Volume 6, Issue 11 — November 20, 2017
|Brand Management: Reliability, Value and Support|
By Anthony Coppedge
House of Worship Technology Consultant
Your brand is not what you say it is. Your brand is what others say about you. For the audiovisual industry, identifying what others say about your organization is easier to know now than it has ever been thanks in large part to social media and online comment streams. In each vertical market, there exist groups of users and pundits who will share their experiences and opinions with anyone who will listen.
The difficulty of brand management is not in capturing the sentiment of what others think of your brand but in establishing how your brand is perceived by both potential buyers and existing customers within vertical markets. As always, I focus here on rAVe on the house of worship market as one of the vertical segments spending millions of dollars annually on the technology and services for audio, video and lighting (AVL). It is from this perspective that I provide helpful insight, though the principles and basic truths of human behavior well apply to other vertical segments, too.
The reputation of a brand is, as the old saying goes, as good as your last gig. Manufacturers, systems integrators and consultants alike must work endlessly to deliver quality and add value. Brand reputation can only ever be managed over time since the consistency of technical performance, ease of use and delivery of quality outcomes is the truest test of longevity and good design. So why focus so much on a thing that is more or less in the hands of those not on your payroll? Because your brand’s ability to grow and survive is how you value the greatest common denominator: the client.
Back in the late 1990s, I worked on staff at a large church — one of the largest in the Shreveport/Bossier City, La. area. Being a mid-sized market, the church did not look to other local churches for technology examples, but instead headed west and toured larger churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Tex. metroplex. One of those churches was where I was on staff and had recently finished a new 3,000 seat auditorium complete with several hundred thousand dollars of AVL technology. It was during the tour of this church where the Louisiana church leaders offered me the opportunity to interview for the role of media pastor.
In the house of worship market, the clients are not only the technical operators but also the senior leaders of these local churches who generally only know enough to name the major components of their AVL systems. The senior leaders of the church I interviewed within Louisiana hired me and asked me for recommendations for technology upgrades in their venues. I’ll never forget the senior pastor remarking that he’d seen one particular high-end projector manufacturer’s name mentioned (and installed) in many of the largest churches they toured in Texas and suggested I get quotes on upgrading the church to that level of quality. The pastor only knew of the brand name, but that it was found in a majority of these other much larger churches carried a great deal of weight with him. In the end, the church did end up purchasing two of these projectors at around $80,000 each to significantly increase the quality of the projected image, at roughly eight times the cost of the previous projectors. This exponentially more expensive option was considered because of brand reputation alone.
Even today, I frequently hear questions from current church technical leaders and operators asking for brand recommendations for certain AVL technologies. The comments are rife with a plethora of responses and opinions, with even threaded comment strings exploring the nuances of performance between competing brands. The brand’s reputation is largely determined by user experience, which has a direct effect on the purchasing considerations of other churches. Interestingly, these discussions on forums and online Facebook groups typically boil down to just a few points of focus: reliability (uptime), value (sometimes further reduced to price) and support (training, help, break/fix). It is these three areas that I believe are critical for audiovisual firms to prioritize in order to shift (or enhance) your brand’s reputation.
“When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.” This brand promise was used by FedEx from 1978 to 1983. It’s listed as one of the top 10 taglines of all time by Advertising Age and rightfully so: It exudes confidence and leaves no margin for anything less than 100 percent, guaranteed fulfillment.
A tagline, however, is not the point of brand reputation. Had FedEx achieved a stunning 95 percent success rate with overnight shipping, the tagline would have been meaningless to the 5 percent — and a vocal minority they would be! The value of the tagline was only as good as FedEx’s ability to deliver on the promise. It is this, the ability to meet or exceed your organization’s promise, that builds your firm’s reputation as a reliable vendor.
How can your firm stand behind your work with a promise or reliability? From manufacturers putting guarantees in place for technology uptime to systems integrators including performance guarantees to consultants standing behind their system designs, the ability to include a promise of uptime is of serious consequence to the house of worship market, where weekend services require the same level of high availability as a Network Operation Center. For multi-site churches that depend upon technology to carry the video recorded message, the stakes are even higher.
Reliability of the technology and systems is of paramount importance. In fact, it directly affects how much churches are willing to pay for greater reliability and guaranteed uptime, including the significant cost of redundancy in components. How your firm directly addresses the reliability of audiovisual system performance is directly correlated to your brand reputation.
In the house of worship market, there’s a funny axiom: “Sunday comes every seven days.” Therefore, while the consistency of operation is a very big deal indeed, breaking down the cost-of-ownership across a number of services per weekend/month/year is of ultimate importance when aligning the church leaders’ expectations with their budget. Cost-per-service values, which take the overall system cost and divides it by the number of total church services and events, are an attractive way to contextualize the return on investment value of AVL technology purchases.
