Volume 2, Issue 9 — September 27, 2016
|Ticketing Solutions for AV|
By Scott Tiner
If you serve the education market, you are well aware that the crazy season is upon us. Students are back on campus and the faculty are joining them and getting ready to begin a semester of new classes. On our campus this is always an exciting and nerve wracking time. Everyone is a little disappointed that summer is over, but the excitement of a new year and new challenges can not be denied.
This year I have taken on some new roles and responsibilities which gives me even more insight into some of the hectic nature of getting ready for classes. This year I am also supervising our IT Service Desk and the purchasing areas of our IT department. What I have learned could be very valuable for those integrators who are looking to move towards services as products, instead of hardware as products. If you want to know more about moving your firm in this direction, read my column from last month where I discussed this transition.
In managing the Service Desk, I have become more appreciative of the need for organization and standard operating procedures. Why? Because the volume is simply higher, as I think it would be in any organization. We all have more IT needs and problems than we do AV needs and problems. In IT, like AV, many of these problems need to be researched and studied in order to be resolved. With over 75 tickets coming into our Service Desk each day, we need to keep careful track of each call and make sure we get back to our customers with a solution.
Why does this matter to AV? More importantly, why does it matter to the those reading this column? It matters because in the AV world we have no really good systems of managing calls (tickets) and allowing our customers to follow up with us and see how we are progressing with the solution. This is true whether we are talking about a request or an incident. So, in a typical environment a tech would take a call, write it on a piece of paper (in a sophisticated environment it may actually be a spreadsheet) and take care of it themselves or give it to another technician. But, what if that problem can not be fixed immediately? How does the client know? What if the tech who took the call tried a few things and narrowed it down to a specific problem, but is out sick the next day when the client calls for an update? How do you know what that technician did? Most of the time you don’t. Either you tell the client they have to wait until the person returns, or you start the troubleshooting all over again. Neither of these actions produce value. In fact, they both waste the valuable time of you and your customer.
What does all this mean? It means that AV is in need of a good ticketing system. Some systems out there claim to do some of this. Crestron’s Fusion software for example, allows you to enter what a solution is for a trouble call. Yet, that trouble call had to come in via the Fusion software. There is no way to manually enter a ticket (say if a person calls you on the phone).
There are many (many!) ticketing systems in the market for IT Service Desks. Some AV groups in higher ed may choose to piggyback on this system. However, in many cases these systems are much more complex than is needed for AV. They involve far too many departments and escalation techniques for the average AV shop. So, most colleagues I know of continue to do this on some type of homegrown system, all too often analog systems.
So, here is your chance to build a PRODUCT that is also a service. If an integrator could build a ticketing system that was specific for AV needs, I believe they would have a large market. Some things this system would need to do:
- Monitor lamp life and enter tickets automatically for them to be replaced
- Allow help calls to be entered manually
- Allow for technicians to be assigned a specific call
- Tie the client to the call — so that the client and the technician can follow up on the call
- Develop an FAQ that will allow customers to try and resolve their own issues
- Allow clients to submit tickets directly. These tickets would be for both problems and for project requests
- With both of these people would be able to track the status of their request
- Hold an inventory of equipment
- Run reports on help calls per building/per room/per specific user
These are the needs that stick out to me every day as a technology manager. We have built a system that almost does all of these things. But that system is a combination of several different systems and requires a decent amount of labor to put the reports together. If an integrator was able to develop a system that integrated all of these things, perhaps even host it then I would be very interested, as it would take a lot off of my plate. Yet, the system needs to be affordable. I work at a small college. Please don’t try to sell me a system that is going to cost $25,000 per year. I can HIRE a person to do it for that amount of money.
However, don’t fret, the SERVICE you provide could entice me to pay more. So, for example, if you automatically replaced lamps for me, that would be great. I would even be willing to think about a set contract amount for that service. If you were able to determine that certain rooms had recurring problems, and suggest some fixes for me, that may entice me to pay more money for the product. Why? Because then you are providing me with both a SERVICE and a PRODUCT. That’s the best of both worlds!Leave a Comment
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|Forget Home PCs And Bring A Business-Grade Digital Signage PC To Work|
By Jami McGraw
Product Manager, Seneca
Does the blender at your local smoothie place look anything like the one you’ve got at home? Do your auto mechanic’s power tools seem a little more “robust” than the ones gathering dust on your workbench at home?
