|Volume 8, Issue 1 — January 20, 2017|
|Hello? Is Anyone Listening?|
By Raymond Kent
Director of the Innovative Technology Design Group, DLR Group/Westlake Reed Leskosky
Amazon’s hottest selling items for 2016 were the Echo and its little brother Dot. These devices, along with their competitors from Google and Apple, are revolutionizing the way we interact with our homes and are quickly moving into the workplace. These voice command and control devices allow the participant to use their voices with simple commands to perform tasks such as turn lights on and off, raise the temperature in the room, close blinds and start your AV system, among others. Echo, for instance, will leverage the power of the Amazon marketplace to let you purchase items simply by asking the device for it. Google Home is much more efficient at leveraging Google’s search engine prowess to find you information. Apple can get you music in a much more efficient manner.Each of these devices, and others like them, rely on the “always listening” method to determine when to activate. Typically, using a trigger word such as “OK, Google” or “Alexa” can let you engage your environment in a very sci-fi way. Certainly these devices also allow you to control your environment to be the most energy efficient it can be saving you both time and money. I can time when my lights turn on or off simply just by having it know where I am relative to the app on my smart phone. And should I forget to turn a light off or reset the thermostat, I can do it remotely or set the system to remember for me. These devices can also link to your stove to turn on and start dinner before you even get home. They can order you food or replace items in your refrigerator. This Jetsonian lifestyle has many advantages but also has a dark side.
Just as we have willfully given up a modicum of privacy in today’s age of social media, these devices are always listening. By design, they must be. Each manufacturer has a slightly different method and algorithm for what they do with that information. Most only record a short segment of what is being said, sending that to a cloud-based server and then overwrite that with the next 30 (or so) seconds of speech. However, what you say can and will be used against you.
Google, for instance, will pick up key words in the speech it hears and then send you targeted advertisements to your web surfing, particularly if you are using their browser Chrome. Echo will send you ads to your Facebook account if it is linked. Don’t be surprised if coupons for pizza show up in your feed if you were recently talking about it with one of these devices in the room. It happened to me last night after I mentioned in a phone conversation that we had pizza for dinner — blamo — Domino’s ad in my Gmail inbox. I have both an Echo and a Google Home device sitting next to each other for a research project, but I suspect it was the Google Home since the ad went to my Gmail.
It can also tell the difference in voices, I assume by speech pattern and frequency. If my 13 year old asks one of the devices to “play music,” the latest teen screamer comes on. If I ask I get a hearty round of blues classics. My wife won’t talk to either device. So how does this bode for privacy and security? We may soon find out.
A recent murder investigation in Arkansas has prompted the police investigating the crime to file a search warrant to prod Amazon into trying to recover the data from their cloud storage. Amazon has turned over basic information, but like in the recent Apple vs. FBI case, refuses to provide customer data with a specific court order. The slope is definitely slippery as who is to say that someone won’t demand that all speech be stored and be made available on demand. I am I not just referring to the government law officials.
A challenge I see is: What if the device picks up a voice from a TV where someone is watching the latest slasher flick? Would just text be available or would voice be part of the package? Additionally, some manufacturers of these types of devices outsource speech recognition and cannot actively account for the process and collection method. Samsung’s Smart TV with Voice Recognition was just dinged for this.
The technology is still in its infancy but is moving quickly. A look at Samsung’s recent purchase of Harman, which includes AMX, which happens to have a relationship with IBM and its Watson AI project, is a good example of where this may be headed. Their goal is big data collection to sell you more stuff. But with big data comes big responsibility. We just have to device how much of our privacy is worth the convenience.Leave a Comment
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|2017 Will Be the Year of The… My Predictions for the Upcoming Year in AV Technology|
By Gary Kayye
After years of a terrible world economy and very little innovation, 2016 was a boon for new technology — especially in the world of AV. And, some of it crossed both high-end residential as well as commercial. Let’s take a look at a little of what was 2016 and then I’ll tell you want to realistically expect from 2017 in the way of innovative technology in AV.
4K, 4K, 4K: I have to start with that one. 2016 will forever be remembered as THE YEAR 4K debuted. It was the talk of all four major trade shows including ISE, InfoComm, Integrate and CEDIA Expo. We’ve seen more 4K products (including displays, cables, switchers, scalers, decoders, transcoders, servers and media players) than any other single technical innovation of the year. 4K is going to be big business and HUGE in 2017 — keep reading to hear why.
2016 FINALLY brought us the long-promised AV/IT convergence that everyone’s been touting (including yours truly). Sure, we’ve had networked-audio for years — thanks to Audinate’s Dante system. Video seemed like it was never going to be networkable, but companies like AptoVision have led the way in AV-over-IP systems, partnering with more than 10 different companies that are already building 4K-over-IP systems or plan to in 2017. Those include ZeeVee, iMAGsystems, IDK and Gefen. In addition, biggies like Crestron and AMX have also announced 4K-over-IP systems. And, each one of those companies is offering a plethora of options — with various compressions rates — depending on what your customer wants quality- and cost-wise.
The laser projector made its debut in 2016 with companies like Sony and Barco leading the way — they shipped laser-phosphor products that not only promised to have amazing colorimetry, but actually did. Laser might well end up being the saving grace for the projector market too, as it’s currently being swallowed up by the flat-panel monitor companies.With regards to flat-panels, the big news this year had to be from LG. LG managed to launch both concave and convex displays as well as what they are claiming as wall-paper displays. All of them use the future-forward-thinking OLED technology that we’ve been hearing about for, well, a decade. At ISE, InfoComm and at Integrate, LG had one of the most popular booths as everyone wanted to see the creative applications of OLED.
