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Issue 203 / July/August 2017


industry trends p06 Global InfoComm’s IOTA study reveals what’s in store sound options p42 Theatre When is a permanent system worth having? beaming p48 California Inside the spectacular Academy of Sciences

DIGITAL WORKPLACES Special report: Making the transformation; BYOD pros and cons; Wireless presenter showcase p26 ŽůůĂďŽƌĂƟǀĞƐŽůƵƟŽŶƐĨŽƌƐŚĂƌŝŶŐŶĞǁŝĚĞĂƐĂŶĚĐŽŶƚĞŶƚ



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


Editor: Paddy Baker +44 (0)20 7354 6034

Designer: Tom Carpenter Content director: James McKeown

Senior staff writer: Duncan Proctor +44 (0)20 7354 6037

Production manager: Jason Dowie +44 (0)20 3829 2617

Sales manager: Gurpreet Purewal +44 (0)20 7354 6029

Digital director: Diane Oliver

Account manager: Ollie Smith +44 (0)20 7354 6026 US sales – Executive vice president: Adam Goldstein

Contributors: Joel Chimoindes, Mike Clark, David Davies, Tim Frost, Jeff Hastings, Rob Lane, Ian McMurray, Steve Montgomery Special thanks: Sarah James, Mandi Joyner, Traci Vogel

Head of design: Jat Garcha

Cover image Fotolia

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Online ISSN: 2052-2401

Learning about the machines


ou may recall that, not many months ago, I wrote an editorial about the Amazon Echo, giving voice (geddit?) to worries about privacy and security. So you might be surprised to learn that, having been swayed by the combination of an Amazon Prime Day discount and having vouchers to spend, I now own an Echo Dot – the entry-level device that gives you access to the Alexa voice assistant. I do still have those concerns in the back of my mind – the main one being, if evil overlords wanted to place 1984-style listening devices into our homes, this is exactly how they would do it. But working on the basis that what I say in my kitchen is not likely to be of interest to anyone outside my household (to say nothing of Paddy Baker, Editor those inside), I’m reasonably relaxed about it. Incidentally, did you know that the name ‘Alexa’ was chosen for @install8ion maximum intelligibility? Apparently the X in the middle makes it easier to be discerned by the audio software. Anyway, as I write, I’ve only been using the Echo Dot for a couple of days, and so haven’t dug too deeply into Alexa’s capabilities. But I have installed some ’Skills’ (the name that Amazon gives to apps in the world of Echo, presumably chosen for maximum irritation) to create a more bespoke experience.

‘We’re on the verge of something very big, although we don’t really know what it will be, when it will happen or what it will look like’ A quick browse through some of the Skills on offer reveals an almost overwhelming range of possible additions to my personal Alexa universe – many of which appear to have extremely niche appeal. It strikes me that this ‘throw mud at a wall and see what sticks’ approach is like the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning in microcosm. I’m not saying it’s a technology looking for an application; rather, the scope is so wide, and the potential impact so deep, that I’d be surprised if anyone knows exactly where the impact will be most strongly felt. Coincidentally, around the same time that Alexa and I were getting acquainted, Google announced its PAIR initiative (People + AI Research), which is designed to improve the relationships between humans and artificial intelligence. “We believe AI can go much further – and be more useful to all of us – if we build systems with people in mind at the start of the process,” said a Google blog. The company’s researchers will be working together in three areas: making it easier for engineers to build machine learning systems; how AI can benefit domain experts, such as doctors, technicians, designers, farmers, and musicians, in their work; and making advances in AI available to everyday users. This feels like a very exciting time. We’re on the verge of something very big, although we don’t really know what it will be, when it will happen or what it will look like. I suppose this is why I spent those vouchers: for all its slightly haphazard development, and even with those privacy and security worries, this is a world that I instinctively feel I want to be a part of.


July/August 2017

Industry Events 10 InstallAwards 2017 All the winners onstage at the awards

18 Show reviews: InfoComm 2017 and DSSE 2017

Viewpoints 06 Analysis: InfoComm IOTA 12 Opinion Rob Lane on how virtual reality is developing Joel Chimoindes reveals the evolving security threats to AV 16 Interview Bob Michaels, CEO at ZeeVee, talks about the company’s journey to the higher end of AVoIP


Special Report: digital workplaces 26 Transforming effect Advances in AV technology and changing workplace demographics are helping to make digital transformation in the workplace a reality 32 Plug and play? We examine the benefits and risks of bringing personal devices into the workplace and the different approaches organisations take to BYOD 38 Showcase: wireless presentation solutions

Features 42 Theatre sound


We look at the impact visiting productions using their own touring systems is having on the solutions venues are choosing to install 46 Audio standards Following the release of the second iteration of InfoComm’s ACU standard, we find out what’s changed

Solutions 48 California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco This natural history museum utilises a broad range of AV to showcase its current research in its public exhibits 52 The Land of Legends, Antalya Europe’s largest aqua park and sea world experience features more than 70 attractions and an array of cutting-edge technology 56 Solutions in Brief Including the world’s biggest touchscreen for the new Candy Crush game show, an autonomous indoor drone to help children in Dutch hospitals and a museum’s large-scale stage hologram


Technology 59 New Products Including Bose, Panasonic, beyerdynamic and Vaddio

64 Demo of the Month Electro-Voice EVID speakers and Dynacord C Series amplifiers



July/August 2017

Industry growth driven by new markets By Tim Frost


he InfoComm Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) project was recently conducted by the industry body, in collaboration with information, analytics and solutions organisation IHS Markit. The results will be published in four reports: the European report is available now, with Asia-Pacific, Americas and Global reports to follow. To compile the report, IHS collected detailed data from a sample of key vendors, and collated buyer-side data across a range of market segments including broadcast and media, command and control, corporate conferencing and collaboration, digital signage, military and governmental, retail, education and hospitality, and security surveillance. Data from within existing research programmes was augmented by additional primary and secondary research and detailed macroeconomic forecasts.

European pro AV industry sales revenue forecast by segment, 2014-22

Sales Revenue (US $ Billions)

50 40 30 20 10 0

Positive outlook Looking globally, IOTA has a positive view of the market trends for the industry. Despite global GDP growth being expected to continue to fall marginally over the next two years (from 6.7% down to 6.1% in 2019), the report predicts pro AV revenues will continue to rise. They are expected to increase from $178.4 billion in 2016 to $198.7 billion in 2019, and on to $231 billion in 2022 – a rise of over 29%. The ranking by value of the largest three pro AV market sectors globally remains unchanged. Streaming media/storage/distribution (SMSD) remains the largest sector, followed by services and then capture and production equipment. The video display sector will go up one position to become the










Video Projection



Video Displays


Capture & Production Equipment

Streaming Media, Storage & Distribution


Audio Equipment


fourth largest sector by 2022; environmental will move up from the ninth largest sector last year to fifth position in 2022. Conversely video projection, the fourth largest market by value in 2016, is expected to show the most dramatic decline, slipping to eighth position in 2022. In value terms, the figures for projectors are stark: revenue that stood at around $28.3 billion in 2014 is expected to decline by almost two thirds to $10.8 billion in 2022.

Source: IHS Markit

Europe on the rise According to the European report’s introduction, the region’s general economy has taken an upward path: “Europe has finally shed the mantle of anaemic growth and can look forward to a period of broad economic expansion.” The European pro AV industry’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) seems to have bottomed out in 2016, with a market value of $42.31 billion.







12% 10%



30 6%



Revenue (US $ Billions)

Global revenue growth by market sector 2016-22

20 4%

15 10


5 0 r





ra po


en Ev




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t Re




t ca




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Source: IHS Markit

* = forecast

08 ANALYSIS The report splits Europe into four sectors, Eastern, Central and Western Europe and Scandinavia, with Western Europe accounting for around 70% of the region’s total pro AV revenues. With its economic maturity, Western Europe’s pro AV market, like Scandinavia’s, is likely to grow by a modest CAGR of 3%. This contrasts with the Central and Eastern European sectors where the markets are still developing; here CAGR will be 6% and 9% respectively to 2022. Looking at the individual European product/ service segments, SMSD is the largest segment in the industry; this is set to continue right through to 2022. At $11.4 billion in 2016, SMSD represents around 28% of the revenues in the European pro AV market. In 2022 this proportion is going to reduce to 26% of the European pro AV market’s predicted $53.5 billion value. Still in the non-hardware areas, general pro AV services will remain the second largest market sector. The long-established move away from selling boxes to supplying integrated solutions into industrial, commercial, entertainment and top-end domestic markets has kept the value of design, integration and programming strong. Digital storage/media server growth is likely to be capped at around 5% CAGR. While the demand for storage is always increasing, this has become a commoditised market with the decreasing cost of storage having a greater impact than the increased demand.

Service trends

July/August 2017

Europe sales revenue forecast - top 20 products/services in 2022, vs 2017 Videoconferencing Systems (Hardware/Software)


Standalone software


Signal Routing & Switching (Hardware/Software) Rental & Staging Projectors (DLP, LCOS, Laser, etc.) Projector Accessories (Bulbs, Lenses) Projection Screens Programming Other Environmental Other Capture & Production Equipment Media Storage Media Servers Managed Services & Maintenance Lighting Fixtures (including installed and portable) LED Video Displays Headphones, Headsets & Earsets Flat Panel Display/TVs/Monitors Control Systems Cameras (Video Production/Recording) Cameras (Conferencing/Surveillance) AV Servers AV Installation/Integration Audioconferencing Systems (Hardware/Software) 0 Source: IHS Markit

IOTA says that the increased integration of pro AV as a service (aaS), using both physical and cloud media servers and storage, will keep the media storage and server markets busy. Compared to buying and installing hardware, cloud-based servers and services offer lower costs as well as scalability. The decrease in the cost of storage means that the overall value of this sector will show a slight decline globally from $17.1 billion in 2016 to $15.9 billion in 2022. In trends that are paralleled for Europe, managed services will see an upturn from $3.9 billion (2016) globally to $4.3 billion in 2022, and it is a similar picture for the media server market: $26.3 billion globally in 2016, growing to $31.8 billion in 2022.

and, of course, advertising. This has created an ecosystem for the creation, supply and distribution of content, which helps to further feed the demand for the hardware. The convenience and quality of video displays has an inevitable impact on the video projector market. Paralleling the global market trends, while the European demand for display digital imaging increases, the video projector market shows significant decline. At $7.8 billion, projectors accounted for 17% of the European pro AV market in 2014 and by 2016 it was already down to 13%. CAGR for projectors is expected to be -17% through to 2022, resulting in a value of around $1.93 billion in 2022 – which is less than a quarter of its 2014 value.

Display changes

Audio in step

The big changes are, predictably, in the area of visual displays. IOTA sees that the demand for digital display and signage throughout Europe in general shows no signs of abating for two reasons. Bolstered by positive consumer confidence, the retail industry is happy to invest in areas that will help attract customers. The improvements in quality of displays and cost reductions have made flat screens a much easier sell. InfoComm’s analysis says that this is coupled with a similar attitude towards digital out-of-home (DOOH) and using displays for branding, informing

Looking at that other letter in ‘AV’, audio in all its forms is less volatile. Audio will show a value growth that is in step with the increase in the size of the market, so maintaining its 8% European market share in 2017 through to 2022. As audio systems are used in a wide set of applications from conferencing, entertainment and corporate, to production and media, variations in the audio submarkets and product areas will tend to counteract each other. Lighting fixtures is the other smaller market sector that IOTA predicts will show significant growth, 24% a year globally. Driven by installations






Sales revenue (US $ millions)

in retail, high-end consumer smart homes, education and care environments. This growth, says IOTA, is being driven by traditional pro AV overlapping with smart building control, and also the general transition to LED lighting, which is generating a whole new set of opportunities in control, programming and integration. From a level of around $6.3 billion globally each for control and lighting fixtures this year, control is expected to grow to $10.6 billion globally and lighting to $18.8 billion in 2022 globally, with Europe following the same trend.

New buyers Highlighted in IOTA, a significant part of the pro AV market growth will be driven by new buyers in the marketplace, with pro AV technology integrating and spreading into ever-wider markets. At an expected global value of $46 billion in 2022, the traditional corporate market will remain the biggest single buyer segment, but it will have only expanded by just over 8% from 2016. Taken together, the next four largest sectors – venues/events, media/entertainment, retail and education – will grow by 37% in the same period, to a combined global market size of $108.9 billion in 2022.

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July/August 2017

A night to remember The fourth edition of the InstallAwards was bigger and better than ever with a new venue and host, but the same winning formula promoting the best installation projects and the people behind them. Here’s a selection of photos from the night


his year’s ceremony took place on Thursday 29 June in central London’s Millennium Gloucester Hotel with around 250 guests in attendance. In addition to the new venue for the event, there was also a new host - presenter and standup comedian Jimmy McGhie. The focus was once again on projects with six Best Project Awards given out as well as the newly introduced Project of the Year Award. There were also two Star Product Awards, four Team and People Awards and three inductees into the Installation Hall of Fame, taking the total number of gongs to 16. The Installation team would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this year’s event the most successful ever: our independent judging panel; the sponsors and event partners; the companies that entered and made every category closely fought; and all the guests that made the event so memorable.

fetime accepted the Li d Tal Kramer an er y) am ph Kr d tro an ng er Raviv (holdi r lf of their fath th Paddy Bake Award on beha wi t , er en am em ev Kr hi ph Ac se Jo Dr r, de un O/fo Electronics CE enting duties handling pres

The third and final addition to the Installation Hall of Fame was Audinate. Roland Hemming (right) presented Kieran Walsh and Joshua Rush (holding trophy) with the Grand Prix awarded for the company’s huge impact on the world of AV

Also inducted into the Installation Hall of Fame, Peerless-AV’s Gordon Dutch (left), who was presented with the Outstanding Contribution Award by Paul Childerhouse, MD at Pioneer Digital Solutions

L-R: host Jim my Manalo of Sn McGhie, Kevin Madeja, To ellin by Wise, MD and Elaine collecting the g Business Systems celebr Best Corporat ated a double e/Industrial Pr success Place, as wel oj l as the newly introduced Pr ect Award for IET Savoy oject of the ye ar Award


11 impressed the judges, winning the Best Retail/DOOH Project Award for The Beacons, Ryan Parry was on hand to receive the trophy

Next up, the came out Soluis Group’s Sta on diu Tony Davi top in the Best Ho m Project Virtua lR sp son and M artin McD itality Project Awa eality Suite rd onnell wer e all smile category. L-R: s

r oject Award fo st Education Pr Be e e th th n ed ct wo lle ation olds co Antycip Simul all, Frank Reyn hool of Art inst its Glasgow Sc award onstage

, went to Sarner sitor Attraction Hamblin, for ard for Best Vi on Aw m Si ct d oje an Pr n e Th Cookso re by (L-R) Ed represented he Centre project s’ or sit Vi lla the Cittade

ct Awards (Display SiliconCore won the first of the two Star Produ ed are Laila pictur y, displa 1.9mm Orchid its for ct) Star Produ Jensen and Eric Penot

The Best Venue Project Award went to d&b audiotechnik, presented to Vincenzo Borrelli and Rolf Dijkstra (L-R) for the company’s work at the Amsterda m ArenA

AV Technology Europe sponsored the Integrator’s Choice: In-House Team of the Year Award, which went to the in-house team at the Royal Society of Medicine, nominated by Feltech. Pictured L-R: Tara Mendelson, Craig MacDonald, Jose Saez, Daniel Herriott, Adam Pietrzyk, Nevil Bounds (Feltech) and Kevin McLoughlin

John Ellis from Sh ure came onstage to collect the compa Presentation and ny’s Collaboration Star Product Award, wo Microflex Advance n for the AV Conferencing Microphones

The Distribution Team of the Year Award went to Sahara Presentation Systems with (L-R ) Nigel and Kevin Batley in attendance to receive the awa rd

A big thank you to all the sponsors and partners for their support for this year’s InstallAwards:

Marketing Team of the Year went to AVMI – collected onstage by Alex Couzins (with trophy) and John Maste rs

e assey hands th onsor Jacobs M ) of category sp lf of winner (R ha y be se on as M ing e pt m Grae ood, acce ard to Jim Harw Rising Star Aw s 21 cu Fo of le co er Adam Gath



July/August 2017

Rob Lane Virtual evolution VR is developing in a number of areas


’ve written about virtual reality a few times in this column over the past couple of years. In some respects things have moved at pace, but overall most people would probably agree that, by today’s standards, VR’s take-up has been relatively slow in the two years since Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion. Mark Zuckerberg has been quoted as saying he sees Rift (and by definition VR) as “a platform for many other experiences” and also a “new communication platform” that will “change the way we work”. We’re still some way from the last two coming true, but VR is certainly becoming a platform for experiences – in no small part due to the hard work of AV integrators.

