DOWNTOWN BERKELEY TRANSIT HUB’S CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC SOUL
C O M M E R C I A L
T E C H N O L O G Y
A N D
A P P L I C A T I O N
AUDIO ARTS MASS TRANSIT BART PLAZA
February 18, 2019 Vol. 65 No. 2
FUTUREPROOFING EMERGENCY OPERATIONS RIVERSIDE CA’S EAST COUNTY EOC WAS DESIGNED FOR EXPANSION
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Sound & Communications February 2019
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INTRODUCING RACK LIGHTNING
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Made in USA
CONTENTS Volume 65 Number 2
A N D
A P P L I C A T I O N
F E AT U R E S 34 FUTUREPROOFING EMERGENCY OPERATIONS
Riverside CA’s East County EOC was designed for expansion. By Dan Daley
T E C H N O L O G Y
42 AUDIO ARTS + MASS TRANSIT = BART PLAZA
C O M M E R C I A L
Resources exist to seed the next generation of integration professionals. By Kelly Perkins
Downtown Berkeley transit hub’s creative and artistic soul.
58 AIRPORTS GETTING IN THE LOOP
50 HIGH FLYIN’
By Stephen O. Frazier
By Jim Stokes
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport undergoes extensive upgrades. By Suzie Hammond
Hearing loops are the wheelchair ramp of the hard of hearing.
62 GETTING UP TO SPEED FOR AN AVOIP FUTURE The IT manager and you. Part 3
By Rob Ziv, CTS-D, CTS-I, ISF-C, DSCE
DEPARTMENTS 11 NEWSLETTER 20 HOUSE OF WORSHIP: BUSINESS
30 INDUSTRY POV
Tech For Ministry: My top seven equipment list for 2019. Part 1
The Ultimate Command Center: Ensuring audio system connectivity, functionality and flexibility.
By David Lee Jr., PhD
By Marjorie Daniel
22 THE COMMISH
32 INDUSTRY POV
Contractual Lines Of Demarcation: Who does what? By James Maltese, CTS-D, CTS-I, CQD, CQT
24 WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
56 BUILDING YOUR TALENT PIPELINE
Who Owns the Code?: Concluding the discussion that we began in November. Part 2
By Douglas Kleeger, CTS-D, DMC-E/S, XTP-E, KCD
26 AVIXA POV
Energy Management: It’s Just Good Business: AVIXA overhauls its standard for monitoring and controlling AV system power. By Ann Brigida, CTS, CStd
28 INDUSTRY POV
Commercial AV, Live Production Trends Converge: And AV-over-IP is driving it. By Brian Olson
Sound & Communications February 2019
Quieter Is Healthier: Sound absorption can be a critical component of promoting wellness. By John Calder
64 MARKET BRIEF 66 NEWS 70 CALENDAR 72 PEOPLE 73 PRODUCTS 77 MEDIA 77 SOFTWARE 79 CENTERSTAGE 82 MARKETPLACE
52 COLUMNS 8 WAVELENGTH By Dan Ferrisi
14 SOUND ADVICE
By Peter Mapp, PhD, FASA, FAES
By Mike Brandofino
84 AVENT HORIZON By Pete Putman, CTS
WAVELENGTH Some months ago, I wrote an editorial arguing that the “convergence” we’ve seen between audiovisual technology and IT is paralleled by an intermixing of industr y trade shows, which, at one time, were much easier to delineate. That editorial came to mind during the NAMM Show—the annual gathering of the music products industr y—last month. Having covered the musical instrument space for six years as Editor of sister publication The Music & Sound Retailer, I distinctly remember the NAMM Shows of the early 2010s, which were heavily trafficked by mom-and-pop music shops and where guitars, drums, keyboards, instrument amps and mid-level speakers stretched from wall to wall. Fast-for warding to the present, the show has evolved markedly. As I traversed ACC North at the Anaheim Convention Center, the selection of commercial audio products on display called to mind the west coast AES shows of the past, prior to the association hitching its wagon to NAB Show New York and deciding to maintain an annual presence at the Jacob Javits Convention
Center. Developers of ever ything from line-array speakers, to power amplifiers, to audio networking products, to immersive audio systems lined the aisles. And there were AV integrators there, too— perhaps those whose travel budgets preclude a trip to New York NY each year. That’s not to mention the most obvious tie-in, of course: the AES@NAMM Pro Sound Symposium: Live & Studio 2019, which was held concurrently. One interesting wrinkle for this year’s NAMM Show trip was that it was simultaneous with the infamous government shutdown that left TSA agents, air-traffic controllers and many others without pay. Fortunately, my flights were unaffected; the whole situation, however, drew attention to the sometimes-unpredictable nature of the federal bureaucracy. And government is top of mind this month, as February always brings Sound & Communications’ “Government Facilities & Public Works” theme issue. Interestingly, all the projects we feature this month—Riverside CA’s East County EOC, Berkeley CA’s Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza and Aus-
tin TX’s Austin-Bergstrom International Airport—represent primarily state and local investments, rather than federal expenditures. Perhaps, away from the national spotlight, Dan Ferrisi local government is better able to govern—and to invest. Delving deeper into this month’s issue, we have an interesting dispatch from frequent contributor Stephen O. Frazier, who discusses the growing prevalence of hearing-assistance systems in airports around the world. Plus, NSCA presents the first in its quarterly series of features, this one centered on strategies to build your company’s talent pipeline. Twenty-nineteen has started with a flurr y of activity, both in our industr y and across the world. Hang on for what’s next!
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A V F O R S Y S T E M S I N T E G R AT O R S , C O N T R A C T O R S A N D C O N S U LTA N T S
Editor Dan Ferrisi firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Anthony Vargas email@example.com Assistant Editor Amanda Mullen firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editors Shonan Noronha, EdD Pete Putman, CTS Jim Stokes
Contributors Mike Brandofino Ann Brigida, CTS, CStd John Calder Dan Daley Marjorie Daniel Stephen O. Frazier Suzie Hammond Douglas Kleeger, CTS-D, DMC-E/S, XTP-E, KCD David Lee Jr., PhD James Maltese, CTS-D, CTS-I, CQD, CQT Peter Mapp, PhD, FASA, FAES Brian Olson Kelly Perkins Pete Putman, CTS Jim Stokes Technical Council Joseph Bocchiaro III, PhD, CStd, CTS-D, CTS-I, ISF-C, The Sextant Group, Inc. Douglas Kleeger, CTS-D, DMC-E/S, XTP-E, KCD David Lee Jr., PhD, Lee Communication Inc. Peter Mapp, PhD, FASA, FAES, Peter Mapp Associates Shonan Noronha, EdD, Media Resources Pete Putman, CTS, ROAM Consulting LLC Art Director Janice Pupelis email@example.com Digital Art Director Fred Gumm Production Manager Steve Thorakos Sales Assistant/Ad Traffic Jeannemarie Graziano firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager Robert L. Iraggi email@example.com Classifieds firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation email@example.com Operations Manager Robin Hazan Associate Publisher John Carr firstname.lastname@example.org President/Publisher Vincent P. Testa Editorial and Sales Office Sound & Communications 25 Willowdale Avenue Port Washington, New York 11050-3779 (516) 767-2500 | FAX: (516) 767-9335 Sound & Communications Sound & Communications Blue Book IT/AV Report The Music & Sound Retailer DJ Times • DJ Expo ConventionTV@NAMM ConventionTV@InfoComm
CONTRIBUTORS Ann Brigida, CTS, CStd, is Senior Director of Standards for AVIXA. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Society of Standards Professionals (SES) and she was the publication’s council director. A licensed educator and former business owner, Brigida has won numerous writing awards.
John Calder has more than four decades’ professional sound experience as a musician, performer, studio owner, engineer, sound designer and audio mixer. Other credits include product developer, instructor, marketer and video producer. He is Director of Marketing and Communications for Acoustical Surfaces and ASI Architectural, and Director of Retail Sales for Acoustic Geometry.
Marjorie Daniel is the Marketing Director for Global Government Markets at Shure. She leads the creation and implementation of Shure’s marketing strategy for governmental customers and inter-governmental organizations. She was Capgemini’s Global Head of Public Sector Marketing and Global Head of Cybersecurity Marketing.
Stephen O. Frazier, a hearing loss support specialist, heads the Loop New Mexico initiative and co-chairs the Committee for Communication Access in New Mexico. He is one of the founding members of the national HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop Task Force.
Suzie Hammond has been a freelance writer for many years, across five continents. She has authored numerous articles, ghostwritten books, and enjoyed discovering and writing about the variety that spices our lives. Music, wine, medicine and business have held an enduring fascination. For more information, go to www.goodwriter.info.
Brian Olson joined NewTek in 2016 to lead strategic development for new and existing product lines, guiding and designing the next generation of products that transform the video industry. Prior to joining NewTek, Olson was the Director of Marketing, Product Management & Business Development at Ross Video for XPression.
Following her career at Vaddio, Kelly Perkins worked for AVI Systems to help solve the elusive “selling services instead of products” question. Currently, she’s responsible for the development, direction and implementation of strategic initiatives and programs that align with the NSCA Education Foundation’s mission, helping an industry she loves.
Contributing Editor Jim Stokes has been involved in the AV industry as an AV technician and writer for 40 years. Read his thriller novel, Sunrise Across America, which includes an AV mystery chapter; for information, contact him at wordsandmusique@gmail. com.
Technical Council member Douglas Kleeger, CTS-D, DMC-E/S, XTP-E, KCD, shares insights gained from more than 35 years’ experience in the AV industry in his “What Would You Do?” column, as well as “Secrets To Success.” He offers a unique perspective on how the AV industry affects us.
Dan Daley has covered the confluence of technology, business and culture for almost 30 years. He has also been a successful composer and recording studio owner, and he authored the book Unwritten Rules: Inside the Business of Country Music.
Sound & Communications (ISSN 0038-1845) (USPS 943-140) is published monthly for $25 (US), $35 (Canada & Mexico) and $65 (all other countries), by Sound & Communications Publications, Inc., 25 Willowdale Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050-3779. Periodicals postage paid at Port Washington, NY, and additional mailing offices. Copyright © 2019 SOUND & COMMUNICATIONS PUBLISHING, INC. Reprint of any part of contents without permission is forbidden. Titles Registered in the U.S. Patent Office. POSTMASTER: Send U.S. address changes to Sound & Communications, PO Box 1767, Lowell, MA 01853-1767. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2.
Sound & Communications
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NEWSLETTER PANDUIT ACQUIRES ATLONA Panduit Corp. (Tinley Park IL), known for electrical and network infrastructure solutions, has announced that it has acquired Atlona (San Jose CA), which designs and develops products for a range of commercial AV and IT markets worldwide. Atlona’s product categories include networked AV, signal distribution, wireless collaboration and AV system automation. As part of the acquisition, the Atlona team will join Panduit’s Enterprise business group. Atlona will continue to serve its customers from its global headquarters for all sales, customer support and training-related inquiries. According to Dennis Renaud, President and CEO of Panduit, “[Atlona’s] industry-leading solutions complement Panduit’s extensive physical infrastructure portfolio, which will allow us to offer customers a quality end-to-end solution as they move to increasingly complex network infrastructure systems.” Ilya Khayn, Atlona’s CEO, added, “There are strong synergies between our companies.... This partnership will ultimately provide our market channels with a single-source solution and expand our footprint globally.”
MARCO EXPANDS IN WISCONSIN, PURCHASES ESG Marco (St. Cloud MN), a technology services provider, has announced that it has purchased Enterprise Systems Group (ESG, Little Chute WI), a business IT services company. ESG has been providing technology solutions since 1992. The company has 75 employees, and it provides phone systems, access control and video surveillance, audio/video and data-networking solutions. ESG’s employees have joined the Marco team, and they’ll be serving customers from the company’s offices in Little Chute, Brookfield WI and Madison WI. Marco currently has six other offices in Wisconsin. The company will be operating as ESG for a short time. “We have been serving the state of Wisconsin for the past seven years,” Jeff Gau, Marco’s CEO, said. “This acquisition accelerates our growth in the IT services business throughout the state of Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula. We welcome ESG’s clients to Marco and look forward to being their technology provider.” This is Marco’s seventh acquisition in the past year. Last November, the company expanded to the east coast with its purchase of Phillips Office Solutions (Middletown PA), a copier/printer and document management solutions company. Marco now has 1,430 employees and serves more than 35,000 customers from its 64 locations nationally.
INLINE AUDIO DEBUTS AT NAMM SHOW At the NAMM Show, Inline Audio (Hong Kong), which describes itself as an “audio incubator,” launched. The company’s Founders are Al Walker, who also serves as CEO, and Costa Lakoumentas, who also serves as COO. The company pairs product ideas and audio design talent with a community of investors. Inline Audio offers inventors a safe, secure outlet for their development ideas, along with the cross-functional technical, engineering, marketing and sales support they need to get started. The company invests its own resources in promising ideas, with the goal of bringing the products to market. The first phase of incubation is to get the product to a functional prototype. The second is to present the prototype as a commercially viable product. Having documentation, bills of materials, production schedules and sales forecasts, brands stand a better chance of securing the capital needed. Inline Audio presents funding opportunities in multiple rounds to appeal to a wide range of investors—from those interested in initial seed funding to those looking for fully developed brand and product propositions. Inline will leverage the supply chain that the Guangdong Pearl River Greater Bay Area offers.
You could have received this NEWSLETTER information about three weeks ago, with more detail and live links, via email. Go to www.soundandcommunications.com to sign up! February 2019
Sound & Communications 11
NEWSLETTER LEA PROFESSIONAL LAUNCHES AT NAMM SHOW LEA Professional (South Bend IN), which will debut a series of amplifiers in the coming months, launched in January at the NAMM Show in Anaheim CA. The engineering, sales/marketing and executive teams feature leaders in their fields who have considerable accomplishments regarding product innovation, business transformation and growth. Blake Augsburger is Founder and CEO. “LEA Professional is inspired by many conversations with members of the professional audio and integrator communities,” Augsburger said. “We listened closely and looked carefully at amplifier performance, networking, UX, and built a range of products and a new company that respects the way things get done today, but that offers a bold new approach capitalizing on new technologies from outside the AV domain.” The first physical manifestation of Augsburger’s strategy is a series of professional grade, twochannel and four-channel amplifiers for small to medium-scale installations. Featuring DSP, wired or Wi-Fi connectivity, webpage configuration and control, the LEA Connect Series will be composed of IoT-enabled, professional-grade amplifiers.
MARK UREDA JOINS BIAMP Biamp (Beaverton OR) has recruited Mark Ureda as Executive Advisor. With more than three decades’ combined leadership in commercial AV systems, Ureda will play a pivotal role in the execution of the company’s global expansion. As a former Senior VP at Harman Professional for Products and Technology, Ureda has an understanding of the commercial AV industry, technology trends and global product strategy, which will strengthen Biamp as the company moves to expand its presence in the conferencing and sight- and sound-reinforcement markets. “I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Mark several years ago, and I came to know him as a leader and visionary,” Rashid Skaf, President, CEO and Co-Chairman of Biamp, said. “Biamp is on an aggressive journey of expansion into new professional audiovisual product categories and markets. Adding Mark to our team as Executive Advisor will help us stay aligned to important industry trends and ensure we leverage Biamp’s core strengths and values....” In addition to his role as CTO and SVP of Harman Pro, Ureda’s career has included terms as President of JBL and VP of Corporate Strategy at Northrop Grumman.
GUITAR CENTER ACQUIRES TVTI Guitar Center (Westlake Village CA) has acquired audio and video integration firm Tunnel Vision Technology Inc. (TVTI, Chicago IL). TVTI is the latest addition to Guitar Center’s Business Solutions Group, which added Audio Visual Design Group (AVDG, San Jose CA) to its portfolio last year. With the addition of TVTI, Guitar Center’s Business Solutions Group will now offer its systems design and integration services to commercial customers in the Midwest. Under the direction of Doug Carnell, Guitar Center’s VP of Business Solutions, the company has been looking for and evaluating opportunities such as this. Carnell remarked, “For the last year, Guitar Center has been looking to bring in unique and trusted design and systems integration firms that are seeking a like-minded strategic business partner focused on the opportunities in the B2B integration sector. With TVTI, we have found such a firm.” Founded in 1999 and with a second office in Bannockburn IL, TVTI has a staff of more than 35. TVTI offers personal and comprehensive in-house project management, audio/video design, installation, programming, IT services and 24-hour service to ensure clients have an outstanding experience.
EAW CO-FOUNDER KENTON FORSYTHE RETURNS Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW, Whitinsville MA), which marked its 40th anniversary last year, has convinced EAW’s Co-Founder and former VP of Strategic Engineering, Kenton Forsythe, to rejoin the company. Long known for his designs, Forsythe’s mid-1970s vintage BH215 dual 15-inch bass horn became the basis of some of EAW’s earliest products. COMPILED BY DAN FERRISI 12 Sound & Communications February 2019
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What’s All The Noise About? Assessing noise in rooms and AV facilities. By Peter Mapp, PhD, FASA, FAES
ne of the most annoying situations in which to find yourself is to be in a noisy room when trying to sleep, concentrate, communicate with colleagues, listen to a lecture or set up an audio system. Noise is a killer of intelligibility, and it can be very distracting or annoying—particularly if it contains a tonal element. We are surrounded by noise all the time, especially in AV-related situations, with noise being generated not only by the equipment itself but also by, or within, the room or venue. Typical culprits are fan-cooled devices— projectors, computers, and some audio amplifiers and processors—together with noise from the air-conditioning system or noise breaking in from external plants, equipment or people. Some noise can be a good thing, because it can mask other distracting sounds and provide us with some stimulus. However, if there is too much noise, it can be distracting or even stressful, degrading communication and speech intelligibility. Those are vital pillars of the learning process, particularly in schools and colleges, or commercially in seminars, meeting rooms, etc. So how much noise is too much, and how do we assess a potential noise issue? First, we have to have a method of measuring and rating a noise. The simplest way is just to measure the “A weighted” sound level, or, more simply, the dBA reading as found on nearly all sound level meters. The “A” weighting curve attempts to adjust the measured sound pressure level (SPL) so that it better agrees with subjective impressions. It does so by attenuating the
14 Sound & Communications February 2019
Figure 1: “A” and “C” sound level weighting curves.
Figure 2: Octave band analysis of desktop PC, also with dBA, dBC and unweighted (Z) SPL values.
Figure 3: Octave band analysis of desktop PC and small UPS. The UPS was annoying, but the PC was not.
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lower-frequency sounds, particularly below 500Hz, where our hearing at low to moderate sound levels is less acute. It also slightly emphasizes sound at 2kHz, where our hearing is most sensitive. The “A” weighting cur ve is shown in Figure 1. Also shown is the “C” weighting cur ve. The “C” weighting was originally introduced to improve the match of a physical measurement of a sound to our subjective impression of its loudness (or noisiness) at higher sound levels. As can be seen, it has a much flatter response, being just -4dB down at 125Hz, as opposed to the -16dB of the “A” weighting. It is also approximately -3dB down at 8kHz, as compared to -1dB of the “A” weighting. Nevertheless, dBA has become the universally adopted method for rating virtually all sounds. The problem with this single-number measure is that it tells you nothing about the character or spectrum of a sound. The latter property is particularly important when it comes to reducing the level of a noise because different materials attenuate (or absorb) sound in dissimilar ways; as such, they might be more or less effective depending on their (and the unwanted sound’s) frequency characteristics. These days, carr ying out an octave band or 1/3 octave band spectral analysis is extremely easy; however, that was not so many years ago. Formerly, each band had to be separately and sequentially measured using an additional filter set. Therefore, 1/3 octave noise measurements were comparatively rare, particularly because one octave resolution can usually provide the required information. Figure 2, for example, shows a 1/1 (one octave) analysis of the fan in my desktop computer at my normal working position. The octave band analysis is on the left-hand side of the figure (blue bars), and it shows the maximum noise to be located in the 250Hz band (47dB); however, the 500Hz band is not far behind, being just 2dB lower at 45dB. The overall “A weighted” SPL is 45dBA,
16 Sound & Communications February 2019
Figure 4: Noise Criteria (NC) curves.
Figure 5: Preferred Noise Criteria (PNC) curves.
Figure 6: NC rating of computer noise.
whereas the “C weighted” value is 51dBC and the unweighted value is 55dBZ. Due to the nature, spectrum and steadiness of the fan noise, I do not find it annoying when working. It does not affect the clarity or intelligibility of communication, and it’s not annoying—but I wouldn’t want it to be any louder. Equally, the noise is not all around me, but, rather, comes from a specific direction and from a specific and known piece of equipment. The noise, however, would be completely unacceptable in my listening room. Indeed, it doesn’t take much for a similar noise to be annoying. The noise of a local uninterruptable power supply (UPS) that I wanted to use is completely unacceptable, despite only being a few dB louder. Figure 3 compares the noise generated (separately) by the two pieces of equipment. To put these numbers in context, 35dBA is the recommended maximum noise level for school classrooms; 35dBA to 40dBA is recommended for boardrooms, conference rooms and courtrooms; and 35dBA to 45dBA is suitable for lecture theaters, assembly halls and similar settings. Ideally, churches would be a little less at 35dBA to 40dBA. Although a useful indicator, a dBA reading is not really sophisticated enough to set a criterion or make an assessment. That fact was recognized many years ago, particularly with respect to the noise from air-conditioning systems and mechanical ser vices. Thus, in 1971, a set of cur ves (weightings) was developed specifically for such noise, based on an octave band spectral analysis of the noise. These were the Noise Criteria (NC) and Preferred Noise Criteria (PNC) cur ves. The NC cur ves range from values of 15 to 70 over the frequency range of 63Hz to 8kHz. I have plotted a set of NC cur ves in Figure 4, but, for clarity, I have omitted those above 45. The cur ves are nominally set at 5dB intervals and crudely follow our nominal hearing sensitivity. The corresponding
PNC cur ves are shown in Figure 5. They have a steeper gradient at low to mid frequencies, and they were created to provide preferred noise spectrum shape in an attempt to reduce the intrusiveness of air-conditioning and mechanical-ser vices noise. For comparison, I have plotted my computer noise on the NC grid, as shown in Figure 6;
this shows it to be the equivalent of NC 41, although, strictly speaking, this should be taken to the nearest value divisible by five. (The NC value is taken by plotting the octave band spectrum onto the NC cur ve background template and then reading the highest-value line with which it (continued on page 76)
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By Mike Brandofino Yorktel
remember it vividly…. I was sitting in the audience at a Microsoft Conference and listening to Bill Gates talk about the technology to come. He started to talk about a time when your refrigerator would be connected to a network, and it’d be able to keep track of what you had to buy. This was around 2003, and, as a CTO, I was thinking, “We are still using dial up for video. How are we ever going to have the ability to connect ever yday devices—and why on earth would we want to?” Although the term was not yet coined, what Bill was talking about is now called the Internet of Things (IoT). Fast-for ward to last year at InfoComm, where I was moderating a panel on the impact of IoT on managed ser vices. It is estimated that the number of IoT devices in operational deployments will exceed 50 billion by 2020, and, yes, that does include smart refrigerators. This alarming growth of connected devices is creating a challenge for anyone who is involved in deploying and managing technology, and it creates some new challenges for managed ser vice providers (MSPs). The variety of IoT devices is truly staggering. Walk down the street and you will see IoT devices ever ywhere you look—parking meters, city bikes, traffic cameras and much more. Walk down the hall in any office building and—setting aside the traditional computers, printers and other office equipment—you now have connected thermostats, lighting and vending machines. The proliferation of IoT devices introduces a scalability challenge never previously experienced, as organizations have to manage fleets of devices. The variety of IoT devices and the
18 Sound & Communications February 2019
The time is right for managed service providers to bring value. large scale of deployments create a security challenge. Ever y connected device has the potential to be an entr y point for cyberattacks. This is especially true for organizations that don’t have a mature security strategy or dedicated resources to manage security. Something as simple as leaving the default admin password when devices are installed can create an access point onto your company’s networks. I recently met with a city government office dealing with a hacking incident; it turned out to be via the heating systems’ control unit. Finally, all these devices produce a prodigious amount of data, with only a small fraction being adequately captured and analyzed. Big Data is a top-10 topic for virtually every CIO of a medium to large company, and a topic that they lack the internal resources to address. Given the scope of the challenges, as well as the limited resources with the skills to manage them, it is logical that MSPs can play a role in helping organizations address their IoT challenges. The key is to understand the role of MSPs, as well as how they should adapt their ser vices. A few areas where an MSP can bring value are as follows: • Device as a Ser vice (DaaS) is a term that we will be hearing more about in the coming years. We are used to it in the mobile-phone space, but, until recently, the model simply wasn’t viable for other devices. That is quickly changing. Offering customers an option where a single ser vice provider can handle all the logistics of staging, imaging and deploying devices as a ser vice will enable organizations to scale according to their needs, without requiring the resources to be in house. • Security Operations Center (SOC) Ser vices is the concept of having an external organization monitor the connected devices and having security experts evaluate alerts and threats. By filtering the large amount of data produced by the security monitoring, the SOC can focus on providing internal IT organizations only information that is actionable, along with suggestions for remediation. • Monitoring On Many Levels: Connected devices can provide many data points, and ser vice providers must be able to monitor and capture the information on many levels. That includes connectivity and operational status, performance and experience statistics, vulnerability and risk status, as well as utilization data. • Big Data Storage and Analytics: The data captured can provide valuable insights into how the device is performing and how it is being used. However, most organizations don’t have the capacity to store large quantities of data and efficiently run reports to analyze it. Ser vice providers will have to be able to provide this type of ser vice to help organizations harness the potential of IoT devices and maximize their return on investment (ROI). We are at an inflection point where MSPs must adapt to address new challenges resulting from our connected world. The timing is right, as customers are now comfortable outsourcing some of these core capabilities, and they’re desperate for help.
