Issue 207 / January 2018
AV INTEGRATION IN A NETWORKED WORLD
48Gbps and counting Implications of the new HDMI 2.1 speciﬁcation
ISE 2018 preview Second look at world’s largest AV integration show
Superlative SuperLab Reconﬁgurable learning space’s AV challenges
CYBERSECURITY Special report: How to defend your systems against online horrors p22
p14 p16 p32
GS-WAVE SERIES D a n c e f lo o r spe a k e r syste m Create an impact of sight and sound with punchy chest kicks and crystal-clear high frequencies. The GS-Wave is the danceďŹ‚oor stack of choice.
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Editor: Paddy Baker firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 7354 6034
Content director: James McKeown email@example.com Production manager: Jason Dowie firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 3829 2617
Senior staff writer: Duncan Proctor email@example.com +44 (0)20 7354 6037
Digital director: Diane Oliver firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales manager: Gurpreet Purewal email@example.com +44 (0)20 7354 6029
Contributors: Bobby Beckham Rob Lane Ian McMurray Steve Montgomery Chris Moore Matt Pruznick
Sales executive: Mark Walsh firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 3871 7377 US sales – Executive vice president: Adam Goldstein email@example.com Designer: Tom Carpenter firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks: Amy Amesbury Pippa Cranham Kerris Kaya Cover image: Fotolia
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Growth via acquisition
ow do you grow your business? The short answer is, by putting more sales on your bottom line. Acquiring another business will do this for you from day one – but how the acquired and the acquiring businesses work together and ﬁt together is crucial to making the deal a success. Three recent acquisitions in the pro AV industry serve as illustrations of how this can work. The purchase of Biamp by Highlander Partners is in some ways the most straightforward of the three. Highlander is an investment company that describes its strategy as ‘buy and build’. By injecting money into Biamp it is looking to catalyse growth – both organically and by acquisition. One might more Paddy Baker, Editor often see this kind of approach in the purchase of a smaller, firstname.lastname@example.org less prominent company than Biamp. But I’m sure that new @install8ion president and CEO Rashid Skaf, who successfully added many companies to the AMX portfolio during the previous decade, has some good ideas for how he’s going to do this. Midwich’s purchase of Sound Technology is a different beast, as it’s one distributor acquiring another. In these cases, growth comes about from the addition of a new customer base and the ability to sell them a wider range of products. As Midwich’s announcement put it, the deal “enhances the Group’s ability to provide complete audiovisual solutions to its customers”. To take another example of this kind, Stampede’s Kevin Kelly mentioned in these pages (Nov-
‘The fact that companies can attract investment like this shows that the professional AV industry is in a strong position, with healthy growth potential’ Dec issue, page 14) that, despite projector lamps being a declining market, Just Lamps’ sales revenues are increasing because Stampede has more than compensated by selling other equipment to these new customers. Then there’s the acquisition of Picturall by Analog Way (we talk to the two companies on page 12). This is the type of acquisition that I ﬁnd most exciting because it’s bringing together two R&D teams with complementary expertise. So in due course we can expect to see products that draw on the heritage of two companies, both renowned for product quality and technical innovation. These will be products that wouldn’t have existed if the acquisition hadn’t happened. Analog Way CEO Adrien Corso mentions in the interview that the teams were so keen to work together that they didn’t wait till the deal was signed; it’s almost as if they were bursting with new ideas. The fact that companies can attract investment like this shows that the professional AV industry is in a strong position, with healthy growth potential. And that’s a cheering thought to take into the New Year.
Viewpoints 06 Regional Voices: Netherlands 08 Opinion • Rob Lane discusses how educators continue to find innovative uses for interactive displays • Lifesize CTO Bobby Beckman reveals his trends for collaboration technology in 2018 12 Interview • Analog Way CEO Adrien Corso and Picturall co-founder Vesa Lasaanen on the acquisition that has brought the two companies together • HDMI Licensing Administrator’s CEO Rob Tobias and senior marketing director Brad Bramy discuss the new HDMI 2.1 specification and its implications for integrators
Industry Events 16 Show Preview: ISE 2018
Special Report: cybersecurity 22 Better safe than sorry How does the industry address the opportunities and challenges presented by the proliferation of networked AV? 28 Ask the makers We look at what manufacturers can do with the design of products or provision of information to help make installed systems as secure as possible
Solutions 32 University of Technology, Sydney A new ‘SuperLab’ utilises video distribution and two-way audio communication to enable multiple classes to be held simultaneously 34 Triumph Factory Visitor Experience, Hinckley This installed AV solution animates eight themes zones across two floors to create an immersive experience for visitors 36 Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Following five years of investment, this film and media school has looked to future-proof its TV studio and gallery with a 4K upgrade 38 Solutions in Brief Including Europe’s first 8K planetarium; multichannel audio at a museum’s new sound exhibit; and IP video and digital signage at the ‘Home of Cricket’
Technology 41 New Products Including Biamp, Datapath, Meyer Sound and Vivitek
44 Showcase Loudspeakers for houses of worship
48 Demo of the Month RMG Networks’ Korbyt
06 REGIONAL VOICES
NETHERLANDS Our latest country survey reveals some similarities with the corresponding exercise just over a year ago – as well as some interesting differences
ith ISE around the corner, we thought it would be ﬁtting for our latest survey to look at the installed AV market in the show’s host country, the Netherlands – and to compare the results with the last time we ran this poll, which was in our November-December 2016 issue. We began by asking about general levels of conﬁdence in the Dutch installation sector. The majority felt that conﬁdence was higher than it was six months ago; the next most popular answer was that they had not changed. This is a very similar result to our 2016 survey.
Annual GDP growth rate, Q3 2017 Source: Trading Economics
We went on to ask our respondents how they thought their company’s revenues over the next 12 months would compare with the previous 12. ‘Grow by up to 5%’ was the most popular answer, with ‘grow by more than 5%’ in a fairly close second place. Again, this is broadly similar to last time, except that the top two positions were reversed. Our next question related to business issues: speciﬁcally, we asked our respondents to pick, from a list of six, the issue that caused most concern in the context of their businesses. ‘Credit terms or other cashﬂow issues’ was the most popular issue, with ‘falling margins in second place’. This was in contrast to our 2016 survey, when ‘clients going for lowest price rather
than best value’ was the top choice, followed by ‘poorly qualiﬁed newcomers distorting the market’. One possible explanation for this is that the response base has altered since the previous survey: because of a change in our research methodology, there is a greater representation of manufacturers in our current survey. To gauge market activity and consolidation, we always have a question in these surveys about whether the total number of companies active in the installation market – including manufacturers, distributors, integrators, resellers and consultants, among others – was increasing or decreasing. The majority felt that this number was not changing, although more respondents thought it was increasing rather than the opposite. By contrast, ‘increasing’ was
Budget surplus (as proportion of GDP), 2016 Source: Trading Economics
the favoured response in 2016. We also asked our respondents what they thought the business trend would be in various vertical sectors. It’s here where the differences from our last survey are shown most strongly. Retail, which came in last place in 2016, rose to a mid-table ﬁfth place; conversely, corporate, which came in second place last time, ﬁnished in fourth place this time around.
What do you think the business trend will be in the following vertical markets for installed AV in your country this year?
INCREASE Education Digital signage Performing arts venues Corporate Retail Museums/visitor attractions Bars, clubs, restaurants Sports venues Worship DECREASE
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08 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Rob Lane Displaying interactive tendencies Education leads the way with interactive displays
ollowing my column last month about how education institutions are adopting a more commercial approach to AV, here I look at how educators are equally enthusiastic when it comes to specifying interactive display technology – tech that is often central to such commercial-facing mindsets. In fact, the education sector has long since embraced interactive display technology in all its forms, and continues to ﬁnd innovative ways of making it relevant to classroom teaching – particularly in higher education where there is widespread employment of interactive touchscreens for informal small-group learning. There is a deﬁnite trend towards the increased use of interactive large format displays in nonuniversity classrooms too, although continuing pressures on budgets mean that a sizable percentage of schools in the UK and across EMEA are still using interactive projectors. Indeed, education technology specialist Promethean’s latest annual survey of over 1,600 educators across the UK, The State of Technology in Education 2017/18, reveals that an impressive 80% of UK schools have access to interactive ﬂat panel displays, with 55% of teachers believing that the general use of technology for education improves behaviour and engagement levels.
Recent advancements Alistair Hayward, Promethean head of UKI and ANZ, tells me that education is beneﬁtting greatly from recent advancements in interactive technology, with its enhanced role in the sector being primarily driven by the development of external and upgradeable devices.
“The connectivity of interactive ﬂat panels has enabled teachers to break down geographical boundaries and extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls,” he comments. “While access to the internet direct from the interactive ﬂat panels has played a large role in this, there is a new generation of tech-savvy teachers who are exploring innovative ways to leverage the enhanced functionality of the technology.” With education having embraced interactive displays earlier than other sectors, many believe – perhaps counter-intuitively, given traditional budgetary constraints – that the education sector continues to lead the way when it comes to the use of interactive touch display tech, while others, including enterprise, lag behind.
‘An impressive 80% of UK schools have access to interactive ﬂat panel displays’
“The education sector is the early adopter of large format interactive touchscreen technology,” Shaun Marklew, sales and marketing director at Sahara Presentation Systems, manufacturer of Clevertouch, tells me. “But as the products have developed, other sectors are beginning to introduce this technology into their organisations.” Arcstream managing director Neil Dickinson agrees: “Education continues to lead the way, but the BYOD way of working means the corporate marketplace will soon catch up.”
Education ahead of enterprise It appears that enterprise AV – which is having such an inﬂuence on the way education institutions run their facilities, with collaboration the biggest enterprise-to-education success story (see last month’s column) – is perhaps not the bastion of interactivity many of us assumed it to be, at least not when compared to the education sector. And given that the age demographics across all areas of education are mostly post-millennial (if you discount the older mature students), it’s no real surprise that there exists an ideal audience who are both excited by and willing to try interactive technologies in order to enhance their learning experience – and who, of course, are much more likely than many adults in the workplace to reach out to a screen, rather than a keyboard or mouse. (And as more and more millennials enter the workplace, they are driving the push to interactivity there.) With only a few weeks to go until ISE 2018 – certain to break its own attendance, exhibitor and square-footage records yet again – it’ll be interesting to see which sectors the various interactive display manufacturer marketing campaigns target the most. Enterprise perhaps offers the most untapped potential for interactive sales – and this is certainly a market that is growing exponentially for interactive tech, for software as well as hardware. But with education the only genuine banker sector (no pun intended) for interactivity, I suspect we’ll see a lot more marcoms about teaching than about boardrooms. Rob Lane is founder/director of Bigger Boat PR. He interacted with a lot of chalk at school.
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10 OPINION: ON THE AGENDA
Bobby Beckman Tech predictions for 2018 Four collaboration technology trends to watch out for in the new year
s is tradition, ‘tis the season for gazing into the crystal ball to predict the technologies that will impact how we collaborate and communicate in the workplace over the coming year. It can often be tempting to look too far into the future, but with the new year around the corner, I’m more interested in the developments that are likely to have an immediate inﬂuence, rather than escaping into the realms of science ﬁction. Here are my predictions.
4K resolution The conference room will become an even more critical part of conducting successful meetings with the help of highly sophisticated 4K cameras that feature the best resolution the industry has seen. This technology has grown signiﬁcantly in the home environment as seen in TVs and PCs, but as more millennials enter the workforce, the demand for high-quality video resolution (aka lifelike video) in the office will grow exponentially. Not only does this increase in quality improve the overall meeting experience, it is also essential in driving other advancements in technology, including…
Machine vision With innovation driving installation of smarter, higher-quality cameras in the workplace, these ‘eyes in the office’ will gather important data to help give context to how a meeting is proceeding – much like sentiment analysis used for customer service calls. Typically, there is only one camera in a conference room and it doesn’t give a good indication of how the room truly looks or feels. For larger meetings, multiple cameras will utilise
machine vision to help check the mood of the room: Are people engaged? Is there free-ﬂowing conversation? Is someone sleeping? What is on the whiteboard? And then of course, the system will provide useful data to change meetings for the better, largely through…
Artiﬁcial Intelligence and machine learning Cloud-based videoconferencing solutions give us access to huge amounts of data about meeting habits. This data, aided by AI and machine learning, could allow us to optimise the use of the platform and increase the effectiveness of meetings – many of the other trends in technology (for example
‘Interoperability will be paramount as users continue to demand a consumer-like experience with enterprise collaboration’
virtual assistants and facial recognition) are, in effect, powered by AI. At a basic level, AI could enable us to determine optimal meeting length, ideal number of participants, or best time of the day to hold a meeting to improve productivity. Voice recognition could analyse the content of meetings, compare against other meetings in the same organisation, and make suggestions as to connections between people with complementary skills or knowledge. But all of these trends will only be realised through continued improvements in…
Interoperability While not as sexy a trend as 4K resolution or machine vision, innovation around interoperability will be (as it has always been) paramount as users continue to demand a consumer-like experience with enterprise collaboration: whatever device, wherever they are, at any time. Applications and devices will need to play nicely with one another. Because of this trend, we will see additional consolidation and partnerships in the industry, as both big and small players try to build out an all-in-one solution that meets the demands of today’s modern worker. While the coming year will no doubt see other new and innovative uses of existing technology, if the four trends above are realised, we’ll see a signiﬁcant leap forward in the use of technology to enhance collaboration and increase productivity across all sectors. Bobby Beckman is chief technology officer at Lifesize.
INTERVIEW: ANALOG WAY AND PICTURALL
Moving forward together
Paddy Baker talks to Analog Way CEO Adrien Corso (above, left) and Picturall co-founder Vesa Laasanen (above, right) about the acquisition that has brought their two companies together
n acquiring Picturall – the announcement was made at the end of November – Analog Way has extended its range of presentation solutions with the addition of media servers. Analog Way CEO Adrien Corso says that he had contemplated his company developing its own media servers, but “it’s a different technology. The market is already crowded – people might have told us to get back to switchers! So instead of starting from scratch, we are capitalising on Picturall, who have more than 10 years’ experience – they’re among the veterans of the industry.” He sees the Finnish manufacturer as “like a diamond that needs to be polished”. He explains: “They’ve been in place for a long time but weren’t on our radar screens because they don’t make a lot of noise in the market. Not many people know that they’ve been the ﬁrst to create innovations ﬁve or six times. “Theirs is the only ﬁeld-proven media server platform that uses Linux – it’s rock-solid. Reliability is critical – it doesn’t matter how powerful your car engine is if you’re not sure it will start in the morning.”