Of course. High-demand, business-grade jobs require heavy-duty products that just work, and work. And work some more. So it seems odd that little plastic and metal box PCs, built for light use around a home or office, are being deployed on demanding, 24/7 digital signage jobs. It happens all the time, and most of those network operators find out through outages, failures and costly services that going cheap proved to be a very expensive decision.
There’s a clear distinction between product built for the consumer market, and product built for demanding business applications, like digital signage. Consumers want something that’s going to look good sitting on their desk or by their big HDTV. Commercial users want something that’s built to last, have a predictable, long-term supply chain and comes with competent, readily available support.
Some of the small form-factor PCs that have come on the market in recent years offer a nice blend of aesthetics, price and multimedia performance consumers. For light use around the home, they’re awesome. But they’re not intended, or suited, to high demand applications like visual media.
Here’s a quick rundown of why business-based projects and applications – like digital signage – are far better suited to commercial-grade PCs.
1 – Solid state: Consumer products almost have fans and spinning hard disk drives – what technical people call points of failure.
By far, the greatest risk to PCs used in business environments like retail and food service is the fan (or fans) designed to keep the unit operating within a safe temperature range. Those fans are like vacuum cleaners, sucking in the dust, grease and grime kicked up by staff and customers. It doesn’t take long before those fans are clogged and stop spinning, leading to overheating and failure.
Business-grade devices uses passive cooling built into the enclosure – no fans, no moving parts – to keep maximize uptime.
To remove another failure point, commercial devices often use solid state disks for storage – something that’s rarely a problem for digital signage, because typical programming is limited, running and repeating every few minutes.
2 – Ruggedization: A beautifully minimal, piano-black micro PC will look amazing on a TV credenza, but good looks mean little or nothing on commercial jobs. Instead of shiny plastic and thin metal, commercial-grade devices tend to be made of thick steel or hardened aluminum, with the enclosure itself have fins that draw off heat.
Digital signage players are often tucked into storage compartments or other available areas, just out of view. They get fitted in often odd positions, and banged up, so they need to take the bumps and scratches.
At our company, we get that, and test against it. Our Seneca’s HDn faneless media player is so tough it’s had a truck roll over it, twice, just so our engineers could see what would happen. It was running and plugged into a monitor, and it didn’t even drop a video frame.
3 – Built to purpose: Consumer equipment is, logically, built for consumer use – around the home or office. They lack design features that are critical to commercial use in areas such as digital signage.
For example, you’ll struggle to find a serial port on a consumer PC , but it’s essential for commercial purposes – used for remote monitoring and control of the display. You won’t find locking connectors that keep signal cables from wiggling out through vibration. And they won’t have mounting plates factored, which are often used on digital signage and other jobs to mount a small PC securely behind a flat panel.
4 – Quality engineering: There are exceptions, but generally the micro PC market is all about size and price. The smaller and cheaper, the better. But cheap is rarely as cheerful as touted.
Consumer-focused micro PCs use low-cost components to stay competitive, and what’s “under the hood” of devices shipped from Taiwan and China might vary from shipment to shipment, or even box to box. It can be a nightmare when components and device drivers are moving targets. Consumer device manufacturers, particularly lesser known overseas manufacturers, can change hardware and specs quickly and without notice.
Commercial-grade manufacturers will build, ship and support devices with the same specs for three years and longer – meaning the technical people using them can rest easy and focus on other matters.
Commercial-grade devices are also built with performance and durability in mind, and even a few dollars extra, here and there, spent on components can have a massive impact on performance and reliability.
5 – Accountability of use: Here’s how it works when you buy a consumer-grade device off global marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba: If a light comes on when it powers up, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, you ship it back. Maybe.
If you buy direct from Shenzhen, China, you can fight your way through massive time zone differences and language hurdles, and spend hours, days, weeks looking for a fix and satisfaction. Most of these companies make and move stuff. Their businesses are not built around a support model or customer relationships.
With commercial-grade devices, buyers have accountability of use. The vendor has typically done a battery of sophisticated tests – perhaps even thermal chambers to measure heat tolerance – and run all the other hardware and software work that ensure out of the box happiness for their customers.
Integrators and end-users then get support – often 24/7 and quickly available to troubleshoot and resolve issues. Replacements, if needed, come by overnight courier, not by six-week sea container.
As consumers, we’re all at least a little bit bargain-driven. We shop on price, even when we know corners are being cut somewhere to get the numbers down.
But seasoned pro AV and systems integrators have lived through the pain of buying based on price. Sometimes it works out, and the cheap options perform like champs. But only sometimes.
The irony is that what usually works out to be only nominal cost-savings in going consumer versus commercial doesn’t reflect the real three-year or five-year costs of those investments.