THE AUDIO SOURCE
HOUSE OF WORSHIP: BUSINESS
Tech For Ministry, Part 1 My top seven equipment list for 2019. By David Lee Jr., PhD Lee Communication Inc.
believe that this year will be a prosperous one for our industr y. In 2018, I spoke with hundreds of pastors and worship leaders. Those leaders indicated that they will continue to replace outdated technologies used to enhance the worship experience, and they will purchase technologies that enable them to organize and process data far more efficiently. The gear that these leaders desire—and plan to acquire— spans a vast range of audio and video categories. However, seven items are most desired by these leaders. They are the following: video projectors, sound-reinforcement equipment (loudspeakers), digital audio mixing boards, video cameras, video production gear for image magnification (IMAG) and live streaming, moving lights and in-ear monitor systems (IEMs). Video projectors remain the mostdesired technology among houses of worship (HoWs). Why? Because we are now an image-driven society—but you knew that already! There are additional reasons why video projection continues to stay on the “most wanted” list. The overarching reason is that video displays are used in nearly ever y setting. They are used in nurseries, worship spaces where children gather, worship spaces where teenagers gather, social spaces and, of course, the main sanctuar y setting. Historically, a hymnal was used when the congregation engaged in corporate worship. In today’s contemporar y HoWs, however, there is no book that contains the current (and everchanging) songs. Thus, video projec-
20 Sound & Communications February 2019
Video projectors remain the most-desired technology among houses of worship.
tion is used to display the lyrics. In addition, think back to when congregants looked down to read song lyrics. With the use of video-projection systems, the entire congregation can look up and see each other as they sing. That creates a shared experience and a sense of community for the congregants—something that is strongly desired by the majority of those attending. An unintended positive consequence of displaying the lyrics is that, in English-speaking settings, the lyrics being displayed in English helps people who are learning the language to participate in corporate worship. Obviously, in a global context, no matter the primary language of the lyrics, it serves the people who speak the language and those who are learning it. Also, as image resolution continues to improve, there will also be a continued desire to upgrade to the next level of projection or display technology. Let’s next talk about digital audio mixing boards. I like analog. I also like digital. The interactions I have had with HoW leaders paint a clear picture: They have, or they want, a digital audio mixing board. They are not concerned about techie arguments relating to analog versus digital. Rather, they are driven to acquire this technology by myth and by the practical reality that ver y good digital boards are now within the financial reach of even small HoWs. In fact, I am writing this article while in a ver y small town in Alabama, working to install a ver y popular (and affordable) digital board and a small mini-array system for a HoW that has about 100 members. As many of you have probably experienced, or perhaps used as a sales tactic, the feature that sells the digital console is the “recall” system. Small HoWs typically rely on volunteers to manage the audio board during ser vices. Often, an “inventive” volunteer will alter settings that then cause near-catastrophic results that can nearly destroy the worship experience. The ability to set up a reasonably strong mix with a digital console, and then save that setup, provides a quick solution for a small HoW; indeed, it’s actually a ver y strong selling point for us to use with HoWs from small to mega-sized. After all, medium, large and mega-sized HoWs also value the ability to set up mixes, save them and then recall the setup (and snippets) that apply to the different worship experiences they host each week. For example, at 8am, a HoW hosts a traditional worship experience for older adults who desire a simple experience that uses a piano or an organ (or both), and perhaps a few microphones. At 9:45am, the HoW hosts a worship ser vice that blends traditional music with contemporar y “lite” music. Then, at 11:30am, the HoW hosts a contemporar y ser vice that has 30-plus inputs and includes a large drum kit, guitars, keyboards, bass guitar, multiple wireless mics, numerous monitor mixes and so on. A digital console allows the operators to save a setup for each ser vice, and then recall the appropriate setting for each ser vice. Those two technologies are ver y high on the “must get” list for the leaders to whom I have spoken. My list is most likely relevant to your own, and to the lists of (continued on page 76)
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THE COMMISH In the AV industry, the end users are typically represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the designers, who specify the systems, and the integrators who install them. My company acts as a third party to commission these systems. These are our stories.
Contractual Lines Of Demarcation Who does what? By James Maltese, CTS-D, CTS-I, CQD, CQT Audio Visual Resources, Inc. AV9000 Checklist Item Under Test: 5.0 – Convene a short Pre-Audit Meeting of the individuals involved with the audit. Review ever yone’s roles, the conduct expected, discuss “what ifs” and issues that may come up, so that immediate action can take place without further discussions or delays. Reasoning: The number of people involved in projects is ever increasing. Due to the vast number of skills required to complete an install, the industr y is moving toward specialists, rather than jacks-of-all-trades. As such, a project might have a designer, a cable worker to pull cables, technicians to terminate and dress cables into a rack, a control system programmer, a DSP audio engineer, a third-party commissioning team, etc. With so many cooks in the kitchen, it is ver y important to understand not only the role for which you are responsible, but also where the line of demarcation is between you and the other specialists. If those lines become blurred, the tasks found in the middle might be done twice—or not at all. Cross-discipline understanding and communication is essential for successful projects that have so many players. The Stor y: I had the privilege of taking part in the Wood Badge leadership course hosted by my local Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Council. It was life changing. I met so many incredible people. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and about how to lead others. I had a memorable, fantastic time. And, now, I’m “working my ticket” and still having a blast. I love it! One thing about the course that struck me was how many staff volun22 Sound & Communications February 2019
teers were required to pull off both three-day weekends of the course. We had the Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader (with their assistants), who basically ran the course. We had a threedeep Logistics Crew that handled all the setup and breakdown of events. We had Troop Guides to lead our patrols. We had a Troop Scribe to put the daily newsletter together. We had four-deep Quartermasters to keep all of us fed. We even had Naturally, a Wood Badge leadership course got the a volunteer to run the author thinking about managing AV projects. Wood Badge Shop, so we all could get our souvenirs. In short, it was a well-oiled machine. Each person understood his or her role, and the Course Director conducted the entire orchestra of staff. There were meetings before the trainings to make sure ever yone understood the overall mission, as well as their individual goals. The staff met several days before the actual training to do some dr y runs to make sure ever ything went smoothly. During the course, if something happened (as it always does), it was usually addressed by the appropriate staff member before the attendees had even noticed. I was blown away! Naturally, this got me thinking about managing AV projects. Even though third-party AV commissioning is the bee’s knees, it is not incorporated into ever y single AV project out there. When the impressively intelligent client makes the wise decision to use a third party (like us) to commission its systems, some of the players are not quite sure what our role is. They know we are going to inspect levels on the DSP mixer, but they confuse the inspection with actually creating the site files. We have walked onto several sites with blank mixers, and, upon asking about their inoperative status, the tech told us, “Some other commissioning company is handling that.” We see the same stor y with setting up EDID management in matrix switchers. We find that switchers have the default settings loaded, despite the contract clearly calling for a different EDID solution. When asked why the settings are still set at the defaults, the tech again replied, “Oh, I think another company is handling that.” There is misunderstanding between, and a lack of communication among, the project
players, and it consistently adds time and money to projects. That’s not to mention that it adds to the frustration of those working to get it done! When so many different people are involved in a project, it is ver y important to make sure ever yone knows what he or she is responsible for, as well as the most efficient way to interface his or her piece with the rest of the team. This is less of an issue when one “general AV contractor” hires subcontractors to fill in the gaps, because the contractor will handle the coordination better when it holds the main contract. The big problem arises when several of the players—for example, the AV installer, the control system programmer, the “audio guy” and the third-party commissioning team—are contracted directly to the client. With enterprise clients, this is becoming more common. And, if the client doesn’t have a strong construction/project manager, no one will coordinate these AV vendors until problems start to materialize. The moral of the stor y is this: Project management is key to a project’s success. It is entirely possible, in this world of specialists, to take part in a project with no one steering the ship. If you find yourself in one of these rudderless projects, it would make financial and spiritual sense to offer project-management ser vices to your client, thus helping the client avoid potential problems. It will also make your company stand out as one that respects the effort it takes to pull off a successful project. Proper project management can be difficult, time-consuming and painstaking in its details…and it’s crucial to a successful project. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it also takes a village to support a project. A ton of information must flow back and forth between all members of the project team, and someone has to make sure that happens. Holding a project
meeting to iron out all those misunderstandings before the project kicks off can go a long way toward avoiding problems down the road. The Wood Badge course changed the way I see leadership, as well as how I think projects have to be managed. It
might be difficult to get the processes set up, sell it to the client and staff it, but a project that is well run is a thing of beauty. Maybe we should start handing out merit badges to get more people to commit to it. It worked for ol’ Baden-Powell.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Who Owns The Code?, Part 2 Concluding the discussion that we began in November. By Douglas Kleeger, CTS-D, DMC-E/S, XTP-E, KCD
hanks for all the feedback to my column from November, entitled “Who Owns The Code?” As you might have guessed, it drew comments from a number of different folks from several different areas of our industr y. As you might remember from Part 1, I discovered that there are still integration companies out there that do not turn over the programming code to the client at closeout—even after they are paid in full! I thought this issue, like others our industr y has encountered as we’ve matured, was one we had outgrown. However, it appears that this subject is not resolved, and there are those on both sides of the fence who have strong beliefs that their policies on this issue are fair and just.
Alexander Rosner Responds
As someone who has worked in this industr y for about 40 years, I want to give my two cents. But first, some background: I’ve sat in the chair of the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), setting up the conferencing system through which he consults with the President of the United States. I have pulled cable in sweltering attics; I’ve been in the air, hanging loudspeakers that weighed hundreds of pounds; I’ve produced hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, or perhaps even millions. And it’s fair to say millions of people have benefited from work with which I’ve been involved. That’s the background from which I’m opining. For ever y project, a list is made of
“Yes, we provide everything that we have on the job that would help the client in the future, in case he no longer loves us and wants someone else to service him. Seems like it’s the right thing to do, especially when I’ve been on the other side of things, coming into a job done by someone else!” Company Profile: Rosner Custom Sound, based in Long Island City NY, is a sound contracting firm that also does video. It specializes in engineered sound and video systems for entertainment, education and worship since 1959. Rosner can be reached at email@example.com. 24 Sound & Communications February 2019
Mike West Responds
what you have to do and what you need, right? And there’s always a line item for programming, correct? The company providing the ser vice does this for a profit. So, when the project is complete, all pieces of the project— from the cabling, to the devices, to the labor, to the intellectual property (design and programming)—are now, in my opinion, the property of the one who paid for it: the client! I just do not see, after the project is completed, how an integrator can withhold the uncompiled code and prevent clients from having someone else work on their system that they paid for! So, let’s turn to the responses I received. Over whelmingly, it appears
“It has been our practice for years to provide the code, audio files, drawings and serial numbers with the closeout documentation. It is our opinion that the customer owns the code the moment a PO is received. We also provide a one-year warranty for all systems we install.” Company Profile: Founded in 1997 in Huntsville AL, Quantum Technologies, Inc., is a professional audio, video, control and videoconference system design and integration firm, specializing in serving commercial, civilian and federal government customers for more than 20 years. West can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
that turning over the uncompiled code at project closeout is what most integrators do, with a relatively small percentage not doing so. Although I did not get enough feedback to give an exact percentage, I would say, based on what I did receive, my best estimate is that 80 percent expressed support for giving access to the uncompiled code, whereas 20 percent stood opposed. (That is just an estimate, so please don’t hold me to it!) As far as audiovisual consultants go, I don’t personally know of any professional ones that do not provide in their specifications that the integrator is to turn over the uncompiled code to the client at project closeout. (Note: I added the adjective “professional” because there are some IT/security/acoustics consultants that dabble in AV, do a mediocre job and do not stipulate this in their specifications.) I researched this further by contacting Waveguide, one of the larger consulting firms in our industry. I spoke with Brad Beattie, the Director of Waveguide’s software-development division, Brainwave, to find out their policy on this. Waveguide provides consulting services as well as programming services, relieving the integrator from that portion of the project. With that context in mind, I was curious to learn the company’s stance. According to Beattie, yes, for projects for which Waveguide delivers the programming code, it does provide the uncompiled code at project closeout. Notable, however, is that the firm does require an agreement that the client will not use the code for a different project. That’s not dissimilar to what’s done with system design drawings, etc. In addition, Beattie said that, for projects where Waveguide does not provide the programming and it is covered under the specifications, it does require that the integrator turn over the uncompiled code to the owner at project closeout. Let’s examine some of the reasons given by integrators for why they do provide the uncompiled code to clients. Frankly, I heard the same thing over
and over again: They paid for it, it is their property and they own it. Not to give it to them is wrong, and it hurts our industr y! Another aspect brought to my attention is the possibility of the integrator going out of business, or even having a fire and losing all its data. How would clients get the code then, even if they agreed to pay separately for it? On the flip side, I did hear from those who don’t provide the uncompiled code at closeout. They cited low margins; they claimed it’s their intellectual property; and, most frequently, they said they wanted to prevent the client from going to someone else for service, changes, etc. I could go on forever talking about what’s wrong with those arguments, so I’ll leave things with this observation: Those I ad Platinum Tools 1/3 Square spoke to who provide the code at project
closeout had no issue with their attributed inclusion in this article; in fact, they welcomed being quoted. Those who do not provide the code, or who suggested charging extra for it, refused or never replied when I asked them if they could be quoted in this follow-up piece. Draw your own conclusions. The two sidebars are answers I received to my question, “Do you provide the uncompiled programming code at project closeout? Why or why not?” The contest winner (literally picked from a hat) is Alexander Rosner from Rosner Custom Sound. He will receive a can of Virginia Diner peanuts, as promised! Thanks to all who participated! If you want to share your experiences, or just vent, let me know. Contact for SS&I (Size: 4.75”x 4.875”) me at email@example.com.
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Energy Management: It’s Just Good Business AVIXA overhauls its standard for monitoring and controlling AV system power. By Ann Brigida, CTS, CStd AVIXA
ver y time AVIXA begins the task of authoring a standard, I ask myself if I really, really think it’s worth the effort, or if perhaps the topic is just a collective passion of a few people in the AV industr y. Nowadays, we vet ideas for new standards using a ver y detailed scorecard; however, when we first started out, the process was more reactive than proactive. So, I was a little dubious in 2012 when the topic of energy management rose to the top of the standard-development queue. To the credit of some ver y for ward-thinking leadership from the AVIXA Board of Directors, it turns out that creating a standard dealing with AV systems energy management was a solid choice. At that time in the AV industr y, the goal of our standards was relatively new: We were focusing on assessing the performance of a given system, as opposed to the technical capabilities. The impetus for the energymanagement standard came from the realization not only that saving energy was the right thing to do, but also that there was a potential return on investment (ROI) in energy management in the form of cost savings. The original standard included an ROI calculator, a 26 Sound & Communications February 2019
call for an “Energy Management Manager” to oversee the process and an education component that required specific training for specific job functions. The standard was comprehensive, and it had some passionate adopters. The problem? Adoption was slower than we had hoped. The range of reasons started with the general perception that AV systems didn’t draw enough power to warrant such attention; the list ended with the perception that the requirements were burdensome for small entities. Fast-for ward to today and AV is officially a business-critical —and, often, missioncritical—component of an organization’s enterprise technology roadmap. There’s a need to save both energy and money. And it just so happens that it’s time to reevaluate the original energy-management standard. What are the most important changes that have to be made? How will those changes help adoption? And, as usual, I asked myself if we were still on the right track. The answer was a resounding “yes!” ANSI/INFOCOMM 4:2012, Audiovisual Systems Energy Management is getting an overhaul. The revised standard provides a tiered approach to implementation; by contrast, the original took more of an “all or nothing” approach. The updated standard makes it possible for those who want to begin to manage their system’s energy use to show a basic level of conformance. For those who are more advanced in energymanagement practices and who really want to get a handle on an AV system’s usage, there is also a more rigorous set of conformance requirements. By lowering barriers to monitoring the energy that an AV system uses, the standard is applicable to more users than it previously was. With this new approach, virtually ever y audiovisual system is a candidate for energy-management implementation at a basic level. The hope is that adopters will start to manage AV systems’ energy simply, but then, as they’re able, conform to higher levels of the standard. The revised standard was open for public comment until the end of Januar y. As I write this, the task group is responding to comments, with plans to have the revision ready in time for InfoComm 2019 in Orlando FL. Keep an eye on www.avixa.org/standards for the updated version. David Barnett, CTS-D, is a Senior Consultant for The Sextant Group, Inc., and the moderator of the task group working on the standard’s revision. Barnett has the fortunate vantage point of being part of the first standard’s development, and he has
devoted countless hours to working with the task group to get this revision right. I asked him what motivated him to put in all this work, and I inquired about what makes it worthwhile. His response reflected his broad understanding of both the state of the industry and energy management’s role in the future: “There is now a greater realization that an AV system is not a self-contained end, but, rather, exists in a larger context of interconnected systems, many of which are intelligent in their own right. The flow and analysis of information is a critical component of the operation and management of these increasingly complex systems. The need to pay attention to energy consumption and management has become more apparent over the past decade. There is a solid business case to be made through cost savings by reducing power and heat loads, extending equipment life and operating more efficiently. Many building and electrical codes are now requiring that such systems be implemented. The trend toward sustainable architecture, ‘net-zero’ buildings, and an emphasis on renewable and regenerative energy sources has only increased over time, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Being part of this movement is rewarding beyond just the satisfaction of a job well done. It represents a positive contribution toward both the AV industry and the millions of people who use the systems we design and install every day. I worked on the original standard, and I found it to be a rewarding experience. A lot of really good work was done by a lot of very engaged and smart people. But, as often happens, the final document ended up with the ‘designed by committee’ vibe. I felt that, although it was a step in the right direction, the published document wasn’t as good as it might have been. It was an ambitious scope and very complicated to implement. Fast-forward to today, and this seemed like a great opportunity to produce an updated standard that represents a forward-thinking approach that would allow for greater adoption by the AV
community.” Were we on the right track? Absolutely. (Incidentally, there’s now even an association dedicated to energy management, with a third-party accredited certification for people who want to become an energy-management professional. Look up the Energy Management Association if you’re interested.)
We’re still planning an ROI calculator, which will be included in a Companion Guide to the revised energy-management standard for helping with implementation. But the bottom line? Adopt, adopt, adopt. It’s not only the right thing to do, either—such a standard also has the potential to save money.
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Commercial AV, Live Production Trends Converge And AV-over-IP is driving it. By Brian Olson NewTek
he live production industr y has been on a journey for the past five or six years to find a suitable replacement for traditional baseband serial digital video. Driven by multiple factors, including the move to 4K ultra HD, industr y alliances and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) settled on an IP video standard known as SMPTE ST 2110 in late 2017. Two years prior to that, NDI (Network Device Interface), a free software-based IP video protocol that has seen wide adoption, was introduced. Now, with AV-over-IP (AVoIP), the commercial AV industr y is going through a similar IP evolution, with competing standards and many of the same issues, wants and needs that the live production community has.
Common Goals In moving to IP audio/video transport, both the commercial AV and the live production industries are looking for the same things: • high quality • low latency • scalability • flexibility • elimination of distance barriers • ability to use standard networking equipment • interoperability • cost-effectiveness Both industries want to be able to deliver more content, to more places, more effectively. IP infrastructure eliminates many of the barriers to delivering high-quality content in a ver y efficient manner. 28 Sound & Communications February 2019
Merging AV With Traditional IT Both live production and commercial AV see real benefits to breaking down the wall between the deliver y of audiovisual content and the deliver y of data over traditional IT networks. First, these networks already exist in many cases, and they’re supported by enough human resources in most organizations. Second, with the advent of streaming, the lines have already started to blur between the two disciplines. Not having to run separate pathways for the production and distribution of media also ser ves to streamline operations and keep costs down.
Finding The Right IP In the live production space, SMPTE 2110 is mostly being adopted by top-tier broadcasters and production studios that run in high-definition resolution. For 4K signals, ST 2110 requires 40GbE and 100GbE networks, limiting the use of this IP protocol in many places. NDI works on existing networks (1GbE and 10GbE), and it provides a pathway to IP for a larger section of the market, along with more efficient 4K transport. NDI is available royalty-free for all hardware and software developers as a software development kit (SDK). With AVoIP, the main competing standards are HDBaseT-IP and Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE). Each has its own set of benefits, and, as with their live production corollaries, one might be better suited to a project than the other is. It’s also possible that NDI might be the right choice for certain customers, becoming a crossover protocol between the traditional live production and commercial AV spaces.
Hardware vs. Software Approach SMPTE 2110 is a hardware-based IP protocol that must run on its own dedicated network. As mentioned earlier, these networks also have to be ver y fast. NDI is a software-based IP protocol that either runs on an x86 computer platform or runs as an ARM/FPGA implementation for embedded hardware operations. Due to high adoption rates over the past three years, native NDI input and output is supported by hundreds of software applications and a good number of video hardware products using only a network connection. HDBaseT-IP and SDVoE can also work on traditional networks, but they require separate hardware encoders and decoders to send and receive the AV streams. Of the two, HDBaseT-IP is the most interoperable, due to the widespread adoption of the original HDBaseT (HDMI-over-Cat5) technology.