Speaking of large booth crowds — Sony, at InfoComm 2016, blew away all booth attendance records with the launch of its Micro-LED called Canvas. It’s expensive but the company showed a pixel-less 8Kx2K resolution image that was 35 feet wide. If you were listening at InfoComm, it’s all you could hear anyone talking about it.
Innovations in 2016 weren’t relegated to video. In fact, 2016 was a big year in audio too. Harman — the industry’s biggest audio company — was purchased by Samsung, but not before debuting the largest line of network-based audio products across six different subsidiary brands. All use Dante as the networking platform and allow for networkable everything — including speakers individually addressable via the network. Now, just about every speaker company does this. So, instead of planning the “zones” of a distributed audio system before install, you can do it any time now — and change them on the fly.Have you heard of Amazon Alexa? Although it’s aimed at the consumer market (to encourage them to order more stuff from amazon.com), it’s being adopted by all the control system companies as an option for voice control. Amazon is happy to oblige, making its API for Alexa development open and free for anyone to use!
Finally, collaboration. It moved from a word meaning people working together on something to one that means the same thing as a Barco ClickShare. Yes, that happened. The ClickShare, although launched in 2012, is still dominating the wireless-collaboration market (meaning, connecting multiple laptops, tablets or phones to the same display over an ad-hoc network). Sure, there have been imitators, but Barco crossed the 150,000 unit sales mark in mid-2016. That’s a lot of boxes. Also, never underestimate an end user’s love of a simple, giant button.
So, on to 2017
If you want to see the future — I mean years-out future — go check out anything that Oblong is doing. You interact with a truly collaborative system with natural hand gestures and it’s always connected — no having to go to a meeting 15-minutes before it starts to make sure the AV technology works. It’s always on. But not everyone can afford a room that STARTS for $150,000 and moves up from there.
In 2017, we will see some major technological developments (some from the consumer market that will trickle-up to the commercial market) that will get nearly every room more than halfway to an Oblong Mezzanine room for way, way less. How? Well, read on!
First, let me start with the Digital Canvas. Now that we have 4K in both flat-panels and projectors, we will see the opportunity of a lifetime. And, the death of the projector can be slowed down if you offer your clients with something I call the Digital Canvas. The Digital Canvas concept is simple — and now we have projectors high-res enough to do this — instead of deciding what size screen to put in a room based on least-favored-viewer stats, you put in as big of a screen as the room can handle — fill the front of the room with projection, if you can. Then, use the projected image to provide you with your “normal-sized” projected image for PowerPoint or whatever else you’re showing but use the leftover projected image (mind you, it’s all in 4K resolution so you can actually have four PowerPoint slides up simultaneously in native resolution) to project stuff like the preview slides, a clock or even social media feeds. All simultaneously filling the front of the room — thus, you make a giant Digital Canvas.
A flat-panel can’t do that.
So, the benefit of 4K isn’t just prettier pictures — it can help us turn every room space into a Digital Canvas. By the end of 2017, this Digital Canvas concept will start to catch on as 4K projectors will be 30 to 50 percent less expensive than the first generation launched this past fall. And thanks to laser imaging, the colorimetry will be stunning. We will see blacker-blacks and whiter-whites and thus all color will look better. So, laser can be the saving grace of projection.
However, that won’t be fast enough to save the projector from being pushed almost totally out of the small to medium-sized meeting room. Nearly every integrator that specifies a screen that’s 80” or smaller now uses a flat-panel instead of a projector. That number will grow to 94” by the end of 2017 and could reach 100” depending on what Samsung, Sharp and LG decide to debut in 2017. But expect the 100” LCD to come down, considerably, in price next year.
Speaking of flat-panels, as I mentioned above, LG (and Samsung) both have curved displays which, in to digital signage, make for some creative installs. 2017 will be the year the TV/monitor moves into art in a big way. We will see more flat-panels installed for digital signage and museums than any other year before now — expect that growth to be in the 20 to 25 percent range. And, the more creative the install, the more profitable it will be. 4K will also massively drive down the price of 1080p displays, while the 4K TVs themselves will be 50 percent of what they were in cost in 2016 by the end of 2017 — making for more to install.
Virtual Reality (VR) has been in the ProAV market for years — in fact, years ago, there were companies that come to shows and built VR caves — using projection. But, now that Facebook owns Oculus, Samsung has its VR Gear and Microsoft is shipping its VR games, what is relegated to gaming now will move in to the commercial AV space. The cost of developing content for VR applications will be driven down so we, the AV market, will need to get in to the VR market for higher-end installs — virtualization in architecture, visualization of fashion, recreating history in museums and a plethora of new applications where content drives the display format. And, you will even be selling the gear, too.
Speaking of content, the way the digital signage industry works now is soon going to be the way you’re designing classrooms and meeting rooms. So, why not get into digital signage to learn it now? Here’s the deal: All the content in a digital signage system isn’t carried from display to display via HDMI or VGA. It’s all driven by the network. All the content is sent to the various displays from an integrated cloud-based network. So, playing the content doesn’t require a computer to be connected to the display (or at least the kind of computer you know computers to be). But, the content travels across the network and is output through a $200, $99 or even a $25 media player — like a purpose-built digital signage computer. So, that methodology is what will happened in the not-so-distant future of the classroom and meeting room. If the content (e.g., PowerPoint, website, slide-deck) is on the network, there will no longer be the need for a dedicated computer or VGA port or HDMI port in the room. Just keep it on the network and “play” it using the display’s media player — one that’s built-in (e.g., Samsung SmartSign) or using the $25 media player (e.g., ChromeStick). So, that, alone should be reason enough for you to get into the digital signage network (to learn how to design the classrooms and meeting rooms of the future). But in case that’s not enough — how about the fact that the digital signage market, although less than 10 years old, is larger than the entire education AV market? And, in fact, it’s the fastest growing segment of AV right now.
