Volume 9, Issue 5 — May 29, 2017
|Make an Affordable Interactive Videomapped Installation|
By Meghan Athavale
CEO, Lumo Interactive
Have you seen walls and floors that look like they’re coming to life, pulsating and casting shadows in ways that seem to defy the laws of physics? You’re probably seeing video mapping (AKA projection mapping) in action — a technique that uses carefully aimed light to make illusions. While they first began as high-end light shows for DJs and performers, they’re starting to show up all over the place.
In this post, I’m going to explain what they are, how they work and how you can make your own (and make it interactive).
HOW CUSTOM-SHAPED INTERACTIVE PROJECTIONS ARE MADE
Interactive floors and walls are becoming a more common lighting feature of architectural installations. Digital displays make great design elements: They bring architecture to life, can be easily updated seasonal and event-based themes and can be used for dramatic, high-contrast lighting in otherwise poorly lit or bland areas.
But what you may not know is that digital displays can also be created to suit a wide variety of shapes and designs.
You can use a projector or custom LED panel to light 3D elements, irregularly shaped surfaces, and architectural features like sculptures and brickwork really creatively. Later in this post, I’ll explain how to use a simple design tool like Photoshop to create a custom interactive projection (a pond) within a 3D architectural feature.
VIDEO MAPPING AND PROJECTION MAPPING
Lighting a 3D object or an irregular shape with a digital display is called video mapping or projection mapping. There are a large number of solutions on the market designed to make the process of video mapping easier. These include VJ software like Resolume or Modul8, advanced media server software/hardware combinations like Christie’s Pandora’s Box or Green Hippo, and even consumer-level hardware solutions like Lightform. (Here’s a video that demonstrates Lightform’s simple sensor allows you to video map 3D objects easily using a number of pre-built effects.)
HOW DOES VIDEO MAPPING WORK?
There are many different ways to wrap a display around a 3D object, but the basic principle is the same: You have to change the image you’re projecting so it fits the 3D world on which you’re projecting it.
In traditional projections, the image coming from your computer is designed for a flat surface. For example, if you’ve lined up your projector with a wall, what you’ll see on your computer’s screen will be what you see on the wall, as long as that wall is relatively flat, and the output image is the same aspect ratio as the target display.
But what if that wall isn’t flat? That’s where projection mapping comes in. When you video map or projection map an irregular shape or a 3D object, your computer modifies the video or image so that when it’s projected, it looks normal. This means that what you see on your computer screen is a distorted version of what you’re projecting.
Without this distortion, you won’t get the kind of illusion you’re after. Below, you can see what a straight, flat, unmapped image looks like when projected on 3D boxes (as opposed to a properly mapped, distorted image). It’s basically just a flat image, and the boxes distort it.
Credit: VJFit. See his full tutorial here.
To make the image on your screen “fit” the object you’re projecting on, you need to distort it and crop it so that the finished projection will wrap properly around the edges and won’t project outside the borders of the object. And that takes work.
The web is full of tutorials that show you how to create 3D video-mapped display graphics using all kinds of software solutions (or combination of solutions). Usually these techniques combine a media player (to play the video) and a 3D design tool (to figure out how to bend and crop the video so it lines up properly with the thing on which you’re projecting.) Unfortunately, the learning curve for these applications can be super high.
VIDEO MAPPING IS HARD WORK—USUALLY
If you have the time to learn 3D modelling, and money for a media player, the creation of a complex 3D mapped experience can be super rewarding. One of the coolest things about this skill set is how well it scales. From small boxes in your living room to entire buildings and stages, the techniques and creative process are pretty much the same.
Once you’ve learned to map small boxes, bigger boxes are a piece of cake. Watch this example from Fabrik Madrid.
But what if you don’t have the time to learn a bunch of sophisticated software applications? This is often the case with members of our Lumo Play community, many of whom are agencies and audio-visual professionals tasked with creating an interactive floor or wall that will fit inside an irregular space, or wrap on top of a 3D surface. Lumo Play can do the hard work for you, so you can focus on the design.
Here are some instructions to help Lumo Play users create amazing, 3D-mapped interactive displays without having to go back to school to learn 3D modelling and invest in expensive media server solutions.
Lumo Play interactive display software used on a projection mapped car.
(An added bonus is that what you make will be interactive, reacting to the movements of other people. While most projection mapping is controlled by a computer, or an artist, Lumo Play-based 3D video-mapping can respond to the audience!)
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE AN INTERACTIVE 3D VIDEO-MAPPED DISPLAY
In order to design an interactive video-mapped effect, you will need:
- A projector
- A computer
- A web camera or Kinect for Xbox One sensor
- Lumo Play software
- Adobe Photoshop or a similar graphic design software
STEP ONE: INSTALL YOUR PROJECTOR AND NEVER MOVE IT AGAIN
Because you will be designing your distorted graphic effect using regular old graphic design software (instead of an expensive live mapping media server that can adjust when the physical world moves), it’s important that you start by installing all the things exactly where you want them. The image you create will fit exactly on the installation once it’s created, but it won’t work if anything gets moved.
If you’re creating a temporary display, this can be a problem for complex 3D sculptures or objects like cars. But it’s not as critical for mostly flat displays like ponds, where all you’re customizing is the shape and size of the display.