Finnish company VividWorks has embraced VR as a way of augmenting its Cloud-based AR product configuration, visualisation and sales management platform, VividPlatform. (Full disclosure: VividWorks is one of my clients.) The latest iteration, VividPlatform4, utilises VR as part of an in-store ‘showroom’ that also includes 4K displays, extending its existing AR capabilities and providing real-time access to VividPlatform in store – a ‘world first’ in omnichannel retail. It’s this kind of use of VR that will see it become part of our everyday lives, and it surely won’t be long before Zuckerberg’s dream of it becoming a new comms platform for work and play becomes a reality.

Figment’s imagination Perhaps more than any other company, Figment Productions has been pushing VR to the masses, through using it in theme park rides. It was the first company in the world to deliver a rollercoaster permanently equipped with VR on every seat (Galactica at Alton Towers), and according to CEO Simon Reveley the same conversations about VR’s pros and cons occur across all sectors – including with corporate clients. “This is the very definition of a disruptive technology,” Reveley told me. “VR, AR, MR, XR – whatever label you wish to give it, whatever specific variant – is a technology that’s evolving at a rate of knots. VR rollercoasters are a great introduction, but there’s so much more to come from the technology, across all sectors.” This is certainly true, and it is perhaps the more practical uses of VR that will ensure it becomes one of our technology norms rather than entertainment-based applications.

‘Dancing with headphones and HMDs might be a health and safety compromise too far, though’

Glasto AV One place where VR is yet to resonate is at the Glastonbury Festival. This year I was lucky enough to attend, for the first time in 25 years. This is a very different Glasto from back then, of course, when contacting your friends meant leaving a Post-it note on a barn door, as opposed to calling or tracking them with a smartphone. With many more stages, areas and events to choose from, it was an amazing experience, with AV never too far away – although I was unable to find any trace of VR. I was surprised by the innovative use of AV

in the dance-orientated Shangri La and Block 9 areas, a festival within the festival. Here, it was possible to enjoy eye-boggling projection mapping, multiple projection screens arrayed in a circle within a staged dance area and innovative lighting turning a treehouse bar into an incredible twinkly wonderland – all accompanied by enough dance music to make your ears bleed. The personal nature of VR possibly excludes it from Worthy Farm for now, although the ‘silent’ disco that kept many campers awake after hours (you can’t hear the music, but you can hear all the revellers singing!) is an obvious choice for a future festival. Dancing with headphones and HMDs might be a health and safety compromise too far, though, so perhaps this needs a little more thought… What’s inevitable is that by the time Glastonbury returns in two years’ time, VR will have found itself a home somewhere on the huge site. My money is on the experiential rather than the practical – unless Zuckerberg gets a shift on and festivalgoers are encouraged to don HMDs as festival-appropriate steampunk attire and their comms devices of choice! Much more likely is the adoption of VR for the home Glasto experience, with the BBC trailblazing tech as it has done so many times in the past. VR might not be able to replicate the feeling of mud sucking on wellies or reproduce the heady smell of Class B drugs, but it’s the closest nonfestivalgoers will get to actually being there. Rob Lane is founder/director of Bigger Boat PR Ltd. He’ll happily forego his HMD for a real Glasto experience – but only if he gets a hospitality pass again.


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

Welcome to System reality.


July/August 2017

Joel Chimoindes The security risks of AV As AV solutions continue to evolve, so too does the threat from hacking


he integration of AV and IT systems has created many security concerns for companies driving the benefits of business-wide collaboration to employees. In our everyday life, hacking and cyberattacks have become a constant threat, and one that the industry needs to take seriously. Well-implemented AV/IT solutions deliver seamless instant access to data and collaboration, but poorly installed systems will make for a terrible user experience and could create a serious security threat. Within many organisations, AV equipment is placed where presenting and sharing involves additional technology or third-party solutions. It is now common practice that guest access to WiFi networks is secure, but connections to AV equipment are less protected. In fact, where older AV systems relied on connectors and cables, more modern equipment uses wireless technology opening up security holes if not properly secured. This isn’t just a ‘corporate organisation’ problem. Whether you’re a SMB, corporate, enterprise or public sector organisation, IT security is a clear risk.

Systems must comply Nowadays, AV installations must comply with the same set of rules that are more associated with IT integrations. Equipment needs to embrace standards to ensure maximum connectivity, be easily monitored and maintained. In the boardroom, AV equipment offers users the functionality to seamlessly share their data with others, local or remote – no matter what

the device. If the devices are connected to a local network to share the information, then security of both the device and network need to be carefully considered, including having the right levels of user access control in place. Digital signage devices are becoming far more sophisticated, with their own built-in operating systems delivering a much better return on investment and functionality. However, the increased capabilities come with increased risks and if a device has its own operating system, it can be hacked. How many AV devices that you’ve connected to a network still have the standard manufacturer username and password for instance? One vendor says as many as 60%!

Who’s responsible? Traditionally, facilities and office managers have been responsible for AV installations with very little involvement from the IT department. But as AV equipment becomes more sophisticated, it needs to be considered as an IT function due to installations sitting on a fixed or wireless network. IT managers are now becoming more responsible for AV systems. Logins and guest access codes should all be treated in the same rigorous manner as IT security systems. AV professionals now need to be aware of customers’ security policies before taking on any project. Both existing policies and processes need to be taken into consideration and an assessment of the current threat needs to be considered. To do this successfully requires co-operation and integration between those involved in AV and IT. Successfully selling AV is therefore no longer

a simple product sale. The integration of AV and IT has led to the rise of solutions looking and acting more like IT systems. AV equipment needs to be seamlessly networked within the IT infrastructure, monitored in real time and deployed with a high level of security. This clearly requires a greater depth of knowledge and partners that can deliver that. And part of that knowledge is the communication to the customer – the ability to talk to the IT departments in their own language.

‘Nowadays, AV installations must comply with the same set of rules that are more associated with IT integrations’

As an industry we need to be more mindful of these facts. It will only take a couple of wellpublicised AV equipment hacks for customers to panic about their current solutions. By auditing existing implementations and conforming to IT security practices for new installations, we will ultimately deliver a better user experience and allow our industry to continue to flourish. Time to check those passwords… Joel Chimoindes is managing director at BetaDMS, a digital signage products, services and solutions provider.

ED SHEERAN WORLD TOUR 2017 Congratulations to Major Tom on another successful LEO Family Tour We're proud to support you on bringing the highest quality audio to stages around the world.

Photo: Ralph Larmann


July/August 2017

‘Throw bandwidth at it’

ZeeVee has made a remarkable journey from providing solutions for legacy coaxial cable infrastructure to being a leading light in the SDVoE Alliance, promoting the higher end of AV over IP. Paddy Baker talks to the company’s CEO about how it got there, where it’s going, and how best to describe very low latency


ooking back on my notes from past tradeshows, it appears I first came across ZeeVee at ISE 2013 – although I had met president and CEO Bob Michaels before that, when he was president of Magenta Research. Four years ago, the company was selling products that enabled users to send RF signals via their existing coaxial infrastructure (I took away a promotional t-shirt with the slogan ‘Coax is sexy’). That product line is still available today, but ZeeVee is now much better known for its ZyPer4K and ZyPerHD ranges of AV over IP products, and for being a founder member of the SDVoE Alliance. So how did it make the change from supporting legacy technology to standing at the forefront of the AV over IP movement?

Management discussions “We sat back and we had these management discussions: what are we as a company?” explains Michaels. “We found ourselves sort of

in the broadcast market but with a big foot into the AV market.” This, he says, came from RF modulation products that found a home in the signage market. “It was a market we weren’t really involved in before, but suddenly we had signage people coming to us and saying, ‘I have these 50 TVs that I need to send a signal to, but I don’t want to put a set-top box behind each one.’ So we made a one-channel box that got us into a more secure position within the AV industry.” His previous experience at Magenta suggested there was potential for larger

“Audio and control were already in the Ethernet domain. We saw the silicon coming for the ability to move video continuously over Ethernet to address the requirements of the AV market, and we said, this is the way to go.” Then there was the question of differentiation. “We said to ourselves, if we come in with a lowend offering, we come in at the bottom with something simple, we will have 250 other people to contend with, we’ll get lost in the crowd, and we don’t want to get into a race to the bottom. So we needed to step this up.

installations outside the broadcast space. “We said, AV is where we’re going to be, because of the size of the marketplace and the opportunity that exists. So what are we going to do? Well, we’re not going to go the HDBaseT route, because we see it as kind of an irrelevant technology in two or three years. It’s just so restrictive and proprietary – the world is moving towards Ethernet.

“We knew the founders of AptoVision – they were 50-60% of the way with their design. Our design team sat down with their design teams and we said, this is a technology that’s going to take hold. One of our founders, Steve Metzger [VP hardware and operations at ZeeVee], likes to say: ‘How do we solve a problem? We throw bandwidth at it.’ Ten-gigabyte Ethernet was still expensive, but it was coming.


A brief biography „ Bob Michaels has spent many years at senior positions in technology manufacturers, including seven years based in Singapore as president of Halma Asia „ Within the AV market, he worked at Magenta Research and Digital View before joining ZeeVee in 2012 „ Initially ZeeVee’s senior VP of worldwide sales, he became CEO in 2013 “So we decided, we’re going to come out with something that in three years from now is going to be the way the industry is moving. For the first couple of years, the adoption rate will be low, but we’re going to take an educational position here, go out and talk about the capabilities, and talk about the way the industry’s going. And we’ll be in a great position once the adoption comes.” Having made the decision to take the 10Gb, uncompressed route, it was then a question of finding customers. “We got orders from different places in the market, while trying to figure out where we were going to focus our efforts in terms of verticals.” After initially taking a broadbased approach, he says, “we’re now at the point where we’re focusing on about five different verticals where the action for us really is, on the higher end. People who want pristine video, people who can’t have any latency, people who need the extra capabilities. “Frankly our price point is good for us, but it’s good for the industry too because it’s less expensive than many of the other solutions out there – so we seem to have found the right niche.”

Flexible platform Michaels sees the SDVoE approach as having inherent flexibility, even though at the moment only AptoVision manufactures chipsets compatible with the specifications. “You have to buy a chipset from someone,” he points out. “If you choose H.264 or JPEG-2000 – the chipset is coming from someone. But it’s not FPGA-based, it doesn’t have a lot of flexibility. But with SDVoE you have a tremendous amount of flexibility – you can use this one core platform to do what you want. “The chipset is at the heart of it, but that’s just one component of it – and the platform will enable people to get creative with the solutions. If you look at the ecosystem that’s forming, it’s not just people with endpoints, it’s not just switch manufacturers, we’ve got manufacturers of projectors, screens – we’re starting to get this broad-based network of people who are

interested in Ethernet. I think you’re going to see more software companies coming into it that have different types of solutions.” He draws a contrast with HDBaseT: “To configure a videowall in HDBaseT, you probably need a standalone processor for the most part – and that takes extra money, extra programming. But with the SDVoE chip, I can do multiview off that, I can do interactivity. The core is in there. Will I need someone to come in and help me create all the different flavours? Yes, but it’s going to be software based.” A key advantage of the SDVoE approach, he says, is “taking the complexity out. If I can make your life easier, you’re going to come back to me next time. We’ve proven that on the RF side, we’ve proven it on the Ethernet side.” He continues: ”I think what the Alliance really brings is the ability for this ecosystem to be formed where you can do more with one platform right now – and it’s a very flexible and powerful platform.”

‘We’re looking for rapid growth in the organisation – and looking for good growth in export markets as well’


“Now, for the next few years we’re looking for pretty significant growth for us. In those first three or four years that we’ve been involved in this… we took the time over those years to educate. So over the next couple years we’re looking for that education to pay back. We put ourselves in a leadership position as thought leaders, and people will come to us for advice – people will continue to teach us as well – but people will adopt our technology and what we do and how we present it. “So we’re looking for rapid growth in the organisation – and looking for good growth in export markets as well. We’ve rounded out our product range to include everything in the IP space from simple H.264 encoders and set-top boxes to our premium product line, the Zyper4K, which is the AptoVision-based solution. One of his ambitions is to get SDVoE to be certified as a standard, as well as being regarded as a standard offering in the marketplace by dint of its popularity. In addition to this, he wants to continue to have a strong educational platform for ZeeVee and the SDVoE Alliance, to get more people to buy into Ethernet-based solutions. “Let’s face it, at the end of the day we all need to sell something,” he grins.

No such thing as zero?

Looking a little more widely, the company has enhanced its portfolio. “We went back to our customers on the broadcast side who are using RF and asked what we could do to nudge them along. So we started pushing IP out of our RF boxes. So for our historical customers who are interested in IP, we can lead them and start to educate them on the IP side, and start to move them forward in terms of using IP for IPTV, digital signage, corporate communications, whatever. So we’ve built a standard H.264 encoder that can be received by VLC, by an Amino box – offering compatibility with something that people are familiar with.”

Future vision So what’s his vision of what the future will bring – for the Alliance and for ZeeVee? “We’re kind of joined at the hip in many respects – but for ZeeVee, we’ve got four years invested into the IP scene,” he reflects. “We were in there very early days, adoption of a new technology is always slow, and we also had to make a transition from being an RF company into an IP-based company so we knew that was going to take time as well. We didn’t have many great expectations for the hockey stick in terms of revenue coming in on the IP side until there was more widespread industry adoption.

I ask him about the Alliance’s use of the phrase ‘zero latency’ in describing the SDVoE experience. “We all know there’s no such thing as zero latency – things do take time. You’d have to get the exact quote from the guys at AptoVision for the latency that exists here, but I think its about two lines of one frame, which may be 15 microseconds or so, so it’s not discernible. And again we’re not doing anything with the video screen – packetise it and send it down, it’s done. We’re not adding anything in there. There’s no such thing as zero and I fault us for that, I’m sure, but it’s as close to zero are we ever going to get.” But isn’t it misleading to talk about zero if there is no such thing in this context? “Well, there’s a million things in the market that are more misleading than that, I think – because everybody’s a world leader, for instance. And there’s the 800-pound gorilla in the marketplace who advertises everyday and says ‘the first system…’, ‘the only system…’ – sorry, but we’re three years ahead of you, so I don’t understand how you can be the first. “But it’s a valid point [about zero latency]: we should stop using it, and probably will. Maybe we could say, ‘the lowest latency physically possible’.”


July/August 2017

Orlando blooming Record numbers of attendees, new show features and a vibrant exhibition floor made InfoComm 2017 a lively experience. Paddy Baker reports


nfoComm felt somehow reinvigorated this year. It wasn’t just the fact that the attendance was at a new high – 44,077 registered attendees, which was 13% more than two years ago in Orlando, and 14% more than in Las Vegas last year. There were also a number of new features to lend extra interest to the event. The day before the show opened, the TIDE conference took place (see box item), featuring a host of presenters new to any InfoComm show. During the show, a programme of ‘Center Stage’ presentations took place in the centre of the exhibition hall, drawing large crowds. There was also an Immersive Technology Experience, in which brand experience provider Freeman, together with Samsung, showed a number of applications of virtual, augmented and mixed reality. And there was even a new area for rest and refreshment: The Park venue was indoors (and therefore air-conditioned!) with food trucks, a beer garden, entertainment and games. On the exhibit side, a number of trends were apparent. Particularly in the area of unified

communications and collaboration, there was a marked degree of partnering by companies that might be seen as competitors – such as Polycom and Zoom. It also seemed that more and more companies that previously operated only in the hardware space were building up their software offerings. And, of course, AV over IP continued to build momentum. So let’s start there in our breakdown of showfloor highlights.

AV over IP and signal processing Launched at the start of the year, the SDVoE Alliance attracted a lot of interest at its first InfoComm show. In fact, so strong is the current SDVoE industry buzz that a representative of one non-member manufacturer was worried that people may be getting the mistaken impression that the SDVoE approach to AV over IP is the only valid one; he mused to me that maybe another consortium should be created to send out a balancing message. The Alliance continued to expand its infrastructure by attracting new members: display manufacturer VuWall signed up as an

adopter member at the show, while the run-up to the event saw signal transmission device manufacturers CWIN Technology and Danacoid also take on this role. At the show itself, Alliance members launched products leveraging SDVoE standards. Christie showed Christie Terra, a range of products initially comprising transmitter, receiver and controller. It boasts whole-system HDCP and EDID management; support for video, audio, RS-232, IR control, Gigabit Ethernet and USB; uncompressed 4:4:4 quality video transmission over 10Gb networks; and high-quality video scaling. “It can cut the number of devices in a system by one-third to one-half,” commented John Swinimer, Christie PR specialist. DVIGear launched its DN-200 Series, an extension to its DisplayNet AVoIP product line that deploys SDVoE technology. Comprising four different receiver/transmitter pairs, the series supports HDMI 2.0 with up to 12-bit colour, HDCP 2.2, DisplayPort 1.2, and High Speed USB 2.0, and features a high-performance scaler in both Tx and Rx units.


