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May 2014

Stay in control Good design tames command-and-control complexity p20

InstallAwards – Electrosonic’s Simpson to be honoured p10

Intercoms and paging – rise of the all-in-one system p26

Room control – apps disrupt the residential market p34



Familiarity breeds contentment

‘The user experience will surely become even more of a point of differentiation between manufacturers’

I’VE BEEN thinking a bit about user interfaces recently. I suppose one of the things that started me off is that, after several years using QuarkXPress to lay out this magazine, from this issue onwards we have switched to rival software InDesign. From my perspective it shouldn’t make a massive difference, as the two packages have very similar functionality, but at this stage the change is certainly slowing me down, simply because I’m less familiar with the interface. I’m sure you’ll have had a similar experience, perhaps when working on a borrowed computer – if you’re using an unfamiliar version of Word, or if documents save to a different default location from the one that you’re used to, everything takes longer, because you have to think much more about the IT environment, rather than being able to concentrate fully on the actual work you’re doing. Recently at PLASA Focus in Leeds I was chatting with Richard ‘Fez’ Ferriday of Cadac, who mentioned that the company’s CDC eight console has an interface that appeals across the age groups: younger users like its touchscreens, while those who pre-date the digital era appreciate that it is laid out like an analogue console rather than burying a lot of the functionality within menus. Audio consoles are a good example of the importance of good interface design. Their users are often called upon to act quickly when something unexpected happens, so it’s vital that their functions are organised logically, so the right one can be accessed at once, unthinkingly. Additionally, though, an individual desk may be used by many different operators, who each have their own preferences for how they like to work, so a degree of customisability is also useful. This is by no means confined to the world of audio – it applies right across our industry (and out into the wider world). For instance, in videoconferencing, Ashton Bentley recently announced its Lync Room Environments, which enable users of Microsoft Lync to take their personal Lync account settings into the meeting room – so they will see the same interface that they are used to from using the package for conferencing from their desktop. I’m convinced that we will see increasing attention paid to interface design and customisability in the future. First, the AV industry is becoming more software-based and less hardware-based, making it more affordable for manufacturers to optimise their interface designs. Second, the move to software will also make it more feasible to create custom interfaces, where users can adjust the layout to suit them, and save their preferences to the system; so each user gets the interface they need, and it can be called up again whenever they need it. Third, as products mature and increase in functionality, there is a greater need to ensure that users are not swamped in the detail. And finally, as rival products in mature areas increasingly have similar capabilities, the user experience will surely become even more of a point of differentiation between manufacturers. All of which is good news to anyone who has found themselves swearing at an item of technology because they couldn’t find the feature they needed. Now, how do you adjust the line spacing again? Paddy Baker, Editor, Installation –

NEWS 4 News 8 Appointments 10 InstallAwards: 15 Years of Achievement winner revealed 12 Expos and events 14 Industry data: Smart home technology market on the up PEOPLE 16 Interview: Simon Johnston of d&b audiotechnik discusses sound evolution during his career SHOW REVIEW PLASA Focus: Leeds p18 FEATURES 20 Command and control: Meeting the design challenge 26 Intercoms and paging: Will all-encompassing solutions replace traditional systems? 34 Room control: Smart device apps are changing this market massively 38 Regional voices: United States SHOW PREVIEWS InstallMarket: More speakers announced p40 TECHNOLOGY 42 New products 48 Showcase: Audio consoles SOLUTIONS 53 Jyske Bank, Silkeborg: The InstallAwards finalist has upgraded its auditorium with a Constellation system from Meyer Sound 56 Hollywood Multicinema, Sicily: The first Dolby Atmos installation in Italy 58 Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto: Multi-million dollar attraction invests in high-spec audio system 60 Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow: Leading Central University benefits from an advanced PA system Cover image Glasgow control centre, courtesy of BBG Peerless-AV

May 2014 3


NEWPARTNERS Barix has named Thorvin Electronics as its new Canadian distributor as the company looks to increase its presence across the country.

Audiologic is now distributing Nexo installation loudspeakers in the UK. Audiologic provides pro-audio equipment for professional installation contractors and system integrators.

Televic has named Brullov Consulting as its exclusive distributor for Russia. The company has been a nonexclusive partner for some years. In addition, Intermark Sistemi will now distribute Televic’s conference solutions in Italy.

Revolabs has announced a distribution agreement with Exertis GO Connect. Revolabs’ entire portfolio of audio solutions will now be available via Exertis GO Connect’s network of resellers across the Benelux region.

World’s largest free-standing videowall totem for Messe Düsseldorf THE WORLD’S largest freestanding videowall totem has been constructed in Messe Düsseldorf’s north entrance hall. With a height of almost 7m, the installation replaces printed posters that used to hang in that position. The design and construction of the videowall, which consists of 24 NEC 46in screens, was carried out by InoNet Computer. The structural integrity of the wall presented quite a challenge; at a height of 6.8m, the stability of the construction had to be guaranteed. Proper ventilation also came under


4 May 2014

VADDIO HAS announced the establishment of Vaddio Pty Ltd, a new subsidiary based in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Vaddio Pty Ltd will provide sales, technical design and reseller technical support to AV and IT integrators throughout the Asia-Pacific region. This subsidiary

is capable of daisy-chaining up to 144 screens. dimedis’ kompas software provides the content, controlling everything that can be seen on the screens, such as a site map, Twitter wall and news. Bernhard Wagner, marketing director at Messe Düsseldorf, commented: “We are very proud to be setting a record with our videowall. The aim of the project was to equip the central hub of Messe Düsseldorf with a way to offer visitors orientation and information. The videowall is a much better means to this end than the printed poster

walls we used before. Now we can display dynamic images and up-to-date content.” Patrick Schröder, division manager digital signage at dimedis, said: “Aside from its sheer size and the large number of screens, the wall challenged us to find a simple, reliable and appealing way to manage and present content for such a huge set-up. kompas displays all of its content using a browser, so we’re quite proud to be running one of the world’s largest browser windows!”


Vaddio expands its global operations

Amscreen has detailed plans to partner with Sharp in a deal that will see its technologies combined to create what is described as the first truly affordable and scalable outdoor screen solution. The full-motion, high-brightness displays will integrate the latest technology such as NFC, live RSS feeds and iBeacon.

careful consideration to keep the screens from overheating under constant operation. Driving the installation is a single InoNet Magnius videowall controller, which

is the first of multiple international locations that will be added to support the company’s growing number of international partners. “We have always worked towards expanding our international market presence through our US-based sales team,” explained Rob Sheeley, president of Vaddio (pictured). “However, as our products have become more complex and more central to the success of our international distributors, we felt it was time to expand our global footprint to bring a higher level of service and support to our global partners.”

Pro Sound Awards returns for 2014 FOLLOWING ON from the success of the 2013 event, the Pro Sound Awards returns to the Ministry of Sound in London on 25 September with more awards and an extended programme. The event will now begin in the afternoon with The Pre Roll, two hours of conversation and panel discussion with leading lights of the industry before the welcome drinks and the awards ceremony itself. In addition, Best Theatre Sound and Best Sound (Post-Production) will now be recognised at the awards. Sony Europe has already been confirmed as the first major sponsor for the event. “Sony are delighted to return for a second year

to sponsor the Pro Sound Awards Broadcast Audio category, highlighting the importance of professional audio solutions within the entertainment and news gathering industry,” said James Leach (pictured), marketing manager, professional audio, Sony Europe.


Mitsubishi Electric grows its European HQ MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC has continued consolidating its worldwide business activities by expanding its European headquarters in Mijdrecht, the Netherlands, to incorporate its Factory Automation division. The division forms part of Mitsubishi Electric’s Industrial Automation group, which develops industrial displays, sensors and programmable logic controllers, and was responsible for sales of £4.5 million (€5.5 million) in the first nine months of the current financial year. The European HQ, which serves as the hub for the company’s professional display operations, will now also provide the base for Factory Automation’s Benelux operations. The move will pave the way for a closer working relationship between the

Recent highlights

two subsidiaries, enabling Mitsubishi’s Displays division in Europe to directly benefit from the company’s expertise in major process control projects and technologies such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition). As a sign of how the newly integrated business units might work together, a recent control room project in Italy employed programmable logic controllers and sensors from the Factory Automation division as well as DLP cube

display walls. “There are a lot of synergies between the different aspects of Mitsubishi Electric’s business,” said Peter van Dijk, EMEA business manager, Mitsubishi Electric. “The establishment of a Factory Automation branch within our Displays division headquarters brings with it many exciting possibilities to further develop our command and control displays business in the industrial sector.”

Triple jump for Tripleplay

solution, meanwhile, delivers content to corporate boxes, backstage and in the restaurant and bar areas. The solution also enables the streaming of auditorium footage to screens fitted backstage so that venue management and artists can keep an eye on events. “In our debut year here at the Hydro we have had some spectacular artists and have many more booked, ranging from Eric Clapton, Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams to Still Game and the MTV Europe Music Awards,” commented Tony Edwards, technical manager for The SSE Hydro.

CEDIA AND ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY BODY FACILITATE SITE ACCESS The Joint Industry Board has approved a new Electrotechnical Certification Scheme Related Discipline card for home tech integrators.

HTSA WORKS TO GROW KNOWLEDGE IN HOME TECHNOLOGY MARKET Other developments are also in the pipeline following the organisation’s spring conference. RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS AND PEERLESS AV TO HOST FREE WEBINAR Installation’s sister title will discuss ‘Creating the Ultimate Outdoor AV Experience’ on 21 May.

To read these stories and the rest of our residential coverage, go to UNITED STATES

SurgeX recombines


A NEW digital signage and IPTV solution from Tripleplay has been implemented at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venue, The SSE Hydro. A total of 145 Sony TV screens were installed around the venue – which also hosts live events – as visual focus points for visitors and guests. Tripleplay’s digital signage solution streams content to screens located on the concourse, in bars and restaurants and on totem displays installed around the outside of the stadium. The Tripleplay IPTV

CONTROL4 HIGHLIGHTS HOME AUTOMATION TRENDS The company has conducted a study with the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

“It’s always a proud moment to see our solution in use in any location, but when you are chosen by such a spectacular and highprofile venue you cannot help but raise a smile,” said Tripleplay CEO Steve Rickless.

NORTH CAROLINA-based energy intelligence and power protection company ESP/SurgeX has unified its worldwide operations with the acquisition of SurgeX International. The latter had been operating as a single entity since 2008 when Electronic Systems Protection bought SurgeX North America, resulting in the disbandment of the two divisions. All of the company’s operations will now be run from one management team based at its Knightdale, North Carolina headquarters. The company said the acquisition will allow SurgeX to better serve the needs

of an electricity-dependent world, which has led to a rise in demand for its smart energy and power management products around the world. “We have product lines, development capabilities, and manufacturing capacity to serve the evolving needs of our growing international market. Furthermore, the move will increase sales opportunities for our USbased dealers, consultants and design integrators who handle installations all over the world,” said Stephen F Galloway, CEO and president ESP/SurgeX.

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Queen’s Awards success for three firms THREE COMPANIES serving the installation industry have been awarded Queen’s Awards for Enterprise – the UK’s highest accolade for business success. KVM specialist Adder Technology and simulation and visualisation product manufacturer 7th Sense Design were rewarded under the heading of Innovation, while induction loop manufacturer Ampetronic received an award in the International Trade category. Based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, Ampetronic (pictured) has doubled its export sales in the past three years, and continues to grow rapidly overseas. Ampetronic managing director Julian Pieters described the award as a great honour: “This is recognition for the many years spent working with hard of hearing organisations, standards bodies, legislators, and providing awareness

and education to everyone involved in hearing accessibility. Tackling a global market as a small business is a challenging task; however we are proud to be leading our sector around the world as a small British manufacturer, recognised globally for delivering excellence in hearing assistance,” he said. Adrian Dickens, founder and CEO of Cambridge-based Adder Technology, expressed his team’s delight: “This recognition of our innovation-driven approach and resulting technology couldn’t have come at a better time as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. For Adder, innovation is not a marketing term; it is a philosophy and a guiding principle of our company. It has taken us from humble beginnings in the early ’80s to delivering our solutions to global customers, from the new BBC facilities in London and Manchester, to the Opera House in Sydney.”

Steyning, Sussex-based 7th Sense Design, which manufactures the Delta Media server, is known for its contributions to planetarium, 3D cinema, museum, theme park, projection mapping, and live event installations worldwide, and recently opened a US office in Southfield,

Michigan. The Queen’s Award coincides with its 10th anniversary. “We are proud to be honoured in this way,” said the company in a statement.


Hewshott sets up on east coast AV/IT technology and acoustic consultancy Hewshott International has doubled its presence in Australia by opening a new office in Melbourne. The existing office in Perth previously acted as the hub for all operations in Australia, which included a number of projects on the east cost. The company says that opening the Melbourne site is a direct response to

the requirements of global clients; the facility will be used to manage ongoing projects in Queensland and New South Wales. Hewshott’s associate director in Singapore, Adam Crookes (pictured), will return to Melbourne to head up the new office, which covers the entire eastern states of Australia, and New Zealand. He will be joined by Xavier Sanchez-

Roemmele, associate director of acoustics, to provide a comprehensive service offering in both AV/IT technologies and acoustics. “I’m delighted that the board has asked me to launch a permanent presence in Melbourne and build on Hewshott’s unique brand, which I firmly believe is unmatched in the industry,” commented Crookes. “I’m confident that

our pedigree, capabilities and unwavering commitment to full independence, which has been a cornerstone of the success of all Hewshott offices, will continue to set us apart in the region.” The company’s group CEO, Peter Hunt, added: “Adam and Xavier are two extraordinary members of our team with excellent track records, and a permanent presence in Melbourne fulfils

one of our strategic plans. I have great confidence in both of them and am certain that we will soon have two very busy offices in Australia.”

Recent highlights WALMART TO ADOPT GE LEDS GLOBALLY The move enables Walmart to cut energy for store lighting by another 40%. GDS KEEPS SWEDISH ROYAL PHILHARMONIC COOL Lighting from GDS ArcSystem has been installed at the Stockholm Concert Hall.

SINGAPORE WORK BY local artist Justin Lee was featured in a beautiful projection mapping at the recent i Light Marina Bay 2014. Two coolux Pandoras Box QUAD Server systems were used in conjunction with 16 Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors. Working for event manager Pico Art International, Dorier Asia used lasers to measure the ArtScience Museum’s petal-like exterior, then converted this data to a grid that was used inside the Pandoras Box system. As well as serving the content to the projectors, Pandoras Box was also used for on-site warping of the images.

6 May 2014

SPORTS VENUE AUDIO Danley Sound Labs gives some pointers on how to

tackle the high soundpressure level environments typical of sports stadiums. RENKUS-HEINZ SPEAKERS KEEP GREY BAR SOUND FOCUSED Sound is directed away from reflective surfaces at this popular Manhattan eatery. PHILIPS CREATES ONESPACE LUMINOUS CEILING Philips presents a single panel of light that fills the ceiling.

To read these stories and the rest of our coverage for the architectural and interior design community, go to


Audio giant splits in three to get closer to markets Van Straten to head one of three new business units Ray van Straten has been promoted to vice president of QSC Professional, a newly formed business unit that will serve customers in the retail, rental, production and distribution segments. In his new role, van Straten will be responsible for guiding the direction of the business unit, utilising his extensive experience in sales, marketing, product management, channel management and strategy to grow and unify the QSC brand. QSC Professional will work together with the newly formed QSC Systems and QSC Cinema business units.


Mick Whelan has joined Adamson Systems as director of US operations. He is tasked with overseeing all sales and customer service activities in the country. Whelan started his career as chief engineer for Electrotec and moved into positions with JBL, Crown, Electro-Voice and more recently as manager of the global relations department for Sennheiser. Whelan has extensive experience working with audio engineers, manufacturers and distribution networks.

QSC Systems will focus on serving customers in the integrated systems business, and its interim VP will be Joe Pham, QSC president and CEO. The new QSC Cinema business unit will be headed by existing unit head Barry Ferrell, QSC senior VP and chief strategy officer. “In his time here, Ray has proven himself to be a creative, sales-oriented marketer, innovative problem solver and a respected, results-driven leader,” said Pham. “I have no doubt that Ray is the right person to drive our pro business and I look forward


Servaas Maesen has joined Apart Audio as sales manager with responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to this he has worked in China as market development manager as well as spending time in Peru and his native Belgium.