For more complex shapes, you definitely want to have your display, and the object you’re projecting on, firmly in place before you begin. Even small movements will throw your image out of whack. Source
The basic requirements for an interactive projection display system. Make sure all these things are installed in their final location before you begin.
STEP TWO: MAKE YOUR DISTORTED DESIGN
This step actually has a few sub-steps. Here they are:
- Make sure you know exactly what the final resolution of your projector is. In pixels.
- Connect your computer to the projector you’re using.
- Go to your computer display settings and make sure your displays are mirrored (the projector and the computer are showing the same thing) and that they are the resolution of the projector. If you aren’t sure how to do this, google ‘change display settings for [insert your computer’s operating system here]’.
- Open Photoshop (or whatever design software you want to use. You don’t need anything fancy. This guy uses MS paint.)
- Create a new image that is the exact resolution of your projector. Make the background white.
- Choose the painting tool of your choice, and make the ink color black so it’s easy to see.
- Fullscreen your image so that it takes up the whole screen.
- Draw on the object you plan to project on.
STEP THREE: SEND YOUR CUSTOM SHAPE DESIGN TO LUMO PLAY
Save your custom shape. If you’ve created a complex shape (of a 3D sculpture, for example) you should also take and send a photograph of the sculpture from the viewpoint of the projector (as closely as possible). For mostly flat surfaces, the outline file is sufficient.
We’re working on adding custom masking layers to our patented online Motion Maker template tools so our community members can create the final designs themselves, but right now we still create these irregular shapes as custom orders. That means that, at this point, your work is done! Send us the image and, if you have one, the photo.
We’ll use your custom projection mapping design file to create an interactive display that will exactly fit the dimensions of your irregular display area. This file will be added to your Lumo Play account when it’s finished, and you will be able to load it in your Lumo Play software.
Here’s a custom shaped videomapped pond created using Lumo Play software.
DO YOU HAVE A CUSTOM VIDEO MAPPING PROJECT?
We’d love to help! You can send you project details here and we’ll let you know how much it will cost to create something magical.
Let us know if you have questions. We’re happy to help!
This column was reprinted with permission from Lumo Interactive and originally appeared here.Leave a Comment
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|The Skinny on Stretch Displays|
By Mark Coxon
It is InfoComm season and the new products and their associated press releases are flooding the AV airwaves. With the plethora of information circulating, it is hard just to keep track of what’s new, let alone wrap your head around what it may take to actually integrate it into your next project.
One category of products that seems to be opening up right now are “stretch” UHD displays. I have seen quite a few press releases for these already this year starting around DSE, including new products for mounting them as well.
I have somewhat of a reservation about calling these displays “stretched” as to me, stretching something would maintain your vertical resolution and add pixels in the horizontal orientation. These panels actually maintain the horizontal resolution and then decrease the vertical resolution to create a new aspect ratio screens.
Many manufacturers are really just cutting a standard 16:9 panel in half to create a 32:9 aspect ratio screen. These are really more like “half panels” than “stretch displays.” The dead giveaway here are the resolution specs: 3840×1076 (it’s like a 1080p double-wide). The vertical resolution is actually slightly less than half of 2160p, as these manufacturers are cutting existing standard UHD panels in half, which means they lose a few pixels at the cut, hence the 1076 vertical resolution.
These panels are also typically using off the shelf UHD controllers as well, meaning that you feed them content from a 3840×2160 source and create content that leaves the bottom half black. The controller however has no idea it’s panel doesn’t have those extra pixels.
Half panel stretch displays are nice replacements for applications where you would normally be building a 2×1 with small displays and creating customized content or side by side 1080p content. They are also great for portrait style installations as the narrower shape and tall appearance can be more eye-catching than the traditional horizontal layout.
Some other manufacturers are taking stretch displays up another notch. Take LG for instance with it’s 86″ UltraStretch display. The horizontal resolution is still 3840, but the vertical resolution is 600. This is essentially equivalent to four small 960×600 displays in 16:10 aspect ratios. These screens actually have custom controllers and content creation software that allow for four images to be displayed side by side by side by side, something LG calls Picture by Picture (PBP). The content creation software allows one of those four PBP images to be video with three others being still images.
Now add in the ability to daisy-chain multiple units together, light sensors for auto adjusting brightness and internal memory, and you can quickly see the value of these types of displays start to multiply over their half panel counterparts
These 85″x13″ displays are perfect for creating content in a continuous stripe around a venue or stacking to create content towers on interior columns. Of course the traditional menu board market is a home run for these as well.
So the skinny on stretch displays?
They all help break through the monotony of the traditional 16:9 format and eliminate bezel interruptions that would be prevalent in smaller monitor “arrays.” They are not all created equal however. Some are stock 16:9 panels cut in half, while others offer even more unique aspect ratios and content creation suites. At the end of the day, they all have a place in our digital world. As one of my project managers always used to say, “Horses for courses.”Leave a Comment
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|What AV Integrators Should Know About WannaCrypt|
By Sara Abrons
Last week, a group of hackers released a nasty piece of ransomware that quickly spread across the world, touching anything and everything connected to a network. Deemed WannaCrypt (or WannaCry), the ransomware infected thousands (approximately 200,000, according to NBC) of computers in thousands of countries and in particular wreaking havoc in Europe, where many medical institutions — including the UK’s National Health Service, schools, government institutions and businesses were essentially shut down. One AV/IT victim was Deutsche Bahn, German’s state railway operator, which had a digital signage network alerting passengers to train schedules that went down.