ZeeVee, another Alliance member, was showcasing its third-generation ZyPer4K AVoIP solution. This version of the product range has a multi-view capability, allowing ZyPer4K to be used in command and control centres, production facilities, and many other demanding environments. If an industry body was to emerge to promote alternatives to SDVoE, one can imagine it would have found a lot of support on the InfoComm showfloor. For instance, on display from Just Add Power was its new 3G Ultra HD over IP transmitter and receiver. Designed for any size of 4K HDMI distribution and HDMI matrixing application, these entry-level models can be mixed and matched with more advanced Ultra HD over IP devices. Features include 4K with seamless HDR and HDR10 support, seamless HDCP 2.2, 4K to 1080p scaling for legacy displays, two-way RS-232 and IP control, support for videowalls and for all audio formats up to and including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Just Add Power has been involved in AV over IP for 10 years, said sales team manager Taft Stricklin. “We’ve designed an infrastructure that can be sustained and manufactured reliably for many years, providing integrators with a scalable, dependable approach to their commercial video distribution needs.” Among the 31 new products announced at the show by Core Brands was a new generation of Gefen AV-over-IP products: a line of 4K video/audio/KVM-over IP-products, including new DisplayPort and audio-over-IP versions. “We launched this range last year and we’ve massively extended it,” Chris Bundy, marketing manager, told us. There were also a number of AV-over-IP products that had been shown at ISE that were receiving their first airing at InfoComm. Now shipping, Crestron’s DM-NVX encoder/decoder transports 4K60 4:4:4 over 1Gb Ethernet, and supports HDR10 and HDCP 2.2. Executive director, product marketing Jeff Singer explained during the manufacturer’s press stand tour that proprietary Crestron technology enables the DM-NVX to decode and scale signals at the same time, so scaling does not introduce any additional latency. After its ISE demonstration of Q-SYS running on a Dell server, InfoComm saw QSC announce two products based on this technology: the Q-SYS Core 2200 and Core 5200 processors. Both provide up to 512×512 network audio channels; the Core 2200 has 128 built-in, fully routable acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) processors while the Core 5200 has 256. Ahead of the show, QSC announced that it had collaborated with two other manufacturers on the development of Q-SYS plug-ins. These have been created for Atlona’s Omnistream AVoIP

platform and its CLSO Series video switchers, and for specific Attero Tech Dante and AES67enabled devices. QSC also revealed during the show that Q-SYS was providing audio processing, routing and control for the entire Orange County Convention Center, where InfoComm 2017 was taking place. Visitors to the QSC stand could monitor the infrastructure at a master user control interface.


TIDE Conference: VR is about more than entertainment

Displays Delta, parent company of Vivitek, was showing its 4K DLP slim laser videowall. This uses the world’s “first and only” 4K cubes (according to James Hsu, director, global product marketing) which are just 560mm deep. The 4,000-lumen laser phosphor illumination source offers good brightness uniformity, and built-in Intelli-Sense functions monitor system parameters and automatically perform real-time adjustments for 24/7 operation. This videowall is also the first to offer an IP6X protection rating and an optical sealed engine for up to 100,000 hours of worry-free operation. There is the option to run the wall at reduced current and brightness, extending its life still further. Leyard/Planar were showing the Leyard LED MultiTouch, described as the industry’s first seamless LED touch-enabled videowall. A 196in model was on the stand – with 158in and 108in models also available. The 1.2mm pixel pitch wall, which recognises up to 32 touch points, uses an IR frame. Rather than having a layer of glass over the touch surface, which can trap heat and impede the touch process, the LED MultiTouch uses Leyard’s single piece of patent-pending PLTS (Pliable LED Touch Surface) material. This is light, seamless, smooth, lightweight and durable. When the wall needs to be serviced, the touch surface can be removed and then reapplied. The wall recognises up to 32 touch points. “Up until now, adding touch to a high resolution LED videowall was an exercise in frustration and compromise for customers. With Leyard LED MultiTouch, we are able to provide the fully integrated and seamless touch experience customers have asked for, without compromising performance or increasing cost of ownership,” said Steve Seminario, vice president of product marketing at Leyard and Planar. MultiTaction was showing its latest software product, MT Showcase. A platform for showcasing rich media content, it can either tell a story by driving the interaction, or allow users to explore for themselves. The demonstration on the stand showed a photo of buildings lining the River Thames in London: the image had been customised by adding the appearance of champagne bubbles in the water, and touching on a building brought up a Wiki information page

Virtual reality has uses far beyond its traditional applications in entertainment, the inaugural TIDE Conference at InfoComm 2017 was told. Nonny de la Peña, founder of Emblematic Projects, has used VR in a journalistic context, using virtualised re-creations of real-life settings to convey the detail of events or places. Her first foray into this area was a virtualised version of Guantanamo Bay – born of necessity as there were few photographs of the controversial prison available. By being placed inside the prison, the viewer experienced at first hand the ‘legal black hole’ in which many prisoners found themselves. Another project by the so-called ‘godmother of VR’ was a work called Use of Force, in which the viewer is a bystander to a fatal beating of a man by a group of policemen. This featured audio from the actual incident, and was based on photos and videos from witnesses to make the whole setting as true to life as possible. Published on BuzzFeed, Use of Force was viewed almost a million times. Standing for Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience, TIDE is a new offering from InfoComm – thought leadership based around the sharing of ideas from speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds, including brand marketers, architects, integrators and live events producers, many of whom had never presented at InfoComm before. Hosted by author and digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi, the event took as its theme the power of storytelling. Matthew Luhn, story veteran at Pixar, gave insights into what makes stories meaningful, illustrated with ideas from Pixar movies. How physical space interacts with storytelling was the subject of a presentation by Josh Barton principal and founder of experience design firm Local Projects, while how the brain remembers experiences was discussed by Barry Ross Rinehart of Multi Image Group. InfoComm has announced that TIDE Conferences will be held at ISE 2018 and InfoComm 2018. about it. MT Showcase enables live updates to be made through its web-based editor. SiliconCore was showing its ZACH LED Driver Chip. Standing for Z(Impedance) Adjustment for Color Homogeneity, the ZACH mechanism achieves uniform brightness and homogenous colour even at very low brightness. It does this by detecting the impedance variation of each LED and applying a compensating adjustment. This is most evident in images with shadows and areas


of greatest contrast from light to dark. The company’s Lavender 1.2mm, Magnolia 1.5 and Camellia 0.95 displays will be the first models to ship with the new ZACH LED drivers in July. SiliconCore is aiming the technology at applications that place high importance on accurate colour reproduction, including command and control and simulation, while corporate and retail customers will also appreciate the colour rendering. Christie launched its Access Series of LCD panels. The range comprises 55in and 65in 4K models designed for 16/7 operation, and 75in and 86in 4K models that can be run 24/7. The smaller displays are intended for meeting rooms, higher education, or retail applications such as menu boards, while the larger ones are targeted at high-use settings including hotel lobbies, airport terminals and control rooms. Samsung was showing its latest quantum dot-powered HDR10+ QLED signage. Available in 55in and 65in versions, these UHD displays work with HDR-quality content at a peak brightness of 1,500 nits. These displays run Samsung’s Tizen 3.0 signage platform, an upgrade from the previous version 2.4. Tizen 3.0 platform a more powerful graphics engine and provides faster response, interactions and loading speeds.

Unified communications and collaboration InFocus launched the ConX communication and collaboration ecosystem, centred around the ConX Cloud videoconferencing service. The company says that ConX enables anyone to participate actively in a virtual meeting, no matter what device, operating system or videoconferencing service they are using. Compatible display hardware solutions include Mondopad touch-enabled displays, ConX videophones and scalable ConX videoconferencing walls supporting up to 96 displays. ConX software and web apps are available for laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Launched earlier this year, Cisco’s Spark Board received its first InfoComm outing. It’s a three-in-one collaboration device that provides wireless presentation, digital whiteboarding and video/audio conferencing. Described as intuitive to use, it is wireless and touch-enabled, and contains a 12-microphone array to pick up speech from all points in the meeting room. It is designed specifically for use with Cisco’s Spark cloud-based collaboration suite. Oblong was demonstrating the new touch annotation feature in its Mezzanine series of collaboration systems. This allows annotation over multiple streams simultaneously, not just a single connected device. Users can annotate over graphics or live video, including live video feeds of analogue whiteboards in other locations. The company recently launched a family of Mezzanine solutions, lowering the price of entry for customers. The Mezzanine 200 has two displays, the Mezzanine 300 has three, while the Mezzanine 600 has three displays plus a ‘corkboard’ for holding material away from the main presentation space. Polycom launched the Pano screensharing device, which you can read about in our Product Showcase on page 40. A few weeks before the show, Polycom announced a link-up with video communications company Zoom: the Zoom Connector for Polycom, which is a one-click solution that enables users to join a Zoom meeting from a Polycom environment. Or, as Andrew Cuneo, senior manager, corporate communications at Polycom, put it: “It’s for customers who want to use Zoom as their ‘video dial tone’, but don’t want everyone shouting into their laptops in the meeting room.” Also partnering with Zoom was Crestron, simplifying the Zoom Room experience. The Zoom control app can now be run natively on Crestron’s recently launched Mercury

July/August 2017

conferencing solution, rather than on a dedicated computer. Mercury also includes four microphones for 360º coverage, plus wired and wireless HD presentation. New for InfoComm was native integration of Skype for Business into Crestron Mercury – extending further the ability to start a video call without bringing a laptop into the meeting room. Lifesize was showing a beta version of its redesigned app, which now more closely emulates the look of the web and desktop versions of the Lifesize collaboration system. “With Google’s investment in WebRTC, this is the way to go,” said Josh Duncan, who heads the UX team at Lifesize. (WebRTC is a set of protocols that allow real-time communication in a browser window.) Features include increased functionality from the front screen; an enhanced directory with a favourites function; and pre-call checks of cameras and audio. “You can call users, meeting rooms or virtual meeting rooms,” he added. Prysm showed off the latest enhancements to its Digital Workplace collaboration platform. One new element of functionality is co-browsing, whereby any remote meeting participant on an approved mobile device can make edits to displayed content. Additionally, QuickStart functionality enables video calls to be made using codecs from Cisco, Polycom, Logitech and others directly from the Prysm software. The device-agnostic package was demonstrated on a Microsoft Surface Hub on the Prysm stand. “We think we make Surface Hub more effective,” said Shannon Lyman, director of communications. Datapath was showing its new Quant software package, which is for advanced application sharing on videowalls for businesses operation centres and control rooms. Users can view and share applications, as well as interact and make changes to original source files. Providing full interactivity with shared applications, Quant permits application windows to be dragged and dropped between peers or on to a videowall. This intuitive functionality makes it easy to share important information from sometimes ad-hoc sources ‘on the fly’. Finally, on the conference audio side, Biamp expanded its TesiraFORTÉ family of digital audio processors with the new VT and VT4 series for small room applications. The new TesiraFORTÉ VT provides both VoIP and POTS options within the same chassis; TesiraFORTÉ VT4 delivers the same flexibility designed specifically for small conference rooms. Both models are available in AVB and Dante versions, while the VT additionally comes in a standalone version.

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July/August 2017

Maturing market, developing technologies

July’s Digital Signage Summit Europe shone a light on the way the digital signage and DOOH markets are developing – and the role that new technologies are playing. Paddy Baker reports


he smart city concept has been totally changed by the advent of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, attendees at the Digital Signage Summit Europe 2017 were told. Smart cities were a key area of focus at the event, which took place on 5 and 6 July at the Internationales Congress Center München – a new home after many years at the Hilton Munich Airport. Entitled ‘Digital Signage at the Crossroads – New Technology, Changing Demand and Market Consolidation’, the summit attracted nearly 700 attendees – an increase of 53% on the last year’s event. They came to see presentations from 45 industry experts, as well as the accompanying exhibition, which hosted stands from nearly 40 companies. The comments about the IoT and AI came from Florian Rotberg, chairman of DSS Europe and MD of invidis consulting, during a keynote entitled ‘The Essence of Smart Cities – Sharing is Caring’.

‘It’s important to focus not just on what’s possible, but what’s culturally acceptable – that’s where the limits are’ Florian Rotberg, invidis consulting

“The main enabler of smart cities is the IoT – everything is connected, we get live data from everywhere, it’s very essential,” said Rotberg. He showed an example of a smart street lighting deployment that not only features electric vehicle charging but also uses radar detection of traffic flows to adjust lighting levels. AI is being increasingly used in cities in a predictive

role, he said. Examples include matching the supply of parking spaces with the demand, as well as the changes in demand for different modes of transport in a city as different generations move in and out. Rotberg highlighted three cities that have each embraced the smart city concept in their own ways. In Dubai, the emphasis is on sharing data about all aspects of life in the emirate; some is shared between government departments, some is provided as an open resource for businesses, and some is shared directly with the public. In Singapore, where over 80% of the population lives in public housing, homes are equipped with sensors measuring electricity and water consumption, and waste generation; this data feeds into a giant 3D model of the city, which can be used in simulations of events such as fires or hurricanes. Europe’s first smart city is Santander, which began its project five years ago. It has installed a number of sensors that register parked cars, noise and air quality – the data populates an app that is available to the public. Noting that many Europeans are resistant to widespread CCTV, Rotberg said: “It’s important to focus not just on what’s possible, but what’s culturally acceptable – that’s where the limits are.” Madina Tenizova of Billboard Video Group gave an illustration of how smart cities and DOOH can work hand in hand. Her presentation covered a 60-screen network of roadside ‘media boards’ in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. This is a self-learning system that records traffic flows and, using real-time video analytics a cloud server and SpinetiX media players, displays traffic advice to drivers. Advertisement material is also displayed, with the lengths of slots increased as traffic slows. The network is also able to trigger content based on external events – such as advertisements for weatherproof phones during periods of rain, or airline advertisements synchronised to flight information.

One display technology that may well find a home in smart cities is e-paper – the subject of a presentation by Jaka Stele, COO of Visionect. Familiar to anyone who has ever used a Kindle, e-paper is highly suited to multiple deployments across cities for information such as timetables, said Stele. Because it only consumes power when the displayed information changes, it can be deployed off the mains grid, using either solar or battery power. “E-paper can be 100 times more efficient than LED or LCD screens if the image doesn’t change much,” he said. Because the surface is non-reflective, it’s also readable in direct sunlight.

‘Projects are getting bigger, they are becoming international. Only the biggest companies are growing and getting the big projects’ Lars Pålsson, MultiQ

Visionect is aware of over 150 outdoor pilots of e-paper between 2008 and 2005, of which only 7% went on to volume deployments. However, the technology has improved significantly over the past 18 months, he said – displays are becoming more affordable and larger, with wider operating temperature ranges. Visionect, he added, has had more success to date with e-paper in indoor digital signage projects than outdoor ones. “The business case may be clearer for outdoor projects but the complexities are greater,” he commented.

Retail Another major area of focus at DSS Europe was the retail sector, which continues to be a fast-developing

18,000 Maintenance-Free Lumens from a 1-Chip DLP Projector?








The Visionaries Choice


24 SHOW REVIEW: DIGITAL SIGNAGE SUMMIT EUROPE 2017 area for digital signage. Sabine Krieg, global head of segment retail at shopfitting specialist Vitra International, discussed 10 global retail drivers: convenience, engagement, flexibility, reducing complexity, holism, personalisation, transparency, cohesion, encompassment and value. Fredrik Holmvik, head of media at Swedish supermarket chain ICA Group, gave a presentation about how the group has envisaged a true omnichannel experience: personalisation, convenience, engagement, transparency and reducing complexity all featured. Holmvik reminded his audience that the term ‘omnichannel’ is sometimes misused. It doesn’t simply mean the same as multichannel; it implies an exchange of information between channels to give customers a seamless experience when moving between them. For instance, Apple’s use of the AppleID means that it has an up-to-date picture of each customer’s activity that it can use in both online and in-store interactions.

