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Yamaha auditorium comes to life Biggest ISE event ever Anton Bauer powers Amazing Race Sky News Arabia on the move Third wave of the web Marketing for See us at Geeks 101 Staging masterpiece at Doha Film Festival


Contents AV Specialist Volume 121

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Al Jazeera Sports selects Trilogy’s Gemini Intercom Trilogy Communications has announced that Al Jazeera Sports has become the first customer in the Gulf region to select their Gemini distributed matrix intercom as part of the an ongoing expansion and development of the sports studios in Doha from HD to 3D.

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Cameras may open up your Boardroom to hackers Mike Tuchen, left, and HD Moore of Rapid7 were able to gain access to company boardrooms with videoconferencing equipment.

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Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2011 In three short years, the annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) - Doha Film Institute (DFI)'s annual celebration of film has put itself firmly on the map of global cinematic events as a showcase for the best of Arab and international cinema.

Since their first day of production back in 2001, crew members on The Amazing Race have counted on Anton Bauer products to power them through the toughest geography and weather

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conditions

Publisher & Managing Editor Kevan Jones kevan@avspecialist.tv Feature Editor Dick Hobbs dick@avspecialist.tv Editor Bev Kempster bev@avspecialist.tv Circulation Renate Mortimer renate@avspecialist.tv Designer Rajiv Gopalan rajiv@avspecialist.tv Advertising sales Africa, Middle East, UK Kevan Jones Europe Emmanuel Archambeaud earchambeaud@defcommunication.com Represented in the Middle East by: AV Specialist MENA FZ LLC PO Box 502314, Dubai United Arab Emirates Represented in South Africa by: Doddington Direct cc PO Box 3939, Honeydew, 2040, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 083-6418 Fax: +27 (0)86 525 3852 Represented in Europe by: Def & Communication 48 Bd Jean-Jaurès, 92110 Clichy, France Tel: +33 (0)1 4730 7180 Fax: +33 (0)1 4730 0189

Satellite TV for 65 million MENA homes by 2016 CABSAT, the leading digital media event in the region, and third largest on the global calendar, is bringing together the most dynamic – and lucrative – broadcast markets in the world.

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Third wave of the Web As electronics manufacturers begin to integrate web connectivity and services into their televisions and set-top boxes the Web will soon be even more a part of everyday life around the world.

Publisher’s Note With Cabsat set to kick-off in just a few days I thought I’d share some observations about the future of the broadcast and production community in the Middle East. It’s no secret that the last few years have been tough and many of the privately-owned TV stations established in a mad-rush during the pre-crash era have floundered. Those that continue are eking out a living by screening re-runs of material long past its expiry date. There are no Ferrari’s in the parking lot and the grand ambitions voiced by so many have been crushed by the economic realities of the current era. Much of the technical talent operating in the Middle East is provided by ex-pat engineers with shallow roots within their community. These people represent a mobile workforce that is quite prepared to travel around the region (or the world) to earn their crumb. On the surface it appears beneficial to be able to tap into this talent as and when it’s needed but one drawback is that there’s little continuity as engineering staff follow the opportunities and money. Those that have left the region in the last few years are unlikely to come back anytime soon: once bitten – twice shy appears an apt expression. Employers in this market show little commitment to training or skills development and assume they can buy-in whatever engineering skills they require. That’s OK in a depressed market where demand is low but as the market turns and demand for experienced engineers starts to climb, the industry is going to face an interesting challenge. Will broadcasters still be able to buy in the technical skills they require or is it time to commit to a training and skills development programme that can sustain the industry in the coming years?


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Product

news Sony offers unrivalled Cabsat experience Sony Professional Solutions MEA, leading provider of broadcast and professional audio visual products, returns to Cabsat this year with a fully equipped 200 square metre studio on its stand.Sony Professional Solutions has unrivalled experience in developing fully customized solutions to meet the most demanding business requirements, which they are showcasing this year at Cabsat through the fully operational studio. Combining state-of-the-art technology and the expertise to design and integrate this into a fully-equipped studio are central to its success in the region. “This year at CABSAT, our team in Dubai has worked closely with several key vendors to integrate a file-based news and live program studio. Our technology and expertise are our core strength and we invite you to experience this live at Cabsat,” said Awad Mousa, Head of Product Marketing, Sony Professional Solutions MEA. Sony’s studio includes its flagship studio camera, the HDC-2500, which began shipping in January 2012 shown above.

Harris improves control in File-Based workflows Harris has introduced NEXIO Studio Suite to help customers easily and affordably transition to tapeless studio production and more efficient file-based workflows. NEXIO Studio Suite is designed for live multi-camera studio productions such as news and magazine-format, entertainment and reality TV shows. It enhances the control of video servers in production studios, offering familiar video tape recorder (VTR) functionality while adding the operational benefits of multichannel, nonlinear video servers. The software simplifies the operation and control of many server ports over IP networks, including multichannel recording and playback within NEXIO servers.

Litepanels ships Sola 4 Fresnel LED

Litepanels is now shipping the Sola 4 Fresnel LED lighting fixture, the smallest DMX controllable LED Fresnel on the market. The new focusable Sola 4 features a 100mm Fresnel lens and uses a small fraction of the power

consumed by conventional fixtures. It employs Litepanels’ proprietary LEDs to produce the company’s hallmark soft light quality in 5600°K daylight colour balance. Sola 4 is based on the same breakthrough Fresnel technology as Litepanels’ award-winning Sola 6, but in a smaller, more lightweight form factor. It provides the controllability and light-shaping, single shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light, focusing from 70 to 10 degrees. Like all Litepanels fixtures, Sola 4 can be dimmed from 100% to zero with no noticeable shift in colour temperature.

Canon unveil camera for motion picture Canon Middle East heralds a new chapter in its long history of innovative product offerings with the unveiling of the Cinema EOS System, its full-fledged motion picture camera that ushers its entry into the film production industry. The Cinema EOS System will be introduced to the Middle East market for the first time at Cabsat. The Cinema EOS System is touted to mark the beginning of a whole new system for the motion picture industry. “The launch of the Cinema EOS System in the Middle East has been highly anticipated by the region’s media production professionals and enthusiasts, since the new motion picture camera was announced at Hollywood in November last year. It has got great image processing and lenses – re-imagined to tailor the experience to suit the demands of a cinematographer. It’s a game changer for the entire Middle Eastern film production industry, another exciting innovation from Canon,” said Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director at Canon Middle East. 3


Product

news Autoscript debuts Arabic voice-activated prompting a

Advanced battery technology

Autoscript will present its voice activated prompting solution working in Arabic at Cabsat later this month. Autoscript’s voice activated prompting for the Arabic language is a major advance for the region. Customers are able to integrate voice activation seamlessly into their existing Autoscript systems with a simple software update; no additional hardware is required. Presenters can then control the scrolling speed of the text simply by adjusting the speed at which they speak. “This breakthrough, once again developed in conjunction with customer requirements, underlines Autoscript’s dominance in the Middle East region,” said Brian Larter, Managing Director, Autoscript. “Voice activation is beginning to be adopted throughout the world and we are at the forefront of this technology. We have worked hard to make it easy to integrate and comfortable and reliable for the presenters.”

Argosy has added the remarkable PAGlink camera battery system to its portfolio. Argosy will distribute PAG products to the Middle East and North Africa region from its base in Dubai, and will be showing the system for the first time at Cabsat. PAGlink is the first camera battery system to allow users to link as many as eight Lithium Ion batteries together, using the industry standard V-Mount. Each PAGlink battery has a capacity of 96 Watt-hours. When linked, capacities are combined to provide longer camera run-time and up to 12A for power-hungry applications including high definition (HD) broadcast and digital cinematography cameras and stereoscopic 3D set-ups. Intelligent serial networking between linked batteries controls the discharge, maintaining a constant output throughout. PAGlink also allows the batteries to be charged while linked, another unique and time-saving feature.

Vislink launches Advent Mantis MSAT terminal

Harmonic at CABSAT The Harmonic stand at Cabsat will highlight solutions targeted to the needs of broadcast, cable, and satellite businesses across the Middle East, Africa, and Southern Asia. Within the stand's "Solutions Lounge," a coffee bar and meeting area will give Cabsat attendees the chance to relax as they learn more about Harmonic products and discuss their own projects with the company's experts. Harmonic will have presentations available to show visitors media storage architectures for efficient editing and repurposing; for centralized ad repositories; and for VoD, multiscreen delivery, time-shifted TV, nPVR, CDN caching, and operator-owned content origination. Presentations also will outline how Harmonic solutions and workflows streamline live streaming (ingest, preparation, delivery), live to VoD (ingest, preparation, delivery), and OTT to VoD (ingest, preparation, delivery) services. One product they’re focusing on will be the Harmonic MediaGrid shown here in use at Crawford Media Services in Atlanta.

Vislink has announced that it will launch its new Advent Mantis "MSAT" Man Portable Data Terminal, a highly portable tri-band satellite antenna system specifically designed for rapid deployment in hostile environments, at Cabsat 2012. The system's fully integrated, portable design requires less than five minutes from arrival to satellite acquisition, making it ideal for 4

rapid deployment field applications where there is no time to spare. Weighing in at only 12.5 kilos, the Advent MSAT is specifically designed to be carried by one person and provides powerful functionality for applications such as secure military communications; special operations, disaster recovery; emergency services; first-on-scene broadcast; and mining operations. The antenna's 65cm reflector can be used in Ka, Ku and X bands, be powered from either mains or 12VDC operations, and has interchangeable modems. The moment the system arrives on site it can be fully operational in less than five minutes, therefore saving vital time when speed is of the essence.


Videohub Control Software

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Now it’s easy to build your own customized SD, HD and 3 Gb/s SDI router! Build your own customized router any size you need! Universal Videohub is a powerful broadcast grade routing switcher featuring up to a massive 288 inputs, 288 outputs and 288 deck control ports. You can add interface cards to either regular SDI or optical fiber SDI connections as well as single or dual power supplies and single or dual crosspoints for full redundancy. Cards can be removed when powered so all electronics can be swapped at any time for 24/7 reliability! Industrial Strength Routing Switcher With up to 288 inputs and 288 outputs, Universal Videohub has enough SDI connections for the largest facility. With so many SDI inputs and outputs, Universal Videohub is perfect for broadcast with multiple feeds, as well as post production where you need loads of monitoring! Universal Videohub also includes 288 RS-422 deck control ports for a complete routing solution. Simultaneous SD, HD or 3 Gb/s Video Universal Videohub handles mixed SD, HD and 3 Gb/s SDI connections all on the same router at the same time. Universal Videohub detects when an input changes, and automatically sets all the connected outputs to match the changed input. For a true broadcast quality solution, all SDI outputs are fully re-clocked and output SDI slew rates update automatically.

World’s Highest Quality With future proof 3 Gb/s SDI connections built in, Universal Videohub allows twice the SDI data rate than normal HD-SDI. Use 3 Gb/s SDI for 1080p60 and high resolution real time 2048 x 1556 feature film editing. 3 Gb/s SDI allows auto switching between all SD, HD and 2K video formats in both 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 quality. Network Router Control Universal Videohub is compatible with hardware control panels such as Blackmagic Design’s Videohub Smart Control and for lower cost includes free software control panels for both Windows™ and Mac OS X™. Software panels let you route from your desktop! Universal Videohub uses ethernet for the control panel interface so you can control your routing from anywhere in the world!

Mix and Match to Customize! Universal Videohub SDI Interface (4 x SDI I/O) Universal Videohub Optical Fiber Interface (4 x SDI I/O) Universal Videohub 72 Universal Videohub 72 Crosspoint Universal Videohub 288 Universal Videohub 288 Crosspoint

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Don’t lower your standards. Be driven by value. In the current economic climate, it can be challenging to maintain one’s standards. When presenting to the masses, where only large-screen projection leaves the right impression, one desires luxuriant, colour-rich images. Where red is red, green is green and blue is most definitely royal. Fortunately those chaps at Christie know a thing or two about quality. Expert technical support, industry renowned reliability and now two reassuringly inexpensive models in the NEW Christie E Series. Of course one has to make certain sacrifices, but as mother used to say ‘it never pays to lower one’s standards’.

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Product

news AJA Io XT with Thunderbolt Technology Is Now Available The new Io XT Thunderbolt-enabled professional video I/O device is now shipping from AJA Video Systems. As the only Thunderbolt-enabled video I/O device on the market with dual Thunderbolt ports, Io XT opens up a host of new workflow capabilities to video professionals. Io XT connects to a Thunderbolt-enabled Apple computer via a single cable. An additional Thunderbolt port is provided, enabling users to daisy-chain Io XT to other Thunderbolt peripherals including high bandwidth storage and high resolution displays through a single interface; simplifying the connection of multiple devices. The highly portable device supports capture and playback of 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 HD and SD formats and can unify disparate formats via its 10-bit realtime Up/Down/Cross conversion capability. Io XT also provides compatibility with the most popular NLE programs, the newest codecs, video formats, stereoscopic 3D workflows, and more.

Vinten camera support go Blue Vinten will be showcasing its highly acclaimed range of top quality camera support solutions at the 2012 CABSAT exhibition in February, including its renowned Vision blue and award winning Vector 430 products. From the Vision collection, alongside the Vision blue, will be several of Vinten’s versatile light weight heads and systems. The Vision 3AS, Vision 8AS, Vision 100 and Vision 250 pan and tilt heads form part of a range that meet the needs of all of today’s camera operators. The Vision blue brings cost effective and uncompromised professional performance to the lightest of camcorders, and has enjoyed soaring sales and positive reviews from global broadcasters since its launch in 2010.

