| Volume 12, Issue 18 — September 25, 2015|
|Apple TV Gaming and Integration|
By Lee Distad
This month Apple lifted the curtain on its new Apple TV, dubbed, oddly enough, The New Apple TV.
Since then, many of us in the AV business and media have spent time parsing the specifications, guessing at the hints Apple has dropped about its capabilities, and pondering the implications it’s going to have on living rooms, ours and our clients.
My focus here is going to be on what I think is the most important opportunity it presents — big-screen gaming — although in order to get to that, I need to first address the new Apple TV from an integration perspective. After all, in order for clients to use it you, the AV pro have to be able to control it.The initial take from AV pros I’ve spoken with has been that the new iteration of Apple TV is more-of-the-same. To wit: Apple playing games with their API and making it hard on integrators and third-party control vendors to do anything other than one-way IR.
Since the inception of Apple TV, Apple has a history of incorporating propriety layers in its API that make it unfriendly to third-party IP-enabled control. Even as far back as 2010, enterprising third-party vendors made IP-control of Apple TV work, only to have their modules stop working with new iterations of the Apple TV. In 2014, RTI was able to attain full IP control of Apple TV, but AV pros’ expectations are that, if history is any guide, RTI’s API won’t work and they and other third-party control vendors will have to go back to the drawing board.
On top of that, the remote for the new AppleTV is Bluetooth. That means there’s a pretty good chance that your control vendor doesn’t have a Bluetooth module in its catalog that will allow you to use Bluetooth to control the Apple TV.
On top of that, Apple has made its remote effectively mandatory, by including touch controls, a swipe experience, and a built in mic for SIRI voice commands to the user interface. That’s something none of your fancy all-in-one commander remote controls from your control vendor can do. That means two remote controls on your client’s coffee table. I know. I’m horrified at the thought too.
And because the range of Bluetooth is limited, that means you can’t hide the new Apple TV in the rack room either. It’s going to have to be installed in-room.
Now, I have some confidence that third-party will come to the rescue. This isn’t my first rodeo, and I remember the fuss when Sony’s PlayStation 3 debuted, with a TV remote that operated on Bluetooth. AV Pros were up in arms, but third-party vendors stepped up. I still have a Bluetooth/IR conversion dongle that Audio Authority made for the PlayStation 3’s remote control sitting in my gear closet. If IP control isn’t feasible, at least short term, I hope that a Bluetooth-to-RS232 dongle isn’t too much to ask for.That said, the primary reason that the Apple TV remote is effectively mandatory is because of its use as a gaming controller. And here we get to the heart of it: With Apple TV, Apple is clearly firing a shot across console gaming’s bow. I think they have a clear picture of where they’re taking this. Add to the fact that Apple has confirmed that its extended the MFi (Made for Apple third party program) to including gaming controllers.
What we’re facing is a box (and there are so, so many boxes to choose from now) in the living room that promises to bring the explosion in mobile gaming that the iPhone and iPad generated, only now streamed to the living room, in direct challenge to the incumbent console makers. Now, those hard-copy disc-fed consoles have evolved to include streamed gaming content. But the question is, will the App Store gaming experience blow past them? I wouldn’t bet against it.
I would also caution naysayers who point to the relative weakness of its hardware specs and hard drive size compared to consoles. Another history lesson: Despite being “puny” by console specifications standards the Nintendo Wii enjoyed phenomenal success when it launched. Despite not being as powerful as an Xbox or PlayStation, it still carved out an empire for itself beside its rivals.
Apple TV doesn’t need to clobber Xbox One and Playstation 4 in order to dominate as a gaming platform. What it needs is eager app developers to create games that play to its strengths, specifically its user interface, that will make both serious and casual gamers want one in their living room. Apple has already announced a strong marquee lineup of games and developers for Apple TV gaming; it’s not a huge leap to expect some breakout titles to rocket the new Apple TV to “must have” status.
If anything, Nintendo should be worried. In my opinion, it’s time for Nintendo to do what it should have already done: Give up on propriety hardware and license its Intellectual Property to other platforms like Apple TV.
But that’s mostly just because I want to play Mario Kart on Apple TV.Leave a Comment
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|The Problem (Still) With Whole Home Integration|
By Gary Kayye
We are better — thanks to companies like Sonos and Apple, to be frank — but not there, yet. Hey, at least one of those companies does exhibit at CEDIA Expo.