8 May 2014

its parent organisation, Core Brands. Prior to joining Atlona, Goecke was EMEA channel sales director for Icron Technologies. He also previously served as managing director for Gefen Distribution in the European pro-AV market and sales manager for SDI. CRESTRON



Allen & Heath has named Christian Luecke as its new sales and marketing director. He has 15 years of experience in the consumer electronics market where he managed European B2C business for Sony and Samsung. Joining the board of directors, he will oversee Allen & Heath’s global sales and marketing operations.

to experiencing the results of his team’s success.” During his 11 years with QSC, van Straten has served as retail market manager, director of entertainer solutions, and most recently as senior director, marketing communications and training & education. A 30-year veteran in the sales and marketing of pro audio products, most notably, van Straten previously served as national accounts manager at Yamaha Corporation of America and as a NAMM board member. “This is a very exciting time for QSC and our channel partners around

Two new faces have joined Atlona. Victor Baut (pictured left) is now national sales manager, residential and will oversee the company’s residential sales throughout the US and Canada, while Thorsten Goecke has been named director of business development for EMEA, commercial. Baut began his career as a system designer, installer and salesperson at a leading custom installation business. Since then he has spent time as sales manager for in-wall speaker manufacturer SpeakerCraft and national distribution manager for

Crestron has appointed a new EMEA trainer, Lee Nicholson, to support the region’s training manager in welcoming increased numbers to its offices at Cobham, in the UK. He has worked as a trainer for over 10 years for leading financial services companies, and is well skilled at delivering effective training across multiple platforms at all levels within a business. The company is launching a new EMEA training facility in Cobham this month. LAWO

Lawo North America has appointed Jim Duvall as

the world. We are entering into a tremendous growth phase, introducing new technologies and products while continuing to set the bar for customer expectations in every aspect of our business,” said van Straten. “Leading the charge for the Professional business unit is an incredible opportunity and I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders, both internal and external, to help ensure that the QSC brand experience is both satisfying and rewarding in every way.”

product support manager, based out of Los Angeles. Before joining the German audio console and video processor manufacturer, he worked as senior audio engineer for Sky TV New Zealand, responsible for the production of prime time national sports events, live studio shows and documentaries. In his new role, Duvall will keep in close touch with Lawo’s North American customers, assisting in training, commissioning and support of Lawo’s complete range of audio and video products for entertainment and live production applications. ROBE LIGHTING

Ray van Straten


Kirsty Lamport has been promoted to UK head of marketing at SDUK. She takes overall responsibility for the marketing needs of the company and its full portfolio of brands. A key focus will be driving marketing programmes across the company’s three sales divisions, formed last year – systems, pro audio and music retail – as well as co-ordinating resources with other Shure distributors across Europe. TC GROUP

Robe Lighting is expanding its reach in the US under new CEO Bob Schacherl. As part of this, two new faces have joined the sales team in the country. Thommy Hall, (pictured right) based in Las Vegas, has been appointed western region sales manager, while John McDowell has taken the same role for the central region. Hall was most recently with Philips Lighting as western regional sales manager for Philips Entertainment. McDowell joins from Creative Stage Lighting, where he was western region sales manager.

Nick Williams has been appointed business development manager Asia-Pacific for install and tour, with responsibility for the Tannoy, Lab.gruppen and Lake brands. He has previously spent time with Riedel, Aviom and Harman, focusing for many years in the EMEA/APAC regions.


‘Technology is something that will continue to be fun’

The 15 Years of Achievement Award at the InstallAwards will be presented to Robert Simpson, founder director of Electrosonic, in recognition of his work as an author, his involvement in industry education programmes, and his status as an ‘elder statesman’ of the AV industry. He spoke to Paddy Baker about how the industry has developed over Installation’s lifetime The 15 Years of Achievement award is presented to an individual who, through the lifetime of Installation, has built up a body of work that has left a lasting impression on the industry. We’re delighted to announce that the recipient of the award is Robert Simpson, founder director of Electrosonic. One of the key ďŹ gures in the genesis of the AV industry, Bob Simpson’s entire working life has centred around the company he helped to found in 1964; Electrosonic works as an integrator, mainly in corporate and entertainment markets, with offices in the UK, US, Sweden, China and the UAE. He remains a director of, and an advisor to, the company: when we speak, he’s just back from 10 May 2014

a trip to the Middle East, helping a client get to the next stage of a difficult projection installation. He also does a lot of writing: he has written three books, Effective Audio Visual: A User’s Handbook (1987), a slim volume on Videowalls (1991) and Lighting Control: Technology and Applications (2003). To coincide with Electrosonic’s 50th anniversary he has written a history of the company, its technology and projects, entitled Electrosonic – 50 Years on the Audio-Visual Front Line. He has also given talks on technology trends at shows including ISE and InfoComm. How do you choose what to work on, on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis?

I try and get to see the major projects that we do. If I’m over in the States, for instance, I’ll try and get to see something that we’ve worked on and something that I may well have given advice on to begin with. A great pleasure last November was to go to Kennedy Space Center, which has been a client of ours for 20 years or more. They’d just opened a new exhibit hall about the Space Shuttle programme; it’s a very nice exhibition and I’m delighted we got involved with it. They’ve actually got the real Shuttle there – not a model or a projection of it. It was nice that we could help with the interpretation and the conventional AV exhibits there – and also it’s

   We  y

the fact that technology now enables us to do things like a 120ft wide picture of the Earth behind the Shuttle. I help out quite a lot with projects like that. Personally I don’t get out the slide rule any more, but I do try and keep in touch with the client and with all the other people working on a project, and particularly our own people – and when possible, carry the torch for them. While Electrosonic is celebrating 50 years, Installation is marking its 15th anniversary. Can you pick out what were the biggest technological changes in that timeframe? The big change that had already happened then was the move to digital video

sources. We had the ďŹ rst move to standard deďŹ nition video sources, which got us going in the 1990s, then the big shift to high deďŹ nition. As for the very big changes‌ people forget that, for example, slides were still being used right up to the end of the 20th century for major business presentations and so on because they were the only things that would give you the resolution that you needed. It’s only in the 21st century that electronic projection got good enough to use. Now we take it for granted, and of course it’s now much better than slides, but there was a crossover period when it most deďŹ nitely wasn’t – and it really only became viable when sensibly priced and reliable projectors became

INSTALLAWARDS BARCO CONFIRMED AS AFTERSHOW PARTY HOST Installation is pleased to reveal that Barco will be the aftershow party host at the inaugural InstallAwards. With arrangements for the post-show celebrations now in place, 12 June is shaping up to be a night to remember at the Wembley Hilton in London. The event will begin with a drinks reception,

followed by a three-course meal. Projects, technologies and teams will then be commended in a threepronged award presentation, and there will also be two additional awards for achievement and excellence in the AV installation industry. Barco’s growing list of acquisitions in key verticals is

propelling the company yearon-year: Barco has bought 12 companies since 1999. The most recent purchase, of enterprise communications company X2O Media, is a further demonstration of the company’s strategy to move beyond display and projection technology.

available. It was the late 1990s when they got going, and really got motoring in the 21st century. Similarly with source equipment: in 2000 we did one of our first highdefinition installations in an exhibit environment, and we had the problem of compressing the highdefinition video to MPEG-2 to run in our recently developed HD player. The actual file for a 10-minute piece of high definition was a stack of exabyte tapes that was a foot high, and it took more than 24 hours to do the MPEG encoding; whereas now a desktop computer will do it in real time. These are fantastic improvements. Undoubtedly the flatpanel revolution is complete. It’s a tragedy for me that plasmas have gone, because they were beautiful, but of course LCD has triumphed. And the fact that you can get them so big and so cheap is amazing. Now the idea that you bung up a videowall with 24 LCDs, you take that for granted. In the corporate market the revolution is much more that people are actually using AV, whereas 15 years ago often you had systems put in as a status symbol that didn’t do very much. That revolution has all happened because of the PC and particularly because of things like the iPad. The acceptance of AV as we know it in presentation and videoconferencing terms has come about because of the consumer acceptance of similarly sophisticated gadgets. It was never going to come until it was part of everybody’s life.

expensive, is now a viable display system for all sorts of applications. It will replace projection in some applications because it doesn’t need any projection space and it’s pretty well immune to ambient light. Some of the 2mm pitch stuff is getting close to a price where it will become a commodity. If somebody wants a lobby with a 25ft-wide picture which works under all conditions and adapts its brightness to the ambient and is viewed from a minimum of six feet – that sort of technology is going to be totally viable for that application where previously you might have put a videowall or used projection. And then everything is going 4K. Some of that is totally unnecessary but because it’s available, people will use it. But when you want huge images that people want to view closely, it will be important. I remain excited by what’s going on and follow it with great interest. Where we are ourselves at the heavy end of the projection market there are some very exciting things happening. Obviously the key things are things like hybrid illumination in projectors. There’s a degree of hype there: there are some offerings on the market where you’d be better off using a lamp. On the other hand, there are going to be completely new applications opened up by the fact that you can get more reliable and stable light source which will last longer and have much better running economics. But technology is something that will continue to be fun, and there will continue to be lots of new ones. I’ve tracked this for a long time – it’s amazing in the few years how many embryonic technologies that were sure to make it, never did, particularly in the flatpanel market: the number of casualties there has been incredible.

How good do you think this industry is in communicating its knowledge within itself and to the next generation? Is it getting better or worse? I think probably in magnitude terms it’s getting better, but in percentage terms it’s not – because the market is getting bigger. The problem is and always has been that acquiring knowledge is a voluntary activity: people who want to learn, make the effort to learn. There are also a number of things that you cannot learn unless you’re put in the position of getting the experience to do it. You can’t learn some things from textbooks or PowerPoint presentations – you have to get down and dirty with whatever it is. There are plenty of opportunities to learn and I believe that things like the InfoComm CTS programme are very valuable in actually forcing some level of common knowledge, if you like. I think InfoComm is the only organisation that has the critical mass to make that actually work. Nobody is ever going to say enough is being done, but equally you can’t force customers to come to you or go to a training session, there has to be the need. And it’s always when the need happens that people suddenly want to know.

Looking at display technologies, are there particular technologies or application areas that you think will be the next big thing? There is a lot of evolution going on here. Highresolution LED, which three years ago was a bit clunky and horrendously

I wonder if in another life you might have become a technology journalist, given your interests in technology and in writing. In principle you’re probably right. I’ve always enjoyed trying to keep some kind of record of what we’ve done. We’ve produced [‘occasional publication’] Electrosonic World since 1980 and I couldn’t have written the book recently without it, because the back issues have been the most valuable record in terms of showing what we’ve done. I take great pleasure in doing that. „

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12 June InstallAwards London, UK The first ever InstallAwards are taking place at the Hilton London Wembley on 12 June. The evening will begin with a drinks reception from 7:00 before guests sit down for a three-course meal ahead of the main event – the presentation of the awards

themselves. Projects, products and teams will be celebrated across five categories – Public Display/ Retail, Education, Sports and Performing Arts,

Corporate and Industrial, and Residential. The night will finish with drinks and dancing into the early hours at the Barco-sponsored after party.

For more information on tickets and discounted hotel rates contact +44 (0)20 7354 6001.

EVENTS Your complete events calendar for the months ahead JUNE 2014 11-12 ABTT Theatre Show London, UK

JULY 1-2 PLASA Focus: Brussels Brussels, Belgium

11-14 NAMM Musikmesse Russia Moscow, Russia

12 InstallAwards London, UK

8 IT Broadcast Workflow London, UK

11-13 Prolight + Sound Namm Moscow, Russia

16-19 CineEurope Barcelona, Spain

AUGUST 26-28 Integrate Expo 2014 Sydney, Australia

17-19 IFSEC Birmingham, UK


4 InstallMarket London, UK

18-20 June InfoComm 2014 Las Vegas, US

12 May 2014

5-10 IFA Berlin, Germany

12-16 IBC Amsterdam, Netherlands 17-19 InfoComm India Mumbai, India 25 Pro Sound Awards London, UK OCTOBER 5-8 PLASA London London, UK

8-11 Prolight + Sound Shanghai Shanghai, China 12-16 Gitex Technology Week Dubai, UAE 12-16 InfoComm MEA Dubai, UAE 29-31 Integrated Systems Russia Moscow, Russia 2015 FEBRUARY 10-12 ISE 2015 Amsterdam, Netherlands 24-26 BVE London, UK

The next Installation Technology Guide, this time covering the world of Digital Signage, will be published soon. To find out more, contact

JULY Conference venues 4K Scaling & switching Showcase: Large venue speakers Features submission deadline: 16 May News deadline: 19 June Distribution date: 4 July AUGUST Museums & visitor attractions PA/VA Technology for architects Showcase: Projection screens Features submission deadline: 12 June News deadline: 19 June Distribution date: 4 July SEPTEMBER Medical AV Directional audio Sport & leisure facilities Showcase: LED lighting Features submission deadline: 11 July News deadline: 14 August Distribution date: 1 September OCTOBER Clubs, bars, restaurants Digital signage Oil & gas Showcase: Microphones Features submission deadline: 11 August News deadline: 12 September Distribution date: 29 September


Stay smart The market for smart home technology is growing massively, with security and control devices topping the must-have list, writes Steve Montgomery INTEREST IN smart home technology is growing rapidly, resulting in increased demand for wireless sensing and control devices. In 2013, sales of wireless embedded smart home monitoring devices, including contact and motion sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs, grew to 17.23 million, almost double shipments in 2012. Continuing momentum will ensure that by 2018, more than half-abillion wireless smart home monitoring devices will be deployed around the world. A study by ABI Research investigates the home control market along with home security and monitoring with its crossover into home energy management applications. The market can be broken down into five sub-segments, namely: entertainment control, home security and monitoring, healthcare and elderly

devices, bringing network connectivity and remote management to their offerings to appeal to growing numbers of consumers. New entrants such as Netatmo, Dado, and Lowe’s are bringing innovative devices to market that will have great effect on market development. As the market for wireless smart home devices grows, so does competition between wireless protocols to capture market share. Currently it is dominated by proprietary wireless protocols but that is challenged by standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and ZigBee. Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages and some will play more to the smart appliance rather than smart device space. For example, Wi-Fi support for residential home-area networks and mobile devices facilitates easy network set-up without

0.5 billion Predicted number of wireless smart home monitoring devices in operation by 2018 monitoring, home control, and energy management systems. Contact sensors for detecting whether windows and doors are closed were the most popular smart home monitoring device shipped last year, with motion sensors in second place. Both devices support smart home monitoring functionality but can also be used for additional applications such as energy management. “Combined, over 84 million contact and motion sensors will ship annually by 2018; however, it is smart plugs, smart door locks and connected smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that will see the greatest shipment growth,” comments ABI senior analyst Adarsh Krishnan.

WIRELESS OPTIONS Large vendors including Honeywell, GE, Nest (now Google), Bosch and UTC are increasingly adding wireless connectivity to their home 14 May 2014

Home security device shipments (millions) World market, forecast: 2013 to 2018 Managed




200 150 100 50 0 2013

Market Segment


























Source: ABI Research The market for managed devices is set to reach 117.1 million by 2018 ( * = forecast)

Global home security and control device market share (%) by wireless standard

additional gateways or bridges but power demands will push adoption into appliances and devices with a fixed power supply. For its part, Bluetooth Smart support in mobile devices will also drive adoption in smart home devices. “The market in Europe differs radically from the North American,” says Krishnan. “In the US, the security, telcos and cable companies lead the initiative, whereas in Europe it is the utility companies. So the emphasis is different: America focuses more on home automation and smart homes; Europe leads with energy management resulting in the initially greater penetration of smart metering, which is more focused on grid stability and energy supply balancing than providing smart dwellings, which will come later.” „

Source: ABI Research Standards such as Wi-Fi and ZigBee will challenge proprietary wireless protocols


A worldwide presence Memories of unreliable 1970s PAs during his time as a live sound engineer helped to inspire Simon Johnston in the early stages of his career on the product side of the industry. But as David Davies discovers, this determination to achieve sound evolution is still burning bright a quarter of a century later What was your starting point for working in the audio industry? My career began working in theatre before switching to sound engineering, which I did for about 12 years. These days, not many people seem to remember a lot of the bands I worked for, but some of the more high-profile examples would include the Runaways, Blondie, Ultravox, Graham Parker, and the Tourists, which was Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox’s pre-Eurythmics band. I also had a long association with Mike Oldfield from the 1970s to 1982. Touring was really a lot of fun for quite a while, but it started to lose its allure when I broke my own rule: never do more than one tour with any one act. About 1983 I began to look around for something else with the idea that learning to present ideas better might actually help secure more interesting situations. Eventually, that brought to me to Autograph Sales, where I was heavily involved with the Meyer Sound brand. Would it be fair to say that Autograph helped to engender the systems approach to PA at that time? Yes, it’s something we kind of championed. We created and sold amplifier racks for Meyer’s loudspeakers and made it so that you could use different amplifiers, but the system performance would be the same – particularly polarity and gain. It’s an approach that really helped to address some of the problems I had encountered on the road, where systems [from one brand] might look the same, but would not perform identically. It made cross-rental between companies extremely difficult and quite frankly drove me nuts for years! So yes, I think we played a major role in addressing that problem, at least in the UK. 16 May 2014

What brought you to d&b audiotechnik in 1989? Two words: Bob Kelly. Bob has helped to market many leading brands, including Martin Audio and L-Acoustics, and in 1989 he was working for EAW. Many of us first encountered d&b at AES in London in 1986, but it was Bob who really introduced me properly to the company’s products. I ended up going to the HQ in Korb, near Stuttgart, and was immediately impressed by their approach. I also really liked the people, which counts for a lot! In the ’90s, d&b was already established in Germany, the UK and parts of Europe, but how did you go about achieving growth elsewhere? During the ’90s Peter Tongue, who had spent many years at Klark Teknik, came to work for us, which was a vital element. He brought an extensive knowledge of markets, particularly Asia. The general approach was to achieve gradual growth, but a crucial element was taking control of distribution where possible. Today d&b owns the distribution in the UK, US, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and obviously Germany. All of these countries are in the top 10 in terms of global potential. The d&b distribution has now grown to 45 members comprising these daughter companies and independent distributors, some of which, like China, are branded. The proper answer to your question about how the growth was achieved over the years is a lot of hard work by many people, throughout d&b and the distribution – way too many to name here! Honestly, there is no panacea, except perhaps having a shared belief in what is possible. From a base in live sound, how did d&b gain greater traction in fixed install? Some of us would argue that it began with one seminal