Blackmagic announce Intensity Shuttle with Thunderbolt

C-Cast comes to Middle East

At this year’s Cabsat event EVS will present the award-winning second screen app C-Cast. The Belgian maker of live broadcast and media production systems will also introduce a set of allround solutions for sports broadcasting and fast turnaround studio productions.

Blackmagic Design has announced Intensity Shuttle, a revolutionary new video capture and playback solution that uses Intel’s groundbreaking Thunderbolt technology. Intensity Shuttle makes the highest quality 10bit SD and HD video affordable for everyone, in a truly portable solution that’s priced at only $239. Intensity Shuttle features all the video connections needed to connect video cameras, settop boxes, game consoles, large screen TVs and projectors to a Thunderboltenabled computer. The attractive inline design includes HDMI, analogue component,

C-Cast is a new cloud-casting application designed to give multi-taskers instant access to complementary or exclusive content of live and near-live broadcast programmes on connected devices, such as tablets, smartphones and laptops. It is a simple add-on solution to any existing EVS live production infrastructure and offers a fully open architecture based on API, allowing broadcasters and media distributors to build their own web interface. As a result, clips created during a live production can be instantly available on any connected device.

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composite and S-Video inputs and outputs. These high quality HDMI and RCA connectors are the worldwide standard for connecting digital and analogue consumer video equipment. Thunderbolt enabled computers connect to Intensity Shuttle using a single cable that is capable of 10 Gbps data transfer speeds, that’s 20x faster than USB 2.0 and 12x faster than FireWire 800. Intensity Shuttle is powered over the Thunderbolt cable and, with no need for an external power supply, is a completely portable device that can be moved easily between laptop and desktop computers.


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Product

news Avid at CABSAT MENA 2012 Avid’s award-winning video and audio production solutions are used to produce today's most popular primetime television shows, feature films, commercials, and chart-topping pop music hits. During Cabsat, Avid are inviting customers to come and see their latest release Avid Interplay Media Asset Management (MAM) system and find out how it serves as the underlying technology of an enterprise media management framework that gives their operation greater visibility and access to content. Avid Interplay MAM 4 increases the value of media by making it easier to find, repurpose, and distribute while coordinating and automating production processes. It lets you interlink media operations and workflows, control movement of media between Interplay MAM and storage systems, configure metadata, and leverage an SOA structure to integrate in-house and third-party applications.

Digital Rapids expands streaming solutions Digital Rapids has announced the release of version 3.7 of their Stream software for the company’s StreamZ, StreamZHD and Flux encoding and live streaming solutions. New features in Stream 3.7 include expanded format support including encoding to the Panasonic AVCIntra format; 64-bit operating system support; cue point insertion for live streaming with Adobe Flash technologies; and enhanced H.264 and MPEG-2 encoding. These new capabilities join numerous additions in the previouslyunannounced version 3.6 upgrade released in August, including Dolby Digital AC-3 audio pass-through and updates to Civolution NexGuard forensic watermarking support.

World’s first handheld 4K camcorder JVC Professional has announced the GY-HMQ10, the world’s first handheld 4K camcorder, which captures, records and plays video images at four times the resolution of high definition television. Powered by JVC’s Falconbrid large-scale integration (LSI) chip for high-speed signal processing and a 1/2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 million active pixels, it delivers real-time 3840x2160 footage at 24p and 50p. “We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production,” said product manager, Gustav Emrich. “The GY-HMQ10 is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn't have considered it.” High resolution 4K still picture imaging has been around for several years in DSLR cameras. Motion video capture with these cameras has always been done at a lower video resolution because of lack of processing power. Likewise, high end digital motion picture cameras may capture 4K images, but often provide a raw data output to an external storage array for later processing again due to lack of processing power in the camera. There just hasn't been the ability to capture, process, display and record full 4K images in real time until now.

BlueNet graphics creation and playout This year at CABSAT, Chyron will demonstrate BlueNet, a comprehensive solution that fully addresses broadcasters' requirements for streamlined end-to-end graphics workflows. BlueNet leverages Chyron's acclaimed suite of graphics tools for ordering and graphics asset management, collaborative graphics creation, and real-time playout. Integration with Axis World Graphics, Chyron's cutting-edge cloud-based services offering, extends the power of BlueNet workflows to speed even the most sophisticated graphics to air. BlueNet minimizes the cycle time from creation to air, ensuring very fast news and sports workflows. Order management tools allow producerdriven content to move smoothly into a rundown, and management tools and easily accessible templates enable instant and efficient collaboration in preparing graphics. 9


Al Jazeera Sports selects Trilogy’s Gemini Intercom Trilogy Communications has announced that Al Jazeera Sports has become the first customer in the Gulf region to select their Gemini distributed matrix intercom as part of the an ongoing expansion and development of the sports studios in Doha from HD to 3D.

S

upplied by systems integrator TEK Signals, this installation supports Al Jazeera’s expansion of four new sports studios and the revamp of one existing studio to meet their rapidly growing production needs. The project, which consists of nine Gemini Matrices forming a distributed network between the five primary studios, will enable Al Jazeera to develop and expand the ongoing production of sports programs including coverage and commentary on the British and European football leagues through to the recently acquired rights to screen Champions League football.

Maximise investment For Al Jazeera, one of the key benefits of the Gemini Intercom is its compatibility with the existing Commander Intercom systems that were installed last year, which both maximises their previous investment with Trilogy and minimises new expenditure. Furthermore, as the Gemini and Commander Intercoms are intelligently linked, it provides the seamless, fully networked solution that Al Jazeera required by making it

possible to integrate all of the broadcasters communications under one system. The unified communications are now monitored by one administrator giving greater flexibility and overall control to the broadcaster’s operators.

Fail-safe routing By combining integral IP capabilities with the use of both a dual redundant ring of audio and IP failsafe routing, Gemini eliminates the single point of failure of other systems and ensures a robust and ultra resilient intercom solution, which is vital for Al Jazeera’s live sports broadcasting. With a wide choice of operator panels available and the ability to expand them almost limitlessly on the network, AL Jazeera ordered 100 lever key panels of varying types to create the best fit solution for their operators. Joseph Varghese, Division Manager at Tek Signals, comments: “Selecting the Gemini Digital Matrix Intercom from Trilogy was an easy decision to make. No other Intercom available was able to provide the ease of installation, flexibility and resilience required by Al Jazeera for this project. Having worked together previously, Al Jazeera, Trilogy 11

Communications and TekSignals have forged a strong working relationship that has enabled us all to develop and tailor the design and implementation of this installation to the customer’s exact needs. Using our combined knowledge and skills we have been able to seamlessly integrate the system and provide the support and advice needed to meet the tight timescales on this project.”

Strong market presence Joseph continues: “Moreover, Trilogy has established a strong presence within this market and we have been continually impressed by Trilogy’s commitment to innovation within the Intercom market and their dedication to customer support and look forward to working with them on future, exciting products in the region.”


Anton Bauer provides rock-solid performance on Amazing Race Since their first day of production back in 2001, crew members of the hit reality television series The Amazing Race have counted on Anton/Bauer products to power them through even the toughest geographic and weather conditions. Flash forward to the present, as the show concluded its twentieth season, and Anton/Bauer still helps the crew capture each and every adventure—no matter where the show takes them in the world.

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he eight-time Emmy Awardwinning reality series pits 11 teams, each comprising two members, against each other on a trek around the world for approximately 25 days. At each destination, the teams compete in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical, only learning of their next location when the tasks are completed. The first team to arrive at the final destination wins $1 million. “The Amazing Race is essentially a constantly moving, live-to-tape game show with no rehearsals or retakes,” explains Jim Ursulak, audio supervisor for the show. “With all the moving parts, there is great potential for things to go horribly wrong very quickly, so we equip ourselves with the most reliable television production equipment available.” The show’s audio supervisor for 15 of its 20 seasons, Ursulak’s responsibilities include prepping all the

camera and sound equipment the program takes on the road, including Anton/Bauer batteries, chargers and oncamera lighting products.

Rugged construction Although crew members have

tried other on-camera lights in the past, according to Ursulak, the Ultralight 2 (UL2) is the best fit. “Its simple design, rugged construction and dependable operation regardless of weather conditions makes it a winner with us,” he says. The Ultralight System provides creative options and flexibility to achieve the perfect light for any shot quickly and seamlessly. Featuring the integral PowerTap cable, which plugs directly into the PowerTap receptacle on all Gold Mounts, the Ultralight System shares power with the camera from a single battery. The compact, lightweight UL2 base is the foundation of this quickchange system which provides head modules for tungsten (Ultralight 2), HMI (UltraDAYlight) and LED (ULHM-LED) lighting options. When it comes to battery power, The Amazing Race uses the Anton/Bauer HyTRON 140 and DIONIC 90 to ensure all Sony cameras have enough power to capture in real time every exciting moment the contestants encounter. The HyTRON 140 is a highpower NiMH battery system suited to the 12

power demands of today's high-definition equipment and on-camera lighting systems. In lower power applications, it can provide power for many hours without limits or travel restrictions. The HyTRON 140 also offers an excellent counterbalance to offset the weight of a lens. “We are limited to the number of batteries we take with us on the road by


the weight each two-person camera crew can carry on their back. One third of the 100 pounds shared by each 2 person camera crew (the camera and sound person) is related to powering the camera. By careful battery management, and when possible, support from production, the crew is able to arrive at each pit stop with their contestants’ stories captured on tape/disc,” says Ursulak.

Reliable performance The DIONIC 90 was designed by Anton/Bauer to deliver consistently reliable performance even in the most challenging shooting environments on Earth. It offers a RealTime® display that continually updates the operator on how much run time remains and on the state of the current charge. Weighing only 1.7 pounds, the DIONIC 90 can be transported without restriction under the IATA and DOT safety regulations. The 91-WH battery can handle a maximum load of six amps, and offers run-times ranging from six hours at 15 watts to 1.75 hours at 50 watts.

Quick charging rate To ensure all batteries are ready for superior performance, no matter where filming takes the crew, Anton/Bauer’s T2, Dual 2722, and QUAD 2702 chargers have

always performed very well for the team. “Our latest find, however, introduced to us by Anton/Bauer’s Paul Dudeck, is the Tandem 70,” says Ursulak. “Its compact size, quick charging rate, reliability and silent operation has made it our camera crew’s favorite charger. They can be packed away in different backpacks and accessed easily when needed, including when we need to charge them on the go on trains and even on some planes. Because of their reliability, convenient portability and silent operation, I cannot imagine us doing another season without

them.” Whether the production team is prepping in the United States or halfway around the world, Ursulak says that Anton/Bauer’s Customer Support team is always with them to provide custom solutions. “The Amazing Race uses Anton/Bauer products because it requires proven dependability and worldwide acceptance of the television production equipment it uses as it moves around the world. Also, Anton/Bauer has clearly demonstrated to us their genuine interest and high level of commitment to the needs of their equipment users.”

Alyoum TV, a new Kuwaiti channel with VSN technology The brand new news channel, Alyoum TV, has selected VSN for the complete deployment of a 100% tapeless system that includes solutions for news production, broadcast playout automation, graphics, compliance recording, ingest and contents management.

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he brand new Kuwaiti channel Alyoum TV has chosen VSN’s technology for the deployment of a complete 100% tapeless broadcast system. With an initial staff of a hundred people, the channel has specialized in news production, mainly broadcasting local news and general information on Kuwait. Alyoum TV produces four daily newscasts, among other debate and talk shows. The VSN technology was selected by the channel’s technical management because of ‘their excellent quality/cost ratio, their ability to offer a complete and integrated system and the Arabic support of their graphics tools’. The installation includes a news production system VSNNEWS with fifteen news writing stations, three non-linear

editing (NLE) cabins and a VSNPROMPTER teleprompter. Alyoum TV’s personnel utilize the news installation in two daily shifts. The solution VSNAUTOREC is used for ingesting contents, and includes a powerful ingest programmer for frequent as well as for specific recordings. Master control playout and 13

automation are all managed with the playout and multiformat server VSNMATIC, which is now integrated with the titling system VSNCG. A compliance recording system VSNLEGALREC is also included in the installation. The channel, which is betting high on branding, utilizes advanced graphics thanks to the solution VSNCG+ that offers a much more powerful user interface in version 5.0, including search filters, the ability to undo changes without limits, and floating windows allocation. The channel manages their contents with the multiplatform solution VSNSHARER, included in the brand new VSN Spider architecture. VSN won the tender in collaboration with its partner, Motion Media.


Christie E-Series brings new World of Yamaha auditorium to life Stage Audio Works (SAW) has completed an audio visual fit-out at the new Bidvest World of Yamaha in Gauteng Province, South Africa, using the first new generation E-series image projection from Christie.

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s one of SAW’s main suppliers, Yamaha Distributors South Africa drafted in the integrators to advise on the fit-out of their new home, on a site found and developed by their owners Bidvest. Situated in Marlboro, Sandton — alongside the M1 freeway — Bidvest’s World of Yamaha has become the domain of all Yamaha divisions located in Gauteng Province, including music, audio visual, power products, motorcycles and intelligent machinery. Holding company, Bidvest bought the land along with an existing office warehouse, and had it modified to their specifications — including a spectacular 200-seat auditorium, where multi-purpose presentations and corporate functions are staged. And it was here that the new DHD670-E came into its own.