Let’s be honest, the custom home integration market is still, way, way too complicated.
But, is it a people problem or a product problem.
Terms like HDMI, HDCP 2.2, H.264 and UDTV may sound cool to us, but, to our clients, we either:
1. Sound Arrogant: Many people perceive smarty-pants-people as arrogant. And, interestingly enough, most smarty-pants-people aren’t doing this intentionally. They are, well, smart. And, they talk to other people as if we should all understand what they are talking about. So, when we sound smart, technical or knowledgeable, it’s possible we could be perceived as arrogant — especially to like 95 percent of our customers who want simplicity. They want everything in their house to work as easily as an iPhone. (Did you ever notice that something as complicated as an iPhone doesn’t even come with a user’s manual? People can simply pick it up and, eventually, figure it out.)
2. People Tune Us Out: The other half of the population (the one’s that don’t perceive smarty-pants-people as arrogant) simply tune us out. In fact, you can see this in real-time at a Best Buy — seriously, check it out yourself. Take your spouse with you — of course, I am assuming that, since you’re in the AV market, they aren’t (and don’t care that much about AV). Now, ask the salesperson a tricky technical question about HDMI. Watch what they do. Their body will twist ever so slightly towards you (and away from your spouse) and talk at you while not even noticing that he or she is tuning out your spouse and, thus, cutting them out of the conversation. The result, the ignored potential customer tunes them out. The important nugget of information is gone. So, the technical remains too technical for the average person to understand.
So, while the gear (or at least MOST of the AV gear in our industry) gets simpler, we need to simplify too. We need to not over-educate, over-sell and over-technify this stuff. People don’t care about the processor in an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone, don’t even know the RAM in it (it’s not even on the spec sheets) and certainly don’t care how to program an app, so why would they care how all this whole-home AV stuff works.
They just want it to work. Every time.
Oh, and a hint, putting in this remote, isn’t simplifying anything…Leave a Comment
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|So, What’s Up with the Smart Home Market?|
By Gary Kayye
The ’90s were all about home theaters. But, let’s face it, that market is dying a rapid death. In some areas, thanks to the 1 percent mantra, having a home theater isn’t an indicator of family-fun, it’s more of a sign of braggart.
But, having a smart home is a badge of environmental courage.
Smart homes, by default, same energy, time, efficiency and, thus, money. And, having one means, to many, that you care about the environment.
And, more smart home gear has debuted over the past six months than the entire last 15-years combined — thanks to initiatives from companies like Nest, Apple, Google and even Amazon. Like it or not, they WILL be driving the future of our market.
Fight it all you want, but you will lose that battle.
So, what’s the state of the smart home market?
For that, we turned to the experts at Business Insider, who’ve been tracking this market for years. And, their findings are interesting. By the end of this year, the market in the U.S. will be an $83 million market. But, just four more years, they see it as nearly a $200 million market. That’s an annual compound grown rate (CAGR) of over 18 percent.
Obviously, the biggest (and easiest) market, and the low-hanging-fruit, is the lighting segment and, thanks to LEDs, this market is booming as smart bulbs are the rage. Of course, right now, Philips is dominating that, but don’t count out Lutron — they will be a MAJOR factor.
Business Insider defines the smart home device as, “any stand-alone object found in the home that is connected to the internet, can be either monitored or controlled from a remote location, and has a non-computing primary function.” At first glance, this seems to simplified, but, when you bundle in smart appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.), smart home safety and security systems (sensors, monitors, cameras and alarm systems), and smart home energy equipment like smart thermostats and smart lighting, then you see where BI is going with their market estimates.
And, BI says by 2020, we will each have at least 100 connected “things per home.”
But, rightfully so, they’ve clearly identified the biggest obstacle to our growth — we’re literally in the chasm between the early adopter (or primary customer now) and the early majority (as defined by Geoffrey Moore’s classic business book, Crossing the Chasm
. Haven’t read it? Why the heck are you in our market then? Seriously, you should! But, in the meantime, here’s an article I wrote for Creative MAC magazine about the book and how it relates to us back in 2005
So, crossing the chasm between the early adopter and the early majority (aka mass market) is the key factor for explosive growth. And, the primary factors that will drive that are price and perceived benefit.