Price is often a starting point churches tackle when comparing your technology offerings to your competitors. Price will invariably become the sticking point when the value proposition is not a part of your brand’s promise. When you speak primarily to the price you’re only talking about the short-term. But when you speak to the value proposition, you’re addressing the long run and helping the church to determine their investment threshold and commitment to leveraging technology.
It is critical for your organization to redirect price concerns to value discussions. Since reliability and uptime is critical in most church venues, the price will simply reflect the importance of reliable performance and continuous uptime. Your brand need not be ultra high-end to protect margins to ensure you can provide quality technology and superior support for church clients.
Customer support serves not only, well, customers, but also prospects. How? Because prospects are listening to other churches about how well you stood behind your brand promises with the support that exceeded the expectations of the client.
Are you doing everything you can to help church clients use your equipment with greater confidence and increased effectiveness up to, during, and after the sale? If your answer is, “well, that’s up to the church,” you’re only partially correct. How is your firm, whether you’re the manufacturer or the sales/integrator company, removing barriers to make it incredibly easy for these users to continually learn how to make the most out of the technology you’ve provided to them? How many church clients can you point to not only as a good venue for your technology but also highlight their operator/tech director as someone who represents the use of your technology — and your brand — as a shining example? For a number of reasons, I can say with a high level of confidence that many of the readers here would be hard pressed to list more than a single handful — if that.
What these buyers and end users want, though, is more than a limited warranty and a pat on the back after a brief hands-on training; they’re wanting (and needing) you to value and develop them as artists and technicians. They need your massive expertise and best practices to not only lower learning curves but to flatten out the obstacles on their path to professionalism.
The importance of taking care of customers who have invested into your brand is not to be underestimated. According to a CEI Survey, 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1 percent of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations! 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. And 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.
Brand management isn’t about a new tagline, a spiffy new logo or a shiny new product; it’s about how well, often and hard your organization works on reliability, value and support. How can your brand do better in these three key areas?Leave a Comment
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|Three Major Technology Shifts Coming for Churches|
By Anthony Coppedge
House of Worship Technology Consultant
In the not-too-distant future, three major technology shifts will happen in the house of worship market: wholesale lighting replacement, the micro-portable church and Video as a Service (VaaS). To be ready for these shifts, the AV industry needs to prepare for how this could play out and align their offerings to anticipate these needs.
As with most predictions, these future shifts are largely based on the emergence of new patterns today. This means that each of the three major technology shifts have already begun, though they may look a bit different in their current iteration than they will several years from now. As with all things, time will tell, but I feel confident that these three trends are not a flight of fancy, but inevitable for the future of local churches at least here in the United States.
Wholesale Lighting Replacement
Ten years ago, in 2007, one of the largest churches in America implemented a change from incandescent to energy-saving light bulbs that netted enough money to fund an entirely new church campus via an energy conservation program. The new campus was built with enough room for 1,000 people and the church was able to fund all of the new campus operations with the energy savings from the Plano campus, which boasts a 7,000 seat auditorium and has over one million square feet under roof.
“We have more than 100 activities here a day… seven days a week, with the heaviest use on weekends,” according to a source at the church, noting that electricity was the greatest consumer of utilities. “If we had not implemented the program, we would be paying 40 percent more.”
Of course, this mammoth campus of one of the largest giga-churches is an extreme example, but the principle of being energy-conscious has been played out in churches across the United States. In many cases, city code places higher restrictions on electrical usage per square foot, so a rising number of churches have opted to either build new campuses or retrofit older campuses to make them LEED compliant, a move that not only saves money but provides better stewardship of resources.
In the audio, video and lighting (AVL) industry the emergence of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting fixtures have gone from a niche segment to a full-blow industry-wide shift. The LED fixtures themselves draw a fractional amount of wattage but also are ‘cool’ technology, further reducing energy costs by eliminating the heat generated by incandescent fixtures. In what is sure to be a continued trend, expect to see wholesale changes to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) for architectural fixtures and LED for theatrical/production fixtures. Quite simply, the costs savings when amortized over decades of use simply make too much economic sense for churches to ignore the upfront costs of a wholesale change over.
The Micro-Portable Church
While I’ve written extensively about portable churches and multi-site churches here on rAVe, I’m coining the phrase “micro-portable church” to highlight a trend I see coming where the AVL technology needs of a 50 to 150 attendance venue will be more cost-effective and scalable than even today’s mid-size venues of 500 to 1,000 seats.
A long-time stalwart of the church market AVL industry is Portable Church Industries (PCI), which published an “average cost” of portable church technology systems. Here’s what they have found with their church clients:
- Approximately 40 percent of our clients (typically a new church plant) will spend an average of $76,000 on their portable church systems to launch.