Range of options Recognising the Johannesburgbased specialists’ expertise in the field of projection, a variety of prospective Christie solutions had earlier been demonstrated, not only to show performance but also cost of ownership. At the same time the company’s Hugh Overy also arranged a demonstration against competitive high-ranking brands — but Christie was more than a match in the shoot out. “The scope of the contract was simply to provide projection for a 6-metre-wide screen in the auditorium, with full high definition resolution,” explained SAW’s Shaun Xavier. “Our successful bid was based on price and the relationship we already had with the client.”

Key location This is World of Yamaha’s key location and it was essential the Moto GP could be broadcast in high definition over the 16:9 aspect ratio screen, since Yamaha plays a huge role within the sport. Taking a digital signal feed from a Kramer switching matrix, SAW recommended the new DHD670-E single-chip DLP projector, with 6000 ANSI lumens and full HD

resolution — truss-mounted overhead and fitted with a short throw lens — which proved to be a wise selection. Already making waves in the market this high brightness fixture offers lamp redundancy, with dual lamp platform, 24/7 operation and combination of full high-definition display and six segment colour wheel as standard. Aside from the long-life lamps, the DHD670-E is backed by Christie’s industry-leading warranties, service and support to ensure a genuine low cost of ownership. The second projection requirement was within the open plan restaurant / cafe area, which would be used to display satellite sports and news channels along with looped content, throughout a working day onto a 4m-wide 4:3 standard aspect ratio screen. Within this area a ceilingmounted LX605 projector, outputting 6000 ANSI lumens and taking a standard XGA feed, proved to be the best option.

Balance price and specification “These projectors offered the right balance of price and specification, since the 3-chip models were not in the budget,” confirmed Xavier. SAW’s technical team supported the installation throughout and were closely 14

involved in the calibration of the projectors. Over and above projection the company supplied the staging components within the Auditorium. Commented Phil Lord, Christie African Sales Consultant: “We are delighted to have this as a flagship installation for the Christie E Series — and to be associated with a global brand such as Yamaha.” Summarised Ian Pears, Managing Director of Yamaha Distributors South Africa: “Bidvest’s World of Yamaha will be positioned to introduce and welcome customers to the Yamaha experience. We will have a comprehensive retail centre offering the full range of Yamaha branded clothing and accessories, as well as specifically designed sound rooms for the testing of our musical instrument range and audio equipment. And the new theatre will be able to offer not only product launches, music evenings and conferencing for our various divisions, but will be on offer for hire to external customers and partners as well.” From the AV perspective, the Christie partner expressed total satisfaction with the project and this was matched by the client, who commended SAW on the exceptional picture quality and their choice of projectors which enabled them to deliver it.


Yahlive broadcast Saudi sport bouquet in HD to Europe YahLive, the UAE based satellite operator, has announced that it is to start broadcasting the Saudi Sports Bouquet in HD to the European continent. The Saudi TV’s bouquet includes six channels, which broadcasts all the Saudi Football League matches exclusively.

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ohamed Youssif, CEO of YahLive, said: “Having the Saudi Sports Bouquet among YahLive’s offerings comes as part of our strategy to broadcast in the highest HD quality whether it is Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia. We are proud to start with the Saudi League channels and offering this service to the Arabic viewer who lives in Europe. We are also very pleased that through our leading capabilities and high service quality we have gained the trust of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information. “ Dr. Riyadh Najm, Deputy Minister for Media Affairs in the Saudi Culture and Information ministry: “This comes in order to facilitate expanding the reach of these Saudi TV exclusive’ channels to Europe. We chose YahLive, for its excellent coverage and strong technical capabilities, to deliver the Saudi Sports Bouquet and the Saudi Football League in HD to our viewers across Europe. YahLive is a partnership between Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, Yahsat, and SES, a global satellite operator. Launched in 2011, YahLive offers state of the art

broadcasting, newsgathering, distribution and contribution feed capacities, bringing about a new era of high-definition (HD) and 3D TV services, from Y1A satellite positioned at 52.5 degrees East, covering the Middle East, Africa and West Asia. YahLive offers broadcasters access to extensive satellite capacity

to enable the latest innovations in the broadcast world, such as HD and interactive TV. Through YahLive broadcasters can introduce new HD or interactive channels without worrying about capacity constraints, and also extend their audience reach to new regions with YahLive’s widereaching coverage.

Share ideas on LinkedIn Join the SACIA LinkedIn group and share the online discussion about products and issues impacting the future of the professional AV industry in Southern Africa.

To find us, click the Groups Tab in your LinkedIn profile and search for SACIA

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Cameras may open up your Boardroom to hackers Mike Tuchen, left, and HD Moore of Rapid7 were able to gain access to company boardrooms with videoconferencing equipment.

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ne afternoon this month, HD Moore took a tour of a dozen conference rooms around the globe via equipment that most every company has in those rooms; videoconferencing equipment. With the move of a mouse, he steered a camera around each room, occasionally zooming in with such precision that he could discern grooves in the wood and paint flecks on the wall. In one room, he zoomed out through a window, across a parking lot and into shrubbery some 50 yards away where a small animal could be seen burrowing underneath a bush. With such equipment, the hacker could have easily eavesdropped on privileged attorney-client conversations or read trade secrets on a report lying on the conference room table. Moore, a chief security officer at Rapid7, asserts that videoconferencing equipment is often left vulnerable to

secrets are openly discussed,” he says.

Entry bar has fallen

hackers. “Businesses collectively spend billions of dollars each year beefing up security on their computer systems and employee laptops. They agonize over the confidential information that employees send to their Gmail and Dropbox accounts and store on their iPads and smartphones. But rarely do they give much thought to the ease with which anyone can penetrate a videoconference room where their most guarded trade 16

Moore has found it easy to get into several top venture capital and law firms, pharmaceutical and oil companies and courtrooms across the country. He even found a path into the Goldman Sachs boardroom. “The entry bar has fallen to the floor,” said Mike Tuchen, chief executive of Rapid7. “These are literally some of the world’s most important boardrooms — this is where their most critical meetings take place — and there could be silent attendees in all of them.” Ten years ago, videoconferencing systems were complicated and erratic, and ran on expensive, closed high-speed phone lines. Over the last decade, videoconferencing — like everything else — migrated to the Internet. Now, most businesses use Internet Protocol


videoconferencing to connect with colleagues and customers. Most of these new systems were designed with visual and audio clarity — not security — in mind. Rapid7 discovered that hundreds of thousands of businesses were investing in top-quality videoconferencing units, but were setting them up on the cheap. At last count, companies spent an estimated $693 million on group videoconferencing from July to September of last year, according to Wainhouse Research.

False sense of security The most popular units, sold by Polycom and Cisco, can cost as much as $25,000 and feature encryption, high-definition video capture, and audio that can pick up the sound of a door opening 300 feet away. But administrators are setting them up outside the firewall and are configuring them with a false sense of security that hackers can use against them. Whether real hackers are exploiting this vulnerability is unknown; no company has announced that it has been hacked. (Nor would one, and most would never know in any case.) But with videoconference systems so ubiquitous, they make for an easy target. It certainly would not be the first time hackers had exploited holes in office hardware. After a security breach at the United States Chamber of Commerce last year, the Chamber discovered that its office printer had been communicating with an Internet address in China.

Invisible signs But with videoconferencing, companies have seemingly gone out of their way to make themselves vulnerable. In many cases, they are not only putting their systems on the Internet, but setting them up in a way that allows anyone to listen in unnoticed. New systems are outfitted with a feature that automatically accepts inbound calls so users do not have to press an “accept” button every time someone dials into their videoconference. The effect is that anyone can dial in and look around a room, and the only sign of their presence is a tiny light on a console unit, or the silent swing of a video camera.

Are you at risk? Late last year, Moore wrote a computer program that scanned the

Internet for videoconference systems that were outside the firewall and configured to automatically answer calls. In less than two hours, he had scanned 3 percent of the Internet. In that sliver, he discovered 5 thousand wide-open conference rooms at law firms, pharmaceutical companies, oil refineries, universities and medical centers. He stumbled into a lawyerinmate meeting room at a prison, an operating room at a university medical center, and a venture capital pitch meeting where a company’s financials were being projected on a screen. Among the vendors that popped up in his scan were Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Sony and others. Of those, Polycom — which leads the videoconferencing market in units sold — was the only manufacturer that ships its equipment — from its low-end ViewStation models to its high-end HDX products — with the auto-answer feature enabled by default. In an e-mail, Shawn Dainas, a Polycom spokesman, said the autoanswer feature had several safety elements built in that could be activated by a customer, including password protections, auto-mute and camera control lockup, adding that Polycom also offered a camera lens cover. He said the “security levels have been designed to make it easy for our customers to enable security that is appropriate to their business.” Of the Polycom videoconference systems that popped up in Moore’s scan, none blocked control of the camera, asked for a password or muted sound. 17

Balancing act “Many Polycom systems are sold, installed and maintained without any level of access security, with autoanswer enabled by default,” Moore says. “It boils down to whether organizations are aware of the risk, and our research indicates that many, even well-heeled venture capital firms, were not aware and do not implement even the most basic of security measures.” Mike Tuchen said that as a short cut, businesses put their videoconference systems outside the firewall, allowing them to receive calls from other companies without having to do any complex network configuration. The safer way to receive calls from other companies, Tuchen said, is to install a “gatekeeper” that securely connects calls from outside the firewall. But, this process “is complex to configure properly,” he said, and “is often skipped.” Ira M. Weinstein, a senior analyst at Wainhouse Research, a market research firm that specializes in media conferencing, disputed the notion that most companies keep their systems outside the firewall. “The companies that really have to worry about breaches — the Department of Defense, banks — put their systems behind the firewall,” Weinstein said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions. If you talk to outside companies, you need to decide if you want to be accessible or totally secure. I could never leave my house and be secure. But I want to be accessible. It’s a choice people make.”


Video analytics - an imperative for the transportation industry Video analytics can be regarded the next evolution in surveillance that makes use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). Although CCTV is used extensively in corporate, industrial and even public environments, video analytics is delivering additional value through the intelligent nature of this technology, and the transportation industry is one area that can take advantage of the benefits it delivers.

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CTV footage has improved in leaps and bounds as we made the transition from analogue to digital with hard drives replacing tapes. Despite this, video surveillance footage is still vast and it is laborious to 'sift' through images in order to find evidence. This requires some form of intelligence that can extract useful data from video footage automatically. Enter video analytics.

Mature market Although video analytics might sound simplistic, it has taken years of development and many technology iterations to get to the point of maturity we have reached today. Fortunately, there are a few applications in the transportation technology that can benefit distinctly from this technology. The most common application is Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) which makes use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The number is 'read' a few times on the same vehicle and if the same number is recognised or found, this increases the

accuracy of the reading. However, the faster the cars are travelling, the less accurate the video analytics. It must be noted that there is still technology refinement in the pipeline as many systems must view a number plate directly from the front and not the side which can results in misreads due to distortion. Further exacerbating this are the provincial images printed behind the number and the fact that number plates do not incorporate an international character set. To add, vehicle lights 'blind' the camera and requires infra-red lighting and lens filters to eliminate this problem.

Gauteng toll plaza A more up to date example of video analytics is with the toll plazas that are currently being completed in Gauteng, South Africa. Video analytics is used to manage the risk of fraudulent

transactions, working in tandem with a video 'grabbing' system that monitors the vehicles going through the toll plazas. Future developments could include monitoring speed by calculating the time from one gantry to the next. As with many systems, what would truly add value is integration of information obtained through video analytics with other systems such as eNatis (South Africa’s official register for all vehicle, driving licence, contravention and accident data) and even the Department of Justice. Consider the possibilities such as criminals on the loose being tracked by linking their identity numbers to their vehicle registration numbers and possibly even other cases that are outstanding. The benefits are endless.

Product knowledge

Jan de Beer is an Executive with Jasco Security.

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The answer, in large part, lies in identifying a solution provider who has the product and industry knowledge, as well as the experience, to make the technology meet the unique needs of the transportation industry. Having a partner that understands and can deliver the 'endto-end' solution plus integration capabilities provides the benefit of fewer


challenges with implementation and maximising the solution by leveraging other systems and applications. The other part of the puzzle is understanding the limitations of video analytics. Sophisticated software algorithms analyse incoming video streams to enable license plate recognition, facial recognition and behavioural recognition, along with advanced archiving and retrieval capabilities.

Busy airport In a busy airport, however, a video analytics solution is unlikely to identify an abandoned suitcase or detect a change in crowd behaviour - it's just too busy an environment. And, regardless of the environment you install it in, the solution is very likely to need ongoing fine-tuning, including factoring in recognition of seasonal environmental changes. Although there are some challenges still to be resolved with video analytics, this technology is enhancing the transportation sectors ability to monitor and prevent fraud, a key concern for South African businesses that are positioned in this area. Choosing a partner that has the experience, skills and expertise in this area will greatly enhance the functionality and return of investment.

Future developments with the Gauteng toll network could include monitoring speed by calculating the time from one gantry to the next. As with many systems, what would truly add value is integration of information obtained through video analytics with other systems such as eNatis (South Africa’s official register for all vehicle, driving licence, contravention and accident data) and even the Department of Justice. Consider the possibilities such as criminals on the loose being tracked by linking their identity numbers to their vehicle registration numbers and possibly even other cases that are outstanding.

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Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2011 In three short years, the annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) - Doha Film Institute (DFI)'s annual celebration of film - has put itself firmly on the map of global cinematic events as a showcase for the best of Arab and international cinema.

