is customarily used for loudspeaker demos – but Barco had a truck parked there to show off the new UDX projector series. Available in ﬁve models with up to 4K resolution and 32,000 lumens, the UDX projectors are very compact, and feature an on-board cooler. “Historically our projectors in this class have been tuned towards events and touring, but now we have a good ﬁt for ﬁxed installs too,” said Reggie Mortier of Barco. An interesting addition to AV Stumpﬂ’s product line-up is the new Wings Player. This powerful high-end digital signage player closes the gap between simple video players and fullblown media servers. It features automatic camera-based calibration and soft-edge blending for ﬂat surfaces, and can be upgraded for use in 3D projection mapping set-ups.
And ﬁnally… Visit any trade show and you will hear gossip; Prolight + Sound 2017 was no exception. The main topics at the show were the absence of
some notable manufacturers, particularly on the audio side, and also whether attendance was falling – some exhibitors thought traffic to their stands was lighter than in previous years, and the main audio hall, 3.1, felt less busy. (Frankfurt Messe’s official attendance ﬁgure of ‘around 100,000’ is for PL+S and the co-located Musikmesse, so we can’t make an exact comparison with last year.) Some exhibitors we spoke to felt that the continued expansion of ISE had drawn visitors away from PL+S, while others felt that they saw different audiences at the two shows. Crestron, for instance, concentrates on its German customer base at PL+S; and some of its end-user customers, particularly in public services, do not travel to other countries on business, sales manager Siegfried Hermann told us. At this stage, it’s hard to gauge how signiﬁcant this downward movement is. The ﬁnal verdict will come when the exhibitors review their investments in this year’s show and come to make their decisions for 2018.
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20 BUSINESS FEATURE: AV AND BROADCAST
Key Points The worlds of AV and broadcast are becoming increasingly similar – and AV integrators need to learn not only new skills, but a new vocabulary Distribution of video within an organisation or venue is, increasingly, a further example of the growing significance of IP
Crossing the streams
While implementation requirements vary from vertical market to vertical market, the underlying technologies are common to all For integrators prepared to invest in the necessary skills and understanding, the market is potentially a highly attractive one
Online video will account for 80% of worldwide internet traffic by 2019, according to Cisco – and businesses and organisations are making an increasingly substantial contribution to this ﬁgure. Ian McMurray reports on how the convergence of the broadcast and AV worlds is affecting this trend
f you were at ISE earlier this year, the chances are you heard a good deal of discussion about the impact of 4K and HDR. You probably heard people discussing the challenges of accommodating multiple portable screens. And you’d almost deﬁnitely have listened to conversations about the challenges – and opportunities – presented by IP. Conversely, if you were at IBC last autumn, you’d have heard people discussing what 4K and HDR might mean. You would likely have heard visitors wondering how to get content to multiple portable screens. And you’d certainly have overheard conversations about the opportunities – and challenges – presented by IP. Yes: the worlds of AV and broadcast are becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart – and nowhere are their growing similarities better illustrated than in the distribution of audio and video within corporate offices, leisure facilities, sports arenas and so on. Of all those similarities, the transition towards IP – the so-called ‘IT-iﬁcation’ of both industries – is perhaps the most signiﬁcant one. “AV over IP is quickly replacing conventional AV technology, and this really affects all markets,” says Erik Indresovde, director of AV products at Black Box. “We see a very quick adoption in the hospitality industry, where hotels, bars and casinos are trying to get dynamic messaging and TV signals out to a large audience, and corporate
AV and education are also growth areas for IP-based AV. Furthermore, it’s largely driven by integrators with a desire to provide their end customers with the most innovative and costeffective technology.” “Without doubt, the broadcast video/audio market is now very focused on the capabilities and advantages being offered by the IT industry,” notes Stephen Brownsill, audio product manager, TSL Products. “Many in the broadcast industry are now looking to adopt IT technologies not only to distribute their content, but to create it also.”
‘Broadcasters refer to workﬂows, while AV integrators refer to solutions or designs’ Craig Heffernan, Blackmagic Design
Viable fabric “Delivering video from a playout origin to the destination can be designed a number of ways,” explains Will Waters, director of product marketing for NewTek. “In very general terms, there are two
ways to deliver video: RF (radio frequency) and IP (internet protocol). RF has served us well, but in recent years, IP networks have gained the speed and capacity to become a viable distribution fabric. NewTek is developing IP-based video products to help integrators bring solutions to end-users.” “End-to-end IP video systems are in particularly high demand due to their capacity to receive, convert and distribute high-quality video content to any device connected over any network, enabling an organisation to create its own personalised TV and video service,” adds Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity. “In addition, IPTV systems are scalable and easily integrate with the broader AV and IT systems, including digital signage, CCTV or network monitoring platforms, and enable system administrators to access and control all components at once.” Exterity, as Farquhar notes, has a comprehensive range of products designed to enable organisations to harness their IPTV networks, from capture through encoding, transcoding and receiving to monitoring and control. According to James Keen, marketing manager, Tripleplay, video over IP need not be as complex as it may sound. “Essentially, you need very little equipment,” he claims. “Modern video-over-IP solutions, such as ours, allow IPTV and VOD streams to be delivered across an IP network, securely to SoC-equipped screens and smart TVs directly from the headend server with nothing
FEATURE: AV AND BROADCAST
in between. In this instance, all encoding and transcoding is handled by the headend server, with the end device handling the decoding. This method simpliﬁes implementation, reduces costs and makes for ease of upgrade.”
New vocabulary As the worlds of AV and broadcast converge, it’s incumbent on AV integrators to become proﬁcient in a new vocabulary. The broadcast world, for instance, routinely talks about a “headend” – the point at which content is received for distribution. There are others. “Simple differences exist in language and jargon between the two worlds,” smiles Craig Heffernan, technical sales manager at Blackmagic Design. “For example, broadcasters refer to workﬂows, while AV integrators refer to solutions or designs. But, if you understand the fundamentals of video signals, the use of broadcast products in a solution is only a matter of familiarising yourself with their features and operational use. “The integration and use of broadcast video/ audio products does require some understanding of differing features, signal carriers or connections,” he goes on, “but it shouldn’t be a reason to avoid using these technologies. ‘What is SDI?’ for example, is a common question. It’s simply a digital video carrier with embedded audio – the backbone of broadcast infrastructure, and incredibly reliable.” It was certainly interesting, at IBC last year, to hear a recurring refrain: “In the future, everyone will be a broadcaster” – a reference not only to the growing demand for video distribution systems, but also to the increasing commoditisation of the equipment needed to be a broadcaster. Bridge Technologies, for example, debuted NOMAD – a portable probe designed to troubleshoot and optimise IP networks, but aimed squarely at those who are just becoming involved with them. “Many organisations in corporate, ﬁnance, education, hospitality, healthcare, entertainment and sports consider themselves microbroadcasters,” says Farquhar. “The presence of broadcast-grade technology across these ranging industries has transitioned from a nice add-on to a necessary prerequisite to effectively and seamlessly communicate with a wide range of key audiences. Schools rely on broadcast-grade technology to educate and communicate with their students; hospitals use it to provide bedside entertainment options for patients; stadiums use it to feed fans with continuous live match footage and other engaging digital content throughout the venue – and the list goes on.”
Shaping communication “Video consumption is on the rise in just about every market sector we look at,” echoes Waters. “Video is becoming a signiﬁcant
Tripleplay delivers range of digital communications Interactive Coding Equipment (ICE) of Nottingham, UK was looking to deliver a broad range of content to screens throughout its facility – from business news to project documentation, from live TV to role-speciﬁc information such as the status of support tickets, and from employee communications to visitor welcome greetings in reception. ICE – which provides date, barcoding and labelling solutions for products and packaging – determined that it needed a combination of IPTV and digital signage, and turned to Tripleplay. The Tripleplay digital media solution – based on the company’s own IPTV platform – is described by ICE as ﬂexible and upgradeable, with the company having added new functionality since the original installation. www.tripleplay.tv method for standard communication within facilities of all sizes, and is shaping the way that we communicate in businesses, schools, houses of worship, government and legislative bodies, to name a few. It is now possible for even a small company to produce their video messages and distribute them to their employees over reasonably priced off-the-shelf networking gear and use standard desktops or mobile devices as displays.” A sector that seldom crosses the radar of the average European integrator, but that has always been a signiﬁcant AV opportunity in North America, is churches.
‘In sizeable event venues, such as stadiums or concert halls, broadcast equipment is driving digital imagery on large screens’ Bryce Button, AJA Video Systems
“In the house of worship market, having highquality broadcast technology is less critical, but that’s changing with the continued growth of mega churches that also offer access to their services online, “says Bryce Button, director of product marketing, AJA Video Systems. “When services are streamed, although latency is not as big of an issue, good picture quality is still valued. Furthermore, church attendees on-site are also increasingly expecting a broadcast-quality
experience from the screens in the venue and on many occasions for displays in rooms and areas outside of the main hall.” It’s not just about ﬁxed, in-house installations however, as Button points out. “Right now, in the pro AV market, we’re seeing a growing demand for broadcast-quality video/audio technology in live event settings from music concerts to sporting events,” he says. “In sizeable event venues, such as stadiums or concert halls, broadcast equipment is driving digital imagery on large screens, bringing the audience a more compelling experience. We’re also seeing an ever-increasing demand for high quality videoconferencing solutions in business environments, especially for live presentations with multiple camera streams and video channels that run at HD and UltraHD.”
Richer experience Heffernan too notes signiﬁcant interest from the rental/staging market, with Blackmagic’s broadcast video technology used to cover sports, live performances or staged events with video content being used to provide a richer audience experience. Although a broad range of industries and organisations are starting to see that not only is video distribution desirable, but also practicable and affordable, their requirements are, according to Keen, often not very different. “All environments have similar service requirements,” he believes. “There may just be a difference in the way they determine success of failure of a project. In smaller sports teams they may look at ROI, increases in sales, advertising revenues and spectator numbers – while in an enterprise environment, they will look at system
22 FEATURE: AV AND BROADCAST
uptime, increases in concurrent streams and system reliability as their yardstick. Uniform across both, though, is that these systems become mission critical – so they need good support services following the sale.” Waters takes a similar view. “All markets have their speciﬁc requirements,” he claims. “Facilities that provide entertainment, such as sporting arenas, are very concerned about the quality and look of the video to grab and keep the attention of the viewer – but higher resolutions and deep colours take up more bandwidth and increase cost. The HR director who needs to communicate new policies quickly may be more concerned about the hard costs of the components and, since they have a captive audience, may look for a value-engineered system.”