Once inside a system, all user files became encrypted and inaccessible to the owner, essentially held hostage, hence the term ransomware. To get the files back unencrypted, a user has to send $300 worth of bitcoin (an untraceable digital currency) to a certain account within three days. After three days the price doubles to $600. On the seventh day, all the files are deleted forever. The list of file types the code could encrypt was extensive, but included .doc files and most media files types such as .mov and .jpg (you can see the list here), so it would cripple most users who became infected. Pretty nasty, huh?
Fortunately, the spread of the attack was halted when a British cybersecurity researcher registered a domain he found hidden in the code in order to track the attack. The registration actually stopped the spread of the malware altogether, since it relied on connecting back to the domain and receiving no response in order to encrypt the files. If you’re interested in learning more about how the attack was stopped in such a seemingly simple way (it’s not), read the blog by the 22-year-old engineer, known primarily by his online handle MalwareTech, who unknowingly halted the spread. This was an extremely lucky break for everyone (except the purveyors of WannaCrypt, of course).
One of the reasons this attack spread so much further than other Ransomware attacks was because it took advantage of two exploits in systems running Windows that allowed remote attacks and remote control — codenamed “EternalBlue” and “DoublePulsar” respectively. Most ransomware attacks rely solely on phishing techniques, such as getting a user to click a link, in order to infect a computer. These vulnerabilities were identified earlier this year and on March 14th, Microsoft released a patch that fixed the vulnerability.
The threat isn’t over, however — the ransomware could reemerge at any time with a few alterations and any system without the patch would be vulnerable.
What You Should Do Immediately
- Run any and all security updates, if you haven’t already, on all computers, phones and everything you have connected to the Internet for your company. Windows computers running Windows XP, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2003 are extremely vulnerable and need to be updated immediately. More information on how to protect systems using Windows, including a link to the security update that should be installed, can be found here. Microsoft says Windows 10 was not vulnerable to the attack.
- Call your clients and make sure they have done the same, especially if you know they are running systems that use Windows at all.
- Consider offering to come to clients’ businesses and run software and firmware updates on all equipment (you can charge for this service!). How many pieces of AV equipment are floating around out there that don’t have the latest firmware?
What You Should Do After That to Protect Yourself and Your Clients
- Install security updates regularly to all systems. This includes not just software updates, but also firmware updates. If you don’t want to make them automatic, then you should be checking for updates and completing the installs regularly. Out of date devices are a huge vulnerability.
- Train staff and clients regularly in how to recognize phishing attempts. Phishing attempts have become more sophisticated of late and tricking even Internet savvy users. Earlier in May, a convincing email that looked like an invitation to see a shared Google doc made the rounds, and it wasn’t just grandmas who clicked the links and got infected. Regular training is key.
- Use strong spam filters to stop employees from ever even seeing phishing attempts. Use firewalls and anti-virus software.
- Back up files regularly, both to the cloud and locally to another hard drive.
- Have a prepared worst-case-scenario recovery plan in place in the event that something in your network does become infected.
- Whenever possible, at your own company or in designing systems, consider using operating systems other than Windows, which has consistently been the most vulnerable to attacks.
Here’s some additional info on steps businesses can take to protect themselves. Much of what I’ve described probably sounds obvious, but without a protocol in place to do these things regularly, they easily fall by the wayside, even to the large businesses. Just ask the U.K.’s National Health Service or Russia’s Interior Ministry. Now is as good a time as any to review procedures and put a plan in place.
Stefan Baur, project lead of open source project X2Go and owner of BAUR-ITCS
(website in German, but English speakers can contact the company through a form), a company offering X2Go support
and an X2Go-based security software
, gave some additional advice for systems designers and network operators:
- Don’t run Windows when/where you don’t have to. Depending on your area of work, there will probably be some apps that are only available for Windows. That doesn’t mean you have to use Windows for everything else as well, though. Solutions are available that allow you to display single Windows applications coming from a remote server on the screen of a Linux or macOS machine (Citrix, etc.), as well as for the other direction: Displaying a remote Linux application on a Windows or macOS screen (this is what X2Go [and others] does/do).
- Don’t go all Linux, either — diversity is the key. Run some macOS systems here, some FreeBSD there… whatever does the job best. This minimizes the chance that you’ll experience a total meltdown due to an exploit hitting you, as they are usually operating-system- or application-specific (think Microsoft Office).
- Keep systems that require different levels of security (customer/patient data, company data/intellectual property, internet) on separate networks. With the current attack, the pictures spreading on Twitter hint at Deutsche Bahn (Germany’s largest railway operator and infrastructure owner) having placed those infoscreens on their production network and joined to their regular Windows Domain (though we have no solid proof for that yet) — and from a security standpoint, that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make, and an easily avoidable and totally unneccessary risk to take.