‘‘Is d&b is r market- o gytechnolo is driven? It it of really a b both’’

product back in the late 1980s, the F1220, which many people would still tell you is probably the best-ever sounding 12in/2in speaker. The system became very popular in German theatres and concert halls, and that was really the starting point for a broader push into install. The F1220 was also part of a more general emphasis on voice – that’s driven lots of applications for d&b; that and the desire to provide systems that can satisfy the demands and riders of lots of different artists, performers and presenters. Suffice to say, this approach has now resulted in a considerable

d&b presence in installations for a variety of venue types around the world. d&b has retained a very R&D-centred ethos. What would you say has been its most significant development in this area over the last few years? It’s always a rather interesting question: whether d&b is marketor technology-driven? It is really a bit of both, identifying problems and then presenting solutions – though rarely the obvious one. I might get hassle from some of my colleagues for saying this, but I’d argue that

perhaps the most significant thing d&b has done in recent years is the work on cardioid directivity patterns in low frequencies, cardioid subs in particular. Research starting from simply building arrays of cabinets with rear-facing elements has fed into several major products, not least the J-Series active subwoofers. From there we’ve progressed into a number of cardioid subs within the d&b range, which are simply driven with one amplifier channel. Over the last 20 years, d&b has put a remarkable amount of energy and effort into directivity control and its accuracy; the predictability

INTERVIEW: SIMON JOHNSTON, D&B AUDIOTECHNIK of the systems rests on this. We’ve heard a lot of opinions to the effect that ‘d&b uses a lot of passive technologies in crossovers’, but the beauty of passive technology is that no one can adjust it; as soon as you change the level between two elements of a system, the crossover frequency moves. If you have very carefully defined the directivity behaviour through the crossover region to make it as accurate as possible, any change in the levels simply destroys this. This is getting too technical! How important is education to d&b? Absolutely crucial. In fact, for many years I have said education is the central part of the d&b marketing effort, the central element of the marketing mix. With investment into education very often favoured over any other marketing action, it remains a hugely important part of our activities today. This is split with topic-led seminars covering subjects like electroacoustics and sound system optimisation. By contrast, workshops are product-related, focusing on d&b hardware and software

for system design and network control, as well as specific elements of the range, such as the J-Series and V-Series. It’s been a gradual process of adding suitable sites around the world. Today we have facilities in quite a number of locations, obviously Germany, but also the UK, US, Spain and so on. The Glass Palast Arena in Stuttgart and external venues in the US and various other countries are used to demonstrate the larger systems. It is also very common for distributors and partners to host education events. Meanwhile, we have recently finished a new educational space in Yokohama, Japan. It’s good coverage now, but of course we always want more! To date what is your favourite d&b installation – and why? Tough one – there are a lot to choose from. There are several potential favourites that I’ve yet to see in person, including the Boston Symphony Hall, which was equipped with a Q-Series system in 2013 and a recent installation for the

Apollo Theater in Harlem. But of those I have seen, I would probably nominate the Sydney Opera House, a long-term client which has taken various systems for a number of its venues. There is no doubt about it: there is something magical about that place. What has been the most significant shift in general terms during your time in the audio industry? And do you see any profound change on the horizon? The advent of decent software. Prediction and measurement tools have become accessible and usable. My impression is this has given a much better understanding of what loudspeakers do and how to use them to the best advantage. Looking ahead, I don’t see a single massive or monumental change. Multichannel digital audio will continue to become more and more prevalent, and I am sure there will be further changes in networking architecture – although my expectation is for more of a stepwise progress than a sudden landslide.

Simon Johnston a brief biography Born in Glasgow in 1954, Simon Johnston attended the Allan Glen’s School, an establishment focused on engineering to feed the shipyards – at that point already in a state of severe decline. Fortunately, an opportunistic placement at The Citizens Theatre in Glasgow saw him earning a good wage on the weekly turn around of the repertory programme. Coincidentally sharing a flat with a musician, Colin Tulley, he ended up “learning to twiddle knobs on a sound desk” for Cado Belle, the band fronted by Maggie Reilly of which Tulley was a part Twelve years on the road followed, during which time he worked on a modular PA system using 5in cone loudspeakers to replace the typical horn-based HF section for a more musical sound. Tiring of the touring life in the early ‘80s, he went to work at Autograph Sales helping to build the Meyer Sound brand, followed by a brief period at Easi Street as a trainer in the use and application of communications tools from the then-nascent Internet. He joined d&b audiotechnik in 1989 and has since contributed significantly to the German loudspeaker brand’s global expansion. He has held the role of global brand advisor since ???? Along the way, he has refined some core beliefs, not least that “successful companies must put effort into building powerful brand images”.

Last but definitely not least, 2014 marks your 25th anniversary of working at d&b... any plans? Yes – I’m going to hide! There are two thoughts on this being my 25th year: one is ‘wow’, I simply can’t believe

it’s been so long; the other is ‘hmm, I’m old.’ As for marking the anniversary, well, we will just have to wait and see if I get that far! „

May 2014 17


Leeding from the front Small but perfectly formed – the two-day show continues to pull in a local audience that doesn’t visit the larger events. Paddy Baker reports

Phil Price was on hand to show examples from RCF’s new mixer range

The event played host to a number of UK product debuts

THOSE WHO bemoaned the lack of representation by audio companies at PLASA London last autumn would have had no such complaints about PLASA Focus: Leeds; around half of the 148 exhibitors listed in the show guide had audio-related offerings. This smaller-scale, local-format show works well – so it’s no surprise that PLASA is extending it across more cities within the UK, mainland Europe and the US. The Leeds show brought a steady stream of visitors to the Royal Armouries. While a few exhibitors I spoke to thought that numbers might have been a little lower than last year, all declared that they were having a good show. And that is hardly surprising, given that the show marked the UK debuts of a considerable number of products that were launched at either ISE or Prolight + Sound. These included the Yamaha QL console series; the Martin Audio DD12 multipurpose twoway speaker; and the Nexo GEO M6 compact arrayable 18 May 2014

speaker series. We covered these in our April issue, so I won’t dwell on them here. RCF was showing examples from its new range of mixers. Launched at Frankfurt, the new mixer division enables the company to offer solutions along the whole of the audio signal chain. The initial offerings are analogue, but digital models will follow next year, according to Phil Price, UK director of sales. He also hinted that the Avolites’ Titan Mobile Fader Wing (right of picture) made its first UK appearance

company would have some interesting new products for the installation market at ISE 2015. A number of recently introduced products were on display on the d&b audiotechnik stand. While primarily aimed at touring environments, the new fourchannel D80 amplifier may be chosen for installations in preference to a pair of the company’s two-channel D12 models, according to Oran

Burns of d&b education and application support. Also on show was the company’s newly updated ArrayCalc acoustic simulation software; among its new features is the ability to model more complicated room shapes. There is also improved integration between ArrayCalc and the company’s amplifier control software. Finally, the xC-Series column loudspeakers were on show: these feature tight control

d&b’s xC-Series column speakers

of horizontal directivity by sending a cancelling signal from lobes at the rear of the column. A new name to us was Audiologic, an Essex-based company which acts as an exclusive distributor for six audio brands (including Audac, ARX and Ecler), and is a sub-distributor for around 100 more – the latest addition to its roster being Nexo. Sales and marketing manager Andy Lewis explained that one of the company’s added value offerings is its system design service, which will put together a system for any kind of venue, talking to the installer’s customer to make sure their requirements are fully understood. ETC demonstrated the superior brightness and colour of Series 2 of the Source Four LED luminaire by staging a side-by-side comparison of a Series 2 Lustr model with its counterpart from the previous series. This features an amended version of the x7 colour system that features a lime-green LED emitter; this boosts the


Tom Weldon of KV2

Audiologic’s Andy Lewis

lumen output in the white range and for lighter tints, as well as better complementing the red and blue ends of the colour spectrum. Avolites had a number of products receiving their first UK airing: the Titan Mobile Fader Wing can be used to extend any Avolites Titan console; and Avolites Media showed its new S2, S4 and S6 media servers, with two, four and six Display Port/DVI outputs respectively. On the KV2 stand, Tom Weldon told me that the company is doing particularly well in the theatre and worship markets across the world this year. On display was the company’s SL series club speaker system, which is only 30cm deep and can be installed on a wall to save space. Despite the slim cabinets, a pair of SL412 and SL2.15 units can provide enough sound for a 1,500-person venue. Also on show was the ESD15 – a compact 3-way passive speaker with 15in, 6in and 1in drivers. This, he said, is particularly popular in venues such as theatres that require full-range sound but don’t have the space for separate subwoofers. Chauvet Professional exhibited the Rogue series of moving head spot fixtures and moving beam luminaires. The fixtures are said to be quiet and fast, rugged, lightweight and durable – as well as offering a large number of features for their price. Also on display were the latest in the Nexus series of LED video panels.

ETC demoed Series 2 of its Source Four LED luminaire

There were a number of products from Philips Entertainment’s various brands making UK debuts. One was the Showline NITRO 510C LED strobe – which is just as compact as its predecessor and adds full RGBW capabilities. Another was the Selecon LED RAMA Fresnel, which provides an adjustable cone of light, a soft edge, and is easily blended with adjacent beams for even illumination. Orbital Sound showed two of the latest speakers from Flare Audio: the SM15 Stage Monitor and X5 Vertical Point Source Array system. Like the rest of Flare’s range, these loudspeaker designs are based on a patented concept based on waveform integrity. Finally, I went to the Sennheiser stand hoping to take a look at the ADN-W – the recently launched wireless extension to the wired ADN conferencing system. However, it turned out that the unit that was due to be exhibited in Leeds had been pressed into service for a project elsewhere. So if you read any reviews of the show that mention seeing the ADN-W at PLASA Focus, you should be somewhat sceptical… The next PLASA Focus – the first in mainland Europe – takes place in Brussels on 1-2 July, and PLASA has announced that it intends to hold another in Scotland later this year. The next PLASA Focus: Leeds will be on 12-13 May 2015. „

May 2014 19


Better by design The design of any AV facility can be complex – but when that facility is operating in a mission-critical environment, design challenges multiply, as Ian McMurray discovers Frankfurt am Main’s traffic management centre benefits from G&D KVM solutions that keep computers separate from the user area

[KEY POINTS] The available physical space will always have some impact on the AV systems design of a control room Versatility, modularity, scalability, flexibility and upgradability are all much-prized attributes of any control room solution Control room screens may capture the glory, but switching, wall control, KVM and mounting technologies are all important GEORGE ORWELL’S seminal novel 1984 envisaged a future in which the citizens of Oceania – the upper and middle classes, at least – were kept under constant government surveillance by the all-pervading ‘telescreen’. ‘Big Brother is watching you’ signs were an omnipresent reminder to the populace that its every move and word was being monitored. There is a case for saying that Orwell implicitly invented the screendominated control room we know today. A thought that almost certainly never crossed Orwell’s mind, of course, is how one would set about designing such a facility. It is, though, a thought that preoccupies AV manufacturers and integrators on a regular basis. “Control room design is a science as much as an art,” says Peter van Dijk, business 20 May 2014

manager, Visual Information Systems at Mitsubishi Electric, “so I would argue that experience is probably the most important aspect a customer should be looking for when considering a design proposal.” EXPERIENCE COUNTS A company with much experience in this area is worldwide infrastructure consultancy Atkins, whose control room projects have included the city-wide, 450-camera CCTV system in Kingston upon Hull and the Glasgow Subway in the UK. “When it comes to designing a control room,” smiles principal engineer Andy Godfrey, “if the user doesn’t like it – and they’ll always be looking for ways not to like it – they’ll never utilise the full potential of a system, regardless of all the clever bells and whistles

‘The three most important issues are always ergonomics, usability and reliability’ Andy Godfrey, Atkins you’ve designed in. The three most important issues are always ergonomics, usability and reliability.” Christie too believes that experience is a valuable asset.

“We have 30 years’ experience in the design of control rooms and continuous operations environments,” notes the company’s David Griffiths, who is director, market development, videowalls and image processing for EMEA. “We would certainly be able to provide advice on the optimal design and physical design of the control room itself, if requested.” But, it seems, it’s rare for a manufacturer or integrator to be involved in designing a new control room from the ground up – largely because the significant majority of projects are upgrades and refurbishments. “A typical project for us could be either new build or refurbishment,” continues van Dijk, “although in reality it is rare to encounter a completely new installation.” When the opportunity does arise, however, it’s welcomed.

Ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, a new multi-million pound control centre has been opened which will link emergency services, traffic cameras and store detectives to make the city as safe as possible (see box, opposite). “SSUK was called in at an early stage of the project to help assist with room design, layout and structural considerations,” explains the company’s sales director Alex Adleigh. “Once the final plans were set in stone, we were able to advise on screen size, fixing equipment and necessary infrastructure.” “Ideally, we get involved at an initial stage of planning the control room,” adds Max Winck, marketing manager at eyevis. “This ensures that we can bring our expertise to bear, and influence the design of the room to a certain extent. If we get

FEATURE: COMMAND AND CONTROL involved at a later stage, much depends on the quality and skills of the planner. Most planners and architects do a good job – they know about modern display technologies, system architecture and ergonomics – but sometimes we find projects that show poor knowledge about the necessary integration of AV technology and its requirements.” PHYSICAL/LOGICAL DESIGN More common is the experience reported by Jed Deame, VP of marketing at RGB Spectrum. “The control room system manufacturer is usually not involved in the physical part of the control room design,” he says. “Before the room is completed, however, an integrator may reach out to us for help in determining the exact audiovisual components that will be required by the control room system, so that the room design can be optimised accordingly. We can help integrators design customised control room solutions that can be adapted to any physical space in order to

accommodate a customer’s specific requirements.” As Deame implies: the physical space available will typically have a substantial effect on the design of the AV solution. “The physical design and the logical design of a control room cannot be separated,” notes Winck. There is, typically, one overriding concern when it comes to reconciling the physical space with the AV installation and it’s articulated succinctly by Steve Scorse, vice president Europe, Middle East and Africa at SiliconCore, a manufacturer of LED displays. “Control room displays are used for long periods of time, by numerous operators, simultaneously,” he points out. “Therefore, a key element in both the physical and technical design of the room is to ensure an accessible view of the central display from any seat in the room with great off-axis viewing.” The available space will generally determine the type and number of screens. Many manufacturers, including Christie, eyevis and Mitsubishi, will specify DLP-based cubes if space

CASE STUDY PEERLESS HELPS SSUK MEET TIGHT DEADLINE A new control hub in Glasgow features a 12 x 2 videowall comprising 24 55in screens, linked to over 500 CCTV cameras across the city. Specialist AV company SSUK was selected to design, supply and install a total of 16 videowalls, incorporating 82 55in screens within the main control room of the centre. This was a challenging project as the building was completely refurbished to make it a purpose-built centre. This included the strengthening of floors and a full refresh of all fixtures,

fittings and furniture. Added to this was a short timescale as all screens had to be operational and all staff training and handover procedures completed by 1 March 2014, allowing only four weeks on site. As such, it was important SSUK’s installation ran to schedule, and so the company approached Peerless to partner on the project. Peerless’ assistance in specifying floor stands and providing assistance with the planning element of the project meant that SSUK

was able to start installing the AV the minute site access was allowed. The screens had to be installed on floor stands. SSUK deployed Peerless floor stands with ground level adapter plates and a cable management system that hides the majority of cables, with the adapter plates housing the bulk of connectivity and power at the base of the floor stand. Toolless fine adjustment enabled quick, accurate alignment of the displays.

May 2014 21

FEATURE: COMMAND AND CONTROL allows because of their superior colorimetry, contrast and uniformity among other characteristics. If space is confined, flatpanel displays may be specified. Ideally, the number of displays is a function of the various outputs required – but again, physical limitations may demand some degree of creativity on the part of the integrator. “The size of the room will often decide what can be installed in it,” says Griffiths. “It also really depends on what content the user wants to see displayed on the screens. If a lot of different data needs to be viewed at the same time, then a number of smaller screens would be a better option than a smaller number of larger screens. Otherwise Christie Entero HB cubes or flatpanel displays could be used.”

‘KVM has a role to play in streamlining and de-cluttering the workspace while increasing interactive capability’ Jamie Shepperd, Adder Technology

practice between sites but at all costs avoid the ‘we’ll do what we did at the last place’ mentality,” warns Godfrey. As such, when it comes to designing the optimum solution, showing the customer their options is perhaps the ideal approach. “In order to find the right solution, we usually invite customers to bring their images and their software systems to our showroom,” says Winck. “Showing them different display technologies and different display sizes – i.e. pixel sizes – we can simulate the final result. Of course, the decision is also influenced by the space available.” It’s inevitable that the screens are the focal point of the installation – but they’re like actors in a movie: all eyes may be on them, but they’d be nothing without the supporting infrastructure. Key to that control room infrastructure are switching technology and KVM systems. “There is a case for saying that the starting point for the control room system is the matrix switcher, which controls the routing of all system inputs and outputs, and which forms the backbone of the system,” believes Deame. “The number of sources, control stations, and display devices required will determine the best switcher for the application. RGB Spectrum provides a range of compatible matrix switchers from from 8 x 8 I/O to 640 x 640 I/O, which can be configured to accept copper, fibre or twisted pair connections. These switchers provide a versatile foundation upon which to build the rest of the control room system.” Versatility, modularity, scalability, flexibility, upgradability: all are muchprized attributes of any control room solution, given a projected lifetime often measured in decades as well

CASE STUDY RGB SPECTRUM INTEGRATES MULTIPLE SECURITY PLATFORMS A large, international electricity and gas company that provides power to millions of people across the United States depends on an East Coast monitoring complex to secure its power generation and distribution facilities. As part of the system designed and installed by Alliance System Integrators, RGB Spectrum’s OmniWall 32 Display Processors work with its MultiPoint Control Room Management System (MCMS) to enable the integration of multiple security platforms. The main control room


as uncertainty about what the future might bring. Separating the videowall controller from the screens, for example, provides the flexibility to save valuable space. “Videowalls can take up a lot of space in the control room, but the videowall controller doesn’t have to,” points out Rob Moodey, sales account manager for Matrox Graphics, whose company is also in the KVM extension and AV-over-IP business. “Control room clients are demanding cost-effective, high-density, low-footprint controllers that offer excellent scaling and switching capability. Requirements often include the ability to capture and display different types of local and remote sources, so universal input support is key.”

