Volume 12, Issue 23 — December 9, 2015
|AV Programming Sucks|
By Alan Vezina
In my previous post, The AV Industry Needs to Open Up, I talked about two reasons why it is difficult to become an AV programmer — proprietary hardware and certifications. Today, I am going to talk about the biggest reason there is a shortage of quality AV programmers: sub-par tools.
For AV programmers there are two main platforms, Crestron and AMX. There are other platforms too, but to keep this article short I’ll be talking mostly about the Crestron and AMX platforms. Within the two platforms you have two options: proprietary languages created by the manufacturer, or a supported open language that can run on their hardware.
Let’s start with the proprietary languages. Crestron has SIMPL and SIMPL+ and AMX has Netlinx. SIMPL isn’t so much of a programming language as it is a visual tool that allows you to build logic for your processors. SIMPL can get some jobs done, but is often inadequate for complex jobs. Due to SIMPL’s nature as a visual language it is not compatible with version control software like Git or Subversion, and makes it difficult to work in teams.
You don’t have to use these proprietary languages though. Crestron supports C# via SIMPL Sharp, and AMX supports Java — two very open, very useful languages. Unfortunately for AV programmers, the implementations supported by the manufacturers are terribly outdated.
Crestron launched C# support with its 3-Series line of processors, the first of which was released in 2011. The problem with SIMPL Sharp is with the supported version of C#. You see with SIMPL Sharp, you’re locked into Visual Studio 2008, which means when SIMPL Sharp was released it was already obsolete — Visual Studio 2010 had already been out for a year. With Visual Studio 2008 you get to use C# version 3.0, the most recent version being 6.0. AV programmers are missing out on some seriously great features: optional parameters, named arguments, async programming (which is super useful in AV), the Safe Navigation Operator and more. This is ridiculous.
And then there’s Java with AMX, which is even worse. In order to use Java with AMX, you need to purchase a copy of Cafe Duet, a set of extensions for the Eclipse Java IDE. The latest release of Cafe Duet was in 2005, 10 years ago. It runs on Eclipse 3.1.0 to 3.1.2, which are also 10 years old and absolutely terrible (I know from experience). When I write Java, I use Intellij IDEA, which is arguably the best IDE on the market. If you’re an AMX programmer, you don’t get to choose your IDE; your only choice is one that is 10 years old. This is ridiculous.
Even if that wasn’t so bad, you’re locked to Java 1.4, which is more than 13 years old, and hasn’t been supported by Oracle since 2008. The feature gap between Java 1.4 and 1.8 is huge. Java 1.5 introduced enums and generics. Every Java project I have ever worked on has made liberal use of enums and generics. I didn’t even know that there was a version of Java without generics. Language features aren’t my only concern either: Java 1.6 was so notoriously insecure that Java applets are now disabled by default on all major browsers. Apple has repeatedly disabled Java on OS X. This is ridiculous.
You want to know why you can’t find any AV programmers? Because no one wants to work in an environment where they’re given obsolete and proprietary tools, which are locked to expensive hardware, and can only be acquired by dealers. When I start a new project I get full control of my tech stack. I can experiment with new languages and new frameworks. With the current state of AV programming, you get to work with tools that are decades old. Fresh college graduates don’t want to work with tools that were released years before they were even in high school, and they definitely don’t want to get a certification to do it either.
So how the hell did this happen? Well, I have a theory: AV programmers don’t make the manufacturers any money, so they don’t want to spend the time or energy investing in building better tools. In a recent interview, Crestron’s CEO Randy Klein said, “We used to be a control system and touch panel manufacturer – today, those account for only 10 percent of our total business.”
I’m certain the same is true for AMX, especially considering the companies it’s acquired such as AutoPatch and SVSI. The big players make their money selling hardware, and why shouldn’t they? Products like SVSI are great, Crestron’s video transports are particularly nice and they both have many more product lines.
There are a few things manufacturers can do to show they care about the programming community. First, they can open up their tools for anyone to use, regardless of certifications. Second, they can open up the developer support forums, and encourage the community to post on other sites like StackOverflow. It would be amazing to see manufacturers create a process that allows the community to submit feature proposals, similar to Python’s PEP system. Creating an open atmosphere for developers to work in will inspire a great deal of innovation within the community.