- Another 40 percent (typically multi-site churches launching a moderate-sized campus) spend an average of $160,000.
- The remaining 20 percent of our clients want to launch large (new plant or new campus) and design high-tech, complex systems that exceed $750,000.
Portable church AVL tech isn’t inexpensive, as these figures show. It’s all relative, of course, to the size of the venue and location of the venue, so while these are helpful averages, they’re just that: averages, not hard-and-fast budgets. Still, I submit that the micro-portable church multi-site venues of the future will focus on even smaller venues than church plants starting from scratch. The costs may be similar or slightly lower, but the trend will be for a ‘less-is-more’ approach that will translate to lower costs. However, even if the cost is $35,000 per micro-portable venue, the concept is that there will be more of these small venues than there are of 500 to 1,000 seat venues, so the overall annual expenditure on AVL tech for micro-portable churches would be more than a smaller number or larger venues.
Shared Space Venues
Along with the trend of micro-portable church venues comes the idea that churches won’t need all of these venues seven days a week. I imagine a future where churches may purchase these smaller venues (churches already buy up space in commercial retail venues (ironically enough, named “strip mall” retail) and simply sublet them to other retail or not-for-profit organizations for weekday usage. In this way, the space is not underutilized and the church can even turn a profit on these leased-space properties that can be used to fund the weekend operations of the venue.
There are examples of churches using ‘mixed space’ venues, but this is not yet a trend and simply a projection that I think has the potential to expand into a full-blown operational model for the House of Worship market. The AVL technology that serves these spaces must be considered for how it can be used for weekday use. For example, informational kiosks can become point-of-sale kiosks and digital signage can run advertising content for the weekday tenant while the audio reinforcement system can provide in-store music and promotional advertisements. It’s also not a far-fetched idea to see the beginning of proximity marketing used first during weekday retail operations later utilized for helping first-time guests find their way to kids’ check-in.
Ultimately, as with all future prognostications, time will tell how accurate I am in considering the early adopter trends of today as having crossed the chasm to early majority adoption.
What do you think? Do you agree with Anthony Coppedge’s future church predictions for the audiovisual industry?Leave a Comment
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|New Construction — Room Acoustics, Part 2|
By Dr. Frederick Ampel
President & Principal, Technology Visions Analytics
In the first part of this two-part series, published in September, a wide variety of acoustical solutions and issues specifically focused on dealing with a space that already exists were discussed. Although the basic concepts and applications outlined in that article apply regardless, the issues and problems of a new building are in many ways very different and if properly planned for and managed can lead to a dramatically better acoustical environment for your worship service.
But the opposite is equally true. Without substantial advanced planning, evaluation of options, discussion of possible paths, you can end up with a nightmare.
Which of these outcomes you achieve is entirely driven by what you do before you start construction.
Your congregation has finally achieved its goal of raising what you hope is enough money to build a new permanent home for your worship service. It may have taken years to get here, but whatever the time and effort expended to this point, the key to final success on any worship space project is discussion!
The most critical step you can and should take at the outset is to have a series of open meetings or discussion groups with everyone who has any stake in the project.
In far too many instances, a small group or committee is formed to handle this initial stage of the building’s developmental process. In our many years of experience, it has proven to be a fact that a lot of the problems that arise with a project come from the nature and constitution of this group. If all potential or actual “users” are not represented and heard, then they and their actual or perceived needs and wants will become a problem at some point later — often too late.
Establishing a complete very high resolution picture of not only the worship aspects of the building’s use, but also the various other likely uses that will happen (despite the “that will never take place” statements made initially), is essential to defining what kind of building you need and how it should be designed and constructed. (Never is a very dangerous assumption to make for any building in which the surrounding community is involved.)
It’s not just the physical plan and layout that matters, it’s the people based functionality of these aspects (see architects below) that matters equally if not more to the success of any space.
Well before you get to the worship aspects of the new building start making lists of what else will be going on, who will be using the space(s), for what, when and what their needs are above and beyond those that are part of the primary design for worship. Plan for the “never” ideas, the five years out concepts and the hopeful vision of congregational growth as well when making your lists. If you don’t make that part of the discussion now it will come back around to be an issue at some point — guaranteed!
The Critical Non-Worship Acoustic Issues
This is especially important when it comes to acoustical considerations. Although all worship space acoustics should be sharply focused on the principal goal of helping people to hear what they expect and need to hear (the service and the word/sermon specifically in most cases), there are a large number of other considerations that if not recognized, planned for and accommodated, will lead to avoidable and expensive retrofit solutions. For example, if your new HOW is going to offer a day-care or after school space or a privacy room for new mothers and infants, consider the needed noise isolation between those spaces (from each other) and from the main worship auditorium/sanctuary space.