Consider this simple math exercise:
- Save $100 per device by going consumer instead of the more costly commercial device;
- When the consumer device develops a problem in the field, spend $200 for a field service technician to visit on-site;
- Discovering the fan has clogged up and ceased, and the PC is baked, spend $300-$400 for a replacement device;
- Spend $75 overnighting that replacement to the technician or the job site;
- Spend another $200 for the tech to return to the site and install the new one.
So, spend an extra $100 at the front-end and have peace of mind? Or spend another $675 or so somewhere down the line fixing a problem, and apologizing to the client or boss. Makes the decision easy, doesn’t it?
About The Writer
Jami McGraw is a product manager at Seneca, an Arrow company.
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|VR on the Coaster|
By Scott Tiner
According to an article titled “Amusement Parks Hurtle Into Dizzying Realm of Virtual Reality” in the August 31st Wall Street Journal, there are over 3,000 roller coasters worldwide. Did you know that? Well, unless you happen to be a coaster-fanatic, probably not. Why? Because amusement parks have never been firms that widely use technology. Yes, they may have PA systems and some digital signs. The ones that I have been to however have very little technology for entertainment. Is that about to change? I think so.
First, some facts from the article, which I encourage you to read (once you are done with this article, of course). Six Flags Entertainment this year has begun to introduce virtual reality into its theme parks, using the Samsung phone and its Gear headset. Mack Rides, which, according to the article is one of the world’s top producers of amusement park rides, has also been creating VR gear for roller coasters. Finally, a British company Figment Productions has launched a virtual reality ride in England.
This thing that amazes me about the article is that these firms are doing what I love most about technology. They are taking a technology that we have all heard about, and thought of little ways to use it, and they are using it to revolutionize their business. Is revolutionize too strong of a phrase? I don’t think so. Amusement parks spent millions of dollars trying to revolutionize their rides, create new rides and expand their parks. This gives them an opportunity to revolutionize rides on a more regular basis, at a fraction of a cost.
Think about it. How many times can you ride on the same roller coaster, at any park, before it becomes ho-hum? Probably a couple of times. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the Sheikra at Busch Gardens. I could ride that every time we visit there when we go to Florida. But eventually, I would stop going to Busch Gardens, because I have experienced all the rides, and I am ready for new ones. What if I could have a new ride, EVERY time I got on the Sheikra? What if the first time I was hanging upside down, waiting to get dropped into an empty pool? Then as we shot towards the bottom of the pool it suddenly filled with water and we got splashed? That would be fun. What if the second time, an hour later, we were being dropped into a cave in Mexico with bats all around us? Suddenly, every ride is different and I want to go on it again and again! What does this mean for Busch Gardens? More value to me, and therefore more value (cash) to them!
Several years ago we visited Disney in Florida. We went into the Stitch’s Great Escape ride. If you have been to Disney, you know that this is actually close to VR than it is to a ride. You don’t actually move, but you have an experience. My son was four years old at the time. When Stitch starting running around the room, burping chili dogs in your face (wind and scent included) he started to get really scared and freaked out. They actually strap you in for this exact reason, so you don’t get up and start running around in the dark. How does this relate to VR? Easy, we could changed the program for him. We could have given him an experience that was a little less scary. Perhaps in the VR the room would have been a sunny field, and Stitch would be speaking gently to him, while the rest of us got a different experience. You see, you can take a mass of people, and give them all a different experience.
So, how does this relate to the programmers, integrators and designers reading this column? I really hope I don’t have to answer that, but I will. This equipment, the videos and the programming does NOT create itself. These organization are going to need someone to do all of this for them! How new is this? According to the article in the WSJ, only 25 amusement parks in the world are using this type of technology. So, there is a lot of opportunity out there, now is your time to act!Leave a Comment
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|Eiki’s New EK-300 Series is Aimed at Meeting Rooms|
Eiki International just debuted the EK-300 Meeting Room Series Projectors — all three models are 3LCD and include their new flagship EK-300U with 5,000 ANSI lumens (at WUXGA resolution) the EK-301W with 5,100 ANSI lumens (WXGA resolution) and the EK-302X with 5,600 ANSI lumens (XGA resolution).
Common to all three models in the EK-300 Series is their 8,000:1 contrast ratio and lens-shift capabilities, with manual adjustments of up to 45 percent vertical and 10 percent horizontal, as well as corner keystone correction. Inputs include VGA and HDMI as well as MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) and the the line includes a 1.29-2.11:1 throw to width manual zoom and focus lens.