If the AV industry wants to attract new high quality talent, it needs to treat programmers with respect, not neglect. Programmers want and need better tools. Better tools will attract better developers, which in turn will spark greater levels of innovation in this industry. With better tools and more innovation everyone wins, the customers, the manufacturers and the developers.
Alan Vezina is a co-founder and CTO of Jydo, a browser-based audiovisual control company. Reach him on Twitter @fancysandwiches.Leave a Comment
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|Open Source Culture|
By Mark Coxon
Sometimes the genesis of a blog is a funny thing. I listened to a TedX talk about a month ago on open source culture, and immediately had the inspiration to write this piece but just hadn’t found the time yet. Then last week, Alan Vezina of Jydo, a company I’ve heard of but still need a lesson in how to pronounce, wrote a great piece about how The AV Industry Needs to Open Up which spurred me to finally get this posted. Alan’s article dealt mostly with programming and proprietary hardware for control systems and played off of some great pieces on programming posted lately on rAVe. However, the call to “Open Up” and the potential benefits for AV of doing so extend way beyond the subject of programming.
Before we go forward there though, let’s go back.
I geek out on podcasts, especially TedX. I subscribe to TedX radio on my iPhone, so I often listen while driving, (I use that word to describe sitting in a parking lot on the 405) across LA and OC. One of these shows was on Open Source Culture.
One of the guests was Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web (W3) while at CERN. For many of us, there wouldn’t even be any thought of the W3 having a competitor, but in the beginning it did. Gopherspace. Gopher was a protocol developed by the University of Minnesota and at one time was dominating the W3. I won’t go into all the details, as that is what Wikipedia is for, but there was one very interesting turn of events that changed the course for Gopherspace and allowed the W3 to achieve victory.
Gopherspace wanted to start charging license fees. As a reaction, in April 1993, CERN released a statement saying that it would release the rights to any royalties on the W3 protocol and that it would remain free and open to anyone. The rest, as they say, is history.
It seems that proprietary protocols are actually a hindrance to growth, despite some of the innate technical advantages that may be conferred by owning the whole chain from beginning to end.
Just Add Power for instance has been in the Video over IP space for quite a while, and has some products that perform extremely well. They went head to head with HDBaseT products in 2013 at my video extender challenge and passed 2560x1080p easily at that time. However, despite their successes and early mover advantage, they’ve never really exploded into the space. This year they came out with an even better version of their product, one that their marketing team reached out to me about. It seems like an amazing piece of technology that supports UHD and 4K at 60 HZ (although not at full bit depth) and has low latency. Are they doing this through the new HEVC H.265 or an MPEG4 or JPEG2000 standard? No. They are using their “own proprietary algorithm”, and this may be the hurdle to mass adoption. The devices aren’t cross compatible with others as they don’t use industry standard encoding and decoding strategies. According to Just Add Power, “After enjoying 20+ years of independent product development and design, we prefer to have the freedom and flexibility to pursue continuous improvement. Once you adopt/embrace a so-called ‘compatible industry standard’, your hands are tied.” I can’t argue their point that owning the chain can ensure more control over the end product, but I can say that it also may have an affect on your addressable market.
I have argued that Apple’s HomeKit project may hit the same barriers, given they require HomeKit products to all become MFi licensees and produce hardware to their specs. Now Apple has a history of flipping business models based on iTunes, but I’m not sure the tactic will work when competing in the home control market against Google and the Android/Nest ecosystem without these same restrictions. My guess would be that the more open system wins. I mean how many of you have Nest thermostats and how many have Ecobee models? Exactly.
Let’s be honest, if you’ve been in the AV integration business for any length of time, you’ve been plagued by products that use varying, proprietary standards. Nowhere was this more evident than in the Cat5/6 based HDMI extender market. Some worked, others didn’t, some needed low skew cable, and some, worst of all worked on some jobs and then failed for no apparent reasons on others. This is why HDBaseT was so welcome in our industry, even before it was a standard. With all the manufacturers using the same chip, the potential for a positive outcome became exponentially better and cross compatibility at least became an option. (We won’t discuss the 5-Play variations here, that’s a whole other piece).
To take the HDBaseT story a step further, the HDBaseT Alliance eventually made HDBaseT an IEEE standard. This was a good move as it gives the protocol some IEEE clout, something that may be helpful in getting IT managers to adopt and accept these products on their networks, although the signals cannot be passed through existing network switches. Again, there could be a whole other blog on this topic, (and there will be), but even with the IEEE endorsement, I believe HDBaseT has limited themselves by not being route-able through and existing network switch.