Another classic example from one recent project we completed was the control of noise from the attached school gymnasium, which had been added to the original building plan when additional funds were donated. Think about the amount of noise several hundred parents and families can make at a sixth-grade basketball game on a Friday evening while there is a senior’s service going on in the auditorium.
If proper noise isolation and control had not been built into the construction plan, the facility would have had timing buzzers and referee whistles as a background soundtrack to the worship service. Certainly a less than ideal situation, but one that can be and was controlled by proper advanced planning and design.
Making a List — In Fact, Making a Whole Lot of Lists
Depending on the type of building envisioned and its role within both its particular faith community and the community at large (see the examples above), you will have a lot of things to consider and evaluate with the architects, general contractors and others involved in the project.
Collecting and weighing the various needs and their impact on the building itself and its acoustical design are going to be an eye-opening experience. You will be surprised at how many things can contribute to various issues and what their impact is or might be.
So this first list is going to be a long one. Without judging or valuing any of the items simply create a list of what everybody wants. Each individual may represent a different aspect of what needs to be considered when planning the overall sound and relevant acoustical requirements.
We are not looking for, nor should we expect, acoustical expertise here — what you should be looking for are perceptual desires. By asking for this input, you get to the truth of all users’ needs, requests and frustrations. When this list is complete, only then can you intelligently sit down and really start to build, plan and design. You will know what people think, they will know they have been asked and heard, and the whole process has structure and logic.
The Architect, the General Contractor and the Vision
Every new house of worship comes with a vision from its congregation. That vision, the totality of the goal of the project is most often not adequately defined or presented in a form understandable by architects, general contractors and the many other professionals and trades who will be a part of the project.
The biggest problem with most building committees or councils is too many chiefs, each with his own agenda and goal. The point of the list development exercise outlined above is to reduce that fragmented set of outcomes to a singular focus on a specific set of results.
The other major point of contention is between the “vision” presented by the architect/design team and the goals of the HOW itself for its new building. It is crucial that the people who will be managing the building’s construction internally instill in the architect a clear and precise definition of what they expect. This will normally require more than one version of the initial plan and drawings until the concepts desired by the people paying for and who will use the HOW and the development of those concepts into a viable building plan meet up and agree.
The same issues must be handled with the chosen general and sub-contractors to ensure that they fully understand and can execute the architect’s plans and the HOW’s vision to produce a final result that meets the targeted goals.
While many will feel that they should fully trust in the expertise of their construction and design partners, it is incumbent upon the “owners” to communicate effectively and repeatedly every specific point generated by the lists you created. DO NOT assume the architect, contractors or anyone else except you fully understand these critical requirements until they have shown by their execution on the project that they do.
The Sound of Your New Space
Now it time to get down to the details and deal with the acoustics. Again, do not assume expertise in this area by anyone except a specialized acoustical consultant (which I strongly recommended you consider using). The general practices within the architectural and construction professions do not generally effectively handle the specialized acoustical issues unless they are pointed out again and again and again. It only takes one sloppy drywall install or poor isolation of an HVAC duct system to completely ruin the desired acoustics of the sanctuary and other worship spaces.
When you are planning your new construction, you should figure in about $5 per square foot of occupied building space for acoustics and noise control and some extra just in case dollars to deal with the unexpected.
Another way to look at it is to remember that an acoustic/noise control budget for new construction should be calculated at about five percent (or maybe a bit more depending on interior finish choices and design) of the cost of construction.
The most effective way to avoid problems from the outset is to become informed on the options and materials you can employ. I’m not suggesting you try and become experts, but simply build a general knowledge base of your options, the materials available and what they do. In that way, you can help to guide your building construction and design team to the right answers.
Again, the use of qualified professionals in acoustics and related areas such as noise control is strongly suggested. Even if you only use them for a few days to establish the best solutions, and again to verify that they have been installed correctly it will be money well spent, and inevitably will save you much more than you spend, by avoiding expensive after the fact re-work.
Gaining Knowledge, Understanding Options
While it is impossible in anything less than book length article to cover all the possibilities the following solutions are the most commonly found and the easiest to understand and in many cases deploy.
Isolation and Noise Transmission
Author’s note: Much more detailed information on all of the methods and materials discussed below can be found on the websites of the companies listed in the reference information below and other online resources.
More than any other single issue, the problem of sound or noise being transmitted from one space to another or from the outside into the building must be properly managed at the outset.
The most cost-effective solution in a new construction situation is to use materials like those shown in pictures one to four below. The Quiet-Rock drywall type panels are considerably more effective at both controlling transmitted noise and isolating room to room noise when properly installed with the resilient material position between the layers and/or double layer with air-gap type construction.
Often forgotten but equally important is floor isolation and noise control. Even with resilient material backed carpeting the use of materials like Quiet-Floor as a part of a multi-layer floor design will substantially reduce vibration, noise and control floor-born noise transmission.