Chance meeting The two companies initially came together “almost by chance”, according to Corso. “Vesa [Laasanen, co-founder] was looking for partners to co-promote a solution – he wanted us to co-invest with him on one initiative. After a few minutes, I told him, ‘I want to do more than that.’” The acquisition has progressed swiftly since the
pair ﬁrst met at Prolight + Sound in 2017. “When I talk to experts in mergers and acquisitions, they are surprised [at how quick this has been], as the standard time for an acquisition, particularly between companies in different countries, is between nine and 19 months. Here we’ve done it in eight – because we’ve all been dying to do it.” In fact, the two companies started working together before the deal had been ﬁnalised. “We didn’t even wait for the lawyers to agree all the
‘Picturall comes closest to the concept of the heavy-duty media server’ Adrien Corso, Analog Way
details – we gave the green light for our teams to work together. We have done a few months of core development work already.” Vesa Laasanen believes that the two companies ﬁt together well in a number of ways: “We want to work with people with the same kinds of values as us – and we are. Also, we are specialists in computer-based video processing, and Analog Way are specialists in hardware-based processing. So the technologies and the people ﬁt.” Corso adds: “This Finnish team, this French team – I see them as one team. And with the use of remote collaboration tools, they will blend more and more. We have the same values around combining work and life, but also about how to develop products.”
Presence For Laasanen, the advantages of being part of a larger company are clear: “As a small company, we don’t have our own presence around the world, for support for example. We can leverage Analog Way’s offices – we are currently training their offices around the world in our projects. Also, being a small company, we are in one time zone; our customers in the USA and Asia have to rely on our distributors. Of course we have trained our distributors, but it’s not the same as the service we can offer through Analog Way.” Until now, Picturall has used third parties for manufacturing. “We will progressively move product assembly to France,” states Corso. “We have knowhow in manufacturing that Picturall did not have. Later, there will be new products that will have the DNA of Analog Way; they will look more like tanks, and less like PCs – because that’s what people expect.” When will this be? “Let me be very precise – sooner than you think!” he laughs. The Picturall brand name will continue to be used, he says, as an Analog Way family name. “It’s not easy to ﬁnd good brand names – and we have one. Our commitment is to keep to the spirit of this endeavour – the Picturall adventure goes on.” Laasanen adds: “The future will be very exciting for us. Previously, our resources limited us in R&D and in sales. The acquisition opens up exciting new possibilities that we always wanted to pursue.”
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14 INTERVIEW: HDMI LICENSING ADMINISTRATOR
More bandwidth, more possibilities
Matt Pruznick of our US sister title SCN spoke to HDMI Licensing Administrator’s CEO Rob Tobias and senior marketing director Brad Bramy about the new HDMI 2.1 speciﬁcation
t the end of November, the HDMI Forum released the HDMI 2.1 speciﬁcation, the latest update to the ubiquitous connectivity standard. With a throughput of 48Gbps and the ability to handle 4K120, 8K60 and 10K video, plus a wealth of other signal enhancements, the announcement may have raised some concerns in the integration community – especially among those who have just upgraded infrastructures to the 2.0 standard. So we reached out to HDMI Licensing Administrator’s CEO Rob Tobias and senior marketing director Brad Bramy for insight into the new standard’s development, execution, and its implications for integrators. What was the impetus behind the development of HDMI 2.1? Rob Tobias: 2.0 came out in 2013, so it’s been over four years since the last speciﬁcation came
out. And during that time the approximately 90 companies that are part of the forum continually work on speciﬁcation improvements for the industry and that covers the members, companies that make chips, make systems, cables, connectors, test equipment, and IP that goes into chips. They’re a who’s who of the consumer electronics industry, and they feel there’s a need to improve the HDMI speciﬁcation to be available as the technology improvements are adopted across the industry. How will the 48Gbps throughput be achieved? Are the cables going to require ﬁbre or will they be copper with length limitations? RT: It’ll be the second. The speciﬁcation does deﬁne a new cable that will be capable of handling the 48 gigabits per second. It is speciﬁed as a copper cable, or as a non-optical cable. So there will be passive versions, and as
you point out, the faster you go with passive cables, the shorter they become. So the cables won’t be as long as those that support the 18Gbps for the 2.0 speciﬁcation. There is ability
‘The pro AV market… need to pay attention for new cabling when they move beyond 4K60’ Rob Tobias
for the industry to do active copper cables, and your audience, some of them do very long distances, and there’s been a whole ecosystem of companies that have come up with ways to carry HDMI signalling, basically transform it
either into optical or some other format, and carry it over things like Ethernet cable. And so I expect that ecosystem of companies to continue to evolve their solutions to carry these higher speeds. Which aspect of the standard – higher throughput or the ability to handle more sophisticated HDR and enhanced refresh rates – do you think will have the biggest impact? RT: I think all of them will, over time. It’s similar to any HDMI spec: certain features are rolled out very quickly, and others take time because it requires hardware improvements. Not just from HDMI, but including the whole TV processing SoC and that whole pipeline. So things like dynamic HDR – that will be rapidly adopted across the ecosystem because that can be applied to existing 18-gigabit systems. In some cases, it could perhaps just be a software ﬁrmware update to existing products, but that’s at a manufacturer level. You mentioned the variable rate refresh, the game mode – Xbox One X is already out there talking about how they’re going to support that over HDMI. So certain products will take advantage of that feature quickly. We hear a lot of talk and excitement about the enhanced audio return [eARC] channel. So I think you’ll see that feature adopted fairly rapidly as well. The higher speeds will come out and be associated with products that jump up and do 4K120 or 8K or beyond. And we’ve seen a lot of 8K demos throughout the past few years; some of the ﬁrst commercial products are starting to be available. I was just at IFA this past fall, and Sharp announced that they’re going to sell 8K TVs and monitors and such. So that’s starting to roll out, but I think that will be just like the early days of 4K, where you had some very expensive products, not too large sales, but as years progressed, those prices rapidly declined and today 4K is pretty much mainstream. Brad Bramy: As Rob said, it’s truly all of [the capabilities]. When I’m talking to people, what I ﬁnd that most people are interested in are the combinations. So it’s not just that you can get dynamic HDR, but you can get dynamic HDR with the higher refresh rates and the higher resolution. But a lot of people aren’t really talking about those other – and maybe perceived as ‘secondary’ – features, but it’s the enhanced refresh rate features that are going to result in smoother and faster not just gaming, but viewing in general. So the variable refresh rate may apply more to gaming, but also apply to VR and other things like that. But the quick media switching beneﬁts movies and video viewing, the quick frame transport reduces latency, and also there’s a separate auto lowlatency mode.
INTERVIEW: HDMI LICENSING ADMINISTRATOR So those things in combination – it’s not just HDR, but HDR with a smoother and more interactive experience. There’s a lot of lag right now like when you switch from one source to another and the screen is dark for a while – so all of that stuff is going to go away and everything is going to be much faster and much smoother. And I hope people focus on those and don’t see those as secondary features. I think that once those features start permeating the market it’s going to be really noticeable. How do you expect the standard to inﬂuence hardware development? RT: HDMI is part of a larger system, and like I said, all of the manufacturer vendors – the ecosystem from IP to chip, to subsystem to systems guys, to panel guys – all had a hand in this, and they’re all pushing the technology forward. So there will be hardware improvements such as 8K panels; 8K panels require drivers, require SoC that do the video processing, require an HDMI interface that can handle the higher bandwidth. So all of those things will move in lockstep as 8K moves from prototypes into mainstream products.
‘It’s not just HDR, but HDR with a smoother and more interactive experience’ Brad Bramy
It also applies to other features: the eARC, because it now handles the higher performance audio formats, would require some hardware change. So there are chip companies out there working to enable that to be integrated into displays, soundbars, AVRs, and those sorts of things. Things like the variable rate refresh do require system changes as well: it requires a device to change its refresh rate. Today, TVs just set it at a certain refresh rate – maybe it’s playing an Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K at 24 frames per second; it sets it refresh rate at 24 frames per second. And it might switch to a 1080p60 settop box; it sets its refresh rate to 60Hz. But with a variable rate refresh, it has to on the ﬂy. Maybe it goes down to 30 or 24, or below, or all the way up to 120, and it has to be able to do that on the ﬂy. There are monitors out there that do that today. This whole variable rate refresh emerged from AMD and Nvidia with their G-Sync and FreeSync, that are tied to their gaming GPUs. So that will eventually make its way into TVs as well as the TV SoC makers continue to add new capabilities and features to their chips.
What do residential and pro AV integrators need to know about it now? When will installations start demanding it? RT: Initially, some of these features like eARC and dynamic HDR – those type of capabilities can run over the existing HDMI high-speed cable infrastructure. And those will be some of the ﬁrst features that will be rolled out into products. And we want to stress that, because I know that the pro AV market is starting to freak out, “Oh, I’ve got to rip out all of my cables, do all of that kind of stuff.” And it’s not necessarily so. Really, they need to pay attention for new cabling when they move beyond 4K60. So if they start to put in displays that are 4K120 over HDMI (they also need to understand the capabilities of the HDMI port). They could get a 4K TV where panel does 120Hz refresh but the HDMI port is still 4K60. It kind of goes back to the days of 1080p where they were ﬁrst advertising 120Hz refresh, then 240Hz refresh, but that was the panel and not the HDMI port. However, when installers are putting in 8K displays, it’s very likely it’ll have the new HDMI 2.1 port running the 48 gig, and in that case, they will need to use the new cables. When do you expect the cables to begin hitting the market? RT: The cable guys are usually very fast. So I wouldn’t be surprised if early in 2018 you start to see some cable manufacturers start to talk about their cables coming to market. BB: If you look at the FAQs on our website, there’s some good information there. And regarding the cables, people are probably going to be introducing some prototypes or introducing some things at CES. But if you look at the FAQs, it states very clearly that you can’t really bring something to market unless it’s in compliance with the speciﬁcation and also the compliance test speciﬁcation [CTS] and gets certiﬁed. So it depends on when that CTS is going to come out. But a cable has to be certiﬁed to be on the market, so that has to come ﬁrst in terms of timing. RT: Brad made a good point: the main spec has been released, and that gives HDMI adopters the opportunity to get the spec and start planning and building products. The CTS, the compliance test spec, is the one that is used and required for device manufacturers to test their product. So that’s not yet available. That will be available at some point in the ﬁrst half of 2018. So before then, manufacturers are not able to promote that their products are 2.1 feature compliant. So there is this time before you’ll actually see officially tested and certiﬁed cables, and that won’t happen until the CTS is available.
16 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2018
More new attractions
ISE 2018 has a bigger programme of conferences and events than ever before. Here’s our second preview of what will be on offer in Amsterdam in February – including some early product news over the page
he event programme at ISE 2018 is a mixture of tried and tested favourites and brand-new events. Among the latter is blooloopLIVE, a new experiential-themed conference that will debut on the Friday of ISE 2018. This half-day event will explore the trends in delivering night-time spectaculars for visitor attractions, and cover the latest technologies and innovations that are facilitating this drive. Operators and leading AV players will present key examples of successful events. A highlight of the conference will be Philippe Bergeron, CEO of leading projection-mapping group Paintscaping, discussing his worldrenowned work. Bergeron has worked across the world with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry on live projection mapping events. His varied career has also included computer animation and acting roles in The Sopranos and Iron Man. Starting at 09:30 in Room E102 on Friday 9 February, blooloopLIVE will conclude just before the winners of the World Masters of Projection Mapping competition are announced at the show. Charles Read, managing director of blooloop, comments: “With key developments in the attractions industry meaning many theme parks and visitor attractions have turned towards true multi-day destination resorts, live night-time spectaculars are often an integral part of the mix. The blooloopLIVE conference represents a great opportunity to hear from the operators and AV companies creating such memorable events.” Tickets cost €150; early bookers (by 8 January)
and AVIXA and CEDIA members can purchase them for €125.
What? ISE 2018
New sports venue summit For the past four years, sports broadcast association SVG Europe has staged the Sports Venue Technology Summit at ISE, to inform delegates about the rapidly evolving design and applications of the modern sports stadium. For 2018 the association is partnering with venue publication PanStadia & Arena Management to create a brand new event, Sports Venue and Fan Engagement Summit. This newlook event will take place in Room E102 from 09:30 to 16:00 on Thursday 8 February and will expand the focus to consider other areas related to the overall experience of the modern stadium – in particular those technologies geared towards enhancing fan engagement, including mobile and OTT services. Incorporating multiple networking opportunities, the Sports Venue and Fan Engagement Summit will feature panels and presentations involving leading broadcasters, service providers, vendors, architects, designers and consultants. With a number of new landmark stadiums and arenas due to open over the next few years, the event promises to capture an important moment in time as the needs and expectations of the modern sports venue continue to evolve – particularly with regard to network infrastructures and display technologies. John Sheehan, editor of PanStadia & Arena
Where? Amsterdam RAI When? Conferences: 5 - 8 February 2018 Exhibition: 6 - 9 February 2018 Management magazine, comments: “Venues need to continue to engage more diverse user groups and to do this they will increasingly rely on technology. A closer relationship is also evolving between the fans in the stadium and what is happening on the pitch, with more content likely to come from players.” The conference is free to attend for preregistered ISE 2018 attendees.
Digital Signage Summit returns The Digital Signage Summit at ISE is returning on Wednesday 7 February after its successful debut last year – although its parent event has been taking place for over a decade, with attendance growing year-on-year in line with the growth in the market. Targeting senior executives throughout the entire digital signage value chain – including integrators, hardware suppliers, end-customers, network operators, software suppliers, agencies, content providers and media – the summit is expected to attract over 150 attendees.
SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2018
20-minute smaller group sessions are designed to encourage people to take part, ask questions and start dialogue. Full-price tickets are €89; the early-bird rate of €49 applies until 15 January.