I asked the Alliance about this potential missed opportunity and they related that the ethernet standard has 7 layers, and each layer has their own committee. If you’ve ever suffered death by committee, imagine trying to do anything through seven of them. This coupled with the fact that ethernet wasn’t created with streaming HD video in mind, and I can sympathize with the decision to create a whole new methodology. It enabled them to act without the constraints or politics of the old standard and its committees and to create a whole new standard that may help their technology proliferate. Given Valens is the only one making the HDBaseT chip currently, and they are about to release their 2.0 version soon, opening up the communication protocol as a standard helped them more than it hurt them. They will still sell the same amount of chips, that is unless someone decides to enter the arena and play catch up. This is really an in between strategy, as its not open source, but its not 100% proprietary either.
If you look at Crestron and Extron, two companies known for the proprietary nature of their systems, even they have started to soften on their traditional “end to end” stance on system design and support. Initially, Crestron marketed HDBaseT as DM, 8G, DM4K etc somewhat disguising their HDBaseT underpinnings. Now however, they have started to de-emphasize the need for a “receiver” at each display device and start to promote the use of their transmitters in conjunction with integrated HDBaseT ports on display devices. Extron has taken their HDBaseT products originally branded as DTP and added the ability to select HDBaseT modes as well as created a whole page stressing HDBaseT compatibility.
So perhaps the move at least towards standards is happening, although standards are not quite the same as open source. We’re also creating more standards beside existing standards, which really doesn’t help a ton either. To get real momentum, we need multiple companies or groups of products all making shifts towards using the same things, and not just getting their already proprietary methodology certified by IEEE to make it a “standard.” It’s only standard if others are using it.
If we create a truly open environment, that everyone can design to, then we can realize the true potential of our spaces. It is ironic that our industry has been “selling” Unified Communications to our customers for their businesses that utilize systems that are rarely unified and many times can’t communicate with each other very well.
Now that consumer facing manufacturers like Apple and Google are selling systems direct to the end user, it has become even more important to create differentiation in the commercial AV space. If we are just proposing an alternate “silo” based system, tying a customer to a line of products that we sell but they have never heard of, they may very well continue to utilize the packaged off the shelf systems from internet and embrace their limitations instead. After all, what are we offering that is different?
However, if our AV manufacturing partners can break down their barriers to communication, and create a cross compatible ecosystem with the reliability and redundancy of their legacy proprietary counterparts, why wouldn’t we want to do that? At some point, we all have to work together to save the industry as a whole. If we continue to live in the “silo mindset” so that we can fight it out in a diminishing market, we’ll be out of business before we know it. However, if we can cooperate and create innovation among ourselves, we can effectively fight off the proliferation of consumer devices, by making our experience not only easy and universal, but also better.
Just a thought. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.Leave a Comment
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|Schadenfreude and the Art of Fixing Other People’s Mistakes|
By Lee Distad
Clients left in the lurch by AV pros who had no business ever calling themselves an AV pro in the first place is a very real issue in this business.
As AV pros, we often feel a sense of schadenfreude (perverse joy at someone else’s misery) when looking at pictures of botched projects. I know that I do. But the disasters left behind by trunkslammers and contractors who are one step ahead of their creditors leave a bad taste in client’s mouths and tarnish the image of the entire channel.
Maybe it’s the economy, but recently one of my long-time friends in the business (who didn’t wish to go on the record) observed that in the past six months his company had been called upon to pick up the pieces of what he characterized as “a lot” of botched and half-finished projects.
Like myself, my friend prefers to see opportunity and upside. These unfortunate stories present opportunities for competent AV pros to make clients-for-life by making it all better.
Interestingly, in many cases, the prospective client is a lot less price sensitive than they might have been initially. After all, price shopping may have been what put them into this mess. As another veteran AV pro once characterized it to me, many times the client says, “The heck with it, I’ve already sunk twenty grand into this. I don’t care, just make it work!”
Back to my friend and his company, he shared with me two examples he’d seen recently of projects left unfinished that they had been asked to fix.
In the first instance he describes a very large two-story building whose prewire had over 200 wire drops with no documentation and no labeling. It took two techs four entire days to validate and label all the lines in the building.
But that’s trivial compared to the next story.
Far more serious, was another project that came their way. The homeowner had actually contacted the automation vendor at their U.S. office, who referred them to my friend’s company.