Universal requirements Reliable, high-quality technology with ease of use and set-up and low cost of maintenance are, says Heffernan, universal requirements. “This doesn’t change whether we’re working with a national broadcaster or a local education authority,” he declares. “While a broadcaster, or even a large live sports or music event, may have a more complex solution with multiple cameras requiring larger-scale distribution and production switching, the deﬁnition of the needs and selecting the right products for managing sources, distribution, monitoring and output can be the same. “As an additional requirement, a broadcaster will want to ensure they have full redundancy in any system, as they cannot send black frames to air,” he continues, “while an AV customer wouldn’t require the expense of redundancy. That customer will, however, have more of a demand for ﬂexible and adaptable solutions, perhaps with greater support for legacy hardware or use with analogue or standard deﬁnition platforms.” For Farquhar, the big opportunity for organisations – regardless of whether they’re sports venues, hotels/leisure facilities, corporate office or schools/universities – is the integration of IPTV with digital signage to create a single, uniﬁed communications channel. “Broadcast video, when integrated with digital signage, is a fundamental ingredient to achieving effective communications,” he believes. “As AV/IT convergence continues apace, digital signage has become a key component in delivering internal communications as a natural companion to an IP video system. The integration of digital signage and IP video speciﬁcally enables administrators to manage their communications systems seamlessly, to ensure the right content is being displayed on the right screens and to the right people within the organisation.” Indresovde believes there are similarities – and differences.
“Whatever the business sector, the primary concerns are the same: cost, quality, and futureprooﬁng,” he says. “The secondary concerns, however, can vary greatly. Anything having to do with government will be concerned with security and any vulnerability to conﬁdential information. Areas such as hospitality and education are more concerned with cost and ease of operation to reduce the amount of training required for the end users.”
‘All industries are intrinsically different in the way you engage them… this is the hardest part to master’ James Keen, Tripleplay
Enthusiasm The manufacturers’ enthusiasm for the opportunity is supported by the numbers. According to researcher Markets and Markets, the worldwide enterprise video market is expected to see a 16.7% CAGR between now and 2020 – by which time it will be valued at close to $37 billion. Credence Research puts the growth numbers slightly lower, forecasting a CAGR of 11.2% over the next six years. Market Research Future, on the other hand, sees higher growth – of 31% per year – but estimates the total size of the market as being slightly lower at $31 billion by 2022. Whatever the numbers, there seems to be a consensus that this is an expanding market – and therefore one that AV integrators will be eyeing with interest. The question, then, becomes how to address it? Should an integrator, for example,
focus on corporates, or sports facilities, or hospitality and leisure? “An AV integrator should expect to be reasonably versed in multiple sectors of the market, as there are many similarities and crossovers,” says AJA’s Button. “Whether you’re working in broadcast or AV, all system integrators are now expected to be more familiar with network protocols, network terminology and familiarity with IP, outside of the traditional pointto-point protocols and cabling systems that are the hallmarks of SDI over BNC cabling, ﬁbre runs and the like.”
Technology and skillset Keen agrees. “You can reasonably address all market sectors with the technical knowhow and skills – but all industries are intrinsically different in the way you engage them,” he says. “Many industries rely heavily on consultant input; many require personal relationships; and some require you to be on a framework. This is the hardest part to master: the rest is just technology and skillset.” According to Farquhar, the main challenge for integrators is to deploy solutions that can easily adapt to a number of industries with very different requirements. “For example,” he explains, “a stadium installation may require a solution that can encode content up to 4K, while a large scale corporation may require easy integration with other components like digital signage and videoconferencing. Integrators working across multiple sectors need to be able to respond to these varied demands.” Farquhar goes on to note the importance of content protection, with integrators needing to ensure that content is accessed and distributed legally, and that the latest content protection and anti-piracy legislation is adhered to. “With the proliferation of TV and video, organisations are now conscious of how important it is to ensure the right content is
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24 FEATURE: AV AND BROADCAST delivered legally and securely, with back-end user permissions in place to safeguard against illicit access,” he continues, “especially when the content is delivered over open networks like WiFi and the internet.”
Overriding prerequisite It becomes apparent that, while familiarity with the customer’s business and objectives is, of course, important, the overriding prerequisite for success in the market is familiarity with, and understanding of, the technology – a point reinforced by Waters. “AV systems integrators should be training up on and becoming experts in IP networks and IP technology,” he asserts. “This is the future of both the AV and broadcast video industries. As devices attach to the network, they can be connected, and new workﬂows will develop. Our world is full of video and this is not going to stop. A good integrator will also gain some knowledge of production. This will allow them to take a concept from the customer and make it a solution that is meaningful, powerful, and ﬂexible.” What advice do others have to offer? “For any audiovisual systems integrator looking to address the broadcast market, my advice would be not to underestimate just how
different the broadcast and AV markets are,” says Brownsill. “That said, the development of video and audio over IP formats, along with the solutions being offered by IT technologies, means that the technical differences between the two markets are set to reduce signiﬁcantly.” “Anybody deploying an IP-broadcast, IPTV-type solution must ensure it is genuinely futureproof,” believes Keen. “These technologies are not inexpensive, so when specifying any solution you absolutely must make sure that it is going to be a valid technology in ﬁve, ten or 15 years. It needs to be upgradable without huge expense, it needs to be deliverable across IT systems, it needs to integrate, it needs to ﬂex and it needs to deliver to many device types including some not yet invented. Integrators need to look at the future and determine which platforms will still be here in ten years and start learning about them now – otherwise, they’ll be left hard wired in the past.”
the applications of the future will be built will be similar – but knowing what makes great video and great audio will remain a key differentiator. Waters has two recommendations. “First,” he says, “the secret to success is to be willing to accept the change that is happening in the industry and keep up with trends. The second is that, as with any other application, AV integrators ultimately are responsible for creating a solution for their customers. This means selecting the right gear for the right application and having the expertise to conﬁgure it all together correctly. We at NewTek are very grateful for what the integrator brings to the process.” Despite their shared preoccupations, IBC and ISE will undoubtedly remain two very distinct – but increasingly complementary – shows. Those who have historically only visited one of them can certainly now justify attending both. What’s not to like?
Becoming increasingly alike As the AV industry migrates to an IP-centric, IT-oriented future, it becomes clear that, in some ways, broadcast and AV will become increasingly alike: at their heart will be the network. That’s not to underestimate the value that AV integrators will continue to bring: the foundations on which
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26 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: CONTROL ROOMS
Power to the people
Key Points Control room workspaces are becoming more attuned to the operator and tailored to suit their individual workflow This new model presents opportunities for integrators but there are a number of factors and components that need to be balanced to truly add value The growing functionality and influx of IP-based products does add extra security concerns
The high pressure and varied nature of control room environments attracts only the highest-spec AV equipment. And while the focal point has traditionally been the central videowall, the workspace is now adapting to a shift in emphasis designed to give operators greater autonomy, reports Duncan Proctor
he control rooms sector consists of a variety of applications, all with slightly different technology requirements. There are however, some universal truths meaning the solutions that populate control rooms require an incredible amount of rigour both in speciﬁcation and performance to do the job. As a result, control rooms command only the highest-spec equipment and demand the best in visual acuity, as the consequences of technological failures can be catastrophic. “The risk to organisations is simply too high to justify the selection of sub-par technologies,” says Jamie Adkin, VP sales EMEA at Adder Technology. As the sheer amount of available data increases, control rooms and operators are tasked with increasingly complex responsibilities, therefore it is crucial that their working environment is able to support them. This has resulted in an evolution in the control room workspace tailored more towards suiting the individual operator’s workﬂow, creating new methods of displaying the vast data streams and in some cases taking some emphasis away from the central videowall.
Key considerations An environment like no other, the control room places special demands on the AV solutions integrated. “Control rooms are 24/7 environments, so technologies in these rooms must be secure, reliable and multi-level redundant, built on the latest hardware and software platforms like support hot-swappable and remote deployment, automatic failover,
automatic calibration, virtualisation-ready software,” comments Suchit Rout, strategic alliances and business development manager at Barco. Key considerations for any control room system integration are the primary needs for reliability, long-term durability and low cost of ownership. However every room is unique, so hardware versatility and ﬂexibility are also crucial to being able to tailor a solution to the client’s speciﬁc requirements. Some of the trends impacting control room environments are indicative of wider shifts in technology, while others are speciﬁc to command centres and signal a move to empower operators with greater autonomy and ﬂexibility. A theme in line with general shifts across AV is the move away from desktop monitors to larger 4K displays for operator workspaces. The greater pixel density means that what has been thought of as ‘videowall information’ can now be displayed at the operator level. Furthermore, the technology is now available to deliver premium video quality at ultra-low latency and bandwidth. This, as Samuel Recine, director of sales, Americas and Asia Paciﬁc at Matrox Graphics points out, “makes it possible to have ‘more’ video, ‘more’ distance and ‘more’ interoperability between equipment.”
New model Barco’s Rout agrees about the trend: “There is indeed a move towards a user-centric and workﬂow-centric model, giving operators all possible tools and technologies to do their job in the most effective and efficient way. This
translates into two primary ways in which control room operators and managers engage with situational awareness. One involves the overview display wall with the common operational picture for visual collaboration with all decision makers in the room. The other involves the ability to not just view but also interact with all information sources on a unifying operator workspace on their desks.”
‘Ultimately, we must provide technologies that create ﬂexibility for the operator, allowing them to design their own visual workspace’ Jamie Adkin, Adder Technology
What effect this model is this model having on the technologies needed in control rooms? Rout says: “This calls for a change in the control room infrastructure. For example, operators need direct access to all information, coming from many disparate sources often from differently secured network layers. But for security reasons, these networks cannot often be interconnected, so typically every legacy source needs a separate computer. This means the operator needs to physically switch between workstations, each with its own keyboard/mouse combination, or use an archaic hardware KVM switch, which enforces mapping one source to one monitor. The most
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28 FEATURE: CONTROL ROOMS elegant way to solve this is to integrate all these sources into one uniﬁed workspace irrespective of the number of monitors, which the operator can control from one central keyboard and mouse. OpSpace, Barco’s operator workspace solution, does exactly this.” Adder’s Adkin concurs: “There’s no doubt that we’re seeing more control rooms adopt an operator-centric approach during the design phase. This begins with the room design, taking into consideration lighting and technical furniture, which must all align with preferred visualisation technologies. The videowall provides a level of situational awareness for multiple operators; it is a single version of the truth that can be viewed by all. When making the choice between sharing data on a videowall or deploying personal large format displays for each operator, the key is to know what information the operator needs to access and how readily it should be available to them. Operator-centric models are improved but the collaborative display wall is still essential to inform other operators of the emergency being managed at that time. “This operator-centric approach is inﬂuencing not just the technology being used within OCCs (operation control centres), but also the design and ergonomics of each workstation. Importantly, an approach like this requires each operator to have fast access to numerous workstations and applications if they’re to carry out their work quickly and efficiently. With KVM technology, workstations can also be tailored to the requirements of each operator, therefore maximising efficiency and productivity. “Ultimately, we must provide technologies that create ﬂexibility for the operator, allowing them to design their own visual workspace. The tools should be interactive with a simple, intuitive user experience. But we must also consider the organisations needs and not forget the importance of safety, data security and disaster recovery strategies. We must ﬁnd a balance between the ﬂexibility of pro AV solutions and the standardised protocols of IT technologies.” Brad Herrick, VP control room group, AVI-SPL adds: “The increased functionality afforded by these evolutions are driving attention to localised operator technology, such as furniture design and monitors along with local and enterprise network considerations, as it relates to collaboration within and outside of the control room.”