“A KVM matrix allows users to operate thousands of computers over hundreds of simultaneous consoles consisting of just keyboard, monitor and mouse,” explains Annette Häbel, technical communications manager at G&D. “Through fibre optics, users and computers can be placed up to 40,000m apart from each other, eliminating computers from the control room. KVM systems are typically

THE KVM CONTRIBUTION An important contribution to flexibility, scalability and upgradability is made by KVM – keyboard, video, mouse – technology, a point made persuasively by G&D’s Häbel. “KVM is all about creating space for users at the same time as providing the best technical solution,” she says. KVM lets users access all available computers – which may be some distance

It’s a recurring mantra in the industry that no two control rooms are the same: “Each installation is unique,” smiles Annette Häbel, technical communications manager at Guntermann & Drunck (G&D). “There are never two identical control rooms.” “You can carry best

modular, so individual parts can be easily replaced. Multiple modules – DVI, VGA, DisplayPort for example – can be easily integrated, and combined with KVM extenders, KVM switches, a range of additional functions such as monitoring and management in one system.”

contains two identical monitoring systems for redundancy. Each side of the room has an MCMS system that includes three control stations, each with seven local monitors, plus a shared 2 x 4 videowall. An OmniWall processor enables the realtime routing of video feeds from security subsystems or news broadcasts to any display device in the room. This set-up is mirrored on the other side of the room, with a second OmniWall processor and MCMS, for a total of six control stations. The complete

redundancy built into the installation ensures that, if necessary, either half of the room can operate the full monitoring system. MCMS integrates all displays under a single unified interface accessible at each control station. The GUI allows operators to access information from any source computer in the system. KlickSimple technology enables each array of control station monitors to function as one continuous display, controlled by a single keyboard and mouse.

from the workstations and screens – via an intuitive user interface. Maintenance therefore doesn’t disrupt the users. And KVM uses existing cabling, so it’s quite costeffective.” “Our KVM products cope with all sorts of video signals, additional signals from audio, over USB to RS-232 and a wide range of resolutions,” she continues. “Our DLVision-MC2 KVM extender can transmit resolutions as high as 4K at full frame rate, meaning that application processes can be displayed simultaneously on a single large-format display.” Jamie Shepperd, group marketing manager at Adder Technology, is also an evangelist. “KVM has a role to play in streamlining and de-cluttering the workspace while increasing interactive capability,” he judges. “The trend increasingly – and it’s a challenge for integrators – is towards multi-site, multiroom. How will these sites be connected? Again, KVM has an important role to play by providing that connectivity between rooms, buildings and sites.” Whether it’s the physical attributes of the room, or the capabilities of the AV infrastructure, the goal is invariable: to create an

ergonomically appropriate environment that will enable operators to react to developing events with maximum effectiveness. PROTECT YOUR ASSETS “Staff and knowledge are the most precious resources of a company,” says Häbel. “That’s why it is so important to consider a control room’s design from an ergonomic point of view. People need to be able to focus on their work. With a KVM extension solution that’s pretty easy because fan noises, heat and computer emissions from the computers leave the room when they are relocated in a technical equipment room.” But it’s not just about the physical attributes of the room – air flows, noise, lines of sight, comfortable workstations and so on – but also about giving users the tools to do the job. “The operator interface is critical to control centre design,” believes Tim O’Neill, managing director of Atkins’ Rail Communications Systems business, “from detailed specification of touchscreen layouts, 3D representations of infrastructure being controlled, PA message libraries, decision support and the presentation of CCTV images.” May 2014 23

FEATURE: COMMAND AND CONTROL “AV technology has a huge role to play in reducing operator fatigue,” says van Dijk. “Content is one part of that – ensuring that the right information is presented in a logical way to the people that need it is, of course, vital. Modern screen controllers make the job of managing and prioritising content much easier, and programmable touchscreen interfaces such as Crestron or even iOS devices – in the case of Mitsubishi’s D-Wall 6 software – enable operators to pre-program sophisticated screen set-ups and recall them instantly.” THE ONLY CONSTANT There remains one further over-arching requirement in the design of command and control centres. Perhaps more than any other AV application, they are a substantial investment designed to perform over many years. That would be less of an issue were it not that they operate in an environment where change is the only constant, in which future uses are almost impossible to predict and growth is inevitable. “This is one of the

24 May 2014

challenges that the industry is facing – how to futureproof the control room environment and still ensure its scalability,” believes Shepperd. “The answer is to use a single connected infrastructure that allows you to change things quickly and easily. IP enables a future-proofed network by directly allowing increased scalability and flexibility. This is basically what KVM matrices are used for, and it is within the control room environment that they can really bring benefit. A KVM matrix allows the control room infrastructure to withstand today and tomorrow’s environment in terms of size while giving the flexibility to change.” Guy Van Wijmeersch, strategic marketing director, industrial and government at Barco, believes that the answer may lie in thinking differently about what command and control centres do. “Given their nature and the ever increasing complexity of available data, many markets see more needs in large visual collaboration tools,” he says. “Instead of naming these ‘control’ rooms, it might be better to call them

The Centro Assistenza Utenza uses Mitsubishi DLP cubes and has migrated from a legacy analogue system

‘control and collaboration’ rooms. We see an increase in the proliferation of video and data, and hence an increased demand for these rooms and their functionality. We also see an increase in requirements and functionality in existing rooms, which requires the vendor to propose and install futureproof concepts and backwards-compatible systems.” “Control rooms tend to be long-term investments,” he goes on. “As a consequence, it is of paramount importance to acquire a futureproof system, not only serviceable over a longer period, but also

expandable in functionality, size and complexity. This is a challenge whenever someone decides to choose ‘videowallcentric’ solutions instead of ‘collaboration-centric’ solutions.” Predicting what the future might bring? It only takes prescience. Just ask George Orwell. „

ONLINE EXTRA: CASE STUDY Autobrennero User Assistance Centre, Italy: A new control room system replaces 50 19in LCD panels with 20 Mitsubishi 50PE75 LED-lit DLP cubes, driven by a Bilfinger-Mauell controller


Game Creek Video deployed RTS matrix intercom products utilising the OMNEO IP media networking architecture to provide the key cross-river link in a vast multi-venue comms system at this year’s Super Bowl

Turning the page What effect will the predicted rise of the all-encompassing media solution have on traditional intercoms and paging systems? Will they remain in standalone form or be incorporated into (increasingly) complex systems? David Davies peers into the future… IN THIS integrated audio world, the notion of standalone systems capable of handling one primary function is increasingly the subject of scrutiny. For reasons of flexibility and cost-efficiency, multipurpose solutions that can deliver sophisticated processing, paging and voice evacuation across different zones are increasingly de rigueur. For small installations that require only basic intercom and paging functionality, the likelihood is that the more complex systems will remain off-limits for some time to come on grounds of price if nothing else. But in 26 May 2014

medium to large sites whose usage patterns are likely to evolve significantly over time, the powerful spec of broadly based media systems is already proving highly attractive. From Riedel’s Artist digital matrix system to Biamp’s Vocia DSP platform, the number of all-encompassing media solutions continues to grow. With this changing product landscape as background, Installation decided to pose a few crucial questions about how these systems are likely to alter the function of intercoms and paging in the built environment.

ADVANTAGES First, what are the primary advantages of an allencompassing media system? System design is an intrinsically personal affair, and for various reasons – not least of simplicity and enduser expertise level – some consultants will probably always prefer a ‘separates’ philosophy. As Riedel product manager Christian Diehl remarks: “Every engineer will have their own set of preferences for how and what to combine on a given infrastructure.” Regulatory and standards issues can also help determine the use of

separate systems (more of which anon). But for those who feel comfortable deploying them, combined solutions can first and foremost help negate potentially tricky issues of interoperability. Barix product manager David Gostick points to a common example. “Interoperability is key – for example, when making an important in-store announcement, it is critical that the in-store radio is automatically muted. It makes no sense for the user to have two distinct systems in such a case,” he says. Biamp Systems’ EVP of

[KEY POINTS] The past five years have been characterised by the emergence of multipurpose media systems that can deliver sophisticated DSP and routing alongside more standard paging and intercom capability Regulatory factors are leading to a preference for separate systems by some consultants, who may also favour their simplicity and ease of operation for (potentially unskilled) end-users The migration towards IP-based operation is expected to further accelerate the merger of paging and intercom functionality into larger combined systems

FEATURE: INTERCOMS AND PAGING marketing, Graeme Harrison, echoes the sentiment about simplified systems – “no unnecessary duplication of speakers, amplifiers and other devices, and installation… saving you both time and money. Efficiency [and specifically] the ability of remote systems to share processing resources over the network is a key advantage of networked media systems. You get greater performance with less equipment, with the ability to control all applications from one location.” FUNCTIONALITY So, what kind of functionality can these systems deliver? In addition to core paging and/or intercom functions, currently available systems can offer a wide range of functionality – therefore making them rather difficult to generalise about. For example, Biamp’s Vocia can deliver large, multizoned paging and voice evacuation, while its distributed networked processing is said to be particularly advantageous for higher education, healthcare, transportation and other public facilities. Demonstrating that it is able to satisfy a range of price points, the same company’s Audia product range provides a variety of budget-sensitive paging options, while the AudiaFLEX DSP and AudiaFUSION Networked Amplified Processors can handle more advanced system requirements. Barix – whose own offer ranges from the Barix Simple Paging solution to the IC Paging solution, which is geared towards applications requiring both

LEADING GERMAN THEATRE EXPANDS INTERCOM WITH RIEDEL ARTIST Founded in 1641, the Theatre Ulm in Germany is a multipurpose, multi-stage house offering opera, play and ballet. But while its heritage might be long, its equipment is very much up to date, with a recent phase of work expanding its intercom capability with an Artist Digital Matrix Intercom from Riedel. At the core of the installation is a Riedel Artist 32 mainframe that lays the foundation for the communications infrastructure. Due to Artist’s free scalability, systems can be expanded to form infrastructures with up to 1,024 x 1,024 non-blocking ports per installation. Karlheinz Fohlert, chief technician for audio and video at Theater Ulm, comments: “Especially the scalability of the Artist system was really important paging and intercom from satellite positions to one or more central master stations – encapsulates neatly the change in philosophy underpinning the development of these multipurpose systems. “At Barix, ‘we move audio’ and our solutions are focused on audio,” says Gostick. “From day one Barix has worked to enable the interoperability of separate components. For example, all of our retail in-store audio solutions support priority paging and work alongside our intercom solutions.” Meanwhile, RTS product marketing manager intercom/aviation EMEA, Manuel Brico, makes it explicit quite how much 2N’s Verso modular security intercom system

28 May 2014

to us. It allows for flexible planning and write-off. Only this way is it possible for us to plan cost-effective systems that correlate to our applications.” A total of 22 Artist 1100 and 5100 series control panels are used at the theatre for various positions such as stage management or stage entry. The Artist 1100 series features talk buttons with integrated OLED displays, allowing for maximum readability. The Artist 5100 series, meanwhile, is billed as “the cost-effective entry into the world of Artist” intercoms and features an eight-digit LCD display that can be doubled with a shift key. A Riedel RiFace integrates the theatre’s radio infrastructure into the wired intercom system. As a result, two-way radios can directly talk to a control panel – or vice versa.


full networking is likely to impact on intercom design in future. “The future of RTS intercoms is the [Boschdeveloped] media networking technology OMNEO,” he says. “Firstly the program transport via Audinate’s Dante, and secondly the control and monitoring protocol OCP. Keypanels and other audio sources connected to the matrix via Dante use standard offthe-shelf IP hardware and infrastructure.” Benefits of OMNEO-based intercom include interoperability with other manufacturers’ equipment, AVB compatibility and backwards compatibility with existing RTS products.

matrix system – summarises the primary forces at work. “We believe that operating and maintaining separate systems, though perhaps initially less expensive, comes at a cost after the gear is installed and in use,” says Diehl. “Engineers then need to be familiar with multiple interfaces, need to

MIGRATION TO CONTINUE? Will the migration to combined systems continue, and what new features will emerge? Some system designers continue to press the case for separate paging and intercom systems. But there is a general consensus that the ability of combined systems to reduce cabling runs, minimise training needed to understand different interfaces, and free up capital for system redundancy will mean that the march to convergence will continue. Christian Diehl – product manager at Riedel, whose solutions in this area encompass the Acrobat Digital Wireless Intercom full-duplex communications solution and Artist digital

‘A more modern approach to standards would help the adoption of multi-functional systems while at the same time preserving the vital functionality and reliability of a life safety system’ Graeme Harrison, Biamp Systems

maintain separate cabling infrastructures, and need to have spares for multiple systems.” By contrast, he says, an integrated approach is “far simpler to maintain and operate”. The feature sets of such systems will doubtless continue to expand. For example, deployments taking advantage of Riedel’s MediorNet real-time media networking technology will have access to ‘broadcastquality’ processing and conversion features such as Frame Store/ Frame Synchronizers and Embedders/De-Embedders at any input/output, notes Diehl. Such features typify the more general migration towards a software-based approach, meaning they can “easily be expanded in the future without any hardware changes. Ultimately this will eliminate the need for external devices. All this results in a completely new approach to production environments, providing significant savings in infrastructure investments,” says Diehl. REGULATORY ISSUES As Harrison observes, “the over-riding need” for separate systems observed in some applications to this point is frequently “driven by regulations and standards”. But there are strong indications that with the advent of IP-based operation, this could also be about to


Barix’s Annuncicom IP and paging device

change. At present, it would sometimes be “difficult or impossible to meet life safety standards with advanced audio functionality as these standards are often overprescriptive,” he says. “A more modern approach to standards would help the adoption of multi-functional systems while at the same time preserving the vital functionality and reliability of a life safety system.” Fortunately, there is some belief that such a shift may not be too far away. Kevin Sherwood is field sales

director of AV distributor CIE Group – whose portfolio includes audio-over-IP solutions for site-wide, multisite and worldwide paging distribution over LAN, WAN or web from Atlas Sound and 2N telecommunications – comments: “The case for single systems is only where separation is required for compliancy to VA legislation, but even this is starting to change with manufacturers looking at changing VA legislation to allow the use of IP-based systems. This is a change which is gathering pace with more and more

manufacturers looking to IP as the connection solution. Whether we like this change or not, it is definitely here to stay.” Sherwood’s last remark seems to hit the proverbial nail on the head. As in so many other areas of proaudio, IP operation is destined to have a profound impact; there is simply no reason to expect intercom and paging to be any different. What remains to be seen is quite how much regulatory impulses slow this change, or simply muddy the waters in terms of explaining the transition to potential customers and end-users. As with audio networking in general, the challenge will be for manufacturers, distributors and integrators to explain clearly and simply why IP represents a step forward – and how it can be depended upon to deliver such primary functions. „

[THE CLEAR-COM PERSPECTIVE] As we have seen, the debate about separate systems for separate functions may be slightly more open-ended than first thought. To wit, Simon Browne (pictured), director of product manager at Clear-Com, observes: “Our recommendation would be to use dedicated products that are designed for specific intercom and/ or paging tasks, but allow them to use audio and data standards that can tie them together.” Like the other contributors, however, Browne is aware that change is on the way. “Technology continues to develop at a fast pace, and whereas before we were used to analogue audio signals on twisted pairs, now we see a variety of digitised and IP signals on the same cables, offering more but requiring additional knowledge in their implementation. Mobile clients require access points or antenna transceivers, and so knowledge about placement and hand-over overlap is now needed,” he says.

Providing a variety of solutions to accommodate this diverse landscape seems like the most logical move. Accordingly, ClearCom’s own offer ranges from the Encore Partyline and Clear-Com HelixNet to the more all-encompassing ProGrid audio fibre network solution that encompasses programme audio, intercom, serial data, relay/opto logic GPI, video and a local private LAN. Browne explains: “This allows large installations with both HelixNet or Matrix solutions to be fibre-connected with ease, together with other media like audio, loudspeaker feeds, MADI and composite video. Other devices can be added to the fibre to provide for HD-SDI video.”