Collaborative systems, rather than products, will be the wave in 2017. Everyone was rushing out to build the Barco ClickShare competitor for the past three years but, everyone failed miserably. But now that the wireless collaboration market can be realized (thanks in part to bandwidth and in larger part, thanks to Barco paving the way), you will see more collaborative systems — even Barco is doing it with its new WeConnect. Sure, we will see more ClickShare competition in 2017 but, more importantly, we will see a plethora of companies debut complete integrated systems you (that are all 100 percent network-based) and you can drop in to nearly every room. Sure, not every room, but 90 percent of them, however. This will be big.
Simplicity will be a HUGE theme in 2017. This is what Amazon Alexa is all about — people turning complicated systems into something you can talk to to carry out commands — sort of like an iPhone Siri for your room. Speaking of Siri, Apple has already staked a claim to controlling the home, and everything in it, via Siri and its new HOME app. So has Google with its home line where you tell Google everything you want to do — and assuming you have Android, it works. You will see a massive more towards simplification from everyone in AV — less individual boxes and more integrated systems (or all-in-one) solutions.Finally, there’s one thing that I skipped that needs to be mentioned as our industry has, forever, been driven by the display. Well, I already predicted that nearly any projection system that’s under 100” would be relegated to flat-panels. And, I told you all about the applications of 4K and why it will usurp 1080p. But, in 2017 we will see the rise of tiny projectors (some pico and some just ultra-portable) cross the 3,000- and 4,000-lumen category and be cheap — like $1,000 cheap. This could change everything. And, no, it does NOT spell doom and gloom for AV. This will provide the ability to put displays EVERYWHERE. Think about it — imagine classrooms with projection on all four walls. Imagine the previous slides on the left and right walls in a lecture hall while the current slide is front-and-center. Well, you’ll be able to spec that inexpensively by the end of 2017. So, instead of putting in just one display at the front of every room, this is true multi-imaging. That’s our future!
Oh, did I forget to mention the forthcoming 8K displays? Ugh, ran out of space in this column…Leave a Comment
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|Christie Debuts Extreme Series of LCD Video Wall Panels|
Christie just debuted the new Extreme Series to its Aspect family of LCD video wall panels. The new series consists of four models: FHD553-XE, FHD553-XE-R, FHD553-XE-H and FHD553-XE-HR and include a range of brightness levels and feature an advanced electronics platform with an optional redundant remote power supply. Designed for near-seamless video walls, the Extreme Series is the high-end of their Aspect family of a full range of product options, including: bezel size, brightness, power, connectivity and price.
Featuring advanced panel matching, the brightness and color of each panel comes pre-calibrated, eliminating much of the image adjustments typically required when installing video walls. The Smart Light Control feature can automatically adjust the brightness of each panel for uniformity across the entire video wall and maintain consistent performance throughout its lifetime. With an OPS slot, these panels accept a variety of embedded processing modules, such as the Christie Phoenix EP, for a complete video wall solution that is perfect for critical viewing environments.
With its narrow bezel, the Extreme Series is suitable for government facilities, public utilities, security and surveillance, telecommunications, and transportation. The Extreme Series is also good for artistic and architectural displays, corporate lobbies, higher education, retail outlets, financial institutions, arenas and stadiums.
Here are all the options.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Ships 16 New eBUS Button Panels|
Extron is shipping 16 new eBUS button panels. eBUS button panels are customizable for AV system control interfaces that work with any IPCP Pro control processor. Multiple eBUS button panels may be linked together by a single cable that carries both power and communication. A variety of mounting options, including Extron’s new Flex55 mounting systems, provide easy integration worldwide. Buttons for most eBUS products can be easily customized using Extron Button Label Generator software or by using the online Custom Button Builder application. eBUS accessories include distribution hubs, power supplies, and mounting products that streamline integration and bring additional design flexibility to any system.
Extron’s eBUS technology is based on a unique digital bus architecture that allows for easy control system expansion, greater design options, and future upgrades. Since they have the same physical appearance as Extron’s broad range of MediaLink controllers, eBUS button panels can be used alongside them throughout a facility while preserving a consistent look and user experience. A single eBUS button panel can be used as the AV control interface for a smaller system or multiple button panels and touchpanels may be combined when a more elaborate control system is required.
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|QSC Intros Q-SYS Core 510i Integrated Core ProcessorQSC just introduced the Q-SYS Core 510i Integrated Core processor. An evolution of the Q-SYS Platform, the Core 510i processor leverages the latest Intel platform using a QSC-developed Linux realtime operating system (RTOS) to deliver the most powerful audio, video and control (AVC) solution available. The Core 510i processor offers the most flexible audio I/O configuration options of any processor in the Q-SYS catalog, with card-based I/O as well as native Q-LAN network channel and AES67 capabilities. It is designed for applications that require a mixture of analog, digital and networked audio connectivity, including mid- to large-sized meeting spaces and hospitality applications.|
The Core 510i can be deployed in two different software configurable modes:
- Q-SYS Core mode: handles all AVC processing including extensive resources for built-in acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) that can be deployed with the new Q-SYS AV-to-USB Bridging solution for soft codec conferencing applications.
- I/O Frame mode: support for up to 128×128 audio channels as an I/O peripheral into the Q-SYS system for processing on a separate Q-SYS Core processor. It can accommodate any combination of Q-SYS Type-II I/O cards including Dante, CobraNet, AVB or Q-SYS analog and AES/EBU cards.
With the recent release of Q-SYS Designer Software v5.3, all Q-SYS Core processors shipped to date, including the Core 510i processor offer native AES67 capability without the need for any additional hardware or license costs. Like other Q-SYS solutions, the Core 510i processor offers multiple levels of system redundancy allowing the designer to choose the most appropriate redundancy scheme for the project at hand.
Gary recorded a podcast with QSC earlier this week that covered the Core 510i that you can listen to here.