Security concerns With increased functionality, there are additional security concerns, as Matrox’s Recine explains: “There is a greater emphasis on security today now that IP-based products are ﬂooding into the control room to replace legacy architectures. But knowledge is power, and control room managers are ﬁnding out that existing facilities
are less secure than they thought and that there are products and services that exist to meet the exacting safety standards of the most demanding control room environments using even the latest in high-density AV-over-IPcapable products.” On the subject of IP, Eric Hénrique, general manager at VuWall, affirms: “The movement towards IP will change the solutions required. IoT and big data will make it necessary to control, distribute and manage much more information. The daily work of a control room operator is working with software, therefore there is a need to have a powerful control software with which it is possible to control, distribute and manage all the connected systems and it has to be easy to implement, to operate and to be maintained.” With this increasing tendency to design the system around the operator, does this mean the days of the central videowall are numbered? Peter van Dijk, senior business development manager for export at Mitsubishi Electric, points out: “There are situations where an individual operator needs to focus on a particular set of data or task, but there still remains no better way for a team of people to gain the allimportant high-level overview of a situation than a large screen collaborative display, be that DLP cubes or tiled LCD.” He ﬁnds agreement with Nicolas Jaud, product marketing manager, Aten UK: “Videowalls will continue to play an important role in visualisation integration and information exchange, providing an overview to control room staff and, especially, to decision makers.” For Adkin, the operator-centric model will lead to changes: “There are three key changes that we as technology manufacturers need to consider as we move towards an operatorcentric approach. Firstly, operators continue to be presented with increasing amounts of data, video and analytics; secondly, operators are increasingly more familiar with technology and
interactive tools; thirdly, operators are looking for more autonomy in the way they carry out their work albeit within the guidelines and boundaries set out by their organisation and authorities.”
Implications The promotion of this model is an evolutionally rather than revolutionary step, but it will still have a signiﬁcant impact on vendors across the industry and the sector itself. “Previously there was just a single videowall with a single processor,” says Bob Ehlers, VP business development, RGB Spectrum. “Modern control rooms now require processors capable of supporting multiple videowalls as well as video distribution to operator desktops and locations. A cohesive architecture for comprehensive display and control is required.” Barco is prepared: “We have seen this shift coming and have been developing solutions that focus on operator efficiency and effectiveness,” says Rout. “In this way, we can adequately arm our integrator partners with the highestvalue and lowest-risk technology systems for deploying state-of-the-art collaborative decision making units in control rooms. So is Matrox, as Recine comments: “We’re deeply involved at the tip of the spear. We’ve been working on this evolution for years and we have migrated all of our main product lines to work over low-bitrate IP without compromising on performance or quality. As far as other manufacturers, the lines are blurring between what is competition and what is a hardware or software we can connect to. Matrox is deeply passionate about using real standards-based technologies. This makes us highly interoperable with our peers.”
Integrator opportunities All of this translates to a number of opportunities for integrators, but not without
FEATURE: CONTROL ROOMS 29
challenges, as Jaud outlines: “SIs (systems integrators) need to focus more on the integration of AV and IT technologies to meet the expanding requirements. Solutions have to not only now be more flexible and scalable, but also take into account the ergonomic factors that are the key to improving operator efficiency and minimising errors – the human factor is becoming paramount. “The main opportunities for integrators are to do with the expanding possibilities and advantages that come with delivering more flexible, more scalable, and much larger-scale control room solutions. Because the frontier between AV and IT installations is getting thinner and thinner, the way that technologies developed for the IT world are now being implemented for AV projects opens up a whole world of new opportunities for the SI to expand their activity in both directions.” Suchit Rout at Barco comments: “The growing complexity of control room infrastructure also provides additional opportunities. There is no one-solution-fitsall approach anymore: every aspect of the operator’s situation needs to be carefully evaluated, and considered when designing a solution. The integrator plays a key role in
this, advising the customer about the right solution, but also by considering possible future upgrades and expansions.”
‘Integrators need to look beyond just AV and understand the application, workﬂow, and interdependencies of the operators and supervisors in a control room’ Bob Ehlers, RGB Spectrum
Van Dijk also sees obstacles alongside the opportunities. He says: “The challenge facing integrators is designing systems that can cope with increasing amounts of data and structure it in a meaningful way, giving operators the tools to oversee and manage effectively. “The key to success in today’s command and control display business is versatility. More often than not, integrators need to incorporate their solution into an existing infrastructure and this may present particular technical challenges when dealing with older
systems – remember that control rooms typically have planned operational lifespans of 10 or 20 years. It is the technical expertise of the integrator in effectively bringing together all these components and technologies that adds value to the project, and I think it’s here that the opportunities chiefly exist.” RGB’s Ehlers believes the opportunities are not confined to technology specification and installation: “Integrators need to look beyond just AV and understand the application, workflow, and interdependencies of the operators and supervisors in a control room. Integrators can help define best practices regarding business process workflow for end users. “The convergence of IT and AV is nowhere more evident than in the modern control room. Integrators with skills in both areas will thrive.”
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32 TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: CLOUD SERVICES
Get ahead in the cloud
Key Points Cloud services offer significant benefits across the AV industry: to users, integrators and content creators Initial fears of security failings have been mitigated and the cloud is accepted widely through commercial organisations Individual sectors within AV experience specific advantages through the use of cloud services, but all benefit from core advantages Growth in uptake is increasing and set to continue into the future
Cloud-hosted services have boomed in the IT application sector. But to what extent has this trend been replicated in the AV industry, and how does it affect different services? Steve Montgomery reports
n the late 1990s and early 2000s there were many, supposedly independent, predictions about how computers would be used in the future, most of which centred round a move away from intelligent and powerful devices to lighter, less powerful ‘thin clients’. In this scenario, most of the processing and data storage tasks would be undertaken in remote silos and delivered directly to end-users for immediate consumption. Those predictions were carried out primarily by large computer organisations, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, which had a vested interest in steering the industry in that direction. As we know, this ‘revolution’ did not happen quite as predicted, for a number of reasons and we all continued to endure carrying heavy, power-hungry laptops with us. However, those predictions are now coming true; perhaps not as envisaged, but in wider and more fruitful ways that weren’t predicted in the past. We refer to this technology as cloud-based, often now as just ‘the cloud’. As Libby Davies, content manager for Signstix, points out: “The ﬁrst wave of popular cloud-based services has already happened. Googlemail, Office365, Dropbox, iCloud are examples of these types of applications that are used every day by millions of people around the world. Cloud-based solutions will continue to grow in popularity as people gravitate towards the ﬂexibility,
convenience and scalability that they offer, and all at vastly lower cost and maintenance overhead than on-premise solutions. The key advantage of the cloud is that it is inherently much more ﬂexible than on-premise solutions. In turn, this means that cloud-based digital signage solutions are incredibly scalable, and what is more, they can be easily expanded in line with client or company demand.”
‘The fact is that AV integrators need to deeply understand IT today’ Joshua Castro, Atlona
At the same time that always-on, highbandwidth wireless networks have enabled us to connect no matter where we are, the main restraint on take-up, the issue of security, has largely been overcome. “It is only natural for companies to have reservations about security when they don’t physically know where their data is being stored,” she says. “However a reputable cloud-based provider will have strong
data integrity, and the appropriate compliance certiﬁcation to store private data. Platforms such as Amazon cloud services have some of the strongest security infrastructures in the world. Service providers using them as a base for their products can leverage these platforms to the beneﬁt of their clients. A reputable provider will also take extensive measures within their own software development to ensure that all sensitive data is handled and stored securely.” Jeffrey Weitzman, business development manager for Navori Labs, agrees: “There is a marked tendency toward cloud-based services. This is a big difference from just two years ago, when many IT departments strongly preferred to keep everything in house. There was signiﬁcant concern about security, control and ownership. This is changing as core solutions become more prominent in the cloud, with companies like Microsoft launching cloud-based products like Office365, along with secure service providers Azure, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. Businesses are now seeing the potential opex savings of not handling everything in-house, and instead outsourcing certain operations.”
Not as rapid This expansion in take-up of cloud services is having a positive impact on the AV system integration industry, across the full range of sectors it serves, although it is not as rapid as
FEATURE: CLOUD SERVICES 33
encountered in other IT applications. “Uptake of cloud services is slower in the AV industry than in other industries, with one of the primary reasons being that the AV industry as a whole is more cautious in adopting new technologies,” says Jeremy Copp, ONELAN CEO. “However the ﬁnancial and retail sectors are witnessing growth faster than others, such as education or healthcare. We are seeing convergence of the AV and IT industries within the reseller and integrator community. The resulting availability of appropriate skill sets is accelerating the rate at which cloud-based solutions are being recommended and speciﬁed.” Across the AV-IT spectrum, most if not all applications are moving to cloud architectures. Nic Milani, executive director of cloud services at Crestron, believes that “Clients are conservative in their adoption of cloud-based solutions due to a large on-premise installed base. They are, however, continuing to evaluate and move toward cloud solutions for simplicity and cost beneﬁts. Part of the challenge to the AV community is educating the integrators and customers on the technical details of cloudbased computing. For example, after evaluating the security concerns users do begin to realise that the risk is very low with most applications.”
This is apparent as even the most conservative segments of the industry – ﬁnance, government and healthcare – are creating standards and beginning to migrate to cloud-based services.