- When I say “separate networks,” I mean it. Don’t even use VLANs. Use separate switching and routing hardware. VLANs are a valuable tool when you have to manage large networks, but they are not a security measure. Yes, more hardware means higher expenses, but everything else will come back to bite you in the long run.
These suggestions supplement the usual security measures, like locking down and hardening systems, regular backups, patch deployment, etc. — they are not meant for being able to safely neglect basic security measures, nor will they work for that. If you want to experience what placing a nice tall building on unsafe ground looks like, book your next vacation to Pisa, Italy — don’t try it out on your company network.
Unfortunately for those infected by WannaCrypt, no one has figured out to decrypt files yet, and security experts are scrambling to get systems back up and running. The only solution is to completely wipe infected systems and restore from an offline backup.
Read more about WannaCrypt here. You can also see the spread of infections over time here. Be safe out there on the Internet, friends.Leave a Comment
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|NEC Europe Upgrades P and V Series Displays, Adds Customization Options |
NEC Display Solutions Europe today announced a range of customization options for its P and V Series, a range of professional MultiSync large format displays for digital signage. These include mirrored and protective displays for retail, industrial and environmentally harsh applications, touch-sensitive display surfaces and coloured bezel overframes.
The P and V Series displays are built on NEC’s open platform concept and can be customized with a variety of cosmetic and functionality options. For example, using semi-transparent MIRONA mirror glass from SCHOTT, the P Series displays are ideal for scenarios where enhanced visual experiences greatly impact customer engagement. The MultiSync P Series Mirror Glass (MG) is a cross between a real mirror and a signage display. This coulee be used as digital signage in fitting room mirrors so retailers could display size range, colors or coordinating accessories while allowing the shopper to use the mirror surface to check their look and decide on fit and style.
The P and V Series displays are also designed for applications in professional, industrial and other signage areas where displays face challenging conditions. This is because of its 4mm thick protective glass designed to protect the displays against damage from all external impacts. The anti-reflective and high light-transmission CONTURAN protective glass from SCHOTT combined with the brightness level of 500 cd/m² in the V Series and 700 cd/m² in the P Series offer superb readability. Overall, both series offer maximum investment security whilst guaranteeing safe operation in public environments and production areas.
Additionally, the P and V Series displays are available in colored overframe versions from the RAL color palette.
Integrated with ShadowSense Multi-Touch technology, the MultiSync P Series SST displays are available in sizes from 40 to 80 inches and they support up to 10 simultaneous touch points and gestures while ignoring accidental touches (avoiding ghost touches).
V Series touch models with support for Infrared Multi-Touch will be available from June 2017. These displays feature an anti-reflective coating to minimise reflections in addition to supporting high levels of touch accuracy. They support all major operating systems and up to 10 simultaneous touch points.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Screen Innovations Launches Zero-G’s New Cord ColorsIn 2016, Screen Innovations (SI) introduced Zero-G, a projection screen that looks like it’s levitating in midair. SI is now offering the cables that hold the screen in three new color variations: Sky Blue, Forest Green and Warm Gray (beige) in addition to White, Gray and Black cables already available. This gives the integrator the capability to more closely match the existing color in the environment behind the screen — whether it’s a wall, window or art-deco piece.
|Leave a Comment
The screen has been popular in both home and commercial application — and even digital signage. It does look like it’s not attached to anything but this also gives the homeowner or business the ability to make them either stand out or blend int o more environments.
Zero-G cord colors are available now at no additional charge and you can see them here
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|Matrox Video Announces DSX LE4 IP|
Matrox Video just announced the Matrox DSX LE4 IP video card. The DSX LE4 IP is a low-profile, half-length PCI Express card offering multi-channel (four-input/four-output) HD video over 10 GbE, with the added security of ST 2022-7 redundancy and guaranteed bursting free packets with zero CPU usage.
Providing on-card IP encapsulation of HD, 3G and 4K video for all IP transport protocols, including SMPTE 2110, SMPTE 2022-6, SMPTE 2022-7 and ASPEN, the DSX LE4 IP card ensures interoperability with all compliant upstream and downstream equipment. Through its standard NIC capabilities and on-board traffic shaping, the DSX LE4 IP also offers system builders the added reassurance of CPU-free networking, removing the risk of processing-induced glitches. This further guarantees compliance with all features of the emerging SMPTE 2110 standard.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Introduces Four-Channel DTP Output Card for Quantum Ultra Videowall ProcessorExtron just introduced the new Quantum OUT4DTP, a four-channel DTP output card for the Quantum Ultra videowall processor. The Quantum OUT4DTP card sends video signals up to 330 feet (100 meters) over shielded CATx cable. In four-channel mode the unit supports resolutions up to 2K. Dual-channel mode supports two single path 4K/30 signals, while single-channel mode supports one dual-path or quad path 4K/60 signal. Output format selection provides a choice of DTP, XTP or HDBaseT output modes. Power insertion on the Quantum OUT4DTP enables remote powering of DTP receivers, eliminating the need for separate power supplies at the remote units. Bidirectional RS-232 and IR insertion provides control of AV devices by transmitting data alongside the video signal over DTP connections, allowing the remote device to be controlled without the need for additional cabling.