In the price category, no one can deny this isn’t going to happen. What used to take a $10,000 control system to do in the house can be done with an iPhone and $1,500 of hardware, software and programming fees. This is huge. But, by 2020, this will be closer to $300 or $400.
Then, the perceived benefit will be the only hurdle left to cross. And, then, according to BI, when people see the benefits of smart homes to family security, energy savings, convenience and entertainment, we’re there.
But, will we play? Will this all be relegated to the consumer market to capitalize on? Will we all have to keep focusing on the higher and higher end — eventually, the 0.5 percent?
I think not. I think our manufacturers will evolve.
In fact, if you look at this chart below, you’ll see that most people, no matter the age, want it “done for them” by someone else. Even with all the DIY stuff out there, we still want others to install and integrate the systems together. In fact, 53 percent of us want it all done for us and 21 percent more want to do very little of it themselves.
So, the key is NOT the product — it’s the work — the install and integration. Keep staying focused don making money on the services, and we will all have model that’s a win-win. They’re going to buy most (if not all of it) themselves, but even though you buy it on the Internet, the Internet can’t integrate it.
But, we do. And, if we keep doing the integration profitably, we’ll always be relevant.
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|InfoComm: Multi-channel Audio Goes Way Beyond 5.1|
By Dan Daley
Special to InfoComm International
If you’ve been to the movies lately, you may have noticed that your head’s been snapping back and forth a lot more. That’s because cinema has been the new frontier for the next generation of multi-channel sound systems.
The new audio formats — among them, Dolby’s Atmos, Barco’s Auro and DTS’ DTS:X — are the vanguard of the 3D immersive-sound universe. With immersive sound, highly directional audio, using as many as 22 or more discrete speakers, envelops listeners in an experiential environment — as aurally dazzling as 4K and 8K video purport to be visually. In fact, these new audio formats were developed, in part, to be a sonic complement to Ultra HD.
Each format has its own characteristics, although they all utilize some form of “object-based” mixing, which essentially assigns audio elements to specific speakers distributed throughout a space.
Dolby’s Atmos, which arrived in 2012, starts with a basic 7.1.2-channel “bed” from which objects can be placed anywhere in the three-dimensional sound field, based on speaker placement. In theaters, this configuration can extend to as many as 64 channels; at home, Dolby Atmos can support up to 34 channels (up to 24 ear-level speakers and up to 10 height speakers, above the listener).
Soundtracks for Barco’s Auro, which came along a year earlier than Atmos but was developed in Europe and had to wait for a U.S. distributor, are mixed for an 11-channel, three-dimensional soundstage. It envisions channels at ear level, above ear level (usually mounted high on a wall) and directly overhead.
DTS:X, which was introduced at the beginning of this year, is configured for up to 32 channels, but its processing is the key: The system will allocate audio objects based on whatever speaker configuration it encounters, algorithmically placing sounds as close to where the mixer intended them as it can. The DTS:X renderer will simply remap a soundtrack to whatever layout is in use, within a hemispherical layout.
What all these formats have in common is support for speaker placement at ceiling level, adding the height dimension to conventional surround sound.
In the Real World
People have been trying to create immersive audio environments at live events for decades. Perhaps best known were The Who’s live productions of their Quadrophenia LP in 1973, when PA guru Bob Heil placed speaker groups in each of a hall’s four corners and then, using a pair of linked mix consoles, was able to “fly” vocalist Roger Daltrey’s voice around the room, from speaker to speaker.
The effect received mixed reviews, but it set the stage for multichannel sound for a mass audience. In 1976, Logan’s Run introduced moviegoers to surround sound with Dolby Stereo, which despite its name was actually a four-channel audio system with two rear channels and a stereo front image, but which prompted an industrywide revamp of cinema-sound infrastructure. In 1992, the Dolby Digital Surround format added a third front-array channel to create the L-C-R array in front and a subwoofer channel that established the now-familiar 5.1 format.
DTS and Sony’s SDDS soon gave Dolby competition in the multichannel space. The 7.1 iteration added side speakers. Today’s immersive approach adds speaker elements for height and overhead sound.