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his year's rush of excitement included the opening night's world premiere of Jean Jacques Annaud's "Black Gold" coproduced by Tarak Ben Ammar's Quinta Communications and the DFI. The glamour and glitz of the red carpet was heightened by the truly romantic setting of the main screening venue - Katara Open Air Theatre (KOAT) - being under the stars of the city's Katara Cultural Village, overlooking the sparkling azure blue Arabian Gulf. In terms of aesthetics it was a case of drive-in movie meets modern industrial masterpiece.

A special setting Settings don't get much more special than this ....and neither do production teams! A massive technical production operation created and delivered the 2000 capacity Katara Open Air Theatre (KOAT) - DTFF's main screening venue and one of nine movie spaces, seven of them temporary, used

before, but as with most events, it was the final 48 hours under intense pressure that saw the details materialized.

No room for error

over the 5 day event. It was the result of an incredible collaboration utilizing the skills, talents, resources and experience of a diversity of very dedicated creatives, engineers, technicians, labourers and administrators. They were united in one aim - to build a truly unique, absolutely beautiful environment that made visiting the Festival a fabulously memorable experience. A remarkable work ethic pervaded the site on all levels. The build started six weeks 20

This was the time when every department had to hold their nerve - there was no room for errors, doubts or negatives - whether you were involved in building structures, laying carpet, tech'ing lighting or sound tech, part of the creative team, one of a host of departmental coordinators - or Michael Petrovich - DFI's Head of Event Production, a charming and unflappable American now living in Doha .... and the man on the top of the project delivery pyramid. KOAT's massive arched bespoke temporary structure was a spectacular feat of architectural ambition. It was designed by Jeremy Thom, a colourful Englishman living in New York state whose background encompasses theatre, circus engineering and imagination. It was built by Dubai based Al Laith Event Services and Serious Stages


from the UK. Drive-in movie meets awesome aesthetics was defined by KOAT's main steel arch which traversed the space majestically at 43 metres high and 86 metres wide. For all its largeness, KOAT, particularly after dark also had that remarkable intimacy peculiar to movie houses.

Engineering challenge Its facilities surpassed the wish list of most permanent structures, and numerous other engineering challenges included the stage and screen end being built 25 metres into the sea. DTFF 2011's event production resources were 70 per cent sourced from Qatar and the Middle East region, and also featured a strong contingent of international talent from Europe and the US plus individuals from South Africa and Australia. Some incredible teamwork and great camaraderie saw up to 500 people working onsite at peak times - all completely focussed on getting the show on and playing their part in producing a special experience.

Groundbreaking construction Al Laith Event Services worked on the 2010 DTFF event, for which they created the first groundbreaking KOAT venue on the same site. This year, the position of the stage/screen and the grandstand was flipped 180 degrees to allow the audiences - of which 400 seats were VIP - to appreciate the fantastic ocean backdrop and the twinkling clutch of skyscrapers across the water on Doha's evolving cityscape. The pair of 26 metre high arches - which caused such a stir in 2010 - were again incorporated into Jeremy Thom's design for KOAT - this time dwarfed by the elegant 43 metre high double 'Galaxy' arch towering above. Once Thom had decided on the architectural look he wanted, Jo Marshall asked structural engineer Dragan Kusmanov to design the components needed to build the main arch.

to Doha. They formed part of a 94 truck contingent of road freight organised by Al Laith, together with four sea freight shipments and one air lift from the UK. This gave them the capacity to build all the KOAT elements plus an arched box office structure and two 20m dome stages positioned along the esplanade to the side of KOAT, all hosting DTFF events and receptions.

26-tonne arch The Galaxy arch weighed 26 tonnes. Each of the 54 five metre sections of Galaxy truss was pre-rigged by KOAT lighting contractor CCG's crew and marked up - so Al Laith's riggers just had to bolt these together in the right order. While the Galaxy took the visual glory ... there were a number of other practical,

Trussing component This resulted in the manufacture of a phenomenally strong new trussing component by Al Laith and Serious Stages - the Galaxy truss - of which 54 pieces of this were used, each measuring five metres, all at slightly different angles. Riggers and climbers can pass through the Galaxy truss standing up, a great advantage for anyone involved in hanging technical elements from it. The S355 grade steel for the Galaxy truss was sourced in the UK and flown to Dubai where sections were milled and welded, and then trucked 21

innovative and equally detailed elements incorporated into the whole KOAT structure.This included a staggering 1,600 square metres of covered air conditioned backstage and an additional 1,100 square metres of underworld space of which 800 square metres was built from TSG HeavyDeck. In fact, the backstage area behind the screen could have hosted its own complete rave for several thousand people! The sheer scale of the operation and the logistics were the real brainteasers, together with working out transportation, scheduling, etc., and accounting for hold ups and curve balls like the time taken for trucks to complete the journey from Dubai, which could be anything from 4 and 8 days, depending on how long it took to clear the border. They also had to be flexible enough


Call for papers

Promoting AV excellence in Southern Africa During August 2012, SACIA (the Southern African Communications Industries Association) are hosting an exhibition and conference programme that will focus specifically on the use of audiovisual technologies in business, government, education and Houses of Worship. We are now inviting submissions from organizations, companies or individuals who are interested in presenting a paper. Presentations should focus on the successful application of AV technology and while manufacturers and dealers are welcome to submit papers, presentations should not be structured to sell or promote a particular brand or product. Presentations can vary in length from 30-90 minutes based on relevance and content. Priority will be given to papers which address the use of AV technology throughout Africa.

When: 7-8 August 2012 Where: Misty Hills Conference Centre, Muldersdrift, South Africa The SACIA ProAV Forum will comprise four half-day conference sessions each supported by local media and industry bodies specific to their market. Each session will focus on the use of AV technology in: • Government • Business • Education • House of Worship If you’re interested in presenting a paper during the SACIA ProAV Forum please send a detailed synopsis to forum@proav-africa.org or call +27110836418

FORUM

The South African Communications Industries Association is a not-for-profit Trade Association committed to promoting the adoption of professional standards in the audiovisual industry throughout Africa.


to accommodate numerous 'evolutionary changes' that happened once on site after the build started. Says Jo Marshall, "We are extremely proud of being involved in DTFF, we built on all the things we learnt in 2010 and I think achieved a truly spectacular result. It is a great experience to work with individuals like Michael Petrovich and Jeremy Thom who have the imagination and confidence to push the technical and production envelopes and enable all of us to become part of creating something completely different".

Film and digital projection Projection experts Boston Light & Sound from the US supplied a crew of 19 technicians for the festival set up. They supplied the 35 mm projection systems for KOAT as well as the film and digital projection rigs in the six other temporary DTFF screening venues, and were also responsible for the systems permanently installed in two other venues. The KOAT 35 mm projectors were two highly customized Norelco FP20s with Strong 7Kw xenon lamp houses, operated as a redundant pair. The digital cinema projection consisted of two Barco 32B 4K enabled projectors with 6.5K xenon lamps, outputting 35,000 ANSI lumens - and considered to be the brightest digital cinema projector on the market. The source material was stored on DoReMi digital cinema 4K enabled servers and Sony HD cam video decks, supplied via K2 Imaging in New York together with the digital projectors. All the DTFF cinemas were equipped with an Alcon McBride flash player for HD flags, stings, trainers and short movies.

Dual audio system Two audio systems were installed in KOAT - one for the cinema surround and one for the live system that was used by pre-show artists and Leona Lewis, who performed on the closing night of the event. These were both supplied by Doha's leading lighting and sound rental company CCG, run by Jalal Dudin, who, like everyone, shared a great enthusiasm for the event. The cinema system's 5.1 surround sound system was a combination of L-Acoustics and EAW elements that was designed by Boston Sound & Light, and installed and engineered by CCG. The consoles were two DiGiCo D5s for FOH and monitor mixes - and CCG supplied two Optocore fibre cables - one for lighting and one for audio control. CCG also supplied a substantial amount of sound kit for the backstage and underworlds areas, and systems to many other festival venues. The KOAT

challenges, explains Dudin - who prides himself on offering the very best sound in Qatar - was being flexible enough to provide two very different but rich, high clarity sounding systems as well as to accommodate changes that came onstream as the venue evolved.

Lighting design The gargantuan task of architectural, interior, show and effects lighting design, site wide, fell to UK based Adam Bassett who has worked on the DTFF from its start in 2009.The lighting statistics were fairly mind boggling and included 5600 lighting fixtures in total - supplied by CCG from Doha and PRG from the UK. This broke down to around 700 moving lights, 3100 conventionals and 1500 LED sources, with which they illuminated 17 different areas of the site. The scale and complexity of overseeing so many simultaneous installations was the galvanising element of the project - and this was easy to appreciate once on site! All of KOAT's lighting equipment was supplied by CCG (Creative Communications Group), just short of 800 fixtures in total, with another 124 illuminating various bits of the extensive red carpet area in front. The design had to be dynamic enough to cover all the preshow and on-stage entertainment, intimate enough to set the scene for movie screenings and bold and big for Leona Lewis's concert performance that closed this year's DTFF.

Spatial dimension On top of that, the all important architectural lighting requirements added a totally different spatial dimension for lighting, requiring its own special treatment. Much emphasis was put on lighting the Galaxy arch, which was visible from up to 20 Km away. Overall, Bassett also wanted KOAT to have an overall epic Hollywood Bowl feel - a fusion of excitement and anticipation. The two sides of the Galaxy arch were lit with a total of 72 Martin Professional Atomic strobes and 144 PAR 64s. At its feet, Griven Powershine D LED floods were installed to graze up the lower sections, with more on the centre and midway sections of the lower arches, pointing upwards to the Galaxy. The two lower arches were each toned with 22 PARs.

Lighting sequence Bassett created a 45 minute sunset lighting sequence that ran daily, with fixtures starting in CTO and morphing through a series of graduated deeper ambers to reddy/orange, and this ran site23

wide as the sun dipped down over the horizon, after which all lighting reverted to the standard blue look. KOAT's low arches were used as rigging points for the main FOH moving light system for the stage and audience - a combination of Clay Paky Alpha Spot and Wash 1500s and 1200s 27 in total on each arch - with Source Four profiles for task lighting the VIP stairways and for additional onstage key lighting. A complete floor moving light package was supplied. It varied according to what was happening that evening, with static features including a row of 16 GLP Impressions alternated with 17 x silver MR16 birdies across the front lip of the stage. On the back corners of the decking each side of the stage was a cluster of Griven Imperial 4K xenon searchlights. KOAT's exterior walls were lit with Alpha Beam 1500s rigged along the base and top, which shot narrow, dramatic slices of coloured light - with searchlight style movement - up and down the front of the building that was finished in sand printed vinyl. They were augmented with an iridescent colour wash from a selection of Griven Stroker LED floods along the floor. As the excitement and hubbub of the opening night took hold, and the sweet smell of newly dried paint, sawdust and cut carpets gave way to expensive fragrances and the elegant flow of the glitterati on the red carpet, so the transformation from construction site to world premier event was complete. It was a world class moment in which the entire production team could take a few precious seconds to stop and draw breath .... and appreciate just how much their collective efforts and energy had achieved.


Satellite TV for 65 million MENA homes by 2016 CABSAT, the leading digital media event in the region, and third largest on the global calendar, is bringing together the most dynamic – and lucrative – broadcast markets in the world.

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lready there are more than 500 free to air channels in the region, with the big players pushing ever harder. Orbit Showtime Network recently invested in strengthening its local content, and Sky News Arabia is set to launch from a new production base which is a world leader in state of the art technology. Outside broadcast operators like Al Kass and Live have built new fleets with the latest equipment and working practices. Twofour54 in Abu Dhabi is actively marketing its production and postproduction capabilities across Europe as well as to local producers. Many analysts believe this is not just an exciting time to be in broadcast and media in the region, it is a vital time for long-term success. The dynamism the industry feels will be reflected in this year’s CABSAT exhibition when it returns to the Dubai World Trade Centre in February.

Innovation and opportunity Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, the event organiser said: “The broadcast and satellite technology market in the Middle East and North Africa is not only extremely attractive in terms of business opportunities, but also in terms of innovation. Often we see rapidly emerging markets as the catalyst for new technology, helping to set the industry agenda. CABSAT has become one of the world’s most influential platforms for investors and developers, and as the event continues to grow, it increases its spectrum of exhibitors and visitors. We have seen greater participation not just in terms of sectors within the industry, but across a far wider geographical reach.” In 2012, the CABSAT exhibition will be 15% larger than last year, filling the new Sheikh Saeed Halls and expanding into the Arena with satellite dishes, outside broadcast equipment and other demonstrations. With exhibition space close to selling out, all the world’s leading manufacturers are planning a strong presence, recognising its vital importance in the market. Abdulhadi Alhassani, Director of Satellite Control and

Maintenance at Arabsat said “CABSAT has put the MENA region on the world map”; Paddy Roache, EMEA director of Hitachi, described the event as “delivering the quality of people I need to see”, and Awad Mousa, Head of Product Marketing - Sony Professional Solutions, called CABSAT “an absolute must for all members of our industry across the region”.

forefront of convergence. The future will be multi-screen, with consumers finding the content they want on air or online, and sharing their views and their favourites on social networks. “Social TV is not just a buzzword: it is the future of TV and people’s desire to have a deeper engagement with their favourite content,” said Alex Blum, COO, Kit Digital. Kit Digital will, of course, be exhibiting at CABSAT.