Compression Is Not A Dirty Word When digital compression was first introduced for audio and video signals, it meant two things: less quality and more latency. That is no longer true, even though many purists in the live production and commercial AV businesses seem to believe (continued on page 76)
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The Ultimate Command Center Ensuring audio system connectivity, functionality and flexibility. By Marjorie Daniel Shure Inc.
hen you think about government entities, the first thing that comes to mind is likely to be an impressive assembly or parliament hall that holds formal meetings, and which is equipped with sophisticated technology that can enable large groups of people to communicate in multiple languages. But what really marks the government sector is the huge variety within it— from the number and types of rooms, to how they are utilized, to the people who use technology within the spaces. Accommodating this variety of uses, while also maintaining a consistent and familiar user experience, can prove challenging when it comes to specifying and installing AV solutions. There are, therefore, a number of aspects to consider when making the decision to invest in AV. Government agencies are unique in several ways, not least of which are the long buying times and the often highly structured nature of the sector. That means there tends to be a lot of people involved in decision-making. In recent years, there has also been a trend toward increased transparency, with communities coming to expect to be informed of any decisions, as well as how they were made. With that in mind, it’s important to offer solutions that are able to meet these changing needs and that allow for new features that can make life ever easier for the user. At the same time, they also 30 Sound & Communications February 2019
must be suitable for people who, often, are not technically minded and who might not have AV/IT support on hand. Security, of course, is a major concern—with respect to both the audio within a room and how content will be streamed and stored. Finally, budgets will always have a major impact in the government sector; as a result, AV solutions that represent a long-term investment, offering robustness, reliability and a long lifespan, will be a sensible choice. Across the sector, wired solutions are most often chosen for chambers that require extensive voting, agendas, speech time and other management capabilities. However, many preliminar y meetings, working-group sessions and consultations take place before the gavel is ever lifted. These meetings range from formal to casual and might take place in historic hearing rooms or contemporar y multi-purpose spaces, or even at off-site locations. It is here that a wireless conference system can deliver the flexibility, reliability and connectivity that these situations require, all while preser ving the aesthetics of the building and minimizing any impact on its structure. Because rooms will be used by different numbers of people and for different purposes, flexible seating and scalable conferencing systems are sometimes a must. In situations such as those, consistency is key; government organizations benefit from a single system for any meeting or any room in the vicinity. These systems also have to be quick and easy to set up, because ever yone—from local political leaders, to event managers, to administrators—has to feel comfortable operating them. Wireless again ticks all the boxes here, and, as an added benefit, it is cable-free. That encourages natural interactions between participants, who are no longer held back by connections and who, instead, can move about and communicate without restraint. Of course, wireless systems also have to be robust. A common concern with wireless is that it won’t be as reliable as a wired setup. Because government agencies frequently have to deal with mission-critical events, it is essential that the solution chosen be able to cope with such demands. If your agency is hosting important speakers, for example, or if it’s inviting the community to share ideas and opinions, any system must work effectively ever y time. Because many government entities are situated in major cities, wireless systems must contend with crowded spectrum conditions. When specifying a system, it is important to look at not only its ability to select clear channels, but also its potential capacity to scan the spectrum to make sure there’s no potential interference—and, crucially, to adapt quickly if there is. When it comes to robustness, another aspect to consider is batter y life. Some meetings in the government sector can go on for long periods; thus, systems with long-
lasting batteries that can be monitored remotely will be beneficial. Organizers want to be sure there won’t be any interruptions to their meetings and events; therefore, it’s wise to look for technology that offers longevity and reliability. Because budgetar y constraints are hitting many agencies, it can be an unpopular move to be perceived as investing large amounts of money in what many communities would consider “nonessential ser vices.” With that in mind, it’s important to look at the cost-efficiency of any technology installed. Not only will robust and reliable technology last for many more years as compared to less reliable systems, but user uptake also will be higher because of a consistent user experience that aids meetings, not hinders them. Moreover, tech support callouts will be minimized when technology just works. The sheer variety of use cases in government entities means that connectivity is another key concern. For example, in addition to a wireless conference system, additional wireless microphones might be required if there is a large town-hall meeting, or if the public is invited to an event. In such cases, microphones will have to be available for audience members to ask questions, or for a presenter to comment on charts or slides. In instances like these, it’s essential for the system to be compatible with the microphones. Similarly, government organizations are increasingly requesting the ability to record sessions and stream meetings to their communities. Any system, therefore, will have to connect easily to the videoconferencing setup and the recording/streaming equipment. Although many government proceedings are public, there are also closeddoor sessions that often deal with confidential and sensitive information. That means the wireless signal must be encr ypted to prevent eavesdropping by those outside the meeting room. I’d also advise keeping up with software updates to ensure that systems operate
at their optimum level for longer, while also allowing users to benefit from any additional features introduced. Like many other sectors, government agencies are facing a number of challenges related to ensuring their employees can communicate and make effective decisions. The often mission-critical status of this work, alongside the need
to be transparent in some cases, yet private in others, is an added element to consider when investing in technology. Being able to trust that an installed wireless system is reliable, flexible, robust and secure can be a huge benefit in aiding decision-making, encouraging interaction and offering long-term solutions to meet user needs.
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Quieter Is Healthier
Sound absorption can be a critical component of promoting wellness.
By John Calder Acoustical Surfaces
ospitals have become modern mar vels of medical science, mechanical engineering and computerization. They’ve achieved this to such a degree that many patients today complain only about the quality of the food or the “institutional” beige wallpaper. As hospitals and medical centers roll out the latest in groundbreaking science, so, too, do they make continuous improvements below the surface; examples include streamlining patient admittance and electronic-records security. One area of continued focus is overall patient well-being—in short, how to improve the health of anyone inside a hospital, apart from the obvious medical inter ventions that bring patients there in the first place. The health of patients—and staff— hinges on issues as diverse as building layout (ease of access between areas), surface colors (yes, beige rules, except in children’s wards) and even parking. One focus area that is rarely mentioned in sur veys and audits of hospital and healthcare effectiveness is sound. In particular, I refer to the acoustic environments in which patients, visitors and caregivers are enveloped. Over the last few decades, awareness of noise pollution has grown among leaders and decision-makers in many industr y sectors; indeed, even the public media has taken note. Ever-present and 32 Sound & Communications February 2019
Cotton fiber absorber panels.
increasingly loud, noise threatens people in many environments, including at home, in offices, and in industrial manufacturing and medical centers alike. According to many scientific studies (see “Suggested References”), widespread noise pollution has been proven to add stressors and increase agitation in children and adults, which, in turn, can lead to worsened health. It should come as no surprise, then, that hospitals are considering ways to improve sound perception in all interior spaces—especially those in which patients are recovering from recent treatments. To be clear, in such cases, we are referring to improving sound and increasing intelligibility within rooms, rather than “soundproofing” or reducing sound transmission between rooms and outside spaces. Soundproofing is best done at the structural level when buildings are designed. To add mass and isolation—the usual soundproofing tools—becomes expensive and disruptive when attempting to improve existing structures. One tried-and-true method to improve sound issues within rooms is to reduce echo and reverberation, other wise known as the over-abundance of sound reflections, perceived as noise and chaotic sound. Echo and reverb are most often reduced by adding sound absorption to flat, hard surface areas in a room or space. Sound absorbers can be used in nearly ever y type of room-improvement situation, from recording studios and performance theaters, to industrial machine shops, to hospitals or laborator y cleanrooms. Moreover, absorption is generally well known and mostly quantifiable. (Sound-absorber products are tested under the ASTM C423 standard.) Most commonly manufactured from fiberglass, as well as other fibrous materials, such as recycled cotton, mineral and wood fibers, sound absorbers are highly effective and relatively economical. The last factor is key for hospital budgets. Although useful, fiber-based absorbers do sometimes have particulate fallout, which can be problematic in food-preparation areas, cleanroom environments, and hospital treatment areas like operating rooms, recover y centers and pharmacies. Fiber-based absorbers also suffer from frequency selectivity, which means that the (continued on page 76)
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FUTUREPROOFING EMERGENCY OPERATIONS Riverside CA’s East County EOC was designed for expansion. By Dan Daley
The six pods have clear views of the main videowall’s array of 16 screens. Configuration options include a single 4x4-unit videowall display, four 2x2-unit displays and a 3x3-unit display, with the remaining screens available as supports around it. The last option is depicted here. 34 Sound & Communications February 2019
Photo courtesy of Alfonso Murray.
As any security professional will tell you, it’s a never-ending job. You’d certainly hear the same from the professionals who staff the hundreds of state and county emergency operations centers (EOCs) that dot the US. At one, in particular—in Riverside County CA—it’s the EOC itself that’s preparing for its future, laying an infrastructure foundation for future upgrades from day one. The facility, which was originally budgeted at $1 million, but which was later value-engineered to about two-thirds that amount, is a continuing work in progress. As John Bilar, VP of Technology at Spectrum ITC Group, the consultancy that designed and specified the project, said, “[It’s] a marathon, not a sprint.” The project took a former sheriff’s office substation in an existing county building and adapted it as the county’s second EOC, dubbed the East County EOC, located in Indio CA. It’s intended to act either independent of or in concert with the EOC in the city of Riverside CA, which ser ves the west side of the state’s fourth-largest county. (They are connected via WebEOC, a proprietary, web-based crisis-management software that also loops in other local agencies, such as fire and police, for coordinated countywide responses.) The East County EOC’s preparations for future upgrades are reflected most immediately in the room’s videowall, which is composed of a 4x4 grouping of 16 NEC 55-inch displays, although the design specification calls for that wall to have a total of 32 such displays. As part of the initial phase of the project, all 32 displays have been provisioned for in the form of cable infrastructure behind the wall, with the additional displays to be added in a second phase that has yet to be officially scheduled. “The best time to put infrastructure in is at the very beginning, when the walls are already open,” Bilar stated. The East County EOC might have been the second such facility in Riverside County, but it’s not “second city” by any means. Brooke Federico, Senior Public Information Specialist for the County of Riverside Emergency Management Department, which operates both facilities, said that the East County EOC is the first with a videowall. It’s drawn appreciative notice from the journalists who’ve viewed it, as well as from those who’ve used the venue for training and situation monitoring. Of the two facilities, the East County EOC is located closer to the annual Coachella and Stagecoach music festival sites, both of which are in Riverside County. Last year, during the festivals, the East County EOC was activated and worked with local fire, police and EMS in a standby mode. According to Federico, however, the most important thing is the EOC’s ability to take in, manage and display a multitude of critical AV sources flexibly during emergencies. “[This space has] given us the ability to monitor a wealth of sources in a single place, from which we can better manage anything that needs
The East County EOC project took a former sheriff’s office substation in an existing county building and adapted it as the county’s second EOC, located in Indio CA and intended to act either independently of, or in concert with, the EOC in the city of Riverside CA that serves the west side of the county.
Sound & Communications 35
Photo courtesy of Alfonso Murray. Photo courtesy of Alfonso Murray.
Each of the colored vests represents a management element of the EOC. For example, there’s the green Finance and Administration vest and the red Operations Chief vest.
tiple facets, beginning even before the first run of copper was put into place. (In fact, budgetar y constraints compelled the use of copper throughout, rather than using the Dante network format.) Bilar recalled having to battle with the local satellite and cable providers about something that residential customers surely understand—unbundling unwanted channels. “The first thing they asked us was, ‘How many television sets do you have?,’ as if this was someone’s living room they were putting cable into,” Bilar recalled. “It was hard to get them to understand that we needed a drop with a ver y specific bunch of [news and information] channels, including broadcast channels.” This had to take the form of what’s known as a ClearQAM—a modulation scheme that allows the RF transmission of digital TV channels in the clear (i.e., unencr ypted and unbundled from other cable or satellite channels). Those channels would provide backup for the OTA iterations of the same channels, which had to rely on external antennas—hardware that is vulnerable to lightning strikes in Indio’s desert location. “We actually had to go to the local franchise authority to make that happen,” Bilar continued. And Martin recalled Dish Network being particularly obtuse on the matter, with the satellite ser vice’s technicians and sales personnel unable to see past residential-type customer needs. “They asked, ‘Where’s the television?’ and we said, ‘It’s in the rack, and there’s 32 of them,’” he sighed. “It was a learning experience.”
Managing Video Sources An adjacent conference room has a view of the EOC through a window, similar to the control room.
immediate attention,” Federico affirmed. “The videowall is great, and we’re ver y happy with how the entire facility operates. Whenever we’ve needed it, it’s been ready.”
‘A Blank Shell’ The wiring and infrastructure stage was also when the AV integrator on the project, ENKO Systems, based in San Bernardino CA, was brought in. The team found the space to be “a blank shell,” according to Greg Martin, AV Systems Engineer/Pro36 Sound & Communications February 2019
grammer on the project. That’s something that many integrators would usually welcome. However, as budget reductions compelled value-engineering-based revisions, the integrator had to find clever ways to accomplish a great deal, while spending less. “The first challenge was how we would be able to build a wall that took in many different sources—from cable, to satellite, to over-the-air (OTA) video, as well as AM and FM radio and streaming—and let them all be viewed and controlled easily,” Martin recalled. It was a hurdle with mul-
Video sources also play a large part in the programming of the EOC’s control system, which is centered on Crestron’s DigitalMedia (DM) platform. Martin said the challenge here was organizing the multitudes of inputs, and the variety of formats they come in on, in a way that would be intuitive to the EOC’s users. Given the nature of emergency facilities that might be unused for months at a time, users might not have training on—or even a passing familiarity with—the systems. However, in the event of an emergency, they will have to get up to speed on them in possibly a matter of minutes. (The facility was activated as recently as this past November, when a voluntar y flood evacuation was is-
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ENKO Systems’ certified programmer programmed the EOC control desk’s large touchscreen using the logo icons for individual cable and broadcast networks. Those news broadcasts supply the EOC with much of its operational information.
There are six pods of eight seats, which are arranged around rectangular desks in the middle of the room. Each seat faces a 42-inch monitor on a swivel mount. Each pod has one of those monitors assigned as the master screen for that table.
sued for San Jacinto Mountains communities in the area of last year’s Cranston fire.) Martin, working in tandem with his colleague, certified Crestron programmer Robert Conrad, programmed the control desk’s large Crestron touchscreen to use the logo icons for individual cable and broadcast networks, whose news broadcasts would supply the EOC with much of its operational information. If a user wants to see what ABC is reporting on a particular matter, he or she simply touches that particular button—with the network’s logo on the screen—after being granted permission by a facility manager. That same control screen allows the facility manager, seated at a separate desk in the rear of the room, to configure individual screens in a picture-in-picture format, mimicking how the main wall’s array of 16 screens can be configured. Those options include a single 4x4-unit videowall display, four 2x2-unit displays and a 3x3-unit display, with the remaining screens available as supports around it. Those options can be effectuated by the user simply by selecting a screen format on the master controller. Users can also choose from which video source to view a chosen input. For instance, if the ABC network feed from the broadcast input fails, then the user can instantly switch to that same network through the satellite feed. “They never know when this room is going to be used or who is going to use it,” Martin declared, “so the programming is designed so that you don’t need a CTS credential to operate it.” All that content will come up on the screens in one of the six “pods” of eight seats, which are arranged around rectangular desks in the middle of the room. Each seat faces an NEC 42-inch monitor on a Chief swivel mount, connected to the five main control racks through a Crestron DM receiver. Each pod has one of those monitors assigned as the master screen for that table. In addition, each seat in the pods has an Extron audio matrix switcher, which enables the user to choose an audio source that can be listened to through a pair of beyerdynamic DT 102 headphones. In addition, JBL Control 26CT ceiling speakers, which are powered by QSC two- and four-channel amplifiers, provide sound for the entire room. Both audio and video can be accessed using a similar
touchpanel controller, or other device, in any of four satellite rooms (adjacent to the main EOC) that are used for utility applications, such as huddle spaces or meeting rooms. That content comes in through coaxial cable. (The cabling in the pod area took long enough that Martin, who worked on it during a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training session, which was held in the EOC early on, actually became CERT-certified himself!)
Wire Management Much of what enables all the functionality described is below ever yone’s feet, under a paneled floor and atop a slab that had been saw-cut and lowered, creating an 18-inch-deep space for cabling. And there was plenty of it, according to Martin, who estimated the project team installed more than 100,000 feet of wire for audio, video and control applications. However, because copper constituted the bulk of the wire type, care had to be taken in placing which cables where. For instance, RF-shielded coaxial cable was placed in a 16-to18-inch-wide wire basket on the far side of the under-floor space, with video cabling on the other side of the basket, as far apart as possible; that was to reduce the potential for interference. The analog audio wires were run up the middle of the baskets, and, anywhere they crossed, the wires were bent at right angles to minimize crosstalk. All the wire baskets were laid atop grounding strips, and the entire control and rack were enclosed in a halo ground system, connected at each corner of the room to an external earth-ground electrode via a separate grounding bus bar installed by an electrical subcontractor. “The EOC is out in the middle of the desert, where the air is very dry, (main story continued on page 69)
An 18-inch-deep space for cabling holds more than 100,000 feet of wire for audio, video and control applications.
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Sound & Communications 39
EQUIPMENT 16 Advanced Media Technologies DX Antenna DHM-332 FM stereo modulators 4 Avocent HMIQSHDI computer interface modules 2 Avocent HMX 1070 user stations 2 Avocent HMXMGR-G2-001 HMX management appliances 2 Avocent RMK-67 rackmount kits for HMX 14 Blonder Tongue AQT ATSC/QAM transcoders 4 Blonder Tongue AQT-PCM AQT power and control modules 4 Blonder Tongue BTF-TP male, type “F” terminators 1 Blonder Tongue BTPRO-1000 signal analyzer 1 Blonder Tongue FAM-10 fixed attenuator, type F, female 3 Blonder Tongue LA 922-15 in-line amps 1 Blonder Tongue LPD-8 8-way splitter 3 Blonder Tongue LPI 188PS power supplies (18VDC, 800mA) 3 Blonder Tongue LPI 2200 DC power inserters/power blocks 5 Blonder Tongue OC-12D passive combiners, 5-1,000MHz, 12 ports 2 Blonder Tongue OC-8D passive combiners, 5-1,000MHz, 8 ports 4 Blonder Tongue QTRC QAM transcoder rack chassis 2 Blonder Tongue RMDA 860-30P rackmounted distribution amps 1 Blonder Tongue SRT-20 directional tap, 1 output 20dB 1 Blonder Tongue SRT-6 directional tap, 1 output 6dB 1 Blonder Tongue SRT-8A-17 directional tap, 8 output 17dB 2 Blonder Tongue SRT-8A-20 directional taps, 8 output 20dB 1 Blonder Tongue SXRS-2 2-way splitter 1 Blonder Tongue SXRS-4 4-way splitter 1 Blonder Tongue SXRS-8 8-way splitter 16 Blonder Tongue ZFMSM agile FM stereo modulators 8 BTX CD-MX15M MaxBlox HD15 male to terminal block connectors 28 BTX CD-MX915H MaxBlox clamshell hoods 20 BTX CD-MX9F MaxBlox DB9 female to terminal block connectors 1 CDS MM04CS-4x8 Atlas monitor mounting solution (MMS) 1 CDS PANEL-OPT optional panels (black laminated MDF cladding) 2 Channel Master CM 4220HD outdoor TV antennas 1 Channel Master CM 4221HD 4-bay HDTV/UHF digital outdoor TV antenna 1 Channel Master CM 5016 HD/VHF/UHF 15 element antenna 2 Cisco SG300-20 20-port gigabit managed switches 24 CommScope 242948 standard grounding kits 8 Contemporary Research 232-ATSC 4 HDTV tuners 1 Contemporary Research 5008-001 single rack kit 6 Contemporary Research 5008-015 dual side-by-side rackmounts (1RU)
1 4 6 2 1
Contemporary Research QMOD-HDMI 2 HDTV modulator and IPTV encoder Contemporary Research QMOD-YPB 2 HDTV modulators and IPTV encoders Crestron C3COM-3 3-Series control cards – 3 COM ports Crestron CEN-SWPOE-16 16-port managed PoE switches Crestron DM-8G-CONN-WG-100 connectors w/wire guide for DM-CBL-8G DigitalMedia 8G cable 10 Crestron DMC-4K-CO-HD 2-channel HDBaseT certified 4K DigitalMedia 8G+ output cards 13 Crestron DMC-4K-HD 4K HDMI input cards for DM switchers 8 Crestron DM-CBL-8G-P-SP1000 DigitalMedia 8G+ cable, plenum, 1,000' spools 3 Crestron DMC-C HDBaseT certified DigitalMedia 8G+ input cards 4 Crestron DMC-DVI DVI/VGA input cards 1 Crestron DMC-HDO 2-channel HDMI output card 1 Crestron DM-MD32x32 32x32 DigitalMedia switcher 18 Crestron DM-RMC-SCALER-C DigitalMedia 8G+ receivers and room controllers w/scalers 1 Crestron DM-TX-200-C-2G-WT wallplate DigitalMedia 8G+ transmitter (white, textured) 5 Crestron DM-TX-201-C DigitalMedia 8G+ transmitters 12 Crestron IRP2 IR emitter probes w/terminal block connectors 2 Crestron PRO3 3-Series control systems 1 Crestron TPMC-V15-TILT-B V-Panel integrated 15" tilt HD touchscreen 1 Crestron TPMC-V15-WALL-B V-Panel integrated 15" wall-mount HD touchscreen 1 Denon DN-500BD Blu-ray, DVD and CD player 2 Extron DMP 44 LC 4x4 digital matrix processors 1 Extron MAV Plus 3232 AV 32x32 composite video and stereo audio matrix switcher 1 Extron RSF 123 1RU 3.5"-deep rackshelf kit (gray) 1 Fostex RM-3 rackmount speaker system 1 FSR DSKB-2G 2-gang desktop mounting box 6 Furman CN-2400S 20A SmartSequencing power conditioners 2 Gefen 1:10 HDMI 1.3 distribution amps 5 Gefen GTB-HDBT-POL-BLK HDBaseT extenders for HDMI via Cat5e or Cat6 cables 5 General Cable W7131761 unshielded category cables (white) 24 JBL Control 26CT-LS ceiling speaker assemblies
(equipment list continued on page 69)
A view of the systems maintenance screen in the EOC’s rack room. There are five main control racks.
40 Sound & Communications February 2019
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Audio Arts Mass Transit
42 Sound & Communications February 2019
By Jim Stokes The newly renovated Downtown Berkeley BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Plaza created an enjoyable get-together environment for local residents, the folks who work downtown and visitors to the famed city of Berkeley CA. Accordingly, in this article, we will explore the public-art, sound and lighting facets of the plaza, while also examining the BART station located directly below the gathering place. The $9 million renovation opened on October 18, 2018. The update included a newly paved main entrance, speaker and light poles, stage lighting, and trees and landscaping for the plaza, which is the heart of downtown and a transit portal for the city. Furthermore, the plaza is a place to showcase the creative and artistic soul of Berkeley. The activation plan was developed by the Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA), working in close association with city of Berkeley staffers and the Civic Arts Commission (CAC), and in consultation with Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Council Member Kate Harrison.
Above: Digital signage is a resource for transit schedules. Top left: Mission Delirium performing on the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza stage for opening day.