Eiki’s new EK-300 Meeting Room Series Projectors are slated for Q4 2016 and list for:
- EK-300U: $3,395
- EK-301W: $2,195
- EK-302X: $2,095
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|Stewart Filmscreen to Launch New Phantom High Ambient Light Rejecting Screen at CEDIA|
Stewart Filmscreen will unveil something they are calling Phantom HALR, a high ambient light rejecting projection screen material. A flexible front projection material ideally designed for fixed-frame wall screen or electric roller screen applications, Phantom HALR is designed for day and night applications.
The Phantom HALR black screen technology has what Stewart is saying are four unique features:
- It’s seamless sizes up to 40- feet by 90-feet.
- It’s designed for use with most of Stewart’s fixed frame or ElectriScreen models.
- Phantom is available in Cinemaperf or Microperf X2 THX Ultra configurations for acoustic transparency.
- It’s what Stewart is calling “future-proof,” thanks to Stewart’s proprietary 16K+ resolution capabilities. The Phantom HALR is UHD and HDR-ready, and will calibrate out to REC 2020 or REC 709 standards.
Stewart also claims that test results reveal that Phantom HALR delivers over 30:1 contrast for a 2,000 lumen light output projector in a room with 20 foot-candles of ambient light and several sources of light hitting the screen surface at 40-degree angles. In high ambient light conditions with over 50 foot-candles of ambient light directly on the screen, Phantom achieves ANSI standard industry contrast ratio standards.
Neutral in both horizontal and vertical direction thanks to a proprietary multi-layer composition, Phantom HALR has no directional limitation. Because Phantom uniformly rejects ambient light across the full screen width and height, there is no “sweet spot axis.” Meaning, every seat in the house is the best, whether you’re sitting directly in front of the screen or off-center.
Here are the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Christie Intros Budget-Friendly Displays|
Christie has introduced two new LCD flat panels as part of a new series, the FHD492-XV and FHD552-XV, which are versatile and rated for 24/7 use in control rooms of government facilities, public utilities, security and surveillance, telecommunications and transportation. These displays offer a combined 13-millimeter (6.5 mm per side) bezel for use in video walls and command and control operations.
The panels can combine with Christie Phoenix EP, which is also launching at ASIS International September 12-15 in Orlando, Fla. Christie Phoenix EP is a network-distributed processor that installs directly into compatible Christie displays. It’s a compact, cost-effective and highly scalable solution for managing content on video walls and distributed displays and is ideal for control room and other applications.
Christie says the displays will ship this November. More information on the FHD492-XV is here and on the FHD552-XV, here.Leave a Comment
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|New Christie Phoenix EP Extends Phoenix Product Family|
Christie is expanding the Phoenix family of products with the launch of the Phoenix EP (Embedded Processor) this week.
A compact, scalable solution for managing content on single or multiple panels, the Phoenix EP installs directly into compatible Christie displays – which also provide power – and connects directly to a network using CATx cable. One Phoenix EP processes networked sources, decodes and manages audiovisual and data sources on up to two Christie flat panels. Phoenix EP streamlines system designs, and eliminates requirements for AV extension and distribution equipment.
Christie Phoenix EP is a network distributed processor that installs directly into compatible Christie displays. It’s designed for managing content on video walls and distributed displays and also works for applications such as control rooms, presentation rooms and digital signage displays. Offering the same powerful processing features as Christie Phoenix, Phoenix EP enables seamless access and control of audiovisual data from virtually anywhere, through a single, robust system.
Each Christie Phoenix EP connects directly to the network using Category cable, significantly lowering the costs associated with traditional dedicated AV distribution products. Featuring an easy-to-use interface and on-screen status, Christie Phoenix EP streamlines workflow and tasks associated with integrating and managing AV systems by dramatically reducing cabling, rack space and installation complexity and costs.
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|Extron Ships 17″ Capacitive TouchLink Pro Touchpanels|
Extron Electronics just announced the immediate availability of the TLP Pro 1720MG and TLP Pro 1720TG, 17ʺ wall mount and tabletop TouchLink Pro touchpanels with capacitive, edge-to-edge glass touchscreens. These 1920×1080 capacitive touchscreens provide a more responsive control surface. As with all TouchLink Pro models, these new, customizable touchpanels feature faster processing and more memory and both touchpanels feature video preview inputs that support high resolution, HDCP-compliant video from HDMI sources and XTP devices. For convenience, the touchpanels can receive power and communication over a single Ethernet cable. The TLP Pro 1720MG and TLP Pro 1720TG have stylish designs and powerful features that make them ideal for control applications requiring fully-customizable touchpanels with large control surfaces and multi-source video preview.