‘I have yet to see a customer move back from a cloud to an on-premise model’ Nic Milani, Crestron
The AV community can aid this process by ensuring that they are aware of the issues and able to overcome them. It is something that Joshua Castro, product manager at Atlona, is fully aware of and is taking steps to address. “The more we deal with cloud integration, the more we begin to see weaknesses in the infrastructure,” he says. “Products themselves from reputable suppliers may work as expected, but ISP issues often remain and fall under the integrator’s responsibility. That can be a
frustrating task for the integrator, who may have some control over the localised network, but loses control once that content is off-premise. The more tools the integrator has at his disposal to solve these problems, the better. “The fact is that AV integrators need to deeply understand IT today. They must be able to set static IP addresses on devices, create subnets for those products and control those devices through the network. It’s about understanding the intricacies of the network to minimise problems in the future. Integrators that have this degree of knowledge have a distinct advantage in moving their clients to more cloud solutions, which brings an entirely new set of efficiencies into the end user operation.”
Different reasons Within the AV sector, primary applications like digital signage and video communication are rapidly shifting to a cloud-based model, but for different reasons. Digital signage applications beneﬁt through the ability to deliver content to a widely deployed network of screens, while videoconferencing takes advantage of the ubiquity of the cloud to connect users wherever they are, and on whatever device. “In the past 18 months the cloud has become the accepted
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34 FEATURE: CLOUD SERVICES method of content transmission to digital signage screens across most sectors in which we operate,” says David Oades, managing director of Sedao. “In the retail space it has long been standard, as there was simply no other way to deliver content to a national network. However in the education and corporate sectors we have experienced reluctance due to security fears of end-users. “Those fears are being allayed, but they are still there to some extent and integrators and end-users should be cautious. There are a myriad of cheap, ineffective hardware units and free software solutions available that are controlled via the cloud and offered as white-label products. Integrators need to be conﬁdent of the security of data held by these systems and who has access to it. They need to consider the long-term viability and availability of that service. Integrators should only use companies with a tried and tested record; but that applies to all cloud solutions, not just signage.” Within video communication operations, the advantages of cloud-based services are also attractive. The current trend is for the cloud to be offered as an infrastructure replacement. “Businesses that have signiﬁcant investment in AV equipment and videoconferencing suites are looking to the cloud to serve as a replacement for a multitude of network-based appliances,” believes Michele Durban, director of marketing at Starleaf. “This includes physical appliances that provide directory management, endpoint management, gateways, ﬁrewall traversal, MCUs (bridges). Organisations with a large number of rooms will have a very large and complex infrastructure arrangement. A key element is the explosion of video across desktops and mobile devices, which requires both interoperability and scalability. “However, cloud-hosted VC devices cannot offer a full infrastructure replacement as they do not handle point-to-point calling between people and their chosen video systems. Rather they solve the problem of connecting people on different systems, on a pre-arranged or scheduled basis, where everyone dials in. Our usage statistics show that 68% of all traffic on our cloud is person-to-person, with the remaining 32% being scheduled or ad-hoc multiparty meetings. This characteristic is one that we have addressed with the OpenCloud system.”
Common advantages Both digital signage and videoconferencing, and others across the AV domain, beneﬁt from common advantages offered by the cloud, including ease of scaling, reduction in cost and shift from capital to operational expenditure, software version control and technical support operations. Beyond those, they also offer
simplicity of operation and the enabling of new and unique services and applications to meet an ever-increasing appetite and demand for services and experiences. Vishnu Rao, NanoLumens’ director of software services and platforms is aware that “The requirements for integrators and users have evolved dramatically in recent years, challenging them to create next generation application based experiences to attract the digital millennials. Content creators and system operators nowadays want a 360º visualisation management solution that allows them to prepare for the experience needs of today, tomorrow and beyond. They don’t want multiple solutions stuck together piecemeal, making their operations complex, increasing failure points and inhibiting future growth.” Cloud-based services lend themselves to modern-day business practices – in particular the need for scalability and expansion of services as fast-moving organisations adapt and expand their operating procedures. They facilitate the installation and commissioning of services with less disruption and limit the need to purchase and install additional hardware. The ongoing management and maintenance of solutions is more cost effective for end-users and delivers a higher margin service for integrators. They are ideally suited to business models that are based on recurring fees. End-user capital expenditure is minimised while operational costs are allowed to scale in line with the value delivered by the solution, so maximising the return on investment. While the cloud may seem like the holy grail of AV service provision, it is unlikely to offer a complete and total solution; at least in the foreseeable future. Says Rao: “I believe that evolution in the future will be toward a mix of cloud and on-premise serviced solutions.
Cloud services will increasingly become common for IoT-based visualisation solutions. These beneﬁts will reduce operational cost to users, increase productivity and provide futureprooﬁng to users. It will allow users to plan and streamline the execution of their AV ideas more effectively and creatively. On-premise will take up the responsibility of guaranteeing uptime with offline capabilities, as well as data storage and security in cases where it may not be permitted to push certain data types to the cloud due to regulations.” What is certain is that the use of the cloud across the whole AV industry will expand, just as it has in the whole of the IT sector. Generally the trend is that services are moving from on-premise to cloud. Companies do not usually choose to bring applications back on-premise once the beneﬁts of cloud hosting have been realised. As Milani believes: “I have yet to see a customer move back from a cloud to an on-premise model. All interest is in the other direction. A good option is to offer an on-premises version of the application software as well as a cloud-based one, so that users can simply choose at the time of purchase and migrate as and when they are ready to do so. Currently, we have encountered a roughly 70/30 split between cloud and on-premises services since introducing our cloud platform.”
www.atlona.com www.crestron.com www.nanolumens.com www.navori.com www.onelan.com www.sedao.co.uk www.signstix.com www.starleaf.com
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36 INSTALLATION ROUNDTABLE: DIGITAL WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION
Transformative technologies We were recently invited by integrator AVMI to chair a panel discussion on driving digital transformation in the workplace. Paddy Baker reports on the key points
s part of AVMI’s Digital Workplace Transformation client event on 28 March, I chaired a panel discussion on driving digital transformation. The panellists were: Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface business group lead, Microsoft; Amelia Kallman, global head of innovation at Engage Works (whose Flux Lounge in London hosted the event); and John Masters, business development and marketing director at AVMI. What does digital workplace transformation mean to you? “For me this is all about bringing in those solutions and technologies that enable us to work ﬂuidly across the whole workforce,” said John Masters of AVMI. “It’s not just about sharing content, it’s about creating content, and being able to harness that wonderful human attribute of innovation.” He added: “It’s great to see organisations talking about how the user base are really asking for tools to support these newer ways of working.” Amelia Kallman of Engage Works felt that providing the right digital tools can help with employee engagement: “We’re ﬁnding that in the new millennial group – they call them the jobhopping generation – 71% say they’re unengaged in the workplace, and they’re more prone to go from company to company.” She remarked that, while automation is set
to disrupt the world of work, “I see technology as an enabler to making sure that people want to come to work, and want to talk to each other and collaborate, to come up with these new ideas. Because that’s how it’s going to happen; it’s not just going to be automated. AI and automation will assist in future ideas and innovation, but it comes from getting the right people in the right room at the right time with the right kind of tools.” For Ryan Asdourian of Microsoft, the key is making time for creativity: “If I think about time as my scarcest resource – creativity is the thing that everybody that I work with has the least amount of time for. Where you really enable digital transformation for your employees, it’s the biggest return on investment on talent and on output that I think you can get.” Should digital transformation be driven from the top of the organisation downwards, or should it be bottom-up, driven by demand in the workforce? “I think it is a duty of companies to start to implement new technologies and innovations from the top level,” said Kallman. But for those worried that the world they know is disappearing, she had words of reassurance: “The word ‘disruption’ gets thrown around a lot and I think it’s out there to scare you, to destabilise people, and to make you think that all of a sudden everything’s changed – well, that’s not just true. This is an evolution, it’s not a revolution.”
ROUNDTABLE “I would say it’s top-down and bottom-up,” said Asdourian. “Digital transformation is only possible with everybody. It’s about what is the job of these tools? What part of digital transformation are you enabling with them? It’s everyone’s responsibility.” Masters agreed, and cited a classic McKinsey study: “It talks about how technology has taken a lot of the transactional aspects of business out so they can be offshored or outsourced, leaving businesses running what are called the tacit tasks, the very challenging, creative tasks at the top of the pyramid. There’s this growing pressure now to be better at doing those tacit tasks, and that’s what’s driving demand for us all to have a better work environment.” How easy is it to discover the customer requirement and convert that to a product speciﬁcation? “When I’m talking to customers, the conversation is about what they are looking to do,” said Asdourian. “What does digital transformation look like to you as a customer? Because it looks different to everyone. “It’s not about asking which customers have meeting rooms, because almost all customers
INSTALLATION ROUNDTABLE: DIGITAL WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION have them. It’s about ﬁnding out how each customer wants to digitally transform, and how they want to use the technology, and then making sure that we’re ﬁtting our solutions into the space that help each customer. “ Masters made the point that solutions that are overly simple don’t always fulﬁl business needs. He compared the Surface Hub with the iPhone, which drove demand for mobile data because “it is the most amazingly clever, complex piece of technology, but it made it simple for the user. “I think the Surface Hub has hit exactly that same point. It’s brought together a lot of complex things – apps, hardware, and it’s built on a UC platform. It’s amazingly clever, and amazingly complicated – but it makes it simple for the user. So it could be a tipping point.” An audience question: with malware, ransomware and denial of service attacks being reported frequently in the press, how important was security to Microsoft when the Hub was being designed? Asdourian explained that having Windows 10 as the operating system on the Surface Hub and on every Microsoft device, regardless of size, means there is one single security model. “The reason for one security model, and for moving to Windows as a service, is because we want to create the most secure environment, and we want to create the same sort of identity, security, data model, running across every device, across everything that you do – full stop.” In addition, there is a security feature that is speciﬁc to the Surface Hub: “When you’re done with your meeting, when you click out and say the meeting is over, all of the information is completely erased. Even if you ripped out the hard drive from one of these units – and that would be tough – all of it is completely secure.” These security features, he added covered both threats from outside and those arising from internal incompetence or malice. What are the biggest challenges in driving digital transformation through the workplace? For Kallman, thinking strategically is key. “Integrate things so that they make sense, don’t just put a screen into a room because you think you want a screen. You always go back to what people want to accomplish and the value it’s going to add to their business.” She identiﬁed another potential challenge to adoption: “People can be apprehensive because they don’t want to be embarrassed.” The answer is to provide hands-on opportunities (such as those provided in the Flux Lounge. “You can talk all day about a new technology but unless people can get hands on with it, and experience it, it becomes difficult to share the value and let them understand the impact it will have on their lives.”