Nothing Like ‘Home’
You can’t miss the eye-catching “Home”—a giant steel globe, created by Berkeley-based artist Michael Christian, which will be on display for a year. The sculpture is an oversized desktop globe composed of multiple layers of steel, with cutouts of street maps from around the world. At night, light from within the piece casts
Bottom left: A view of the main entrance from the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza to the trains, which are located below. Below: Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza features a soundscape audio system and stage lighting.
Downtown Berkeley transit hub’s creative and artistic soul.
Sound & Communications 43
The other use for the sound system is for live events and performances in the designated stage area, whereupon the A/V Binloop is turned off and performers can use live sound equipment. “The system in set up to be flexible,” Lovvorn pointed out. “It has many uses to help facilitate activation of the space. The performances don’t happen all the time; there may be two a week, and that would be in the evening or at lunchtime. The balance of the time, the sound installation with the A/V Binloop is playing.”
Opening Day on the plaza. The Berkeley Symphony accompanied the unveiling of Michael Christian’s “Home” sculpture (see right).
shadows of the maps onto the surrounding plaza. Whether seen by day or at night, the artwork evokes the interconnectedness of all people and places around the world. Complementing the global display, the first sound-art installation in the plaza was “Flow in Place” by another Berkeley-based creator: composer Chris Brown. The work is composed of field recordings of musical performances, along with natural and urban environments from around the world. (For additional details, see the sidebar titled “Sound-Art Installations.”) The plaza design went from a classic aesthetic to a modern glass canopy. The icositegragonal—or 24-sided—rotunda that rose above the Downtown Berkeley BART station since 1973 has now given way to a more open-designed plaza. Gone are the old red bricks that once surrounded the station entrance and the scattered benches. “The idea was, when the plaza reopened, to have it feel like a totally different space,” Jennifer Lovvorn, Chief Cultural Affairs Officer, Civic Arts Program, for the city of Berkeley, revealed. “We wanted it to feel like a totally different space from the previous big brick architectural features. There were some permanently built-in benches that really divided up the space and that made it not feel warm and welcoming. There were some illicit activities taking place in little nooks and crannies that people could duck into. So, we wanted the new space to be welcoming and available for use by ever yone.” “One of the really important things about this location is that the Downtown Berkeley BART station, which is right below the plaza, is the gateway for a lot of people coming to our city,” Lovvorn continued. “The university is one of the huge draws for people coming in. A lot of people arrive by BART public transit, and buses also stop at BART.” Lovvorn explained that the primar y purpose of the integrated AV elements is to create a sound environment. That includes the Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop playing continuously within the limits of the city’s sound ordinance, which is 7am to 7pm from Monday through Friday (and extended to 8pm on weekends). 44 Sound & Communications February 2019
Integration Challenges BugID, based in San Francisco CA, facilitated the audio being heard throughout the plaza, which includes prerecorded content, public address, live performances and artist soundscapes. The integrator’s President, Matt Lavine, was the lead designer for the plaza space. Other key personnel included the project’s lead installer, Davis Selland, and its AV systems programmer, Isaac Darnell. The AV design/install company’s contract was $295,000 for all the AV and lighting equipment, as well as for installation services. (Note: That figure does not include content-related costs.) “I was brought into the project in December 2015,” Lavine recalled. “So, I was helping out the city and the Civic Arts Commission figure out ideas, designs and the budget for almost two years. The city of Berkeley hired BugID in November 2017, and we finally went live in October 2018.” Continuing the stor y, Lavine said, “It was definitely a challenging project to create a soundscape that’s easy for artists and the city of Berkeley to use. Another challenge was installing a high-end professional sound system on a city street. That’s not a typical situation. There are security measures you wouldn’t normally take.” That aspect of the project was considered by BART a few years prior to the integrator coming onboard. “By the time this came to us in 2015,” Lavine resumed, “BART already had drawings and space allocations for where the electrical equipment would go. But nobody thought about audiovisual equipment in a public-works space—especially in a street plaza.” In short, this project—with its AV equipment and the low voltages that come with it—was anything but typical. “It was definitely
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a challenge to work within the constraints of BART and the city of Berkeley in terms of tr ying to fit an AV rack on a street inside a tamper-proof box,” Lavine elaborated. “And then there was the issue of ventilation, because there’s no HVAC…no air conditioning. Most of the telephone and electrical equipment on the side of the street consisted of transformers, relays and related equipment.” Lavine explained that BugID’s solution was to design a rack that would fit inside an industrial-grade metal cabinet. At the same time, the integrator worked with mechanical engineers to help design a fan and exhaust system to make sure sufficient heat was removed from the cabinet.
Details On Plaza Install Let’s zoom out to take a wide view of the BugID install. As noted earlier, prerecorded audio content on the plaza is played back on eight discrete audio channels via an Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop player. An Alcorn McBride VCore-S show controller was included in the system to enable scheduling of content playback. The audio content is delivered via eight Meyer Sound UPJ-1XP compact VariO speakers, which are powered by a dedicated external DC power supply. It was a natural move for the city of Berkeley to turn to Meyer Sound for the speakers, Lavine added, given that the venerable sound company is itself based in Berkeley. There were a number of considerations taken with regard to speakers, including their security. “We put security chains and bolts on all the speakers,” Lavine recalled. “They’re mounted up 14 feet [of the 21-foot poles], so you have to be pretty crafty to get a speaker off a light pole!” Continuing, he turned to power. “One of the advantages of the UPJ-1XP is that it’s a 48V speaker system,” Lavine said. “With one MPS-488HPp power supply, we’re able to power eight speakers. So, the Meyer Sound speakers were the perfect solution for this application, and they sound great.”
Audio Playback Another consideration was playback. “We didn’t know when we were brought in that there was no one from the city who could operate this system,” Lavine pointed out. “So, we really had to think about how various artists coming in would use the system. We thought about a number of things, such as putting in a computer. But computers take a lot more maintenance over time, and you continually have software updates.” “We went with Alcorn McBride, which makes professional-grade units that run 24 hours a day,” Lavine affirmed. “The A/V Binloop plays eight channels of discrete audio, and we can schedule it. For example, Monday through Friday, between 11am and 4pm, we might want to play an artist soundscape. Then, we might want to play different music in the evening.” Elaborating, Lavine noted that, between the Alcorn McBride VCore-S show controller and a Crestron CP3N 3-Series central 46 Sound & Communications February 2019
An electrical and AV equipment enclosure, located on the plaza.
controller, BugID can create schedules of content and then load CompactFlash (CF) cards into the A/V Binloop for the various soundscapes.
Live Presentations The city wanted to be sure that, for bands and other live performers, a small mixing board could be jacked into the system and used with the permanently installed Meyer Sound speakers. Alternately, the city might seek to use the sound system for a speech or similar live presentation. “Since it’s a public space for performance art, someone may want to read poetry,” Lavine explained. “External microphones can be plugged into the system. That’s where the Crestron TST-902 wireless controller with an 8.7-inch screen comes in. You can take it out of the rack and walk about the plaza with it to adjust sound levels.” There are two different DSPs to move and process the audio. Meyer Sound’s Galileo Galaxy 816 is the speaker’s final EQ. There’s also a QSC Q-SYS Core 110f for matrix routing and control. “We’re able to call up various presets and adjust levels on the Crestron,” Lavine explained. “Then, the QSC feeds the Meyer Galileo Galaxy. We wanted to create a mixer on the Crestron touchpanel that was easy to use. So, our touchscreen has control whether someone is using it as a PA or doing a soundscape on the plaza.” A Dell Latitude 5480 14-inch laptop is provided for artists who want to become more creative with sound; it offers them access to the QSC and Meyer Sound DSPs.
A Flexible System Lavine elaborated on some other flexible features of the plaza system. In creating a soundscape, the artist might want to create a stereo piece using the eight speakers. That can be replicated as left/right stereo, or it can be done as eight discrete channels. “There are individual presets that are on the touchscreen that are really unique in recalling the artist’s feed use,” he said. Furthermore, the user is not wedded to the 8.7-inch wireless touchscreens. “When I designed this system, I didn’t want a wire-
less-only solution because there are some drawbacks,” Lavine commented. “First, people forget to put them on the charging dock. Second, people walk off with them. Third, they drop them.” He continued, “So, we attached a Crestron TSW-560-B-S five-inch touchscreen to the AV rack as a default. That way, we know there’s always a fixed screen controller available.” There are two of the larger TST-902s: one mounted and the other freer to enable people to roam the plaza. In general, “turnkey” was an operative guiding principle for BugID. “It’s a full turnkey system, because we didn’t want a system where the user would be relying on an AV integrator to make all the changes,” Lavine said. Staying with that thread, BugID provided four Shure SM58CN cardioid dynamic vocal microphones. “[Presenters can] plug in a microphone
Sound-Art Installations The first sound-art installation on the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza was an original, site-specific composition, called “Flow in Place,” by local composer and electronic musician Chris Brown. The work, which ran for two months, was composed of field recordings of musical performances augmented with natural and urban environments from around the world. The recordings were shuffled together into sequences that accompany the movement of people heading from the BART station entrance through the plaza, suggesting conversations and connections between distant places and global environments. (For more information, visit www.cbmuse.com/talkingdrum.) Brown’s installation was the first in a series of 10 sound-art installations, with presentations subject to change. The slate of composers included in the series includes a mix of preeminent sound artists as well as exciting newcomers to the scene. “Berkeley and the East Bay are home to a thriving electronic arts scene, and the new Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza has been built with a sound system infrastructure to give the city of Berkeley a unique opportunity to present this exciting art form,” Berkeley Civic Arts Commission Chair Kim Anno stated. “This one-of-a-kind audio environment will engage the public in inspiring and provocative ways.”
and use the speakers as a PA,” Lavine pointed out. “On the plaza’s opening day, the user brought in a sound mixer to plug into the system. The DBA was able to manage that by bringing in the artists and dealing with rentals. Meanwhile, we’ve been training people from the DBA.”
Lighting Considerations BugID worked with two Berkeley-based lighting consultants to design lights on the plaza poles. They were Alice Prussin, of Illuminosa Lighting Design, and theatri-
cal lighting designer Jack Carpenter. “We wound up modifying the existing light poles and putting in two ETC Desire D60XTI 60LED wash lights on every pole, except two light poles closer to where the stage would be set up,” Lavine said. “That location has three lights.” All of them are color-changing lights, rather than robotic, because the budget wasn’t available for robotic lights. “Plus,” Lavine added, “we had to think about long-term maintenance.” There’s an ETC CS20 20-fader DMX lighting console that plugs into the wall panel
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An upwardfacing view of a sound and light pole in the plaza area.
that also accommodates microphones. The DMX has presets of various lighting colors and changes. For convenience, multiple presets are on the Crestron controller, so the user can run things right from the touchscreen. Indeed, it’s possible to do a whole audio and lighting show for which the PA volume and all the stage lights are controlled from the Crestron. Summing up, Lavine said, “It was great for me to see the city embracing public arts…to be part of a project that’s encouraging artists of the community to express themselves and be creative. It’s in an environment that’s enjoyable to walk through, sit in, have lunch in, or hear a rally or hear a live band.” He continued, “It’s rare to be part of a public-works project that is creating an immersive soundscape. It was challenging, but, to hear Chris Brown as the first artist at the opening, it was definitely worth the amount of time and effort put in.”
Downtown Berkeley BART Station Now that we’ve explored the publicart installation in depth, let’s review the Downtown Berkeley BART station below the plaza. For that, we relied on a written description from Scott D. Smith, Staff Ar(continued on page 78) 48 Sound & Communications February 2019
Advantech DS-081 6th-gen Intel Core i3/i5 ultra-slim fanless digital signage player Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop 32-track/16-channel synchronous audio/video player Alcorn McBride CF32GB certified 32GB CompactFlash cards Alcorn McBride DIN-19 19" DIN rail kit Alcorn McBride VCore-S show controller Crestron CEN-GWEXER-PWE infiNET EX and ER wireless gateways w/PoE injectors Crestron CEN-SWPOE-16 16-port managed PoE switch Crestron CP3N 3-Series control system Crestron DIN-SACN-DMX Ethernet-to-DMX converter Crestron TST-902 8.7" wireless touchscreens Crestron TST-902-DSW wall dock for TST-902 Crestron TSW-560/760-RMK-1 rackmount kit for TSW-560 and TSW-760 Crestron TSW-560-B-S 5" touchscreen (black, smooth) Dell Latitude 5480 14" laptop Doug Fleenor Designs PRE10-A DMX512 10-zone wall controller ETC CS20 20-fader ColorSource lighting console (40-channel/device) ETC Desire D60XTI Lustr+ front light wash fixtures ETC I1865 pelican case w/interior foam ETC strain relief devices for XTI fixtures Killark KFS-6 steel slipfitters for 2" pipes Meyer Sound Galileo Galaxy 816 2RU 240V AC network processor Meyer Sound MPS-488HPp IntelligentDC power supply w/phoenix 5-pin male output connectors 8 Meyer Sound MUB-UPJ U-shaped mounting bracket kits 8 Meyer Sound UPJ-1XP 10" compact VariO speakers 1 Middle Atlantic D2 2RU drawer (anodized) 2 Middle Atlantic PB-XS slim power strip brackets 2 Middle Atlantic PD-815SC-NS 15A 8-outlet high-density slim power strips 1 Middle Atlantic SRSR-4-25 25RU SRSR Series 19" rotating sliding rail system 1 Middle Atlantic SS sliding rackshelf (1RU) 2 Middle Atlantic UTR1 mounting rackshelves (1RU, 10"D) 2 NextBus MB-961603-S/S signs 1 Pathway Connectivity P4814 RDM installation splitter 1 Pathway Connectivity Pathport 1014-TRM 4-port compact gateway 1 Peerless-AV CL-ENCL68 small-form-factor electronics enclosure 2 Peerless-AV XHB552 55" Xtreme high-bright outdoor displays 1 QSC Q-SYS Core 110f unified core 1 Rolls MB15b Promatch 2-way stereo converter 4 Shure SM58-CN vocal mics w/cables 2 Signal Transport custom engraved I/O panels 1 SnapAV WB-300-IP-3 WattBox IP power conditioner (compact) w/OvrC Home 1 TMB ZPP45NB25L ProPlex DMX cable (25') 1 Tripp Lite SMART750RM1U 750VA/.75kVA/600W line interactive, sine wave UPS system List is edited from information supplied by BugID and Scott D. Smith. 1 1 8 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 18 1 36 18 1 1
Plaza Amenities Let’s take a glance at amenities in the new Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza. There’s a Welcome Kiosk, designed by Square Peg Designs, consisting of four pylons with four illuminated light boxes, featuring maps, brochures and lists of downtown cultural happenings. Sidewalk seating in front of storefront cafés is accommodated, as are bistro tables and chairs in the middle of the plaza. Berkeley LIVE! programs music and other artistic performances, as well as community activities, in a staging area that makes use of the eight speaker sound poles.
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Austin-Bergstrom International Airport undergoes extensive upgrades.
By Suzie Hammond Austin TX fancies itself “The Live Music Capital of the World,” which is splashed up in lights in several places in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and on signs across the rest of the city. The other slogan embraced by the Austinites is “Keep Austin Weird.” Many small businesses in the surrounding area do their best to be more interesting than your usual retailer is. Vegan taco wagons, clothing-optional hippies, and a variety of music and art festivals intersect here, creating a culture that is truly vibrant…and distinctively Austin. As a public utility, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport was involved in discussions about its expansion starting before 2012. The plans went through a number of committees and elections in Austin before finally getting to the point at which portions could go out for various contractors to bid. (Naturally, the process of collecting and reviewing bids was rather lengthy. In addition, any changes related to newer specifications of just-released equipment had to be reviewed thoroughly.) After the typically intensive process for public works, project design and architecture was awarded to Gensler. The design giant, which is headquartered in San Francisco CA, comfortably made more than $1 billion in revenue each year for the last five, and the company operates offices in 46 cities in 16 countries. According to its website, “Gensler is a global design firm that partners with clients to create more livable cities, smarter workplaces and more engaging leisure destinations.” Sounds like a match for Austin’s ethos! 50 Sound & Communications February 2019
A Wide View There’s plenty of audiovisual technology to discuss across the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport campus. But, before we delve into digital signs, paging systems and so forth, let’s take a wider view of the overall master plan, including its non-AV-centered elements. Robert Mercado, Project Manager and Architect with the city of Austin Department of Aviation, is helping to oversee this major undertaking, which, although well on its way, has not been entirely completed. He explained that the plan, which includes adding nine new gates, would accommodate a projected 15 million travelers annually—a 36-percent increase over the airport’s existing capacity. In addition to the new gates, the project entails a 70,000-square-foot extension that contains 19,000 square feet of retail space, an outbound baggage area, various airline offices and additional passenger amenities. Project planners also envision a large, outdoor obser vation deck, pet-centric spaces, a variety of improvements on existing structures and upgrades across the terminal to enhance the passenger experience. The vision outlined is beyond reproach, but one of the challenges in achieving it has been the fact that the airport has had to remain fully operational throughout. (More on that shortly.) Apart from the obvious, what else is expected from an airport renovation and expansion these days? Befitting its city culture, Austin-Bergstrom includes elements such as music-performance areas and artistic spaces. New termi-
nal items also include a variety of informational screens that inform travelers about, for example, which are the quickest security lines to get through, improving the passenger experience by cutting wait times. There are also information screens to inform inbound travelers about wait times for customs and baggage claim, as well as other vital information. Clearly, this story is now transitioning to the AV “sweet spot.” To keep things digestible, we’ll focus on three different AV-related aspects of the overall project, taking each in turn.
PA System Julien Peterson PMP, CTS-I, Project Manager with Ford AV, a widely known AV integrator with headquarters in Oklahoma City OK, took the lead with respect to installing the airport’s new PA system, which is centered on a mix of AtlasIED speakers and amps, JBL speakers and QSC surface-mount speakers. “Everything having to do with the PA system was taken out and replaced with digital equipment,” Peterson affirmed. “Overall, there were about 1,000 new speakers put up, and all the microphones were replaced with much
better equipment.” He continued, “Fortunately, we could use some of the past conduiting that was in the existing parts of the airport, but, naturally, the new installs for the nine new gates needed entirely new gear.” Let’s turn first to the speaker side. From AtlasIED, Ford AV specified 547 FA138T167 eight-inch coaxial speakers with 16W 70.7V transformers, as well as 20 FAP82T eightinch coaxial in-ceiling speakers with 60W 70/100V transformers and ported enclosures. From JBL, the complement included the following: 137 AC16 ultra-compact, two-way loudspeakers with 6.5-inch LF transducers; 84 CSS-1S/T compact, two-way 100V/70V/8-ohm loudspeakers; 13 Control 29AV-1 premium indoor/outdoor monitor loudspeakers; and nine Control 24CT background/foreground ceiling loudspeakers. Additional speakers from QSC included a whopping 634 AD-S4T surface-mount models. AtlasIED power amplifier cards include 95 IEDT6302L class D, dual-channel, 600W, 70V; 20 IEDT6152L class D, dual-channel, 300W, 70V; and 18 IEDT6602L class D, dual-channel, 1,200W, 70V. On the microphone side, the AtlasIED complement is as follows: 44 IEDA528HDT-H 528 Series digital communication stations; 34 IEDA528SK-H Sidekick four-button expansion
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has recently undergone an extensive renovation and improvement project.
Sound & Communications 51
The onsite team worked with the utmost professionalism. From digital signs to unobtrusive PA speakers, this project had it all.
PA System Equipment
stations; 14 IEDA528HDT-G Ethernet microphone stations; and an IEDA528SRMEH Ethernet microphone station. As intimated earlier, Peterson affirmed that the biggest challenge for this aspect of the project was definitely the continuous high-traffic situation of a busy airport—particularly when dealing with scissor lifts, heavy equipment and mounting components. And that’s despite the fact that work hours were scheduled for when air and foot traffic were at their lowest levels. “Sometimes, we would need to wait to complete a section by returning later in the evening, when traffic would be less of an obstacle,” he explained. 52 Sound & Communications February 2019
2 Ashly Audio TRA-2150 2-channel, convection-cooled, rackmount stereo power amps 1 AtlasIED 1502AI InX2 CobraNet audio input interface 8 AtlasIED 1502AO OutX2 CobraNet audio output interfaces 417 AtlasIED 61-8W decorative steel baffles (8", white) 1 AtlasIED 62-8 general-purpose steel baffle (8") 44 AtlasIED IEDA528HDT-H 528 Series digital communication stations 14 AtlasIED IEDA528HDT-G Ethernet mic stations 34 AtlasIED IEDA528SK-H Sidekick 4-button expansion stations 1 AtlasIED IEDA528SRME-H Ethernet mic station 547 AtlasIED FA138T167 8" coaxial speakers w/16W 70.7V transformers 20 AtlasIED FAP82T 8" coaxial in-ceiling speakers w/60W 70/100V transformers 2 AtlasIED IP108-D-CS announcement control systems 20 AtlasIED IEDT6152L class D, dual-channel, 300W, 70V power amp cards 95 AtlasIED IEDT6302L class D, dual-channel, 600W, 70V power amp cards 18 AtlasIED IEDT6602L class D, dual-channel, 1,200W, 70V power amp cards 7 AtlasIED IEDT9032NS ambient analysis sensor collectors 137 JBL AC16 ultra-compact, 2-way speakers w/6.5" LF transducers 24 JBL CBT70J-1 Constant Beamwidth Technology 2-way columns w/asymmetrical vertical coverage 9 JBL Control 24CT background/foreground ceiling speakers 13 JBL Control 29AV-1 premium indoor/outdoor monitor speakers 84 JBL CSS-1S/T compact, 2-way 100V/70V/8-ohm speakers 634 QSC AD-S4T surface-mount speakers PA equipment list is edited from information supplied by Ford AV.
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Curbside LED walls are approximately 7'6"Wx5'H. The walls alert travelers to where each airline is located, and they inform motorists where standing and drop offs are permitted.
A close-up view of one of the curbside LED walls.
Peterson continued, saying, “We used a scissor lift, which needed a plywood base under it for ever y move. Additionally, a canvas cover was necessar y to protect the floor surfaces.” And, for some aspects of the job, the Ford AV team had to put out event notices weeks in advance, so ever yone else inside and outside the terminal could plan accordingly. In light of the extensiveness of the project—as mentioned, more than 1,000 new speakers were installed—executing the design was no simple task. As always, though, Ford AV was up to the job, having integrated countless “A”-class projects over the decades. According to Peterson, “I had a well-trained and thorough crew, so we could do equipment moves and overhead installs as rapidly as safety allowed. Our speed and efficiency meant we could get 54 Sound & Communications February 2019
done in good time.” He elaborated in much greater detail, saying, “It took our crew of three to five people about a year to complete this job. It wasn’t difficult to do the actual AV work, as that was fairly straightfor ward. The complexity came from the size of it all. Each part needed to be checked out thoroughly before moving for ward.” He added, “And, I had to make sure we were in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. For instance, when we drilled into the cement for the outside installs, we needed the silica attachments on the drills for our workers not to be inhaling that cement dust and that sort of thing.” He noted, “I know some contractors are not too particular about things like that, but we want to take care of our workers.”