“DSS will deliver exclusive market intelligence and insight to delegates, as well as providing unparalleled networking opportunities,” says Florian Rotberg, managing director of digital signage research company invidis consulting and a co-organiser of the event, along with ISE. “The half-day conference will largely focus on the evolutionary shift in the digital signage value chain. A key question that will be debated is: what are the future roles of systems integrators, software suppliers, display vendors and other ecosystem partners?” According to Rotberg, 2018’s most signiﬁcant developments are likely to include retailers increasingly expecting digital signage to be designed as part of an omnichannel ‘experience marketing’ strategy. “The customer journey is in focus,” he believes, “and digital touchpoints need to be seamlessly integrated with mobile, online and other digital media.” Tickets cost €200, but you can get one for €130 if you are an AVIXA or CEDIA member, or you book by 8 January.
AudioForum AudioForum, a one-day summit where pro-audio and installation professionals meet to focus on integrated technologies and workﬂows, returns to the RAI on Monday 5 February. The conference, which is produced by longstanding ISE media partner Connessioni in collaboration with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), is open to all ISE attendees and is aimed at anyone interested in knowing more about the latest audio technologies and how they interact with, and impact, AV and systems integration. Chiara Benedettini, Connessioni president and editor-in-chief, explains: “Audio networking is both an old and a new topic so we will discuss the history and development of technologies and techniques and how that has led to the present situation, as well as looking more closely at AVB, AES67 and AES70, and Dante. We are very happy to have a number of distinguished speakers, including representatives from Avnu Alliance and AES.” The 2018 conference will focus on three main themes: Digital Audio Transport; Audio Design with Audio over IP; and Digital Audio Protocols. The sessions will end with a series of open table discussions with the speakers. These
The pro-AV industry’s largest drone exhibition is set to return, as distributor Stampede brings a larger Drone Pavilion to ISE 2018. The 2018 attraction promises to feature more models from more manufacturers, demonstrating applications across a broader range of vertical markets. Also on the programme will be a full schedule of application-speciﬁc presentations and training sessions, as well as small group and one-on-one information sessions. Separate Unmanned Vehicle University classes will cover in-depth discussions of various commercial applications and how drones are being used currently – such as public safety, infrastructure inspection, survey/mapping and aerial cinematography implementations.
AVIXA and CEDIA passes As in previous years, AVIXA (formerly InfoComm International) and CEDIA, the two industry associations that own the ISE show, are offering comprehensive professional development programmes. AVIXA is hosting two conferences, and numerous workshops, as well as free 20-minute FlashTrack sessions on its stand. Its workshops are organised into four themed tracks: User Experience, AV-IT, Design and Emerging Trends. CEDIA is hosting more than 40 training sessions over the four days of the show. Different sessions are targeted at engineers, designers, salespeople, business owners, and anyone interested in keeping up with emerging trends. The association is also offering a series of freeto-attend CEDIA Talks. Each organisation is offering simple and cost-effective admission to its professional development programmes with an ‘All Access’ pass, which covers entry to its entire at-show education offering (with the exception of professional examinations). Attendees interested in attending AVIXA and CEDIA sessions may be interested in the joint Superpass, which covers both organisations’ programmes. Early-bird pricing applies to the passes. Up to 8 January, AVIXA and CEDIA all access passes cost €250 for members of the relevant association (or €325 for non-members); these prices then rise to €325 and €400 respectively. The joint Superpass costs €350 (€425 for non-members), rising to €425 (or €500) after the deadline. ISE has set up an online ticket shot at www.iseurope.org/shop for attendees to purchase passes or entry to individual sessions.
ISE Daily Installation will once again be running the ISE Daily, the official newspaper of ISE 2018. Written by a team of journalists reporting live from the showfloor, the newspaper is put together in an office at the RAI and printed overnight for distribution at the show, as well as in major Amsterdam hotels and on shuttle buses. The same team is also responsible for the Official ISE Newsletter, sent out before, during and after ISE. For 2018, we will have a significantly larger team reporting at the show, filing more stories each day from the showfloor, conferences, seminars and other show events.
AV Technology Europe Awards Our sister title AV Technology Europe will be holding its first awards ceremony during ISE 2018. The AV Technology Europe Awards, which will be held in Amsterdam on 7 February, have been created exclusively to celebrate the achievements of the AV end-user community. Winners will be announced during the Awards ceremony, which will take place at the Café-restaurant Dauphine (Prins Bernhardplein 175, 1097 BL Amsterdam), which is just a seven-minute taxi ride from the RAI, or a 20-minute walk. The evening will begin at 18:30 with a drinks reception and canapés, with the awards taking place from 20:00 to 21:00. After party celebrations will then continue until 23:00. Tickets for the event are now available from the Awards website. The standard, price is €99, but if you’re quick you can benefit from the early bird price of €79, which expires after 31 December, www.avtechnologyeuropeawards.com
Best of Show Awards NewBay will once again be recognising the most innovative new products on show in Amsterdam with its ISE 2018 Best of Show Awards. The competition is open to any company showing a product at ISE 2018 that is new since the 2017 event. Awards will be given by Installation, AV Technology Europe, PSNEurope and Audio Media International. All entries will be visited on site at ISE by NewBay Best of Show judges between 6 and 8 February; winners will be announced on 9 February and presented with a Best of Show certificate during the event. There is a new entry process for 2018, with updated guidelines. To find out more about the awards, and to enter a product, visit the Best of Show Awards site. www.nbmevents.uk/newbaybestofshow
18 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2018
As ever with ISE, there are plenty of new products from every sub-section of pro AV debuting. Launch announcements are coming thick and fast in the build-up to the show, here’s a selection that caught our eye.
ith a leisure and hospitality theme on its stand, Optoma will showcase a raft of interactive solutions along with a major new visual display technology for the company. This includes new 4K UHD laser projectors using the latest single-chip DLP technology. There will also be an expanded range of professional accessories on show, including a dome lens for non-complex mapping, a range of signal processors and standalone wireless presentation tool. Visitors to Sony’s stand will learn more about the collaborative future of learning, corporate efficiencies and a display without limits. Sony is showcasing its co-operation with The University of Wales Trinity Saint David to deploy education technology, including Vision Exchange, across the University’s different campuses. In the corporate sector, the company will demonstrate how businesses can work together to schedule and monitor content across networked screens, projectors and display with the company’s complete room management solution, TEOS Manage. Also on show is the bezel-less Crystal LED technology on an 8K by 2K display. The display offers corner-to-corner image uniformity for both brightness and colour, and can achieve viewing angles of virtually 180°. Leyard is set to exhibit the latest in its display innovations at ISE 2018, including a ﬁrst-of-its-kind seamless LED touch-enabled videowall. Visitors to Hall 12 will be able to view the interactive Leyard LED MultiTouch, which the company says delivers ‘superior visual performance’, enabled by the patentpending Leyard Pliable LED Touch Surface (PLTS) technology. Available in 0.9mm and 1.2mm pixel
pitches, the company claims its proprietary technology ‘revolutionises’ interactivity for narrow pixel-pitch LED videowalls by offering a smooth and durable LED touch surface. Allsee Technologies is exhibiting core ranges including USB plug-and-play displays, all-in-one network displays, freestanding digital posters, digital menu boards and ultra-high brightness monitors. Also on show are PCAP and IR touchscreens, 10in POS touchscreens, videowall displays and interactive touch displays. Allsee is also showcasing bespoke products, yet to be launched, such as ultrawide stretched displays, hanging rod screens and advertising touchscreens. Making its ISE debut is the QR24/110 modular two-way column loudspeaker from Alcons Audio. The speaker combines 1:1 linear and dynamic sound reproduction with superb intelligibility and throw, in even the most acoustically challenging environments, claims the company. The symmetrical acoustic design, in combination with the wide, 110° horizontal dispersion of the patented RBN high-frequency drivers (up to 20kHz), is said to offer a coherent horizontal pattern control with seamless coverage. This widens the stereo sweet spot signiﬁcantly for an off-axis positioned audience. The 63SA-7HO.8 high-output in-ceiling loudspeaker from James Loudspeaker is a new full range three-way system engineered to accommodate the narrow 8in (200mm) ceiling beam widths found in modern construction. Designed for whole-house entertainment and home theatre clientele, the new speaker uses proprietary drivers, including a 6.5in aluminium PowerPipe subwoofer, a 2in midrange and a ¾in tweeter. Power-limiting circuitry aims for high
Alcons’ QR24/110 modular twoway column loudspeaker
reliability and performance for any application. The Yamaha YVC-1000MS USB speakerphone – the company’s ﬁrst product to be officially certiﬁed for Skype for Business – is designed to deliver clear audio to help ensure productive
20 SHOW PREVIEW: ISE 2018 meetings. Yamaha subsidiary Revolabs is demonstrating the system on its Hall 11 stand. Available worldwide, the microphone and speaker system is claimed to provide a scalable and ﬂexible solution engineered to support the audio requirements of large meeting rooms, rooms with special table conﬁgurations, and even remote education classes or seminars within the Skype for Business application. The NetSplit Dante digital-to-analogue distribution splitter is being launched by ARX Systems. It uses the Dante network protocol to extract audio from a network and convert it to studio quality transformer-isolated, lowlatency analogue audio. This makes it suitable for connecting to multiple ampliﬁers, powered loudspeaker arrays, mixing consoles and other analogue audio devices using standard Ethernet hardware and cabling. The company is also releasing its Network DI Dante digital-to-analogue breakout box at the show. Adder will be unveiling its latest innovations alongside its existing solutions and a new, yet-to-be-announced product. Existing solutions on show at ISE 2018 will include the Adder CCS-PRO8 command and control switch, which allows operators to control up to eight machines across eight (or more) displays using just one mouse and keyboard. The new AdderLink XDIP will also be on display. Ideal for small to medium-sized extension and matrix installations, the solution uses existing infrastructure to provide extension and switching between different computers. There will more information on the product launch in the build-up to the event, but attendees will be the ﬁrst in the world to see the product and view live demonstrations. The NDI HX is, according to Newtek, the world’s ﬁrst Network Device Interface (NDI)
pan/tilt/zoom camera with video, audio, PTZ control, tally and power via one standard Ethernet cable. This 20x zoom IP video camera can transmit full 3G 1080p 60 video directly to NDIcompatible products across a standard network, including LiveStream Studio, SplitmediaLabs XSplit, Streamstar, OBS Studio, StudioCoast vMix, Telestream Wirecast and NewTek TriCaster. Also being demoed at NewTek’s stand are Connect Spark portable NDI converters. These devices are designed to bring SDI or HDMI video signals into a computer or onto an IP network, either wired or wirelessly, and include tally and direct recording. Receiving its introduction at ISE is an extension to WolfVision’s Cynap system portfolio, which is said to provide the core essential features and functionality for effective wireless presentation and collaboration. Cynap Core is described as a powerful, compact, ﬂexible, and easy-to-use system, suitable for classrooms, meeting rooms, and huddle spaces everywhere. It features BYOD capability, with wireless screen sharing for all devices. Nureva will demonstrate the next generation of its Span visual collaboration system, its HDL300 audio conferencing system and other solution enhancements. The Span system is for creative collaboration activities that beneﬁt from visualising and interacting with information on a large surface. The system transforms walls into large, interactive surfaces that display an expansive digital canvas. The HDL300 audio conferencing system resolves poor audio pick-up, especially in
environments where participants move around the room. When combined with the Nureva Span visual collaboration system, or other interactive displays, the HDL300 system can also be used as the primary source for audio and video playback. On show at ISE for the ﬁrst time is the universalLED mounting range. Based on B-Tech’s System X technology, it comprises freestanding, ﬁxed, mobile and wall-mounting solutions that the company says can be easily speciﬁed online, with fast turnaround times from in-stock components. B-Tech is also demonstrating its ultra-slim BT8312 pop-out mount. Following a prototype showing at ISE 2017, the mount is designed to make videowall installations as quick and simple as possible. Offering slimline, wall-mounted, secure storage for tablets and iPads, with built-in charging for up to 10 devices, the Tabinet 10 sync, charge and storage solution is being introduced at ISE by Loxit. The Tabinet 10 can accommodate 10 tablets complete with fully managed charging, so every product – regardless of manufacturer or model – receives the ‘perfect charging proﬁle’. The built-in ventilation system allows air to circulate around the devices, thus ensuring there’s no heat buildup within the cabinet. The secure solution features a 10-digit combination lock for keyless access, and offers universal USB charging, charge-only using adapters, and Sync and Charge for high speed, simultaneous data transfer and charging.
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22 SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY
Better safe than sorry The advent of networked AV has unquestionably brought substantial opportunity – but also signiﬁcant challenges, not least in the area of cybersecurity. To begin this special report, Ian McMurray ﬁnds input from the industry about how those challenges can best be addressed
SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY 23
I Key Points It’s too easy to overlook the basics – like changing factory default security values Many manufacturers offer training on the security features of their products Using firewalls and VLANs is widely recommended as fundamental protection Every connected device should be treated as a potential security risk
t was back in September 1999 that InFocus announced the LP755, which it proudly claimed was the industry’s ﬁrst network projector. At InfoComm 2000, Sony went one better, introducing what it described as network strategies for the conference room. It’s hard to trace the exact point at which networkcentric AV began to become a reality, but the turn of the century is probably as good a guess as any. Entirely coincidentally: in the same year that the LP755 was launched, AV-TEST reported that its database contained 98,428 unique malware samples – well over three times the number it had reported ﬁve years previously. The point, of course, is that the advent of networked AV opened up a potential can of worms – as well as rootkits, keyloggers, spyware, ransomware, Trojan horses and a host of other virus types – for manufacturers, integrators and end-users alike. While the computer industry has had to deal with malware almost throughout its existence – in the days before widespread connectivity, it was possible to get infected ﬂoppy disks – it’s a relatively recent phenomenon for our industry. Is it one that we’re taking seriously? Manufacturers certainly have a responsibility, as was highlighted in November when a BBC journalist logged on to Huddle – and was accidentally given access to a KPMG account, with full access to private ﬁnancial documents. The security ﬂaw turned out to be that, if two users land on the same login server within 20 milliseconds of one another, both get the same two-factor authentication. Huddle pointed out that the chances of this happening were inﬁnitesimally small – but acknowledged that it had happened six times over a period of months. The problem has now been ﬁxed.