The TLP Pro 1720MG and TLP Pro 1720TG work in conjunction with any Extron IP Link Pro control processor and are designed for use in AV system applications that require complete, interactive control of a broad range of devices. All TouchLink Pro touchpanels operate using standard network infrastructure and are easy to install with reliable and cost effective Ethernet cable. They are customized using Extron GUI Designer software. This powerful interface design software offers ready-to-use resource kits to help design a wide variety of interfaces for rooms and presentation environments. For mounting flexibility, the TLP Pro 1720TG can be removed from its base and mounted on any VESA standard mounting arm or bracket. The TLP Pro 1720MG and TLP Pro 1720TG can be programmed using Global Scripter, with support for Global Configurator Plus and Professional coming soon.
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|Fulcrum Acoustic Launches Cardioid Subwoofer Product Line|
Fulcrum Acoustic has launched its latest in the form of a line of Cardioid Subwoofers. Fulcrum Cardioid Subwoofers are designed with patent-pending Passive Cardioid Technology to overcome the excessive rear low frequency (LF) radiation that is a major challenge of many loudspeakers.
Fulcrum’s Passive Cardioid Technology, first introduced in their FL283 and FLS115 line array products, is now the basis for a line of Cardioid Subwoofers which includes CS118 18-inch and CS121 21-inch models.
Fulcrum’s unique Cardioid Subwoofers eliminate excessive rear LF radiation without the extra cost, space requirements and inconvenience of active cardioid systems, with a single passive cardioid speaker doing the work of an active cardioid array. By achieving impressive LF directional control without additional amplifiers, drivers or signal processors in less than half the space required for active cardioid array systems, Fulcrum Cardioid Subwoofers allow for cardioid arrays in applications that might not otherwise have the budget or space to accommodate an active cardioid solution.
Fulcrum speakers’ subcardioid behavior is produced by an acoustical circuit which balances the position of the low frequency driver, the enclosure depth and volume, and specially constructed rear-mounted ports which include a calibrated resistive element. By opting for a subcardioid pattern as opposed to a pure, hyper or super cardioid pattern, the rear rejection increases when the modules are deployed in an array.
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|Datapath Debuts AV over IP iolite Digital Signage and Video Wall ControllersDatapath has launched a new line of video wall controllers called iolite designed specifically for small- to medium-scale walls. The iolite systems are small and designed to fit into retail, corporate reception and boardroom environments and sit behind the monitor or on a mount.
The iolite systems can be combined with up to six of Datapath’s Vision, decode and graphics cards to offer a flexible blend of inputs, outputs and SQX IP streams. It easily fits under a counter or behind a display space, and can be used for capture or local video playback and can decode and feed content to multiple locations simultaneously with SQX technology.
Datapath iolite video display systems are just 176x250x320 millimeters, feature six x8 PCIe Gen2 slots and increased slot spacing for reduced heat and power consumption. Features include on-board Wi-Fi, eight USB ports, an Ethernet port, analog audio ports, an embedded Windows Ultimate OS and then are available in a variety of processor speeds and SSD options.
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|Crestron Partners With Microsoft New Skype for Business Meeting Room Solution|
Crestron today announced it has partnered with Microsoft to create Crestron’s Skype Room System, which brings an HD audio video experience to small and midsize meeting rooms and spaces, as well as conference rooms. Work like you’re in one place; quickly and easily join meetings, make phone calls, instantly share content in room and remotely.
Designed to simplify meetings
Engineered from the ground up to easily integrate with a broad range of meeting rooms, the Crestron Skype Room System features:
- A touch controller that manages the Skype Meeting
- HDMI and Crestron DigitalMedia inputs and outputs
- Six USB ports to connect audio devices, a camera, and other accessories
- Cresnet port to add an occupancy sensor for automation and room usage reporting
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|BenQ Intros MU686 3,500 ANSI Lumen DLP Projector|
BenQ America’s latest is the MU686, an WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution DLP projector that’s spec’d at 3,500 ANSI lumens and operates at only 28dB in eco mode. Integrate with a QCast Wi-Fi dongle, it provides full HD (1080p) wireless streaming at the touch of a button on both the projector and remote control. The MU686’s 1.3x zoom ratio provides up to a 300-inch-wide image projection. Furthering setup ease and installation flexibility, the MU686 features manual vertical keystone correction and a short throw ratio of 1.15, which enables the projector to be placed closer to the screen for greater flexibility.