Another interesting part of the broader project at Austin-Bergstrom centered on six double-sided LED walls—totaling 12, all together—that were placed outside, curbside. The first order of business was to get special plans drawn up for the metal superstructure that holds the signs, which have to be able to withstand winds of up to 120mph. Austin Commercial, one of the largest, most diversified builders in the US, produced the frameworks. When the overarching structure was put up, the AV implementation could begin. Mayo DeLeon, Business Development Manager, Visual Innovations, shared details about the hardware installation. The 12 LED walls are composed of 72 Delta Products SX-6MF outdoor, 6mm, 768x768mm (WxH), front-ser viceable LED tiles. Each LED wall is composed of six panels and weighs just less than 400lb. Each wall, in total, is approximately 7'6"Wx5'H. The LEDs rotate through information and require periodic updating. The screens’ purpose is to alert travelers where each airline is located and to inform motorists where standing and drop offs are permitted. The installation process required the use of a small forklift for the actual lifting and installing. The Delta panels were fit together with the help of Gene McCutchen,
Austin-Bergstrom’s new PA system, which is composed of about 1,000 new speakers, ensures that everyone—no matter where they are—hears every announcement.
Project Manager with Br yComm, as well as Benjamin Stewart, Electrical Engineer with Delta Products. With the previous experience the team had, the install went extremely smoothly. The Delta panels fit into the newly made steel enclosures, and were daisy-chained to achieve seamless messaging. DeLeon from Visual Innovations worked with Shaun Davis, the IT Department Systems Architect with the city of Austin, to manage the software side. Part of Visual Innovations’ scope was to install the Scala digital signage software on the client-provided server and media players and to provide software integration to allow the client data to be programmed into the displays, while also assisting in the initial setup and scheduling of the playtime. Visual Innovations also provided Scala certified training and custom script software integration. Davis related that, just as the team had completed the hardware installations and software integration, a new airline was commencing ser vice through AustinBergstrom. Davis pressed for a trial the night before the newly arriving airline went
The cell phone waiting lot offers ample parking and a convenience store. Adjacent to the store’s doors is a digital sign that receives a live arrival/departure feed from the airport information system.
“live.” The LED walls and software were put through their paces and ever ything worked perfectly. The next morning, the entire system, complete with the new airline, went into operation seamlessly. The entire crew was delighted! Incidentally, within a few weeks, a major weather event brought winds exceeding 100mph. As predicted, the LED walls that Visual Innovations brought to life withstood the high wind velocities and slashing rain.
Cell Phone Waiting Lot Turning to the last aspect of AustinBergstrom we’ll cover in this repor t, a new cell phone waiting lot is making life easier for ever yone who’s arriving to pick up someone by car. The spacious parking
area is ser viced by a well-stocked convenience store that boasts a Peerless-AV 49inch UltraView outdoor TV, which shows a real-time listing of flight data. It’s supported by a Chief flat-panel mount. A Dell WYSE 3030 N03D DDR3 SDRAM Intel dual-core 1.58GHz thin client offers access to a live feed from the airport information system. The actual installation location is on the front of the convenience store, adjacent to the front door and shielded from the weather. Austin Commercial electricians and Br yComm prepped the area for the install. The airport building maintenance team installed a piece of 3/4-inch plywood and the Chief mount for the Peerless-AV 49inch display. Then, a two-person team at(continued on page 68) February 2019
Sound & Communications 55
As part of the Ignite internship program, interns spend time with employees to learn the ins and outs of specific roles.
BUILDING YOUR TALENT PIPELINE
Resources exist to seed the next generation of integration professionals. By Kelly Perkins For as long as I’ve been in the systems integration industr y, it’s been a challenge to tr y to explain our work to non-industry professionals. Over the years, the industry has changed not only to include AV, but also to include low-voltage communications, life safety and security, nurse call and IT/network technologies. Earlier this year, a friend and former colleague of mine, Justin Watts, started a conversation among a group of about 100 integration professionals on Facebook. He said, “I’m often asked what, specifically, I do for a living. I have a diverse career path that spans multiple segments of the IT/AV universe, so it’s sometimes hard to connect all the dots. How do we explain what we do to people outside our industr y?” Responses to his post ran the gamut. Ever ything from “I work in audio—no homes or cars. No, I can’t fix your home theater system,” to “I tell people that I automate big buildings and other fancy places.” The most concise response, at least in my opinion, was, “I simply say, ‘I help people communicate through the use of audiovisual technology.’” This might be an obvious statement, but, if it’s confusing to you and me, just imagine how confusing it is to those we’re tr ying to recruit! This is just one of many challenges that we face in bringing new talent into our industr y. I’ve been the NSCA Education Foundation Director for about six months now, and we hear the same number-one business concern discussed over and over: “We need skilled technicians. We need design engineers, programmers and project managers.” And on and on. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO, an HR director or a manager of technical ser vices; the shortage of skilled workers is affecting everyone. The average NSCA member has at least seven open positions at any given time (nationally, that equals out to 17,000 open positions). Current industry training programs, such as Electronics Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA), fill only 600 56 Sound & Communications February 2019
(3.5 percent) of those positions each year. Yikes. So, here’s the million-dollar question: How the heck do we fix this? No one has a silver bullet, but there are things we can do to attract, recruit and retain skilled, knowledgeable employees. The NSCA Education Foundation is spearheading efforts to help integrators and manufacturers fill these gaps, but there are also things you can do on your end. Based on feedback from integrators, manufacturers, consultants, independent reps and even end users, I’ve compiled some ways you can contribute. Align Our Conversations: Let’s start by agreeing on a name. Are we “AV”? Are we “IT”? Are we “low-voltage electronic systems contractors”? How about “communications technologies”? Within our own industr y, we all refer to what we do differently. A good (and basic) first step would be to establish a consensus about how, exactly, we’re going to refer to ourselves. Spread The Word About Opportunities: Without question, our industr y is one of the best-kept secrets in today’s job market. Post-secondar y students interested in technology have no idea how optimistic their career prospects in our field might be. They don’t know how hungr y we are for talent. They don’t know how what we do lays the foundation for almost ever y organization’s communication, productivity, efficiency and safety. And most, as we know, don’t know that our industr y even exists! Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to get the word out about what we do and about the career paths available in our industry. To do this, we have to educate ourselves—that means learning how to talk about our industr y and the paths we offer to high-paying careers.
To connect students, young professionals and schools to the industry, Conference Technologies Inc. hosted interns this past summer as part of the Ignite internship program.
The Ignite Initiative The NSCA Education Foundation’s Ignite program exists for a single purpose: that is, to connect students, young professionals and schools to our industr y. Ignite was first unveiled at NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference (BLC) in 2016, and we’ve come a long way since its inception. The Ignite program’s sole focus is to showcase the industr y and its career opportunities to jobseekers, students and educational institutions. Ignite provides marketing materials to high schools/technical colleges and Ignite Ambassadors (90-plus people who have agreed to support Ignite), and it provides materials to industr y professionals who want to speak locally about career opportunities in our industr y. Ignite also hosts an industr y-specific job board. Last year, the Ignite pilot internship program launched, having 12 participating organizations and 25 interns. The internship process works as follows: Phase 1: Onboarding: During this time, interns gain an understanding of your business, spending at least one day in each department to understand its inner workings and how each department affects the others. Phase 2: Ride & Decide: For a five-week period, interns will gain specific skills and knowledge to spark interest in our industr y. Phase 3: Learn & Earn: Using NSCA’s Certificate as a Systems Integration Professional (C-SIP) program, interns gain relevant experience and credentials in sales, (continued on page 78)
Toward the end of their internship experience, students craft essays that document what they’ve learned with regard to quality, performance, process improvement and personal growth.
Students participating in the Ignite internship program spent the summer getting hands-on experience in all departments of participating integrators and/or manufacturers. February 2019
Sound & Communications 57
Airports Getting In The Loop Hearing loops are the wheelchair ramp of the hard of hearing. 58 Sound & Communications February 2019
Photo courtesy Greater Rochester International Airport.
An information counter at the Greater Rochester International Airport.
By Stephen O. Frazier Fear fills the hearts and minds of many hardof-hearing travelers as they disembark at the arrivals area of most American airports. They’re filled with the fear of being aurally blind. With rushed, garbled announcements in the concourse area and at the gates in most airports, travelers often don’t know whether they’re coming or going. Gate-change announcements are incomprehensible, flight delays are lost in transmission and pages over the PA system are simply indecipherable sounds.
Welcome Change Happily, however, that situation is changing in a growing number of American airports. Leading that change is the Greater Rochester International Airport, in Monroe County NY, which has
become the poster child in the movement for improved communication access for hard-of-hearing air travelers. The airport administration, in line with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)’s admonition to “Get in the Hearing Loop,” has devoted a good portion of a $40 million grant from the state of New York to the installation of hearing loops and other technology throughout the terminals. Hearing loops, which are known in the AV world as audio frequency induction loop systems (AFILS) are, in their simplest form, a discretely installed wire that circles an assembly area that’s connected through its own amplifier to an electronic sound source, such as a PA system. The loop broadcasts the sound from that system as a silent electromagnetic signal to the telecoils in hearing aids and cochlear implants (CIs) of anyone inside that loop. What are telecoils, you ask? They’re tiny wire coils available in most hearing aids and all new CIs. They receive the loop’s silent signal, and the hearing devices turn it back into sound. Installation of AFILS technology has surged in the US in the last decade, turning up in locations as diverse as New York NY taxicabs and the US Supreme Court; now, it’s in a growing number of airports. In the case of the Greater Rochester International Airport, the loop wire—all 19,000 feet of it—was buried in the scored concrete floors of the terminal and connected to 23 separate Contacta HLD9 modular phased array loop drivers, each with 10A RMS of compliance current at 1kHz sine wave to overcome the abundance of steel in the floors. These 400W drivers serve all the departure gates and two separate concourses. The installation was performed by the Hearing Loop Systems Division of Parkway Electric & Communications, of Holland MI.
Starting From Check In With the completion of that project, access to hearing loops now begins with check in, at which time ticket agents use counter loops to communicate with passengers, and ends as a traveler boards the plane. In addition to the loops installed in the floors, more than four dozen counter loops are spread throughout the terminal. What’s more, the use of telecoil/loop technology to ser ve passengers continues as they move through the security area after having checked in.
Passengers proceed to looped concourses and departure gates that feature phased array loops, which contain sound to each individual gate area. Attendants at those gates also have a counter loop at their desk, enabling them to communicate privately with individual travelers. What’s more, counter loops are featured at car-rental desks, gift shops, food-ser vice cashier stations and other points of ser vice. As excellent as all of that is, here’s the limitation: Not even nearly four miles of loop wire, plus an abundant supply of counter loops throughout the terminal, can help a traveler if he or she doesn’t have telecoils. So, tablet computers that feature an Interpretype software program are on hand at all points of ser vice to communicate by voice-to-text, or even sign-language-to-voice. Meanwhile, overhead, color-coded TV monitors visually relay information being broadcast over the loops. The Monroe County Executive, Cheryl Dinolfo, told the local TV station, “Our goal is to create a safer and improved passenger experience with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities.” With nearly 2.5 million travelers passing through Rochester’s terminals each year, up to an estimated 500,000 could have a measurable hearing loss; and, for those in that half-million who have telecoil-equipped hearing aids or CIs, none will have to wonder what an announcement was, if their gate has changed, if their flight is delayed or canceled, or if they’re being paged. Some travelers, seeking to rid themselves of the auditory overload present in the terminal, might even choose to turn off the mics in their hearing aids and rely solely on their telecoils to provide the information they need to get to their gate and board their flight.
One Of Several Rochester is just one of several airports to follow the example set nearly a decade ago, when the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids MI became the first in the US to install this kind of technology, placing it at all its gates and in the grand concourse.
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Sound & Communications 59
Photo courtesy Greater Rochester International Airport.
A night shot of the canopy over the arriving passenger area at the Greater Rochester International Airport.
Tara Hernandez, the airport’s Marketing Director, reported, “The response to the loops by hard-of-hearing travelers has been tremendous, because it takes the stress out of travel.” The Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport soon emulated Grand Rapids; then, terminals in Muskegon MI and South Bend IN followed. As time passed, loops were installed at some Delta Air Lines gates in the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport as well as in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, in which the international arrivals area and an “Art at the Airport” rest and waiting area were looped. Also adopting hearing-loop technology in various ways were the Fort Wayne International Airport and the Santa Barbara Airport. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, located in Maricopa County AZ, is a major hub for Southwest Airlines and several other air carriers. It has joined the move to provide better communication access as part of a modernization project that began at its Terminal 3. Sky Harbor’s Senior Technology Systems Project Manager, Craig Fuller, reported that the airport has installed inductive hearing loops at 15 gates on the South Concourse, and it plans to loop an additional 10 gates on the North 60 Sound & Communications February 2019
Concourse next year. To avoid even the possibility that cutting channels in the cement floors of the terminal for loop wire would weaken them, the airport required that the 14,000 feet of loop be copper tape installed on the floor surface, instead of in scored channels in the cement floors. The installation uses Contacta’s HLD9 amplifier driving a phased array patterned loop, which confines each gate’s loop signal within its borders, and which avoids the signal overspill one might encounter when using a typical perimeter loop. And the list goes on! In Austin TX, Hearing Loop Systems has looped 12 gates at Austin-Bergstrom International Airpor t. In Memphis TN, a major modernization program is in the planning stages at Memphis International Airpor t; it will include induction loop systems in the concourse and in all gate/ hold room areas. Atlanta GA’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was recently honored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its efforts to enhance accessibility for passengers and guests who have disabilities. Balram Bheodari, Interim Airpor t General Manager, said the airport placed teletypewriter (TTY) devices, which provide voice-to-text communication for the deaf or severely hard
of hearing, at strategic spots throughout the terminal, while also installing hearing loops at information desks “to ensure a best-in-class experience is accessible to all of our guests.” It seems clear that the looping movement is gaining momentum. With the wind at their backs, advocates are pressing for the airports in Albuquerque NM, Salt Lake City UT, Seattle WA and other cities to get in the loop.
Around The World American airports have been slow to address the special communication needs of hard-of-hearing travelers. Hearing loop technology is common in the air terminals of many major cities around the globe, from the East to the West. In Russia, all three of Moscow’s airports feature hearing loops. Domodedovo Moscow Airport, for example, installed loops in nine zones of the terminal, which are connected to the airport’s system of automatic announcements. In Seoul, South Korea, Incheon International Airport recently installed hearing loops at information desks so that hard-of-hearing travelers can more easily communicate with attendants. Airports and train terminals in the UK have featured hearing loops for years. Gatwick Airport in West Sussex, England, is
Summing Up The discussion above references just a few examples of the multitude of airport terminals around the world served by hearing loops. That testifies to a belief among many that, for those with hearing loss, loops are a preferred and effective way to serve their communication needs in large places of assembly. Importantly, telecoil-equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants that are acquired in the US—or anyplace else in the world, for that matter—will work with the hearing loops in any venue a traveler might visit: from the
Increasingly, air travelers are seeing signage about airports being hearing-loop equipped.
filled with signs that show what they call the “sympathetic ear” symbol. It’s visible from check-in counters to gates; plus, a new waiting area, which opened last summer, is specifically designed for those who have disabilities. Like Gatwick, Heathrow Airport in London, England, has loops available at various points throughout the terminal. Meanwhile, at Manchester Airport in Greater Manchester, England, check-in counters are looped and phased array systems have been installed in key areas of the building. Crossing the channel to France, Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris, France, offers travelers waiting areas within each of the airport’s terminals, each of which is equipped with induction loops. Moreover, the customer-assistance terminal is fitted with a loop. In Spain, Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport has installed hearing loops in a variety of locations to improve accessibility for hearing-aid users. The recently adopted inter national symbol for hearing-loss assistance features a “T” if that assistance is pr ovided by hearing-loop/telecoil technology. Here in the US, it is usually blue; however, abroad, it might be a variety of colors. In all cases, though, the symbol tells har d-of-hearing travelers to tur n on their telecoils. As is clear, travelers in an increasing number of cities—both domestic and international—can expect to see them as they traverse airpor ts.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York, to the tourist information office in the tiny village of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, France. Hearing loop signals are the same frequency everywhere, and, assuming they are installed correctly, they all meet the universal standard for signal strength and uniformity contained in IEC 60118-4. Hearing loops are the wheelchair ramp of hard-of-hearing people…an accommodation that will make their disability a little less disabling. And that’s why it’s worth celebrating so many airports now getting in the loop.
Getting Up To Speed For An AVoIP Future, Part 3 The IT manager and you.
62 Sound & Communications February 2019
By Rob Ziv, CTS-D, CTS-I, ISF-C, DSCE Almo Professional AV In the previous installments of this series, we discussed some of the benefits of IP signal distribution, along with a few technical terms to help sift through the noise in the market. However, when network-based solutions utilize the enterprise network infrastructure, they often face the scrutiny of IT managers. As such, it is essential to both understand the IT department’s concerns and prepare yourself to address them accordingly. Although there are multiple potential pain points for IT, they come down to a few closely related technical areas; among them, the top two are security and bandwidth. Before going further, let’s get some perspective. I anticipate that many people who read this have limited experience in AVover-IP (AVoIP) matters. (Other wise, why would you be reading this primer, right?) The potential appeal of this piece is to offer some form of enlightenment—or, perhaps, fear reduction—about the subject. After all, even with the convergence of AVoIP, is it reasonable to expect all AV specialists to know ver y much about IT? I ask that rhetorically, as it illustrates the expectation I have found from some AV professionals who (incorrectly) anticipate that IT people will understand AV. I, too, had the same misperception that IT department heads would already know about AV. Simultaneously, my non-scientific research anecdotally shows that some IT managers assume AV people understand little about networks. As is usually true, reality doesn’t lie in generalizations. It is prudent to put aside assumptions about the person who sits across from you, and, instead, to have an open dialogue from the outset about perceptions and concerns. Sometimes, concerns can be alleviated through dialogue. Be prepared to answer the following question: “What do I need to do to my network to get this to work?” The easiest ways to fail in implementing AVoIP is to choose
an unproven solution or to use the cheapest option. Be prepared to address a whole range of issues with the IT managers. If you are unsure of the answers to the questions I introduce below, talk to the manufacturer’s support team. If the manufacturer is unable to answer your questions, then find another provider! Working with vendors that offer proven solutions, with pre-sale and post-sale support, will help maximize the potential for success. One of the first questions to ask is whether the manufacturer offers firmware and security updates. If so, are those updates automatic? If they are not automatic, how will deployment of the latest patches be ensured? It’s also good to ask how much bandwidth the solution requires. Most network traffic outside of AV is bursty, which means there are usage surges, which are followed by lulls. Imagine you are shopping online. While the vendor webpage loads, network traffic increases. After the site loads, downloading stops while you read the page, only to resume with the next click. In between, the network is free to handle other tasks, such as email or web sur fing by colleagues. By comparison, sending real-time audio and video over the network is constant, and, therefore, it consistently demands higher bandwidth. Speaking of bandwidth, not all network switches are created equal. We typically hear of switches rated by their port speed (for example, 1Gb). However, the por t speed does not mean all ports can pass data at the same time at that rate. The backplane speed is the maximum amount of data that a switch can for ward at one time, regardless of the number of ports in use. When deploying an AVoIP solution, whether on
The next evolution of our idealized system overview, with added detail.
A A B
ENCODERS/DECODERS EMAIL SERVER WEB SERVER DMZ AV CONNECTION NETWORK CONNECTION
a dedicated network or riding on the organization’s existing infrastructure, the backplane of switches must support the required data throughput. Additionally, keep in mind that some AVoIP standards (i.e., AVB/TSN) require specially certified switches. Does the IT department have to open ports on the firewall? If so, which ones? Opening ports on a firewall creates work for IT and has the potential to increase
security risks. Some AVoIP solutions sit inside the corporate firewall, others are outside and some go in the DMZ (a network between the internet and enterprise network, intended to provide additional security from outside threats). How is AV traffic data prioritized? For example, does it require configuring quality of service (QoS)? Although many methodologies use DiffSer v for QoS, they do not (continued on page 79)
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MARKET BRIEF By Amanda Mullen
Government Facilities And Public Works Major government shutdowns, much like the one that began at the end of last year, quickly demonstrate to Americans just how heavily we depend on public services in our day-to-day lives. There are many services that we as citizens tend to take for granted, hardly even recognizing that these facilities are publicly funded and crucial to maintaining a functional society. Airports, for example, are among our most-utilized public facilities, with somewhere around 100,000 flights scheduled to take off on any given day. Many hospitals also receive public funding, which is used to treat millions of patients suffering from a variety of ail-
ments. And of course, the more obvious public spaces, like police stations and courthouses, allow us to uphold laws and oversee legal proceedings— processes made more efficient with modernized spaces. Given the importance of public buildings, it stands to reason that these spaces have to be kept in optimal condition. Airports or hospitals that aren’t properly maintained could pose safety and health risks to both staff members and visitors, while poor conditions in other public facilities could lead to less utilization, and thus, diminished capability to uphold necessary proceedings.
A rendering depicting LAX’s Midfield Satellite Concourse facing west.
On The Gangway Given how frequently consumers and government officials visit airports, it’s no surprise that the buildings are often in need of renovations. The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles CA is one facility facing major refurbishments as part of a $14 billion Capital Improvement Program intended to modernize the space. The project is purportedly the largest public works program the city has seen, having started in 2009 and expected to continue through 2023. Since construction began, LAX has already added a new terminal, the Tom Brady International Terminal (TBIT), which opened to the public in 2013. There are still some major additions to the project underway, however, including a $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) and a $1.6 billion Midfield Satellite Concourse. The LAMP program is intended to streamline the traffic entering and exiting the airport, allowing flyers traveling to and from the airport by car to experience a quicker and easier commute. As part of this pro64 Sound & Communications February 2019
gram, LAX will build a 2.25-mile Automated People Mover (APM) that will attach three of the airport stations to metro and transit services. A rent-a-car center, improved roadways and additional parking spaces are also listed as components of LAX’s LAMP initiative. Meanwhile, a total of 12 new gates will be built into LAX’s Midfield Satellite Concourse. The North Gates portion of the Midfield Satellite Concourse is expected to be completed later this year, and a Baggage Optimization Project (BOP) will take place alongside of it. A $515.8 million renovation of Terminal 1 and a $573 million renovation of Terminals 7 and 8 were also recently completed. The revitalized terminals now boast a more modernized design with improved security and luxury areas. In terms of security, new checkpoints have been added to Terminal 1, as well as baggage-scanning technology and baggage-claim areas. Terminals 7 and 8 have also been upgraded with more comfortable seating options in their waiting areas, as well as an increase in charging stations.
A rendering of redeveloped JFK, which will include redesigned roads and parking areas to streamline passenger commutes.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), located in New York NY, is also under renovation, with Mott MacDonald overseeing the initial engineering and design portion of the project. As part of JFK’s redevelopment, two new international terminals will be added to the facility. These terminals alone will span four million square feet, and their construction is scheduled to begin during 2020. If all goes as planned, the airport will start opening its new gates to the public during 2023, with the project being completed fully in 2025. In addition to the new terminals, JFK
An aerial view of JFK International Airport, which will add two new international terminals.
also intends to redesign its roads and parking areas, as well as expand its connections to railways and mass transit. Given that it’s one of New York’s busiest airports, the focus on easing the commute to and from the facility makes sense. JFK will also see new security features, including radiation detection and tech-driven identification of unattended packages, and upgraded luxury areas for passengers awaiting their flights. In total, the project should amount to around $13 billion once it is finished. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, $12 billion of the project’s costs will be funded through private investmen
‘Patch Up’ Projects Though airports comprise some of the largest-scale public renovations currently underway, they aren’t the only facilities being overhauled. Boston MA-based Massachusetts General Hospital is undergoing some major renovations in the near future, with plans to add a $1 billion addition to its campus currently in the works. The expansion would include two 12-story towers on Cambridge St., which are intended to meet increasing demands for high-quality and efficient patient care. Upon completion, the two new towers should allow the hospital to treat an additional 100 to 200 patients. In total, the building will amount to around
A rendering of the planned expansion for Massachusetts General Hospital, which is being designed by architecture firm NBBJ.
one million square feet. It will feature a heart center, a cancer center, 450 additional patient rooms and additional operating rooms. The new towers are expected to open in 2026, and the $1 billion price tag will likely be partially funded by the hospital’s donors. The Stewart Memorial Community Hospital (SMCH) in Lake City IA also unveiled expansion plans, which are intended to improve patients’ privacy needs, security and safety. The $31 million renovations will expand the emergency and rehabilitation departments, adding private exam and treatment spaces to both areas. The emergency room area will be relocated so that it is closer to the patient wing, and the hospital plans to streamline traffic by separating the emergency traffic from the main driving areas and adding a landing area for helicopters. As of this writing, the hospital has yet to announce the architect for the project or the expected completion date. The majority of the project’s price tag, however, is expected to be covered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with any remaining costs being picked up by local bank loans and contributions from the community.