Forefront of convergence Last show, Harris chose CABSAT to launch a key new selenium product in its future strategy, a powerful platform bridging the worlds of broadcasting and telecoms, video and IP. The first sale of this remarkable product was to OmanTel to update its transmission network. The launch at CABSAT was not only a great endorsement of the event, it also demonstrates that this region is at the

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Hands-on workshops The event is more than just an exhibition. This year there are even more opportunities for specialist training, tutorials and hands-on workshops under the umbrella of the CABSAT Academy. The GVF Satellite Summit is extended to two days because of the weight of information to be exchanged – there will be 19 new satellites launched by 2013. Workshops will look at the latest technologies and workflows, including a chance to try out 3D and the newest DSLR cameras. Sessions will range from entry level briefings to in-depth investigations for highly experienced professionals. According to the latest research by the IABM, the body that represents manufacturers and vendors in broadcast and media, the MENA market is set to grow significantly towards $2 billion in 2015 and CABSAT will be the region’s foremost platform for the essential technology that accompanies that growth.


Future IMAX theaters to be exclusively powered by Barco Barco has been selected by IMAX Corporation as the exclusive, worldwide projection technology partner for its IMAX theaters for the next seven years. Through its selection of Barco's Xenon lamp-based digital projectors, IMAX will immediately enhance The IMAX Experience in its global cinema network. In addition, IMAX theaters will benefit from a new generation of high-performance, laser-based projectors, which are expected to be deployed in 2013.

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ver the years, IMAX has established its reputation as the leading provider of aweinspiring, immersive cinema experiences. In Barco, it has found an industry acclaimed technology partner that is able to further differentiate and maximize The IMAX Experience. In the first phase of the partnership, the parties will integrate an enhancement of Barco's existing Xenon-based projectors for use in IMAX's current backlog and new system signings. This solution will be available in the second half of 2012. Simultaneously, Barco and IMAX will codevelop leading-edge laser technology – benefiting from Barco's unique laser innovations and IMAX's licensed Kodak IP. The companies will work together exclusively to manage the transition from Xenon-based to high-performance, laserbased projectors, which are expected to be deployed in 2013. “Being selected by IMAX as the exclusive supplier for the world's most immersive cinema experience is a strong endorsement of our leadership in the Digital Cinema projection business,” explains Wim Buyens, Senior Vice President of Barco's Entertainment Division. “This partnership will strengthen our position as the premium provider of state-of-the-art cinema technologies that provide the perfect match for every screen, whether small or large. What's more, it will enable us to further ramp up our manufacturing scalability and to continue setting the standard for future technologies.”

Ambitious growth “As we continue to expand globally, it is critical that our technology partner keeps pace with our ambitions around innovation and growth,” said IMAX Chief Business Development Officer Robert D. Lister. “Barco is that partner. A leader in advanced digital and laser technology, Barco is well-known for its quality and integrity. We believe the result of this collaboration will further differentiate The IMAX Experience for consumers,

strengthening our value proposition for studios and exhibitors.” Todd Hoddick, Vice President for the Barco Entertainment Division in North America, adds: “We are honored to have been selected by IMAX as their worldwide and exclusive digital projection technology partner. We are both excited and committed to bring the full weight of Barco's operational excellence, integrity and ability to deliver on the ideals of the IMAX brand. Together we are determined to redefine the immersive cinema experience.”

Products and solutions The agreement with IMAX underscores Barco's commitment to offer exhibitors the most comprehensive suite of products and solutions to create a premium movie experience in their auditoriums at the lowest cost of ownership. This is exactly what has made Barco a valued technology leader, – as illustrated by its long list of industry firsts and its Guinness World Record for the brightest projector – as well as a global market leader – reflected in the company's 40% worldwide market share, 25

market leadership in China and a strong global customer base. Being appointed as the exclusive supplier of projection technology for the largest screens in the industry is a new milestone for Barco's Entertainment Division, which has a long history of providing high-quality equipment to the Advertising, Rental & Staging, Branding & Retail, Sports, Digital Cinema and Corporate AV industry. In these markets, Barco continues to innovate with a full portfolio of pioneering imaging and sound products that optimize productivity and range from compact, reliable projectors for mid-sized businesses to the most powerful projectors, LED displays and image processors for operation in a broad spectrum of entertainment venues and outdoor events.


Storm Broadcast supplies Brainstorm graphics for Dubai racing season Storm Broadcast has supplied Brainstorm's Aston 7 character generator to Sunset+Vine for use by the Meydan Racecourse complex in Dubai covering the horseracing season which runs from November through to March 2012, culminating in the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race with a US $10 million prize.

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he $1 billion Meydan Racecourse complex includes the world's largest LED screen, measuring 112 metres long by 12 metres high. The Aston 7 system supplied by Storm Broadcast is being used to drive the screen with both English and flawless Arabic text simultaneously, providing race goers with up-to-date and live race information. The Aston 7 matches the strengths of modern broadcast graphics hardware with the needs of today's 'IT-centric' broadcasters to offer a unique, powerful 3D broadcast graphics presentation platform. A second Aston 7 Edit system is also being used to provide information in a digital signage application to other areas within the complex. DC2 Media's Managing Director, David 26


Connaughton, who worked with Storm Broadcast to create the graphics package for Sunset+Vine said, "The Aston's very intuitive interface is simple to use and easy to learn. This enabled us to train up someone with no previous graphics or TV production knowledge to operate the system competently within a very short timeframe. It's also important to point out that the Aston's ability to import vast amounts of external data, produce it in full 1920 x 1080i HD, and be effortlessly controlled by an external application, are significant benefits." Aimed at live TV programming such as news, sports, business, and shopping, the Brainstorm Aston 7 package contains 3D animated text and graphics, on-screen video clips, built-in support for live content feeds, and proven connectivity to external automation systems.

Cabletime's MediaStar brings action to Meydan racegoers Opened last year, the Meydan is the largest and most well appointed race track in the world with unparalleled facilities for up to 60 thousand racegoers in the grandstand with its restaurants, private boxes and viewing galleries as well as world class amenities for jockeys and trainers in the technical areas. These demanding requirements made MediaStar Evolution “a natural choice for the complex� said Syed Abdul Wahab, CEO of Mindstec Distribution. The installation of the powerful HD IP-based video and AV distribution solution from Cabletime has been carried out by regional technology integrator, Genesis Integration and incorporates an Evolution head-end streaming live action, TV or digital signage content to MediaStarequipped screens across the complex. The easy-to-use Media Manager software behind Evolution allows Meydan management to control and manage each or all of the

displays in its stadium-wide screen network to their full advantage. Because MediaStar Evolution is designed specifically to deliver digital TV, media and AV content over IP networks, Meydan Racecourse can simultaneously programme informational messages in the public areas - including safety messages whilst also streaming live racing or show company videos, presentations or targeted information in the conference rooms. “This was an exciting and prestigious project for Genesis Integration. The complexities of different video feeds formats, the integration with broadcaster’s technologies, existing networks and head- ends, as well as the staged approach to a very rapid deployment of over 600 display locations in various public areas made this project a rarity for our organisation. All of this could not have been done without the extraordinary support of the Meydan Project Team,� said Tony Abou Jawad, Director of Genesis Integration.

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United Arab Emirates celebrates th 40 National Day Each year on 1 December the United Arab Emirates celebrate their independence. The celebrations were especially lavish in 2011, as 2 December marked the formal 40th anniversary of the coming together of the seven emirates to form the UAE. A comprehensive program of cultural and sporting events kicked off on 1 December to make this a true jubilee event.

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he organizers entrusted responsibility for providing the sound reinforcement at two of the most important functions to Sound-OnStage Events. Through its combination of outstanding know-how and state-ofthe-art equipment, the Dubai-based company has established itself as one of the region's premier addresses in the pro audio sector. For this year's celebrations, the team from Sound-OnStage Events was responsible for prestige stage productions in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, where well-known Arab artists performed with ensembles of up to 45 musicians. The event in the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre in the nation's capital drew over 10 thousand visitors. The main PA comprised 12 Electro-Voice X-Line line array elements and six

Xsubs, whilst 14 XLD281 very compact line array elements served as side and front fills and 16 Xw12 monitors (along with Plasma P1 and Plasma P2 drum fills) rounded off the sonic image. The power was provided by 24 TG7 and TG5 amplifiers. The integrated RCM-26 modules afforded the Sound-On-Stage Events team the luxury of remote control and supervision. "We wanted to make

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sure that all those who attended would retain positive memories of this event," says Mazen Saad, co-owner and managing director of Sound On Stage Events. "The competition in the market is stiff, which is why, whatever the production, we do our utmost to deliver the finest sound quality possible." Sound-On-Stage Events has already had outstanding experiences with XLine, and that’s why it was the first choice for this prestigious event, as Rawad Saad, technical manager, coowner and sound engineer for this production explains: "Our calculations showed that the X-Line was ideally suited to the demands of this event. Unlike rival systems, it offered optimal coverage and plenty of headroom – and even required fewer boxes!"


Cameroon upgrades to NETIA's Radio-Assist 8 automation NETIA has announced that public national broadcaster Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV) is upgrading to the Radio-Assist 8 range of digital audio automation software, delivered by Belgian systems integrator Studiotech.

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he added functionality and scalability of Radio-Assist 8 will enable CRTV to support both national and regional broadcast channels, to improve production and delivery of quality audio content, and ultimately help the broadcaster to increase its listening audience. In early 2000, we made the decision to transition from analog to digital operations, and we required a radio automation system that would support that shift," said TimothĂŠe Metomo Eduma, post-production exploitation chief of service at CRTV. "Working with Studiotech, we requested an open system that would be easy for all technical and nontechnical users to adopt, and NETIA's Radio-Assist proved to be the best solution. Since its installation, the NETIA system has

served us very well, and the upgrade to version 8 will provide valuable capabilities, as well as excellent ergonomics and a pleasant, intuitive GUI that distinguishes the NETIA software from its competitors. "NETIA's Radio-Assist 8 is a complete end-to-end solution that covers the entire production process," said Jean Marc

Rosenberg, technical manager at Studiotech. "In addition to being the most intuitive, easy-to-use radio automation solution, it offers strong database management tools and optimizes security through both server redundancy and automatic synchronization of content. Finally, Radio-Assist 8 provides solid rights management tools that will be useful in CRTV's operations." we're pleased to be continuing our longstanding relationship with the company and its integrator," said Pascal Cima, export sales manager at NETIA. "The original Radio-Assist installation a decade ago and the current upgrade at CRTV demonstrate not only the flexibility and long-term value of NETIA solutions, but also the forward-looking design and development of our software offerings."

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The South African Communications Industries Association is a not-for-profit Trade Association committed to promoting the adoption of professional standards in the audiovisual industry throughout Africa.

An informed business choice Question: When selecting a vendor for your next AV installation, which of these items is the LEAST important item you should consider? a. Price quoted for the project b. Installation quality of the installations dept c. Company reputation in the marketplace d. Financial stability of the supplier

Answer: (a) In today’s tough economic climate it’s obviously important to consider price as an important factor in choosing a supplier for your next AV installation. But choosing a supplier based on price alone is a surefire path to failure and an ineffective AV solution. Chose a vendor based on their ability to provide an AV solution that meets your requirements and make sure you’re buying from a reputable organization with certified staff and the resources to back-up your installation on a longterm basis.

SACIA is the leading trade association for the professional AV industry in Southern Africa. We promote the adoption of professional standards in the local market and our members commit to truth, honesty and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the audiovisual profession. When you’re looking for a reputable supplier with a proven track record in the professional AV market, our members are a good place to start. For more information on SACIA and a full list of members, please visit www.sacia.org.za


Biggest-ever ISE provides the perfect start to Europe’s integration year Amsterdam event draws record numbers of exhibitors and attendees

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he AV and electronic systems integration industry received the best possible start to 2012, after Integrated Systems Europe broke all records. A total of 825 exhibitors occupied 11 halls of the Amsterdam RAI, and were rewarded for their commitment to the event by a total registered attendance of 40,869 over the three show days of Tuesday 31 January to Thursday 2 February. Both numbers are the highest ever achieved by ISE, with the exhibitor total representing a 15% jump on 2011, while the attendee increase was just over 17%. The show also broke new ground in other areas, with net floor space exceeding 30,000 square metres, and the number of people registering for ISE’s conference, education and pre-show event programme passing the 2,000 mark for the first time. “ISE is now clearly established as the bestattended event of its kind anywhere in the world,” comments Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events. “To be able to post record numbers in every key area against an uncertain economic backdrop is a fantastic achievement, not just for ISE but for the industry it serves. “Beyond the statistics, the sheer excitement generated by so many professional people converging on a show full of dynamic new technologies created an atmosphere unsurpassed by any previous ISE.” ISE 2012’s exhibitor total included almost 200 companies new to the show. Sam Verellen from one of them, Totem Acoustic, reported seeing “a strong range of new faces together with existing customers, all of them of good quality – we will definitely be returning in 2013”. ISE’s ability to build new business connections among its many stakeholders has come to the fore once again. Alun Williams of Future Automation enthused: “This was our sixth year here and we are still meeting new people. It’s been a lovely show with a very high quality of visitors to our stand.” The space-rebooking process for ISE 2013 began on the

second morning of the 2012 show, and resulted in a total of 28,300 net square metres of exhibit space being reserved for next year – a 5% increase on the equivalent figure 12 months ago. Many companies have chosen to enlarge their stands, with Samsung, Sony, Digital Projection, Sennheiser, Barco, AVC Group and Optoma among those taking the opportunity to ‘size up’ in 2013. Mitsubishi Electric’s AC Ter Meulen summed up the mood

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of the event when he said: “ISE is always a busy show for us but this year has been particularly so. Our stand was the largest we've ever taken, but I have no hesitation in saying that the decision to expand our presence at ISE has been proved right. We’ve seen more people, and had more kinds of conversation, than ever before. This is a measure of how the show itself is growing and broadening its appeal.”