Providing a low total cost of ownership, the projector features BenQ’s world-leading SmartEco technology, which automatically adjusts lamp power to deliver bright, vibrant images to conserve the life of the lamp. To further reduce power consumption, an “Eco Blank” mode allows users to blank out the screen whenever projection isn’t needed, while a “No Source Detected” mode automatically reduces power consumption to 30 percent when no source has been detected for more than three minutes. The “Auto Power Off” function automatically shuts down the projector when not in use for 30 minutes. When inactive, the projector keeps power consumption to a minimum, less than 0.5 watts standby power, for even more energy savings.
The BenQ MU686 lists for $1,199. More information is here.Leave a Comment
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|Leyard Breaks 1-Millimeter Pixel Pitch Barrier — New 0.9-Millimeter Leyard TWA Series LED Video Wall MonitorLeyard just launched a 0.9-millimeter TWA Series LED video wall display. As you likely know, the pixel pitch of an LED display is the distance from the center of an LED cluster to the center of the next LED cluster, measured in millimeters.
The Leyard TWA Series 0.9mm joins the existing Leyard TWA Series line of fine pitch LED video walls available in 1.2, 1.4, 1.8 and 2.5 millimeter pitches. Leyard TWA Series LED displays are spec’d to use 35 percent less power than conventional LED displays. When the display is in standby mode with a black screen, it consumes up to 60 percent less power than the most power-efficient LED video wall displays on the market today.
The Leyard TWA Series is the first LED video wall solution to feature an innovative “flat panel” design that includes a 16:9 form factor optimized for the most popular high resolution standards. Leyard TWA Series displays are self-contained units with standard HDMI inputs and looping, along with optional redundant configurations. The larger 54-inch cabinet means more of the video wall is factory-aligned, easing the time and cost of installation with fewer displays to align and seams to perfect. The larger units also mean that fewer displays are needed to create a video wall, reducing the potential points-of-service.
The 0.9-mm Leyard TWA Series display specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|NEC Launches Wireless Presentation StickNEC Display Solutions today launched the MultiPresenter Stick MP10RX, a wireless presenting solution for use with NEC’s projectors and large format displays that don’t already have a multipresenting functionality. The solution plugs directly into an HDMI port, adding wireless presentation capabilities to compatible displays and projectors. The stick is also compatible for use with non-NEC products.
Designed to work with multiple device platforms, the MultiPresenter supports workplace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives. It allows users to simultaneously collaborate and deliver wireless presentations from their personal devices, without the need for custom cabling or restrictions on support corporate devices.
From offices to classrooms, users can connect any personal Windows, OSx, Android or iOS device running the companion sender app to the MultiPresenter wirelessly. The app is free and available for download via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Users pair securely via a PIN in the app to instantly present and share content with other participants. The solution also allows to connect several mobile devices at once to one MultiPresenter as well as to connect to several displays from one device.
With the MultiPresenter, all wirelessly connected devices can mirror each other’s screen and share content while switching presenter on-the-fly,enhancing productivity and teamwork. Additionally, the stick can be powered through the USB port and doesn’t require an independent power supply or external adaptor.
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|BroadSign Launches Significant Update in Core v. 11.1You can economically extend the useful life of your existing BroadSign deployments or lower the cost of future hardware purchases. New features of the Core v11.1 Update include:
- Chromium and HTML5 Support: BroadSign Core v11.1.0 supports Chromium v51 and HTML5 content. Use transitions in HTML displays. If HTML errors occur, BroadSign Player automatically skips them, preserving the integrity of your display.
- Multi-core Video Decoding: BroadSign Player automatically detects and uses as many cores as available on your hardware, ensuring a smoother playback for all video content.
- GPU Hardware Acceleration: On supported platforms, BroadSign Player uses the VA-API 1.7.0 framework on Linux or DXVA2 on Windows to offload the video decoding activities to the GPU. You will experience improved playback of high-definition content on hardware with lower specs.
Geotargeting: Take advantage of location and relevancy by automatically playing ads on a taxi screen or bus display as it passes points of interest. Catch your audience’s attention and make brands top of mind with advertising generated at the perfect moment.
Their geotargeting feature enables users to target moving screens to a geographical area. When screens move into the targeted area, geo-conditional content is triggered.
WebSocket Support: Developers using their Player API can now use the WebSocket protocol and script with JSON.
Recording Requests to File: Record all requests made to BroadSign Server from BroadSign Administrator to debug your applications and refine how you use our API methods.