Masters cited another challenge: “Being able to capture the beneﬁts in a return on investment model that can get through a cynical ﬁnance department, because this stuff is not cheap – not only the technology but all the services and support that go around it.” He felt that “over the next year or two we will see more anecdotes and case studies and return on investment models, and hopefully that will smooth the way for projects to get approved.” A question from an audience member from the ﬁnancial sector: are companies becoming braver about opening themselves to new technologies? “I think they are getting braver,” said Kallman. “There’s a sense that everybody needs to transform because their competitors are transforming and other industries are transforming. I always say that the biggest indication of what’s going to come to your business, you’re going to see [first] in other industries.” Asdourian felt that some companies that change because they want to innovate, while others change out of necessity – the latter being the slower. “As the competition creeps in to companies, that is sometimes what necessitates change. But there will still be companies that move slowly.” Masters felt that, while most industries focus on improving internal operations, there are opportunities in other parts of the business. In the asset management ﬁeld, with high net-worth clients, “you don’t have to have a face-to-face every six months; you can get an analyst to doodle his thesis on why the fund he’s recommending is a great fund, and he can do it over that via something like the Hub to the client in his Monaco ﬂat. I think we’re just starting to touch on the real applications that can drive extra business and value.” Finally: is digital workplace transformation a journey or a destination? “It’s absolutely a journey, because there is no destination,” offered Kallman. “Like I said earlier, it’s evolution, it’s not a revolution. It’s always a journey in my opinion.” Asdourian mused on whether it could be an evolution and a revolution at the same time, before saying: “It’s a journey – just let us know which part of it you’re on, and we want to help. Masters’ reply put me in mind of his earlier remark about cynical finance departments: “It’s definitely a journey – unless you’re talking to the CFO, in which case it’s absolutely a destination!”
www.avmi.com www.engageworks.com www.microsoft.com/microsoft-surface-hub
More from the panellists Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface business group lead, Microsoft, began proceedings with some thoughts around Surface Hub and Microsoft’s role in digital workplace transformation. “The modern workplace knows no bounds – it doesn’t know a physical space.” He recounted how, soon after moving to the UK from Microsoft HQ in Redmond, he took part in a fully collaborative video meeting with US colleagues, where everyone was drawing on the board with a pen: “That was the moment it clicked for me – I felt like I was still on the Redmond campus because we were working together on a plan.” John Masters, business development and marketing director at AVMI, presented the company’s new Streamline tool, which has helped it to address some of the complexity involved in rolling out multi-site solutions. “One of the hardest things to get right is your policy about solutions – what goes where,” said Masters. “Who gets what tool, what are the ratios?” So, for instance, in a 3,000-person corporate HQ, how many collaboration spaces should there be, both in rooms and open plan, how many training environments and so on? “Without policy you get people locally trying to ﬁll that vacuum and reinvent the wheel, and that’s where a lot of the projects go slow.” Amelia Kallman, global head of innovation at Engage Works, rounded off proceedings with a demonstration of Microsoft’s HoloLens mixedreality device. “Where this gets really cool is that it doesn’t just overlay the digital over the physical, it overlays 360º holograms into the space and actually interacts with the space. So I can take holograms and place them under tables and around columns [in this room].… I can go into complete environments that are going to map to this space.” Engage Works is currently using it in the property market, creating virtual models of new properties that people can walk through and explore.
38 SOLUTIONS: ELBPHILHARMONIE, HAMBURG
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
Perfect waveforms One of the world’s largest and most acoustically advanced concert venues, part of a multifunctional landmark building, opened earlier this year. Tom Bradbury reports on the audiovisual equipment installed there
amburg has a new landmark – the Elbphilharmonie, which was officially inaugurated in January of this year. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron and located in the HafenCity district, it has an undulating glass structure reminiscent of a wave or a sail – or, some say, a quartz crystal. The partly curving, partly dipping glass panels create reflections of the sky, the water and the city, merging visual impressions generated onshore and offshore. The first eight storeys, however, are made of brick, because the Elbphilharmonie was built on top of the 1960s quayside ‘warehouse A’ building. At 108m high, it is the tallest inhabited building in the city. It has been designed as a cultural and residential complex, and contains 45 apartments, a four-star-plus hotel with 244 guest rooms and numerous restaurants, as well as three concert spaces and a number of other connected studios. The Great Hall is designed in the ‘vineyard’ style, where the stage is surrounded by the audience in tiered seating. With a capacity of 2,100, it is one of the largest and most acoustically advanced concert venues in the world. Noted acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota installed 10,000 individually shaped plasterboard plates to disperse sound waves. The Recital Hall, which seats 550 people, offers a more intimate atmosphere, while the 150-capacity Quay Studio 1 is used for educational activities.
Winning tender Following a public call for tenders, main building contractor Hochtief chose Amptown System Company (ASC) as the systems integrator for the audiovisual equipment. In fulﬁlling the contract, ASC was able not only to integrate equipment from various manufacturers, but also to make use of its expertise in producing custom parts and special structures in its own workshop. For the sound system in the Elbphilharmonie’s Great Hall, the emphasis was put on bringing out the original, pure sounds of instruments and voices. A speaker array consisting of six Meyer Sound CAL 64 column array units is mounted inside the mushroom-shaped reverberator suspended from the canopy. As well as being used for music, these speakers also provide for a voice alarm function and also support speeches and announcements. The beam-steering technology, along with the central location of the array, ensures that the hall is acoustically covered to the greatest possible extent. Additional CAL column speakers transmit the sound to the stalls, while supporting speakers in the ceiling cover those upper tiers that are not sufficiently covered by the central cluster speaker system. In the Recital Hall Y and E series speakers by d&b audiotechnik have been installed. In both the Recital Hall and the Quay Studios ASC installed a mobile sound system to comply with the operator’s request for maximum ﬂexibility. The events most often staged in the Recital Hall are jazz and chamber music performances. Sound reinforcement and distribution in the
Installed Audio Meyer Sound CAL column array units d&b audiotechnik Y series line array speakers d&b audiotechnik E series compact coaxial speakers Lawo digital audio consoles ASC stage management consoles
Lighting ETC halogen profile spotlights ETC Desire D40 LED washlights Robert Juliat profile spotlights ETC dimmer systems MA Lighting consoles
Video ASC smart mirror displays
About the integrator Established more than 25 years, Amptown System Company has is an independent full-service supplier of solutions in the fields of audio, video, lighting, communication and media equipment It employs more than 190 people at its offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Stuttgart Its project portfolio includes theatres, opera houses, concert halls, cinemas, exhibition and conference centres, broadcast studios, sporting venues, visitor attractions, cruise liners, schools, universities, and hotels Great Hall, the Recital Hall, and the Quay Studio is controlled via ﬁve digital audio mixing consoles supplied by Lawo, which ASC incorporated into the digital audio infrastructure of the Elbphilharmonie after discussing and agreeing on the details with the NDR (North German radio and TV broadcaster) and the manufacturer.
Lighting components Rolf Garnies was the consultant for light equipment and Amptown’s workshop services on the project. “Scenic lighting in the Elbphilharmonie
40 SOLUTIONS: ELBPHILHARMONIE, HAMBURG
was implemented using mature classic lighting components,” he says. “In the Great Hall a circular lighting bridge with high-grade halogen lights made by ETC and Robert Juliat runs behind a series of ceiling cutouts covered with special glass. The ﬁxtures used are halogen proﬁle spotlights with different ﬁeld angles in an output range between 0.75 kW and 2 kW. In the Great Hall 37 ETC Desire D40 LED washlights with a colour temperature of 3000K matching the effect of the halogen spotlights were installed in the reverberator above the stage, where they supply high-intensity warm-white light and with it ensure the basic illumination of the stage. Factors such as light quality, energy efficiency, and long service life with up to 20 operating hours per day were important selection criteria.” Additionally, ASC installed all of the power distributors required for scenic lighting. Connected to these power distributors are ETC dimmer systems with 560 circuits for the three concert venues, the systems controlling them, and a couple of MA Lighting consoles. Control signals and power for the spotlights and washlights can be picked off junction boxes, which are distributed throughout the house.
Custom systems “We are happy and proud that we were allowed to take part in a once-in-a-century project like
this one”, smiles Leif Witte, ASC managing director. “We were selected because of our longstanding expertise in modern light and sound technology, and we have proved to be a reliable partner. All the more satisfactory that we were also able to use our innovative know-how. In fact we have been able to signiﬁcantly increase our competence and performance efficiency regarding the development of customised stage management systems during the last few years, and with Stefan Thomsen our team includes a dedicated communication systems expert.” ASC assembled seven stage management consoles for the Elbphilharmonie, which feature the PLC-based ADUNAS media control system. Witte comments: “They represent state-of-theart technology and provide the stage manager with all of the tools required to direct rehearsals and performances in a dependable fashion.” Another major task for the Amptown workshop, which presented a particular challenge according to Garnies, was manufacturing and mounting 32 smart mirror displays. These hide a Panasonic display and set-top box behind a mirrored surface. He explains: “The smart mirrors come in three sizes with diameters 90cm, 140cm and 169cm and are suspended from the walls in a slightly tilted position facing the viewer. They are equipped with a substructure that allows for easy access to the display and to the set-top box
on the one hand, and for anchoring the structures ﬁrmly to the wall on the other.” The mirrors consist of round single-pane 10mm safety glass. A paint coating was silk-screened on to the rear the glass, but with the display surface of the Panasonic display behind masked off. Garnies adds: “When the displays are switched off, the mirror surfaces constitute a design element; when they are switched on they show information. Any desired content can be output as text, image and/or sound.“ Leif Witte adds: “Amptown production shop supplies customised solutions which are a far cry from ‘off-the-shelf’ ones. Owing to many years of experience integrating media equipment into perfectly working systems we know how to respond to whatever architects have in mind. Besides we believe in a co-operation based on a spirit of partnership and professionalism and in contributing our expertise to the development of new systems for the sake of optimum workmanship and functional quality.”
www.amptown-system.com www.dbaudio.com www.etcconnect.com www.lawo.de www.malighting.com www.meyersound.com www.robertjuliat.com
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42 SOLUTIONS: SSE ARENA, BELFAST
Capital upgrade In the 17 years it’s been open, this popular arena has attracted nine million visitors and counting; however, the legacy equipment had become a hindrance to its plans for greater customer engagement. To rectify this, the venue underwent a revamp to bring its digital offering up to date, writes Duncan Proctor
he SSE Arena in Belfast hosts everything from concerts and exhibitions to sporting events and has recently received more than £3m of investment to update its digital assets. Integrator Eurotek had just eight weeks to turn around the project, which is based around a Tripleplay Digital Signage and IPTV solution and features 200 displays from LG and NEC ranging in size from 39in up to 70in. “The brief was basically to have as many digital screens around the venue as is physically possible,” says Clara Killen, digital marketing and development manager, SSE Arena. “So we tried to put them on every wall, every place that a customer might be passing by to give us maximum opportunities. And we turned everything around in about eight weeks, so quite an extensive project, as you can imagine.” Kevin Moore, managing director at Eurotek, adds: “The brief was to provide a stadium-wide platform for visual communications, to include IPTV, digital signage, integration to the EPOS system, and menu boards for the concession booths, with the ability on the IPTV system to take a live feed from the OB for live events.” On how the project came about, Killen explains: “18 months ago we had major investment into the venue, £3.2m to revamp the arena and bring it uåp to the digital age. We started with the arena bowl, we had 9,000 new seats, we installed WiFi throughout the building, we installed the 200 IPTV screens and we developed a venue app.”