Front and centre How, then, should integrators be trying to ensure the security of their installations? It should go without saying that security requirements should be front and centre of any discussions with the end-user – and those requirements should be embedded in the overall system design. Then the challenge is to identify, or leverage, equipment that can deliver an appropriately secure implementation. That, among other things, means understanding what’s available. “In the latest AMX NX control ﬁrmware, we took standard risk assessment from ISO 27000 series standards as well as the US NIST SP80053 and mapped the applicable areas to the AV application,” explains Paul Zielie, manager, enterprise solutions, Harman Professional Solutions. “We then looked at the strictest controls for those risk areas and used that as
a baseline for our security design. This doesn’t mean that the system must be conﬁgured at the highest security levels, but that we can provide our customers the tools to apply their security policies in a way that ﬁts the application without external mitigation. “A general understanding of security theory is important in order to be able to make judgment in the all too common cases where the ‘checklists’ are not entirely aligned to AV systems,” he adds. The role of manufacturers is, of course, a vital one: secure solutions cannot be built on platforms that are in themselves insecure. It is equally incumbent on them to explain how their security provision can best be deployed.
‘Guidance speciﬁc to AV systems currently needs to be “gleaned” from other standards and practices, mostly written for the IT world’ Ann Brigida, AVIXA
Clear guidance “Every year, we have dedicated training sessions related to security at our Crestron Certiﬁed Masters event,” points out Kenneth Noyens, advanced technical support manager at Crestron EMEA. “We believe it is vital to highlight the importance of security to the people that are integrating Crestron into their AV systems on a daily basis. Beyond this, we provide integrators with guidelines, manuals, tools and training. It is the responsibility of Crestron to provide clear documentation and tools. We invested in making sure our security audit tool doesn’t only analyse systems, but also provides clear guidance on how to change the conﬁguration of devices to make them more secure.” “We train our installers on a regular basis, providing them all the information required on AV and data protection,” says Keren Lipshitz, director, head of control and solutions division at Kramer Electronics. “We also supply the solutions required to ensure all installations using Kramer’s equipment are fully secured.” “Extron has been providing training about the security found in our products for more than three years,” notes Rainer Stiehl, the company’s vice president of marketing for Europe. “Our seminars and courses are used to educate our customers about the technologies used in Extron products.” Unsurprisingly, AVIXA – the organisation known until recently as InfoComm – is active in bringing information to the AV community. “Network security is an issue everyone seems
24 SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY to be well aware of, but guidance speciﬁc to AV systems currently needs to be ‘gleaned’ from other standards and practices, mostly written for the IT world,” notes Ann Brigida, AVIXA’s director of standards. “To create a secure networked AV system, it’s imperative to go through some basic analyses of the environment. In practice, it often happens that these important steps are skipped because it’s a challenge to put all of the necessary practices together.” “AVIXA’s Standards Steering Committee and the communication team felt that working together to create a recommended practice would be a good ﬁrst step – it will provide direction speciﬁc to the industry for securing AV systems,” she continues. “A group of experts has been working with a technical writer. The group is set to begin reviewing the draft and our aim is to be ready for publication by the end of the year. We’re hoping that it will be of great beneﬁt to anyone who designs, installs, or oversees AV systems. Of course, end-users should also be interested to know what should be happening to secure their system. It would be extremely beneﬁcial for any IT department to have this information as well.”
Invaluable asset The document in question has the working title Recommended Practices for Security in Networked Audiovisual Systems and will cover a broad range of topics from the identiﬁcation of threats, risk mitigation and best practice. It promises to be an invaluable asset. There is, then, training and information available. What, though, are the practical implications? For example: what is too easily overlooked when it comes to installation security? Stiehl starts with the fundamentals. “The easiest way to minimise potential vulnerabilities is to implement password and connectivity standards,” he declares. “For example; change default passwords on products and in software.” That’s something that Zielie feels strongly about. “By far the most common way in which AV systems are accessed by people who should not have access is by installers leaving the default user names and passwords in an operational system,” he echoes. “This is a practice, often justiﬁed by convenience, which has no place in a modern AV system.” [See boxout.] “Also,” continues Stiehl, “in an era where every AV device is expected to be connected to the network, use a VLAN strategy in combination with other networking techniques to limit access to devices or what those devices may access.” Noyens picks up Stiehl’s point about the need for VLANs.
“Authentication is vital,” he considers. “A lot of AV equipment is put on the network without authentication enabled, meaning that anyone can connect from internally on the network or externally when remote access is conﬁgured. I would strongly recommend setting up authentication on our boxes, making sure that only validated users can conﬁgure and make changes to them. This way, you limit people conﬁguring or messing around with the AV boxes. An active directory can be used to set up a central management of user access and avoid the use of a standard set of passwords for all your AV devices. As an extra layer, we also see customers implementing a decent level of ﬁrewalling between their different internal VLANs, making sure that only qualiﬁed people can reach the AV systems in the ﬁrst place.”
Bad impact “The biggest problem we see is that people expose their systems to the internet without any ﬁrewall rules or authentication enabled, leaving all ports exposed to an external IP address,” he emphasises. “This will deﬁnitely have a bad impact on your AV system. Anyone with bad intentions on the internet can scan for open ports. Once found, they can change conﬁguration, change the program and take your systems offline. We also see that automated or scripted scans trying many different usernames and passwords per second. This will use bandwidth and system resources, slowing down the overall user experience.”
‘The biggest problem we see is that people expose their systems to the internet without any ﬁrewall rules or authentication enabled’ Rainer Stiehl, Extron
Lipshitz also sees some basic things that should be done. “In the same way that a company will look to isolate a visitor’s Wi-Fi connection from the company’s network, that should equally be done with a visitor’s AV connection,” she says. “Ensuring isolation between a visitor device and the company’s AV equipment shouldn’t just be something that high-security organisations do – it should be done by any organisation wishing to protect their network and data.” Lipshitz also notes the inherent insecurity that can exist in digital video, with HDMI/DP cable connections being an obvious target. “Today, most of the companies who are not involved in the defence market don’t protect
Don’t default Do you recognise any of these? • admin/admin • admin/0000 • user/user • root/12345 • support/support They’re ﬁve of the most popular username/ password combinations and will, according to cybersecurity company Positive Technologies, get you access to one in ten IoT devices. That’s millions of devices… The Mirai botnet, which has been used in some of the largest and most disruptive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, used only 62 username/password combinations. their digital video connections,” she adds. “By leaving this connection exposed, they are enabling hackers to penetrate their systems.” For Zielie, understanding the speciﬁcs of the application is imperative.
It’s about workﬂows “Often, too little attention is paid to the AV workﬂows and the potential security risks which may be accessible to any user,” he says. “There are often functions within the workﬂow which should be privileged. For example, a university may want to allow anyone access to projection, but only allow instructors to have access to lecture capture and remote classroom capabilities.” “An integrated AV system – IAVS – consists of several classes of device conﬁgured and programmed to operate as a single system,” he goes on. “Because IAVS functions as a system, security validation is best achieved as a system, rather than by individual components. Additionally, the same components may be reconﬁgured and programmed in order to achieve various goals and workﬂows. For this reason, it is best to segment the security accreditation into two areas – platform architecture and application workﬂow.” It becomes apparent, talking to the industry, that one of the keys to maximising installation security is not to underestimate the potential for risk in almost anything that’s attached to the network. Lipshitz has an excellent example. “There’s no doubt that Smart TV operating systems are vulnerable,” she says. “In fact, all displays are vulnerable to attacks that target low-level controls that they all have in common – for settings such as luminance, refresh rate, contrast ratio and so on. That threat is exacerbated in many KVM systems where two
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26 SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY
computers share the same monitor, in which computer-to-monitor communication is done via low-level functions transmitted undetectably over the monitor’s cable. This communication is not monitored by any antivirus or intrusion detection and prevention systems.” Lipshitz notes that one of the reasons Kramer signed a global distribution agreement with cybersecurity manufacturer Highseclabs (HSL) was to ensure its customers were not exposed to this vulnerability. “All HSL-Kramer combined products are designed to support isolation between networks with different security classiﬁcations,” she notes. “That’s hugely valuable in applications such as ﬁnance, healthcare and defence.”
Unachievable It would, of course, be reassuring to believe that, given the appropriate attention, the security of an installation could be guaranteed. Realistically, however, that’s unachievable – but that’s not to say that the effort shouldn’t be undertaken. “While 100% security is the goal, the target is constantly moving,” Stiehl points out. “However much time, effort, and expertise you put in, nothing will be 100% secure. For example, we have seen acceptable cryptographic key length increase as computing power has increased. The best strategy is to minimise the risk vectors and acknowledge that the best installations used a layered approach to secure important resources.” Zielie sees things similarly. “Security is a balancing act,” he says. “The need for systems to be accessed, combined
‘Ensuring isolation between a visitor device and the company’s AV equipment is something that should be done by any organisation’ Keren Lipshitz, Kramer
with evolving threats, means that no system can ever be considered 100% secure. In general, even systems which are very secure tend to become less secure over time. This is because vulnerabilities which were previously unknown are discovered and published and that knowledge can be used to attack a system which has not corrected the vulnerability. That’s why patches and periodic risk assessments are required to make sure the system continues to meet the required security posture.” And then there’s the users… “100% security is never achievable as you always need to take into consideration human
error,” says Lipshitz. “You should take all necessary measures to secure the installation – ﬁrst, by utilising the existing technology and second, by training users how to use the system correctly to minimise those errors.”
Impossible dream The complete security of an installation may, then, be an impossible dream – but there are mitigating factors. Foremost among these are accessibility and ease of use. All data, for example, could theoretically be made wholly inaccessible. Similarly, a complex signing-on process could be implemented that would maximise the chances of only authorised users being permitted on the system – but with a consequent loss of productivity. A balancing act needs to be performed – a balancing act that also recognises, for example, the differing security requirements of a bank and a sports bar, as Zielie points out. “While it’s important to have established best practices and base security settings, security is always in support of business goals,” he explains. “The amount of effort, time, and cost that is spent on security depends on what the business goals are and the assets they need to protect, which varies between organisations – and often between applications within an organisation. There is no one size ﬁts all security proﬁle.” Stiehl has a good analogy. “It’s important to consider that the relationship between security, accessibility and ease of use is elastic, with each occupying one side of a triangle,” he explains. “If you only focus on one area, you will limit the effectiveness of the remaining two, effectively changing the shape of what is implemented.” “Understanding where to draw the line is more about understanding the needs and risk tolerance of the customer more so than picking an arbitrary demarcation point between security
and accessibility,” he goes on. “Each installation and site governance has unique requirements.”
Balance “There’s always a balance between security and ease of use needed in AV installations,” says Noyens. “When thinking about security, it’s important to understand the impact when the system is compromised. If people need to enter a 15-character password that needs to contain special characters to be able to start presenting in a closed room, you’re making your system too complex to be used. The impact of someone starting a presentation in that room with only a four-digit password should be evaluated to see whether it is acceptable. “You have the ability to specify your target security level in our Crestron security audit tool,” he continues. “This way, we advise you, from a manufacturing point of view, about the minimum security settings for your devices. At any time, you should evaluate together with the end-user to set a decent level of security – but still make sure that people can easily use their systems.” In the same week that the BBC reported the Huddle security issue, it also reported on a study by Which? – a consumer advice magazine – that ‘connected toys’ including the Furby Connect, i-Que robot and Cloudpets were fundamentally insecure, with a recommendation that they should be withdrawn from sale. The moral of the story? No matter what it is, or how insigniﬁcant or trivial it may seem: any connected device represents a potential security risk that needs to be identiﬁed and eliminated. It’s better, as the saying goes, to be safe rather than sorry.
www.avixa.org www.crestron.com www.extron.com http://pro.harman.com www.kramerav.com
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28 SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY
Ask the makers As we’ve seen, integrators need to make their systems as secure as is reasonably practicable. For the second part of this special report, we ask: what can manufacturers do – in terms of either design of products or provision of information – to help? Steve Montgomery reports
n an age of ever-increasing security threats, the number of attempted and successful attempts to break into IT networks has never been greater. At the same time more devices are being connected to networks and users expect to be able to use them seamlessly, without having to go through rigorous security procedures and set-ups in order to make them work. This puts IT and AV system integrators and administrators in a quandary: how can they ensure simple and widespread access to controlled and uncontrolled devices, while ensuring total security from external – and in some cases internal – threats? Part of that strategy is aided by the range of security measures and procedures integral to the AV devices used; and those are the responsibility of the equipment manufacturers. No network-based system can be totally secure, no matter what level of security is included, and this is compounded by the ongoing demand from users to add devices, including uncontrolled personal ones, together with the need to access the outside world through internet browsers and email connections. However heightened security measures increase cost and complexity and reduce user convenience. “With any kind of security system, IT or otherwise, the main issue being discussed is a balance between what could happen: the hazard, against risk: the chance that
something might happen, weighed against the cost to prevent or mitigate that risk,” says Chris Fitzsimmons, product manager, video products, Biamp Systems. “There is never a black and white answer, just increasing levels of conﬁdence in a system based on the steps taken to mitigate high-value items.” With the increasing sophistication of AV devices and the associated network connectivity, AV systems must include comprehensive security procedures to reduce the risk of cyber attack from both external and internal sources. Terry Galvin, managing director of Indigo IT, explains the implications: “AV devices are no different from any other device or IP-based equipment on a network, in that the network manager has to control the environment’s security and ensure that compliance to the networks security policy is met.” Ensuring system security is not a one-time operation, but a continuous process that starts during planning and continues for the lifetime of the devices or system. Says Fitzsimmons: “Before customers even talk to a manufacturer, they should have a clear understanding of what they are trying to avoid or prevent. There is no such thing as a perfect security solution. In fact, security risks are a moving target, and what is safe today will not be safe tomorrow. Security policies and mitigation strategies should be viewed as an
No network-based AV or IT system can be totally secure Threats and challenges to systems change in time, and counter-measures need to be constantly updated Manufacturers can aid integrators by collaborating and discussing three main areas of concern: network access security, product access limitations and data encryption Integrators should engage in dialogue with manufacturers to satisfy themselves that their systems are sufficiently robust against cyberattacks ongoing effort, not a ‘one and done’ approach. Strategies need to be continuously re-assessed in the face of new information. This requires continuous dialogue with the manufacturer and a commitment in response that they will support this ongoing effort.”