May 2014 31

4th September 2014


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Modern management Nest’s wireless intelligent room thermostats and smoke alarms and associated smart device apps provide remote control of home heating

[KEY POINTS] Smart device apps are available for many different home automation functions Users may prefer integrated, single application control interfaces but are conversant with multiple apps for different elements of control

Small companies are producing novel and attractive automation applications and are growing rapidly as a result

Steve Montgomery investigates the changing trends in home automation brought about by smart device apps and their effect on the traditional control system market WE SEEM to be able to download smartphone and tablet apps for almost every conceivable purpose these days, from managing our exercise regimes to helping us find a good restaurant in an unfamiliar town. Recently a wide range of applications have been released that automate home control services, offering manual or automatic control of lights, heating, door locks and security systems. Some of these act on individual devices, others manage a selection of devices. They all enable homeowners to control devices from within or to set, control and check their home environment remotely. All the large control system manufacturers have released smart-device-based control applications to complement their existing control systems, and OEM equipment designers offer smart apps to control their individual items of technology. At the same time a vast number of new apps, and the necessary hardware modules needed to provide the interface to 34 May 2014

physical equipment, have been designed and released by start-up companies. These are often funded by crowd funding initiatives that have no previous experience of product design, development and, most crucially, testing. The net result is that anybody interested in automating their home can achieve a reasonable level of

‘Users cannot be subject to unreliable software that may heat their home in summer or leave it unsecured’ Paul Williams, Control4

controllability themselves, aided by the advanced autoinstallation and plug-and-play capability of most apps. They are, though, likely to end up with a surfeit of applications that they need to switch between to achieve any sort of comfortable environment; each with its own distinct look and feel, and with varying levels of quality, support and reliability. On the face of it, this situation may seem undesirable to system integrators, but it is, however one that can benefit the industry. Individual control devices and apps are rapidly generating mass-appeal that serves to introduce people to the market. “We welcome the situation,” says Paul Williams, vice president of security and communications products at Control4. “It brings wider market awareness and people who have seen home automation in upmarket homes realise that it is obtainable to them too, albeit at a less luxurious level. This leads them to develop their own ideas of what they would like to achieve beyond

a disparate selection of apps on an iPad, and they often come to Control4 as the first step in an integrated home automation solution that binds their individual components together in a ‘one-app-to-rule-them-all’ type of solution.” GOING NATIVE Users are familiar with a wide range of different apps and are comfortable with switching between them on smart devices, so there is a case to use native ones. “Devices and services like Kaleidescape, Sonos and Spotify are built around iOS apps, so it is unnecessary and a real overhead to develop a control app that reinvents the way they operate,” says David Webster, chief technical officer for RGB Comms. “New features require updates to the control interface which means ongoing work, or at worst the customer relies on out-of-date features. What is needed is a method of running two or more apps on screen at the same time to enable better ergonomic

The market is expanding rapidly with new the regular introduction of new technology. This is just the beginning

Geolocation technology can be linked with device management to effect intelligent control based on users’ location control of several services at once.” Jonathan Cooper, managing director of residential, marine and commercial integration specialist The Next Level, points out other aspects: “User-managed apps do provide a threat to the lower end of the home automation integration market and where integration is solely of individual elements such as AV. At the higher end of the market homeowners demand the simplicity and reliability that professional integration solutions and installers deliver as well as global brands if they have homes in different countries. “In the same way that nobody wants multiple remote control handsets, a single application on a tablet is much more appealing and usable to them. Single applications from the main control

FEATURE: ROOM CONTROL system providers, AMX, Crestron, Savant, Control4 are stable and reliable, with no idiosyncrasies and are not subject to uncontrolled firmware updates that can upset adversely the operation of a device.” Williams concurs: “Proving reliable operation of an app for use across the vast number of operating system versions over iOS and Android devices incurs a massive overhead in testing. Users cannot be subject to unreliable software that may heat their home in summer or leave it unsecured.” “There are some interesting iOS-based devices and applications that we could use in some of our installations,” adds Martin Noar, technical director of Marine Entertainment Systems. “We would need to have access to the control protocol, as used with the app, to incorporate them into our traditional control systems but that should be possible, given the co-operation of the manufacturer. However, despite claiming to be IP-enabled, several leading-

brand manufacturers do not make their IP protocol strings available for use with third-party controllers, forcing us to return to the primitive method of creating IR transmissions in order to control their devices, which is less convenient and robust.” Lighting giant Philips has embraced these new concepts with hue, its personal wireless lighting system that uses a hardware ‘bridge’ to link a smartphone app to colour-changing LED lightbulbs using the ZigBee protocol; allowing any colour hue and brightness to be set and recorded for later recall on up to 50 discrete lamps. The system has spawned third-party apps that provide additional features, including preset mood scenes, sound to light converters for disco effects and seasonal colour schemes. Philips has also developed a smartphone control system for offices using Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) to connect office lighting to a building’s IT network and sensors that enables workers to adjust the lighting, heating and occupancy and temperature levels of rooms to be

The tado° heating app uses geolocation technology within mobile phones to ensure smart control

detected and sent back to facilities management. STARTING SMALL Small start-up companies are injecting healthy new ideas into the market to accompany those from their larger colleagues and growing rapidly in the process, often through take-over or collaboration and partnership with larger companies. Nest, subject to a wellpublicised $3.2 billion purchase by Google, sells wireless intelligent room

thermostats and smoke alarms with learning capability and associated smart device apps to provide remote control of home heating. Along with British Gas-owned Hive, which supplies a similar heating controller to provide ‘active heating control’ they have teamed up with major energy suppliers to supply discounted product and help save consumers money on their energy bills. Kevin Morrison, managing director and vice president of AMX Europe, suggests:

“While Google’s acquisition of Nest probably says more about their need for strong product design than anything else, it is indicative of their confidence in the ‘smart’ building and the large and growing demand for simple smart automation equipment. These application-led platforms give many users the control capability that they want, with an interface that they are comfortable with. They offer agility, flexibility and control, with minimal commitment; allowing users to make

May 2014 35

FEATURE: ROOM CONTROL Savant’s apps for iOS devices offer two-way control of lighting, climate, security and digital media

changes and embrace new and emerging systems, with very little technological inconvenience. It affords the company a valuable insight into our habits and patterns when we are both in and outside the home and furthers their business of harvesting as much information as possible about our lives.”

‘Integration of unrelated devices from different manufacturers in single systems is actually becoming less common’ Phillip Pini, Crestron HEATING UP Geolocation technology within mobile phones is used to great effect. “The tado° heating app control algorithms start to make heating control really smart and make everyday life easier. People shouldn’t have to deal with their heating so the app takes care of it automatically,” explains the company’s managing director, Christian Deilmann. “The tado° app on the mobile phones of residents detects when the last person has left the house. A signal is then sent to the heating system to turn down the temperature. As soon as one of the residents heads home, tado° reacts immediately and warms up the house to the desired temperature.” Priced at €300 for the

control unit and app, with DIY level installation (or €50 installation option), Deilmann claims: “The system can save an average 26% of heating costs which account for around 60% of household energy bills.” With sales of ‘several thousand’ per month in Europe this is a product that is well on its way to maturity and widespread appeal. Complete building management and system integration can only really be achieved with centralised control, or at least an intelligent management program overseeing individually controlled segments, as is the case with KNX-based systems. Says Morrison: “If you take the ‘brains’ out of the building and rely on device-to-device communication, mobile talking to thermostat for example, and negate the central server or processor, there can be little scope for integration, unified control or any sequencing of real automation through triggered events, such as we would expect to see in a smart, technologically responsive building.” Networks play an important part in the integration of complete systems, particularly those that distribute data as well as control. “Major, highreliability installations in super yachts and at the top end of the residential market have to be specified at an industrial level,” says Neil Grant, managing director of the Harris Grant group of companies. “Nobody integrates serious building systems using a collection of smartphone apps, they have to be underpinned by robust networks. For large data transfer, as is the case with distributed audio and video, gigabit IP networks are essential,

with a complementary AMX or Crestron control system vertically integrated with a KNX installation on an EIB backbone.” Crestron, too, promotes its single manufacturer system. “Integration of unrelated devices from different manufacturers in single systems is actually becoming less common,” claims Phillip Pini, residential development manager. “Integrators and clients are looking for that truly integrated solution. We have listened to their requirements and developed new products. Crestron 3-Series is a new concept that fully integrates the whole building management platform. It is capable of unifying all the technologies within a commercial building to operate as a single, intelligent system rather than in silos as separate systems. We’ve also built partnerships with other manufacturers so that third-party products are Crestron-connected, making them easy to integrate.” With the rapidly changing technology landscape, new entrants to the market often have the advantage of being able to design from a clean sheet. Key Digital, led by digital video veteran Mike Tsinberg, has developed video processing and switching devices for over 14 years. In the past three years Key Digital started to add control signal routing

and assist technologies inside its AV switching and connectivity devices, but has only recently created an integrated control system that resides on top of control-enabled AV products. “Companies that developed control technology prior to iOS have to support legacy architectures based around expensive, low-powered touch interfaces linked to complex control processors. A smart device on this system is simply a user interface that sends control commands to the processor. The result is an expensive solution that doesn’t utilise the raw power of the smart device and requires complicated programming. “Our Compass system takes advantage of the power of the iPad or iPhone linked to a relatively lowcost master controller and distributes commands to devices over wire or wireless IP networks to embrace all IP-enabled devices. Installers can create drivers very simply using an XL-like creation tool and drag and drop process, normally within an hour or two from scratch.” The mainstream control system manufacturers are looking towards the future and potential openings. “We certainly can’t rest on our laurels; we need to keep moving, to be creative and to think outside the box. At AMX, we are constantly

LUCKY 13 FOR TEXAS LAKEFRONT HOME A prime Texas lakefront location covering almost 18,000sqft with a spectacular three-tier swimming pool has been automated with not one Control4 controller, but 13. SAVE Electronics installed a robust network to automate 150 lighting loads, 13 thermostats, dozens of motorised window shades, and 28 surveillance cameras, together with audio and video to 50 locations. “The owners knew nothing about the technology, but when we mentioned that

Control4 automation runs on an iPad, they were sold on the idea,” reflects Tim Boyd of SAVE Electronics. Hundreds of individual devices were programmed into the Control4 software, allowing for predetermined scenes at the touch of a button. A ‘Good Night’ scene, for example, prepares every light and thermostat for bedtime. While the Control4 mobile app runs most of the functions, some are automated without any

evolving and try to be, from a technological point of view at least, one step ahead of the game,” says Morrison. “Today’s consumer is on a voyage of self-discovery, empowered by his or her smart device, and has a reasonable expectation of what can, and should, happen automatically. They can imagine a world where you don’t have to program a room to automate it, it would simply recognise your presence and respond accordingly. This is already a reality for some, and is becoming an expectation for many: it is where the real opportunity lies.” Williams predicts that new concepts like wearable technology will add value: “We are trying to understand how they will fit in. Ideas like presence and personal recognition are eminently viable so that rooms, even whole buildings, can adapt to the individual lifestyle of the user. They will be exciting times for control companies.” „

CASE STUDY button pushing. For example, when the doorbell is pressed, images from the surveillance camera at the front door display on any TV that happens to be on. The TV programme pauses, the camera image stays on the screen for 15 seconds, then the TV programme resumes. Landscape lighting, meanwhile, turns on automatically at sunset, off at midnight, on again at 5:00, then off at sunrise. May 2014 37


United States

The US national budget has been the subject of much political wrangling in recent months – but our latest survey finds causes for optimism, despite the various pressures that integrators continue to face



Annual GDP growth, Q4 2013

Budget deficit, 2013 (as share of GDP) Source: US Treasury Department

Source: US Commerce Department



Do you think general levels of confidence in the US installation sector are higher or lower than six months ago?






‘Make sure you have knowledgeable sales people as feet on the ground in each major region of the US and ensure that they have the proper technical and design support that they need for proper questions. I don’t recommend pushing the product line with just a single sales point of contact for all of the US then relying on the European work schedule to get the support they need.’

Regional economic situation National economic situation

‘Understand the marketplace: customer needs, scalability, response times, customer immediacy. Customers can’t afford downtime. Have a global perspective (manufacturing, purchasing and in-country support). Standardisation is not always the best route.’

More affordable technology Competitor activity Legislation/regulations

‘Don’t come in with blinders on. This is a tough market, with no real room for newcomers.’



‘A major influence (mostly negative, but positive for some) is the convergence of adjacent or related industries/fields. Pre-convergence, IT companies were our competitors, but now we are competing against structured cable companies, signal/alarm companies, access/security companies, etc as all the related fields of the modern “smart building” begin overlapping more and more.’

Higher – 56% The same – 44%

‘Expect high competition on pricing. Exceptional postinstallation customer support is mandatory. Know/research your geographic area of operations and your competition within that area. Don’t stray once determined.’ ‘Buckle up! Run skinny.’ ‘Good luck. Many markets are saturated with integrators and most US industry analysts are predicting major contraction of integration in the coming years if all stays status quo.’





Strongly Disagree


Consolidation in the US marketplace means we will continue to see fewer integration companies, but with more employees


There are no significant skill gaps in the US installation sector

‘End users should require advanced certifications from integrators.’ ‘I’d increase our visibility. InfoComm is over 75 years old, yet many people in America – even American businesses – don’t understand we are a separate industry. Plus, the lack of knowledge of our field also feeds the skills gap because, without pro-AV integration as a degree option or training option in education, many potential employees don’t know we’re a viable career path.’

My company is seeing a growing need to be conversant with green initiatives such as LEED and InfoComm STEP In general, US installers are comfortable with the increasing amount of IT networking in AV installations 38 May 2014







‘More ability to bid on big government projects.’


More speakers announced AVSNET managing director Graham Fry and technologist/engineer James Raby will both join panels at the 4 September event PLAN YOUR DAY THURSDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 9.30 Registration, coffee 10:00 Forces That Drive Retail Tech Retailers want to enhance their in-store customer experience while boosting data gathering processes for customer buying patterns. This panel will discuss how retailers are harnessing mobile technology, digital signage, projection and display to build the retail stores of the future. 11:00 Keynote: Ross Ashton, The Projection Studio World-renowned projection artist Ross Ashton will present some examples of his work and discuss the technology and the business issues that support these eye-catching projects. 12:00 AV & Broadcast Convergence: A Marriage in IP Ubiquitous video of the YouTube era is pulling for affordable broadcasting technology to supply the new needs of corporates, institutions and individuals. AV and broadcast come together as broadcasting moves from the exclusive domain of big studios to the desktop and even countertop. 14:00 Not Your Father’s Classroom; Not Your Mother’s Campus What’s the state of UK education today, after the onslaught of iPads, mobile, video and audio-over-IP? Our panel will explore how technologies are changing education, especially the intersection between video and mobile and Cloud.

PREPARATIONS CONTINUE for the first ever InstallMarket event, to be held at London’s Business Design Centre on 4 September. The one-day freeto-attend event will combine a full conference programme of knowledge-sharing sessions encompassing a number of key verticals in the AV world with an exhibition space for sponsors to highlight their products. James Raby, a venture capitalist and Sainsbury Management Fellow, will moderate the ‘AV & Broadcast Convergence: A Marriage in IP’ session, which begins at midday. The panel will explore how IP technologies are bringing together broadcast integrators and AV integrators. Raby is a commercially astute technologist/engineer with significant experience in the broadcast and communications industries in marketing, investment, and mergers and acquisitions. He focuses on venture capital and transforming companies making the transition into the telecom/media converged market. In the past he has worked 40 May 2014

15:00 What Hospitality Venues Really Want As hospitality venues commoditise and competition intensifies, management turns to technology, not just for infrastructure but improving customer experience. From hotel TV systems the hotel market is moving towards BYOD, using displays, wireless, internet and apps to increase guest satisfaction. 16:00 What Moves Transport Technology In this panel, we’ll explore the new customer experience for transport including auto, rail, air and underground. Of particular interest are displays, control room technologies and customerfacing digital signage. 17:00 Whose Network is IT, Anyway? IP has proven to be the Great Unifier, bringing together many diverse industries onto the network. Given the ramp-up of video usage and mobile delivery, this panel brings together experts to discuss how AV and IT will share the network. Graham Fry

James Raby

as director of television at NTL Broadcast, project manager for the Independent Broadcast Authority, and head of broadcast development at VT Merlin Communications (where he was in charge of corporate development and mergers & acquisitions for broadcast services and infrastructures in a global perspective). Most recently Raby was a venture executive at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and served as director at ZinWave, which develops in-building cellular and wireless technology

solutions, and as a director at Nomad Digital, which provides mobile wireless LAN services on trains and transport and network independent data communications services. Graham Fry, meanwhile, will join the ‘Whose Network is IT, Anyway?’ panel. This session, which closes the event, discuss how AV and IT will share the network and will be moderated by Keith Humphreys, managing partner of euroLAN Research. Fry founded AVSNET (formerly AVSolution) in 2005. He has a strong technical background and combines it with a

broad knowledge of unified communications technology, network management and data services. Raby and Fry join other confirmed panelists, including Charlie Henderson of PA Consulting, who will moderate ‘What Moves Transport Technology’ and John Grew, managing director – principal hospitality technology consultant at Spartan Comms, who will lead the session on ‘What Hospitality Venues Really Want’.

In addition to the extensive seminar programme, InstallMarket will also welcome exhibitors from across the worlds of audio, video, connectivity and control as well as providing the opportunity for visitors to get hands-on with the latest kit during a series of break-out training sessions and demos from key manufacturers. „ To register for this free-toattend one-day event visit www.

To discuss sponsorship opportunities, contact Ian Graham on or call +44 (0)20 7354 6000


What’s new

Install ation


Our selection of the latest products for the installation market BALDWIN BOXALL VIGIL3 IT’S… Baldwin Boxall’s latest voice alarm system. DETAILS: VIGIL3 has an Ethernet backbone network which can carry up to 48 simultaneous audio channels, either via a dedicated network or fibre. Messages, inputs and outputs can be added with IP interfacing as standard. Instead of using traditional routers, the system uses an Ethernet module to control up to 16 amplifiers, as well as providing system functionality,

networking, messaging and EQ. Larger systems can be created by simply connecting more Ethernet modules. The system can be configured from any node on the network, or remotely via the Ethernet port using a PC or smart device. Three different amplifiers are available – 2 x 150W, 4 x 150W and 2 x 300W – giving up to 12 150W amplifiers in 2U of rack space. These are smaller and weigh 66% less than corresponding units in the VIGIL2 system – and battery


AND ALSO: The sleep facility operates when the system is on mains power, rather than just when running on batteries. This, combined with the absence of 100V line transformers, makes the VIGIL3 more energy efficient than its predecessor. AVAILABLE: Mid-2015 approx (depending on certification)




IT’S… A Full HD, three-chip DLP projector. DETAILS: The PT-DZ16K features low power consumption and has a long lamp replacement cycle of up to 3,000 hours and an up to 12,000 hours maintenance-free eco filter. The compact projectors offer built-in edge blending and colour matching function as well as multi-unit brightness control for projections on to wide screens and surfaces, creating an immersive experience. Basic installation flexibility is supported by an optional lens selection that supports a wide range of throw

size has also been reduced.