Complete solution The complete solution features Tripleplay’s
Digital Signage and IPTV platform which, along with Amino set-top boxes, manages and delivers content to around 200 LED displays – primarily from LG, with 25 70in LED displays from NEC in the concourse areas. The displays are mounted with a range of solutions from Vogel’s, with additional mounting in the foyer and box office handled by universal display mounts from Peerless. Prior to the install, the venue had a number of shortcomings: “It was a little bit dated, having been here for 16 or 17 years,” says Killen. “We just felt we needed a venue that was much more engaging with our customers. The digital screens, our app, and all of the digital assets that we have now allow us to interact with the customer and give them something visually pleasing to look at when in the venue. Quite often doors may open for an event at about half past six, and an artist might not take to the stage till nine o’clock so there’s a lot of dwell time around the foyer and the concourse areas, so the screens have really enhanced what we can communicate to our customers.” The CEO at for the Odyssey Trust, which own and runs the venue, is a fan of many US stadiums, so the install aims to incorporate some of those elements. It was also revealed that the SSE Arena is hosting other venues from across the UK and Europe on a monthly basis to see how the venue has developed. A lot of consideration was given to the location of the screens. “We had a lot of planning in terms of how do customers walk around our building,” states Killen. “We wanted videowalls because we wanted something that looked really striking and you couldn’t really miss, and
Installed Digital signage/IPTV Amino H150 PoE HD set-top boxes Tripleplay TripleSign digital signage platform Tripleplay TripleTV IPTV solution Tripleplay HD encoders
Video LG LED displays (39 to 65in) NEC E705 70in LED display
Accessories Peerless universal mounts Vogel’s mounting solutions there was a lot of consideration in terms of the shape and positioning of the screens.” In terms of the Tripleplay solution, David Lowry, technical advisor for the SSE Arena, explains: “Tripleplay is used in all of our publicfacing areas. In our concessions, we’ve ﬁve screens in each hot and cold food and bar area, those are used both for promotion and pricing and our general commercial content as well as our sponsors. We have six videowalls, which are used in different conﬁgurations for different events. We have commercial content, health and safety content and merchandise as well, so depending on the event we can change things to suit the need and make best use of the screen space we have.” “The Tripleplay system integrates the key functionality needed for the entire system so once it was correctly conﬁgured and commissioned by the Eurotek project team,
SOLUTIONS: SSE ARENA, BELFAST 43
About the integrator Headquartered in Sandyford, Dublin, Eurotek specialises in design, supply, installation and integration of AV and broadcast systems The company services the needs of clients throughout Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe and the Far East The Eurotek team includes specialists in IT networking, video engineering, design and integration with ﬁnal commissioning by Tripleplay’s engineers on site, the project’s goals were reasonably straightforward,” says Moore. “Having a client who had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve, and a key stakeholder as part of the project implementation team, was a huge assistance.”
Simple and ﬂexible Killen explains why Tripleplay was chosen: “We looked around for quite a length of time to ﬁnd the provider we were going to use for our digital screens and the Tripleplay solution is a simple solution but it’s a ﬂexible solution. We’ve found we can have everything up to complete takeovers of screens and we can individually
program all 200 screens if we wish to do so. Having that ﬂexibility to have certain screens with commercial content or certain screens promoting upcoming events, the system allows us to do that. If we get a call that a certain product has run out, we can react to that instantly and update the screens remotely. Having that ﬂexibility in this day and age is vitally important.” The fact the Tripleplay system is web-based and can be accessed remotely also played a part. Additionally every computer on the corporate network can access the system. Lowry adds: “Tripleplay helps us tie together different areas of the building and help us prioritise different content. On our external screens we have key health and safety messaging, we have welcome messaging, less in the way of upcoming events and commercial content, it’s more about driving people in.” On the Tripleplay solution, Moore comments: “It was based on our knowledge that this system offered the broadest range of integrated services in a single platform, and with multiple deployments on other sites, we knew the system would prove to be reliable and high-quality.” The major challenge for those involved in this project was the timescale. Moore
elaborates: “As always, the turnaround time for installation was very tight, and equipment deliveries, especially for the displays, were a challenge. Additionally, the stadium’s network infrastructure was also being upgraded at the same time, and we had to co-ordinate with the network service providers, so all in all it was a very intense installation timeframe.” Killen adds: “We closed the venue in late June and traditionally we would very rarely have concerts over the summer – because everything moves outdoor for festivals. So that was always downtime for us to do just general maintenance, not to completely rebrand the building with a new naming rights partner, develop an app, install the WiFi, and then install 200 digital screens as well. A lot of long days and long nights, but the end product when we opened in early September was breath-taking and the feedback we’ve had from customers has been excellent.”
www.aminocom.com www.eurotek.ie www.lg.com www.nec-display-solutions.com www.peerless-av.com www.tripleplay.tv www.vogels.com
Reach the Summit MA-808 Portable Wireless PA System 6ERSATILE3OUND!MPLIlCATION The MA-808 innovatively integrates wireless microphones, speakers, CD / USB player and a Bluetooth interface for wireless music streaming into a sturdy, compact case that offers an entirely portable sound system anywhere it is needed. MIPRO supplies UHF and 2.4 GHz receiver modules options and matching handheld or bodypack transmitters, as well as the exclusive miniature transmitters for musical instruments, such as violin, saxophones, erhu, guitar, cajon, and so on, THUSTHEINSTRUMENTPLAYERSCOULDEXPERIENCECONVENIENTWIRELESSAMPLIlCATION via the MA-808 portable wireless PA system.
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44 SOLUTIONS: DIVINA BELLEZZA, SIENA
Installed Video Barco HDF-W30 Flex projectors Barco HDX-W20 Flex projectors Dataton Watchout PC servers Dataton Watchout 6.1 keys Extron DXP 84 DVI Pro DVI matrixes
All a big façade
An event telling the history of Siena used projection mapping on to a 13th century Tuscan cathedral and a commentary in four languages, reports Mike Clark
Orpheo Mikro Lx audio guides AKG M 80 MkII headphones Flux IRCAM software (post production)
MA Lighting grandMA 2Port Node OnPC DTS Raptor moving head fixtures
ivina Bellezza (Divine Beauty) Dreaming Siena was the title of an impressive multimedia spectacle staged at the city’s Cathedral. It was promoted by Siena’s Opera della Metropolitana and Municipality, produced by Civita-Opera and realized by Unità C1 in collaboration with Moviement HD and with the collaboration of Orpheo, as part of the Arte per Tutti (Art for Everyone) programme. The event, which told the story of Siena, used projection mapping on what was to have been the façade of an expansion of the original cathedral (possibly to exceed the splendour of its Florentine ‘rival’ in the 14th century), but which was only partially completed, and the towering ‘Facciatone’ (the Big Façade) alongside the current cathedral. The spectacular project was the result of the creative and planning expertise of Unità C1, a Rome-based media workgroup specialising in visual environments for theatre, opera, performing arts and interactive events; its team was comprised of Ezio Antonelli (art director), Lorenzo Lopane (project manager), Andrea Mordenti (production designer) and Gianni Stabile (visual designer). The specialists veriﬁed the project’s feasibility with the company that installed the system (Pesaro’s Service 2 Service, which, along with IC Video Pro, also supplied the hardware). They studied the logistical problems involved and produced an installed set-up that took into consideration aspects such as the necessity of ensuring free traffic ﬂow during daytime in an area which, as well as featuring one of the world’s most visited artistic squares, is also an access point to the city’s police headquarters and local government offices.
All weathers Since projectors and video servers had to stand up to all types of weather for several months, it was eventually decided to install eight Barco HDX-W20 Flex 20,000-lumen projectors at the top of the bell tower and eight Barco HDF-W30 Flex 30,000-lumen units on two Lahyer towers at the sides of the square. Mordenti comments: “In my opinion, in this power class, these Barco units are unbeatable as far as ﬂexibility and reliability are concerned.” The video signal management set-up comprised eight Dataton Watchout PC servers, twelve Watchout 6.1, four producer notebooks and four Extron DXP 84 DVI PRO DVI matrixes. As far as the actual video content was concerned, all scenes were shot using a green screen studio with a 20m backdrop set up in a marquee in the city’s sports arena, using professional dancers and local extras in period costumes. The scenes were then inserted into a graphic environment created digitally from photos taken in the cathedral and other city locations. Footage was also shot in the workshops of craftsmen such as goldsmiths, stained glass painters, bakers, shoemakers and icon painters. Shooting also took place in the city’s maze of tunnels and cisterns for collecting and storing water, dating back to Renaissance times; and a drone, provided by Moviement HD (of Sovicille Siena), shot aerial video and photos of Siena. The small lighting rig in the UC1 design recreated a virtual colonnade where an actual colonnade (planned but never built) would have been. The twelve DTS Raptor Beam ﬁxtures used for this purpose were controlled via an MA 2Port Node
onPC, positioned in four points of the square and removed after each show.
Four-language commentary The soundtrack, consisting of music by contemporary composers, was carefully edited before undergoing meticulous sound FX work by sound designer Mirko Fabbri, who used Flux IRCAM software during post production to create binaural audio, to give listeners the impression of being surrounded by the performers and instruments. The commentary was in Italian, English, French and Spanish and recorded at Virus Studio. When the video track started playing on Watchout, a sync signal was sent to the audio guide system, triggering the four tracks, chosen by the spectators on their Orpheo Mikro Lx audio guides connected to AKG M 80 MkII headphones. Mordenti enthuses: “Following the success of the outdoor version, an indoor project is currently being planned and designed for an area being restored in the Cathedral’s museum complex which will remain as a permanent installation!”
www.akg.com/pro www.barco.com www.dataton.com http://dts-lighting.it www.extron.com www.icvideopro.com www.ircamtools.com www.malighting.com www.moviementhd.tv http://orpheogroup.com www.service2service.it http://www.unitac1.com
7th – 8th June, Millennium Mayfair Hotel, London
DISRUPTION | TRANSFORMATION | EVOLUTION THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT MediaTech 360 Summit addresses some of the fundamental technological and operational issues that are affecting businesses throughout the media and entertainment industry. Hear from Channel 4, BT Sport, ITV, AIMS, DPP, Ernst and Young, IBM, M&C Saatchi, DTG, Ericsson, Sony, Inception VR, MTM and more as they discuss the nuances of operation and strategy within our evolving market. Delegates will learn: • How standards are shaping the roadmap to IP enablement • The role and relevance of standards versus proprietary software deployment • How live IP has successfully been deployed in the market: from test case to use case • The current state of the market: top level and granular market analysis • The role of AI, VR, MR, and connected world technology in M&E • How traditional broadcasters are strategising for the future • The top trends in technology and operation • What the future of M&E looks like
BOOK ONLINE TODAY!