Three areas There are essentially three main areas of security that should be considered by all AV system integrators planning to install complex, network-based systems. Each of these can be addressed in conjunction with device manufacturers to check their adherence
to standard IT security procedures and commitment to ensuring the highest level of robust operation and resilience to cyber attack. These are: • The inherent network security itself and the manner in which AV devices are allowed onto that network; • The operation of the device, including the ﬁrmware, operational procedures and facilities it offers; and • The methodology of storing data internally and transmitting it over networks from device to device. Each of these three is affected by the character of the device, which is a fundamental element of the design implemented and supported by the manufacturer. “AV devices that are permanently connected to a network need to be treated in the same way as any other device on the network,” points out Galvin. “They should be allocated static IP addresses with the MAC address deﬁned on the network so that it is always assigned the same IP address, which effectively locks it down and only authorised users can connect to it.” That MAC address needs to be given to the IT manager so that a unique IP address can be allocated. Beyond that, system integrators should
SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY 29 ensure that sufficient authentication procedures are in place, combined with multi-level password protection, particularly for shared devices. According to Spiros Andreou, service delivery manager for system integrator CDEC: “Most networked AV devices now will support some form of authentication standard, either LDAP, Active Directory or a ‘create your own user’
‘Telnet is probably the most forgotten-about protocol, which many integrators will install without even changing the default password’ Spiros Andreou, CDEC
option. The most problematic devices from a security standpoint only have an Admin account, which means passwords have to be shared widely and any user with the password can make wide-ranging changes to the conﬁguration of that device. The best AV devices will support LDAP or AD authentication with multiple roles, meaning that granular access controls can be deﬁned for administrators, users and read-
only and that access can be audited. Check that the supplier implements the ISO27001 standard which requires these controls to be implemented, speciﬁed in Annexe A.12 (operations security) and A.9 (access control).” Connection certiﬁcation is also important. Andreou continues: “Most AV devices allow HTTPS connections. However maintaining and improving that security standard is still important to prevent attackers from stealing credentials, disrupting the network and compromising devices. With a large number of meeting rooms, each with a conference bridge or switcher/scaler, purchasing certiﬁcates for each device is not viable; however, most large organisations will have their own PKI (public key infrastructure) with which they can create either individual or wildcard security certiﬁcates for AV devices. “This prevents the practice of users skipping through certiﬁcate warning messages on browsers and can also detect man-in-themiddle attacks, in which a nefarious user attempts to obtain the password to devices by listening to the communications between the user and the device. Where a device has a hard-coded certiﬁcate or comes with its own self-signed certiﬁcate and cannot be changed,
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30 SPECIAL REPORT: CYBERSECURITY the certiﬁcates should be installed into the certiﬁcate store on users’ computers and devices to make sure they are trusted, and expiry dates of those certiﬁcates monitored. Again, this is covered in ISO27001.”
‘It’s not always obvious to users what information a device might be sharing’ Paul Lipman, BullGuard
about protocol, which many integrators will install without even changing the default password, allowing any attacker with network access to instantly compromise the device and potentially launch further attacks on other targets, monitor data or disrupt the network. It is important to understand what protocols are in use and what level of encryption they support. A remote or on-site attacker should ﬁnd that any unneeded services like Telnet and VNC are disabled on the device, with strong access required to re-enable them.”
Ports in a storm Port management is also important, as Fitzsimmons points out: “The question of which ports a product uses should be asked, and for what. A good manufacturer will provide a list of ports that the product needs to have open to operate. This allows a customer to track expected and unexpected port traffic using common network security tools. Biamp’s Tesira devices have multiple network ports or NICs, designed so that it is impossible to directly route traffic from one to the other. The network interfaces are physically isolated from one another.” The internal operation of the device is one area in which device manufacturers have complete control and can aid integrators in their quest for system security. At the base level, most equipment is built around a commercial operating system; commonly Linux, Unix or Windows Embedded. Each of these has known vulnerabilities and offers openings for hackers to penetrate. Manufacturers should provide information on the OS used and their support procedures to update it, along with the device ﬁrmware, which can also be compromised. This often goes beyond the commercial availability of an individual product: despite a component becoming obsolete, its actual usage will continue, often for many years. Manufacturers must assure operators that it will be supported with new patches and ﬁrmware as and when necessary. The mitigation for device ﬁrmware hacking is for the code to be cryptographically signed, and the signing key to be kept secret by the software authors. Most, if not all, devices include features that are not needed by many users. These can also present opportunities for malicious activity. As Andreou explains: “Many networked AV devices will feature a range of administration options depending on their complexity and usage. One of the most common is Telnet, which is completely insecure and utilises no encryption whatsoever. It is probably the most forgotten-
Maintaining the integrity of data during processing and in transit is essential. Integrators should gain agreement from manufacturers that internally stored data is not accessible to outsiders. Some AV devices, such as signage players, may contain cached content that would be classed as a breach under the General Data Protection Regulation if stolen. If devices are destined to have data stored on them, the internal disks should be encrypted with a FIPS-140-2 (the US government cryptographic minimum standards) encryption scheme. Andreou points out that: “Cryptography is hard to implement while maintaining functionality and usability unless it is designed into the device. This should be considered carefully when selecting a product. Under ISO27001 this control would be covered by A.9 (access control) A.11 (physical security) and A.10 (cryptography).” Lack of encryption of audio streams passing across a network is a particular concern of Roland Hemming, consultant at RH Consulting: “Audio networks transmit unencrypted streams that could be accessed anywhere in the building, by anyone with a suitable network connection. This is a danger in both commercial systems from sensitive meetings and entertainment systems with risk to intellectual property. The industry chose convenience over security a long time ago and it will take a massive effort to transition to secure systems with such a legacy, but something we should be demanding from manufacturers. Although the encryption process adds unwelcome complexity and delay, I believe that is a price worth paying. There is sufficient headroom in audio systems that currently have a latency of just 1-2ms to include it, even if the delay is more. It is manageable and won’t be noticed. The beneﬁts to the industry are immense.” Justin Kennington, president, SDVoE Alliance, suggests that: “For AV distribution products, the question of what level of encryption is used to protect data should be asked. This is important because data thieves can attack the network and record sensitive video such as camera feeds and conﬁdential PowerPoint presentations. If AV data is encrypted before going onto the
network, you enjoy one more layer of protection.” A further issue is the return of live operational system data to manufacturers. “Many devices are designed to send information back to the manufacturer. This is a form of digital feedback, and according to manufacturers, helps them understand how their products are being used and reﬁne their development,” says Paul Lipman, CEO at consumer cybersecurity company BullGuard. “It’s also a privacy question. It’s not always obvious to users what information a device might be sharing. However, in terms of data travelling over the internet the big question is whether it is secured with encryption so if it’s intercepted it can’t be read. Also, some projects use the cloud to gather, store and analyse data. It’s an efficient, scalable and affordable way to both manage devices and handle all the information that comes from devices. This will be done via a cloud management interface but it needs to be secure.” Once the three main areas of consideration have been addressed, integrators are advised to
‘If AV data is encrypted before going onto the network, you enjoy one more layer of protection’ Justin Kennington, SDVoE Alliance
test, monitor and review system operation – in conjunction with suppliers where necessary. Fitszimmons offers these words of advice: “Ask the manufacturer to provide a device to run a penetration test on. It’s a win for both parties. The manufacturer gains information about potential vulnerabilities in its product, and the customer IT team gains prima facie evidence of the robustness, or not, of the product.” An ongoing dialogue between the integrator and manufacturer is essential in ensuring the long-term security of AV network-based systems. As Andreou sums up: “Integrators can help manage the increasingly treacherous world of AV device security, working closely with network administrators and suppliers. From the manufacturer’s perspective, maintaining a proactive security posture as a manufacturer may be the golden ticket to successful supply tenders at security-conscious businesses.”
www.biamp.com www.bullguard.com www.cdec.co.uk www.indigo-it.com www.rhconsulting.eu www.sdvoe.org
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32 SOLUTIONS: UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY
PROJECT OF THE MONTH
Head of the class Designing and conﬁguring a ‘SuperLab’, which enables multiple classes of different sizes to be held simultaneously, posed a number of system design challenges – including class conﬁguration, video distribution and two-way audio communication. Christopher James reports on how these challenges were met
SuperLab is a new category of teaching room. The ﬁrst SuperLab was built at London Metropolitan University; it quickly gained a reputation as a key tool for improving grades and enhancing retention rates among ﬁrst-year science students. The design of a SuperLab aims to facilitate the ‘buzz’ of a multidisciplinary environment while ensuring students feel part of an intimate class group. Many classes can be run at once, and the space must be instantly reconﬁgurable to allow an instructor to address any size of class – from as few as a dozen to as many as 200 students. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) wanted a SuperLab as the centrepiece of its new Science and Graduate School of Health Building. Ranked as the number one young university in Australia, UTS is one of the largest universities in the country, with a total enrolment of over 40,000 students and 3,000 staff. Facilitating two-way communication between a demonstrator and a class undertaking practical chemistry or biology experiments is not straightforward. Two further requirements – for different groups to work side by side without interrupting each other, and the ability to conﬁgure up to 12 different-sized classes on the ﬂy – posed further system design difficulties. “My introduction was via Faculty of Science staff here at UTS who’d previously visited the London Superlab,” explains Rob Hardy, senior project manager at UTS’ Audio Visual
Services department. UTS’s vision was for a state-of-the-art SuperLab 52m long, with space for 220 students. The 26 workbenches seating eight students were to be fitted with touchscreen PCs and microphones, to allow up to 12 classes to work concurrently. Every other bench would feature a demonstration station for teachers, while multiple break-out areas would accommodate group work and informal meetings.
Video switching From the experience in London, it was clear that this SuperLab would require bringing together complex video matrix switching, two-way multifrequency wireless communication and IP video links direct to each student computer. From the earliest stage, UTS designers knew they wanted to use a Crestron control solution. “We’re a Crestron house,” notes Hardy. “Obviously there are other switching and control suppliers available, but we have a good and proven solution with DigitalMedia and Crestron control”. UTS is a heavy user of Crestron control and switching solutions and employs Crestron Fusion RV (Room View) to manage the myriad AV systems throughout the dozens of buildings in its downtown campus. Hardy knew that the next problem would be routing and transporting the many vision sources involved with multiple simultaneous classes. So early in the design phase he briefed Bignesh ‘Vicky’ Dayal, the University’s long-
Installed Video NEC V-Series 65in LCD displays SMART Technologies 88in multitouch IWBs Samsung 230MXN 23in room booking panel HP all-in-one PCs with keyboard & mouse Wolfvision VZ-8L4 document visualisers Matrox Maevex 11M-MVX-E5150F streaming encoders
Audio Williams Sound WILDLT100 2.4MHz transmitters Williams Sound WILLR60 student receivers Williams Sound WILHED21 student headsets Williams Sound MIC 044 2P teacher headsets Sennheiser 5.4GHz wireless mic transmitters/receivers/antenna Sennheiser eW-300 IEM in-ear monitoring receivers BSS BLU-100 DSP processors BSS BLU-BIB remote inputs
Control All Crestron DM-MD32X32 DigitalMedia switcher CP3N 3-Series control system with AV-Lan DMPS-200-C/300-C DigitalMedia presentation systems AM-100 AirMedia wireless input devices DM-RMC-SCALER-C 8G receiver/room controller with scaler DM-TX-401-C DigitalMedia 8G+ transmitters TSW-550 5in touchpanels term contact at Crestron, about the project and sought input on the technical challenges involved in video distribution. Dayal recalls: “We looked at their
SOLUTIONS: UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY 33
speciﬁcations and started to work on a design using Crestron DigitalMedia (DM). Within Crestron we have a Tech Sales design team, who do ‘proof-of-concept’ designs and then build a prototype to show how it will work.” The proof-of-concept idea would prove crucial. UTS set up a dedicated space to build a student bench and two teaching stations, with Crestron coming on board to provide prototype systems for testing. The brief called for 12 demonstrator stations, each with a PC, a document camera, a wireless input for a tablet PC and wired inputs for laptops, microscopes and other experimental equipment. Video sources could be switched to selected wall-mounted monitors between each pair of benches and were also to be delivered direct to a PC at each student position. Demonstrators would each have a wireless headset to allow them to have two-way conversations with students in their class group. Crestron all-in-one presentation switchers soon emerged as the most suitable core for each of the 12 teaching stations. The system would provide local control, as well as video source switching and audio de-embedding and mixing. Output signals would then be routed to the central equipment rack via DigitalMedia across a single Cat6A cable. At the rack a Crestron DM-MD32x32 DigitalMedia switcher provided outputs to the monitors, as well as handling the combining tasks feeding signals back to the benches. So one problem was solved, but there were still three to go.