However, challenges with using multichannel sound in live environments persist.
“Acoustics are the big problem with immersive audio, because it’s difficult to keep sound precisely located,” explains Brian Claypool, Vice President of Strategic Business Development for Barco. “It’s also expensive because of the number of speakers needed. Physics and cost work against it.”
Barco has applied immersive-sound technologies developed by Iosono, a German company it acquired in 2014 and integrated as Barco Audio Technologies, for corporate and showroom spaces. Iosono’s technology is based on wave-field synthesis, a spatial-audio rendering technique that can be used to create virtual acoustic environments. It produces artificial wave fronts, synthesized by a large number of individually-driven speakers, which seems to the listener to originate from a specific (though virtual) starting point.
Importantly, the localization of these virtual sources does not depend on or change with the listener’s position, allowing most people in an area to experience the movement of audio objects through space. Iosono technology was used for a retrospective of the work of music artist Björk at New York’s Museum of Modern Art this year, where sound was distributed through 25 B&W CT8.2 speakers ringing the perimeter of the room, 18 B&W AM-1 speakers on the ceiling and six B&W subwoofers.
“The waveform synthesis algorithms create a very personalized experience, depending upon where you are in the room,” says Claypool. “The Iosono core lets us control the directionality of the air pressure from each speaker, so we can precisely focus the sound.”
The Iosono system has been used at a number of other live events around the world, including at the Kazakhstan Pavilion at the World Expo 2015 in Milan, where it’s been deployed using a 42.4-speaker (42 object channels and four subwoofer channels) audio installation.
Gauging the Possibilities
Although Dolby’s Atmos has garnered lots of attention for its use in cinema applications (more than 200 films have been mixed using the technology), the company says there aren’t any use cases in live-event environments. Still, Brett Crockett, vice president of Dolby’s Audio Technology Group, says “Anywhere that audio can go, Atmos can go.”
To that point, Atmos recently rolled out for mobile use, including on the Lenovo A7000 smartphone and two tablets, the Lenovo TAB 2 A8 and the Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70. In a mobile-device application, a hardware encoder will take Atmos-certified content and recreate an object-oriented soundscape with conventional headphones. These types of devices are increasingly being integrated into live-event production, and as a result, Atmos may find its way into this space sooner than its developers envisioned.
Atmos is also a contender, along with the MPEG-H codec, fielded by Fraunhofer, Qualcomm and Technicolor, to become the audio codec for the next U.S. broadcast standard ATSC 3.0, expected to be announced later this year.
Geir Skaaden, senior vice president of corporate business development, digital content and media solutions at DTS, acknowledges that cinema will be the initial battlefield for the company’s DTS:X object-based audio format. (DTS dropped out of the ATSC 3.0 process in May.)
However, Skaaden adds, the potential for object-based audio in the live environment is considerable, especially in large-but-managed environments, such as theme parks. With current 5.1 technologies, he says, listeners get a location-dependent version of a surround-sound field, based on where they are relative to the sweet spot.
“With object-based sound, we’ll have the ability to give everyone the same experience anywhere in the room, or give everyone a different experience in different locations, if that’s your creative intent,” he says. “Object-based audio lets you deliver both direct and ambient sound that’s fully immersive. What can be done in a live space hasn’t even been imagined yet.”
See more here.
This column is reprinted with permission from InfoComm International and originally appeared here.Leave a Comment
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|New Company b3pro Aims to Help Integrators with ServicesDubbed b3pro, a new company is an alliance of companies formed to help integrators with business tools, advice and group deals. b3pro (building better businesses) fills a hole that they say exists in the market to help with services — not products.|
Billed as a one-stop shop for all non-product-related business services that owners need to grow profits in their system integration companies, b3pro service providers offer website design, digital marketing tools, business and proposal software, sales tools, accounting services, labor management tools, network design support, remote network monitoring, recurring revenue solutions, strategic planning and more.