Quantum Ultra is a modular 4K videowall processor with high-performance scaling and windowing technology which accommodates a wide range of applications. It features the Extron Vector 4K scaling engine and HyperLane video bus capable of carrying a multitude of high-resolution sources for real-time performance. A single processor can support multiple videowalls with mixed resolutions and screen orientations, providing flexible system design with minimal complexity and cost. Portrait and landscape output support, output overlap and mullion compensation provide compatibility with nearly any display technology. RS232 and Ethernet interfaces provide direct connections for control systems.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|SpinetiX Announces 2017 Release of Elementi Digital Signage SoftwareThe new Elementi digital signage software from SpinetiX includes a new level of security and is made for any of the company’s digital signage players. It’s aimed at verticals such as education, hospitality and healthcare. Elementi is designed to match the SpinetiX range of digital signage players to optimize reliability and network security.
2017 release of Elementi comes with ready-to-use widgets such as social media, events, hours, QR code, wayfinding, menus and more. They are now fully integrated with Microsoft Online (Excel, Outlook, OneDrive) as a digital signage data source. There are now 250 widgets in total included.
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- Elementi free 30-day trial is available for download here
- Elementi training module per country is available here
- Elementi free technical resource and knowledge base is available here
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|Chief Debuts Freestyle Rotation Video Wall Mount AdapterThe new Chief Freestyle Rotation Adapter allows designers to generate a wide variety of video display wall configurations using either ConnexSys or Fusion mounts. The accessory provides infinite orientation possibilities to support your most creative installations and also serves as a fast and flexible landscape-to-portrait solution. It’s perfect to spec in a system when you are designing it when you don’t know exactly the orientation the displays will be mounted as it provides for any orientation or angle. Features also include:
- Provides 90 degrees of rotation; can be installed in different orientations to achieve 360 degrees of range
- Positive lockouts at 15 degree increments
- Overlapping displays (with Fusion FCADA) adds another level of customization and creativity
- Micro-adjustment (with ConnexSys)
- Weight capacity when used with ConnexSys: 125 pounds (56.7 kg)
- Weight capacity when used with single-stud Fusion: 55 pounds (24.95 kg)
- Compatible with ConnexSYS mounts and Fusion wall, ceiling and freestanding mounts
Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|Gary Kayye’s “All About 4K” Educational Session Will Come to InfoCommIf you want to learn everything you need to know to specify, design or sell systems with 4K displays, projectors, signal routing or cabling, you should hurry (as space is VERY LIMITED) and sign up for my 4K educational session at InfoComm in Orlando. Being held on Thursday, June 15th at 10:30 a.m, the 1.5 CTS RU-approved course is titled: 4K: No Myths, No Exaggerations – Just the Facts (go to that link and search “Kayye” to find it and register). And, it will be delivered in 4K thanks to a BARCO UDX.
This session explains 4K specs, compatibility and performance. You’ll learn everything you really need to know to specify, sell and integrate 4K systems correctly. At the end of this session, you’ll be able to:
- Identify top four applications for 4K
- Understand 4K resolution standards
- Understand bandwidth capabilities of current digital video formats
- Design systems using the DigitalCANVAS concept
Here’s the registration link. (Again, type “Kayye” in the SEARCH box to find it and register.)Leave a Comment
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|Juice Goose Debuts SL-350 UPSThe Juice Goose SL-350 UPS uses lithium battery technology in a light weight, thin profile. That makes this UPS well suited for installation in small spaces previously impractical for ordinary UPS designs (think behind a monitor in digital signage apps). In addition to battery power support, the SL-350 provides 312 Joules of protection from AC power surges and spikes.
This UPS has a power rating of 200 watts (350 VA). With that size load and the UPS batteries fully charged, the unit will provide continuous electric power for approximately six minutes in the event of a blackout. Longer battery run times are possible with smaller loads.
The SL-350 uses a detachable power cord. A three foot cord with a right angle plug is provided with the unit. Should a different length or style of cord be needed for a particular installation or application one can be purchased at-large and installed into this UPS. That cord should have a NEMA 5-15P plug as well as a female IEC style connector to attach to the UPS.
Status of the $350 SL-350 UPS can be monitored using the provided software loaded on a PC or laptop connected to the UPS via a USB cable.
All the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Have You Joined the AV Industry Professionals (AVIP) LinkedIn Group?The industry’s only dedicated-AV LinkedIn Group needs you to join. It’s called the AV Industry Professionals and it’s free (to AV professionals and users) AND it’s ALL ABOUT AV services.
And, the best part about it is that it’s a moderated discussion/posting group (that also includes a JOBS listing service) — that means it’s not filled with ads and that they posts are organically from AV’ers. People asking for advice on products, details on new technologies and anything AV, digital signage or AV/IT related. No ads!
So, head over to the group and join today!Leave a Comment
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|Draper’s New TecVision Grey Surface Projection Screen Tackles Ambient LightDraper’s new TecVision CH1200X ALR is a grey surface designed specifically to address ambient light rejection (ALR) applications. With an ALR rating of 20, the Draper says its TecVision CH1200X ALR rejects 80 percent of the ambient light not being produced by the projector. Designed for environments with high ambient lighting and controlled viewing angles, the CH1200X ALR is a high-contrast surface helping black retention and includes a 1.2 gain surface to help brighten the image in sizes up to 67 feet wide.