The $75 billion audiovisual industry provides critical support to large corporations, small businesses, retail outlets, education and healthcare institutions, entertainment venues, the government and more. AV helps us communicate better, protects critical infrastructure, assists with life-saving diagnoses, educates students around the world and keeps society informed and entertained. To learn more about the audio visual industry in Middle East visit www.mecia.org


never.no powers Social TV for Al Jazeera English Norway’s never.no has announced that Al Jazeera English used their Interactivity Suite (IS) to enable Social TV by taking viewer questions; displaying Twitter, Facebook, and email comments; and conducting on-air polling during live coverage of the 9/11 memorial broadcast. The real-time flow of social commentary and polling input allowed presenters to adjust their questions accordingly during live interviews. never.no's technology allowed viewers to become a social part of the programming, which in turn helped Al Jazeera present content that was most relevant to them.

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ith IS, the Al Jazeera production crew could take viewer questions or ask questions by publishing them to Facebook and presenting them on air. Viewers could then vote using Facebook or email. From there, the crew was able to publish the results, change the course of on-air interviews, and push questions back to the audience in real time — a powerful Social TV programming feedback loop that built strong viewership and ratings for Al Jazeera.

Integrate social media "IS features, such as real-time social media integration, live editorial control, and instant publishing to on-air graphics systems, gave us new ways of interacting with the audience without any complicated issues of ingesting dynamic data into our live production environment," said Sarah Worthington, head of output at Al Jazeera English. "Being able to incorporate the social experience into our live 9/11 memorial coverage enriched the broadcast and

by enabling viewers to influence a broadcast in real time and by allowing them to interact with one another and the rest of the world. With IS, a broadcaster can effortlessly aggregate user-generated content from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook into programming, and even build synchronized companion apps that enable viewers to interact with their televisions using an iPad (or tablet), PC, or smartphone. brought an irreplaceable personal perspective to our coverage." Al Jazeera English used never.no's cloud-based IS service during 9/11 memorial weekend, and it has now extended the IS installation for an even more thorough integration with its broadcast systems, enabling increased control and seamless live Social TV workflows. The never.no IS is a tool kit for creating the technical backbone of interactive broadcasts and Social TV experiences. IS supports true Social TV

Engaging audiences "Gradually, major broadcasters such as Al Jazeera English, which is increasingly viewed as the global leader in news coverage, are recognizing the importance of engaging their audiences during such important events as the 9/11 anniversary," said Lars Lauritzsen, never.no CEO. "The Al Jazeera team was very quick to understand the potential of Social TV. We are thrilled to see our Interactivity Suite serving as their tool of choice in this highly dynamic and emerging space."

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Sky News Arabia moves into its new state-of-the-art studio complex On track to launch free-to-air 24-hour Arabic news channel in Spring 2012

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ky News Arabia, the free-toair 24-hour Arabic rolling news channel launching in spring 2012, has announced the move of its editorial and operational teams into its newly built state-of-the-art studio site in Abu Dhabi city. The new studio and production facilities are considered to be the most advanced in the region.

Breaking news The channel will deliver breaking news in both HD and SD formats focusing on the Arab world via twelve dedicated bureaus across the region and globally, as well as access to Sky News’ international bureau network. Nart Bouran, Head of Sky News Arabia, said: “The move to the new site is a significant milestone in the Sky News Arabia launch plan, launch plan. We are already carrying out technical rehearsals and will start with full studio rehearsals later this month. Our investment in this high-tech studio complex affirms our commitment to provide fast, fresh live, evolving news across our multiple platforms - television, tablet, mobile and online.”

Technical integration

Nart Bouran, Head of Sky News Arabia, said: “The move to the new site is a significant milestone in the Sky News Arabia launch plan, launch plan. We are already carrying out technical rehearsals and will start with full studio rehearsals later this month. Our investment in this high-tech studio complex affirms our commitment to provide fast, fresh live, evolving news across our multiple platforms - television, tablet, mobile and online.”

Since April 2011 the technical integration process at the new studio complex, which is now located inside twofour54 the Abu Dhabi media hub, has been supported by Television Systems Limited (TSL), who have worked closely with Sky News Arabia’s engineering team on the design. Last month, TSL handed over the broadcast system including approximately 208 kilometres of cables into the facility, in addition to over 100 tonnes of state-ofthe-art broadcast equipment. Bouran added: “We have appointed a great mix of talented presenters who will be engaged through multimedia platforms in advance of the TV launch. The technical operation we have delivered will allow each presenter to deliver a vibrant and fresh format in news 35

delivery.” Sky News Arabia will broadcast from a single large studio, housing a number of permanent sets dedicated to different programs, providing seamless flow from one area and presenter to another, giving production directors maximum flexibility over their 11 cameras. A massive 10 meter wide video wall will be employed to visually aid in-depth analysis of stories being covered. The studio will be technically advanced with HD equipment and tapeless newsroom production facilities, allowing content to be transferred for near-instant availability across Sky News Arabia’s regional and international networks. All these technical specifications at the new studios aim to ensure that Sky News Arabia will deliver fast, breaking news 24-hours a day.


Third wave of the Web As electronics manufacturers begin to integrate web connectivity and services into their televisions and set-top boxes the Web will soon be even more a part of everyday life around the world. However, the way the Internet is accessed on televisions will be quite different to its current use, in much the same way that consumers bucked expectations that their mobile web behavior would mimic their desktop behavior.

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elevision is one form of traditional media that can easily and painlessly integrate the Web into its functionality. It is also a popular medium in Africa where, by 2015, PwC predicts that television penetration will reach 50%, representing more than 123 million households. This compares to around 5% penetration of desktop computers. Mobile is the preferred means of accessing the Web in Africa, with a penetration of around 45% across the continent. Some African countries are far ahead of that figure, such as South Africa and Nigeria.

Web-enabled TV Opera Software is one company committed to this third wave of the Web and has signed deals with five of the biggest television manufacturers to have its browser preinstalled. The Norwegian software company also operates the Opera TV Store and is actively seeking apps from all of the markets in which it operates. Around 30% of all televisions shipped globally since 2010 have been web enabled and this percentage will accelerate significantly from 2012. Frode Hernes, VP Products, TV & Connected Devices at Opera explains: “People accessing the Web on computers use it predominantly for research and work. As such, it is a "leanin" or interactive way of using it. What we see on TVs is that people wish to "leanback" -- relaxing while watching and that video content from sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, combined with social networks, are the most popular. TV is a shared experience, so entertainment is much more important than research.

Future of internet Opera is in a strong position to foresee the future of the Internet. It has been making web browsers since 1995. Its Opera Mini is the world's most popular mobile browser. Opera really pays attention to its users and has lead several innovations in the browser space, which have been adopted broadly. Based on its experience and understanding of how people use the Web, Opera is clear that the usual sites and formats that people

visit on a mobile phone, or even a desktop, for news and social media are unlikely to be as popular on televisions in their current form, as TV is usually a group experience. "Social media consumption on TV will always be in the context of what you are watching. The browser can intelligently pick up program information and present to viewers trending topics, tweets, and comments in that exact context. There is a general trend, that shows people engage in social networks specifically around their favorite TV shows," says Hernes.

Social engagement So, if a viewer is watching a live football game or soap opera, they might be interested in viewing that channel's Twitter hashtag or Facebook fan page, alongside the actual program. This increases social engagement and is a phenomenon referred to as "social TV. The other use case of social networks is to solve the dilemma of content 36

discovery. Today, this is one of the pay-TV operators and broadcasters biggest dilemmas. Quite often, we switch on our TVs and we don't know what to watch. Social networks can solve this, by presenting to us what the most popular shows are, based on input from sources we have already decided we agree with," Hernes continues. "This is a true convergence of information and technology and will make a huge difference to the way people engage with their televisions."


ProAV systems manufacturers affirm interest in Middle East and Africa ProAV systems manufacturers have re-affirmed their intention to stay engaged in the MENA (Middle East and Africa) markets, encouraged by their positive experiences at the recently concluded InfoComm MEA 2011 trade exhibition and summit in Dubai, as well as the growth potential in the region.

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ore than 90% of exhibitors in 2011 have re-booked to participate in InfoComm MEA 2012 which will be held from 14-16 October 2012 alongside GITEX Technology Week. The event in 2011 delivered quality sales leads, exceptional branding opportunities and valuable contacts, from a total 12,131 visitors. A vast majority of the visitors (92%) were institutional end-users, notably from the Corporate and Government sectors. “We’ve had our eye on the MENA region for a while now, so we were very happy that InfoComm was offering a marketing platform to reach this market. We’ve not been disappointed. The quality of attendees at InfoComm MEA 2011 has been fantastic. We met with top-notch integrators, as well as key figures in government and the private sector, working on specific and substantial projects. In fact, we've issued some large sales quotes at the show,” said Brady O Bruce, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Jupiter Systems. “We were, and still are, confident that there’s untapped potential for AV technology in this region. The economies here are less affected by the current economic uncertainties elsewhere. Oil and gas revenues have enriched several countries in the region, allowing them to fund ambitious building and infrastructural projects, and we see a commitment by the governments to sustain infrastructure development as a driver of economic growth. We, too, at Jupiter Systems, remain similarly committed to enlarging our presence in the MENA markets,” he added. A DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) Economic Note, launched on 4 July 2011 by Dr Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist and Head of External Relations of DIFC, highlighted the importance of infrastructure as an engine of growth. According to the Note, the region is experiencing a secular wave of transformation. The main driver in the GCC is an energy commodity windfall… (that) is increasingly deployed domestically to transform the Arabian

Peninsula into an advanced 21st century knowledge based economy. The value of projects planned or under way in the GCC is close to USD2.9 trillion, as of April 2011. Economic prospects in the MENA region in 2012 is expected to improve as compared with 2011, with the increase coming from a projected 2 percentage point jump in growth in developing MENA

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(World Bank Regional Economic Update, May 2011). InfoComm International forecast the ProAV market in the MENA region to reach $3.14 billion in 2012. Jupiter Systems is among the ProAV manufacturers which have already booked their stand in InfoComm MEA 2012. Other companies include Extron, Crestron, AMX, Jupiter Systems, Mitsubishi, Sharp, NEC, Hitachi, Wolfvision and projectiondesign.


System Solutions commissioned for stadium contract in Gabon System Solutions has been commissioned by ANGT (Agence Nationale Des Grands Travaux) who represent the Gabon government, to design, supply and construct large format outdoor LED screens and a control system each for the brand-new stadium in Libreville and the existing stadium in Port Gentil.

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he Amitie stadium in Libreville - a gift from the Chinese government – was used to host the 28th CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations in January 2012 which was cohosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Their successful installation history in South Africa's FNB and Moses Mabhida Stadiums made System Solutions a natural choice. System Solutions, in close collaboration with ANGT has designed a good quality, cost-effective LED screen solution (8.192m wide by 4.606m high) with integrated control for the stadium. They will also erect an identical screen at the Stade Pierre Claver Divpungui stadium in Port Gentil, situated 700 kms away. Due to the time lines, two separate System Solutions technical teams were stationed in Libreville and Port Gentil, respectively. "We treated the two installations completely independently," says Roger Feldmann, GM of System Solutions, "The transport infrastructure in Gabon can be unpredictable and with little more than six weeks onsite, we needed to eradicate any possibility for error." Part of the company's plans involved sub-contracting local companies to assist with logistics and ensure that local businesses derive benefit from the contract as well. A Libreville based manufacturer was appointed to fabricate and install the steel structure as well as the composite aluminium cladding, complementing the progressive stadium design. "We were very impressed with their manufacturing facility," comments Feldmann " and it meant a great saving on freight costs for our client as well as a substantial time saving for us. We also contracted other local suppliers for excavation work, HVAC and power requirements as well as other extras." The LED display screens themselves were made up of Unilumin P16 panels using Cree LED chips. The control system consists of an FSR Compass CP 200 presentation switch with preview and program outputs. This unit manages all video playback equipment as well as

multiple live broadcast camera feeds provided by the outside broadcast unit. Downstream of this there is an Indie400 HD unit also from FSR which handles the LED screen image scaling. In addition to these, a bespoke scoreboard and

master control system using AV Stumpfl’s award winning ISEO 2 Platform were implemented at the Amitie stadium. Both projects were co-ordinated on site by System Solutions Project Manager Karen Blythe.

The 28th edition of Orange Africa Cup of Nations came to an end in Gabonese capital Libreville on a spectacular night in February that saw Zambia crowned champions after an exciting tournament. The general view from many who attended the Gabon and Equatorial Guinea finals was that football was the winner and all can hardly wait for continent’s biggest sporting showpiece to come round again.

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Major Turkish supermarket implements Digital Signage YCD Multimedia, a global leader in providing smart digital media solutions to the retail business world, has announced that its digital signage software, C-nario Messenger, has been implemented in two leading Turkish supermarket and hypermarket chains.