‘E-paper can be 100 times more efficient than LED or LCD screens if the image doesn’t change much’ Jaka Stele, Visionect

ICA is working to put in place a set of systems based around the use of an ‘ICA ID’ and app, which will enable customers to receive a more personalised approach, and to shop on their own terms. For instance, they will be able order groceries online, then add to the order when they visit the store; have dietary requirements and intolerances saved within their profile, so that they don’t accidentally buy unsuitable products, and source out-of-stock items from other branches. A more familiar approach to retail customer engagement was presented by Daniel Tomè, interactive technology specialist Touchwindow. Elnòs Shopping is an Italian shopping centre, based around an IKEA store, which is designed to be a meeting place offering leisure and entertainment as well as shopping experiences. Touchwindow installed a 6 x 1 wall of 55in portrait displays that shows standard digital signage content if no-one is nearby; but if a shopper approaches the wall, the layout changes and they are invited to play one of 20 games. There is also a 3x3 social wall of 55in displays, plus interactive touch tables offering games, activities, newspapers and magazines to read, and an interactive store directory. Users connect to the free ‘Social WiFi’ with their social media accounts, enabling marketing data to be collected about visitors and helping to improve understanding of their shopping habits, with a view

to creating an even better customer experience. Many sessions dealt with the application of various IT-based technologies to improve the customer journey, yield a better understanding of consumer behaviour, or both. In particular, programmatic advertising becoming increasingly prevalent in the DOOH market. Sebastian Op het Veld, head of programmatic with My AdBooker and Roel Pennings, director of operations, CS Digital Media, described how programmatic targeting has been integrated into Shell’s new Smart Fuel pump platform, CIS, to recognise personal profiles and vehicle information at the pump. Arjen de Jong, marketing and sales manager at Snakeware, presented some use cases of locationbased beacon technology. For instance, in a Dutch bank, when customers arrive for an appointment they are greeted by the app and given the name and photo of the mortgage adviser they will be meeting. At the same time, counter staff are told the identity of the customer who has just entered, so they can greet them by name. Beat Fischer, business development manager digital at LINK Institut, described how beacon technology had been used to analyse the effectiveness of outdoor advertising campaigns in Berne, Switzerland. Using a combination of beacons on DOOH displays and post-campaign research, LINK was able to determine for three campaigns that greater exposure to the messages led to an increase in customer activity. Michael Macmillan, co-founder of Shopperlab, described how AI has been used to simulate consumer eye-tracking studies to 96% accuracy. The technology has been deployed in an app, he said, so that “you can compare the visual impact of your signage versus your competitors’, just using your mobile” – rather than carrying out time-consuming studies with samples of consumers.

Industry developments The Summit also featured panel sessions that were a rich source of opinions about future industry developments. In the ‘Driving Consolidation’ panel, Lars Pålsson, CEO of digital signage integrator MultiQ, commented: “Projects are getting bigger, they are becoming international. Only the biggest companies are growing and getting the big projects.” MultiQ has

July/August 2017

been growing by acquisition for the past decade. The need to communicate to different cultures means that his company prefers to work with local partners in countries outside Scandinavia. The maturing market was also reflected in requests for proposals (RFPs) becoming more complicated, observed Leif Liljebrunn, CEO of digital signage integrator ZetaDisplay. “In the Nordics, we can see the second wave of digital signage. It’s more professional, clients know what to ask for, and RFPs are more complicated – but better – today. So it’s much easier to make business today compared with before.” Pålsson added: “A typical bid today could be €10million, rather than €1 million or €0.1 million.” The closing panel gave some predictions for the industry for 2017-18. Abdul Bakhrani, CEO of Digital Communication, commented that a number of verticals, including retail and hotels, were looking at VR and AR: “It’s a shift from digital signage, but it’s still early days. I’ve seen it in many briefs and RFPs.” He added that his company had completed installs involving AR/VR in “several high-end locations”. Bob Raikes, MD of market research consultancy Meko, observed that LCD will continue to dominate the display market – OLED will only achieve a significant foothold in smartphones. “Most of the display business is about LCD – because it’s about square metres,” he said. “[Consumer] TVs are the dog, everything else is the tail. It’s staying LCD because OLED is hard to make.” He noted that massive investment by Chinese manufacturers in the domestic TV market would have the side-effect of “a dramatic reduction in price for digital signage”. Summarising the event, Rotberg commented: “Attendees got a real sense of the way forward – the challenges and the opportunities.” Mike Blackman, Integrated Systems Events MD, said: “The largest numbers of attendees, exhibitors and sponsors have ensured that DSS Europe remains a key destination for the digital signage community. I am very pleased that they have all enjoyed a very successful two days and would like to thank all of those who have supported it.”

Steerable sound isn’t just about being heard, it’s about being understood.

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July/August 2017

Transforming effect Everyone in businesses and organisations around the world seems to be talking about digital transformation and the digital workplace. To begin this special report, Ian McMurray finds out what’s going on in the office


appy birthday, ENIAC. This year, on 29 July, ENIAC would have been 70 – had the world’s first significant digital computer lived until now. Instead, it was switched off, somewhat unceremoniously, on 2 October 1955, by which time it has been claimed that it had done more arithmetic than the entire human race to that date. Insofar as ENIAC was the first significant digital computer, it can be said to have been the progenitor of the digital technologies we take for granted today. Those have transformed our home and personal lives – and, increasingly, they’re transforming both how and where we work. That transformation has a name: the ‘digital workplace’. But: what are its key characteristics?

Mobile lifestyles “Millennials who, by 2020, will make up half the global workforce, are a major driver in the creation of the digital workplace,” notes Michael Helmbrecht, chief product and operations officer at Lifesize. “They’ve got a strong affinity for digitisation, mobility and flexibility. With this, we’re seeing the digital workplace becoming more commonplace – a standardisation of mobile work styles, user-driven BYOD tools and persistent collaboration, in spite of different time zones and locations.” Helmbrecht talks about mobile lifestyles, and certainly mobility is a key element in the digital workplace. “To me, the digital workplace is a place

where everyday devices are more connected and where the physical and virtual environments are merging,” believes Alex Couzins, marketing manager at AVMI, “allowing employees to communicate and collaborate across distributed environments and geographies.” “Broadly speaking, it’s about giving the workforce the tools they need when and where they need them,” says Michele Durban, marketing director at Starleaf. “It also means that there needs to be a way to meet up with colleagues on a virtual basis, over video on any device they happen to have to hand.” “Work is no longer a place, it’s an activity,” adds Neil Marshall, client solutions director at Dell EMEA. “A digital workplace is a digital experience centred on an agile, highly mobile work culture that gives employees the freedom to get more done from anywhere.”

Key Points „ The digital workplace journey began 20+ years ago. As yet, the end is not in sight – and nor does anyone know what the end looks like „ The digital workplace is not only being driven from the top down to deliver improved business results – it also reflects new ways people want to work „ Of all the technologies enabling the digital workplace, the cloud is perhaps the most significant because of how it supports mobility and location-independence „ The nature of the digital workplace opportunity for integrators is very different from the profile of the traditional opportunity – and will require new business models

Three dimensions “I think there are three dimensions to the digital workplace,” explains Lieven Bertier, global marketing manager for collaboration and meeting experience base at Barco. “It features a lot of open space and flex desking, together with huddle spaces. It’s a new way of working involving BYOD, cloud and maybe even virtual personal assistants. And it leverages the Internet of Things in order to exploit information.” What’s interesting is that almost no-one mentions ‘collaboration’ in their definition of the

digital workplace. “Collaboration is such a clichéd word,” laughs Birgit Sommerer, commercial director, visual solutions at Sharp Europe – and that may be because, today, that’s a concept that’s already so deeply ingrained that it’s a given; talking about it seems almost superfluous. What these digital technologies do, though, is to deliver the mobility, the locationindependence, the easy access to information and the tools that enable that information to be readily shared in real time – and those deliver a


highly collaborative working experience. So what’s happened that has made ‘digital workplace’ the words on everyone’s lips? “The digital workplace is a concept that’s been on CIOs’ radar for a couple of years now,” says Anne Marie Ginn, senior category manager at Logitech Video Collaboration, “but advances in technology, as well as workplace demographics, have allowed many companies to make this digital transformation a reality.”

Validated Sommerer too sees changing workplace demographics as one of three drivers for the change. “If organisations don’t keep up with the technology preferences of their people, they suffer – or people just use their own devices instead, and the business loses control of its data,” she believes, “so there’s pressure to speed up digital transformation. Second: when everyone is working on their own devices, using ‘eyes-down’ technology, and communicating digitally, collaboration can suffer. We need digital technologies to support human interaction rather than replace it. “The third thing we’re seeing is that big IT providers have entered the interactive display space and have validated it,” she goes on. “Digital tools like interactive displays are now seen as mainstream business applications and something to include in your IT spend alongside laptops and individual screens.” Couzins too sees the so-called ‘millennial effect’. “The digital workplace seems to be driven at both ends of the organisation,” he adds. “At the top, CTOs and CIOs are looking for ways to accelerate business growth and drive efficiencies using the latest technologies and digital infrastructure. ‘Digital transformation’ seems to be the buzz term used to describe this movement at an enterprise level. Likewise, with the rise of IoT and smart devices in the home, it seems to me that there is also a bottom-up demand – especially amongst younger, more tech-savvy workers who are coming into the organisation with greater expectations around technology in the workplace.” For Drew Dooler, managing director and founder, UXG – formerly Unicam Digital Group – it’s all about the bigger picture. “Digital workspace to me means innovation,” he says. “It’s the next logical step in how businesses will and should aspire to operate and grow. It allows for businesses to develop a global footprint, opening themselves to new talent and territories that only a few years ago would’ve meant they had to invest in overseas offices and infrastructure that would have taken considerable funding in order to be a successful venture.”

Playing nicely together The technologies that go to make up the digital workplace are already fairly well understood


Case Study

AVMI helps make meetings more efficient A worldwide consultancy with over 380,000 employees turned to integrator AVMI to deploy over 50 Microsoft Surface Hubs throughout its offices across the UK and Ireland. The consultancy had already adopted a Digital Transformation Agenda, which it has been rolling out across its global infrastructure to cater for the demands of an increasingly younger, more digitally aware workforce – in fact, two-thirds of its workforce are under the age of 35. As a result, the company says it saw rapid adoption due to the reduced complexity of the all-in-one solution; increased usage of workspaces that were digitally equipped; and improved meeting efficiency through the elimination of set-up delays. and in place – mobile/portable devices, unified communications, videoconferencing and audio conferencing, interactive screens are the primary hardware elements. Software – notably Office 365 and Google’s G Suite – is playing an increasing role in making it all play nicely together. “It’s all about technology, access, communication and security,” says Marshall.

‘We need digital technologies to support human interaction rather than replace it’ Birgit Sommerer, Sharp Europe

“The underlying technology that has proven pivotal is unified communications (UC), though the development and adoption of these multifaceted systems has been a gradual process,” believes Ginn. “Now that many companies and employees are comfortable with their UC systems, we’re increasingly seeing collaboration move into workflow applications such as Slack and Microsoft Teams – the chat-based workspace in Office 365 – which acts as a sort of ‘UC 2.0’, in place of traditional communication channels, such as email.” “The adoption of Skype for Business, Cisco Spark and other UC platforms has made it very easy for employees to communicate via chat and video, and share information across any device,” echoes Couzins. “To me, this is what the virtual/ digital workplace is all about.” There is, however, one technology that is easily

overlooked but that is perhaps the key enabler for what the digital workplace is and does. “Cloud is a significant factor,” nods Bertier, “because it makes it possible to have access to and share data from anywhere, from any device.” “Cloud is the key, and how it has changed how we consume technology,” echoes Durban. “It has no barriers and knows no boundaries.”

Significant shift Helmbrecht agrees. “Perhaps the most significant shift has been a cloud-based approach to videoconferencing,” he says. “This dramatically decreases the time to deployment, management efforts and cost for both IT departments and endusers. In addition, cloud-based videoconferencing is ideally suited for today’s mobile and dispersed workforce, who can use videoconferencing virtually anywhere and across any platform – desktop, laptop, mobile device – while integrating it seamlessly with their other productivity and collaboration tools and processes.” Ginn sees things very much the same way. “A major factor has been the advent of cloud-based UC and collaboration platforms,” she notes. “These platforms have made the digital workplace infinitely more affordable, and significantly more flexible than the fixed systems that came before.” As technology proliferates throughout all levels of an organisation, and especially a technology focused on improving productivity, it’s inevitable that ease of use becomes a key selling point. In fact, it would be all too easy for prospective end-users to be led to believe that creating a digital workplace is something they can do for themselves. If they do indeed believe that, where does it leave the integrator community? “While this may seem to take traditional


responsibility away from the integrator, they are still vital in the deployment and maintenance of the back-end technologies that deliver the employees’ ultimate end-user experience,” claims Ginn. “For instance, many companies will turn to integrators to manage the integration of hardware and software, the actual deployment, the cabling, and ongoing maintenance once the solution is in situ.” “As easy-to-install ‘plug-and-play’ endpoints and downloadable cloud-based apps have gained pace, it has driven different expectations for the buyer’s experience, which requires business adjustments for many integrators,“ believes Helmbrecht. “Whenever there is a fundamental change in technology and customer buying behaviour, integrators face the question of how they add value for customers in a rapidly shifting market.

‘If anything, the digital workspace is more accessible to small and medium businesses than to the big time players in the business arena’ Drew Dooler, UXG

“As solutions and markets change, revenue opportunities do as well,” he continues. “It is more important than ever for integrators to develop their sales and marketing engine to facilitate customer acquisition and to enable expansion opportunities. In addition to project-based services to design and deploy, there is the opportunity to build a recurring revenue stream and develop more business by working with customers to expand their user base and the scope of their solution over time. This requires a strategic conversation to understand customers’ broader communication

and collaboration needs and plans.” He has an ally in Marshall, who is also a proponent of a consultative approach based on a deep understanding of the customer’s business and objectives. “The opportunity for integrators lies in consulting about an appropriate workplace transformation plan for an organisation – it’s rarely as simple as just putting in some new laptops,” he smiles. “Often, room design and layout, meeting space reshuffling, implementation of interactive projectors or displays in collaborative workspaces and the creation of huddle rooms will feature in the transformation of a workspace. Integrators are ideally suited to sell consultancy packages that support this process based on their intimate knowledge and understanding of what their customers’ business rhythms feel like.” The really good news for integrators, however, may turn out to be the size of the available market – because the industry is agreed that the digital workplace is not only appropriate for small and medium businesses: it may even be easier to sell to.

July/August 2017

room than 100. Smaller businesses can use this as an advantage over larger competitors. The digital workplace means that smaller businesses are easily and quickly connected to their stakeholders and customers, which increases their business opportunities. In terms of recruiting and retaining talent, it’s important too; we know that nearly one in five UK workers said they would stop looking for another job if their office had better technology.” Her last point resonates with Ginn. “Deploying and offering the correct tools and technologies can prove pivotal in talent acquisition and retention for businesses of all sizes,” she says. “Ambitious workers will always seek to use the most sophisticated and efficient workplace technologies.” And if it’s good news for the integrator community that the market is almost limitless in terms of the profile of companies that can not only benefit from implementing, but also relatively easily afford, digital workplace technologies – the even better news is that plenty have yet to do so.

Hurdles to overcome “The tools are there, but the implementation isn’t yet,” points out Sommerer. “In our research with European office workers, we found that 40% of office workers think the technology in their office makes it difficult to share information with colleagues. There is still work to do in selling the benefits of collaborative technologies to businesses, to make it obvious what the ROI is. There are hurdles to overcome because some of the earlier versions of these technologies didn’t always provide the best experience. There is research that many IWB were purchased but not used because they provided a disappointing experience – and people went back to flipcharts.” This raises the question of whether the digital workplace has arrived – and whether it’s a destination, or a journey. Much as with the significance of the cloud, the industry is no less aligned around the answer. “We’re in the relatively

More accessible “If anything, the digital workspace is more accessible to small and medium businesses than to the big-time players in the business arena,” claims Dooler. “Many larger companies have IT systems that have existed for years, built on a principle and design that is now evidentially and quite obviously becoming outdated. For them to change their processes, to change systems and hardware, train staff and roll it out – it’s a huge undertaking for their IT teams. Many of these teams may not have the budget or the resources, and many may be run on a ‘don’t fix what ain’t broke’ basis.” Sommerer sees things similarly. “Often, a smaller business can be more agile and adopt new technologies more easily,” she believes. “It’s easier to get sign-off for a refit of one meeting

Enabled by the cloud The industry is agreed that the cloud is perhaps the key enabler for the digital workplace – and market research tends to back up the perception that cloud-based computing: will become even more pervasive. Morgan Stanley believes that, by next year, cloud-based products will account for 30% of Microsoft’s revenues. Synergy Research Group says that worldwide cloud computing revenues are growing at 28% and are already worth more than $110 billion, while Allied Market Research believes cloud-derived revenues will exceed $550 billion by 2020.

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30 SPECIAL REPORT: DIGITAL WORKPLACES early days of the digital workplace,” affirms Marshall, “and only time will tell how the journey goes from here.” “We’ve reached a new point in the journey,” believes Helmbrecht, “but technology always marches forward and therefore the journey never ends. There will always be more we can do for customers and new ways we can serve them. That means more opportunity for all of us to renew and grow our businesses.” “We’re on a journey, and we’re just seeing the first elements come to the digital workplace,” maintains Bertier. “Huddle rooms are a key element in driving the change, but with ambient intelligence and immersive technologies looming on the horizon, it’s clear the journey is far from completed.” “I don’t think we’ll ever reach the destination – and that’s not a bad thing,” smiles Dooler. “We now have a foundation of technology and a desire to build a digital workplace that can be a reality. All businesses should have that target – but it will always evolve and constantly change.” The notion that the digital workplace is truly a journey is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that it is one we embarked on two decades or more ago. “Really, digital transformation in the workplace

has been happening for at least the last 20 years, since email started to replace the letter,” says Sommerer, “so perhaps a digital workplace is just a workplace.”