If suspended or drop-ceilings are to be used in any areas, careful consideration of the type of ceiling tile used is essential. As shown in photo five, higher density more absorbent tiles can be used and are more effective at controlling reflections from the floor or walls.
HVAC systems are a common source of both vibration type noise and air-handling noise. Designs that employ flexible or lined ductwork, baffles and low-velocity slot diffusers and air-returns will have a major impact on controlling such noise and the interference it can create for sound system intelligibility and coverage. Consulting with an HVAC professional on these issues before installation or completion of a system design is much less expensive to implement than to deal with after the fact. Another HVAC issue often overlooked is effectively sizing the system cooling/heating capability. As a rule of thumb, whatever the congregational size used to calculate the system capacity should be augmented by at least 20-25 percent to compensate for the unexpected and to reduce the speed of fans needed to control air-handling noise. A larger system can operate at lower velocities and thus be quieter and will also produce benefit in longevity as the system is not running near its limits all the time.
Echoes, Reverberation and Other Unwanted Staff
Any room will have some degree of reverberation, echoes and other unwanted acoustic problems. To decide on what to accept and what to control you need to factor in four things:
- Is there going to be a pipe organ and or large choir as part of the worship program?
- What is the worship style in general — spoken word, or music supported?
- How large is the overall space?
- What type of seating is being used, pews, folding chairs, some combination of both, upholstered or not?
Each of these four items requires a specific acoustic solution and sometimes you have a conflict between one and another. For example, the ideal sonic signature for a worship space with choir and pipe organs is not ideal for spoken word and the reverse is also true. Thus the art of compromise becomes a necessity.
However, a few general rules can be applied. First pew cushions are not a good idea. They create a difficult-to-estimate and control acoustic absorption factor. Upholstered pews, which by the way will also meet fire and building codes, are usually a better choice since their acoustic impact is a known and calculable factor.
Controlling echoes and excess reverberation is achievable using one or a combination of the materials and methods shown in photos six through 12. Diffusion panels (photo six) can be used to break up reflections and smooth out the overall sound of a space. Absorptive or a combination of absorptive and reflective ceiling ‘clouds’ or hanging panels (photos seven and eight) can be used to manage floor to ceiling bounce, reflections and control overall reverberation time and density.
The foam-like material shown in Photos 9, 10 and 11 can be used in many different configurations to manage and control echoes, reflections and damp down excessive reverberation or bounce (slap) echoes from hard surfaces or windows.
And let’s not forget the good old standby, curtains (photo 12) — specifically, acoustically absorbent curtains that also will meet fire code can be used to control wall reflections as well as darken spaces for projection in the daytime. Large windows can be covered by motorized curtains or banners to reduce reflections as needed. As discussed in Part 1, a number of companies now offer ink-jet high resolution printed banners, fabric coverings and similar materials to make the acoustical materials serve a dual purpose both decorative and acoustic.
HOW acoustics begins with the auditorium/sanctuary but a new building is going be to be much more than just a room with pews.
A fellowship hall may create a significant acoustic requirement. And so does the daycare/after school program. More than likely your building will include at least one group of smaller rooms and spaces, which provide for staff and activities. These are usually connected by a hard-walled, hard floor hallway, which is a significant noise producer.
Remember to consider that some offices really need quality privacy, like the worship leader, pastor, minister or equivalent. Although not often thought of, even the restrooms will need some acoustic consideration and noise control planning.
The HOW in today’s communities is serving more than just faith based needs. It is providing many services both secular and spiritual. But all this side-by-side variety in space utilization also means that sound and noise control must be a top priority.
If you have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for advice. Contact us or your local professionals. They are there to provide expertise. Use it!Leave a Comment
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|Absen Targets LCD Applications with New Acclaim LED Series|
Absen announced today the U.S. launch of the company’s newest fixed indoor LED series called, Acclaim. The Acclaim Series is designed to be an indoor direct-view LED solution for retail, corporate, transportation hubs and HOW (house of worship).
Available in a wide range of pixel-pitch configurations (1.2-mm, 1.5-mm, 1.9-mm, 2.5-mm and 3.8-mm), the Acclaim Series meets the needs of many indoor installations and pixel pitches. Acclaim’s HD aspect ratio and 27.5” diagonal size allows four panels to create a 55” display like that of a LCD, but without mullions. The four panels can be installed with a standard VESA mount and allows the end user to work in a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, a very common aspect ratio in the HOW market.
Absen says that installation of the series is easy whether it be mounted to a wall, hung or free-standing. Acclaim comes with an Easy Mount Kit that has a thickness of no more than 4 inches allowing for ADA compliant installations. Each front or rear installed panel is interchangeable left to right and are held in place by 4 corner magnets. The series offers creative flexibility and can be customized to provide up to 90-degree convex or concave curves and angles.