By the time the client called, he had sunk over fifty grand into their system and, amazingly, was still unaware of just how badly done it was. The reason they had called the automation vendor, besides the fact that their contractor was nowhere to be found, was that “the sound quality wasn’t very good.”
It turned out that the reason for that was that a single run of 12/2 speaker wire ran from the rack location into the attic. In the attic the techs found the line ran into a sealed Ziploc bag, stuffed with silica gel anti-moisture packets, in which there was an off-the-shelf Radio Shack 12-way impedance matching speaker selector switch, with all the buttons pushed in, with lines running out to the 12 speaker locations in the house. Out of a 30-watt distribution amp they were getting maybe 2 watts per speaker. Astonishing.
In the end, the team overhauled it, added almost all new gear, fished all new wiring (in a 100 year old home to boot) and racked everything properly. The client ended up with what they should have had in the first place: a beautiful proper system that they can enjoy and show off to their friends.
Image via AV Advisor
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|CEDIA Offers Network Training
Build the networking skills you need to perform more efficient installs with less unbillable time spent at the jobsite.
If you are spending eight hours on what should be a one-hour service call, you are missing out on other job opportunities. If you are hiring a subcontractor to install your customers’ network and bringing in an outside firm to support your customers’ network, you are costing yourself money. Take back control of your projects by learning the networking skills you need — and that homeowners expect you to have to ensure their home network is working for them.
When it comes to designing, installing, and maintaining a robust home network, time is money. By gaining these networking skills, you will capitalize on more revenue opportunities in the future.
CEDIA has partnered with Volutone to offer a series of networking workshops throughout 2015. The final workshop in the series, Intermediate & Advanced Network Training Workshops, is coming to the following cities in December:
Please note: Attendance at the first and second workshops is not a requirement.
- 9:00 a.m. – Noon: Remote System Access: Methods, Security & Best Practices
- Noon – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch (Included in workshop fee)
- 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Tailoring Network Performance with VLANs & QoS
Regular pricing for this workshop is $280. CEDIA members pay just $196 – a 30 percent savings. Register by December 11 to save an additional $20!Leave a Comment
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|CEDIA’s Tech Forum London ReviewOver 120 industry professionals attended the CEDIA Tech Forum and AGM on 25th November at the British Library, where they benefited from a full day of training, and enjoyed an informative keynote speech from Frost & Sullivan. For CEDIA members, the day concluded with CEDIA revealing its new EMEA Board of Directors and announcing exciting industry news, including an accreditation with City & Guilds and its plan of creating a Smart Home Wiring Standard.
This year, event sponsors, Aldous Systems, Anthem AV Solutions, AWE, Genesis, Gira, Habitech, Loxone, Lutron, Meridian, Orluna, Teleste and Wyrestorm showcased their latest products and innovations, whilst a selection also held product and technical training throughout the day. These well attended sessions provided an insight into LED lighting, a guide to Home Cinema Solutions and other industry topics.
Following a full day of training, over 80 members attended the AGM, where CEDIA provided a detailed review of its education, marketing, membership growth and finance activities in 2015. CEDIA revealed that 128 companies have joined the trade body in 2015 so far, bringing the total up to 714, its highest point ever for the region. International membership continues to grow, and the EMEA office now represents members across 40 countries.
This comes after CEDIA revealed its major rebrand last month at the CEDIA Expo in Dallas. As part of CEDIA’s investment into a major awareness campaign to leverage better communication between integrators, manufacturers, distributors, specifiers and consumers, this new brand strategy and sophisticated visual identity will better represent both the industry and its membership to a wider and more relevant audience. In line with its new awareness campaign, CEDIA EMEA announced an investment with international marketing agency, Purestone, to push CEDIA’s message further into the specifier and consumer markets in 2016 and beyond.
CEDIA also revealed news on reaching its latest education milestone in being recognised by City and Guilds. This new development means that those who successfully complete either a Smart Home Technician or a Smart Home Designer pathway will receive a joint certification from CEDIA and City & Guilds and become accredited within this area.
Another big announcement at the AGM was the news that CEDIA is working with the British Standards Institution to produce a British Standard PAS (Publicly Available Specification) for smart home wiring. The aim is to turn CEDIA’s Smart Home Recommended Wiring Guidelines into a British Standard that will increase professionalism and awareness in the industry.