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR CONFIRMED SUMMIT SPEAKERS:
Ellie Reed head of digital M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment
Fabien Allègre director of merchandising and brand diversification Paris Saint-Germain
Justin Gupta head of UK broadcast and entertainment Google
Keith Underwood director of strategy and technology Channel 4
Matthew Huntington chief technology ofﬁcer Freesat
Sinead Greenaway chief technology and operations ofﬁcer UKTV
Steve Plunkett chief technology ofﬁcer Ericsson Broadcast and Media
Tom Grifﬁths director of broadcast & distribution technology ITV
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International TECHNOLOGY AND TRENDS FOR THE PRO-AUDIO PROFESSIONAL
46 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
Amsterdam ArenA upgrades with d&b Home to AFC Ajax, Amsterdam ArenA has recently been upgraded with a d&b audiotechnik Y-Series loudspeaker system, following a tender process involving four applicants. Three of the line array clusters pivot to make the switch to concert conﬁguration easy. To do this, mechanical pins are pulled by a rope from the catwalk, and a second rope allows the array to be turned manually turn the array. Whereas the previous system had to be left running at all times to provide an immediate response in the event of an emergency evacuation, this is not the case with the d&b solution: it can be switched off, and will respond within half a second when the evacuation button is pressed. The evacuation system enables people to be moved out zone by zone.
Genting gets lighting revamp Northern Light has installed a new, more energyefficient house and work light system for Birmingham’s Genting Arena (formerly LG Arena). The work light system at the 15,700-capacity venue required maximum coverage and minimal glare, so that teams working on ﬂoor were not dazzled if they looked up into the roof. GDS custom built 240 2m-long LED tubes to deliver the required brightness and coverage. These are deployed alongside GDS Arc8 Cell units. For the houselight system 372 ETC Coloursource PAR General Wash were chosen and 163 ETC Coloursource Spot ﬁxtures for aisle lighting. A GDS Mains Blues System is installed along the catwalks and Follow Spot control areas. Control is via an ETC Gio Console and three ETC Paradigm Systems with an ETC Paradigm Central Server.
www.northernlight.co.uk www.etcconnect.com www.gds.uk.com
Theatre chooses Yamaha consoles The German State Theatre in Timisoara has recently beneﬁted from the installation of a fully digital audio system, featuring a pair of Yamaha consoles. In 2014 Brasov-based dB Technolight was contracted to install a Dante network throughout the German Theatre Hall, with a view to progressively replacing the existing analogue audio system with a completely digital solution. That process was recently completed and features a pair of Yamaha QL series mixing consoles and R-series I/O units for front of house and monitors.
Budgets meant that the project had to be carried out in stages, so dB Technolight initially installed a Yamaha QL1 console, with Rio1608-D I/O unit, extension Ro8-D output unit and Steinberg Nuendo Live multitrack recording software. Once this system had proved its capabilities on real shows, the go-ahead was given to install a QL5 console, with additional Rio1608-D and Ro8-D units.
THIS IS STATE-OF-THE-ART WIRELESS COMMUNICATION
PE N NG
BOLERO WIRELESS INTERCOM • • • • • • • • • • •
Up to 10 beltpacks per antenna 100 antenna, 100 beltpack system capacity Best-in-class voice clarity “Touch&Go” beltpack registration 6-channel beltpack plus dedicated REPLY button Built-in microphone and speaker for Walkie-Talkie mode Smartphone integration via Bluetooth Ergonomic, robust beltpack design Sunlight-readable display with Gorilla Glass™ Decentralized AES67 IP networked antennas Seamless integration into RIEDEL‘S ARTIST intercom matrix
48 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
Millennial temple tales projected Twenty-four Digital Projection HIGHlite Laser II models are being used in China’s largest laserprojection ﬁxed installation project. Located in the country’s largest holy Buddhist sanctuary, the 1,000-year-old Famen Temple in Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, the installation covers six performance areas in a 7,300sqm space, where four ancient tales are related. The 3-chip DLP projectors were selected for their durability and stability as well as their imaging quality. Built on solid-state laser phosphor technology, the HIGHlite Laser II has a lifespan of more than 20,000 hours, maintenance-free and designed with redundancy in mind. Brightness is 13,000 lumens, and the projectors deliver full HD projection from a physical WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution.
Casino hedges its audio bets Integrator Technology West Group (TWG) has created a networked audio system for the casino at MGM National Harbor in Maryland. A centralised technology hub was created that enables the casino to rearrange the gaming ﬂoor without renovating the audio system, upgrading the system as needs evolve. TWG designed a complete audio system by Harman Professional Solutions. It is made up of JBL Control Contractor Series speakers, with around 500 Control 328CT in-ceiling loudspeakers and 70 Control 312CS subs. The system is powered by Crown DriveCore Install Series amps, and zones on the casino ﬂoor are controlled by BSS Soundweb London BLU-806 signal processors. The audio system is connected via Dante networking and integrated with the video system.
TV pundits talk tactics with Sharp A Sharp BIG PAD PN-70TW is being used by TV broadcaster Sky for its ﬂagship football analysis programme Monday Night Football on Sky Sports. Supplied by Broadcast & Production Services (BPS), the large-format interactive touchscreen is being used for the programme’s renowned Tactics Table. This is used by the presenters to digitally recreate key moments in the game and manipulate graphics on screen to show
the possible tactics that teams can use in specific situations. BPS was tasked with sourcing and providing a touchscreen solution that was reliable and tough enough to withstand regular travel, could be installed as a table and had both a high-quality screen resolution and broad colour temperature range. After reviewing a number of options, the Sharp offering was chosen as the best solution for the Sky Sports team.
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Kit you need to know about
PRODUCT OF Riedel Communications THE MONTH Bolero It’s… a new wireless intercom system. What’s new? It’s designed to make more efficient use of RF bandwidth and to counter problems caused by reﬂected signals arriving out of phase. Details: Bolero is an expandable, fullroaming, DECT-based intercom system in the licence-free 1.9GHz frequency range. Fully integrated into Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom platform, Bolero can be used in three ways: as a wireless beltpack, as a wireless keypanel, and as a walkie-talkie radio, which is claimed to be an industry ﬁrst. Bolero runs over a standards-based AES67 IP network. Decentralised antennas connect to AES67 switches and then to Artist frames equipped with AES67 client cards, providing a fully integrated point-to-point intercom ecosystem with roaming capabilities. To the system, the beltpacks look just like Riedel panels but are wireless, providing high levels of ﬂexibility and programmability. The Bolero voice codec provides both higher speech intelligibility and more efficient use of RF spectrum; it supports twice as many beltpacks per antenna for the same audio bandwidth as other DECTbased systems. The codec has strong latency characteristics while being efficient with processing power, providing excellent beltpack battery life, and saving DSP processing power for other functions. “When we designed Bolero, we wanted to make life as easy for the customer as possible. Registration can be a complex process that requires a user to go into the beltpack menu and apply a pin code so the beltpack can be registered to the antennas. This process can easily take two minutes per beltpack. Imagine doing that for 25 beltpacks,” said Jake
Dodson, director of product management, at a launch event held during Prolight + Sound. “Bolero incorporates NFC technology into both the beltpack and the active antenna. The user needs only to touch the beltpack to the antenna to complete the registration process.” “Bolero is a category-changer for wireless intercom systems,” said Thomas Riedel, CEO. “A lot of time and effort has gone into every phase of Bolero’s development, a true groundup development touching all aspects of design. We are proud to share that the BBC is already building their new studio intercom systems around the Bolero wireless concept.” The beltpacks support Bluetooth 4.1,
allowing either a Bluetooth headset or a smartphone to be connected. When a smartphone is connected, the beltpack can act like a car’s hands-free set-up so the user can receive calls on their phone and talk and listen via their beltpack headset. Users can also make calls and then connect that person into the intercom matrix, eliminating the need for a telephone hybrid. The beltpack itself features six buttons for each of the six intercom channels, plus a separate Reply button that facilitates a reply to the last channel that called. Industrial designers have been employed on the Bolero to create a beltpack whose display can be read easily whether the pack is hung from a belt, laid ﬂat on a table or mounted on a wall. Dodson commented at the launch that the design of the circular recess and slot in the back of the beltpack, designed for wall mounting, resembles a beer bottle opener. Accordingly, the edge of the recess has been reinforced so that it can indeed be used to crack open a celebratory drink.
Available: This month www.riedel.net
52 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS
Audipack FLEX-800 A new series of flexible mounting solutions for displays on floor stands, trolleys, wall mounts and ceiling mounts, the FLEX 800 allows the user to build any configuration from 2x1 up to 7x3. It includes a comprehensive suite of components, which are also compatible with the Audipack 700, 800 and 900 series floor stands. The system is suited to permanent installation and rental in a number of environments including as wall fixtures and standalone units in broadcast studios, multi-viewers or CCTV rooms. www.audipack.com
ANEMAN It’s… an audio network manager software tool.
What’s new? Developed by Merging and Digigram, this new audio network manager is claimed to offer a completely new way to patch AES67 audio.