Two-way audio Now, as Hardy recalls, things got tougher. “The surprising thing was the audio,” he says. “We anticipated that the switching to make the space adaptable for different size classes was always going to be a problem. But it became apparent very quickly that to ﬁnd a two-way audio solution for 220 students in up to 12 groups was going to either be really, really costly – or very hard. We tried various different manufacturers, and different industries as well, just to ﬁnd out if there was anything out there that would help us with the two-way communication. We even looked at smartphones — but that wasn’t very practical.” Finding enough spectrum space was difficult, so UTS ﬁnally settled on a hybrid solution. Each of the 12 demonstrators was equipped with a Sennheiser radio microphone and headset monitoring system on a different channel. Back at the central rack, the receivers and transmitters were connected to an audio matrix. From the matrix, any desired demonstrator’s microphone could be sent back via cable to any selected student bench. At the bench, a Williams Sound transmitter operating in the 2.4GHz band
provided signals to eight pre-tuned receivers and headsets for the students. But what about if a student wanted to talk back?
on instructors’ PC screens. This gave plenty of screen space (up to 24in) for the interface when needed, and freed up precious bench real estate
A wireless microphone per student was out of the question — there weren’t enough clear channels and anyway, how could you control and direct all the traffic from 220 student transmitters? Leveraging Crestron’s control capabilities once more, Hardy came up with a traffic-light style solution. A bollard was built into the bench between each pair of students. At the top is a signal light tied back to the control system. When the instructor starts a session, this light illuminates in blue to signal the students to put on their headsets and listen in. If someone needs to ask a question, they press a button on the bollard, which turns their bollard ‘traffic light’ orange and brings up up an indicator on their instructor’s control panel. When the lecturer is ready to take the question, they touch the indicator on their screen, which activates the microphone mounted on that student’s bollard. This allows lecturers to easily see when there is a question and avoid the cacophony that might ensue if a number of students tried to talk back at once. There’s also a ‘panic button’ on each bollard that turns the light red if someone needs immediate assistance. “The bollard lighting is C-Bus so interface integration was required for Crestron control,” explains Hardy.
by using one screen instead of two. The key element would be devising an intuitive way for each instructor to select the correct benches to include in their own group. Hardy explains how the ﬁnal design works: “There’s an icon on the desktop when they start. The icon opens a full-screen plan of the SuperLab so they can see where all the benches are. They just select, by physically touching, each bench that they want to be a part of their group, then they press Begin Session to start the session. As all audio is via headphones, any group’s tables are not required to be together geographically. On the next screen that comes up, they can drag and drop any source to either the wall monitors or the student PC screens. Once that is happening they can minimise the X-Panel window or take it down in size and they’ve got access to the rest of the computer and the network if they wish.” How has the installation been received? Hardy concludes: “The Superlab has been a huge success for the university, faculty and students. Student attendance and results have all been up, as well as retention rates, which was unexpected. Additionally the fact that students are working alongside others in different year groups and also different subjects seems to have spurred students into looking at extending or taking on additional studies.”
Control system demands By this stage, a lot was being asked of the control system. It needed to switch video; direct IP streams; route two-way audio; control and respond to traffic lights – all from up to 12 locations at once. Fortunately Crestron and the UTS programmer had been developing the control strategy alongside the hardware design on the proof-of-concept system. To display the graphical user interface, the designers chose to use the Crestron X-Panel – a virtual touchpanel that appears directly
https://bssaudio.com www.crestron.eu www.hp.com www.matrox.com www.nec-display-solutions.com www.samsung.com www.sennheiser.com https://home.smarttech.com www.uts.edu.au www.williamssound.com www.wolfvision.com
34 SOLUTIONS: TRIUMPH FACTORY VISITOR EXPERIENCE, HINCKLEY
The need for speed This recently opened visitor attraction explores the many facets of an iconic British motorcycle brand. Tom Bradbury reports on the installed AV that makes Triumph victorious
he Triumph Factory Visitor Experience is a brand new world-class exhibition showcasing the design excellence, engineering precision and human endeavour that goes in to the manufacture of Triumph motorcycles. Located at the company’s factory HQ in Hinckley, Leicestershire, this immersive experience allows visitors to connect with some iconic Triumph motorbikes at the home of their manufacture. AV design and installation was undertaken by Sysco, while Studio MB created the master plan, concept design, interpretative and exhibition design.
Eight zones Visitors embark on an engaging journey throughout eight themed zones divided across two ﬂoors: Attitude, BloodLine, Performance, Iconic, For the Ride, Individuality, Belonging, and Design. Complementary audiovisual technology animates the motorbikes and enlivens the rich story of this genuine British icon and international super brand. As visitors explore the space, their connection is heightened by an audio narrative and visually
stunning installations, which instil a broader understanding and deeper appreciation for the heritage and ongoing success of Triumph. A Crestron control processor handles all show control requirements including control of the media servers. It also handles equipment startup and shutdown, basic volume controls and scheduler functionality. The tour commences with Attitude, where visitors are welcomed by a looping video highlighting the devotion and ambition behind what makes a Triumph… well, such a triumph. With two blended 7,000-lumen Epson laser projectors and local audio, driven by Extron ampliﬁers and delivered here and elsewhere in the venue through compact Audica Microline speakers, this opening encounter sets the scene for the journey ahead. Throughout the exhibition, projections are synchronised with audio, delivering a dynamic and immersive experience that both informs and inspires. Playback is courtesy of a rack-mounted six-channel Watchout server running Version 6 of the software, which also handles image blending and geometry correction. Video signals travel to
Installed Video Epson EB-L1200U 7,000-lumen laser projectors Epson EB-L1405U 8,000-lumen laser projectors BrightSign HD223 signage player BrightSign XD233 signage players Iiyama ProLite LE3240S-B1 32in LCD display Iiyama ProLite TF4637MSC-B2AG 46in touch monitor Peerless-AV Arakno PAG-UNV-HD projector mount
Audio Audica Microline compact speakers Extron XPA 1002 power amplifiers Canford DMH265 headphones RDL TPHA-1A headphone amplifier RDL FP-TPS4A audio sender
Control and Connectivity Crestron CP3N control processor Dataton Watchout 6-channel server Lightware DVI-TPS-TX95/RX95 HDBaseT extenders
SOLUTIONS: TRIUMPH FACTORY VISITOR EXPERIENCE, HINCKLEY 35
About the integrator Sysco Productions has 20 years’ experience in the museum and heritage, exhibition, and sports and leisure industries Its first-ever project was at the Millennium Dome’s visitor experience. Since then, the company has worked with clients such as the Imperial War Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Science Museum, Twickenham Stadium and Ascot Racecourse In 2017, the company rebranded itself with the tagline ‘story engineers’ - to support the evolution from systems integration into the world of storytelling and narrative engagement the projectors over HDBaseT. The media content and spirited chronicles offer a vibrant, punchy and dramatic backdrop for these beautifully elegant and powerful motorbikes. Internationally recognised personalities who ride or have ridden Triumphs are spotlighted to exemplify the prestige associated with both the brand and bike.
Speed achievements A chronology of speed is delivered by a looped projection, seamlessly blended across a curved wall using two 8,000-lumen Epson projectors with short-throw lenses. Precisely co-ordinated with audio and synchronised with a circular speedometer floor projection (using another Epson), Performance focuses on five bikes and their achievements in speed as part of the bloodline of today’s fastest Triumph bikes. Audio is delivered through a rack of Canford headphones, driven by RDL headphone amplifiers. The passion for excellence is emphasised
in For the Ride, with a looping video that encapsulates all of the elements that are fused in to making the perfect bike ride. The video display is comprised of three Epson projectors, each fed by a BrightSign XD233 signage player and mounted on a geared Peerless-AV projector mount. Multi-channel audio works in sync with the video, alluding to the movement of ﬂeeting motorbikes to give depth of reality. Praise for Triumph is further highlighted in Belonging, which celebrates the vast community of Triumph fans located across the globe. A striking array of 114 digital photo frames is collated to share photographs of owners and dealerships alike, representing the widespread relationships to the motorbike and united passion for the brand. As the Triumph community grows, so too does the media content on display. The visitor experience is completed by praise for the outstanding and passionate Triumph family. Multiple 32in Iiyama ProLite wall-mounted LCD screens showcase the design process and meticulous engineering behind the construction of their bikes, with further offerings of CAD drawings, renderings, models, sketches and interviews. Visitors can also enjoy guided tours of the exhibition and with a control iPad, tour guides can walk through the space with complete control and ﬂexibility to adjust audiovisual settings, thereby tailoring the experience to audience accordingly.
Team integration Close integration between the design teams and Triumph inspired a strong appreciation of the passion behind the brand, and a thorough
understanding of its aspirations; this helped to deliver an experience that truly represents the spirit of the Triumph motorcycle, its history and its future. Miles Perkins at Triumph Motorcycles comments: “We had a very high expectation for the AV in the new factory visitor experience, and the result has not only exceeded this but delivered a truly engaging and immersive experience. The close collaboration we had on the design and technology plan was key to the success of this great new motorcycling and engineering venue.” Jack Strong, sales and marketing manager at Sysco, adds: “From the early stages of the project, we were motivated by the passionate team at Triumph and their dedication to delivering a memorable visitor experience. Throughout the design and installation we worked closely with Studio MB, offering advice on creative solutions and the best technologies available. As a result, the audiovisual elements have been hugely successful in animating the displays and creating an engaging, dynamic and immersive exhibition space.”
www.audicapro.co.uk www.brightsign.biz www.canford-audio.com www.crestron.eu www.dataton.com www.epson.eu www.extron.eu www.iiyama.com www.lightware.com www.peerless-av.com www.rdlnet.com www.studiomb.co.uk www.syscoproductions.com
36 SOLUTIONS: ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE UNITED KINGDOM
Installed Video Panasonic AK-UC3000 4K cameras Panasonic AK-UCU500 Camera Control Units Panasonic AW-UE70 remote PTZ camera AJA UHD VTR and HD graphics/ character generator Ross Carbonite Black 2ME vision mixer
Training tomorrow’s broadcasters A leading ﬁlm and media studies school has re-equipped its TV studio and gallery to HD, with a 4K upgrade path, as part of a major upgrade programme – to give its students the chance to work with industry-standard equipment. Tom Bradbury reports
he Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University teaches ﬁ lm and television production courses and ﬁ lm and media studies to undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as offering research degrees. The purpose-built studio and gallery are designed to equip the courses’ students with the craftsmanship and skills to begin a career in the ever-diversifying ﬁ lm and television industry, from drama to documentary, and music promos to moving image projects. Among other practical creative endeavours, the students shoot on ﬁ lm and video, from high deﬁnition to 16mm ﬁ lm, and learn postproduction skills in editing, sound and grading. Anglia Ruskin has invested over £122 million in its campuses over the past ﬁve years and will be adding a further £98 million to keep pace with innovation. As part of this mission, the university decided to upgrade its television facility. After a rigorous tender process, UK systems integrator Megahertz was selected to upgrade the SD studio and gallery to HD, with provision for a future move to 4K. Megahertz provided consultation services and designed, installed and commissioned the art school’s studio upgrade, advising on equipment selection with a focus on interoperability across multi-vendor systems and a future-proof upgrade path. The system integrator also provided implementation guidance for the creation of a UHD/4K workﬂow. The new UHD capable 60sqm TV studio
replaces an in-house analogue solution that the university had installed 10 years ago. The project also involved the entire redesign of the existing 20sqm gallery layout, which Megahertz delivered in under six months.
Broadcast industry standards “Although we had invested in equipment regularly over the years, the students were still working with older technology which wasn’t really a match for what is available in the wider broadcast industry,” explains Daniel Jagger, technical manager at the Cambridge School of Art. “We were looking to create a highly proﬁcient learning environment, built to broadcast industry standards. Now, not only is the system 4K ready, it also offers major operational efficiencies; for example, we can now reconﬁgure and monitor cameras from the gallery with the ﬂick of a switch rather than manually swapping leads around.” With three Panasonic AK-UC3000 4K cameras and AK-UCU500 Camera Control Units positioned in the studio, Anglia Ruskin University was one of the very ﬁrst customers in the UK to purchase this state-of-the-art camera equipment. An AW-UE70 Panasonic remote PTZ camera, AJA UHD VTR and HD graphics/character generator are also installed. All UHD feeds are generated from a Ross Carbonite Black 2ME vision mixer for programme/transmission and preview monitoring. HD streaming is possible from HD sources or down-converted UHD sources,
Allen & Heath QU16 mixing console
About the integrator Founded in 1982, Megahertz designs, engineers and delivers turnkey systems to content owners, broadcasters and media service providers In addition to its broadcast market work, Megahertz also produces digital signage systems for deployment on board public transport The company has two UK locations – an international sales office close to London Heathrow Airport and a 2000sqm engineering facility in Ely, Cambridgeshire such as the programme output from the vision mixer. Other key equipment installed at the studio includes an Allen & Heath QU16 audio mixing desk. The equipment is all installed within a single 19in rack in the gallery, while the two control desks are located on the studio floor.
Graduates with an edge “There is deﬁnite excitement within the student body, they are enjoying using this equipment,” continues Jagger. “This Megahertz design gives our students access to a facility that is as close as possible to a ‘real-world’ operational TV studio while offering them a simple yet ﬂexible system on which to learn. Ultimately this will give our graduates an edge when it comes to future employment in the broadcast industry.” The biggest challenge from a systems integration perspective was that Anglia Ruskin has a very speciﬁc internal working process, to which Megahertz adapted ﬂexibly and responsively. “Megahertz were reliable and efficient,” concludes Jagger. “They stuck to deadlines and, from the beginning, we felt conﬁdent in their ability to assist with the design and the installation of this project.”
www.aja.com www.allen-heath.com http://business.panasonic.eu www.megahertz.co.uk www.rossvideo.com
X-REALITY: BEYOND THE GAMES CONSOLE Discover how your business will benefit from Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality at ISE The European Destination for the Global AV Industry
38 SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF
Mezzanine maximises construction ﬁrm’s productivity Holder Construction, an Altanta-based contractor of large commercial projects, has deployed Oblong’s Mezzanine platform to connect team members in multiple locations and improve collaboration. The pre-construction team at Holder meets regularly to review architectural plans before construction begins and chose Mezzanine to improve visual communication and collaboration. With Mezzanine, the distributed team is able to share content, including drawings, budgets and bids, from familiar applications. The multi-screen data visualisation and creation capabilities of Mezzanine enable large ﬁles to scale and render with ﬁne resolution. Zooming into the details is easy, as is annotating content and capturing display views in the moment.
Europe’s ﬁrst 8K planetarium opts for laser light-source projectors Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris, the biggest science museum in Europe, has swapped its video projectors for a Sony 4K laser system. The aim was to take the immersive experience within the planetarium to the next level with improved resolution, contrast and brightness. For more than 30 years, the museum has allowed visitors to experience ‘intense realism’ thanks to its Planetarium, which features immersive ﬁlms and 360° shows. Sony suggested a device comprising 10 VPL-GTZ280 4K projectors which, when combined, are able to produce a single image in 8K resolution. These projectors, assisted by 20 computers, are able to project an image of approximately 35,000,000 pixels.
Powersoft controls audio at indoor theme park The recently opened Lavina Mall in Kiev is the largest in Ukraine, at 140,000sqm. It’s also home to one of Europe’s largest indoor theme parks: the 20,000sqm Galaxy Amusement Park. Uniform and fail-safe sound coverage for the entire amusement park is under the control of Powersoft Ottocanali power ampliﬁers; these were speciﬁed and installed by integrator MAG Audio – Powersoft’s Ukraine distributor. Consistent audio is distributed via a network of over 400 loudspeakers, installed at the 20m
ceiling height and zoned around the indoor park. Driving the audio across the vast space are just four Powersoft Ottocanali 4K4 power ampliﬁers. The park’s dimensions presented a considerable challenge. Equally, the noise generated by the moving attractions within the space was such that considerable SPL was required to cut through to deliver important messages and alarms.