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he project includes 562 digital displays located in 12 Macrocenter stores and 34 Migros stores in ‹stanbul, displaying eye-catching ads and attracting shoppers' attention. The displays are located in various areas of each store, such as the delicatessen, meat, fish, bakery, and produce departments. Displays are also installed at the points–of-sale and in aisles, areas that offer an opportunity to high-impact advertising and impulse purchasing at the point of purchase. All of the displays are centrally managed and controlled from Digiboard headquarters in Istanbul. C-nario’s platform enables uploading and approving ads via the Web, resulting in a quick review and approval process with real-time

updates. "The displays serve as a very effective communication platform attracting shoppers to choose products that are promoted by the digital displays in various locations of the store," said Lazar Demisulam,

Digiboard CEO. "We see more and more supermarkets and hypermarkets adopting digital signage as a key communication channel with shoppers." "This project is another milestone in our cooperation with Digiboard, following our successful joint projects in major Turkish airports," said Yael Elstein, VP Marketing, YCD Multimedia. "The digital signage networks at Migros and Macrocenter serve not only as an efficient advertising and promotion platform, but highly enhance the shopper's experience." C-nario Messenger is a complete digital signage display, distribution and management software platform that provides better-than-broadcast quality playback in any shape, size and resolution.

One Workflow Create, manage and play your video and graphics onto TV, the Internet and Mobile with one unified workflow. Viz Media Engine provides a single, efficient path from acquisition to play-out and distribution, offering the ideal workflow with integrated real-time graphics and intelligent device adaptation for multiple platforms. For more information, visit vizrt.com or contact your local Vizrt sales representative, TJ Nuckolls, on +971 4365 4649

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Marketing 101 for AV Geeks The expense item I am least likely to find on any AV company P&L statement is marketing. I will on occasion discover an advertising line with $686.00 for an enhanced Yellow Pages listing (d'oh!) or maybe business cards no one seems to remember what that expense was for.

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nly one in ten companies actually tracks true marketing expense and even fewer have a budget for marketing, which is why the subject rarely gets discussed. In fact many companies believe that they do not need to market themselves and cite their (limited) success without marketing as a badge of honor. It's only when I can connect their recent successes to an uncategorized branding or public relations move that they begin to realize the value.

Marketing is the catch-all term for changing or maintaining perceptions, identifying and meeting expectations, and anticipating future demand. This is not just about customers; employees and suppliers are subject to marketing strategies too. Every sale you make involves an element of marketing. Even your proposal is a marketing execution (for better or worse). The key elements of marketing include Research, Branding, Advertising, and Public Relations. There are more, but for today let's focus on these more common concepts.

Research tells us things we need to know about our customers, our competition, and ourselves. You need

to do research in order to establish pricing, know what products to buy and sell, or choose a company name. Too little research and you will lose touch with the market; too much and you will get stuck in analysis paralysis (the act of not acting because more information might indicate you should have acted differently). Some research is quantitative and delivers hard numbers while other data is qualitative. For the average AV integrator or rental company, a combination of quantitative industry research and light qualitative analysis of customer preferences and opinions is enough to point you in the right direction. This research will influence your branding message and medium, indicate whether advertising would be productive, and identify any public relations opportunities. It might also help you learn whether your pricing is high or low for your product or service or if there are opportunities for products and services that you don't currently offer.

Branding is the touchy-feely part of marketing that eludes most of us. Companies have the least control over their brand image, but it impacts the business as much or more than anything else you do. Brand is what people perceive you to be. It is influenced by everything you do and say, but there are a few things you can do that will help in a big way. The good news is that smart branding will trump most of the little mistakes we all make along the way. Branding starts with your company name and what it says to the customer (research!). Your logo and tagline (if you have one) set the tone for the branding experience. However, the biggest single impact you can have today is your website. The content of the site is not as important 40

as the look and feel. At a minimum, viewers will assess you and make a judgement about your brand based on what your website says about you in less than thirty seconds.

Advertising is the act of strategically placing a message in front of consumers. This can be an advertisement in a trade publication or sponsorship at an event. Trade show exhibiting is part of your advertising budget. If you spend capital to place your message somewhere specific it's advertising. For most of my clients, I find that advertising is not the best return for their budget. There are too many things that need to take place first in order for ads or trade show booths to have any impact. However, the opportunity to advertise is sometimes thrust upon us so it helps to be prepared. For instance, if a trade magazine wants to feature an event or project you have worked on, then a well-placed ad can help you capitalize on that opportunity. Be ready.

Public Relations is the tool we use when the brand, message, or image of your firm is affected by actions or events in or out of your control. PR is how we explain things that happen to our public audience. The AV industry is rather niche-y, therefore our "public" is often quite small. Public Relations can be as simple as picking up the phone and


calling a key customer to discuss a recent announcement or incident. Especially in an election cycle, PR as an art seems very reactionary. However, a regular press release regimen can augment branding and advertising efforts in a proactive way.

I hope this is helpful background information, but there's an elephant in the room called Social Media. I still get regular emails or calls asking, "My boss wants to know if anyone has ever sold anything because they have a company Facebook page." I wrote this article because that boss doesn't understand the difference between advertising and branding. If I then go to that company's website, I expect to find an antiquated, static, perhaps even

ugly page with little or no personalization. The owner probably spent a ton of money for it ten years ago and never learned how to capitalize on it. No wonder they are suspicious of something that is essentially free! The answer to the question however, is "Yes, social media does have an impact on sales in terms of branding and public relations. You should learn how to use it." To sum up, my holistic approach to marketing is to first assess the current brand and market position of the firm (research). Discuss how the company wants to be perceived in its quest for more and better customers (brand). Then we can assess the value of the tools that are in place or available such as websites, social media, and visual branding. Finally, we develop a budget somewhere between 0.5% and 2.0% of annual revenue. More if you are catching up; less if you are maintaining. (Manufacturers might spend 4 to 10%!) In most cases, the process of developing a modern website would take you through the same steps. And while many marketing companies make this process a little too much like voodoo for the average AV Geek's tastes, there are the few that

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understand that practical comes first. Remember this, you are a consumer and you have never bought anything that didn't involve marketing. As a supplier, marketing is the tool that will deliver customers.

Tom is a past-president of InfoComm International and has been on the InfoComm board of directors since 2005. He is published regularly in trade magazines and serves as a keynote speaker at industry events. Tom holds a Master of Business Administration from Baylor University in Texas and a CTS certification from InfoComm. If that’s not enough, he majored in Theater at Texas A&M University and is a Black Belt instructor in Taekwondo.


New projectors from Mitsubishi New 7000 series large venue projectors and advanced interactive pen versions of its popular ultra-short throw devices join Mitsubishi’s impressive projection line-up for ISE 2012. Debuting at ISE 2012 will be Mitsubishi’s latest projector range, the 7000 series. Available in three formats, the XL7100U (1024 x 768 pixel XGA), WL7200U (1280 x 800 pixel WXGA) and UL7400U (1920x1200 pixel WUXGA), the 7000 Series projectors offer high-performance, versatility and low running costs, and are ideal for applications such as large meeting rooms, rental applications and digital signage. Based around a long-life, non-organic liquid crystal panel, the 7000 Series offers an impressive light output of up to 6000 Lumens at 2000:1 contrast ratio. Lamp life of up to 4,000 hours and less than 0.3W power consumption in standby mode makes the 7000 Series economical to own and run. The highperformance, ultra-low dispersion ED lens offers greater light transmission efficiency than glass and improved optical accuracy across the entire image. Mitsubishi’s advanced Super Resolution image processing algorithm dynamically interpolates missing data from an input signal to create greatly improved clarity. Combined with Mitsubishi’s Natural Colour Matrix, the result is an image of superb sharpness and naturallooking colours.

Vogel’s Professional introduces modular video wall solution Creating a video wall solution can be a difficult process and during ISE in Amsterdam, Vogels demonstrated their new modular video wall solution. “It is important that displays are placed as close to each other as possible and in perfect alignment,” explains regional manager Wim Aarts. “To achieve this, you want as few variables as possible. Each extra adjustment option or component means more installation time. With the Vogel’s video wall solution we offer a simple 2-part solution that requires a minimum amount of measuring and adjustment so installation time is kept to a minimum.” The video wall is set up with interface wall plates (PFW 58xx) and one set of interface strips (PFW 5905) per display. Vogel’s offers different lengths of interface wall plates from 800 to 3300 mm and one length of interface strips of 500 mm. With the Vogel’s modular concept you can create a mounting solution for every video wall setup required.

New digital equipment from Smart-e

A new series of digital equipment for presentation/boardroom solutions and training facilities was launched by Smart-e at ISE 2012. Consisting of a selection of wall and floor plates, as well as a boardroom presentation system, the point-to-point audio visual equipment has

been designed and manufactured to provide a total digital solution for use in classrooms, theatres, conference and seminar rooms. All the new equipment has HDMI V1.4 features, is HDCP compliant, and can accept RGBHV resolutions up to 1600x1200, analogue stereo audio together with remote power. Options are also available for composite video, Ethernet and RS232, using the company’s ‘one cable technology’. Supplied as a transmitter and receiver pair, the wall and floor plate transmitters (SDS-1000 series) distribute signals over a single cable (CAT5e-8), whilst connectivity to the display is via a single HDMI cable.

Hitachi raises the bar Delivering unmatched reliability and quality, flexibility and the lowest cost of ownership on the market, Hitachi is introducing its new Installation Series projectors. The Installation Series projectors offer several groundbreaking features, including two HDMI inputs, which address the increasing demand for digital connectivity. The Installation Series also features motorized focus, zoom and lens shift, enabling easy adjustment of the image. Meanwhile, several Installation Series models will feature 360-degree off-axis display, which is ideal for creative applications. High reliability is a hallmark of the Installation Series, as each projector model will be equipped with a high-performance filter that can last up to 20,000 hours without cleaning, saving significant maintenance time. New to Hitachi, the Operation Log Recorder allows users to access internal status and server conditions. The Installation Series also offers flexible installation, with four optional interchangeable lenses to accommodate for different throw distances. Large lens shift allows users to readjust the position of the image to perfectly fit the screen. The Installation Series’ centre lens design also makes it easy to align the projector with the screen. 42


Crestron showcase Fusion EM software Interactive LED display of imposing dimensions

Crestron’s new Fusion EM software is a complete energy management solution for organisations of any size from schools and universities to corporate enterprises. Fusion EM tracks your organisation's carbon footprint while giving you the control to easily change and schedule temperature set points, lighting levels and demand response settings. Fusion EM even saves you energy by automatically turning off lights and reducing HVAC use in unoccupied spaces. The Crestron Fusion platform is a scalable framework which provides the basis on which to monitor and manage lighting, energy, and AV, while providing the tools for remote help desk, room scheduling and asset tracking. Fusion expands upon the established Crestron RoomView Server Edition (SE) platform by upping the ante with its scalable redundant architecture and multiple front-end components: Fusion RV and Fusion EM. Fusion RV software, which provides AV, help desk, meeting scheduling and technology management, is the upgrade path from RoomView SE. The allnew Fusion EM provides energy management and tracking. Both front-end components coexist on the same server platform and share the same architecture.

Sharp has officially launched the PN-L702B - the latest interactive LED display solution that makes copying discussion notes a thing of the past using Sharp’s new infrared touchscreen technology. From training to brainstorming to business presentation, interactive working is today a proven method for obtaining the best possible results in a minimum of time. The new PN-L702B Touch Monitor makes it simple to exchange knowledge between several people. With a diagonal screen size of 176.6 cm and full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the display precisely renders every detail. With its innovative detection software, any changes and comments can be immediately integrated in existing drafts on the monitor and then optionally saved or printed out. “The size of the monitor at full HD resolution, plus a sensitive interactive display, the unit is ideal for teaching in schools and universities, giving presentations in the boardroom and conference centres and also for digital signage,” said Gautam Chakrabarty, Deputy General Manager, Marketing, Sharp Middle East.

SMART introduces interactive projector for education

DIS launches new Digital Discussion System

SMART have announced the release of their LightRaise 40wi interactive projector. The LightRaise projector is a pen-enabled, ultra-shortthrow projector that can turn nearly any surface into an interactive learning space. As part of a comprehensive educational technology solution, the LightRaise projector includes the award-

Danish Interpretation Systems (DIS) used the recent ISE exhibition to launch their brand new Digital Discussion System DDS 5900. Elegantly designed and incorporating exceptional features it stands out from the crowd. The new system will cover several future needs so for example the microphone unit DC 5980P can not only be configured as delegate or chairman; it can even be configured as interpretation unit! Simple, affordable and flexible – and this of course without compromising the superior sound quality already known from DIS. 43

winning SMART Notebook collaborative learning software, which teachers around the world use to create and deliver engaging lessons to over 40 million students. Educators using the LightRaise projector can also access the SMART Exchange website where they can connect, share and download over 51,000 digital resources. The projector also comes with a rechargeable interactive pen, a pen holder, USB and VGA cables and an easy-to-install wall mount. The LightRaise 40wi interactive projector offers educators an affordable option for making classrooms interactive.


Where innovation meets durability Bosch Security Systems used the recent ISE exhibition to showcase its latest and most innovative products to industry professionals. As a highlight of the show the company presented OMNEO, its new media networking architecture. OMNEO has two components: a media programme transport protocol suite that offers low-latency, high-quality multi-channel media stream exchange and a robust control protocol suite that provides reliable and secure system control for pro media networks of all sizes, from small to intercontinental. Other highlights included demonstrations of Bosch’s voice alarm systems; the Plena Voice Alarm System and the fully digital Praesideo Public Address and Emergency Sound System, which have recently been granted EN 54 certification. The certification, which Bosch was one of the first companies worldwide to champion, includes not only the central voice alarm equipment, but also peripheral equipment such as loudspeakers.