The Q-SYS Core 510i processor will debut at the QSC Systems stand 7-Q170 at the Integrated Systems Conference (ISE) in Amsterdam and all the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|New Sennheiser XS Wireless Microphone Systems Debuts|
Sennheiser is debuting a new radio microphone series: XS Wireless 1 and – in a preview – XS Wireless 2.
The series uses the Sennheiser evolution capsules, and employs antenna switching diversity for reliable reception. The individual sets provide up to ten compatible, preset channels in eight frequency banks, and are available in a number of ranges across the UHF spectrum — A: 548-572 MHz, GB: 606-630 MHz, B: 614- 638 MHz, C: 766-790 MHz, D: 794-806 MHz, E: 821-832 MHz + 863-865 MHz, K: 925-937.5 MHz. The receiver provides balanced XLR and unbalanced jack outputs.
All XS Wireless 1 sets come complete with receiver, transmitter, microphone capsule or instrument cable, power supply unit and batteries. Two XS Wireless 1 Vocal Sets give a choice of two different microphone capsules, the e 825 cardioid capsule or the superior capsule of the e835, also with a cardioid pick-up pattern. Also included is a microphone clamp. The XS Wireless 1 Headmic Set with ME 3-II headworn microphone is an ideal solution for any live sound application where users need to have their hands free when singing or presenting.
The Lavalier Mic Set includes the unobtrusive ME 2-2 lavalier microphone with mic clip.
The upcoming XS Wireless 2 series, which will become available in April 2017 and that takes the benefits of XSW 1 even further. XS Wireless 2 has been designed for users who need greater flexibility and control. Consequently, XSW 2 has up to 12 compatible, tunable channels in its eight frequency banks, and an LCD display that shows the transmission frequency, AF and RF levels and battery status.
The XS Wireless 2 series includes two Vocal Sets with either a cardioid e835 dynamic capsule or a super-cardioid e 865 pre-polarised condenser capsule, a Headmic Set, a Lavalier Set, and an Instrument Set. All XSW sets are compatible with each other.
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|HARMAN Professional Solutions Intros the JBL Intonato 24 Studio Monitor Management Tuning System|
HARMAN today announced the new JBL Intonato 24 Monitor Management Tuning System, a comprehensive solution for easy set up, automated calibration and complete control of monitoring systems in stereo, surround and immersive audio production rooms. Housed in a 2U rack-mount enclosure and shipping with more included I/O than any monitoring control solution available today, Intonato 24 can calibrate and control systems of up to 24 speakers with customized recallable routing of up to 24 sources selected from 24 dedicated analog, 24 digital and 256 networked audio sources. Included software and an optional Desktop Controller put the system’s powerful monitoring features at your fingertips, and take control room monitoring to the next level.
Intonato 24 includes a calibration microphone and innovative Automated Speaker Calibration process that “tunes” each speaker to compensate for speaker placement and room acoustics, delivering neutral response to the mix position — even in less-than-ideal work spaces. The result is a system that takes the guesswork out of mixing by tackling room-related low-frequency issues and precisely matching the level and “time-of-flight” from each speaker to the mix position.
Intonato 24 comes standard with the most I/O in its class and features flexible internal routing and a mixer to provide unprecedented monitoring flexibility. With the power to manage monitoring systems of up to 24 speakers — including up to four subwoofers that can be assigned as “Bass Management” subs with selectable crossover settings — Intonato 24 is compatible with all monitoring formats including stereo, 5.1, 7.1 and makes immersive monitoring possible in any control room. In addition, with the ability to patch, route, and selectively monitor any combination of 24 analog, 24 digital and 256 networked sources including DANTE via an optional interface, Intonato 24 will easily be right at home in any professional studio environment.
A graphical user interface allows you to control Intonato 24 from Mac, Windows and a range of tablets. Complete configurations, including speaker setup parameters, EQ, subwoofer settings, input source patching and down-mix preferences can be stored as “profiles” and “scenes” and instantly recalled (even mid-session) to meet the requirements of specific projects and clients. The optional Intonato Desktop Controller puts monitor system control at your fingertips, providing elegant control of system volume, recall of user-configured scenes, activation of speaker mutes and solos and other frequently used features.
Intonato 24 pairs with JBL 7 Series and JBL M2 Master Reference studio monitors to create a complete monitoring system designed for immersive audio production in control rooms of any size. The unit can be used with any passive or powered speaker, not just JBL. In addition, HARMAN BLU link network protocol allows Intonato 24 to be digitally networked with Crown power amplifiers and an assortment of system components.
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|Waveguide Sells to Compass Group|
Waveguide, one of the AV industry’s top-five design consulting firms headed up by Scott Walker, just announced that on December 1, 2016, Waveguide merged with the Compass Group USA and Flik Hospitality. Compass Group USA is based in Charlotte, N.C., and with $16 billion in revenues in 2016, is the leading American foodservice management and support services company. Compass Group’s UK-based parent company, Compass Group PLC, was named the 6th largest publicly traded employer in the world by USA Today and one of 50 Companies Changing the World by Fortune. Compass Group PLC had revenues of £19.9 billion in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. Waveguide will be managed under Flik Hospitality, a sector within Compass Group USA that specializes in foodservice and conference center management—including on-site AV technology management—for global corporations and leading educational institutions.
Here is Waveguide’s announcement:
Flik Hospitality and Waveguide share an Atlanta client, and it was at this client’s corporate headquarters that Flik Hospitality witnessed firsthand the successful implementation of our planning, design, software programming, commissioning and technology management services. They approached us with the idea of combining our full complement of conference services to better serve all of our clients. And while an AV company joining a foodservice company might seem unconventional at first glance, Andy and I quickly realized that aligning Waveguide’s full suite of lifecycle services with Flik Hospitality’s existing audiovisual business presented a unique opportunity for accelerated growth and success — for Waveguide, our AV industry partners, and most importantly, our clients.