IT’S… Two dynamic white light LED fixtures.

distances. In addition, 360º projections are also possible, allowing displays on both. AND ALSO: The PT-DZ16K series can be remotely monitored and operated using Panasonic ET-SWA100 multiprojector monitoring and control software. AVAILABLE: Now visual-system

DETAILS: The DW Fresnel (pictured) features a 19°-72° manual zoom and is capable of varying colour temperature from 3,200K to 7,000K with a CRI of over 90. Rotating barn doors allow for customised shaping of the beam and a frost filter softens the light further when needed. Although output is up to 8,700 lumens, a thermo-optical cooling system keeps the luminaire cool and virtually silent. Colour temperature and full range dimming can be manually or DMX controlled and max power consumption is 320W. The DW Profile features a 17°-27° manual zoom and is capable of varying colour

temperature from 3,000K to 6,200K. It includes a fourblade manual framing system that allows for full control of the beam shape and supports B-size glass, metal, or HT transparency glass gobos for custom gobo projections. Strobe and full range dimming is either manual or DMX controllable and a selection of variable dimming curves is provided. Output is up to 8,400 lumens with a max power consumption of only 300W.

that allows the fixtures to operate anywhere in the world. AVAILABLE: Now

AND ALSO: A host of features come as standard with both units. This includes DMX control, three- and five-pin XLR and powerCON in/out connections, and an auto-sensing power supply


INSTALLATION CONNECTION BOX IT’S… A series of wall boxes for power, audio and video cables. DETAILS: Designed for applications including including theatres, concert halls and conference centres, Klotz Installation Connection Boxes (ICB) are available in five different frame sizes, and are supplied as standard without front panels. 42 May 2014

The rugged boxes are built from 2mm sheet metal, and allow connections from five sides. They have recesses for mounting a wide variety of face plates. Top and bottom plates with standard holes for strain relief elements can be fitted to insert connection cables. Low-voltage and highvoltage components can be combined in a single box, as a

dividing plate in the units physically separates the two areas. AND ALSO: Two threaded bolts on the inside serve both as earth terminals and for installing components, such as top-hat rails. AVAILABLE: This month




detected. The screen is protected against scratches and can optionally be supplied as a multitouch surface. A memory system can be used to set and recall the desired screen position. Like other products from the Dynamic range, it can be remotely controlled and diagnosed. Connectivity is via standard RJ45. The Dynamic1H has two DVI inputs, is HDCP compliant and features RS-422 I/O, directly addressable with a termination switch; this allows

IT’S… A motorised in-desk display. DETAILS: The latest addition to Arthur Holm’s Dynamic product line, Dynamic1H is an elegant and compact motorised solution in which the screen is always visible. Built in solid aluminium, this robust, compact system allows the Full HD screen to move from a position flush in the desk surface up to an 80º inclination. A security system immediately stops the monitor movement if resistance is

TSS-752 mulitple devices to be daisychained up to 500m. AHnet software permits the monitors to be grouped and zoned. AND ALSO: Along with Dynamic1H, it is possible to integrate DynamicTalk (the Arthur Holm solution for lifting and retracting gooseneck microphones) and a built-in camera in the same casing. AVAILABLE: Now


DX6535, DW6035 IT’S… Two heavy-duty, duallamp DLP projectors from the D6000 series, for conference centres and other large venues. DETAILS: The WXGA DW6035 (pictured) is HDTV ready, has a contrast ratio of 3,000:1 and 6,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, while the XGA DX6535 is rated at 6,700 ANSI lumens.

IT’S… A touchscreen for room scheduling. DETAILS: The TSS-752 is a bright 7in widescreen capacitive colour display. Side-mounted multi-coloured LEDs provide clear indication of a room’s status from a distance. The touchscreen sits sufficiently proud from the wall for the LEDs to be visible down the corridor. The user interface is gesture-based: a swipe of the scrolling calendar ribbon reveals the room’s schedule for the day. Any room on the network can be reserved on the spot: the TSS-752 uses Crestron Fusion software, which integrates with popular scheduling applications from lens options (throw ratio between 0.77:1 and 8.5:1). I/O connections include VGA in, DVI-D, Component, S-Video, Audio in and Audio out.

Both models feature dual-lamp technology, interchangeable lenses and colour wheels, and are designed

to operate 24/7. They now offer motorised lens control including zoom and focus, and have seven interchangeable

AND ALSO: D6000 series devices all feature a built-in 12V trigger for an external wireless module connection and are

Microsoft, Google and other providers. A single Ethernet cable with PoE delivers power to the TSS-752 through the LAN wiring. AND ALSO: The display can be installed on a wall over a standard 2-gang electrical box, or mounted to virtually any flat surface – even glass, granite, or marble. An optional Mullion Kit allows the cabling to be routed along any hollow, vertical support or door jamb. AVAILABLE: Now

network-ready for integration and system administration via RJ45 and RS-232. Quoted lamp life is 2,500 hours, and standby energy consumption is less than 0.5W. AVAILABLE: Now

May 2014 43


TC2-HDBT HDMI-OVER-CAT5 IT’S… A new, reduced-size version of the Techconnect HDBaseT product. DETAILS: Vision has revamped its Techconnect HDBaseT transmitter/receiver pair, which are now much smaller

and thinner (15mm). All cables exit from one side, making cable routing easier. The new product sends HDMI and power over a Cat6 cable up to 70m long. It features PoE so only one power supply is required for the set. AND ALSO: The simplified feature set of the new version has helped to drive the suggested sales price down by more than 25%. AVAILABLE: Now www.


CHAMELEON GB-200 IT’S… A signal processor for projector edge blending, warping and stacking. DETAILS: The GB-200 is the first product in the Chameleon signal processing range – which is designed to support Optoma’s ProScene projector range and provide greater control and flexibility for ambitious projects. Targeted at museum installations, tourism attractions and exhibitions, the Chameleon GB-200 allows the overlapped edges of two or more projectors to be merged to create one seamless image. The dual-channel product

can serve two projectors. Black level uplift and multi-region colour correction simplify the matching of multiple projector images. There is sub-pixel control of image alignment, and up to 289 individual points of adjustment on each image, enabling use with flat and curved projection surfaces. The GB-200 generates a single high-resolution output (around 3600 x 1080 pixels). This is fed to both channels of the processor via an HDMI splitter. The correct part of the screen is sent to each projector and the GB-200

processor blends and warps the content to form a single bright high-resolution image. AND ALSO: The Chameleon GB-200 can be automated using a camera and the Optoma auto-blending tool, a trial version of which is included with the processor. AVAILABLE: Now


SYSBOARD, SYSPANEL, SYSFLOOR IT’S… Three ranges of components for the SYSBOXX range of modular housing systems. DETAILS: Sommer Cable has extended the range of components in its SYSBOXX family of modular housings for 19in racks, wall or floor mounting. The SYSBOARD18 wall housing allows classic junction boxes to be fitted with SYSBOXX components. Due to the mounting plane being recessed by 100mm, a multipin connector may remain plugged in, even with the door closed. An opening in the bottom of the housing allows either a cable lead-through brush or a sheet steel cover plate (both supplied) to be installed. The door has a square head lock (key supplied), which may be optionally exchanged for a locking cylinder. The SYSBOARD18 can be

surface-mounted or, using the supplied mounting brackets, flush-mounted in two positions. Inside it can accommodate enough SYSBOXX frontpanels to hold up to 48 XLR type Ds. With the door closed and the base plate installed, IP44 protection class is achieved. The 19in 1 RU SYSPANEL and SYSPANEL5 frames allow patchbays, device connector panels, connection routers or transfer points, for instance in control or equipment rooms, to be set up quickly and easily. The SYSPANEL can be fitted with up to four standard PCB modules, whereas the SYSPANEL5 can take up to five SYSBOXX front panels. The housings possess 28 metal tongues for cable ties to relieve strain on the supply cables. The PCB modules are available as 4-channel boards with either 3- or 5-pole XLR or EtherCON RJ45 connectors respectively.

The rugged SYSFLOOR allmetal installation frames allow the integration of connections from audio/video/media equipment as well as building wiring. It is available in three sizes, SYSFLOOR-03, -04 and -06. The latter allows the integration of heavy multipin connectors without having to

worry about the mechanical strain.

Other common RAL colours available for an extra charge.

AND ALSO: Standard colours are RAL 7035 (light grey) and RAL 7016 (charcoal grey).



CP-WU13K IT’S… A 3D-ready 13,000-lumen brightness projector. DETAILS: The CP-WU13K projector offers 13,000 lumens brightness and is designed for use in large auditoriums, broadcast applications, conference rooms, museums, and concert or stage productions. The unit is 3D-ready, incorporates four digital inputs, plus a high44 May 2014

performance fi lter to stop dust sticking to critical components. For even greater image quality, the CP-WU13K features three-chip DLP technology and is equipped with 3G SDI. The CP-WU13K offers DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) Simulation Mode, which projects greyscale images to approximate DICOM Part 14 specifications.

AND ALSO: The CP-WU13K features motorised zoom, focus and lens shift control allow for a greater range of installation possibilities, enabling users to make fine adjustments via remote control or an RS-232/IP device. AVAILABLE: Now




IT’S… A revamped remote console designed for 16 of Analog Way’s mid-range mixers and seamless switchers. DETAILS: Orchestra2 can control several generations of Analog Way’s switchers, including the Di-VentiX II, Eikos and Pulse, as well as the new Midra series such as the Saphyr, Pulse2 and QuickVu. Orchestra2 can manage several switchers simultaneously, either as standalone boxes or in combination, including soft edge-blending. It controls up to six independent screen configurations in different locations and stores up to 64 presets per screen configuration.

DNT16I, DNT0212 The new design includes a Quick Frame button to control Midra series products. Orchestra2 features offline programming, so the console may be programmed when seamless switchers are not connected. A powerful new Snap function helps to position layers quickly. Numerous customisable and configurable presets can be used to set up the screen configuration, and are easily accessible during the presentation. Direct input/ output selection access makes last-minute modification easy. The complete configuration of the event can be saved both internally and externally (via the USB port) for future use. AND ALSO: Orchestra and Axion2 owners can download the new firmware from Analog Way’s website for compatibility with the Midra series. AVAILABLE: This month

IT’S… Two 1RU Dante networked audio processors. DETAILS: The DNT16i input processor and DNT0212 output processor both feature 48 independent automatic mixers, with 36 inputs per mixer. Each unit also supports switched and redundant Dante modes of operation. Applications include sound reinforcement, conference systems, room combining, courtrooms and production studios. The DNT16i features 16 mic/line analogue inputs via

Phoenix connectors with 48V phantom power and wide gain control on each. As a processor, the DNT16i provides inputs into a Dante network from analogue and digital signals. Each input provides extensive signal processing and routing to any one or all of 48 automatic mixers operating at the crosspoints of an internal digital matrix within the processor. The DNT0212 output processor features two line level analogue inputs, eight line level analogue outputs, and

four mic/line analogue outputs. It subscribes to channels on a Dante network and delivers them to an internal digital matrix for automatic mixing and processing. Outputs also include speaker management DSP functions. AND ALSO: All DNT units can be controlled via USB, RS-232, Ethernet and programmable logic I/O. AVAILABLE: Now


EXT-HD-SL-444 IT’S… A 4 x 4 HDMI seamless matrix switcher. DETAILS: The EXT-HD-SL-444 can display four HDMI signals on a screen or a projector. Each HDMI output can be individually configured to output a different resolution, making the product suitable for use with a variety of monitors

in a conference room or in a digital signage application. HDCP compliant, it can switch seamlessly with no frame loss during window and picture transitions. Audio is embedded in the HDMI signal of every HDMI input and can be selected for playback via IR, RS-232 or IP.

AND ALSO: Everything required for set-up is supplied with the processor: power supply, IR control, IR extender, four lockable HDMI cables, RS-232 connecting port and more. AVAILABLE: Now

May 2014 47


Audio consoles

{Lawo broadcasts quality} With audio applications in fixed installation environments – such as theatres, concert halls, opera houses and trade fair control rooms – becoming more and more demanding, consoles that were originally developed with broadcast applications in mind can sometimes meet these venues’ evolving needs. According to Lawo, this is certainly the case for the mc266 console and its more compact sibling the mc256, which have found application in areas beyond the broadcast sphere. The two consoles offer a wide range of customisation options and come in different frame sizes, with various DSP power and routing capacities as well as different redundancy levels. Attributes inherent to broadcast digital consoles, such as high channel count (the mc266 has 888), quality DSP performance, high routing capacity and high levels of redundancy and reliability, when combined with dedicated features, provide these consoles with


the flexibility to work in a wide range of installed settings. The mc256 has five frame sizes: 16 faders for smaller outside broadcast vehicles with up to 80 faders possible for more complex challenges. The console also features easy-to-reach user-buttons, a large trackball button, a touchscreen in the central GUI, and illuminated rotary knobs. Both consoles are easy to understand and intuitive to operate, according to Lawo, and feature new Ravenna slotin cards for IP networking. The mc266’s 888 DSP

channels and 144 summing busses offer maximum power, while top-quality signal processing ensures maximum precision. And for applications where speed is required, the mc266 uses an ‘assign at destination’ philosophy, which allows channels to be reassigned quickly and securely – something that can be critical in live situations. What’s more, the MKII Router is said to offer the highest possible level of reliability, with a fully integrated control system, 8,192 crosspoints and a design featuring a high level of redundancy.

Simple operation for Roland’s M-480

Roland System Group’s flagship M-480 digital console incorporates a newly developed mixing engine, which provides a four-band fully parametric EQ, gate,

48 May 2014

compressor, and delay on each input channel. It features 48 mixing channels plus six stereo returns for a total of 60 channels, six built-in stereo (dual-mono) multi-effects and

Mixing consoles are at the heart of many sound reinforcement and live performance applications – shaping the sound and distributing it where it is needed. James McGrath discusses the features of some recent offerings


New Soundcraft Vi has Dante interface

Soundcraft recently launched the latest model in the Vi series of digital mixing consoles. The selfcontained Vi3000 is the first in the range to incorporate Harman Studer’s SpiderCore 96-channel DSP engine. Up to 48 mic inputs and 16 line outs are built in to the system, minimising the console’s footprint and allowing for simple installations at venues with existing infrastructure based on copper multicore. Designed for install, corporate AV and live touring applications, the console features another first from Soundcraft: a built-in 64-channel Dante interface, which opens up options for direct recording/playback via Ethernet connection to PC- or Mac-based software. This feature also enables easy integration of the console into an existing Dante network. Digital local I/O includes


four channels of AES/EBU in/ out, and two D21m double option card slots. There is the further option of connecting a 64-channel remote stagebox; in this case the configurable local I/O can be specified with 16 inputs and 48 outputs to maximise use of the console’s 24 mono/stereo busses, plus LRC master busses. Features that will appeal to the corporate market include a post-fade insert option allowing the connection of external automixer units, and the triggering of duckers from a mix bus. The console also incorporates VM2, a feature that allows the display of battery, RF and mute status information from AKG wireless mics directly on the channel strips. In addition, the Vi3000 has an easy-to-use Vistonics touchscreen-driven surface and pristine 40-bit floating-point audio quality.


12 graphic EQs (switchable to 8-band PEQs). There are 214 possible patch points with 90 discrete outputs. The level of processing power offered by the console, combined with its rich feature set, makes it applicable to a wide range of settings including live events, mobile production, broadcasting and installed sound. The console was the first in the company’s V-Mixer line to support a cascade

connection; this enables an expansion to 96 channels of mixing by connecting a second unit via Cat5e/6 cable. Ease of connectivity is a distinct feature of the console: it can be connected to Roland’s R-1000 recorder with a Cat5e/6 cable to easily record (or playback) up to 48 channels of 24-bit audio. The system can also connect via Ethernet to Roland M-48 personal monitors. Remote operation of the system is possible via USB connection to a PC. To provide familiarity and simplify user operation, the control software for remote operation has the same user interface as the built-in display and can also be used when the console is not connected, allowing offline

set-up and pre-event system configuration. The M-480’s intuitive control is proven through its use in numerous training applications. According to the company, the console is chosen because it enables engineers of all levels of competency and of any age to have a better understanding of digital mixing techniques and set-up, especially for education in the installation sector. System expandability is facilitated by using REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication). REAC offers an easy plug-and-play solution for venues that have constantly changing space configuration requirements.

Intuitive, Elegant Engineering


Low Latency

I/O Options

Surface Expansion


Intuitive, high agility touch screen graphical user interface with multilingual labelling for effortless operation.

Less than 400μs from input to output plus time aligned mix busses maintain the highly acclaimed Cadac sound.

Configurable on-board I/O plus stage boxes allows for up to 192 inputs and 192 outputs.

Connect up to two optional 16 fader, single screen extenders for surface expansion.

MADI and Dante Network Bridges allow easy integration into Cadac’s MegaCOMMS audio network.

CDC eight introduction

CDC eight features

CDC eight is Cadac’s flagship digital live audio console with 128 input channels and 48 bus outputs coupled with an exceptionally tactile and intuitive user interface.