Like the rest of Draper’s TecVision line, CH1200X ALR is 8K-ready and Imaging Science Foundation-certified for color accuracy, so users won’t notice the blue tints present in images on many other ambient light rejecting screens. In addition, the CH1200X ALR is available as a Nanoperf surface for acoustical transparency.
Claiming better off-axis performance than its competitors, TecVision integrates a light-absorbing dark backing to prevent picture degradation from light behind the screen and a non-perforated surface.
All TecVision CH1200X ALR specs can be found here.Leave a Comment
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|Comprehensive Intros 4K 18G HDMI Splitter FamilyComprehensive launches their new family of Pro AV/IT 18G 4K HDMI Splitters. This new family of 18G UHD HDMI Splitters is made up of the CDA-HD12018G (1×2), CDA-HD14018G (1×4) and CDA-HD18018G (1×8) and all support UHD 4K @ 60Hz 2160p (4:4:2).
Comprehensive‘s HDMI 1×2, 1×4 and 1×8 Splitters distribute one HDMI input to two, four or eight simultaneous HDMI outputs. They also support HDCP 2.2, smart EDID control, 3D, 12-bit Deep Color as well as high definition lossless audio. These Splitters support video signals up to UHD 4K@60Hz (YUV444), and are capable of receiving and transmitting up to 18Gbps of bandwidth with no data loss. In addition, the HDMI splitters have a slim chassis design with an enclosure made of durable metal.
Here are the features:
- Distribute one HDMI input to two, four or eight simultaneous HDMI outputs
- Supports Ultra-HD resolutions up to 4k2k@60Hz with 12 bit YCBCR 4:4:4 and VESA mode video format up to QSXGA@60Hz
- Wide frequency range: 25MHz – 600MHz
- Compliant with DVI 1.0, HDMI 1.4b (1080p@60Hz) and HDMI 2.0a specification
- Integrated HDCP 1.4 and HDCP 2.2 decryption/encryption engines
- LPCM 7.1CH, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio support, and HD lossless audio
- Smart EDID control
- Metal Enclosure
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Barco Adds to LED Lineup With 7 mm Pixel Pitch Version|
Barco has just added a 7 mm pixel pitch model to its range of ‘digital media canvases.’ The R-series has a thin, lightweight and bendable design and is aimed at uses like retail, advertising, large venue and visitor attraction applications.
Installation and maintenance are key cost drivers for store façades, museums, theaters, houses of worship, stadiums, and corporate or event venues. Up to 75 percent lighter, Barca says the R-series is much easier and faster to install than traditional LED displays, which minimizes installation cost. Offered in sheets up to 4.68 meters long and only 5 mm thick (including louvers), the digital media canvases can cover all kinds of surfaces. And to remove today’s cable clutter, cabling, control, and power electronics are fully integrated on every sheet. Moreover, the power supply unit can be located remotely for easy servicing.
Thanks to their unique bendable, ultra-thin design, architectural constraints are reduced and less space needs to be freed up. And with minimal need for a supporting structure, the R-series can be glued onto a surface or wrapped around curved shapes. Plus, there are no visual segmentations or gaps, as is the case with standard tiled LED displays.
Driven by Barco’s Infinipix image processing platform, the R-series is a future-proof design that includes a web-based interface that enables display configuration, control, monitoring, and maintenance from any device. Based on HTML5, different operating systems and mobile devices can be used to control the R-series, both on-site and off-site. The system supports SNMP to export monitoring data, but sends automatic failure alerts and status notifications as well to minimize operational risk.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Displaylite Unveils Smart Interactive Mirror|
Displaylite launched a new 32” Smart Interactive Mirror last week. Dubbed the Displaylite Reflect 32, it’s a digital sign mounted behind a real mirror meant for touch-insertion applications in digital signage or retail. Using a 32” 1920×1080 display, 12 point PCAP touch, stereo speakers, a camera and motion detector, it’s all housed in a mount case that can be positioned portrait or landscape.
Smart Mirrors can be used in in-store fitting rooms, enabling the customer for example, to change the lighting in the fitting room, request a different size, browse through other items in the store or interact with a sales assistant through the mirror. Other applications include: retail store, hotels, restrooms and hair and beauty salons.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Signagelive Launches Free Calendar Widgets with Google and Microsoft Integration for Meeting Room Digital Signage|
Signagelive just launched Calendar Widgets in the Signagelive Marketplace. The new Calendar Widgets enable connection to Google and Microsoft Office 365 Calendars with a range of customizable HTML5 templates for both full-screen and multi-zone display.
Signagelive network administrators can connect their Office 365 and Google GSuite accounts to the Signagelive Calendar Integration App and allocate a person or room calendar to one of a selection of Calendar Widget templates available, before publishing to a Signagelive supported display or player. A Calendar Widget can be displayed permanently on screen or within a playlist containing other media either full-screen or in a zone within a Signagelive multi-zone layout.
In addition to displaying calendar information, intelligence integrated into the Signagelive Calendar Widgets automatically updates the style of each Widget. An example is the background of a Calendar Widget dynamically changing from green (room available) to red (room in use) based on the event in the calendar and the time of day. Where a device, such as the IAdea XDS-1780, incorporates programmable indicator lights the Signagelive Calendar Widget can be configured to change the lights from green to red when the room status changes from ‘available’ to ‘in use.’