‘Advances in technology, as well as workplace demographics, have allowed many companies to make digital transformation a reality’ Anne Marie Ginn, Logitech

Agility supported by technology Starleaf’s Durban summarises where we are. “For many years, we’ve mused over the idea of business agility,” she says. “Moving business users and CIOs away from the idea that everything must be fixed, on-premise and managed all within four walls started a few years back. Today, companies see being agile as an absolute requirement – and the agile company wants an agile workforce. For the first time, we’re comfortable that this can be supported by technology, freeing people from

July/August 2017

the office, allowing them to be globally mobile, work from home, be on site – but always have access to their virtual desktop, communications and productivity apps. Importantly, all of this technology is available like running water – delivered via the cloud and mostly on a subscription basis.” Back when ENIAC was alive, work was about serried rows of copy typists, of telephone exchange operators, of clerks at their desks – of routine, and of hierarchical management structures. Digital technology has changed all that, utterly transforming the world of work to one of immense freedom and flexibility in which collaboration is creating commitment, engagement, enjoyment – and, yes, positive business results. We may not know where we’re going – but we believe it will be a better place than we’re in today. And it all started with ENIAC.


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July/August 2017

Plug and play?

Bringing personal devices into the workplace offers both benefits and risks. Steve Montgomery examines how BYOD can interact with AV installations, and looks at how to get the best results


s far back as 2013, IDC reported that tablet sales were overtaking both PCs and laptops as the demand for mobility and convenience exploded. This trend has continued and IDC recently confirmed that 56% of all personal computing devices now sold commercially are tablets. Along with smartphones, these are the predominant and preferred devices of most people – and they have all but taken over from the PC-based communication and personal management tools of a few years ago. Similarly, IP- and web-enabled communication devices are rapidly displacing fixed telephones as the primary means of voice and video interaction throughout the commercial and educational sectors.

‘We are experiencing a high level of take-up of BYOD in universities and other educational facilities’ Nick Mawer, Kramer

A large proportion of tablets and smartphones are employee owned, and the demand has grown from staff to be allowed to connect their own devices to corporate networks and use them for business purposes – both for communication and internet

access, and to enable connection to local AV devices for presentation and collaboration. While this BYOD trend is hugely beneficial to companies, it brings with it significant problems. These have led to some companies, particularly larger ones, blocking the use of personal devices and not permitting them to be connected to in-house IT networks.

Restrictions Futuresource Consulting found that around 25% of users throughout Western Europe and the US are permitted to use their own devices to share content in meeting rooms. However, 44% of employees report that their organisation places some limitation on the use of employee-owned devices. This is a result of concerns over the security implications that these devices pose, and the consequent restrictions imposed by IT departments and network administrators to safeguard access to corporate networks and sensitive commercial data. Futuresource also discovered that larger organisations are more likely to place restrictions on the use of personal devices. Nick Mawer, marketing manager at Kramer, confirms this observation: “BYOD is becoming more popular across most segments, but more so within smaller businesses. Some of the larger businesses tend to exert more control over the devices used on their systems, but it really does vary between organisations. We are also experiencing a high level of take-up in universities and other educational facilities.

Key Points „ BYOD is used widely across all sectors of commercial workplaces and educational facilities „ It is more common in small and mediumsized enterprises where security, liability and personal policies are less well defined and enforced than in larger enterprises „ 44% of employees report that their organisation places some limitation on the use of employee-owned devices „ Good specification and system design should allow any AV component to be managed in conjunction with personal devices “Security concerns are the main reason organisations are not prepared to allow external or unmonitored devices onto their networks,” he continues. “Another reason is standardisation: some companies allow individuals’ devices to be connected but are keen to provide a controlled experience during presentations and that requires corporateowned rather than personal devices.” Botao Lin, director at Delta Products Corporation. agrees, and adds another reason: “We have detected two key barriers to the adoption of the BYOD model, and these are security and network utilisation. From a

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34 SPECIAL REPORT: DIGITAL WORKPLACES security perspective, the challenge lies in establishing how to share information and data securely. The second important factor is network utilisation, and the question there is whether BYOD will affect the performance of the network infrastructure through excessive bandwidth consumption.” Security is a major consideration for all organisations; how, and to what extent, an organisation is prepared to allow BYOD devices onto the network will affect the AV equipment deployed. Tony Crossley, pre-sales technical director for Pure AV, explains: “There are several collaboration tools that are designed to work with personal devices. The selection of which one is best suited to a particular installation depends upon the level of trust and accessibility that an organisation is prepared to give to users. “In some cases they will allow significant connectivity and access. When there is accountability and a high level of trust we would recommend a more open collaboration system like Kramer VIA. However when a large number of unknown visitors are actively wishing to connect it may be better to use a more closed system like Barco ClickShare with its dedicated inbuilt wireless connectivity that works separately from the enterprise wireless network.” Sahara’s Clevertouch also allows users to connect to display devices without connecting to the corporate network, as Sean Marklew, sales and marketing director for Sahara Presentation Systems. explains: “Clevertouch screens can act as standalone devices that don’t have to connect to the network. They generate their own hotspots that allow users to connect and collaborate with the screen using any platform without the need to connect to the business network.”

whether we like it or not, will continue to do so as technology progresses. Fear of adding devices to networks has largely subsided and IT managers will address requests to include devices with key operational questions, rather than a downright refusal to oblige. Rather we need to understand how and where BYOD and AV systems can interact with each other and with other devices on the network. Where they should be allowed to communicate freely and where they should be locked down is a key part of ensuring the solution is secure.” The IT network should be configured to maximise its inherent security. The latest generation of WiFi access points and switches incorporate extensive security measures to prevent unauthorised access to network-connected devices from guest BYOD

July/August 2017

devices. This aids IT managers who are often reluctant to permit the connection of unknown and unmanaged devices onto the networks under their responsibility, because it means they lose visibility of what is happening. There are different methods of enabling controlled access to network devices such as AV components. Network Access Translation (NAT) maps IP addresses across a network and can be set up by the system administrator to allow traffic to pass between devices with specific MAC addresses. Attached personal devices can be limited to dedicated AV devices and not have access to other, unauthorised equipment. As long as the AV device has a MAC address, some WiFi switches (the Cisco Meraki MS series is one) can enable access to them while

Case Study Parallel networks One security approach taken by many organisations is to implement a parallel AV network that is not connected to the main corporate IT network. This offers several advantages: it provides complete security by preventing connection between the two networks; permits the use of most AV devices on the AV network without concern; and separates out bandwidth-hungry AV processes, removing any possibility of video transmission from slowing data, telephony or corporate communications. “Separate networks are an absolutely valid model, however it is not my choice of architecture and one I would look to recommend based only upon a full assessment of why it would be required,” says Simon Long, practice lead, technology innovation at PTS Consulting. “Dual networks aren’t as efficient as a single large network. Additional switches require rack space, power, UPS capacity, wiring and cooling and will ultimately cost more and perform less efficiently overall. “AV systems are all becoming IP focused and,

Kramer wireless casting for Health Hub The recently refitted and expanded Digital Health Hub in the University of Keele’s School of Pharmacy now boasts the latest augmented reality teaching tools integrated into a wireless collaborative casting system through a Kramer VIA Connect Pro system. The solution, which is fitted into dedicated furniture, enables simultaneous sharing of user PCs and mobile devices to ten 49in LCD displays in the room. Students can collaborate using these displays and their own devices in a number of ways: making notes, utilising digital whiteboards, sharing files and even taking turns controlling linked displays to present to the whole room. Reg Icli, learning technology officer at the school, says: “We required a solution that would allow us to share content wirelessly over the University’s Eduroam network. The wireless casting is a fantastic addition to the space and has helped us to change the way we teach, particularly through the use of AR tools which can be managed locally in a very effective and simple way.”

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36 SPECIAL REPORT: DIGITAL WORKPLACES limiting it to other connected devices. This is all part of the design and configuration process of the system. There is a strong need for AV integrators to work closely with IT departments to ensure that BYOD works well with AV equipment. Early engagement is highly beneficial to the overall outcome. “Installers need to have the support of the IT teams within the organisation in order to deliver a really good user experience,” explains Botao Lin.

‘We need to understand how and where BYOD and AV systems can interact with each other and with other devices on the network’ Simon Long, PTS Consulting

employees, or held on the company’s books. This allows organisations to better manage and control the access of networks by employee devices and enables the wider system, including AV devices, to be integrated into the solution in a more efficient and effective way. According to Gartner, around 74% of enterprise companies in the US either already offer, or plan to offer, a CYOD programme for employees in the coming year, citing that BYOD programmes are difficult both to manage and to secure.

Future developments

Although some companies refuse to permit employee-owned devices onto their systems, a new ‘choose-your-own-device’ (CYOD) programme is rapidly becoming an option for many. CYOD is characterised by businesses giving employees the choice of pre-determined and approved devices. Devices may either be paid for and owned by the

In the future, the use of personal devices will further affect the deployment of AV. Users demand simplicity of connection and operation of corporate resources, including AV systems. In addition Botao Lin believes: “Touchpanel displays could become the central components of BYOD solutions. Not only do they provide screen sharing, but they have the potential to build a more comprehensive and versatile solution that includes videoconferencing, enhanced user interaction, and other functionality.” Eddie Morgan, marketing manager of DisplayNote, also predicts that future developments will have an effect on BYOD policy and AV deployment: “Proximity detection that identifies individuals is highly likely to happen and all organisations should define their approach to BYOD and AV implementation to

July/August 2017

accommodate it. Mixed reality will also have a huge impact. Headsets, spectacles or mobile devices could be used to interact with mapped or virtual content. CIOs should be thinking about potential policies around security, privacy and cultural impact. Employees need to consider their virtual integrity: the lure and temptation of all of those things vying for our thoughts, time and money and balancing that with our daily working lives.” Long believes that to understand how things are evolving, we should look at the historical situation: “If we jump back 15 years when IP telephony was in this exact same situation and parallel networks were being installed for IPT, it took only two to three years to become the norm for the two technologies to co-reside on the main corporate network, as skills and understanding of best practice for successful integration matured and became widespread. Those core skills, concepts and architectures are still valid today; we just need to apply to them to a different technology and community.”



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July/August 2017

WIRELESS PRESENTATION There’s no shortage of tools for wireless presentation these days – but their capabilities can be subtly different. To round off this special report, Ian McMurray looks at some of the leading offerings for sharing screen content

Barco ClickShare CSE800 has enterprise users in mind Designed for meeting room users, Barco’s ClickShare CSE-800 – which is part of Barco’s broad ClickShare portfolio – enables four participants to share their content in HD quality on a 4K screen. Alternatively, with two screens, up to eight users can share. Up to 64 users can be connected at any one time. Touchscreens are supported, enabling the annotation of content, with changes able to be saved. ‘Blackboarding’ is also possible. ClickShare works through a USB-powered

Button that shares users’ devices with the main meeting room screen. Installation is said to be quick and easy, with no software to download or install, no training required and no cable clutter. The technology is compatible with any USBcapable device – either through the Button or the ClickShare app, GoogleCast or AirPlay. A user can be enabled as a moderator, if desired, and manually select which content appears on-screen and when to ensure the optimum participant experience. Security features for ClickShare have enterprise users in mind, and include endto-end encryption; login management; configurable three-layer security; secure access to the web configurator; an option to hide the base unit’s wireless network SSID; and dual network connection for separate corporate and guest incorporation. ClickShare Management allows the installed base to be configured and managed.

Crestron AirMedia is tightly integrated Up to 32 people can connect to AirMedia at the same time in the same room. In quad view mode, up to four presenters’ content can be displayed simultaneously. For large meeting spaces where the display can be difficult to see, Remote View enables up to 40 participants either at the back of the room or in other locations to log in from a web browser to view the presentation on their mobile devices. AirMedia introduces no new wireless networks: it uses existing LAN and leverages standard network security protocols.

Kramer VIA GO is plugBlack Box Coalesce supports multiple connection modes and-present Combining screen mirroring, videoconferencing and wireless display, Black Box’s Coalesce Wireless Presentation System will support multiple users from any device. It can be configured as a WiFi hotspot using its built-in wireless access point. Designed to offer a rich feature set at a low cost and compatible with any HDMI-capable display, its compact form factor is designed to make it easy to deploy behind flat panel displays or above projectors. Content from multiple users can be resized and placed on the display, and touch interaction is also supported on appropriately-enabled screens. Participants do not need to install drivers on their laptops, nor do they need dongles, as users can access Coalesce via a browser extension in addition to the available desktop client. For mobile devices, there is a free Android or iOS app available. Coalesce includes support for H.263, H.264,

H.265/HEVC .mp4, .mov, and .3gp. Remote users are supported through the ‘web look in’ feature, enabling them to see the shared display. Sensitive information can optionally be protected via AES 128-bit encryption for network traffic between Coalesce and user devices.

Kramer’s VIA product line includes several wireless presentation offerings, including VIAware software for Windows 10 PCs and VIA Site Management that lets IT administrators view and manage all VIA devices within the same network. VIA GO is the company’s plug-and-present solution. With a built-in WiFi access point, together with wired Gigabit LAN, it can turn any existing projector or display into a BYOD wireless−enabled device. It can be attached to the internal network like other standard devices, or create its own WiFi network. Other connectivity includes four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, DisplayPort and a 3.5mm mini-jack.





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July/August 2017

Clevershare now available Polycom Pano provides secure sharing on range of screens

Clevertouch has now launched Clevershare to its Pro Series interactive touchscreens, which are available in 55in, 65in, 70in, 75in, 86in screen sizes and feature up to 20 points of gesture touch and writing capability. The Clevershare USB device allows control of the screen from, for example, a laptop, and enables bidirectional screen mirroring and touch with any device, even those that aren’t normally touch-enabled. The Clevertouch Pro, which can be deployed independently of the network, includes support for iOS, Android, Windows or Mac devices to share and annotate content on the main screen. Because it is integrated with the cloud, has embedded Android and features a dual slot that houses a Windows 10 PC, users can browse the internet, stream media and email notes to attendees mid-session.

Vivitek NovoConnect is for corporates, SMEs, education Vivitek’s NovoConnect solutions are available as the NovoEnterprise for corporate users (pictured) as well as the NovoPRO for SMEs and an education version. All versions support up to 64 users in client mode (eight participants in hotspot mode). With four able to share the screen concurrently, it enables participants to share, annotate and save Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, common image formats and video clips. Remote users are supported too, and can share their screen if they are on the same network. Internet and cloud-based services are supported, and data is AES-128 encrypted when users set the device to corporate mode. Dual network management is also available, while PIN-protected guest access provides privacy and security.

The Polycom Pano allows any application that can be shared from mobile devices, PCs, tablets and so on to be annotated and then saved. A touch panel can be configured with Pano, delivering an expanded set of capabilities with annotation and interactive whiteboarding. Four streams of simultaneous content can be shared side by side, from any device, without the need for cables or dongles. Users connect Polycom Pano to a Polycom Group Series or similar VC device that supports content sharing; remote users can see content shared by participants using the Pano. Web access during a sharing session is possible through conference applications where content sharing is supported. Pano makes broad provision for security. It is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified, ensuring that user data integrity is similar to secure online banking with Token Layer Security (TLS) and Strong Cipher Suite support.

Built-in safeguards limit sharing to the target monitor to protect content once a meeting is concluded, while encrypted media streams ensure data protection from malicious attacks. There is also a revolving PIN that starts every session with a secure connection, removing the chance of accidental content showing in the room. Devices and client software are certified through industrystandard cryptographic signatures.

wePresent offers true user control With facilities such as Conference Control, which allows a designated moderator to preview, select and control which participant presents. Once a participant presents, the wePresent WiCS-2100 is said to offer true user control, rather than just user interface control. Users can make annotations on a virtual whiteboard or on-screen over their presented content, and these annotations can be saved by the audience as screenshots, or to a USB drive. Up to 64 participants can be accommodated, with the on-screen layout changing dynamically to optimise the displayed content. The WiCS2100 is based on IP-toIP communications, so remote users attached via the same network can be accommodated. The Extended Desktop feature on the WiCS-2100 allows presenters to share content for display through the wePresent presentation system while viewing different content on their own screen. To share audio/video content, users can use AirPlay and Chromecast. Utilising the native

mirroring function of their devices, this does not require them to install software or an app. The WiCS-2100 offers enterprise level security with SALSA20 data encryption, gatekeeper settings, and individualised control over IP settings. The wePresent webpage can be secured with an HTTPS certificate. For enterprise clients with a large deployment environment, wePresent offers its Collaborative ManagementSuite.


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Another opening, another show A growing trend in theatre sound has seen visiting productions choosing their own touring systems over the in-house solution. What impact is this having on the systems theatre venues are looking to install, asks Duncan Proctor?


t one time it was considered a necessity for a theatre to have its own high-end sound system, but the last few years have seen touring productions increasingly opting to use application-specific rental sound systems. This shift has left venues with a question to ponder: is it still essential to have a high-end permanently installed sound system? The alternatives include specifying a significantly reduced system that is there to mostly support the incoming touring system; or installing a flexible solution that can be packed away or hidden from view when the next production starts. “For theatre venues that most often host and cater to touring hit musical theatre productions carrying their own sound systems, an over-investment in the type of highly capable and costly system that can serve the needs of a general purpose performing arts centre would be imprudent,” states David Scheirman, Bose Professional’s director, global concert & rental business.