The AGM concluded by revealing CEDIA’s new Board of Directors. Four new members have joined CEDIA’s board, including Philip Turner (Philharmonic Audio Visual Ltd, UK), Sawan Nichani (MacBee, India), Rob Sutherland (Inspired Dwellings, UK) and Melanie Malcolm (Bespoke Home Cinemas, UK). Re-elected members, Laura Lazzerini (Studio LgL, Italy), Hamish Neale (Barco Residential, UK) and Tom Butler (Artcoustic, UK), once again join Kris Hogg, CEDIA Chair, Giles Sutton (James + Giles, UK) and Christiaan Beukes (Sphere Custom Design & Installation, South Africa) to complete the CEDIA EMEA Board of Directors.Leave a Comment
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|New CEDIA EMEA Board Announced|Leave a Comment
After counting the votes, CEDIA revealed the new EMEA Board of Directors at its recent AGM and Tech Forum that took place on Wednesday 25th November at The British Library in London.
Out of the impressive selection of nominees, CEDIA members voted for their fellow peers whom they believed will make a significant contribution to the future of the industry. The new Board will represent the organisation and serve all members, helping to promote the smart home industry.
The new Board has representation drawn from across the EMEA countries including the UK, India, Italy and South Africa. New members appointed to the Board include Melanie Malcolm from Bespoke Home Cinemas (HTP), Rob Sutherland of Inspired Dwellings (HTP), Sawan Nichani from MacBee (HTP) and Philip Turner of Philharmonic Audio Visual (HTP).
Re-elected to the 2016 Board are Hamish Neale from Barco Residential EMEA (TS), Laura Lazzerini of Studio LgL (HTP) and Tom Butler from Artcoustic (TS). The new CEDIA Board will support existing Chair, Kris Hogg, from Sheffield-based Konnectiv (HTP), and Christiaan Beukes, owner of South African-based home automation company, Sphere Custom Design (HTP) and Giles Sutton Managing Director of James and Giles Ltd (HTP).
“On behalf of CEDIA EMEA, I am delighted to welcome the new and returning CEDIA Board members for 2016,” comments Wendy Griffiths, Executive Director of CEDIA EMEA. “As the leading organisation for the smart home industry, CEDIA plays a vital role in shaping the direction of the industry, regulating the Association’s activities and representing the home technology profession across the EMEA. This year, the Board represents a fantastic geographical spread across the region. Together, we look forward to introducing more initiatives that are focused on delivering value for the industry as a whole.”
Melanie Malcolm has been involved in the AV industry since 1995, building her co-owned business Bespoke Home Cinemas. Having been a CEDIA member for nearly 10 years, Melanie has a lifelong passion for the industry, its education and future developments. With a wealth of experience in the sales, marketing, networking and AV industry, Melanie hopes to use her new position as Board member to grow a solid support network of professionals to the highest of standards.
After seeing opportunity to bring corporate standards of infrastructure to the burgeoning home technology market, Rob Sutherland successfully set up Inspired Dwellings eight years ago. With CEDIA membership a key objective of the company from the start, Rob became an Outreach Instructor and delivered CEDIA CPDs. Rob currently sits on the Industry Relations committee.
Sawan Nichani has very quickly immersed himself in all that is CEDIA. As well as backing the Indian training initiative, Sawan emulates all that is looked for in a CEDIA individual; he maintains a good business, has great insight into his marketplace and possesses a strong ethical understanding and stance in his market. Sawan has been instrumental in facilitating the membership growth in India, which has increased by 280% in the last three years, establishing this region as the fourth largest market for CEDIA. Most recently, Sawan picked up the accolade for Best Home Cinema over £100,000 at this year’s CEDIA Awards.
Philip Turner was first introduced to the world of AV as a client, after he discovered a passion for home automation technology. Thwarted by poor customer experience, Philip founded Philharmonic Audio Visual, in conjunction with attending as many CEDIA courses as possible, to create a business that provided both exceptional installations and service. Continually surprised by the lack of education and knowledge of what fantastic things can be achieved in the home with CI technology, he is focused on being an educator to the specifiers his company works with. Phillip was awarded Best Media Room over £15,000 at the 2014 CEDIA Awards for a project in South West London.
Tom Butler joined the board two years ago, while Hamish Neale has sat on the board for three years, and Laura Lazzerini has been involved since 2011. During this time, each member has become familiar with what the role requires from them, and has contributed in a positive manner, driving new and existing initiatives forward. Their experience in the industry and knowledge of what CEDIA members are looking to get out of their membership has been invaluable.