Order In The Court Harrisburg PA is one city currently building a new federal courthouse, which will be located at Sixth St. and Reily St. The project remained in the development stages for several years, but the groundbreaking ceremony took place last June, and the facility is currently undergoing construction. The 243,000-square-foot building is expected to cost around $190 million when it’s finished, but the city expects the facility to bring in at least $300 million during the site’s development. There has been some controversy when it comes to the workers hired for the project, with the general contractor, Mascaro Construction Company, receiving backlash after it was revealed that most of the contractors on the project come from outside of the Harrisburg area. The courthouse construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021, allowing citizens to begin using it at the beginning of 2022. Potential tenants for the facility include the Pennsylvania 3rd Circuit US Court of Appeals, the US District Courts, US Mashal Service, US Attorneys and US Bankruptcy Trustees. That list had yet to be officially confirmed by project leaders at the time of this writing. February 2019
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NEWS Compiled by Amanda Mullen
Bryan Bradley Named President Of Group One Ltd. Group One Ltd., the Long Island NY-based US distributor for DiGiCo, Calrec, KLANG:technologies, Avolites and several other pro audio and lighting manufacturers, has appointed Bryan Bradley to serve as its President. Bradley most recently served as the Senior VP and General Manager of the Americas for Harman Professional Solutions. In that capacity, he managed the retail, live performance, large venue, hospitality and enterprise channels for the JBL Professional, AKG, Crown, Lexicon, dbx, DigiTech, Soundcraft, Studer, AMX and Martin Lighting brands in North, Central and South America. Bryan Bradley Prior to his time at Harman, Bradley served as COO of Alfred Music and worked for music retailer Guitar Center, Inc., where he held various management positions, including overseeing pro audio/ recording merchandise, Guitar Center Professional marketing and technology product marketing. According to Group One CEO Jack Kelly, “Although Group One’s business has continually grown over more than three decades, our rate of growth in the past several years has been absolutely unprecedented.” He continued, “Bryan’s diverse background and managerial experiences will not only enable him to quickly dive into the day-to-day activities of Group One as we move forward, but, more importantly, allow us to both leverage our strengths as we continue to steer the company into increased organic growth and new distribution opportunities as part of Audiotonix.”
NSCA Education Foundation Announces Board Of Directors Changes The NSCA Education Foundation announced the election of a new President to its executive committee, as well as many other leadership changes, including the addition of two new officers to its Board of Directors for this year. Laurie Englert, VP of Customer Experience at Legrand AV and former NSCA Education Foundation VP, assumed the role of President as of January 1. Englert replaced Jeff Kindig, Global Marketing Director of Events and Installations at Harman Professional Solutions. Kindig will become Treasurer. Steve Emspak, Partner at Shen Milsom & Wilke, LLC, and former NSCA Education Foundation Treasurer, became NSCA Education Foundation VP. Catherine Shanahan, Owner of Shanahan Sound & Electronics, Inc., continues as Secretary. In addition, Gina Sansivero, VP of Marketing and Corporate Communications at AtlasIED, and Tobi Tungl, Director at Conference Technologies, Inc., joined the NSCA Education Foundation Board of Directors. Both began their three-year terms on January 1. Sansivero and Tungl join the following Board members who continue their terms from last year: Paul Cronin, CEO at Apogee IT Services; Ingolf de Jong, CEO/President of General Communications, Inc.; Mike Shinn, VP of Operations, South Central AV; and Lauren Simmen, Director, Marketing, at AMETEK Powervar, AMETEK Electronic Systems Protection (ESP/ SurgeX). Ron Pusey, former President and CEO of Communications Specialists, Inc., and Tom Hanson, VP of Specialized Audio at Bosch, ended their terms at the end of last year.
Q&A With Inline Audio’s Al Walker And Costa Lakoumentas At the NAMM Show, Inline Audio officially made itself known. In light of that big news, Sound & Communications sought out Al Walker, Founder and CEO, and Costa Lakoumentas, Founder and COO, to apprise our readers of what Inline Audio is all about. Sound & Communications: Let’s start with the basics. What is Inline Audio and when did it launch? Inline Audio: Our public launch took place at the NAMM Show, although our origins go back a couple of years. When we left behind the corporate world, we had an opportunity to take stock of the pro audio industry and our own career paths, and to consider what our next challenges might be. Having gone through a number of iterations, we decided that, rather than become another company that made products, we’d instead become one that invested in brands. We would be a vehicle through which talented and visionary developers would be able to see their ideas through to completion and commercialization. Sound & Communications: Who are the Founders of Inline Audio and what are your respective histories/areas of expertise? Inline Audio: The Co-Founders are Al Walker and Costa Lakoumentas, with more than six decades’ experience between them across the full spread of audio industry sectors. Al has designed numerous products for some of the most prestigious 66 Sound & Communications February 2019
(L-R): Al Walker and Costa Lakoumentas.
brands in the industry, and he’s also worked in brand and product management and regulatory and legal compliance. He works with our inventors to make their original design concepts a reality by turning them into successful, mass-manufactured products. Costa leads business development and engagement with our investor community, as well as working with inventors to bring their products to market launch. He’s held leadership roles in product management, marketing and sales for some of the industry’s leading brands. He has developed and launched more than 130 technology products across many categories, earning eight US patents in the process. Sound & Communications: What does the company mean when it characterizes itself as an “Audio Incubator”? Inline Audio: We provide the business structure and services required
NEWS Prolight + Sound Guangzhou Achieves Sustainable Growth With 1,300 exhibitors and 75,993 professional buyers and industry players worldwide attending its most recent edition, this year’s Prolight + Sound Guangzhou (PLSG), which is scheduled for February 24 to 27, is expected to demonstrate continued industry growth in Asia. The show will present 13 thematic halls and the Y-Channel demonstration area, with a technology-oriented program focused on event planning and organizing, audio-over-IP (AoIP), and innovative stage-design and technical-implication concepts. Across the roughly 1.4 million square feet of exhibition space, the focus will be on products that suit not only professional users in the entertainment technology field, but also those in commercial and residential sectors, including installers, contractors, consultants and retailers. The show’s signature Audio Brand Name halls will have a new arrangement this year, spanning across Halls 2.2, 3.2, 4.2 (Communication and Conference) and 5.2 (Media Systems and Solutions). Hall 4.2 will feature communication and conferencing products with an enhanced setting. Meanwhile, new technologies are opening up more avenues for entertainment experiences, such as streaming content, multiscreen engage-
ment and more. As such, a number of highquality karaoke systems, mini home theaters, smart digital AV and systems integrations will be featured in the Y-Channel of the complex. On the education side, the PLSG Annual Training Course will boast a range of sessions, featuring speakers from across the audio, lighting, event management, systems
to turn product concepts and prototypes into mass-produced and commercially successful products. We work with inventors and investors to create and deliver revolutionary product ideas to redefine the professional audio industry. Sound & Communications: Who are the inventors you’re seeking to partner with? What kind of specific help are you offering them in their product development? Inline Audio: Everybody we talk to seems to be carrying around a great idea...perhaps one that wasn’t considered the right brand fit, or one that was rejected because the idea was genuinely new and therefore risky. We work with our inventors to guide them through the entire launch process—from creating investment proposals, to optimizing their designs for efficient mass production, to market launch and beyond. Sound & Communications: What is different about Inline Audio’s approach to cultivating its investor network, and how does it differ from conventional tech incubators? Inline Audio: We take a different approach than other incubators by wanting to provide an alternative to the clichés prevalent in the startup world. We encourage investors to see the potential in experienced inventors with years of direct industry involvement behind them, rather than the popular image of the twenty-something college dropouts
integration and AV technology sectors. Set to deliver a more diverse range of industry insights under the umbrella of entertainment technology, it has been expanded to represent two themes: “Maintaining and Modernizing Performance Venue” and “Overview of AoIP Networking and Media System Integration.”
founding billion-dollar tech unicorns. Research into the profiles of successful entrepreneurs identifies that they are typically middle-aged, with a decade or more of industry experience, and they have acquired the judgment and expertise to make them lower-risk propositions for investors. We see the combination of these two factors as providing compelling investment propositions. Sound & Communications: What is the first launch we can expect to see from Inline Audio’s “incubator”? When can we expect to see it? Inline Audio: The products that we incubate are confidential until launch, due to the legal considerations with public disclosure before filing for intellectual property protection. Plus, we like surprises! Our first incubated product range will launch later this year. Sound & Communications: Why is now a particularly ripe time for Inline Audio to emerge? Inline Audio: We see an industry more interested in incremental improvement and grabbing market share from competitors by, perhaps, tweaking a couple of features, rather than by pursuing new and potentially risky product ideas. What we don’t see is any new and radical ideas. So, we decided to take the initiative do something about the state of our industry. —Dan Ferrisi February 2019
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NEWS Tom Goodwin To Deliver DSE 2019 Keynote Address
Digital Signage Expo (DSE) will reprise its opening keynote address on the morning of March 27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas NV. Zenith Media’s Tom Goodwin will present the address this year, looking at the ways in which we can drive innovation and transform our industry by embracing the power of new technologies. It’s been common practice that, every time a new technology comes around, we embrace it by applying it to what we’ve done before. The revolutionary idea is to rethink our world around what the new technology makes possible. Goodwin believes we should be excited by new technology—from 5G, to artificial intelligence (AI), to projection mapping, to innovative displays—but in a way that reimagines customer journeys and expectations using leaps of creativity and imagination to drive entirely new experiences. Goodwin’s keynote, scheduled for 8am, will kick off the two-day conference. It will run from March 27 to 28, concurrent with access to the show floor. Pre- and post-show educational programs are also set for March 26 and March 29, respectively.
Avidex Industries Launches New Managed Services Avidex Industries, a provider of collaborative communications, AV systems integration and design services, has announced a portfolio of managed services. The portfolio includes remote monitoring, AV system management and 24/7 centralized help-desk support. The service is also being offered for clients of Avidex subsidiary Digital Networks Group (DNG). Key elements of the 360° Service plan are life-cycle design and installation, maintenance and support, including dedicated personnel for on-site service assurance, as well as remote monitoring, management and analytics. The services are delivered through a cloud-based, enterprise-class secure network connection. The new services from Avidex and DNG offer clients a single software management platform that integrates with the AV industry’s top supplier systems. The new platform improves the overall customer experience and ensures system uptime and reliability. The 360° Service platform also includes client system reporting and analytics. According to Avidex CEO Jeff Davis, “We understand that managing and maintaining diverse audiovisual and unified communications solutions can be a complex task. We combined the best manufacturer-trained and -certified industry professionals with a software management platform to launch our new comprehensive managed services portfolio to support our clients’ complete audiovisual needs.”
SDVoE Alliance Celebrates Organizational Milestones The SDVoE Alliance recently announced its latest organizational milestones. Launched two years ago at ISE 2017, the alliance has grown to 40 member companies shipping 158 products. In addition, more than 300 SDVoE Certified Design Partners have been trained and certified. Member companies are poised to deliver upwards of 150,000 AV endpoints in the coming year. Deployments in education, healthcare, enterprise, entertainment, government and military environments are ongoing, and many new products are set to reach production volumes this year. “We are thrilled to be having such a profound effect on the industry,” Justin Kennington, President of the SDVoE Alliance, said. “Designers, integrators and end users are embracing the more open and standardized approach to signal management offered by SDVoE. We can clearly see that the days of dedicated matrix switchers and proprietary AV-over-IP are numbered!” At this year’s ISE show, which took place from February 5 to 8, the SDVoE Alliance demonstrated products from different manufacturers working together, and it offered a series of in-depth training sessions and case-study presentations.
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Portrait Displays, LG Electronics Announce Calibration Support Portrait Displays, Inc., and LG Electronics announced CalMAN AutoCal (auto calibration) support for the 2019 LG OLED and select NanoCell TVs unveiled last month at CES. In addition to CalMAN’s AutoCal support, two new calibration features have been added to LG’s TV lineup for this year: customizable high-dynamicrange (HDR) tone mapping and a built-in video test pattern generator. Display color calibration is the process of fine-tuning the color settings on a television to make the colors more accurate and lifelike, optimizing the video experience and making films, TV shows and other media match the creator’s intent. HDR televisions, such as the LG OLED and NanoCell TVs, map the color gamut to provide rich and lifelike colors. The 2019 LG TVs are the first to provide customizable HDR tone mapping, and CalMAN 2019 will take advantage of that customizability. Customized tone mapping will offer color professionals, content providers, integrators and installers the ability to control how their TVs render HDR10 content. People will now be able to configure three separate custom HDR tone maps and corresponding roll-off points that are tied to specific HDR10 metadata values. Color professionals and content creators will also have the ability to configure their TVs to mimic an HDR mastering display by configuring a PQ hard clip transfer function with this newest feature in CalMAN.
NEWS AVIXA Announces 2019 Certification Committee Election Results AVIXA has announced the election results for the 2019 Certification Steering Committee. Certification holders elected the following committee members: Heather Callaway, CTS-D, APG Electric Inc.; Lauren Guidry, CTS, Whitlock; and Luke Jordan, CTS-I, Electro Acoustics & Video, Inc. Jordan has also been elected by his committee peers as Chair. “I am excited to join the committee, because I’ve witnessed Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certification give AV professionals pride, skill and confidence, [propelling] their careers forward,” Jordan said. “Getting certified provides people with marketable skills and proves the value that self-improvement and education can have. Getting to be a bigger part of that story as the Chair of this committee is another way that I can serve, influence and promote others in a way that I am thrilled to do.” The newly elected committee members join current members Heather Corbin, CTS, Unified Technology Systems; John Lamberson, CTS, Salesforce; Rodrigo Ordonez, CTS-D, K2; David Petrelle, CTS-D, CTS-I, HB Communications, Inc.; Farrell Wood, CTS-D, CTS-I, Whitlock; and Ronald Willis, CTS-D, Shen Milson & Wilke LLC. The AVIXA Certification Steering Committee has principal responsibility for overseeing the development and administration of the CTS program, as well as for ensuring the credentials meet high standards of ethical and professional practice for the audiovisual industry.
Middle Atlantic will now be available alongside other Legrand AV brands in EMEA.
Middle Atlantic Expands Customer Service, Support In EMEA Middle Atlantic Products, a brand of Legrand AV, is expanding its global sales and support infrastructure with additional service and inventory in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). This Legrand AV service expansion will better serve integration customers globally, helping them by reducing lead times and providing local sales representation and support. Customers can also purchase from any of the brands within the Legrand AV portfolio with a single purchase order and receive it in one shipment. “As our customers’ businesses grow and expand globally, it becomes even more important for partners like Legrand AV to be global, as well,” Steve Durkee, Senior VP and General Manager for Legrand AV’s Commercial Division, said. “We realize it’s challenging to create cohesive, consistent AV installations with the same products and services, all while trying to finish on time if they aren’t available regionally. By expanding Middle Atlantic’s sales and support structure, we’re able to complement and support this growth, enabling our customers to create amazing AV experiences.” Middle Atlantic will now be available in EMEA alongside the other Legrand AV brands, including Chief, Projecta, Da-Lite and Vaddio. This team will offer regional design assistance and technical support to integrators and distribution partners.
RGBlink Begins Operations In North America RGBlink has announced the creation of RGBlink America, intended to bring a new focus to a growing market for the company. Servicing the US, Canada and Mexico, RGBlink America will not only provide on-the-ground sales support, but also offer US-based after-sales and technical support. “This is an important step for RGBlink and a step we have been working toward,” RGBlink’s CEO, Ben Hu, said. “We know having sales and support in such an important market is a key factor in growing the business and building even stronger relationships. We have enjoyed great support in North America with the events industry and in broadcast, and we are looking forward to introducing our products to even more people in the near future!” In related news, RGBlink America has appointed Tony Magaña as Regional Sales Manager. Magaña will be based out of San Antonio TX, along with a dedicated support team.
(L-R): Regional Sales Manager Tony Magaña with Marketing Director Justin Knox and US Account Manager Molly Yip. February 2019
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Symetrix Manages Dante System At Elon University Schar Center Elon University recently opened the Schar Center, the home of Elon Phoenix basketball and volleyball and many other major campus events, on its 636-acre campus located in the Piedmont area of central North Carolina. The new building offers a spacious entry atrium, a large practice gymnasium, locker room and team facilities, a hospitality room for social events and gatherings, and a 160,000-square-foot, 5,100-seat main arena. Audio & Light, Inc., designed and installed the arena’s sound system, which is based on a Dante network managed with three Symetrix Edge DSPs. A second sound system, based on a Symetrix Prism 16x16, serves the three locker rooms and the weight-training room downstairs. “We have been using Symetrix DSPs for at least five years and use them increasingly now that Dante has become prevalent in the industry,” Brian Cox, Audio & Light’s Installation Division VP,
HIGH FLYIN’: AUSTIN-BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT UNDERGOES UPGRADES (continued from page 53) tached the outdoor TV to the mount. The monitor’s height measures 7.5 feet at the center point. According to John McCoy, IT Systems Analyst in Aviation with the city of Austin, “This install was easy to do, because the early preparations were done well and [ever ything was] ready for us. The cabling and other items were put in by Br yComm with the oversight of Benjamin Stewart,” who, he said, worked on a number of projects for the airport. Shaun Davis was also involved in this portion of the overall renovation. McCoy added, “He had to get the IT working together with the airport information system, plus the airport personnel [had] to know how to run it correctly.” Ver y shortly after the installation of the display, a historical weather event oc70 Sound & Communications February 2019
curred, which, unfortunately, took out the monitor that had been installed. Because of the severity of the weather event, the display’s seal was breached and water got into the interior. Happily, because of the simple but effective infrastructure put in place, it took staff members literally 10 minutes to replace the TV and get the complete system back online. Davis summed up a feeling that virtually ever y participant in this project— and in this stor y—expressed. He said that morale was high throughout and ever yone was a team player, focusing on getting the job completed. “We own whatever we do,” he concluded. “There’s a great deal of cooperation on this. We all work together, and, even if it’s not part of our job, we help other sections to get things done.”
who designed the Schar Center AV systems, reported. “Symetrix DSPs work extremely well with Dante, and Elon University has adopted Dante as their digital-audio-transport platform. We also like Symetrix DSPs’ sonic quality, and they’re really flexible in the way you can control things, what they can do and how they can route. Symetrix Composer is a very good software package, and Symetrix does a really good job with the user interface. It’s easy to configure third-party products in Composer, as well. I used the Linea Research network I/O modules that were already available in Composer to drop the amplifiers right in.” All inputs, including the Dante feed from the arena’s Yamaha console, come into the main routing/switching Edge, which sends it to the other two Edges via Dante. The second Edge DSP is for the north, south, east, and west concourses and auxiliary spaces, which include a donor presentation room, a couple of media rooms, and the restrooms and hallways. The third Symetrix Edge splits signals out for the arena amplifiers.
CALENDAR February Prolight + Sound Guangzhou Feb. 24–27 Guangzhou, China Messe Frankfurt prolight-sound-guangzhou. hk.messefrankfurt.com/guangzhou/ en.html Collaboration Week NY Feb. 25–27 New York NY IMCCA www.imcca.org VidTrans2019 Conference and Expo Feb. 26–28 Los Angeles CA Video Services Forum www.videoservicesforum.org 2019 NSCA Business & Leadership Conference Feb. 27–Mar. 1 Tampa FL National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) www.nsca.org/blc
March TEC 2019 Mar. 11–14 Denver CO PSA www.psatec.com
FUTUREPROOFING EMERGENCY OPERATIONS: RIVERSIDE CA’S EAST COUNTY EOC WAS DESIGNED FOR EXPANSION (continued from page 38) 6 8 10 4 1 3 4 1 1 4 4 1 5 1 2 2 3 1 6 7 5 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 5 5 2 5 1 1 1 2 5 5 1 1 6 16 40 5 12 8 1 10 40 6 6 5 6 1 1 5 1 2 16 2 1 1
Kramer AD-DF/DF/RA DVI-I (F) to DVI-I (F) right-angled gender changers Kramer C-HM/DM-3 HDMI (M) to DVI (M) cables (3') Kramer C-HM/HM/PRO-20 high-speed HDMI cables w/Ethernet Kramer C-USB/AAE-6 USB 2.0 A (M) to A (F) extension cables (6') Listen Technologies LA-122 universal antenna kit Listen Technologies LA-128 RG-8 BNC connectors Listen Technologies LA-164 ear speakers Listen Technologies LA-321-01 8-unit portable RF product charging/ carrying case (gray) Listen Technologies LA-326 universal rackmounting kit Listen Technologies LA-362 rechargeable AA NiMH batteries Listen Technologies LR-400-072 portable display RF receivers Listen Technologies LT-800-072-01 stationary RF transmitter (72MHz) Middle Atlantic BB-44-1 copper bus bars (44RU, 1"W) Middle Atlantic BOND-G24 rack ganging/bonding kit (24 pieces) Middle Atlantic CLB-10 cable ladders Middle Atlantic CLB-90HB 90° horizontal ladder bends Middle Atlantic CLB-CSB ladder center support brackets Middle Atlantic CLB-VI90 90° vertical inside ladder bend Middle Atlantic CL-GK cable ladder bonding kits Middle Atlantic CLH-ARD12 adjustable rung drops w/spools (12"W) Middle Atlantic CLH-ELS-13/18 cable ladder elevation kits (13"-18") Middle Atlantic CLH-HTS horizontal 90° tee splice kits Middle Atlantic CLH-RSJ-6 ladder end splice kit (6 pieces) Middle Atlantic CLH-WRS-6 ladder wall support bracket (12"W, 6 pieces) Middle Atlantic EB1-CP12 blank panels (1RU, steel, flanged, 12 pieces) Middle Atlantic GANG-10 ganging hardware Middle Atlantic IEC-12X20 IEC power cords (12", 20 pieces) Middle Atlantic LACE-44-OWP lace strips (44RU, 4.75"W, w/ties) Middle Atlantic LBP-1A L-shaped horizontal lacer bars (10-pack) Middle Atlantic LVFD-44 vented-front-door, 44RU racks Middle Atlantic MW-10FT-FC fan tops, 550 CFM, w/controllers Middle Atlantic PD-815SC-PBSH shelf mount power strips (8 outlets, 15A) Middle Atlantic PDT-1015C-M-NS power strips (10 outlets, 15A) Middle Atlantic RM-KB-LCD17 rackmount LCD keyboard touchpad Middle Atlantic SPN-44-312 side panel for 44RU, 31"-32"D racks Middle Atlantic SRB-1-WRK-3224 seismic riser base (1 bay, 32"D) Middle Atlantic SRB-2-WRK-3224 seismic riser bases (2 bay, 32"D) Middle Atlantic WRK-44-32 WRK Series racks (44RU, 32"D) Middle Atlantic WRK-Z4 seismic floor anchor brackets NEC EA192M-BK 19" eco-friendly desktop monitor NEC EA224WMI-BK, 22" LED-backlit eco-friendly widescreen desktop monitor NEC V552-AVT 55" high-performance LED-backlit commercial-grade displays NEC X464UN-2 46" LED-backlit ultra-narrow-bezel professional-grade large-screen displays Neutrik NC3FXX-B 3-pole F cable connectors w/black metal housing, gold contacts Neutrik NC3MXX-B 3-pole M cable connectors w/black metal housing, gold contacts Panduit CJ688TGEI UTP jack modules Panduit CJ688TGVL UTP jack modules Panduit CPPKL6G24WBL patch panel kit – UTP Panduit GACB-1 auxiliary cable brackets Panduit P6-8R-E loose piece ring terminals Panduit SCT2/0-2/0 compression connectors– splices Panduit SCT2-2 copper “T” splices Premier Mounts GB-AVSTOR3 ceiling equipment storage units Premier Mounts P4263T universal tilting wall mounts (black) QSC CX204V 4-channel 70V power amp QSC CX302V 2-channel 70V power amp RCI Custom Products BP-2 2RU black anodized aluminum flat panels RCI Custom Products BP-8 8RU black anodized aluminum flat panel RDL STM-2 adjustable gain mic preamps Rolls RS81 rackmount quartz PLL synthesized AM/FM tuners Shure MX418/C 18" cardioid gooseneck mics Shure MX418D/C 18" desktop cardioid gooseneck mic ToteVision LED-1906HDMTR 19" rackmount HD LCD TV monitor
1 West Penn Wire 210454GY1000 miniature dual-channel audio cable 2 West Penn Wire 25226BBK1000 14/2 plenum speaker cables (1,000') 3 West Penn Wire 253CRGBBK1000 plenum miniature RGB coaxial cables 1 West Penn Wire 25Q821NT1000 plenum RG11/U type CATV coaxial cable quad-shield 5 West Penn Wire 25Q841BK1000 RG6/U type CATV coaxial plenum cables (1,000') 300 West Penn Wire CN-F6MCV RG6 plenum “F” crimps 60 West Penn Wire CN-FS11V RG11 “F” type compression connectors 100 West Penn Wire CN-NYS373-RD RCA phono connectors (red) 100 West Penn Wire CN-NYS373-WH RCA phono connectors (white) 100 West Penn Wire CN-RCP-RGB compression RCA connectors 1 West Penn Wire D25291GY1000 data-grade cable 4 West Penn Wire D25293GY1000 data-grade cables 12 West Penn Wire D25430GY1000 data-grade cables 1 West Penn Wire TL-548G lever compression tool 1 West Penn Wire TL-CCT-SS59/11 compression tool 1 West Penn Wire TL-CSST strip tool 1 West Penn Wire TL-PS11 strip tool 1 West Penn Wire TL-SNSA ratchet-style compression tool List is edited from information supplied by Spectrum ITC Group and ENKO Systems.