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|BrightSign and Felbro Partner for Turn-Key QSR Self-Order Kiosk|
BrightSign today announced that it has teamed up with Felbro Displays to develop a new self-serve ordering kiosk aimed at the QSR market. The kiosk itself measures 18 inches wide, 40 inches high and just 4 inches deep. Felbro Displays designed the kiosk with a variety of installation options for restaurants to consider. The unit can be freestanding, attached to a wall, pole-mounted, integrated with countertops and offers various ADA options.
Specific components include:
- 27-inch ELO PCAP touch screen
- BrightSign XT1143 digital signage media player
- Verifone UX-series transaction-processing software
- Star Micronics SK1-32 POS receipt printer
BrightSign says that, once installed, the kiosk is easy to maintain and can be completely customized. In addition to customizing the shape, color and installation method when initially installed, graphic overlays can be added and taken off to support marketing messages and other promotional campaigns. Additionally, the kiosk’s chassis has the ability to add side-mounted modules, including table buzzers, card readers and brochure displays. Long-term maintenance is hassle-free, with minimal internal parts and easy access to replace or upgrade individual components.
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|Peerless-AV Intros New Wall Arm Mount With Set Top Box for HospitalityPeerless-AV has announced the launch of its Hospitality Wall Arm Mount with Set Top Box (STB) Enclosure (HA746-STB), ideal for hospitality settings, including lobbies and hotel rooms. Compatible with 43″ to 55″ hospitality TVs, the wall mount conceals the STB or cable box with a vented, secure cover that provides a clean finish, hiding electrical equipment and cabling from hotel guests.
The simple, removable cover is interchangeable to allow the STB box to be placed on either side of the mount and can be easily removed which allows for quick access, while the mount’s open wall plate design allows for easy access to the wall or junction box, making maintenance seamless. For safety assurance, the mount is UL rated, enduring load testing up to four times the stated load capacity.
Other benefits include:
- Curved and vented interchangeable cover for cable management and a clean appearance
- Extension up to 22.22″ (564 millimeters) for hotel guests to find the perfect viewing angle
- Inclusion of fasteners for easy installs on single and dual metal studs, wood, or concrete
- Universal compatibility to set top boxes (up to 13.5″W x 7.5″L x 1.6″D)
- Height adjustment up to 0.5″ (13 millimeters) for fine-tuned positioning after installation
- Compact size to fit within a 24″x16″ wall opening
- UL tested up to four times the mount’s stated load capacity
The arm mount is available now. For additional information, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Digital Signage Expo Opens Call for 2018 APEX Awards NominationsDSE is now accepting nominations for its 15th Annual APEX Awards. |
Designed to recognize and honor achievement in the installation of digital displays and interactive technology and the creation of compelling viewer content, the DSE APEX Awards have honored hundreds of companies for their innovation throughout the years.
The APEX Awards will be presented to three outstanding entries – Gold, Silver and Bronze – in a total of nine categories. Additionally, two overall winners will receive the APEX Installation of the Year and APEX Content of the Year awards. Categories include Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Business & Government Services; Education & Healthcare; Event Venues & Hospitality; Food & Beverage; Immersive Environments; Public Spaces; Retail; and Transportation.
To qualify, nominees must have a new or current digital signage or interactive technology program installed between Nov. 1, 2016, and Oct. 31, 2017. Updated content for existing digital signage installations that began running during the same time period will also qualify. The deadline to submit entries is Nov. 13, 2017. Additional information and entry forms are available here.
The nominating companies can be the venues themselves, the technology providers that provided the installation hardware and software, the architects and design firms who conceived the project, as well as the system integrators who did the installation. A single company is permitted to submit multiple nominations for separate projects. The cost to enter the DSE APEX Awards is $145 USD per entry if submitted by midnight EDT Aug. 11, 2017. Thereafter, the cost per entry is $195 USD.
The 2018 awards program will be held Wednesday March 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. during DSE’s free networking reception at the Las Vegas Convention Center. You can enter here.Leave a Comment
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|Signagelive Web Triggers API Enables Developers to create Personalized Signage Experiences|
Signagelive has released a Web Triggers API enabling third-party applications to change the content displayed on Signagelive connected SoC Displays and external players in real time regardless of the number of devices or locations.
There are a multitude of use cases for integration with Signagelive Web Triggers including; Mass Notification and Emergency Messaging, Assisted Point of Sale enabling control of digital signage content from a mobile device and voice activated digital signage.
The Signagelive Widget API and Developer Community is here.Leave a Comment
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|Apollo Enclosures Enters the Digital Signage Market with New All-Weather Enclosures|
Apollo Enclosures is expanding its commercial market offering with the introduction of their all-weather outdoor digital signage PRO Line. The new commercial-grade enclosures are designed to house and protect ultra-bright displays for the use in digital signage solutions. The Pro Line is comprised of Models DS5550, a 55” enclosure that houses 50- to 55-inch displays, and Model DS6560, a 65” enclosure that houses 60- to 65-inch displays. Both models are available in portrait and landscape orientations. The enclosures are available immediately, and list at $1,995 and $2,195, respectively.