Vaddio launches AutoTrak 2.0 camera tracking system Vaddio has launched AutoTrak 2.0 – the latest and only HD classroom camera tracking system on the market. The instructor wears an IR lanyard belt pack that emits infrared light received by an IR PTZ camera. Video is then sent from the IR PTZ camera to the Tracking Camera. In addition to moving from side-to-side (SmoothTrak), the new AutoTilt motion follows the instructor as they move closer or further away from the camera. You will be centrally framed no matter where you stand. The new AutoTrakPOD allows the presenter to quickly switch between three tracking camera presets. An additional “Rescan” button on the AutoTrakPOD instantly activates IR lanyard reacquisition.

New for Aquavision waterproof televisions

It’s all change for Aquavision at ISE this year. The pioneers of waterproof and in-wall televisions have announced an exciting new range of televisions and introduced a two year warranty on all their new products. At this year’s ISE Aquavision showed off their hi-end Series 4 range, available in four sizes from 19” to 40”, with the 26”, 32” and 40” screens all being full

HD and all models featuring RS232 connection and infrared codes to integrate with most home automation systems. The Series 4 televisions are finished with a polished stainless steel surround. The LCD TVs are available in the same four sizes (19”, 26”, 32” and 40”) and like all Aquavisions are manufactured with heated screens to avoid misting up and are suitable to install in bathrooms, showers and wet rooms. Other features include two HDMI inputs, full scart input, IR in/out connections and audio output. The LCD range is compatible with hotel centralised systems and comes with IPTV input and accessory socket.

Chief expands interactive mounts Chief has expanded its award-winning series of interactive mounts to include flat panel and ceilingmounted projector solutions. Combined with flexible, userfriendly technology, these new solutions easily convert standard TVs and projectors into interactive environments that will last for years to come. Powering the interactive experience is innovative, industry-leading eBeam technology from Luidia. Through a receiver built into the mount, any standard flat panel or projector is quickly turned into an interactive solution. Each interactive solution includes a lightweight, ergonomic stylus featuring exceptional, real-time rendering capabilities. Three interactive accessories are available for use with most Chief flat panel mounts, and one additional accessory for use with any ceiling-mounted projector installation. Best of all, Chief’s interactive solutions are flexible and futureproof, offering compatibility with other popular software and an easy upgrade path for TV and projector replacements without losing interactive capabilities. 44


Newly-designed 7-inch TouchLink touchpanels Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of three, newly designed 7-inch touchpanels. The TLP 710MV, TLP 710TV, and TLP 710CV are fully configurable, 7-inch touchpanels featuring contemporary designs that complement the aesthetics of any environment. Each TLP 710 Series touchpanel has an 800x480 resolution touchscreen and incorporates PoE - Power over Ethernet, which eliminates the need for a local power supply. For enhanced AV connectivity, each model also has a built-in MTP – Twisted Pair receiver, which accepts either S-video or composite video signals over standard CAT 5 cable. This provides integration flexibility and aids in cable management by minimizing the number of connections at the touchpanel. The TLP 710MV mounts on a wall, lectern, or other flat surface, while The TLP 710TV is designed to sit on a tabletop or install on a VESA mount. The TLP 710CV is the industry's first flip-up 7-inch touchpanel and can be mounted into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat surface. All of these touchpanels are ideal for control environments requiring a 7-inch control surface within an elegant touchpanel design.

Vutec launch Reverse-roll screen During ISE Vutec introduced their new LECTRIC I RR reverse-roll screen for self supported surfaces. This solution is designed to deploy in front of a flat panel TV when a larger projected image is desired. Reverse-roll is commonly used to clear obstructions near the screen mounting surface and allows the screen material to roll off the front of the roller drum. The unit comes standard with value-added features including VUTEC’s EMS EZ-Mounting System for wall or ceiling applications. Silent motor options are also available. Vutec products are distributed throughout Africa and the Middle East by AudiCom.

NEC takes its 46” videowall products to new heights

Unlock the potential of large format canvases Christie has announced the official launch of its Christie JumpStart content management solution at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show in Amsterdam. JumpStart makes it easy to put stunning, high resolution content onto a multi-display or tiled digital canvas. Christie JumpStart targets architectural markets including museums, universities, stadiums, corporate offices and retail stores needing high resolution, reliable content playback across large video walls. Rental stagers will also benefit from JumpStart’s speed and ease of setup, and support for unique display configurations.“Christie is leading the way in developing simple, user-friendly solutions for integrated, largeformat, digital displays,” said Richard Heslett, senior product manager, Business Products, Christie. “Christie JumpStart can be used with any digital display that has up to four inputs, and is the ideal companion for small and medium-sized Microtile video walls – giving customers the ability to get the most out of their MicroTiles displays.” Combining user-friendly JumpStart software with reliable HP hardware, Christie JumpStart enables users to position and play back a wide range of content including video, graphics, applications, Blu-ray and DVD movies, remote video sources, colour swatches and text.

NEC Display Solutions Europe has announced the launch of the MultiSync X463UN, a 46-inch LCD public display with a reduced bezel width of just 5.9mm, making for the most seamless video walls to date and even more engaging 45

public displays. This model’s razor thin bezel is almost 24 per cent thinner than that of its predecessor, the X462UN. The high-definition 1080p resolution display’s direct LED backlight technology provides outstanding uniformity, further supporting the perception of a virtually bezel-less video wall. Being the best in class LCD videowall product, the X463UN is an ideal solution for retail signage as well as control room applications, installations in airports, train stations and the rental market. Furthermore, the programmable ambient light sensor controlling the entire wall ensures that the brightness is automatically adjusted as the light conditions change, thereby reducing power consumption while delivering eye pleasing brightness levels.


Sierra Video Broadcast training In January this year Electrosonic hosted Sierra Video seminars in Cape Town and Johannesburg to provide in-depth broadcasting training to more than 70 local delegates. Sierra Video is a Kramer Electronics Ltd product and one of its main markets is the broadcast and production industry. Regional Sales Director (Africa) of Kramer Electronics Ltd., Raul Novick, arranged the training

IABM training reaches out to Africa During January SACIA hosted the IABM’s new training course: Broadcast & Media Technology – Understanding your Industry. It was presented by John Ive, the IABM’s technical director and Hassan Ghoul, director of training for

MECIA. The course was attended by 18 broadcast professionals including representatives from the SABC, Supersport and eTV as well as a number of the countries leading product vendors.

sessions and they were presented by Jerry Lewis from the USA.The event began with a lunch for the delegates which was followed by four hours of training. After an introduction and product overview of Sierra Video, the topics addressed included current technology, target markets, implementation and application of digital and analogue routers (video and audio) and multi-viewers.

Audio and Video Fundamentals for Broadcast Engineers During February SACIA hosted the IABM’s latest training course: Audio and Video Fundamentals for Broadcast Engineers. Once again, the course was attended by a mix of industry professionals representing both the users and suppliers of broadcast technology. IABM instructor Joe Tozer flew out from the UK to deliver the course which was being presented for the first time outside Europe. It was Joe’s first

visit to South Africa and he thoroughly enjoyed his visit. “A great venue and a class that was receptive and willing to learn – what more can any instructor want,” he says. “This course brings your attention back to the detail and provides in-depth insight into the broadcast industry from acquisition through to transmission. It's well worth attending!” says Supersport's Nelson Khumalo.

SACIA ProAV Forum set for Misty Hills The SACIA Board have announced that their biannual ProAV Forum will again be hosted at the Misty Hills conference centre on 7-8 August 2012. The event includes an exhibition, as well as a number of conference sessions focussing on the use of broadcast and AV technology in business, government, education and Houses of Worship. An active 46

social programme creates maximum interaction between all exhibitors, sponsors, visitors and conference delegates. "The Misty Hills Conference Centre scored great feedback from delegates attending our last Forum event and we've decided to stick with a venue that works," says Kevan Jones, executive director of SACIA.


Are you interested in sharing your AV experience? During August the Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) are hosting an exhibition and conference programme that will focus specifically on the use of audiovisual technologies in business, government, education and Houses of Worship. We are now inviting submissions from organizations, companies or individuals who are interested in presenting a paper.

Use of AV Technology in education

Presentations should focus on the successful application of AV technology and while manufacturers and dealers are welcome to submit papers, presentations should not be structured to sell or promote a particular brand or product. Presentations can vary in length from 30-60 minutes based on relevance and content. Priority will be given to papers which address the use of AV technology throughout Africa.

SACIA have established a special interest group focusing on the use of AV technology in the education market. The first meeting was hosted in February by Wessie vd Westhuizen from UNISA’s audiovisual unit and attended by Annette Sadie from Tshwane University of Technology, Mary Reynolds from St. Stithians college, Sandile Modondo from

the University of Johannesburg and Marius de Beer from North West University. The group has already established contact with SCHOMS in the UK and is looking to extend communication with likeminded groups around the world. Anyone interested in joining the Education SIG should email education@sacia.org.za

How can you make a difference? Over the last two years SACIA has embarked upon an aggressive skills development programme and focussed on building capacity in the local SACIA establish bursary scheme with SASDC AV industry. We've established a task group to encourages the growth of SACIA have started working engage with SARS on issues black-owned business in our with the South African Supplier relating to the import duties industry. Supplier diversity is Diversity Council to develop a on flat panel displays, and the active business process of we've worked hard to bursary programme that would sourcing products and services establish our ProAV Forum as benefit black owned from previously under-used businesses operating in the a bi-annual event that suppliers. This process helps audiovisual market. Our promotes excellence in the to sustainably and objective is to enhance the AV industry. Our activities are progressively transform a industry specific training defined by the needs of our delivered by SACIA with a corporation's supply chain to members and the strategic support programme that reflect the demographics of the development of our develops business skills and society in which it operates. Association is established by 47

a Board of Directors elected from amongst the membership. We are now inviting nominations from industry professionals interested in contributing to the development of the audio visual industry and serving on the SACIA Board for 2012-14. Nominees must be employed by a full member of the Association and should be nominated as the member's representative to SACIA (each member can only have one representative). If you are interested in serving on the Board please contact kevan@sacia.org.za


Lessons from the Ingram Micro keynote at ISE Keynote addresses are not always very informative. Often the CEOs or senior executives offer bland profiles of the industry, their leadership and vision - maybe revealing one interesting product, but often nothing more than billowy PR. That’s why I was so impressed with the keynote address given by Ingram Micro EMEA SVP Gerhard Schulz. He provided a blueprint for growth in the digital age that was quite illuminating.

W

hile his talk was all about Ingram Micro, so typical keynote fare in that regard, the issues they saw and the way the company reacted may one day become regarded as a textbook case study in digital age company transformation. Yeah, I thought it was that powerful! He started by discussing Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors on a certain die of silicon will double every two years. Schulz noted that the same thing is happening to memory and network bandwidth - key drivers in the transformation from an analog world to a digital world. Also moving at similar speeds are energy reductions and lower costs.

Industry megatrends As a result, Ingram Micro took a step back to see how all these factors would translate into megatrends in the market. They broke them down into three categories: Ubiquity - digitization will sweep through all sectors eliminating nearly all analog components. This has already happened in consumer electronics and will expand into security, digital signage, healthcare and more. This will be very powerful as it means there will be almost limitless ways to access and share almost any piece of information. Convergence - Home devices will converge to two platforms - the Smart TV and the PC. Handheld devices will consolidate into smartphones and tablet platforms and become app driven. And, the infrastructure will also converge, with nearly all distribution modes able to deliver data, voice and video interactively. XaaS - which stand for everything sold as a service. This means that processing power is moving to the cloud and that in the future, users will buy metered CPU, GPU and bandwidth to access and interact with their information.

Price and value Schulz then explained a little about where Ingram Micro was and where they are going to capitalize on these megatrends. First, he noted that Ingram Micro grew their distribution business by offering components in high volume to its thousands of dealers. Then, the company soon realized they needed to add another key component: value. Here, the idea was to focus on building up its infrastructure to serve these dealers better. That meant offering cloudbased services, data management, security, server storage and more. All this helped to create a more agile, better-educated sales force, but it also allows these dealers to sell these services to its customers, too. This has led to Ingram Micro being a strong supplier in five areas: unified communications, mobility, point of sale, digital signage and physical security.

Future direction That’s the picture today and it is working. Ingram Micro had sales of $40B last year and is a Fortune 40 company. Schulz then laid out the 48

future directions for the company. He said that they now want to focus on vertical markets where these trends will drive exponential growth. He identified Energy, Education and Healthcare as the core growth markets and points to healthcare providers replacing all analogue sensors with digital one. This will revolutionize medical care. Schultz said they are adding hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of resellers in interesting areas like AV, electrical and PBX suppliers. "We moved from box sellers to add services and now we will target fast growing vertical markets," said Schulz. "The world will become all-digital, processing will go remote and everything will be sold as a service. These are the trends we want to capitalize on." In some sense, we’ve heard these trends and actions covered before, but what was most insightful for me was the way Schulz summarized these megatrends and translated them into a strategy for growth. That’s what a good keynote does - it makes you think. Maybe you can apply these processes to your business.


It’s a pIty you only have two eyes. With the introduction of HView™ SX Pro, Harris is raising the stakes in multi-display technology. Peerless picture quality. A vast range of user-friendly control options. And more sources and outputs in fewer rack units than any available multiviewer. So if you’re looking to upgrade your live production studio or truck, look no further than HView ™ SX Pro. Your eyes and your business will be happy you did. Learn more at broadcast.harris.com/multiviewers Check out the smaller, sharper and smarter HView ™ SX Pro at CABSAT Sheikh Saeed Hall S3 – Stand A21 Middle East Sales: +971 4 433 8250 Service: +971 4 433 8260

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AV Specialist Vol. 121  

AV Specialist is a magazine for the broadcast & AV industry in Africa & the Middle East

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