(main story continued from page 37) and there are no tall buildings near it,” Martin explained. “It’s a real target for lightning strikes.” The East County EOC’s equipment choices were initially laid out nearly five years ago, reflective of the time spans that government projects can cover. However, according to Bilar, a former AV integrator himself, equipment choices for EOCs tend to be based on what has worked in those environments before. “EOCs are not the place to experiment,” he cautioned. He also used a previous project he worked on for the city of Los Angeles CA’s EOC as a kind of template for Riverside County, scaling things to fit the latter’s size and budget. At the same time, however, he always kept future expansions and upgrades in mind, with provisions to “bag and tag” some of the cabling to be installed for future applications. Although the East County EOC will have its videowall filled out at some point in the future—there are also tentative plans to add other features to it—the facility, as it is, is more than equal to its tasks. Its copper-cable infrastructure is as robust as it needs to be, Bilar affirmed, noting that the installation techniques, such as quad shielding and extensive grounding, are as reliable as any networked infrastructure is. “As the events of the last several years have shown, EOCs are going to be used more, not less, and they will have to manage a lot more information in real time,” he obser ved. “This facility can do all that. The cabling and interfaces for future phases are already in place as part of my baseline design, so they just need to hang ’em and hook them up. It’s ready to do more when the time comes.” February 2019
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PEOPLE Compiled by Amanda Mullen
L. Dige Knudsen
Adamson Systems Engineering appointed Marc Bertrand as CEO…Dirac Research appointed Armin Prommersberger as CTO… Pascal appointed Lars Dige Knudsen as the Chairman of its Board of Directors, and Villads Thomsen as Board Member…DPA Microphones appointed Thomas Frederikson to VP of Sales for the APAC region… Nureva Inc. named Susan Jickling as Direc-
72 Sound & Communications February 2019
tor, International Sales, and Adrian Doughty as Director, North American Sales…Audio Engineering Society (AES) welcomed Colleen Harper as Executive Director…Nortek Security & Control appointed Dustin Jansen as Regional Sales Manager…RGBlink America appointed Tony Magaña as Regional Sales Manager…Datapath appointed Greg Dieckhaus as Sales Manager for the south-
east US…Leyard and Planar welcomed Chris Prosio as General Manager of Rental and Staging…Allied Professional Technologies appointed Jeff Miranda as Sales Manager… Bexel welcomed Mike King as Manager, Strategic Accounts…Allen & Heath appointed Markus Sinsel as Sales Director…Vistacom promoted Dan Gundry to serve as Director of Sales and Marketing….
PRODUCTS Compiled by Amanda Mullen
Product information supplied by manufacturers and/or distributors.
Extron’s 12G-SDI Switcher
Extron’s newly available SW4 12G HD-SDI is a 4-input, 2-output 12G-SDI switcher. It switches multi-rate SDI video, embedded audio and other ancillary data between 4 source devices and delivers simultaneous output signals to a pair of SDI displays or sink devices. The SW4 12G HD-SDI supports video resolutions up to 4K/60, HDR and data rates up to 11.88Gb/s, including all common serial digital video data rates specified by SMPTE and ITU standards. To ensure signal integrity over long cable runs, it provides automatic input cable equalization and output reclocking. RS232, frontpanel and auto-input switching control options allow integration into a variety of applications and environments. The SW4 12G HD-SDI switcher provides many features, including automatic cable equalization on inputs for signal attention with cables up to 230' for 12G SDI transmissions, 787' for HD SDI and 984' for SDI. Extron www.extron.com
InFocus’ BYOD-Capable Projectors
InFocus has introduced 3 projector lines that make any meeting space or classroom BYOD-capable. 9 new projector models in the IN130, IN130ST and IN2130 Series feature vibrant colors, lamp life of up to 15,000 hours, secure and simple integration with popular devices, and a whisper-quiet fan design. The projectors are a customizable presentation solution, with the new TechStation internal HDMI 1.4 bay that lets users simply add a Google Chromecast, Intel Computer Stick, InFocus SimpleShare, Asus Chromebit, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV Stick or any other HDMI-compatible device into the bay, keeping cables and dongles neatly tucked away. Educators and presenters can then use the features of the connected HDMI device to start presenting, stream audio or video, cast content and more, using compatible devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones. InFocus www.infocus.com
NEC Display Solutions’ Projectors
NEC Display Solutions has launched two projector models, the P525WL and P525UL. The P525WL replaces NEC’s P502WL-2, whereas the P525UL replaces NEC’s P502HL-2. For each model, the imaging unit has been changed from DLP to LCD technology. Featuring 5,200 center lumens, these 2 LCD models provide clear, dynamic images in high-ambient-light conditions, and the laser light source offers a minimum of 20,000 hours of reliable life. By utilizing Constant Brightness mode, the projectors are capable of delivering consistent-looking images for the life of the projector. Additionally, these 4K-ready projectors support ultra-HD signals, while WXGA and WUXGA native resolutions produce highdefinition images. The P525WL and P525UL offer a combination of installation series features, including manual horizontal and vertical lens shift, 1.6x zoom lens and HDBaseT input. NEC Display Solutions www.necdisplay.com
Furman’s Power Conditioner, Power Cord
Nortek Security & Control is shipping the Furman SS-6 power conditioner and the ACX-25 power cord. The Furman SS-6 is a black steel chassis floor strip power conditioner that serves as a narrow-form-factor version of the SS-6B, with standard surge protection RFI/EMI filtering. Including 6 outlets, the SS-6 comes with a 15' captive cord and features a line voltage of 120V, a current rating of 15A and a safety listing of cULus. Designed to extend the protection from a power conditioner like the SS-6, the ACX-25 is a discreet, 25' power cord that provides durability and longevity with a line voltage of 120V, a current rating of 15A and a safety listing of cULus. Furman www.furmanpower.com
NEC Display Solutions’ P525WL
Extron’s SW4 12G HD-SDI
InFocus’ IN138HD February 2019
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PRODUCTS ClearOne’s Ceiling Mic Array
ClearOne has expanded its audio-conferencing product line with its Ceiling Microphone Array Dante, a tri-element ceiling microphone array with built-in Dante audio networking for conferencing and sound-reinforcement applications. Each Ceiling Microphone Array Dante utilizes 3 microphone elements to deliver 360° room coverage for boardrooms, conference rooms, telemedicine facilities and more. Dante networking technology offers installation with Cat5 or Cat6 cabling, and it delivers uncompressed, multichannel audio with near-zero latency and sample accurate time synchronization throughout the network. The microphone array measures 1.5"x3". Up to 4 ClearOne Ceiling Microphone Array Dantes (12 channels) can be daisy-chained to cover 1 to 4 rooms, and the microphone elements in each array are numbered for simple identification. The array is compatible with Dante DSP mixers from ClearOne and 3rd parties, and it features shielding against RF interference. ClearOne www.clearone.com
AudioScience’s Integration Plugin
AudioScience has announced that its Iyo Dante family of microphone/line Dante audio-over-IP (AoIP) interfaces can now integrate with the Q-SYS Ecosystem from QSC via a new plugin. Available in channel capacities from 8x8 through 32x32 in a 1RU form factor, the Iyo family features THAT Corp. digitally controlled preamps and 32-bit AKM analog-to-digital and digitalto-analog converters. With the plugin, system designers can now integrate Iyo Dante products into the Q-SYS Designer software and control all aspects of the interface on a native Q-SYS touchscreen controller. The Iyo Dante plugin is available through Q-SYS Designer Asset Manager. AudioScience www.audioscience.com
Platinum Tools’ Unloaded Patch Panels
Platinum Tools has launched its shielded and unshielded Unloaded Patch Panel line, available in both a 24- and a 48-port line. The Unloaded Patch Panels make it easy to mix and match keystones, replace a damaged port and add new runs. They also ease category upgrades, maximize limited rack space, and can be utilized for small-office or residential applications. The Unloaded Patch Panel line can be used with RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI audio/video, voice, USB and other applications. Ports are numbered to simplify connection identification, and write-on labels with protective covers are also included. They mount into 1RU/2RU of EIA-standard 19" 2-post rack- or wall-mount rack enclosures. The support and management bar is removable and includes cable zip ties to secure cables. Platinum Tools www.platinumtools.com
Eiki’s Laser Projectors
Eiki has announced the EK623UW (white chassis) WUXGA (1920x1200) laser projector. It features DLP technology, 6,000-lumen brightness, a 100,000:1 contrast ratio (with Extreme Black Mode) and the color performance that results from the use of blue phosphor laser technology with a 20,000-hour light source life. This projector also offers a number of connectivity options and 360° free orientation projection capabilities (vertical and horizontal) for installation versatility, and it’s the lightestweight unit of its kind among Eiki’s Laser Series products. An option for both meeting rooms and lecture halls, the EK-623UW has fine-tuned white and color coordinates that cover 97% of Rec. 709 (HDTV primary color space). The unit’s brightness and contrast allow for the reproduction of both text and images. Eiki International www.eiki.com
Platinum Tools’ Unloaded Patch Panels
ClearOne’s Ceiling Microphone Array Dante
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AudioScience’s Iyo Dante
PRODUCTS DAS Audio’s Speakers
DAS Audio has unveiled its ACTION 500 Series, consisting of 8 active and 8 passive speaker models, which include a 12" monitor, as well as full-range systems consisting of 8", 12", 15" and 2x15", and 3 subwoofers. This renovation of one of DAS Audio’s prior series upgrades both design and physical features, making the systems more compact and more lightweight. The ACTION-508 incorporates a newly designed DAS 8GV transducer and M-34 compression driver. The ACTION-508A powered version incorporates a new Class D power amp. All full-range systems in the ACTION Series, including the ACTION-508, 512, 515 and 525, have horns that provide improved frequency response on both the vertical and horizontal planes, while offering a wider 90°x 60° dispersion for room-filling coverage. The ACTION-512/512A and ACTION-515/515A have dualangle pole mounts, 0° and 10°, making it possible to adapt the coverage when needed. DAS Audio www.dasaudio.com
QSC’s Network Video Endpoint
QSC has announced the Q-SYS NV Series (NV-32-H) network video endpoint for the QSYS Ecosystem. This native, multi-stream, software-defined HDMI encoder/decoder enables network-based video distribution, optimized for meeting rooms. It features the QSC Shift video-compression codec, which provides low-latency video streaming with resolutions up to 4K60 4:4:4 over a standard gigabit network by dynamically adjusting network bandwidth consumption based on video content. This provides flexible and network-efficient compression and distribution of common meeting-room video content, without sacrificing the ability to stream full-motion video. The NV Series also provides seamless integration of soft codec audio and Q-SYS conference camera sources via USB for web-conferencing applications, including Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet and Cisco WebEx, all without the need for additional control processors, hubs, bridges or programming. QSC www.qsc.com
Listen Technologies’ Wireless Audio Solution
Listen Technologies has launched Listen EVERYWHERE, its new Wi-Fi product that replaces Audio Everywhere. Listen EVERYWHERE features upgraded hardware, a streamlined finish and a new server with professional audio outputs. The professional-grade system can be added to a venue’s existing wireless network, and it can accommodate thousands of users and more than 50 channels. In venues that feature Listen EVERYWHERE hardware, patrons and guests can experience wireless audio streamed directly to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets via a free downloadable app. The app can be customized to promote a venue’s brand. Venues can upload ads, coupons and special promotions, as well as links to menus, class notes, meeting agendas and other content. Custom labels and logos make it easy for users to find their preferred audio channels. The product can be used in indoor arenas and airports, as well as in combination with other ADA assistive-listening systems such as ListenRF, ListenIR or ListenLOOP. Listen Technologies www.listentech.com
Roland Pro AV’s AV-Streaming Mixer
Roland Pro AV’s VR-1HD AVstreaming mixer is compact and portable, and it has 3 HDMI inputs that each accept HD and computer video resolutions up to 1080p, avoiding compatibility issues. HDMI-embedded audio from all sources can be mixed with the 2 studio-quality XLR microphone inputs and analog line input. Additionally, the VR-1HD has dedicated controls and features that accommodate operation during live broadcasting. When editing video to post online or for playback during video streaming, the VR1-HD offers options for layering video along with high-impact transitions. With Scene Switching, end users can instantly switch between “scenes" that contain preset arrangements of layered sources in customizable inset windows. The VR-1HD can be connected to a computer via USB 3.0 for live broadcasting or recording. Roland Pro AV proav.roland.com
Listen Technologies’ Listen EVERYWHERE
Roland Pro AV’s VR-1HD
DAS Audio’s ACTION 500 Series
QSC’s Q-SYS NV-32-H
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PRODUCTS Crestron’s UCC Portfolio
Crestron is shipping its complete portfolio of Crestron Flex UCC solutions. Crestron Flex provides a native Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Zoom Rooms software experience, including 1-touch join. Crestron Flex solutions come in several forms, all of which deliver the same experience, regardless of the space in which they’re deployed. The Crestron Flex P100 Series is Crestron’s first-ever VoIP desk phone. It delivers the Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business experience to users of desktop phones. The Crestron Flex B100 Series includes a wall-mount sound bar design, and it delivers audio with a beam-forming microphone array and an integrated 4K high-definition camera that provides auto-zoom, people counting and lifelike image quality. The Crestron Flex M100 Series is a tabletop solution that allows users securely to call, present and videoconference using Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business or Zoom Rooms software. And the Crestron Flex C100 Series is an integrated UC kit that brings 1-touch join to even highly custom spaces. Crestron www.crestron.com
Rose Electronics’ Modular Matrix Switch
Rose Electronics has released the UltraMatrix AV Pro 8x8, a 4K ultra-HD modular matrix switch. The UltraMatrix AV Pro 8x8 is a customizable AV modular matrix switch that is capable of routing 8 input sources to 8 output displays. The product can be utilized for applications such as control centers and presentation venues, as well as in medical, government and residential environments where 4K signals are desired. The modular chassis accepts input and output cards in a variety of AV connections: HDMI, DVI, VGA, SDI, HDBaseT and fiber. 4K ultraHD resolution is supported with HDMI and HDBaseT cards. The product is HDCP compliant with flexible EDID control. Audio can be transmitted together with, or separate from, each video signal, eliminating the requirement for an additional audio matrix switch. Configuration and control of the switch can be managed by the front panel, IR controller, Ethernet network and RS232 serial port. The system is scalable with additional models available as 16x16, 32x32 and 64x64. Rose Electronics www.rose.com
Lectrosonics’ Antenna With Built-In Amp
Elite Screens’ In-Ceiling Projection Screen
Lectrosonics has released its ALP690, a high-performance UHF log periodic dipole array (LPDA) antenna with built-in RF amp, for use with wireless mic receivers or base station transmitters in location and studio production. The new antenna design delivers +4dBd of passive gain in a directional pattern to extend operating range, and an RF amp can be engaged to supply gain for overcoming signal loss in long coaxial cable runs. The ALP690 antenna is powered by DC bias inserted on the coaxial cable connected to the 50-ohm BNC jack. This power can be supplied by a Venue Series receiver, an active multicoupler or an inline BIAS-T. When no bias is applied, the ALP690 automatically switches via relays to function as a passive antenna so that the antenna can be used for receivers, as well as IFB or IEM transmission applications. RF amp gain, filter bandwidth and display brightness are adjusted with a membrane switch keypad and LED display on the control panel. Lectrosonics www.lectrosonics.com
Elite Screens has announced its latest in-ceiling electric projection screen with an ALR material. The Evanesce Tab-Tension B Cinegrey 5D combines an in-ceiling design with an ISF-certified product for excellent image quality, regardless of whether the lights are off or on. The tab-tension design maintains uniform screen flatness, which is suitable for 4K/8K ultra-HD and HDR-ready picture performance. The projection surface is Elite’s Cinegrey 5D angular reflective ALR material, which is ISF certified for its color saturation, contrast and black/white dynamic range. A full IR/RF and direct control kit is included. Its internal IR and RF receivers and remotes are included. In addition, there is a standard 5V-12V projector trigger to synchronize screen operation with the projector’s power cycle. Elite Screens www.elitescreens.com
Crestron’s Flex UCC Solutions Lectrosonics’ ALP690
Elite Screens’ Evanesce Tab-Tension B Cinegrey 5D 76 Sound & Communications February 2019
Rose Electronics’ UltraMatrix AV Pro 8x8
The latest literature, whitepapers, new or updated websites, course materials, webinars, training videos, podcasts, online resources and more. If you can read it, watch it or listen to it, you’ll find it here! Send details, with photos, if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compiled by Amanda Mullen
ClearOne’s Enhanced Website
So as better to connect with its global audience of integrators, consultants and end-user customers, ClearOne has unveiled a new website that presents all its professional audio, conferencing, collaboration and AV network streaming solutions in a new light. The site features a welcome message to all visitors: “Better Together.” From there, visitors can navigate the site through its main sections, which are “Audio Conferencing,” “Visual Collaboration,” “AV Networking,” “Support & Training” and “Company.” Each section features pull-down tabs to reveal the individual items contained within the category. A “Success Story” section showcases appealing case studies across a number of channels, and a “Live Chat” option is available on every page of the site to help visitors access more information. ClearOne www.clearone.com Information about the latest software releases, apps, online tools, and software and firmware updates. Send details, with supporting graphic, if available, to email@example.com.
SOFTWARE Compiled by Amanda Mullen
KLIK Communications’ CMS Application
KLIK Communications has released the KLIK Manager CMS application and companion firmware update for its KLIK Boks PRO wireless presentation system. The new application software and firmware update bring remote-management capability to the PRO model, opening the door to large-scale integrations in education, government and enterprise applications. Other features include a customizable standby screen with an included selection of wallpapers, automated firmware checks and updates, the ability to push changes to any number of KLIK devices simultaneously and the option to view remote screen-sharing sessions in real time from KLIK Manager. KLIK Manager is available in versions for Windows and Mac OSX, as well as both Debian and RedHat distributions for Linux. KLIK Communications www.klikboks.com
L-Acoustics’ Release Pack
L-Acoustics has announced that LA Network Manager 2.6.4, the LA Network Manager release pack of January 16, 2019, has been released. LA Network Manager 2 supports Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. The remote control software provides control and monitoring of up to 253 L-Acoustics amplified controllers within the L-Acoustics L-NET Ethernet network. The release pack includes new firmware 2.9.4.
Meyer Sound’s Software Upgrades
Meyer Sound has made upgrades to its MAPP XT system design tool and Compass control software, including greater integration between the two platforms, along with streamlined workflows and inclusion of data sets for new products. The release of MAPP XT (1.2.2) enables users to perform copy-and-paste operations within the sound field. Other additions include design data sets for the new USW-210P subwoofer and Acheron loudspeakers with woven screens. Predictive capability is now available for ground-stacked configurations for LEOPARD line-array loudspeakers with companion 900-LFC low-frequency control elements, as well as for LINA loudspeakers with companion 750-LFC elements. The Compass control software release (4.3.4) enables users to open a MAPP XT project in Compass and have it automatically populate settings for output processing, delay integration, array correction and labeling of channels. Meyer Sound www.meyersound.com
Firmware features are as follows: LA12X: added a fan test at start-up; LA12X: power consumption reduction in idle mode; LA12X: improved reporting of the companion error message “Unit Service Required.” Currently available via L-Acoustics’ download center. L-Acoustics www.l-acoustics.com February 2019
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INDUSTRY POV: COMMERCIAL AV, LIVE PRODUCTION TRENDS CONVERGE
HOUSE OF WORSHIP: BUSINESS
(continued from page 26) that it is. When you start talking about resolutions of 4K, 8K and 16K, along with high dynamic range (HDR), the amount of data required for uncompressed video signals becomes unmanageable. SMPTE is in the process of looking for a mezzanine-level compression for 2110 that will make 4K more feasible. NDI uses a discrete cosine transform (DCT)-based visually lossless compression scheme that allows for many 3G, and a reasonable number of 4K, streams to travel across existing network infrastructure. Both HDBaseT-IP and SDVoE utilize visually lossless compression, especially for 4K transmission. And, as resolutions continue to increase over time, compression will become even more necessar y. One of the benefits of using
(continued from page 18) your clients and potential clients. I hope this article can also provide you with information that arms you with a rationale that will help you to help HoW leaders understand the value purchasing new technologies brings. In Part 2 of this series, we will examine the remaining list of valued technologies. I believe new technologies, when used correctly, can create the desired worship experience that addresses the needs of each audience. That is what I believe. Please tell me what you believe.