b3pro was started by Marilyn Sanford, a CEDIA fellow and long time owner of La Scala.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Just Add Power to Debut 3G Ultra HD Over IP to Debut at CEDIA 2015Just Add Power will debut (3G) Ultra HD over IP transmitters and receivers with built-in 4K scaler at CEDIA. According to Just Add Power (and these are big claims), 3G Ultra HD over IP can simultaneously deliver multiple sources of 4K content with HDCP 2.2 from HDMI 2.0 devices, as well as 1080p and lower content from HDMI 1.x devices, to a “virtually” unlimited number of screens (HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 1.x) over a local area network and Cat 5e / 6 cabling infrastructure. The transmitters and receivers claim a low 22ms of video encode / decode latency over the network and, with the on-board scaler on the RX (receiver) performing switching between any resolution of source content.|Leave a Comment
The 3G receivers apparently have a built in 4K scaler that can be used to convert 2160p (4K) content to 1080p for display on 1080p HDMI 1.x monitors or projectors and scale a 1080p image to 2160p for display on a 4K-capable screen. The built-in scaler has HDCP handling that enables all content to be shown on any display regardless of its resolution and HDCP version.
One of the interesting approaches that Just Add Power is using with this is that they market that “unlike other IP-based video distribution products, there is no mandatory upgrade to 10 Gigabit managed switches required” — basically, they are using compression to do what they do, so there’s a trade-off. While 3G is compatible with fiber networks, you can still integrate the 3G transmitters and receivers over a standard Cat 5e/6 cabling and a Gigabit managed switch infrastructure to create a 4K-capable HDMI video matrix of any size, from 2×2 to 4,000×65,000, that allows for easy distribution of HDMI 2.0 devices to non-HDMI 2.0 displays and vice versa. Their 3G products also support uncompressed multi-channel audio formats including Dolby Atmos, compressed multi-channel audio and stereo.
Here are all the detailed specs.
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|Channel Vision to Debut Audio Matrix|
Channel Vision will debut an integrated audio matrix that features control over Wi-Fi from a Smartphone, tablet or computer and allows more integration options into other whole house audio systems than previous models.
Channel Vision’s A4403 Integrated Audio Matrix includes four inputs and up to 16 output zones. Each input zone features a separate TOSLINK digital optical audio input to avoid loss of music quality. The matrix’s switching controls and other basic functions can be managed from an app on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The new integrated audio matrix will now function with a master controller that features serial control as well as compatibility with Channel Vision’s IR remote control and volume control keypads.
The new switcher is expected to ship by November and here are the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Linn Unveils Series 5 — All-New Stylish Systems|
Linn is introducing at CEDIA Expo a new line of speakers with what Linn calls “world-class sound with previously unachievable levels of personalization.”
Thanks to its Exakt technology, the new Series 5 offers completely customizable music systems. With a Linn Fabrik covered design, it is possible to choose a tailor-made solution that complements the décor of any home and optimizes for the best performance in the room.
For the launch of Series 5, Linn has designed the first Linn Fabrik collection, consisting of three stylish weaves and eleven colors. With a variety of subtle and bright tones, and the ability to change the cover whenever the customer likes, there’s a Linn Fabrik to complement the décor of any home. Linn has partnered with iconic fabric designers Timorous Beasties and Harris Tweed Hebrides to create new speaker cover collections that are due for release in early 2016. More collections will be launching throughout 2016 and beyond, so it will be possible to update a Series 5 speaker with new Linn Fabriks that will match the changing design of a customer’s home.
Linn also says that using its Space Optimization+ technology, Series 5 speakers can be placed wherever they look best in the room, removing the need to place speakers in the optimal position for sound quality. This powerful technology eliminates the unwanted distorting effects of every room to reveal the true sound of the music.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Transformative Engineering’s New Audio Injector Allows Substitution of Audio Signals in HDMI Signal Path|
Transformative Engineering (TE) has introduced the HAI-1 Audio Injector, a patent-pending device that allows the user to substitute audio in an HDMI signal path. Typical applications include injecting the center channel information so a TV’s speakers can be used as the center channel. Another use may be injecting a local microphone pre-amp signal in an educational or corporate environment to utilize the TV’s internal amplifier and speakers. This eliminates the need and cost of another separate amplifier, speakers, and installation.
The HAI-1 has one HDMI input and one output, stereo RCA line-level inputs and speaker audio inputs. In center-channel applications, speaker input would be connected to an AV receiver’s center-channel output. The RCA jacks are used to inject line-level mono or stereo signals into the HDMI signal. They may be used to play independent audio sources such as a local microphone for narration or CD/MP3 player for background music through the TV’s audio system. The HAI-1 also has a USB port for firmware updates.