At Waveguide, we’ve always been focused on doing great work. Now we have the resources to do great work even better. Beyond that, we don’t expect our organizational change to have an impact on your day-to-day interactions with us. Andy and I, along with the rest of the Waveguide team, will continue to operate as we always have, offering industry-leading AV, IT and acoustics consulting; software programming; and on-site management services for current and future clients of all stripes. You’ll still work with the same great Waveguide people. Our company brand remains the same. Our headquarters remain in metro Atlanta. Our other offices and satellite sites all remain put. I will remain as president of Waveguide, and Andy stays on as head of operations and finances. Lastly, our commitment to your business and the industry continues unabated. In fact, the only difference you may notice is our name changes from Waveguide Consulting Inc. to Waveguide LLC. But hey, you can still just call us Waveguide.
We are certain being part of a multibillion dollar global corporation, which counts 490 of the Fortune 500 as clients, will better position us to support the growing and changing landscape of our clients’ technology needs as well as bring our name-brand services to Flik Hospitality’s diverse list of clients. It’s win-win-win for everyone.
This is an interesting merger and grows the industry as a whole. All you have to do is look at Compass Group and what they do to see this is different. But, it also means that their competitors are likely to follow suit and try to buy other large consultants or, potentially, a large integrator. Sysco, for example, is even larger than Compass with over $50 Billion in revenue.
Scott is a personal friend of mine — I’ve known him for longer than nearly anyone in AV. This is a fantastic move for him, personally, but an even better move for his company and the industry, as a whole. Trust me on this one.
Waveguide is here. Compass Group is here.Leave a Comment
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|Behringer Ships New EUROPOWER PMP500MP3Marketing it as the ultimate all-in-one portable PA mixer, Behringer says the EUROPOWER PMP500MP3 (at only 3 kg / 6.6 lbs) is an 8-channel, 500-watt powered mixer with an on-board mp3 player, reverb and wireless microphone connectivity. The vertical-standing mixer includes:|
- A studio-grade stereo reverb
- “Wireless-ready” for high-quality BEHRINGER digital wireless system
- Broadcast-like Voice-Over-Priority Function dims music when microphones are used
- An 8-channel mixer section features 4 mic/line and 2 stereo channels
- Four high-quality mic preamps with switchable +48 V phantom power for condenser microphones
- 2-band EQ on all channels
- Music/Speech switch to set overall system equalization
- Auto limiter prevents overload damage to power ampli er and speakers
- Mic stand adapter ts standard 5/8″ and 3/8″ European threads (included)
- Switching power supply
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|QSC Announces New Q-SYS Flex I/O Expander|
QSC has introduced the Q-SYS I/O-8 Flex Channel Expander. Featuring eight flexible audio I/O channels, a QSC exclusive technology first seen on the Q-SYS Core 110f, I/O-8 Flex allows users to easily configure each channel via Q-SYS Designer Software as either a fully balanced mic/line input with phantom power or a line level output. It also offers PoE+ support for simple, single-cable deployments plus an auxiliary DC power input that can be used for redundancy where required. With the same chassis and mounting solution as the QSC SPA Series power amplifiers, the I/O-8 Flex is ideal for mounting under the table in a conference room, on the wall or in a rack.
Acting as a Q-SYS peripheral, the I/O-8 Flex Channel Expander offers local Audio-to-USB bridging for integration with soft codec applications such as Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, etc. In addition, the onboard control connectivity including GPIO and RS232 can be used to provide Push-to-Talk or Push-to-Mute functionality and microphone LED status in addition to connectivity to any serially controlled device.
Gary recorded a podcast with QSC about the I/O Expander and you can listen to that here.
The Q-SYS I/O-8 Flex Channel Expander will debut at the QSC Systems stand 7-Q170 at the Integrated Systems Conference (ISE) in Amsterdam. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Bose Professional Ships ShowMatch DeltaQ Array LoudspeakersBose Professional is now shipping new ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers for both installation and portable applications, with field-changeable waveguides that help provide the best possible sound quality throughout the audience area. ShowMatch DeltaQ arrays provide significant advantages over conventional line array loudspeakers.|
DeltaQ array technology improves sound quality and vocal clarity by providing selectable coverage patterns that direct more sound energy to the audience by allowing directivity, or “Q,” to vary with each array module. Traditional line arrays typically have significantly less pattern control. ShowMatch full-range array loudspeakers are available with 5-degree, 10-degree or 20-degree vertical coverage with class-leading versatility that allows J-array, constant-curvature, or DeltaQ array configurations. Conventional line arrays can require up to twice the box count compared to DeltaQ arrays to achieve comparable vertical coverage. DeltaQ arrays can improve sight lines, reduce rigging weight and lower system costs.
New ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers provide the highest full-range output for their size class, with 145 dB peak array output levels generated from four Bose EMB2S neodymium compression drivers and two 8-inch neodymium woofers with more usable low-frequency output in smaller arrays.
ShowMatch loudspeakers feature field-changeable waveguides that vary horizontal coverage to better match audience coverage needs and can form asymmetrical patterns for improved acoustic performance in left/right arrays. Modules ship with both 70-degree and 100-degree waveguides, with optional 55-degree and 120-degree kits available. Compact, road-ready enclosures with removable side caps optimize design for both installed and portable applications – from small clubs and houses of worship, to the largest performing arts centers and concert-sound amphitheaters. Integrated rigging allows up to 24-box arrays.
A matching-width 18-inch ShowMatch DeltaQ subwoofer provides low-frequency extension down to 30 Hz. Integrated rigging allows mixed arrays with full-range modules, or subwoofer arrays including cardioid and ground-stack configurations. The subwoofer measures 21.2×30.1×30.5″ (540x765x775 millimeters) and weighs 136.5 pounds (61.9 kg).