Ad Copy Commands: Using BroadSign Player’s trigger commands – or any binary – you can set up ad copies to trigger other actions. For example, set the lights to dim when an ad copy begins and play a music track a few moments before the ad copy ends.
Ubuntu 64-bit Support: Ubuntu Linux users running a 64-bit operating system can use BroadSign Core to handle heavy work, as well as decode video and audio at a significantly faster rate.
And a few other add-ons:
- Android Support: Developers integrating with our Player API can use both the remote_action and triggers features in the Android operating system (in addition to Windows and Ubuntu Linux).
- New API Methods: Developers integrating with BroadSign API can use scoping extensively to limit what users see and access.
- Service Panel and Field Report: The field report now includes the bit-version of the operating system on which a player or an edge server runs, the Chromium version and OpenGL version.
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|Epson Intros Elite 3LCD Reflective Laser Home Theater Projector with 4K Enhancement and HDR SupportEpson today announced its next-generation Pro Cinema LS10500 Reflective Laser Projector. Featuring 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatibility with 3LCD Reflective laser technology, this new flagship projector accepts a 4K UHD input (up to 3840×2160) and projects 1,500 lumens of color brightness and 1,500 lumens of white brightness. The LS10500 features an Absolute Black contrast ratio and an advanced suite of calibration tools.
Featuring a dual laser light source, the Epson Pro Cinema LS10500 delivers a range of performance capabilities such as displaying the full sRGB color gamut, even in the brightest mode, as well as the entire DCI color gamut, the digital cinema standard. The use of a laser light source provides a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours and high-speed contrast control for both bright and dark scenes. The projector has an incredible range of up to ± 90 percent on the vertical axis and ± 40 on the horizontal axis, as well as up to 10 presets for zoom, focus and lens shift for both standard projection and wide cinema ratios. The Pro Cinema LS10500 projects 2.40, 2.35, 1.85, and 1.78 aspect ratios on the same screen, without an anamorphic lens, and no downtime switching between aspect ratios.
Pro Cinema LS10500 Key Features:
- 4K Enhancement Technology – Accepts 4K input and supports HDCP2.2 for truly immersive 4K UHD content
- HDR Compatible – Displays an expanded range of contrast and color for images bursting with real-life detail for truly immersive entertainment
- Expansive Color Gamut – Brilliant, color-rich performance that displays the entire DCI color space, the digital cinema standard
- High-Performance Pro Cinema Lens – Optimized for 4K performance and precision
- Instant on and Instant Off – The LS10500 reaches maximum brightness and turns off nearly instantly
- ISF Calibration Tools – ISF Certified calibration tools and lockable memory modes ensure accurate performance and provides lockable memory modes
- 3LCD Technology – Provides vivid images with high Color Light Output and fast performance for smoother, crisper pictures
The Pro Cinema LS10500 ($7,999 list) will be available this fall through CEDIA and specialty dealers and here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Sony Electronics Announces 4K HDR Home Theater Projector Line-Up at CEDIAToday, Sony Electronics is expanding its home theater line-up with the announcement of the VPL-VW675ES, a new, compact native 4K resolution (3840×2160) Home Cinema projector that supports HDR. The VPL-VW675ES is among the industry’s first home cinema projectors to support Hybrid Log-Gamma (HyLG) for HDR broadcasting services and user generated content – through a firmware update to be provided soon after the new HDMI specification is standardized. Sony’s newest home projector joins the existing ES line-up with home cinema standard HDR 10 support and is compatible with streamed HDR content. The VPL-VW675ES also includes a feature which enables customers to adjust the average screen brightness, depending on their environments or preferences, while maintaining accurate HDR reproduction.
The VPL-VW675ES uses native 4K SXRD panels, with no artificial manipulation of pixels (pixel wobulation).Color reproduction is via Sony’s proprietary TRILUMINOS engine design, while Motionflow picture technology serves to deliver clearer, less blurry images when watching fast-paced, cinematic or sports action. It’s spec’d at 1,800 lumens brightness and a dynamic contrast ratio of 350,000:1.
The lamp is spec’d at 6,000 hours of operation (in Low Mode) and a built-in RF 3D transmitter makes it possible to watch 3D content, while a built-in auto calibration function resets the projector colorimetry to original factory levels. And, the VPL-VW675ES has HDMI with HDCP 2.2 on both inputs.