The Transformative Engineering HAI-1 will debut at CEDIA and lists for $199. The details will be posted here after CEDIA.Leave a Comment
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|Classé Sigma Adds New 350W Mono AmplifierClassé has announced the expansion of its Sigma series adding a mono amplifier. The Sigma MONO is rated at 350W into 8 ohms and 700W into 4 ohms. A special pass-thru feature allows the input signal to be forwarded to a second amplifier for bi-amplifying or to drive a subwoofer amplifier. This allows the amplifiers to be located closer to each speaker: a single long interconnect can be used to connect the pre-amp to the first amp, followed by a short interconnect to the second Sigma MONO — or even a third and a fourth.|
The $4,000 Sigma MONO will be available in October. Here are all the stats.Leave a Comment
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|Spiral Groove Ships New Flagship SG1.2 TurntableSpiral Groove today announced the availability of its new top of the line Spiral Groove SG1.2 turntable, which incorporates a host of upgrades from the previous SG1.1. The SG1.2 features a new platter, isolation feet, damping material and various other parts and, according to Spiral Groove, an improved magnetic platter levitation system to deliver significantly improved sound quality and performance. And, the increased weight of the new platter adds more impact to the bass and a bit more focus and depth to imaging.|
The SG1.2’s new turntable feet, based upon the design of Spiral Groove’s Strange Attractor isolation feet, and the 20 pounds of additional weight provided by the upgrades contribute to the turntable’s improved isolation and reduced noise floor.
The SG1.2 is engineered using Spiral Groove’s Balanced Force Design approach, aimed at achieving the most elegant equilibrium of materials, performance, function, manufacturability and beauty.
The body of the SG1.2 utilizes two separate constrained layer platforms, separated by elastomers that mechanically decouple the two assemblies, forming a dense, rigid and well-damped, non-resonant platform to which the working parts of the turntable can be precisely mounted and isolated from one another.
The SG1.2 offers electronically selectable 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speed control. The low voltage/high-torque AC synchronous motor is decoupled from the rest of the turntable for exceptionally quiet record playback. The inverted sapphire disc/hardened steel bearing and platter assembly is mounted in a manner that allows the platter to rotate freely without flexure or noise, and the platter is driven at the fulcrum of the bearing for wobble-free rotation. The platter utilizes an oversize stainless steel drive ring to provide increased inertia and speed stability.
The tonearm mounting board of the SG1.2 is fitted with a stainless steel bayonet mounting system that is easily removed from the turntable with the push of a button, enabling multiple arm and cartridge combinations to be pre-set up and readily swapped and installed, with perfect alignment every time.
The Spiral Groove SG1.2 is currently available at a suggested retail price of $30,000. Here are all the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Need an HDMI 2.0 Test Tool?Over the past few years, UHD TVs have been a mix of HDCP 2.2 and 1.4, 300MHz and 600MHz — even to the point of varying by port. AVPro has developed a new test tool, the Murideo Fresco SIX-G, for the AV integration market to confirm HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliance at the 18 GBP/sec level.|
A partial list of features includes:
- HDMI 2.0 — 600 MHz — 2160P60 4:4:4 maximum resolution
- Video Bandwidth — 18 GBP/sec.
- HDCP Selectable — 2.2, 1.4, None — Confirms if the system will work or not
- Hot Plug Detect & HDCP lights
- Portable/Battery Operated
- Over 100 patterns for setup, calibration and troubleshooting
- ISF Certified — includes ISF Test Patterns like PLUGE, Chroma Multiburst, Color Girls & more.
- EDID Read/Write Functionality
- Audio Confidence Tests
- Optimized Ergonomics — 3” Color OLED Display, Simplified Menus CalMan Supported
- 48 Bit per Pixel Color Depth Available
- USB Control & PC Software for navigation enhancement.
The SIX-G takes the guess work out of installation, troubleshooting and calibrating, delivering absolute information about HDMI components that will work and ID ones that won’t work — all in a hand-held, portable field tool — at a price for field service.
Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HomeAV Edition 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% opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the high-end HomeAV 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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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 HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA, launched in February, 2004.
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