Similarly for Alex Penn, SSE Audio sales director, a permanently installed system has a number of advantages over a touring system. “It will have been specified for the particular venue, taking into account balconies, circles and other parts of the theatre that a touring system may not reach,” he comments. “House systems can take into account the décor of the theatre and be painted to blend in with the surroundings with accurate colour matching. Units can be mounted to be unobtrusive, maximising sightlines and reduce the need to take out valuable seats. Subs can often be mounted under the stage, with discreet grills installed and control/line equipment can be kept in an equipment room well out of the way.

‘The bottom line is that the house system needs to be credible and attractive to the touring production’ Alex Penn SSE Audio

Rental or permanent? However, there are drawbacks from having a multitude of different systems as opposed to one powerful in-house solution. “The result is less than ideal in that every new production means a different temporary system that must be setup and taken down, which can be time consuming and problematic for a venue with a tight turnaround,” says Daniele Mochi, product specialist at K-array.

“The house system can be fully ‘tuned’ to the venue, with both software and listening, so every seat experiences the same audio. This is particularly important for the spoken word, where audibility is critical. The bottom line is that the house system needs to be credible and

Key Points „ Touring systems often do not blend in with a theatre’s aesthetics or acoustic subtleties, which can have an adverse effect on performance „ Alternatives to a permanently installed high-end system include a reduced system that handles general operations and supports the incoming rental system, or a flexible solution that can be hidden away before the next production starts „ Despite the market shifting, the number of new venues around the world should ensure integrators still have plenty of opportunities attractive to the touring production.” Bose’s Scheirman suggests another shift has occurred, with touring systems overtaking in-house systems in terms of complexity. “Today, the specialised, application-specific rental systems carried to support popular theatrical productions are typically more complex than most general-purpose in-house systems,” states Scheirman. “This naturally leads to a situation wherein a theatre that serves mostly touring shows will ensure that sufficient space and suspension facilities are available to support a touring show’s temporary sound system. Such venues typically do not over-invest in a sound system

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July/August 2017

with limited flexibility. Yet, they still need a utility sound system for general operations.”

Hybrid option There is another option, and that is to install a ‘hybrid’ or ‘long-term rental’ solution, according to Penn. “Basically SSE’s installations department will partner with the hire department to provide a system where the key components typically the main line arrays use a touring configuration in terms of packaging, flying and cabling. In essence, it means that the system can be rapidly ‘dropped’ and packed into flight cases for storage. This means that a theatre production can bring in its own system. “When the London Palladium and its operator, the Really Useful Theatres Group, decided to return their theatre to variety for the season and open up the calendar to one-off events and touring productions they came to SSE Audio to look for a long-term rental solution. SSE commissioned and installed an L-Acoustics system on a rental basis. For SSE, this meant all the major components can be taken out to preserve the value of the rented asset.” Scheirman asserts: “While some newer architectural projects may experiment with storage coves for an in-house system that can be hidden from view, this is certainly the exception rather than the rule. More common approaches include the sourcing and installation of specific loudspeaker types popular for theatrical production applications, or to maintain an effective utility system that can do generalpurpose duty for events not requiring the temporary installation of show-specific systems.” Not all venues are chiefly concerned with meeting the demands of touring productions. Some venues cater to a range of events with a variety of audio needs, and must find a flexible system capable of doing it all. Scheirman explains: “It is in the more numerous population of performing arts centres and musical theatre venues around the world that do not primarily serve touring theatrical productions, but rather a range of entertainment events formatted to use house systems, that the sound system design and purchasing challenge is more important. What type of general-purpose sound system should be purchased and installed to meet most of the needs of most of the events that are served by a given venue?

Integrator impact If there is indeed a drop-off in permanent solutions being installed, is it the integrator that will inevitably lose out? “While there may be fewer permanent systems being installed, traditional systems integrators will still be needed to accommodate those venues that request complex systems like the ones based

on immersive audio that is emerging as the current industry trend,” says K-array’s Mochi. Others are more optimistic, however. While some see a diversification of the type of systems that integrators will be working on, L-Acoustics application engineer Julien Laval sees more work for integrators across the board. “My experience, which covers assisting integrators around the globe who want to install high-grade sound systems, is that fixed install sound system demand is growing, and in most cases is growing even faster than the touring market, which portends a great future for integrators.

‘The traditional systems integrator has likely never had a better opportunity to service new theatre venue clients’ David Scheirman, Bose Professional

Bose’s Scheirman asserts: “The traditional systems integrator has likely never had a better opportunity to service new theatre venue clients. This is because the number of general-purpose theatres (on campuses, in civic downtown areas, in themed entertainment complexes) around the world is growing, as the live entertainment industry thrives. Conversely, the number of theatre venues serving the needs of hit musical theatre productions in New

York’s Broadway theatre district and London’s West End, is relatively static and has remained generally the same for decades. Scheirman recommends examining the calendar programming of shows to best understand the sound system needs of any specific theatre venue. “Generally, production managers and show producers seek to minimise operating costs, not increase them,” he points out. “If a show can be booked into a venue with a modern sound reinforcement system purposebuilt to meet the coverage requirements of that particular venue, the more likely the front office is going to be able to book shows amenable to using in-house production capabilities, and the more likely those shows can operate at reduced touring cost levels by carrying less production equipment and paying lower rental fees for a show-specific system.” Penn summarises: “At the end of the day, the touring production wants the same thing as the theatre: they want their production to be easily accommodated and their sound design to be successfully implemented. The venue wants a consistent quality of sound while maintaining the fabric of its building. It also needs an audio system that provides coverage for all public areas for announcements and, increasingly, for voice activated emergency evacuation.”


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InfoComm works on coverage uniformity InfoComm hopes to reach a broader base of end-users and integrators with the second iteration of its Audio Coverage Uniformity standard. David Davies finds out what’s changed


n ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, InfoComm International has published seven standards over the last eight years. But the very first, in 2009, was Audio Coverage Uniformity (ACU) in Enclosed Listener Areas, and it is to this standard that the orgnisation has recently returned for an important revision, ANSI/INFOCOMM A102.01:2017. “As our first standards revision project it was a significant undertaking and, of course, we learned a great deal during the process,” recalls Thom Mullins, CTS, who is moderator for the standard task group and senior consultant for Affiliated Engineers Inc. “The first version was geared towards smaller enclosed spaces, such as theatres and concert venues, with a seating capacity of up to 5,000. It did achieve some traction, but we expect this second version to resonate more as it has a broader reach.” Some of the key differences will be explained below, but it is important to note that many of the original standard’s key principles still apply. In essence, ACU focuses on the uniformity of coverage of a sound system’s early-arriving energy over a listener area. An ideal sound system should allow listeners to hear reproduced content at approximately the same sound pressure level independent of the listener’s position in a designated area. Therefore, ACU provides procedures by which to measure and classify the uniformity of coverage.

‘Most listener areas’ While the original ACU standard was designed for

audio coverage in enclosed environments, the 2017 version expands the remit to accommodate most listener areas. It also takes advantage of improved measurement platforms to yield a more thorough understanding of system performance. As a result of the changes, says InfoComm director of standards Ann Brigida, CTS, CStd, “there will be greater consistency in results and reporting, and reduced time in the field taking measurements.”

‘There will be greater consistency in results and reporting, and reduced time in the field taking measurements’ Ann Brigida, InfoComm

Indeed, Mullins is at pains to stress that the modified version should greatly reduce the efforts needed to accurately quantify the performance of a room or system. “Reflecting on the first version, it was clear that there were too many measurement points required, which made it difficult in some cases for the consultant or contractor in terms of time taken,” he says. “So with this new edition one of the first things we did was to focus on minimising the number of measurement points, and as a result only four or five could be required to characterise a distributed overhead loudspeaker system with consistent loudspeaker spacing. More complex or nonstandard systems would likely require additional

July/August 2017

measurement points, but still less than the original standard called for.” There has also been a significant rethink of the original standard’s pass/fail mechanism because “we thought that the language around these aspects did not accurately describe from a performance standpoint what was actually going on in the venue. We wanted to get away from that so we worked on providing a number of operational ‘coverage envelopes’,” says Brigida. Mullins adds that the final specified “envelopes are 3dB, 6dB, 8dB, 12dB, and ‘12dB or greater’. So for example, if you take measurements across all the octaves and find that the maximum and minimum in an octave band, or in all octave bands, are within 3dB then it is qualified to be a 3dB system – and you can write that up accordingly.” The across-the-board implementation of “current measurement techniques” was among the other changes to the original standard that Mullins believes make the new version much easier to adopt. “There has been overall emphasis on the end-user and the outcome,” he notes, “and so we wanted to make the standard as straightforward to implement as possible.”

Forthcoming standards The new version of the standard is available at the InfoComm website. It’s free for members and will be available for purchase by non-members. In addition, InfoComm will publish a design guide and field guide to help professionals as they seek to implement the standard. But while the new version of the standard is clearly a significant step forward for InfoComm, several other initiatives are in progress that will seek to fill in some of the other key areas related to audio performance. “We have been extremely busy over the last five years,” says Brigida, “and are currently in the final stages of working on a spectral balance standard. In essence, that will define three categories of systems that are taking care of the spectral balance frequency response. But we are also working on a number of further standards to cover other areas, including audio dynamic range – addressing nominal sound pressure and maximum sound pressure levels, and so on – as well as speech reinforcement and intelligibility.” These efforts are expected to come to fruition over the next few years. In the meantime, there was an opportunity. Only time will tell, of course, quite how widely the standard comes to be adopted, but when standards are ‘done right’, they can have universal appeal and impact. There is every reason to think that InfoComm will be at the forefront of the movement for improved audio performance in venues.

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July/August 2017



All life is here Green building, research centre, natural history museum, aquarium and planetarium, the California Academy of Sciences makes a point of showcasing its current research in its public exhibits. Paddy Baker took a tour to look at how AV plays its part


ounded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s largest natural history museums. It also carries out a considerable amount of original research, via the prestigious Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability. The Academy is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Following earthquake damage to many of its buildings in 1989, it was eventually decided to rebuild most of the facility. Celebrated architect Renzo Piano was commissioned, and construction began in 2005. As befits a temple to science, it uses various building technologies to reduce its carbon footprint: it was built using recycled steel and concrete; it recycles rainwater and draws in plentiful amounts of natural light; it has an undulating green roof, which helps to cool the building and avoids the need for air-conditioning; and the canopy around the roof contains 60,000 photovoltaic cells, which generate around 5% of

its energy requirement. These all contributed to the building gaining LEED Platinum status. Among the various exhibition halls and aquaria are two spherical spaces: the Rainforests of the World enclosure and the Morrison Planetarium. Dating originally from 1952, the Morrison Planetarium was completely rebuilt in 2007. In recent years, it became apparent that much of the AV technology was in need of an update. With the venue getting almost daily use, management at the Academy were keen for the refit not to interrupt the planned programme of events. In March 2016, consultant Blair Parkin worked out that the only available window of opportunity was in September and October of that year – otherwise it would be necessary to wait another two years. The 300-seat Morrison is built at a 30º angle, unlike traditional planetariums, which are designed to simulate what you see when you look up at the night sky. Parkin, a principal at

Installed Video „ Sony VPL-GTZ270 4K SXRD 5000-lumen laser projectors „ Mechdyne Dome Display Manager software „ Mechdyne ClusterTools software „ SDT Scalable Display Manager software „ GBvi Chronos optical edge blending „ 7thSense Delta media server „ Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 7500 WUXGA single-chip DLP projectors „ Digital Projection 0.78-0.99:1 short-throw zoom lenses „ Exxact Quantum TXR430-0512R head node PC „ Datapath Vision HD4 4-channel capture card

Control „ Medialon Manager V6 „ Apple iPad Air 2

SOLUTIONS: CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, SAN FRANCISCO 49 the consultancy TEECOM, explains: “The tilt is to give the people making the content the ability to take you on a journey. The auditorium is unidirectional – everyone is broadly facing the same direction.” The seat rows are curved so that everyone’s viewing distance to the screen is more than 6m, he adds: “At 6m your eyes collimate, so you feel like you’re looking at the horizon rather than focusing on a TV screen. That’s why it’s more immersive than looking at a flatpanel display – you’re drawn into this virtual world.”

Range of demands And yes, it does feel immersive, so much so that it almost seems like 3D, although it isn’t. My visit takes in two shows: Incoming!, which looks at asteroids and comets, and Habitat Earth, which is about the diversity of lifeforms supported by the planet. Between them, these two shows highlight the range of demands on the projection system: depicting space requires strong black levels and high contrast to pick out the stars, while showing the wide variety of life on Earth demands colours and textures. Parkin joined TEECOM last year, but was involved with the 2007 project at his previous company.

About the integrator „ Headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa, Mechdyne employs more than 200 people worldwide „ The company was founded in 1996 by three Iowa State University graduate students, all of whom still help lead Mechdyne „ The company specialises in AV/IT, visualisation and software solutions, immersive VR technologies, managed services, technical support and help desk services, and desktop and infrastructure management The AV for ‘Morrison 2.1’, as the project was known, was designed and installed by integrator Mechdyne. The hemispherical surface of the dome is covered by the warped and edgeblended output of six Sony 4K projectors – five around the circumference of the dome and one covering the zenith. Prepared show content comes from a single 7thSense Design media server. Each projector is served by a Mechdyne Dome Display Manager (DDM) system. (A seventh is provided as a spare.) Kurt Hoffmeister, technologist and co-founder of Mechdyne explains: “It takes care of the input from multiple sources and switching or fading between them, and it’s also where the warp and blend is done before the image is sent


July/August 2017

to the projector. There are six of those boxes, synchronised together, one for each projector driving the display.” A DDM is fundamentally a customised high-end PC, supporting up to six DisplayPort 1.2 inputs – each of which can capture uncompressed 4:4:4 video at up to 4K60 resolution – and four DisplayPort 1.2 outputs.

Live element An additional dimension comes because the Academy makes a point of including a live element within each show, highlighting an area of current research activity. “Every show has its own presentation that is based on the latest data that we have available to us,” says Michael Garza, senior planetarium & production engineering manager. “We wanted the ability to cross-fade from one source to the next as part of the storytelling,” says Hoffmeister. Unable to source any commercially available products that could cross-fade between two sources running 4K60 video, Mechdyne instead engineered its own solution. It took the Mechdyne Canvas software, which is used for putting multiple windows on one display – and adapted it for use within the DDM units, giving each unit the ability to display and cross-fade between any of its six inputs and its four outputs. Rather than warping and blending the individual sources, this functionality is centralised within each DDM, using an automated warping and blending solution from Scalable Display Technologies. Rob Rouland, sales manager at Mechdyne, explains: “This system gives the Academy a lot of flexibility, which is critical for them because they wanted it to have a lifespan of 10 years.” Hoffmeister continues: “Right now it’s accommodating four inputs [of six 4K channels], though it could accommodate up to six. Those four are split into public, production and development – so there’s a media server and a real-time computer cluster that’s used for the daily shows and live presentations, and the same thing with another media server and cluster being used as they develop new content. All of those can be switched back and forth.” The real-time computer clusters, which run Uniview, a specialist planetarium astronomy visualisation package from SCISS, are a legacy of the 2007 system. Mechdyne worked with the CAS technical team, led by Michael Garza, to integrate the Uniview cluster as a media input to the DDMs. Another legacy is the audio system: a 13.1 Meyer Sound system, which the manufacturer helped to design 10 years ago. The speakers are installed behind the projection screen, which is perforated. Parkin comments: “Dean

Do [director of AV and electronics engineering] had the foresight to insist that additional spare loudspeakers were installed in the zenith; they’re not in use but can be switched over if ever a loudspeaker up there fails – because of the miserable task of trying to climb up there and change one. You’d be climbing on the outside of a sphere, inside a second, off-centre sphere – a very narrow, dark space.” He adds: “I think it’s the best sound system in a planetarium anywhere in the world, but I’m biased!”

Show control Mechdyne integrated the audio system into the Medialon show control system, which also controls all other AV components, the show media sources and the house lighting. Medialon sits on a control PC along with Mechdyne ClusterTools and the Scalable Display Manager software. Selecting quiet projectors was important for this project, says Parkin, not least because of the dome’s properties for focusing sound – which is one reason why they are installed just below the circumference of the dome. “The Sony projectors we chose were among the quietest we looked at, although I don’t think the Sony

people knew that. But some of the projectors that were being marketed as appropriate for planetariums, we couldn’t believe how much noise they made.” Mechdyne was also involved in the refit of Hohfeld Hall, which is used by audiences waiting to enter the planetarium. Informative content is projected onto a large wall – made complicated by the fact that there are two large columns immediately in front of it. The projection is carried out using three Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 7500 WUXGA single-chip DLP projectors, fitted with short-throw zoom lenses. (The previous version of this installation required six projectors.) Rouland comments: “The real magic here is projecting behind those columns. And then the wall is a challenge too, because it’s part of a sphere, and we’re very low down on the sphere here. It’s a bit of an odd shape. But it came out quite well.” The warping and blending is carried out on a PC that also hosts the content, and show control is via an iPad Air 2 running Medialon Manager version 6.