S Highly acclaimed Cadac mic-preamps S Less than 400μs from stage through the console to outputs on stage S 32/40-bit floating point SHARC processors S 128 input channels S 48 output busses S 16 VCA groups S 8 Mute groups S Optional MegaCOMMS Router gives up to 3072 channels in one audio network S WAVES integration S Library of languages for console labelling including Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish with more to be added

It boasts a unique ‘high agility’ control surface, accessed via 24” hi-definition touch screens with a further 6” touch screen accessing the system control and automation. The CDC eight is available in two formats: dual screen with 32 faders or single screen with 16 faders. CDC eight’s signature sound is a result of Cadac’s legendary mic pre circuitry combined with a proprietary DSP platform featuring a time-aligned, phase-coherent mix bus architecture. With a far less menu dependent operating system than other digital consoles, the CDC eight offers an unparalleled user experience with exceptional audio quality. Cadac Holdings Ltd. One New Street, Luton. Bedfordshire. LU1 5DX. England. Tel: +44 1582 404 202




Yamaha introduces small-to-medium solution

Boasting virtually all the features of the industryleading CL series digital consoles in a very compact form, the Yamaha QL1 and QL5 are said to be ideal for small to medium-sized productions on their own, thanks to their onboard input/

output connections. However, in addition, onboard Dante networking means they can be seamlessly integrated into bigger systems with Yamaha’s CL series and R-series I/O units. And, with the availability of a new Port-to-Port facility, CL series consoles can have full

access to the QL’s onboard I/O, complete with Auto Gain Compensation, allowing very precisely scalable audio solutions to be created. With Dan Dugan auto-mixing provided onboard, QL consoles are said to be perfect for a wide range of live applications

– whether music- or speechbased or a mixture of both. The company adds that, to ensure the D-A and A-D converters perform to the required level, it has performed detailed spectral analysis of jitter in the system clock and

has adjusted the FPGA clock signal routing. The result, according to the company, is a more natural, musical sound.

{ Stayin’ iLive } {DiGiCo’s Stealth Digital Processing } The iLive system from Allen & Heath incorporates remote features to address challenges faced by FOH systems operators, who don’t always have the best position in a performance space. Made up of six MixRacks and seven mixing surfaces, the iLive family is suitable for multiple applications, from theatres and HoW to live venues and broadcast applications. Apart from the inherent features of digital mixing consoles such as in-built DSP and I/O networking control interfaces, each iLive option is equipped with the same 64 x 32 RackExtra DSP mix engine and can process 64 input channels, 32 mixes and eight stereo FX. The differences between each MixRack are, in essence, the number of physical input (mic) and output sockets, while each individual surface is distinguishable

by the number of faders. The mix engine can be accessed and operated via an array of wireless networkable options. Smart devices such as iPads and iPhones as well as laptops and tablets can be connected to the system, and aspects of mixing and control of the surface component can be controlled over Allen & Heath’s iLive Editor software or the company’s smart apps: iLive Tweak and iLive MixPad. iLive Editor allows engineers to configure the system offline before the show, check and edit show files from guest engineers, and control the mix live. Firmware and show files are all compatible throughout the range, making settings fully transferable. Other features of the remote mixing system include the ability to tweak monitors on stage using a laptop while another engineer runs the FOH soundcheck from the surface.

DiGiCo’s SD range is extensive and covers integration areas for live sound, broadcast and theatre applications. The SD9 and SD5 in particular have been designed for installation applications. The SD5 is a 37-fader mixing desk laid out in banks of 12 with one master fader. It also incorporates three 15in full-colour TFT touchscreens for quicker access and multi-user applications. Other specs include two interactive dynamic metering displays (IDMs) as well as 124 processing channels at 48kHz/96kHz, 24 dynamic EQ processors, 56 configurable busses, and 24 x 24 output matrix. DiGiCo describes its SD9 console as a super-flexible, complete integrated system. By comparison, this console features 13 fewer faders than the SD5 but comes in a lightweight system package. Application areas include theatres, conference centres,

houses of worship and schools. One TFT LCD screen is enough for this console. Other specs include 48 Flexi Channels (configurable as either mono or stereo) at 48kHz/96kHz – the equivalent of 96 channels of full DSP processing. Both consoles incorporate Stealth Digital Processing and have an optional DiGiCo SoundGrid module which can be fitted to the console’s engines for full redundancy when linked to two external PC servers such as SoundGrids or DiGiGrids. With this addition, users have access to 16 integrated low-latency Waves stereo Multi Racks, each of which can have eight plug-ins per rack. Using Stealth FPGA audio

processing enables DiGiCo to offer additional releases to existing users and so provide futureproofing upgrades. FPGA also allows DiGiCo to configure the console processing from start-up, meaning the company can provide software extensions for theatre and broadcast, offering the features and terminology for these specific applications. This enhances console flexibility as the owner can use the same hardware in different environments. A UB-MADI recording option offers users the ability to record and playback up to 48 channels using the MADI port located on the console, which can be connected to any USB2-compatible PC or Mac, allowing for multitrack archive recording or virtual soundchecks.

{ Cadac CDC four:m packs a punch } Drawing on the company’s history of designing largescale live sound consoles, the CDC four:m from Cadac is a compact 19in rackmountable digital mixer designed for small to medium-sized installation applications. CDC four:m features 16 mono mic/line inputs with Cadac’s mic preamplifier. Eight stereo inputs also feature, as does 96kHz/24bit A-D conversion and signal processing throughout. Despite being an extremely compact mixer, there are options to enhance the console’s capabilities through

input count expansion to 56 channels via the company’s MegaCOMMS card and a 32-in/16-out stagebox, which can be sited up to 150m away. The company says the console offers clean and transparent sound due to the attention paid to delay management. As with the flagship Cadac CDC eight, CDC four:m’s latency is deterministic and automatically managed. Latency is synchronised, so that all audio is phase coherent at all times. Further features boosting audio quality, according to

the company, include 16 fully phase-coherent mix busses, and digital emulation of the analogue Cadac J-type 4-band equaliser on every channel. The console also offers enhanced dynamics and FX processing, a 6 x 4 matrix – with 31-band graphic EQ, compressor/limiter and delay on all four channels, and 31-band graphic EQ on all Aux sends. An optional MC MADI interface, meanwhile, enables the console for multitrack recording.

May 2014 51


The listening bank

tion Installa


[ABOUT THE INSTALLER] Different parts of the auditorium have different uses, including presentations, meetings and small group discussions – as well as parties and musical performances

„ Stouenberg is just two people: founder and lighting designer Kasper Stouenborg and, project manager and sound designer Anders Jørgensen. The company hires in designers and technicians as required „ Projects include The Blue Planet (National Aquarium Denmark), Odense Theatre and Dover Castle (Secret Wartime Tunnels) „ The company is a dealer for brands including Meyer Sound, Panasonic, Yamaha and Sennheiser

Meyer Sound’s Constellation system is being used to improve communication for all the different uses of an auditorium at a Danish bank’s HQ. Paddy Baker reports on a project that is in the running for two InstallAwards next month THE THIRD-LARGEST bank in Denmark, Jyske Bank’s image is not what many people might expect from a major player in the financial world: its branches look more like shopping malls or airport lounges, with inviting seats, video screens, magazines and a central coffee bar. And this relaxed, even playful feel also extends to the multipurpose auditorium that has been created from a rooftop meeting room at the bank’s headquarters in Silkeborg. At the heart of the room is a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system. “It’s magical that you can step inside and hear perfectly what everybody says; and if I’m whispering in a corner you can hear me perfectly at the other end,” says Anders Jørgensen of Copenhagen-based integrator Stouenborg. Although not very large, the room is long (23m) and narrow (9.5m), so audibility from one end to the other was known to be an issue. Steen Mertz, director of communications technology at the bank, had experienced a Constellation demo at Meyer Sound’s headquarters in Berkeley, California. At the outset of the project, he contacted Stouenberg to discuss the possibility of including a Constellation system for voice lift as part of the

refurbishment of the room. Jørgensen comments: “The problem was that people don’t always pick up a microphone, and even if they do, it can still be a problem to hear what they’re saying at the back of the room. So the challenge was, how do you enhance speech intelligibility and how do you make a system that can fulfil the dream of a truly multifunctional auditorium?” Mertz and Jørgensen discussed the different ways in which the 75-seat room was to be used. The intention was to make it a truly multipurpose space – used for presentations, meetings, small group discussions, as well as for parties and musical performances. One requirement was to facilitate spontaneity during debates – not having to wait for a handheld microphone to be handed around. But it wasn’t just about making people heard across the room. “Constellation voice lift technology helps facilitate teleconferencing all over the world so that anyone, anywhere in the room can speak and be heard at a remote location,” explains John Pellowe, Constellation project director at Meyer Sound. Plus, there were requirements beyond voice lift. “Steen wanted to

easily adapt the acoustic characteristics for a variety of events,” says Pellowe. Finally, Mertz wanted to futureproof the space for other sonic requirements not yet thought of. Once Jørgensen had delivered the brief to Pellowe, the Constellation team began work on the system design. “There were certain design challenges that we faced,” recalls Pellowe. “The microphones are angled to optimise their coverage of the room and to maximise the gain of the system.” LOW TOLERANCE This was Jørgensen’s first time installing a Constellation system – and he also found challenges along the way. For instance, placing the miniature condenser microphones required extreme accuracy. “It meant that every mic had to be placed using GPS coordinates. Because the ceiling is curved, it’s impossible to make a mark on a drawing, make the same mark on the floor and translate that to the ceiling,” he explains. “The placement of the microphones is the most critical part of a Constellation system,” Jørgensen continues. “When you hear the system and see the effort that Meyer Sound puts into the

tuning the system after the installation, you get a better idea of why it’s so important.” The curved ceiling made standard microphone mounts impossible. A special mount was needed in which the microphone cable runs vertically from the ceiling, with the microphone head angled. It took much inventiveness by Stouenborg’s engineering department to create a design that met all these requirements, and held the mics in place without them twisting around due

to temperature changes or other factors. The final design features a rubber collar sandwiched between two Corian plates – so that any vibration or wind noise from the roof is not picked up by the mics. In addition, the room’s newly installed airconditioning system had to be adjusted so as not to disturb the position of the mics. A lot of care was taken by the project team to optimise the natural acoustics of the space. “The more voice lift systems we do, the more we realise how critical it is to have a low physical reverberation time,” remarks Pellowe. “The lower it is, the more flexibility we have to move the sound around the room where it needs to be at

[INSTALLED] AUDIO (MEYER SOUND) „ D-Mitri DAI-24, DAIO-24, DAO-24 I/O units „ D-Mitri DCP and VRAS processors „ MM-4XP and MM-4XPD self-powered speakers „ UP-4XP speakers „ MM-10XP mini subwoofers „ Stella-8C ceiling speakers „ Miniature condenser mics

„ dnp Zenith rearpro screen „ Canon WUX4000 projector „ Samsung ME-40 (40in) and ME-55 (55in) displays „ Tandberg C20 videoconference unit „ Extron DXP44 matrix „ Extron DTP-HDMI TX/RX kits „ Yamaha BD-A1020 Bluray player

OTHER AUDIO „ ClearOne Converge Pro 840T conferencing system „ D-Mitri DAI-24, DAIO-24, DAO-24 I/O units

CONTROL „ AMX MXT-1000 10.1in touchpanels „ AMX DVX-3156HD 10x4 presentation switcher „ AMX MXA-MPL-300 multipreview units „ AMX NXV-300 virtual touchpanel

VIDEO „ Panasonic AW-HE60 camera

May 2014 53

SOLUTIONS: JYSKE BANK, SILKEBORG [DE-CORRELATION AND GAIN] John Pellowe observes: “The idea of putting a lot of loudspeakers and mics into rooms isn’t new, and the idea of voice lift systems isn’t new. What is new is that we now have the computational power to create many decorrelated signal paths such that adjacent microphones and loudspeakers are electronically decoupled from each other. We’re also able to optimise delays and other parameters necessary to create a system with the desired level of gain. “In some respects a voice lift system is more of a challenge than a reverberation system because a high level of system gain is critically important – especially where microphones are some distance from people speaking. We achieve high gain in a number of ways and our early reflection processors are a fundamental part of this, ensuring that de-correlated

the right time.” The team aimed for an RT appropriate for cinema, and ended up with a figure just slightly above this. This involved the use of various acoustic treatment measures by the architect – for instance, what looks like a wooden floor is actually a carpet. Following the installation of the Constellation system, the commissioning process included verification and tuning by Meyer Sound. Freddy Meyer from the company’s European Technical Services spent a

signals are applied to adjacent loudspeakers. There is no direct connection from the microphones to the speakers either, as all microphone signals pass through the early reflection processor before being applied to loudspeakers. “The secret of Constellation – both for reverberation and for early reflections – is that all the microphones and loudspeakers are decorrelated from one another. Conversely, where loudspeaker signals are correlated (the same sound on adjacent channels), as you increase system gain the risk of feedback increases because adjacent loudspeakers tend to behave like a single loudspeaker. With Constellation, all loudspeakers are de-correlated, so you can achieve higher system gain without coloration and low frequency build-up as gain is increased.”

week checking the system for “phase, level, appearance – everything”, according to Jørgensen. He took a lot of data back to Berkeley, where the Constellation team carried out calculations on how the system should be tuned. FINE TUNING After that, senior scientist Dr Roger Schwenke and Constellation project designer Ana Lorente came to Jyske Bank and spent nine days tuning the system. Later on, Schwenke and Pellowe came back and did the final

An engineer’s sketch of the design for the condenser microphone mounts; these had to hold the microphones in place while also isolating them from rooftop noise and vibration

54 May 2014

Key players: (L-R) Steen Mertz of Jyske Bank, who instigated the project; Roger Schwenke of Meyer Sound, who voiced and calibrated the Constellation system; Anders Jørgensen of Stouenberg, who project-managed the Constellation install; and John Pellowe, Constellation project director at Meyer Sound

work – bringing the science and the emotion respectively to the sound, as Jørgensen describes it. Or, alternatively, “Freddy did the structural work, Roger did the scientific part, and John made the system sound as incredible as it does.” The Constellation system uses Meyer Sound’s D-Mitri platform. Two D-Mitri processors contain the VRAS processors that are at the heart of Constellation – carrying out a staggering number of calculations 96,000 times per second. More than 60 speakers are used, along with 25 microphones. The speakers are predominantly a mixture of the compact 4in MM4XP and MM-4XPD models: the latter is the cardioid model, whose rear rejection minimises the level of sound exciting the curved ceiling. There are also eight MM-10XP mini subwoofers along the roofline, and two UP-4XP speakers, which provide sound reinforcement for the projection screen. Finally, four Stella-8C ceiling speakers relay Constellation output to the refreshment area. The system has a number of operating modes. In Presentation mode, there is a strong emphasis on voice energy from the presenter in front of the videowall. If someone asks a question from somewhere else, this is returned to the presenter at a much lower level, “so the presenter certainly has the upper hand”, comments Pellowe. In what the bank calls Debate mode, the gain is raised in the audience areas – “so the presenter still has the upper hand, but it’s more of an open platform”. In Conference Table mode, energy is focused into the middle of the room, but the loudspeakers are muted in the rest of the room, so anyone chatting in a corner isn’t assisted by the

Constellation system. Small Groups mode – which Pellowe reports is the favourite of the bank staff – uses the VRAS processors in reverberation mode. “If you’re close to someone you can hear them very clearly, but if you’re far away, you can’t – the clarity deteriorates with distance,” explains Pellowe. There are also various music modes which are used by the company choir, and for special events such as company parties. The Constellation system is run via an AMX controller, which also looks after the videowall, lighting, conference systems and more. Alternatively, it can be controlled from laptop in the rackroom or via a web page. For each operating mode of Constellation, there’s a level control – adjusting the strength of the system depending on requirements. There are also four reverberation times, ranging from 0.8s to 4s – the latter being particularly enjoyed by the bank’s choir, says Pellowe. “It’s completely out of context for the space, but if you close your eyes you can imagine you’re in a cathedral – which is kind of cool.” “Steen says, ‘When nobody notices the system, it’s working perfectly,’” says Jørgensen. This is a feature common to many Constellation installations: the result sounds so natural that people aren’t sure if it’s switched on – until they hear the difference when it’s switched off. As Jørgensen himself puts it: “It should feel like the walls are talking to you in some way, rather than feeling like the room is being amplified artificially.” This project is a finalist for two InstallAwards (Corporate/ Industrial category) next month – the Star Product Award (for Constellation) and the Teamwork Award. Jorgensen is particularly happy about the latter.