SOLUTIONS IN BRIEF 39
Exterity at the ‘Home of Cricket’ Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)’s Lord’s Cricket Ground has adopted an Exterity IP video and digital signage system, fitted by RTS. The deployment is part of a multi-year redevelopment to help Lord’s maintain its position as the most prestigious cricket ground in the world. Lord’s selected an end-to-end Exterity IP video and digital signage solution for the recently opened 2,656-capacity, £25 million Warner Stand. The solution delivers highquality live TV and digital signage throughout the stand, including bar and catering areas, as well as the match control facility. Exterity AvediaStream HDCP encoders securely deliver content-protected live Sky and BT Sports channels to screens around the Warner Stand, JP Morgan Media Centre and new scorers’ box.
University ‘Lab’ adds Martin Audio The ArtScienceLab within the new De Krook building in the Belgian city of Ghent has had a full AV ﬁt-out, with Martin Audio’s CDD series selected for the lab’s audio. The facility, which is an initiative of the City of Ghent, Ghent University and R&D hub IMEC, has been designed as an open house for all citizens. Martin Audio’s Belgian distributor, FACE, won the technical bid. The CDD6 met the requirements for a compact enclosure with 120° horizontal dispersion and high SPL, to reproduce live music and support the Lab’s immersive sound research. The system, comprising 64 pole-mounted CDD6 (6.5in) Coaxial Differential Dispersion speakers, is driven and processed by Powersoft ampliﬁcation over a Dante network. Martin Audio CSX118BF 18in compact direct-radiating powered subwoofers provide low-frequency extension.
Multichannel audio in ‘Shadow Soundings’ exhibit A Meyer Sound D-Mitri platform with integrated multichannel networking has been used to provide the audio for Shadow Soundings, a multimedia installation by sound artist Bill Fontana, on view at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon. The install gives visitors an immersive experience of the city’s 25th of April Bridge. The D-Mitri system comprises six frames, with one DAI-24 input frame placed on a bridge tower to carry live, multichannel audio back to the
museum’s 800sqm Oval Gallery. The indirect ‘dark ﬁbre’ connecting the remote frame to the main rack spans a distance of about 21km, which is said to make it the longest connection yet deployed for hosting D-Mitri’s Ethernetbased audio network. Inside the museum, the D-Mitri platform served as a ‘digital brain’ for Fontana’s design.
S E I R ENTOW N N! OPE
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Kit you need to know about
PRODUCT OF Avenview THE MONTH AVXWALL+ It’s… Avenview’s secondgeneration modular videowall processor. What’s new? It features a more powerful processor, more bandwidth, and additional features. Details: Avenview says the AVXWALL+ has the processing power and performance required for control rooms and other advanced installations. It is equipped with an advanced set of features and built on a stable hardware platform. AVXWALL+ uses FPGA processors to provide fast and reliable performance. Since it is not based on a PC platform, the AVXWALL+ is stable and is not susceptible to system crashes, viruses, or computer hacks. Start-up time is very fast – less than 20s. Each of the I/O cards is hot swappable, so it can be upgraded or replaced without the entire system having to shut down. The AVXWALL+ is a modular and custom-built HDCP compliant device. Available in chassis sizes from 2U to 28U, it can accommodate up to 156 inputs and 156 outputs. Each of the input and output ports is ﬂexible, allowing the integrator or user to use either input or output cards in any available slot. The chipset on the I/O cards can endure high video bandwidth and process digital audio, resulting in real-time signal processing with no frame loss. An on-screen display (OSD) allows full control of the AVXWALL+ with a mouse and keyboard connected directly to the unit. Users have immediate direct control of the videowall
displays to access the screen or source. Optional eight-port KVM cards provide control of up to eight USB or HID compatible devices per card. This means that the main operator can access and control multiple workstations with a single connected keyboard and mouse. An optional conﬁdence monitor card provides a secure output of the entire videowall to another screen for the operator to view, monitor, stream or record for back-up and security purposes. The AVXWALL+ supports multi-user management, allowing different users to have controlled access with different user permissions and control settings for each. These same user management controls are also
available on an iPad app for videowall control. The AVXWALL+ will be demonstrated on the Avenview stand at ISE 2018. It will be used to display multiple sources and formats united seamlessly on one 3x2 videowall, all controlled from an iPad. Live demos of the features, including OSD, KVM, drag-and-drop, resize, pinch, zoom and picture-in-picture functionality will be presented. Visitors to the stand will be able to try the iPad Control app for themselves.
Available: Now www.avenview.com
42 TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS Crestron DMPS3-4K-350-C and DMPS3-4K-250-C These new DigitalMedia (DM) presentation systems have built-in Crestron AirMedia wireless presentation gateway, H.264 video receiver, content LAN, higher-powered amplifier, and onscreen display – in addition to 4K60 video, full support for HDCP 2.2, and a Control Subnet. The new models combine DM technology with an IP-based 3-Series Control System, 4K60 multimedia switcher with built-in scaling, mic mixer, and audio DSP in a single rack-mountable package. www.crestron.eu Prysm Sketchboard Sketchboard allows bi-directional, realtime collaboration for disparate meeting participants along with multi-directional resizing, and ability to zoom in and out of the experience for maximum use case flexibility. Prysm claims it is the only whiteboard offering that is part of a complete digital workplace platform. It forms part of Prysm’s Winter ’17 software release, which integrates several new features including Windows 10 support, in-room homepage design and in-app training. www.prysm.com Apex Intelli-X3 648 The Intelli-X3 648 is the first model of the company’s Intelli-X3 series of system management processors. With internal processing up to 192kHz, studio-grade analogue circuit designs and mastering-grade compressors as standard, Intelli-X3 delivers premium audio performance in a robust 1U form factor with a powerful and intuitive front panel user interface. It also has an optional Dante networking module for audioover-IP networking capability supporting full network redundancy with low latency. www.apex-audio.eu Magewell Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT The newest product in the Pro Capture range of PCI Express capture hardware, the Plus LT is designed to streamline 4K HDMI video capture architectures. This new model extends the feature set of previous models and adds HDMI loop-through connectivity to 60fps UHD capture card to simplify wiring and workflows. The Plus LT is suited for markets and applications including broadcast, medical imaging, gaming, streaming, surveillance, and VR production. www.magewell.com
Community IV6 It’s… a new modular vertical array system. What’s new? IV6 is a scalable, adaptive sound reinforcement system featuring widedispersion IV6-1122 array elements (12in, twoway) available in two complementary vertical coverage angle versions (5° and 15°). Details: The IV6 is designed for installed indoor or outdoor applications. Up to 5° of splay between elements eliminates excessive overlap or coverage gaps, overcoming the physical limitations and acoustic tuning difficulties of conventional line arrays and constant-curvature arrays. This also maintains the best qualities of each in long-throw line arrays, medium-throw progressive curvature arrays and compact constant-curvature arrays. The single 18in IV6-118S subwoofer can be ﬂown above or behind any array to provide additional low frequency impact. Built-in Passive Acoustic Optimisation (PAO) settings on the rear of each speaker allow up
to 55 different frequency response proﬁles to be independently selected for each element in the array, providing SPL and frequency response consistency throughout a listening area without requiring additional ampliﬁers or DSP channels. Community has collaborated with audio rigging manufacturer Polar Focus to design a variety of colour-matched array frames.
Available: This month www.communitypro.com
Datapath Quant It’s… advanced application-sharing software for videowall users working in collaborative business environments.
What’s new? Quant allows users to view and share application windows as well as interact and make changes to original source ﬁles. Details: This software has been designed to work in conjunction with Datapath’s WallControl 10 software. Its secure sharing structure makes Quant equally suitable for control rooms, classrooms and boardrooms. Providing full interactivity with any applications shared, Quant allows application windows to be dragged and dropped between peers or on to a videowall. This makes it easy to share important information, regardless of whether the shared party has the application installed on their computer. The software provides security as it’s within the same network, working behind the ﬁrewall and not loading data through company
servers. Users also have full control over each application, deciding editing and sharing rights. Any changes are synchronised instantly, meaning updates made by multiple users are seen as they happen. In control rooms, real-time information on a workstation can be shared to both a videowall and with workstation personnel who can instantly react to the information provided. Business environments also beneﬁt, where project teams from different departments can work on the same application irrespective of where they are located.
Available: Now www.datapath.co.uk
TECHNOLOGY: NEW PRODUCTS 43
Meyer Sound VLFC
C3-340 and C3-310 It’s… a pair of AV matrix routers with 4K capability.
What’s new? The C3-340 CORIOmatrix and C3-310 CORIOmatrix mini are modular and multiformat and leverage CORIO technology in a single box solution. Details: CORIOmatrix and CORIOmatrix mini are suited to integrating mixed AV, broadcast, IP and legacy sources at very low latency. The products can be used to integrate mixed audio and/or video formats, and when SDI is used in conjunction with 4K HDMI, DVI, and H.264/H.265 IP feeds. CORIO technology allows the user to upscale, downscale and cross-convert between a wide variety of analogue and digital video formats. The 16 modular AV slots (4U chassis C3-340) provide the ability to mix and match video formats in the switcher. The quantity and type of modules selected determines which formats
will be accommodated and the matrix size (12+ I/O modules to choose from). CORIOmatrix supports any standard or custom resolution from 640 x 480 to 3,840 x 2,160 to allow the user to integrate any source and any display including projectors and LED walls. Control and conﬁguration of the CORIOmatrix can be done on an API via RS-232, an IP interface or through an internal web interface. An optional monitoring module that creates thumbnail composition previewing of all inputs and outputs (including embedded audio channels) is an additional feature of CORIOmatrix. This module is conﬁgurable and has two DVI/HDMI outputs which can show different information/layouts relevant to the application.
Available: Now www.tvone.com
unDX2IO+, unDX4I, unDX6IO
What’s new? The wall plates deliver control and monitoring capabilities with the latest Tesira 3.4 software. Details: This new offering enables audio connectivity and control, as well as individual device monitoring unique to the protocolagnostic Tesira platform. The wall plates are available in three models to address a range of input needs. The Tesira 3.4 software allows customers to control speciﬁc wall plate elements, such as audio input signal types, mute state, volume level, invert state and source selection. The platform also features a locate function, which enables programmers or IT personnel to quickly identify the location of a speciﬁc wall plate within the software. The software can also act as a single point
Clevertouch Mosaic A collaborative workspace solution, Mosaic has been introduced onto the Pro Series of Clevertouch capacitive and IR touchscreens. Mosaic is designed to allow teams in different locations, on different flatpanels to connect, communicate via video and work together in real time in a collaborative workspace. Designed for interactive flatpanels, Mosaic will enhance the enduser experience and deliver a live walk-up-and-use collaborative meeting solution. Mosaic supports displayto-display real-time communication and content sharing. www.clevertouch.com Vivitek DU9800Z
Biamp It’s… three new Dante wall plates developed in collaboration with Attero Tech for Biamp’s Tesira Platform.
This very low-frequency control element is said to be the first large-scale loudspeaker system specifically engineered to create impact at frequencies below the threshold of hearing. The latest addition to the LEO range, VLFC focuses energy into a narrow band between 30Hz and 13Hz. VLFC is a self-powered system housing two low resonant frequency 18in cone drivers. The on-board power is supplied by a two-channel Class AB/H bridged amplifier with complementary MOSFET output stages for high peak power and clean transient reproduction even at extreme operating levels. www.meyersound.com
of connection for third-party control systems using Biamp’s control API, Tesira Text Protocol (TTP). Before this collaboration, traditional control systems had to communicate with each wall plate directly. This worked functionally, but it did not scale well for large systems. Now all control commands can be sent through the Tesira software and then routed to the individual plates. The unDX2IO+ model features two XLR inputs, two XLR outputs, and two line inputs; the unDX4I includes four XLR inputs and two line outputs; and the unDX6IO boasts two XLR inputs, two RCA or 3.5mm inputs, two 3.5mm outputs, and two line outputs. Each model is available in either a black or white ﬁnish.
Available: Now www.biamp.com
Vivitek’s brightest single-chip laser projector, the DU9800Z offers 18,000 ANSI lumens with native WUXGA 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. The small form factor and light weight benefit integrators and aids swift installation. Using a smart sensor, the DU9800Z continuously measures the light output and adjusts the illumination accordingly to maintain constant brightness – reducing the need for installers to recalibrate the projectors regularly. The DU9800Z also features advanced thermal management technology from Delta: its sealed optical engine design uses a liquid cooling base. www.vivitek.eu Vision TC-HDMIWM This wireless HDMI matrix product uses 10 user-selectable 5GHz WiFi channels. The user simply sets a transmitter and receiver to the same channel and they connect automatically. The TC-HDMIWM wirelessly matrixes, distributes, switches, or performs a combination of these. For system design, each transmitter must be on different channels (so there is a limit of 10 transmitters per WiFi area), and a maximum of two receivers can connect to a transmitter. www.visionaudiovisual.com
44 TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE
House of worship speakers Loudspeakers in houses of worship have a difficult job to carry out – providing intelligible speech and naturalsounding music to enhance the experience of the faithful, often in acoustically challenging environments. Here are some offerings from leading manufacturers for the worship market
APG’s three-way array for worship venues APG says its UC206N can be considered as the ﬁrst high-power, low-throw, high-precision and high-ﬁdelity line array speaker. Despite its relatively small size, it is a threeway cabinet: the bass section (two 6.5in cone drivers) extended in the lows down to 65Hz; a mid-section (5in cone driver) covers the range 500Hz-5kHz, augmenting the performance of the high and low sections; and the high section (one 1in compression driver) works on a narrower bandwidth, higher in frequency and in power handling. This addition of the 5in cone driver is possible thanks to APG’s ﬂagship Isotop technology: Isotop is a wide-band, large, high-power proprietary APG compression driver. APG says these three-way speakers bring an impressive extension in low and high frequencies, and a huge gain of dynamic and maximum SPL over the complete bandwidth,
plus reduced distortion. The 15° V by 70° H coverage pattern provides high intelligibility for indoor applications. To achieve control of constant directivity with both angles, a complex acoustic load has been speciﬁcally designed. According to APG, this guaranteed control of directivity operates from low-mid, around 400Hz, up to 19kHz in the highs.