The VPL-VW675ES home theater projector will be available in November 2016 and will list for $14,999.99. Sony is here.Leave a Comment
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|Vivitek’s Qumi Q3 Is a 500-Lumen, 720p Pico Home Theater Projector That Runs Two Hours on One ChargeThe Qumi Q3 Plus is an ultra-portable LED smart projector with an Android OS. Despite being only slightly bigger than a smartphone in size and weighing just 460 grams, the Qumi Q3 Plus can project a large widescreen image up to 100” diagonal that’s 720p resolution and it claims 500 lumen brightness with a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. Using a 30,000 hours LED light-source lifetime and a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU running the Android v.4.42 OS, the Qumi Q3 Plus uses a 8,000mAh rechargeable battery which delivers up to two hours of projection time.
By providing cable-free projection of content from iOS or Android mobile phones and tablets, the Wi-Fi functionality enables users to connect to a web browser. Easy access to preloaded online streaming content provider apps enables users to watch movies or TV programs via services like Netflix and YouTube, without having to use a mobile phone or set-top box.
Available in four colors (white, black, red, gold), the Q3 Plus offers Bluetooth connectivity enabling sound to be transmitted from the projector to a compatible headphone or an external speaker for increased volume.
Here are all the specs on the £429 projector.Leave a Comment
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|NEC Display Integrates T1V|
NEC Display Solutions and T1V have started bundling products that include an NEC touch-interactive 55-inch, 70- inch or 80-inch display combined with the choice of T1V software. The bundles include either ThinkHub Base software, which provides two wireless device connections over a LAN network, or ThinkHub Standard software, which provides unlimited wireless device connections over any network in the world.
T1V’s ThinkHub is a configurable workspace that enables users to protect their meetings with passwords, take notes, use multi-touch web browsers, convene video conferences, and connect a multitude of devices wirelessly to the NEC displays. ThinkHub supports laptops, tablets and smart phones across all major platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS and Android through its AirConnect App. In addition, its Auto-Present Mode lets users leverage their own devices as presentation tools on the NEC digital screens.
Here are more details.Leave a Comment
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|Audinate Updates Dante Via with Multichannel and ASIO Support|
Audinate has announced the immediate worldwide availability of Dante Via version 1.1, an update that includes ASIO support. Other features include:
- Multichannel application support – up to 16×16 channels per application
- Support for high performance ASIO device drivers on Windows PCs
- Source mixes with individual level controls for stereo destinations
- Ability to append channels when adding sources to multichannel destinations
- Device Lock, which prevents unwanted changes to Dante Via 1.1 from other network users
Dante Via allows for audio networking — connecting all computer-based audio, including USB, Thunderbolt and PCIe devices as well as audio applications, to any Dante audio network. With automatic discovery of all audio applications, devices and Dante network endpoints and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Dante Via is fast and easy to use. Version 1.1 takes it even further with support for ASIO-connected devices on Windows, full multichannel functionality for audio applications, level controls on source mixes, and channel appending for multichannel audio destinations.
With increased performance and channel count, Dante Via 1.1 supports up to 16×16 channels of audio for each application and up to 32×32 for each connected device. Composers, performers and recording engineers can now make audio connections between multiple applications and devices within one computer, or between multiple computers using Dante audio networking. By extending existing, cost-effective computer-based I/O over a Dante network, systems for overflow rooms in schools, business and houses of worship are easily created and deployed as needed.
Additional features include Device Lock, which prevents unwanted changes to Dante Via from other computers on the network, and a new Mixer panel that enables level adjustments of multiple sources that are combined at stereo destinations. The new Append Channels feature automatically assigns sources to available channels when connecting to multichannel destinations, allowing for quick and logical routing to DAWs and mixers.
Dante Via 1.1 is a free upgrade for existing users of Dante Via, who may obtain the new version by clicking “Check for Update” in the Dante Via is priced at $49.95 USD and a 30-day free trial is available here.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe AVBuyers.Club out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV and HomeAV industries, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write or say anything good (or bad).
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A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue, which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe [Publications] has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe ProAV Edition is our flagship newsletter with what we believe is a reach of virtually everyone in the ProAV market. rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA and launched in February 2004, is, by far, the largest ePub in the HomeAV market. We added rAVe Rental [and Staging] in November 2007, rAVe ED [Education] in May 2008 and then rAVe DS [Digital Signage] in January 2009. We added rAVe GHGav [Green, Healthcare & Government AV] in August 2010 and rAVe HOW [House of Worship] in July 2012. rAVe Radio, our podcast network, was launched in 2012. AVBuyers.Club, our first publications targeted at end users, launched in May 2015. You can subscribe to any of those publication or see ALL our archives by going to: http://www.ravepubs.com
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