Acclaim is built with an LED life of 100,000 operating hours and is designed for easy serviceability and repair with universal magnetic modules that lock into place with guided grooves that prevent potential bending or torqueing of the panels. The Acclaim also features black masks that increase contrast, yet are simple to take off and put on to allow repair of the modules’ LEDs. With Absen Affinity color calibration, the Acclaim will continue to look uniform in color, brightness and consistency throughout the life of the product.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Vaddio Ships AV Bridge MatrixMIX Multipurpose AV SwitcherVaddio is now shipping its new AV Bridge MatrixMIX Multipurpose AV Switcher. The AV Bridge MatrixMIX brings live event production to UCC applications such as Skype for Business, WebEx and Google Hangouts.
The AV Bridge MatrixMIX can be used in a variety of applications including live production, automated presentation and unified conferencing and collaboration. It offers a multi-functional feature set to combine switching, advanced camera control, streaming and graphics mixing capabilities – all from a single appliance.
When paired with Vaddio’s two other new products – the new PCC MatrixMIX Camera Controller and TeleTouch 27 USB Touch-Screen Multiviewer, an integrator can create customized solutions for a number of specific applications. For example, it can be used as a production switcher in a live event application, or it can be configured as a local presentation switcher for a lecture capture application in a larger lecture hall. The AV Bridge MatrixMIX can be configured for a PC-based collaboration session. Because it can be controlled and configured remotely, an operator can use the AV Bridge MatrixMIX in large enterprise and higher education applications where a centralized control center is used to control multiple AV rooms.
The AV Bridge MatrixMIX AV Switcher is an 8×2 video mixer that also provides multiviewer output. Its 11×7 audio mixer supports analog, HDMI, USB and IP audio channels. It offers embedded RTSP IP and USB 3.0 output streaming, plus four graphic keying layers per output channel.
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|Covid Adds HDBaseT Certified Cables|
Covid has announced the addition of HDBaseT certified bulk cables to their line of category cable products. These new cables ship in lengths of 1000 feet and are housed in convenient Reelex boxes that offer easy pulling. Both plenum and non-plenum versions are available with plenum cable choices in black or blue jacket colors.
As you likely know, HDBaseT allows for the transmission of HDMI signals, long distance over just one Cat5e or Cat6 cable. Covid’s new HDBaseT cables offer the reassurance that they are certified and rated specific for HDBaseT use. As an additional feature, these HDBase-T certified cables come pre-packaged in Reelex boxes. This makes cable pulling easy and free from messy tangles.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Audio-Technica Ships Spectrum-Efficient 6000 Series Wireless System|
Audio-Technica is now shipping its 6000 Series High Density Wireless System, a spectrum-efficient solution that allows users to use 31 channels in 4 MHz of bandwidth. The 2016 FCC Incentive Auction has resulted in a repack of the broadcast spectrum, reducing the amount of spectrum available for wireless microphone operations and driving the need for spectrum-efficient technology to operate a high number of simultaneous channels in today’s market. To address this issue, Audio-Technica developed the 6000 Series, which has channels that are spaced at 125 KHz intervals and can all be used simultaneously. The system operates in the 944-952 MHz band, which is free of broadcast TV. The FCC has expanded license eligibility for this band beyond broadcasters and content creators to include sound companies and venues that routinely operate 50 wireless microphones or more.
The 6000 Series system consists of the following components: the ATW-R6200 receiver, the ATW-T6001 body-pack transmitter, an optional ATW-DA410 antenna distribution system, and a number of compatible Audio-Technica lavalier and headworn microphones. Audio-Technica describes key features as high-performance filtering to remove external noise; clear, easy-to-read displays; transmitter frequency setup from receiver via IR sync; network monitor and control; durable, compact body-pack transmitter design; and a reliable new miniature input connector.