The CEDIA Board of Directors defines the Association’s vision and identifies its strategic direction. It is responsible for maintaining a dialogue with members, making sure CEDIA’s strategic principles remain relevant to the industry and reflect members’ ever-evolving needs.
The results were announced at the CEDIA AGM, which took place at the British Library. CEDIA EMEA is here.
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|Auralex Ships SonoLite Kits|
Auralex Acoustics has started shipping the SonoLite product range. Modeled after the company’s Studiofoam Roominator Kits, SonoLite SonoKits are modular configurations of Auralex’s SonoLite Panels and SonoLite Bass Traps. They offer the same performance as the Studiofoam, with a velour fabric covering. SonoLite SonoKits are marketed as a cost-effective, acoustical kit for home theaters and corporate production studios.
The SonoLite SonoKit-1, suggested for rooms 228 square feet and smaller, includes:
- Eight SonoLite Panels
- Two SonoLite Bass Traps
- 40 EZ-Stick Pro tabs
The SonoLite SonoKit-2, suggest for rooms 228 square feet and larger, includes:
- 12 SonoLite Panels
- Four SonoLite Bass Traps
- 64 EZ-Stick Pro tabs
SonoLite Cloud Panels are configurations of 2′ x 4′ panels that can be flown individually or arrayed to form a 6′ x 4′ cloud. Assembly hardware with fly points included.
Auralex’s SonoLite panels are fabric-wrapped Studiofoam Pro acoustical absorption panels that provide broad-band frequency control. SonoLite panels are available in packages of two and are a great way to add additional absorption to the SonoKits. SonoLite panels can be used for wall or ceiling applications, and SonoLite Bass Trap panels, sold individually, can be installed in either vertical or horizontal orientations where walls and ceilings meet. Auralex’s proprietary Studiofoam Pro is used in the SonoLite panel to maximize absorption performance in its one-inch thickness. Studiofoam is also used in the three-inch-thick Bass Trap panel to optimize low frequency performance, resulting in highly effective control preventing bass build-up and cancellation that would mask your room’s true low-frequency character.
SonoLite Panels features include:
- Wall mounted acoustical absorption panels
- Reduce unwanted acoustical reflections
- Tame chaotic reverberation
- Affordable absorption solution for professional and residential settings
- EZ-Stick Pro mounting tabs included
SonoLite panels specs include:
- SonoLite Dimensions: 1″ thick x 2′ wide x 2′ tall
- SonoLite Bass Traps Dimensions: 3″ thick x 2′ wide x 2′ tall
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All SonoLite products are available in tan or black and specific specs are here
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|SnapAV’s Strong Launches Improved Rack LineSnapAV’s Strong line has just announced the launch of their revamped Custom and Evolve series racks, designed specifically for custom AV installers. The redesigned product lines, with improvements based on dealer feedback, demonstrate Strong’s commitment to continuously providing innovative and high quality products with features that make every installation faster and easier. Strong says that changes to these products are expected to deliver improvements in ease of install, quality and user experience.
The Strong product line, sold exclusively through SnapAV, is comprised of both pre-built and custom built in-cabinet, wall mount, and floor standing racks and enclosures. All products, including redesigned Custom and Evolve series racks, are available on the company’s website here.Leave a Comment
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|K-array Ships Three New SpeakersK-array’s KU26 compact subwoofers, integrated with one 6” Neodymium transducer and one 6” passive radiator, are now shipping. With a frequency range of 45Hz to 300Hz, the KU26 is a companion for the K-array Lyzard, Vyper and Tornado speakers. Its Neodymium transducer has a double voice coil (16 Ω + 16 Ω) for selectable impedance settings allowing users to combine up to eight KU26 units powered by just one channel of the KA84 amplifier.
The KU26 has been designed to extend the low range in small to medium size rooms. Applications vary from hotels and churches to pubs and restaurants as well as stores and conferences.
K-array has also created a thin subwoofer to complement the Slim Array Technology incorporated in its speakers. The KU44 line array element is an extremely compact, array-able bass element designed to combine with mid-high speakers to provide a full range frequency response with prodigious output in a virtually invisible profile.The line source sub has a frequency range of 50 Hz to 150Hz and is comprised of two 4” Neodymium transducers and two 4” passive radiators engineered for maximum linear excursion and minimum residual noise. For easier use and integration with all KA amplifiers, the KU44 allows the user to choose between two different values of impedance (8/32 Ω). At 32 Ω, as many as eight KU44 units can be powered off a single KA amplifier channel.