World of exhibits So far we’ve only mentioned a small part of the Academy. There is a multitude of other exhibits

SOLUTIONS: CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, SAN FRANCISCO addressing different aspects of the natural world, including the four-storey rainforest (the lowest part of which is accessed via a glasssided elevator which appears to take visitors under the Amazon river); numerous aquarium exhibits, both salt and freshwater (the Academy concocts its own seawater, mixing together various salts to an exact recipe); and a nod to the past in the Africa Hall, reconstructed following the earthquake, which features a penguin colony and projected dioramas of the kind that older museum visitors recall from their younger days – except that, here and there, an elephant will briefly appear and then disappear into what is otherwise a static image (to tease visitors? surely not!). In all, the Academy is home to 38,000 live animals, from the smallest fish, to the penguins, to Claude the albino alligator. Many of the exhibits use a mixture of digital and traditional graphics. As Parkin points out: “This is a living research project with field stations, and the content is going to keep changing. The digital layer gives them the ability to do that without changing the graphic panel.” Projection mapping is used in a couple of places among the aquarium exhibits. In a central auditorium section, projections are mapped around the aquarium tanks. In fact, Parkin relates, there used to be a short show here every half-hour, but it became so popular that visitor flow ground to a halt, and so it was discontinued. Projection mapping is also used on the curved outside wall of the auditorium, illuminating the physical lettering of the ‘Coral Reefs of the World’ sign.

IP infrastructure A startling fact that emerges as we tour the remainder of the Academy is that all the AV is run off an IP network infrastructure that was put in place 10 years ago. This gives the Academy’s in-house AV team a large degree of flexibility and convenience. On the audio side, for instance, “we use a MediaMatrix multi-zone building PA system,” says Dean Do. “The exhibit audio also gets sent through this system so we can route audio to whichever zones we want. We try to automate

things rather than have someone go and set up a PA – we can just program it and automatically switch the input to the correct output.” The infrastructure was carefully designed for future flexibility before the concrete was poured, adds Parkin: “So for the planetarium upgrade they didn’t need to upgrade any infrastructure – they just put equipment in the equipment room, projection in the projection


gallery and control in the control booth.” This didn’t happen by chance, though. “For two or three years, Dean was in all the design meetings. If an architect doesn’t understand the reason for something on day one, they’ll put it lower on the priority list. So getting the infrastructure for the future into the building was an amazing job – and I think it’s going to continue to serve the Academy very well.”

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July/August 2017


Attraction on a legendary scale Under the artistic direction of show creation supremo Franco Dragone, Europe’s largest water park has opened in Turkey. Mike Clark reports on how the magic is created


ioneering a brand-new concept, Rixos Hotels, Emaar Properties PSJC and Dragone – Franco Dragone’s show creation company and a designer of world-class experimental events – have launched the Land of Legends, the largest aqua park and sea world experience in Europe. The park features more than 70 attractions ranging from adrenaline-pumping rides such as the Typhoon Coaster, Deep Dive and Tower Falls, to more relaxing adventures including underwater tracking and 5D Cinema. It also includes a dedicated universe, performances and characters. The Waterfront Kingdom offers close-up encounters with dolphins, beluga, penguins and many other marine species. Surrounding the Land of Legends is the Shopping Avenue, housing numerous top brands from around the world. This includes a multi-level mall, a luxury plaza and gallery with retail and dining outlets, a village park, the Legends Tower and an openair pavilion around the fountains, with exciting activities for children. Some key members of the Dragone technical production team at The Land of Legends give an insight on the first stage of the company’s work on this huge project, where large amounts of leading-edge technology ensure an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Audio solution Dragone sound designer Corrado Campanelli explains his run-up to the Land of Legends project: “After Paris Merveilles, I worked on The Dai Show then, in 2016, went with Dragone to Moscow to prepare the show Philipp Kirkorov took round, before starting work on the Land of Legends.” From the system design point of view, several

difficulties had to be overcome to obtain the necessary results – above all, the huge dimensions, and then the timeframe, as everything had to be operational for the grand opening. Obviously, system quality and flexibility were at the basis of my thoughts and the zones needing sound coverage had very unusual requirements, such as the wonderful open-air dolphinarium hosting daily shows with dolphins, walruses and beluga whales, as well as human performers and dancers, with a lot of video and audio.”

Dolphin show In the huge 1,800-seat dolphin ‘stadium’, the audio rig initially installed featured two hangs of eight K-array KH2 and six KS5 subs installed at the huge LED screen, plus five pairs of KX12 delay speakers flown from the roof. Control is via QSC Q-SYS Core 110f and a DiGiCo SD11 plus D-Rack used to mix the mics. Playback is via two Mac Mini 3.0GHz Dual Core i7 16GB RAM SSD512 with wired keyboard and mouse, two QLab Pro Figure 53, M-Audio Oxygen 25 MIDI controller, two RME Audio Fireface 802, Lubell LL916 Basic System air and water sound system. Prior to his stint with Dragone from 2014 to 2016 (during which he delivered the global production portfolio of Franco Dragone in the capacity of senior VP of production and was also production manager on the Land of Legends project), Guillaume Duflot’s 20 years in the international event industry began in 1994 with Villadalesia, one of the first companies to work on large-scale events in Europe. He adds: “The Dolphin show features a 19m x 6m DLP PC 7.8mm LED screen, on which we have Watchout with four direct insert lines – two live cameras and two on remote.”

Installed Audio „ K-array KMT218W, KP102, KP52, KA40, KMT12, KH2, KS5, KX12 loudspeakers „ QSC Q-SYS Core 110f and 500i DSP „ DiGiCo SD11 console and D-Rack „ QLab Pro Figure 53 „ M-Audio Oxygen 25 MIDI controller „ RME Audio Fireface 802 „ Panasonic PT DZ21K2 projectors „ Lubell LL916 air and water sound system

Video „ Dataton WatchPax

Lighting „ DTS underwater LED fixtures: Helios Bronze, Dive 3R, Dive 1R/FC, FOS 100 „ Dynamic, FOS 50, Crystal 12 Fullcolor „ Robe BMFL wash beam „ SGM G spot POI, P5 POI, Q7 POI RGBW 110° floodlights and G1 Beam „ ClayPaky Supersharpy „ Phaenon X Pro RGB 11500 lasers Gateway The entrance to the fantastic Land of Legends is an enormous gateway with fountains, water effects, video projections and lasers and daily opening and closing ceremonies. Campanelli continues: “There we used eight K-array KP102 and four KMT218 at the four corners of the entrance courtyard. As front fills and for spot effects, we used four KP102 and

54 SOLUTIONS: THE LAND OF LEGENDS, ANTALYA eight KP52 built into the set. There are also eight KP52 round the fountain.” Duflot describes the video system. “There are four Panasonic PT DZ21K2 projectors installed in pairs, each covering one side of the gate. Due to local conditions (salt air and extreme heat during the summer), the projectors are protected by custom weatherproof ABS enclosures with reinforced ventilation. We have fibre running from each projector to the control room’s media servers. The Dragone Gate show, which also features two Phaenon X Pro RGB 11500 lasers, is a clock show and is used intensively during the Boat Parade. We currently use WatchPax from Watchout, but intend replacing them with two Photon 4HD servers.” Lighting director Olivier Legendre started to work in lighting in 1987 and, as well as in France, has worked on key events such as the Paralympic Games in Athens, the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and corporate events worldwide. “I met Franco Dragone in Macau for the Taboo show, and he proposed me The Dai Show in China and the Land of Legend theme park in Turkey.” Legendre describes the impressive array of lighting fixtures installed at the gate and the large fountain, surmounted by a huge reproduction of the park’s logo: “These underwater LED fixtures by Italian manufacturer DTS, many customised or developed specifically for the project by DTS and specialist fountain manufacturer, French firm Crystal Group of Le Blanc Mesnil.” In total, 10 Helios Bronze R/FC 12/ recessed wash LED, 24 Dive 3R very narrow beams and 16 Dive 1R/FC were used, along with 32 FOS 100 Dynamic LED and eight FOS 50 were upgraded to IP68 for underwater use and 84 Crystal 12 Fullcolor underwater LED fixtures. Other fixtures deployed in the zone are: Robe BMFL wash beam, SGM G spot POI, SGM P5 POI - 21° and SGM G1 Beam.

Boat Parade Campanelli explains the most complex part of his work at the Land of Legends: “This was definitely the Boat Parade along the canal in the centre of the resort, between the entrance and the hotel – it’s over a mile and a half long and hosts the parade of fantastic boats shaped like musical instruments,

July/August 2017

About the show’s creator Dragone is a cultural creation company founded in 2000 by artistic director Franco Dragone in La Louvière. He is renowned for having invented a new genre in the 1980s and 90s: the shows he created during his early days (Saltimbanco, Quidam, Mystère, Alegria, O) changed the face of live entertainment in Las Vegas forever and, decades later, still receive nightly standing ovations. From super-sized shows in tailor made theatres to operas in some of the world’s most historic buildings, Dragone’s creative approach carefully fuses the world’s human talents, artistic disciplines and technical innovations to serve local cultures and tell their stories. Among its most significant shows of the past decade: Celine Dion A New Day; Le Rêve (Las Vegas); The House of Dancing Water and Taboo (Macau); Aida (Naples); The Han Show (Wuhan, China); Paris Merveilles (Lido, Paris); The Dai Show (Xishuangbanna, China); Philipp Kirkorov – Me (Russia). Water has become a key component of Dragone’s artistic DNA and the company is now the world’s leading designer of aquatic theatres and shows. Every show created is tailor made. The House of Dancing Water created in 2010 is a spectacular love story incorporating mesmerising special effects, dazzling costumes, breathtaking acrobatics and aerial performances in a purpose-built 2,000-seat venue in Macau by a cast of nearly 100 international artists. The Dai Show, opened in 2015 and is Dragone’s tribute to a world where man still lives in harmony with nature: that of the Dai people. Paris Merveilles was a sparkling revival of the elegant tradition of Parisian cabaret. each with on-board audio (two KP 102 and a KMT12) reproducing the instruments’ sounds. Zoning and routing is managed by a QSC Q-SYS 500i DSP, systems kept in sync via wireless timecode and transport is via a fibre optic network, with each speaker controllable individually via K-Dante.” No less than 118 KP 102W and KMT18 subs are installed on the buildings lining the canal. The set-up (and that at the gate) plays out music composed ad hoc by Dragone’s team. For the boat parade, Legendre positioned a pair of SGM i5 POI RGBW LED wash fixtures on each of the canal’s bridges (two more are in the Horse Lake). The spectacular 111m Legends Tower stands close to the Horse Lake and in the evenings is illuminated to great effect by 30 Clay Paky Supersharpy (all with Igloo covers), 10 SGM i5 POI RGBW and 30 SGM Q7 POI RGBW 110° floodlights. Regarding the choice of loudspeaker systems, Campanelli says: “Before the Land of Legends project I wasn’t familiar with K-array products. I visited their HQ, listened to some and was pleasantly surprised. K-array was a great discovery – as an Italian working abroad for many years, it’s a pleasure so see an

Italian company that works so well from the point of view of both product quality and support. “Another product I used at Rixos for the first time and have continued to use since is the QSC Q-Sys Core 110f module.” As well as developing an entirely unique universe for the Land of Legends, Dragone has created a storyline, including character costumes and props. Various performances were also designed for the park: dolphin show, boat parade, gate opening and closing ceremonies, and various small street-type acts in the park and 5-Star Kingdom Hotel. The dancers, musicians, acrobats and jugglers were carefully selected and trained by Dragone and, under his artistic direction for weeks, created a unique experience that keeps crowds astonished with their incredible talent and spectacular costumes. Regarding the launch of the park, Campanelli enthuses: “We had things up and running perfectly very quickly without compromising quality – then again, with Franco Dragone as artistic director there are no two ways about it – artistic integrity always comes first!”

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July/August 2017


DJ Willrich delivers tech refresh The British Museum Experience (BME) is a new museum in Liverpool’s Grade II listed Cunard Building, dedicated to showcasing the influence and history of British music. The main stage show is powered by a 7thSense Nano-SDI media server with a digitally projected performance by Boy George, and a large-scale stage hologram – all integrated by DJ Willrich. The BME was originally housed inside London’s O2 venue between 2009 and 2014. The new permanent home and themed zones of the BME have seen a full tech and content refresh. Visitors are taken on a chronological journey of British music history from 1945 to the present day, as told in eight interactive exhibition galleries. On the main stage, a Delta Nano-SDI media server powers a Digital Projection HIGHlite Laser II projector to screen a custom five-minute show produced by Graham English & Co.


World’s biggest touchscreen used for human candy crush MultiTaction has partnered with CBS Television to provide the interactive touchscreen technology for a new Candy Crush TV game show. CBS wanted a touch surface that was capable of replicating a life-sized version of the global mobile sensation. The gameboard is a staggering 25ft tall and consists of 55 MultiTaction 55in displays winning a Guinness World Record for the largest touchscreen display. The MultiTaction displays can differentiate objects touching the screen using an array of infrared cameras. Engineers were able to tune this technology to distinguish hands and feet allowing contestants to swing, slide and swipe as they attempt to match candies and win $100,000.


Indoor drone assists children in Dutch hospital Using what is claimed to be the world’s first autonomous indoor drone, children in Dutch hospitals can play games such as tic-tac-toe, communicating with the drone through hand gestures. Developed by Blue Jay, the drone navigates using Visible Light Communication (VLC technology) from Philips Lighting, and can also pick up and deliver objects to assist the less mobile. Utilising VLC technology, the drone can pinpoint its location and navigate and act

autonomously. This technology enables ceiling lights to act like an indoor GPS and transmit their location through a modulation of the light, which is imperceptible to the human eye, but detectable by smart devices such as drones. The wireless operation between the drone and its ground station is made possible by communication technology from NXP.





Symetrix provides Thai club with modern twist

ELAN delivers control to ‘drive-in’ movie theatre

The 8 on eleven club in Bangkok has been fitted with a Symetrix and Quest sound system for background music and DJ sets, designed and specified by AV consultants Fuzion Far East. The venue features bar, cafe/restaurant and club areas, and aims to restore the traditional Soi spirit ‘with a modern industrial twist.’ Product specialist and project manager, Benjamin Walters and his team at Fuzion Far East worked in close co-operation with local installer Atkris. Walters and co devised a system based around Symetrix for processing, and Quest for loudspeakers and amplification. A single Symetrix Prism 12x12 (12in, 12 out) unit handles audio processing and management for four zones - two indoor and two outdoor - across two floors. Both floors have the capacity to host DJ sets as well as replay background music throughout the hours of operation.

An event space in Pottsville, Pennsylvania has been modelled on a vintage drive-in movie theatre with projection-based and multi-room audio systems anchored by ELAN control. Local integrator Tom Walker of the CI Guys was called in to create the 1950s experience in the 4,000sqft room. To serve as the basis of the system, Walker installed one ELAN gSC10 system controller, accessible through 14 ELAN touchpanels and two ELAN handheld remotes. Additionally, Walker used three ELAN S1616A audio controllers to control the space’s extensive multi-zone audio system. The focal point of the theatre is an ELAN-controlled 24x10 Stewart Filmscreen display, which is viewed from seven vintage cars stationed throughout the room. ELAN also controls the building’s Lutron lighting, Aprilaire thermostats, Elk Security system as well as Axis and Toshiba security cameras.



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Gareth Fry Sound designer: London Olympics, Harry Potter on stage, The Encounter

Nina Dunn Award winning independent video & projection designer

Jon Burton Sound engineer: Stereophonics, Pendulum and The Prodigy

Richard Pilbrow Leading theatre design consultant, stage lighting designer and author

• Ground-breaking technology • • Product launches • Live demonstrations • • Dante training • Interactive workshops • • Panel discussions • Inspirational seminars •

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Kit you need to know about

PRODUCT OF Allen & Heath THE MONTH dLive Install

It’s… the dLive ecosystem targeted at installed sound applications.

What’s new? There’s a raft of new releases, control options and expanders added to the dLive ecosystem illustrating the manufacturer’s increased focus on fixed installs. Details: The new products have been designed to create a distributed, integrated, scalable and accessible solution, handling every aspect of a venue’s audio from simple boardroom tasks to a full-scale live show. The first addition is the DM0, a new dLive MixRack targeted at distributed audio scenarios. The DM0 is a 4U mix engine, housing Allen & Heath’s XCVI FPGA Core and providing enough processing power for 128 channels and 64 buses at 96kHz with a latency of just under 0.7ms, in keeping with the existing dLive MixRacks.