UC arrays have been used for the biggest church in France, Sainte Bernadette in Lourdes, which is one of the holiest places in the world for Catholics and can accommodate over 5,000 worshippers.
Kobra speakers cover long distances K-array’s Kobra loudspeakers are claimed to show a perfect phase response in both the near and the far ﬁeld, which enables this compact column speaker to cover long distances, like long chapels and naves, uniformly. The passive Kobra systems are comprised of 2in neodymium transducers housed in a stainless steel chassis. The half-metre KK52 features eight drivers, while the metre-long KK102 sports 16. Equipped with Pure Array Technology (PAT), the Kobra has no crossover in the voice range and no reﬂex ports. The narrow vertical coverage minimises the sound spill towards the ceiling and the ﬂoor, increasing the intelligibility in houses of worship where architectural features such as domes and archways can produce a highly reverberant environment. For improved coverage of the entire musical frequency range, a K-array powered subwoofer
from the Thunder line may be integrated, conﬁgured with speciﬁc presets. A variety of rigging accessories allows for various linking and hanging set-ups in vertical and horizontal line array conﬁgurations to satisfy the requirements of many different worship venues. Kobra is available in black or white, or can
be customised with reﬂective ﬁnishes such as polished, brushed or 24K gold-plated stainless steel, which help the speakers to blend in with their environment.
GEO M6 for old and new NEXO’s GEO M6 compact line array has a high output for its size, and can keep a low visual proﬁle in historic buildings, while presenting a contemporary design in modern environments. The full-range GEO M620 uses a longexcursion high-efficiency 6.5in LF driver and a 1in throat driver on a BEA/FEA optimised HR wavesource, to deliver a frequency response of 80Hz to 19kHz ±3dB, with nominal peak SPL of 127dB. Speakers can be used singly, in pairs, in curved arrays of three, or in line arrays up to 12 cabinets long, depending on application.
TECHNOLOGY: SHOWCASE 45
Compactness and intelligibility with CURV 500 LD Systems (part of the Adam Hall Group) believes that its CURV 500 Series is ideal for house of worship installations, as it combines excellent speech intelligibility with minimal visual presence. With expandable vertical and horizontal coverage, CURV 500 Series systems are completely scalable, and the SmartLink plugand-play adapter offers numerous mounting options. Using SmartLink, elements can be joined together with a simple slide-and-lock action to provide instant mechanical and electrical connection. Up to four speakers can be stacked in this way. The main cabinet element, the CURV 500 S2 array satellite, sports a unibody aluminium construction and features a 110º horizontal dispersion angle. LD Systems’ WaveAhead design delivers extended sound dispersion from a lowweight, ultra-compact enclosure – just 12cm high by 12cm wide. Within houses of worship, these satellites can be hung in arrays from the ceiling or mounted on pillars. The sound can be rounded out with LF audio from CURV 500 iSUB subwoofers, and CURV
500 iAMP Class D power amplifiers have been designed specifically to drive CURV 500 Series speakers. CURV 500 systems have been installed in two very contrasting Spanish houses of worship: the modern International Centre for Buddhist Studies in Pedreguer on the Costa Blanca and the Renaissance Cathedral of Santa Maria Magdalena in Getafe, near Madrid.
Syva brings concert experience to worship L-Acoustics points out that primary worship spaces frequently host multiple event types while also using additional temporary spaces, which require reconfigurable sound systems that are flexible, rapid and easy to deploy. Supporting their wide range of potential content is possible with the combination of Syva and Syva Low, which provides 142dB of peak output with a 9dB LF contour from 40Hz to 20kHz. The 140° horizontal and 26° J-shaped vertical directivity, and the 35m throw distance, provide very large surface coverage. Developed expressly for installed and mobile applications, Syva is said to incorporate the controlled coverage, output and coherence beneﬁts of line-
source technology into a system that deploys or installs with the simplicity of a plug-and-play point source. The AutoConnect feature and pre-timed subwoofer presets enable volunteer worship teams to reliably repurpose Syva to meet the evolving needs of their congregation.
Vertical pattern control from TS 400 Dynacord recommends the TS 400 Vertical Array System for small to mid-sized house of worship installations. It features vertical pattern control to provide the highest sound quality and speech intelligibility in difficult acoustic spaces. By using spaced and ﬁltered woofers as array elements, the TS 400 has been designed to provide a very even and smooth coverage over a wide bandwidth. The 2.5-way design places elements at the ends of the column to lower the effective controlled frequency. The MF elements and the HF element are placed in the middle of the cabinet for a smooth mid-to-high transition and to extend the coverage control. Each group of elements has its own band-pass ﬁlter to provide good attenuation at 90° off-axis and cover the audience area evenly from front to rear – with a rate of attenuation claimed to be
half that of a non-steered cluster. This speaker can be extended by dedicated subwoofers from the PSD or PSE series. The TS range is a versatile solution: smaller models are also available (TS 100, TS 200), cabinets can be supplied in black or white, and a transformer kit allows the cabinets to be used in 70/100V loudspeaker lines.
IC Live is the choice for music Renkus-Heinz describes its IC Live range as the intelligent evolution of the small-format line array, and the ICL-F-RN Gen5, designed for ﬁxed installation, as its intrinsic core. This high-powered model is particularly suitable for music reproduction within worship spaces, whereas the manufacturer’s popular ICONYX Gen5 model is generally the choice for spoken-word applications. Featuring three 1in compression drivers on a single manifold and ﬁve 6.5in premium woofers, the ICL-FRN Gen5 is a compact but powerful column array speaker. At 30m, SPL is 105dB (or 108dB when two cabinets are stacked). Output is ﬂat from 80Hz to 20kHz, and the IC Live can be custom painted to match any colour scheme. Drivers can be individually controlled for a high degree of vertical pattern control – which is
essential for delivering intelligible speech in reverberant spaces. The software allows the opening angles for as many as four beams from each array module to be deﬁned (up to eight beams when double-stacked) and the beams to be aimed up or down. A third, low-mid module with seven 6.5in woofers may be added to extend low-frequency control.
Bose adds steerability to Panaray MA12 module Bose says that its Panaray MA12 and MA12EX modular line array family has been a popular choice for houses of worship for many years; the Panaray MSA12X is a new steerable version. Slim and unobtrusive, it features 12 full-range 2.25in transducers, with 75Hz-14kHz response, in a columnar line array conﬁguration. It includes 12 internal power ampliﬁers (50W per channel) and onboard DSP. It has been developed for spaces with up to 5s reverberation time that need the vertical radiation pattern control that digital beam steering offers. Because it allows more precise targeting of audience areas, system designers can decide where to place (and not place) the acoustic energy. Up to three MSA12X units can be vertically arrayed to increase coverage distance and low-frequency pattern control. A choice of three beam patterns is offered for the
MSA12X – basic steer/spread with an option of vocal range smoothing; ﬂat-ﬂoor optimised also with optional vocal range smoothing; and rakedﬂoor optimised. One or two beams can be radiated from an MSA12X array (comprising one, two or three modules), with any beam pattern selected independently for each beam. Gain and Room EQ may be applied individually to each beam.
48 TECHNOLOGY: DEMO OF THE MONTH
Digital revolution Korbyt is a new digital signage engine from RMG Networks. Duncan Proctor was invited for a one-on-one meeting and demo with managing director Martyn Barnett at the company’s HQ on ﬂoor 14 of London’s Tower 42
ith its advanced data expertise and connections to some of the world’s preeminent corporates, RMG Networks is well placed to make a splash in the digital signage content management space. Korbyt is the core platform, around which functionality is scripted in – application by application, or market by market. Currently RMG has out-of-the-box functionality for retail, corporate communications, internal communications and the engagement contact centre. “We’ve created a technology platform that can go anywhere we want it to go,” says managing director Martyn Barnett.
Assessing the competition The launch of Korbyt sees RMG move away from its dominant space of the contact centre and into (what the company estimates is) a $27 billion digital signage market through the channel. The company also realises that it is not the ﬁrst to do so: “We recognise that there are, at the last count we did, about 3,000 different CMSs of some description or another in that market,” states Barnett. So what differentiates RMG? “The ﬁrst thing is our heritage of 37 years of doing rich data integrations and moving large volumes of complex real-time data across secure networks,” comments Barnett. The company claims the platform is the most powerful in terms of acquiring and aggregating data and information. “The second thing is that when we produce digital signage, we produce it anywhere and everywhere,” he adds. This allows users to produce
content on digital signage that can be pushed in a segmented way and modiﬁed as to what is right for the audience. In addition, messages can be tailored depending on the intended audience. In a corporate environment, Barnett elaborates: “If that data is relevant to the company, I’m somewhat inspired to want to achieve my goals. If the data is relevant to the team, I am actually quite inspired to be part of that team to contribute to the goals. But if the data is about me and I’m the only person that can inﬂuence the achievement of KPIs, that’s the thing that most motivates me.” Korbyt is based on a licensing model that is speciﬁc to the endpoint. It’s broken down into single-zone, multi-zone and adapters, with volume tiers within that. Single-zone is the entry-level offering for a single-use screen or desktop widget; multi-zone presents a canvas with different elements such as a news ticker, RSS feed and video playback. On top of this, users can buy an adapter as an increment to the subscription. An example package would be a multi-zone licence with a Salesforce adapter that collects data from a Salesforce CRM system.
Demo conﬁgurations Following this introduction into what Korbyt does, Barnett goes into a demo of different endpoints. The ﬁrst is an LCD display mounted in a portrait kiosk, functioning as an interactive product selector for a global wallpaper and paint manufacturer and one of Korbyt’s earliest adopters. Then there is an example of an HTML5 desktop
widget, which features the same content that could be delivered to a screen. Barnett demonstrates: “So we create a data point; we aggregate some information; we create a weather [feed]; a social feed; we import a video graphic or type a message out – a new HR policy. We hit go and it’s there.” The widget includes pop-to-front and balloon pop-up as well as alerts notiﬁcations – all the things you might see from digital signage, except it sits on a desktop screen. All content is custom created and data analytics tell the author who has read announcements and watched videos. The third application on show is standard digital signage internal comms integrated into a videoconferencing suite. Rather than lying dormant when not being used, the unit plays internal or external communications. Next comes the focal point of the demos: a corporate three-screen set-up. In this conﬁguration it displays the data from a CEO’s interactive dashboard, but it can be segmented for different levels so an individual can see the information relevant to them, as can a department manager. Barnett has mixed views on the timing of RMG’s move into the mainstream digital signage space: “It is both a challenge and a blessing at the same time – it’s a challenge because it’s an established space. But it’s a blessing for us because we’re able to come in with a brand new technology platform that has capabilities that completely outstrip everybody else in that space.”
50 WORDS OF WISDOM
Chris Moore This BenQ product manager believes in hard work, motivation and saying “well done” – but he’s not a gadget fan… Old rules are hard to follow
I ﬁnd honesty and transparency is the best way
Stand out from the crowd
There are a lot of elements that contribute to time management. Years ago it was easier to plan days, weeks and even months at a time. As the industry has grown and workloads have dramatically increased, the old rules to manage time are harder to follow. My attitude is make time, work extra hours when you need to, as this helps you to get on top of what you need to do. In addition to this, I am a big one for lists as they help me prioritise crucial work over less important tasks.
to do business. The most important aspect of building working relationships goes beyond work and involves ﬁnding out what makes people tick. I always try to ﬁnd some common ground to start discussions, to relax people.
When it comes to exhibiting at tradeshows, simpler is better. Having a straightforward theme and a clear message will help a company stand out from the crowd but also ensure that visitors and customers understand the message that you are trying to share with them. Ultimately, I recommend that companies do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd or to be what people are talking about when they leave the show: this could be through a bold stand design, free drinks or interesting speakers. The fun doesn’t end on the last day of the show; it is critical that leads are followed up at the event as soon as possible – as companies, we invest thousands at these shows to get leads and, generally speaking, we do not react quickly enough after the event.
No over-complicated gadgets Considering the industry that I work in, I have never been one for over-complicated or techy personal gadgets. I prefer personal touches, hard work and organisation. However, with multinational collaboration becoming more important to organisations, even I am having to embrace new ideas.
Try your best – all else follows Personal productivity is probably my favourite topic of conversation – I believe self-motivation is one of the most important qualities any worker can have no matter what industry they work in. If every individual is productive, the overall team becomes even stronger and efficient. In my opinion, we can all learn new skills, make mistakes and adapt accordingly, but the one thing I cannot excuse is not trying your best. This should be a life motto and not just one for work.
Finding common ground When working on projects with clients or colleagues, personal interactions can be difficult to judge especially when working with people from different countries or cultures. Generally, I prefer doing business with people like myself – I am a straight talker, which means
Balanced view of candidates In the industry that we work in, people tend to move around from business to business so you can usually get a balanced view of candidates from other people. I like to try and work out important factors for candidates such as work ethic, motivation and attitude, in addition to experience and skills. This will help me to evaluate how the new team member will ﬁt in at BenQ as this is probably the most important factor for us.
One size does not ﬁt all
‘Time is often the biggest reason for a project failing’
Set achievable milestones Keeping projects on track has a lot to do with planning. This will involve setting realistic goals and deadlines, but the ﬁrst rule is to ensure that you don’t let a project fail from the start. I like to create small milestones to ensure that the project will be delivered on time and to the best of my ability. With some of the new products out there on the market, collaboration is easy and saves lots of time without having to travel to meet with remote or global colleagues. Time is often the biggest reason for a project failing.
From a young age, I seemed to have a good understanding of what can motivate people. The ﬁrst important lesson that I learned was that everybody is different and therefore needs a different approach for motivation. Once you have realised one size does not ﬁt all you are already halfway there. Another important factor is to adopt a ‘do as I do’ not ‘do as I say’ attitude. Showing that you are willing to put the hard work in and go the extra mile should set an example to your colleagues. Above all, it is about treating everyone with respect – and also telling colleagues the one thing that most companies forget to do, which is: great job, well done and thanks! Chris Moore is AV product manager at BenQ UK.
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Published on Dec 18, 2017