ATW-R6200 receiver specifications:
- Receiving system: True diversity
- Operating frequency: 946.125 to 949.875 MHz
- Simultaneous channels: Total of 31 channels (125 kHz intervals)
- RF sensitivity: 20 dBμV (at 60dB S/N ratio)
- Total harmonic distortion: <1 percent (63 dBμV input, 1 kHz, frequency deviation ±10 kHz)
- SN ratio: 110 dB or more
- Audio output level: XLR balanced +6 dBV (LINE) -13 dBV (MIC) (frequency deviation ±15 kHz, 600 ohm load)
- Antenna input jack: BNC type (50 ohm) DC 12V OUT (max 60 mA x 2)
- Audio output terminal: XLR 3-pin male (balanced) 1/4″ (6.3 mm) standard stereo jack (balanced)
- Headphone OUTPUT jack: 1/4″ (6.3 mm) standard stereo jack; max power output: 100 mW + 100 mW into 32 ohms
- Power: AC 120V 60 Hz
- Operating temperature range: 41°F (5°C) to 113°F (45°C)
- Power consumption: 25 W
- External dimensions: 18.97″ (482 mm) W × 1.69″ (43 mm) H × 14.21″ (361 mm) D (excluding protrusions)
- Weight: 10.4 lbs (4.7 kg)
ATW-T6001 body-pack transmitter specifications:
- Operating frequency: 946.125 MHz to 949.875 MHz (31 channels)
- Frequency step: 125 kHz
- Spurious emissions: Following federal and national regulations
- RF power output: 50 mW / 10 mW / 2 mW
- Normal deviation: ±5 kHz
- Maximum deviation: ±16.25 kHz
- Frequency response: 70 to 15 KHz
- Batteries: Two 1.5V AA alkaline (not included)
- Battery life: Approx. 6 hours (using two alkaline batteries at 50 mW)
- Current consumption: 230 mA or less (at DC 3V)
- External dimensions: 2.44″ (62 mm) W x 2.76″ (70 mm) H x 0.67″ (17 mm) D (excluding protrusions)
- Weight: Approx. 3.2 oz (90 g) (excluding batteries)
The Audio-Technica 6000 Series wireless system is available with the following components and pricing:
- ATW-R6200 receiver: US $2,999
- ATW-T6001 body-pack transmitter: US $1,299
- ATW-DA410 antenna distribution system: US $4,349
- ATW-F948 pair of antenna filters: US $189
- AT898cH subminiature cardioid condenser lavalier microphone: US $179
- AT899cH subminiature omnidirectional condenser lavalier microphone: US $179
- BP892cH MicroSet subminiature omnidirectional condenser headworn microphone: US $309
- BP893cH MicroEarset omnidirectional condenser headworn microphone: US $259
- BP894cH MicroSet subminiature cardioid condenser headworn microphone: US $359
All the applications details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Vivitek Debuts the 18K Lumen DU9800Z Projector|
Vivitek just launched the DU9800Z projector — a solid state illumination source projector spec’d at 18,000 ANSI Lumens with a native WUXGA 1920×1200 resolution and a 20,000 hour lamp source.
The new flagship DU9800Z projector uses 1-chip DLP technology and laser-phosphor illumination and adds a new “Constant Brightness” feature to help reduce blending maintenance with customizable brightness. Equipped with a smart sensor, the DU9800Z continuously measures the light output and adjusts the illumination accordingly to maintain constant brightness.
The DU9800Z also features advanced thermal management technology from Delta, while it also offers a unique sealed optical engine design. This design features a liquid cooling base as well as enabling better cooling airflow and eliminates any negative dust impact as well as quieter operation.
The DU9800Z will be available in November 2017. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|MIPRO Adds Dante Options and Expands 8 Series|
Avlex Corporation has announced that Dante audio networking capability has been added to select MIPRO wireless products. This new feature is available on two ACT 7 Series wireless receivers as well as the dual channel variant of the company’s ACT 8 Series product line. Additionally, the MIPRO ACT 8 Series product line has been expanded with the introduction of the new ACT 848 Digital Wideband Encryption-Capable Quad Channel Receiver — available in both standard and Dante-equipped versions.
In the ACT 7 Series product line, the ACT-72 Dante Enabled UHF Dual-Channel Wideband Wireless Receiver and ACT-74 Dante Enabled UHF Quad-Channel Wideband Wireless Receiver join the existing 7 Series UHF wireless receiver systems. MIPRO’s ACT 7 Series are analog wireless systems that operate across 72 MHz of bandwidth and offer 2,881 selectable frequencies with presets that allow up to 48 channel simultaneous operation. The choice of either rechargeable or AA powered transmitters is available for these models.
The MIPRO ACT 8 Digital Series wireless systems now also offer customers a Dante capable version of the ACT-828 Dual Channel Receiver. Another addition to the MIPRO ACT 8 Series is the ACT-848 Digital Quad Channel Receiver, which is also available in a Dante version. In addition to the availability of Dante audio networking functionality, the ACT-848 Quad Channel Receivers are true digital wireless receivers offering Digital Diversity Receiving Technology with available 256-bit encryption. MIPRO’s Digital Diversity Receiving Technology utilizes two receivers in each wireless channel, each tied to its own antenna. Unlike competing wireless systems that use multiplexing between the A and B antennas, depending which one has the best overall average signal, the ACT 8 Series uses antenna summing, creating a mix of the best parts of both antennas in real time, which results in the most saturated signal available.