KU44 is made entirely of steel, making it extremely resistant even when deployed outside in tough weather conditions. This is ideal for water-front environments where ordinary bass speakers would corrode. It is also impregnable by foreign objects like dust, sand or water, which over time can damage an ordinary audio element. A variety of dedicated hardware accessories provide architects with numerous mounting options for permanent and portable installations best suited for theaters and other venues where invisible line arrays are ideal.
Installing a line array of KU44 subwoofers at the side or behind a line array of Kobras creates a full-range sound source with true line array characteristics down to 50 Hz.
The KA14 is a versatile amplifier, easily adaptable for small applications that do not require a lot of power. Responding to the need of a simple solution for those who do not have a lot of additional resources, the KA14 is a complete system with a mixer, processor and amplifier.
The KA14 features four fully independent and configurable output channels (four 300-watt channels @ 4 Ω). The integrated DSP offers EQ, Matrix, Levels, Delays and a Limiter to avoid the need for external additional processors. The front panel has an easy-to-use touchscreen that gives access to all the basic functions for quick setup and corrections. The KA14 can be used as a mixer for fixed installations thanks to the XLR and RCA analog inputs.
An onboard K-array speaker preset library provides configuration for endless combinations of the Lyzard, Vyper, Tornado and Rumble loudspeakers. All DSP functions are remote controlled via the K-framework software over USB connector. The amplifier is built into a 2U lightweight, aluminum chassis and come with a kit of removable rack adapters and four rubber pads for flat surfaces. KA amplifiers feature optical limiters, and protection against overheating, overcurrent and short circuits.
More information on K-Array products is here.Leave a Comment
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|Just Add Power Announces 2G+4+ Video Tiling ProcessorThe Just Add Power 2G+4+ video tiling processor is a 1U rackmountable 2G+4+ device with ImagePlay, shown at this year’s CEDIA Expo in Dallas, which can take four or more HDMI sources and display them on a single screen (or multiple single screens) in 1080p in an array of viewing modes. A single source device can be displayed full screen, four sources can be displayed in quad view, or four sources can be arranged as one large tile with three smaller tiles positioned horizontally or vertically along the bottom or side. The 2G+4+ tiler is an incredibly flexible device that can be implemented in any installation scenario that requires HDMI video matrixing and multi-view / video tiling in tandem, whatever its size.
Aimed at the HomeAV “man cave” market but also with applications in conference rooms, the 2G+4+ video tiler can be distributed to and accessed on every TV in your client’s home by being integrated alongside a HDMI over IP matrix, comprised of Just Add Power’s second generation (2G/2G+/2G+AVPro) of IP-based transmitters and receivers plus a Layer 3 Gigabit Managed Switch.
As well as being accessible on any number of single screens, the 2G+4+ tiler can be shown on Just Add Power video walls (from 2×2 to 16×6 in size). Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|New Crestron DigitalMedia I/O Cards Enable Distribution of HDCP 2.2 Protected 4K ContentCrestron is now shipping five new HDCP 2.2 compliant DigitalMedia input and output cards, making it possible to upgrade DM systems to distribute HDCP 2.2 protected 4K content (color bit depth up to 4:4:4 @ 30Hz and 4:2:0 @ 60Hz). To add HDCP 2.2 sources, systems integrators need only switch out the currently installed DM input cards for those sources with Crestron’s new HDCP 2.2 compliant DM input cards. Likewise, they need only upgrade the output card(s) for those displays to which their customers want to transmit HDCP 2.2 protected content.
Crestron is now shipping the following five new DM 4K HDCP 2.2 input and output cards:
- 4K HDMI Input Card for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-HD-HDCP2)
- 4K HDMI Input Card w/Downmixing for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-HD-DSP-HDCP2)
- HDBaseT Certified 4K Input Card for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-C-HDCP2)
- HDBaseT Certified 4K Input Card w/Downmixing for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-C-DSP-HDCP2)
- Two-Channel HDBaseT Certified 4K Output Card for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-CO-HD-HDCP2)
All the details are here.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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rAVe HomeAV Edition contains the opinions of the author only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of other persons or companies or its sponsors.