Matrox Maevex 6150 A quad 4K encoding appliance that provides 4K streaming and recording functionality, enhanced with zerolatency pass-through. The Maevex 6150 quad 4K encoder appliance, available in Q3 2017, affords the full feature set of the Maevex 6100 quad encoder PCI Express card, delivering quad 4K capture plus multiple encodes to stream and/or record at low bit rates. Offering four or more channels simultaneously, it provides an all-inone, dual-density form factor with the additional I/O befitting an appliance. www.matrox.com NEC Display Solutions
This is the sixth generation of the E Series entry-level displays, suitable for any indoor information application. The displays come in 32in, 43in and 55in screen sizes using newly added S-IPS panels and 50in to 65in sizes using S-PVA panels. The updated E Series displays feature a slim bezel design, cleaner OSD and an integrated USB media player for instant use and plug-and-play standalone operations. www.nec-display-solutions.com Smart-e
This 4K UHD KVM extender is the company’s first product using HDBaseT 2 technology and is aimed at the AV and broadcast markets. The 5-Play feature set delivers uncompressed 4K video, USB 2.0, analogue and stereo audio, with power via a single 100m Cat5e/6 cable. The extenders include transparent DDC connectivity providing HDCP V2.2 and V1.4 compatibility, while a 10.2Gbps throughput enables 4K resolutions for 4:4:4 colour space at 30Hz or 4:2:0 at 60Hz, together with Deep Colour, 3D, 2K and 1080p resolutions. www.smart-e.co.uk
Details: ANEMAN was developed to address the need for AoIP network control and interoperability and provide an agnostic network management and monitoring tool for RAVENNA and AES67. It is designed to be implemented in any device whose manufacturer sees the beneﬁt of being part of an open, unrestricted AoIP ecosystem. ANEMAN is built on an open speciﬁcation that was initiated by Merging and Digigram in 2014. The ﬁrst UI is offered by Merging under the name ANEMAN but other manufacturers
are welcome to develop their own UIs that can be speciﬁc to their own use cases. All that is required is that the manufacturer be compatible with the existing plugin, or that they write their own. To date, compatible manufacturers include Genelec, Archwave, Digigram and Merging.
Available: Currently in restricted beta www.merging.com
Christie CP4325-RGB It’s… a direct-coupled RGB laser projector from the Christie Freedom Series.
What’s new? This new compact model features an all-in-one design that is said to deliver higher efficiency than current laser projectors utilised in cinemas. Details: The CP4325-RGB is based on the Christie CineLife Series 3 electronics platform. The design eliminates the need for sub-ambient cooling. The projector provides a vast palette of colours and higher contrast ratios, while incurring low maintenance costs. The CP4325-RGB is the forerunner of a line of Christie RGB laser projection solutions intended for mainstream cinema applications and as such is said to be an ideal replacement product for ageing Series 1 and early installations of Series 2 projectors, as well as for new-build cinemas and
those due for retroﬁts. The Christie CineLife platform powering the CP4325-RGB features a streamlined UX-inspired interface, and simpliﬁes the playback, scheduling and management of cinema content. Field tested on more than 100 screens since 2014 with the next-generation Christie IMB, the CineLife Series 3 electronics also provides backwards compatibility with other Series 2 IMB manufacturers.
Available: End of 2017 www.christiedigital.com
Save the Date Conference 14 – 18 September 2017 Exhibition 15 – 19 September 2017 RAI, Amsterdam
Where the entertainment, media and technology industry does business Join over 1,800 exhibitors showcasing the latest technological innovations, 400+ speakers delivering the latest industry insights and 55,000 attendees providing unlimited networking opportunities at IBC’s 50th annual conference and exhibition. Add dates to your diary IBC.org/savethedate Follow us on social media for the latest news and updates #IBCShow
54 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE
Audio consoles Intuitive operation, networkability and compactness are among the features that manufacturers of audio consoles for ﬁxed installations are keen to highlight. Paddy Baker reports
dLive C Class offers more Allen & Heath says its compact dLive C Class offers more channels, more busses, more processing power, more networking ﬂexibility, more control options and lower latency than any other mixing system at a comparable price point. The dLive C Class is based on XCVI, the same 96kHz FPGA core technology as the company’s ﬂagship dLive S Class mixers. It features 128 input channels, 64 dynamic EQ and multiband engines, 16 FX engines with stereo returns, and 64 busses. It also shares the DEEP Processing architecture, allowing class-leading compressors and processing emulations to be embedded directly within the inputs and mix channels. Because the XCVI Core is contained in the MixRack, this can be used with or without a control surface, depending on the application. Expanders can be added to the MixRack for audio distribution over Cat5 and deployed where required, making dLive a scalable and flexible platform. Fully expanded, the dLive C Class offers over 400 system inputs and 400 system outputs, including two 128x128 ports
for integration in audio networks via Dante, AES67, MADI and more. Tielines can be set up to patch inputs to outputs directly and without limitations. Up to 10 user proﬁles can be conﬁgured with a set of custom permissions, and password protected. In addition to control surfaces (which start with the 19in rackmountable 12-fader C1500), the DLive C Class has numerous other control
Powerful operation with ease of use Lawo says that the compact mc236 is designed to fulﬁl the most performance-demanding applications, while at the same time offering operators ease of operation and a minimal learning curve. A powerful DSP micro-core with internal 512x512 port audio matrix, and integrated I/O, make it ideally suited to permanent installations with limited space. Natively equipped with RAVENNA/AES67 technology, the mc236 integrates into IP
infrastructures, providing access rights management for all networked audio desks. It can be integrated into large control networks using overall open-standard control and monitoring solutions like VSM (Virtual Studio Manager), which makes the mc236 also a powerful system in special environments, such as cruise ships and conference centres. For operational security, the console not only has redundant power supplies but also offers DSP redundancy. The 21.5in full HD touchscreens work with touch-sensitive colour-illuminated rotary encoders to provide intuitive operation. So the dynamics window will automatically pop up when touching the dynamics encoders; and after adjusting the parameters, the window will close automatically to restore the full overview.
options, including apps, Mac/Windows software, TCP/IP for third party control via Crestron, AMX or similar, and PoE powered IP remote controllers, all of which can be integrated in a standard Ethernet network and made accessible at any location.
iPads boost AXIS’s visual communication
Mackie’s AXIS Digital Mixing System combines the 32-channel DL32R digital mixer with the innovative DC16 control surface. According to the manufacturer, it enables fast workﬂow, with high levels of visual feedback and customisation. With 32 remote-controllable Onyx+ mic preamps and 18 outputs paired with a built-in DSP, the system is suitable for medium and large channelcount applications. The mixer and control surface communicate via Dante, enabling additional networking capability for professional applications.
From the publisher of Installation, AV Technology and SCN.
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56 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE
CDC seven’s dual-touchscreen operation Cadac’s new CDC seven (pictured here with the smaller CDC six) promises operational simplicity with its 36-fader control surface and dual 23.5in, 16:9 hi-deﬁnition LCD touchscreens, which display an intuitive, swipeable user interface. Encoders immediately to the right of and below both screens further encourage the instinctive use of touch-and-swipe operation. Dual screens enable multiple tasks to be displayed and controlled simultaneously; for instance, VCAs can be displayed on one screen while the inputs to the VCAs are displayed on the other. Faders and encoders naturally follow the GUI displayed on the individual screens, resulting in further increases in the speed and ﬂexibility of the workﬂow. An additional centrally mounted 6.5in LCD touchscreen provides access for system control. The CDC seven features 96 inputs and 56 busses, 54 of which are configurable. Its feature set includes Cadac’s Monitor Mode with Mix Focus,
Compact model with automixing
The Yamaha TF series offers a compact mixing solution: the TF1, TF3 and TF5 take up very little desktop space, while TF-RACK only needs 3U space in a standard 19in rack. According to Yamaha, no other mixer in this class can provide industry-standard Dan Dugan automixing as an integral part of the operating system, making the TF series unique for installers and systems integrators. Thanks to the TF’s space-saving qualities and automixing capability, any venue can host easily mixed, multi-microphone events for a minimum outlay of both money and space. The series features a range of I/O connections, including 16, 24 or 32 analogue XLR/TRS combo mic/line inputs and plus stereo analogue RCA pin line inputs. Outputs comprise 16 analogue XLR outs. 34 x 34 digital record/playback channels can be accessed via USB 2.0 + 2x2 and a USB storage device.
as well as the ability to create custom fader layers. All 36 motorised faders feature stereo metering and a full-colour user-definable OLED display. The console employs Cadac’s MegaCOMMS digital audio network, which the company says is designed to meet the requirements of the
most challenging installation applications. Cadac’s CDC audio protocol is claimed to have the lowest latency of any in the industry: total through-system propagation delay from inputs on stage to outputs, including all console processing and A-D/D-A conversions, is just under 400μs.
Vistonics interface is central The Vi2000 from Soundcraft by Harman combines the Vistonics-based control surface of other Vi consoles with Soundcraft SpiderCore, a powerful integrated DSP and I/O engine based on Studer technology. Central to the Vi2000 design, the Vistonics interface provides direct access to all functions with maximum information and visibility at all times. Multiple switches and rotary encoders are built into each Vistonics screen, so where you look is where you control. Functions are colour-coded and change according to the selected mode. One touch of the screen is all it takes to bring all relevant controls to the operator’s ﬁngertips. The total I/O count of the console is 246 in and 246 out. It is configurable up to 48 mic line inputs and 16 line outputs, using combinations of 16-channel XLR modules in four rear-mounted slots. The console also includes two 64-channel expansion slots, allowing up to two MADI-based stageboxes to be connected.
Alternatively, the slots provided can be used for D21m I/O option cards, available for all industry-standard audio formats. A built-in 64x64-channel Dante interface provides direct recording/playback connection to any PC- or Mac-based recording software via Ethernet. It also allows the Vi2000 to integrate into an existing Dante network.
PLANYOUR MONTH AHEAD
Our pick of what to visit, read and learn takes in a strategy week from NewBay Media, an inaugural AV conference at InfoComm, plus music psychology and audio console training
PICK OF THE MONTH
entertainment industry’s pursuit of standardised IP enablement, while addressing how disruptive technology and trends are impacting the strategies and business models of all industry stakeholders. www.nbmevents.uk/mediatech360summit/
includes a series of affiliated events, including the 2017 TVBAwards; a broadcast pro audio evening, PSNPresents; and, on 6 June, an Installation webinar on video over IP, in association with ZeeVee. The Summit will focus on the media and
MediaTech 360 is a week of strategic events exploring the future of media and entertainment, presented by NewBay Media on 5-9 June. While the centrepiece is the MediaTech 360 Summit (7 -8 June at London’s Millennium Mayfair), the week also
TIDE at InfoComm 2017
Why You Love Music
Yamaha Console Training
InfoComm 2017 in Orlando features the inaugural TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience) Conference on 13 June – examining the strategic impact of AV technology. It will explore the role AV plays in crafting stories and how the AV industry can harness the power of storytelling to meet business objectives.
Subtitled ‘From Mozart to Metallica – The Emotional Power of Beautiful Sounds’, this book seeks to answer the question: why does music affect us so profoundly? Scientist and musician John Powell explores all aspects of music psychology, from how music helps babies bond with their mothers to how it can change how wine tastes or make you spend more in restaurants.
The second of three new training sessions on Yamaha CL and QL digital consoles, aimed at sound engineers and potential console purchasers, takes place on 28 June at SFL Group in Reading. Sessions include handson tuition on designing, configuring and mixing. Cost is £30 per participant – advance booking is essential.