Like the ACT-828 dual channel wireless receivers, the ACT-848 operates across 64 MHz of bandwidth while offering 2,561 selectable frequencies. Both the Dante-equipped and standard ACT-8 Series systems offer 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz frequency response and a dynamic range > 115 dB. Both systems utilize a full-color vacuum fluorescent display for crystal clear visual feedback of the various system parameters. All 8 Series wireless systems feature rechargeable transmitters and smart charging cradles.
The Dante-equipped MIPRO ACT-72 Dual-Channel and ACT-74 Quad-Channel UHF wireless receiver systems is $900 and $1,520. The MIPRO ACT-828 Dante Digital Encryption-Capable Dual Channel Wideband Wireless Receiver is $985. And, the ACT-848 Dante Digital Wideband Encryption-Capable Quad Channel Receiver is $1,640. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Introduces Two Input DTP Wallplate Transmitters for 4K Video|
Extron just introduced the DTP T UWP 4K 232 D and the DTP T UWP 4K 332 D two input decorator-style transmitters. These new DTP products send HDMI, VGA, audio, and control signals up to 230 feet or 330 feet over a shielded CATx cable to a DTP-enabled product. They support video resolutions up to 4K (@30 Hz 4:4:4), are HDCP compliant, and include independent analog stereo audio connections. The two-input transmitters also offer many integrator-friendly features such as analog stereo audio embedding, EDID Minder, auto-switching between inputs, remote power capability and bidirectional RS232 pass-through for remote AV device control. The wall-mountable design provides the convenience of placing input connections precisely where they are needed. HDMI specification features include data rates up to 10.2 Gbps (3.4 Gbps per color).
The DTP T UWP 4K 232 D and DTP T UWP 4K 332 D provide reliable switching and transmission of HDMI and VGA signals. For added installation flexibility, a single external power supply may be connected at either the transmitter or the receiver in point-to-point installations. When connected with larger DTP-enabled switchers, such an IN1608 xi or DTP CrossPoint 4K matrix switcher, no local power connection is necessary at the transmitters.
For details on the DTP T UWP 4K 232 D and the DTP T UWP 4K 332 D, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Wisycom Launches New Two-Channel MPR52-ENG|
Wisycom introduced its new MPR52-ENG Dual Diversity Receiver today. This addition to Wisycom’s range of products was designed for professional applications.
The new MPR52-ENG now has two built-in diversity receivers with both analog and digital outputs. With up to 790 MHz bandwidth in the 470/1260 MHz range, the MPR52-ENG features next generation multi-band front-end filtering. The software selectable wideband and narrowband DSP-FM operation gives users options based on their project needs. Country specific Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filters are also available (USA: 935-960 MHz and Japan: 1240-1260 MHz).
The MPR52-ENG features an extreme low noise Voltage-controlled Oscillator (VCO) with ultrafast spectrum scanning for optimal quick and easy setup. The automatic scan and transmitter programming works via infrared technology. This receiver is DSP-based for extreme flexibility and multi-companding operations. It is able to be monitored and controlled through USB and Wisycom Manager 2.0 software, which transforms the MPR52-ENG into a quick and low noise portable spectrum scanner.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Christie Intros Crimson Series Projector
Designed specifically for staging and high-usage applications, the new Christie Crimson projector line uses 3DLP laser phosphor technology and have lumens outputs up to 25,000. Featuring an IP5X sealed, solid-state laser light source, all Crimson projectors weigh 165-pounds and are spec’d at 2000:1 contrast ratio. The launch includes two models – the 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) resolution WU25 and the 1920 x 1080 (HD) resolution HD25.
With Christie BoldColor Technology, these projectors have their TruLife electronics electronics for ultra-fast processing up to 120Hz and includes Christie Twist (image warping and mapping) and is, of course, compatible with all Christie processing products. The line is ILS lens compatible and inputs include HDMI, DVI, 3G-SDI, HDBaseT and ChristieLink (QSFP + Fiber). They re compatible with 4K up to 12-bit color 4:4:4.
Here is a detailed spec sheet.Leave a Comment
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|Key Digital Ships Audio Matrix with DSPThe new Key Digital KD-MAX8x8 eight input to eight output audio matrix switcher with built-in audio DSP. The KD-MAX8x8 has analog and digital connections for input and output and enables analog-to-digital or digital-to-analog conversion of signals, or can operate as two independent audio matrixes (one digital and one analog). Analog audio inputs are connected on balanced/unbalanced six pin phoenix terminal blocks and digital audio sources are input on a PCM coaxial RCA connection that supports surround formats up to Dolby and DTS 5.1.
Each output of KD-MAX8x8 handles all pre-amp functionality, enabling integrators to connect directly into amplifiers. Any of the connected audio sources may be selected on any output and apply variable signal processing levels for volume, bass, mid, treble, balance and lip sync.
Here are more specs.Leave a Comment
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