IP to move audio and video streams is that it opens up the number of sources and destinations that are available, and it makes accessing those streams from more locations possible. SMPTE 2110 uses multicast to make sources available ever ywhere on a dedicated network, although it requires quite a bit of configuration. NDI can use either multicast or unicast, but it also has autodiscover y and the ability to select named sources (not just IP addresses), which makes configuration easier. Neither HDBaseT-IP nor SDVoE requires a dedicated central switching matrix, unlike previous-generation AV setups, so scaling the number of inputs and outputs only involves adding additional network ports. In all cases, the ability to traffic more
signals, route them easily and have them travel over longer distances (using multiple switches) is a game changer for both industries. It’s clear that both the live production and the commercial AV communities have come to the same conclusion—the future of connectivity for audio and video signals belongs to IP. It solves too many problems to ignore. The answer to the question of which flavor of AVoIP or liveproduction IP protocols depends on many factors. There is no silver bullet for ever y installation. The good news is that all types of IP utilize the same network switches and cabling as traditional IT technology does; that makes it much easier to mix and match flavors of IP, as well as to scale effectively as demands for more functionality arise.
INDUSTRY POV: QUIETER IS HEALTHIER: SOUND ABSORPTION CAN BE A CRITICAL COMPONENT (continued from page 30) range of reflected sounds— from low pitch to high—is not absorbed evenly. Whereas higher speech frequencies are the easiest to absorb (due to shorter sound wavelengths), problematic mid frequencies and low frequencies are more difficult to absorb. Rooms with thin absorber panels will commonly have dull, booming speech. Generally, the thicker a fiber-based absorber panel is, the better are its abilities to absorb lower frequencies, which results in smoother overall sound in the room. To account for such effects, manufacturers have started to roll out a new class of absorber panel products, known as microperf (or microperforated) panels, which are nearly perfect for hospital
usage. Unlike fiber-based solutions, microperf panels don’t have particulate fallout or as serious frequency selectivity. And, because the panels are typically wood or aluminum, which don’t give the appearance of traditional acoustical absorbers, microperf solutions are increasingly showing up in architectural designs. Microperf wood panels are commonly used in auditoriums, building lobbies and corporate meeting rooms, where they act as “stealth” acoustical absorbers that help to control echo and reverberation. Microperf aluminum solutions are excellent for cleanroom and medical-area use; they absorb a wide range of frequencies, and they can be steam-cleaned whenever
78 Sound & Communications February 2019
needed—something that cannot be done with fiber- or wood-based panels. Microperf aluminum panels are most often used in drop-ceiling grids, where they can replace existing gypsum ceiling tiles easily. Having awareness of the unique noise and sound problems found in hospitals is a good first step in achieving “quiet wellness”; second is to have knowledge of the applicable sound-absorber products. Quieter hospitals are healthier hospitals. Suggested References “Noise Pollution: Non-Auditor y Effects On Health,” by Stephen A. Stansfeld and Mark P. Matheson. https://doi.org/10.1093/ bmb/ldg033. “Noise Pollution: A Modern
SOUND ADVICE (continued from page 15) intersects.) These days, that can be done automatically by the sound level meter/analyzer, with a simple readout able to be directly obtained. However, most analyzers/apps that have that ability also show the template and spectrum of the measured noise. Next month, I will continue this brief look at noise measurement by looking at the European equivalent of the NC curves, as well as how to assess dynamic noise. I will also note some effects that microphone type and orientation can have on the measured values. Plague,” by Lisa Goines, RN, and Louis Hagler, MD. https://pdfs. semanticscholar.org/a906/783b 5d909ef214ada067bb5791f20ebf4 7c8.pdf. “Reducing Noise Pollution in the Hospital Setting by Establishing a Department of Sound: A Sur vey of Recent Research on the Effects of Noise and Music in Health Care,” by Izumi Nomura Cabrera, BM, MA, and Mathew H.M. Lee, MD, MPH, FACP. https://doi.org/10.1006/ pmed.2000.0638.
THE CENTERSTAGE AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO SOUND & COMMUNICATIONS
Sescom SES-X-FA2 Battery-Powered Audio Over Fiber Extender Sescom’s SES-X-FA2 is a battery-powered audio over fiber extender that sends 2 channel, balanced mic or line level audio signals up to 12.4 miles over a single mode fiber cable, up to 984 feet over multimode. The transmitter and the receiver each feature two balanced XLR inputs and two XLR outputs, and a simplex ST connector. The transmitter includes a switch for selecting mic or line level for each channel. The large dynamic optical range requires no optical adjustments. Designed for permanent installations, live events or outside broadcast, the transmitter and the receiver can be powered with AC power adapters or 9VDC batteries (both included). WEB ADDRESS: www. sndcom.us/sescom-ses-x-fa2-mic E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Electro-Voice New Additions to the EVID Commercial Loudspeaker Family Electro-Voice is introducing three additions to its EVID family of commercial loudspeaker solutions: the C4.2LP, C6.2 and P6.2. The C4.2LP is a 2-way fullrange ceiling speaker with a 4" woofer and a 0.75" HF driver. Its low-profile design offers a mounting depth of just 3.75". The C4.2LP’s wiring runs from the side of the unit for additional ease of installation. The C6.2 is a 2-way full-range ceiling speaker with a 6.5" woofer and a 1" HF driver. Both the new ceiling models have the same diameter as the existing EVID 8" ceiling speakers, ensuring consistent appearance across multi-model installations. The P6.2 is a 2-way full-range pendant speaker with 6.5" woofer and 1" HF driver. WEB ADDRESS: www. sndcom.us/electro-voice-evid-series
TASCAM New Dante Compact Processor Series
Digital Projection INSIGHT 4K HFR 360 Multi-View 3D Projector Digital Projection’s INSIGHT 4K HFR 360 Multi-View 3D projector can accommodate several viewers with its ultra-fast frame rates, each being individually tracked and having a view of the image that remains appropriate to their changing position. This allows the users to see and interact with each other in a collaborative manner. The INSIGHT 4K HFR 360 delivers 360fps at native 4K resolution, enabling content creators to serve 3 independent, high-resolution 3D views with just 1 projector, or up to 6 views with the addition of a second. WEB ADDRESS: www. sndcom.us/digital-projection-insight-4k
TASCAM’s new Dante Compact Processor series comprises seven half-rack Dante audio converters featuring onboard digital matrix mixers with signal processing. Excellent choices for a wide variety of public facilities, broadcast applications, recording and post production studios, soundreinforcement systems, corporate boardrooms, and more, these Dante-enabled input/output endpoints deliver up to 24-bit, 96 kHz audio conversion. Dante Compact Processors can be freely combined to create custom systems and are easily installed under desks or on walls with the included surface rack-mount angles or rack-mounted with the optional AK-RS1 rack shelf. All models offer the flexible routing of Audinate’s user-friendly Dante controller, and are compatible with Dante AES67 mode and Dante Domain Manager. They offer remote control via GPI, Dante, and either of two free TASCAM control software applications, one for integrators and one for end users. WEB ADDRESS: www.tascam.com
Sound & Communications 79
AUDIO ARTS + MASS TRANSIT = BART PLAZA: DOWNTOWN BERKELEY TRANSIT HUB’S CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC SOUL (continued from page 46) chitect, Office of District Architect, San Francisco BART District. The overall project sought to enhance multi-model transit access and capacity for pedestrians and bicyclists, with improved safety and security in the plaza and in the transit area. The utmost care was taken in all aspects of the design and execution, as Downtown Berkeley is one of BART’s busiest stations, with around 30,000 riders a day. With regard to technology, real-time information display systems (RTDs) help transit riders get where they need to go, displaying information for both the buses and the trains. Specifically, the display screens show the transit operators’ logos/modes of transportation and ser vice lines. Departure times are displayed in a consistent format that’s easy to read and clearly illustrated. Information is updated every few seconds, and the current time is always displayed on the screens. The page can scroll to subsequent ones, if needed. The associated components were included as part of a performance specification
in the plaza construction contract, and they took only a matter of weeks to install. However, given the scope of the larger improvement project, installation had to wait until all the demolition, underground, foundation and utility work had been completed. According to Smith, coordinating the scope of the RTDs with the plaza improvements presented a challenge. The equipment installation and configuration of the system was fairly quick, he said, because all the configuration and design of the system was already completed prior to construction. The hard wiring of the data lines and tying into the network connection were not as easy, however. The conduit, circuits and cables had to be installed and pulled so as not to impact any operations of the station or impede pedestrian circulation. The work had to be performed at night, during nonrevenue hours or at off-peak times. With regard to components, Peerless-AV XHB552 55-inch Xtreme high-bright outdoor displays were chosen, combined with Peerless-AV CL-ENCL68 small-form-factor enclo-
sures. The compact, sleek design combined the displays with the enclosures, allowing for nicer aesthetics and performance criteria to be met. According to Smith, “The displays can be located in direct sunlight without any glare; they are weather-tight and can operate in rain; and the brightness of the displays helps the legibility of the content and provides a better customer experience for transit riders.” The displays are driven by an Advantech DS-081 ultra-slim fanless digital signage player. The power requirements are 120V, with Cat6A cable routed to the network. The signage player points to a URL with the transit information for the plaza. Finally, for the AC Transit NextBus Displays, hardware is limited to two MB-961603-S/S NextBus Signs. The signs are self-contained, and they only need AC power to run. All communications are done via the General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) digital cellular system between the sign and the bus. The sign requires continuous AC power, which is supplied from a dedicated breaker.
BUILDING YOUR TALENT PIPELINE: RESOURCES EXIST TO SEED THE NEXT GENERATION OF INTEGRATION PROFESSIONALS (continued from page 55) operations, marketing/social media or project management. Phase 4: Real-World Application: At this point, the intern has chosen a specific area or department that appeals most to him or her. For two weeks, the intern spends 80 percent to 90 percent of his or her time on projects in that area. The intern also crafts an essay that documents what he or she has learned with regard to quality, performance, process improvement and personal growth. To all who joined in this endeavor last year, thank you for making it a resounding success! We received excellent feedback from participants, and we made tremendous progress toward creating not only an internship “best practices guide,” but also a recruitment pipeline that is national in scope. We’ve also been updating all Ignite marketing materials, including the creation of a new presentation and collateral that anyone in our industry can share with prospective employees, take to job fairs, refer to during presentations with students, etc. Ignite Ambassadors have participated in science, technology, engineering and 80 Sound & Communications February 2019
mathematics (STEM) and technical education career events, and we’re planning Ignite events for this year (stay tuned for more!). Our Ambassadors also do things like establish partnership with their local technical high schools and colleges, give presentations to interested students, and offer co-ops and work studies to students. And here’s the news that’s most exciting of all: Ignite will officially launch a new website at the 2019 BLC. This website will ser ve as your hub for ever ything related to talent management and recruitment, including an interactive map to find local education programs in your area, an updated job board, internship and onboarding information, and success stories about firms that used Ignite to grow their talent pipelines. The Ignite program is bursting with energy—but it’s still a work in progress. Building an onramp to our industr y will take some work on ever yone’s part. You can help by doing the following: presenting at events, hosting events for students at a location that shows off your technology, demonstrating technology for students and giving them hands-on experiences,
mentoring students, offering tours of your facility or of clients’ facilities, providing informational inter views, inviting students to attend industry events, sharing any and all Ignite activities to keep the momentum going, and participating in the Ignite internship program. We want to let students know about the great opportunities in this industr y. We welcome your ideas, suggestions, praise, criticism and moral support to get the message out and spur engagement. To become an Ignite Ambassador, visit www.igniteyourcareer.org/ambassadorsignup to get the ball rolling. You can also visit www.nsca.org/ignite to learn more about the Ignite Ambassador program and learn how you can become involved. One last thing: If you know of anyone else—within or outside your organization—who’d like to become involved in the Ignite movement, please pass it on! You have the influence and experience to help build a pipeline to success. Remember, if you steer only one young person to a great career in our industr y, you’ve changed a life forever. Jump onboard and join the Ignite movement!
THE CENTERSTAGE AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO SOUND & COMMUNICATIONS
Rose Electronics Xcion - Switchable KVM Extender Over IP Xcion KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) extenders consist of transmitters and receivers, which can connect directly point to point, or link through a Gigabit Ethernet switch to form a distributed KVM switching matrix system with up to 480 total endpoints. The Xcion KVM extender is available in three base models: HDMI over CATX, DVI/VGA over CATx, and DVI/VGA over Fiber. Video, USB, audio, and serial signals are aggregated and transmitted over a single CATx or fiber cable. Xcion extenders transfer visually lossless, full HD video in resolutions up to 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz at distances up to 492 feet (150 m) over CATx, up to 1,640 feet (500 m) over multi-mode fiber, and up to 12.4 miles (20 Km) over single-mode fiber. Extender management and switching operations are performed through an extensive on-screen display (OSD) menu or PC-based program. Xcion extenders are used in control rooms, educational settings, conference centers, industrial environments, and more. WEB ADDRESS: www.rose.com/xcion E-MAIL: email@example.com
Shure Designer System Configuration Software for Conferencing Workflow Make conferencing workflow effortless. Bring your users together across a campus or an entire business. Shure Designer System Configuration Software makes implementation of Shure Networked Systems products faster, simpler and more intuitive. With the details managed, it becomes a seamless experience. This free software lets you design remotely and collaborate effectively. If the AV professional is working offsite, Designer gives them the flexibility to pre-set room audio coverage layouts and route networked audio connections between Shure devices from anywhere in the world. Templates can be deployed and adjusted on the fly, making onsite installation and project management simple. WEB ADDRESS: www.shure.com/designer
GETTING UP TO SPEED FOR AN AVoIP FUTURE, PART 3: THE IT MANAGER AND YOU (continued from page 61) always require configuration. For instance, although Dante uses QoS, QoS only requires configuration as total traffic approaches maximum bandwidth utilization on a mixed-use network. At that stage, it is sometimes only necessar y to configure QoS for the audio clock, rather than for all the audio data. IT managers might want to know if the proposed methodologies use unicast (from one source to one destination) or multicast (from one to many). Not all network managers are comfortable with multicast on their networks, because it potentially increases bandwidth consumption and it’s thought to send the same content ever ywhere on a network. However, Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) snooping, which sounds like a bad thing, is actually a helpful method for IT managers to keep multicast traffic off portions of the network that do not have to receive the multicast data. Keep in mind that, even if IT managers
do not permit you to use their networks, some might allow you to use a virtual local area network (VLAN) if you provide insights on how the VLAN will (or will not) connect to the primar y corporate local area network (LAN). Some manufacturers voluntarily assist integrators in the conversations with IT to help facilitate the adoption of their solutions. AVoIP of fers numerous benefits as compared to traditional signal distribution, even if you have to create a dedicated network entirely separate from the enterprise. Although an independent network might require pulling new cable, switches and other devices, you will have better control over the configuration, while also reducing potential conflict with nonmedia traffic. And even if you do choose a “plug-and-play” solution on a dedicated network, continue to educate yourself about networking. After all, the AV/IT convergence is here, and technology changes occur frequently.
AVENT HORIZON (continued from page 82) you watched last night, the meals you cooked or ordered yesterday, or that doctor’s appointment you made two weeks ago. Accordingly, all these voice-actuated systems (Google, Alexa, Siri, Bixby) can anticipate what you’re likely to do or say next, and they’ll offer up suggested actions and options. AI isn’t just found in TVs, either. Major appliances are also incorporating speech recognition and linking themselves to other devices in the home and office through internet connections. I saw demos in which I could start a robot vacuum cleaner, set the thermostat, change lighting levels, see who’s at the front door, answer my phone, start and stop the washer/dr yer, check on the food in my refrigerator and activate/deactivate an alarm system—all from one screen, and all by simply using my voice. In another demo, a camera could detect my emotions and determine whether I was paying attention, nodding off or had February 2019
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AD INDEX Company
AtlasIED................................................47 Audio-Technica.....................................21 Audix......................................................29 AVIXA/InfoComm................................45 Blackmagic Design..............................13 ClearOne.................................................8 D.A.S. Audio..........................................41 Digital Projection..................................37 Digital Signage Expo............................49 Electro-Voice.........................................33 ENCO Systems.....................................59 Extron Electronics........................... C-IV Focusrite................................................27 IDK America.........................................38 NAB.......................................................53 NEC Display Solutions........................10
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Neutrik USA..........................................17 Platinum Tools......................................25 Rose Electronics............................... C-III Sescom..................................................19 Shure.......................................................5 Sony/Shoreview Distribution.............64 Stardraw.com........................................39 TASCAM...............................................31 Vanguard LED Displays........................7 VocoPro.................................................61 Whirlwind........................................... C-II Winsted.................................................23 Yamaha Pro Audio................................15
82 Sound & Communications February 2019
left the room. None of this technology is expensive or difficult to implement, and all of it relies on Internet of Things (IoT) wireless connectivity. AI is already migrating into our industr y, and a fully loaded AV control system implementation, like those seen at CES, will happen within the next five years. Of course, adoption of AI and voice recognition for control systems will raise some big security issues, given that any of those connected devices can be (and, indeed, have been) hacked. 2. Yes, 8K displays and televisions are really coming! It’s not a fad. Thanks to overcapacity in Asian display-panel manufacturing facilities and aggressive pricing, we will have multiple vendors that offer native 8K-resolution LCD and OLED displays at InfoComm within a year or two. And, no, it doesn’t matter that there’s virtually no 8K video content to watch at present. After all, our industry is transi-
tioning to 4K resolution for flat screens and LED walls, even though there’s not a lot of 4K content out there, either. Bear in mind that the image-scaling processors are so good in these 8K sets that even standard-definition video looks decent on these huge screens, thanks to another type of AI. Some companies have already figured out complete 8K video production, editing, storage and deliver y systems (NHK in Japan is leading the way here). To top it off, an 8K Association was announced at CES, which will promote, and educate ever yone about, this new format. 3. LED displays are taking over ever ything. You already know about finepitch LED tiles—they’re in ever yday use, and they have reached resolutions as fine as 0.8mm. Now, there’s a new batch of “mini” LEDs being used as direct-view displays, as well as backlights for large LCD panels. Several TV manufacturers
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showed TVs with “mini” backlights at CES, offering more local dimming zones. It won’t stop there, either. One company previewed a 75-inch 8K TV with a “micro” LED backlight prior to the show. Micro LEDs are super-tiny chips that can almost match display pixels in size, providing high levels of illumination and creating a new class of emissive displays with high dynamic range (HDR) and super-saturated colors. I had discussions with a display analyst who said a major manufacturer of LCD panels now wants to exit that business and, going for ward, concentrate on mini and micro LED displays for TVs. LEDs have been steadily eroding market share for large-venue projectors, and they’re competing with tiled LCDs for videowalls. Eventually, they will replace both LCD and OLED technology for a clean sweep across the display board. It won’t happen tomorrow, but I predict it will happen in the next decade. 4. We’ll be more dependent on wireless than ever. I saw some really clever demonstrations of high-speed gaming, 4K video streaming and display connections,
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super-fast file transfers over USB 3.0 and explain how, exactly, 5G will deliver the near-field high-bandwidth connectivity, all long-promised 1Gb/s upload and downDenver Imagine • Austin •aHouston Dallas •(It Phoenix using 60GHz Wi-Fi technology. load •speeds. has to do with the actual City • San Antonio • Tulsa • Las Vegas 75-inch 8K display withOklahoma no wired connecwireless frequencies in use, which must Atlanta • Blackwood, NJ • Washington, DC tions, yet it’s able to stream 8K video at be well into the microwave and millime60Hz with 10-bit 4:4:4 (RGB) color! That ter-wave bands.) requires a data rate of more than 85Gb/s, There was plenty more to see, of but it can be done right now with nearcourse. But AI, 8K, LEDs and wireless field 60GHz connections. were, for me, the dominant themes at the Of course, no CES would be complete show, overshadowing things like drones, without the usual hype about 5G wirerobots, virtual reality (remember VR?) less. Numerous manufacturers showed and autonomous cars. To be sure, all prototype 5G wireless access points these technologies were on display, along (WAPs) and modems. Others promised with the usual goofy products and bling. insanely fast video streaming from 5GI’ll touch on some of those other trends based cloud ser vices. Yet, almost none in future columns. of these tech evangelists took the time to For now, though, “Alexa? It’s a wrap!”
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Sound & Communications 83
Wandering In The Desert, Again The Consumer Electronics Show continues to be a harbinger for our industry in more ways than one. By Pete Putman, CTS ROAM Consulting LLC As I write this, it’s the second full week in Januar y and I’ve just finished sorting hundreds of photos and several dozen videos from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES, as ever yone formally knows it), editing them down to a manageable lot. From the time I first attended the show nearly two decades ago, CES has slowly evolved away from being an exposition of standalone high-tech gadgets to become more of a “World’s Fair” or lifestyle/technology concept show. Early on, the attractions for me were high-definition rear-projection televisions, advanced plasma display technology and a new crop of LCD televisions that promised full-HD (1920x1080) resolution. Back then, DVD was an established technology for standard-definition video, and blue laser HD formats (HD DVD and Blu-ray) had yet to make an appearance. Wi-Fi was still pretty slow. Tablets and smartphones didn’t exist yet, nor did video streaming. (VHS was still a viable format back then!) TV networks were slowly coming around to broadcasting in high definition. And all this technology was expensive. A good plasma TV in 2003 could set you back more than $10,000, and some models went for as much as $30,000. Rearprojection TVs weren’t much cheaper. Loaded DVD players cost hundreds of dollars, and a decent digital TV set-top box was north of $700. A gigabyte of solid-state memory was an expensive proposition back then. All these products infiltrated the commercial AV space, and, in a few short years, a new expression had been coined: “the tail is wagging the dog.” It meant that the path from technical innovation to mass-market adoption had been inverted, trickling up from consumer devices to eventual commercial adoption and installation. 84 Sound & Communications February 2019
A few sights from CES.
Fast-for ward to this year. We’ve blown by full-HD displays and TVs to ultra HD (4K), and, now, a new wave of 8K TV sets is hitting the market. LCD screens that are 42 inches, once considered “big,” are pipsqueaks. Now, thanks to super-low prices, 65 inches is becoming the norm for homes and classrooms. Home-theater projectors are giving way to 70-inch, 85-inch and 88-inch LCD and OLED TVs. The Blu-ray optical disc format matured to Ultra HD Blu-ray, but not many people care about it anymore, because they’re streaming full HD and 4K video from YouTube. That’s possible because of super-fast Wi-Fi that uses channel-bonding techniques. Now, 60GHz Wi-Fi, which has been lurking on the sidelines for years, is poised to go mainstream. And a 32GB flash memor y card or thumb drive can be had for less than $20. In fact, just about ever y piece of hardware shown at CES sells for bargain-basement prices, with the exceptions being exotic products like 98-inch 8K televisions or roll-up OLED TVs. More and more of these products now move through distribution as retail prices drop. And all of them will make their way into your upcoming AV installations as the lines continue to blur between the conference room and the living room. (After all, what are huddle spaces if not riffs on the family room or kitchen?) Here’s what you’ll have to think about this year: 1. Artificial intelligence (AI) is here, and its adoption is happening faster than you think. At CES, multiple TV manufacturers showed next-generation AI implementations that could remember the TV programs (continued on page 79)
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