Bose ShowMatch DeltaQ full-range module specifications:
- SM5 measures 10.6″ H x 31.2″ W x 18.4″ D (270 x 793 x 467 mm) and weighs 67.5 lbs (30.6 kg)
- SM10 measures 11.1″ x 31.2″ x 18.3″ (282 x 793 x 465 mm) and weighs 65.5 lbs (29.7 kg)
- SM20 measures 11.9″ x 31.2″ x 18.1″ (303 x 793 x 461 mm) and weighs 64.0 lbs (29.0 kg)
- Frequency response of the full range models is 59-18,000 Hz (-10 dB)
All the rest is here.Leave a Comment
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|Crestron Room Scheduling Launches as Stand-Alone AppNow available, Crestron Room Scheduling allows organizations with multiple conference rooms and meeting spaces to schedule their meetings. Crestron Scheduling Touch Screens connect directly to Microsoft Exchange or other popular calendaring programs, such as Google Calendar and IBM Notes, to book impromptu meetings on panels outside of rooms or search for and book spaces based on location, number of attendees and type of meeting.|
The LED-lit TSW-732 and TSS-752 Room Scheduling Touch Screens are mounted on the wall outside each room. Room availability and meeting details are displayed on the 7-inch screen or if the room is available for the amount of time needed, book the room on the fly with just one touch. Alternatively, scroll through the room calendar to confirm upcoming meetings, or find open time slots and book the space for future meetings.
Crestron Room Scheduling can be either be deployed in the cloud or on-premises. Cloud-based deployment, leveraging Microsoft Azure. Crestron Room Scheduling in the cloud provides tight integration with Microsoft Exchange 2010 or 2013, Microsoft Office 365 and supports Google Calendar.
Clients can host Crestron Room Scheduling on their own server or virtual machine (VM), which is isolated from external networks. The on-premises solution is compatible with Microsoft Exchange 2010 or 2013, Microsoft Office 365, and supports IBM Notes, CollegeNET and R25 software. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|PureLink Tries to Make VIP-100 IP System Better with New User InterfaceThe newly designed VIP-100 II allows users to add video, audio, RS232 and matrix switching capabilities over IP networks. The “Mark II” version of the VIP-100 claims to make setup and operation simpler with the addition of an LED channel display, IR remote control and front panel plus/minus buttons, allowing users to easily change channels on the transmitter and receiver modules.|
The VIP 100 II provides point-to-point extension at distances up to 394 feet (120 meters) providing up to a 64×190 matrix switching system or as much as a 64x65K system, based on Class B networks. The VIP-100 II also adds RS232 distribution, which contributes even further to its switching capabilities. Additionally, every encoder and decoder can be powered from network switches that provide 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE).
- Support resolutions up to Full HD/1080p
- LED channel display
- Front panel channel plus/minus buttons
- IR remote control for familiar channel selection
- PoE – power encoders/decoders from 802.3af PoE network switches
- RS232 and IR extension/distribution
- HDMI Loop out on Transmitter
- HDCP compliant
All the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|James Loudspeaker Introduces the FXA Series of Angled Baffled Architectural Loudspeakers|
James Loudspeaker has introduced the FXA Series angled baffle architectural series speakers for in-ceiling and in-wall applications. All FXA Series speakers feature a discreet edge detail that they say appears virtually flush once installed.
Within this new lineup, two choices of tweeters are available. Models with a single beryllium tweeter, used for the ultimate in high-fidelity performance and as well as timbre matching to the James BE Series speakers are simply referred to FXA Series. Also available are versions that utilize the James proprietary Quad Array Tweeter, featuring four 0.75-inch aluminum dome tweeters delivering wide coverage and high output. These models are timbre-matched to James QX and QXC models. Each FXA and FXAQ speaker features dual 3-inch mid-range transducers (angled at 30-degrees towards the listening area) and two 5.25-inch woofers (angled on the adjacent baffle at 20 degrees toward the listener). The woofers are designed with aluminum cones, Santoprene surrounds and die cast baskets for use in outdoor/marine environments. Enclosures are constructed of aircraft/marine-grade aluminum and include aluminum white paintable grilles. 70-volt versions and custom colors are also available.
FXA Series are available now and the FXA model is $1,700 each while the FXAQ model is $1,400 each. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Debuts New AXI Series Dante Audio Interfaces|
Extron has introduced two new products in the Extron AXI family of Dante audio interfaces. The AXI 22 AT and the AXI 44 AT analog audio to Dante interfaces feature two inputs / two outputs, or four inputs / four outputs. The compact quarter rack width units integrate two or four mic or line sources onto a Dante-enabled audio system and feature switchable 48 volt phantom power. The AXI 22 AT offers two line level outputs, while the AXI 44 AT features four line level outputs for routing Dante channels from the network to an audio system. Level select, gain, and phantom power settings are controllable from the front panel, via DSP Configurator Software, or by using SIS commands via the LAN and USB ports. Both models interface with any Dante-equipped audio processor, such as an Extron DMP 128 Plus AT, over a standard local area network, and can be powered through PoE. This allows a single network cable connection for bidirectional audio and power from a central equipment rack.
The AXI 22 AT and AXI 44 AT accept analog mic and line sources, which are converted at 24-bit with selectable sampling rates from 44.1 to 96 kHz, for output via Dante. The interfaces are connected into a Dante network over Ethernet using standard IP networking protocols. This avoids the effort and expense of pulling multiple lines of long cables back to the AV rack. With their small, quarter rack form factor, the AXI 22 AT and AXI 44 AT can be easily mounted under a desk, in a lectern, or in millwork, as well as in a rack. The family of Dante-enabled products from Extron work together as part of a complete networked audio system solution and integrate with other Dante-enabled products to create efficient, scalable system designs.