Interfacing to audio networks for access to hundreds of sources and destinations is provided by DM0’s three 128ch I/O ports, accepting cards for all major audio networking protocols, including Dante and AES67. Other new products include a DX Link I/O card and DX Hub half rack unit, which now enable a dLive system to connect up to 48 audio I/O devices, located up to 100m apart to meet the needs of the largest venues. The DX164-W is a 16 in/4 out wall mount expander and joins the recently released DX168 stage box and the modular DX32 in the DX expander range. Integration with third party equipment has also been enhanced with the unveiling of a new GPIO unit, allowing dLive to control lighting, curtains and more. Remote control options have been extended with the introduction of the programmable IP1 wall plate remote control, giving non-technical users control over functions such as music

source selection, level control, or preset recall. Up to 96 IP1, IP6 and IP8 remote controllers can now be added to a dLive system via standard TCP/IP networks. This is in addition to console style mixing surfaces, tablet and laptop control, offering a multi-user, multi-point control architecture over wired or wireless networks. The company claims the new package brings the best aspects of audio management systems and live mixing consoles for multipurpose facilities. This includes environments such as schools and colleges, houses of worship and arts centres, allowing those facilities to handle background music and meetings right through to large-scale live performances.

Available: October 2017

60 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS „ Barco X-series These LED displays, which come in 1.29, 1.58, 2.5 and 4mm pixel pitches, are said to offer superior image quality, easier installation and enhanced reliability to indoor applications such as museums, retail and control rooms. The new X-series displays feature Barco’s new Infinipix technology, which effectively creates a second ‘redundant’ data path to ensure all the LEDs receive the signals no matter what happens. „ Roland V-800HD MK II An updated version of the multi-format video switcher, the V-800HD MK II adds features including dedicated switches for AUX source selection offering enhanced visibility and operability, in addition to sleek interface redesign. A true multi-format video mixer with a dedicated scaler for every input, it allows for all different video resolutions to be switched at the same time. In addition to video channels, two channels are available for still images, which upload by USB memory stick or frame grab. „ Aquavision Horizon This newly launched range of outdoor TVs are available in 32in, 42in, 55in, 65in and 85in sizes. The waterproof, anti-reflective LED screens have been designed to withstand nearly all extreme weather conditions. They are based on the established Nexus+ and Elite 4K range and feature IP control, DVBT2/S2 receivers and two HDMI and USB inputs. RS232, IP and discrete IR control are standard and IP65 rating ensures the sets are fully protected against water, dust, sand, moisture and insects. „ Peerless-AV


A new floor-to-ceiling cable mount for retail window displays, this solution creates a discreet digital signage install where wall mounting is not an option. Suspended on high tensile steel wire, the mount creates a secure and stable foundation, which facilitates flexible positioning for flat panel displays up to 65in, with landscape or portrait versions available to accommodate up to a maximum weight of 29.5kg. The mount attaches at any point along the cable with Kwik-Grip cable hardware and the ceiling attachment includes Kwik-Loc self-locking cable joiners for quick and simple connection to truss or strut.

July/August 2017

Bose Professional EdgeMax It’s… a range of in-ceiling premium loudspeakers and the culmination of 10 years’ development work.

What’s new? The EdgeMax range is said to combine the superior coverage patterns typical of larger surfacemount loudspeakers with the minimal visual impact of in-ceiling loudspeakers. Details: As the name suggests, EdgeMax loudspeakers are designed to be installed at the edge of a ceiling and out of the way of architectural or interior design elements in the centre. EdgeMax speakers project high-frequency sound throughout rooms up to 20m-wide using only perimeter mounting locations, and can effectively cover an area that would require up to four conventional conical-coverage models. This is thanks to Bose’s proprietary PhaseGuide technology. Additionally, EdgeMax loudspeakers produce excellent intelligibility for speech and fullfrequency response for music, making them

suitable for retail, commercial, industrial, institutional and residential applications. Two different horizontal coverage patterns are available. EdgeMax EM90 models provide nominal 90° horizontal coverage and are intended for in-ceiling mounting near room corners. EdgeMax EM180 models provide nominal 180° horizontal coverage for in-ceiling mounting near wall boundaries centred along target coverage zones. Both models feature 75° asymmetrical vertical coverage, which is optimised for ceiling heights between 2.4m and 6m.

Available: Q4 2017

Audinate Dante Domain Manager It’s… three new editions of Audinate’s Dante Domain Manager platform in Silver, Gold and Platinum packages.

What’s new? Each of the three new editions is suited to different installation types and covers up to 50 domains and 250 audio devices. Details: Dante Domain Manager enables integrators to define custom domains - specific AV device groupings, by room, building and site regardless of physical network infrastructure. The Silver edition can be used with a maximum of two domains and 10 audio devices and is suited for installations that primarily require user management, such as smaller houses of worship or schools. The Gold edition includes integration with Active Directory and supports up to 10 domains and up to 50 devices for

many mid-sized business environments. Lastly, the Platinum edition expands support up to 50 domains and up to 250 devices, and includes SNMP alerting and a fully redundant ‘high availability’ option for mission critical systems. This edition covers the management needs of large-scale installations, supporting many users, rooms and devices spread over a wide area.

Available: Second half of 2017

14 - 19 September RAI, Amsterdam


Sports Sunday: Fan Engagement SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER Discuss the impact of the rise in alternative sports, the importance of fan engagement, and the predictions for e-sports in the next three years. Find out more at

Speakers Include:

Alicia Klein Director of Platforms and Distribution, IAAF

Lewis Wiltshire Consulting Partner, Seven League

Peter Hutton CEO, Eurosport

Ben Cronin Global Lead of Network Client Solutions, Publicis Media Sports & Entertainment

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the IBC Conference where 400+ thought-leading speakers explore new strategies, chart future technology and uncover the future roadmap of the industry. Your conference pass also gets you access to the IBC Exhibition where sport is present throughout.

Register now! Sports Sunday Media Partner

62 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS „ tvONE HDBaseT input module This input module is for CORIOmatrix, tvONE’s modular, scaling matrix switching system. It offers wideranging format conversion and scaling capabilities with fast and smooth switching power. Paired with Magenta HD-ONE HDBaseT transmitters and receivers, CORIOmatrix provides a powerful and fully extendable system. C3-340 CORIOmatrix typically provides 32 I/O via 16 modular AV slots and the C3-310 CORIOmatrix mini provides 12 I/O. „ Panasonic PT-RZ21K Scheduled for a November release, the PT-RZ21K is claimed to be the world’s first filter-free ultra-high brightness projector and also has the smallest footprint of any 20,000-lumen model on the market. It has been specifically designed for rental, live entertainment, staging and any permanent fixed large venue application and offers 20,000 hours maintenance free operation. Featuring a dual-laser 3-Chip DLP light source, it has built-in redundancy and provides uninterrupted projection to ensure the show goes on should a laser diode fail - making it suited to highprofile, mission-critical applications. „ Smart-e VMX This range of products combines videowall and matrix technology into a package suited to command and control centres of all kinds. The line comes in 8x8, 16x16 and 36x36 series to accommodate videowalls of eight, 16 and 36 connected displays. Modular I/O and seamless switching matrices combine with output videowall processing to allow for a high level of switching, distribution and processing functionality for high resolution HDMI, DVI, HDBaseT and 3G-SDI. VMX products come with video switching and modular input and output blades as standard. „ Extron StudioStation Billed as a convenient solution for one-touch recording of high quality video and audio presentations, StudioStation uses Extron scaling and flexible signal processing for superior recording of nearly all HDMI source resolutions. It is suited to flipped classroom recordings, lecture capture, product presentations, board meetings, rehearsal spaces, or any other application where onebutton recording is desired.

July/August 2017

beyerdynamic TG 1000 It’s… a new version of the company’s TG 1000 digital wireless system.

What’s new? It can now be integrated into Dante digital audio networks and has been equipped with a Dante network interface. Details: This 24-bit system has a switching bandwidth of 319MHz in the UHF range (470789 MHz) for long-term investment security and smooth operation across the globe. Operation is extremely intuitive thanks to the high-contrast OLED display, one button navigation and Chameleon software. The TG 1000 includes dynamic range and optimal sound transparency and up to six dual receivers can be cascaded without the need for external antenna splitters. The total latency from transmitter to receiver is only 2.1ms. In optimal environmental conditions, the transition range can reach up to

984ft. In a business environment, optional proprietary encryption ensures that sensitive information remains confidential. There is an assortment of capsules available for the TG 1000 handheld transmitter that, in addition to dynamic variants and first-class condenser capsules, also includes the TG V90w ribbon module. The TG MM1w interchangeable capsule can be used in combination with the TG 1000 handheld transmitter to calibrate public address systems in theatres, at live concerts and festivals.

Available: Now

Vaddio RoboSHOT It’s… two PTZ cameras with integrated HDBaseT technology.

What’s new? The RoboSHOT 12 and RoboSHOT 30 deliver UHD video and audio, Ethernet, controls and power over a single cable. Details: The RoboSHOT 30 HDBT camera is designed with an Exmor R image sensor, which gives the camera better light gathering capabilities and provides strong contrast, vivid colours and sharp images in dimly lit interiors. The RoboSHOT 30 HDBT camera features a 30x optical zoom lens and a 2.3° (tele) to 65° (wide) horizontal field of view, making it suited for medium to large venues such as houses of worship, lecture theatres and IMAG systems. The RoboSHOT 12 HDBT PTZ camera provides a 12x optical zoom and a 73° wide horizontal field of view, aimed at videoconferencing applications. RoboSHOT cameras can be paired with the Vaddio OneLINK HDMI receiver providing camera power, control and video over a single cable,

eliminating cable clutter and accelerating installation. The OneLINK HDMI receiver extends HD video, 100BaseT Ethernet, RS-232, and power up to 100m on a standard Cat-5e cable. RoboSHOT HDBT cameras are sold individually or as a RoboSHOT OneLINK HDBT system, which includes one RoboSHOT 12 or 30 HDBT camera, plus a camera wall mount and a OneLINK HDMI receiver. RoboSHOT cameras are compatible with HDBaseT-compliant AV switchers including Crestron, AMX and Kramer.

Available: Now

ADVANCED LED TECHNOLOGY For Corporate, Retail & Mission Critical Applications


Booth 4-E35


July/August 2017

EVID speakers and C Series amplifiers Duncan Proctor went along to the first UK demo of Electro-Voice and Dynacord’s latest speaker and amplifier lines


lectro-Voice and Dynacord hosted product presentations and demo sessions after InfoComm 2017, in a demo space just outside Peterborough, with partners, customers and press. The first part of the event focussed on the EVID-S series from Electro-Voice, which was launched a week earlier in Orlando. This series is the latest member of the EVID (EV Innovative Design) family of commercial speakers for installed applications. The range has been acoustically and aesthetically matched with the other members of the EVID family. In addition, Electro-Voice claims the EVID-S series has been designed to address the needs of the installer and the end-user more efficiently and effectively. This includes the new patent pending SmartMount-System, which is designed to make installation quicker and easier for a wider range of applications. The series consists of 4in, 5.25in and 8in twoway speaker models, available in black and white and matching dual-10in and 12in dedicated subwoofers to make it easier for the installer to select the right solution for the space. Although the speakers feature weatherproof construction, they also have architecture-friendly styling to blend into the background.

Portfolio enhancement Following the EVID-S series was the EVC series, also from Electro-Voice’s EVID range, which fills the price and performance gap in the company’s portfolio between the EVU and EVF models.

Also launched at InfoComm, it is aimed at midmarket, small-to-medium sized applications such as houses of worship, performance centres and conference centres, as well as arenas and stadiums. The range consists of five base models EVC 8in, 12in and 15in two-way speakers as well as an 18in single subwoofer and a 12in Variable Intensity model. The one 12in Variable Intensity speaker replaces three 8in, 12in and 15in models with the company saying the best features have been combined in the new 12in release. This allows the series to offer a range of solutions for small venues where coverage, acoustics and aesthetics are the priority. For the demo, both the EVID-S and EVC series firstly had music played through two speakers of each model in the two ranges with no subwoofer, before two 18in subs, powered by a single amplifier channel, were added for the second round of music playback. The speakers all feature strong intelligibility and a wide coverage pattern with no distortion detected as the SPL increased. The EVID-S series is set to be available mid-September with the EVC series targeted for late October/early November 2017. Following the Electro-Voice demo there was the Dynacord product presentations, during which it was announced that it is simplifying its amplifier portfolio. The new L and C Series dual-channel power amplifiers, launched in June at InfoComm, were presented to the UK partner and customer bases. The C Series is for fixed install, while the L Series is the touring option and each series has four models, with output ranging from 1,300W

to 3,600W. New MARC software allows full configuration, control and supervision of sound systems with multiple amplifiers. The C Series models are designed to provide background or live music in permanent install applications including bars and restaurants, sports facilities, churches and performing arts centres. They are suitable for direct drive applications with 70V/100V speaker lines, providing flexibility for a variety of install options.

Class leading Dynacord claims that the two new series offer the most powerful DSP set in its class, and a tour-grade feature set. The demo for this new range featured an eye-catching shootout between a Dynacord L2800FD model and a renowned competitor product. Attendees were given sunglasses and the amps were connected to crowd blinder lights to provide visual evidence of the greater output coming from the Dynacord unit. Both amplifiers were in bridged mode and used the same input signal. In between the Electro-Voice and Dynacord demonstrations, there was a branding and marketing presentation. It was revealed that going forward the Dynacord brand will purely develop electronics, while Electro-Voice will focus on loudspeakers. Despite the new directions the two Bosch brands are taking, no product lines will be discontinued.


July/August 2017

Jeff Hastings In the second outing for this new feature, BrightSign’s Jeff Hastings shares with us his recommendations for success within the AV industry Reputation is key

Appreciate your knowledge gaps

This industry is all about reputation. A person’s reputation within the industry comes from quality – quality of relationships and interactions with customers, employees, and even competitors. A brand’s reputation also comes from quality – quality of the products and services offered. The AV industry is a small enough place that without a known reputation for quality, a company is going to have a difficult time establishing the trust and confidence needed to grow a business.

It really isn’t uncommon for us to gain a new customer because a big installation has gone wrong and fails to run reliably, or worse, the cursed Windows error message! Of course, the ideal client is one that understands where they need help and spends the time to learn what they need to know before they try to specify and install a digital signage system. If all our customers did their research to test content and made 100% sure that the hardware they’ve chosen gives flawless playback alongside

Stay hungry The pro AV market is never boring! In particular the digital signage market is growing at a very rapid pace. There are a lot of aggressive and motivated leaders who strive to pull ahead of the pack every waking moment. You need to be among them, or even ahead of them to stay competitive. There’s a ton of growth potential for people and companies that stay hungry and establish a quality reputation. The market opportunities are growing at the same pace as the new technology that those leaders continue to build into their respective AV products and services. I’m talking about 4K HDR video, beacons, Bluetooth, voice and facial recognition, social media of all kinds, WebGL, new touch technologies, motion sensors, RFID and NFC, the list goes on and on. I’m a firm believer that every step along the way – even the occasional misstep – leads us to where we are today. It’s better to face forward, learn from the past but always be thinking about what’s coming next and how you can stay at the top of your profession.

‘I’m a firm believer that every step along the way – even the occasional misstep – leads us to where we are today’

smooth transitions and perfect synchronisation, everyone would be a winner. We’ve actually put together a web-based resource that provides licensed and open source content to enable customers to do this type of testing. Go to and try it for yourself.

Step into my global office My day starts early talking with Europe and sometimes ends very late talking with China. I drink a lot of coffee – every day. I meet with the sales and executive team on Tuesdays. When I’m on airplanes – and that’s a lot of the time – I think about which business strategies and new technologies will help us remain the

global market leader. My phone and computer are loaded with apps and tools that keep me connected with the team. But technology aside, I place a high value on maintaining direct contact with colleagues, customers and partners. Phone calls, videoconferences and in-person meetings are essential to forge collaboration and trust, and there’s really no substitute for that sort of one-to-one engagement.

Value your workforce It’s no mistake that I’ve surrounded myself with a fantastic bunch of people. I have such a passion for the pro AV industry from way back when I started on my journey with Acuson and witnessed the transition from image to video ultrasound technology. Can you imagine how remarkable it was for doctors to suddenly observe and detect so much more using video technology? I’ve also been lucky enough to be involved in the birth of DVR and the first MP3 company. I want all my staff to feel as empowered and as motivated as I am – that they are part of this everchanging journey that is Pro AV with so many exciting developments. I’m proud to have made BrightSign number one in the industry, and I couldn’t have done it without so many great people supporting me. A company is the sum of its parts. Always take the time to communicate and most importantly listen to everyone, at all levels of your business – you never know what you might learn! Jeff Hastings is CEO of BrightSign.

Installation July/August 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world

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