Constructed with a powder coated aluminum housing, the PRO line enclosure is engineered with a 5-fan filtered air-flow system to accommodate the higher temperature of the ultra-bright displays and safeguards the displays in temperatures of -4 degrees (-20 degrees C) to 122 degrees F (50 degrees C). And, an anti-reflective safety glass further protects the display, and improves contrast while significantly reducing ambient reflection.
Apollo says their Tight-Seal technology securely seals the enclosure and protects the display from rain, dirt, and insects; and the cable connections to the TV inputs and outputs are shielded with a water-tight cable cover.
The enclosure provides three internal outlets; one for the fans, one for the display and one auxiliary for media players, baluns or other electronic components. The enclosure also includes an 8″x9″ expanded media compartment cover to house media players up to 2.75” deep.
Available accessories include a thermostatically controlled heater module for areas of high humidity or where temperatures dip below 0°F; modesty frames for framing smaller size TV’s in the enclosures; and three designer colors upgrades (Silver, Metallic Sandstone and White). A selection of all-weather mounts with stainless steel hardware is also available.
Also, Apollo provides the Elite Line of enclosures that are engineered to house and protect LED/LCD slimline TVs. This series includes 5 popular sizes that fit TVs from 39- to 75-inches. Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|Palace Station Casino Bets Big On New Bingo Room Featuring Massive NanoLumens LED Displays|
NanoLumens announced the installation of two stunning LED displays in the new bingo room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. According to the integration team at National Technology Associates (NTA), which performed the installation, the two large NanoLumens displays dominate the room and the area outside of the room, adding vibrancy and excitement, whether guests are inside playing bingo or just passing by on the casino floor.
“Bingo is one of Station Casinos most popular games among its guests, and Palace Station’s new bingo room has raised the bar for the industry,” said Nevin Edwards, Senior Project Manager at National Technology Associates. “Casino guests simply cannot ignore the messaging on the bright, crystal clear 1.5’ tall curved NanoLumens Nixel Series™ display that stretches 56’ all the way around the room’s entrance. It’s a powerful, visually stimulating solution that displays promotional messages and bingo bonuses to draw people into the room. Then, once players enter the bingo room, the action centers around a massive 15.75’ wide, 9.45’ tall 1080p NanoLumens Engage Series™ display, which presents the bingo board and new numbers as they’re pulled.”
As the integrators explain it, the need for large, reliable, bright HD display solutions in a fairly public space meant that the NanoLumens‘ Nixel Series display was the best choice for outside the bingo room. All Nixel Series displays are comprised of small proprietary squares of NanoLumens Nixels that can be combined seamlessly to form displays in any desired size, shape or curvature. And, because Nixel Series displays are front serviceable, casino owners have peace of mind knowing that not only will their displays work flawlessly for years to come, but also can be repaired quickly should they become damaged. What’s more, every NanoLumens Nixel Series display comes backed with NanoLumens’ industry- leading Six-Year Warranty.
The new bingo room, which is part of a larger property-wide renovation, features space for up to 350 players, including plush seating and a glassed-off smoking area to appeal to all casino guests. The room’s main 15.75’ x 9.45’ Engage Series display features a 2.5mm pixel pitch to display a full 1080p picture that ensures clear visibility for every player. The room’s exterior 1.5’ x 56’ curved Nixel Series display utilizes a 4mm pixel pitch that is ideal for distant, overhead viewing, meant to attract people to the room and get them excited about timely bingo bonuses and events.
According to Lori Nelson, spokesperson for Station Casinos, “Our casinos are the entertainment destination of choice in Las Vegas and we’re always committed to bringing exciting new amenities and offerings to our guests. The incredible new bingo room at Palace Station, featuring the brilliant NanoLumens displays, helps us to make the bingo experience a prime attraction at the property.”
NanoLumens Vice President of Sales Dave Merlino amplified that message, noting that, “Casino floors are all about flash and attention-grabbing, and NanoLumens’ displays are known for stopping people in their tracks. The launch of this new bingo room, along with the one at Santa Fe Station, is making bingo even more popular than ever before. It’s an easy, fun and inexpensive game that anybody can enjoy, and our displays, combined with Palace Station’s graphics, are the perfect way to draw new players into the room. We’re excited to continue working with Station Casinos and National Technology Associates to increase customer engagement and drive new revenues.”
“After seeing the results of several installations, the design team at Station Casinos really appreciates the creativity that NanoLumens brings to gaming environments,” Nevin Edwards added. “Between the flexibility, reliability, ease of use, quiet and low-heat operation, and the sheer attractiveness of the bright, seamless picture, there really isn’t another solution that can match what NanoLumens offers.”
This installation marks the seventh collaboration between Station Casinos, NTA and NanoLumens to bring eye-popping visuals to casino floors. Previous projects include another bingo room at Santa Fe Station, and multiple large video wall displays located in the Sports Books various Station Casinos’ properties including Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch Resort.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe DS [Digital Signage] 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 industry, 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 anything good (or bad).
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Everything we publish is Opt-in — we spam NO ONE! rAVe ProAV Edition is our flagship ePublication 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. You can subscribe to any of those publication or see ALL our archives by going to: http://www.ravepubs.com
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