All the details on the AXI 22 AT and AXI 44 AT are here.Leave a Comment
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|Crestron Ships Two New Modular Amplifiers|
Crestron is now shipping new modular utility amplifiers. The new AMP-1200 and AMP-2100 are designed for easy installation, with no need for rack shelves, terminating power connectors or external power supplies. Crestron modular amplifiers amps are also Energy Star certified — they intelligently power down when not in use and feature “fast on” power up, so not a single syllable of speech or program audio is clipped.
All of the hardware needed comes in the box. Integrators do not need to research, order or keep track of separate rack ears, shelves, spacer kits or any other extra installation hardware. The slide-lock design provides secure, professional 1U mounting without a shelf for single-amp and gang configurations. They also have an internal power supply.
AMP-1200 and AMP-2100 are part of Crestron’s new line of single and two-channel modular amps. Crestron says additional models will be available soon.
To see complete specs on the AMP-1200, go here and on the AMP-2100, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Sharp Intros New “Value-Priced” PN-C Series AQUOS BOARDsSharp today announced its new PN-C Series AQUOS BOARD interactive display systems. Available as a 70″ Class (69.5″ diagonal) model and as an 80″ Class (80″ diagonal) model, the new PN-C series is aimed at businesses and schools looking for value-priced interactive displays.|
Priced 30 percent lower than the PN-L series, the PN-C805B and PN-C705B both recognize up to 10 touch points with four-person simultaneous use, up from six touch points and two-person use with the previous PN-C series.
With the launch of the new PN-C805B and PN-C705B, Sharp is for the first time introducing direct bonding technology to its AQUOS BOARD interactive display line, allowing for a highly ergonomic touch and feel. Sharp says this technology creates a user experience as close to pen on paper as possible. That’s because the protective glass is bonded directly to the LCD panel without any air gaps. This minimizes parallax difference, allowing for smooth writing operations and clear visibility.
Designed for a more intuitive experience, the PN-C series brings frequently used features, such as power on/off and input switching, backlight and freeze, to the front bezel. The new backlight control button allows for energy savings during breaks, and allows users to hide their screens without removing the content, adding a layer of convenience and security for fast-paced business and learning environments. The new freeze function allows users to easily capture a freeze frame from a video to quickly enable on-screen annotation. Another new feature added to this AQUOS BOARD interactive display series is the ability to connect webcams at multiple locations, providing users with even greater flexibility when videoconferencing. The new PN-C series is engineered to be used continuously for up to 16 hours a day /7 days a week, making it an extremely reliable tool for the classroom or the office.
The SHARP Pen Software incorporates a menu comprising of icons that provide easy access to pen settings and other functions. In overlay mode, users can write onscreen annotations or graphics directly onto photos, videos, Adobe PDF documents and common Microsoft files, such as PowerPoint. Downloadable SHARP Display Connect software allows the PN-C805B/C705B interactive displays to share its onscreen content with up to 50 devices, helping facilitate lively discussions and paperless meetings in both business and educational settings.
Both will ship in late January. Here are the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Epson Intros Slimmest Ultra-Portable Projectors with New PowerLite 1700-SeriesEpson today introduced its slimmest (as thin as a laptop and just four pounds) ultra-portable projectors to date – the next- generation PowerLite 1700-Series. The PowerLite 1795F, 1785W, 1781W and 1780W are the smallest form factor of any 3LCD projectors on the market, according to Epson, and are designed for business travelers. They include totally wireless connectivity and automatic vertical keystone correction.|
Epson projectors feature 3LCD, 3-chip technology and the new PowerLite 1700-Series projectors support Google Chromecast, Roku, MHL-enabled devices and anything HDMI. The PowerLite 1780W, 1781W and 1785W are native WXGA resolution (1280×800), and the flagship PowerLite 1795F is native 1920×1080. The PowerLite 1780W is 3,000 lumens color brightness and 3,000 lumens white brightness, and the PowerLite 1781W, PowerLite 1785W and PowerLite 1795F deliver 3,200 lumens color brightness and 3,200 lumens white brightness.
The PowerLite 1781W lists for $799, the PowerLite 1780W is $749, the 1785W is $1,099 and the 1795F is $1,249. Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|Cloud Electronics Debuts New MA40 Series Mini Amplifiers at ISE|
Cloud Electronics will show two new models of the MA40 Mini Amplifier series at ISE 2017. The new MA40F Mini Amplifier features a mono 40W output (4Ω), two stereo line inputs with individual input gain, an additional 70V/100V line input, a paging microphone input with independent EQ, music EQ, music mute (for simple fire alarm connection) and a facility port that allows Cloud’s LM-2 wall input module and Cloud’s new BT-1F Bluetooth wireless audio module to be connected easily.
The MA40T offers identical features to the MA40 but provides 100V output (25V/70V/100V) in place of the low-impedance output. The MA40F and MA40T are the first in a line of four MA40 mini amplifier models, RS232 / Ethernet and Remote Level functionality being added to the four model line-up.
The Cloud Electronics booth is in Hall 7, Stand 7-T170. Here are all the product specs.Leave a Comment
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|KLARK TEKNIK Ships DM8000 Digital Audio Processor|
KLARK TEKNIK has started shipping its DM8000 advanced digital audio processor for installation applications featuring configurable DSP, audio networking and acoustic echo cancellation.
Aimed at teleconferencing and videoconferencing applications, the DM8000 integrates via USB, and the 1U rack mount chassis can also be remote controlled using built-in Ethernet and RS232 ports. The DM8000 is included with KLARK’s DSP Designer software containing a library of processing modules. Multiple DM8000 devices can be linked, creating a network for system-wide programming and control of a variety of input sources and that network can accommodate multiple mic inputs, a live band or stereo music source, as well as telephony — and send the mixes up to six destinations. The DM8000 uses its eight channels of wide band AEC to detect and eliminate secondary room reflections from the signal path.