“We had a really productive collaboration with Meyer Sound,” he says. “Everyone we worked with knows what they’re doing, and knows what they’re talking about. If there’s something they’re not capable of, there’s always someone in the background who knows about that particular area.” Additionally, this was an unusual project in that two integration companies were involved: Mertz chose local company AV Centret to install the AV and control systems, with Stouenborg concentrating on Constellation (including interfacing it with the AMX system). “It was also really good to work with Jyske Bank and AV Centret. It’s a big achievement to get two AV suppliers to work together – that doesn’t normally happen in Denmark.” While Jørgensen admits to having initially felt uneasy at the prospect of working alongside a competitor, he’s very pleased with the outcome. “On the level that we worked together, it was really good – and we’re talking about working together in the future because we can complement each other on different projects.” Pellowe is equally effusive about both integrators’ attention to detail throughout the project. He says: “This is one of the most perfectly executed installations I’ve encountered – the quality of the work is just outstanding.” „


The right atmosphere The Atmos-equipped Studio 1 also features a JBL/Crown rig

A new multiscreen cinema complex is home to the first Dolby Atmos installation in Italy, writes Mike Clark ANNOUNCED AS “the most significant development in cinema audio since surround sound”, Dolby Atmos enables filmmakers to precisely position and move sounds anywhere in a cinema theatre – even over spectators’ heads – heightening every scene’s realism and impact. The first Atmos system installed in Italy was chosen by entrepreneur Orazio Brigadieci who decided to take the Cinema Royal, which had laid abandoned for 10 years in the Sicilian city of Gela, and transform it into the Hollywood Multicinema. The new multi-screen venue, which opened its doors at the end of 2013, also features four Christie HFR (High Frame Rate) projectors. The interior of the building was completely restructured to host four theatres, new projection booths and complementary services (food service and film-related 56 May 2014

merchandising sales). A JBL/Crown rig was installed in the 188-seat Studio 1 (the Atmos room), to implement the spatial, objectbased 3D sound provided by the new Dolby platform. Thirty JBL 8340A highpower cinema surround enclosures are divided into six symmetrical left/right zones (side, rear and top surround), mounted on the side and rear walls and on the ceiling. In addition, five JBL 4739 + 4732-M/HF 4732 ScreenArray systems sit behind and at the sides of the 14m x 6m screen, with three front JBL 4645C 18in 800W subwoofers and four more on surround chores. The Crown CTs powerhouse comprises two CTs 3000, 10 CTs 1200 and 16 CTs 600, each fitted with a PIP-BLU module. The speaker set-up is optimised by a BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 12 x 8 processor and processed by the new Dolby

CP850 Atmos cinema unit. The sound system was designed by Ehome Italia Service Srl (Christie’s exclusive Italian distributor for cinema) and Harman Professional’s Italian distributor Leading Technologies of Monza. Installation and system integration was also by Ehome Italia, led by site manager Francesco Giambanco. Involved from the outset, Leading Technologies fulfilled the order after the JBL/ Crown combination had been recommended by the system integrator. Rome architect Pierluigi Celata, responsible for the overall architectural design, took particular care with the design and construction of the pre-fabricated dividing walls and floors, to ensure enhanced acoustic insulation between the theatres themselves and other areas of the venue. Giuseppe Di Marco, sales


installation, and large-scale events

„ Headquartered in Garbagnate (Milan), Ehome Italia Service Srl was established in 1998 by a group of experts in fields, such as digital projection, multimedia innovations and 3D video

„ The company has carried out over 320 digital cinema installations including the first 3D projection system with two stacked projectors and the first 4K digital system

„ Core business includes 2D/3D digital projection system design and installation, virtual reality, control room design, multimedia system and theme park design and

manager with Ehome Italia Service Srl, explains: “Thanks to the precision of the work done by the architect at the drawing board stage and during construction, following all the necessary technical installation indications and the Dolby Atmos guidelines, our team had absolutely no problems with the installation of the equipment involved.” With its partners on the project, Ehome supplied and installed all the audio and video technology and, in the case of the Atmos system, Dolby consultant Marco Stefani, responsible for approval and commissioning,

„ Key projects include 3D Rewind Roma (a theme park with a 3D video history of Imperial Rome) projection systems for RAI and Mediaset TV studio sets and control room installations for Italian state railways

carried out the test and the final calibration, after which a final check was run prior to the room receiving Dolby Atmos certification. Stefani continues: “For Atmos theatres, the architects prepare a design following Dolby guidelines for Atmos systems, which is passed to the consultants appointed for the approval of Atmos designs – there is another Dolby consultant in Italy, but he doesn’t do this type of work.” PRECISE PLACEMENT Speaker placement and aiming must be very precise

SOLUTIONS: HOLLYWOOD MULTICINEMA, SICILY [INSTALLED] AUDIO „ Dolby Atmos „ JBL 8340A surround speakers „ JBL 8320 surround speakers „ JBL 4732 (4739 + 4732M/HF) arrays „ JBL 3731 (5641 + 3732M/HF) arrays „ JBL 3732 (3739 + 3732M/HF) arrays „ JBL 4642A subwoofer „ JBL 4645C subwoofers „ Crown CTs amplifiers „ Crown DSi amplifiers „ BSS Soundweb London BLU -100 processor „ Dolby CP850 Atmos cinema unit

Various Crown CTs units power the setup

in relation to the RLP (Reference Listening Point), which is two-thirds of the way down the room and mid-way between the side walls, and speakers must be calibrated to obtain 85dB at the RLP. Once the design has been approved, all the data is passed on to a spreadsheet, and after this has also been approved, the installer proceeds with installation according to these documents. Stefani continues: “When everything is in place and tested, the consultant checks that the installation has been carried out correctly, runs a test and carries out a final calibration, using eight microphones appropriately positioned in the room, phonometer, spectrum analyser, etc. Dolby Atmos’ auto-EQ software then sends a sweep to each channel, which is recorded by the microphones, and the file created with the necessary EQ is uploaded on to the Dolby CP850 cinema processor.” The other three rooms in the Hollywood (all operating with Dolby 7.1 surround), feature an impressive hardware total of 24 JBL 8320 three-way surround enclosures, 22 JBL 8340A two-way THX surround speakers, six JBL 3731 (5641 + 3732-M/HF) three-way screen arrays, three JBL 3732 (3739 + 3732-M/HF) threeway screen arrays, two JBL

4645C 18in subwoofers and a JBL 4642A behind-screen subwoofer. Power is courtesy of Crown DSi series amps (15 DSi 2000, two DSi 1000 and a DSi 4000). ATMOS ELSEWHERE As well as the Gela venue, there are currently three Atmos theatres in Mestre (Venice) and another at Rome’s Casa del Cinema, which has been renamed the Dolby Room. In Rome, there’s also a private Atmos viewing theatre owned by Warner Brothers. An Atmos theatre can be used to project films with any type of audio (7.1, 5,1, stereo, etc), as the Dolby processor automatically adapts the system configuration according to audio content. The projector in the Hollywood Multicinema is a Christie CP4230 HFR (High Frame Rate), one of the latest additions to the manufacturer’s Solaria digital units and the world’s first Superior 4K DLP cinema projector. The other three rooms also have Christie HFR projectors (two 2K CP2210 and a 2K CP2220). High frame rate movies record and play visuals at twice the rate or more of what’s shown in today’s cinemas. Increasing the frame rate stops the blurring, flickering and stuttering visuals that are common with 24fps movies. The Christie projectors were installed by Francesco

VIDEO „ Christie CP4230 HFR projector „ Christie CP2210 HFR projectors „ Christie CP2220 HFR projector „ GDC Technology SX-200AR digital cinema server

Giambanco and Emiliano Brunello, Ehome’s Christie system technical specialist, who was responsible for the fine-tuning of the projection systems and the GDC SX-200AR digital cinema server installed in each of the four theatres, as well as the final tests. Hong Kong-headquartered GDC Technology is the world’s second-largest digital cinema solutions provider and its SX-2000AR server supports SD, HD, 2K and 4K resolution. Leading Technologies project manager and sound engineer, Alessandro Gianelli, who assisted with the sound design, concludes: “As well as ensuring the city a leading-edge venue offering important leisure and cultural facilities, the new cinema has made an important contribution to upgrading the area. An additional adjacent building was also built to host Studios 5 and 6 in the near future. The new Atmos system debuted on screenings of The Hobbit and Gravity and reaction from customers and impact at the box office have been extremely encouraging.” „

May 2014 57


Water world

The largest indoor aquarium in the country relies heavily on QSC’s Q-Sys system, writes James Christopher [ABOUT THE INSTALLER] „ Design Electronics has been operating in Southern Ontario and beyond for more than 30 years „ The company focuses on providing AV, audio, lighting, security and surveillance, and access control solutions to the corporate, government, retail, institutional, industrial and residential markets „ Projects include a showcase restaurant for Boston Pizza, a world-class boardroom for Hudbay Minerals and an AV culinary kitchen lab for Niagara College

More than 230 QSC AcousticDesign surface and ceiling-mount loudspeakers have been installed throughout the aquarium

LOCATED AT the base of the iconic CN Tower in Toronto, the state-of-the-art Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened earlier this year. The new high-tech building, shaped like a multi-faceted shell, features an open window on the roof above the main entrance, which represents a window to the aquatic world. The facility’s new sound reinforcement and paging systems feature a full complement of QSC loudspeakers and amplifiers, managed by a Q-Sys Core 500i integrated system platform. The Q-Sys system centralises the control of all background audio content throughout the aquarium and represents the first large-scale installation of

[INSTALLED] AUDIO – ALL QSC „ Q-Sys Core 500i integrated system platform „ AcousticDesign AD-Ci52T 5.25in, ADC42T 4in, AD-S82 8in, AD-S52T 5.25in and ADS32T 3in speakers „ CX108, CX204, CX602 and CX1202 amplifiers „ PS-1600H 16-button page stations 58 May 2014

the processor to feature the optional MTP-128 playback engine, which expands the system’s capabilities from the standard 16 tracks to 128 tracks. At 135,000sqft, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is the largest indoor aquarium in the country, encompassing nine galleries that represent freshwater and marine habitats ranging from the Great Lakes to tropical reefs and housing over 16,000 fish in 1.5 million gallons of water. The audio portion of the aquarium experience features a 70V distributed system comprised of more than 230 QSC AcousticDesign surface and ceiling-mount loudspeakers, powered by nearly 50 channels of CX Series amplifiers, plus K Series active loudspeakers, all under the control of Q-Sys. The Core 500i acts as a single point source for playback of all background music and some sound design elements throughout the aquarium and outside the building’s main entrance. The Core 500i was factory-fitted with the MTP-128 playback engine, together with a media drive upgrade enabling storage of up to 130 hours of audio, eliminating the

need for any external media servers. Q-Sys also manages two-way communications with the dive shows at some of the exhibits, as well as routing and reinforcement of the wireless microphone systems used at the various sea life presentations. “The Q-Sys offers a fully integrated solution and is based on a centralised processing architecture, allowing all of the processing to take place in one unit,” says Khalil Williams, director of operations/ project manager of Design Electronics, which was selected to supply and install all audio, video, security and CCTV equipment throughout the building. “This gave us complete flexibility with the system design as we could route any input to any output without convoluted signal paths. Q-Sys offered us a powerful suite of software and peripherals that made this project’s objectives very easy to achieve.” The Core is installed with six Q-Sys I/O frames that provide interconnection and routing to and from external equipment. “Due to the vast size of the building, two networked rack rooms were required on separate

floors,” says Williams. “By leveraging the Q-Sys system’s Layer 3 protocols, we were able to build a simple audio network and transmit all sources throughout the entire building, including to a third rack room on the office level for the classroom environments at the Discovery Centre. Q-Sys works on standard Gigabit ethernet, so it can easily run on a shared network without segregating audio traffic via VLAN configuration.” The Core 500i is configured to feed 40 individual zones that are outfitted with a variety of AcousticDesign ceiling-mount loudspeakers, including AD-Ci52T 5.25in and AD-C42T 4in models, and surface-mount loudspeakers, including AD-S82 8in, ADS52T 5.25in and AD-S32T 3in

models. CX108 8-channel, CX204 4-channel, CX602 2-channel and CX1202 2-channel amps power the AcousticDesign loudspeakers through the facility. Design Electronics also installed two QSC PS-1600H 16-button page stations at the aquarium. “The PS1600H features a simple and redundant Ethernet connection to Q-Sys, and the Q-Sys software allowed us to provide extensive and sophisticated paging functionality to suit the client’s needs. The user controlled interfaces are very user-friendly, and allow the facility staff to easily manage daily security code changes or pre-recorded announcements. Virtual paging stations can be created on any networked computer and there is even the capability to page remotely via the internet,” says Williams. „ The Q-Sys Core 5001 is installed with six I/O frames


Making the grade THE BABASAHEB Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow is one of the premier Central Universities in India. Located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the 250acre university campus is developing fast and already boasts various facilities, including a health centre, library and sports facility. In tune with its pursuit of excellence in education, the management decided to install an advanced PA system. To achieve this, Sun Infonet was bought on board as the PA system provider and Ravi Electronics was the local system integrator. As part of the upgrade, the auditorium required a PA system capable of delivering powerful yet controlled performance in any live situation. The university opted for Quest Audio’s three-way multipurpose 900W QM 215FRs as main

[INSTALLED] AUDIO „ Allen & Heath ZED-428 mixer „ Camco Vortex 200V and Vortex 6 amps „ Nexo RS15 subs „ Nexo PS15-R2 subs „ Quest Audio QM 215FR speakers „ Quest Audio QM 12MP stage monitors „ Quest Audio MS 601 monitor speaker system „ Quest Audio QA 3004, QA 2004, QTA 6120 and QTA 1480 amplifiers „ Shure SM58, SM57 and CVG18 mics „ Shure SVX88 dual diversity receiver with SVX1 body pack transmitter „ Shure DFR22 audio processor

Nexo PS15-R2 and RS15 speakers have been installed

speakers, QM 12MP highoutput stage monitors, and a wall-mounted 6.5in MS 601

The PA system extends beyond the main auditorium

60 May 2014

A leading Central University is benefitting from an advanced PA system, writes Tom Bradbury

monitor speaker system. Amplification is via Quest QA 3004s and QA 2004s for stage monitors. The green room features a QTA 6120 while a QTA 1480 has been installed in the waiting area. To complement the main system and maximise sound coverage, Nexo PS15-R2 speakers were fitted on and under the balcony and powered by a Camco Vortex 200V. Nexo RS15s subwoofers were fitted under the stage and powered by a Camco Vortex 6 amplifier. Microphones come courtesy of Shure, with

the SM58 tailored for lead and backing vocals and the SM57 for instruments. In addition the SVX88 dual diversity receiver with SVX1 bodypack transmitter and SVX2 wireless handheld transmitter cover moving performance on the stage, while SRH840 headphones have been selected for control room monitoring of live performances. Additionally, Shure’s DFR22 2 x 2 audio processor controls feedback reduction and signal processing. The system is managed by a four-bus Allen & Heath

ZED-428 mixer, which handles processing and synchronisation. Vijay Sinha, product specialist at Sun Infonet, says: “The system sounds uniform and clean all around the auditorium, which is what we all expected. The Quest Q Motion speaker systems just add the cherry to the cake.” „


Rants and ramblings A PROJECTION mapping in the UK earlier this month stirred up strong reactions in the media. Supermarket chain Morrisons used the 54m wingspan of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture as the projection surface for… a picture of a baguette, as part of its ‘I’m Cheaper’ campaign. (Unfortunately we don’t have a picture of the projection to show you – but if you imagine a French stick in warm golden colours, occupying almost the whole width of the wings, that’s basically it.) It’s fair to say that most projection mapping is done with the knowledge and consent of the owner of the building or structure that is being used. Those occasions where this isn’t the case generally fall under the heading of guerilla marketing, where the objective is to keep the image in place just long enough to take some publicity photographs, and then the crew disappears off into the night before the police come along. This would appear to be the case with the Morrisons stunt. According to press reports, Gateshead Council was not consulted beforehand, and would not have given permission if it had. And the supermarket apologised for causing offence. “We were trying something different, which was meant to put a smile on people’s faces, but clearly it wasn’t to everybody’s tastes. We’re so proud of our northern roots and the last thing we want to do is offend anybody,” said a spokesman. We’re not quite sure where our sympathies lie here. Some of the online commenters didn’t seem to have grasped that this was just a shortlived projection, rather than converting the statue permanently into an advertising billboard. However, using such a well-loved regional symbol for something as mundane as advertising bread does strike us as rather crass. There is one positive aspect to this, though perhaps not the one that Morrisons or its agencies were hoping for: some Twitter commentators said that they hadn’t realised how much the Angel meant to them until they saw it messed around with in this way.

Bits and pieces from the editorial cutting-room floor



We go on-site with the Twitterati this month

Adder Technology................. 7 Albiral.....................................24 Apart Audio.......................... 47 ASL......................................... 12 Ateis.......................................29 Atlas Sound..........................41 Audio-Technica......................4 AV Stumpfl........................... 57 Barco..................................... 36 Basalte....................................3 BBG Peerless-AV................. 39 Blackmagic Design................9 Cadac.....................................49 Community Pro....................61 d&b audiotechnik................13 Datapath...............................30 Dexon....................................... 7 DiGiCo.................................... 27 Hetec..................................... 24 IBC.......................................... 52 InfoComm.............................46 InOut...................................... 31 InstallAwards.......................45 InstallMarket................. 32-33 Kramer...................................25 Lab.gruppen.........................35 Lectrosonics........................ 19 Leyard.................................... 17 Lightware... Inside front cover

IF YOU thought that, as far as projection is concerned, you couldn’t get more short-lived than guerilla marketing stunts, think again. Last month a team from Bristol University demonstrated a system for projecting onto bubbles, which then burst and deliver a pleasant smell. SensaBubble, as it’s called, is a “chrono-sensory mid-air display system that generates scented bubbles to deliver information to the user via a number of sensory modalities”, apparently. It produces bubbles of various sizes, and sends them out along a set path displaying visual information, before they burst and release the olfactory component of the message. As well as education and gaming, the team believe that it one of SensaBubble’s potential uses could be as a display for persistent alerts – and some people clearly agree: it received an award at CHI2014, which, in case you need reminding, is an international conference on human factors in computing systems.

Meyer Sound............................. .................Outside back cover Mode-AL...................................5 Opticis................................... 21 Peavey................................... 59 QSC........................................ 60 Riedel.................... Front cover Sommer Cable..................... 11 StudioKing............................ 50 SunBrite................................ 15 Taiden........ Inside back cover Tannoy...................................43 TOA.........................................55 Vaddio....................................22

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62 May 2014

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Installation May 2014 digital edition  

AV integration in a networked world

Installation May 2014 digital edition  

AV integration in a networked world