The DM8000 will list for $1,149 and here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Altia Systems Claims to Kill the PTZ with Integrated Three-Camera Solution|
Everyone knows the value of a PTZ in conference room solutions. But, in small rooms, what if you had an integrated solution that used three cameras that covered the entire room — would you need an PTZ?
That’s what Altia Systems is hoping will replace the PTZ — the company’s three-camera packaged solution called PanaCast 2. It’s basically three cameras shooting one continuous seamed image that’s 180-degrees and 4K resolution. While wide-angle or wide field-of-view cameras have been around for a long time, most produce significant distortion, causing horizontal and vertical lines to bend (so-called barrel distortion) and form a very unnatural image unusable for videoconferencing.
Altia took a different approach. The company took three HD cameras (each with a more modest field-of-view) and stitched the three images together dynamically in the camera while also adding image correction to produce a single video stream that can cover up to 180° with very little distortion (the image below is an example of a room covered by the PanaCast 2).
It’s an interesting solution and one that will certainly be emulated by the biggies in the market — and, if Cisco, Polycom and Logitech aren’t already considering buying Altia Systems, they should! It’s compatible with every single VTC system (hardware or cloud-based) on the market today (yes, including Skype) and just plus into a computer’s USB port.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Apogee Ships Control Hardware Remote for Element Series and Symphony I/O Mk II Interfaces|
Apogee Electronics is shipping the Apogee Control, a hardware remote control accessory designed for their Symphony I/O Mk II and Element Series Thunderbolt interfaces. With Apogee Control, you gain lightning access to input and output levels using the large Symphony-inspired Control knob and three control knob focus buttons, plus immediate access to a wide range of functions using the eight user-configurable buttons.
Apogee Control Hardware Remote connects directly to your Mac using a simple USB cable. Apogee Control is sold as a separate accessory and is now available for $195.
Apogee’s Element 24, 46 and 88 are Thunderbolt audio I/O boxes for Mac. The Element Series takes Apogee gear like Symphony I/O Mk II, Ensemble Thunderbolt and Groove and puts it into simple form factors. Symphony I/O Mk II is a multi-channel audio interface featuring Apogee’s newest flagship AD/DA conversion, modular I/O (up to 32 inputs and outputs), touchscreen display and optional microphone preamps.
The new Symphony I/O Mk II comes with direct connectivity to one of three different platforms – Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD or Waves SoundGrid network. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Matrox Maevex 6100 Quad Encoder Card Now Available|
Matrox announced the immediate availability of the next generation of Matrox’s H.264 AV-over-IP portfolio, the Matrox Maevex 6100 quad encoder card. Delivering quad 4K input capture, the Maevex 6100 also offers multiple encodes, variable bitrates, and a broad choice of protocols, allowing simultaneous streaming and recording of four or more channels.
The Matrox Maevex 6100 quad encoder card delivers 4K/UHD (4:4:4 @ 30Hz) and Full HD multi-channel capture, encoding, streaming, and recording. Built on H.264, the world’s most common codec, this plug-and-play solution fits seamlessly into existing infrastructures and interoperates with any device on the network, ensuring high-density content distribution and system scalability.
The bundled Matrox PowerStream Plus software application and the available API provide flexible management of local or remote data, ensuring full reach and control over the entire network. PowerStream Plus allows access to Matrox’s powerful advanced hybrid streaming (AHS) features, including multiple source capture, multiple picture-in-picture (PIP) and picture-by-picture (PBP) composite options, and multi-protocol and multi-bitrate streaming. Designed to control all Maevex products, including the Maevex 5100 Series of encoders and decoders, PowerStream Plus allows for the expansion of existing Maevex networks and allows users to pick and choose the Maevex product which best suits their AV streaming needs.
Matrox Maevex 6100 is a 3/4 length PCI Express 3.0 x8 card with 4 Mini HDMI (type C) inputs that allow the capture of up to four 4096×2160@30Hz sources. Offering RTSP, RTP and MPEG2.TS streaming support with an onboard RJ45 network connector (RTMP support to soon follow), the Maevex 6100 can encode a multitude of H.264 streams at the same or varying bitrates. Capable of simultaneous streaming and/or recording to shared network drives or network attached storage, the Maevex 6100 features programmable start time, recording duration, maximum file length and file frequency.
All the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Introduces New SoundField XD Two-Way Ceiling Speaker|
Extron introduced new SoundField XD model SF 26CT, a 6.5″ two-way ceiling speaker featuring an 8″ (20.3 cm) deep composite backcan for use in plenum rated ceiling environments. The driver complement includes a 6.5″ (16.5 cm) woofer coupled to a 3/4″ (1.9 cm) ferrofluid-cooled dome tweeter. With a UL 2043 listed composite speaker enclosure, the SF 26CT meets UL requirements for smoke and heat release in plenum air spaces. A magnetically attached grille with a thin-edged bezel gives the SF 26CT a refined appearance on the ceiling. The SF 26CT offers both direct 8 ohm and 70/100 volt operation with a behind-the-grille, six position power selector switch. With 70/100 volt taps at 8, 16, 32, and 64 watts, the SF 26CT can be used in applications where a high power distributed speaker system is needed.
Designed with the integrator in mind, SoundField XD speakers are constructed using a two-piece modular design with a separable back can and baffle, which simplifies installation in both single-trade and division of labor installations. These speakers include a cable/conduit access plate that can be oriented as side mount, for low clearance ceilings, or as top mount for blind-mounting into drywall ceilings. Extron’s Opti-Torque indicator rings provide a visual indication when the locking arm screws have been sufficiently tightened, preventing damage to the speaker caused by over-torqueing.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe ProAV Edition out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
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